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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-09-05
    Description: Background: Telomere dysfunction triggers cellular senescence and constitutes a driving force for cancer initiation. Genetic variants in genes involved in telomere maintenance may contribute to colorectal cancer susceptibility. Methods: In this study, we firstly captured germline mutations in 192 patients with colorectal cancer by sequencing the coding regions of 13 core components implicated in telomere biology. Five potential functional variants were then genotyped and assessed in a case–control set with 3,761 colorectal cancer cases and 3,839 healthy controls. The promising association was replicated in additional 6,765 cases and 6,906 controls. Functional experiments were used to further clarify the potential function of the significant variant and uncover the underlying mechanism in colorectal cancer development. Results: The two-stage association studies showed that a rare missense variant rs149418249 (c. C 1520 T and p.P507L) in the 11th exon of TPP1 (also known as ACD , gene ID 65057) was significantly associated with colorectal cancer risk with the ORs being 2.90 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.04–8.07; P = 0.041], 2.50 (95% CI, 1.04–6.04; P = 0.042), and 2.66 (95% CI, 1.36–5.18; P = 0.004) in discovery, replication, and the combined samples, respectively. Further functional annotation indicated that the TPP1 P507L substitution interrupted TPP1–TIN2 interaction, impaired telomerase processivity, and shortened telomere length, which subsequently facilitated cell proliferation and promoted colorectal cancer development. Conclusions: A rare variant P507L in TPP1 confers increased risk of colorectal cancer through interrupting TPP1–TIN2 interaction, impairing telomerase processivity, and shrinking telomere length. Impact: These findings emphasize the important role of telomere dysfunction in colorectal cancer development, and provide new insights about the prevention of this type of cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 27(9); 1029–35. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1055-9965
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-7755
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-09-05
    Description: Purpose: The majority of patients with prostate cancer who are treated with androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) will eventually develop fatal metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Currently, there are no effective durable therapies for patients with mCRPC. High expression of galectin-1 (Gal-1) is associated with prostate cancer progression and poor clinical outcome. The role of Gal-1 in tumor progression is largely unknown. Here, we characterized Gal-1 functions and evaluated the therapeutic effects of a newly developed Gal-1 inhibitor, LLS30, in mCRPC. Experimental Design: Cell viability, colony formation, migration, and invasion assays were performed to examine the effects of inhibition of Gal-1 in CRPC cells. We used two human CRPC xenograft models to assess growth-inhibitory effects of LLS30. Genome-wide gene expression analysis was conducted to elucidate the effects of LLS30 on metastatic PC3 cells. Results: Gal-1 was highly expressed in CRPC cells, but not in androgen-sensitive cells. Gal-1 knockdown significantly inhibited CRPC cells' growth, anchorage-independent growth, migration, and invasion through the suppression of androgen receptor (AR) and Akt signaling. LLS30 targets Gal-1 as an allosteric inhibitor and decreases Gal-1–binding affinity to its binding partners. LLS30 showed in vivo efficacy in both AR-positive and AR-negative xenograft models. LLS30 not only can potentiate the antitumor effect of docetaxel to cause complete regression of tumors, but can also effectively inhibit the invasion and metastasis of prostate cancer cells in vivo . Conclusions: Our study provides evidence that Gal-1 is an important target for mCRPC therapy, and LLS30 is a promising small-molecule compound that can potentially overcome mCRPC. Clin Cancer Res; 24(17); 4319–31. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1078-0432
    Electronic ISSN: 1557-3265
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-10-02
