BackgroundDespite recent advances in outlining the mechanisms involved in pancreatic carcinogenesis, precise molecular pathways and cellular lineage specification remains incompletely understood.ResultsWe show here that Cyr61/CCN1 play a critical role in pancreatic carcinogenesis through the induction of EMT and stemness. Cyr61 mRNA and protein were detected in the early precursor lesions and their expression intensified with disease progression. Cyr61/CCN1 expression was also detected in different pancreatic cancer cell lines. The aggressive cell lines, in which the expressions of mesenchymal/stem cell molecular markers are predominant; exhibit more Cyr61/CCN1 expression. Cyr61 expression is exorbitantly higher in cancer stem/tumor initiating Panc-1-side-population (SP) cells. Upon Cyr61/CCN1 silencing, the aggressive behaviors are reduced by obliterating interlinking pathobiological events such as reversing the EMT, blocking the expression of stem-cell-like traits and inhibiting migration. In contrast, addition of Cyr61 protein in culture medium augments EMT and stemness features in relatively less aggressive BxPC3 pancreatic cancer cells. Using a xenograft model we demonstrated that cyr61/CCN1 silencing in Panc-1-SP cells reverses the stemness features and tumor initiating potency of these cells. Moreover, our results imply a miRNA-based mechanism for the regulation of aggressive behaviors of pancreatic cancer cells by Cyr61/CCN1.ConclusionsIn conclusion, the discovery of the involvement of Cyr61/CCN1 in pancreatic carcinogenesis may represent an important marker for PDAC and suggests Cyr61/CCN1 can be a potential cancer therapeutic target.
Crocetin, a carotenoid compound derived from saffron, has long been used as a traditional ancient medicine against different human diseases including cancer. The aim of the series of experiments was to systematically determine whether crocetin significantly affects pancreatic cancer growth both in vitro and/or in vivo. For the in vitro studies, first, MIA-PaCa-2 cells were treated with crocetin and in these sets of experiments, a proliferation assay using H 3 -thymidine incorporation and flow cytometric analysis suggested that crocetin inhibited proliferation. Next, cell cycle proteins were investigated. Cdc-2, Cdc-25C, Cyclin-B1, and epidermal growth factor receptor were altered significantly by crocetin. To further confirm the findings of inhibition of proliferation, H 3 -thymidine incorporation in BxPC-3, Capan-1, and ASPC-1 pancreatic cancer cells was also significantly inhibited by crocetin treatment. For the in vivo studies, MIA-PaCa-2 as highly aggressive cells than other pancreatic cancer cells used in this study were injected into the right hind leg of the athymic nude mice and crocetin was given orally after the development of a palpable tumor. The in vivo results showed significant regression in tumor growth with inhibition of proliferation as determined by proliferating cell nuclear antigen and epidermal growth factor receptor expression in the crocetin-treated animals compared with the controls. Both the in vitro pancreatic cancer cells and in vivo athymic nude mice tumor, apoptosis was significantly stimulated as indicated by Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. This study indicates that crocetin has a significant antitumorigenic effect in both in vitro and in vivo on pancreatic cancer. [Mol Cancer Ther 2009;8(2):315 -23]
Motility of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is an essential step for both normal and pathologic angiogenesis. We report here that breast tumor cells, such as MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, can modulate this SMC migration. We present evidence that the tumor cell-derived platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is the key regulator of vascular SMCs motility induced by breast cancer cells. PDGF significantly upregulates neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) mRNA expression and protein production in aortic smooth muscle cells (AOSMCs) and depletion of NRP-1 production by AOSMCs with specific short hairpin RNA (shRNA) prevents the PDGF-dependent migration of vascular SMCs. Moreover, we demonstrate that PDGF physically interacts with NRP-1. We propose that tumor-derived PDGF and NRP-1 of AOSMCs function as a relay system that promotes motility of vascular SMCs.
