Pinku Mukherjee

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (65)375.47 Total impact

  • Priyanka Grover · Sritama Nath · Mohammad Ahmad · Pinku Mukherjee ·

    Cancer Research 08/2015; 75(15 Supplement):2054-2054. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2015-2054 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    Sritama Nath · Lopamudra Das Roy · Priyanka Grover · Shanti Rao · Pinku Mukherjee ·
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    ABSTRACT: Eighty percent of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAs) overexpress mucin 1 (MUC1), a transmembrane mucin glycoprotein. MUC1 PDA patients also express high levels of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and show poor prognosis. The cytoplasmic tail of MUC1 (MUC1-CT) partakes in oncogenic signaling, resulting in accelerated cancer progression. Our aim was to understand the regulation of Cox-2 expression by MUC1. Levels of COX-2 and MUC1 were determined in MUC1, MUC1, and MUC1 PDA cells and tumors using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Proliferative and invasive potential was assessed using MTT and Boyden chamber assays. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was performed to evaluate binding of MUC1-CT to the promoter of COX-2 gene. Significantly higher levels of COX-2 mRNA and protein were detected in MUC1 versus MUC1 cells, which were recapitulated in vivo. In addition, deletion of MUC1 gene and transient knockdown of MUC1 led to decreased COX-2 level. Also, MUC1-CT associated with the COX-2 promoter at ∼1000 base pairs upstream of the transcription start site, the same gene locus where nuclear factor κB p65 associates with the COX-2 promoter. Data support a novel regulation of COX-2 gene by MUC1 in PDA, the intervention of which may lead to a better therapeutic targeting in PDA patients.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.
    Pancreas 06/2015; 44(6). DOI:10.1097/MPA.0000000000000371 · 2.96 Impact Factor

