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; 33(6). DOI:10.1007/s13277-012-0458-4 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Arsenic is well-established as a human carcinogen, but the molecular mechanisms leading to arsenic-induced carcinogenesis are complex and elusive. It is not been determined if the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stem cell-like properties contribute in causing to carcinogen-induced malignant transformation and subsequent tumor formation. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying EMT and the emergence of cancer stem cell-like properties during neoplastic transformation of human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells induced by chronic exposure to arsenite. HBE cells were continuously exposed to arsenite. Spheroid formation assays and analyses of side populations (SPs) were performed to confirm that arsenite induces the acquired EMT and cancer stem cell-like phenotype. Treated HBE cells were molecularly characterized by RT-PCR, Western blots, immunofluorescence, Southwestern assays, reporter assays, and chromatin immunoprecipitation. With chronic exposure to arsenite, HBE cells undergo an EMT and then acquire a malignant cancer stem cell-like phenotype. Twist1 and Bmi1 are involved in arsenite-induced EMT. The process is directly regulated by HIF-2α. The self-renewal genes, Oct4, Bmi1, and ALDH1, are necessary for arsenite-mediated maintenance of stem cells. EMT, regulated by HIF-2α, and the development of a cancer stem cell-like phenotype are associated with arsenite-induced transformation of HBE cells.PLoS ONE 05/2012; 7(5):e37765. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0037765 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epigenetics is an important emerging area for study of mechanisms of cancer prevention. In recent years, it has been realized that cancer prevention agents, derived from natural dietary sources, impact cancer cell survival by modulating epigenetic processes. In the present manuscript, we review key epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and examine the impact of sulforaphane and green tea polyphenols on these processes. We also discuss available information on the epigenetics in the context of skin cancer. These studies indicate that diet-derived chemopreventive agents modulate DNA methylation status and histone modification via multiple processes and point to additional areas for study of epigenetic mechanisms in skin cancer.The AAPS Journal 08/2013; 15(4). DOI:10.1208/s12248-013-9513-3 · 3.91 Impact Factor