Songqing Fan

Central South University, Ch’ang-sha-shih, Hunan, China

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Publications (8)39.91 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: FAS-associated death domain (FADD) is a key adaptor protein that bridges a death receptor (e.g., death receptor 5; DR5) to caspase-8 to form the death-inducing signaling complex during apoptosis. The expression and prognostic impact of FADD in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have not been well studied. This study focuses on detecting FADD expression and analyzing its prognostic impact in primary and metastatic HNSCCs. We found a significant increase in FADD expression in primary tumors with lymph node metastasis (LNM) in comparison with primary tumors with no LNM. This increase was significantly less in the matched LNM tissues. Both univariate and multivariable analyses indicated that lower FADD expression was significantly associated with better disease-free survival and overall survival in HNSCC patients with LNM although FADD expression did not significantly affect survival of HNSCC patients without LNM . When combined with DR5 or caspase-8 expression, patients with LNM expressing both low FADD and DR5 or both low FADD and caspase-8 had significantly better prognosis than those expressing both high FADD and DR5 or both high FADD and caspase-8. However, the expression of both low FADD and caspase-8 was significantly linked to worse overall survival compared with both high FADD and caspase-8 expression in HNSCC patients without LNM. Hence, we suggest that FADD alone or together with DR5 and caspase-8 participates in metastatic process of HNSCC.
    Cancer biology & therapy 01/2013; 14(4). · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymph node metastasis is responsible for the high morbidity of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). To date, the role of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) in tumorigenesis and metastasis of head and neck cancer has not been elucidated. In this study, we found a negative correlation of IRS-1 expression with tumor metastasis both in human tissue samples and in cell lines. Furthermore, we found that knockdown of IRS-1 expression enhanced cell invasive potency and induced EMT in parallel with upregulation of miR-9 expression. We propose that IRS-1 suppresses metastasis of head and neck cancer possibly through miR-9.
    Oncology Reports 06/2012; 28(2):659-67. · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is the rate-limiting factor for cap-dependent translation initiation, which is known to regulate oncogenesis. Elevated eIF4E and its negative impact on prognosis in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have been reported previously. However, its potential as a therapeutic target and role in regulation of sensitivity to EGFR inhibitors is an area of ongoing investigations. In this study, we detected increased levels of eIF4E in 16 human NSCLC cell lines compared with their normal bronchial epithelial cells. Consistently, human tissue array analysis showed that eIF4E expression was significantly higher in human NSCLC tissues than normal tissues. Inhibition of eIF4E using eIF4E siRNA inhibited the growth and invasion of NSCLC cells. These data suggest that eIF4E overexpression plays a crucial role in positive regulation of the growth and invasion of NSCLC cells. By proteomics, we found that eIF4E levels were elevated in erlotinib-resistant cell lines compared with the sensitive parental cell line. In agreement, assembly of the eIF4F cap complex and several oncogenic proteins regulated by the cap-dependent translation mechanism, were also increased in erlotinib-resistant cells. Thus, erlotinib-resistant cells exhibit elevated eIF4E expression and cap-dependent translation. Inhibition of eIF4F with different means (e.g., gene knockdown) downregulated c-Met expression and partially restored cell sensitivity to erlotinib, suggesting that elevated eIF4E contributes to development of erlotinib resistance, likely through positive regulation of c-Met expression. Taken together, we suggest that elevated eIF4E in NSCLC cells is associated with proliferation, invasion and acquired erlotinib resistance.
    Cancer biology & therapy 03/2012; 13(5):272-80. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Death receptor 5 (DR5) and caspase-8 are major components in the extrinsic apoptotic pathway. The alterations of the expression of these proteins during the metastasis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and their prognostic impact have not been reported. The present study analyzes the expression of DR5 and caspase-8 by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in primary and metastatic HNSCCs and their impact on patient survival. Tumor samples in this study included 100 primary HNSCC with no evidence of metastasis, 100 primary HNSCC with lymph node metastasis (LNM) and 100 matching LNM. IHC analysis revealed a significant loss or downregulation of DR5 expression in primary tumors with metastasis and their matching LNM compared to primary tumors with no evidence of metastasis. A similar trend was observed in caspase-8 expression although it was not statistically significant. Downregulation of caspase-8 and DR5 expression was significantly correlated with poorly differentiated tumors compared to moderately and well differentiated tumors. Univariate analysis indicates that, in HNSCC with no metastasis, higher expression of caspase-8 significantly correlated with better disease-free survival and overall survival. However, in HNSCC with LNM, higher caspase-8 expression significantly correlated with poorer disease-free survival and overall survival. Similar results were also generated when we combined both DR5 and caspase-8. Taken together, we suggest that both DR5 and caspase-8 are involved in regulation of HNSCC metastasis. Our findings warrant further investigation on the dual role of caspase-8 in cancer development.