  • Cancer Research 10/2014; 74(19 Supplement):26-26. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2014-26 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IL-17A is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is normally associated with autoimmune arthritis and other pro-inflammatory conditions. Recently, IL-17A has emerged as a critical factor in enhancing breast cancer (BC)-associated metastases. We generated immune competent arthritic mouse models that develop spontaneous BC-associated bone and lung metastasis. Using these models, we have previously shown that neutralization of IL-17A resulted in significant reduction in metastasis. However, the underlying mechanism/s remains unknown. We have utilized two previously published mouse models for this study: 1) the pro-arthritic mouse model (designated SKG) injected with metastatic BC cell line (4T1) in the mammary fat pad, and 2) the PyV MT mice that develop spontaneous mammary gland tumors injected with type II collagen to induce autoimmune arthritis. Mice were treated with anti-IL-17A neutralizing antibody and monitored for metastasis and assessed for pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines associated with BC-associated metastasis. We first corroborate our previous finding that in vivo neutralization of IL-17A significantly reduced metastasis to the bones and lungs in both models. Next, we report that treatment with anti-IL17A antibody significantly reduced the expression of a key chemokine, CXCL12 (also known as stromal derived factor-1 (SDF - 1)) in the bones and lungs of treated mice. CXCL12 is a ligand for CXCR4 (expressed on BC cells) and their interaction is known to be critical for metastasis. Interestingly, levels of CXCR4 in the tumor remained unchanged with treatment. Consequently, protein lysates derived from the bones and lungs of treated mice were significantly less chemotactic for the BC cells than lysates from untreated mice; and addition of exogenous SDF-1 to the lysates from treated mice completely restored BC cell migration. In addition, cytokines such as IL-6 and M-CSF were significantly reduced in the lung and bone lysates following treatment. The data presented suggests that systemic neutralization of IL-17A can block the CXCR4/SDF-1 signaling pathway by reducing the expression of SDF-1 in the metastatic niches and significantly reducing metastasis in both mouse models. In our model, neutralization of IL-17A regulates SDF-1 expression in the metastatic niches either directly or indirectly via reducing levels of IL-6 and M-CSF.
    BMC Cancer 03/2014; 14(1):225. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-14-225 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    Sritama Nath · Pinku Mukherjee ·
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    ABSTRACT: The transmembrane glycoprotein Mucin 1 (MUC1) is aberrantly glycosylated and overexpressed in a variety of epithelial cancers, and plays a crucial role in progression of the disease. Tumor-associated MUC1 differs from the MUC1 expressed in normal cells with regard to its biochemical features, cellular distribution, and function. In cancer cells, MUC1 participates in intracellular signal transduction pathways and regulates the expression of its target genes at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. This review highlights the structural and functional differences that exist between normal and tumor-associated MUC1. We also discuss the recent advances made in the use of MUC1 as a biomarker and therapeutic target for cancer.
    Trends in Molecular Medicine 03/2014; 20(6). DOI:10.1016/j.molmed.2014.02.007 · 9.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mucin 1 (MUC1) is a transmembrane mucin glycoprotein that is over-expressed and aberrantly glycosylated in >80% of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) and is associated with poor prognosis. To understand the role of MUC1 in PDA, we have recently developed two mouse models of spontaneous PDA, one that expresses full-length human MUC1 transgene (KCM mice) and one that is null for MUC1 (KCKO mice). We have previously reported that KCM mice express high levels of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in their tumors and develop highly aggressive PDA. To further understand the underlying mechanism for high MDSC levels in KCM-tumors, we generated primary cell lines from KCM and KCKO-tumors. In this study, we report that MDSCs derived using KCM cells express significantly higher levels of arginase 1 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (markers associated with immune suppression) and lower levels of CD115 (a marker associated with maturation of myeloid cells) as compared to KCKO-derived MDSCs. Functionally, KCM-derived MDSCs secrete significantly higher levels of urea and nitric oxide (NO) when co-cultured with normal splenic cells as compared to KCKO-derived MDSCs. Data indicates that KCM-derived MDSCs remain immature and are more suppressive as compared to KCKO-derived MDSCs. This was further corroborated in vivo where MDSCs isolated from KCM-tumor-bearing mice retained their immature state and were highly suppressive as compared to MDSCs derived from KCKO-tumor-bearing mice. Finally, we show that KCM cells secrete significantly higher levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a COX-2 metabolite and a known driver of suppressive MDSCs as compared to KCKO cells. Thus, inhibiting PGE2 with a specific COX-2 inhibitor reverses the immunosuppressive and immature phenotype of KCM-derived MDSCs. This is the first report that clearly suggests a functional role of pancreatic tumor-associated MUC1 in the development of functional MDSCs.
    Frontiers in Immunology 02/2014; 5:67. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00067
  • Sritama Nath · Lopamudra Das Roy · Shanti Rao · Priyanka Grover · Pinku Mukherjee ·

    Cancer Research 08/2013; 73(8 Supplement):3119-3119. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-3119 · 9.33 Impact Factor

  • Cancer Research 08/2013; 73(8 Supplement):1540-1540. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-1540 · 9.33 Impact Factor

