Chad J Creighton

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States

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Publications (199)1835.53 Total impact

  • Oncogene 03/2015; · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The small GTPase KRAS is frequently mutated in human cancer and currently there are no targeted therapies for KRAS mutant tumors. Here, we show that the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) pathway is required for KRAS-driven transformation. RNAi depletion of the SUMO E2 ligase Ubc9 suppresses 3D growth of KRAS mutant colorectal cancer cells in vitro and attenuates tumor growth in vivo. In KRAS mutant cells, a subset of proteins exhibit elevated levels of SUMOylation. Among these proteins, KAP1, CHD1, and EIF3L collectively support anchorage-independent growth, and the SUMOylation of KAP1 is necessary for its activity in this context. Thus, the SUMO pathway critically contributes to the transformed phenotype of KRAS mutant cells and Ubc9 presents a potential target for the treatment of KRAS mutant colorectal cancer.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2015; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1415569112 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Metastatic lung cancer is one of the most lethal forms of cancer and molecular pathways driving metastasis are still not clearly elucidated. Metastatic cancer cells undergo an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) where they lose their epithelial properties and acquire a migratory and invasive phenotype. Here we identify that the expression of microRNAs from the miR-200 family and the miR-183~96~182 cluster are significantly co-repressed in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines and primary tumors from multiple TCGA dataset with high EMT scores. Ectopic expression of the miR-183~96~182 cluster inhibited cancer cell migration and invasion, whereas its expression was tightly modulated by miR-200. We identified Foxf2 as a common, novel and direct target of both these microRNA families. Foxf2 expression tightly correlates with the transcription factor Zeb1 and is elevated in mesenchymal-like metastatic lung cancer cells. Foxf2 expression induced robust EMT, migration, invasion and metastasis in lung cancer cells, whereas Foxf2 inhibition significantly repressed these phenotypes. We also demonstrated that Foxf2 transcriptionally represses E-cadherin and miR-200, independent of Zeb1, to form a double-negative feedback loop. We, therefore, identified a novel mechanism whereby the miR-200 family and the miR-183~96~182 cluster inhibit lung cancer invasion and metastasis by targeting Foxf2.Oncogene advance online publication, 23 March 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.71.
    Oncogene 03/2015; DOI:10.1038/onc.2015.71 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Kruppel-like transcription factors (KLFs) 4 and 5 (KLF4/5) are coexpressed in mouse embryonic stem cells, where they function redundantly to maintain pluripotency. In mammary carcinoma, KLF4/5 can each impact the malignant phenotype, but potential linkages to drug resistance remain unclear. In primary human breast cancers, we observed a positive correlation between KLF4/5 transcript abundance, particularly in the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-enriched subtype. Furthermore, KLF4/5 protein was rapidly upregulated in human breast cancer cells following treatment with the HER2/epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor, lapatinib. In addition, we observed a positive correlation between these factors in the primary tumors of genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs). In particular, the levels of both factors were enriched in the basal-like tumors of the C3(1) TAg (SV40 large T antigen transgenic mice under control of the C3(1)/prostatein promoter) GEMM. Using tumor cells derived from this model as well as human breast cancer cells, suppression of KLF4 and/or KLF5 sensitized HER2-overexpressing cells to lapatinib. Indicating cooperativity, greater effects were observed when both genes were depleted. KLF4/5-deficient cells had reduced basal mRNA and protein levels of the anti-apoptotic factors myeloid cell leukemia 1 (MCL1) and B-cell lymphoma-extra large (BCL-XL). Moreover, MCL1 was upregulated by lapatinib in a KLF4/5-dependent manner, and enforced expression of MCL1 in KLF4/5-deficient cells restored drug resistance. In addition, combined suppression of KLF4/5 in cultured tumor cells additively inhibited anchorage-independent growth, resistance to anoikis and tumor formation in immunocompromised mice. Consistent with their cooperative role in drug resistance and other malignant properties, KLF4/5 levels selectively stratified human HER2-enriched breast cancer by distant metastasis-free survival. These results identify KLF4 and KLF5 as cooperating protumorigenic factors and critical participants in resistance to lapatinib, furthering the rationale for combining anti-MCL1/BCL-XL inhibitors with conventional HER2-targeted therapies.
