Gene Summary

Gene:VAV1; vav guanine nucleotide exchange factor 1
Aliases: VAV
Summary:This gene is a member of the VAV gene family. The VAV proteins are guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for Rho family GTPases that activate pathways leading to actin cytoskeletal rearrangements and transcriptional alterations. The encoded protein is important in hematopoiesis, playing a role in T-cell and B-cell development and activation. The encoded protein has been identified as the specific binding partner of Nef proteins from HIV-1. Coexpression and binding of these partners initiates profound morphological changes, cytoskeletal rearrangements and the JNK/SAPK signaling cascade, leading to increased levels of viral transcription and replication. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding multiple isoforms have been observed for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Apr 2012]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:proto-oncogene vav
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (26)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (13)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 30 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • DNA Methylation
  • Up-Regulation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Base Sequence
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Mutation
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Phosphorylation
  • Transfection
  • Cell Movement
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • RNA Interference
  • Chromosome 19
  • siRNA
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • VAV1
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • src-Family Kinases
  • Breast Cancer
  • Promoter Regions
  • Leukaemia
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • NF-kappa B
  • Lung Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • RHOA
Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

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: VAV1 (cancer-related)

Li X, Zhu J, Liu Y, et al.
MicroRNA-331-3p inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition by targeting ErbB2 and VAV2 through the Rac1/PAK1/β-catenin axis in non-small-cell lung cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(6):1883-1896 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs have been reported to play critical roles in the regulation of non-small-cell cancer (NSCLC) development, but the role of microRNA (miR)-331-3p in NSCLC is still unclear. In this study, the expression levels of miR-331-3p in NSCLC tumor tissues and adjacent normal tissues were examined by quantitative RT-PCR, and the relationship between miR-331-3p expression and patient clinicopathological characteristics was analyzed. The effects of miR-331-3p on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), migration, and metastasis of NSCLC cells were determined in vitro and vivo. Direct functional targets of miR-331-3p were identified by luciferase reporter assay, western blot assay, immunohistochemical staining, and rescue assay. The downstream pathway regulated by miR-331-3p was identified by immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, and Rac1 activity examination. Our results showed that miR-331-3p was significantly downregulated in NSCLC tumor tissues and was correlated with clinicopathological characteristics, and miR-331-3p could be an independent prognostic marker for NSCLC patients. Furthermore, miR-331-3p significantly suppressed EMT, migration and metastasis of NSCLC cells in vitro and in vivo. Both ErbB2 and VAV2 were direct functional targets of miR-331-3p. The activities of Rac1, PAK1, and β-catenin were regulated by miR-331-3p through ErbB2 and VAV2 targeting. These results indicated that miR-331-3p suppresses EMT, migratory capacity, and metastatic ability by targeting ErbB2 and VAV2 through the Rac1/PAK1/β-catenin axis in NSCLC.

Zhang Y, Chen W
[Regulatory effect of Vav1 on T cells and its relation to clinical diseases].
Zhejiang Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2018; 47(1):75-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Vav1, as a key downstream signaling molecule of T cell receptor, includes a catalytic core DH-PH-ZF domain with the function as guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), and a SH3-SH2-SH3 domain with the function as adaptor protein. These two structures of Vav1 play different roles in the development, activation, proliferation and function of T cells, and thereby exert the different regulatory effect on the occurrence and development of autoimmune disease, graft rejection, cancer and other clinical conditions, implicating that Vav1 might be a potential therapeutic target for these diseases. This paper reviews the role of Vav1 in T cells and the occurrence of related diseases.

Lorenzo-Martín LF, Citterio C, Menacho-Márquez M, et al.
Vav proteins maintain epithelial traits in breast cancer cells using miR-200c-dependent and independent mechanisms.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(2):209-227 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The bidirectional regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transitions (EMT) is key in tumorigenesis. Rho GTPases regulate this process via canonical pathways that impinge on the stability of cell-to-cell contacts, cytoskeletal dynamics, and cell invasiveness. Here, we report that the Rho GTPase activators Vav2 and Vav3 utilize a new Rac1-dependent and miR-200c-dependent mechanism that maintains the epithelial state by limiting the abundance of the Zeb2 transcriptional repressor in breast cancer cells. In parallel, Vav proteins engage a mir-200c-independent expression prometastatic program that maintains epithelial cell traits only under 3D culture conditions. Consistent with this, the depletion of endogenous Vav proteins triggers mesenchymal features in epithelioid breast cancer cells. Conversely, the ectopic expression of an active version of Vav2 promotes mesenchymal-epithelial transitions using E-cadherin-dependent and independent mechanisms depending on the mesenchymal breast cancer cell line used. In silico analyses suggest that the negative Vav anti-EMT pathway is operative in luminal breast tumors. Gene signatures from the Vav-associated proepithelial and prometastatic programs have prognostic value in breast cancer patients.

