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  • 1
    Keywords: IN-VIVO ; PATHWAY ; PROTEIN ; GROWTH-FACTOR RECEPTOR ; COLORECTAL-CANCER ; gene amplification ; TRANSCRIPTION 3 ; TYROSINE-PHOSPHORYLATED STAT3 ; ACTIVATED SIGNAL TRANSDUCER ; MULTIPOLAR MITOSES
    Abstract: Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is altered in several epithelial cancers and represents a potential therapeutic target. Here, STAT3 expression, activity and cellular functions were examined in two main histotypes of esophageal carcinomas. In situ, immunohistochemistry for STAT3 and STAT3-Tyr705 phosphorylation (P-STAT3) in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC, n=49) and Barrett's adenocarcinomas (BAC, n=61) revealed similar STAT3 expression in ESCCs and BACs (P=0.109), but preferentially activated P-STAT3 in ESCCs (P=0.013). In vitro, strong STAT3 activation was seen by epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation in OE21 (ESCC) cells, whereas OE33 (BAC) cells showed constitutive weak STAT3 activation. STAT3 knockdown significantly reduced cell proliferation of OE21 (P=0.0148) and OE33 (P=0.0243) cells. Importantly, STAT3 knockdown reduced cell migration of OE33 cells by 2.5-fold in two types of migration assays (P=0.073, P=0.015), but not in OE21 cells (P=0.1079, P=0.386). Investigation of transcriptome analysis of STAT3 knockdown revealed a reduced STAT3 level associated with significant downregulation of cell cycle genes in both OE21 (P〈0.0001) and OE33 (P=0.01) cells. In contrast, genes promoting cell migration (CTHRC1) were markedly upregulated in OE21 cells, whereas a gene linked to tight-junction stabilization and restricted cell motility (SHROOM2) was downregulated in OE21 but upregulated in OE33 cells. This study shows frequent, but distinct, patterns of STAT3 expression and activation in ESCCs and BACs. STAT3 knockdown reduces cell proliferation in ESCC and BAC cells, inhibits migration of BAC cells and may support cell migration of ESCC cells. Thereby, novel STAT3-regulated genes involved in ESCC and BAC cell proliferation and cell migration were identified. Thus, STAT3 may be further exploited as a potential novel therapeutic target, however, by careful distinction between the two histotypes of esophageal cancers.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23912451
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  • 2
    Keywords: GROWTH-FACTOR RECEPTOR ; SQUAMOUS-CELL CARCINOMA ; GASTRIC-CANCER ; BARRETTS-ESOPHAGUS ; ARBEITSGEMEINSCHAFT INTERNISTISCHE ONKOLOGIE ; HER-2/NEU GENE AMPLIFICATION ; LABEL PHASE-3 TRIAL ; ESOPHAGOGASTRIC CANCER ; JUNCTION CANCER ; II TRIAL
    Abstract: Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are in the focus of targeted therapy for epithelial tumors. Our study addressed the role of EGFR, HER2 and HER3 expression and dimerization in esophageal cancers in situ and in vitro in the context of therapeutic EGFR and HER2 inhibitors. In archival pretreatment biopsies of esophageal carcinomas (n = 110), EGFR was preferentially expressed in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs) (22.4%; p = 0.088) and HER2 (34.4%; p 〈 0.001) with HER3 (91.5%; p 〈 0.001) in esophageal (Barrett's) adenocarcinomas (EACs). In situ proximity ligation assays revealed mainly EGFR and HER2 homodimers in ESCC and EAC cases, respectively. However, EAC cases also exhibited HER2/HER3 heterodimers. In vitro ESCC (OE21) cells displayed a significant response to erlotinib, gefitinib and lapatinib, with loss of AKT phosphorylation, G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis. In EAC cells (OE19, OE33 and SK-GT-4), lapatinib was similarly effective in strongly HER2-positive (mainly HER2 homodimers and some HER2/EGFR heterodimers) OE19 and OE33 cells. The HER2-targeting antibodies (trastuzumab and pertuzumab) given alone were largely ineffective in ESCC and EAC cells. However, both antibodies significantly induced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity in EAC (OE19 and OE33) cells upon co-culture with peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The study reveals that overexpression of EGFR and HER2 predominantly results in homodimers in ESCCs and EACs, respectively. Still, some EACs also show HER2 dimerization plasticity, e.g., with HER3. Such RTK dimerization patterns affect responses to EGFR and HER2 targeting inhibitors in ESCC and EAC cells in vitro and hence may influence future prediction for particularly HER2-targeting inhibitors in EACs.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24510732
