Gene Summary

Gene:CASP5; caspase 5
Aliases: ICH-3, ICEREL-III, ICE(rel)III
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the cysteine-aspartic acid protease (caspase) family. Sequential activation of caspases plays a central role in the execution-phase of cell apoptosis. Caspases exist as inactive proenzymes which undergo proteolytic processing at conserved aspartic residues to produce two subunits, large and small, that dimerize to form the active enzyme. Overexpression of the active form of this enzyme induces apoptosis in fibroblasts. Max, a central component of the Myc/Max/Mad transcription regulation network important for cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis, is cleaved by this protein; this process requires Fas-mediated dephosphorylation of Max. The expression of this gene is regulated by interferon-gamma and lipopolysaccharide. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Neurofibromin 1
  • DNA Repair
  • Peptides
  • Chromosome 11
  • Survival
  • Apoptosis
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Frameshift Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Lung Cancer
  • Mutation
  • Microsatellite Instability
  • Bladder Cancer
  • CASP5
  • Breast Cancer
  • Smoking
  • Cancer DNA
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Caspases
  • bcl-X Protein
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genotype
  • Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Base Pair Mismatch
  • Risk Factors
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta Receptors
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Homologous Transplantat
  • Single-Stranded Conformational Polymorphism
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: CASP5 (cancer-related)

Zhou Y, Dai W, Wang H, et al.
Long non-coding RNA CASP5 promotes the malignant phenotypes of human glioblastoma multiforme.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 500(4):966-972 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been demonstrated to be intensively involved in the development of various carcinomas, including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). However, only a few of them have been well characterized. LncRNA CASP5 have been found to be up-regulated in GBM tissues compared with normal tissues in a microarray-based lncRNA profiling study. In the present study, we further explored the biological role of lncRNA CASP5 in GBM.
METHODS: We examined the expression level of lncRNA CASP5 in GBM tissues as well as GBM cell lines. CCK-8 assay, flow cytometric analysis, western blotting, orthotopic GBM model as well as transwell assay were performed to investigate the biological role of CASP5.
RESULTS: We observed that lncRNA CASP5 was highly expressed in GBM tissues and cell lines. Knockdown of CASP5 greatly inhibited GBM proliferation and resulted in G1 cell cycle arrest along with higher apoptosis ratios in vitro and in vivo, while overexpression led to the opposite phenomenon. Furthermore, the migration and invasion ability of GBM cells were significantly decreased after CASP5 down-regulation, while increased migration and invasion can be observed after CASP5 up-regulation.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrate for the first time the potential oncogenic role of lncRNA CASP5 which may be helpful for identifying novel therapeutic targets in GBM.

Florio R, De Lellis L, di Giacomo V, et al.
Effects of PPARα inhibition in head and neck paraganglioma cells.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(6):e0178995 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Head and neck paragangliomas (HNPGLs) are rare tumors that may cause important morbidity, because of their tendency to infiltrate the skull base. At present, surgery is the only therapeutic option, but radical removal may be difficult or impossible. Thus, effective targets and molecules for HNPGL treatment need to be identified. However, the lack of cellular models for this rare tumor hampers this task. PPARα receptor activation was reported in several tumors and this receptor appears to be a promising therapeutic target in different malignancies. Considering that the role of PPARα in HNPGLs was never studied before, we analyzed the potential of modulating PPARα in a unique model of HNPGL cells. We observed an intense immunoreactivity for PPARα in HNPGL tumors, suggesting that this receptor has an important role in HNPGL. A pronounced nuclear expression of PPARα was also confirmed in HNPGL-derived cells. The specific PPARα agonist WY14643 had no effect on HNPGL cell viability, whereas the specific PPARα antagonist GW6471 reduced HNPGL cell viability and growth by inducing cell cycle arrest and caspase-dependent apoptosis. GW6471 treatment was associated with a marked decrease of CDK4, cyclin D3 and cyclin B1 protein expression, along with an increased expression of p21 in HNPGL cells. Moreover, GW6471 drastically impaired clonogenic activity of HNPGL cells, with a less marked effect on cell migration. Notably, the effects of GW6471 on HNPGL cells were associated with the inhibition of the PI3K/GSK3β/β-catenin signaling pathway. In conclusion, the PPARα antagonist GW6471 reduces HNPGL cell viability, interfering with cell cycle and inducing apoptosis. The mechanisms affecting HNPGL cell viability involve repression of the PI3K/GSK3β/β-catenin pathway. Therefore, PPARα could represent a novel therapeutic target for HNPGL.

Wang Z, Chen J, Zhang W, et al.
Axon guidance molecule semaphorin3A is a novel tumor suppressor in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(5):6048-62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Semaphorin3A (SEMA3A), an axon guidance molecule in the nervous system, plays an inhibitory role in oncogenesis. Here, we investigated the expression pattern and biological roles of SEMA3A in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) by gain-of-function assays using adenovirus transfection and recombinant human SEMA3A protein. In addition, we explored the therapeutic efficacy of SEMA3A against HNSCC in vivo. We found that lower expression of SEMA3A correlated with shorter overall survival and had independent prognostic importance in patients with HNSCC. Both genetic and recombinant SEMA3A protein inhibited cell proliferation and colony formation and induced apoptosis, accompanied by decreased cyclin E, cyclin D, CDK2, CDK4 and CDK6 and increased P21, P27, activated caspase-5 and caspase-7. Moreover, over-expression of SEMA3A suppressed migration, invasion and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition due in part to the inhibition of NF-κB and SNAI2 in HNSCC cell lines. Furthermore, intratumoral SEMA3A delivery significantly stagnated tumor growth in a xenograft model. Taken together, our results indicate that SEMA3A serves as a tumor suppressor during HNSCC tumorigenesis and a new target for the treatment of HNSCC.

Flood B, Oficjalska K, Laukens D, et al.
Altered expression of caspases-4 and -5 during inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer: Diagnostic and therapeutic potential.
Clin Exp Immunol. 2015; 181(1):39-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Caspases are a group of proteolytic enzymes involved in the co-ordination of cellular processes, including cellular homeostasis, inflammation and apoptosis. Altered activity of caspases, particularly caspase-1, has been implicated in the development of intestinal diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the involvement of two related inflammatory caspase members, caspases-4 and -5, during intestinal homeostasis and disease has not yet been established. This study demonstrates that caspases-4 and -5 are involved in IBD-associated intestinal inflammation. Furthermore, we found a clear correlation between stromal caspase-4 and -5 expression levels, inflammation and disease activity in ulcerative colitis patients. Deregulated intestinal inflammation in IBD patients is associated with an increased risk of developing CRC. We found robust expression of caspases-4 and -5 within intestinal epithelial cells, exclusively within neoplastic tissue, of colorectal tumours. An examination of adjacent normal, inflamed and tumour tissue from patients with colitis-associated CRC confirmed that stromal expression of caspases-4 and -5 is increased in inflamed and dysplastic tissue, while epithelial expression is restricted to neoplastic tissue. In addition to identifying caspases-4 and -5 as potential targets for limiting intestinal inflammation, this study has identified epithelial-expressed caspases-4 and -5 as biomarkers with diagnostic and therapeutic potential in CRC.