Boesch M, Sopper S, Marth C, et al.
Evaluation of Vav3.1 as prognostic marker in endometrial cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2018; 144(10):2067-2076 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Vav3 is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor that regulates the activity of Rho/Rac family GTPases. In a study on ovarian cancer, we recently demonstrated pronounced prognostic and predictive value of Vav3.1, a specific truncation variant of the parental Vav3 gene. Here, we sought to investigate the role of Vav3.1 in the most prevalent gynecological tumor entity, endometrial cancer.
METHODS: Vav3.1 transcript levels were determined in a large cohort of endometrial cancer patients using variant-specific PCR (n = 239), and non-malignant endometrial tissue served as control (n = 26). Expression levels of Vav3.1 were stratified according to established clinicopathological characteristics and correlated to long-term patient survival (average follow-up of > 7.5 years). Type 1 and type 2 cancers were separately investigated.
RESULTS: While Vav3.1 was markedly overexpressed in endometrial cancer tissue, we could not detect associations with clinical parameters related to prognosis, such as FIGO stage and tumor grade. Kaplan-Meier estimators of different measures of survival failed to show prognostic significance of Vav3.1 in endometrial cancer. Lack of prognostic value was observed for both type 1 and type 2 cancers.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that Vav3.1 is not suited as a marker of cancer progression and/or treatment response in endometrial cancer. Feasibility and potential benefit of targeting Vav3.1 in endometrial cancer needs to be evaluated in future studies, proceeding from its clear, roughly ten-fold, induction in the malignant endometrium.

Grassilli S, Brugnoli F, Lattanzio R, et al.
Vav1 downmodulates Akt in different breast cancer subtypes: a new promising chance to improve breast cancer outcome.
Mol Oncol. 2018; 12(7):1012-1025 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Targeting different members of the Akt pathways is a promising therapeutic chance in solid tumors including breast cancer. The variable expression levels of Akt isoforms with opposite effects on tumor growth and metastasis, however, make it difficult to select the inhibitors to be used for specific breast tumor subtypes. Using in vitro and in vivo models, we demonstrated here that Vav1, ectopically expressed in invasive breast tumors derived cells, downmodulates Akt acting at expression and/or activation levels depending on tumor subtype. The decreased p-Akt1 (Ser473) levels are a common effect of Vav1 upmodulation, suggesting that, in breast tumor-derived cells and independently of their phenotype, Vav1 interferes with signaling pathways ended to specifically recruit Akt1. Only in ER-negative cell lines, the silencing of Vav1 induced the expression but not the activation of Akt2. A retrospective analysis of early invasive breast tumors allowed to establish the prognostic significance of the p-Akt/Vav1 relationship. In particular, low Vav1 levels negatively influence the follow-up of patients with low p-Akt in their primary tumors and subjected to adjuvant chemotherapy. As the use of specific or pan Akt inhibitors may not be sufficient or may even be detrimental, increasing the levels of Vav1 could be a new approach to improve breast cancer outcomes. This might be particularly relevant for tumors with a triple-negative phenotype, for which target-based therapies are not currently available.

Lauber C, Klink B, Seifert M
Comparative analysis of histologically classified oligodendrogliomas reveals characteristic molecular differences between subgroups.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):399 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Molecular data of histologically classified oligodendrogliomas are available offering the possibility to stratify these human brain tumors into clinically relevant molecular subtypes.
METHODS: Gene copy number, mutation, and expression data of 193 histologically classified oligodendrogliomas from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were analyzed by well-established computational approaches (unsupervised clustering, statistical testing, network inference).
RESULTS: We applied hierarchical clustering to tumor gene copy number profiles and revealed three molecular subgroups within histologically classified oligodendrogliomas. We further screened these subgroups for molecular glioma markers (1p/19q co-deletion, IDH mutation, gain of chromosome 7 and loss of chromosome 10) and found that our subgroups largely resemble known molecular glioma subtypes. We excluded glioblastoma-like tumors (7a10d subgroup) and derived a gene expression signature distinguishing histologically classified oligodendrogliomas with concurrent 1p/19q co-deletion and IDH mutation (1p/19q subgroup) from those with predominant IDH mutation alone (IDHme subgroup). Interestingly, many signature genes were part of signaling pathways involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and cell-cell contacts. We further learned a gene regulatory network associated with the gene expression signature revealing novel putative major regulators with functions in cytoskeleton remodeling (e.g. APBB1IP, VAV1, ARPC1B), apoptosis (CCNL2, CREB3L1), and neural development (e.g. MYTIL, SCRT1, MEF2C) potentially contributing to the manifestation of differences between both subgroups. Moreover, we revealed characteristic expression differences of several HOX and SOX transcription factors suggesting the activity of different glioma stemness programs in both subgroups.
CONCLUSIONS: We show that gene copy number profiles alone are sufficient to derive molecular subgroups of histologically classified oligodendrogliomas that are well-embedded into general glioma classification schemes. Moreover, our revealed novel putative major regulators and characteristic stemness signatures indicate that different developmental programs might be active in these subgroups, providing a basis for future studies.

