Ana M Tari

Autonomous University of Nuevo León, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico

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Publications (65)335.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Elevated cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in breast tumors is associated with a lower survival rate in patients with estrogen receptor α (ERα)-positive tumors. We hypothesized that COX-2 reduces the survival rate of breast cancer patients with ERα-positive tumors since COX-2 increases the invasiveness of ERα-positive breast tumors and decreases tumor sensitivity to tamoxifen. Previously, we demonstrated that COX-2 stimulates the activity of protein kinase C (PKC) to increase the invasiveness of ERα-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cells and to decrease the sensitivity of MCF-7 cells to tamoxifen. High levels of COX-2 are associated with the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family and the Akt kinase. However, it is not known whether these kinases mediate COX-2-induced invasive activity and tamoxifen resistance. In the present study, we report that COX-2 utilizes PKC to enhance the phosphorylation of Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs), but not that of other MAPK family members or Akt. Inhibition aimed at JNKs reduced COX-2-induced invasion but not COX-2-induced tamoxifen resistance. We conclude that JNKs are essential for induced cell invasion by COX-2, but not tamoxifen resistance, in ERα-positive breast cancer cells.
    Oncology Reports 06/2013; · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is a significant risk factor for post-menopausal women to develop and die from breast cancer. Leptin, an adipokine is produced in high levels in obese individuals, and its receptor is overexpressed in breast tumors and lymph node metastases. Previously, we demonstrated that leptin stimulates breast cancer cell invasion, which is correlated with breast cancer metastasis. Programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) has been shown to block cancer cell invasion. However, whether PDCD4 blocks leptin-induced breast cancer cell invasion is not known. Here, we report the novel findings that leptin failed to induce invasion in MCF-7 breast cancer cells overexpressing PDCD4 (MCF-7/PDCD4). Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) was essential to the anti-invasive effect of PDCD4, as leptin stimulated the invasion of MCF-7/PDCD4 cells pretreated with TIMP-2 siRNA. Furthermore, TIMP-2 knockdown allowed leptin to augment phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1,2 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, but not that of Jun N-terminal kinases. These data indicate that PDCD4 utilizes TIMP-2 to exert its anti-invasive effect by suppressing leptin-induced activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1,2 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3. Novel therapeutic strategies aiming at enhancing PDCD4 expression in breast tumors may be able to stop obesity-related breast tumor progression and prolong the life of patients.
    Oncology Reports 12/2011; 27(3):861-6. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Targeted therapy with reduced side effects is a major goal in cancer research. We investigated the effects of JS-K, a nitric oxide (NO) prodrug designed to release high levels of NO when suitably activated, on human breast cancer cell lines, on non-transformed human MCF-10A mammary cells, and on normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). Cell viability assay, flow cytometry, electron microscopy, and Western blot analysis were used to study the effects of JS-K on breast cancer and on mammary epithelial cells. After a 3-day incubation, the IC50s of JS-K against the breast cancer cells ranged from 0.8 to 3 µM. However, JS-K decreased the viability of the MCF-10A cells by only 20% at 10-µM concentration, and HMECs were unaffected by 10 µM JS-K. Flow cytometry indicated that JS-K increased the percentages of breast cancer cells under-going apoptosis. Interestingly, flow cytometry indicated that JS-K increased acidic vesicle organelle formation in breast cancer cells, suggesting that JS-K induced autophagy in breast cancer cells. Electron microscopy confirmed that JS-K-treated breast cancer cells underwent autophagic cell death. Western blot analysis showed that JS-K induced the expression of microtubule light chain 3-II, another autophagy marker, in breast cancer cells. However, JS-K did not induce apoptosis or autophagy in normal human mammary epithelial cells. These data indicate that JS-K selectively induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells while sparing normal mammary epithelial cells under the same conditions. The selective anti-tumor activity of JS-K warrants its further investigation in breast tumors.