Roberts DL, O'Dwyer ST, Stern PL, Renehan AG
Global gene expression in pseudomyxoma peritonei, with parallel development of two immortalized cell lines.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(13):10786-800 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) is a rare tumor of appendiceal origin. Treatment is major cytoreductive surgery but morbidity is high. PMP is considered chemo-resistant; its molecular biology is understudied; and presently, there is no platform for pre-clinical drug testing. Here, we performed exon array analysis from laser micro-dissected PMP tissue and normal colonic epithelia. The array analysis identified 27 up-regulated and 34 down-regulated genes: candidate up-regulated genes included SLC16A4, DSC3, Aldolase B, EPHX4, and ARHGAP24; candidate down-regulated genes were MS4A12, TMIGD1 and Caspase-5. We confirmed differential expression of the candidate genes and their protein products using in-situ hybridization and immuno-histochemistry. In parallel, we established two primary PMP cell lines, N14A and N15A, and immortalized with an SV40 T-antigen lentiviral vector. We cross-checked for expression of the candidate genes (from the array analyses) using qPCR in the cell lines and demonstrated that the gene profiles were distinct from those of colorectal tumor libraries and commonly used colon cell lines. N14A and N15A were responsiveness to mitomycin and oxaliplatin. This study characterizes global gene expression in PMP, and the parallel development of the first immortalized PMP cell lines; fit for pre-clinical testing and PMP oncogene discovery.

Maletzki C, Schmidt F, Dirks WG, et al.
Frameshift-derived neoantigens constitute immunotherapeutic targets for patients with microsatellite-instable haematological malignancies: frameshift peptides for treating MSI+ blood cancers.
Eur J Cancer. 2013; 49(11):2587-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Microsatellite instability (MSI) resulting from loss of functional DNA mismatch repair was recently found in various haematological disorders. In coding sequences, MSI leads to frameshift mutations (FSMs) and the production of C-terminally altered proteins which are foreign to the immune system. Here, we wondered whether these frame-shifted peptide (FSP) sequences represent tumour-specific antigens also for MSI(+) leukaemia and lymphomas (L/L).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 33 coding region microsatellites were examined in MSI(+) L/L cell lines for the presence of FSMs. Thereafter, recognition of MSI(+) cells by established FSP-specific CD8(+) T cell lines was quantified using interferon (IFN)-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assays. In each experiment, MSI(+) L/L cell lines and T2 targets exogenously loaded with the cognate peptide (=internal control) were employed. Supplementary, lytic activity towards tumour cells was analysed by standard chromium release assay ((51)Cr).
RESULTS: Mutational profiling of 33 coding microsatellite loci in nine MSI(+) L/L cell lines revealed instability in at least nine microsatellites. In each cell line, a distinct mutational profile was observed. Only three of the 33 loci were stable. FSP-specific and human leukocyte antigen-A2 (HLA-A2)-restricted T cells specifically recognised MSI(+) L/L cells endogenously expressing TGFβRII(-1), Caspase 5 (-1) and MSH3 (-1) in ELISpot assays. Moreover, specific killing of Caspase 5 (-1) and MSH3 (-1) expressing L/L cell lines was achieved in functional cytotoxicity assays.
CONCLUSION: Data presented here expand the importance of FSPs as shared and general tumour-specific antigens. Consequently, they open new avenues for specific immunotherapies not only for solid but also for MSI(+) haematological malignancies.

Haiman CA, Han Y, Feng Y, et al.
Genome-wide testing of putative functional exonic variants in relationship with breast and prostate cancer risk in a multiethnic population.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(3):e1003419 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Rare variation in protein coding sequence is poorly captured by GWAS arrays and has been hypothesized to contribute to disease heritability. Using the Illumina HumanExome SNP array, we successfully genotyped 191,032 common and rare non-synonymous, splice site, or nonsense variants in a multiethnic sample of 2,984 breast cancer cases, 4,376 prostate cancer cases, and 7,545 controls. In breast cancer, the strongest associations included either SNPs in or gene burden scores for genes LDLRAD1, SLC19A1, FGFBP3, CASP5, MMAB, SLC16A6, and INS-IGF2. In prostate cancer, one of the most associated SNPs was in the gene GPRC6A (rs2274911, Pro91Ser, OR = 0.88, P = 1.3 × 10(-5)) near to a known risk locus for prostate cancer; other suggestive associations were noted in genes such as F13A1, ANXA4, MANSC1, and GP6. For both breast and prostate cancer, several of the most significant associations involving SNPs or gene burden scores (sum of minor alleles) were noted in genes previously reported to be associated with a cancer-related phenotype. However, only one of the associations (rs145889899 in LDLRAD1, p = 2.5 × 10(-7) only seen in African Americans) for overall breast or prostate cancer risk was statistically significant after correcting for multiple comparisons. In addition to breast and prostate cancer, other cancer-related traits were examined (body mass index, PSA level, and alcohol drinking) with a number of known and potentially novel associations described. In general, these findings do not support there being many protein coding variants of moderate to high risk for breast and prostate cancer with odds ratios over a range that is probably required for protein coding variation to play a truly outstanding role in risk heritability. Very large sample sizes will be required to better define the role of rare and less penetrant coding variation in prostate and breast cancer disease genetics.

