TMEM16A induces MAPK and contributes directly to tumorigenesis and cancer progression.
ABSTRACT Frequent gene amplification of the receptor-activated calcium-dependent chloride channel TMEM16A (TAOS2 or ANO1) has been reported in several malignancies. However, its involvement in human tumorigenesis has not been previously studied. Here, we show a functional role for TMEM16A in tumor growth. We found TMEM16A overexpression in 80% of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCCHN), which correlated with decreased overall survival in patients with SCCHN. TMEM16A overexpression significantly promoted anchorage-independent growth in vitro, and loss of TMEM16A resulted in inhibition of tumor growth both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, TMEM16A-induced cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth were accompanied by an increase in extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 activation and cyclin D1 induction. Pharmacologic inhibition of MEK/ERK and genetic inactivation of ERK1/2 (using siRNA and dominant-negative constructs) abrogated the growth effect of TMEM16A, indicating a role for mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation in TMEM16A-mediated proliferation. In addition, a developmental small-molecule inhibitor of TMEM16A, T16A-inh01 (A01), abrogated tumor cell proliferation in vitro. Together, our findings provide a mechanistic analysis of the tumorigenic properties of TMEM16A, which represents a potentially novel therapeutic target. The development of small-molecule inhibitors against TMEM16A may be clinically relevant for treatment of human cancers, including SCCHN.
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ABSTRACT: The Hippo pathway restricts the activity of transcriptional coactivators TAZ (WWTR1) and YAP. TAZ and YAP are reported to be overexpressed in various cancers, however, their prognostic significance in colorectal cancers remains unstudied. The expression levels of TAZ and YAP, and their downstream transcriptional targets, AXL and CTGF, were extracted from two independent colon cancer patient datasets available in the Gene Expression Omnibus database, totaling 522 patients. We found that mRNA expressions of both TAZ and YAP were positively correlated with those of AXL and CTGF (p<0.05). High level mRNA expression of TAZ, AXL or CTGF significantly correlated with shorter survival. Importantly, patients co-overexpressing all 3 genes had a significantly shorter survival time, and combinatorial expression of these 3 genes was an independent predictor for survival. The downstream target genes for TAZ-AXL-CTGF overexpression were identified by Java application MyStats. Interestingly, genes that are associated with colon cancer progression (ANTXR1, EFEMP2, SULF1, TAGLN, VCAN, ZEB1 and ZEB2) were upregulated in patients co-overexpressing TAZ-AXL-CTGF. This TAZ-AXL-CTGF gene expression signature (GES) was then applied to Connectivity Map to identify small molecules that could potentially be utilized to reverse this GES. Of the top 20 small molecules identified by connectivity map, amiloride (a potassium sparing diuretic,) and tretinoin (all-trans retinoic acid) have shown therapeutic promise in inhibition of colon cancer cell growth. Using MyStats, we found that low level expression of either ANO1 or SQLE were associated with a better prognosis in patients who co-overexpressed TAZ-AXL-CTGF, and that ANO1 was an independent predictor of survival together with TAZ-AXL-CTGF. Finally, we confirmed that TAZ regulates Axl, and plays an important role in clonogenicity and non-adherent growth in vitro and tumor formation in vivo. These data suggest that TAZ could be a therapeutic target for the treatment of colon cancer.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e54211. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The clear cell subtype of renal carcinoma (CCRCC) is highly vascularized and despite a slow progression rate, it is potentially a highly aggressive tumor. Although a doubling of median progression-free survival in CCRCC patients treated by targeted therapies has been observed, the fact that tumors escape after anti-VEGF treatment suggests alternative pathways. The chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is a well-established model, which allows in vivo studies of tumor angiogenesis and the testing of anti-angiogenic molecules. However, only a few data exist on CCRCC grafted onto CAM. We aimed to validate herein the CAM as a suitable model for studying the development of CCRCC and the interactions with the surrounding stroma. Our study uses both CCRCC cell lines and fresh tumor samples after surgical resection. We demonstrate that in both cases CCRCC can be grafted onto the CAM, to survive and to induce an angiogenic process. We further provide insights into the transcriptional regulation of the model by performing a differential analysis of tumor-derived and stroma-derived transcripts.Angiogenesis 10/2012; · 3.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Increased mucus production is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in inflammatory airway diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis. However, the precise molecular mechanisms for pathogenic mucus production are largely undetermined. Accordingly, there are no specific and effective anti-mucus therapeutics. Here, we define a signaling pathway from chloride channel calcium-activated 1 (CLCA1) to MAPK13 that is responsible for IL-13-driven mucus production in human airway epithelial cells. The same pathway was also highly activated in the lungs of humans with excess mucus production due to COPD. We further validated the pathway by using structure-based drug design to develop a series of novel MAPK13 inhibitors with nanomolar potency that effectively reduced mucus production in human airway epithelial cells. These results uncover and validate a new pathway for regulating mucus production as well as a corresponding therapeutic approach to mucus overproduction in inflammatory airway diseases.The Journal of clinical investigation 11/2012; · 15.39 Impact Factor