Methylation of cancer-stem-cell-associated Wnt target genes predicts poor prognosis in colorectal cancer patients.
ABSTRACT Gene signatures derived from cancer stem cells (CSCs) predict tumor recurrence for many forms of cancer. Here, we derived a gene signature for colorectal CSCs defined by high Wnt signaling activity, which in agreement with previous observations predicts poor prognosis. Surprisingly, however, we found that elevated expression of Wnt targets was actually associated with good prognosis, while patient tumors with low expression of Wnt target genes segregated with immature stem cell signatures. We discovered that several Wnt target genes, including ASCL2 and LGR5, become silenced by CpG island methylation during progression of tumorigenesis, and that their re-expression was associated with reduced tumor growth. Taken together, our data show that promoter methylation of Wnt target genes is a strong predictor for recurrence of colorectal cancer, and suggest that CSC gene signatures, rather than reflecting CSC numbers, may reflect differentiation status of the malignant tissue.
Article: HIV-1 Tat-induced microglial activation and neuronal damage is inhibited via CD45 modulation: A potential new treatment target for HAND.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Microglia become activated in humans subsequent to infection with HIV, and uncontrolled brain inflammation plays a key role in neuronal injury and and cognitive dysfunction during HIV infection. Various studies have shown a deleterious role for the HIV regulatory protein Tat in the development and maintenance of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). One cell surface receptor implicated in inhibiting microglial activation is the protein-tyrosine phosphatase (PTP), CD45. It is especially effective at inhibiting microglial activation because its action takes place far upstream from proinflammatory intracellular signaling mediators. To investigate the possible role of CD45 in microglial responsiveness to HIV-1 Tat protein, we treated BV-2 microglia with a tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor [potassium bisperoxo (1, 10-phenanthroline) oxovanadate (phen), 5 μM] and HIV-1 Tat protein (700ng/ml). We found a synergistic pro-inflammatory microglial activation as supported by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β) release, both of which were dependent on p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation. Stimulation of microglial CD45 by anti-CD45 antibody markedly inhibited these Tat or Tat/Phen effects via attenuation of p44/42 MAPK, suggesting CD45 negatively regulates microglial activation. As a validation of these findings in vivo, brains from transgenic mice deficient for CD45 through complete genetic ablation, or by CNS delivery of CD45shRNA, demonstrate markedly increased production of TNF-α 24 hours after intracerebroventricular injection of HIV-Tat protein (5μg/mouse) compared to control mice. This increased microglial activation was accompanied by astrogliosis and a significant loss of cortical neurons due to apoptosis in CD45 deficient animals. These results suggest therapeutic agents that activate CD45 PTP signaling may be effective in suppressing microglial activation associated with HAND.American Journal of Translational Research 01/2012; 4(3):302-15.