Nilsson O
Profiling of ileal carcinoids.
Neuroendocrinology. 2013; 97(1):7-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Identification of common molecular mechanisms is needed to facilitate the development of new treatment options for patients with ileal carcinoids.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent profiling studies on ileal carcinoids were examined to obtain a comprehensive view of risk factors, genetic aberrations, and transcriptional alterations. Special attention was paid to mechanisms that could provide novel targets for therapy.
RESULTS: Genome-wide association studies have shown that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at IL12A and DAD1 are associated with an increased risk of ileal carcinoids. Genomic profiling revealed distinct patterns of copy-number alterations in ileal carcinoids. Two groups of carcinoids could be identified by hierarchical clustering. A major group of tumors was characterized by loss on chromosome 18 followed by additional losses on chromosomes 3p, 11q, and 13. Three minimal common regions of deletions were identified at 18q21.1-q21.31, 18q22.1-q22.2, and 18q22.3-q23. A minor group of tumors was characterized by clustered gains on chromosomes 4, 5, 7, 14, and 20. Expression profiling identified three groups of ileal carcinoids by principal component analysis. Tumor progression was associated with changes in gene expression including downregulation of MIR133A. Candidate genes for targeted therapy included ERBB2/HER2, DAD1, PRKCA, RYBP, CASP1, CASP4, CASP5, VMAT1, RET, APLP1, OR51E1, GPR112, SPOCK1, RUNX1, and MIR133A.
CONCLUSION: Profiling of ileal carcinoids has revealed recurrent genetic alterations and distinct patterns of gene expression. Frequent alterations in cellular pathways and genes were identified, suggesting novel targets for therapy. Translational studies are needed to validate suggested molecular targets.

Luparello C, Sirchia R, Longo A
Type V collagen and protein kinase C η down-regulation in 8701-BC breast cancer cells.
Mol Carcinog. 2013; 52(5):348-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously reported that ductal infiltrating carcinomas (d.i.c.) of the human breast display profound modifications of the stromal architecture, associated with anomalous collagen composition. Among the major alterations observed in the interstitial collagen, the relative increase of type V collagen content was detected. When type V collagen was used as an "in vitro" substrate for 8701-BC d.i.c. cells, it appeared able to restrain cell growth, inhibit cell motility and invasion "in vitro", and modify the expression levels of genes coding for apoptosis factors, caspases and stress response proteins. In the present paper we demonstrate that type V collagen induces the down-regulation of protein kinase C η, an event that may be, at least in part, responsible of the previously-reported modifications of cell morphology and growth rate, and that appears to be involved in the already-observed changes of expression levels of genes encoding for anti- (Bcl-2) and pro-apoptotic factors (Bad, Dapk, Bcl-Xs) and enzymes (caspase 5 and 8).

Jin X, Wu XX, Jin C, et al.
Delineation of apoptotic genes for synergistic apoptosis of lexatumumab and anthracyclines in human renal cell carcinoma cells by polymerase chain reaction array.
Anticancer Drugs. 2012; 23(4):445-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lexatumumab, a human agonistic monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor-2 (TRAIL-R2), is a promising molecular-targeted therapeutic agent. Our past study indicated that low concentrations of doxorubicin sensitized renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cells to lexatumumab-mediated apoptosis. The present study was designed to examine the cellular and molecular effects of lexatumumab and anthracyclines in RCC cells. The treatment of human RCC cells with lexatumumab in combination with anthracyclines, epirubicin, and pirarubicin had a synergistic cytotoxicity. A marked synergistic apoptosis was induced by lexatumumab in combination with epirubicin or pirarubicin. Epirubicin and pirarubicin significantly increased the TRAIL-R2 expression at both the mRNA and the protein levels. The combination-induced cytotoxicity was significantly suppressed by the human recombinant DR5:Fc chimeric protein. To further explore the molecular mechanisms in this synergistic cytotoxicity with lexatumumab and anthracyclines, the changes in 84 apoptosis-related genes were evaluated by a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array. Among these genes, 18 (CD40LG, FASLG, LTA, TNSF7, FAS, BAG3, BAK1, BAX, BID, BIK, BCL10, caspase-1, caspase-5, caspase-6, caspase-10, TNF receptor-associated factor 1, PYCARD, and CIDEA) were significantly upregulated and eight (TNF receptor-associated factor 4, TNFRSF11B, TNF, BCL2, BCL2L1, BNIP3L, caspase-9, and DAPK1) were downregulated at mRNA levels in RCC cells cotreated with lexatumumab and epirubicin. Furthermore, the upregulation of mRNA levels of PYCARD and CIDEA was confirmed using real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis. The present study demonstrates that anthracylines sensitize RCC cells to lexatumumab-mediated apoptosis by inducing TRAIL-R2 expression, and the utility of PCR array to elucidate the mechanism of synergistic apoptosis.

Mittal RD, Srivastava P, Mittal T, et al.
Association of death receptor 4, Caspase 3 and 5 gene polymorphism with increased risk to bladder cancer in North Indians.
Eur J Surg Oncol. 2011; 37(8):727-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Perturbed apoptosis due to missense alterations in candidate tumor suppressor gene Death receptor 4 (DR4) and in caspases (Casp) lead to deregulated cell proliferation and cancer predisposition. Some data indicate that normal variations within the sequence of apoptotic genes may lead to suboptimal apoptotic capacity and therefore increased cancer risk. To test our proposal we examined whether six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the DR4 and Casp3, 5 genes contrive the risk of bladder cancer (BC) in a North Indian population.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Genotyping was performed in 200 BC patients and 225 controls by Allele-specific PCR and by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism.
RESULTS: In DR4 Arg141His, BC patients having AA genotype (p = 0.036; OR = 2.51. In Casp5Leu13Phe G > C, significant association was observed with GC (p = 0.025; OR = 1.78) and also in GC + CC (p = 0.026; OR = 1.68). C allele carriers in Casp5Ala90Thr T > C showed low risk of BC (p = 0.036; OR = 0.83). While in Casp3 G > A, AG (p = 0.003; OR = 2.11), GG (p = 0.050; OR = 2.18), G allele (p < 0.001; OR = 1.85) and its carrier AG + GG (p = 0.001; OR = 2.12) have shown significant BC risk. Significant association between DR4 Ala228Glu polymorphism and smoking was observed in BC risk. Haplotype analysis demonstrated that DR4 (Thr209Arg-Arg141His-Ala228Glu) C-G-C is associated with 1.8 folds (OR = 1.85; p = 0.033) risk. GG genotype of Casp3 G > A polymorphism showed increased risk of recurrence (p = 0.009; HR = 5.20).
CONCLUSION: This study provided new support for the association of DR4 and Casp3, 5 in BC development, the tumorigenic effect of which was observed to be more enhanced in case of smoking exposure.