    International Journal of Oncology 04/2011; 38(4):963-71. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway has emerged as a promising target for cancer therapy. EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) such as erlotinib have been approved for cancer treatment but have shown very limited activity in breast cancer patients. Clarifying the molecular mechanism underlying resistance to EGFR TKIs could lead to more effective treatment against breast cancer. We previously reported that the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to erlotinib is partially dependent on p27 and that cytoplasmic localization of p27 is associated with erlotinib resistance. In the present study, we found that erlotinib induces p27 phosphorylation at Ser¹⁰ (S10), and S10 p27 phosphorylation leads to erlotinib resistance in EGFR-expressing breast cancer. Inhibiting S10 phosphorylation of p27 by knocking down human kinase-interacting stathmin (KIS), a nuclear protein that can phosphorylate p27 at S10, led to p27 accumulation in the nucleus and enhanced erlotinib-mediated cytotoxicity. Further, in vivo KIS gene silencing enhanced the antitumor activity of erlotinib in an orthotopic breast cancer xenograft model. KIS depletion also enhanced erlotinib sensitivity in erlotinib-resistant EGFR-expressing triple-negative breast cancer cells. Our study provides a rationale for the development of combinations of erlotinib with KIS inhibition to overcome EGFR TKI resistance in EGFR-expressing breast cancer.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 11/2010; 9(11):3090-9. · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bone is the most common site of distant metastases from breast carcinoma. The presence of bone metastases affects a patient's prognosis, quality of life, and the planning of their treatment. We discuss recent innovations in bone imaging and present algorithms, based on the strengths and weaknesses of each technique, to facilitate the most successful and cost-effective choice of imaging studies for the detection of osseous metastases. Skeletal scintigraphy (bone scan) is very sensitive in the detection of osseous metastases and is recommended as the first imaging study in patients who are asymptomatic. Radiographs are recommended for the assessment of abnormal radionuclide uptake or the risk of pathological fracture and as initial imaging studies in patients with bone pain. MRI or PET-CT can be considered for cases of abnormal radionuclide uptake that are not addressed by radiography. Osseous metastases can lead to emergent situations, such as spinal-cord compression or impending fracture of a weight-bearing bone, and imaging guidelines are essential for early detection and initiation of appropriate therapy. The imaging method used in non-emergent situations, such as assessment of the ribs, sternum, pelvis, hips, and joints, should be guided by the strengths and limitations of each technique.
    The Lancet Oncology 07/2009; 10(6):606-14. · 25.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In breast tumors, high levels of leptin have been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer metastasis. Breast cancer metastasis is directly associated with breast cancer cell invasion. However, whether leptin could augment breast cancer cell invasion is not known. Here we showed that leptin increased the invasiveness and the matrix metallo-proteinase-2 (MMP-2) activity of the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Leptin stimulated the phosphorylation of extracellular signals regulated kinases, signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 and Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK); however, only inhibition of JNK decreased leptin-mediated activation of MMP-2. Furthermore, inhibition of JNK suppressed leptin-mediated breast cancer cell invasion. Here we report the novel findings that leptin increased invasion of breast cancer cells by activating JNK, resulting in increased MMP-2 activity.
    Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 01/2009; 26(3):197-204. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract P-ethoxy oligonucleotides (oligos) are lipophilic analogs of phospho-diesters. We have used liposomes to increase the intracellular uptake of P-ethoxy oligos, and demonstrated that liposomal P-ethoxy antisense oligos specific for Bcr-Abl, Grb2, Crkl or Bcl-2 mRNA could selectively inhibit the production of the corresponding proteins, thereby inducing growth inhibition in leukemia and lymphoma cell lines. In support of studying the effectiveness of liposomal P-ethoxy antisense oligos in animal models, we had conducted a series of studies to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution and safety of intravenous injection of liposomal P-ethoxy oligos in normal mice. The pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of liposomal P-ethoxy oligos are very similar to those of other liposomal compounds. The plasma clearance rate of liposomal P-ethoxy oligos was biphasic; the t1/2 α and t1/2 β were approximately 6.7 min and 7 h, respectively. The highest concentrations of liposomal P-ethoxy oligos were found in spleen and liver, with a t1/2 of approximately 48 h. When up to 180 mg of P-ethoxy oligos per kg of mice's body weight were used, the administration of liposomal P-ethoxy oligos had no adverse effects on renal and hepatic functions, or on the hematological parameters studied. No major organ pathologic changes were observed. Our studies suggested that, at the doses studied, liposomal P-ethoxy oligos could be safely used in animal studies. Since liposomal P-ethoxy oligos were found to accumulate mainly in spleen and liver, which are the major organs of leukemic and lymphoma disease manifestation, we are currently investigating the use of liposomal P-ethoxy antisense oligos in experimental leukemia and lymphoma animal models.
    09/2008; 8(2):251-264.
