Gene Summary

Gene:CCL21; C-C motif chemokine ligand 21
Aliases: ECL, SLC, CKb9, TCA4, 6Ckine, SCYA21
Summary:This antimicrobial gene is one of several CC cytokine genes clustered on the p-arm of chromosome 9. Cytokines are a family of secreted proteins involved in immunoregulatory and inflammatory processes. The CC cytokines are proteins characterized by two adjacent cysteines. Similar to other chemokines the protein encoded by this gene inhibits hemopoiesis and stimulates chemotaxis. This protein is chemotactic in vitro for thymocytes and activated T cells, but not for B cells, macrophages, or neutrophils. The cytokine encoded by this gene may also play a role in mediating homing of lymphocytes to secondary lymphoid organs. It is a high affinity functional ligand for chemokine receptor 7 that is expressed on T and B lymphocytes and a known receptor for another member of the cytokine family (small inducible cytokine A19). [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2014]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:C-C motif chemokine 21
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (38)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

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.

  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Cancer RNA
  • Chemokines, CC
  • Signal Transduction
  • Chemotaxis
  • Skin Cancer
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Gene Expression
  • Lung Cancer
  • siRNA
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 14
  • Up-Regulation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Transduction
  • Cell Movement
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Chemokines
  • Transcription
  • Chromosome 9
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • beta-Defensins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • ZAP-70 Protein-Tyrosine Kinase
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Breast Cancer
  • Transplantation, Heterotopic
  • TNF
  • Chemokine CCL21
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Adenoviridae
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Survival Rate
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Transfection
  • Staging
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: CCL21 (cancer-related)

Hong CH, Lin SH, Lee CH
CCL21 Induces mTOR-dependent MALAT1 Expression, Leading to Cell Migration in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma.
In Vivo. 2019 May-Jun; 33(3):793-800 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mycosis fungoides (MF) is indolent, but may disseminate to leukemia. We reported that C-C motif chemokine ligand 21 (CCL21) is associated with MF invasion and progression. Metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1), a long noncoding RNA, is associated with several cancer types, however, how it interacts with CCL21 to regulate MF progression, remains unclear.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression of long noncoding RNAs MALAT1, antisense noncoding RNA in the INK4 locus (ANRIL), Hox antisense intergenic RNA (HOTAIR), highly up-regulated in liver cancer RNA (HULC), and leukemia-associated non-coding insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor activator RNA 1 (LUNAR1) in tissues from MF was studied using polymerase chain reaction and RNA interference in MF cell line MyLa were used to address this question.
RESULTS: Expression of MALAT1 was selectively increased in MF tissues. C-C Chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7) expression was found to be increased in MyLa cells. CCL21 was found not only to mediate migration, but also to enhance MALAT1 and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation in MyLa cells. Knockdown of MALAT1 abrogated CCL21-mediated migration, but not mTOR activation. In contrast, mTOR inhibition reduced CCL21-mediated migration and MALAT1 expression.
CONCLUSION: CCL21 induced mTOR activation in MyLa cells, followed by expression of MALAT1, causing cell migration. MALAT1 and mTOR are potential therapeutic targets for MF.

Ergün S
Cross-Kingdom Gene regulation via miRNAs of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) flower dietetically absorbed: An in silico approach to define potential biomarkers for prostate cancer.
Comput Biol Chem. 2019; 80:16-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most frequent type of cancer in men. Hypericum perforatum (H. Perforatum) extract (HPE) administration provides remarkable decrease of PCa development. H. perforatum contains 7 conserved miRNAs (Hyp-miR-156a, Hyp-miR-156b, Hyp-miR-166, Hyp-miR-390, Hyp-miR-394, Hyp-miR-396 and Hyp-miR-414) with different targets. In this study, we aimed to investigate cross-kingdom gene regulation via miRNAs of H. perforatum flower dietetically absorbed in manner of an in silico approach to define potential biomarkers for PCa. psRNATarget database was used to find human genes targeted by 7 pre-defined H. perforatum miRNAs. We defined the mostly affected gene families from these miRNAs as ZNF, TMEM, SLC and FAM gene families. GeneMANIA database was used to define the most affected genes (TMEM41B and SLC4A7) from these 7 miRNAs. cBioPortal database was used to define alteration frequencies of TMEM41B and SLC4A7 on different types of PCa and to measure the mutual interaction potency and significance of co-occurence in PCa. This analysis showed that neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) had the highest total mutation frequency (22%) of TMEM41B and SLC4A7 genes. Also, TMEM41B and SLC4A7 genes had an average 2.1% pathway change potential among all different types of PCa. Moreover, TMEM41B and SLC4A7 gene pair was found significantly co-occurrent in PCa (p < 0.001). Finally, via GEPIA database, we used Spearman correlation analysis to measure the correlation degree of TMEM41B and SLC4A7 genes in PCa and found their significant correlation with PCa (p = 1.2 × 10

Al-Abdulla R, Perez-Silva L, Abete L, et al.
Unraveling 'The Cancer Genome Atlas' information on the role of SLC transporters in anticancer drug uptake.
Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2019; 12(4):329-341 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Anticancer chemotherapy often faces the problem of intrinsic or acquired drug refractoriness due in part to efficient mechanisms of defense present or developed, respectively, in cancer cells. Owing to their polarity and/or high molecular weight, many cytostatic agents cannot freely cross the plasma membrane by simple diffusion and hence depend on SLC proteins to enter cancer cells. The downregulation of these transporters and the appearance of either inactivating mutations or aberrant splicing, hamper the possibility of anticancer drugs to interact with their intracellular targets. Areas covered: In addition to specific literature, we have revised Gene database of the NCBI PubMed resources and information publicly available at NIH 'The Cancer Genome Atlas' (TCGA) (update November 2018) to evaluate the relationship between the profile of expression of SLC transporters playing a major role in the transportome and accounting for drug uptake, in healthy and tumor tissue, and their ability to recognize as substrate several antitumor drugs frequently used in the treatment of different types of cancer, which could affect the overall response to chemotherapy based on regimens including these drugs. Expert commentary: Changes in the transportome may affect the overall response to chemotherapy based on drugs taken up by SLC transporters.