Mittal RD, Mittal T, Singh AK, Mandal RK
Association of caspases with an increased prostate cancer risk in north Indian population.
DNA Cell Biol. 2012; 31(1):67-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dysregulation of apoptosis plays a crucial role in carcinogenesis. Thus, genetic alterations within caspase genes would be expected to provoke a deficient apoptotic signaling thereby facilitating the development of prostate cancer (PCa). In the present study we investigated whether three different polymorphisms in the caspase-5 and -3 genes are differentially expressed in PCa. In a hospital-based case control study in northern India, we genotyped 192 PCa patients and 225 unrelated healthy controls for caspase-5 (G>C) (T>C) and caspase-3 (G>A) polymorphisms using amplification refractory mutation system and polymerase chain restriction fragment length polymorphism methods. Data were statistically analyzed and variant genotype GG of caspase-3 demonstrated increased risk for PCa (odds ratio [OR]=2.72, p=0.005). Similarly variant allele carrier (AG+GG) (OR=1.53, p=0.034) and G allele (OR=1.54, p=0.005) were also statistically associated with PCa risk. High risk for PCa was also observed with respect to caspase-5 (CC) diplotypes (OR=21.67, p=0.012, Pc=0.048). We observed significantly enhanced risk for PCa due to interaction between caspase-3 and -5 gene polymorphisms. In association of genotypes with clinical characteristics, heterozygous TC genotype of caspase-5 (T>C) conferred risk with high Gleason grade tumor (OR=2.35, p=0.042). In case-only analysis, interaction of environmental risk factors and genotypes did not further modulate the risk for PCa. Our observations suggested positive association of caspase-3 and diplotype analysis of caspase-5 to be associated with PCa risk. Interaction of caspase-3 and -5 genotypes also modulated the PCa risk.

Ulybina YM, Kuligina ES, Mitiushkina NV, et al.
Distribution of coding apoptotic gene polymorphisms in women with extreme phenotypes of breast cancer predisposition and tolerance.
Tumori. 2011 Mar-Apr; 97(2):248-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS AND BACKGROUND: Comparison of subjects with extreme phenotypes of cancer susceptibility and tolerance allows to detect low-penetrance gene-disease interactions with a relatively small study size.
METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: We analyzed the distribution of 19 coding apoptotic gene polymorphisms (Bid Gly10Ser; Casp2 Leu141Val; Casp5 Ala90Thr and Val318Leu; Casp7 Glu255Asp; Casp8 His302Asp; Casp9 Val28Ala, His173Arg and Arg221Gln; Casp10 Ile479Leu; Faim Thr117Ala and Ser127Leu; DR4 Arg141His, Thr209Arg, Ala228Glu and Lys441Arg; Survivin Lys129Glu; TNFR1 Gln121Arg; XIAP Pro423Gln) in 121 breast cancer patients with clinical features of a hereditary predisposition (family history and/or early onset and/or bilaterality) and 142 elderly tumor-free women.
RESULTS: None of the individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) demonstrated an association with breast cancer risk. The analysis of gene interactions revealed that the combination of XIAP Pro423Gln (rs5956583) AA genotype with Casp7 Glu255Asp (rs2227310) CG genotype appeared to prevail in "supercases" relative to "supercontrols" (25/121 [21%] vs 11/142 [8%], P = 0.002). We attempted to validate this association in the second round of case-control analysis, which involved 519 randomly selected breast cancer patients and 509 age-matched healthy women, but no difference was detected upon this comparison.
CONCLUSIONS: Coding apoptotic gene polymorphisms do not play a major role in BC predisposition. The results of this investigation may be considered while designing future studies on breast cancer-associated candidate SNPs.

Williams DS, Bird MJ, Jorissen RN, et al.
Nonsense mediated decay resistant mutations are a source of expressed mutant proteins in colon cancer cell lines with microsatellite instability.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(12):e16012 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Frameshift mutations in microsatellite instability high (MSI-High) colorectal cancers are a potential source of targetable neo-antigens. Many nonsense transcripts are subject to rapid degradation due to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD), but nonsense transcripts with a cMS in the last exon or near the last exon-exon junction have intrinsic resistance to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD). NMD-resistant transcripts are therefore a likely source of expressed mutant proteins in MSI-High tumours.
METHODS: Using antibodies to the conserved N-termini of predicted mutant proteins, we analysed MSI-High colorectal cancer cell lines for examples of naturally expressed mutant proteins arising from frameshift mutations in coding microsatellites (cMS) by immunoprecipitation and Western Blot experiments. Detected mutant protein bands from NMD-resistant transcripts were further validated by gene-specific short-interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown. A genome-wide search was performed to identify cMS-containing genes likely to generate NMD-resistant transcripts that could encode for antigenic expressed mutant proteins in MSI-High colon cancers. These genes were screened for cMS mutations in the MSI-High colon cancer cell lines.
RESULTS: Mutant protein bands of expected molecular weight were detected in mutated MSI-High cell lines for NMD-resistant transcripts (CREBBP, EP300, TTK), but not NMD-sensitive transcripts (BAX, CASP5, MSH3). Expression of the mutant CREBBP and EP300 proteins was confirmed by siRNA knockdown. Five cMS-bearing genes identified from the genome-wide search and without existing mutation data (SFRS12IP1, MED8, ASXL1, FBXL3 and RGS12) were found to be mutated in at least 5 of 11 (45%) of the MSI-High cell lines tested.
CONCLUSION: NMD-resistant transcripts can give rise to expressed mutant proteins in MSI-High colon cancer cells. If commonly expressed in primary MSI-High colon cancers, MSI-derived mutant proteins could be useful as cancer specific immunological targets in a vaccine targeting MSI-High colonic tumours.

Tuna M, Smid M, Zhu D, et al.
Association between acquired uniparental disomy and homozygous mutations and HER2/ER/PR status in breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(11):e15094 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Genetic alterations in cellular signaling networks are a hallmark of cancer, however, effective methods to discover them are lacking. A novel form of abnormality called acquired uniparental disomy (aUPD) was recently found to pinpoint the region of mutated genes in various cancers, thereby identifying the region for next-generation sequencing.
METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We retrieved large genomic data sets from the Gene Expression Omnibus database to perform genome-wide analysis of aUPD in breast tumor samples and cell lines using approaches that can reliably detect aUPD. aUPD was identified in 52.29% of the tumor samples. The most frequent aUPD regions were located at chromosomes 2q, 3p, 5q, 9p, 9q, 10q, 11q, 13q, 14q and 17q. We evaluated the data for any correlation between the most frequent aUPD regions and HER2/neu, ER, and PR status, and found a statistically significant correlation between the recurrent regions of aUPD and triple negative (TN) breast cancers. aUPD at chromosome 17q (VEZF1, WNT3), 3p (SUMF1, GRM7), 9p (MTAP, NFIB) and 11q (CASP1, CASP4, CASP5) are predictors for TN. The frequency of aUPD was found to be significantly higher in TN breast cancer cases compared to HER2/neu-positive and/or ER or PR-positive cases. Furthermore, using previously published mutation data, we found TP53 homozygously mutated in cell lines having aUPD in that locus.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that aUPD is a common and non-random molecular feature of breast cancer that is most prominent in triple negative cases. As aUPD regions are different among the main pathological subtypes, specific aUPD regions may aid the sub-classification of breast cancer. In addition, we provide statistical support using TP53 as an example that identifying aUPD regions can be an effective approach in finding aberrant genes. We thus conclude that a genome-wide scale analysis of aUPD regions for homozygous sequence alterations can provide valuable insights into breast tumorigenesis.

