[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current standard treatment for ovarian carcinoma, consisting of surgery followed by chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel, is fraught with a high rate of recurrences. We hypothesized that targeted inhibition of specific signaling pathways in combination with conventional drugs may increase chemotherapeutic efficacy.
We analyzed the expression and activation profiles of various signaling pathways in nine established ovarian cancer cell lines (CAOV-3, ES2, PA-1, SKOV-3, NIHOVCAR3, OV90, TOV112D, A1847, A2780) and 24 freshly procured human ovarian tumors. The PI3 kinase pathway component Akt was frequently overexpressed and/or activated in tumor cells. The effect of several PI3K pathway inhibitors (rapamycin, LY294002, SH-6) and rapamycin in combination with carboplatin on various tumor cell growth characteristics was tested in cell lines and fresh tumor-derived transient monolayer and organ cultures.
Rapamycin by itself and additively with carboplatin inhibited the growth and invasion, and increased the sensitivity to anoikis of most of the ovarian cancer cell lines and fresh tumors. The additive inhibitory effect may be due to enhanced apoptosis as demonstrated by Poly-ADP-Ribose Polymerase (PARP) cleavage and Annexin V staining in cells treated with both rapamycin and carboplatin.
Rapamycin in combination with standard chemotherapeutic agents may improve the efficiency of ovarian cancer treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RACK1 is a 7-WD motif-containing protein with numerous downstream effectors regulating various cellular functions. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified dynein light chain 1 as a novel interacting partner of RACK1. Additionally, we demonstrated that RACK1 formed a complex with DLC1 and Bim, specifically BimEL, in the presence of apoptotic agents. Upon paclitaxel treatment, RACK1, DLC1, and CIS mediated the degradation of BimEL through the ElonginB/C-Cullin2-CIS ubiquitin-protein isopeptide ligase complex. We further showed that RACK1 conferred paclitaxel resistance to breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we observed an inverse correlation between CIS and BimEL levels in both ovarian and breast cancer cell lines and specimens. Our study suggests a role of RACK1 in protecting cancer cells from apoptosis by regulating the degradation of BimEL, which together with CIS could play an important role of drug resistance in chemotherapy.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2008; 283(24):16416-26. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore the basis of metastasis, we compared the human breast cancer lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB453, which have low invasive ability, with their sublines MCF7-I4 and MDA-MB453-I4 with high invasive ability for gene expression and signaling pathways. We previously showed that the I4 lines had dramatically elevated levels of Twist compared with their parental lines. In this study, we observed significantly increased STAT3 Tyr(705) phosphorylation, but not the STAT3 protein levels, in the I4 lines. Activation of STAT3 by interleukin-6 or expression of activated Src induced Twist expression at protein and mRNA levels. Inhibiting STAT3 by a small molecule inhibitor, JSI-124, STAT3 small hairpin RNAs, or dominant negative STAT3 resulted in significant reduction of Twist protein and mRNA expression. STAT3 directly bound to the second proximal STAT3-binding site on the human Twist promoter and activated its transcriptional activity. Inhibition of STAT3 reduced migration, invasion, and colony formation of the I4 cells. Ectopic expression of Twist significantly rescued those phenotypes. Ten normal and 46 tumor specimens of breast tissues were examined for activation of STAT3 and expression of Twist. There was a strong correlation between Tyr(705) p-STAT3 and Twist level in the late stage tumor tissues. Our results indicate that activated STAT3 transcriptionally induces Twist, which plays an important role in promoting migration, invasion, and anchorage-independent growth. Together with our previous observation that Twist transcriptionally induces AKT2 to mediate Twist-promoted oncogenic functions, we conclude that STAT3, Twist, and AKT2 form a functional signaling axis to regulate pivotal oncogenic properties of cancer cells.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2008; 283(21):14665-73. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastasis, the foremost cause of mortality in cancer patients, is increasingly recognized as a coordinated biological process. The multistep process of metastasis posts difficulty in studying its mechanism and molecular basis. Recent works have shown that the basic helix-loop-helix transcriptional factor Twist and the serine/threonine kinase AKT play pivotal roles in tumor development and progression. Our recent study has shown that AKT2 is a transcriptional regulatory target of Twist and acts downstream of Twist to promote cancer cell survival, migration, and invasion. Functional convergence of Twist and AKT2 underscores the importance of this signaling pathway in tumor development and progression and as a potential therapeutic target.