Güttler A, Theuerkorn K, Riemann A, et al.
Cellular and radiobiological effects of carbonic anhydrase IX in human breast cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(4):2585-2594 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia‑induced carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) is involved in intracellular and extracellular pH regulation, which is critical for tumor growth and metastasis. CAIX is overexpressed in breast cancer and is associated with the poor survival of patients after radiotherapy. Therefore, we evaluated the cellular and radiobiological effects of CAIX inhibition in human breast cancer cells. We used CA9 siRNA and the CA inhibitor (CAI) U104, respectively, to inhibit CAIX expression and activity in basal triple‑negative MDA‑MB‑231 and luminal MCF‑7 cells under hypoxic conditions. We investigated the effects of CAIX inhibition on CA9 mRNA and CAIX protein level, as well as on CAIX activity, intracellular pH, proliferation, apoptosis, clonogenic survival, migration, cell cycle distribution and radiosensitivity. CA9 siRNA and CAI U104 decreased CA9 mRNA and CAIX protein level in MDA‑MB‑231 and MCF‑7 cells. Furthermore, incubation with CAI U104 significantly decreased carbonic anhydrase activity and reduced the intracellular pH. Additionally, CA9 siRNA or U104 reduced clonogenic survival, migration and the number of cells in the G0/G1 phase, induced apoptosis and demonstrated additive or synergistic effects in combination with irradiation. In conclusion, combination of CAIX inhibition and irradiation is a promising treatment strategy against breast cancer with hypoxia‑induced CAIX expression.

Malinen MM, Ito K, Kang HE, et al.
Protein expression and function of organic anion transporters in short-term and long-term cultures of Huh7 human hepatoma cells.
Eur J Pharm Sci. 2019; 130:186-195 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
Human-derived hepatic cell lines are a valuable alternative to primary hepatocytes for drug metabolism, transport and toxicity studies. However, their relevance for investigations of drug-drug and drug-organic anion (e.g., bile acid, steroid hormone) interactions at the transporter level remains to be established. The aim of the present study was to determine the suitability of the Huh7 cell line for transporter-dependent experiments. Huh7 cells were cultured for 1 to 4 weeks and subsequently were analyzed for protein expression, localization and activity of solute carrier (SLC) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters involved in organic anion transport using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy, immunocytochemistry, and model substrates [

El-Ansari R, Craze ML, Alfarsi L, et al.
The combined expression of solute carriers is associated with a poor prognosis in highly proliferative ER+ breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2019; 175(1):27-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Breast cancer (BC) is a heterogeneous disease characterised by variant biology, metabolic activity, and patient outcome. Glutamine availability for growth and progression of BC is important in several BC subtypes. This study aimed to evaluate the biological and prognostic role of the combined expression of key glutamine transporters, SLC1A5, SLC7A5, and SLC3A2 in BC with emphasis on the intrinsic molecular subtypes.
METHODS: SLC1A5, SLC7A5, and SLC3A2 were assessed at the protein level, using immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays constructed from a large well-characterised BC cohort (n = 2248). Patients were stratified into accredited clusters based on protein expression and correlated with clinicopathological parameters, molecular subtypes, and patient outcome.
RESULTS: Clustering analysis of SLC1A5, SLC7A5, and SLC3A2 identified three clusters low SLCs (SLC1A5-/SLC7A5-/SLC3A2-), high SLC1A5 (SLC1A5+/SLC7A5-/SLC3A2-), and high SLCs (SLC1A5+/SLC7A5+/SLC3A2+) which had distinct correlations to known prognostic factors and patient outcome (p < 0.001). The key regulator of tumour cell metabolism, c-MYC, was significantly expressed in tumours in the high SLC cluster (p < 0.001). When different BC subtypes were considered, the association with the poor outcome was observed in the ER+ high proliferation/luminal B class only (p = 0.003). In multivariate analysis, SLC clusters were independent risk factor for shorter BC-specific survival (p = 0.001).
CONCLUSION: The co-operative expression of SLC1A5, SLC7A5, and SLC3A2 appears to play a role in the aggressive subclass of ER+ high proliferation/luminal BC, driven by c-MYC, and therefore have the potential to act as therapeutic targets, particularly in synergism.