    Description: High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is a lethal gynecological malignancy with a need for new therapeutics. Many of the most widely used chemotherapeutic drugs are derived from natural products or their semi-synthetic derivatives. We have developed potent synthetic analogues of a class of compounds known as phyllanthusmins, inspired by natural products isolated from Phyllanthus poilanei Beille. The most potent analogue, PHY34, had the highest potency in HGSOC cell lines in vitro and displayed cytotoxic activity through activation of apoptosis. PHY34 exerts its cytotoxic effects by inhibiting autophagy at a late stage in the pathway, involving the disruption of lysosomal function. The autophagy activator, rapamycin, combined with PHY34 eliminated apoptosis, suggesting that autophagy inhibition may be required for apoptosis. PHY34 was readily bioavailable through intraperitoneal administration in vivo where it significantly inhibited the growth of cancer cell lines in hollow fibers, as well as reduced tumor burden in a xenograft model. We demonstrate that PHY34 acts as a late-stage autophagy inhibitor with nanomolar potency and significant antitumor efficacy as a single agent against HGSOC in vivo . This class of compounds holds promise as a potential, novel chemotherapeutic and demonstrates the effectiveness of targeting the autophagic pathway as a viable strategy for combating ovarian cancer. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(10); 2123–35. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1535-7163
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-8514
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-11-02
    Description: Aurora A kinase (AURKA) is a master cell-cycle regulator that is often dysregulated in human cancers. Its overexpression has been associated with genome instability and oncogenic transformation. The protein kinase D (PKD) family is an emerging therapeutic target of cancer. Aberrant PKD activation has been implicated in tumor growth and survival, yet the underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. This study identified, for the first time, a functional crosstalk between PKD2 and Aurora A kinase in cancer cells. The data demonstrate that PKD2 is catalytically active during the G 2 –M phases of the cell cycle, and inactivation or depletion of PKD2 causes delay in mitotic entry due to downregulation of Aurora A, an effect that can be rescued by overexpression of Aurora A. Moreover, PKD2 localizes in the centrosome with Aurora A by binding to -tubulin. Knockdown of PKD2 caused defects in centrosome separation, elongated G 2 phase, mitotic catastrophe, and eventually cell death via apoptosis. Mechanistically, PKD2 interferes with Fbxw7 function to protect Aurora A from ubiquitin- and proteasome-dependent degradation. Taken together, these results identify PKD as a cell-cycle checkpoint kinase that positively modulates G 2 –M transition through Aurora A kinase in mammalian cells. Implications: PKD2 is a novel cell-cycle regulator that promotes G 2 –M transition by modulating Aurora A kinase stability in cancer cells and suggests the PKD2/Aurora A kinase regulatory axis as new therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. Mol Cancer Res; 16(11); 1785–97. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1541-7786
    Electronic ISSN: 1557-3125
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-12-04
    Description: The significance of lactate transporters has been recognized in various cancer types, but their role in urothelial carcinoma remains mostly unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the functional importance of the monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) 4 in preclinical models of urothelial carcinoma and to assess its relevance in patient tumors. The association of MCT4 expression with molecular subtypes and outcome was determined in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort and two independent cohorts of patients with urothelial carcinoma. Silencing of MCT4 was performed using siRNAs in urothelial carcinoma cell lines. Effects of MCT4 inhibition on cell growth, apoptosis, and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were assessed. Moreover, effects on lactate efflux were determined. The in vivo effects of MCT4 silencing were assessed in an orthotopic xenograft model. MCT4 expression was higher in the basal subtype. Decreased MCT4 methylation and increased RNA and protein expression were associated with worse overall survival (OS). Inhibition of MCT4 led to a reduction in cell growth, induction of apoptosis, and an increased synthesis of ROS. MCT4 inhibition resulted in intracellular accumulation of lactate. In vivo , stable knockdown of MCT4 reduced tumor growth. The expression of MCT4 in urothelial carcinoma is associated with features of aggressive tumor biology and portends a poor prognosis. Inhibition of MCT4 results in decreased tumor growth in vitro and in vivo . Targeting lactate metabolism via MCT4 therefore provides a promising therapeutic approach for invasive urothelial carcinoma, especially in the basal subtype.
