The fatal attraction between pro-prion and filamin A: Prion as a marker in human cancers

Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, 2103 Cornell Road, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.
Biomarkers in Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.65). 06/2010; 4(3):453-64. DOI: 10.2217/bmm.10.14
Source: PubMed


Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cancer causing deaths in the USA, with more than 30,000 deaths per year. The overall median survival for all pancreatic cancer is 6 months and the 5-year survival rate is less than 10%. This dismal outcome reflects the inefficacy of the chemotherapeutic agents, as well as the lack of an early diagnostic marker. A protein known as prion (PrP) is expressed in human pancreatic cancer cell lines. However, in these cell lines, the PrP is incompletely processed and exists as pro-PrP. The pro-PrP binds to a molecule inside the cell, filamin A (FLNa), which is an integrator of cell signaling and mechanics. The binding of pro-PrP to FLNa disrupts the normal functions of FLNa, altering the cell's cytoskeleton and signal transduction machineries. As a result, the tumor cells grow more aggressively. Approximately 40% of patients with pancreatic cancer express PrP in their cancer. These patients have significantly shorter survival compared with patients whose pancreatic cancers lack PrP. Therefore, expression of pro-PrP and its binding to FLNa provide a growth advantage to pancreatic cancers. In this article, we discuss the following points: the biology of PrP, the consequences of binding of pro-PrP to FLNa in pancreatic cancer, the detection of pro-PrP in other cancers, the potential of using pro-PrP as a diagnostic marker, and prevention of the binding between pro-PrP and FLNa as a target for therapeutic intervention in cancers.

Download full-text


Available from: Man-Sun Sy, Aug 14, 2014
  • Source
    • "In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and melanoma, an unglycosylated form of PrP C has been detected, in which the signal sequence for the GPI anchor is thought to span the plasma membrane (Li et al., 2009a) (Fig. 1i). This transmembrane form of PrP binds the cytoskeletal protein, filamin A, which links cell surface receptors to the actin cytoskeleton, and plays important roles in proliferation, survival and cell adhesion (Li et al., 2010; Sy et al., 2010). Interestingly, it has been observed that the PrP signal sequence for the GPI anchor has evolved from a bona fide membrane-spanning sequence (Schmitt-Ulms et al., 2009), which explains it propensity to revert to this phenotype. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is an ubiquitously expressed glycoprotein that is most abundant in the central nervous system. It is thought to play a role in many cellular processes, including neuroprotection, but may also contribute to Alzheimer's disease and some cancers. However, it is best known for its central role in the prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and scrapie. These protein misfolding diseases can be sporadic, acquired, or genetic and are caused by refolding of endogenous PrP(C) into a beta sheet-rich, pathogenic form, PrP(Sc). Once prions are present in the central nervous system, they increase and spread during a long incubation period that is followed by a relatively short clinical disease phase, ending in death. PrP molecules can be broadly categorized as either 'good' (cellular) PrP(C) or 'bad' (scrapie prion-type) PrP(Sc), but both populations are heterogeneous and different forms of PrP(C) may influence various cellular activities. Both PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) are localized predominantly at the cell surface, with the C-terminus attached to the plasma membrane via a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor and both can exist in cleaved forms. PrP(C) also has cytosolic and transmembrane forms, and PrP(Sc) is known to exist in a variety of conformations and aggregation states. Here, we discuss the roles of different PrP isoforms in sickness and in health, and show the subcellular distributions of several forms of PrP that are particularly relevant for PrP(C) to PrP(Sc) conversion and prion-induced pathology in the hippocampus. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Virus Research
  • Source
    • "The anti-PrP monoclonal antibody, 8H4, used in the study has been extensively characterized [8] [13] [14]. In normal human pancreas, 8H4 reacts with islet cells but does not react with either ductal cells or acinar cells [7]. Immunohistochemical staining (Mab 8H4, 2.5 µg/ml) was performed in a Leica Bond-III system (Bannockburn , IL). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an important cause of cancer death with no clear prognostic biomarker. Expression of prion (PrP) has been reported to be a marker of poor prognosis in a series of Caucasian PDAC cases. We determined the prognostic value of PrP in a racially and geographically diverse population-based series of PDAC cases. PrP expression was examined in 142 PDAC cases from three cancer registries. Cases included 71 Caucasian, 54 Asian/Pacific Islanders and 17 Blacks diagnosed from 1983-2000, and followed through 2008. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of PrP expression with survival were computed after adjustment for case attributes. The risk of death was about four times higher (HR=3.8; 95% PDAC cases with PrP(+) tumors (median survival 5 months) compared to the 34 cases with PrP(-) tumors (median survival 20 months). Of 51 cases with resected, localized PDAC median survival was 74 months for 17 cases with PrP(-) tumors versus 14 months for 34 cases with PrP(+) tumors (HR=6.7; 95% CI: 2.6, 17.4). All 6 surviving cases had PrP(-) negative tumors (median survival, > 10 years). PrP may have potential as a prognostic biomarker in PDAC patient management.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Cancer biomarkers: section A of Disease markers
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inherited mutations are known to cause familial cancers. However, the cause of sporadic cancers, which likely represent the majority of cancers, is yet to be elucidated. Sporadic cancers contain somatic mutations (including oncogenic mutations); however, the origin of these mutations is unclear. An intriguing possibility is that a stable alteration occurs in somatic cells prior to oncogenic mutations and promotes the subsequent accumulation of oncogenic mutations. This review explores the possible role of prions and protein-only inheritance in cancer. Genetic studies using lower eukaryotes, primarily yeast, have identified a large number of proteins as prions that confer dominant phenotypes with cytoplasmic (non-Mendelian) inheritance. Many of these have mammalian functional homologs. The human prion protein (PrP) is known to cause neurodegenerative diseases and has now been found to be upregulated in multiple cancers. PrP expression in cancer cells contributes to cancer progression and resistance to various cancer therapies. Epigenetic changes in the gene expression and hyperactivation of MAP kinase signaling, processes that in lower eukaryotes are affected by prions, play important roles in oncogenesis in humans. Prion phenomena in yeast appear to be influenced by stresses, and there is considerable evidence of the association of some amyloids with biologically positive functions. This suggests that if protein-only somatic inheritance exists in mammalian cells, it might contribute to cancer phenotypes. Here, we highlight evidence in the literature for an involvement of prion or prion-like mechanisms in cancer and how they may in the future be viewed as diagnostic markers and potential therapeutic targets.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · CANCER AND METASTASIS REVIEW
Show more