Gene Summary

Gene:IGFBP2; insulin like growth factor binding protein 2
Aliases: IBP2, IGF-BP53
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is one of six similar proteins that bind insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I and IGF-II). The encoded protein can be secreted into the bloodstream, where it binds IGF-I and IGF-II with high affinity, or it can remain intracellular, interacting with many different ligands. High expression levels of this protein promote the growth of several types of tumors and may be predictive of the chances of recovery of the patient. Several transcript variants, one encoding a secreted isoform and the others encoding nonsecreted isoforms, have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2015]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 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 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: IGFBP2 (cancer-related)

Wang J, Luo XX, Tang YL, et al.
The prognostic values of insulin-like growth factor binding protein in breast cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2019; 98(19):e15561 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) are a family of proteins binding to insulin-like growth factors, generally consisting 6 high-affinity IGFBPs, namely IGFBP1 through IGFBP6. IGFBP family members have been indicated to be involved in the development and progression of tumors and may be useful prognostic biomarkers in various malignancies. However, the prognostic role of individual IGFBPs, especially at the mRNA level in breast cancer patients remains elusive.We accessed the prognostic roles of IGFBPs family (IGFBP1-6) in breast cancer through the "Kaplan-Meier plotter" online database and OncoLnc database.Our results showed that the high expression of IGFBP1 mRNA was associated with favorable relapsed free survival (RFS) in all breast cancer patients. The high expression of IGFBP2 mRNA was associated with favorable overall survival (OS) and RFS in all breast cancer patients. The high expression of IGFBP3 mRNA was significantly correlated to worsen RFS in all breast cancer patients. The high expression of IGFBP4 mRNA was associated with favorable OS, RFS, distant metastasis-free survival, and post-progression survival in all breast cancer patients.Our results indicated that expression of IGFBPs mRNA may have prognostic values in breast cancer patients, and have a benefit for developing tools to predict the prognosis more accurately.

Zhou Z, Lu H, Zhu S, et al.
Activation of EGFR-DNA-PKcs pathway by IGFBP2 protects esophageal adenocarcinoma cells from acidic bile salts-induced DNA damage.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is rising rapidly in the US and Western countries. The development of Barrett's esophagus (BE) and its progression to EAC have been linked to chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Exposure of BE and EAC cells to acidic bile salts (ABS) in GERD conditions induces high levels of oxidative stress and DNA damage. In this study, we investigated the role of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP2) in regulating ABS-induced DNA double-strand breaks.
METHODS: Real-time RT-PCR, western blot, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, co-immunoprecipitation, flow cytometry, and cycloheximide (CHX) chase assays were used in this study. To mimic GERD conditions, a cocktail of acidic bile salts (pH 4) was used in 2D and 3D organotypic culture models. Overexpression and knockdown of IGFBP2 in EAC cells were established to examine the functional and mechanistic roles of IGFBP2 in ABS-induced DNA damage.
RESULTS: Our results demonstrated high levels of IGFBP2 mRNA and protein in EAC cell lines as compared to precancerous Barrett's cell lines, and IGFBP2 is frequently overexpressed in EACs (31/57). Treatment of EAC cells with ABS, to mimic GERD conditions, induced high levels of IGFBP2 expression. Knocking down endogenous IGFBP2 in FLO1 cells (with constitutive high levels of IGFBP2) led to a significant increase in DNA double-strand breaks and apoptosis, following transient exposure to ABS. On the other hand, overexpression of exogenous IGFBP2 in OE33 cells (with low endogenous levels of IGFBP2) had a protective effect against ABS-induced double-strand breaks and apoptosis. We found that IGFBP2 is required for ABS-induced nuclear accumulation and phosphorylation of EGFR and DNA-PKcs, which are necessary for DNA damage repair activity. Using co-immunoprecipitation assay, we detected co-localization of IGFBP2 with EGFR and DNA-PKcs, following acidic bile salts treatment. We further demonstrated, using cycloheximide chase assay, that IGFBP2 promotes EGFR protein stability in response to ABS exposure.
CONCLUSIONS: IGFBP2 protects EAC cells against ABS-induced DNA damage and apoptosis through stabilization and activation of EGFR - DNA-PKcs signaling axis.

