[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cripto-1 (CR-1)/Teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor1 (TDGF-1) is a cell surface glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked glycoprotein that can function either in cis (autocrine) or in trans (paracrine). The cell membrane cis form is found in lipid rafts and endosomes while the trans acting form lacking the GPI anchor is soluble. As a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF)/Cripto-1-FRL-1-Cryptic (CFC) family, CR-1 functions as an obligatory co-receptor for the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family members, Nodal and growth and differentiation factors 1 and 3 (GDF1/3) by activating Alk4/Alk7 signaling pathways that involve Smads 2, 3 and 4. In addition, CR-1 can activate non-Smad-dependent signaling elements such as PI3K, Akt and MAPK. Both of these pathways depend upon the 78kDa glucose regulated protein (GRP78). Finally, CR-1 can facilitate signaling through the canonical Wnt/β-catenin and Notch/Cbf-1 pathways by functioning as a chaperone protein for LRP5/6 and Notch, respectively. CR-1 is essential for early embryonic development and maintains embryonic stem cell pluripotentiality. CR-1 performs an essential role in the etiology and progression of several types of human tumors where it is expressed in a population of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and facilitates epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this context, CR-1 can significantly enhance tumor cell migration, invasion and angiogenesis. Collectively, these facts suggest that CR-1 may be an attractive target in the diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of several types of human cancer.
Seminars in Cancer Biology 08/2014; · 7.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The majority of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harbor EGFR-activating mutations that can be therapeutically targeted by EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKI), such as erlotinib and gefitinib. Unfortunately, a subset of patients with EGFR mutations are refractory to EGFR-TKIs. Resistance to EGFR inhibitors reportedly involves SRC activation and induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here, we have demonstrated that overexpression of CRIPTO1, an EGF-CFC protein family member, renders EGFR-TKI-sensitive and EGFR-mutated NSCLC cells resistant to erlotinib in culture and in murine xenograft models. Furthermore, tumors from NSCLC patients with EGFR-activating mutations that were intrinsically resistant to EGFR-TKIs expressed higher levels of CRIPTO1 compared with tumors from patients that were sensitive to EGFR-TKIs. Primary NSCLC cells derived from a patient with EGFR-mutated NSCLC that was intrinsically erlotinib resistant were CRIPTO1 positive, but gained erlotinib sensitivity upon loss of CRIPTO1 expression during culture. CRIPTO1 activated SRC and ZEB1 to promote EMT via microRNA-205 (miR-205) downregulation. While miR-205 depletion induced erlotinib resistance, miR-205 overexpression inhibited CRIPTO1-dependent ZEB1 and SRC activation, restoring erlotinib sensitivity. CRIPTO1-induced erlotinib resistance was directly mediated through SRC but not ZEB1; therefore, cotargeting EGFR and SRC synergistically attenuated growth of erlotinib-resistant, CRIPTO1-positive, EGFR-mutated NSCLC cells in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that this combination may overcome intrinsic EGFR-inhibitor resistance in patients with CRIPTO1-positive, EGFR-mutated NSCLC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the encapsulation of paclitaxel into liposomes has been extensively studied, its significant hydrophobic and uncharged character has generated substantial difficulties concerning its efficient encapsulation into the inner water core of liposomes. We found that a more hydrophilic paclitaxel molecule, 7-glucosyloxyacetylpaclitaxel, retained tubulin polymerization stabilization activity. The hydrophilic nature of 7-glucosyloxyacetylpaclitaxel allowed its efficient encapsulation into the inner water core of liposomes, which was successfully accomplished using a remote loading method with a solubility gradient between 40% ethylene glycol and Cremophor EL/ethanol in PBS. Trastuzumab was then conjugated onto the surface of liposomes as immunoliposomes to selectively target human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)-overexpressing cancer cells. In vitro cytotoxicity assays revealed that the immunoliposomes enhanced the toxicity of 7-glucosyloxyacetylpaclitaxel in HER2-overexpressing cancer cells and showed more rapid suppression of cell growth. The immunoliposomes strongly inhibited the tumor growth of HT-29 cells xenografted in nude mice. Notably, mice survived when treated with the immunoliposomes formulation, even when administered at a lethal dose of 7-glucosyloxyacetylpaclitaxel in vivo. This data successfully demonstrates immunoliposomes as a promising candidate for the efficient delivery of paclitaxel glycoside.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(9):e107976. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells may be a powerful tool in regenerative medicine, but their potential tumorigenicity is a significant challenge for the clinical use of iPS cells. Previously, we succeeded in converting miPS cells into cancer stem cells (CSCs) under the conditions of tumor microenvironment. Both stem cells and tumor cells are profoundly influenced by bi-directional communication with their respective microenvironment, which dictates cell fate determination and behavior. The microenvironment derived from iPS cells has not been well studied. In this paper, we have investigated the effects of secreted factors from Nanog-mouse iPS (miPS) cells on mouse Lewis lung cancer (LLC) cells that are found in the conditioned media. The results demonstrated that miPS cells secrete factors that can convert the epithelia phenotype of LLC cells to a mesenchymal phenotype, and that can promote tumorigenisity, migration and invasion. Furthermore, LLC cells that have been exposed to miPS conditioned medium became resistant to apoptosis. These various biological effects suggest that the miPS microenvironment contain factors that can promote an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) through an active Snail-MMP axis or by suppressing differentiation in LLC cells.
