Matching Items (8)

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Targeting polo-like kinase 1, a regulator of p53, in the treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma

Description

Background
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is an aggressive cancer with a 5 year survival rate of 20–30 %. Various factors have been implicated in the pathogenesis of ACC including dysregulation of

Background
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is an aggressive cancer with a 5 year survival rate of 20–30 %. Various factors have been implicated in the pathogenesis of ACC including dysregulation of the G2/M transition and aberrant activity of p53 and MDM2. Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK-1) negatively modulates p53 functioning, promotes MDM2 activity through its phosphorylation, and is involved in the G2/M transition. Gene expression profiling of 44 ACC samples showed that increased expression of PLK-1 in 29 % of ACC. Consequently, we examined PLK-1’s role in the modulation of the p53 signaling pathway in adrenocortical cancer.
Methods
We used siRNA knock down PLK-1 and pharmacological inhibition of PLK-1 and MDM2 ACC cell lines SW-13 and H295R. We examined viability, protein expression, p53 transactivation, and induction of apoptosis.
Results
Knocking down expression of PLK-1 with siRNA or inhibition of PLK-1 by a small molecule inhibitor, BI-2536, resulted in a loss of viability of up to 70 % in the ACC cell lines H295R and SW-13. In xenograft models, BI-2536 demonstrated marked inhibition of growth of SW-13 with less inhibition of H295R. BI-2536 treatment resulted in a decrease in mutant p53 protein in SW-13 cells but had no effect on wild-type p53 protein levels in H295R cells. Additionally, inhibition of PLK-1 restored wild-type p53’s transactivation and apoptotic functions in H295R cells, while these functions of mutant p53 were restored only to a smaller extent. Furthermore, inhibition of MDM2 with nutlin-3 reduced the viability of both the ACC cells and also reactivated wild-type p53′s apoptotic function. Inhibition of PLK-1 sensitized the ACC cell lines to MDM2 inhibition and this dual inhibition resulted in an additive apoptotic response in H295R cells with wild-type p53.
Conclusions
These preclinical studies suggest that targeting p53 through PLK-1 is an attractive chemotherapy strategy warranting further investigation in adrenocortical cancer.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-01-11

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A platform for high-throughput bioenergy production phenotype characterization in single cells

Description

Driven by an increasing number of studies demonstrating its relevance to a broad variety of disease states, the bioenergy production phenotype has been widely characterized at the bulk sample level.

Driven by an increasing number of studies demonstrating its relevance to a broad variety of disease states, the bioenergy production phenotype has been widely characterized at the bulk sample level. Its cell-to-cell variability, a key player associated with cancer cell survival and recurrence, however, remains poorly understood due to ensemble averaging of the current approaches. We present a technology platform for performing oxygen consumption and extracellular acidification measurements of several hundreds to 1,000 individual cells per assay, while offering simultaneous analysis of cellular communication effects on the energy production phenotype. The platform comprises two major components: a tandem optical sensor for combined oxygen and pH detection, and a microwell device for isolation and analysis of single and few cells in hermetically sealed sub-nanoliter chambers. Our approach revealed subpopulations of cells with aberrant energy production profiles and enables determination of cellular response variability to electron transfer chain inhibitors and ion uncouplers.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-03-28

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Transcriptional regulation by normal epithelium of premalignant to malignant progression in Barrett’s esophagus

Description

In carcinogenesis, intercellular interactions within and between cell types are critical but remain poorly understood. We present a study on intercellular interactions between normal and premalignant epithelial cells and their

In carcinogenesis, intercellular interactions within and between cell types are critical but remain poorly understood. We present a study on intercellular interactions between normal and premalignant epithelial cells and their functional relevance in the context of premalignant to malignant progression in Barrett’s esophagus. Using whole transcriptome profiling we found that in the presence of normal epithelial cells, dysplastic cells but not normal cells, exhibit marked down-regulation of a number of key signaling pathways, including the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) and epithelial growth factor (EGF). Functional assays revealed both cell types showed repressed proliferation and significant changes in motility (speed, displacement and directionality) as a result of interactions between the two cell types. Cellular interactions appear to be mediated through both direct cell-cell contact and secreted ligands. The findings of this study are important in that they reveal, for the first time, the effects of cellular communication on gene expression and cellular function between premalignant (dysplastic) epithelial cells and their normal counterparts.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-10-12

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Gene Families in Cancer: Using phylogenetic data to examine an atavistic model of cancer

Description

Despite the 40-year war on cancer, very limited progress has been made in developing a cure for the disease. This failure has prompted the reevaluation of the causes and development

