Kathleen Kelly

National Institutes of Health, Maryland, United States

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Publications (31)192.32 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The recurrence of prostate cancer metastases to bone after androgen deprivation therapy is a major clinical challenge. We identified FN14 (TNFRSF12A), a TNF receptor family member, as a factor that promotes prostate cancer bone metastasis. In experimental models, depletion of FN14 inhibited bone metastasis, and FN14 could be functionally reconstituted with IKKβ-dependent, NFκB signaling activation. In human prostate cancer, upregulated FN14 expression was observed in greater than half of metastatic samples. In addition, FN14 expression was correlated inversely with AR signaling output in clinical samples. Consistent with this, AR binding to the FN14 enhancer decreased expression. We show here that FN14 may be a survival factor in low AR output prostate cancer cells. Our results define one upstream mechanism, via FN14 signaling, through which the NFκB pathway contributes to prostate cancer metastasis, and they suggest FN14 as a candidate therapeutic and imaging target for castrate resistant prostate cancers.
    Cancer research. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of EGFR signaling pathway leads to prostate cancer bone metastasis; however, therapies targeting EGFR have demonstrated limited effectiveness and led to drug resistance. miR-203 levels are down-regulated in clinical samples of primary prostate cancer and further reduced in metastatic prostate cancer. Here we show that ectopic miR-203 expression displayed reduced bone metastasis and induced sensitivity to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) treatment in a xenograft model. Our results demonstrate that the induction of bone metastasis and TKI resistance require miR-203 down regulation, activation of the EGFR pathway via altered expression of EGFR ligands (EREG and TGFA) and anti-apoptotic proteins (API5, BIRC2, and TRIAP1). Importantly, a sufficient reconstitution of invasiveness and resistance to TKIs treatment was observed in cells transfected with anti-miR-203. In prostate cancer patients, our data showed that miR-203 levels were inversely correlated with the expression of two EGFR ligands, EREG and TGFA, and an EGFR dependent gene signature. Our results support the existence of a miR-203, EGFR, TKIs resistance regulatory network in prostate cancer progression. We propose that the loss of miR-203 is a molecular link in the progression of prostate cancer metastasis and TKIs resistance characterized by high EGFR ligands output and anti-apoptotic proteins activation.
    Oncotarget 06/2014; 5(11):3770-3784. · 6.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Aberrant activation of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling plays an important role in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. DACT1 (Dapper/Frodo) has been identified as involved in antagonizing Wnt/beta-catenin signaling through interacting with Dishevelled (Dvl), a central mediator of Wnt signaling, while its role in breast tumorigenesis remains unclear. METHODS: We examined DACT1 expression in breast cancer cell lines and primary tumors by semi-quantitative or quantitative RT-PCR and immunochemistry, and further evaluated the promoter methylation of DACT1 by methylation-specific PCR (MSP). We also explored the tumor suppressive functions of DACT1 in vivo and in vitro, and its related-mechanism in breast cancer. RESULTS: We identified DACT1 as a methylated target in our breast cancer epigenome study. Here, we further investigated DACT1 expression in multiple breast cell lines and primary tumors, and further studied its function and molecular mechanisms. We found that DACT1 expression was silenced in 88.9% (8/9) of breast cancer cell lines, and its protein levels were obviously reduced in breast tumors compared to paired surgical margin tissues. Promoter CpG methylation of DACT1 was detected in 55.6% (5/9) of breast cancer cell lines and 29.9% (40/134) of primary tumors, but not in surgical margin tissues and normal breast tissues. Demethylation treatment of breast cancer cell lines restored DACT1 expression along with promoter demethylation, suggesting that epigenetic mechanism mediates DACT1 silencing in breast cancer. Functional assays showed that ectopic expression of DACT1 could inhibit breast tumor cell proliferation in vivo and in vitro through inducing apoptosis, and further suppress tumor cell migration through antagonizing the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that DACT1 could function as a tumor suppressor but was frequently downregulated in breast cancer.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 03/2013; 15(2):R23. · 5.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD97, a member of the adhesion family of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), complexes with and potentiates lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptor signaling to the downstream effector RHOA. We show here that CD97 was expressed in a majority of thyroid cancers but not normal thyroid epithelium and that the level of CD97 expression was further elevated with progression to poorly differentiated and undifferentiated carcinoma. Intratumoral progression also showed that CD97 expression correlates with invasiveness and dedifferentiation. To determine the functional role of CD97, we produced a transgenic model of thyroglobulin promoter-driven CD97 expression. Transgenic CD97 in combination with Thrb(PV), an established mouse model of thyroid follicular cell carcinogenesis, significantly increased the occurrence of vascular invasion and lung metastasis. Expression of transgenic CD97 in thyroid epithelium led to elevated ERK phosphorylation and increased numbers of Ki67+ cells in developing tumors. In addition, tumor cell cultures derived from CD97 transgenic as compared with non-transgenic mice demonstrated enhanced, constitutive and LPA-stimulated ERK activation. In human thyroid cancer cell lines, CD97 depletion reduced RHO-GTP and decreased LPA-stimulated invasion but not EGF-stimulated invasion, further suggesting that CD97 influences an LPA-associated mechanism of progression. Consistent with the above, CD97 expression in human thyroid cancers correlated with LPA receptor and markers of aggressiveness including Ki67 and pAKT. This study shows an autonomous effect of CD97 on thyroid cancer progression and supports the investigation of this GPCR as a therapeutic target for these cancers.Oncogene advance online publication, 16 July 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.301.