American Journal of Cancer Research 01/2014; 4(1):80-88. · 2.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have shown that cancer niche can perform an active role in the regulation of tumor cell maintenance and progression through extracellular vesicles-based intercellular communication. However, it has not been reported whether this vesicle-mediated communication affects the malignant transformation of normal stem cells/progenitors. We have previously reported that the conditioned medium derived from the mouse Lewis Lung Carcinoma (LLC) cell line can convert mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (miPSCs) into cancer stem cells (CSCs), indicating that normal stem cells when placed in an aberrant microenvironment can give rise to functionally active CSCs. Here, we focused on the contribution of tumor-derived extracellular vesicles (tEVs) that are secreted from LLC cells to induce the transformation of miPSCs into CSCs. We isolated tEVs from the conditioned medium of LLC cells, and then the differentiating miPSCs were exposed to tEVs for 4 weeks. The resultant tEV treated cells (miPS-LLCev) expressed Nanog and Oct3/4 proteins comparable to miPSCs. The frequency of sphere formation of the miPS-LLCev cells in suspension culture indicated that the self-renewal capacity of the miPS-LLCev cells was significant. When the miPS-LLCev cells were subcutaneously transplanted into Balb/c nude mice, malignant liposarcomas with extensive angiogenesis developed. miPS-LLCevPT and miPS-LLCevDT, the cells established from primary site and disseminated liposarcomas, respectively, showed their capacities to self-renew and differentiate into adipocytes and endothelial cells. Moreover, we confirmed the secondary liposarcoma development when these cells were transplanted. Taken together, these results indicate that miPS-LLCev cells possess CSC properties. Thus, our current study provides the first evidence that tEVs have the potential to induce CSC properties in normal tissue stem cells/progenitors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The self-renewal and differentiation properties of cancer stem cells (CSCs) are regulated and maintained by the CSC niche. However, the mechanism of this maintenance, especially the maintenance contributed by differentiated cancer cells, remains to be fully elucidated. Recently, we have established a model of CSCs, miPS-LLCcm, from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (miPSCs). In vitro cultured miPS-LLCcm cells were autonomously balanced with stem-like cells and differentiated cells including vascular endothelial cells. Under these conditions, the CSC properties appeared to be stable in the presence of the factor(s) secreted by the differentiated cells. The factor(s) activated Notch signaling and promoted self-renewal of CSCs. In addition, the secreted factor(s) appeared to regulate the differentiation lineage of CSCs. Our results indicate that the differentiated progenies of CSCs containing vascular endothelium play important roles for regulating the CSC's properties. Therefore, miPS-LLCcm cells create their own in vitro niche to maintain themselves in the hierarchy of differentiating CSCs.
International Journal of Cancer 12/2013; · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gut hormone apelin is a major therapeutic focus for several diseases involving inflammation and aberrant cell growth. We investigated whether apelin-36 contained alternative bioactive peptides associated with normal physiology or disease. Amino acid sequence analysis of apelin-36 identified an amidation motif consistent with the formation of a secondary bioactive peptide (SCNH2). SCNH2 is proven to be mitogenic and chemotactic in normal/malignant cells and augments angiogenesis via a PTX-resistant/CT-X-sensitive G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Notably, SCNH2 is substantially more potent and sensitive than apelin-13 and vascular endothelial growth factor-A. Endogenous SCNH2 is highly expressed in human tumors and placenta and in mouse embryonic tissues. Our findings demonstrate that SCNH2 is a new apelinergic member with critical pluripotent roles in angiogenesis related diseases and embryogenesis via a non-APJ GPCR.
