Signal Transduction Cross-talk During Colorectal Tumorigenesis

Department of Pathology, Division of Anatomic Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL 35233, USA.
Advances in Anatomic Pathology (Impact Factor: 3.23). 10/2006; 13(5):270-4. DOI: 10.1097/01.pap.0000213046.61941.5c
Source: PubMed


Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States in the general population (men and women combined). Epidemiologic data obtained over the last several decades shows convincing evidence for the efficacy of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the reduction of risk of CRC through the inhibition of cycloxygenase (COX). Recent research has also demonstrated that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a predominant product of COX, plays a critical role in tumorigenesis of CRCs through its guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptors (GPCRs), EP2, and EP4. Molecular analysis of CRC and its precursor lesions have shown that mutation of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC), a gene involved in the wingless type signaling pathway, is an early event during the neoplastic progression in the majority of sporadic CRCs. The fundamental questions are: why is wild type APC so important in adult colorectal tissues in preventing this tumorigenesis, and what are the mechanisms by which NSAIDs prevent colorectal tumorigenesis? We reviewed the recent literature concerning the PGE2-GPCR signaling pathway and the APC-beta-catenin (wingless type) pathway in CRC cells and propose a unifying schema regarding the tumorigenesis of CRC. Colorectal epithelia are continuously exposed to various extracellular agonists (including low levels of PGE2). The binding of these agonists to their corresponding GPCRs leads to formation of activated Galphas, which in turn activates beta-catenin. In normal colorectal epithelia, wild type APC blocks the Galphas-induced activation of beta-catenin, and therefore maintains homeostasis and prevents tumorigenesis. In contrast, in the absence of functional APC, continuous formation of activated Galphas by the binding of various extracellular agonists to their receptors leads to the activation and nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin. This elevated nuclear beta-catenin in turn increases transcription of many genes (COX-2, C-myc, Cyclin D1, vascular endothelial growth factor, T cell factor, etc.) involved in tumorigenesis. Increased transcription of COX-2 also leads to excessive production of PGE2 that in turn forms a stimulatory loop with many biologic functions (proliferation, migration, invasion, angiogenesis, and inhibition of apoptosis), which may result in the development of CRC. Because NSAIDs inhibit COX and decrease the production of PGE2, interruption of the cycle helps prevent colorectal tumorigenesis.

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    • "Beta-adrenergic agonists activate the production of AA in pancreatic cancer cells, leading to the COX-2-mediated formation of PGE2 [15]. Beta-adrenergic receptors [39] as well as PGE2 receptors [40] are coupled to the stimulatory G-protein Gαs that increases cAMP levels via activation of adenylyl cyclase. We therefore measured cAMP in the cellular fraction of blood and tumor tissue and PGE2 in serum and tumor tissues by ELISA assays. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a poor prognosis and is associated with high levels of psychological distress. We have shown that beta-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs), which are activated by stress neurotransmitters, regulate PDAC cells via cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent signaling in vitro, that social stress promotes PDAC progression in mouse xenografts and that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibits these responses in vitro and in vivo. The targeted inhibition of stress-induced regulatory pathways may abolish the potentially negative impact of psychological stress on clinical outcomes. Our current data show that chronic exposure of PDAC cell lines Panc-1 (activating point mutations in K-ras) and BXPC-3 (no mutations in K-ras) in vitro to the stress neurotransmitter epinephrine at the concentration (15 nM) previously measured in the serum of mice exposed to social stress significantly increased proliferation and migration. These responses were inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner by celecoxib. The effects of celecoxib alone and in combination with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on the progression of subcutaneous mouse xenografts from the cell line (BXPC-3) most responsive to epinephrine were then investigated in the presence and absence of social stress. Cancer-stimulating factors (VEGF & prostaglandin E(2) [PGE(2)]) and levels of cAMP were measured by immunoassays in blood and xenograft tissue. Phosphorylation of the signaling proteins ERK, CREB, Src, and AKT was assessed by ELISA assays and Western blotting. Expression of COX-2, 5-lipoxygenase, and p-5-LOX were determined by semi-quantitative Western blotting. Celecoxib alone significantly inhibited xenograft progression and decreased systemic and tumor VEGF, PGE2, and cAMP as well as phosphorylated signaling proteins in stress-exposed and stress-free mice. These responses were significantly enhanced by co-treatment with GABA. The celecoxib-induced downregulation of COX-2 protein and p-5-LOX was also significantly enhanced by GABA under both experimental conditions. Our findings identify the targeted inhibition of stress-induced pathways as a promising area for more effective cancer intervention in pancreatic cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Actually, there are a growing number of studies showing that interactions among COX-2, b-catenin and EGFR are critical for colorectal carcinogenesis, and all of them or specific combinations could be targets for therapeutic intervention (Castellone et al., 2005; Dannenberg et al., 2005; Liu et al., 2006a). Thus, we further examined these pathways. "
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    ABSTRACT: Proline oxidase (POX), a flavoenzyme localized at the inner mitochondrial membrane, catalyzes the first step of proline degradation by converting proline to pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C). POX is markedly elevated during p53-induced apoptosis and generates proline-dependent reactive oxygen species (ROS), specifically superoxide radicals, to induce apoptosis through both mitochondrial and death receptor pathways. These previous studies also showed suppression of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway leading us to broaden our exploration of proliferative signaling. In our current report, we used DLD-1 colorectal cancer cells stably transfected with the POX gene under the control of a tetracycline-inducible promoter and found that three pathways which cross talk with each other were downregulated by POX: the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) pathway, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway and the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. First, POX markedly reduced COX-2 expression, suppressed the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE(2)) and importantly, the growth inhibition by POX was partially reversed by treatment with PGE(2.) Phosphorylation of EGFR was decreased with POX expression and the addition of EGF partially reversed the POX-dependent downregulation of COX-2. Wnt/beta-catenin signaling was decreased by POX in that phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) was decreased on the one hand and phosphorylation of beta-catenin was increased on the other. There changes led to decreased accumulation of beta-catenin and decreased beta-catenin/TCF/LEF-mediated transcription. Our newly described POX-mediated suppression of proliferative signaling together with the previously reported induction of apoptosis suggested that POX could function as a tumor suppressor. Indeed, in human colorectal tissue samples, immunohistochemically-monitored POX was dramatically decreased in tumors compared with normal counterparts. Thus, POX metabolism of substrate proline affects multiple signaling pathways, modulating both apoptosis and tumor growth, and could be an attractive target to metabolically control the cancer phenotypes.
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    No preview · Article · Nov 2007 · The Journal of Pathology
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