  • Cancer Research 08/2013; 73(8 Supplement):475-475. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-475 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a promising oncolytic agent against various malignancies. Here, for the first time, we tested VSV in vitro and in vivo in a clinically relevant, immunocompetent mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). Our system allows the study of virotherapy against PDA in the context of overexpression (80% PDA patients) or no expression of human mucin 1 (MUC1), a major marker for poor prognosis in patients. In vitro, we tested three VSV recombinants, wild-type VSV, VSV-GFP, and a safe oncolytic VSV-ΔM51-GFP, against five mouse PDA cell lines either expressing human MUC1 or MUC1-null. All viruses demonstrated significant oncolytic abilities independent of MUC1 expression, although VSV-ΔM51-GFP was somewhat less effective in two PDA cell lines. In vivo administration of VSV-ΔM51-GFP resulted in significant reduction of tumor growth for tested mouse PDA xenografts (+MUC1 or MUC1-null), and antitumor efficacy was further improved when the virus was combined with the chemotherapeutic drug gemcitabine. The antitumor effect was transient in all tested groups. The developed system can be used to study therapies involving various OVs and chemotherapeutics, with the goal of inducing tumor-specific immunity while preventing premature virus clearance.
    Journal of Virology 07/2013; 87(18). DOI:10.1128/JVI.01412-13 · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Breast tumor cells alter their microenvironment in part through the expression of protumor molecules that influence macrophages during tumor progression and metastasis. Macrophage recruitment is stimulated by chemotactic factors, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), which also stimulates the cytotoxic/tumor cell killing macrophage phenotype. Through TNF-α converting enzyme (TACE/ADAM17) activities, breast tumor cells shed membrane-bound proteins, including their TNF receptors (sTNFR1/2), which serve as decoys sequestering TNF-α and preventing TNF-α-driven apoptosis of tumor cells, thereby decreasing TNF-α bioavailability. Here we investigated the levels of sTNFRs shed by breast tumor cells and determined the effects of shed sTNFRs on macrophage migration toward TNF-α. TNF-α and sTNFRs concentrations were measured in murine normal epithelial, stromal, and mammary tumor cells. The migration of murine macrophages towards TNF-α in the presence of tumor derived soluble factors (TDSFs) shed by TACE was determined. TNF-α concentrations secreted by tumor and normal epithelial cells were below the detection limit contrasting with stromal cells, especially macrophages, which expressed higher levels of TNF-α (P<0.001). Regardless of the cell tested, treatment with the TACE inhibitor TAPI-0 led to a significant decrease in sTNFR2 shed (P<0.05). The dose-dependent macrophage migration toward TNF-α prevented by incubation with TDSFs was not observed with TDSFs collected following TAPI-0 treatment (P<0.05). Furthermore, the TNF-α-driven increased pAkt expression in macrophage was inhibited by TACE shed TDSFs (P<0.05). These results highlight the role of tumor-shed sTNFRs in TNF-α -driven macrophage chemotaxis.
    Journal of interferon & cytokine research: the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research 06/2013; 33(11). DOI:10.1089/jir.2013.0009 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and objectives: MUC1 is over-expressed and aberrantly glycosylated in >60% of human pancreatic cancer (PC). Development of novel approaches for detection and/or targeting of MUC1 are critically needed and should be able to detect MUC1 on PC cells (including cancer stem cells) and in serum. Methods: The sensitivity and specificity of the anti-MUC1 antibody, TAB 004, was determined. CSCs were assessed for MUC1 expression using TAB 004-FITC on in vitro PC cell lines, and on lineage(-) cells from in vivo tumors and human samples. Serum was assessed for shed MUC1 via the TAB 004 EIA. Results: In vitro and in vivo, TAB 004 detected MUC1 on >95% of CSCs. Approximately, 80% of CSCs in patients displayed MUC1 expression as detected by TAB 004. Shed MUC1 was detected serum in mice with HPAF-II (MUC1(high) ) but not BxPC3 tumors (MUC1(low)). The TAB 004 EIA was able to accurately detect stage progression in PC patients. Conclusions: The TAB 004 antibody may be explored as a therapeutic targeting agent for CSCs in PC. The TAB 004 EIA detected circulating MUC1 in a stage-dependent manner in patients with PC and thus may be explored as a PC stage diagnostic biomarker.
    Journal of Surgical Oncology 06/2013; 107(7). DOI:10.1002/jso.23316 · 3.24 Impact Factor
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    S Nath · K Daneshvar · L D Roy · P Grover · A Kidiyoor · L Mosley · M Sahraei · P Mukherjee ·
