[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The miR-34 family was originally found to be a direct target of p53 and is a group of putative tumor suppressors. Surprisingly, mice lacking all mir-34 genes show no increase in cancer formation by 18 months of age, hence placing the physiological relevance of previous studies in doubt. Here, we report that mice with prostate epithelium-specific inactivation of mir-34 and p53 show expansion of the prostate stem cell compartment and develop early invasive adenocarcinomas and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, whereas no such lesions are observed after inactivation of either the mir-34 or p53 genes alone by 15 months of age. Consistently, combined deficiency of p53 and miR-34 leads to acceleration of MET-dependent growth, self-renewal, and motility of prostate stem/progenitor cells. Our study provides direct genetic evidence that mir-34 genes are bona fide tumor suppressors and identifies joint control of MET expression by p53 and miR-34 as a key component of prostate stem cell compartment regulation, aberrations in which may lead to cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent observations suggest that p53 mutations are responsible not only for growth of primary tumors but also for their dissemination. However, mechanisms involved in p53-mediated control of cell motility and invasion remain poorly understood. By using the primary ovarian surface epithelium cell culture, we show that conditional inactivation of p53 or expression of its mutant forms results in overexpression of MET receptor tyrosine kinase, a crucial regulator of invasive growth. At the same time, cells acquire increased MET-dependent motility and invasion. Wild-type p53 negatively regulates MET expression by two mechanisms: (i) transactivation of MET-targeting miR-34, and (ii) inhibition of SP1 binding to MET promoter. Both mechanisms are not functional in p53 absence, but mutant p53 proteins retain partial MET promoter suppression. Accordingly, MET overexpression, cell motility, and invasion are particularly high in p53-null cells. These results identify MET as a critical effector of p53 and suggest that inhibition of MET may be an effective antimetastatic approach to treat cancers with p53 mutations. These results also show that the extent of advanced cancer traits, such as invasion, may be determined by alterations in individual components of p53/MET regulatory network.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The miR-34 family is directly transactivated by tumor suppressor p53, which is frequently mutated in human epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). We hypothesized that miR-34 expression would be decreased in EOC and that reconstituted miR-34 expression might reduce cell proliferation and invasion of EOC cells. Experimental Designs: miR-34 expression was determined by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and in situ hybridization in a panel of 83 human EOC samples. Functional characterization of miR-34 was accomplished by reconstitution of miR-34 expression in EOC cells with synthetic pre-miR molecules followed by determining changes in proliferation, apoptosis, and invasion.
miR-34a expression is decreased in 100%, and miR-34b*/c in 72%, of EOC with p53 mutation, whereas miR-34a is also downregulated in 93% of tumors with wild-type p53. Furthermore, expression of miR-34b*/c is significantly reduced in stage IV tumors compared with stage III (P = 0.0171 and P = 0.0029, respectively). Additionally, we observed promoter methylation and copy number variations at mir-34. In situ hybridization showed that miR-34a expression is inversely correlated with MET immunohistochemical staining, consistent with translational inhibition by miR-34a. Finally, miR-34 reconstitution experiments in p53 mutant EOC cells resulted in reduced proliferation, motility, and invasion, the latter of which was dependent on MET expression.