Shen L, Qian C, Cao H, et al.
Upregulation of the solute carrier family 7 genes is indicative of poor prognosis in papillary thyroid carcinoma.
World J Surg Oncol. 2018; 16(1):235 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The solute carrier (SLC) 7 family genes comprise 14 members and function as cationic amino acid/glycoprotein transporters in many cells, they are essential for the maintenance of amino acid nutrition and survival of tumor cells. This study was conducted to analyze the associations of SLC7 family gene expression with mortality in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).
METHODS: Clinical features, somatic mutations, and SLC7 family gene expression data were downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas database. Linear regression model analysis was performed to analyze the correlations between SLC7 family gene expression and clinicopathologic features. Kaplan-Meier survival and logistic regression analyses were performed to characterize the associations between gene expression and patients' overall survival.
RESULTS: Patient mortality was negatively associated with age and tumor size but positively increased cancer stage and absence of thyroiditis in PTC patients. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis indicated that patients with high SLC7A3, SLC7A5, and SLC7A11 expression levels exhibited poorer survival than those with low SLC7A3, SLC7A5, and SLC7A11 expression levels (P < 0.05 for all cases). Logistic regression analysis showed that SLC7A3, SLC7A5, and SLC7A11 were associated with increased mortality (odds ratio [OR] 8.61, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.3-55.91; OR 3.87, 95% CI 1.18-17.31; and OR 3.87, 95% CI 1.18-17.31, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Upregulation of SLC7A3, SLC7A5, and SLC7A11 expression was associated with poor prognosis in PTC patients, and SLC7 gene expression levels are potentially useful prognostic biomarkers.

Pu J, Tang X, Zhuang X, et al.
Matrine induces apoptosis via targeting CCR7 and enhances the effect of anticancer drugs in non-small cell lung cancer in vitro.
Innate Immun. 2018; 24(7):394-399 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study mainly investigated the effects of matrine on cell apoptosis and the effects of anticancer drugs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines (A549 and LK2 cells). The results showed that matrine (≥10 μM) caused a significant inhibition on cell viability and 10 and 100 μM matrine induced cell apoptosis via influencing p53, bax, casp3, and bcl-2 expressions in A549 cells. In addition, matrine significantly down-regulated C-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7) expression, and blocking the down-regulation of CCR7 by exogenous chemokine ligand 21 (CCL21) treatment alleviated matrine-caused effects of apoptosis genes in A549 cells. The results were further validated in LK2 cells that matrine regulated apoptosis gene expressions, which were reversed by CCL21 treatment. Furthermore, matrine enhances the effects of cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil, and paclitaxel in A549 cells, and the anticancer effects exhibit a dosage-dependent manner. In summary, matrine induced cell apoptosis and enhanced the effects of anticancer drugs in NSCLC cells; the mechanism might be associated with the CCR7 signal.

Cecchin E, De Mattia E, Ecca F, Toffoli G
Host genetic profiling to increase drug safety in colorectal cancer from discovery to implementation.
Drug Resist Updat. 2018; 39:18-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adverse events affect the pharmacological treatment of approximately 90% of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients at any stage of the disease. Chemotherapy including fluoropyrimidines, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin is the cornerstone of the pharmacological treatment of CRC. The introduction of novel targeted agents, as anti-EGFR (i.e. cetuximab, panitumumab) and antiangiogenic (i.e. bevacizumab, ziv-aflibercept, regorafenib, and ramucirumab) molecules, into the oncologist's toolbox has led to significant improvements in the life expectancy of advanced CRC patients, but with a substantial increase in toxicity burden. In this respect, pharmacogenomics has largely been applied to the personalization of CRC chemotherapy, focusing mainly on the study of inhered polymorphisms in genes encoding phase I and II enzymes, ATP-binding cassette (ABC)/solute carrier (SLC) membrane transporters, proteins involved in DNA repair, folate pathway and immune response. These research efforts have led to the identification of some validated genetic markers of chemotherapy toxicity, for fluoropyrimidines and irinotecan. No validated genetic determinants of oxaliplatin-specific toxicity, as peripheral neuropathy, has thus far been established. The contribution of host genetic markers in predicting the toxicity associated with novel targeted agents' administration is still controversial due to the heterogeneity of published data. Pharmacogenomics guidelines have been published by some international scientific consortia such as the Clinical Pharmacogenomics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) and the Dutch Pharmacogenetics Working Group (DPWG) strongly suggesting a pre-treatment dose adjustment of irinotecan based on UGT1A1*28 genotype and of fluoropyrimidines based on some DPYD genetic variants, to increase treatment safety. However, these recommendations are still poorly applied at the patient's bedside. Several ongoing projects in the U.S. and Europe are currently evaluating how pharmacogenomics can be implemented successfully in daily clinical practice. The majority of drug-related adverse events are still unexplained, and a great deal of ongoing research is aimed at improving knowledge of the role of pharmacogenomics in increasing treatment safety. In this review, the issue of pre-treatment identification of CRC patients at risk of toxicity via the analysis of patients' genetic profiles is addressed. Available pharmacogenomics guidelines with ongoing efforts to implement them in clinical practice and new exploratory markers for clinical validation are described.

Liu Y, Zhao T, Li Z, et al.
The role of ASCT2 in cancer: A review.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2018; 837:81-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
Reorganization of cellular metabolism is one of the hallmarks of cancer and many tumors show high glucose uptake and glutamine addiction. Glutamine is imported by the SLC family transporters from the microenvironment, and ASCT2 (encoded by the SLC1A5 gene) is recognized as a primary transporter. Of note, ASCT2 is overexpressed in different cancers and is closely related to poor prognosis. Nonetheless, the mechanisms regulating ASCT2 activity has not been elucidated. Moreover, several inhibitors of ASCT2 have emerged and shown a surprising antitumor effect. In conclusion, this review describes the function, regulatory mechanism, and inhibitors of ASCT2 in cancer, suggesting that high expression of ASCT2 is a promising prognostic marker and a potential drug target.

