Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is thought to be an important, possibly essential, component of the process of tumor dissemination and metastasis. About 20%-30% of Hras mutant mouse skin carcinomas induced by chemical initiation/promotion protocols have undergone EMT. Reduced exposure to TPA-induced chronic inflammation causes a dramatic reduction in classical papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), but the mice still develop highly invasive carcinomas with EMT properties, reduced levels of Hras and Egfr signaling, and frequent Ink4/Arf deletions. Deletion of Hras from the mouse germline also leads to a strong reduction in squamous tumor development, but tumors now acquire activating Kras mutations and exhibit more aggressive metastatic properties. We propose that invasive carcinomas can arise by different genetic and biological routes dependent on exposure to chronic inflammation and possibly from different target cell populations within the skin. Our data have implications for the use of inhibitors of inflammation or of Ras/Egfr pathway signaling for prevention or treatment of invasive cancers.
"The generally assumed route of skin carcinogenesis is from benign papilloma, to malignant squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), with some tumors undergoing EMT to progress to spindle cell carcinomas . Interestingly, upon reduction of TPA-induced chronic inflammation fewer papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) were observed, yet mice still developed aggressive spindle cell carcinomas . This suggests that inflammation levels may result in a potential network rewiring, and these highly invasive tumors may arise from a different target cell population from papillomas and SCC . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review focuses on recent experimental and modeling studies that attempt to define the physiological context in which high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation increases epithelial cancer risk and the efficiency with which it does so. Radiation carcinogenesis is a two-compartment problem: ionizing radiation can alter genomic sequence as a result of damage due to targeted effects (TE) from the interaction of energy and DNA; it can also alter phenotype and multicellular interactions that contribute to cancer by poorly understood non-targeted effects (NTE). Rather than being secondary to DNA damage and mutations that can initiate cancer, radiation NTE create the critical context in which to promote cancer. Systems biology modeling using comprehensive experimental data that integrates different levels of biological organization and time-scales is a means of identifying the key processes underlying the carcinogenic potential of high-LET radiation. We hypothesize that inflammation is a key process, and thus cancer susceptibility will depend on specific genetic predisposition to the type and duration of this response. Systems genetics using novel mouse models can be used to identify such determinants of susceptibility to cancer in radiation sensitive tissues following high-LET radiation. Improved understanding of radiation carcinogenesis achieved by defining the relative contribution of NTE carcinogenic effects and identifying the genetic determinants of the high-LET cancer susceptibility will help reduce uncertainties in radiation risk assessment.
Journal of Radiation Research 03/2014; 55 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):i145-i154. DOI:10.1093/jrr/rrt211 · 1.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oncogenic transcription factors drive many human cancers, yet identifying and therapeutically targeting the resulting deregulated pathways has proven difficult. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common and lethal human cancer, and relatively little progress has been made in improving outcomes for SCC due to a poor understanding of its underlying molecular pathogenesis. While SCCs typically lack somatic oncogene-activating mutations, they exhibit frequent overexpression of the p53-related transcription factor p63. We developed an in vivo murine tumor model to investigate the function and key transcriptional programs of p63 in SCC. Here, we show that established SCCs are exquisitely dependent on p63, as acute genetic ablation of p63 in advanced, invasive SCC induced rapid and dramatic apoptosis and tumor regression. In vivo genome-wide gene expression analysis identified a tumor-survival program involving p63-regulated FGFR2 signaling that was activated by ligand emanating from abundant tumor-associated stroma. Correspondingly, we demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy of extinguishing this signaling axis in endogenous SCCs using the clinical FGFR2 inhibitor AZD4547. Collectively, these results reveal an unanticipated role for p63-driven paracrine FGFR2 signaling as an addicting pathway in human cancer and suggest a new approach for the treatment of SCC.
The Journal of clinical investigation 07/2013; 123(8). DOI:10.1172/JCI68899 · 13.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Skin squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are the second most prevalent skin cancers. Chronic skin inflammation has been associated with the development of SCCs, but the contribution of skin inflammation to SCC development remains largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that inducible expression of c-fos in the epidermis of adult mice is sufficient to promote inflammation-mediated epidermal hyperplasia, leading to the development of preneoplastic lesions. Interestingly, c-Fos transcriptionally controls mmp10 and s100a7a15 expression in keratinocytes, subsequently leading to CD4 T-cell recruitment to the skin, thereby promoting epidermal hyperplasia that is likely induced by CD4 T-cell-derived IL-22. Combining inducible c-fos expression in the epidermis with a single dose of the carcinogen 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) leads to the development of highly invasive SCCs, which are prevented by using the anti-inflammatory drug sulindac. Moreover, human SCCs display a correlation between c-FOS expression and elevated levels of MMP10 and S100A15 proteins as well as CD4 T-cell infiltration. Our studies demonstrate a bidirectional cross-talk between premalignant keratinocytes and infiltrating CD4 T cells in SCC development. Therefore, targeting inflammation along with the newly identified targets, such as MMP10 and S100A15, represents promising therapeutic strategies to treat SCCs.
Genes & development 09/2013; 27(18). DOI:10.1101/gad.223339.113 · 10.80 Impact Factor
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