[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer cells can overcome the ability of polyamine biosynthesis inhibitors to completely deplete their internal polyamines by the importation of polyamines from external sources. This paper discusses the development of a group of lipophilic polyamine analogues that potently inhibit the cellular polyamine uptake system and greatly increase the effectiveness of polyamine depletion when used in combination with DFMO, a well-studied polyamine biosynthesis inhibitor. The attachment of a length-optimized C(16) lipophilic substituent to the epsilon-nitrogen atom of an earlier lead compound, D-Lys-Spm (5), has produced an analogue, D-Lys(C(16)acyl)-Spm (11) with several orders of magnitude more potent cell growth inhibition on a variety of cultured cancer cell types including breast (MDA-MB-231), prostate (PC-3), melanoma (A375), and ovarian (SK-OV-3), among others. These results are discussed in the context of a possible membrane-catalyzed interaction with the extracellular polyamine transport apparatus. The resulting novel two-drug combination therapy targeting cellular polyamine metabolism has shown exceptional efficacy against cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) in a transgenic ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) mouse model of skin cancer. A majority (88%) of large, aggressive SCCs exhibited complete or nearly complete remission to this combination therapy, whereas responses to each agent alone were poor. The availability of a potent polyamine transport inhibitor allows, for the first time, for a real test of the hypothesis that starving cells of polyamines will lead to objective clinical response.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 05/2009; 52(7):1983-93. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that keratin 6 (K6)-spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SSAT) transgenic mice, which modestly over-express SSAT in the skin, are more sensitive to tumor induction by a two-stage tumorigenesis protocol using initiation with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) and promotion with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). To evaluate the role of altered levels of polyamines and oxidative stress in this increase, studies were carried out with pharmacologic and genetic manipulation of K6-SSAT mice subjected to DMBA/TPA carcinogenesis. The increased tumor incidence was partially prevented by treatment with 1,4-bis-[N-(buta-2,3-dienyl)amino]butane, an inhibitor of acetylpolyamine oxidase which prevented degradation of the acetylated polyamines. This result suggests that toxic products such as reactive oxygen species and aldehydes liberated by the action of polyamine oxidase on the acetylated polyamines formed by SSAT may enhance tumor development. Breeding of the K6-SSAT mice with K6-antizyme (AZ) mice [which express AZ, a negative regulator of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC)] blocked the development of tumors. In addition, treatment of tumor-bearing K6-SSAT mice with the ODC inhibitor, alpha-difluoromethylornithine, resulted in the complete regression of established tumors. In contrast, treatment with N1,N11-bis(ethyl)norspermidine which increased SSAT activity in the tumors did not enhance regression. These results indicate that the tumor progression in K6-SSAT mice is dependent on elevated ODC activity and increased putrescine levels and may be further enhanced by oxidative stress. They support the use of strategies to modulate polyamine levels through the inhibition of ODC activity or polyamine uptake, but not via increased SSAT expression, for cancer chemoprevention in individuals at high risk for skin tumor development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a recently developed autochthonous mouse model of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a combination therapy targeting polyamine metabolism was evaluated. The therapy combined 2-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), and MQT 1426, a polyamine transport inhibitor. In 1 trial lasting 4 weeks, combination therapy with 0.5% DFMO (orally, in the drinking water) and MQT 1426 (50 mg/kg i.p., bid) was significantly more effective than with either single agent alone when complete tumor response was the endpoint. In the combination group, 72% of SCCs responded completely vs. 21 and 0% for DFMO and MQT 1426, respectively. A second trial involved a 4-week treatment period followed by 6 weeks off-treatment. With apparent cures as an endpoint, combination therapy was again more effective than either agent alone: a 50% apparent cure rate was observed in the combination group vs. 7.7% in the DFMO group. MQT 1426 had no inhibitory effect on SCC ODC activity nor did it enhance the inhibition by DFMO, but SCC polyamine levels declined more rapidly when treated with combination therapy vs. DFMO alone. The apoptotic index in SCCs was transiently increased by combination therapy but not by DFMO alone. Thus, targeting both polyamine biosynthesis and polyamine transport from the tumor microenvironment enhances the efficacy of polyamine-based therapy in this mouse model of SCC.
International Journal of Cancer 06/2006; 118(9):2344-9. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The enhancing effect of overexpression of an ornithine decarboxylase (Odc) transgene on skin tumor susceptibility can be modified by genetic loci present in several inbred mouse strains. The BALB/cJ strain is among the most resistant strains so far examined; tumor multiplicity following 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) treatment is reduced by 90% when the K6/ODC transgene is expressed on a BALB/cJ background versus the susceptible C57BL/6J background. Further, transgenic BALB/cJ males developed more tumors than females, indicating the presence of sex-dependent modifier pathway. Analysis of 263 F2 intercross mice revealed significant linkage of markers on the X chromosome to tumor multiplicity. This analyses as well as a similar genome-wide scan of 136 backcross mice found evidence for other modifier loci on chromosomes 4, 6, and 17. Identification of these modifier genes should reveal the effector pathways responsive to Odc overexpression that mediate susceptibility to skin tumorigenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have linked overexpression of ornithine decarboxylase (Odc) gene with enhanced susceptibility to mouse skin tumorigenesis. However, there is little experimental evidence suggesting that modest reductions in Odc expression might reduce tumor susceptibility. To address this issue, here we report the use of the Odc(+/-) haploinsufficiency model, in which one copy of the murine Odc gene has been inactivated by a homologous recombination. Compared with Odc(+/+) mice, Odc(+/-) mice exhibit reduced epidermal ODC enzyme activity and polyamine accumulation following treatment with the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Furthermore, following chronic TPA treatment, the characteristic hyperplastic response of the epidermis was diminished in Odc(+/-) mice. Finally, when subjected to a two-stage initiation-promotion protocol, substantially fewer skin papillomas developed in Odc(+/-) mice compared with wild-type littermates. These results support the concept that differences in tissue polyamine levels, resulting from either overexpression or reductions in ODC, are important modifiers of tumor susceptibility.
Cancer Research 03/2005; 65(4):1146-9. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated polyamine levels as a consequence of targeted overexpression of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) to murine skin enhance susceptibility to tumorigenesis in this tissue. A possible mechanism for the enhanced susceptibility phenotype is an increased sensitivity of tissues with elevated polyamine levels to the mutagenic action of carcinogens. To test this hypothesis, a transgenic mouse model containing the Big Blue transgene and also expressing a K6/ODC transgene was developed. Incorporation of the K6/ODC transgene into the Big Blue model did not affect the spontaneous lacI mutant frequency in either skin or epidermis of the double-transgenic mice. After skin treatment with single doses of either 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene or N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, however, the mutant frequency was significantly increased in the skin of double-transgenic Big Blue;K6/ODC mice compared to Big Blue controls. The increases in mutant frequency were clearly due to ODC transgene activity, since treatment of mice with the ODC inhibitor, alpha-difluoromethylornithine, completely abolished the difference in mutant frequencies between double-transgenic and Big Blue mice. These results demonstrate that intracellular polyamine levels modulate mutation induction following carcinogen exposure.
Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 02/2005; 45(1):62-9. · 3.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that the A allele of the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene is a genetic risk factor for prostate cancer. ODC is a target gene of the highly polymorphic androgen receptor (AR) gene, short alleles of which have been associated in some studies with increased prostate cancer risk. We determined ODC allele frequencies and distribution of AR alleles in American Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Europeans, and Africans. The frequency of the ODC A allele varied from 0.183 (Hispanics, Europeans) to 0.415 (Africans) with American Caucasian and African-Americans having intermediate values. The mean number of CAG repeats in the AR gene varied from 19.8 (African-Americans) to 25.1 (Hispanics). It is possible that ethnic differences in risk alleles for ODC and AR may account for some of the ethnic variation in prostate cancer risk.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Targeted overexpression of an ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) transgene to mouse skin (the K6/ODC mouse) significantly enhances susceptibility to carcinogenesis. While in most strain backgrounds the predominant tumor type resulting from initiation-promotion protocols is benign squamous papilloma, K6/ODC mice on a FVB/N background develop malignant squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) rapidly and in high multiplicity after carcinogen treatment. We have investigated the utility of polyamine-based therapy against SCCs in this model using the ODC inhibitor 2-difluoromethylornithine delivered orally. At a 2% concentration in drinking water, DFMO caused rapid tumor regression, but in most cases, tumors eventually regrew rapidly even in the presence of DFMO. The tumors that regrew were spindle cell carcinomas, an aggressive undifferentiated variant of SCC. At 1% DFMO in the drinking water, tumors also responded rapidly, but tumor regrowth did not occur. The majority of DFMO-treated SCCs were classified as complete responses, and in some cases, apparent tumor cures were achieved. The enzymatic activity of ODC, the target of DFMO, was substantially reduced after treatment with 1% DFMO and the high SCC polyamine levels, especially putrescine, were also significantly lowered. Based on the results of BrdUrd labeling and TUNEL assays, the effect of DFMO on SCC growth was accompanied by a significant reduction in tumor proliferation with no increase in the apoptotic index. These results demonstrate that SCCs, at least in the mouse, are particularly sensitive to polyamine-based therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A single nucleotide substitution of guanine to adenine (A) at base +316 in the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene may be associated with greater ODC expression and increased tumor growth. ODC is induced by androgens in human prostatic epithelial cells, presumably via transcriptional activation of androgen receptor (AR) and also by nicotine. A nested case-control study was done to examine the association between this ODC genotype and prostate cancer risk, and whether it varies by AR gene CAG repeat length and smoking.
A total of 164 cases were matched to 2 controls each from a community based cohort. ODC and AR genotyping was performed using a TaqMan (PE Applied Biosystems, Foster City, California) based assay and automated fragment analysis, respectively. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the OR and 95% CI.
The presence of the ODC A allele was not significantly associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer (OR 1.33, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.96). However, men who inherited at least 1 ODC A alleles and less than 22 AR CAG repeats were at twice the risk of prostate cancer compared with those with 2 guanine alleles and 22 or greater AR CAG repeats (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.23 to 3.57). Smoking was associated with prostate cancer only in men carrying a least 1 ODC A allele (p interaction = 0.02).
The ODC A allele was not associated with a statistically significant increased risk of prostate cancer. However, this association may vary according to the number of CAG repeats in the AR receptor and smoking status.
The Journal of Urology 03/2004; 171(2 Pt 1):652-5. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most sporadic colon adenomas acquire mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli gene (APC) and show defects in APC-dependent signaling. APC influences the expression of several genes, including the c-myc oncogene and its antagonist Mad1. Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the first enzyme in polyamine synthesis, is a transcriptional target of c-myc and a modifier of APC-dependent tumorigenesis. A single-nucleotide polymorphism exists in intron 1 of the human ODC gene, which lies between two myc-binding domains. This region is known to affect ODC transcription, but no data exist on the relationship of this polymorphism to risk of colorectal neoplasia in humans. We show that individuals homozygous for the minor ODC A-allele who reported using aspirin are approximately 0.10 times as likely to have an adenoma recurrence as non-aspirin users homozygous for the major G-allele. Mad1 selectively suppressed the activity of the ODC promoter containing the A-allele, but not the G-allele, in a human colon cancer-derived cell line (HT29). Aspirin (>or=10 microM) did not affect ODC allele-specific promoter activity but did activate polyamine catabolism and lower polyamine content in HT29 cells. We propose that the ODC polymorphism and aspirin act independently to reduce the risk of adenoma recurrence by suppressing synthesis and activating catabolism, respectively, of colonic mucosal polyamines. These findings confirm the hypothesis that the ODC polymorphism is a genetic marker for colon cancer risk, and support the use of ODC inhibitors and aspirin, or other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), in combination as a strategy for colon cancer prevention.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2003; 100(13):7859-64. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transgenic mice expressing proteins altering polyamine levels in a tissue-specific manner have considerable promise for evaluation of the roles of polyamines in normal, hypertrophic and neoplastic growth. This short review summarizes the available transgenic models. Mice with large increases in ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase or antizyme, a protein regulating polyamine synthesis by reducing polyamine transport and ODC in the heart, have been produced using constructs in which the protein is expressed from the alpha -myosin heavy-chain promoter. These mice are useful in studies of the role of polyamines in hypertrophic growth. Expression from keratin promoters has been used to target increased synthesis of ODC, spermidine/spermine-N(1)-acetyltransferase (SSAT) and antizyme in the skin. Such expression of ODC leads to an increased sensitivity to chemical and UV carcinogenesis. Expression of antizyme inhibits carcinogenesis in skin and forestomach. Expression of SSAT increases the incidence of skin papillomas and their progression to carcinomas in response to a two-stage carcinogenesis protocol. These results establish the importance of polyamines in carcinogenesis and neoplastic growth and these transgenic mice will be valuable experimental tools to evaluate the importance of polyamines in mediating responses to oncogenes and studies of cancer chemoprevention.
Biochemical Society Transactions 05/2003; 31(2):356-60. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have associated polymorphisms in the androgen receptor gene with the risk of developing hormone-dependent cancers. A highly polymorphic (CAG)n repeat in exon 1 encodes a polyglutamine tract of varying length. The determination of the number of CAG repeats in the androgen receptor has typically been performed on denaturing polyacrylamide gels with autoradiographic orfluorescent detection of differently sized alleles. Samples run on a capillary electrophoresis-based ABI Prism 310 Genetic Analyzer gave anomalous results when internal standards supplied by the manufacturer were used Here we report a modified procedure for androgen receptor allele size determination that can be used on an automated capillary electrophoresis-based DNA sequencer equipped with the appropriate software. The assay is very precise, comparable to DNA sequencing, and is compatible with the latest generation of automated DNA sequencers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overexpression of an ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) transgene greatly increases the susceptibility of mouse skin to carcinogen-induced tumor development. Like many phenotypes in transgenic models, this enhanced susceptibility phenotype is strongly influenced by genetic background. We have mapped tumor-modifier genes in intraspecific crosses between transgenic K6/ODC mice on a susceptible strain background (C57Bl/6J), a moderately resistant background (FVB), or a highly resistant background (C3H/HeJ). We identified several quantitative trait loci that influenced either tumor multiplicity or predisposition to the development of squamous cell carcinoma, but not both phenotypes. Because we did not use a tumor-promotion protocol to induce tumors, most of the quantitative trait loci mapped in this study are distinct from skin tumor-susceptibility loci identified previously. The use of a combined transgenic-standard strain approach to genetic analysis has resulted in detection of previously unknown genetic loci affecting skin tumor susceptibility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A transgenic mouse line expressing a truncated form of the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) dominant-negative mutant K69A/C360A under the control of the keratin 6 promoter has been established (K6/ODCdn mice). These mice were backcrossed onto both the DBA/2J and C57BL/6J backgrounds for subsequent tumorigenesis experiments utilizing an initiation/promotion protocol. In short-term experiments, expression of the ODCdn protein product was induced in the epidermis within 24 h after application of the tumor promoter tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA) to the skin, and ODC activity in the epidermis of K6/ODCdn mice was reduced by at least 75% compared with littermate controls. However, in tumorigenesis experiments utilizing a variety of initiator (7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene; DMBA) and promoter (TPA) concentrations, K6/ODCdn mice formed at least as many tumors as their littermate controls regardless of background strain. In experiments utilizing chrysarobin, a tumor promoter with a different mechanism of action than TPA, again there was no significant difference in tumor formation between K6/ODCdn mice and littermate controls. Similarly, when K6/ODCdn mice were crossed with K5/ODC mice, a transgenic line described previously which forms tumors without application of a promoting agent, double transgenic mice formed as many tumors as mice expressing the K5/ODC transgene alone. Analysis of epidermis following multiple TPA applications revealed a dramatic spike in ODC activity in both K6/ODCdn mice and non-transgenic mice after six applications, and western blot analysis suggested a stabilization of endogenous wild-type ODC in K6/ODCdn transgenic mice. ODC activity, endogenous protein and polyamines were also elevated in tumors from K6/ODCdn mice. The accumulation of endogenous ODC protein is most probably the result of competition from the transgene-derived ODCdn protein for binding of antizyme, which is known to regulate ODC activity by stimulating degradation of the ODC protein.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The bovine keratin 6 gene promoter was used to target expression of spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SSAT) to epidermal keratinocytes in the hair follicle of transgenic mice. K6-SSAT transgenic mice appeared to be phenotypically normal and were indistinguishable from normal littermates until subjected to a two-stage tumorigenesis protocol. For such tumorigenesis studies, mice were bred for six generations onto a tumor promoter resistant C57BL/6 background strain. K6-SSAT transgenic mice showed a 10-fold increase in the number of epidermal tumors that developed in response to a single application of 400 nmol of the tumor initiator 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene followed by twice weekly applications of 17 nmol of the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate for 19 weeks. Tumor samples from transgenic animals showed marked elevations in SSAT enzyme activity and SSAT protein levels compared with tumors from non-transgenic littermates, and the accompanying changes in putrescine and N1-acetylspermidine pools indicated activation of SSAT-mediated polyamine catabolism in transgenic animals. An unusually high number of tumors were shown both grossly and histologically to have progressed to carcinomas in this model and these occurred with an early latency and only in mice carrying the K6-SSAT transgene. These results suggest that activation of polyamine catabolism leading to increases in putrescine and N1-acetylspermidine may play a key role in chemically induced mouse skin neoplasia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been known for > 10 years that there are two alleles of the human ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene, defined by a polymorphic PstI RFLP in intron 1. We have sequenced a large portion of each of the two alleles, including some of the 5' promoter region, exon 1, intron 1, and exon 2, and determined that a single nucleotide polymorphism at base +317 (relative to transcription start site) is responsible for the presence or absence of the PstI restriction site. We have developed two genotyping assays, a PCR-RFLP assay and a high-throughput TaqMan-based method, and determined the ODC genotype distribution in >900 North American DNA samples. On the basis of its location between two closely spaced Myc/Max binding sites (E-boxes), we speculated that the single nucleotide polymorphism at base +317 could have functional significance. Results of transfection assays with allele-specific reporter constructs support this hypothesis. The promoter/regulatory region derived from the minor ODC allele (A allele) was more effective in driving luciferase expression in these assays than the identical region from the major allele (G allele). Our results suggest that individuals homozygous for the A allele may be capable of greater ODC expression after environmental exposures, especially those that up-regulate c-MYC expression.
Cancer Research 12/2000; 60(22):6314-7. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A transgenic mouse model was developed in which ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) can be overexpressed in a tissue-specific and regulated manner. Hair follicle keratinocytes were targeted by use of a bovine keratin 6 (K6) promoter/regulatory region, and regulation was accomplished by using the tetracycline-regulated transactivator/tetracycline-response element system. Double-transgenic mice carrying both transgenes (K6/tetracycline-regulatable transactivator protein (tTA) and tetracycline-response element/Odc) on a C57Bl/6 background had no obvious phenotypic abnormalities in the absence (Odc transgene-expressed) of doxycycline (a tetracycline analog) in the drinking water. However, induction of K6-driven tTA expression by the tumor promoter (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate) (TPA) led to very high levels of epidermal ODC activity and robust hyperplasia, especially involving hair follicles. Both effects were abolished by inclusion of doxycycline in the drinking water to repress transgene expression. Finally, the number of papillomas that developed in a standard (7,12-dimethybenz[a]anthracene) (DMBA)/TPA protocol was greatly reduced in mice in which transgenic Odc expression was repressed by doxycycline. Our results demonstrated that the higher levels of ODC expression produced in the transgenic model in the induced versus the repressed condition make the normally promotion-resistant C57Bl/6 strain much more sensitive to the short-term and long-term (i.e., tumor-promoting) effects of TPA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In standard mouse strains, a high proportion (more than 90%) of epidermal tumors produced by initiation with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene and promotion with a variety of chemical agents contain an activating mutation in codon 61 (A182-->T) of the c-Ha-ras gene. We analyzed the ras mutational spectra in 69 tumors induced by DMBA in a unique transgenic model, the K6/ODC mouse. In this model, low-dose DMBA treatment is sufficient per se for tumor induction, so tumor promotion with chemical agents is not required. In contrast to previous studies in standard mouse strains, our study showed that less than 50% of epidermal tumors from K6/ODC mice contained an activating codon 61 c-Ha-ras mutation (A182-->T). This result was obtained in mice initiated either as newborns (when the transgene is not expressed) or as adults (when the transgene is fully expressed). Analysis of other codon hot-spots and other ras genes revealed the presence of three codon 12 and 20 codon 61 (A182-->T) mutations in the c-Ki-ras gene in the 36 tumors that did not have c-Ha-ras mutations. We concluded that promotion in this model, by means of constitutive ornithine decarboxylase expression, causes the clonal expansion of a population of initiated cells not promoted by chemical agents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of modulating AP-1 activity on the levels of induced erythroid and megakaryocytic differentiation of the erythroleukemia cell line K562 was examined. Cells were stably transfected with expression vectors encoding either a tetracycline-responsive dominant negative c-Jun (JunDN) or a hybrid Raf protein inducible by estrogen. Down-regulation of AP-1 activity by induction of JunDN enhanced erythroid differentiation by two agents, cytosine arabinoside and activin A. Induction of AP-1 activity by elevated Raf activity inhibited erythroid differentiation, thus mimicking the well-known effect of tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA) on this process. Induced Raf activity also brought about partial megakaryocytic differentiation of the line. However, inhibition of TPA-induced AP-1 activity by induction of JunDN gave mixed results. While the cytological effects of TPA treatment observed on cytochemical staining were inhibited by JunDN, two protein markers for megakaryocytic differentiation were increased. These results, while supportive of current models of hematopoietic lineage-specific gene expression, suggest a complex and temporal mechanism of lineage commitment.
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 05/1998; 352(2):298-305. · 3.37 Impact Factor