[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells are hypoxia-resistant and present a preponderant glycolytic metabolism. These characteristics are also found in basal-like breast carcinomas (BLBC), which show increased expression of cancer stem cell markers.
Recently, we demonstrated that P-cadherin, a biomarker of BLBC and a poor prognostic factor in this disease, mediates stem-like properties and resistance to radiation therapy. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate if P-cadherin expression was associated to breast cancer cell populations with an adapted phenotype to hypoxia.
Immunohistochemistry was performed to address the expression of P-cadherin, hypoxic, glycolytic and acid-resistance biomarkers in primary human breast carcinomas. In vitro studies were performed using basal-like breast cancer cell lines. qRT-PCR, FACS analysis, western blotting and confocal microscopy were used to assess the expression of P-cadherin after HIF-1α stabilization, achieved by CoCl2 treatment. siRNA-mediated knockdown was used to silence the expression of several targets and qRT-PCR was employed to evaluate the effects of P-cadherin on HIF-1α signaling. P-cadherin high and low breast cancer cell populations were sorted by FACS and levels of GLUT1 and CAIX were assessed by FACS and western blotting. Mammosphere forming efficiency was used to determine the stem cell activity after specific siRNA-mediated knockdown, further confirmed by western blotting.
We demonstrated that P-cadherin overexpression was significantly associated with the expression of HIF-1α, GLUT1, CAIX, MCT1 and CD147 in human breast carcinomas. In vitro, we showed that HIF-1α stabilization was accompanied by increased membrane expression of P-cadherin and that P-cadherin silencing led to a decrease of the mRNA levels of GLUT1 and CAIX. We also found that the cell fractions harboring high levels of P-cadherin were the same exhibiting more GLUT1 and CAIX expression. Finally, we showed that P-cadherin silencing significantly decreases the mammosphere forming efficiency in the same range as the silencing of HIF-1α, CAIX or GLUT1, validating that all these markers are being expressed by the same breast cancer stem cell population.
Our results establish a link between aberrant P-cadherin expression and hypoxic, glycolytic and acid-resistant breast cancer cells, suggesting a possible role for this marker in cancer cell metabolism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: P-cadherin is a classical cell-cell adhesion molecule that, in contrast to E-cadherin, has a positive role in breast cancer progression, being considered a poor prognostic factor in this disease. In previous reports, we have shown that this protein induces cancer stem cell and invasive properties to basal-like breast cancer cells. Here, we clarify the downstream signaling pathways that are triggered by P-cadherin to mediate these effects.
We demonstrated that P-cadherin inhibition led to a significant decreased adhesion of cancer cells to the basement membrane substrate laminin, as well as to a major reduction in the expression of the laminin receptor α6β4 integrin. Remarkably, the expression of this heterodimer was required for the invasive capacity and increased mammosphere forming efficiency induced by P-cadherin expression. Moreover, we showed that P-cadherin transcriptionally up-regulates the α6 integrin subunit expression and directly interacts with the β4 integrin subunit. We still showed that P-cadherin downstream signaling, in response to laminin, involves the activation of focal adhesion (FAK), Src and AKT kinases. The association between the expression of P-cadherin, α6β4 heterodimer and the active FAK and Src phosphorylated forms was validated in vivo.