Li X, Xu W, Kang W, et al.
Genomic analysis of liver cancer unveils novel driver genes and distinct prognostic features.
Theranostics. 2018; 8(6):1740-1751 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Tuzlak S, Haschka MD, Mokina AM, et al.
Differential effects of Vav-promoter-driven overexpression of BCLX and BFL1 on lymphocyte survival and B cell lymphomagenesis.
FEBS J. 2018; 285(8):1403-1418 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Overexpression of BCLX and BFL1/A1 has been reported in various human malignancies and is associated with poor prognosis and drug resistance, identifying these prosurvival BCL2 family members as putative drug targets. We have generated transgenic mice that express human BFL1 or human BCLX protein throughout the haematopoietic system under the control of the Vav gene promoter. Haematopoiesis is normal in both the Vav-BFL1 and Vav-BCLX transgenic (TG) mice and susceptibility to spontaneous haematopoietic malignancies is not increased. Lymphoid cells from Vav-BCLX TG mice exhibit increased resistance to apoptosis in vitro while most blood cell types form Vav-BFL1 TG mice were poorly protected. Both transgenes significantly accelerated lymphomagenesis in Eμ-MYC TG mice and, surprisingly, the Vav-BFL1 transgene was the more potent. Unexpectedly, expression of transgenic BFL1 RNA and protein is significantly elevated in B lymphoid cells of Vav-BFL1/Eμ-MYC double-transgenic compared to Vav-BFL1 mice, even during the preleukaemic phase, providing a rationale for the potent synergy. In contrast, Vav-BCLX expression was not notably different. These mouse models of BFL1 and BCLX overexpression in lymphomas should be useful tools for the testing the efficacy of novel human BFL1- and BCLX-specific inhibitors.

Moustafa S, Karakasiliotis I, Mavromara P
Hepatitis C Virus core+1/ARF Protein Modulates the Cyclin D1/pRb Pathway and Promotes Carcinogenesis.
J Virol. 2018; 92(9) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Viruses often encompass overlapping reading frames and unconventional translation mechanisms in order to maximize the output from a minimum genome and to orchestrate their timely gene expression. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) possesses such an unconventional open reading frame (ORF) within the core-coding region, encoding an additional protein, initially designated ARFP, F, or core+1. Two predominant isoforms of core+1/ARFP have been reported, core+1/L, initiating from codon 26, and core+1/S, initiating from codons 85/87 of the polyprotein coding region. The biological significance of core+1/ARFP expression remains elusive. The aim of the present study was to gain insight into the functional and pathological properties of core+1/ARFP through its interaction with the host cell, combining

Pham HTT, Maurer B, Prchal-Murphy M, et al.
STAT5BN642H is a driver mutation for T cell neoplasia.
J Clin Invest. 2018; 128(1):387-401 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
STAT5B is often mutated in hematopoietic malignancies. The most frequent STAT5B mutation, Asp642His (N642H), has been found in over 90 leukemia and lymphoma patients. Here, we used the Vav1 promoter to generate transgenic mouse models that expressed either human STAT5B or STAT5BN642H in the hematopoietic compartment. While STAT5B-expressing mice lacked a hematopoietic phenotype, the STAT5BN642H-expressing mice rapidly developed T cell neoplasms. Neoplasia manifested as transplantable CD8+ lymphoma or leukemia, indicating that the STAT5BN642H mutation drives cancer development. Persistent and enhanced levels of STAT5BN642H tyrosine phosphorylation in transformed CD8+ T cells led to profound changes in gene expression that were accompanied by alterations in DNA methylation at potential histone methyltransferase EZH2-binding sites. Aurora kinase genes were enriched in STAT5BN642H-expressing CD8+ T cells, which were exquisitely sensitive to JAK and Aurora kinase inhibitors. Together, our data suggest that JAK and Aurora kinase inhibitors should be further explored as potential therapeutics for lymphoma and leukemia patients with the STAT5BN642H mutation who respond poorly to conventional chemotherapy.