    Cell Death & Disease 03/2015; 6:e1699. · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death. Genome sequencing of lung tumors from patients with squamous cell carcinoma has identified SMAD4 to be frequently mutated. Here, we use a mouse model to determine the molecular mechanisms by which Smad4 loss leads to lung cancer progression. Mice with ablation of Pten and Smad4 in airway epithelium develop metastatic adenosquamous tumors. Comparative transcriptomic and in vivo cistromic analyses determine that loss of PTEN and SMAD4 results in ELF3 and ErbB2 pathway activation due to decreased expression of ERRFI1, a negative regulator of ERBB2 in mouse and human cells. The combinatorial inhibition of ErbB2 and Akt signaling attenuate tumor progression and cell invasion, respectively. Expression profile analysis of human lung tumors substantiated the importance of the ErbB2/Akt/ELF3 signaling pathway as both a prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic drug target for treating lung cancer. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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    ABSTRACT: The Kruppel-like transcription factors (KLFs) 4 and 5 (KLF4/5) are coexpressed in mouse embryonic stem cells, where they function redundantly to maintain pluripotency. In mammary carcinoma, KLF4/5 can each impact the malignant phenotype, but potential linkages to drug resistance remain unclear. In primary human breast cancers, we observed a positive correlation between KLF4/5 transcript abundance, particularly in the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-enriched subtype. Furthermore, KLF4/5 protein was rapidly upregulated in human breast cancer cells following treatment with the HER2/epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor, lapatinib. In addition, we observed a positive correlation between these factors in the primary tumors of genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs). In particular, the levels of both factors were enriched in the basal-like tumors of the C3(1) TAg (SV40 large T antigen transgenic mice under control of the C3(1)/prostatein promoter) GEMM. Using tumor cells derived from this model as well as human breast cancer cells, suppression of KLF4 and/or KLF5 sensitized HER2-overexpressing cells to lapatinib. Indicating cooperativity, greater effects were observed when both genes were depleted. KLF4/5-deficient cells had reduced basal mRNA and protein levels of the anti-apoptotic factors myeloid cell leukemia 1 (MCL1) and B-cell lymphoma-extra large (BCL-XL). Moreover, MCL1 was upregulated by lapatinib in a KLF4/5-dependent manner, and enforced expression of MCL1 in KLF4/5-deficient cells restored drug resistance. In addition, combined suppression of KLF4/5 in cultured tumor cells additively inhibited anchorage-independent growth, resistance to anoikis and tumor formation in immunocompromised mice. Consistent with their cooperative role in drug resistance and other malignant properties, KLF4/5 levels selectively stratified human HER2-enriched breast cancer by distant metastasis-free survival. These results identify KLF4 and KLF5 as cooperating protumorigenic factors and critical participants in resistance to lapatinib, furthering the rationale for combining anti-MCL1/BCL-XL inhibitors with conventional HER2-targeted therapies.