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    ABSTRACT: MUC1 (CD227), a membrane tethered mucin glycoprotein, is overexpressed in >60% of human pancreatic cancers (PCs), and is associated with poor prognosis, enhanced metastasis and chemoresistance. The objective of this study was to delineate the mechanism by which MUC1 induces drug resistance in human (BxPC3 and Capan-1) and mouse (KCKO, KCM) PC cells. We report that PC cells that express high levels of MUC1 exhibit increased resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs (gemcitabine and etoposide) in comparison with cells that express low levels of MUC1. This chemo resistance was attributed to the enhanced expression of multidrug resistance (MDR) genes including ABCC1, ABCC3, ABCC5 and ABCB1. In particular, levels of MRP1 protein encoded by the ABCC1 gene were significantly higher in the MUC1-high PC cells. In BxPC3 and Capan-1 cells MUC1 upregulates MRP1 via an Akt-dependent pathway, whereas in KCM cells MUC1-mediated MRP1 upregulation is via an Akt-independent mechanism. In KCM, BxPC3 and Capan-1 cells, the cytoplasmic tail motif of MUC1 associates directly with the promoter region of the Abcc1/ABCC1 gene, indicating a possible role of MUC1 acting as a transcriptional regulator of this gene. This is the first report to show that MUC1 can directly regulate the expression of MDR genes in PC cells, and thus confer drug resistance.
    Oncogenesis 06/2013; 2(6):e51. DOI:10.1038/oncsis.2013.16 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women in the United States. Metastasis is regulated not only by intrinsic genetic changes in malignant cells, but also by the microenvironment, especially those associated with chronic inflammation. We recently reported that mice with autoimmune arthritis have significantly increased incidence of bone and lung metastasis and decreased survival associated with breast cancer. In this study, we evaluated the mechanism underlying the increased metastasis. Methods We used two mouse models; one that develops spontaneous autoimmune arthritis (SKG mice) injected with metastatic breast cancer cells (4T1), and another that develops spontaneous breast cancer (MMTV-PyV MT mice) injected with type II collagen to induce autoimmune arthritis. Mast cell levels and metastasis were monitored. Results First, we confirmed that breast tumor-bearing arthritic mice have a significantly higher incidence of bone and lung metastasis than do their nonarthritic counterparts. Next, we showed increased recruitment of mast cells within the primary tumor of arthritic mice, which facilitates metastasis. Next, we report that arthritic mice without any tumors have higher numbers of mast cells in the bones and lungs, which may be the underlying cause for the enhanced lung and bone metastases observed in the arthritic mice. Next, we showed that once the tumor cells populate the metastatic niches (bones and lungs), they further increase the mast cell population within the niche and assist in enhancing metastasis. This may primarily be due to the interaction of c-Kit receptor present on mast cells and stem cell factor (SCF, the ligand for ckit) expressed on tumor cells. Finally, we showed that targeting the SCF/cKit interaction with an anti-ckit antibody reduces the differentiation of mast cells and consequently reduces metastasis. Conclusion This is the first report to show that mast cells may play a critical role in remodeling not only the tumor microenvironment but also the metastatic niche to facilitate efficient metastasis through SCF/cKit interaction in breast cancer with arthritis.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 04/2013; 15(2):R32. DOI:10.1186/bcr3412 · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oncolytic virus (OV) therapy takes advantage of common cancer characteristics, such as defective type I interferon (IFN) signaling, to preferentially infect and kill cancer cells with viruses. Our recent study (Murphy et al., 2012. J. Virol. 86, 3073-87) found human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) cells were highly heterogeneous in their permissiveness to vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and suggested at least some resistant cell lines retained functional type I IFN responses. Here we examine cellular responses to infection by the oncolytic VSV recombinant VSV-ΔM51-GFP by analyzing a panel of 11 human PDA cell lines for expression of 33 genes associated with type I IFN pathways. Although all cell lines sensed infection by VSV-ΔM51-GFP and most activated IFN-α and β expression, only resistant cell lines displayed constitutive high-level expression of the IFN-stimulated antiviral genes MxA and OAS. Inhibition of JAK/STAT signaling decreased levels of MxA and OAS and increased VSV infection, replication and oncolysis, further implicating IFN responses in resistance. Unlike VSV, vaccinia and herpes simplex virus infectivity and killing of PDA cells was independent of the type I IFN signaling profile, possibly because these two viruses are better equipped to evade type I IFN responses. Our study demonstrates heterogeneity in the type I IFN signaling status of PDA cells and suggests MxA and OAS as potential biomarkers for PDA resistance to VSV and other OVs sensitive to type I IFN responses.
    Virology 12/2012; 436(1). DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2012.11.014 · 3.32 Impact Factor
  • S. Nath · K. Daneshvar · N. Puri · P. Mukherjee ·