Reimer D, Boesch M, Wolf D, et al.
Truncated isoform Vav3.1 is highly expressed in ovarian cancer stem cells and clinically relevant in predicting prognosis and platinum-response.
Int J Cancer. 2018; 142(8):1640-1651 [PubMed] Related Publications
Vav3 is a key modulator of GTP-hydrolases of the Rho/Rac family, which are crucially involved in cell proliferation. Vav3 is alternatively spliced in full-length Vav3-alpha and N-terminal truncated Vav3.1 lacking its self-regulatory domains. The aim of our study was to estimate the clinical impact of Vav3 and all other Vav family members in ovarian cancer. Purification of a stem-cell like side-population (SP) from ovarian cancer cell lines was performed by flow cytometry/FACS. Differences in gene expression between SP and NSP were assessed by Gene Array analysis and confirmed by RT-PCR and immunoblot. In addition, Vav mRNA expression was determined in 150 epithelial ovarian cancers. Clinicopathological parameters, platinum-sensitivity and survival were analyzed and associated with Vav expression. SP fractions of ovarian cancer cell lines exhibited marked overexpression of Vav3.1 (p < 0.001). Vav1 and Vav2 did not prove to be of clinicopathologic relevance in ovarian cancer. High Vav3.1 expression correlated with higher FIGO stage and residual disease. Furthermore, Vav3.1 overexpression was associated with poor progression-free (HR = 2.820, p = 0.0001) and overall survival (HR = 2.842, p = 0.0001). Subgroup analyses revealed an impact of Vav3.1 on survival in Type-II but not in Type-I cancers. Notably, platinum-refractory cancers showed marked overexpression of Vav3.1 compared to other subsets of platinum-sensitivity (15.848 vs. 6.653, p = 0.0001). In conclusion, Vav3.1 is over-expressed in stem-cell like SP fractions and is clinically relevant in the pathophysiology of ovarian cancer. The N-terminal truncated Vav3.1 may be decisively involved in mechanisms causing genuine multi-drug resistance.

Robles-Valero J, Lorenzo-Martín LF, Menacho-Márquez M, et al.
A Paradoxical Tumor-Suppressor Role for the Rac1 Exchange Factor Vav1 in T Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Cancer Cell. 2017; 32(5):608-623.e9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Rho guanine exchange factors (GEFs), the enzymes that stimulate Rho GTPases, are deemed as potential therapeutic targets owing to their protumorigenic functions. However, the understanding of the spectrum of their pathobiological roles in tumors is still very limited. We report here that the GEF Vav1 unexpectedly possesses tumor-suppressor functions in immature T cells. This function entails the noncatalytic nucleation of complexes between the ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b and the intracellular domain of Notch1 (ICN1) that favors ICN1 ubiquitinylation and degradation. Ablation of Vav1 promotes ICN1 signaling and the development of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). The downregulation of Vav1 is essential for the pathogenesis of human T-ALL of the TLX

Yang H, Kurtenbach S, Guo Y, et al.
Gain of function of ASXL1 truncating protein in the pathogenesis of myeloid malignancies.
Blood. 2018; 131(3):328-341 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Additional Sex Combs-Like 1 (

Donnelly SK, Cabrera R, Mao SPH, et al.
Rac3 regulates breast cancer invasion and metastasis by controlling adhesion and matrix degradation.
J Cell Biol. 2017; 216(12):4331-4349 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The initial step of metastasis is the local invasion of tumor cells into the surrounding tissue. Invadopodia are actin-based protrusions that mediate the matrix degradation necessary for invasion and metastasis of tumor cells. We demonstrate that Rac3 GTPase is critical for integrating the adhesion of invadopodia to the extracellular matrix (ECM) with their ability to degrade the ECM in breast tumor cells. We identify two pathways at invadopodia important for integrin activation and delivery of matrix metalloproteinases: through the upstream recruiter CIB1 as well as the downstream effector GIT1. Rac3 activity, at and surrounding invadopodia, is controlled by Vav2 and βPIX. These guanine nucleotide exchange factors regulate the spatiotemporal dynamics of Rac3 activity, impacting GIT1 localization. Moreover, the GTPase-activating function of GIT1 toward the vesicular trafficking regulator Arf6 GTPase is required for matrix degradation. Importantly, Rac3 regulates the ability of tumor cells to metastasize in vivo. The Rac3-dependent mechanisms we show in this study are critical for balancing proteolytic activity and adhesive activity to achieve a maximally invasive phenotype.

Venkatesan N, Wong JF, Tan KP, et al.
EZH2 promotes neoplastic transformation through VAV interaction-dependent extranuclear mechanisms.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(4):461-477 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, we reported that the histone methyltransferase, EZH2, controls leukocyte migration through interaction with the cytoskeleton remodeling effector, VAV, and direct methylation of the cytoskeletal regulatory protein, Talin. However, it is unclear whether this extranuclear, epigenetic-independent function of EZH2 has a profound impact on the initiation of cellular transformation and metastasis. Here, we show that EZH2 increases Talin1 methylation and cleavage, thereby enhancing adhesion turnover and promoting accelerated tumorigenesis. This transforming capacity is abolished by targeted disruption of EZH2 interaction with VAV. Furthermore, our studies demonstrate that EZH2 in the cytoplasm is closely associated with cancer stem cell properties, and that overexpression of EZH2, a mutant EZH2 lacking its nuclear localization signal (EZH2ΔNLS), or a methyl-mimicking Talin1 mutant substantially promotes JAK2-dependent STAT3 activation and cellular transformation. Taken together, our results suggest a critical role for the VAV interaction-dependent, extranuclear action of EZH2 in neoplastic transformation.