Wu YM, Cieślik M, Lonigro RJ, et al.
Inactivation of CDK12 Delineates a Distinct Immunogenic Class of Advanced Prostate Cancer.
Cell. 2018; 173(7):1770-1782.e14 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
Using integrative genomic analysis of 360 metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) samples, we identified a novel subtype of prostate cancer typified by biallelic loss of CDK12 that is mutually exclusive with tumors driven by DNA repair deficiency, ETS fusions, and SPOP mutations. CDK12 loss is enriched in mCRPC relative to clinically localized disease and characterized by focal tandem duplications (FTDs) that lead to increased gene fusions and marked differential gene expression. FTDs associated with CDK12 loss result in highly recurrent gains at loci of genes involved in the cell cycle and DNA replication. CDK12 mutant cases are baseline diploid and do not exhibit DNA mutational signatures linked to defects in homologous recombination. CDK12 mutant cases are associated with elevated neoantigen burden ensuing from fusion-induced chimeric open reading frames and increased tumor T cell infiltration/clonal expansion. CDK12 inactivation thereby defines a distinct class of mCRPC that may benefit from immune checkpoint immunotherapy.

Kim JE, Choi J, Park J, et al.
Associations between genetic polymorphisms of membrane transporter genes and prognosis after chemotherapy: meta-analysis and finding from Seoul Breast Cancer Study (SEBCS).
Pharmacogenomics J. 2018; 18(5):633-645 [PubMed] Related Publications
Membrane transporters can be major determinants of the pharmacokinetic profiles of anticancer drugs. The associations between genetic variations of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and solute carrier (SLC) genes and cancer survival were investigated through a meta-analysis and an association study in the Seoul Breast Cancer Study (SEBCS). Including the SEBCS, the meta-analysis was conducted among 38 studies of genetic variations of transporters on various cancer survivors. The population of SEBCS consisted of 1338 breast cancer patients who had been treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. A total of 7750 SNPs were selected from 453 ABC and/or SLC genes typed by an Affymetrix 6.0 chip. ABCB1 rs1045642 was associated with poor progression-free survival in a meta-analysis (HR = 1.33, 95% CI: 1.07-1.64). ABCB1, SLC8A1, and SLC12A8 were associated with breast cancer survival in SEBCS (P

Hill DG, Yu L, Gao H, et al.
Hyperactive gp130/STAT3-driven gastric tumourigenesis promotes submucosal tertiary lymphoid structure development.
Int J Cancer. 2018; 143(1):167-178 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
Tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs) display phenotypic and functional characteristics of secondary lymphoid organs, and often develop in tissues affected by chronic inflammation, as well as in certain inflammation-associated cancers where they are prognostic of improved patient survival. However, the mechanisms that govern the development of tumour-associated TLSs remain ill-defined. Here, we observed tumour-associated TLSs in a preclinical mouse model (gp130

Wirsing AM, Ervik IK, Seppola M, et al.
Presence of high-endothelial venules correlates with a favorable immune microenvironment in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Mod Pathol. 2018; 31(6):910-922 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinomas are associated with a poor prognosis, which may be partly due to functional impairment of the immune response. Lymphocyte recruitment to the tumor site is facilitated by high-endothelial venules, whereas expression of programmed-death ligand 1 (PD-L1) can impair T-cell function. Thus, we hypothesize that these factors are important in shaping the immune response in oral squamous cell carcinoma. In the present study, we characterized the immune infiltrate in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples from 75 oral squamous cell carcinoma patients. We used immunohistochemistry to determine the distribution of immune cell subsets, high-endothelial venules, and PD-L1, as well as quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to assess the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines associated with lymphocyte trafficking. Finally, we calculated correlations between the presence of immune cell subsets, the gene expression patterns, high-endothelial venules, PD-L1, and the clinicopathological parameters, including patient survival. The presence of high-endothelial venules correlated with increased number of CD3+ T cells and CD20+ B cells, higher levels of the chemokines CXCL12 and CCL21, and lower levels of CCL20, irrespective of the tumors' T stage. In univariate analysis, high levels of CD20+ B cells and CD68+ macrophages, positive high-endothelial venule status, and low T and N stages predicted longer patient survival. However, only the presence of high-endothelial venules and a low T stage were independent positive prognosticators. This indicates that high-endothelial venules are important mediators and a convenient marker of an antitumor immune response in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Our findings suggest that these vessels are a potential immunomodulatory target in this type of cancer. PD-L1 staining in tumor cells correlated with lower T stage, increased infiltration of CD4+ cells, and higher expression of several inflammation-related cytokines. Thus, oral squamous cell carcinomas rich in CD4+ cells may preferentially respond to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade therapy.