    Oncogene 07/2012; · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a developmental program of signaling pathways that determine commitment to epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes. In the prostate, EMT processes have been implicated in benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer progression. In a model of Pten- and TP53-null prostate adenocarcinoma that progresses via transforming growth factor β-induced EMT, mesenchymal transformation is characterized by plasticity, leading to various mesenchymal lineages and the production of bone. Here we show that SLUG is a major regulator of mesenchymal differentiation. As microRNAs (miRs) are pleiotropic regulators of differentiation and tumorigenesis, we evaluated miR expression associated with tumorigenesis and EMT. Mir-1 and miR-200 were reduced with progression of prostate adenocarcinoma, and we identify Slug as one of the phylogenetically conserved targets of these miRs. We demonstrate that SLUG is a direct repressor of miR-1 and miR-200 transcription. Thus, SLUG and miR-1/miR-200 act in a self-reinforcing regulatory loop, leading to amplification of EMT. Depletion of Slug inhibited EMT during tumorigenesis, whereas forced expression of miR-1 or miR-200 inhibited both EMT and tumorigenesis in human and mouse model systems. Various miR targets were analyzed, and our findings suggest that miR-1 has roles in regulating EMT and mesenchymal differentiation through Slug and functions in tumor-suppressive programs by regulating additional targets.Oncogene advance online publication, 27 February 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.58.
    Oncogene 02/2012; · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genomic rearrangements commonly occur in many types of cancers and often initiate or alter the progression of disease. Here we describe an in vivo mouse model that recapitulates the most frequent rearrangement in prostate cancer, the fusion of the promoter region of TMPRSS2 with the coding region of the transcription factor, ERG. A recombinant bacterial artificial chromosome including an extended TMPRSS2 promoter driving genomic ERG was constructed and used for transgenesis in mice. TMPRSS2-ERG expression was evaluated in tissue sections and FACS-fractionated prostate cell populations. In addition to the anticipated expression in luminal cells, TMPRSS2-ERG was similarly expressed in the Sca-1(hi)/EpCAM(+) basal/progenitor fraction, where expanded numbers of clonogenic self-renewing progenitors were found, as assayed by in vitro sphere formation. These clonogenic cells increased intrinsic self renewal in subsequent generations. In addition, ERG dependent self-renewal and invasion in vitro was demonstrated in prostate cell lines derived from the model. Clinical studies have suggested that the TMPRSS2-ERG translocation occurs early in prostate cancer development. In the model described here, the presence of the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion alone was not transforming but synergized with heterozygous Pten deletion to promote PIN. Taken together, these data suggest that one function of TMPRSS2-ERG is the expansion of self-renewing cells, which may serve as targets for subsequent mutations. Primary prostate epithelial cells demonstrated increased post transcriptional turnover of ERG compared to the TMPRSS2-ERG positive VCaP cell line, originally isolated from a prostate cancer metastasis. Finally, we determined that TMPRSS2-ERG expression occurred in both castration-sensitive and resistant prostate epithelial subpopulations, suggesting the existence of androgen-independent mechanisms of TMPRSS2 expression in prostate epithelium.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e41668. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer (BrCa) is a complex disease driven by aberrant gene alterations and environmental factors. Recent studies reveal that abnormal epigenetic gene regulation also plays an important role in its pathogenesis. Ubiquitin carboxyl- terminal esterase L1 (UCHL1) is a tumor suppressor silenced by promoter methylation in multiple cancers, but its role and alterations in breast tumorigenesis remain unclear. We found that UCHL1 was frequently downregulated or silenced in breast cancer cell lines and tumor tissues, but readily expressed in normal breast tissues and mammary epithelial cells. Promoter methylation of UCHL1 was detected in 9 of 10 breast cancer cell lines (90%) and 53 of 66 (80%) primary tumors, but rarely in normal breast tissues, which was statistically correlated with advanced clinical stage and progesterone receptor status. Pharmacologic demethylation reactivated UCHL1 expression along with concomitant promoter demethylation. Ectopic expression of UCHL1 significantly suppressed the colony formation and proliferation of breast tumor cells, through inducing G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Subcellular localization study showed that UCHL1 increased cytoplasmic abundance of p53. We further found that UCHL1 induced p53 accumulation and reduced MDM2 protein level, and subsequently upregulated the expression of p21, as well as cleavage of caspase3 and PARP, but not in catalytic mutant UCHL1 C90S-expressed cells. UCHL1 exerts its tumor suppressive functions by inducing G0/G1cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in breast tumorigenesis, requiring its deubiquitinase activity. Its frequent silencing by promoter CpG methylation may serve as a potential tumor marker for breast cancer.