Oncoprotein BMI-1 induces the malignant transformation of HaCaT cells.
ABSTRACT BMI-1 (B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus integration site 1), a novel oncogene, has attracted much attention in recent years for its involvement in the initiation of a variety of tumors. Recent evidence showed that BMI-1 was highly expressed in neoplastic skin lesions. However, whether dysregulated BMI-1 expression is causal for the transformation of skin cells remains unknown. In this study, we stably expressed BMI-1 in a human keratinocyte cell line, HaCaT. The expression of wild-type BMI-1 induced the malignant transformation of HaCaT cells in vitro. More importantly, we found that expression of BMI-1 promoted formation of squamous cell carcinomas in vivo. Furthermore, we showed that BMI-1 expression led to the downregulation of tumor suppressors, such as p16INK4a and p14ARF, cell adhesion molecules, such as E-Cadherin, and differentiation related factor, such as KRT6. Therefore, our findings demonstrated that dysregulated BMI-1 could indeed lead to keratinocytes transformation and tumorigenesis, potentially through promoting cell cycle progression and increasing cell mobility.
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ABSTRACT: Breast cancer stem cells, the root of tumor growth, present challenges to investigate: Primary human breast cancer cells are difficult to establish in culture and inconsistently yield tumors after transplantation into immune-deficient recipient mice. Furthermore, there is limited characterization of mammary cancer stem cells in mice, the ideal model for the study of breast cancer. We herein describe a pre-clinical breast cancer stem cell model, based on the properties of cancer stem cells, derived from transgenic MMTV-PyMT mice. Using a defined set of cell surface markers to identify cancer stem cells by flow cytometry, at least four cell populations were recovered from primary mammary cancers. Only two of the four populations, one epithelial and one mesenchymal, were able to survive and proliferate in vitro. The epithelial population exhibited tumor initiation potential with as few as 10 cells injected into syngeneic immune-competent recipients. Tumors initiated from injected cell lines recapitulated the morphological and physiological components of the primary tumor. To highlight the stemness potential of the putative cancer stem cells, B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region 1 homolog (Bmi-1) expression was knocked down via shRNA targeting Bmi-1. Without Bmi-1 expression, putative cancer stem cells could no longer initiate tumors, but tumor initiation was rescued with the introduction of a Bmi-1 overexpression vector in the Bmi-1 knockdown cells. In conclusion, our data show that primary mammary cancers from MMTV-PyMT mice contain putative cancer stem cells that survive in culture and can be used to create a model for study of mammary cancer stem cells.Tumor Biology 08/2012; · 2.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus insertion site 1 (BMI1) is a member of the polycomb group of transcriptional repressors. Until now, its expression and functional significance in pancreatic carcinogenesis was unknown. In the present study, we demonstrated that expression of BMI1 was markedly up-regulated in pancreatic cancer cell lines and surgically resected cancer specimens. In addition, BMI1 expression levels correlated positively with the presence of lymph node metastases and negatively with patient survival rates, suggesting a role for BMI1 in the progression of pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, stable down-regulation of BMI1 suppressed cell growth, delayed the G1/S transition, and enhanced the susceptibility of different pancreatic cell lines to apoptosis following expression of a lentiviral-mediated shRNA targeted for BMI1. Expression of the short-hairpin RNA also correlated with the up-regulation of p21 and Bax and the down-regulation of cyclin D1, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-2 and -4, Bcl-2, and phospho-Akt. Finally, growth suppression following BMI1 depletion was confirmed in a nude mouse model. In conclusion, our findings indicate that BMI1 plays an important role in the late progression of pancreatic cancer and may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.Cancer Science 07/2010; 101(7):1754-60. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bmi-1, the first functionally identified polycomb gene family member, plays critical roles in cell cycle regulation, cell immortalization, and cell senescence. Bmi-1 is involved in the development and progression of carcinomas and is a potent target for cancer therapy. One important pathway regulated by Bmi-1 is that involving two cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, p16(Ink4a) and p19(Arf), as Bmi-1 represses the INK4a locus on which they are encoded. A close correlation between the up-regulation of Bmi-1 and down-regulation of p16 has been demonstrated in various tumors; however, how Bmi-1 regulates p16 expression is not clear. In this study, we revealed that Bmi-1 regulates the expression of p16 by binding directly to the Bmi-1-responding element (BRE) within the p16 promoter. The BRE resided at bp -821 to -732 upstream of the p16 ATG codon. BRE alone was sufficient to allow Bmi-1-mediated regulation of the CMV promoter. Bmi-1 typically functions by forming a complex with Ring2; however, regulation of p16 was independent of Ring2. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing of Bmi-1-precipitated chromatin DNA revealed that 1536 genes were targeted by Bmi-1, including genes involved in tissue-specific differentiation, cell cycle, and apoptosis. By analyzing the binding sequences of these genes, we found two highly conserved Bmi-1-binding motifs, which were required for Bmi-1-mediated p16 promoter regulation. Taken together, our results revealed the molecular mechanism of Bmi-1-mediated regulation of the p16 gene, thus providing further insights into the functions of Bmi-1 as well as a sensitive high-throughput platform with which to screen Bmi-1-targeted small molecules for cancer therapy.Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2010; 285(43):33219-29. · 4.65 Impact Factor