Majumder M, Dunn L, Liu L, et al.
COX-2 induces oncogenic micro RNA miR655 in human breast cancer.
Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):327 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
We show that Cyclooxygenase-2 over-expression induces an oncogenic microRNA miR655 in human breast cancer cells by activation of EP4. MiR655 expression positively correlated with COX-2 in genetically disparate breast cancer cell lines and increased in all cell lines when grown as spheroids, implicating its link with stem-like cells (SLCs). Ectopic miR655 over-expression in MCF7 and SKBR3 cells resulted in increased proliferation, migration, invasion, spheroid formation and Epithelial to Masenchymal transition (EMT). Conversely, knocking down miR655 in aggressive MCF7-COX2 and SKBR3-COX2 cells reverted these phenotypes. MCF7-miR655 cells displayed upregulated NOTCH/WNT genes; both pathway inhibitors abrogated miR655-induced spheroid formation, linking miR655 with SLC-related pathways. MiR655 expression was dependent on EP4 activity and EP4 downstream signaling pathways PI3K/AKT, ERK and NF-kB and led to TGFβ resistance for Smad3 phosphorylation. Tail vein injection of MCF7-miR655 and SKBR3-miR655 cells in NOD/SCID/GUSB-null mice revealed increased lung colony growth and micrometastases to liver and spleen. MiR655 expression was significantly high in human breast tumors (n = 105) compared to non-tumor tissues (n = 20) and associated with reduced patient survival. Thus miR655 could serve as a prognostic breast cancer biomarker.

Li Y, Bai W, Zhang X
Identifying heterogeneous subtypes of gastric cancer and subtype‑specific subpaths of microRNA‑target pathways.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 17(3):3583-3590 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
The present study aimed to classify gastric cancer (GC) into subtypes and to screen the subtype‑specific genes, their targeted microRNAs (miRNAs) and enriched pathways to explore the putative mechanism of each GC subtypes. The GSE13861 data set was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus and used to screen differential expression genes (DEGs) in GC samples based on the detection of imbalanced differential signal algorithm. The specific genes in each subtype were identified with the cut‑off criterion of U>0.04, pathway enrichment analysis was performed and the subtype‑specific subpaths of miRNA‑target pathway were determined. A total of 1,263 DEGs were identified in the primary gastric adenocarcinoma (PGD) samples, which were subsequently divided into four subtypes, according to the hierarchy cluster analysis. Identification of the subpaths of each subtype indicated that the subpath related to subtype 1 was miRNA (miR)‑202/calcium voltage‑gated channel subunit α1 (CACNA1E)/type II diabetes mellitus. The nuclear factor‑κB signaling pathway was the most significantly specific pathway and subpath identified for subtype 2, which was regulated by miR‑338‑targeted suppression of C‑C motif chemokine ligand 21 (CCL21). For subtype 3, significant related pathways included ubiquitin‑mediated proteolysis and proteasome, and the important subpath was miR‑146B/proteasome 26S subunit, non‑ATPase 3 (PSMD3)/proteasome; focal adhesion was the significant pathway indicated for subtype 4, and the subpaths were miR‑34A/vinculin (VCL)/focal adhesion and miR‑34C/VCL/focal adhesion. In addition, Helicobacter pylori infection was higher in GC subtype 1 than in other subtypes. Specific genes, such as CACNA1E, CCL21, PSMD3 and VCL, may be used as potential feature genes to identify different subtypes of GC, and their associated subpaths may partially explain the pathogenetic mechanism of each GC subtype.

Boyd NH, Walker K, Fried J, et al.
Addition of carbonic anhydrase 9 inhibitor SLC-0111 to temozolomide treatment delays glioblastoma growth in vivo.
JCI Insight. 2017; 2(24) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
Tumor microenvironments can promote stem cell maintenance, tumor growth, and therapeutic resistance, findings linked by the tumor-initiating cell hypothesis. Standard of care for glioblastoma (GBM) includes temozolomide chemotherapy, which is not curative, due, in part, to residual therapy-resistant brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs). Temozolomide efficacy may be increased by targeting carbonic anhydrase 9 (CA9), a hypoxia-responsive gene important for maintaining the altered pH gradient of tumor cells. Using patient-derived GBM xenograft cells, we explored whether CA9 and CA12 inhibitor SLC-0111 could decrease GBM growth in combination with temozolomide or influence percentages of BTICs after chemotherapy. In multiple GBMs, SLC-0111 used concurrently with temozolomide reduced cell growth and induced cell cycle arrest via DNA damage in vitro. In addition, this treatment shifted tumor metabolism to a suppressed bioenergetic state in vivo. SLC-0111 also inhibited the enrichment of BTICs after temozolomide treatment determined via CD133 expression and neurosphere formation capacity. GBM xenografts treated with SLC-0111 in combination with temozolomide regressed significantly, and this effect was greater than that of temozolomide or SLC-0111 alone. We determined that SLC-0111 improves the efficacy of temozolomide to extend survival of GBM-bearing mice and should be explored as a treatment strategy in combination with current standard of care.

Sikder MOF, Yang S, Ganapathy V, Bhutia YD
The Na
AAPS J. 2017; 20(1):12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Amino acids are essential building blocks of all mammalian cells, and amino acid transporters play a vital role in transporting them into cells and their further distribution among the various cellular compartments. There are ~ 430 known transporters in the solute-linked carrier (SLC) gene family, divided into 52 distinct families. Eleven of these gene families contain one or more amino acid transporters. These transporters differ significantly from each other in terms of substrate specificity, ion dependence, and energetics. Given the variety of roles they fulfill in human physiology, it is not surprising that a number of diseases are associated with the malfunction of these transporters. In particular, as amino acids are critical for cell growth, survival, and proliferation, the role of amino acid transporters in cancer is gaining increasing attention in recent years. The present review primarily focuses on one particular amino acid transporter, SLC6A14 (also known as ATB