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e29783. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Paul G Hynes, Kathleen Kelly
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced prostate cancers are treated with androgen deprivation therapy, which usually leads to a rapid and significant reduction in tumor burden but subsequent development of castration-resistant and metastatic disease almost always occurs. The source of tumor heterogeneity and the accompanying mechanisms leading to treatment resistance are major areas of prostate cancer research. Although our understanding of tumor heterogeneity is evolving, the functional isolation of tumor propagating populations, also known as cancer stem cells (CSCs), is fundamental to the identification and molecular characterization of castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. Of clinical importance, knowledge of prostate CSCs has implications for design of next generation-targeted therapies aimed at both eradicating primary tumor mass and preventing castration-resistant disease. The inability to routinely transplant fractionated primary human prostate tumors has prevented progress in analyzing the source of heterogeneous and treatment-resistant populations in prostate cancer. Here, we briefly overview the mechanisms of castration resistance, including the hypothesis for the existence of androgen-independent prostate CSCs. Finally, we discuss the interpretation of preclinical models and their utility for characterizing prostate CSCs in androgen-replete and androgen-deprived conditions.
    Journal of Carcinogenesis 01/2012; 11:6.
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is implicated in various pathological processes within the prostate, including benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer progression. However, an ordered sequence of signaling events initiating carcinoma-associated EMT has not been established. In a model of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)-induced prostatic EMT, SLUG is the dominant regulator of EMT initiation in vitro and in vivo, as demonstrated by the inhibition of EMT following Slug depletion. In contrast, SNAIL depletion was significantly less rate limiting. TGFβ-stimulated KLF4 degradation is required for SLUG induction. Expression of a degradation-resistant KLF4 mutant inhibited EMT, and furthermore, depletion of Klf4 was sufficient to initiate SLUG-dependent EMT. We show that KLF4 and another epithelial determinant, FOXA1, are direct transcriptional inhibitors of SLUG expression in mouse and human prostate cancer cells. Furthermore, self-reinforcing regulatory loops for SLUG-KLF4 and SLUG-FOXA1 lead to SLUG-dependent binding of polycomb repressive complexes to the Klf4 and Foxa1 promoters, silencing transcription and consolidating mesenchymal commitment. Analysis of tissue arrays demonstrated decreased KLF4 and increased SLUG expression in advanced-stage primary prostate cancer, substantiating the involvement of the EMT signaling events described in model systems.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 12/2011; 32(5):941-53. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD97, an adhesion-linked G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), is induced in multiple epithelial cancer lineages. We address here the signaling properties and the functional significance of CD97 expression in prostate cancer. Our findings show that CD97 signals through Gα12/13 to increase RHO-GTP levels. CD97 functioned to mediate invasion in prostate cancer cells, at least in part, by associating with lysophosphatidic acid receptor 1 (LPAR1), leading to enhanced LPA-dependent RHO and extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation. Consistent with its role in invasion, depletion of CD97 in PC3 cells resulted in decreased bone metastasis without affecting subcutaneous tumor growth. Furthermore, CD97 heterodimerized and functionally synergized with LPAR1, a GPCR implicated in cancer progression. We also found that CD97 and LPAR expression were significantly correlated in clinical prostate cancer specimens. Taken together, these findings support the investigation of CD97 as a potential therapeutic cancer target.