    Print ISSN: 1535-7163
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-8514
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-03-16
    Description: Precisely how DNA-targeting chemotherapeutic drugs trigger cancer cell death remains unclear, as it is difficult to separate direct DNA damage from other effects in cells. Recent work on curaxins, a class of small-molecule drugs with broad anticancer activity, shows that they interfere with histone–DNA interactions and destabilize nucleosomes without causing detectable DNA damage. Chromatin damage caused by curaxins is sensed by the histone chaperone FACT, which binds unfolded nucleosomes becoming trapped in chromatin. In this study, we investigated whether classical DNA-targeting chemotherapeutic drugs also similarly disturbed chromatin to cause chromatin trapping of FACT (c-trapping). Drugs that directly bound DNA induced both chromatin damage and c-trapping. However, chromatin damage occurred irrespective of direct DNA damage and was dependent on how a drug bound DNA, specifically, in the way it bound chromatinized DNA in cells. FACT was sensitive to a plethora of nucleosome perturbations induced by DNA-binding small molecules, including displacement of the linker histone, eviction of core histones, and accumulation of negative supercoiling. Strikingly, we found that the cytotoxicity of DNA-binding small molecules correlated with their ability to cause chromatin damage, not DNA damage. Our results suggest implications for the development of chromatin-damaging agents as selective anticancer drugs.Significance: These provocative results suggest that the anticancer efficacy of traditional DNA-targeting chemotherapeutic drugs may be based in large part on chromatin damage rather than direct DNA damage. Cancer Res; 78(6); 1431–43. ©2018 AACR.
    Print ISSN: 0008-5472
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-7445
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-02-09
    Description: Inhibiting p53-dependent apoptosis by inhibitors of p53 is an effective strategy for preventing radiation-induced damage in hematopoietic lineages, while p53 and p21 also play radioprotective roles in the gastrointestinal epithelium. We previously identified some zinc(II) chelators, including 8-quinolinol derivatives, that suppress apoptosis in attempts to discover compounds that target the zinc-binding site in p53. We found that 5-chloro-8-quinolinol (5CHQ) has a unique p53-modulating activity that shifts its transactivation from proapoptotic to protective responses, including enhancing p21 induction and suppressing PUMA induction. This p53-modulating activity also influenced p53 and p53-target gene expression in unirradiated cells without inducing DNA damage. The specificity of 5CHQ for p53 and p21 was demonstrated by silencing the expression of each protein. These effects seem to be attributable to the sequence-specific alteration of p53 DNA-binding, as evaluated by chromatin immunoprecipitation and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. In addition, 5-chloro-8-methoxyquinoline itself had no antiapoptotic activity, indicating that the hydroxyl group at the 8-position is required for its antiapoptotic activity. We applied this remarkable agonistic activity to protecting the hematopoietic and gastrointestinal system in mouse irradiation models. The dose reduction factors of 5CHQ in total-body and abdominally irradiated mice were about 1.2 and 1.3, respectively. 5CHQ effectively protected mouse epithelial stem cells from a lethal dose of abdominal irradiation. Furthermore, the specificity of 5CHQ for p53 in reducing the lethality induced by abdominal irradiation was revealed in Trp53 -KO mice. These results indicate that the pharmacologic upregulation of radioprotective p53 target genes is an effective strategy for addressing the gastrointestinal syndrome. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(2); 432–42. ©2017 AACR . See all articles in this MCT Focus section, "Developmental Therapeutics in Radiation Oncology."