Hungate EA, Applebaum MA, Skol AD, et al.
Evaluation of Genetic Predisposition for MYCN-Amplified Neuroblastoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2017; 109(10) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
To investigate genetic predispositions for MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma, we performed a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies totaling 615 MYCN-amplified high-risk neuroblastoma cases and 1869 MYCN-nonamplified non-high-risk neuroblastoma cases as controls using a fixed-effects model with inverse variance weighting. All statistical tests were two-sided. We identified a novel locus at 3p21.31 indexed by the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs80059929 (odds ratio [OR] = 2.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.17 to 4.02, Pmeta = 6.47 × 10-12) associated with MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma, which was replicated in 127 MYCN-amplified cases and 254 non-high-risk controls (OR = 2.30, 95% CI = 1.12 to 4.69, Preplication = .02). To confirm this signal is exclusive to MYCN-amplified tumors, we performed a second meta-analysis comparing 728 MYCN-nonamplified high-risk patients to identical controls. rs80059929 was not statistically significant in MYCN-nonamplified high-risk patients (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.90 to 1.71, Pmeta = .19). SNP rs80059929 is within intron 16 in the KIF15 gene. Additionally, the previously reported LMO1 neuroblastoma risk locus was statistically significant only in patients with MYCN-nonamplified high-risk tumors (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.53 to 0.75, Pmeta = 1.51 × 10-8; Pmeta = .95). Our results indicate that common genetic variation predisposes to different neuroblastoma genotypes, including the likelihood of somatic MYCN-amplification.

Higashihara T, Yoshitomi H, Nakata Y, et al.
Sex Determining Region Y Box 9 Induces Chemoresistance in Pancreatic Cancer Cells by Induction of Putative Cancer Stem Cell Characteristics and Its High Expression Predicts Poor Prognosis.
Pancreas. 2017 Nov/Dec; 46(10):1296-1304 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Pancreatic cancer is a highly chemoresistant tumor and underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Sex determining region Y box 9 (Sox9) is a transcription factor playing important roles on maintenance of pluripotent cells during pancreatic organogenesis. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the roles of Sox9 in pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: The Sox9 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical analysis. Effects of Sox9 inhibition by siRNA or shRNA on chemosensitivity, sphere formation, stem cell markers expression, and in vivo tumor formation rate were examined using pancreatic cancer cell lines.
RESULTS: High expression of Sox9 in pancreatic cancer tissue is correlated with poor prognosis (P = 0.011). Cells with high Sox9 expression (PANC-1, Capan-1) showed stronger chemoresistance to Gemcitabine than cells with low Sox9 expression (BxPC-3, MIA PaCa-2). The chemosensitivity in PANC-1 was recovered by suppressing Sox9 using siRNA (P < 0.05). Both sphere formation rate and the proportion of CD44CD24 cells were decreased by Sox9 inhibition. Tumor formation rate of Tet-on inducible Sox9 shRNA-transfected PANC-1 cells in KSN/Slc nude mice was decreased by induction of shRNA with doxycycline feeding (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Sox9 plays an important role in chemoresistance by the induction of stemness in pancreatic cancer cells.

Fankhauser M, Broggi MAS, Potin L, et al.
Tumor lymphangiogenesis promotes T cell infiltration and potentiates immunotherapy in melanoma.
Sci Transl Med. 2017; 9(407) [PubMed] Related Publications
In melanoma, vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) expression and consequent lymphangiogenesis correlate with metastasis and poor prognosis. VEGF-C also promotes tumor immunosuppression, suggesting that lymphangiogenesis inhibitors may be clinically useful in combination with immunotherapy. We addressed this concept in mouse melanoma models with VEGF receptor-3 (VEGFR-3)-blocking antibodies and unexpectedly found that VEGF-C signaling enhanced rather than suppressed the response to immunotherapy. We further found that this effect was mediated by VEGF-C-induced CCL21 and tumor infiltration of naïve T cells before immunotherapy because CCR7 blockade reversed the potentiating effects of VEGF-C. In human metastatic melanoma, gene expression of VEGF-C strongly correlated with CCL21 and T cell inflammation, and serum VEGF-C concentrations associated with both T cell activation and expansion after peptide vaccination and clinical response to checkpoint blockade. We propose that VEGF-C potentiates immunotherapy by attracting naïve T cells, which are locally activated upon immunotherapy-induced tumor cell killing, and that serum VEGF-C may serve as a predictive biomarker for immunotherapy response.

Haghshenas MR, Ashraf MJ, Khademi B, et al.
Chemokine and chemokine receptor patterns in patients with benign and malignant salivary gland tumors: a distinct role for CCR7.
Eur Cytokine Netw. 2017; 28(1):27-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
To explore the molecular mechanisms involved in pathophysiology of malignant and benign salivary gland tumors (SGTs), we investigated main tumor-inducing chemokines and chemokine receptors, CXCL12/CXCR4/ACKR3 (CXCR7), CXCR3/CXCL10, CCR5/CCL5, CCL21/CCR7, CCL2, CCR4, CXCR5, CCR6, and CXCL8 in tumor tissues. Parotid tissues were obtained from 30 patients with malignant and benign SGTs. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was employed to determine the mRNA expression pattern of the mentioned chemokines/chemokine receptors and immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to verify the expression of CCR7. Expression levels of CCR7 and CCR4 transcripts were higher in the tumor tissues of malignant cases in comparison to benign ones (p = 0.03 and 0.02). Immunohistochemistry analysis confirmed that the protein level of CCR7 concurred with the mRNA expression. CCL2 gene transcripts were observed with a higher expression in patients with tumor-free lymph nodes (LN