Cancer Research 03/2008; 68(4):957-60. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AKT (also known as PKB) plays a central role in a variety of cellular processes including cell growth, motility and survival in both normal and tumor cells. The AKT pathway is also instrumental in epithelial mesenchymal transitions (EMT) and angiogenesis during tumorigenesis. AKT functions as a cardinal nodal point for transducing extracellular (growth factors including insulin, IGF-1 and EGF ) and intracellular (such as mutated/activated receptor tyrosine kinases, PTEN, Ras and Src) signals. It is positively regulated by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and inhibited by phosphatase PTEN. Deregulation of the PI3K/PTEN/AKT pathway is one of the most common altered pathways in human malignancy. In the past few years, significant advances have been made in the understanding of AKT signaling in human oncogenesis and the development of small molecule inhibitor of AKT pathway. Here, we will discuss the regulation and function of AKT as well as targeting AKT for anti-cancer drug discovery.
Current cancer drug targets 03/2008; 8(1):2-6. · 5.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transformation of chicken fibroblasts in vitro by Rous Sarcoma Virus represents a model of cancer in which a single oncogene, viral src, uniformly and rapidly transforms primary cells in culture. We experimentally surveyed the transcriptional program affected by Rous Sarcoma Virus (RSV) in primary culture of chicken embryo fibroblasts. As a control, we used cells infected with non-transforming RSV mutant td106, in which the src gene was deleted. Using Affymetrix GeneChip Chicken Genome Arrays, we report 811 genes that were modulated more than 2.5 fold in the virus transformed cells. Among these, 409 genes were induced and 402 genes were repressed by viral src. From the repertoire of modulated genes, we selected 20 genes that were robustly changed. We then validated and quantified the transcriptional changes of most of the 20 selected genes by real-time PCR. The set of strongly induced genes contains vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, MAP kinase phosphatase 2 and follistatin, among others. The set of strongly repressed genes contains TGF beta 3, TGF beta-induced gene, and deiodinase. The function of several robustly modulated genes sheds new light on the molecular mechanism of oncogenic transformation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to assess the anti-tumor efficacy of rapamycin alone or in combination with herceptin in breast cancer. A total of 20 human breast cancer lines were examined for expression of various receptor tyrosine kinases and activation of their down stream signaling molecules, as well as for their invasion and colony forming ability. The ErbB2 and PI3 kinase pathway inhibitors were tested for the inhibition on breast cancer cell growth and tumor development. Seven of the 20 lines displayed an elevated level of ErbB2, others had varying level of EGF, IGF-1 or insulin receptor. Over 30% of the lines also had constitutive activation of Akt and MAP kinase. The lines displayed a wide range of colony forming and invasion ability. The PI3 kinase pathway inhibitors LY294002 and rapamycin inhibited the colony forming ability of all of the lines with the ErbB2 overexpressing lines having a higher sensitivity. A similar trend was observed for inhibition of invasion by LY294002. Rapamycin alone and additively together with herceptin inhibited the breast cancer cell growth especially in ErbB2 overexpressing cells. Rapamycin and herceptin synergistically inhibited tumor growth and endpoint tumor load in a xenograft model using a MCF-7 subline and in a MMTV-ErbB2 transgenic model. Rapamycin and herceptin significantly reduced the level of cyclin D1 and D3 and increased the cleavage of caspase 3 suggesting an increased apoptosis. Our results suggest that rapamycin together with herceptin has an enhanced anti-cancer effect and could be developed as an improved therapeutic regimen for breast cancer.
