[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anterior Gradient Protein (AGR-2) is reported to be over-expressed in many epithelial cancers and promotes metastasis. A clear-cut mechanism for its observed function(s) has not been previously identified. We found significant upregulation of AGR-2 expression in a bone metastatic prostate cancer cell line, PC3, following culturing in bone marrow-conditioned medium. Substantial AGR-2 expression was also confirmed in prostate cancer tissue specimens in patients with bone lesions. By developing stable clones of PC3 cells with varying levels of AGR-2 expression, we identified that abrogation of AGR-2 significantly reduced cellular attachment to fibronectin, collagen I, collagen IV, laminin I and fibrinogen. Loss of cellular adhesion was associated with sharp decrease in the expression of α4, α5, αV, β3 and β4 integrins. Failure to undergo apoptosis following detachment is a hallmark of epithelial cancer metastasis. The AGR-2-silenced PC3 cells showed higher resistance to Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis- inducing ligand (TRAIL) induced apoptosis in vitro. This observation was also supported by significantly reduced Caspase-3 expression in AGR-2-silenced PC3 cells, which is a key effector of both extrinsic and intrinsic death signaling pathways. These data suggest that AGR-2 influence prostate cancer metastasis by regulation of cellular adhesion and apoptosis.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e89940. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemoresistance due to heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment (TME) hampers the long-term efficacy of frontline therapies for lung cancer. Current combination therapies for lung cancer provide only modest improvement in survival, implicating necessity for novel approaches that suppress malignant growth and stimulate long-term anti-tumor immunity. Oxidative stress in the TME promotes immunosuppression by tumor infiltrating myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which inhibit host protective anti-tumor immunity. Using a murine model of lung cancer, we demonstrate that a combination treatment with gemcitabine and a superoxide dismutase mimetic targets immunosuppressive MDSC in the TME and enhances the quantity and quality of both effector and memory CD8+ T cell responses. At the effector cell function level, the unique combination therapy targeting MDSC and redox signaling greatly enhanced cytolytic CD8+ T cell response and further decreased T regulatory cell infiltration. For long-term anti-tumor effects, this therapy altered the metabolism of memory cells with self-renewing phenotype and provided a preferential advantage for survival of memory subsets with long-term efficacy and persistence. Adoptive transfer of memory cells from this combination therapy prolonged survival of tumor-bearing recipients. Furthermore, the adoptively-transferred memory cells responded to tumor re-challenge exerting long-term persistence. This approach offers a new paradigm to inhibit immunosuppression by direct targeting of MDSC function, generate effector and persistent memory cells for tumor eradication, and prevent lung cancer relapse.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) from mice bearing bone metastases differentiate into functional osteoclasts in vitro and in vivo, through a signaling pathway that relies on nitric oxide. In addition, MDSC-targeting drugs have been shown to robustly inhibit osteolysis. Thus, MDSC stand out as novel osteoclast progenitors and hence as candidate targets for the control of osteolytic bone disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated levels of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) have been observed as breast cancer disseminates to the bone. The selective depletion of pDC in mice led to a total abrogation of bone metastasis as well as to an increase in TH1 antitumor response, suggesting that pDC may be considered as a potential therapeutic target for metastatic breast cancer.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enhanced bone destruction is a hallmark of various carcinomas such as breast cancer, where osteolytic bone metastasis is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Immune cells contribute to osteolysis in cancer growth but the factors contributing to aggressive bone destruction are not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate the importance of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) in this process at bone metastatic sites. Since MDSC originate from the same myeloid lineage as macrophages, which are osteoclast precursors, we hypothesized that MDSC may undergo osteoclast differentiation and contribute to enhanced bone destruction and tumor growth. Using an immunocompetent mouse model of breast cancer bone metastasis, we confirmed that MDSC isolated from the tumor-bone microenvironment differentiated into functional osteoclasts both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic investigations revealed that nitric oxide signaling was critical for differentiation of MDSC into osteoclasts. In bone marrow specimens that contained disseminated tumor cells, MDSC were the only cell population which differentiated into osteoclasts. Remarkably, this differentiation did not occur in MDSC isolated from control or tumor-bearing mice that lacked bone metastasis, signifying the essential cross-talk between tumor cells and myeloid progenitors in the bone microenvironment as a requirement for osteoclast