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a mitogen for estrogen receptor (ER) -positive breast tumor cells, and it has been proven that EGF occasionally mimicked estrogen action and cross-talks with ER-A to exert its activity. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to explore whether EGF is able to modulate the expression of Wnt-1-induced signaling protein-2/connective tissue growth factor/cysteine-rich 61/nephroblastoma overexpressed 5 (WISP-2/CCN5), an estrogenresponsive gene, in normal and transformed cell lines of the human breast and, if so, whether this induction is critical for EGF mitogenesis and what downstream signaling pathways are associated with this event. Here, we show that EGF-induced WISP-2 expression in ER-and EGF receptor -positive noninvasive MCF-7 breast tumor cells was dose and time dependent and that expression was modulated at transcription level. A synergism was seen in combination with estrogen. Moreover, small interfering RNA -mediated inhibition of WISP-2/CCN5 activity in MCF-7 cells resulted in abrogation of proliferation by EGF. The multiple molecular cross-talks, including the interactions between phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways and two diverse receptors (i.e., ER-A and EGFR), were essential in the event of EGF-induced WISP-2/CCN5 up-regulation in MCF-7 cells. Moreover, EGF action on WISP-2/CCN5 is restricted to ER-and EGFR-positive noninvasive breast tumor cells, and this
CCN5/WISP-2 is overexpressed in noninvasive breast cancer cells and tissue samples, whereas its expression is minimal or undetected in invasive conditions. CCN5/WISP-2 has been considered as an antiinvasive gene because CCN5/WISP-2 silencing augments the invasive phenotypes in vitro. However, the mechanism of silencing of CCN5 during the progression of the disease has been elusive. Because p53 mutations are associated with breast cancer progression and have been shown to correlate inversely with CCN5/WISP-2 expression in other cancer cell types, the objective of this study was to explore whether p53 mutants suppress CCN5 expression in breast tumor cells resulting in the progression of this disease. We found CCN5 expression is inversely correlated with the mutational activation of p53 in human breast tumor cells. The ectopic expression of p53 mutants in ER-positive noninvasive breast tumor cells silenced the CCN5/WISP-2 expression and enhanced invasive phenotypes, including the induction of morphologic changes from the epithelial-to-mesenchymal type along with the alterations of hallmark proteins of these cell types and an augmentation of the migration of these cells. The suppression of CCN5 by the p53 mutants can be nullified by estrogen signaling in these cells through the transcriptional activation of the CCN5 gene. Moreover, the invasive changes can be imitated by blocking the CCN5/WISP-2 expression through RNA interference or can be reversed by the addition of CCN5/WISP-2 recombinant protein in the culture. Thus, these studies suggest that CCN5 inactivation could be an essential molecular event for p53 mutant-induced invasive phenotypes. [Cancer Res 2008;68(12):4580-7]
BackgroundNew blood vessel formation, or angiogenic switch, is an essential event in the development of solid tumors and their metastatic growth. Tumor blood vessel formation and remodeling is a complex and multi-step processes. The differentiation and recruitment of mural cells including vascular smooth muscle cells and pericytes are essential steps in tumor angiogenesis. However, the role of tumor cells in differentiation and recruitment of mural cells has not yet been fully elucidated. This study focuses on the role of human tumor cells in governing the differentiation of mouse mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to pericytes and their recruitment in the tumor angiogenesis process.ResultsWe show that C3H/10T1/2 mouse embryonic mesenchymal stem cells, under the influence of different tumor cell-derived conditioned media, differentiate into mature pericytes. These differentiated pericytes, in turn, are recruited to bind with capillary-like networks formed by endothelial cells on the matrigel under in vitro conditions and recruited to bind with blood vessels on gel-foam under in vivo conditions. The degree of recruitment of pericytes into in vitro neo-angiogenesis is tumor cell phenotype specific. Interestingly, invasive cells recruit less pericytes as compared to non-invasive cells. We identified tumor cell-secreted platelet-derived growth factor-B (PDGF-B) as a crucial factor controlling the differentiation and recruitment processes through an interaction with neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) in mesenchymal stem cells.ConclusionThese new insights into the roles of tumor cell-secreted PDGF-B-NRP-1 signaling in MSCs-fate determination may help to develop new antiangiogenic strategies to prevent the tumor growth and metastasis and result in more effective cancer therapies.
Previously, we have shown that the expression of Wnt-1-induced signaling protein-2 (WISP-2), also known as CCN5, can be regulated by multiple stimulants in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast tumor cells to exert their mitogenic action in these cells. Here, we show that insulin-like growth factor-1
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