Kelsey JS, Géczy T, Kaler CJ, Blumberg PM
The C1 domain of Vav3, a novel potential therapeutic target.
Cell Signal. 2017; 40:133-142 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Vav1/2/3 comprise a protein family with guanyl nucleotide exchange activity for Rho and Rac as well as with motifs conferring adapter activity. Biologically, Vav1 plays a critical role in hematologic cell signaling, whereas Vav2/3 have a wider tissue distribution, but all 3 Vav proteins are implicated in cancer development. A structural feature of Vav1/2/3 is the presence of an atypical C1 domain, which possesses close structural homology to the typical C1 domains of protein kinase C but which fails to bind the second messenger diacylglycerol or the potent analogs, the phorbol esters. Previously, we have shown that five residues in the Vav1 C1 domain are responsible for its lack of phorbol ester binding. Here, we show that the lack of phorbol ester binding of Vav3 has a similar basis. We then explore the consequences of phorbol ester binding to a modified Vav3 in which the C1 domain has been altered to allow phorbol ester binding. We find both disruption of the guanyl nucleotide exchange activity of the modified Vav 3 as well as a shift in localization to the membrane upon phorbol ester treatment. This change in localization is associated with altered interactions with other signaling proteins. The studies provide a first step in assessing the potential for the design of custom C1 domain targeted molecules selective for the atypical C1 domains of Vav family proteins.

Sbiera S, Sbiera I, Ruggiero C, et al.
Assessment of VAV2 Expression Refines Prognostic Prediction in Adrenocortical Carcinoma.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017; 102(9):3491-3498 [PubMed] Related Publications
Context: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare endocrine malignancy with overall poor prognosis. The Ki67 labeling index (LI) has a major prognostic role in localized ACC after complete resection, but its estimates may suffer from considerable intra- and interobserver variability. VAV2 overexpression induced by increased Steroidogenic Factor-1 dosage is an essential factor driving ACC tumor cell invasion.
Objective: To assess the prognostic role of VAV2 expression in ACC by investigation of a large cohort of patients.
Design, Setting, and Participants: A total of 171 ACC cases (157 primary tumors, six local recurrences, eight metastases) from seven European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors centers were studied.
Outcome Measurements: H-scores were generated to quantify VAV2 expression. VAV2 expression was divided into two categories: low (H-score, <2) and high (H-score, ≥2). The Ki67 LI retrieved from patients' pathology records was also categorized into low (<20%) and high (≥20%). Clinical and immunohistochemical markers were correlated with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
Results: VAV2 expression and Ki67 LI were significantly correlated with each other and with PFS and OS. Heterogeneity of VAV2 expression inside the same tumor was very low. Combined assessment of VAV2 expression and Ki67 LI improved patient stratification to low-risk and high-risk groups.
Conclusion: Combined assessment of Ki67 LI and VAV2 expression improves prognostic prediction in ACC.

Fujisawa M, Sakata-Yanagimoto M, Nishizawa S, et al.
Activation of RHOA-VAV1 signaling in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(3):694-702 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Somatic G17V RHOA mutations were found in 50-70% of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL). The mutant RHOA lacks GTP binding capacity, suggesting defects in the classical RHOA signaling. Here, we discovered the novel function of the G17V RHOA: VAV1 was identified as a G17V RHOA-specific binding partner via high-throughput screening. We found that binding of G17V RHOA to VAV1 augmented its adaptor function through phosphorylation of 174Tyr, resulting in acceleration of T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling. Enrichment of cytokine and chemokine-related pathways was also evident by the expression of G17V RHOA. We further identified VAV1 mutations and a new translocation, VAV1-STAP2, in seven of the 85 RHOA mutation-negative samples (8.2%), whereas none of the 41 RHOA mutation-positive samples exhibited VAV1 mutations. Augmentation of 174Tyr phosphorylation was also demonstrated in VAV1-STAP2. Dasatinib, a multikinase inhibitor, efficiently blocked the accelerated VAV1 phosphorylation and the associating TCR signaling by both G17V RHOA and VAV1-STAP2 expression. Phospho-VAV1 staining was demonstrated in the clinical specimens harboring G17V RHOA and VAV1 mutations at a higher frequency than those without. Our findings indicate that the G17V RHOA-VAV1 axis may provide a new therapeutic target in AITL.