Our data establish that there is a crosstalk between P-cadherin and the laminin receptor α6β4 integrin signaling pathway, which link has never been previously described. The activation of this heterodimer explains the stem cell and invasive properties induced by P-cadherin to breast cancer cells, pointing to a new molecular mechanism that may be targeted to counteract the effects induced by this adhesion molecule.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The progression from in situ to invasive breast carcinoma is still an event poorly understood. However, it has been suggested that interactions between the neoplastic cells and the tumor microenvironment may play an important role in this process. Thus, the determination of differential tumor-stromal metabolic interactions could be an important step in invasiveness. The expression of stromal Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) has already been implicated in the progression from ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) to invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). Additionally, stromal Cav-1 expression has been associated with the expression of stromal monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) in invasive breast cancer. However, the role of stromal MCT4 in invasiveness has never been explored, neither the association between Cav-1 and MCT4 in the transition from breast DCIS to IDC. Therefore, our aim was to investigate in a series of breast cancer samples including matched in situ and invasive components, if there was a relationship between stromal Cav-1 and MCT4 in the progression from in situ to invasive carcinoma. We found loss of stromal Cav-1 in the progression to IDC in 75% of the cases. In contrast, MCT4 stromal expression was acquired in 87% of the IDCs. Interestingly, a concomitant loss of Cav-1 and gain of MCT4 was observed in the stroma of 75% of the cases, when matched in situ and invasive carcinomas were compared. These results suggest that alterations in Cav-1 and MCT4 may thus mark a critical point in the progression from in situ to invasive breast cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: P-cadherin is a cell-cell adhesion molecule codified by the CDH3 gene, which expression is highly associated with undifferentiated cells in normal adult epithelial tissues, as well as with poorly differentiated carcinomas. In breast cancer, P-cadherin is frequently overexpressed in high-grade tumours and is a well-established indicator of aggressive tumour behaviour and poor patient prognosis. However, till now, the mechanisms controlling CDH3 gene activation have been poorly explored. Since we recently described the existence of several CCAAT/Enhancer Binding Protein β (C/EBPβ) transcription factor binding sites at the CDH3 promoter, the aim of this study was to assess if the distinct C/EBPβ isoforms were directly involved in the transcriptional activation of the CDH3 gene in breast cancer cells. DNA-protein interactions, mutation analysis and luciferase reporter assay studies have been performed. We demonstrated that C/EBPβ is co-expressed with P-cadherin in breast cancer cells and all the three isoforms function as transcriptional regulators of the CDH3 gene, directly interacting with specific regions of its promoter. Interestingly, this transcriptional activation was only reflected at the P-cadherin protein level concerning the LIP isoform. Taken together, our data show that CDH3 is a newly defined transcriptional target gene of C/EBPβ isoforms in breast cancer, and we also identified the binding sites that are relevant for this activation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gene encoding protein kinase WNK2 was recently identified to be silenced by promoter hypermethylation in gliomas and meningiomas, suggesting a tumour-suppressor role in these brain tumours. Following experimental depletion in cell lines, WNK2 was further found to control GTP-loading of Rac1, a signalling guanosine triphosphatase involved in cell migration and motility. Here we show that WNK2 promoter methylation also occurs in 17.5% (29 out of 166) of adult gliomas, whereas it is infrequent in its paediatric forms (1.6%; 1 out of 66). Re-expression of WNK2 in glioblastoma cells presenting WNK2 gene silencing reduced cell proliferation in vitro, tumour growth in vivo and also cell migration and invasion, an effect correlated with reduced activation of Rac1. In contrast, when endogenous WNK2 was depleted from glioblastoma cells with unmethylated WNK2 promoter, changes in cell morphology, an increase in invasion and activation of Rac1 were observed. Together, these results validate the WNK2 gene as a recurrent target for epigenetic silencing in glia-derived brain tumours and provide first mechanistic evidence for a tumour-suppressing role of WNK2 that is related to Rac1 signalling and tumour cell invasion and proliferation.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Human Molecular Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The triple-negative subgroup of breast cancer includes a cluster of tumors exhibiting low E-cadherin expression (metaplastic carcinomas). In several cancer models, 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1α,25(OH)(2)D(3)) induces differentiation by increasing E-cadherin expression. The Vitamin D receptor (VDR) was evaluated as a possible therapeutic target for metaplastic carcinomas and 1α,25(OH)(2)D(3) effects as a differentiating agent in triple-negative breast cancer cells were assessed.
Metaplastic carcinomas were assessed for VDR expression by immunohistochemistry; differences in E-cadherin expression in triple-negative breast cancer cells were evaluated by real-time PCR, western blotting and Cadherin 1 (CDH1) methylation status.
Most of the metaplastic carcinomas were positive for VDR expression. Furthermore, 1α,25(OH)(2)D(3) promoted differentiation of MDA-MB-231 cells by inducing de novo E-cadherin expression, an effect that was time- and dose-dependent. Also, E-cadherin expression was due to promoter demethylation.