Babas E, Ekonomopoulou MT, Karapidaki I, et al.
Indication of participation of caspase-2 and caspase-5 in mechanisms of human cervical malignancy.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2010; 20(8):1381-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: When apoptosis is disrupted, the transformed cells can survive, proliferate, and evolve into a malignancy. The strictly conserved caspase genes and the reliable experimental data clearly show that some caspases play a crucial role in apoptosis even if some of them have no apoptotic activity and others exhibit both apoptotic and nonapoptotic properties. Although caspase-2 belongs to initiator caspases, its normal role remains unclear. Experimental studies have shown that it is primarily necessary for the execution of apoptosis in mutagenic cells. Human caspase-5 is classified as an inflammatory caspase, although its substrate has not been identified yet. In this research, the activities of caspase-2 and caspase-5 have been estimated during the progression of human cervical malignancy.
METHODS: The experimental material includes human cervical tissue samples (normal and pathological) and blood serum samples of the corresponding tissue donors, where enzyme activities have been measured colorimetrically.
RESULTS: Both caspases' activities showed the highest increase, statistically significant (P < 0.01, by t test) compared with the controls, in the low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion tissues. Caspase-2 of all pathological tissues was proved more active than the controls. Serum caspases' activities were significantly lower than those of the tissues. Serum caspase-2's activity in patients with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion stage showed no statistically significant increase compared with the controls. Serum caspase-5's activity of all patients with malignancy stages was presented elevated, whereas that of the serum of patients with cervical cancer had the highest activity (P < 0.01, by t test).
CONCLUSIONS: The changes of caspase-2 and caspase-5 activities could be indicative of their involvement in the cervical malignancy mechanisms.

Klein A, Capitanio JS, Maria DA, Ruiz IR
Gene expression in SK-Mel-28 human melanoma cells treated with the snake venom jararhagin.
Toxicon. 2011; 57(1):1-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Alternative approaches to improve the treatment of advanced melanomas are highly needed. The disintegrin domain of metalloproteinases binds integrin receptors on tumor cells, blocking migration, invasion, and metastatization. Previous studies showed that jararhagin, from the Bothrops jararaca snake venom, induces changes in the morphology and viability of SK-Mel-28 human melanoma cells, and decreases the number of metastases in mice injected with pre-treated cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the molecular effects of jararhagin on SK-Mel-28 cells and fibroblasts, concerning the expression of integrins, cadherins, caspases, and TP53 genes. Sub-toxic doses of jararhagin were administered to confluent cells. RT-PCR was performed following extraction of total RNA. Jararhagin treatments induced similar morphological alterations in both normal and tumor cells, with higher IC50 values for fibroblasts. Integrin genes were downregulated in untreated cells, except for ITGA6a,b, ITGAv, and ITGB3 which were highly expressed in SK-Mel-28. The integrin expression profiles were not affected by the toxin. However, jararhagin 30ng/μl upregulated genes TP53, CDKN1A, CDKN2A, CASP3, CASP5, CASP6, CASP8, and E-CDH in SK-Mel-28, and genes ITGB6, ITGB7, CASP3, TP53, and CDKN1B in fibroblasts. Appropriate jararhagin concentration can have apoptotic and suppressant effects on SK-Mel-28 cells, rather than on fibroblasts, and can be used to develop potential anti-cancer drugs.

Notaridou M, Quaye L, Dafou D, et al.
Common alleles in candidate susceptibility genes associated with risk and development of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2011; 128(9):2063-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Common germline genetic variation in the population is associated with susceptibility to epithelial ovarian cancer. Microcell-mediated chromosome transfer and expression microarray analysis identified nine genes associated with functional suppression of tumorogenicity in ovarian cancer cell lines; AIFM2, AKTIP, AXIN2, CASP5, FILIP1L, RBBP8, RGC32, RUVBL1 and STAG3. Sixty-three tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) in these genes were genotyped in 1,799 invasive ovarian cancer cases and 3,045 controls to look for associations with disease risk. Two SNPs in RUVBL1, rs13063604 and rs7650365, were associated with increased risk of serous ovarian cancer [HetOR = 1.42 (1.15-1.74) and the HomOR = 1.63 (1.10-1.42), p-trend = 0.0002] and [HetOR = 0.97 (0.80-1.17), HomOR = 0.74 (0.58-0.93), p-trend = 0.009], respectively. We genotyped rs13063604 and rs7650365 in an additional 4,590 cases and 6,031 controls from ten sites from the United States, Europe and Australia; however, neither SNP was significant in Stage 2. We also evaluated the potential role of tSNPs in these nine genes in ovarian cancer development by testing for allele-specific loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in 286 primary ovarian tumours. We found frequent LOH for tSNPs in AXIN2, AKTIP and RGC32 (64, 46 and 34%, respectively) and one SNP, rs1637001, in STAG3 showed significant allele-specific LOH with loss of the common allele in 94% of informative tumours (p = 0.015). Array comparative genomic hybridisation indicated that this nonrandom allelic imbalance was due to amplification of the rare allele. In conclusion, we show evidence for the involvement of a common allele of STAG3 in the development of epithelial ovarian cancer.

Ulybina YM, Kuligina ESh, Mitiushkina NV, et al.
Evidence for depletion of CASP5 Ala90Thr heterozygous genotype in aged subjects.
Exp Gerontol. 2010; 45(9):726-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our previous studies, which included genotyping of multiple coding apoptotic gene polymorphisms, unexpectedly demonstrated a depletion of heterozygous CASP5 Ala90Thr (rs507879, c.268 G>A) genotypes in elderly subjects. Present investigation was aimed to validate this trend. An analysis of 510 subjects aged 75-103years revealed 205 (40%) CASP5 Ala90Thr heterozygotes as compared to 254 (50%) expected from the minor allele frequency 0.470 (p=0.000014). This deviation was not observed in 549 middle-aged (18-50years) controls (270 (49%) heterozygotes observed vs. 274 (50%) expected; minor allele frequency 0.475; p=0.743). Unfavorable significance of CASP5 heterozygous genotype may be explained by the role of the caspase-5 in inflammation-related processes. Almost all prior gene-longevity association studies focused on discrimination between "good" and "bad" gene variants. Here we present a distinct situation, where the combination of alternative alleles (i.e., heterozygosity) appears to be unfavorable as compared to the homozygous carriership of either gene variant.

