An inability to undergo apoptosis is widely thought to contribute to both tumorigenesis and tumor progression. One of the key mediators of apoptosis is the thiol protease caspase 3. In this investigation, caspase 3 mRNA and protein expression in breast cancer was examined.
Caspase 3 was measured at the mRNA level using reverse transcription-PCR and at the protein level using both Western blotting and activity assays. Levels of apoptosis were determined using an ELISA, which detects nucleosomes released during DNA fragmentation.
Relative levels of caspase 3 mRNA were similar in breast carcinomas (n = 103), fibroadenomas (n = 25), and normal breast tissues (n = 6). However, levels of both the precursor and active forms of caspase 3 were significantly higher in carcinomas compared with both fibroadenomas (P = 0.0188) and normal breast tissues (P = 0.0002). Levels of apoptosis were also highest in the carcinomas and correlated significantly with active caspase 3 levels (r = 0.481; P = 0.0003). In the carcinomas, expression of caspase 3 showed no significant relationship with either tumor size, tumor grade, nodal status, or steroid receptor status but was significantly higher in ductal carcinomas than in lobular carcinomas (P = 0.0188).
We conclude that rates of apoptosis as measured by both caspase 3 activation and nucleosome release are higher in breast cancer than in nonmalignant breast tissue. This finding would appear to conflict with the widely held belief that apoptosis is reduced in malignancy. The proliferation:apoptosis ratio, however, may be higher in carcinomas than in the corresponding normal tissue.
"It is also be cleaved by caspase-3 to regulate differentiation of erythroid cells . Although apoptosis has been suggested to be the barrier to tumor initiation, progression and metastasis, recent studies also demonstrated unexpected functions of caspase-3 in tumors . Caspase-3 was found to stimulate tumor repopulation during cancer radiotherapy . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: JMJD2C is a candidate oncogene that encodes a histone lysine demethylase with the ability to demethylate the lysine 9 residue of histone H3 (H3K9). The expression levels of JMJD2C are associated with tumor development and clinical outcome. Here we identify JMJD2C as a new substrate for caspase-3. JMJD2C is cleaved by caspase-3 at DEVD396G motif and then loses its demethylase activity. Additionally, we uncover D396N polymorphism (rs2296067) in the cleavage site of JMJD2C and establish its influence on the resistant to the cleavage by caspase-3. Importantly, we determined that D396N polymorphism is significantly associated with the prognosis of human breast cancer. We further found that the basal levels of DSB (double strand DNA break) repair proteins γ-H2AX (gamma-H2AX) increased when cells were treated with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) which activates caspase-3 activity. We also show that knockdown of JMJD2C expression results in up-regulation of basal γ-H2AX. We propose that D396N polymorphism of JMJD2C affects the prognosis of human breast cancer via altering the cleavage by caspase-3 and the ability of DSB repair which may contribute to therapy resistance.
"In addition to DNA-mismatch repair, alterations regulating cellular damage can contribute to drug resistance. The levels of the thiol protease caspase-3, a key mediator of apoptosis, were found to be significantly higher in breast cancer compared with normal tissue . The expression of a caspase-3s splice variant was also higher in breast carcinomas compared with nontumor tissue, and increased levels were correlated with resistance to cyclophosphamide-containing chemotherapy . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resistance to chemotherapy is a major obstacle to the effective treatment of many tumor types. Although many anticancer therapies can alter tumor growth, in most cases the effect is not long lasting. Consequently, there is a significant need for new agents with low susceptibility to common drug resistance mechanisms in order to improve response rates and potentially extend survival. Approximately 30% of the women diagnosed with early-stage disease in turn progress to metastatic breast cancer, for which therapeutic options are limited. Current recommendations for first-line chemotherapy include anthracycline-based regimens and taxanes (paclitaxel and docetaxel). They typically give response rates of 30 to 70% but the responses are often not durable, with a time to progression of 6 to 10 months. Patients with progression or resistance may be administered capecitabine, gemcitabine, vinorelbine, albumin-bound paclitaxel, or ixabepilone, while other drugs are being evaluated. Response rates in this setting tend to be low (20 to 30%); the median duration of responses is <6 months and the results do not always translate into improved long-term outcomes. The present article reviews treatment options in taxane-resistant metastatic breast cancer and the role of ixabepilone in this setting.
Breast cancer research: BCR 10/2010; 12 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S2. DOI:10.1186/bcr2573 · 5.49 Impact Factor
"Accordingly, we observed a direct relationship between TW and apoptotic cells in tumours grown in solvent-treated mice. The finding of a high percentage of apoptotic cells in growing lesions is a known phenomenon that has been described in tumours of different tissues, such as the breast (Vakkala et al, 1999; Wong et al, 2001; O'Donovan et al, 2003) and the adrenal gland (Bernini et al, 2002; Stojadinovic et al, 2003; Luciani et al, 2004). Anyway, when we compared the rate of apoptosis in tumour samples of the same size from solvent-treated or RGZ-treated mice, we observed a markedly higher percentage of apoptotic cells in the latter group, thus confirming that a pro-apoptotic effect of RGZ on NB cells occurs in vivo as well. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extra-cranial solid tumour in infants. Unfortunately, most children present with advanced disease and have a poor prognosis. There is in vitro evidence that the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) might be a target for pharmacological intervention in NB. We have previously demonstrated that the PPARgamma agonist rosiglitazone (RGZ) exerts strong anti-tumoural effects in the human NB cell line, SK-N-AS. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether RGZ maintains its anti-tumoural effects against SK-N-AS NB cells in vivo.
For this purpose, tumour cells were subcutaneously implanted in nude mice, and RGZ (150 mg kg(-1)) was administered by gavage daily for 4 weeks. At the end of treatment, a significant tumour weight inhibition (70%) was observed in RGZ-treated mice compared with control mice. The inhibition of tumour growth was supported by a strong anti-angiogenic activity, as assessed by CD-31 immunostaining in tumour samples. The number of apoptotic cells, as determined by cleaved caspase-3 immunostaining, seemed lower in RGZ-treated animals at the end of the treatment period than in control mice, likely because of the large tumour size observed in the latter group.
To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that RGZ effectively inhibits tumour growth in a human NB xenograft and our results suggest that PPARgamma agonists may have a role in anti-tumoural strategies against NB.
British Journal of Cancer 02/2010; 102(4):685-92. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605506 · 4.84 Impact Factor
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