Metaplastic carcinomas may respond to 1α,25(OH)(2)D(3), since they express VDR and 1α,25(OH)(2)D(3) induces de novo E-cadherin expression in breast cancer cells by promoter demethylation.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Anticancer research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of the present work was to evaluate the correlation of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) and carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) with the monocarboxylate transporters 1 (MCT1) and 4 (MCT4) and their chaperone, CD147, in breast cancer. The clinico-pathological value of GLUT1 and CAIX was also evaluated. For that, we analysed the immunohistochemical expression of GLUT1 and CAIX, in a large series of invasive breast carcinoma samples (n=124), previously characterized for MCT1, MCT4 and CD147 expression. GLUT1 expression was found in 46% of the cases (57/124), while CAIX was found in 18% of the cases (22/122). Importantly, both MCT1 and CD147, but not MCT4, were associated with GLUT1 and CAIX expression. Also, GLUT1 and CAIX correlated with each other. Concerning the clinico-pathological values, GLUT1 was associated with high grade tumours, basal-like subtype, absence of progesterone receptor, presence of vimentin and high proliferative index as measured by Ki-67. Additionally, CAIX was associated with large tumour size, high histological grade, basal-like subtype, absence of estrogen and progesterone receptors and presence of basal cytokeratins and vimentin expression. Finally, patients with CAIX positive tumours had a significantly shorter disease-free survival. The association between MCT1 and both GLUT1 and CAIX may result from hypoxia-mediated metabolic adaptations, which confer a glycolytic, acid-resistant and more aggressive phenotype to cancer cells.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Histology and histopathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current system of pathologic classification of human breast cancers does not take into account the biologic determinants of prognosis, nor is there a consensus regarding the progression from in situ to invasive carcinoma. The present study compared the molecular phenotypes of in situ and invasive components of breast cancer in the same sample. We built a series of 189 in situ and invasive carcinomas using tissue microarrays and classified them according to their immunoprofiles regarding estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, epidermal growth factor receptor, cytokeratin 5, P-cadherin, and the antigen Ki-67 into luminal A and B, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 overexpressing, and basal-like carcinomas. We also correlated the subgroups of carcinomas with some of the classical prognostic factors such as histologic grade, tumor size, and lymph node metastasis, as well as with the age of the patient at diagnosis. The overall concordance on the molecular phenotypes between in situ and invasive components was 94%. For the in situ component, 63% of the cases were luminal A; 15%, luminal B; 12%, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 overexpressing; and 7%, basal-like. Regarding the invasive component, 61% of the cases were luminal A; 16%, luminal B; 12%, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 overexpressing; and 8%, basal-like. The present study allowed the identification of different immunoprofiles of in situ and invasive breast carcinomas using a specific panel of biomarkers and showed that in most cases, there is a concordance between in situ and invasive component profiles, supporting the theory of parallel disease in breast tumorigenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: P-cadherin is a cell-cell adhesion molecule, whose expression is highly associated with undifferentiated cells in normal adult epithelial tissues, as well as with poorly differentiated carcinomas. Its expression has been already reported in human embryonic stem cells and it is presumed to be a marker of stem or progenitor cells of some epithelial tissues. In normal breast, P-cadherin has an essential role during ductal mammary branching, being expressed by the monolayer of epithelial cap cells at the end buds. In mature mammary tissue, its expression is restricted to the myoepithelium; it has been postulated that it may also be present in early luminal progenitor cells. In breast cancer, P-cadherin is frequently overexpressed in high-grade tumours, being a well-established indicator of poor patient prognosis. It has been reported as an important inducer of cancer cell migration and invasion, with underlying molecular mechanisms involving the signalling mediated by its juxtamembrane domain, the secretion of matrix metalloproteases to the extracellular media, and the cleavage of a P-cadherin soluble form with pro-invasive activity. Intracellularly, this protein interferes with the endogenous cadherin/catenin complex, inducing p120-catenin delocalization to the cytoplasm, and the consequent activation of Rac1/Cdc42 and associated alterations in the actin cytoskeleton. Considering P-cadherin's role in cancer cell invasion and metastasis formation, a humanized monoclonal antibody was recently produced to antagonize P-cadherin-associated signalling pathways, which is currently under Phase I clinical trials. In this review, the most important findings about the role of P-cadherin in normal breast development and cancer will be illustrated and discussed, with emphasis on the most recent data.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · The International journal of developmental biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cadherins are cell-cell adhesion molecules. During tumor progression, their expression and/or function are frequently altered. E-cadherin down-regulation is often associated with tumor initiation and progression in breast cancer , whereas P-cadherin overexpression is associated with a worse patient survival  and with invasive breast cancer cells . In this study, we aimed to understand if P-cadherin overexpression could interfere with E-cadherin invasion suppressor role in breast cancer. Therefore, E-and P-cadherin expression was evaluated in a series of invasive breast carcinomas. P-cadherin over-expressing tumors often do not loose E-cadherin and tumors co-expressing both cadherins showed a more aggressive behavior and were related with the worst patient survival. Further, we performed in vitro studies by silencing both cadherins in BT-20 breast cancer cells. E-and P-cadherin co-expressing breast cancer cells showed increased cell invasion and migration capacities, when compared with the ones expressing only one cadherin. P-cadherin silencing led to increased levels of cell death, demonstrating it as a cancer cell survival signal. Also, microarrays of BT-20 cells, after E-and/or P-cadherin silencing, showed that the role of each cadherin alone is distinct from when these are co-expressed in the same cell, conferring different transcriptional programs. We can conclude that E-and P-cadherin co-expres-sion has an invasion promoter role in breast cancer cells and is a poor patient prognostic biomarker.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease associated with different patient prognosis and responses to therapy. Vitamin D has been emerging as a potential treatment for cancer, as it has been demonstrated that it modulates proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and metastasis, among others. It acts mostly through the Vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the synthesis and degradation of this hormone are regulated by the enzymes CYP27B1 and CYP24A1, respectively. We aimed to study the expression of these three proteins by immunohistochemistry in a series of breast lesions.