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor invasion and metastasis remain a major cause of mortality in breast cancer patients. High concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) suppress tumor invasion and metastasis in vivo. NO prodrugs generate large amounts of NO upon metabolism by appropriate intracellular enzymes, and therefore could have potential in the prevention and therapy of metastatic breast cancer. The present study was designed to determine the effects of the NO-releasing prodrug O2-(2,4-dinitrophenyl) 1- [(4-ethoxycarbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate (JS-K) on breast cancer invasion and the mechanisms involved. MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-231/F10, and MCF-7/COX-2 were the three breast cancer cell lines tested. NO levels were determined spectrophotometrically using a NO assay kit. Invasion and the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitor of MMPs were determined using Matrigel invasion assays, an MMP array kit and ELISAs. The activity and expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, p38, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase mitogen-activated protein kinases were determined using western blot analyses. Under conditions by which JS-K was not cytotoxic, JS-K significantly decreased (P < 0.05) the invasiveness of breast cancer cells across the Matrigel basement membrane, which was directly correlated with NO production. JS-43-126, a non-NO-releasing analog of JS-K, had no effect on NO levels or invasion. JS-K increased (P < 0.05) TIMP-2 production, and blocking TIMP-2 activity with a neutralizing antibody significantly increased (P < 0.05) the invasive activity of JS-K-treated cells across Matrigel. JS-K decreased p38 activity, whereas the activity and the expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase were unaffected. We report the novel findings that JS-K inhibits breast cancer invasion across the Matrigel basement membrane, and NO production is vital for this activity. Upregulation of TIMP-2 production is one mechanism by which JS-K mediates its anti-invasive effects. JS-K and other NO prodrugs may represent an innovative biological approach in the prevention and treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 06/2008; 10(3):R44. · 5.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High levels of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein have been associated with invasion and metastasis of breast tumors. Both prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) have been shown to mediate the invasive activity of COX-2 in breast cancer cells. Here we expand these studies to determine how COX-2 uses PGE(2) and IL-8 to induce breast cancer cell invasion. We demonstrated that PGE(2) and IL-8 decreased the expression of the tumor suppressor protein Programmed Cell Death 4 (PDCD4). We hypothesized that suppression of PDCD4 expression is vital to the invasive activity of PGE(2) and IL-8. In MCF-7 cells overexpressing PDCD4 (MCF-7/PDCD4), PGE(2) and IL-8 failed to induce invasion, in contrast to the parental MCF-7 cells, thus indicating that PDCD4 blocks breast cancer cell invasion. MCF-7/PDCD4 cells produced higher levels of the Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) than the parental cells. Silencing TIMP-2 mRNA in MCF-7/PDCD4 cells reversed the anti-invasive effects of PDCD4, allowing PGE(2) and IL-8 to induce the invasion of these cells. Here we report the novel findings that suppression of PDCD4 expression is vital for the invasive activity of COX-2 mediated by PGE(2) and IL-8, and that PDCD4 increases TIMP-2 expression to inhibit breast cancer cell invasion.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 05/2008; 114(2):203-9. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis (programmed cell death type I) and autophagy (type II) are crucial mechanisms regulating cell death and homeostasis. The Bcl-2 proto-oncogene is overexpressed in 50-70% of breast cancers, potentially leading to resistance to chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy-induced apoptosis. Here, we investigated the role of Bcl-2 in autophagy in breast cancer cells. Silencing of Bcl-2 by siRNA in MCF-7 breast cancer cells downregulated Bcl-2 protein levels (>85%) and led to inhibition of cell growth (71%) colony formation (79%), and cell death (up to 55%) by autophagy but not apoptosis. Induction of autophagy was demonstrated by acridine orange staining, electron microscopy and an accumulation of GFP-LC3-II in autophagosomal membranes in MCF-7 cells transfected with GFP-LC-3(GFP-ATG8). Silencing of Bcl-2 by siRNA also led to induction of LC-3-II, a hallmark of autophagy, ATG5 and Beclin-1 autophagy promoting proteins. Knockdown of ATG5 significantly inhibited Bcl-2 siRNA-induced LC3-II expression, the number of GFP-LC3-II-labeled autophagosome positive cells and autophagic cell death (p < 0.05). Furthermore, doxorubicin at a high dose (IC(95), 1 microM) induced apoptosis but at a low dose (IC(50), 0.07 microM) induced only autophagy and Beclin-1 expression. When combined with Bcl-2 siRNA, doxorubicin (IC(50)) enhanced autophagy as indicated by the increased number cells with GFP-LC3-II-stained autophagosomes (punctuated pattern positive). These results provided the first evidence that targeted silencing of Bcl-2 induces autophagic cell death in MCF-7 breast cancer cells and that Bcl-2 siRNA may be used as a therapeutic strategy alone or in combination with chemotherapy in breast cancer cells that overexpress Bcl-2.