Suvasini R, Somasundaram K
Essential role of PI3-kinase pathway in p53-mediated transcription: Implications in cancer chemotherapy.
Oncogene. 2010; 29(25):3605-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
The PI3-kinase pathway is the target of inactivation in achieving better cancer chemotherapy. Here, we report that p53-mediated transcription is inhibited by pharmacological inhibitors and a dominant-negative mutant of PI3-kinase, and this inhibition was relieved by a constitutively active mutant of PI3-kinase. Akt/PKB and mTOR, the downstream effectors of PI3-kinase, were also found to be essential. LY294002 (PI3-kinase inhibitor) pre-treatment altered the post-translational modifications and the sub-cellular localization of p53. Although LY294002 increased the chemosensitivity of cells to low concentrations of adriamycin (adriamycin-low), it protected the cells from cytotoxicity induced by high concentrations of adriamycin (adriamycin-high) in a p53-dependent manner. Further, we found that LY294002 completely abolished the activation of p53 target genes (particularly pro-apoptotic) under adriamycin-high conditions, whereas it only marginally repressed the p53 target genes under adriamycin-low conditions; in fact, it further activated the transcription of NOXA, HRK, APAF1 and CASP5 genes. Thus, the differential effect of PI3-kinase on p53 functions seems to be responsible for the differential regulation of DNA damage-induced cytotoxicity and cell death by PI3-kinase. Our finding becomes relevant in the light of ongoing combination chemotherapy trials with the PI3-kinase pathway inhibitors and underscores the importance of p53 status in the careful formulation of combination chemotherapies.

Reuschenbach M, Kloor M, Morak M, et al.
Serum antibodies against frameshift peptides in microsatellite unstable colorectal cancer patients with Lynch syndrome.
Fam Cancer. 2010; 9(2):173-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
High level microsatellite instability (MSI-H) occurs in about 15% of colorectal cancer (CRCs), either as sporadic cancers or in the context of hereditary non-polyposis cancer or Lynch syndrome. In MSI-H CRC, mismatch repair deficiency leads to insertion/deletion mutations at coding microsatellites and thus to the translation of frameshift peptides (FSPs). FSPs are potent inductors of T cell responses in vitro and in vivo. The present study aims at the identification of FSP-specific humoral immune responses in MSI-H CRC and Lynch syndrome. Sera from patients with history of MSI-H CRC (n = 69), healthy Lynch syndrome mutation carriers (n = 31) and healthy controls (n = 52) were analyzed for antibodies against FSPs using peptide ELISA. Reactivities were measured against FSPs derived from genes frequently mutated in MSI-H CRCs, AIM2, TGFBR2, CASP5, TAF1B, ZNF294, and MARCKS. Antibody reactivity against FSPs was significantly higher in MSI-H CRC patients than in healthy controls (P = 0.036, Mann-Whitney) and highest in patients with shortest interval between tumor resection and serum sampling. Humoral immune responses in patients were most frequently directed against FSPs derived from mutated TAF1B (11.6%, 8/69) and TGFBR2 (10.1%, 7/69). Low level FSP-specific antibodies were also detected in healthy mutation carriers. Our results show that antibody responses against FSPs are detectable in MSI-H CRC patients and healthy Lynch syndrome mutation carriers. Based on the high number of defined FSP antigens, measuring FSP-specific humoral immune responses is a highly promising tool for future diagnostic application in MSI-H cancer patients.

Kawaguchi M, Banno K, Yanokura M, et al.
Analysis of candidate target genes for mononucleotide repeat mutation in microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) endometrial cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2009; 35(5):977-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Microsatellite instability (MSI) is an indicator of DNA instability and is caused by abnormalities in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes such as hMLH1, hMSH2 and hMSH6. MSI occurs frequently in endometrial cancer (in approximately 30% of cases), and accumulation of gene mutations due to MSI may therefore have a major role in the mechanism of malignant transformation. However, a responsible target gene has not been identified in endometrial cancer. In this study, we analyzed mutations in 11 cancer-related genes with mononucleotide repeats susceptible to MSI in a coding region [hMSH3 (A8), hMSH6 (C8), TGF-beta RII (A10), MBD4 (A10), BAX (G8), PTEN (A6 in exon 7), HDAC2 (A9), EPHB2 (A9), Caspase-5 (A10), TCF-4 (A9) and Axin2 (G7)] in 22 patients with MSI-H sporadic endometrial cancer. Mutations in hMSH6 (C8) and TGF-beta RII (A10) were found most frequently, at rates of 36.3% (8/22) each. Mutations of BAX (G8) and TCF-4 (A9), which are common in MSI-positive colorectal cancer, occurred at rates of 22.7 and 0%, respectively, which suggests that the MSI target gene may differ between endometrial and colorectal cancers. Mutations in hMSH6 (C8) were correlated with reduced protein expression (p=0.042) and patients with these mutations had significantly more mutations in mononucleotide repeats in other cancer-related genes compared to patients without hMSH6 (C8) mutations (p=0.042). This suggests the possibility of a novel cascade in carcinogenesis of endometrial cancer in which MSI mutates hMSH6 (C8), increases gene instability, and leads to accumulation of mutations in other cancer-related genes. To our knowledge, this is the first report to show that hMSH6 (C8) has an important role as an MSI target gene in sporadic endometrial cancer.