We have used a cohort comprising normal breast, benign mammary lesions, carcinomas in situ and invasive carcinomas and assessed the expression of the VDR, CYP27B1 and CYP24A1 by immunohistochemistry.
The results that we have obtained show that all proteins are expressed in the various breast tissues, although at different amounts. The VDR was frequently expressed in benign lesions (93.5%) and its levels of expression were diminished in invasive tumours (56.2%). Additionally, the VDR was strongly associated with the oestrogen receptor positivity in breast carcinomas. CYP27B1 expression is slightly lower in invasive carcinomas (44.6%) than in benign lesions (55.8%). In contrast, CYP24A1 expression was augmented in carcinomas (56.0% in in situ and 53.7% in invasive carcinomas) when compared with that in benign lesions (19.0%).
From this study, we conclude that there is a deregulation of the Vitamin D signalling and metabolic pathways in breast cancer, favouring tumour progression. Thus, during mammary malignant transformation, tumour cells lose their ability to synthesize the active form of Vitamin D and respond to VDR-mediated Vitamin D effects, while increasing their ability to degrade this hormone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The most suitable immunohistochemical criterion to identify basal-like breast carcinomas (BLBC), a molecular subgroup of breast cancer associated with poor prognosis, is the triple negative phenotype along with CK5 and/or EGFR immunoreactivity. However, several putative basal markers have been suggested as alternatives to identify BLBC with more accuracy.
The expression of CK5, EGFR, P-cadherin, CK14, Vimentin and p63 were evaluated in 462 invasive breast carcinomas to determine their sensitivity and specificity for BLBC identification.
P-cadherin and CK5 showed higher sensitivity values, while EGFR, Vimentin and CK14 were the most specific markers. The combination of CK5 with P-cadherin, Vimentin or CK14 proved to be a reliable option for distinguishing the basal phenotype, compared to the "gold standard" pair CK5/EGFR. Furthermore, P-cadherin was still able to recognize a large number of putative BLBC among the "unclassified" group (ER-/PR-/HER2-/CK5-/EGFR-).
P-cadherin, Vimentin and CK14 can recognize BLBC already identified in triple negative/ CK5 and/or EGFR+ tumors, and due to P-cadherin sensitivity for BLBC identification this marker can reliably recruit a large number of breast carcinomas with basal phenotype among immunohistochemistry triple negative/ CK5 and/or EGFR - pool of tumors. Although they need GEP validation, our results can introduce the idea of these markers as additional options in the daily workup of breast pathology laboratories to identify BLBC.
No preview · Article · Aug 2010 · Histology and histopathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) have been considered promising targets for cancer therapy, since they facilitate lactate efflux in glycolytic tumours. However, their role in solid tumours is still poorly understood. Thus, the present work aimed to contribute to understanding the involvement of MCT1 and MCT4 in breast cancer progression as well as MCT regulation by CD147.
The expression of the membrane transporters MCT1 and MCT4 was analysed in a series of breast carcinomas (249 cases) and their clinicopathological significance investigated. Additionally, we analysed the significance of CD147 co-expression, as an important regulator of MCT expression and activity. MCT1 was significantly increased in breast carcinomas when compared with normal breast tissue and, importantly, both MCT1 and CD147 were associated with poor prognostic variables such as basal-like subtype and high grade tumours.
These results provide evidence for a prognostic value of MCT1 in breast carcinoma and support the exploitation of the complex MCT1/CD147 as a promising target for cancer therapy, especially in basal-like breast carcinoma.