    Autophagy 01/2008; 4(5):669-79. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated that liposome-incorporated antisense oligodeoxynucleotide specific for the grb2 mRNA (L-Grb2) inhibited Grb2 protein expression and the proliferation of bcr-abl-positive leukemia cell lines. To determine whether L-Grb2 has the potential of being a therapeutic modality against bcr-abl-positive leukemia, we studied the tissue distribution of L-Grb2 in normal mice before studying its effects in mice bearing bcr-abl-positive leukemia xenografts. L-Grb2 was widely distributed in the body. The highest tissue concentrations of L-Grb2 were found in the spleen and liver, which are the organs where the tumor mass of bcr-abl-positive leukemia is mainly found. At 4 h post-injection, the amount of L-Grb2 detected per g of tissue was 64 microg in spleen and 50 microg in liver. Intravenous injection of bcr-abl-positive 32D mouse leukemia cells into radiated NOD/scid mice caused a lethal leukemia syndrome; we determined whether L-Grb2 could prolong the survival of mice bearing such xenografts. One day after leukemia cell inoculation, mice received twice weekly intravenous injections of L-Grb2. At an injection dose of 15 mg of L-Grb2 per kg of mouse body weight, 80% of mice treated with L-Grb2 survived to 48 days (end of study) whereas 0% of mice treated with the same dose of liposomal control oligonucleotide survived; the mean survival duration of these groups was 44 and 20 days, respectively. Our data indicate that L-Grb2 prolonged the survival of mice bearing bcr-abl-positive leukemia xenografts. L-Grb2 may be used as a novel cancer therapeutic modality.
    International Journal of Oncology 12/2007; 31(5):1243-50. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant tumor in the brain. It aggressively invades the surrounding parenchyma, often allowing the tumor to progress after surgery. Accumulating evidence has shown that phosphorylated p21-activated kinase 1 (Pak1), a mediator of small guanosine triphosphatases, plays a role in the proliferation, survival, and invasiveness of cancer cells. Thus, we examined patterns of Pak1 expression in glioblastoma and sought to determine whether the level of phosphorylated Pak1 in glioblastoma cells is associated with patient survival time. We carried out immunohistochemical staining for phosphorylated Pak1 in tumor specimens from 136 patients with glioblastoma; the tumors were classified according to Pak1 protein levels in the cytoplasm and nucleus. We compared the patients' overall survival times using Kaplan-Meier analysis and estimated the effects of levels of cytoplasmic or nuclear phosphorylated Pak1. We then down-regulated Pak1 by using small interfering RNA to knock down Pak1 in two glioblastoma cell lines to determine whether Pak1 contributed to cell viability and invasion. Median overall survival was significantly shorter in patients with tumors showing a moderate or high level of cytoplasmic phosphorylated Pak1 than in patients with tumors showing no cytoplasmic phosphorylated Pak1. The level of nuclear phosphorylated Pak1 was not related to survival time. Knockdown of Pak1 suppressed the invasion, but not the viability, of U87-MG and U373-MG cells. The presence of phosphorylated Pak1 in the cytoplasm of glioblastoma cells is associated with shorter survival, and Pak1 plays a role in the invasiveness of glioblastoma. These data suggest that Pak1 might be a potential target for the management of glioblastoma.