Nath A, Wang J, Stephanie Huang R
Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics of Targeted Therapeutics in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.
Mol Diagn Ther. 2017; 21(6):621-631 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
The advent of targeted therapeutics has greatly improved outcomes of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients. Despite increased efficacy and better clinical responses over cytotoxic chemotherapies, many patients receiving targeted drugs exhibit a poor initial response, develop drug resistance, or undergo relapse after initial success. This inter-individual variation in response has heightened the interest in studying pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics (PGx) of cancer drugs. In this review, we discuss the influence of various germline and somatic factors on targeted drug response in CML. Specifically, we examine the role of genetic variants in drug metabolism genes, i.e. CYP3A family genes, and drug transporters, i.e. ABC and SLC family genes. Additionally, we focus on acquired somatic variations in BCR-ABL1, and the potential role played by additional downstream signaling pathways, in conferring resistance to targeted drugs in CML. This review highlights the importance of PGx of targeted therapeutics and its potential application to improving treatment decisions and patient outcomes.

Riemann A, Güttler A, Haupt V, et al.
Inhibition of Carbonic Anhydrase IX by Ureidosulfonamide Inhibitor U104 Reduces Prostate Cancer Cell Growth, But Does Not Modulate Daunorubicin or Cisplatin Cytotoxicity.
Oncol Res. 2018; 26(2):191-200 [PubMed] Related Publications
Carbonic anhydrase (CA) IX has emerged as a promising target for cancer therapy. It is highly upregulated in hypoxic regions and mediates pH regulation critical for tumor cell survival as well as extracellular acidification of the tumor microenvironment, which promotes tumor aggressiveness via various mechanisms, such as augmenting metastatic potential. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the complex interdependency between CA IX and the tumor microenvironment in prostate tumor cells with regard to potential therapeutic implications. CA IX was upregulated by hypoxia as well as acidosis in prostate cancer cells. This induction did not modulate intracellular pH but led to extracellular acidification. Pharmacological inhibition of CA IX activity by U104 (SLC-0111) resulted in a reduction in tumor cell growth and an increase in apoptotic cell death. Intracellular pH was reduced under normoxic and even more so under hypoxic conditions when CA IX level was high. However, although intracellular pH regulation was disturbed, targeting CA IX in combination with daunorubicin or cisplatin did not intensify apoptotic tumor cell death. Hence, targeting CA IX in prostate cancer cells can lead to intracellular pH dysregulation and, consequently, can reduce cellular growth and elevate apoptotic cell death. Attenuation of extracellular acidification by blocking CA IX might additionally impede tumor progression and metastasis. However, no beneficial effect was seen when targeting CA IX in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs.

Wasielewski K, Wasag B, Wozniak A, et al.
Influence of Cytochrome P450, ABC and SLC Gene Polymorphisms on Imatinib Therapy Outcome of Patients with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours (GIST).
Folia Biol (Praha). 2017; 63(2):78-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
The efficacy of imatinib-based therapy depends on the proteins involved in its metabolism and transportation. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate the possible correlation of selected P450, ABC and SLC polymorphic variants and the outcome of imatinib therapy. A total of 101 patients with advanced, KIT/PDGFRA(+) GIST treated with imatinib were enrolled to the study. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples and genotypes were determined by PCR-RFLP and direct sequencing. Deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was only observed for rs2740574. None of the studied SNPs was associated with GIST time to progression. No significant correlation between any specific variant and time to progression was found in the group with KIT exon 11 mutation. However, individuals of at least three potentially unfavourable genotypes presented significantly shorter time to progression in comparison to patients with two or less unfavourable genotypes.

Xiong Y, Huang F, Li X, et al.
CCL21/CCR7 interaction promotes cellular migration and invasion via modulation of the MEK/ERK1/2 signaling pathway and correlates with lymphatic metastatic spread and poor prognosis in urinary bladder cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2017; 51(1):75-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
Lymph node metastasis in patients with urinary bladder cancer (UBC) is always associated with poor prognosis and is the determinant for tumor staging and the development of treatment regimens; however, its underlying mechanisms remain to be studied. Immunohistochemical staining of tumor sections from 62 UBC patients was performed using CCR7, D2-40 and CD34 antibodies. We showed that increased CCR7 expression was significantly associated with positive lymph node status (P=0.008), pT3-T4 tumor stage (P=0.015), tumor grade (P=0.010) and worse overall survival (OS, P<0.001) and that both CCR7 expression and lymph node metastasis were independent prognostic factors for OS (P=0.031 and P=0.001, respectively) based on multivariate analysis. We found that there was a significant association between MLVD and lymph node status (P=0.006), but this relation was not observed for MVD. Furthermore, we showed that increased CCR7 expression correlated significantly with higher MLVD (P=0.014) and MVD (P=0.002). Wound-healing and matrigel transwell assays indicated that activation of CCR7 with CCL21 significantly enhanced the invasion and migration abilities of UM-UC-3 cells, and this enhanced effect was significantly abrogated by CCR7 knockdown using siRNA. Western blot analysis revealed that the phospho-ERK1/2 level was markedly increased when UM-UC-3 cells were treated with CCL21 and significantly decreased when the CCR7 gene was silenced. MEK/ERK1/2 inhibition with PD98059 significantly suppressed the migration and invasion abilities of UM-UC-3 cells and also significantly abrogated the effects of CCL21/CCR7 on cell migration and invasion. Based on these results, we conclude that activation of the CCL21/CCR7 chemoaxis promotes lymph node metastasis of UBC in at least two ways. Firstly, although CCR7 is a promoting factor that induces both lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis, it may promote lymph node metastasis through its lymphangiogenic effect rather than through its angiogenic effect. Secondly, the CCL21/CCR7 chemoaxis promotes the migration and invasion of UBC cells via the MEK/ERK1/2 signaling pathway rather than the PI3K/AKT pathway.