Open Journal of Clinical Diagnostics 06/2013; 3(2):37-51.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cripto-1 (CR-1) protein function differs according to cellular or extracellular expression. In this study, we explore the significance of cell surface CR-1 expression in human melanoma cells. Cell surface CR-1-expressing human melanoma cells (CR1-CS+) were selected by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) cell sorting and grown in vitro and in vivo in nude mice to study their growth characteristics. The CR1-CS+ melanoma cells were found to express increased levels of Oct4, MDR-1 and activated c-Src compared with cells lacking this subpopulation (CR1-CS-) or unsorted cells, used as control. CR1-CS+ show reduced proliferation rates and diminished spherical colony formation compared with control cells when cultured in vitro. Orthotopic injections of CR1-CS+ in nude mice formed slow growing tumors with histologic variability across different areas of the CR1-CS+ xenografts. CR-1-expressing cells from first generation CR1-CS+ tumors showed significantly increased tumor-forming rate and aggressiveness following subsequent transplants in nude mice. These data demonstrate that within a heterogeneous melanoma cell population there resides a slow proliferating, cell surface CR-1-expressing subpopulation capable of giving rise to a fast growing, aggressive progeny that may contribute to disease recurrence and progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experiments were conducted to redirect mouse Embryonic Stem (ES) cells from a tumorigenic phenotype to a normal mammary epithelial phenotype in vivo. Mixing LacZ-labeled ES cells with normal mouse mammary epithelial cells at ratios of 1∶5 and 1∶50 in phosphate buffered saline and immediately inoculating them into epithelium-divested mammary fat pads of immune-compromised mice accomplished this. Our results indicate that tumorigenesis occurs only when normal mammary ductal growth is not achieved in the inoculated fat pads. When normal mammary gland growth occurs, we find ES cells (LacZ+) progeny interspersed with normal mammary cell progeny in the mammary epithelial structures. We demonstrate that these progeny, marked by LacZ expression, differentiate into multiple epithelial subtypes including steroid receptor positive luminal cells and myoepithelial cells indicating that the ES cells are capable of epithelial multipotency in this context but do not form teratomas. In addition, in secondary transplants, ES cell progeny proliferate, contribute apparently normal mammary progeny, maintain their multipotency and do not produce teratomas.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e62019. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The oncogenic tyrosine kinase receptor ErbB2 is a prognostic factor and target for breast cancer therapeutics. In contrast with the other ErbB receptors, ErbB2 is hardly internalized by ligand induced mechanisms, indicating a prevalent surface expression. Elevated levels of ErbB2 in tumor cells are associated with its defective endocytosis and down regulation. Here we show that caveolin-1 expression in breast cancer derived SKBR-3 cells (SKBR-3/Cav-1) facilitates ligand induced ErbB2 endocytosis using an artificial peptide ligand EC-eGFP. Similarly, stimulation with humanized anti ErbB2 antibody Trastuzumab (Herceptin) was found to be internalized and co-localized with caveolin-1 in SKBR-3/Cav-1 cells. Internalized EC-eGFP and Trastuzumab in SKBR-3/Cav-1 cells were then delivered via caveolae to the caveolin-1 containing early endosomes. Consequently, attenuated Fc receptor mediated ADCC functions were observed when exposed to Trastuzumab and EC-Fc (EC-1 peptide conjugated to Fc part of human IgG). On the other hand, this caveolae dependent endocytic synergy was not observed in parental SKBR-3 cells. Therefore, caveolin-1 expression in breast cancer cells could be a predictive factor to estimate how cancer cells are likely to respond to Trastuzumab treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells (CSC) are thought to be responsible for tumor maintenance and heterogeneity. Bona fide CSC purified from tumor biopsies are limited in supply and this hampers study of CSC biology. Furthermore, purified stem-like CSC subpopulations from existing tumor lines are unstable in culture. Finding a means to overcome these technical challenges would be a useful goal. In a first effort towards this, we examined whether a chemical probe that promotes survival of murine embryonic stem cells without added exogenous factors can alter functional characteristics in extant tumor lines in a fashion consistent with a CSC phenotype.
The seven tumor lines of the NCI60 colon subpanel were exposed to SC-1 (pluripotin), a dual kinase and GTPase inhibitor that promotes self-renewal, and then examined for tumorigenicity under limiting dilution conditions and clonogenic activity in soft agar. A statistically significant increase in tumor formation following SC-1 treatment was observed (p<0.04). Cloning efficiencies and expression of putative CSC surface antigens (CD133 and CD44) were also increased. SC-1 treatment led to sphere formation in some colon tumor lines. Finally, SC-1 inhibited in vitro kinase activity of RSK2, and another RSK2 inhibitor increased colony formation implicating a role for this kinase in eliciting a CSC phenotype.