Magani F, Peacock SO, Rice MA, et al.
Targeting AR Variant-Coactivator Interactions to Exploit Prostate Cancer Vulnerabilities.
Mol Cancer Res. 2017; 15(11):1469-1480 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) progresses rapidly and is incurable. Constitutively active androgen receptor splice variants (AR-Vs) represent a well-established mechanism of therapeutic resistance and disease progression. These variants lack the AR ligand-binding domain and, as such, are not inhibited by androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which is the standard systemic approach for advanced prostate cancer. Signaling by AR-Vs, including the clinically relevant AR-V7, is augmented by Vav3, an established AR coactivator in CRPC. Using mutational and biochemical studies, we demonstrated that the Vav3 Diffuse B-cell lymphoma homology (DH) domain interacted with the N-terminal region of AR-V7 (and full length AR). Expression of the Vav3 DH domain disrupted Vav3 interaction with and enhancement of AR-V7 activity. The Vav3 DH domain also disrupted AR-V7 interaction with other AR coactivators: Src1 and Vav2, which are overexpressed in PC. This Vav3 domain was used in proof-of-concept studies to evaluate the effects of disrupting the interaction between AR-V7 and its coactivators on CRPC cells. This disruption decreased CRPC cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth, caused increased apoptosis, decreased migration, and resulted in the acquisition of morphological changes associated with a less aggressive phenotype. While disrupting the interaction between FL-AR and its coactivators decreased N-C terminal interaction, disrupting the interaction of AR-V7 with its coactivators decreased AR-V7 nuclear levels.

Hara R, Onizuka M, Matsusita E, et al.
NKG2D gene polymorphisms are associated with disease control of chronic myeloid leukemia by dasatinib.
Int J Hematol. 2017; 106(5):666-674 [PubMed] Related Publications
A recent study reported that treatment-free remission (TFR) of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) after dasatinib (Das) treatment was significantly associated with natural killer (NK) cell proliferation in the peripheral blood. However, biomarkers to predict lymphocytosis or successful TFR are not well characterized. In order to clarify individual differences in NK cell responses among patients treated with Das, we retrospectively analyzed the association between polymorphisms in the natural killer group 2D receptor [NKG2D; also known as killer cell lectin like receptor K1 (KLRK1)] gene and clinical outcomes in 31 patients treated with Das as first-line treatment for CML. Patients with the NKG2D HNK1/HNK1 (high-cytotoxic activity-related allele on NKG2D hb-1) haplotype achieved MR4.5 more quickly than those with other haplotypes [hazard ratio (HR) 4.39; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.75-118.6; P = 0.004]. In addition, NK cells with the NKG2D HNK1 allele exhibited enhanced phosphorylation of vav guanine nucleotide exchange factor 1 (VAV1) at Tyr174. These data suggest that NKG2D gene polymorphisms may represent candidate biomarkers for the prediction of TFR following Das treatment.

Harden N
New Insights from Drosophila into the Regulation of EGFR Signaling.
Methods Mol Biol. 2017; 1652:37-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genetic analysis of Egfr signaling in Drosophila has a long-standing track record of making important contributions to our understanding of the Egfr pathway. While the central Ras/MAPK pathway has long been well defined, there is much to learn with regard to its cross talk with other pathways and how it is regulated. A better understanding of the regulation of Egfr signaling is of particular interest with regard to the participation of misregulated Egfr signaling in tumorigenesis. Recent studies in the fly have led to some surprising results, identifying regulators of Egfr acting in unexpected ways.

Sho S, Court CM, Winograd P, et al.
A prognostic mutation panel for predicting cancer recurrence in stages II and III colorectal cancer.
J Surg Oncol. 2017; 116(8):996-1004 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Approximately 20-40% of stage II/III colorectal cancer (CRC) patients develop relapse. Clinicopathological factors alone are limited in detecting these patients, resulting in potential under/over-treatment. We sought to identify a prognostic tumor mutational profile that could predict CRC recurrence.
METHODS: Whole-exome sequencing data were obtained for 207 patients with stage II/III CRC from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Mutational landscape in relapse-free versus relapsed cohort was compared using Fisher's exact test, followed by multivariate Cox regression to identify genes associated with cancer recurrence. Bootstrap-validation was used to examine internal/external validity.
RESULTS: We identified five prognostic genes (APAF1, DIAPH2, NTNG1, USP7, and VAV2), which were combined to form a prognostic mutation panel. Patients with ≥1 mutation(s) within this five-gene panel had worse prognosis (3-yr relapse-free survival [RFS]: 53.0%), compared to patients with no mutation (3-yr RFS: 84.3%). In multivariate analysis, the five-gene panel remained prognostic for cancer recurrence independent of stage and high-risk features (hazard ratio 3.63, 95%CI [1.93-6.83], P < 0.0001). Furthermore, its prognostic accuracy was superior to the American Joint Commission on Cancer classification (concordance-index: 0.70 vs 0.54).
CONCLUSIONS: Our proposed mutation panel identifies CRC patients at high-risk for recurrence, which may help guide adjuvant therapy and post-operative surveillance protocols.