differentiation of MDSC. Overall, our results identify a wholly new facet to the multifunctionality of MDSC in driving tumor progression, in this case as a novel osteoclast progenitor that specifically drives bone metastasis during cancer progression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated levels of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) have been reported in breast cancer patients, but the significance remains undefined. Using three immunocompetent mouse models of breast cancer bone metastasis, we identified a key role for pDC in facilitating tumor growth through immunosuppression and aggressive osteolysis. Following infiltration of macrophages upon breast cancer dissemination, there was a steady increase in pDC within the bone, which resulted in a sustained Th2 response along with elevated levels of regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Subsequently, pDC and CD4(+) T cells, producing osteolytic cytokines, increased with tumor burden, causing severe bone damage. Microcomputed tomography and histology analyses of bone showed destruction of femur and tibia. The therapeutic significance of this finding was confirmed by depletion of pDC, which resulted in decreased tumor burden and bone loss by activating tumor-specific cytolytic CD8(+) T cells and decreasing suppressor cell populations. Thus, pDC depletion may offer a novel adjuvant strategy to therapeutically influence breast cancer bone metastasis.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2012; 189(9):4258-65. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Noggin is a glycosylated-secreted protein known so far for its inhibitory effects on bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling by sequestering the BMP ligand. We report here for the first time a novel mechanism by which noggin directly induces adipogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells independently of major human adipogenic signals through C/EBPδ, C/EBPα and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ. Evaluation of a possible mechanism for noggin-induced adipogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells identified the role of Pax-1 in mediating such differentiation. The relevance of elevated noggin levels in obesity was confirmed in a preclinical, immunocompetent mouse model of spontaneous obesity and in human patients with higher body mass index. These data clearly provide a novel role for noggin in inducing adipogenesis and possibly obesity and further indicates the potential of noggin as a therapeutic target to control obesity.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2012; 287(15):12241-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the number of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in the bone marrow is sufficient to maintain skeletal homeostasis, in osteopenic pathology, aggravated osteoclast activity or insufficient osteoblast numbers ensue, affecting normal bone remodeling. Most of the currently available therapies are anti-resorptive with limited osteogenic potential. Since mobilization of stem/progenitors from the BM is a prerequisite for their participation in tissue repair, amplification of endogenous stem cells may provide an alternative approach in these conditions. The present study determined the potential of MSC mobilization in vivo, using combinations of different growth factors with the CXCR4 antagonist, AMD3100, in a mouse model of segmental bone defect. Results indicated that among several factors tested IGF1 had maximum proliferative ability of MSC in vitro. Results of the in vivo studies indicated that the combination of IGF1 and AMD3100 provided significant augmentation of bone growth as determined by DXA, micro-CT and histomorphometry in mice bearing segmental fractures. Further, characterization of MSC isolated from mice treated with IGF1 and AMD3100 indicated Akt/PI3K, MEK1/2-Erk1/2 and smad2/3 as key signaling pathways mediating this effect. These data indicate the potential of in vivo stem cell mobilization as a novel alternative for bone healing.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low doses of the demethylating agent decitabine have been shown to enhance the sensitivity of tumors to immune effector cells and molecules through upregulation of tumor antigen presentation and apoptotic pathways. Effects on host immune effector and suppressor responses have not been well characterized.
Mice bearing B16 melanoma were treated with low-dose decitabine, cytokine, interleukin-2 (IL-2), toll-like receptor 9 agonist ODN1826, and/or a viral vectored vaccine targeting the melanoma antigen Trp2. Lymphoid and myeloid effector and suppressor cells were examined both systemically and intratumorally with functional, flow cytometric, and polymerase chain reaction-based assays.
Enhancement of tumor growth delay was observed when decitabine was applied sequentially but not concurrently with IL-2. In contrast, complete responses and prolonged survival were observed when decitabine was applied with ODN1826 as therapy and with ODN1826 as a Trp2 vaccine adjuvant. Decitabine decreased natural killer and antigen-specific cellular immune responses when administered concurrently with IL-2 and with ODN1826; the Th1-associated transcription factor Tbet also decreased. T regulatory cells were not affected. When applied concurrently with ODN1826, decitabine increased macrophage cytotoxicity, M1 polarization, and dendritic cell activation. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells were reduced.