These findings validate a proof of concept study exposure of extant tumor lines to a small molecule may provide a tractable in vitro model for understanding CSC biology.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e57099. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have developed novel phenotypic fluorescent three-dimensional co-culture platforms that efficiently and economically screen anti-angiogenic/anti-metastatic drugs on a high-throughput scale. Individual cell populations can be identified and isolated for protein/gene expression profiling studies and cellular movement/interactions can be tracked by time-lapse cinematography. More importantly, these platforms closely parallel the in vivo angiogenic and metastatic outcomes of a given tumor xenograft in the nude mouse model but, unlike in vivo models, our co-culture platforms produce comparable results in five to nine days. Potentially, by incorporating cancer patient biopsies, the co-culture platforms should greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of personalized chemotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because three-dimensional (3D) in vitro models are more accurate than 2D cell culture models and faster and cheaper than animal models, they have become a prospective trend in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields, especially for personalized and targeted therapies. Because appropriate 3D models can be customized to mimic the in vivo microenvironment wherein various cell populations grow within an intricate but well organized extracellular matrix (ECM), they can accurately recapitulate physiological and pathophysiological progressions. The majority of cancers are carcinomas, which originate from epithelial cells, and dynamically interact with non-malignant cells including stromal cells (fibroblasts), vascular cells (endothelial cells and pericytes), immune cells (macrophages and mast cells), and the ECM. Employing a tumor monoclonal colony, tumor xenograft or patient cancer biopsy into an in vivo-like microenvironment, the native signaling pathways, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, and cell phenotypes are preserved and our fluorescent phenotypic 3D co-culture platforms can then accurately recapitulate the tumor in vivo scenario including tumor induced angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis. In this paper, we describe a robust and standardized method to co-culture a tumor colony or biopsy with different cell populations, e.g., endothelial cells, immune cells, pericytes, etc. The procedures for recovering cells from the co-culture for molecular analyses, imaging, and analyzing are also described. We selected ECM solubilized extract derived from Engelbreth-Holm-Swam sarcoma cells. Because the 3D co-culture platforms can provide drug chemosensitivity data within 9 days that is equivalent to the results generated from mouse tumor xenograft models in 50 days, the 3D co-culture platforms are more accurate, efficient, and cost-effective and may replace animal models in the near future to predict drug efficacy, personalize therapies, prevent drug resistance, and improve the quality of life.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prior to gastrulation, the Wnt signaling pathway through stabilized β-catenin enhances the differentiation of mouse ES cell into cardiomyocytes. We have recently shown that cardiomyocyte differentiation is enhanced by eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) through accelerated expression of marker genes of early cardiac differentiation. Furthermore, ECP enhanced the expression of Wnt3a in P19CL6 cells which were stimulated to differentiate into cardiomyocytes by DMSO. Following these findings, we evaluated in this study the potential of ECP to activate the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway during cardiomyocyte differentiation. Analysis by real time qPCR revealed that ECP increased the expression of Frizzled genes such as Frizzled-1, -2, -4 and -10 in P19CL6 cells in the presence of DMSO. The increased expression of those Wnt receptors was found to inhibit the phosphorylation of β-catenin resulting in the stabilization and translocation of β-catenin into the nucleus of P19CL6 cells during the early stages of cardiomyocyte differentiation. When assessed for β-catenin/TCF transcriptional activity with a TCF-luciferase (TOP/FOP) assay, ECP enhanced luciferase activity in P19CL6 cells during 48 h after transfection with TOP/FOP flash reporter in a stoichiometric manner. Collectively, this suggests that ECP can activate a canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway by enhancing the stabilization of β-catenin during cardiomyocyte differentiation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cripto-1 is implicated in multiple cellular events, including cell proliferation, motility and angiogenesis, through the activation of an intricate network of signaling pathways. A crosstalk between Cripto-1 and the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway has been previously described. In fact, Cripto-1 is a downstream target gene of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in the embryo and in colon cancer cells and T-cell factor (Tcf)/lymphoid enhancer factor binding sites have been identified in the promoter and the first intronic region of the mouse and human Cripto-1 genes. We now demonstrate that Cripto-1 modulates signaling through the canonical Wnt/β-catenin/Tcf pathway by binding to the Wnt co-receptors low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) 5 and LRP6, which