Background: Cancer cells activate their microenvironment through secreting several cytokines.
Results:The cytokine IL-6 activates breast stromal fibroblasts through STAT3-dependent up-regulation of the RNA binding protein AUF1, which stabilizes the SDF-1, ␣-SMA, TGF-␤1, and IL-6 mRNAs. Conclusion: Up-regulation of AUF1 enhances the procarcinogenic effects of breast stromal fibroblasts. Significance: The IL-6/STAT3/AUF1 pathway could constitute an important prognostic and/or therapeutic target.
p16INK4a and p21WAF1, two major cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, are the products of two tumor suppressor genes that play important roles in various cellular metabolic pathways. p21WAF1 is up-regulated in response to different DNA damaging agents. While the activation of p21WAF1 is p53-dependent following γ-rays, the effect of ultraviolet (UV) light on p21WAF1 protein level is still unclear. In the present report, we show that the level of the p21WAF1 protein augments in response to low UVC fluences in different mammalian cells. This up-regulation is mediated through the stabilization of p21WAF1 mRNA in a p16INK4a-dependent manner in both human and mouse cells. Furthermore, using p16-siRNA treated human skin fibroblast; we have shown that p16 controls the UV-dependent cytoplasmic accumulation of the mRNA binding HuR protein. In addition, HuR immunoprecipitations showed that UV-dependent binding of HuR to p21 mRNA is p16-related. This suggests that p16 induces p21 by enabling the relocalization of HuR from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Accordingly, we have also shown that p16 is necessary for efficient UV-dependent p53 up-regulation, which also requires HuR. These results indicate that, in addition to its role in cell proliferation, p16INK4a is also an important regulator of the cellular response to UV damage.
Activated cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) or myofibroblasts not only facilitate tumor growth and spread but also affect tumor response to therapeutic agents. Therefore, it became clear that efficient therapeutic regimens should also take into account the presence of these supportive cells and inhibit their paracrine effects. To this end, we tested the effect of low concentrations of curcumin, a pharmacologically safe natural product, on patient-derived primary breast CAF cells. We have shown that curcumin treatment upregulates p16(INK4A) and other tumor suppressor proteins while inactivates the JAK2/STAT3 pathway. This reduced the level of alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and the migration/invasion abilities of these cells. Furthermore, curcumin suppressed the expression/secretion of stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, and transforming growth factor-β, which impeded their paracrine procarcinogenic potential. Intriguingly, these effects were sustained even after curcumin withdrawal and cell splitting. Therefore, using different markers of senescence [senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity, Ki-67 and Lamin B1 levels, and bromodeoxyuridine incorporation], we have shown that curcumin markedly suppresses Lamin B1 and triggers DNA damage-independent senescence in proliferating but not quiescent breast stromal fibroblasts. Importantly, this curcumin-related senescence was p16(INK4A)-dependent and occurred with no associated inflammatory secretory phenotype. These results indicate the possible inactivation of cancer-associated myofibroblasts and present the first indication that curcumin can trigger DNA damage-independent and safe senescence in stromal fibroblasts.
Background: miR-141, miR-146b-5p, and the RNA-binding protein AUF1 are post-transcriptional regulators that play important roles in carcinogenesis. Results: miR-141 and miR-146b-5p repress AUF1, an inducer of mesenchymal features, through stabilizing the transcription factor ZEB1 and activating the serine-threonine kinase AKT. Conclusion: AUF1 is a prometastatic gene regulated by miR-141 and miR-146b-5p. Significance: miR-141, miR-146b-5p, and AUF1 could be of great cancer prognostic/therapeutic values.