    Cancer Research 12/2011; 71(23):7301-11. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of PTEN and loss of TP53 are common genetic aberrations occurring in prostate cancer. PTEN and TP53 contribute to the regulation of self-renewal and differentiation in prostate progenitors, presumptive tumor initiating cells for prostate cancer. Here we characterize the transformed phenotypes resulting from deletion of the Pten and TP53 tumor suppressors in prostate epithelium. Using the PB-Cre4(+)Pten(fl/fl)TP53(fl/fl) model of prostate cancer, we describe the histological and metastatic properties of primary tumors, transplanted primary tumor cells, and clonal cell lines established from tumors. Adenocarcinoma was the major primary tumor type that developed, which progressed to lethal sarcomatoid carcinoma at approximately 6 months of age. In addition, basal carcinomas and prostatic urothelial carcinomas were observed. We show that tumor heterogeneity resulted, at least in part, from the transformation of multipotential progenitors. CK8+ luminal epithelial cells were capable of undergoing epithelial to mesenchymal transition in vivo to sarcomatoid carcinomas containing osseous metaplasia. Metastasis rarely was observed from primary tumors, but metastasis to lung and lymph nodes occurred frequently from orthotopic tumors initiated from a biphenotypic clonal cell line. Androgen deprivation influenced the differentiated phenotypes of metastases. These data show that one functional consequence of Pten/TP53 loss in prostate epithelium is lineage plasticity of transformed cells.
    American Journal Of Pathology 07/2011; 179(1):422-35. · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Oncogene 04/2011; 30(15):1850-1850. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancers of luminal adenocarcinoma histology display a range of clinical behaviors. Although most prostate cancers are slow-growing and indolent, a proportion is aggressive, developing metastasis and resistance to androgen deprivation treatment. One hypothesis is that a portion of aggressive cancers initiate from stem-like, androgen-independent tumor-propagating cells. Here we demonstrate the in vitro creation of a mouse cell line, selected for growth as self-renewing stem/progenitor cells, which manifests many in vivo properties of aggressive prostate cancer. Normal mouse prostate epithelium containing floxed Pten and TP53 alleles was subjected to CRE-mediated deletion in vitro followed by serial propagation as protospheres. A polyclonal cell line was established from dissociated protospheres and subsequently a clonal daughter line was derived. Both lines demonstrate a mature luminal phenotype in vitro. The established lines contain a stable minor population of progenitor cells with protosphere-forming ability and multi-lineage differentiation capacity. Both lines formed orthotopic adenocarcinoma tumors with metastatic potential to lung. Intracardiac inoculation resulted in brain and lung metastasis, while intra-tibial injection induced osteoblastic bone formation, recapitulating the bone metastatic phenotype of human prostate cancer. The cells showed androgen receptor dependent growth in vitro. Importantly, in vivo, the deprivation of androgens from established orthotopic tumors resulted in tumor regression and eventually castration-resistant growth. These data suggest that transformed prostate progenitor cells preferentially differentiate toward luminal cells and recapitulate many characteristics of the human disease.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e26112. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Late stage or aggressive cancers exhibit metastatic growth at multiple sites, and the characterization of treatment response in various organs to drugs with potentially wide-ranging efficacy is needed. Tumor cells that induce angiogenesis are a common characteristic of metastatic disease, and clinically, antiangiogenic therapies have shown value in the setting of advanced cancer. However, recent preclinical studies have suggested that exposure to antiangiogenic drugs can increase tumor invasiveness and metastasis, making it important to determine which contexts antiangiogenic therapy is most appropriate. We describe here the effects of cediranib, a receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in a model of advanced prostate cancer metastatic to skeleton and brain. Treatment with cediranib decreased metastatic tumor burden in the brain and bone, decreased cerebral vasogenic edema, and improved survival, despite increasing the invasive histology of brain metastases. Short-duration cediranib treatment given at the time of tumor cell dissemination was sufficient to inhibit the establishment and subsequent growth of bone metastases, although brain metastases were subject to rebound growth after the discontinuation of cediranib. Distinct growth patterns at different organ sites in the same animal showed that certain tumor microenvironments such as bone may be most amenable to interventions by anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapies. In addition, anti-VEGF treatment may be of utility in decreasing the rapid growth of solid brain metastases and vasogenic edema in patients with advanced cancer, leading to reduced morbidity and associated clinical benefit.