Li Z, Lin Z, Wu X, et al.
Highly Efficient Electrochemiluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer System in One Nanostructure: Its Application for Ultrasensitive Detection of MicroRNA in Cancer Cells.
Anal Chem. 2017; 89(11):6029-6035 [PubMed] Related Publications
The electrochemiluminesce (ECL) efficiency of luminous emitter can be enhanced by the means of electrochemiluminesce resonance energy transfer (ECL-RET) with a matched donor. However, generally, the donor and acceptor pairs were separated in different independent nanostructures, experiencing the challenging issues of limited energy transfer efficiency and luminous stability. Herein, we designed novel ECL-RET model within one nanostructure containing the donor of tris(4,4'-dicarboxylicacid-2,2'-bipyridyl) ruthenium(II) dichloride (Ru(dcbpy)

Zhong G, Chen L, Yin R, et al.
Chemokine (C‑C motif) ligand 21/C‑C chemokine receptor type 7 triggers migration and invasion of human lung cancer cells by epithelial‑mesenchymal transition via the extracellular signal‑regulated kinase signaling pathway.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 15(6):4100-4108 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
C-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7) has been implicated in lymph node metastasis of various cancers. Previous studies have revealed that epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) is involved in the chemotactic process mediated by CCR7 and its ligands in various types of carcinoma. However, the underlying mechanism of this process remains to be fully elucidated. The present study investigated whether chemokine (C‑C motif) ligand 21 (CCL21)/CCR7 may activate EMT of lung cancer cells and their associated signaling pathways. A549 and H520 lung cancer cell lines were examined in vitro in the present study. The results indicated that A549 and H520 expressed CCR7, but reduced levels of CCL21. Following stimulation of lung cancer cell lines with CCL21, the expression of the epithelial marker E‑cadherin was downregulated, and the mesenchymal markers Vimentin/Slug and extracellular signal‑regulated kinase (ERK) were upregulated. In addition, the ERK inhibitor PD98059 may inhibit EMT caused by CCL21, and decreased cell migration and invasion initiated by CCL21. Furthermore, lung adenocarcinoma tissues from 50 patients who underwent lung cancer operations were investigated by immunohistochemistry. The findings revealed that CCR7, Slug and Vimentin were highly expressed in lung carcinoma tissues, and were significantly associated with lymph node metastasis and clinical pathological stages, respectively. CCR7 expression was correlated positively with expression levels of Slug and Vimentin. CCL21 was expressed positively in the endothelium of lymphatic vessels adjacent to cancer cells, and weakly in lung cancer cells. Collectively, these results demonstrated that CCL21/CCR7 may activate EMT in lung cancer cells via the ERK1/2 signaling pathway. The current study provides evidence that a close interaction exists between CCL21/CCR7chemotaxis and EMT procedures in lung cancer metastasis, providing a basis for the development of therapeutic targets.

Lee JM, Lee MH, Garon E, et al.
Phase I Trial of Intratumoral Injection of
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(16):4556-4568 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications

Jaruskova M, Curik N, Hercog R, et al.
Genotypes of SLC22A4 and SLC22A5 regulatory loci are predictive of the response of chronic myeloid leukemia patients to imatinib treatment.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 36(1):55 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Through high-throughput next-generation sequencing of promoters of solute carrier and ATP-binding cassette genes, which encode drug transporters, we aimed to identify SNPs associated with the response to imatinib administered for first-line treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.
METHODS: In silico analysis using publicly available databases was done to select the SLC and ABC genes and their promoters for the next-generation sequencing. SNPs associated with the imatinib response were identified using Fisher's exact probability tests and subjected to the linkage disequilibrium analyses with regulatory loci of concerned genes. We analyzed cumulative achievement of major molecular response and probability of event free survival in relation to identified SNP genotypes in 129 CML patients and performed multivariate analysis for determination of genotypes as independent predictors of outcome. Gene expression analysis of eight cell lines naturally carrying different genotypes was performed to outline an impact of genotypes on the gene expression.
RESULTS: We observed significant differences in the frequencies of the rs460089-GC and rs460089-GG (SLC22A4) genotypes among rs2631365-TC (SLC22A5) genotype carriers that were associated with optimal and non-optimal responses, respectively. Loci rs460089 and rs2631365 were in highly significant linkage disequilibrium with 12 regulatory loci in introns of SLC22A4 and SLC22A5 encoding imatinib transporters. Genotype association analysis with the response to imatinib indicated that rs460089-GC carriers had a significantly higher probability of achieving a stable major molecular response (BCR-ABL1 transcript level below or equal to 0.1% in the international scale). In contrast, the rs460089-GG represented a risk factor for imatinib failure, which was significantly higher in rs460089-GG_rs2631365-TC carriers.
CONCLUSIONS: This exploratory study depicted potentially important genetic markers predicting outcome of imatinib treatment, which may be helpful for tailoring therapy in clinical practice.

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