Patil V, Mahalingam K
Comprehensive analysis of Reverse Phase Protein Array data reveals characteristic unique proteomic signatures for glioblastoma subtypes.
Gene. 2019; 685:85-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
The most common and lethal type of intracranial tumors include the astrocytomas. Grade IV astrocytoma or Glioblastoma (GBM) is highly aggressive and treatment-refractory with a median survival of only 14 to 16 months. Molecular profiling of GBMs reveals a high degree of intra- and inter-tumoral heterogeneity, and hence it is important to understand the important signalling axes that get deregulated in different GBM subtypes to provide effective tailor-made therapies. In this study, we have carried out extensive analysis of Reverse Phase Protein Array (RPPA) data from TCGA cohort to develop protein signatures that define glioma grades or subtypes. The protein signatures that distinguished Grade II or III from GBM had largely overlapped, and pathway analysis revealed the positive enrichment of extracellular matrix proteins (ECM), MYC pathway, uPAR pathway and G2/M checkpoint genes in GBM. We also identified protein signatures for GBMs with genetic alterations (IDH mutation, p53 mutation, EGFR amplification or mutation, CDKN2A/CDKN2B deletion, and PTEN mutation) that occur at high frequency. G-CIMP positive GBM-specific protein signature showed a large similarity with IDH1-mutant protein signature, thus signifying the importance of IDH1 mutation driving the G-CIMP. Gene expression subtype analysis revealed an association of specific proteins to classical (EGFR and phosphor variants), mesenchymal (SERPINE1, TAZ, and Myosin-IIa_pS1943), neural (TUBA1B), and proneural (GSK3_pS9) types. Univariate Cox regression analysis identified several proteins showing significant correlation with GBM survival. Multivariate analysis revealed that IGFBP2 and RICTOR_pT1135 are independent predictors of survival. Overall, our analyses reveal that specific proteins are regulated in different glioma subtypes underscoring the importance of diverse signalling axes playing important role in the pathogenesis of glioma tumors.

Liu Y, Li F, Yang YT, et al.
IGFBP2 promotes vasculogenic mimicry formation via regulating CD144 and MMP2 expression in glioma.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(11):1815-1831 [PubMed] Related Publications
Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) refers to the fluid-conducting channels formed by aggressive tumor cells rather than endothelial cells (EC) with elevated expression of genes associated with vascularization. VM has been considered as one of the reasons that glioblastoma becomes resistant to anti-VEGF therapy. However, the molecular basis underlying VM formation remains unclear. Here we report that the insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 (IGFBP2) acts as a potent factor to enhance VM formation in glioma. Evidence showed that elevated IGFBP2 expression was positively related with VM formation in patients with glioma. Enforced expression of IGFBP2 increased network formation of glioma cells in vitro by activating CD144 and MMP2 (Matrix Metalloproteinase 2). U251 cells with stable knockdown of IGFBP2 led to decreased VM formation and tumor progression in orthotopic mouse model. Mechanistically, IGFBP2 interacts with integrin α5 and β1 subunits and augments CD144 expression in a FAK/ERK pathway-dependent manner. Luciferase reporter and ChIP assay suggested that IGFBP2 activated the transcription factor SP1, which could bind to CD144 promoter. Thus, IGFBP2 acts as a stimulator of VM formation in glioma cells via enhancing CD144 and MMP2 expression.

Zhao S, Wu L, Kuang Y, et al.
Downregulation of CD147 induces malignant melanoma cell apoptosis via the regulation of IGFBP2 expression.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(6):2397-2408 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cluster of differentiation (CD)147, as a transmembrane glycoprotein, is highly expressed in a variety of tumors. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that CD147 serves critical roles in tumor cell death and survival; however, the underlying mechanism requires further investigation. In the present study, it was revealed that CD147 knockdown significantly increased melanoma cell apoptosis. In addition, downregulation of CD147 reversed the malignant phenotype of melanoma, as demonstrated by the induction of tumor cell apoptosis in a xenograft mouse model. In addition, a human apoptosis antibody array was performed and 9 differentially expressed apoptosis-related proteins associated with CD147 were identified, including insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 (IGFBP2). Additionally, CD147 knockdown was observed to significantly decreased IGFBP2 expression at the mRNA and protein levels in melanoma cells. Providing that IGFBP2 is a downstream molecule in the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) signaling pathway, the effects of CD147 on this particular pathway were investigated. Interestingly, the expression of phosphorylated (p)-AKT and p‑mechanistic target of rapamycin was attenuated, whereas PTEN was markedly upregulated in CD147-underexpressing melanoma cells. Furthermore, application of a PI3K‑specific inhibitor also decreased IGFBP2 expression. Importantly, IGFBP2 was highly expressed in clinical tissues of melanoma compared with the control group, and its expression exhibited a positive association with CD147. The present study revealed that CD147 served a critical role in mediating the apoptosis of melanoma cells via IGFBP2 and the PTEN/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. IGFBP2 and CD147 were observed to be overexpressed in clinical melanoma tissues; IGFBP2 was shown to be positively associated with CD147 expression, suggesting that CD147 may be considered as a potential therapeutic target for chemotherapy or prevention for in melanoma.

