The causative molecular pathways underlying the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC) need to be better characterized. The purpose of our study was to better understand the genetic mechanism of oncogenesis for human colorectal cancer and to identify new potential tumor markers of use in clinical practice. We used cDNA microarrays to compare gene expression profiles of colorectal biopsies from 25 CRC patients and 13 normal mucosa from adjacent non-cancerous tissues. Findings were validated by real-time PCR; in addition, Western blotting and immunochemistry analysis were carried out as further confirmation of differential expression at a protein level. Comparing cancerous tissues with normal colonic mucosa we identified 584 known genes differentially expressed to a significant degree (p<0.001). Many of the transcripts that were more abundant in tumors than in non-neoplastic tissues appear to reflect important events for colon carcinogenesis. For example, a significant number of these genes serve as apoptotic inhibitors (e.g. BFAR, BIRC1, BIRC6). Furthermore, we observed the simultaneous up-regulation of HLA-E and the down-regulation of ß2-microglobulin; these genes strongly support a potential tumor escape strategy from immune surveillance in colon cancer tissues. Our study provides new gene candidates in the pathogenesis of human CRC disease. From our results we hypothesize that CRC cells escape immune surveillance through a specific gene expression alteration; moreover, over-expression of several survival genes seems to confer a more anti-apoptotic phenotype. These genes are involved in pathways not previously implicated in CRC pathogenesis and they may provide new targets for therapy.
It is assumed that the pathogenesis of PE is associated with pathophysiological alterations to trophoblasts in early gestation. Our study has directly proved that gene expressions relating to angiogenesis or oxidative stress are altered in the first trimester trophoblasts that go on to develop PE later. These results would put the basis for a possible screening method for PE by using residual CVS.
CD99, a transmembrane protein encoded by MIC2 gene is involved in multiple cellular events including cell adhesion and migration, apoptosis, cell differentiation and regulation of protein trafficking either in physiological or pathological conditions. In osteosarcoma, CD99 is expressed at low levels and functions as a tumour suppressor. The full-length protein (CD99wt) and the short-form harbouring a deletion in the intracytoplasmic domain (CD99sh) have been associated with distinct functional outcomes with respect to tumour malignancy. In this study, we especially evaluated modulation of cell-cell contacts, reorganisation of the actin cytoskeleton and modulation of signalling pathways by comparing osteosarcoma cells characterised by different metastasis capabilities and CD99 expression, to identify molecular mechanisms responsible for metastasis. Our data indicate that forced expression of CD99wt induces recruitment of N-cadherin and β-catenin to adherens junctions. In addition, transfection of CD99wt inhibits the expression of several molecules crucial to the remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton, such as ACTR2, ARPC1A, Rho-associated, coiled-coil containing protein kinase 2 (ROCK2) as well as ezrin, an ezrin/radixin/moesin family member that has been clearly associated with tumour progression and metastatic spread in osteosarcoma. Functional studies point to ROCK2 as a crucial intracellular mediator regulating osteosarcoma migration. By maintaining c-Src in an inactive conformation, CD99wt inhibits ROCK2 signalling and this leads to ezrin decrease at cell membrane while N-cadherin and β-catenin translocate to the plasma membrane and function as main molecular bridges for actin cytoskeleton. Taken together, we propose that the re-expression of CD99wt, which is generally present in osteoblasts but lost in osteosarcoma, through inhibition of c-Src and ROCK2 activity, manages to increase contact strength and reactivate stop-migration signals that counteract the otherwise dominant promigratory action of ezrin in osteosarcoma cells.
Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is highly expressed in normal osteoblasts. This article reports that Cav-1 down-regulation is part of osteoblast transformation and osteosarcoma progression and validates its role as oncosuppressor in human osteosarcoma. A survey of 6-year follow-up indicates a better overall survival for osteosarcoma expressing a level of Cav-1 similar to osteoblasts. However, the majority of primary osteosarcoma shows significantly lower levels of Cav-1 than normal osteoblasts. Accordingly, Met-induced osteoblast transformation is associated with Cav-1 down-regulation. In vitro, osteosarcoma cell lines forced to overexpress Cav-1 show reduced malignancy with inhibited anchorage-independent growth, migration, and invasion. In vivo, Cav-1 overexpression abrogates the metastatic ability of osteosarcoma cells. c-Src and c-Met tyrosine kinases, which are activated in osteosarcoma, colocalize with Cav-1 and are inhibited on Cav-1 overexpression. Thus, Cav-1 behaves as an oncosuppressor in osteosarcoma. Altogether, data suggest that Cav-1 downmodulation might function as a permissive mechanism, which, by unleashing c-Src and Met signaling, enables osteosarcoma cells to invade neighboring tissues. These data strengthen the rationale to target c-Src family kinases and/or Met receptor to improve the extremely poor prognosis of metastatic osteosarcoma. [Cancer Res 2007;67(16):7675-85]
Abstract. Metastasis is the most frequent cause of death among patients with osteosarcoma. We have previously demonstrated in independent experiments that the forced expression of L/B/K ALP and CD99 in U-2 OS osteosarcoma cell lines markedly reduces the metastatic ability of these cancer cells. This behavior makes these cell lines a useful model to assess the intersection of multiple and independent gene expression signatures concerning the biological problem of dissemination. With the aim to characterize a common transcriptional profile reflecting the essential features of metastatic behavior, we employed cDNA microarrays to compare the gene expression profiles of L/B/K ALP-and CD99-transfected osteosarcoma clones showing low metastatic ability with those of osteosarcoma cell lines showing contrasting behavior. Changes in gene expression were validated by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry in independent samples. In our study we identified several differentially expressed genes (GADD45α, VCP, DHX9, survivin, α-catulin, ARPC1B) related to growth arrest and apoptosis. Most of these genes are functionally related with the nuclear factor (NF)-κB cell survival pathway that appeared to be inhibited in the less malignant osteosarcoma cells. Hence, we propose the inhibition of the NF-κB pathway as a rational strategy for effective management of human osteosarcoma.
Physical exercise is deemed the most efficient way of counteracting the age-related decline of skeletal muscle. Here we report a transcriptional study by next-generation sequencing of vastus lateralis biopsies from elderly with a life-long high-level training practice (n = 9) and from age-matched sedentary subjects (n = 5). Unsupervised mixture distribution analysis was able to correctly categorize trained and untrained subjects, whereas it failed to discriminate between individuals who underwent a prevalent endurance (n = 5) or a prevalent resistance (n = 4) training, thus showing that the training mode was not relevant for sarcopenia prevention. KEGG analysis of transcripts showed that physical exercise affected a high number of metabolic and signaling pathways, in particular those related to energy handling and mitochondrial biogenesis, where AMPK and AKT-mTOR signaling pathways are both active and balance each other, concurring to the establishment of an insulin-sensitive phenotype and to the maintenance of a functional muscle mass. Other pathways affected by exercise training increased the efficiency of the proteostatic mechanisms, consolidated the cytoskeletal organization, lowered the inflammation level, and contrasted cellular senescence. This study on extraordinary individuals who trained at high level for at least thirty years suggests that aging processes and exercise training travel the same paths in the opposite direction.
Our study has directly showed that gene expressions relating to trophoblastic cell invasion or utero-placental hemodynamic adaptation are altered in the first trimester trophoblasts that go on to develop PE later. These results posit the use of residual CVS as a possible screening method for PE.
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