Overexpression of HIF-1α in primary gallbladder carcinoma and its relation to vasculogenic mimicry and unfavourable prognosis.
ABSTRACT As a novel mode of tumor neovascularization, vasculogenic mimicry (VM) has been reported to increase tumor-related mortality in many different solid tumors. In the present study, two established human gallbladder carcinoma (GBC) cell lines (highly aggressive GBC-SD and poorly aggressive SGC-996) cultured on a three-dimensional matrix were assessed for the ability of VM channel formation under normoxic or hypoxic conditions. In addition, the relationship between HIF-1α gene expression and VM channel formation of GBC cells in vitro was measured using the small interfering RNA (siRNA) technique, western blotting and real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR analysis. Furthermore, H&E and CD31/periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining were used to observe VM in GBC tissue samples. Additionally, all seventy-one specimens with VM and non-VM were stained for hypoxia inducible factor-1 α (HIF-1α) and its correlation with clinicopathological features and prognosis was analyzed simultaneously. We found that hypoxia could induce more VM channel formation and elevated HIF-1α expression in highly aggressive GBC-SD cells. HIF-1α siRNA efficiently knocked down HIF-1α expression and GBC VM networks under either normoxic or hypoxic conditions. VM was present in human primary GBC and overexpression of HIF-1α was significantly correlated with depth of invasion and perineural involvement in the non-VM group. Moreover, VM and HIF-1α were independent factors for the overall survival of GBC patients and correlated with decreased survival. In conclusion, VM was present in human GBC. As a critical mediator in VM formation, high expression of HIF-1α was associated with VM and tumor progression in GBC patients.
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ABSTRACT: Gallbladder cancer is the most common malignancy of the bile duct, with low 5-year survival rate and poor prognosis. Novel effective treatments are urgently needed for the therapy of this disease. Here, we showed that cordycepin, the bioactive compound in genus Cordyceps, induced growth inhibition and apoptosis in cultured gallbladder cancer cells (Mz-ChA-1, QBC939 and GBC-SD lines). We found that cordycepin inhibited mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) activation and down-regulated multiple drug resistant (MDR)/hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) expression through activating of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling in gallbladder cancer GBC-SD cells. Contrarily, AMPKα1-shRNA depletion dramatically inhibited cordycepin-induced molecular changes as well as GBC-SD cell apoptosis. Further, our results showed that co-treatment with a low concentration cordycepin could remarkably enhance the chemosensitivity of GBC-SD cells to gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and the mechanism may be attributed to AMPK activation and MDR degradation. In summary, cordycepin induces growth inhibition and apoptosis in gallbladder cancer cells via activating AMPK signaling. Cordycepin could be a promising new drug or chemo-adjuvant for gallbladder cancer.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2014; 15(7):12778-12790. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) formation is important for invasion and metastasis of tumor cells in gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC). The present study aimed to investigate the association between signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3), phosphor-STAT3 (p-STAT3), hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and VM formation in GAC, and discuss their clinical significance and correlation with the prognosis of patients with GAC. The expression levels of STAT3, p-STAT3, HIF-1α and VM were assessed in 60 cases of patients with GAC and 20 cases of patients with gastritis on tissue microarrays by immunohistochemical methods. The expression levels of STAT3, p-STAT3, HIF-1α and VM were higher in patients with GAC (particularly in poorly differentiated GAC) than in those with gastritis (P<0.05). The expression levels of STAT3, p-STAT3 and HIF-1α were higher in VM tissues compared with non-VM tissues (P<0.05). Positive correlations existed between STAT3, p-STAT3, HIF-1α and VM expression (P<0.05). The expression levels of STAT3, p-STAT3 and HIF-1α, VM, status of lymph node metastasis and tumor differentiation degree were associated with the overall survival time of patients with GAC (P<0.05). However, only p-STAT3 and VM expression were identified as the independent risk factors of GAC OS when analyzed with multivariate analysis. p-STAT3 and VM play a significant role in indicating the prognosis of patients with GAC. STAT3 activation may play a positive role in VM formation of GAC by the STAT3-p-STAT3-HIF-1α-VM effect axis.Oncology letters 07/2014; 8(1):431-437. · 0.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a highly virulent cutaneous neoplasm that, like melanoma, is a frequent cause of patient morbidity and mortality. The cellular mechanisms responsible for the aggressive behavior of MCC remain unknown. Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) is a phenomenon associated with cancer virulence, including in melanoma, whereby anastomosing laminin networks form in association with tumor cells that express certain endothelial genes. To determine whether VM is a factor in MCC, we employed a relevant xenograft model using two independent human MCC lines. Experimentally induced tumors were remarkably similar histologically to patient MCC, and both contained laminin networks associated with vascular endothelial-cadherin (CD144) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1, as well as Nodal expression typical of VM in melanoma. Moreover, two established chemotherapeutic agents utilized for human MCC, etoposide and carboplatin, induced necrosis in xenografts on systemic administration while enriching for laminin networks in apparently resistant viable tumor regions that persisted. These findings for the first time establish VM-like laminin networks as a biomarker in MCC, demonstrate the experimental utility of the MCC xenograft model, and suggest that VM-rich regions of MCC may be refractory to conventional chemotherapeutic agents.Laboratory Investigation advance online publication, 11 August 2014; doi:10.1038/labinvest.2014.99.Laboratory Investigation 08/2014; 94(10). · 3.96 Impact Factor