    Clinical Cancer Research 12/2007; 13(22 Pt 1):6603-9. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) overexpression is frequently found in ovarian and other cancers and is predictive of poor clinical outcome. In the current study, we characterized the biological and therapeutic effects of a novel FAK inhibitor, TAE226. Taxane-sensitive (SKOV3ip1 and HeyA8) and taxane-resistant (HeyA8-MDR) cell lines were used for in vitro and in vivo therapy experiments using TAE226 alone and in combination with docetaxel. Assessment of cytotoxicity, cell proliferation [proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)], angiogenesis (CD31), and apoptosis (terminal nucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling) were done by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. In vitro, TAE226 inhibited the phosphorylation of FAK at both Y397 and Y861 sites, inhibited cell growth in a time- and dose-dependent manner, and enhanced docetaxel-mediated growth inhibition by 10- and 20-fold in the taxane-sensitive and taxane-resistant cell lines, respectively. In vivo, FAK inhibition by TAE226 significantly reduced tumor burden in the HeyA8, SKOV3ip1, and HeyA8-MDR models (46-64%) compared with vehicle-treated controls. However, the greatest efficacy was observed with concomitant administration of TAE226 and docetaxel in all three models (85-97% reduction, all P values <0.01). In addition, TAE226 alone and in combination with chemotherapy significantly prolonged survival in tumor-bearing mice. Even in larger tumors, combination therapy with TAE226 and docetaxel resulted in tumor regression. The therapeutic efficacy was related to reduced pericyte coverage, induction of apoptosis of tumor-associated endothelial cells, and reduced microvessel density and tumor cell proliferation. The novel FAK inhibitor, TAE226, offers an attractive therapeutic approach in ovarian carcinoma.
    Cancer Research 11/2007; 67(22):10976-83. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) increases breast cancer cell invasion. Expression of various pro-angiogenic and pro-invasive factors has been correlated with high expression of COX-2. However, whether these factors are essential to COX-2-mediated breast cancer invasion, and the mechanisms by which COX-2 increases the expression of these factors are unknown. Our microarray results indicate that higher COX-2 expression was associated with increased levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8), a key factor in breast cancer invasion and metastasis. COX-2 overexpressing cells (MCF-7/COX-2), generated by transfecting COX-2-encoding plasmids into the poorly invasive MCF-7 breast cancer cells, were more invasive and produced higher IL-8 levels than the parental cells. To investigate the role of IL-8 in COX-2-mediated invasion, MCF-7 parental cells were incubated with IL-8. Exogenous IL-8 increased the invasiveness of MCF-7 cells. IL-8 is one pathway by which COX-2 mediates breast cancer invasion. Protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) are activated by COX-2 and are involved in IL-8 regulation. Inhibition of PKC, not PKA, decreased IL-8 production and invasion in MCF-7/COX-2 cells. Activation of PKC, not PKA, increased IL-8 production and invasion in MCF-7 cells. Thus, the invasive effects of COX-2 are mediated by PKC, not PKA. Activity of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) was increased in MCF-7 cells by COX-2 overexpression or by the addition of a PKC activator or by IL-8. Inhibition of PKC decreased uPA activity in MCF-7/COX-2 cells. Furthermore, inhibition of uPA activity decreased the invasiveness of MCF-7/COX-2 cells, indicating that uPA was essential to COX-2-mediated invasion. Herein we demonstrate for the first time a detailed mechanism by which COX-2 increases breast cancer invasion: the PKC/IL-8/uPA pathway.
    International Journal of Oncology 05/2007; 30(4):785-92. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Suppression of Bcl-2 expression can overcome cellular resistance to apoptosis induced by the adenovirus type 5 gene E1A in models of ovarian and breast cancer. Celecoxib, a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, is known to downregulate Bcl-2 expression. We hypothesized that celecoxib would enhance E1A-induced apoptosis by suppressing Bcl-2 through suppressing COX-2 expression. If successful, this strategy could represent a means of overcoming resistance to E1A gene therapy. We first established the cytotoxicity of celecoxib in two COX-2-overexpressing E1A-transfected breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-435) and in two low-COX-2-expressing E1A-transfected cell lines (MCF-7 (breast cancer) and SKOV3.ip1 (ovarian cancer)). We next tested whether higher sensitivity to celecoxib among these cell lines resulted from increased apoptosis by flow cytometry and western blotting. We further investigated whether suppression of Bcl-2 by celecoxib was involved in the apoptosis resulting from celecoxib treatment, and we explored whether the celecoxib-induced apoptosis in these cells depends on a COX-2 downstream pathway. The two