    Cell Death & Disease 03/2015; 6(3):e1699. DOI:10.1038/cddis.2015.65 · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a four-dimensional (4D) lung cancer model that forms perfusable tumor nodules. We determined if the model could be modified to mimic metastasis. We modified the 4D lung cancer model by seeding H1299, A549, or H460 cells through the trachea only to the left lobes of the acellular lung matrix. The model was modified so that the tumor cells can reach the right lobes of the acellular lung matrix only through the pulmonary artery as circulating tumor cells (CTC). We determined the gene expressions of the primary tumor, CTCs, and metastatic lesions using the Human OneArray chip. All cell lines formed a primary tumor in the left lobe of the ex vivo 4D lung cancer model. The CTCs were identified in the media and increased over time. All cell lines formed metastatic lesions with H460 forming significantly more metastatic lesions than H1299 and A549 cells. The CTC gene signature predicted poor survival in lung cancer patients. Unique genes were significantly expressed in CTC compared with the primary tumor and metastatic lesion. The 4D lung cancer model can isolate tumor cells in 3 phases of tumor progression. This 4D lung cancer model may mimic the biology of lung cancer metastasis and may be used to determine its mechanism and potential therapy in the future. Copyright © 2015 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 02/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.08.085 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in men. Since there are limited treatment options available for the advanced tumors, there is an urgent need for novel diagnostic tools for PCa. Prostate secretion samples (PSS) from 23 PCa and 25 benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) patients were obtained from Urology Department of Bagcilar Educational and Research Hospital (Istanbul). MicroRNA (miRNA) profiling of eight PSS (four from BPH, four from PCa patients) were performed using microarray. Four of significantly deregulated miRNAs were further confirmed using quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). Statistical analysis was performed using Student’s t-test. ROC curves were plotted with SPSS-15.0.In this study, we aimed to identify a miRNA expression signature that could be used to distinguish PCa from BPH. MiRNA profiling of four PCa and four BPH patients with microarray revealed that miR-361-3p, -133b, and -221 were significantly downregulated and miR-203 was upregulated in PSS of PCa patients. Further qRT-PCR analysis confirmed the altered expressions of these four miRNAs in PSS of 23 PCa and 25 BPH patients. Four miRNAs, together and individually have much power (AUC;0.950) than PSA has (AUC;0.463) to discriminate PCa from BPH patients. We have shown for the first time in the literature the presence of miRNAs in the PSS. We suggest PSS as a powerful non-invasive source for evaluation of prognosis in PCa, since prostate massages can be easily applied during routine examination. Our results showed that certain differentially expressed miRNAs in PSS could be used as diagnostics markers. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 02/2015; 136(4). DOI:10.1002/ijc.29054 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial tumor metastasis is preceded by an accumulation of collagen cross-links that heighten stromal stiffness and stimulate the invasive properties of tumor cells. However, the biochemical nature of collagen cross-links in cancer is still unclear. Here, we postulated that epithelial tumorigenesis is accompanied by changes in the biochemical type of collagen cross-links. Utilizing resected human lung cancer tissues and a p21CIP1/WAF1-deficient, K-rasG12D-expressing murine metastatic lung cancer model, we showed that, relative to normal lung tissues, tumor stroma contains higher levels of hydroxylysine aldehyde-derived collagen cross-links (HLCCs) and lower levels of lysine aldehyde-derived cross-links (LCCs), which are the predominant types of collagen cross-links in skeletal tissues and soft tissues, respectively. Gain- and loss-of-function studies in tumor cells showed that lysyl hydroxylase 2 (LH2), which hydroxylates telopeptidyl lysine residues on collagen, shifted the tumor stroma toward a high-HLCC, low-LCC state, increased tumor stiffness, and enhanced tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Together, our data indicate that LH2 enhances the metastatic properties of tumor cells and functions as a regulatory switch that controls the relative abundance of biochemically distinct types of collagen cross-links in the tumor stroma.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 02/2015; DOI:10.1172/JCI74725 · 13.77 Impact Factor
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    The Journal of Cell Biology 02/2015; 208(3):351-66. DOI:10.1083/jcb.201408058 · 9.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Majority of prostate cancer (PCa) patients carry TMPRSS2/ERG (T/E) fusion genes and there has been tremendous interest in understanding how the T/E fusion may promote progression of PCa. We showed that T/E fusion can activate NF-kB pathway by increasing phosphorylation of NF-kB p65 Ser536 (p536), but the function of p536 has never been studied in PCa. We report here that active p536 can significantly increase cell motility and transform PNT1a cells (an immortalized normal cell line), suggesting p536 plays a critical role in promoting PCa tumorigenesis. We have discovered a set of p536 regulated genes, among which we validated the regulation of CCL2 by p536. Based on all evidence, we favor that T/E fusion, NF-kB p536 and CCL2 form a signaling chain. Finally, PNT1a cells (not tumorigenic) can form tumors in SCID mice when overexpressing of either wild type or active p65 in the presence of activated AKT, demonstrating synergistic activities of NF-kB and AKT signals in promoting PCa tumorigenesis. These findings indicate that combination therapies targeting T/E fusion, NF-kB, CCL2 and/or AKT pathways may have efficacy in T/E fusion gene expressing PCa. If successful, such targeted therapy will benefit more than half of PCa patients who carry T/E fusions.