Son HY, Hwangbo Y, Yoo SK, et al.
Genome-wide association and expression quantitative trait loci studies identify multiple susceptibility loci for thyroid cancer.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8:15966 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Thyroid cancer is the most common cancer in Korea. Several susceptibility loci of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) were identified by previous genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in Europeans only. Here we conducted a GWAS and a replication study in Koreans using a total of 1,085 DTC cases and 8,884 controls, and validated these results using expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis and clinical phenotypes. The most robust associations were observed in the NRG1 gene (rs6996585, P=1.08 × 10

Park J, Yang J, Wenzel AT, et al.
Genomic analysis of 220 CTCLs identifies a novel recurrent gain-of-function alteration in RLTPR (p.Q575E).
Blood. 2017; 130(12):1430-1440 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is an incurable non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the skin-homing T cell. In early-stage disease, lesions are limited to the skin, but in later-stage disease, the tumor cells can escape into the blood, the lymph nodes, and at times the visceral organs. To clarify the genomic basis of CTCL, we performed genomic analysis of 220 CTCLs. Our analyses identify 55 putative driver genes, including 17 genes not previously implicated in CTCL. These novel mutations are predicted to affect chromatin (

Kogure Y, Kataoka K
Genetic alterations in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.
Cancer Sci. 2017; 108(9):1719-1725 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is a peripheral T-cell neoplasm with a dismal prognosis. It is caused by human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) retrovirus. A long latency period from HTLV-1 infection to ATL onset suggests that not only HTLV-1 proteins, such as Tax and HBZ, but also additional genetic and/or epigenetic events are required for ATL development. Although many studies have demonstrated the biological functions of viral genes, alterations of cellular genes associated with ATL have not been fully investigated. Recently, a large-scale integrated genetic analysis revealed the entire landscape of somatic aberrations in ATL. This neoplasm is characterized by frequent gain-of-function alterations in components of the T-cell receptor/NF-κB signaling pathway, including activating mutations in the PLCG1, PRKCB, CARD11 and VAV1 genes, and CTLA4-CD28 and ICOS-CD28 fusions. Importantly, molecules associated with immune surveillance, such as HLA-A/B, CD58 and FAS, are affected recurrently. Among them, one notable lesion occurs as frequent structural variations that truncate the PD-L1 3'-untranslated region, leading to its overexpression. Other genetic targets include transcription factors (IRF4, IKZF2, and GATA3) and chemokine receptors (CCR4, CCR7 and GPR183), which are functionally relevant in normal T cells. A substantial proportion of ATL cases show widespread accumulation of repressive epigenetic changes, such as trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 and DNA hypermethylation of CpG islands, which coordinately modulate multiple pathways, including Cys2-His2 zinc finger genes involved in silencing retroelements. Here we review the current understanding of the genetic/epigenetic aberrations in ATL, focusing on their relevance in its molecular pathogenesis.

Zhang Y, Wu W, Kang L, et al.
Effect of Aconitum coreanum polysaccharide and its sulphated derivative on the migration of human breast cancer MDA-MB-435s cell.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2017; 103:477-483 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polysaccharides extracted from medicinal plants possess multiple functions. However, the inhibitory capacity of polysaccharides on the metastasis of breast cancer remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory activity of Aconitum coreanum polysaccharide (ACP1) and its sulphated derivative ACP1-s on migratory behaviour of human breast cancer cells MDA-MB-435s and evaluated the underlying molecular mechanism. The data from Transwell assay indicated that ACP1 and ACP1-s caused a significant inhibition of MDA-MB-435s cell migration in vitro. ACP1 and ACP1-s significantly impaired MDA-MB-435s cell migratory behaviour, and the accumulated distance and average velocity of ACP1- and ACP1-s-treated cells were reduced markedly. We also found ACP1 and ACP1-s treatment could affect dynamic remodeling of actin cytoskeleton, and suppress phosphorylation and activation of signalling molecules, attributing to anti-metastatic role of ACP1 and ACP1-s. These findings reveal a novel therapeutic potential of A. coreanum polysaccharide and its sulphated derivative for breast cancer metastasis.

Tan B, Li Y, Wang C, et al.
The clinical value of Vav3 in peripheral blood for predicting lymphatic metastasis of gastric cancer.
Br J Biomed Sci. 2017; 74(3):133-137 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Overexpression of Vav3, a gene involved in signal transduction, promotes invasion and inhibits apoptosis in several cancers. The clinical value of the protein product of this gene, Vav3, in the peripheral blood of gastric cancer patients is unknown. We hypothesised increased serum Vav3 that related to tissue levels and lymph node metastases. In addition, we further explored its clinical value in respect of linked molecules Rac-1, MMP-7 and ICAM-1 Methods: 120 gastric cancer patients who had radical surgery were enrolled. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the expressions of Vav3, Rac-1, MMP-7 and ICAM-1 in gastric cancer mucosa and normal mucosa. ELISA was used to detect these proteins in peripheral blood of gastric cancer patients and 100 age- and sex-matched healthy controls.
RESULTS: Vav3, Rac-1 and MMP-7 (P < 0.001), but not ICAM-1 (P = 0.303) were more highly expressed by cancer tissues than normal gastric mucosa. Serum levels of all molecules were higher than those in healthy subjects (P < 0.001). Levels of Vav3, Rac-1 and MMP-7 decreased 2 weeks postoperatively (all P < 0.001) but there was no change in ICAM-1 (P = 0.192). Similarly, increased levels of Vav3, Rac-1 and MMP-7 were present in patients with lymphatic metastasis than those without (all P < 0.001) but there was no difference in ICAM-1 levels (P = 0.378). There were positive correlations between Vav3 with Rac-1 and MMP-7 in cancer tissues (P < 0.001), and also between Vav3 and Rac-1 in pre-surgery blood (P = 0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: Vav3 in peripheral blood may serve as a biomarker for gastric cancer, and to predict the lymphatic metastasis in gastric cancer.

