[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Radioisotopes that emit electrons (beta particles), such as radioiodine, can effectively kill target cells, including cancer cells. Aqueous 32P[PO4] is a pure beta-emitter that has been used for several decades to treat non-malignant human myeloproliferative diseases. 32P[PO4] was directly compared to a more powerful pure beta-emitter, the clinically important 90Y isotope. In vitro, 32P[PO4] was more effective at killing cells than was the more powerful isotope 90Y (P ≤ 0.001) and also caused substantially more double-stranded DNA breaks than did 90Y. In vivo, a single low-dose intravenous dose of aqueous elemental 32P significantly inhibited tumor growth in the syngeneic murine cancer model (P ≤ 0.001). This effect is exerted by direct incorporation into nascent DNA chains, resulting in double-stranded breakage, a unique mechanism not duplicatable by other, more powerful electron-emitting radioisotopes. 32P[PO4] should be considered for human clinical trials as a potential novel anti-cancer drug.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) have been shown to play important roles in the development and progression of cancer. However, functional lncRNAs and their downstream mechanisms are largely unknown in the molecular pathogenesis of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and its progression.
lncRNAs that are abnormally upregulated in EACs were identified by RNA-sequencing analysis, followed by quantitative RT-PCR (qRTPCR) validation using tissues from 25 EAC patients. Cell biological assays in combination with small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown were performed in order to probe the functional relevance of these lncRNAs.
We discovered that a lncRNA, HNF1A-AS1, is markedly upregulated in human primary EACs relative to their corresponding normal oesophageal tissues (mean fold change 10.6, p<0.01). We further discovered that HNF1A-AS1 knockdown significantly inhibited cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth, suppressed S-phase entry, and inhibited cell migration and invasion in multiple in vitro EAC models (p<0.05). A gene ontological analysis revealed that HNF1A-AS1 knockdown preferentially affected genes that are linked to assembly of chromatin and the nucleosome, a mechanism essential to cell cycle progression. The well known cancer-related lncRNA, H19, was the gene most markedly inhibited by HNF1A-AS1 knockdown. Consistent to this finding, there was a significant positive correlation between HNF1A-AS1 and H19 expression in primary EACs (p<0.01).
We have discovered abnormal upregulation of a lncRNA, HNF1A-AS1, in human EAC. Our findings suggest that dysregulation of HNF1A-AS1 participates in oesophageal tumorigenesis, and that this participation may be mediated, at least in part, by modulation of chromatin and nucleosome assembly as well as by H19 induction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: : The development of colon cancer represents a major complication in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The importance of microRNAs (miRs) in carcinogenesis is becoming clearer because miRs have been implicated in the regulation of cancer-related cellular processes to include apoptosis, differentiation, cell cycle progression, and immune function. In the current study, we sought to identify miR dysregulation specific to progression along the normal-inflammation-cancer axis in colonic specimens from patients with IBD.
: MiR microarrays and quantitative reverse transcription PCR were used to detect and confirm dysregulated miRs. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was applied to evaluate the potential use of miR-224 as a neoplastic disease marker in IBD. For miR-224 target messenger RNA (mRNA) identification, mRNA microarrays were employed in combination with bioinformatic analyses, Western blotting, and luciferase activity measurements.
: We identified 30 miRs that were differentially expressed between chronically inflamed mucosae and cancers arising from IBD tissues. MiR-224 levels increased successively at each stage of IBD progression and accurately discriminated cancers from normal or chronically inflamed IBD tissues. Moreover, mRNA arrays combined with bioinformatic analyses suggested the participation of miR-224 in cell cycle regulation. Subsequently, cell cycle experiments indicated that miR-224 regulates the G1-S checkpoint. Finally, in silico prediction analyses, confirmed by Western blotting and luciferase assays, identified p21 as a specific direct mRNA target of miR-224.
: These findings reveal miR dysregulation specific to IBD-associated colorectal carcinoma. MiR-224 is overexpressed in IBD cancers and targets p21, a key cell cycle regulator. Moreover, these results establish the participation of miR-224 in IBD carcinogenesis.
No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background & aims:
Alterations in methylation of protein-coding genes are associated with Barrett's esophagus (BE) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Dysregulation of noncoding RNAs occurs during carcinogenesis but has never been studied in BE or EAC. We applied high-resolution methylome analysis to identify changes at genomic regions that encode noncoding RNAs in BE and EAC.
We analyzed methylation of 1.8 million CpG sites using massively parallel sequencing-based HELP tagging in matched EAC, BE, and normal esophageal tissues. We also analyzed human EAC (OE33, SKGT4, and FLO-1) and normal (HEEpic) esophageal cells.