facilitates Wnt3a binding to LRP5 and LRP6. Cripto-1 functionally enhances Wnt3a signaling through cytoplasmic stabilization of β-catenin and elevated β-catenin/Tcf transcriptional activation. Conversely, Wnt3a further increases Cripto-1 stimulation of migration, invasion and colony formation in soft agar of HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells, indicating that Cripto-1 and the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling co-operate in regulating motility and in vitro transformation of mammary epithelial cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the functional role of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) in regulating cardiomyogenesis using mouse P19CL6 embryonic carcinoma cells. ECP was confirmed to accelerate the cardiomyocyte differentiation of P19CL6 cells by enhancing the rate and area size of beating of cardiomyocyte and by facilitating the expression of cardiomyocyte-specific genes, such as GATA4 and α-MHC. Since cardiomyocyte differentiation in vivo is considered to follow mesoderm induction, the induction of Brachyury, a marker of mesoderm, was assessed. Brachyury expression was found to be enhanced after the addition of ECP. This enhancement was due to the stimulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation by ECP. In this context, treatment with SU5402, an inhibitor of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor 1, suppressed Brachyury expression, phosphorylation of ERK1/2, and cardiomyocyte differentiation induced by ECP. We concluded that ECP might induce mesoderm differentiation through FGF signaling pathway and enhance subsequent cardiomyocyte differentiation in concert with dimethyl sulfoxide in P19CL6 cells. ECP may be a novel factor for cardiomyocyte differentiation, which should be very useful to prepare adequate numbers of cardiomyocytes for therapeutic cell transplantation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a critical multistep process that converts epithelial cells to more motile and invasive mesenchymal cells, contributing to body patterning and morphogenesis during embryonic development. In addition, both epithelial plasticity and increased motility and invasiveness are essential for the branching morphogenesis that occurs during development of the mammary gland and during tumor formation, allowing cancer cells to escape from the primary tumor. Cripto-1, a member of the epidermal growth factor-Cripto-1/FRL-1/Cryptic (EGF/CFC) gene family, together with the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β family ligand Nodal, regulates both cell movement and EMT during embryonic development. During postnatal development, Cripto-1 regulates the branching morphogenesis of the mouse mammary gland and enhances both the invasive and migratory properties of mammary epithelial cells in vitro. Furthermore, transgenic mouse models have shown that Cripto-1 promotes the formation of mammary tumors that display properties of EMT, including the down-regulation of the cell surface adherens junctional protein E-cadherin and the up-regulation of mesenchymal markers, such as vimentin, N-cadherin, and Snail. Interestingly, Cripto-1 is enriched in a subpopulation of embryonal, melanoma, prostate, and pancreatic cancer cells that possess stem-like characteristics. Therefore, Cripto-1 may play a role during developmental EMT, and it may also be involved in the reprogramming of differentiated tumor cells into cancer stem cells through the induction of an EMT program.
American Journal Of Pathology 04/2012; 180(6):2188-200. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are capable of continuous proliferation and self-renewal and are proposed to play significant roles in oncogenesis, tumor growth, metastasis and cancer recurrence. CSCs are considered derived from normal stem cells affected by the tumor microenvironment although the mechanism of development is not clear yet. In 2007, Yamanaka's group succeeded in generating Nanog mouse induced pluripotent stem (miPS) cells, in which green fluorescent protein (GFP) has been inserted into the 5'-untranslated region of the Nanog gene. Usually, iPS cells, just like embryonic stem cells, are considered to be induced into progenitor cells, which differentiate into various normal phenotypes depending on the normal niche. We hypothesized that CSCs could be derived from Nanog miPS cells in the conditioned culture medium of cancer cell lines, which is a mimic of carcinoma microenvironment. As a result, the Nanog miPS cells treated with the conditioned medium of mouse Lewis lung carcinoma acquired characteristics of CSCs, in that they formed spheroids expressing GFP in suspension culture, and had a high tumorigenicity in Balb/c nude mice exhibiting angiogenesis in vivo. In addition, these iPS-derived CSCs had a capacity of self-renewal and expressed the marker genes, Nanog, Rex1, Eras, Esg1 and Cripto, associated with stem cell properties and an undifferentiated state. Thus we concluded that a model of CSCs was originally developed from miPS cells and proposed the conditioned culture medium of cancer cell lines might perform as niche for producing CSCs. The model of CSCs and the procedure of their establishment will help study the genetic alterations and the secreted factors in the tumor microenvironment which convert miPS cells to CSCs. Furthermore, the identification of potentially bona fide markers of CSCs, which will help the development of novel anti-cancer therapies, might be possible though the CSC model.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e33544. · 3.53 Impact Factor