Tan BB, Li Y, Fan LQ, et al.
Upregulated Vav2 in gastric cancer tissues promotes tumor invasion and metastasis.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(5):1010428317698392 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several studies have proved that Vav2 gene is associated with the carcinogenesis of some tumors, but the relationship between Vav2 gene and gastric cancer remains unclear. Purpose of this study is to detect the expression of Vav2 protein in gastric cancer tissues and to evaluate the clinical value of Vav2. Furthermore, both effect of Vav2 gene on invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer cells and its mechanism are investigated in vitro. Results showed that positive rate of Vav2 protein was significantly higher in gastric cancer tissues than in adjacent tissues and notably higher in metastatic lymph nodes than in gastric cancer tissues. Results of western blot were consistent with immunohistochemistry. Expression of Vav2 protein in gastric cancer tissues was related to degree of tumor differentiation, lymph node metastasis, and clinical stages. Inhibition of endogenous Vav2 in BGC823 cells led to significantly decreased cell activity, migration, and invasion ability in vitro, and expression of Rac1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 decreased, whereas expression of TIMP-1 increased. We concluded that Vav2 might promote invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer by regulating some invasion and metastasis-related genes.

Rosenberg BJ, Gil-Henn H, Mader CC, et al.
Phosphorylated cortactin recruits Vav2 guanine nucleotide exchange factor to activate Rac3 and promote invadopodial function in invasive breast cancer cells.
Mol Biol Cell. 2017; 28(10):1347-1360 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast carcinoma cells use specialized, actin-rich protrusions called invadopodia to degrade and invade through the extracellular matrix. Phosphorylation of the actin nucleation-promoting factor and actin-stabilizing protein cortactin downstream of the epidermal growth factor receptor-Src-Arg kinase cascade is known to be a critical trigger for invadopodium maturation and subsequent cell invasion in breast cancer cells. The functions of cortactin phosphorylation in this process, however, are not completely understood. We identify the Rho-family guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav2 in a comprehensive screen for human SH2 domains that bind selectively to phosphorylated cortactin. We demonstrate that the Vav2 SH2 domain binds selectively to phosphotyrosine-containing peptides corresponding to cortactin tyrosines Y421 and Y466 but not to Y482. Mutation of the Vav2 SH2 domain disrupts its recruitment to invadopodia, and an SH2-domain mutant form of Vav2 cannot support efficient matrix degradation in invasive MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We show that Vav2 function is required for promoting invadopodium maturation and consequent actin polymerization, matrix degradation, and invasive migratory behavior. Using biochemical assays and a novel Rac3 biosensor, we show that Vav2 promotes Rac3 activation at invadopodia. Rac3 knockdown reduces matrix degradation by invadopodia, whereas a constitutively active Rac3 can rescue the deficits in invadopodium function in Vav2-knockdown cells. Together these data indicate that phosphorylated cortactin recruits Vav2 to activate Rac3 and promote invadopodial maturation in invasive breast cancer cells.

Zhu X, Jin H, Xia Z, et al.
Vav1 expression is increased in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and indicates poor prognosis.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017; 486(2):571-576 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, Vav1 has been suggested to play an essential role in the progression of human cancers. However, the correlation between Vav1 expression and prognosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is still unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate Vav1 expression and its prognostic value in ESCC. The expression of Vav1 was detected by real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting in ESCC tissues and matched nontumorous tissues. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was carried out to detect Vav1 expression in paraffin samples from 112 primary ESCC patients. Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to evaluate the correlation of Vav1 expression with prognosis of ESCC patients. The expression levels of Vav1 mRNA and protein in ESCC tissues were both significantly higher than those in adjacent nontumorous tissues. High Vav1 expression was significantly correlated with larger tumor size (P = 0.015), depth of tumor invasion (P = 0.023), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.008) and TNM stage (P < 0.001). The rate of overall survival (OS) was significantly lower in patients with high Vav1 expression than those with low Vav1 expression (P = 0.014). Multivariate Cox analysis indicated that Vav1 expression is an independent prognostic factor for OS (HR = 1.660, 95%CI = 1.058-2.607, P = 0.028). In summary, our findings demonstrate that Vav1 may be a candidate molecular prognostic marker for patients with ESCC.

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