[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary prostate cancer almost always has a luminal phenotype. However, little is known about the stem/progenitor properties of transformed cells within tumors. Using the aggressive Pten/Tp53-null mouse model of prostate cancer, we show that two classes of luminal progenitors exist within a tumor. Not only did tumors contain previously described multipotent progenitors, but also a major population of committed luminal progenitors. Luminal cells, sorted directly from tumors or grown as organoids, initiated tumors of adenocarcinoma or multilineage histological phenotypes, which is consistent with luminal and multipotent differentiation potentials, respectively. Moreover, using organoids we show that the ability of luminal-committed progenitors to self-renew is a tumor-specific property, absent in benign luminal cells. Finally, a significant fraction of luminal progenitors survived in vivo castration. In all, these data reveal two luminal tumor populations with different stem/progenitor cell capacities, providing insight into prostate cancer cells that initiate tumors and can influence treatment response.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recurrence of prostate cancer metastases to bone after androgen deprivation therapy is a major clinical challenge. We identified FN14 (TNFRSF12A), a TNF receptor family member, as a factor that promotes prostate cancer bone metastasis. In experimental models, depletion of FN14 inhibited bone metastasis, and FN14 could be functionally reconstituted with IKKβ-dependent, NFκB signaling activation. In human prostate cancer, upregulated FN14 expression was observed in greater than half of metastatic samples. In addition, FN14 expression was correlated inversely with AR signaling output in clinical samples. Consistent with this, AR binding to the FN14 enhancer decreased expression. We show here that FN14 may be a survival factor in low AR output prostate cancer cells. Our results define one upstream mechanism, via FN14 signaling, through which the NFκB pathway contributes to prostate cancer metastasis, and they suggest FN14 as a candidate therapeutic and imaging target for castrate resistant prostate cancers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of EGFR signaling pathway leads to prostate cancer bone metastasis; however, therapies targeting EGFR have demonstrated limited effectiveness and led to drug resistance. miR-203 levels are down-regulated in clinical samples of primary prostate cancer and further reduced in metastatic prostate cancer. Here we show that ectopic miR-203 expression displayed reduced bone metastasis and induced sensitivity to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) treatment in a xenograft model. Our results demonstrate that the induction of bone metastasis and TKI resistance require miR-203 down regulation, activation of the EGFR pathway via altered expression of EGFR ligands (EREG and TGFA) and anti-apoptotic proteins (API5, BIRC2, and TRIAP1). Importantly, a sufficient reconstitution of invasiveness and resistance to TKIs treatment was observed in cells transfected with anti-miR-203. In prostate cancer patients, our data showed that miR-203 levels were inversely correlated with the expression of two EGFR ligands, EREG and TGFA, and an EGFR dependent gene signature. Our results support the existence of a miR-203, EGFR, TKIs resistance regulatory network in prostate cancer progression. We propose that the loss of miR-203 is a molecular link in the progression of prostate cancer metastasis and TKIs resistance characterized by high EGFR ligands output and anti-apoptotic proteins activation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays an important role in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. DACT1 (Dapper/Frodo) has been identified as involved in antagonizing Wnt/β-catenin signaling through interacting with Dishevelled (Dvl), a central mediator of Wnt signaling, whereas its role in breast tumorigenesis remains unclear.
We examined DACT1 expression in breast cancer cell lines and primary tumors with semiquantitative or quantitative RT-PCR and immunochemistry, and further evaluated the promoter methylation of DACT1 with methylation-specific PCR (MSP). We also explored the tumor-suppressive functions of DACT1 in vivo and in vitro, and its related mechanism in breast cancer.
We identified DACT1 as a methylated target in our breast cancer epigenome study. Here, we further investigated DACT1 expression in multiple breast cell lines and primary tumors, and further studied its function and molecular mechanisms. We found that DACT1 expression was silenced in eight (88.9%) of nine breast cancer cell lines, and its protein levels were obviously reduced in breast tumors compared with paired surgical-margin tissues. Promoter CpG methylation of DACT1 was detected in five (55.6%) of nine breast cancer cell lines and 40 (29.9%) of 134 primary tumors, but not in surgical-margin tissues and normal breast tissues. Demethylation treatment of breast cancer cell lines restored DACT1 expression along with promoter demethylation, suggesting that an epigenetic mechanism mediates DACT1 silencing in breast cancer. Functional assays showed that ectopic expression of DACT1 could inhibit breast tumor cell proliferation in vivo and in vitro through inducing apoptosis, and further suppress tumor cell migration through antagonizing the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
Our study demonstrates that DACT1 could function as a tumor suppressor but was frequently downregulated in breast cancer.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Breast cancer research: BCR