BE and EAC exhibited genome-wide hypomethylation, significantly affecting intragenic and repetitive genomic elements as well as noncoding regions. These methylation changes targeted small and long noncoding regions, discriminating normal from matched BE or EAC tissues. One long noncoding RNA, AFAP1-AS1, was extremely hypomethylated and overexpressed in BE and EAC tissues and EAC cells. Its silencing by small interfering RNA inhibited proliferation and colony-forming ability, induced apoptosis, and reduced EAC cell migration and invasion without altering the expression of its protein-coding counterpart, AFAP1.
BE and EAC exhibit reduced methylation that includes noncoding regions. Methylation of the long noncoding RNA AFAP1-AS1 is reduced in BE and EAC, and its expression inhibits cancer-related biologic functions of EAC cells.
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Gastroenterology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The search for new therapeutic agents that are effective against cancer has been difficult and expensive. The activity of anticancer candidate agents against human cancer-derived cell lines in immunocompromised mice is an important tool in this search. Because ATP is a naturally occurring small molecule, its radiolabeled form poses many advantages as a potential anticancer therapeutic agent. We previously found that a single, low-dose intravenous injection of [ ( 32) P]ATP inhibited the growth of xenografted tumors in nude mice for up to several weeks. The current study describes the biodistribution and the results and advantages of multi-dose administration of this potential drug. Future studies should investigate the mechanism involved in the possible use of [ ( 32) P]ATP as a cytotoxic agent that homes naturally to the tumor microenvironment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported frequent truncating mutations of the RNA-binding protein gene, La ribonucleoprotein domain family, member-7 (LARP7) in gastric cancers (GCs) with frequent microsatellite instability. LARP7 negatively regulates positive transcription elongation factor-b (p-TEFb) by binding to and stabilizing 7sk RNA. p-TEFb has been linked to proliferation and de-differentiation in various tissues. Therefore, we reasoned that loss of LARP7 may contribute to gastric tumorigenesis. In this study, we evaluated LARP7 mRNA expression in 18 GCs, their corresponding non-neoplastic gastric tissues (N(GC)), and 18 normal gastric tissues from healthy individuals (N(N)). We also assessed the effects of transient small interfering (siRNA)-mediated LARP7 knockdown in immortalized non-neoplastic gastric epithelial cells. LARP7 mRNA was significantly decreased in GCs (median 2.5) relative to N(N)s (median 14.9, P<0.01) as well as relative to their corresponding N(GC)s (median 8.1, P<0.01). Transfection of an siRNA directed against LARP7 (anti-LARP7 siRNA) into non-neoplastic gastric epithelial cells decreased 7sk levels by 72% relative to a control siRNA (P<0.01). Furthermore, anti-LARP7 siRNA transfection increased cell proliferation by 23% (P<0.01) and cell migration by 22% (P<0.001) relative to control siRNA transfection. Taken together, these findings suggest that LARP7 downregulation occurs early during gastric tumorigenesis and may promote gastric tumorigenesis via p-TEFb dysregulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CpG island (CGI) hypermethylation at discrete loci is a prevalent cancer-promoting abnormality in sporadic colorectal carcinomas (S-CRCs). We investigated genome-wide CGI methylation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-associated CRCs (IBD-CRCs).
Methylation microarray analyses were conducted on seven IBD-CRCs, 17 S-CRCs, and eight normal control colonic tissues from patients without CRC or IBD. CGI methylator phenotype (CIMP), a surrogate marker for widespread cancer-specific CGI hypermethylation, was examined in 30 IBD-CRCs and 43 S-CRCs.
The genome-wide CGI methylation pattern of IBD-CRCs was CIMP status-dependent. Based on methylation array data profiling of all autosomal loci, CIMP(+) IBD-CRCs grouped together with S-CRCs, while CIMP(-) IBD-CRCs grouped together with control tissues. CIMP(-) IBD-CRCs demonstrated less methylation than did age-matched CIMP(-) S-CRCs at autosomal CGIs (z-score -0.17 vs. 0.09, P = 3 × 10(-3)) and CRC-associated hypermethylation target CGIs (z-score -0.43 vs. 0.68, P = 1 × 10(-4)). Age-associated hypermethylation target CGIs were significantly overrepresented in CGIs that were hypermethylated in S-CRCs (P = 1 × 10(-192)), but not in CGIs that were hypermethylated in IBD-CRCs (P = 0.11). In contrast, KRAS mutation prevalence was similar between IBD-CRCs and S-CRCs. Notably, CIMP(+) prevalence was significantly higher in older than in younger IBD-CRC cases (50.0 vs. 4.2, P = 0.02), but not in S-CRC cases (9.7 vs. 16.7, P = 0.92).