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  • 3
    Keywords: CELL-PROLIFERATION ; PROTEIN ; POOR-PROGNOSIS ; CANCER-THERAPY ; SPINDLE CHECKPOINT ; OVARIAN-CARCINOMA ; MULTIPOLAR MITOSES ; CHROMOSOMAL PASSENGER COMPLEX ; H3 PHOSPHORYLATION ; C KINASE
    Abstract: Experimental model systems identified phosphorylation of linker histone variant H1.4 at Ser 27 (H1.4S27p) as a novel mitotic mark set by Aurora B kinase. Here, we examined expression of Aurora B and H1.4S27p in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) cell lines (HCT116, DLD1, Caco-2, HT29) and tissue specimens (n = 36), in relation to microsatellite instability (MSI) status and ploidy. In vitro, Aurora B (pro-/meta-/anaphase) and H1.4S27p (pro-/metaphase) were localized in mitotic figures. The proportion of labeled mitoses was significantly different between cell lines for Aurora B (p = 0.019) but not for H1.4S27p (p = 0.879). For Aurora B, these differences were not associated with an altered Aurora B gene copy number (FISH) or messenger RNA (mRNA) expression level (qRT-PCR). Moreover, Aurora B expression and H1.4S27 phosphorylation were no longer coordinated during metaphase in aneuploid HT29 cells (p = 0.039). In CRCs, immunoreactivity for Aurora B or H1.4S27p did not correlate with T- or N-stage, grade, or MSI status. However, metaphase labeling of H1.4S27p was significantly higher in diploid than in aneuploid CRCs (p = 0.011). Aurora B was significantly correlated with H1.4S27p-positive metaphases in MSI (p = 0.010) or diploid (p = 0.003) CRCs. Finally, combined classification of MSI status and ploidy revealed a significant positive correlation of Aurora B with H1.4S27p in metaphases of diploid/MSI (p = 0.010) and diploid/microsatellite-stable (MSS; p = 0.031) but not of aneuploid/MSS (p = 0.458) CRCs. The present study underlines the functional link of Aurora B expression and H1.4S27p during specific phases of mitosis in diploid and/or MSI-positive CRCs in vitro and in situ. Importantly, the study shows that the coordination between Aurora B expression and phosphorylation of H1.4 at Ser 27 is lost in cycling aneuploid CRC cells.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25680570
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  • 4
    Abstract: EGFR-targeted therapy is a key treatment approach in patients with RAS wildtype metastatic colorectal cancers (CRC). Still, also RAS wildtype CRC may be resistant to EGFR-targeted therapy, with few predictive markers available for improved stratification of patients. Here, we investigated response of 7 CRC cell lines (Caco-2, DLD1, HCT116, HT29, LS174T, RKO, SW480) to Cetuximab and correlated this to NGS-based mutation profiles, EGFR promoter methylation and EGFR expression status as well as to E-cadherin expression. Moreover, tissue specimens of primary and/or recurrent tumors as well as liver and/or lung metastases of 25 CRC patients having received Cetuximab and/or Panitumumab were examined for the same molecular markers. In vitro and in situ analyses showed that EGFR promoter methylation and EGFR expression as well as the MSI and or CIMP-type status did not guide treatment responses. In fact, EGFR-targeted treatment responses were also observed in RAS exon 2 p.G13 mutated CRC cell lines or CRC cases and were further linked to PIK3CA exon 9 mutations. In contrast, non-response to EGFR-targeted treatment was associated with ATM mutations and low E-cadherin expression. Moreover, down-regulation of E-cadherin by siRNA in otherwise Cetuximab responding E-cadherin positive cells abrogated their response. Hence, we here identify ATM and E-cadherin expression as potential novel supportive predictive markers for EGFR-targeted therapy.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28199979