Das SK, Pradhan AK, Bhoopathi P, et al.
The MDA-9/Syntenin/IGF1R/STAT3 Axis Directs Prostate Cancer Invasion.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(11):2852-2863 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although prostate cancer is clinically manageable during several stages of progression, survival is severely compromised once cells invade and metastasize to distant organs. Comprehending the pathobiology of invasion is required for developing efficacious targeted therapies against metastasis. Based on bioinformatics data, we predicted an association of melanoma differentiation-associated gene-9 [syntenin, or syndecan binding protein (SDCBP)] in prostate cancer progression. Using tissue samples from various Gleason stage prostate cancer patients with adjacent normal tissue, a series of normal prostate and prostate cancer cell lines (with differing tumorigenic/metastatic properties),

Gong Y, Pu W, Jin H, et al.
Quantitative proteomics of CSF reveals potential predicted biomarkers for extranodal NK-/T-cell lymphoma of nasal-type with ethmoidal sinus metastasis.
Life Sci. 2018; 198:94-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Extranodal natural killer cell/T-cell lymphoma of nasal-type (NKTCL) is an aggressive human lymphoma, but its predicted biomarkers after chemotherapy are less known. The aim of this study is to find some potential predicted biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of NKTCL patients with ethmoidal sinus metastasis (NESM).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The CSF samples were obtained from NKTCL patients with NESM before and after chemotherapy from Cancer Center of West China Hospital. Comparative proteomic profiling using label-free method was performed to characterize the fold change of proteins in NESM patients.
KEY FINDING: In this study, 102 proteins with <1% false discovery rate in CSF of NKTCL with NESM patients were quantified. Furthermore, significantly reduced IGFBP2, SERP1NC1, AMBP and GPX3, as well as dramatically increased CPE levels were observed in the CSF of NKTCL patients after cytarabine chemotherapy.
SIGNIFICANCE: IGFBP2, SERP1NC1, AMBP, GPX3 and CPE together or alone have a potential to be predicted indicators of NKTCL with NESM in response to chemotherapy.

Gao C, Zhang RS, Zheng N, Wang C
Adeno-associated virus type 2-mediated gene transfer of a short hairpin-RNA targeting human IGFBP-2 suppresses the proliferation and invasion of MDA-MB-468 cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 17(3):4383-4391 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) is prepotent in the biological treatment of breast tumor because of its low pathogenicity and immunogenicity. Our previous study demonstrated that insulin‑like growth factor‑binding protein 2 (IGFBP‑2) was highly expressed in patients with breast metastasis. In the present study, the effects of recombinant AAV2 on the growth and metastasis of breast cancer cells were determined in vitro, and in vivo. rAAV2-ZsGreen-shRNA-scramble and rAAV2‑ZsGreen‑shRNA‑hIGFBP‑2 were used to transfect MDA‑MB‑468, and MCF‑10A cells respectively, and observed that these virus could not penetrate the normal human breast epithelia MCF‑10A cell line. To investigate the effect of the recombinant virus on chemotherapeutics, paclitaxel was added to MDA‑MB‑468 cells and it was demonstrated that rAAV2‑ZsGreen‑shRNA‑hIGFBP-2-infected MDA-MB-468 cells were highly chemosensitive to paclitaxel compared with rAAV2‑ZsGreen‑shRNA‑scramble‑injected cells. In addition, it was demonstrated that the invasive ability of rAAV2‑ZsGreen‑shRNA‑hIGFBP‑2‑infected MDA-MB-468 cells was highly impaired compared with the rAAV2‑ZsGreen‑shRNA‑scramble group. In the nude mice xenografts, the rAAV2‑ZsGreen‑shRNA‑hIGFBP‑2 injection inhibited tumor growth and Ki‑67 expression was significantly downregulated compared with the scramble group. Following IGFBP‑2 knockdown using rAAV2-ZsGreen-shRNA-hIGFBP‑2, matrix metalloproteinase‑2 expression was significantly reduced in tumor tissues compared with that in rAAV2‑ZsGreen‑shRNA‑scramble treated tumor tissues. These findings have provided a direction for the application of novel AAV2‑based therapeutics for treating aggressive triple‑negative breast cancer types.