Cancer-specific CGI hypermethylation and age-associated CGI hypermethylation are diminished in IBD-CRCs relative to S-CRCs, while the KRAS mutation rate is comparable between these cancers. CGI hypermethylation appears to play only a minor role in IBD-associated carcinogenesis. We speculate that aging, rather than inflammation per se, promotes CIMP(+) CRCs in IBD patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is increasing rapidly worldwide. Although the molecular basis of EAC and its precursor, Barrett's esophagus (BE), have been studied, insight is needed into early premalignant events. In the current study, we comprehensively identified epigenetically altered genes at various time-points during neoplastic progression in BE to explore the timetable of this process. We compared global DNA methylation profiles of two groups of BE patients: 1) patients who later progressed to high-grade dysplasia (HGD) or esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), termed 'progressors'; and 2) those who did not later progress to HGD or EAC, termed 'nonprogressors. To conduct genome-wide methylation analyses, we first conducted methylated CpG island amplification (MCA) coupled with Human CpG Island microarray analyses. This profiling revealed the predominant epigenomic change during early BE progression to be hypomethylation, rather than hypermethylation, implying activation of growth-stimulatory genes. Moreover, some genes changed methylation levels late during the run-up to progression, while others changed levels earlier, including proto-oncogenes known to participate in numerous malignancies. Interestingly, IGFIR, the insulin-like growth factor I receptor, which is known to be overexpressed in many malignant tissues, was found to be significantly hypomethylated in Ps vs. NPs (mean P/N = 0.585, p-value = 0.00078), implying potential involvement of insulin signaling during neoplastic progression in BE. These findings suggest that the global methylation profile of BE changes continuously as BE evolves from early to later pre-progression, and that hypomethylation predominates early in this process.
Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Endocrine Related Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) is overexpressed in various human cancers. However, the biological functions and the post-transcriptional regulations of PLK1 in esophageal cancer (EC) are still unknown. The purposes of our study are to determine whether PLK1 can be a molecular target of EC therapy and to identify a microRNA (miRNA) targeting PLK1. We performed loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments regarding cell proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, in vivo tumor formation and luciferase reporter assays, using siRNAs against PLK1 and miRNA. PLK1 protein was expressed in all 11 EC cell lines, but not in normal esophageal epithelial cells (HEEpiC). Knockdown of PLK1 in EC cells induced G2/M arrest (p < 0.001) in cell cycle assay and reduced cell proliferation (p = 0.019) and tumor formation ability in vivo (p < 0.0001). MiR-593*, identified as a miRNA targeting PLK1 by a database search, was less expressed especially in six EC cell lines than HEEpiC cells. Moreover, miR-593* expression level was inversely correlated with PLK1 mRNA level in 48 clinical tissue specimens of EC (p = 0.006). Introduction of synthetic miR-593* suppressed PLK1 expression by 69–73%, reduced cell proliferation (p = 0.008) and increased cell proportion of G2/M phase (p = 0.01) in HSA/c (an EC cells), whereas a miR-593* inhibitor upregulated PLK1 expression by 11–55%. Additionally, luciferase assay demonstrated that miR-593* interacted two binding sites in the PLK1 3′-UTR and reduced 56.8–71.5% of luciferase activity by degrading luciferase mRNA in HSA/c cells. In conclusion, PLK1 is post-transcriptionally regulated by miR-593* and could be a promising molecular target for EC treatment.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · International Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of a potential human anti-cancer therapeutic agent to inhibit the growth of xenografted tumors in nude mice has been an established and accepted testing method for several decades. The current report shows that a single, low-level intravenous dose of [(32)P]ATP significantly inhibits the growth of established xenografted tumors in nude mice. This inhibitory effect becomes appreciable very rapidly, within only five days post-injection and the low dose demonstrates little or no toxicity in the mice. Surprisingly, a narrow dose window of optimum effectiveness is seen, whereby either decreasing or increasing the [(32)P]ATP dose results in far less growth inhibition. Thus, the intravenous systemic injection of [(32)P]ATP may represent a simple, potent method to target and inhibit primary human tumors and malignant lesions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Aberrant microRNA (miR) expression has been linked to carcinogenesis; however, no reports document a relationship between IBD-related neoplasia (IBDN) and altered miR expression. In the current study we sought to identify specific miR dysregulation along the normal–inflammation–cancer axis.Methods:miR microarrays and quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to detect dysregulated miRs. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was employed to test for potential usefulness of miR-31 as a disease marker of IBDNs. In silico prediction analysis, Western blot, and luciferase activity measurement were employed for target identification.Results:Several dysregulated miRs were identified between chronically inflamed mucosae and dysplasia arising in IBD. MiR-31 expression increases in a stepwise fashion during progression from normal to IBD to IBDN and accurately discriminated IBDNs from normal or chronically inflamed tissues in IBD patients. Finally, we identified factor inhibiting hypoxia inducible factor 1 as a direct target of miR-31.Conclusions:Our study reveals specific miR dysregulation as chronic inflammation progresses to dysplasia. MiR-31 expression levels increase with disease progression and accurately discriminates between distinct pathological entities that coexist in IBD patients. The novel effect of miR-31 on regulating factor inhibiting hypoxia inducible factor 1 expression provides a new insight on the pathogenesis of IBDN. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2011;)
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dismal outcome of gastric cancer patients highlights the need for diagnostic biomarkers and effective therapeutic targets, such as microRNAs. We sought to discover microRNAs involved in gastric cancer, and to elucidate their downstream target mechanisms. Both cultured gastric epithelial cells (HFE145 and NCI-N87) and primary human gastric tissues (31 non-neoplastic stomach (NS) and 25 gastric carcinomas (GC)) were studied. MicroRNA microarrays and quantitative RT-PCR were applied to discover and verify differentially expressed microRNAs. in vitro cell migration and invasion, cell proliferation, cell cycle and apoptosis assays were executed to elucidate biological effects of microRNA-192 and -215. Western blotting and luciferase assays were performed to confirm direct messenger RNA targeting by microRNA-192 and -215. MicroRNA microarray analyses revealed that 25 and 20 microRNAs were upregulated and downregulated in GC vs NS, respectively. Expression levels of both microRNA-192 and -215 were significantly higher in GC than in NS (P<0.05). Luciferase assays suggested that microRNA-215 inhibits activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM) expression at the posttranscriptional level. In addition, expression levels of ALCAM were significantly lower in GC than in NS. Mimics and inhibitors, respectively, of microRNA-192 or -215 exerted no effect on cell cycle or apoptosis in the immortalized normal gastric cell line HFE145 or the gastric cancer cell line NCI-N87. However, mimics of microRNA-192 or -215 significantly increased growth rates in HFE145 cells, whereas inhibitors of microRNA-192 or -215 caused significant decreases in growth rates in NCI-N87 cells. ALCAM knockdown by an ALCAM-specific siRNA significantly increased cell growth in HFE145 cells. Both transfection of mimics of microRNA-192 or -215 and ALCAM knockdown by an ALCAM-specific siRNA significantly increased the migration of HFE145 cells. In conclusion, in gastric cancer, both microRNA-192 and -215 are overexpressed in vivo and exert cell growth and migration-promoting effects in vitro, thus representing potential microRNAs with a role in cancer in the human stomach.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Claudins are membrane proteins that play critical roles in tight junction (TJ) formation and function. Members of the claudin gene family have been demonstrated to be aberrantly regulated, and to participate in the pathogenesis of various human cancers. In the present study, we report that claudin-11 (CLDN11) is silenced in gastric cancer via hypermethylation of its promoter region.
Levels of CLDN11 methylation and mRNA expression were measured in primary gastric cancer tissues, noncancerous gastric mucosae, and cell lines of gastric origin using quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP) and quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR (qRT-PCR), respectively. Analyses of paired gastric cancers and adjacent normal gastric tissues revealed hypermethylation of the CLDN11 promoter region in gastric cancers, and this hypermethylation was significantly correlated with downregulation of CLDN11 expression vs. normal tissues. The CLDN11 promoter region was also hypermethylated in all gastric cancer cell lines tested relative to immortalized normal gastric epithelial cells. Moreover, CLDN11 mRNA expression was inversely correlated with its methylation level. Treatment of CLDN11-nonexpressing gastric cancer cells with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine restored CLDN11 expression. Moreover, siRNA-mediated knockdown of CLDN11 expression in normal gastric epithelial cells increased their motility and invasiveness.
These data suggest that hypermethylation of CLDN11, leading to downregulated expression, contributes to gastric carcinogenesis by increasing cellular motility and invasiveness. A further understanding of the mechanisms underlying the role of claudin proteins in gastric carcinogenesis will likely help in the identification of novel approaches for diagnosis and therapy of gastric cancer.