Msi-1 is a predictor of survival and a novel therapeutic target in colon cancer.
ABSTRACT Musashi1 (Msi-1), a neural RNA-binding protein, plays an important role in regulating cell differentiation in precursor cells. Recently, aberrant expression of Msi-1 has been detected in several malignancies. However, its role in the progression of colon cancer is largely unknown.
We used Western blotting to examine Msi-1 protein expression in 8 cases of primary colon cancer lesions and paired normal colonic mucosa. Msi-1 expression and clinicopathological significance were determined by immunohistochemical staining in a tissue microarray (TMA) containing 203 cases of primary colon cancer paired with noncancerous tissue and 66 lymph node metastasis (LNM) tissues. RNAi was used to analyze the biological function of Msi-1 in vitro.
LNM tissue exhibited a striking increase in Msi-1 expression when compared with primary colon cancer and adjacent normal mucosa (87.9% vs. 64.5% vs. 16.7%, P < .001). Overexpression of Msi-1 was associated with higher clinical stage, T stage, lymph node metastasis, presence of distant metastasis, and Ki-67 positivity. Msi-1 served as an independent prognostic marker whose expression levels correlated with poorer metastasis-free survival (MFS) (HR 5.4; P < .001) and poorer overall survival (OS) (HR 3.8; P < .001). Msi-1 silencing significantly inhibited proliferation ability and attenuated the migration and invasion activity of colon cancer cells.
Our study provides the basis to explore the use of Msi-1 as a novel prognostic biomarker in colon cancer patients. Aberrant overexpression of Msi-1 during metastasis of colon cancer also suggests that it is a potential therapeutic target.
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ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children, is a disease whose mechanisms are now beginning to be uncovered by high-throughput studies of somatic mutations, mRNA expression patterns, and epigenetic profiles of patient tumors. One emerging theme from studies that sequenced the tumor genomes of large cohorts of medulloblastoma patients is frequent mutation of RNA binding proteins. Proteins which bind multiple RNA targets can act as master regulators of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level to co-ordinate cellular processes and alter the phenotype of the cell. Identification of the target genes of RNA binding proteins may highlight essential pathways of medulloblastomagenesis that cannot be detected by study of transcriptomics alone.Furthermore, a subset of RNA binding proteins are attractive drug targets. For example, compounds that are under development as anti-viral targets due to their ability to inhibit RNA helicases could also be tested in novel approaches to medulloblastoma therapy by targeting key RNA binding proteins. In this review, we discuss a number of RNA binding proteins, including Musashi1 (MSI1), DEAD (Asp-Glu-Ala-Asp) box helicase 3 X-linked (DDX3X), DDX31, and cell division cycle and apoptosis regulator 1 (CCAR1), which play potentially critical roles in the growth and/or maintenance of medulloblastoma.Molecules and Cells 03/2014; · 2.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The high incidence of recurrence and the poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) necessitate the discovery of new predictive markers of HCC invasion and prognosis. In this study, we evaluated the expression pattern of two members of a novel oncogene family, Musashi1 (MSI1) and Musashi2 (MSI2) in 40 normal hepatic tissue specimens, 149 HCC specimens and their adjacent non-tumourous tissues. We observed that MSI1 and MSI2 were significantly up-regulated in HCC tissues. High expression levels of MSI1 and MSI2 were detectable in 37.6% (56/149) and 49.0% (73/149) of the HCC specimens, respectively, but were rarely detected in adjacent non-tumourous tissues and were never detected in normal hepatic tissue specimens. Nevertheless, only high expression of MSI2 correlated with poor prognosis. In addition, MSI2 up-regulation correlated with clinicopathological parameters representative of highly invasive HCC. Further study indicated that MSI2 might enhance invasion of HCC by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Knockdown of MSI2 significantly decreased the invasion of HCC cells and changed the expression pattern of EMT markers. Moreover, immunohistochemistry assays of 149 HCC tissue specimens further confirmed this correlation. Taken together, the results of our study demonstrated that MSI2 correlates with EMT and has the potential to be a new predictive biomarker of HCC prognosis and invasion to help guide diagnosis and treatment of post-operative HCC patients.Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 10/2013; · 4.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) can act as stem cell modulators and oncogenic drivers, but have been largely ignored by the pharmaceutical industry as potential therapeutic targets for cancer. The MUSASHI (MSI) family has recently been demonstrated to be an attractive clinical target in the most aggressive cancers. Therefore, the discovery and development of small molecule inhibitors could provide a novel therapeutic strategy. In order to find novel compounds with MSI RNA binding inhibitory activity, we have developed a fluorescence polarization (FP) assay and optimized it for high throughput screening (HTS) in a 1536-well microtiter plate format. Using a chemical library of 6,208 compounds, we performed pilot screens, against both MSI1 and MSI2, leading to the identification of 7 molecules for MSI1, 15 for MSI2 and 5 that inhibited both. A secondary FP dose-response screen validated 3 MSI inhibitors with IC50 below 10μM. Out of the 25 compounds retested in the secondary screen only 8 demonstrated optical interference due to high fluorescence. Utilizing a SYBR-based RNA electrophoresis mobility shift assay (EMSA), we further verified MSI inhibition of the top 3 compounds. Surprisingly, even though several aminoglycosides were present in the library, they failed to demonstrate MSI inhibitor activity challenging the concept that these compounds are pan-active against RBPs. In summary, we have developed an in vitro strategy to identify MSI specific inhibitors using an FP HTS platform, which will facilitate novel drug discovery for this class of RBPs.Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening 06/2014; · 2.00 Impact Factor