Low-dose decitabine promotes both anti- and pro-tumor host immune responses to immunotherapeutics in melanoma-bearing mice. Macrophage effector and dendritic cell activation increase, and myeloid suppressor cells decrease. Lymphoid effector responses, however, can be inhibited.
Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 02/2012; 61(9):1441-50. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current treatments for ovarian cancer have limited therapeutic outcomes due to advanced stage of the disease at diagnosis. Among new therapies, conditionally replicating adenoviruses (CRAds), designed to selectively lyse cancer cells, hold promise. In clinical trials, CRAds exhibited limited efficacy thus far. Second-generation CRAds are being developed to express a therapeutic protein to enhance antitumor efficacy. One attractive target in the tumor microenvironment is the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that degrade the extracellular matrix, and are upregulated in ovarian cancer. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2 (TIMP2) is an endogenous inhibitor of MMPs. The present study developed and evaluated a novel CRAd (Ad5/3-CXCR4-TIMP2) for ovarian cancer therapy.
A targeted CRAd, Ad5/3-CXCR4-TIMP2 was developed using the CXCR4 promoter for enhanced replication, and expressing the TIMP2 transgene. The efficacy of this armed CRAd was determined in both established human ovarian cancer cell lines and in primary ovarian tumor samples.
Ad5/3-CXCR4-TIMP2 mediated expression of functional TIMP2, as demonstrated by the inhibition of MMP activity. In addition, arming with TIMP2 did not inhibit viral replication or oncolytic potency, as the TIMP2-armed viruses showed enhanced killing of cancer cells when compared to the unarmed viruses. We also examined viral replication in primary ovarian cancer tissues obtained from patients with stage III and IV ovarian cancer. In four of the five tumor samples, Ad5/3-CXCR4-TIMP2 revealed a 21- to 89-fold increase in replication when compared to the Ad5/3 virus.
Results support the translational potential of Ad5/3-CXCR4-TIMP2 for treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer.
Clinical Cancer Research 02/2011; 17(3):538-49. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ovarian cancer remains difficult to treat mainly due to presentation of the disease at an advanced stage. Conditionally-replicating adenoviruses (CRAds) are promising anti-cancer agents that selectively kill the tumor cells. The present study evaluated the efficacy of a novel CRAd (Ad5/3-CXCR4-TIMP2) containing the CXCR4 promoter for selective viral replication in cancer cells together with TIMP2 as a therapeutic transgene, targeting the matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) in a murine orthotopic model of disseminated ovarian cancer. An orthotopic model of ovarian cancer was established in athymic nude mice by intraperitonal injection of the human ovarian cancer cell line, SKOV3-Luc, expressing luciferase. Upon confirmation of peritoneal dissemination of the cells by non-invasive imaging, mice were randomly divided into four treatment groups: PBS, Ad-ΔE1-TIMP2, Ad5/3-CXCR4, and Ad5/3-CXCR4-TIMP2. All mice were imaged weekly to monitor tumor growth and were sacrificed upon reaching any of the predefined endpoints, including high tumor burden and significant weight loss along with clinical evidence of pain and distress. Survival analysis was performed using the Log-rank test. The median survival for the PBS cohort was 33 days; for Ad-ΔE1-TIMP2, 39 days; for Ad5/3-CXCR4, 52.5 days; and for Ad5/3-CXCR4-TIMP2, 63 days. The TIMP2-armed CRAd delayed tumor growth and significantly increased survival when compared to the unarmed CRAd. This therapeutic effect was confirmed to be mediated through inhibition of MMP9. Results of the in vivo study support the translational potential of Ad5/3-CXCR4-TIMP2 for treatment of human patients with advanced ovarian cancer.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e25131. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant hyaluronan production has been implicated in many types of tumor. In this context, hyaluronidase has been explored as a viable therapeutic approach to reduce tumoral hyaluronan. However, elevated levels of hyaluronan in tumors are often associated with high expression levels of cellular hyaluronidases, which consequently produce various sizes of saturated hyaluronan fragments with divergent pro-tumoral activities. The current study shows that different hyaluronan metabolisms of mammalian and microbial hyaluronidases could elicit distinct alterations in cancer cell behavior. Unlike saturated hyaluronan metabolites, unsaturated hyaluronan oligosaccharides produced by bacteriophage hyaluronidase, HylP, had no biological effect on growth of breast carcinoma cells. More importantly, HylP's metabolic process of hyaluronan into non-detrimental oligosaccharides significantly decreased breast cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion by disrupting Erk1/2 activation and RhoA expression. Our results suggest that it may be possible to exploit HylP's unique enzymatic activity in suppressing hyaluronan-mediated tumor growth and progression.
