Hedgehog signaling drives cellular survival in human colon carcinoma cells.
ABSTRACT Aberrant activation of Hedgehog (HH) signaling is implicated in many human cancers. Classical HH signaling is characterized by Smoothened (Smo)-dependent activation of Gli1 and Gli2, which transcriptionally regulate target genes. A small molecule inhibitor of Gli1 and Gli2, GANT61, was used to block HH signaling in human colon carcinoma cell lines that express HH signaling components. GANT61 administration induced robust cytotoxicity in 5 of 6 cell lines and moderate cytotoxicity in the remaining 1 cell line. In comparison, the classical Smo inhibitor, cyclopamine, induced modest cytotoxicity. Further, GANT61 treatment abolished the clonogenicity of all six human colon carcinoma cell lines. Analysis of the molecular mechanisms of GANT61-induced cytotoxicity in HT29 cells showed increased Fas expression and decreased expression of PDGFRα, which also regulates Fas. Furthermore, DR5 expression was increased whereas Bcl-2 (direct target of Gli2) was downregulated following GANT61 treatment. Suppression of Gli1 by shRNA mimicked the changes in gene expression observed in GANT61-treated cells. Overexpression of dominant-negative FADD (to abrogate Fas/DR5-mediated death receptor signaling) and/or Bcl-2 (to block mitochondria-mediated apoptosis) partially rescued GANT61-induced cytotoxicity in HT29 cells. Thus, activated GLI genes repress DR5 and Fas expressions while upregulating Bcl-2 and PDGFRα expressions to inhibit Fas and facilitate cell survival. Collectively, these results highlight the importance of Gli activation downstream of Smo as a therapeutic target in models of human colon carcinoma.
Article: Detection of canonical hedgehog signaling in breast cancer by 131-iodine-labeled derivatives of the sonic hedgehog protein.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Activation of hedgehog (HH) pathway signaling is observed in many tumors. Due to a feedback loop, the HH receptor Patched (PTCH-1) is overexpressed in tumors with activated HH signaling. Therefore, we sought to radiolabel the PTCH-1 ligand sonic (SHH) for detection of cancer cells with canonical HH activity. Receptor binding of ¹³¹I-SHH was increased in cell lines with high HH pathway activation. Our findings also show that PTCH-1 receptor expression is decreased upon treatment with HH signaling inhibitors, and receptor binding of ¹³¹I-SHH is significantly decreased following treatment with cyclopamine. In vivo imaging and biodistribution studies revealed significant accumulation of ¹³¹I-SHH within tumor tissue as compared to normal organs. Tumor-to-muscle ratios were approximately 8 : 1 at 5 hours, while tumor to blood and tumor to bone were 2 : 1 and 5 : 1, respectively. Significant uptake was also observed in liver and gastrointestinal tissue. These studies show that ¹³¹I-SHH is capable of in vivo detection of breast tumors with high HH signaling. We further demonstrate that the hedgehog receptor PTCH-1 is downregulated upon treatment with hedgehog inhibitors. Our data suggests that radiolabeled SHH derivatives may provide a method to determine response to SHH-targeted therapies.Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology 01/2012; 2012:639562. · 2.44 Impact Factor
Article: Hedgehog signaling antagonist GDC-0449 (Vismodegib) inhibits pancreatic cancer stem cell characteristics: molecular mechanisms.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Recent evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies has demonstrated that aberrant reactivation of the Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) signaling pathway regulates genes that promote cellular proliferation in various human cancer stem cells (CSCs). Therefore, the chemotherapeutic agents that inhibit activation of Gli transcription factors have emerged as promising novel therapeutic drugs for pancreatic cancer. GDC-0449 (Vismodegib), orally administrable molecule belonging to the 2-arylpyridine class, inhibits SHH signaling pathway by blocking the activities of Smoothened. The objectives of this study were to examine the molecular mechanisms by which GDC-0449 regulates human pancreatic CSC characteristics in vitro. GDC-0499 inhibited cell viability and induced apoptosis in three pancreatic cancer cell lines and pancreatic CSCs. This inhibitor also suppressed cell viability, Gli-DNA binding and transcriptional activities, and induced apoptosis through caspase-3 activation and PARP cleavage in pancreatic CSCs. GDC-0449-induced apoptosis in CSCs showed increased Fas expression and decreased expression of PDGFRα. Furthermore, Bcl-2 was down-regulated whereas TRAIL-R1/DR4 and TRAIL-R2/DR5 expression was increased following the treatment of CSCs with GDC-0449. Suppression of both Gli1 plus Gli2 by shRNA mimicked the changes in cell viability, spheroid formation, apoptosis and gene expression observed in GDC-0449-treated pancreatic CSCs. Thus, activated Gli genes repress DRs and Fas expressions, up-regulate the expressions of Bcl-2 and PDGFRα and facilitate cell survival. These data suggest that GDC-0499 can be used for the management of pancreatic cancer by targeting pancreatic CSCs.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e27306. · 4.09 Impact Factor