Hepatocyte differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis are affected by growth factors produced in liver. Insulin-like growth factor 1 and 2 (IGF1 and IGF2) act in response to growth hormone (GH). Other IGF family components include at least six binding proteins (IGFBP1 to 6), manifested by both IGFs develop due to interaction through the type 1 receptor (IGF1R). The data based on animal models and/or in vitro studies suggest the role of IGF system components in cellular aspects of hepatocarcinogenesis (cell cycle progression, uncontrolled proliferation, cell survival, migration, inhibition of apoptosis, protein synthesis and cell growth), and show that systemic IGF1 administration can reduce fibrosis and ameliorate general liver function. In epidemiologic and clinicopathological studies on chronic liver disease (CLD), lowered serum levels, decreased tissue expression of IGF1, elevated production of IGF1R and variable IGF2 expression has been noted, from the start of preneoplastic alterations up to the developed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) stage. These changes result in well-known clinical symptoms of IGF1 deficiency. This review summarized the current data of the complex role of IGF system components in the most common CLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma). Better recognition and understanding of this system can contribute to discovery of new and improved versions of current preventive and therapeutic actions in CLD.
Interleukin-1 (IL-1), a monokine released by activated monocytes during the acute phase of the inflammatory responses, has been reported to enhance hypophyseal ACTH release mainly by stimulating hypothalamic CRF secretion. We investigated a possible direct effect of IL-1 beta on the adrenal gland of the rat. IL-1 beta was found to dose-dependently (4-8 micrograms/kg) raise corticosterone (B) blood concentration in hypophysectomized rats, without inducing any significant increase in the level of circulating ACTH. IL-1 beta did not affect B production by either isolated rat inner adrenocortical cells or fragments of adrenocortical autotransplants lacking chromaffin cells, but dose-dependently (10(-8)-10(-6) M) enhanced that by adrenal slices including both cortex and medulla. The secretory effect of IL-1 beta (10(-6) M) was completely blocked by both alpha-helical-CRF (10(-6) M) and corticotropin-inhibiting peptide (10(-6) M), two competitive inhibitors which (at these concentrations) were able to annul B response of adrenal slices to CRF (10(-6) M) and ACTH (10(-8) M), respectively. In light of many findings indicating that adrenal medulla contains and releases CRF and numerous POMC-derived peptides (including ACTH), the hypothesis is advanced that the mechanism underlying the direct secretory effect of IL-1 beta on the adrenal gland may involve the activation of an intraadrenal CRF/ACTH system.
In recent years, the effects of hepatitis C virus (HCV) proteins on hepatocarcinogenesis have undergone intense investigations. The potentially oncogenic proteins include at least three HCV proteins: core (C) protein, NS3, and NS5A. Several authors indicated relationships between subcellular localization, concentration, a specific molecular form of the proteins (full length, truncated, phosphorylated), the presence of specific domains (the nuclear localization signal homologous to e.g. Bcl-2) and their effects on the mechanisms linked to oncogenesis. The involvement of all the proteins has been described as being in control of the cell cycle, through interactions with key proteins of the process (p53, p21, cyclins, proliferating cell nuclear antigen), transcription factors, proto-oncogenes, growth factors/cytokines and their receptors, and proteins linked to the apoptotic process. Untilnow, the involvement of the core protein of HCV in liver carcinogenesis is the most recognized. One of the most common proteins affected by HCV proteins is the p53 tumor-suppressor protein. The p21/WAF1 gene is a major target of p53, and the effect of HCV proteins on the gene is frequently considered in parallel. The results of studies on the effects of HCV proteins on the apoptotic process are controversial. This work summarizes the information collected thus far in the field of HCV molecular virology and principal intracellular signaling pathways in which HCV oncogenic proteins are involved.