Cancer letters 12/2010; 298(2):238-49. · 4.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The antimicrobial peptide, leucine-leucine-37 (LL-37), stimulates proliferation, angiogenesis, and cellular migration, inhibits apoptosis and is associated with inflammation. Since these functional processes are often exaggerated in cancer, the aim of the present study was to investigate the expression and role of LL-37 in prostate cancer (PCa) and establish its value as a therapeutic target.
We evaluated the expression of LL-37 and the murine orthologue, cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide (CRAMP) in human and murine prostate tumors, respectively. Compared to normal/benign prostate tissue, both LL-37 and CRAMP were increasingly over-expressed with advancing grades of primary PCa and its metastasis in human tissues and in the transgenic adenocarcinoma mouse prostate (TRAMP) model, correspondingly. We subsequently knocked-down CRAMP in the highly tumorigenic TRAMP-C1 cell line via a RNA interference strategy to examine the importance of CRAMP on cellular proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, apoptosis, activation of signaling pathways and tumor kinetics.
Abrogation of CRAMP expression led to decreased proliferation, invasion, type IV collagenase, and the amount of phosphorylated Erk1/2 and Akt signaling in vitro. These results were paralleled in vivo. Syngenic implantation of TRAMP-C1 cells subjected to CRAMP knock-down resulted in a decreased tumor incidence and size, and the down-regulation of pro-tumorigenic mechanisms.
CRAMP knock-down in a murine PCa model analogously demonstrated the tumorigenic contributions of LL-37 in PCa and its potential as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of PCa and potentially, other cancers over-expressing the peptide.
The Prostate 10/2010; 71(6):659-70. · 3.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the most popular among the adult stem cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Since their discovery and functional characterization in the late 1960s and early 1970s, MSCs or MSC-like cells have been obtained from various mesodermal and non-mesodermal tissues, although majority of the therapeutic applications involved bone marrow-derived MSCs. Based on its mesenchymal origin, it was predicted earlier that MSCs only can differentiate into mesengenic lineages like bone, cartilage, fat or muscle. However, varied isolation and cell culturing methods identified subsets of MSCs in the bone marrow which not only differentiated into mesenchymal lineages, but also into ectodermal and endodermal derivatives. Although, true pluripotent status is yet to be established, MSCs have been successfully used in bone and cartilage regeneration in osteoporotic fracture and arthritis, respectively, and in the repair of cardiac tissue following myocardial infarction. Immunosuppressive properties of MSCs extend utility of MSCs to reduce complications of graft versus host disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Homing of MSCs to sites of tissue injury, including tumor, is well established. In addition to their ability in tissue regeneration, MSCs can be genetically engineered ex vivo for delivery of therapeutic molecule(s) to the sites of injury or tumorigenesis as cell therapy vehicles. MSCs tend to lose surface receptors for trafficking and have been reported to develop sarcoma in long-term culture. In this article, we reviewed the current status of MSCs with special emphasis to therapeutic application in bone-related diseases.
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 10/2010; 111(2):249-57. · 3.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Merkel cell carcinoma is one of the most aggressive primary cutaneous malignancies. Because some Merkel cell carcinomas express the receptor tyrosine kinase KIT, we aimed to evaluate the correlation of KIT expression with the outcome and the presence of activating mutations in the KIT gene in Merkel cell carcinoma. A total of 49 tumors from 40 patients with a diagnosis of Merkel cell carcinoma were identified, of which 30 cases from 21 patients were used in the study. KIT expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material. Cases were divided into low expressors (0-1+ staining intensity) and high expressors (2-3+ staining intensity). Direct sequencing of exons 9, 11, 13, 17, and 18 of the KIT gene spanning the extracellular, juxtamembrane, and tyrosine kinase domains was performed for cases with high KIT expression. Thirty tumors from 21 patients were analyzed for KIT expression. High KIT expression was seen in 67% of the patients. Five-year survival rates in tumors expressing high versus low levels of KIT were 0% versus 57.8%, respectively; however, this dramatic difference did not reach statistical significance (P = .07). A total of 4 point mutations were identified in 18 tumors analyzed. Two of these were silent mutations involving exons 17 and 18, and 2 involved intron 16-17. Two of the identified mutations may represent novel polymorphisms. Our work suggests a correlation between KIT expression and a worse prognosis in Merkel cell carcinoma patients, raising the possibility of an active role of this receptor in tumor progression and metastasis. However, we did not identify KIT activating mutations in any of the tumors analyzed.
