WISP-2 mRNA and protein was overexpressed in preneoplastic and cancerous cells of human breast. Statistical analyses show a significant association between WISP-2 expression and estrogen receptor (ER) positivity. In normal breast, the expression was virtually undetected. The studies showed that WISP-2 is an estrogen-induced early response gene in MCF-7 cells and the expression was continuously increased to reach a maximum level at 24 h. The estrogen effect was inhibited by a pure antiestrogen (ICI 182,780). Human mammary epithelial cells, in which WISP-2 expression was undetected or minimally detected, responded to 17beta-estradiol by upregulating the WISP-2 gene after transfection with ER-alpha, providing further evidences that WISP-2 expression is mediated through ER-alpha. Overexpression of WISP-2 mRNA by estrogen may be accomplished by both transcriptional activation and stabilization. MCF-7 cells exposed to progesterone had a rapid but transient increase in WISP-2 expression, and PR antagonist RU38486 blocked this mRNA induction. In combination with estradiol, progesterone acted as an antagonist inhibiting the expression of WISP-2 mRNA. Moreover, disruption of WISP-2 signaling in MCF-7 cells by use of antisense oligomers caused a significant reduction in tumor cell proliferation. The results are consistent with the conclusion that WISP-2 expression is a requirement for breast tumor cells proliferation.
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.
Although previous in vitro studies predicted that CCN5/ WISP-2 may act as an anti-invasive gene in breast cancer, the distribution pattern of CCN5 in breast cancer samples is conflicting. Thus, we systematically investigated the CCN5 expression profile in noninvasive and invasive breast tumor samples and its functional relevance in breast cancer progression. The studies showed that CCN5 expression is biphasic, such that in normal samples CCN5 expression is undetectable, whereas its expression is markedly increased in noninvasive breast lesions, including atypical ductal hyperplasia and ductal carcinoma in situ. Further, CCN5 mRNA and protein levels are significantly reduced as the cancer progresses from a noninvasive to invasive type. Additionally, we showed that CCN5 mRNA and protein level was almost undetectable in poorly differentiated cancers compared with the moderately or well-differentiated samples and its expression inversely correlated with lymph node positivity. The result was further supported by evaluating the RNA expression profile in microdissected sections using real-time PCR analysis. Therefore, our data suggest a protective function of CCN5 in noninvasive breast tumor cells. This hypothesis was further supported by our in vitro studies illuminating that CCN5 is a negative regulator of migration and invasion of breast cancer cells, and these events could be regulated by CCN5 through the modulation of the expression of genes essential for an invasive front. These include Snail-E-cadherin signaling and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and MMP-2. Collectively, these studies suggest that the protective effect of CCN5 in breast cancer progression may have important therapeutic implications. [Cancer Res 2008;68(18):7606-12]
The expression and distribution of neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) was examined in the samples of normal human breast tissues and in non-neoplastic and neoplastic areas of breast tissue removed for carcinoma using RT-PCR as well as conventional and tissue microarrays immunohistochemical analyses. The NRP-1 mRNA expression was significantly higher in neoplastic tissues as compared to normal breast samples. Immunohistochemically, the myoepithelial cells of the mammary ducts and lobules display positive reactions for NRP-1, whereas the inner ductal and lobular epithelial cell layers failed to react. The myoepithelial cells of ducts and lobules in both neoplastic and non-neoplastic tissue specimens displayed a stronger positive reaction for NRP-1 than those in the normal breast. A positive reaction for NRP-1, but with a gradual reduction in intensity, was observed in the myoepithelial cells of ducts with atypical epithelial hyperplasia and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The reaction was undetected or minimally detected in the areas of invasive carcinoma. NRP-1 positive immunolabeling was also localized in the vascular smooth muscle cells and in some endothelial cells of the blood vessels in normal, non-neoplastic and neoplastic breast tissue samples. In areas of breast carcinoma, NRP-1 immunolabeling was more prominent in both vascular smooth muscle cells and in some endothelial cells than in similar cells in normal breast. The specificity of the newly developed antibody for NRP-1 was confirmed by in situ hybridization with DIG-labeled PCR generated probe. These results suggest that NRP-1 may be a multiple function protein in human breast and may be involved in the induction of local invasiveness of neoplasia and angiogenesis and have direct relevance to the progression of breast cancer.
Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), also known as aspirin, a classic, nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), is widely used to relieve minor aches and pains and to reduce fever. Epidemiological studies and other experimental studies suggest that ASA use reduces the risk of different cancers including breast cancer (BC) and may be used as a chemopreventive agent against BC and other cancers. These studies have raised the tempting possibility that ASA could serve as a preventive medicine for BC. However, lack of in-depth knowledge of the mechanism of action of ASA reshapes the debate of risk and benefit of using ASA in prevention of BC. Our studies, using in vitro and in vivo tumor xenograft models, show a strong beneficial effect of ASA in the prevention of breast carcinogenesis. We find that ASA not only prevents breast tumor cell growth in vitro and tumor growth in nude mice xenograft model through the induction of apoptosis, but also significantly reduces the self-renewal capacity and growth of breast tumor-initiating cells (BTICs)/breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) and delays the formation of a palpable tumor. Moreover, ASA regulates other pathophysiological events in breast carcinogenesis, such as reprogramming the mesenchymal to epithelial transition (MET) and delaying in vitro migration in BC cells. The tumor growth-inhibitory and reprogramming roles of ASA could be mediated through inhibition of TGF-β/ SMAD4 signaling pathway that is associated with growth, motility, invasion, and metastasis in advanced BCs. Collectively, ASA has a therapeutic or preventive potential by attacking possible target such as TGF-β in breast carcinogenesis.
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