Dong LM, Brennan P, Karami S, et al.
An analysis of growth, differentiation and apoptosis genes with risk of renal cancer.
PLoS One. 2009; 4(3):e4895 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We conducted a case-control study of renal cancer (987 cases and 1298 controls) in Central and Eastern Europe and analyzed genomic DNA for 319 tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 21 genes involved in cellular growth, differentiation and apoptosis using an Illumina Oligo Pool All (OPA). A haplotype-based method (sliding window analysis of consecutive SNPs) was used to identify chromosome regions of interest that remained significant at a false discovery rate of 10%. Subsequently, risk estimates were generated for regions with a high level of signal and individual SNPs by unconditional logistic regression adjusting for age, gender and study center. Three regions containing genes associated with renal cancer were identified: caspase 1/5/4/12(CASP 1/5/4/12), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP3). We observed that individuals with CASP1/5/4/12 haplotype (spanning area upstream of CASP1 through exon 2 of CASP5) GGGCTCAGT were at higher risk of renal cancer compared to individuals with the most common haplotype (OR:1.40, 95% CI:1.10-1.78, p-value = 0.007). Analysis of EGFR revealed three strong signals within intron 1, particularly a region centered around rs759158 with a global p = 0.006 (GGG: OR:1.26, 95% CI:1.04-1.53 and ATG: OR:1.55, 95% CI:1.14-2.11). A region in IGFBP3 was also associated with increased risk (global p = 0.04). In addition, the number of statistically significant (p-value<0.05) SNP associations observed within these three genes was higher than would be expected by chance on a gene level. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate these genes in relation to renal cancer and there is need to replicate and extend our findings. The specific regions associated with risk may have particular relevance for gene function and/or carcinogenesis. In conclusion, our evaluation has identified common genetic variants in CASP1, CASP5, EGFR, and IGFBP3 that could be associated with renal cancer risk.

Quaye L, Dafou D, Ramus SJ, et al.
Functional complementation studies identify candidate genes and common genetic variants associated with ovarian cancer survival.
Hum Mol Genet. 2009; 18(10):1869-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
Common germline genetic variation and/or somatic alterations in tumours may be associated with survival in women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The successful identification of genetic associations relies on a suitable strategy for identifying and testing candidate genes. We used microcell-mediated chromosome transfer approach and expression microarray analysis to identify genes that were associated with neoplastic suppression in ovarian cancer cell lines. Sixty-five tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) in nine candidate genes were genotyped in approximately 1700 invasive ovarian cancer cases to look for associations with survival. For two of these genes, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis of tSNPs in 314 ovarian tumours was used to identify associations between somatic gene deletions and survival. We identified significant associations with survival for a tSNP in caspase 5 (CASP5) [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.13 (95% CI: 1.00-1.27), P = 0.042] and two tSNPs in the retinoblastoma binding protein (RBBP8) gene [HR = 0.85 (95% CI: 0.75-0.95), P = 0.007 and HR = 0.83 (95% CI: 0.71-0.95), P = 0.009]. After adjusting for multiple prognostic factors in a multivariate Cox regression analysis, both associations in RBBP8 remained significant (P = 0.028 and 0.036). We then genotyped 314 ovarian tumours for several tSNPs in CASP5 and RBBP8 to identify gene deletions by LOH. For RBBP8, 35% of tumours in 101 informative cases showed somatic allelic deletion; LOH of RBBP8 was associated with a significantly worse prognosis [HR = 2.19 (95% CI: 1.36-3.54), P = 0.001]. In summary, a novel in vitro functional approach in ovarian cancer cells has identified RBBP8 as a gene for which both germline genetic variation and somatic alterations in tumours are associated with survival in ovarian cancer patients.

Ulybina YM, Kuligina ES, Mitiushkina NV, et al.
Coding polymorphisms in Casp5, Casp8 and DR4 genes may play a role in predisposition to lung cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2009; 278(2):183-191 [PubMed] Related Publications
Apoptosis plays a role in the elimination of DNA-damaged cells thus protecting the host from cancer development. Some data indicate that normal variations within the sequence of apoptotic genes may lead to suboptimal apoptotic capacity and therefore increased cancer risk. We tested 19 coding apoptotic gene SNPs in 2-stage molecular epidemiological study. For the preliminary sorting of SNP candidates, we employed a "comparison of extremes" approach, where 111 patients with highly pronounced LC susceptibility (non-smokers or young-onset light smokers) were analyzed against 110 subjects with the evidence for LC tolerance (elderly tumor-free heavy smokers). Three genotypes demonstrated possible association with LC risk (Leu/Leu-homozygotes for Casp5 Val318Leu versus other genotypes: OR=2.47 (95% CI: 1.07-5.69), p=0.03; His-carriers for Casp8 His302Asp: OR=2.26 (95% CI: 1.18-4.31), p=0.02; Arg-carriers for DR4 Lys441Arg: OR=1.89 (95% CI: 1.05-3.40), p=0.03), and therefore were selected for the validation. The extended study included 2 case-control series, namely subjects from Russia (351 LC cases and 538 controls) and Moldova (296 LC cases and 295 controls). Interestingly, all three candidate genotypes consistently demonstrated OR above 1 both in Russian and in Moldovian groups. Although the combined Mantel-Haenszel analysis yet failed to reach statistical significance (OR=1.22 (95% CI: 0.90-1.65), p=0.21; OR=1.17 (95% CI: 0.92-1.50), p=0.21; OR=1.19 (95% CI: 0.95-1.51), p=0.14, respectively), the obtained data indicate that Casp5, Casp8 and DR4 gene polymorphisms may deserve consideration in large-scale case-control studies of LC risk modifiers.

Granell M, Urbano-Ispizua A, Pons A, et al.
Common variants in NLRP2 and NLRP3 genes are strong prognostic factors for the outcome of HLA-identical sibling allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Blood. 2008; 112(10):4337-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
The inflammasomes are macromolecular cytosolic complexes involved in the production of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and IL-18 in response to several pathogen-derived stimuli. Such interleukins have been implicated in the origin of severe allogeneic stem cell transplant (allo-SCT) complications. We analyzed the relationship between the interindividual variability in inflammasome protein-encoding genes in donors and patients and clinical outcome after allo-SCT. Fourteen common genetic variants in 5 genes of the inflammasome, namely, NLRP1, NLRP2, NLRP3, CARD8, and CASP5, were genotyped in 133 human leukocyte antigen-identical sibling pairs undergoing allo-SCT. In the multivariate analysis, donor variants in NLRP2 and NLRP3 were the most important prognostic factors for the clinical outcome after allo-SCT. Thus, donor TT genotype at rs10925027 in NLRP3 was associated with disease relapse (odds ratio (OR) = 6.3, P = 1 x 10(-7)), and donor GG genotype at rs1043684 in NLRP2 was associated with nonrelapse mortality (OR = 4.4, P = 6 x 10(-4)) and overall survival (OR = 3.1, P = .001). In addition, patient AA genotype at rs5862 in NLRP1 was associated with nonrelapse mortality (OR = 2.8, P = .005) and overall survival (OR = 2.0, P = .009). These results suggest that inflammasome genetic variants are important prognostic factors for the outcome of allo-SCT. If validated in larger studies, including unrelated allo-SCT, NLRPs genotype would become an important factor in donor selection.