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic rearrangements commonly occur in many types of cancers and often initiate or alter the progression of disease. Here we describe an in vivo mouse model that recapitulates the most frequent rearrangement in prostate cancer, the fusion of the promoter region of TMPRSS2 with the coding region of the transcription factor, ERG. A recombinant bacterial artificial chromosome including an extended TMPRSS2 promoter driving genomic ERG was constructed and used for transgenesis in mice. TMPRSS2-ERG expression was evaluated in tissue sections and FACS-fractionated prostate cell populations. In addition to the anticipated expression in luminal cells, TMPRSS2-ERG was similarly expressed in the Sca-1(hi)/EpCAM(+) basal/progenitor fraction, where expanded numbers of clonogenic self-renewing progenitors were found, as assayed by in vitro sphere formation. These clonogenic cells increased intrinsic self renewal in subsequent generations. In addition, ERG dependent self-renewal and invasion in vitro was demonstrated in prostate cell lines derived from the model. Clinical studies have suggested that the TMPRSS2-ERG translocation occurs early in prostate cancer development. In the model described here, the presence of the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion alone was not transforming but synergized with heterozygous Pten deletion to promote PIN. Taken together, these data suggest that one function of TMPRSS2-ERG is the expansion of self-renewing cells, which may serve as targets for subsequent mutations. Primary prostate epithelial cells demonstrated increased post transcriptional turnover of ERG compared to the TMPRSS2-ERG positive VCaP cell line, originally isolated from a prostate cancer metastasis. Finally, we determined that TMPRSS2-ERG expression occurred in both castration-sensitive and resistant prostate epithelial subpopulations, suggesting the existence of androgen-independent mechanisms of TMPRSS2 expression in prostate epithelium.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD97, a member of the adhesion family of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), complexes with and potentiates lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptor signaling to the downstream effector RHOA. We show here that CD97 was expressed in a majority of thyroid cancers but not normal thyroid epithelium and that the level of CD97 expression was further elevated with progression to poorly differentiated and undifferentiated carcinoma. Intratumoral progression also showed that CD97 expression correlates with invasiveness and dedifferentiation. To determine the functional role of CD97, we produced a transgenic model of thyroglobulin promoter-driven CD97 expression. Transgenic CD97 in combination with Thrb(PV), an established mouse model of thyroid follicular cell carcinogenesis, significantly increased the occurrence of vascular invasion and lung metastasis. Expression of transgenic CD97 in thyroid epithelium led to elevated ERK phosphorylation and increased numbers of Ki67+ cells in developing tumors. In addition, tumor cell cultures derived from CD97 transgenic as compared with non-transgenic mice demonstrated enhanced, constitutive and LPA-stimulated ERK activation. In human thyroid cancer cell lines, CD97 depletion reduced RHO-GTP and decreased LPA-stimulated invasion but not EGF-stimulated invasion, further suggesting that CD97 influences an LPA-associated mechanism of progression. Consistent with the above, CD97 expression in human thyroid cancers correlated with LPA receptor and markers of aggressiveness including Ki67 and pAKT. This study shows an autonomous effect of CD97 on thyroid cancer progression and supports the investigation of this GPCR as a therapeutic target for these cancers.Oncogene advance online publication, 16 July 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.301.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advanced prostate cancers are treated with androgen deprivation therapy, which usually leads to a rapid and significant reduction in tumor burden but subsequent development of castration-resistant and metastatic disease almost always occurs. The source of tumor heterogeneity and the accompanying mechanisms leading to treatment resistance are major areas of prostate cancer research. Although our understanding of tumor heterogeneity is evolving, the functional isolation of tumor propagating populations, also known as cancer stem cells (CSCs), is fundamental to the identification and molecular characterization of castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. Of clinical importance, knowledge of prostate CSCs has implications for design of next generation-targeted therapies aimed at both eradicating primary tumor mass and preventing castration-resistant disease. The inability to routinely transplant fractionated primary human prostate tumors has prevented progress in analyzing the source of heterogeneous and treatment-resistant populations in prostate cancer. Here, we briefly overview the mechanisms of castration resistance, including the hypothesis for the existence of androgen-independent prostate CSCs. Finally, we discuss the interpretation of preclinical models and their utility for characterizing prostate CSCs in androgen-replete and androgen-deprived conditions.
No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of Carcinogenesis
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a developmental program of signaling pathways that determine commitment to epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes. In the prostate, EMT processes have been implicated in benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer progression. In a model of Pten- and TP53-null prostate adenocarcinoma that progresses via transforming growth factor β-induced EMT, mesenchymal transformation is characterized by plasticity, leading to various mesenchymal lineages and the production of bone. Here we show that SLUG is a major regulator of mesenchymal differentiation. As microRNAs (miRs) are pleiotropic regulators of differentiation and tumorigenesis, we evaluated miR expression associated with tumorigenesis and EMT. Mir-1 and miR-200 were reduced with progression of prostate adenocarcinoma, and we identify Slug as one of the phylogenetically conserved targets of these miRs. We demonstrate that SLUG is a direct repressor of miR-1 and miR-200 transcription. Thus, SLUG and miR-1/miR-200 act in a self-reinforcing regulatory loop, leading to amplification of EMT. Depletion of Slug inhibited EMT during tumorigenesis, whereas forced expression of miR-1 or miR-200 inhibited both EMT and tumorigenesis in human and mouse model systems. Various miR targets were analyzed, and our findings suggest that miR-1 has roles in regulating EMT and mesenchymal differentiation through Slug and functions in tumor-suppressive programs by regulating additional targets.Oncogene advance online publication, 27 February 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.58.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer (BrCa) is a complex disease driven by aberrant gene alterations and environmental factors. Recent studies reveal that abnormal epigenetic gene regulation also plays an important role in its pathogenesis. Ubiquitin carboxyl- terminal esterase L1 (UCHL1) is a tumor suppressor silenced by promoter methylation in multiple cancers, but its role and alterations in breast tumorigenesis remain unclear.