Human pathology 10/2010; 41(10):1405-12. · 3.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) is being tested as a vaccine vector, but the cellular immune responses elicited in animal tumor models have not been completely protective. The adjuvant effects of the TLR7 agonist, imiquimod, and the TLR9 agonist, ODN1826, were tested with rAAV expressing the melanoma antigen, Trp2. Mice immunized with rAAV-TRP2 and either TLR agonist alone generated T-helper-1 antitumor immune responses. Antitumor activity in all experiments was still incomplete. Furthermore, antitumor activity was not achieved when the combination of ODN1826 and imiquimod was used as adjuvant. In vitro, the combination increased IL-10 production by dendritic cells. In vivo, the combination reduced T-helper-1 response and dendritic cell activation and increased myeloid suppressor cells; regulatory T cells were not significantly modulated. Depletion of myeloid derived suppressor cells enhanced the antitumor activity of immunization with rAAV-TRP2 and the imiquimod-ODN1826 combination; depletion of regulatory T cells did not. TLR7 and TLR9 agonists can be used to enhance the immune response to rAAV immunogens, but antagonism can be observed when combined. Suppressor mechanisms, including those mediated by myeloid cells, may negatively regulate the antitumor immune response.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in tissue regeneration is increasingly gaining attention. There is now accumulating evidence that MSC make an important contribution to postnatal vasculogenesis. During bone development and fracture healing, vascularization is observed before bone formation. The present study determined the potential of MSC, transduced ex vivo with a recombinant adeno-associated virus 6 (rAAV6) encoding bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in a mouse model of segmental bone defect created in the tibiae of athymic nude mice. Mouse MSC that were mock-transduced or transduced with rAAV6-BMP2:VEGF were systemically transplanted following radiographic confirmation of the osteotomy. Effects of the therapy were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay measurements for BMP2 and VEGF, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for bone density, three-dimensional microcomputed tomography (microCT) for bone and capillary architecture, and histomorphometry for bone remodeling. Results of these analyses indicated enhanced bone formation in the group that received BMP2+VEGF-expressing MSC compared to other groups. The therapeutic effects were accompanied by increased vascularity and osteoblastogenesis, indicating its potential for effective use while treating difficult nonunion bone defects in humans.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current evidence indicates that an osteoblast lesion in prostate cancer is preceded by osteolysis. Thus, prevention of osteolysis would reduce complications of bone metastasis. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to differentiate into osteoblast and produce osteoprotegerin, a decoy receptor for the receptor activator for nuclear factor kappaB ligand, naturally. The present study examined the potential of unmodified mesenchymal stem cells to prevent osteolytic bone lesions in a preclinical mouse model of prostate cancer.
The human prostate cancer cell line PC3 was implanted in tibiae of severe combined immunodeficient mice. After establishment of the tumor, either unmodified or genetically engineered mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing osteoprotegerin was injected at the site of tumor growth. The effects of therapy were monitored by bioluminescence imaging, micro-computed tomography, immunohistochemistry, and histomorphometry.
Data indicated significant (P < 0.001) inhibition of tumor growth and restoration of bone in mice treated with unmodified and modified mesenchymal stem cells. Detailed analysis suggested that the donor mesenchymal stem cell inhibited tumor progression by producing woven bone around the growing tumor cells in the tibiae and by preventing osteoclastogenesis.
Overcoming the limitation of the number of mesenchymal stem cells available in the bone can provide significant amelioration for osteolytic damage without further modification.
Clinical Cancer Research 11/2009; 15(23):7175-85. · 7.84 Impact Factor