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    ABSTRACT: Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) regulate several cellular functions that are critical for cancer progression and development, including cell survival, proliferation and migration. Three classes of PI3Ks exist with the class I PI3K encompassing four isoforms of the catalytic subunit known as p110α, p110β, p110γ, and p110δ. Although for many years attention has been mainly focused on p110α recent evidence supports the conclusion that p110β, p110γ, and p110δ can also have a role in cancer. Amongst these, accumulating evidence now indicates that p110γ is involved in several cellular processes associated with cancer and indeed this specific isoform has emerged as a novel important player in cancer progression. Studies from our laboratory have identified a specific overexpression of p110γ in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues compared to their normal counterparts. Our data have further established that selective inhibition of p110γ is able to block PDAC and HCC cell proliferation, strongly suggesting that pharmacological inhibition of this enzyme can directly affect growth of these tumors. Furthermore, increasing evidence suggests that p110γ plays also a key role in the interactions between cancer cells and tumor microenvironment and in particular in tumor-associated immune response. It has also been reported that p110γ can regulate invasion of myeloid cells into tumors and tumor angiogenesis. Finally p110γ has also been directly involved in regulation of cancer cell migration. Taken together these data indicate that p110γ plays multiple roles in regulation of several processes that are critical for tumor progression and metastasis. This review will discuss the role of p110γ in gastrointestinal tumor development and progression and how targeting this enzyme might represent a way to target very aggressive tumors such as pancreatic and liver cancer on multiple fronts.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Frontiers in Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: It should be noted that 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1) is a protein encoded by the PDPK1 gene, which plays a key role in the signaling pathways activated by several growth factors and hormones. PDK1 is a crucial kinase that functions downstream of phosphoinositide 3-kinase activation and activates members of the AGC family of protein kinases, such as protein kinase B (Akt), protein kinase C (PKC), p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinases, and serum glucocorticoid-dependent kinase, by phosphorylating serine/threonine residues in the activation loop. AGC kinases are known to play crucial roles in regulating physiological processes relevant to metabolism, growth, proliferation, and survival. Changes in the expression and activity of PDK1 and several AGC kinases have been linked to human diseases including cancer. Recent data have revealed that the alteration of PDK1 is a critical component of oncogenic phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling in breast cancer, suggesting that inhibition of PDK1 can inhibit breast cancer progression. Indeed, PDK1 is highly expressed in a majority of human breast cancer cell lines and both PDK1 protein and messenger ribonucleic acid are overexpressed in a majority of human breast cancers. Furthermore, overexpression of PDK1 is sufficient to transform mammary epithelial cells. PDK1 plays an essential role in regulating cell migration, especially in the context of phosphatase and tensin homologue deficiency. More importantly, downregulation of PDK1 levels inhibits migration and experimental metastasis of human breast cancer cells. Thus, targeting PDK1 may be a valuable anticancer strategy that may improve the efficacy of chemotherapeutic strategies in breast cancer patients. In this review, we summarize the evidence that has been reported to support the idea that PDK1 may be a key target in breast cancer management.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Cancer Management and Research
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    ABSTRACT: Aims/hypothesis: Sirtuin (SIRT)3 is a mitochondrial protein deacetylase that regulates reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and exerts anti-inflammatory effects. As chronic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction are key factors mediating pancreatic beta cell impairment in type 2 diabetes, we investigated the role of SIRT3 in the maintenance of beta cell function and mass in type 2 diabetes. Methods: We analysed changes in SIRT3 expression in experimental models of type 2 diabetes and in human islets isolated from type 2 diabetic patients. We also determined the effects of SIRT3 knockdown on beta cell function and mass in INS1 cells. Results: SIRT3 expression was markedly decreased in islets isolated from type 2 diabetes patients, as well as in mouse islets or INS1 cells incubated with IL1β and TNFα. SIRT3 knockdown in INS1 cells resulted in lowered insulin secretion, increased beta cell apoptosis and reduced expression of key beta cell genes. SIRT3 knockdown also blocked the protective effects of nicotinamide mononucleotide on pro-inflammatory cytokines in beta cells. The deleterious effects of SIRT3 knockdown were mediated by increased levels of cellular ROS and IL1β. Conclusions/interpretation: Decreased beta cell SIRT3 levels could be a key step in the onset of beta cell dysfunction, occurring via abnormal elevation of ROS levels and amplification of beta cell IL1β synthesis. Strategies to increase the activity or levels of SIRT3 could generate attractive therapies for type 2 diabetes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Diabetologia
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