BackgroundThe cyclin-D/CDK4,6/p16INK4a/pRB/E2F pathway, a key regulator of the critical G1 to S phase transition of the cell cycle, is universally disrupted in human cancer. However, the precise function of the different members of this pathway and their functional interplay are still not well defined.Methodology/Principal FindingsWe have shown here that the tumor suppressor p16INK4a protein positively controls the expression of cyclin D1 and E2F1 in both human and mouse cells. p16INK4a stabilizes the mRNAs of the corresponding genes through negative regulation of the mRNA decay-promoting AUF1 protein. Immunoprecipitation of AUF1-associated RNAs followed by RT-PCR indicated that endogenous AUF1 binds to the cyclin D1 and E2F1 mRNAs. Furthermore, AUF1 down-regulation increased the expression levels of these genes, while concurrent silencing of AUF1 and p16INK4a, using specific siRNAs, restored normal expression of both cyclinD1 and E2F1. Besides, we have shown the presence of functional AU-rich elements in the E2F1 3′UTR, which contributed to p16/AUF1-mediated regulation of E2F1 post-transcriptional events in vivo. Importantly, genome-wide gene expression microarray analysis revealed the presence of a large number of genes differentially expressed in a p16INK4a -dependent manner, and several of these genes are also members of the AUF1 and E2F1 regulons. We also present evidence that E2F1 mediates p16-dependent regulation of several pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins, and the consequent induction of spontaneous as well as doxorubicin-induced apoptosis.Conclusion/SignificanceThese findings show that the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16 INK4a is also a modulator of transcription and apoptosis through controlling the expression of two major transcription regulators, AUF1 and E2F1.
Background: The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16INK4a is also a modulator of gene expression through an unknown mechanism.
Results: p16INK4a -CDK4 forms a heterocomplex with Sp1, which induces the expression and UV-dependent up-regulation of miR-141 and miR-146b-5p.
Conclusion: p16INK4a -CDK4 complex has transcriptional activity through interaction with the transcription factor Sp1. Significance: The microRNAs are novel effectors of the p16INK4a -CDK4 complex.
The BRAF(V600E) mutation is found in approximately 40% of papillary thyroid cancers (PTC). Mice with thyroid-specific expression of Braf(V600E) (TPO-Braf(V600E)) develop PTC rapidly with high levels of serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). It is unclear to what extent the elevated TSH contributes to tumor progression. To investigate the progression of Braf(V600E)-induced PTC (BVE-PTC) under normal TSH, we transplanted BVE-PTC tumors subcutaneously into nude and TPO-Braf(WT) mice. Regression of the transplanted tumors was observed in both nude and TPO-Braf(WT) mice. They were surrounded by heavy lymphocyte infiltration and oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) was demonstrated by strong β-gal staining and absence of Ki-67 expression. In contrast, BVE-PTC transplants continued to grow when transplanted into TPO-Braf(V600E) mice. The expression of Trp53 was increased in tumor transplants undergoing OIS. Trp53 inactivation reversed OIS and enabled tumor transplants to grow in nude mice with characteristic cell morphology of anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC). PTC-to-ATC transformation was also observed in primary BVE-PTC tumors. ATC cells derived from Trp53 knockout tumors had increased PI3K/AKT signaling and became resistant to Braf(V600E) inhibitor PLX4720, which could be overcome by combined treatment of PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and PLX4720. In conclusion, BVE-PTC progression could be contained via p53-dependent OIS and TSH is a major disruptor of this balance. Simultaneous targeting of both MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathways offer a better therapeutic outcome against ATC. The current study reinforces the importance of rigorous control of serum TSH in PTC patients.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major cause of cancer morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although response rates and overall survival have been improved in recent years, resistance to multiple drug combinations is inevitable. Therefore, the development of more efficient drugs, with fewer side effects is urgently needed. To this end, we have investigated in the present report the effect of PAC, a novel cucumin analogue, on CRC cells both in vitro and in vivo. We have shown that PAC induces apoptosis, mainly via the internal mitochondrial route, and inhibits cell proliferation through delaying the cell cycle at G2/M phase. Interestingly, the pro-apoptotic effect was mediated through STAT3-dependent down-regulation of cyclin D1 and its downstream target survivin. Indeed, change in the expression level of cyclin D1 modulated the expression of survivin and the response of CRC cells to PAC. Furthermore, using the ChIP assay, we have shown PAC-dependent reduction in the binding of STAT3 to the cyclin D1 promoter in vivo. Additionally, PAC suppressed the epithelial-to-mesenchymal process through down-regulating the mesenchymal markers (N-cadherin, vimentin and Twist1) and inhibiting the invasion/migration abilities of the CRC cells via repressing the pro-migration/invasion protein kinases AKT and ERK1/2. In addition, PAC inhibited tumor growth and repressed the JAK2/STAT3, AKT/mTOR and MEK/ERK pathways as well as their common downstream effectors cyclin D1 and survivin in humanized CRC xenografts. Collectively, these results indicate that PAC has potent anti-CRC effects, and therefore could constitute an effective alternative chemotherapeutic agent, which may consolidate the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer.
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