Despite the 40-year war on cancer, very limited progress has been made in developing a cure for the disease. This failure has prompted the reevaluation of the causes and development of cancer. One resulting model, coined the atavistic model of cancer, posits that cancer is a default phenotype of the cells of multicellular organisms which arises when the cell is subjected to an unusual amount of stress. Since this default phenotype is similar across cell types and even organisms, it seems it must be an evolutionarily ancestral phenotype. We take a phylostratigraphical approach, but systematically add species divergence time data to estimate gene ages numerically and use these ages to investigate the ages of genes involved in cancer. We find that ancient disease-recessive cancer genes are significantly enriched for DNA repair and SOS activity, which seems to imply that a core component of cancer development is not the regulation of growth, but the regulation of mutation. Verification of this finding could drastically improve cancer treatment and prevention.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Isotropic 3D Nuclear Morphometry of Normal, Fibrocystic and Malignant Breast Epithelial Cells Reveals New Structural Alterations

Description

Background
Grading schemes for breast cancer diagnosis are predominantly based on pathologists' qualitative assessment of altered nuclear structure from 2D brightfield microscopy images. However, cells are three-dimensional (3D) objects with

Background
Grading schemes for breast cancer diagnosis are predominantly based on pathologists' qualitative assessment of altered nuclear structure from 2D brightfield microscopy images. However, cells are three-dimensional (3D) objects with features that are inherently 3D and thus poorly characterized in 2D. Our goal is to quantitatively characterize nuclear structure in 3D, assess its variation with malignancy, and investigate whether such variation correlates with standard nuclear grading criteria.
Methodology
We applied micro-optical computed tomographic imaging and automated 3D nuclear morphometry to quantify and compare morphological variations between human cell lines derived from normal, benign fibrocystic or malignant breast epithelium. To reproduce the appearance and contrast in clinical cytopathology images, we stained cells with hematoxylin and eosin and obtained 3D images of 150 individual stained cells of each cell type at sub-micron, isotropic resolution. Applying volumetric image analyses, we computed 42 3D morphological and textural descriptors of cellular and nuclear structure.
Principal Findings
We observed four distinct nuclear shape categories, the predominant being a mushroom cap shape. Cell and nuclear volumes increased from normal to fibrocystic to metastatic type, but there was little difference in the volume ratio of nucleus to cytoplasm (N/C ratio) between the lines. Abnormal cell nuclei had more nucleoli, markedly higher density and clumpier chromatin organization compared to normal. Nuclei of non-tumorigenic, fibrocystic cells exhibited larger textural variations than metastatic cell nuclei. At p<0.0025 by ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests, 90% of our computed descriptors statistically differentiated control from abnormal cell populations, but only 69% of these features statistically differentiated the fibrocystic from the metastatic cell populations.
Conclusions
Our results provide a new perspective on nuclear structure variations associated with malignancy and point to the value of automated quantitative 3D nuclear morphometry as an objective tool to enable development of sensitive and specific nuclear grade classification in breast cancer diagnosis.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2012-01-05

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Ancient Genes Establish Stress-Induced Mutation as a Hallmark of Cancer

Description

Cancer is sometimes depicted as a reversion to single cell behavior in cells adapted to live in a multicellular assembly. If this is the case, one would expect that mutation

Cancer is sometimes depicted as a reversion to single cell behavior in cells adapted to live in a multicellular assembly. If this is the case, one would expect that mutation in cancer disrupts functional mechanisms that suppress cell-level traits detrimental to multicellularity. Such mechanisms should have evolved with or after the emergence of multicellularity. This leads to two related, but distinct hypotheses: 1) Somatic mutations in cancer will occur in genes that are younger than the emergence of multicellularity (1000 million years [MY]); and 2) genes that are frequently mutated in cancer and whose mutations are functionally important for the emergence of the cancer phenotype evolved within the past 1000 million years, and thus would exhibit an age distribution that is skewed to younger genes. In order to investigate these hypotheses we estimated the evolutionary ages of all human genes and then studied the probability of mutation and their biological function in relation to their age and genomic location for both normal germline and cancer contexts.

We observed that under a model of uniform random mutation across the genome, controlled for gene size, genes less than 500 MY were more frequently mutated in both cases. Paradoxically, causal genes, defined in the COSMIC Cancer Gene Census, were depleted in this age group. When we used functional enrichment analysis to explain this unexpected result we discovered that COSMIC genes with recessive disease phenotypes were enriched for DNA repair and cell cycle control. The non-mutated genes in these pathways are orthologous to those underlying stress-induced mutation in bacteria, which results in the clustering of single nucleotide variations. COSMIC genes were less common in regions where the probability of observing mutational clusters is high, although they are approximately 2-fold more likely to harbor mutational clusters compared to other human genes. Our results suggest this ancient mutational response to stress that evolved among prokaryotes was co-opted to maintain diversity in the germline and immune system, while the original phenotype is restored in cancer. Reversion to a stress-induced mutational response is a hallmark of cancer that allows for effectively searching “protected” genome space where genes causally implicated in cancer are located and underlies the high adaptive potential and concomitant therapeutic resistance that is characteristic of cancer.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-04-25