COX-2-overexpressing cell lines MDA-MB-231-E1A and MDA-MB-435-E1A were more sensitive to celecoxib than the corresponding control cells, but the two low-COX-2-expressing cell lines MCF-7-E1A and SKOV3.ip1-E1A were no more sensitive than control cells to celecoxib. Therefore, we used the MDA-MB-231-E1A and MDA-MB-435-E1A cells for all further experiments. In both cell lines, sub-G1 fraction was increased, or cleavage of PARP and caspase-9 were increased after 5 days of exposure to 40 microM celecoxib. However, Bcl-2 was suppressed only in the MDA-MB-435-E1A cells and not in the MDA-MB-231-E1A cells. Restoring Bcl-2 expression in the MDA-MB-435-E1A stable transfectants did not affect their sensitivity to celecoxib. However, adding prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) or PGF2alpha blunted the sensitivity to celecoxib of both E1A stable transfectants. We speculate that one mechanism by which celecoxib enhances E1A-induced apoptosis in cells that express high levels of COX-2 is through blocking PGE2 or PGF2alpha.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 02/2007; 9(4):R41. · 5.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer most frequently metastasizes to bone causing decreased quality of life and morbidity. Since current treatments are palliative, strategies to prevent bone metastases in breast cancer patients are required. There is substantial evidence indicating that high levels of nitric oxide (NO) suppress tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. We hypothesize that agents that produce high concentrations of NO could prevent the spread of breast cancer to bone. We previously demonstrated that the synthetic retinoid N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide (4-HPR) produces high levels of NO via the induction of NO synthases. NO pro-drugs are designed to produce large amounts of NO without inducing NO synthases but upon metabolism by their intracellular targets. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of 4-HPR and an NO pro-drug, diethylamineNONOate/AM (NONO-AM), in inhibiting the growth and invasiveness of bone metastatic breast cancer cells. Parental MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were resistant to 4-HPR-induced apoptosis at clinically relevant doses, whereas 4-HPR-induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in MDA-MB-231/F10 bone metastatic breast cancer cells. Unlike 4-HPR, NONO-AM induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in both parental MDA-MB-231 cells and F10 cells. The bone metastatic F10 cells were more sensitive to the anti-invasive effects of 4-HPR and NONO-AM than were MDA-MB-231 cells. Although suppression of matrix metalloprotease-9 activity may be one mechanism by which 4-HPR decreases the invasion of F10 cells, it does not appear to be the anti-invasion mechanism of NONO-AM. These in vitro results suggest that 4-HPR and NO pro-drugs may be effective chemopreventive agents against bone metastatic breast cancer.
    Carcinogenesis 04/2006; 27(3):568-77. · 5.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 30-40% of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha)-positive breast tumors express high levels of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein, and these high levels have been associated with a poorer prognosis in breast cancer patients. We speculate that high levels of COX-2 induce drug resistance in ERalpha-positive breast tumors, thus reducing the survival rate of patients with such tumors. Human breast cancer cell lines that express high levels of COX-2 are generally ERalpha negative. To determine whether COX-2 induces drug resistance, plasmids encoding the COX-2 gene were stably transfected into ERalpha-positive MCF-7 human breast cancer cells (MCF-7/COX-2). MCF-7/COX-2 cells were resistant to the selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen but not to its analog, raloxifene. MCF-7/COX-2 cells were also resistant to the retinoid N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide (4-HPR) but not to its analog, all-trans retinoic acid. In contrast, the sensitivities of MCF-7/COX-2 cells to doxorubicin and paclitaxel were similar to those of the parental MCF-7 cells. We then determined which COX-2 product, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) or prostaglandin F2alpha is involved in the COX-2-mediated drug resistance. PGE2, but not PGF2alpha, blocked the antiproliferative effects of tamoxifen and 4-HPR. Agonists that activate PGE2 receptors and their downstream kinase effectors, protein kinases A and C, also blocked the growth inhibitory effects of these drugs. Increased levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL proteins have been reported in mammary tumors of COX-2 transgenic mice and in human colon cancer cell lines that have high levels of COX-2. However, we did not observe any changes in Bcl-2, Bcl-XL, or Bax expression induced by COX-2 or PGE2. Here we report the novel findings that COX-2 uses PGE2 to stimulate the activities of protein kinases A and C to induce selectively tamoxifen and 4-HPR resistance in ERalpha-positive breast cancer cells.