International Journal of Cancer 08/2007; 121(1):157-64. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastasis, the cardinal feature of malignant tumors, is an important clinical variable in patient prognosis. To understand the basis for metastasis, we systematically selected for highly invasive cells from breast cancer cell lines, MCF7 and MDA-MB-453, with moderate to low invasive ability using Boyden chamber invasion assay. The four-cycle selected invasive lines, named MCF7-I4 and MDA-MB-453-I4, respectively, displayed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and dramatically enhanced invasive ability. EMT changes were corroborated with decreased level of E-cadherin and increased vimentin, fibronectin, and beta(1) integrin. Twist, a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, and AKT2, a known proto-oncogene, were found to be elevated in the invasive cells compared with the parental. Ectopic expression and knockdown of Twist by short interference RNA resulted in significant increase and reduction, respectively, of AKT2 protein and mRNA expression. Twist bound to E-box elements on AKT2 promoter and enhanced its transcriptional activity. Moreover, silencing AKT2 decreased Twist-promoted migration, invasion, and paclitaxel resistance. Reintroducing AKT2 largely rescued the phenotype resulted from knockdown of Twist in I4 cells, suggesting that AKT2 is a downstream target and functional mediator of Twist. Finally, we observed a 68.8% correlation of elevated Twist and AKT2 expression in late-stage breast cancers as oppose to 13% in early-stage breast cancers. Our study identifies Twist as a positive transcriptional regulator of AKT2 expression, and Twist-AKT2 signaling is involved in promoting invasive ability and survival of breast cancer cells.
Cancer Research 04/2007; 67(5):1979-87. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current understanding of the activation of STATs is through binding between the SH2 domain of STATs and phosphotyrosine of tyrosine kinases. Here we demonstrate a novel role of RACK1 as an adaptor for insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R)-mediated STAT3 activation specifically. Intracellular association of RACK1 via its N-terminal WD domains 1 to 4 (WD1-4) with insulin receptor (IR)/IGF-1R is augmented upon respective ligand stimulation, whereas association with STAT3 is constitutive. Purified RACK1 or RACK1 WD1-4 associates directly with purified IR, IGF-1R, and STAT3 in vitro. Insulin induces multiprotein complex formation of RACK1, IR, and STAT3. Overexpression or downregulation of RACK1 greatly enhances or decreases, respectively, IR/IGF-1R-mediated activation of STAT3 and its target gene expression. Site-specific mutants of IR and IGF-1R impaired in RACK1 binding are ineffective in mediating recruitment and activation of STAT3 as well as in insulin- or IGF-1-induced protection of cells from anoikis. RACK1-mediated STAT3 activation is important for insulin and IGF-1-induced anchorage-independent growth in certain ovarian cancer cells. We conclude that RACK1 mediates recruitment of STAT3 to IR and IGF-1R specifically for activation, suggesting a general paradigm for the need of an adaptor in mediating activation of STATs by receptor protein tyrosine kinases.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 02/2006; 26(2):413-24. · 5.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of the Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling cascade by phorbol esters (TPA) or protein kinase C (PKC) is well documented, although the underlying mechanism is not known. Here, we demonstrate that the receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) serves as an adaptor for PKC-mediated JNK activation. Phosphorylation of JNK by PKC occurs on Ser129 and requires the presence of RACK1. Ser129 phosphorylation augments JNK phosphorylation by MKK4 and/or MKK7 and is required for JNK activation by TPA, TNFalpha, UV irradiation, and PKC, but not by anisomycin or MEKK1. Inhibition of RACK1 expression by siRNA attenuates JNK activation, sensitizes melanoma cells to UV-induced apoptosis, and reduces their tumorigenicity in nude mice. In finding the role of RACK1 in activation of JNK by PKC, our study also highlights the nature of crosstalk between these two signal-transduction pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Normal adhering cells undergo apoptosis shortly after loss of adhesion to substratum, a phenomenon known as "anoikis." In-vitro-transformed cells and cancer-derived cells are able to survive and grow in the absence of anchorage to the extracellular matrix (ECM) and their neighboring cells. This represents one of the most important oncogenic properties of cancer cells. Integrin-ECM-mediated function is essential for survival and growth of normal adhering cells, while cancer cells are able to abrogate this requirement. This article will review and summarize the recent findings from our laboratory about the molecular signaling pathways important for the regulation of anchorage-independent survival and the growth of transformed fibroblasts and epithelial cells. Our study has shown that integrin-ECM-mediated signaling and cytoskeletal architecture play an essential role in effective recognition of the substrates by activated protein-tyrosine kinases (PTK) and their subsequent signaling functions. Among the various oncogenic PTK-activated pathways, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling is the most critical for anchorage-independent survival and growth. The activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (Stat3) and its function overlap partially with that of the PI3K/Akt in promoting anchorage-independent growth. Among the Rho family guanosine triphosphatases (GTPase), Cdc42, and to some extent Rac1, also appear to be important for promoting anchorage-independent growth.
Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine 12/2004; 71(6):361-7. · 1.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The question remains open whether the signaling pathways shown to be important for growth and transformation in adherent cultures proceed similarly and play similar roles for cells grown under anchorage-independent conditions. Chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) infected with the avian sarcoma virus UR2, encoding the oncogenic receptor protein-tyrosine kinase (RPTK) v-Ros, or with two of its transformation-impaired mutants were grown in nonadherent conditions in methylcellulose (MC)-containing medium, and the signaling functions essential for Ros-induced anchorage-independent growth were analyzed. We found that the overall tyrosine phosphorylation of cellular proteins in CEF transformed by v-Ros or by two oncogenic nonreceptor protein-tyrosine kinases (PTKs), v-Src and v-Yes, was dramatically reduced in nonadherent conditions compared with that in adherent conditions, indicating that cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix plays an important role in efficient substrate phosphorylation by these constitutively activated PTKs. The UR2 transformation-defective mutants were differentially impaired compared with UR2 in the activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) and Stat3 in nonadherent conditions. Consistently, the constitutively activated mutants of PI 3-kinase and Stat3 rescued the ability of the UR2 mutants to promote anchorage-independent growth. Conversely, dominant negative mutants of PI 3-kinase and Stat3 inhibited UR2-induced anchorage-independent growth. UR2-infected CEF grown in nonadherent conditions displayed faster cell cycle progression than the control or the UR2 mutant-infected cells, and this appeared to correlate with a PI 3-kinase-dependent increase in cyclin A-associated Cdk2 activity. Treatment of UR2-infected cells with Cdk2 inhibitors led to the loss of the anchorage-independent growth-promoting activity of UR2. In conclusion, we have adopted an experimental system enabling us to study the signaling pathways in cells grown under anchorage-independent conditions and have identified matrix-independent activation of PI 3-kinase and Stat3 signaling functions, as well as the PI 3-kinase-dependent increase of cyclin A-associated Cdk2 kinase activity, to be critical for the Ros-PTK-induced anchorage-independent growth.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2003; 278(21):18798-810. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulin stimulates signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (Stat5) activation in insulin receptor (IR)-overexpressing cell lines and in insulin target tissues of mice. Stat5b and insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) interact with the same autophosphorylation site in the IR [phosphotyrosine (pY) 972] in yeast two-hybrid assays, and the IR phosphorylates Stat5b in vitro. These data suggest that Stat5 proteins might be recruited to, and phosphorylated by, the activated IR in vivo. Nevertheless, insulin activates Janus kinases (JAKs) in IR-overexpressing cell lines and in insulin target tissues. To determine whether Stat5 proteins must be recruited to the pY972LSA motif in the IR for insulin-stimulated activation in mammalian cells, we generated and tested a series of IR mutants. The L973R/A975D mutation abolishes the ability of the IR to induce Stat5 activation, whereas IRS-1 phosphorylation is unaffected. In contrast, the N969A/P970A mutation in the IR has no effect on Stat5 activation but significantly reduces IRS-1 phosphorylation. In coimmunoprecipitation assays, insulin-stimulated Stat5 activation correlates with Stat5 recruitment to the IR. We also find that insulin stimulates tyrosine phosphorylation of JAKs that are constitutively associated with the IR. Expression of dominant-negative (DN) JAKs, the JAK inhibitor suppressor of cytokine signaling 1, or pretreatment with the JAK inhibitor, AG490, reduces, but does not eliminate, insulin-induced Stat5 activation. Expression of the appropriate pair of DN JAKs in each of the singly JAK-deficient cell lines further establishes a component of insulin-stimulated Stat5 activation that is JAK independent. This likely represents phosphorylation of Stat5 proteins by the IR, as we find that IR kinase domain phosphorylates Stat5b in vitro on Y699 as efficiently as JAK2. Increasing the concentration of Stat5 proteins in cells favors the direct phosphorylation of Stat5 by the IR kinase where the DN-JAK inhibition of insulin-stimulated Stat5 activation becomes insignificant. At physiological levels of Stat5 however, we propose that JAKs and the IR both contribute to the insulin-induced phosphorylation of Stat5.