Our work suggests that miR-34 family plays an important role in EOC pathogenesis and reduced expression of miR-34b*/c may be particularly important for progression to the most advanced stages. Part of miR-34 effects on motility and invasion may be explained by regulation of MET, which is frequently overexpressed in EOC.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Clinical Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ovarian cancer remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, with little change in survival rates over the past 30 years. Research in the molecular biology underlying the disease demonstrates frequent mutation in the p53/Rb/p16 tumor suppressor pathways and activation of c-myc, K-ras and Akt oncogenic signaling. Recently, miRNAs have been demonstrated to play an important role in controlling proliferation, apoptosis and many other processes altered in the cancer state. In this review we discuss a number of recent publications that implicate a role for microRNAs in ovarian cancer and assess how this new field may improve our fundamental understanding of the disease and provide improved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
Preview · Article · Oct 2008 · Histology and histopathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynecological neoplasm with over 20,000 new cases and 15,000 deaths predicted in 2006 (1). Although significant decreases in mortality have been observed in cancers of the breast and cervix, mortality rates for cancer of the ovary has remained essentially constant over the past 30 years. The majority of cases present at advanced stages, at which point the disease is rarely curable using the existing treatment schemes. Accordingly, the 5-year survival rate for advanced ovarian cancer is 29%. In addition to asymptomatic development, a scarcity of accurate animal models has resulted in a marked lack of knowledge of how the disease progresses, which in turn has precluded the development of desperately needed treatment regimens and screening programs.
Ovarian cancer is a wide-ranging term that groups together a diverse set of neoplasms originating from the ovary, with carcinomas comprising 90% of ovarian cancers. On the basis of the morphological criteria, epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs) are classified as serous, mucinous, endometrioid, clear cell, transitional cell, squamous cell, and mixed epithelial neoplasms (2). The ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) is a single layer of flat-to-cuboidal cells covering the ovary and is the presumed cell of origin for EOCs (3–6). Recent studies indicate that this layer may possess stem cell properties, and both tumors and cell lines of transformed mouse OSE cells contain a side population (7), which is considered by many investigators as an indicator of cancer stem cells in other tissues (8–11).
Preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a recently discovered class of noncoding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression. Recent evidence indicates that miRNAs may play an important role in cancer. However, the mechanism of their deregulation in neoplastic transformation has only begun to be understood. To elucidate the role of tumor suppressor p53 in regulation of miRNAs, we have analyzed changes in miRNA microarray expression profile immediately after conditional inactivation of p53 in primary mouse ovarian surface epithelium cells. Among the most significantly affected miRNAs were miR-34b and miR-34c, which were down-regulated 12-fold according to quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis. Computational promoter analysis of the mir-34b/mir-34c locus identified the presence of evolutionarily conserved p53 binding sites approximately 3 kb upstream of the miRNA coding sequence. Consistent with evolutionary conservation, mir-34b/mir-34c were also down-regulated in p53-null human ovarian carcinoma cells. Furthermore, as expected from p53 binding to the mir-34b/c promoter, doxorubicin treatment of wild-type, but not p53-deficient, cells resulted in an increase of mir-34b/mir-34c expression. Importantly, miR-34b and miR-34c cooperate in suppressing proliferation and soft-agar colony formation of neoplastic epithelial ovarian cells, in agreement with the partially overlapping spectrum of their predicted targets. Taken together, these results show the existence of a novel mechanism by which p53 suppresses such critical components of neoplastic growth as cell proliferation and adhesion-independent colony formation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathways mediated by p53 and Rb are frequently altered in aggressive human cancers, including prostate carcinoma. To test directly the roles of p53 and Rb in prostate carcinogenesis, we have conditionally inactivated these genes in the prostate epithelium of the mouse. Inactivation of either p53 or Rb leads to prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia developing from the luminal epithelium by 600 days of age. In contrast, inactivation of both genes results in rapidly developing (median survival, 226 days) carcinomas showing both luminal epithelial and neuroendocrine differentiation. The resulting neoplasms are highly metastatic, resistant to androgen depletion from the early stage of development, and marked with multiple gene expression signatures commonly found in human prostate carcinomas. Interestingly, gains at 4qC3 and 4qD2.2 and loss at 14qA2-qD2 have been consistently found by comparative genomic hybridization. These loci contain such human cancer-related genes as Nfib, L-myc, and Nkx3.1, respectively. Our studies show a critical role for p53 and Rb deficiency in prostate carcinogenesis and identify likely secondary genetic alterations. The new genetically defined model should be particularly valuable for providing new molecular insights into the pathogenesis of human prostate cancer.