    PLoS ONE 08/2010; 5(8):e12178. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Great efforts have been made to develop novel and efficacious therapeutics against pancreatic cancer to improve the treatment outcomes. Tumor-necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is such a therapeutic cytokine with selective killing effect toward malignant cells. However, some human pancreatic cancers are intrinsically resistant to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis or therapy. In this study, we have shown that the histone deacetylase inhibitor LBH589 can synergize with TRAIL to augment apoptosis even in TRAIL-resistant cells. LBH589 decreased c-FLIP levels in every tested cell line and survivin levels in some of the tested cell lines. Enforced expression of ectopic c-FLIP, but not survivin, abolished the cooperative induction of apoptosis by the combination of LBH589 and TRAIL, indicating that c-FLIP downregulation plays a critical role in LBH589 sensitization of pancreatic cancer cells to TRAIL. Moreover, LBH589 decreased c-FLIP stability and the presence of the proteasome inhibitor MG132 prevented c-FLIP from reduction by LBH589. Correspondingly, we detected increased levels of ubiqutinated c-FLIP in LBH589-treated cells. These data thus indicate that LBH589 promotes ubiqutin/proteasome-mediated degradation of c-FLIP, leading to downregulation of c-FLIP. Collectively, LBH589 induces c-FLIP degradation and accordingly sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, highlighting a novel therapeutic regimen against pancreatic cancer.
    PLoS ONE 04/2010; 5(4):e10376. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The small molecule 4EGI-1 was identified as an inhibitor of cap-dependent translation initiation owing to its disruption of the eIF4E/eIF4G association through binding to eIF4E. 4EGI-1 exhibits growth-inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing activity in cancer cells; thus, we were interested in its therapeutic efficacy in human lung cancer cells. 4EGI-1, as a single agent, inhibited the growth and induced apoptosis of human lung cancer cells.When combined with the death ligand tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), enhanced apoptosis-induced activity was observed. As expected, 4EGI-1 inhibited eIF4E/eIF4G interaction and reduced the levels of cyclin D1 and hypoxia-inducing factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha), both of which are regulated by a cap-dependent translation mechanism. Moreover, 4EGI-1 induced CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein-dependent DR5 expression and ubiquitin/proteasome- mediated degradation of cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP). Small interfering RNA-mediated blockade of DR5 induction or enforced expression of c-FLIP abrogated 4EGI-1's ability to enhance TRAIL-induced apoptosis, indicating that both DR5 induction and c-FLIP down-regulation contribute to enhancement of TRAIL-induced apoptosis by 4EGI-1. However, inhibition of eIF4E/eIF4G interaction by knockdown of eIF4E effectively reduced the levels of cyclin D1 and HIF-1alpha but failed to induce DR5 expression, downregulate c-FLIP levels, or augment TRAIL-induced apoptosis. These results collectively suggest that 4EGI-1 augments TRAIL-induced apoptosis through induction of DR5 and down-regulation of c-FLIP, independent of inhibition of cap-dependent protein translation.
    Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 04/2010; 12(4):346-56. · 5.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is one of the most common types of human cancer and frequently metastasizes to LNs. Identifying metastasis-promoting factors is of immense clinical interest, as the prognosis for patients with even a single unilateral LN metastasis is extremely poor. Here, we report that p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) promotes human HNSCC cell invasion and metastasis. We determined that RSK2 was overexpressed and activated in highly invasive HNSCC cell lines compared with poorly invasive cell lines. Expression of RSK2 also correlated with metastatic progression in patients with HNSCC. Ectopic expression of RSK2 substantially enhanced the invasive capacity of HNSCC cells, while inhibition of RSK2 activity led to marked attenuation of invasion in vitro. Additionally, shRNA knockdown of RSK2 substantially reduced the invasive and metastatic potential of HNSCC cells in vitro and in vivo in a xenograft mouse model, respectively. Mechanistically, we determined that cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) and Hsp27 are phosphorylated and activated by RSK2 and are important for the RSK2-mediated invasive ability of HNSCC cells. Our findings suggest that RSK2 is involved in the prometastatic programming of HNSCC cells, through phosphorylation of proteins in a putative signaling network. Moreover, targeting RSK2 markedly attenuates in vitro invasion and in vivo metastasis of HNSCC cells, suggesting that RSK2 may represent a therapeutic target in the treatment of metastatic HNSCC.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 03/2010; 120(4):1165-77. · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is a rate-limiting factor for cap-dependent protein synthesis and is regulated by PI3 kinase/mTOR and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/Mnk signaling pathways. Recent studies have shown that Mnk-mediated eIF4E phosphorylation is absolutely required for eIF4E's oncogenic function. Overexpression of eIF4E has been reported in many types of cancers; however, the expression of phosphorylated eIF4E (p-eIF4E) in human cancer tissues, particularly solid tumor tissues, has not been reported. The current study focused on evaluating p-eIF4E expression patterns in the tumor tissues obtained from patients with a variety of malignancies. Using three different tissue microarrays consisting of a total of 380 cases of human cancers and 146 cases of adjacent normal tissues, we detected p-eIF4E positive staining in 63.4% (241/380) of cancers, but only in 30.1% (44/146) of adjacent normal tissues. Thus, p-eIF4E expression is significantly higher in cancers than in adjacent normal tissues (p < 0.001). In general, there was no major difference in p-eIF4E staining between cancers with and without lymph node metastasis. In certain types of maligancies such as lung, gastric and colorectal cancers, p-eIF4E staining was significantly higher in the early stage (T1) than in the late stage (T3) disease (p < 0.05). Collectively, these findings suggest that p-eIF4E may play a critical role in cancer development, particularly early stages of tumorigenesis and support p-eIF4E as a good cancer therapeutic target.
    Cancer biology & therapy 08/2009; 8(15):1463-9. · 3.29 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

143 Citations
39.91 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2013
    • Central South University
      Ch’ang-sha-shih, Hunan, China
  • 2012
    • Emory University
      • Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
      Atlanta, GA, United States