[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although immune mechanisms can suppress tumour growth, tumours establish potent, overlapping mechanisms that mediate immune evasion. Emerging evidence suggests a link between angiogenesis and the tolerance of tumours to immune mechanisms. Hypoxia, a condition that is known to drive angiogenesis in tumours, results in the release of damage-associated pattern molecules, which can trigger the rejection of tumours by the immune system. Thus, the counter-activation of tolerance mechanisms at the site of tumour hypoxia would be a crucial condition for maintaining the immunological escape of tumours. However, a direct link between tumour hypoxia and tolerance through the recruitment of regulatory cells has not been established. We proposed that tumour hypoxia induces the expression of chemotactic factors that promote tolerance. Here we show that tumour hypoxia promotes the recruitment of regulatory T (T(reg)) cells through induction of expression of the chemokine CC-chemokine ligand 28 (CCL28), which, in turn, promotes tumour tolerance and angiogenesis. Thus, peripheral immune tolerance and angiogenesis programs are closely connected and cooperate to sustain tumour growth.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PIK3CA upregulation, amplification and mutation have been widely reported in ovarian cancers and other tumors, which strongly suggests that PIK3CA is a promising therapeutic target. However, to date the mechanisms underlying PIK3CA regulation and activation in vivo is still unclear. During tumorigenesis, host-tumor interactions may play a critical role in editing the tumor. Here, we report a novel mechanism through which the tumor microenvironment activates the PIK3CA oncogene. We show that PIK3CA upregulation occurs in non-proliferating tumor regions in vivo. We identified and characterized the PIK3CA 5' upstream transcriptional regulatory region and confirmed that PIK3CA is transcriptionally regulated through NF-kappaB pathway. These results offer a new mechanism through which the tumor microenvironment directly activates oncogenic pathways in tumor cells.
PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(3):e1758. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The protein kinase C (PKC) family plays a key regulatory role in a wide range of cellular functions as well as in various cancer-associated signal transduction pathways. Here, we investigated the genomic alteration and gene expression of most known PKC family members in human ovarian cancer. The DNA copy number of PKC family genes was screened by a high-resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization in 89 human ovarian cancer specimens. Five PKC genes exhibited significant DNA copy number gains, including PKCiota (43.8%), PKCbeta1 (37.1%), PKCgamma (27.6%), PKCzeta (22.5%), and PKCtheta (21.3%). None of the PKC genes exhibited copy number loss. The mRNA expression level of PKC genes was analyzed by microarray retrieval approach. Two of the amplified PKC genes, PKCiota and PKCtheta, were significantly up-regulated in ovarian cancer compared with normal ovary. Increased PKCiota expression correlated with tumor stage or grade, and PKCiota overexpression was seen mostly in ovarian carcinoma but not in other solid tumors. The above results were further validated by real-time reverse transcription-PCR with 54 ovarian cancer specimens and 24 cell lines; overexpression of PKCiota protein was also confirmed by tissue array and Western blot. Interestingly, overexpressed PKCiota did not affect ovarian cancer cell proliferation or apoptosis in vitro. However, decreased PKCiota expression significantly reduced anchorage-independent growth of ovarian cancer cells, whereas overexpression of PKCiota contributed to murine ovarian surface epithelium transformation in cooperation with mutant Ras. We propose that PKCiota may serve as an oncogene and a biomarker of aggressive disease in human ovarian cancer.
Cancer Research 06/2006; 66(9):4627-35. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous noncoding RNAs, which negatively regulate gene expression. To determine genomewide miRNA DNA copy number abnormalities in cancer, 283 known human miRNA genes were analyzed by high-resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization in 227 human ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma specimens. A high proportion of genomic loci containing miRNA genes exhibited DNA copy number alterations in ovarian cancer (37.1%), breast cancer (72.8%), and melanoma (85.9%), where copy number alterations observed in >15% tumors were considered significant for each miRNA gene. We identified 41 miRNA genes with gene copy number changes that were shared among the three cancer types (26 with gains and 15 with losses) as well as miRNA genes with copy number changes that were unique to each tumor type. Importantly, we show that miRNA copy changes correlate with miRNA expression. Finally, we identified high frequency copy number abnormalities of Dicer1, Argonaute2, and other miRNA-associated genes in breast and ovarian cancer as well as melanoma. These findings support the notion that copy number alterations of miRNAs and their regulatory genes are highly prevalent in cancer and may account partly for the frequent miRNA gene deregulation reported in several tumor types.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2006; 103(24):9136-41. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most frequent cause of gynecologic malignancy-related mortality in women. To identify genes up-regulated in ovarian cancer, PCR-select cDNA subtraction was done and Drosophila Eyes Absent Homologue 2 (EYA2) was isolated as a promising candidate. The transcriptional coactivator eya controls essential cellular functions during organogenesis of Drosophila. EYA2 mRNA was found to be up-regulated in ovarian cancer by real-time reverse transcription-PCR, whereas its protein product was detected in 93.6% of ovarian cancer specimens by immunohistochemistry (n = 140). EYA2 was amplified in 14.8% of ovarian carcinomas, as detected by array-based comparative genomic hybridization (n = 88). Most importantly, EYA2 overexpression was significantly associated with short overall survival in advanced ovarian cancer (n = 99, P = 0.0361). EYA2 was found to function as transcriptional activator in ovarian cancer cells by Gal4 assay and to promote tumor growth in vivo in xenograft models. Therefore, this study suggests an important role of EYA2 in ovarian cancer and its potential application as a therapeutic target.
Cancer Research 03/2005; 65(3):925-32. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) is a novel intracellular transducer involved in a wide range of cancer-associated signaling pathways, which comprises various isoforms and splice variants with distinct biologic activities and clinical implications. Especially, the class Ia PI3-kinase 110 kD catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) is the most important isoform in tumorigenesis and possibly, tumor angiogenesis. Several strategies have been developed to block PI3-kinase for cancer therapy; however, the approach to target specific PI3-kinase isoform has not been explored to date. In the present study, we show that RNA interference (RNAi) through small interfering (siRNA) sequences targeting PIK3CA has potential applications in isoform-specific "knock-down" of PI3-kinase. This strategy provides a novel tool to study the function of various PI3-kinase isoforms and may contribute to isoform-specific targeting of PI3-kinase in human cancer.
Cancer biology & therapy 01/2005; 3(12):1283-9. · 3.29 Impact Factor