    Print ISSN: 1535-7163
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-8514
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-02-09
    Description: A novel small-molecule anthraquinone (AQ) analogue, AQ-101, which was synthesized through chemical modification of the core structures of rhein, exhibited potent anticancer activity. In the present study, we evaluated the cancer-inhibiting mechanism of AQ-101 and tested the therapeutic potential of this compound for treating cancer in mice. We found that AQ-101 was able to induce MDM2 protein degradation through a self-ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated mechanism. This AQ-101–induced MDM2 downregulation led to activation of p53, which contributed to apoptosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), especially those with a wild-type p53 phenotype and MDM2 expression in vitro and in vivo . When given for a period of 2 weeks (20 mg/kg/day, 3 x /week), AQ-101 inhibited development of ALL in nude or SCID mice with a human ALL xenograft and achieved cure by the end of the 5-month experiment. Importantly, AQ-101 showed minimal or no inhibitory effect on normal human hematopoiesis in vitro and was well tolerated in vivo in animal models. Given that MDM2-overexpressing cancers are commonly refractory to current treatment options, our study results suggest that further development of AQ-101 is warranted, as it represents a potentially new, safe anticancer drug with a novel strategy for targeting MDM2. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(2); 497–507. ©2017 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1535-7163
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-8514
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-01-17
    Description: Purpose: Emerging studies demonstrate that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) participate in the regulation of various cancers. In the current study, a novel lncRNA-TTN-AS1 has been identified and explored in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Experimental Design: To discover a new regulatory circuitry in which RNAs crosstalk with each other, the transcriptome of lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA from ESCC and adjacent nonmalignant specimens were analyzed using multiple microarrays and diverse bioinformatics platforms. The functional role and mechanism of a novel lncRNA-TTN-AS1 were further investigated by gain-of-function and loss-of-function assays in vivo and in vitro . An ESCC biomarker panel, consisting of lncRNA-TTN-AS1 , miR-133b , and FSCN1 , was validated by qRT-PCR and in situ hybridization using samples from 148 patients. Results: lncRNA-TTN-AS1 as an oncogene is highly expressed in ESCC tissues and cell lines, and promotes ESCC cell proliferation and metastasis. Mechanistically, lncRNA-TTN-AS1 promotes expression of transcription factor Snail1 by competitively binding miR-133b , resulting in the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) cascade. Moreover, lncRNA-TTN-AS1 also induces FSCN1 expression by sponging miR-133b and upregulation of mRNA-stabilizing protein HuR, which further promotes ESCC invasion cascades. We also discovered and validated a clinically applicable ESCC biomarker panel, consisting of lncRNA-TTN-AS1 , miR-133b , and FSCN1 , that is significantly associated with overall survival and provides additional prognostic evidence for ESCC patients. Conclusions: As a novel regulator, lncRNA-TTN-AS1 plays an important role in ESCC cell proliferation and metastasis. The lncRNA-TTN-AS1/miR133b/FSCN1 regulatory axis provides bona fide targets for anti-ESCC therapies. Clin Cancer Res; 24(2); 486–98. ©2017 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1078-0432
    Electronic ISSN: 1557-3265
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-05-02
    Description: We previously demonstrated that miR-29b-3p is a hopeful miRNA-based therapy against colorectal cancer. In this study, we aimed to clarify a value of miR-29b-1-5p as a next-generation treatment, especially for KRAS -mutant colorectal cancer. RT-PCR assay showed that the expression of miR-29b-3p was high, and its partner strand, miR-29b-1-5p, level was only negligible in clinical colorectal cancer samples. Mimic-miR-29b-1-5p significantly inhibited proliferation of KRAS -mutant colorectal cancer cell lines DLD1 and SW480 and KRAS wild-type HT29 cells. Proliferative activity was further examined by either miR-29b-1-5p strand or its opposite complementary sequence because miR-29b-1-5p is a passenger miRNA and may have no physiologic function. We found that completely opposite complementary strand to miR-29b-1-5p, but not miR-29b-1-5p, possessed a potent antitumor effect and named this byproduct miRNA sequence "MIRTX." MIRTX directly targeted the 3'-UTR of CXCR2 and PIK3R1 mRNA and suppressed the NF-B signaling pathway in KRAS -mutated colorectal cancer cells. MIRTX induced apoptosis in DLD1 with downregulation of antiapoptotic BCL2, BCL-xL, and MCL1 and upregulation of cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP. In mouse xenograft models, systemic administration of MIRTX using a super carbonate apatite as a delivery vehicle significantly inhibited tumor growth of DLD1 and HT29 cells without any particular toxicities. In conclusion, these findings indicate that inhibition of NF-B signaling by this novel miRNA-based therapeutic could be a promising treatment against refractory KRAS -mutant colorectal cancer and KRAS wild-type colorectal cancer. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(5); 977–87. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1535-7163
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-8514
    Topics: Medicine
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