RhoC Impacts the Metastatic Potential and Abundance of Breast Cancer Stem Cells
ABSTRACT Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been shown to promote tumorigenesis of many tumor types, including breast, although their relevance to cancer metastasis remains unclear. While subpopulations of CSCs required for metastasis have been identified, to date there are no known molecular regulators of breast CSC (BCSC) metastasis. Here we identify RhoC GTPase as an important regulator of BCSC metastasis, and present evidence suggesting that RhoC also modulates the frequency of BCSCs within a population. Using an orthotopic xenograft model of spontaneous metastasis we discover that RhoC is both necessary and sufficient to promote SUM149 and MCF-10A BCSC metastasis--often independent from primary tumor formation--and can even induce metastasis of non-BCSCs within these cell lines. The relationship between RhoC and BCSCs persists in breast cancer patients, as expression of RhoC and the BCSC marker ALDH1 are highly correlated in clinical specimens. These results suggest new avenues to combating the deadliest cells driving the most lethal stage of breast cancer progression.
The Breast 11/2013; 22:S25-S26. DOI:10.1016/S0960-9776(13)70035-3 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a common cancer with poor prognosis. It has been hypothesized that Oct4 positive radioresistant stem cells may be responsible for tumor recurrence. Hence, we evaluated Oct4 expression in ESCC in pre-treatment, post neo-adjuvant residual and post-surgical recurrent tumours. Materials and Methods: Endoscopic mucosal biopsies were used to study Oct4 expression and the observations were correlated with histological tumor grades, patient data and clinical background. Results: All patients presented with dysphagia with male predominance and a wide age range. Majority of the patients had intake of mixed diet, history of alcohol and tobacco intake was documented in less than half of the patients. Oct 4 expression was significantly higher in poorly differentiated (PDSCC) and basaloid (BSCC) subtypes than the other better differentiated tumor morphology. Oct4 was also expressed by adjoining esophageal mucosa showing low grade dysplasia and basal cell hyperplasia (BCH). Biopsies in PDSCC and BSCC groups were more likely to show a positive band for Oct4 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Dysplasia and BCH mucosa also showed Oct4 positivity by PCR. All mucosal biopsies with normal morphology were negative for Oct4. Number of tissue samples showing Oct4 positivity by PCR was higher than that by the conventional immunohistochemistry (p>0.05). Oct4 expression pattern correlated only with tumor grading, not with other parameters including the clinical background or patient data. Conclusions: Our observations highlighted a possible role of Oct4 in identifying putative cancer stem cells in ESCC pathobiology and response to treatment. The implications are either in vivo existence of Oct4 positive putative cancer stem cells in ESCC or acquisition of cancer stem cell properties by tumor cells as a response to treatment given, resulting ultimately an uncontrolled cell proliferation and treatment failure.Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP 04/2014; 15(8):3519-24. DOI:10.7314/APJCP.2014.15.8.3519 · 1.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cell adhesion and migration are regulated through the concerted action of cytoskeletal dynamics and adhesion proteins, the activity of which is governed by RhoGTPases. Specific RhoGTPase signaling requires spatio-temporal activation and coordination of subsequent protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions. The nature, location and duration of these interactions are dependent on polarized extracellular triggers, such as cell-cell contact, and intracellular modifying events, such as phosphorylation. RhoA, RhoB, and RhoC are highly homologous GTPases that, however, succeed in generating specific intracellular responses. Here, we discuss the key features that contribute to this specificity. These not only include the well-studied switch regions, the conformation of which is nucleotide-dependent, but also additional regions and seemingly small differences in primary sequence that also contribute to specific interactions. These differences translate into differential surface charge distribution, local exposure of amino acid side-chains and isoform-specific post-translational modifications. The available evidence supports the notion that multiple regions in RhoA/B/C cooperate to provide specificity in binding to regulators and effectors. These specific interactions are highly regulated in time and space. We therefore subsequently discuss current approaches means to visualize and analyze localized GTPase activation using biosensors that allow imaging of isoform-specific, localized regulation.Small GTPases 11/2014; DOI:10.4161/21541248.2014.968004