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) receptor (IGF-IR) is known to regulate a variety of cellular processes including cell proliferation, cell survival, cell differentiation, and cell transformation. IRS-1 and Shc, substrates of the IGF-IR, are known to mediate IGF-IR signaling pathways such as those of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), which are believed to play important roles in some of the IGF-IR-dependent biological functions. We used the cytoplasmic domain of IGF-IR in a yeast two-hybrid interaction trap to identify IGF-IR-interacting molecules that may potentially mediate IGF-IR-regulated functions. We identified RACK1, a WD repeat family member and a Gbeta homologue, and demonstrated that RACK1 interacts with the IGF-IR but not with the closely related insulin receptor (IR). In several types of mammalian cells, RACK1 interacted with IGF-IR, protein kinase C, and beta1 integrin in response to IGF-I and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate stimulation. Whereas most of RACK1 resides in the cytoskeletal compartment of the cytoplasm, transformation of fibroblasts and epithelial cells by v-Src, oncogenic IR or oncogenic IGF-IR, but not by Ros or Ras, resulted in a significantly increased association of RACK1 with the membrane. We examined the role of RACK1 in IGF-IR-mediated functions by stably overexpressing RACK1 in NIH 3T3 cells that expressed an elevated level of IGF-IR. RACK1 overexpression resulted in reduced IGF-I-induced cell growth in both anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent conditions. Overexpression of RACK1 also led to enhanced cell spreading, increased stress fibers, and increased focal adhesions, which were accompanied by increased tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase and paxillin. While IGF-I-induced activation of IRS-1, Shc, PI3K, and MAPK pathways was unaffected, IGF-I-inducible beta1 integrin-associated kinase activity and association of Crk with p130(CAS) were significantly inhibited by RACK1 overexpression. In RACK1-overexpressing cells, delayed cell cycle progression in G(1) or G(1)/S was correlated with retinoblastoma protein hypophophorylation, increased levels of p21(Cip1/WAF1) and p27(Kip1), and reduced IGF-I-inducible Cdk2 activity. Reduction of RACK1 protein expression by antisense oligonucleotides prevented cell spreading and suppressed IGF-I-dependent monolayer growth. Our data suggest that RACK1 is a novel IGF-IR signaling molecule that functions as a positive mediator of cell spreading and contact with extracellular matrix, possibly through a novel IGF-IR signaling pathway involving integrin and focal adhesion signaling molecules.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 05/2002; 22(7):2345-65. · 5.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using loss-of-function mutants of Ros and inducible epidermal growth factor receptor-Ros chimeras we investigated the role of various signaling pathways in Ros-induced cell transformation. Inhibition of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway with the MEK (MAP/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase) inhibitor PD98059 had little effect on the Ros-induced monolayer and anchorage-independent growth of chicken embryo fibroblasts and NIH3T3 cells even though more than 70% of the MAPK was inhibited. In contrast, inhibiting the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway with the drug LY294002, a dominant negative mutant of PI3K, Deltap85, or the phosphatidylinositol phosphatase PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted in chromosome ten) resulted in a dramatic reduction of v-Ros- and epidermal growth factor receptor-Ros-promoted anchorage-independent growth of chicken embryo fibroblasts and NIH3T3 cells, respectively. Parallel and downstream components of PI3K signaling such as the Rho family GTPases (Rac, Rho, Cdc42) and the survival factor Akt were all shown to contribute to Ros-induced anchorage-independent growth, although Rac appeared to be less important for Ros-induced colony formation in NIH3T3 cells. Furthermore, the transformation-attenuated v-Ros mutants F419 and DI could be complemented by constitutively active mutants of PI3K and Akt. Finally, we found that overexpressing a constitutively active mutant of STAT3 (STAT3C) conferred a resistance to the inhibition of Ros-induced anchorage-independent growth by LY294002, suggesting a possible overlap of functions between PI3K and STAT3 signaling in mediating Ros-induced anchorage-independent growth.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2002; 277(13):11107-15. · 4.65 Impact Factor