    Oncotarget 01/2015; · 6.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most frequent pediatric malignant bone tumor that has a high propensity for metastases. Through osteoblast-specific alteration of p53 status, we developed a genetically engineered mouse model of localized and metastatic OS to gain an understanding into the molecular pathogenesis of OS. Microarray analysis of both localized tumors and metastatic tumors identified the downregulation of the naked cuticle homolog 2 (NKD2) gene, a negative regulator of Wnt signaling. Overexpression of NKD2 in metastatic human and mouse OS cells significantly decreases cell proliferation, migration and invasion ability in vitro and drastically diminishes OS tumor growth and metastasis in vivo, whereas downregulation enhances migratory and invasive potential. Evaluation of NKD2-overexpressing tumors revealed upregulation of tumor-suppressor genes and downregulation of molecules involved in blood vessel formation and cell migration. Furthermore, assessment of primary human OS revealed downregulation of NKD2 in metastatic and recurrent OS. Finally, we provide biological evidence that use of small-molecule inhibitors targeting the Wnt pathway can have therapeutic efficacy in decreasing metastatic properties in OS. Our studies provide compelling evidence that downregulation of NKD2 expression and alterations in associated regulated pathways have a significant role in driving OS tumor growth and metastasis.Oncogene advance online publication, 12 January 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2014.429.
    Oncogene 01/2015; DOI:10.1038/onc.2014.429 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IntroductionReal-time monitoring of biological changes in tumors may be possible by investigating the transitional cells such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and disseminated tumor cells in bone marrow (BM-DTCs). However, the small numbers of CTCs and the limited access to bone marrow aspirates in cancer patients pose major hurdles. The goal of this study was to determine if breast cancer (BC) patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mice could provide a constant and renewable source of CTCs and BM-DTCs, thereby representing a unique system for the study of metastatic processes.MethodsCTCs and BM-DTCs, isolated from BC PDX-bearing mice, were identified by immunostaining for human pan-cytokeratin and nuclear counter staining of red blood cell-lysed blood and bone marrow fractions, respectively. The lung metastasis (LM) rate was previously reported in these lines. Associations between the presence of CTCs, BM-DTCs, and LM were assessed by the Fisher¿s Exact and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests. Two separate genetic signatures associated with the presence of CTC clusters and with lung metastatic potential were computed using the expression arrays of primary tumors from different PDX lines and subsequently overlapped to identify common genes.ResultsA total of 18 BC PDX lines were evaluated. CTCs and BM-DTCs, present as either single cells or clusters, were detected in 83% (15/18) and 62.5% (10/16) of the lines, respectively. There was a positive association between the presence of CTCs and BM-DTCs within the same mice. LM was previously found in 9 out of 18 (50%) lines, of which all 9 had detectable CTCs. The presence of LM was strongly associated with the detection of CTC clusters but not with individual cells or detection of BM-DTCs. Overlapping of the 2 genetic signatures of the primary PDX tumors associated with the presence of CTC clusters and with lung metastatic potential identified 4 genes (HLA-DP1A, GJA1, PEG3, and XIST). This 4-gene profile predicted distant metastases-free survival in publicly available datasets of early BC patients.Conclusion This study suggests that CTCs and BM-DTCs detected in BC PDX-bearing mice may represent a valuable and unique preclinical model for investigating the role of these rare cells in tumor metastases.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 01/2015; 17(1):3. DOI:10.1186/s13058-014-0508-5 · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    Kimryn W Rathmell, Fengju Chen, Chad J Creighton
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    ABSTRACT: Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma (ChRCC) is a rare subtype of the renal cell carcinomas, a heterogenous group of cancers arising from the nephron. Recently, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) profiled this understudied disease using multiple data platforms, including whole exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing (WGS), and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing. The insights gained from this study would have implications for other types of kidney cancer as well as for cancer biology in general. Global molecular patterns in ChRCC provided clues as to this cancer's cell of origin, which is distinct from that of the other renal cell carcinomas, illustrating an approach that might be applied towards elucidating the cell of origin of other cancer types. MtDNA sequencing revealed loss-of-function mutations in NADH dehydrogenase subunits, highlighting the role of deregulated metabolism in this and other cancers. Analysis of WGS data led to the discovery of recurrent genomic rearrangements involving TERT promoter region, which were associated with very high expression levels of TERT, pointing to a potential mechanism for TERT deregulation that might be found in other cancers. WGS data, generated by large scale efforts such as TCGA and the International Cancer Genomics Consortium (ICGC), could be more extensively mined across various cancer types, to uncover structural variants, mtDNA mutations, themes of tumor metabolic properties, as well as noncoding point mutations. TCGA's data on ChRCC should continue to serve as a resource for future pan-cancer as well as kidney cancer studies, and highlight the value of investigations into rare tumor types to globally inform principals of cancer biology.