    Cancer Research 06/2012; 72(8 Supplement):LB-348-LB-348. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2012-LB-348 · 9.33 Impact Factor

  • Cancer Research 06/2012; 72(8 Supplement):5400-5400. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2012-5400 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Controversy exists as to the ability of human gammaherpesviruses to cause or exacerbate breast cancer disease in patients. The difficulty in conducting definitive human studies can be overcome by investigating developing breast cancer in a mouse model. In this study, we utilized mice latently infected with murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (HV-68) to question whether such a viral burden could exacerbate metastatic breast cancer disease using a mouse mammary tumor model. Results Mice latently infected with HV-68 had a similar primary tumor burden, but much greater metastatic disease, when compared to mock treated mice given the transplantable tumor, 4 T1. This was true for lung lesions, as well as secondary tumor masses. Increased expression of pan-cytokeratin and VEGF-A in tumors from HV-68 infected mice was consistent with increased metastatic disease in these animals. Surprisingly, no viral particles could be cultured from tumor tissues, and the presence of viral DNA or RNA transcripts could not be detected in primary or secondary tumor tissues. Conclusions Latent HV-68 infection had no significant effect on the size of primary 4 T1 mammary tumors, but exacerbated the number of metastatic lung lesions and secondary tumors when compared to mock treated mice. Increased expression of the tumor marker, pan-cytokeratin, and VEGF-A in tumors of mice harboring latent virus was consistent with an exacerbated metastatic disease. Mechanisms responsible for this exacerbation are indirect, since no virus could be detected in cancerous tissues.
    Infectious Agents and Cancer 05/2012; 7(1):11. DOI:10.1186/1750-9378-7-11 · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against tumor-associated antigens are useful anticancer agents. Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) is one of the major mechanisms responsible for initiating natural killer cell (NK)-mediated killing of tumors. However, the regulation of ADCC via NK cells is poorly understood. We have investigated the cytolytic activity of NK cells against pancreatic cancer cells that were coated with an antibody directed against the human tumor antigen, Mucin-1 designated HMFG-2, either alone or conjugated to CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG ODN). Conjugated antibodies were tested for their ability to elicit ADCC in vitro and in vivo against pancreatic cancer cells. NK cells cultured in the presence of immobilized CpG ODN, HMFG-2 Ab, or CpG ODN-conjugated HMFG-2 Ab were able to up-regulate perforin similarly. Interestingly, a significant higher ADCC was observed when CpG ODN-conjugated HMFG-2-coated tumor cells were co-cultured with NK cells compared to unconjugated HMFG-2 Ab or CpG ODN alone. Moreover, MyD88-deficient NK cells can perform ADCC in vitro. Furthermore, intratumoral injections of CpG ODN-conjugated HMFG-2 induced a significant reduction in tumor burden in vivo in an established model of pancreatic tumor in nude mice compared to CpG ODN or the HMFG-2 alone. Depletion of macrophages or NK cells before treatment confirmed that both cells were required for the anti-tumor response in vivo. Results also suggest that CpG ODN and HMFG-2 Ab could be sensed by NK cells on the mAb-coated tumor cells triggering enhanced ADCC in vitro and in vivo.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 04/2012; 61(11). DOI:10.1007/s00262-012-1264-y · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    Cancer Research 04/2012; 72(8 Supplement):2714-2714. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2012-2714 · 9.33 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
375.47 Total Impact Points


  • 2009-2014
    • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
      • Department of Biology
      Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
  • 2012
    • Wake Forest University
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
  • 2001-2009
    • Mayo Clinic - Scottsdale
      Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
  • 2003
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States