Curcumin analogue CDF inhibits pancreatic tumor growth by switching on suppressor microRNAs and attenuating EZH2 expression.
ABSTRACT The histone methyltransferase EZH2 is a central epigenetic regulator of cell survival, proliferation, and cancer stem cell (CSC) function. EZH2 expression is increased in various human cancers, including highly aggressive pancreatic cancers, but the mechanisms underlying for its biologic effects are not yet well understood. In this study, we probed EZH2 function in pancreatic cancer using diflourinated-curcumin (CDF), a novel analogue of the turmeric spice component curcumin that has antioxidant properties. CDF decreased pancreatic cancer cell survival, clonogenicity, formation of pancreatospheres, invasive cell migration, and CSC function in human pancreatic cancer cells. These effects were associated with decreased expression of EZH2 and increased expression of a panel of tumor-suppressive microRNAs (miRNA), including let-7a, b, c, d, miR-26a, miR-101, miR-146a, andmiR-200b, c that are typically lost in pancreatic cancer. Mechanistic investigations revealed that reexpression of miR-101 was sufficient to limit the expression of EZH2 and the proinvasive cell surface adhesion molecule EpCAM. In an orthotopic xenograft model of human pancreatic cancer, administration of CDF inhibited tumor growth in a manner associated with reduced expression of EZH2, Notch-1, CD44, EpCAM, and Nanog and increased expression of let-7, miR-26a, and miR-101. Taken together, our results indicated that CDF inhibited pancreatic cancer tumor growth and aggressiveness by targeting an EZH2-miRNA regulatory circuit for epigenetically controlled gene expression.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression by binding to mRNA, and can function as oncogenes or tumor suppressors depending on the target. In this study, using qRT-PCR, we examined the expression of six miRNAs (miR-21, miR-31, miR-92a, miR-101, miR-106a and miR-145) in tumors from 193 prospectively recruited patients with colorectal cancer, and associations with clinicopathological parameters and patient outcome were analyzed. The miRNAs were chosen based on previous studies for their biomarker potential and suggested biological relevance in colorectal cancer. METHODS: The miRNA expression was examined by qRT-PCR. Associations between miRNA expression and clinicopathological variables were explored using Mann--Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis test while survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. RESULTS: MiR-101 was hardly expressed in the tumor samples, while for the other miRNAs, variable expression levels and expression ranges were observed, with miR-21 being most abundantly expressed relative to the reference (RNU44). In our study cohort, major clinical significance was demonstrated only for miR-31, as high expression was associated with advanced tumor stage and poor differentiation. No significant associations were found between expression of the investigated miRNAs and metastasis-free or overall survival. CONCLUSIONS: Investigating the expression of six miRNAs previously identified as candidate biomarkers in colorectal cancer, few clinically relevant associations were detected in our patient cohort. Our results emphasize the importance of validating potential tumor markers in independent patient cohorts, and indicate that the role of miRNAs as colorectal cancer biomarkers is still undetermined.BMC Cancer 11/2012; 12(1):505. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are cells that exist within a tumor with a capacity of self-renewal and an ability to differentiate, giving rise to heterogeneous populations of cancer cells. These cells are increasingly being implicated in resistance to conventional therapeutics and have also been implicated in tumor recurrence. Several cellular signaling pathways including Notch, Wnt, phosphoinositide-3-kinase-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin pathways, and known markers such as CD44, CD133, CD166, ALDH, etc. have been associated with CSCs. Here, we have reviewed our current understanding of self-renewal pathways and factors that help in the survival of CSCs with special emphasis on those that have been documented to be modulated by well characterized natural agents such as curcumin, sulforaphane, resveratrol, genistein, and epigallocatechin gallate. With the inclusion of a novel derivative of curcumin, CDF, we showcase how natural agents can be effectively modified to increase their efficacy, particularly against CSCs. We hope that this article will generate interest among researchers for further mechanistic and clinical studies exploiting the cancer preventive and therapeutic role of nutraceuticals by targeted elimination of CSCs.Drug delivery and translational research. 04/2013; 3(2):165-182.
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ABSTRACT: While FMR1 is silenced in Fragile X syndrome (FXS) patients carrying the full mutation, its expression is elevated (2-8 fold) in premutated individuals. These people may develop the Fragile X-associated Tremor/Ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a late onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by ataxia and parkinsonism. In addition, people carrying the premutation can be affected by a set of neurological and behavioural disorders during young age. Problems of memory have been detected in these patients as well as in the mouse models for FXTAS. To date little is known concerning the metabolism of FMR1 mRNA, notwithstanding the importance of the finely tuned regulation of the expression of this gene. In the present study we identified three microRNAs that specifically target the 3'UTR of FMR1 and can modulate its expression throughout the brain particularly at the synapse where their expression is very high. The expression level of miR-221 is reduced in synaptosomal preparations of young FXTAS mice suggesting a general deregulation of transcripts located at the synapse of these mice. By transcriptome analysis we show here a robust deregulation of the expression levels of genes involved in learning, memory and autistic behavior, Parkinson disease and neurodegeneration. These findings suggest the presence of a 'synapthopathy' in these animals. Interestingly, many of those deregulated mRNAs are target of the same miRNAs that modulate the expression of FMR1 at the synapse.Human Molecular Genetics 02/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor