[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: VILIP-1, a member of the neuronal Ca(2+) sensor protein family, is able to act as a tumor suppressor in carcinoma cells by inhibiting cell proliferation and migration. In order to study the role of VILIP-1 in skin carcinogenesis we generated transgenic mice overexpressing VILIP-1 in epidermis under the control of the bovine keratin K5 promoter (K5-VILIP-1). We studied the susceptibility of FVB wild type and VILIP-1 transgenic mice to chemically mediated carcinogenesis. After 30 weeks of treatment with a two-stage carcinogenesis protocol, all animals showed numerous skin tumors. Nevertheless, K5-VILIP-1 mice showed decreased squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) multiplicity of approximately 49% (p<0.02) with respect to the corresponding SCC multiplicity observed in wild type (WT) mice. In addition, the relative percentage of low-grade cutaneous SCCs grade I (defined by the differentiation pattern according to the Broders grading scale) increased approximately 50% in the K5-VILIP1 mice when compared with SCCs in WT mice. Similar tendency was observed using a complete carcinogenesis protocol for skin carcinogenesis using benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P). Further studies of tumors and primary epidermal keratinocyte cultures showed that matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) levels and cell proliferation decreased in K5-VILIP-1 mice when compared with their wild counterparts. In addition tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) expression was higher in K5-VILIP-1 keratinocytes. These results show that VILIP-1 overexpression decreases the susceptibility to skin carcinogenesis in experimental mouse cancer models, thus supporting its role as a tumor suppressor gene.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(4):e10196. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proprotein convertases (PCs) are a group of Ca2+-dependent serine proteases that have homology to the endoproteases subtilisin (bacteria) and kexin (yeast). This group is comprised of less than a dozen members, known as furin/PACE, PC1/PC3, PC2, PC4, PACE4, PC5/PC6, PC7/PC8/LPC, SKI/S1P, and NARC-1/PCSK9. Four PCs (Furin, PACE4, PC5, and PC7) have been localized to several different tissues and epithelial or nervous system tumors. PCs activate their cognate substrates by limited proteolysis at the consensus sequence RXR/KR downward arrow. Many PC substrates are well known cancer-associated proteins such as growth factors, growth factor receptors, integrins, and matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). For example, IGF-1 and its receptor, TGF-beta, VEGF-C, and MT-MMPs have direct roles in tumor progression and metastasis. Furin, a well-studied member of the PC family, has been associated with enhanced invasion and proliferation in head and neck, breast, and lung cancer. Conversely, inhibition of PC activity by PDX or several PC pro-segments, resulted in reduced processing of these key cancer-related substrates in human squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), colon adenocarcinoma, and astrocytoma cell lines. In parallel to these changes in cell proliferation and invasiveness as well as metastatic ability were markedly impaired. By controlling the maturation/activation of key cancer-associated proteins, PCs act as "master switches" at different levels during tumor development and progression. The manifold effects of PCs, influencing tumor cell proliferation, motility, adhesiveness, and invasiveness, should be exploited by further developing competitive/inhibitory therapeutic strategies that would be able to neutralize simultaneously the most salient cancer cell properties.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Collagen type IV degradation results in disruption and breakdown of the normal basement membrane architecture, a key process in the initiation of tumor microinvasion into the connective tissue. PACE4, a proprotein convertase, activates membrane type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs) that in turn process collagenase type IV. Because PACE4 is overexpressed in skin carcinomas and in vitro overexpression of PACE4 resulted in enhanced invasiveness, we investigated whether or not in vivo PACE4 expression leads to the acquisition of invasiveness and increased tumorigenesis. Two transgenic mouse lines were designed by targeting PACE4 to the epidermal basal keratinocytes. Transgenic keratinocytes showed increased processing of MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP resulting in collagenase IV activation and collagen type IV degradation. Higher collagenolytic activity partially disrupted normal basement membrane architecture favoring epithelial endophytic growth into the dermis and accelerating invasion and metastasis after chemical carcinogenesis. PACE4 overexpression resulted in enhanced susceptibility to carcinogenesis and tumor progression pointing to a new target for blocking tumor cell invasiveness.
Cancer Research 09/2005; 65(16):7310-9. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor invasiveness is an intrinsic feature of most glial tumors that accounts for their malignant and locally destructive nature. We evaluated the subcutaneous (sc) tumorigenicity and in vivo invasiveness of 9 astrocytoma cell lines together with their respective metalloprotease activity in order to establish their biologic behavior and malignant potential. Invasiveness was assessed with an in vivo invasion assay using tracheal xenotransplants subcutaneously implanted into Scid mice. This assay permitted us to evaluate the penetration of tumor cells into the transplanted deepithelialized tracheas previously inoculated with either normal primary glial cells or with astrocytoma-derived cell lines. Although only 2 cell lines were tumorigenic after sc inoculation, 5 out of 9 tumor cell lines were tumorigenic in the tracheal graft system. The astrocytoma cell lines showed varying levels of penetration into the tracheal wall. The tumor lines GOS3, M059K, CCFSTTG1 and A172, as well as primary normal astrocytes, were nontumorigenic and noninvasive in this experimental model. LN405, SW1088 and SW1783 cells that were not tumorigenic as sc xenotransplants, on the other hand, grew well in the tracheal graft system showing low levels of in vivo invasiveness. U87MG and U118MG cells were tumorigenic as sc xenotransplants and showed high levels of invasiveness. In parallel to these in vivo studies, the constitutive levels of secreted gelatinases and stromelysins (MMP-3 and MMP-11) were investigated using conditioned media submitted to gelatin or casein-substrate zymography and Western blot analysis. Neither the gelatinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) nor MMP-11 showed a direct correlation with the levels of in vivo tumor cell invasiveness. Conversely, secretion of MMP-3 correlated closely with tumorigenicity and invasiveness. In vitro tumor cell invasiveness was significantly reduced after incubation with the metalloproteinase inhibitor GM6001. This positive correlation between MMP-3 and the depth of tracheal wall penetration led us to conclude that the invasive properties of brain tumor cells may be due to the direct or indirect proteolytic effects of MMP-3 on extracellular matrix (ECM) macromolecules and that this enzyme might be a potential target for future therapies.
International Journal of Cancer 10/2003; 106(5):676-82. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visinin-like protein-1 (VILIP-1) is a member of the neuronal EF-hand Ca(2+)-sensor protein family. VILIP-1 is expressed in the central nervous system where it plays a crucial role in regulating cAMP levels, cell signaling, and differentiation. Screening of mouse skin tumor cell lines for differentially expressed genes showed high-level VILIP-1 expression in less aggressive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and papilloma cell lines. Conversely, expression was markedly decreased or lost in invasive SCC and spindle cell carcinoma cell lines. In addition, immunohistochemistry of normal skin and primary tumors showed that VILIP-1 is expressed in basal cells of the normal intrafollicular epidermis as well as in basal cells of papillomas. The expression was decreased in low-grade SCCs and disappeared in most high-grade SCCs. When two high-grade carcinoma cell lines were transfected with VILIP1-cDNA, the VILIP-1 transfectants had significantly higher cAMP levels than the respective vector alone-transfected lines. VILIP-1-transfected cells were less invasive (both in vivo and in vitro) than the control transfectants. Reduced invasiveness and elevation of cAMP levels were accompanied by decreased MMP-9, as well as decreased RhoA activity. These results indicate that VILIP-1 plays an important role in regulating tumor cell invasiveness and that its loss could aid in enhancing the advanced malignant phenotype.
Cancer Research 09/2003; 63(16):4997-5004. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many proteins are synthesized as inactive proforms requiring a proteolytic processing to render them active. A variety of proteases catalyze these cleavage reactions. Proprotein convertases are a family of serine proteases capable of activating substrates that will subsequently intervene in extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, cell growth, differentiation and viral pathogenesis. Furin, the prototype of this family, has been implicated in many physiological and pathological processes. Some of its substrates such as TGF-beta, MT-MMP's, and IGFR-1 have been identified. Overexpression of furin has been observed in several human tumors. In this report we demonstrate that overexpression of furin causes a significant increase in the invasive potential of human tumor cells of low and moderate aggressive potential in vitro and in vivo. SCC12 and SCC15 were transfected with furin cDNA, resulting in efficient processing of furin substrates. An in vivo invasion assay showed enhancement of invasive ability. Inhibition of furin activity with the synthetic inhibitor decanoyl-Arg-Val-Lys-Arg-chloromethyl-ketone, CMK, showed a significant decrease in both processing and in vitro invasiveness. A moderate enhancement in proliferation rate was observed when cells were transfected with furin. CMK treatment resulted in a marked reduction of this effect. Tumors obtained after subcutaneous (s.c.) inoculation of furin-overexpressing cells were larger and developed earlier than the controls. Furin overexpression caused an imbalance in the activation of invasion and proliferation-related substrates leading to the acquisition of an advanced malignant phenotype. In addition, inhibition of furin activity decreases substrate activation, proliferation rate, and invasive potential of cancer cells, suggesting that furin is a potentially useful target for therapeutics.
American Journal Of Pathology 03/2003; 162(2):439-47. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Astrocytoma arises in the central nervous system as a tumor of great lethality, in part because of the invasive potential of the neoplastic cells that are able to release extracellular matrix-degrading enzymes. Furin convertase activates several precursor matrix metalloproteases involved in the breakdown of the extracellular matrix. In the present study inhibition of furin was achieved by gene transfer of alpha(1)-antitrypsin Portland (PDX) cDNA.
This furin inhibitor was transfected into two tumorigenic astrocytoma cell lines. The inhibitory effect was evaluated using in vivo tumorigenicity, invasion, and proliferation assays, as well as by investigating impairment of furin substrate processing.
Expression of PDX prevented the s.c. growth of the transfected cells. Invasion assays demonstrated that PDX-transfected cells exhibited a reduced invasive ability in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, s.c. growth of PDX transfectant xenotransplants showed a significant reduction in size that coincided with a significant decrease of the in vitro doubling time and of the in vivo cell proliferation ability. Additional studies showed that the furin substrates insulin-like growth factor IR, transforming growth factor beta and membrane type 1-matrix metalloprotease were not activated in PDX-expressing astrocytoma cells.
PDX expression in astrocytoma cells demonstrated a direct mechanistic link between furin inhibition, and decreased astrocytoma proliferation and invasive ability. Because furin inhibition inhibits both invasiveness and cell growth in astrocytoma, furin should be considered a promising target for glioblastoma therapy.
Clinical Cancer Research 07/2002; 8(6):1740-6. · 7.84 Impact Factor