    01/2015; 2(2):81-90.
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    ABSTRACT: KAP1 (TRIM28) is a transcriptional regulator in embryonic development that controls stem cell self-renewal, chromatin organization and the DNA damage response, acting as an essential co-repressor for KRAB family zinc finger proteins (KRAB-ZNF). To gain insight into the function of this large gene family, we developed an antibody that recognizes the conserved zinc fingers linker region (ZnFL) in multiple KRAB-ZNF. Here we report that the expression of many KRAB-ZNF along with active SUMOlyated KAP1 is elevated widely in human breast cancers. KAP1 silencing in breast cancer cells reduced proliferation and inhibited the growth and metastasis of tumor xenografts. Conversely, KAP1 overexpression stimulated cell proliferation and tumor growth. In cells where KAP1 was silenced, we identified multiple downregulated genes linked to tumor progression and metastasis, including EREG/epiregulin, PTGS2/COX2, MMP1, MMP2 and CD44, along with downregulation of multiple KRAB-ZNF proteins. KAP1-dependent stabilization of KRAB-ZNF required direct interactions with KAP1. Together, our results show that KAP1-mediated stimulation of multiple KRAB-ZNF contributes to the growth and metastasis of breast cancer. Copyright © 2014, American Association for Cancer Research.
    Cancer Research 11/2014; 75(2). DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-1561 · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent therapeutic successes have renewed interest in drug combinations, but experimental screening approaches are costly and often identify only small numbers of synergistic combinations. The DREAM consortium launched an open challenge to foster the development of in silico methods to computationally rank 91 compound pairs, from the most synergistic to the most antagonistic, based on gene-expression profiles of human B cells treated with individual compounds at multiple time points and concentrations. Using scoring metrics based on experimental dose-response curves, we assessed 32 methods (31 community-generated approaches and SynGen), four of which performed significantly better than random guessing. We highlight similarities between the methods. Although the accuracy of predictions was not optimal, we find that computational prediction of compound-pair activity is possible, and that community challenges can be useful to advance the field of in silico compound-synergy prediction.
    Nature Biotechnology 11/2014; DOI:10.1038/nbt.3052 · 39.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diverse epidemiological factors are associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prevalence in different populations. However, the global landscape of the genetic changes in HCC genomes underpinning different epidemiological and ancestral backgrounds still remains uncharted. Here a collection of data from 503 liver cancer genomes from different populations uncovered 30 candidate driver genes and 11 core pathway modules. Furthermore, a collaboration of two large-scale cancer genome projects comparatively analyzed the trans-ancestry substitution signatures in 608 liver cancer cases and identified unique mutational signatures that predominantly contribute to Asian cases. This work elucidates previously unexplored ancestry-associated mutational processes in HCC development. A combination of hotspot TERT promoter mutation, TERT focal amplification and viral genome integration occurs in more than 68% of cases, implicating TERT as a central and ancestry-independent node of hepatocarcinogenesis. Newly identified alterations in genes encoding metabolic enzymes, chromatin remodelers and a high proportion of mTOR pathway activations offer potential therapeutic and diagnostic opportunities.
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Publication Stats

7k Citations
1,835.53 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2015
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
      • • Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2008–2014
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      • • Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
      • • Department of Thoracic Head Neck Medical Oncology
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2012
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      • Division of Computational Biology
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2011
    • The University of Manchester
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
      Seattle, Washington, United States
    • Arizona State University
      Phoenix, Arizona, United States
  • 2009
    • Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2006–2007
    • Concordia University–Ann Arbor
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2003–2006
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2005
    • Michigan Institute of Urology
      Detroit, Michigan, United States