Bidirectional Signals Transduced by TOPK-ERK Interaction Increase Tumorigenesis of HCT116 Colorectal Cancer Cells

Ehime University, Matuyama, Ehime, Japan
Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 16.72). 08/2007; 133(1):219-31. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2007.04.048
Source: PubMed


Aberrant activation of Ras and Raf in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling has been linked with cancer. However, the role of MAPK kinases (MAPKKs or MEKs) in cancer is unclear, although constitutively activated MEK1, which does not exist in nature, is "oncogenic." Herein, we found that T-cell-originated protein kinase (TOPK), a member of the MAPKK protein family, is highly expressed in human colorectal cancer tissues and cell lines and plays an important role in the transformation of colorectal cancer.
The biologic consequences of overexpression or knockdown of TOPK in JB6 Cl41 and HCT116 colorectal cancer cells were studied in vitro and in vivo, respectively. Kinase assay or transient transfection experiments were performed to study the bidirectional signaling pathway between TOPK and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK).
TOPK was shown to promote transformation in vitro and in vivo, and knockdown of TOPK in HCT116 colorectal cancer cells reduced this cell lines' tumorigenic properties in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, a positive feedback loop between TOPK and ERK2 was identified. With epidermal growth factor treatment, knockdown of either TOPK or ERK2 in HCT116 cells resulted in a decreased phosphorylation of ERK2 or TOPK, respectively, and knockdown of TOPK in HCT116 colorectal cancer cells blocked the phosphorylation of downstream substrates of ERK2.
The positive feedback loop between TOPK and ERK2 increases tumorigenesis properties of HCT116 colorectal cancer cells, and TOPK-regulated signaling may serve as a potential therapeutic target in colorectal cancer.