    Laboratory Investigation 12/2005; 85(11):1357-67. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies showed that SMA41, a 3-methyltriazene termed "combi-molecules" possessing a dual epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/DNA targeting properties induced potent antiproliferative activity against alkylating-agent-resistant cells expressing EGFR in vitro. However, despite its marked potency, its antitumour activity in vivo was significantly hampered by its poor hydrosolubility and the moderate reactivity of its alkylating moiety. To circumvent this problem, we designed the quinazolinotriazene ZRBA1 to contain a N,N-dimethylaminoethyl group grafted to the 3-position of the triazene chain where it could serve both as a water soluble and a more potent alkylating moiety. ZRBA1 exhibited five-fold stronger EGFR tyrosine kinase (TK) inhibitory activity (IC(50)=37nM) than SMA41, decomposed into a 6-amino-quinazoline FD105 (IC(50)=200nM) and preferentially blocked EGF- over platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-or serum-induced cell growth. ZRBA1 induced DNA damage, concomitantly blocked EGF-stimulated EGFR phosphorylation by a partially irreversible mechanism in MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells, and induced partially irreversible antiproliferative activity. It also prevented EGFR-mediated MAP kinase activation and, in contrast to FD105 and SMA41, induced high levels of apoptosis. Furthermore, ZRBA1 showed significantly greater antitumor activity (p<0.05) than SMA41 in the human MDA-MB-468 breast cancer xenograft model. The results in toto indicate that the appendage of N,N-dimethylaminoethyl to combi-triazenes may be an alternative to the reduced hydrosolubility and also to the lack of potency of monofunctional combi-triazenes against resistant tumours.
    Biochemical Pharmacology 08/2005; 70(4):511-9. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Women with germline mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. The synthetic retinoid N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide (4-HPR) has been shown to have a clinical chemopreventive activity in patients with premenopausal breast cancer. Since BRCA1 mutations are associated with an early-onset breast cancer, usually before menopause, we hypothesized that 4-HPR may be an effective chemopreventive agent against breast tumors exhibiting BRCA1 mutations. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness and mechanisms of action of 4-HPR and its phenylretinamide analogues in BRCA1-mutated breast cancer cells. At clinically relevant doses, 4-HPR induced apoptosis in human (HCC1937) and murine (W0069, W525) BRCA1-mutated breast cancer cells. Among the various phenylretinamides tested, N-(2-carboxyphenyl)retinamide (2-CPR) and 3-CPR significantly inhibited the growth of HCC1937 cells; however, they were not as potent as 4-HPR in this respect. We also determined the mechanisms by which 4-HPR induces apoptosis in BRCA1-mutated breast cancer cells. The extent to which 4-HPR induced apoptosis in BRCA1-mutated cells correlated with the increases in nitric oxide (NO) production and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) II and NOSIII expression. Use of a NOS inhibitor to block NO production suppressed the inhibitory effects of 4-HPR in all cell lines. These in vitro results suggest that 4-HPR may be an effective chemopreventive agent against breast tumors that exhibit BRCA1 mutations because of its ability to induce NO-mediated apoptosis in such tumors.
    Carcinogenesis 06/2005; 26(5):1000-7. · 5.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High levels of the Wilms' Tumor 1 (WT1) protein and mRNA had been associated with aggressive phenotypes of breast tumors. Here we report that the HER2/neu oncogene increases WT1 expression. Approximately threefold higher levels of WT1 protein were observed in MCF-7 breast cancer cells transfected with the HER2/neu oncogene than in parental MCF-7 cells. Conversely, inhibition of HER2/neu with the anti-HER2/neu trastuzumab (Herceptintrade mark) antibody decreased WT1 protein levels in HER2/neu-overexpressing BT-474 and SKBr3 cells. We also found that HER2/neu engages Akt to regulate WT1 levels since inhibition of Akt reduced WT1 levels. Decreased expression of WT1 protein led to cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase and increased apoptosis in HER2/neu-overexpressing cells, which is correlated with decreased cyclin D1 and Bcl-2 levels. Our data indicate that HER2/neu engages Akt to increase WT1 expression, and that WT1 protein plays a vital role in regulating cell cycle progression and apoptosis in HER2/neu-overexpressing breast cancer cells.
    Oncogene 03/2005; 24(9):1648-52. · 8.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
335.68 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2013
    • Autonomous University of Nuevo León
      • Departamento de Bioquímica
      San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico
  • 1994–2011
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      • • Department of Experimental Therapeutics
      • • Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory
      • • Department of Bioimmunotherapy
      • • Department of Clinical Investigations
      Houston, TX, United States