We found that UCHL1 was frequently downregulated or silenced in breast cancer cell lines and tumor tissues, but readily expressed in normal breast tissues and mammary epithelial cells. Promoter methylation of UCHL1 was detected in 9 of 10 breast cancer cell lines (90%) and 53 of 66 (80%) primary tumors, but rarely in normal breast tissues, which was statistically correlated with advanced clinical stage and progesterone receptor status. Pharmacologic demethylation reactivated UCHL1 expression along with concomitant promoter demethylation. Ectopic expression of UCHL1 significantly suppressed the colony formation and proliferation of breast tumor cells, through inducing G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Subcellular localization study showed that UCHL1 increased cytoplasmic abundance of p53. We further found that UCHL1 induced p53 accumulation and reduced MDM2 protein level, and subsequently upregulated the expression of p21, as well as cleavage of caspase3 and PARP, but not in catalytic mutant UCHL1 C90S-expressed cells.
UCHL1 exerts its tumor suppressive functions by inducing G0/G1cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in breast tumorigenesis, requiring its deubiquitinase activity. Its frequent silencing by promoter CpG methylation may serve as a potential tumor marker for breast cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is implicated in various pathological processes within the prostate, including benign
prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer progression. However, an ordered sequence of signaling events initiating carcinoma-associated
EMT has not been established. In a model of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)-induced prostatic EMT, SLUG is the dominant
regulator of EMT initiation in vitro and in vivo, as demonstrated by the inhibition of EMT following Slug depletion. In contrast, SNAIL depletion was significantly less rate limiting. TGFβ-stimulated KLF4 degradation is required
for SLUG induction. Expression of a degradation-resistant KLF4 mutant inhibited EMT, and furthermore, depletion of Klf4 was sufficient to initiate SLUG-dependent EMT. We show that KLF4 and another epithelial determinant, FOXA1, are direct transcriptional
inhibitors of SLUG expression in mouse and human prostate cancer cells. Furthermore, self-reinforcing regulatory loops for SLUG-KLF4 and SLUG-FOXA1
lead to SLUG-dependent binding of polycomb repressive complexes to the Klf4 and Foxa1 promoters, silencing transcription and consolidating mesenchymal commitment. Analysis of tissue arrays demonstrated decreased
KLF4 and increased SLUG expression in advanced-stage primary prostate cancer, substantiating the involvement of the EMT signaling
events described in model systems.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD97, an adhesion-linked G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), is induced in multiple epithelial cancer lineages. We address here the signaling properties and the functional significance of CD97 expression in prostate cancer. Our findings show that CD97 signals through Gα12/13 to increase RHO-GTP levels. CD97 functioned to mediate invasion in prostate cancer cells, at least in part, by associating with lysophosphatidic acid receptor 1 (LPAR1), leading to enhanced LPA-dependent RHO and extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation. Consistent with its role in invasion, depletion of CD97 in PC3 cells resulted in decreased bone metastasis without affecting subcutaneous tumor growth. Furthermore, CD97 heterodimerized and functionally synergized with LPAR1, a GPCR implicated in cancer progression. We also found that CD97 and LPAR expression were significantly correlated in clinical prostate cancer specimens. Taken together, these findings support the investigation of CD97 as a potential therapeutic cancer target.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prostate cancers of luminal adenocarcinoma histology display a range of clinical behaviors. Although most prostate cancers are slow-growing and indolent, a proportion is aggressive, developing metastasis and resistance to androgen deprivation treatment. One hypothesis is that a portion of aggressive cancers initiate from stem-like, androgen-independent tumor-propagating cells. Here we demonstrate the in vitro creation of a mouse cell line, selected for growth as self-renewing stem/progenitor cells, which manifests many in vivo properties of aggressive prostate cancer. Normal mouse prostate epithelium containing floxed Pten and TP53 alleles was subjected to CRE-mediated deletion in vitro followed by serial propagation as protospheres. A polyclonal cell line was established from dissociated protospheres and subsequently a clonal daughter line was derived. Both lines demonstrate a mature luminal phenotype in vitro. The established lines contain a stable minor population of progenitor cells with protosphere-forming ability and multi-lineage differentiation capacity. Both lines formed orthotopic adenocarcinoma tumors with metastatic potential to lung. Intracardiac inoculation resulted in brain and lung metastasis, while intra-tibial injection induced osteoblastic bone formation, recapitulating the bone metastatic phenotype of human prostate cancer. The cells showed androgen receptor dependent growth in vitro. Importantly, in vivo, the deprivation of androgens from established orthotopic tumors resulted in tumor regression and eventually castration-resistant growth. These data suggest that transformed prostate progenitor cells preferentially differentiate toward luminal cells and recapitulate many characteristics of the human disease.