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Structural variant detection: a novel approach

Description

Genomic structural variation (SV) is defined as gross alterations in the genome broadly classified as insertions/duplications, deletions inversions and translocations. DNA sequencing ushered structural variant discovery beyond laboratory detection techniques

Genomic structural variation (SV) is defined as gross alterations in the genome broadly classified as insertions/duplications, deletions inversions and translocations. DNA sequencing ushered structural variant discovery beyond laboratory detection techniques to high resolution informatics approaches. Bioinformatics tools for computational discovery of SVs however are still missing variants in the complex cancer genome. This study aimed to define genomic context leading to tool failure and design novel algorithm addressing this context. Methods: The study tested the widely held but unproven hypothesis that tools fail to detect variants which lie in repeat regions. Publicly available 1000-Genomes dataset with experimentally validated variants was tested with SVDetect-tool for presence of true positives (TP) SVs versus false negative (FN) SVs, expecting that FNs would be overrepresented in repeat regions. Further, the novel algorithm designed to informatically capture the biological etiology of translocations (non-allelic homologous recombination and 3&ndashD; placement of chromosomes in cells –context) was tested using simulated dataset. Translocations were created in known translocation hotspots and the novel&ndashalgorithm; tool compared with SVDetect and BreakDancer. Results: 53% of false negative (FN) deletions were within repeat structure compared to 81% true positive (TP) deletions. Similarly, 33% FN insertions versus 42% TP, 26% FN duplication versus 57% TP and 54% FN novel sequences versus 62% TP were within repeats. Repeat structure was not driving the tool's inability to detect variants and could not be used as context. The novel algorithm with a redefined context, when tested against SVDetect and BreakDancer was able to detect 10/10 simulated translocations with 30X coverage dataset and 100% allele frequency, while SVDetect captured 4/10 and BreakDancer detected 6/10. For 15X coverage dataset with 100% allele frequency, novel algorithm was able to detect all ten translocations albeit with fewer reads supporting the same. BreakDancer detected 4/10 and SVDetect detected 2/10 Conclusion: This study showed that presence of repetitive elements in general within a structural variant did not influence the tool's ability to capture it. This context-based algorithm proved better than current tools even with half the genome coverage than accepted protocol and provides an important first step for novel translocation discovery in cancer genome.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Caveolin-1: a potential biomarker of aggressive triple-negative breast cancer in African American women

Description

In the U.S., breast cancer (BC) incidences among African American (AA) and CA (CA) women are similar, yet AA women have a significantly higher mortality rate. In addition, AA women

In the U.S., breast cancer (BC) incidences among African American (AA) and CA (CA) women are similar, yet AA women have a significantly higher mortality rate. In addition, AA women often present with tumors at a younger age, with a higher tumor grade/stage and are more likely to be diagnosed with the highly aggressive triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype. Even within the TNBC subtype, AA women have a worse clinical outcome compared to CA. Although multiple socio-economic and lifestyle factors may contribute to these observed health disparities, it is essential that the underlying biological differences between CA and AA TNBC are identified. In this study, gene expression profiling was performed on archived FFPE samples, obtained from CA and AA women diagnosed with early stage TNBC. Initial analysis revealed a pattern of differential expression in the AA cohort compared to CA. Further molecular characterization results showed that the AA cohort segregated into 3-TNBC molecular subtypes; Basal-like (BL2), Immunomodulatory (IM) and Mesenchymal (M). Gene expression analyses resulted in 190 differentially expressed genes between the AA and CA cohorts. Pathway enrichment analysis demonstrated that differentially expressed genes were over-represented in cytoskeletal remodeling, cell adhesion, tight junctions, and immune response in the AA TNBC -cohort. Furthermore, genes in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway were over-expressed. These results were validated using RT-qPCR on an independent cohort of FFPE samples from AA and CA women with early stage TNBC, and identified Caveolin-1 (CAV1) as being significantly expressed in the AA-TNBC cohort. Furthermore, CAV1 was shown to be highly expressed in a cell line panel of TNBC, in particular, those of the mesenchymal and basal-like molecular subtype. Finally, silencing of CAV1 expression by siRNA resulted in a significant decrease in proliferation in each of the TNBC cell lines. These observations suggest that CAV1 expression may contribute to the more aggressive phenotype observed in AA women diagnosed with TNBC.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015