Soung YH, Jeong EG, Ahn CH, et al.
Mutational analysis of caspase 1, 4, and 5 genes in common human cancers.
Hum Pathol. 2008; 39(6):895-900 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mounting evidence indicates that deregulation of apoptosis is involved in the mechanisms of cancer development. Mutations of genes encoding caspases, the executioners of apoptosis, have been detected in human cancers, indicating inactivation of apoptosis by the mutations of caspase is an important mechanism in cancer development. The aim of this study was to see whether genes encoding human caspases 1, 4, and 5 are mutated in human cancers. We analyzed the entire coding region and all splice sites of human caspase 1, 4, and 5 genes for the detection of somatic mutations in 337 human cancers, including 103 colorectal, 54 gastric, 60 breast, 60 hepatocellular, and 60 lung carcinomas by a single-strand conformation polymorphism assay. We detected 2 (0.6%) caspase-1, 2 (0.6%) caspase-4, and 15 (4.4%) caspase-5 mutations in the 343 cancers. The mutations were detected in 11 gastric carcinomas (2 caspase-1 and 9 caspase-5 mutations), 6 colorectal carcinomas (2 caspase-4 and 4 caspase-5 mutations), 1 breast carcinoma (1 caspase-5 mutation), and 1 lung carcinoma (1 caspase-5 mutation). The mutations consisted of 11 mutations in exons and 8 mutations in noncoding sequences. The 11 mutations in the exons consisted of 3 missense, 1 silent, and 7 frameshift mutation(s). Of note, most (6/9) of the caspase-5 mutations in the coding sequences were detected in microsatellite instability (MSI)-positive cancers. These data indicate that somatic mutations of caspase-1 and caspase-4 genes are rare in common solid cancers. In addition, the data indicate that caspase-5 gene is commonly mutated in the MSI-positive cancers, and suggest that inactivation of caspase-5 may play a role in the tumorigenesis of MSI-positive cancers.

Saetta AA, Korkolopoulou P, Karlou M, et al.
TGF-betaRII, BAX, IGFIIR, caspase-5, hMSH3 and hMSH6 alterations are not associated with microsatellite instability or p53 mutations in invasive urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder.
Pathology. 2007; 39(4):425-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The aim of this study was to determine the potential synchronous contribution of alterations in TGF-betaRII, BAX, IGFIIR, caspase-5, hMSH3 and hMSH6 genes to the development and clinical outcome of bladder cancer, in relation to p53 mutations, microsatellite status and hMLH1/hMSH2 expression.
METHODS: Molecular biology techniques as well as immunohistochemistry were applied in 69 samples from patients with urothelial carcinoma.
RESULTS: Microsatellite alterations were observed in TGF-betaRII(A)(10 )(16%) and BAX(G)(8 )(3%), irrespective of the presence of p53 mutations, but not in IGFIIR(G)(8), caspase-5(A)(10, ) hMSH3(A)(8) and hMSH6(C)(8). A statistically significant correlation could be found only between hMLH1 expression and the presence of microsatellite instability (Fisher's exact test, p = 0,013). Survival analysis indicated that apart from grade and T-category, hMLH1 expression was the only parameter significantly affecting overall survival (p = 0.021 in univariate and p = 0.015 in multivariate analysis) and recurrence-free survival (p = 0.0463 in univariate and p = 0.022 in multivariate analysis).
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that alterations of the examined target genes of MSI are rare in urinary bladder carcinoma and they are not associated with microsatellite instability or the presence of p53 mutations.

Yamaguchi T, Iijima T, Mori T, et al.
Accumulation profile of frameshift mutations during development and progression of colorectal cancer from patients with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.
Dis Colon Rectum. 2006; 49(3):399-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Role and timing of frameshift mutations during carcinogenesis in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer have not been examined. This study was designed to clarify the relationship between frameshift mutations and clinicopathologic features in colorectal cancer from patients with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.
METHODS: Thirty-one colorectal cancers from patients with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer at different clinicopathologic stages were analyzed for frameshift mutation in 18 genes.
RESULTS: The frameshift mutations of the ACVR2 and PTHLH genes were found to have an extremely high frequency (94-100 percent) in all pathologic stages, and mutation of the MARCKS gene also was high (94 percent) in Dukes B and C cancers. These frequencies were higher than the frequency of TGFbetaRII gene inactivation (64-88 percent). Mutations of the hMSH3, TCF4, CASP5, RIZ, RAD50, and MBD4 genes were comparatively frequent (>35 percent) in all stages. Frequencies of inactivation of the MARCKS, BAX, IGFIIR, and PTEN genes were significantly higher in Dukes B and C cancers than in Dukes A cancer (P < 0.05). The number of accumulated frameshift mutations was larger in Dukes B and C cancers (9.4) than in Dukes A cancer (6.8) (P = 0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: The present data suggest that the disruption of the transforming growth factor-beta super-family signaling pathway by the alteration of the ACVR2 and/or TGFbetaRII genes and the disruption of antiproliferative function by the PTHLH gene alteration contribute to the development of early colorectal cancer. Moreover, the further accumulation of alterations in the MARCKS, BAX, IGFIIR, and PTEN genes seem to be associated with progression from early to advanced colorectal cancer from patients with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.

Offman J, Gascoigne K, Bristow F, et al.
Repeated sequences in CASPASE-5 and FANCD2 but not NF1 are targets for mutation in microsatellite-unstable acute leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome.
Mol Cancer Res. 2005; 3(5):251-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Microsatellite instability (MSI) in tumors is diagnostic for inactive DNA mismatch repair. It is widespread among some tumor types, such as colorectal or endometrial carcinoma, but is rarely found in leukemia. Therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (tAML/MDS) is an exception, and MSI is frequent in tAML/MDS following cancer chemotherapy or organ transplantation. The development of MSI+ tumors is associated with an accumulation of insertion/deletion mutations in repetitive sequences. These events can cause inactivating frameshifts or loss of expression of key growth control proteins. We examined established MSI+ cell lines and tAML/MDS cases for frameshift-like mutations of repetitive sequences in several genes that have known, or suspected, relevance to leukemia. CASPASE-5, an acknowledged frameshift target in MSI+ gastrointestinal tract tumors, was frequently mutated in MSI+ cell lines (67%) and in tAML/MDS (29%). Frameshift-like mutations were also observed in the NF1 and FANCD2 genes that are associated with genetic conditions conferring a predisposition to leukemia. Both genes were frequent targets for mutation in MSI+ cell lines and colorectal carcinomas. FANCD2 mutations were also common in MSI+ tAML/MDS, although NF1 mutations were not observed. A novel FANCD2 polymorphism was also identified.

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