[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tobacco smoke is known to be the main cause of lung, head and neck tumors. Recently, evidence for an increasing breast cancer risk associated with tobacco smoke exposure has been emerging. We and other groups have shown that nicotine, as a non-conventional carcinogen, has the potential to facilitate cancer genesis and progression. However, the underlying mechanisms by which the smoke affects the breast, rather than the lung, remain unclear. Here, we examine possible downstream signaling pathways of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and their role in breast cancer promotion.
Using human benign MCF10A and malignant MDA-MB-231 breast cells and specific inhibitors of possible downstream kinases, we identified nAChR effectors that were activated by treatment with nicotine. We further tested the effects of these effector pathways on the regulation of E2F1 activation, cell cycle progression and on Bcl-2 expression and long-term cell survival.
In this study, we demonstrated a novel signaling mechanism by which nicotine exposure activated Src to sensitize epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mediated pathways for breast cancer cell growth promotion. After the ligation of nAChR with nicotine, EGFR was shown to be activated and then internalized in both MCF10A and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Subsequently, Src, Akt and ERK1/2 were phosphorylated at different time points following nicotine treatment. We further demonstrated that through Src, the ligation of nicotine with nAChR stimulated the EGFR/ERK1/2 pathway for the activation of E2F1 and further cell progression. Our data also showed that Akt functioned directly downstream of Src and was responsible for the increase of Bcl-2 expression and long-term cell survival.
Our study reveals the existence of a potential, regulatory network governed by the interaction of nicotine and nAChR that integrates the conventional, mitogenic Src and EGFR signals for breast cancer development.
Breast cancer research: BCR 11/2011; 13(6):R113. · 5.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sphingosine kinase 1 (SPHK1) is a newly discovered modulator of hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) with various biological activities such as cell growth, survival, invasion, angiogenesis, and carcinogenesis. Thus, in the present study, the biological mechanisms of melatonin were elucidated in association with SPHK1 pathway in PC-3 prostate cancer cells under hypoxia. Melatonin inhibited the stability of HIF-1α in a time- and concentration- dependent manners. Also, melatonin decreased SPHK1 activity in PC-3 cells during hypoxia. Furthermore, melatonin suppressed AKT/glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) signaling pathway, which stabilizes HIF-1α via inhibition of von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein. Consistently, siRNA-SPHK1 and sphingosine kinase inhibitor (SKI) effectively blocked the expression of HIF-1α, phospho-AKT and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production in PC-3 cells under hypoxia, suggesting the role of SPHK1 in melatonin-inhibited HIF-1α accumulation. Moreover, reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger N-acteylcysteine enhanced melatonin-inhibited HIF-1α expression and SPHK1 activity. Overall, our findings suggest that melatonin suppresses HIF-1α accumulation via inhibition of SPHK1 pathway and ROS generation in PC-3 cells under hypoxia.
Journal of Pineal Research 02/2011; 51(1):87-93. · 7.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate whether galbanic acid (GBA) exerts anti-angiogenic and anti-cancer activities.
Using human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) model, we analyzed effects of GBA on cellular and molecular events related to angiogenesis. We tested its direct anti-proliferative action on mouse Lewis lung cancer (LLC) cells and established its in vivo anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor efficacy using LLC model.
GBA significantly decreased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced proliferation and inhibited VEGF-induced migration and tube formation of HUVECs. These effects were accompanied by decreased phosphorylation of p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and AKT, and decreased expression of VEGFR targets endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and cyclin D1 in VEGF-treated HUVECs. GBA also decreased LLC proliferation with an apparent G2/M arrest, but did not induce apoptosis. In vivo, inclusion of GBA in Matrigel plugs reduced VEGF-induced angiogenesis in mice. Galbanic acid given by daily i.p. injection (1 mg/kg) inhibited LLC-induced angiogenesis in an intradermal inoculation model and inhibited the growth of s.c. inoculated LLC allograft in syngenic mice. Immunohistochemistry revealed decreased CD34 microvessel density index and Ki-67 proliferative index in GBA-treated tumors.
GBA exerts anti-cancer activity in association with anti-angiogenic and anti-proliferative actions.
Pharmaceutical Research 11/2010; 28(3):597-609. · 4.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypoxia is the hallmark of solid tumors and contributes to tumor angiogenesis mainly through activation of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). In addition to upregulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in angiogenesis, HIF-1 plays critical roles in the metabolism, proliferation, metastasis, and differentiation of cancer cells. We and others have previously shown that 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucose (PGG) from Oriental herbal medicine possesses anti-angiogenic, anti-tumorigenic, and anti-diabetic activities. In the present study, we report that PGG inhibits hypoxia-induced protein accumulation, transcriptional activation, and mRNA expression of HIF-1α in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. PGG reduced cellular and secreted VEGF levels as well as mRNA expression in LNCaP cells. PGG suppressed capillary tube formation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) maintained in conditioned medium of hypoxia-induced LNCaP cells, indicating that PGG has anti-angiogenic activity under hypoxic condition. Furthermore, PGG reduced expression of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) as well as phosphorylation of AKT and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), but not extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in LNCaP cells under hypoxic condition. Consistently, LY294002, a specific PI3K inhibitor, enhanced the inactivation of HIF-1α and AKT by PGG in LNCaP cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate that PGG inhibits hypoxia-mediated accumulation of HIF-1α as well as its downstream signaling to VEGF and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in LNCaP prostate cancer cells.