Mucins are large O-glycoproteins with high carbohydrate content and marked diversity in both the apoprotein and the oligosaccharide moieties. All three mucin types, trans-membrane (e.g., MUC1, MUC4, MUC16), secreted (gel-forming) (e.g., MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC6) and soluble (non-gel-forming) (e.g., MUC7, MUC8, MUC9, MUC20), are critical in maintaining cellular functions, particularly those of epithelial surfaces. Their aberrant expression and/or altered subcellular localization is a factor of tumour growth and apoptosis induced by oxidative stress and several anti-cancer agents. Abnormal expression of mucins was observed in human carcinomas that arise in various gastrointestinal organs. It was widely believed that hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) does not produce mucins, whereas cholangiocarcinoma (CC) or combined HCC-CC may produce these glycoproteins. However, a growing number of reports shows that mucins can be produced by HCC cells that do not exhibit or are yet to undergo, morphological differentiation to biliary phenotypes. Evaluation of mucin expression levels in precursors and early lesions of CC, as well as other types of primary liver cancer (PLC), conducted in in vitro and in vivo models, allowed to discover the mechanisms of their action, as well as their participation in the most important signalling pathways of liver cystogenesis and carcinogenesis. Analysis of mucin expression in PLC has both basic research and clinical value. Mucins may act as oncogenes and tumour-promoting (e.g., MUC1, MUC13), and/or tumour-suppressing factors (e.g., MUC15). Given their role in promoting PLC progression, both classic (MUC1, MUC2, MUC4, MUC5AC, MUC6) and currently tested mucins (e.g., MUC13, MUC15, MUC16) have been proposed to be important diagnostic and prognostic markers. The purpose of this review was to summarize and update the role of classic and currently tested mucins in pathogenesis of PLC, with explaining the mechanisms of their action in HCC carcinogenesis. It also focuses on determination of the diagnostic and prognostic role of these glycoproteins in PLC, especially focusing on HCC, CC and other hepatic tumours with- and without biliary differentiation.
Cancer cachexia (CC) is a multifactorial syndrome in patients with advanced cancer characterized by weight loss via skeletal-muscle and adipose-tissue atrophy, catabolic activity, and systemic inflammation. CC is correlated with functional impairment, reduced therapeutic responsiveness, and poor prognosis, and is a major cause of death in cancer patients. In colorectal cancer (CRC), cachexia affects around 50–61% of patients, but remains overlooked, understudied, and uncured. The mechanisms driving CC are not fully understood but are related, at least in part, to the local and systemic immune response to the tumor. Accumulating evidence demonstrates a significant role of tumor microenvironment (TME) cells (e.g., macrophages, neutrophils, and fibroblasts) in both cancer progression and tumor-induced cachexia, through the production of multiple procachectic factors. The most important role in CRC-associated cachexia is played by pro-inflammatory cytokines, including the tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), originally known as cachectin, Interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and certain chemokines (e.g., IL-8). Heterogeneous CRC cells themselves also produce numerous cytokines (including chemokines), as well as novel factors called “cachexokines”. The tumor microenvironment (TME) contributes to systemic inflammation and increased oxidative stress and fibrosis. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the role of TME cellular components in CRC-associated cachexia, as well as discusses the potential role of selected mediators secreted by colorectal cancer cells in cooperation with tumor-associated immune and non-immune cells of tumor microenvironment in inducing or potentiating cancer cachexia. This knowledge serves to aid the understanding of the mechanisms of this process, as well as prevent its consequences.
Abstract. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 gene consists of 6 exons resulting in the expression of 6 variant forms of mRNA (IA, IB, IC, IIA, IIB and IIC) due to an alternative splicing. The mechanisms of IGF-1 gene splicing and the role of local expression manifested by IGF-1 mRNA variants in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) have not been extensively investigated. Therefore, the aim of our study was to analyse the expression of IGF-1 mRNA isoforms [A, B, C, P1 (class I) and P2 (class II)], as well as the protein expression in CRC and control samples isolated from 28 patients. The expression of Ki-67 was also analysed and clinical data were obtained. For this purpose, we used quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and immunocytochemistry. The expression of mRNAs coding for all splicing isoforms of IGF-1 was observed in every tissue sample studied, with a significantly lower expression noted in the CRC as compared to the control samples. The cytoplasmic expression of IGF-1 protein was found in 50% of the CRC and in ~40% of the non-tumor tissues; however, no significant quantitative inter-group differences were observed. The expression of the IGF-1 gene in the 2 groups of tissues was controlled by the P1 and P2 promoters in a similar manner. No significant differences were detected in the expression of the IGF-1 A and B isoforms; however, their expression was significantly higher compared to that of isoform C. No significant differences were observed between the expression of Ki-67 mRNA in the CRC and control tissue even though the expression of the Ki-67 protein was higher in the CRC compared to the control samples. Ki-67 protein expression was associated with the macroscopic and microscopic aspects of CRC. A significant positive correlation was found between the local production of total mRNA and isoform A and the expression of Ki-67 mRNA, although only in the non-tumor tissues. In CRC samples, the local expression of the total IGF-1 mRNA and all splicing isoforms of IGF-1 mRNA decreased as compared to the normal colon tissues, although however, with conservation of both gene promoter activities and with the continued principal splicing IGF-1 mRNA isoforms.
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