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  • 5
    Keywords: CANCER ; LINES ; DOWN-REGULATION ; GROWTH-FACTOR RECEPTOR ; ASSOCIATION ; gene amplification ; OVEREXPRESSION ; EGFR ; focal adhesion kinase ; RHO-GTPASES
    Abstract: ErbB family receptor tyrosine kinases (ErbBs) play a role in cell adhesion and migration and are frequently overexpressed in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs) or esophageal adenocarcinomas (EACs). Targeting ErbBs by tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) may therefore limit esophageal cancer cell migration. Here, we studied the impact of TKIs on ErbB dimerization, cell signaling pathways, and cell migration in three esophageal cell lines: OE21 (ESCC), OE33 (EAC), and Het-1A (non-neoplastic esophageal epithelium). In OE21 cells, the TKIs erlotinib, gefitinib, and lapatinib slightly affected epidermal growth factor receptor EGFR/EGFR, but not EGFR/HER2 dimerization as detected by in situ proximity ligation assay (in situ PLA). Still, TKIs inhibited ERK1/2, Akt, STAT3, and RhoA activity in OE21 cells, as assessed by Western blot, antibody arrays, and Rho GTPase effector pull-down assays. This was accompanied by reduced OE21 cell migration, induction of focal adhesions, and actin cytoskeleton reorganization, as shown by Oris migration assay and focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/phalloidin staining. In contrast, in OE33 cells, only lapatinib decreased STAT5, Src family kinase (SFK), and FAK activity as well as beta-catenin expression. This impeded cell migration and induced morphological changes in OE33 cells. No alterations were seen for the non-neoplastic Het-1A cells. Thus, we identified the ErbB signaling network as regulator of esophageal cancer cell's actin cytoskeleton, focal adhesions, and cell migration. ErbB targeted TKIs therefore also limit ESCC and EAC cell motility and migration. KEY MESSAGE: * Clinical tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) reduce esophageal cancer cell migration. * Loss of cell migration is linked to reduced Akt, ERK1/2, STAT (3 or 5), FAK, SFKs, and RhoA activity. * Clinical TKIs act via distinct signaling in the two main histotypes of esophageal cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25091467
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  • 6
    Abstract: The actin cytoskeleton is an attractive target for bacterial toxins. The ADP-ribosyltransferase TccC3 from the insect bacterial pathogen Photorhabdus luminescence modifies actin to force its aggregation. We intended to transport the catalytic part of this toxin preferentially into cancer cells using a toxin transporter (Protective antigen, PA) which was redirected to Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors (EGFR) or to human EGF receptors 2 (HER2), which are overexpressed in several cancer cells. Protective antigen of anthrax toxin forms a pore through which the two catalytic parts (lethal factor and edema factor) or other proteins can be transported into mammalian cells. Here, we used PA as a double mutant (N682A, D683A; mPA) which cannot bind to the two natural anthrax receptors. Each mutated monomer is fused either to EGF or to an affibody directed against the human EGF receptor 2 (HER2). We established a cellular model system composed of two cell lines representing HER2 overexpressing esophageal adenocarcinomas (EACs) and EGFR overexpressing esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs). We studied the specificity and efficiency of the re-directed anthrax pore for transport of TccC3 toxin and established Photorhabdus luminescence TccC3 as a toxin suitable for the development of a targeted toxin selectively killing cancer cells.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28128281
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