    Cancer Research 10/2010; 70(21):8662-73. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of PTEN is one of the most common mutations in prostate cancer, and loss of wild-type TP53 is associated with prostate cancer progression and castrate resistance. Modeling prostate cancer in the mouse has shown that while Pten deletion in prostate epithelial cells leads to adenocarcinoma, combined loss of Pten and TP53 results in rapidly developing disease with greater tumor burden and early death. TP53 contributes significantly to the regulation of stem cell self-renewal, and we hypothesized that loss of Pten/TP53 would result in measurable changes in prostate cancer stem/progenitor cell properties. Clonogenic assays that isolate progenitor function in primary prostate epithelial cells were used to measure self-renewal, differentiation, and tumorigenic potential. Pten/TP53 null as compared with wild-type protospheres showed increased self-renewal activity and modified lineage commitment. Orthotopic transplantation of Pten/TP53 null cells derived from protospheres produced invasive Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN)/adenocarcinoma, recapitulating the pathology seen in primary tumors. Pten/TP53 null progenitors relative to wild type also demonstrated increased dependence on the AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and androgen receptor (AR) pathways for clonogenic and tumorigenic growth. These data demonstrate roles for Pten/TP53 in prostate epithelial stem/progenitor cell function, and moreover, as seen in patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer, suggest for the involvement of an AR-dependent axis in the clonogenic expansion of prostate cancer stem cells.
    Stem Cells 10/2010; 28(12):2129-40. · 7.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cutaneous malignant melanoma is considered one of the most deadly human cancers, based on both its penchant for metastatic spread and its typical resistance to currently available therapy. Long known to harbor oncogenic NRAS mutations, melanomas were more recently reported to be frequent bearers of activating mutations in BRAF, one of the effectors situated downstream of wild-type NRAS. NRAS and BRAF mutations are rarely found in the same melanoma, suggesting that they may possess important overlapping oncogenic activities. Here, we compare and contrast the oncogenic roles of the three major NRas downstream effectors, Raf, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and Ral guanine exchange factor (RalGEF), using genetically engineered Arf-deficient immortalized mouse melanocytes as a model system. Although no single downstream pathway could recapitulate all of the consequences of oncogenic NRas expression, our data indicate a prominent role for BRaf and PI3K in melanocyte senescence and invasiveness, respectively. More surprisingly, we discovered that constitutive RalGEF activation had a major impact on several malignant phenotypes, particularly anchorage-independent growth, indicating that this often overlooked pathway should be more carefully evaluated as a possible therapeutic target.
    Oncogene 04/2010; 29(16):2449-56. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brain metastasis has become an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients as the treatment of systemic disease has improved. Brain metastases frequently are highly vascularized, a process driven primarily by VEGF. VEGF mediates numerous changes within the vasculature including endothelial cell retraction and increased permeability, vasodilation, and new vessel formation. Here we describe a xenograft brain metastasis model that mimics the critical steps of metastasis including tumor cell dissemination and vascular adhesion, tumor growth and tumor associated angiogenesis. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was used to evaluate two aspects of the functional response of brain metastasis to the anti-VEGF receptor therapeutic, AZD2171 (Cediranib, RECENTIN). MR tracking of individual cells demonstrated that cediranib did not impede tumor cell extravasation into the brain parenchyma despite evidence that anti-VEGF treatment decreases the permeability of the blood brain barrier. In a second assay, blood volume imaging using ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide revealed that treatment of well-developed brain metastasis with cediranib for 7 days led to a heterogeneous response with respect to individual tumors. Overall, there was a significant average decrease in the tumor vascular bed volume. The majority of large tumors demonstrated substantially reduced central blood volumes relative to normal brain while retaining a rim of elevated blood volume at the tumor brain interface. Small tumors or occasional large tumors displayed a static response. Models and assays such as those described here will be important for designing mechanism-based approaches to the use of anti-angiogenesis therapies for the treatment of brain metastasis.
    Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 04/2009; 26(5):403-14. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    Kathleen Kelly, Juan Juan Yin
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    ABSTRACT: Androgen refractory prostate cancer metastasis is a major clinical challenge. Mechanism-based approaches to treating prostate cancer metastasis require an understanding of the developmental origin of the metastasis-initiating cell. Properties of prostate cancer metastases such as plasticity with respect to differentiated phenotype and androgen independence are consistent with the transformation of a prostate epithelial progenitor or stem cell leading to metastasis. This review focuses upon current evidence and concepts addressing the identification and properties of normal prostate stem or progenitor cells and their transformed counterparts.
    Cell Research 06/2008; 18(5):528-37. · 10.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Signaling downstream of Ras is mediated by three major pathways, Raf/ERK, phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K), and Ral guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RalGEF). Ras signal transduction pathways play an important role in breast cancer progression, as evidenced by the frequent over-expression of the Ras-activating epidermal growth factor receptors EGFR and ErbB2. Here we investigated which signal transduction pathways downstream of Ras contribute to EGFR-dependent transformation of telomerase-immortalized mammary epithelial cells HME16C. Furthermore, we examined whether a highly transcriptionally regulated ERK pathway target, PHLDA1 (TDAG51), suggested to be a tumor suppressor in breast cancer and melanoma, might modulate the transformation process. Cellular transformation of human mammary epithelial cells by downstream Ras signal transduction pathways was examined using anchorage-independent growth assays in the presence and absence of EGFR inhibition. TDAG51 protein expression was down-regulated by interfering small hairpin RNA (shRNA), and the effects on cell proliferation and death were examined in Ras pathway-transformed breast epithelial cells. Activation of both the ERK and PI3K signaling pathways was sufficient to induce cellular transformation, which was accompanied by up-regulation of EGFR ligands, suggesting autocrine EGFR stimulation during the transformation process. Only activation of the ERK pathway was sufficient to transform cells in the presence of EGFR inhibition and was sufficient for tumorigenesis in xenografts. Up-regulation of the PHLDA1 gene product, TDAG51, was found to correlate with persistent ERK activation and anchorage-independent growth in the absence or presence of EGFR inhibition. Knockdown of this putative breast cancer tumor-suppressor gene resulted in increased ERK pathway activation and enhanced matrix-detached cellular proliferation of Ras/Raf transformed cells. Our results suggest that multiple Ras signal transduction pathways contribute to mammary epithelial cell transformation, but that the ERK signaling pathway may be a crucial component downstream of EGFR activation during tumorigenesis. Furthermore, persistent activation of ERK signaling up-regulates TDAG51. This event serves as a negative regulator of both Erk activation as well as matrix-detached cellular proliferation and suggests that TDAG51 opposes ERK-mediated transformation in breast epithelial cells.
    BMC Cancer 02/2008; 8:189. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A hallmark of metastasis is organ specificity; however, little is known about the underlying signaling pathways responsible for the colonization and growth of tumor cells in target organs. Since tyrosine kinase receptor activation is frequently associated with prostate cancer progression, we have investigated the role of a common signaling intermediary, activated Ras, in prostate cancer metastasis. Three effector pathways downstream of Ras, Raf/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and Ral guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RalGEFs), were assayed for their ability to promote the metastasis of a tumorigenic, nonmetastatic human prostate cancer cell line, DU145. Oncogenic Ras promoted the metastasis of DU145 to multiple organs, including bone and brain. Activation of the Raf/ERK pathway stimulated metastatic colonization of the brain, while activation of the RalGEF pathway led to bone metastases, the most common organ site for prostate cancer metastasis. In addition, loss of RalA in the metastatic PC3 cell line inhibited bone metastasis but did not affect subcutaneous tumor growth. Loss of Ral appeared to suppress expansive growth of prostate cancer cells in bone, whereas homing and initial colonization were less affected. These data extend our understanding of the functional roles of the Ral pathway and begin to identify signaling pathways relevant for organ-specific metastasis.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 12/2007; 27(21):7538-50. · 5.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

788 Citations
192.32 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2013
    • National Institutes of Health
      • • Section on Molecular Signal Transduction
      • • Branch of Cancer Cell Biology
      Maryland, United States
  • 2005–2012
    • NCI-Frederick
      • Laboratory of Pathology
      Maryland, United States
  • 2011
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Department of Cell Biology and Physiology
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2001–2011
    • National Cancer Institute (USA)
      • Cell and Cancer Biology Branch
      Maryland, United States