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    • "It is reported that PBK/TOPK can phosphorylate p38 and is suggested to be a novel MEK3/6-related mitogenactivated protein kinase [1] [2]. PBK/TOPK is hardly detected in normal tissue except the testis, but it is overexpressed in hematopoietic neoplasms, including Burkitt's lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, multiple myeloma and promyelocytic leukemia, and some cancers such as breast carcinoma and colorectal cancer [3] [4]. Although PBK/TOPK is closely related to the above mentioned malignancies, its mechanism is still unclear. "
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    ABSTRACT: The increased expression of PDZ binding kinase/lymphokine-activated killer T-cell-originated protein kinase (PBK/TOPK) is associated with some human malignant tumors. In this study, we analyzed PBK/TOPK expression in hepatic primary tumor and explored its role in cholangiocarcinoma biology. Seventy-four cholangiocarcinomas, 33 hepatocellular carcinomas, and 10 normal liver tissues were prepared from paraffin-embedded specimens. PBK/TOPK protein was assessed by immunohistochemical staining, and the survival time was analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method. The protein, mRNA of PBK/TOPK, and cell cycle of cholangiocarcinoma cell line after PBK/TOPK suppression with small interfere RNA were studied by Western blot, semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and flow cytometry, respectively. PBK/TOPK was usually expressed in normal bile duct epithelial cells and much more frequently expressed in cholangiocarcinoma (68/74) but never expressed in hepatocytes and hepatocellular carcinomas (0/33). PBK/TOPK down-regulation was related to the poor prognosis of patients with cholangiocarcinoma (P = .013). Epidermal growth factor can enhance PBK/TOPK expression in cholangiocarcinoma QBC 939 cells, but suppression of PBK/TOPK in the cells did not affect their proliferation. PBK/TOPK protein could serve as a useful indicator for histopathologic differentiation between cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinomas and the low expression of PBK/TOPK is predicative of poor survival in cholangiocarcinoma patients.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Human pathology
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    • "Most recently, Herrero-Martin et al (2009) evaluated TOPK expression in Ewing sarcoma cell lines and found that the inhibition of TOPK led to a decrease in the proliferation rate and an important change in cell growth, indicating that TOPK could have a significant role in Ewing sarcoma biology. Zhu et al (2007) systematically assessed this novel molecule in CRC and confirmed its oncogenic potential in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, they found that, unlike other MEKs that undergo negative phosphorylation loops between themselves and ERK, TOPK could promote malignant transformation by exerting a positive feedback loop on ERK2 activity. "
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to investigate the prognostic and predictive value of the oncogenic MAPKK-like protein T-cell-originated protein kinase (TOPK) stratified by KRAS and BRAF mutations in patients with sporadic, hereditary and metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) treated with anti-EGFR therapy. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for TOPK was performed on four study groups. Group 1 included two subgroups of 543 and 501 sporadic CRC patients used to test the reliability of TOPK expression by IHC. In Group 2, representing an additional 222 sporadic CRCs, the prognostic effect of TOPK stratified by KRAS and BRAF was assessed. The prognostic effect of TOPK was further analysed in Group 3, representing 71 hereditary Lynch syndrome-associated CRC patients. In Group 4, the predictive and prognostic value of TOPK was analysed on 45 metastatic patients treated with cetuximab or panitumumab stratified by KRAS and BRAF gene status. In both sporadic CRC subgroups (Group 1), associations of diffuse TOPK expression with clinicopathological features were reproducible. Molecular analysis of sporadic CRCs in Group 2 showed that diffuse TOPK expression was associated with KRAS and BRAF mutations (p<0.001) and with poor outcome in patients with either mutation in univariate and multivariate analysis (P=0.017). In hereditary patients (Group 3), diffuse TOPK was linked to advanced pT stage. In metastatic patients treated with anti-EGFR therapy (Group 4), diffuse TOPK expression was linked to dismal outcome despite objective response to treatment (P=0.01). TOPK expression is an unfavourable prognostic indicator in sporadic patients with KRAS or BRAF mutations and also in patients with metastatic disease experiencing a response to anti-EGFR therapies. The inhibition of TOPK, which could benefit 30-40% of CRC patients, may represent a new avenue of investigation for targeted therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · British Journal of Cancer
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    • "Our findings that SW480-derived microvesicular mRNAs are involved in various tumor-related processes (Figure 4 and Figure 5) and SW480-derived microvesicles can initiate angiogenesis via the stimulation of endothelial cell proliferation (Figure 6) also suggest that the microvesicular mRNAs play potential roles in progression of CRC. Furthermore, SW480-derived microvesicles are enriched with CENPE, KIF15, CEP55, CCNA2, NEK2, PBK, and CDK8 (Figure 6a) that are M-phase-related transcripts involved in tumorigenesis and tumor progression [26-28]. Although we could not exclude the other possibility, our observations suggest that SW480-derived microvesicles promote the proliferation of endothelial cells by increasing their cell cycle activities via the horizontal transfer of these M-phase-related microvesicular mRNAs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Various cancer cells, including those of colorectal cancer (CRC), release microvesicles (exosomes) into surrounding tissues and peripheral circulation. These microvesicles can mediate communication between cells and affect various tumor-related processes in their target cells. We present potential roles of CRC cell-derived microvesicles in tumor progression via a global comparative microvesicular and cellular transcriptomic analysis of human SW480 CRC cells. We first identified 11,327 microvesicular mRNAs involved in tumorigenesis-related processes that reflect the physiology of donor CRC cells. We then found 241 mRNAs enriched in the microvesicles above donor cell levels, of which 27 were involved in cell cycle-related processes. Network analysis revealed that most of the cell cycle-related microvesicle-enriched mRNAs were associated with M-phase activities. The integration of two mRNA datasets showed that these M-phase-related mRNAs were differentially regulated across CRC patients, suggesting their potential roles in tumor progression. Finally, we experimentally verified the network-driven hypothesis by showing a significant increase in proliferation of endothelial cells treated with the microvesicles. Our study demonstrates that CRC cell-derived microvesicles are enriched in cell cycle-related mRNAs that promote proliferation of endothelial cells, suggesting that microvesicles of cancer cells can be involved in tumor growth and metastasis by facilitating angiogenesis-related processes. This information will help elucidate the pathophysiological functions of tumor-derived microvesicles, and aid in the development of cancer diagnostics, including colorectal cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · BMC Genomics
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