Katayama H, Tamai K, Shibuya R, et al.
Long non-coding RNA HOTAIR promotes cell migration by upregulating insulin growth factor-binding protein 2 in renal cell carcinoma.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):12016 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the most lethal urologic cancers. About one-third of RCC patients already have distal metastasis at the time of diagnosis. There is growing evidence that Hox antisense intergenic RNA (HOTAIR) plays essential roles in metastasis in several types of cancers. However, the precise mechanism by which HOTAIR enhances malignancy remains unclear, especially in RCC. Here, we demonstrated that HOTAIR enhances RCC-cell migration by regulating the insulin growth factor-binding protein 2 (IGFBP2) expression. HOTAIR expression in tumors was significantly correlated with nuclear grade, lymph-node metastasis, and lung metastasis. High HOTAIR expression was associated with a poor prognosis in both our dataset and The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset. Migratory capacity was enhanced in RCC cell lines in a HOTAIR-dependent manner. HOTAIR overexpression accelerated tumorigenicity and lung metastasis in immunodeficient mice. Microarray analysis revealed that IGFBP2 expression was upregulated in HOTAIR-overexpressing cells compared with control cells. The enhanced migration activity of HOTAIR-overexpressing cells was attenuated by IGFBP2 knockdown. IGFBP2 and HOTAIR were co-expressed in clinical RCC samples. Our findings suggest that the HOTAIR-IGFBP2 axis plays critical roles in RCC metastasis and may serve as a novel therapeutic target for advanced RCC.

Peng T, Zhou L, Qi H, et al.
MiR-592 functions as a tumor suppressor in glioma by targeting IGFBP2.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(7):1010428317719273 [PubMed] Related Publications
A growing body of evidence suggests that microRNA-592 is involved in tumor initiation and development in several types of human cancers. However, the biological functions and molecular mechanism of microRNA-592 in glioma remain unclear. In this study, we explored the potential role of microRNA-592 in glioma as well as the possible molecular mechanisms. Our results proved that microRNA-592 expression was significantly downregulated in glioma tissues and cell lines (p < 0.01). Functional assays revealed that overexpression of microRNA-592 dramatically reduced the cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and induced cell arrest at G1/G0 phase in vitro. Mechanistic investigations defined insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 as a direct and functional downstream target of microRNA-592, which was involved in the microRNA-592-mediated tumor-suppressive effects in glioma cells. Moreover, the in vivo study showed that microRNA-592 overexpression produced the smaller tumor volume and weight in nude mice. In summary, these results elucidated the function of microRNA-592 in glioma progression and suggested a promising application of it in glioma treatment.

De Marco C, Laudanna C, Rinaldo N, et al.
Specific gene expression signatures induced by the multiple oncogenic alterations that occur within the PTEN/PI3K/AKT pathway in lung cancer.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(6):e0178865 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hyperactivation of the phosphatydil-inositol-3' phosphate kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway is observed in most NSCLCs, promoting proliferation, migration, invasion and resistance to therapy. AKT can be activated through several mechanisms that include loss of the negative regulator PTEN, activating mutations of the catalytic subunit of PI3K (PIK3CA) and/or mutations of AKT1 itself. However, number and identity of downstream targets of activated PI3K/AKT pathway are poorly defined. To identify the genes that are targets of constitutive PI3K/AKT signalling in lung cancer cells, we performed a comparative transcriptomic analysis of human lung epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) expressing active mutant AKT1 (AKT1-E17K), active mutant PIK3CA (PIK3CA-E545K) or that are silenced for PTEN. We found that, altogether, aberrant PI3K/AKT signalling in lung epithelial cells regulated the expression of 1,960/20,436 genes (9%), though only 30 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (15 up-regulated, 12 down-regulated and 3 discordant) out of 20,436 that were common among BEAS-AKT1-E17K, BEAS-PIK3CA-E545K and BEAS-shPTEN cells (0.1%). Conversely, DEGs specific for mutant AKT1 were 133 (85 up-regulated; 48 down-regulated), DEGs specific for mutant PIK3CA were 502 (280 up-regulated; 222 down-regulated) and DEGs specific for PTEN loss were 1549 (799 up-regulated, 750 down-regulated). The results obtained from array analysis were confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR on selected up- and down-regulated genes (n = 10). Treatment of BEAS-C cells and the corresponding derivatives with pharmacological inhibitors of AKT (MK2206) or PI3K (LY294002) further validated the significance of our findings. Moreover, mRNA expression of selected DEGs (SGK1, IGFBP3, PEG10, GDF15, PTGES, S100P, respectively) correlated with the activation status of the PI3K/AKT pathway assessed by S473 phosphorylation in NSCLC cell lines (n = 6). Finally, we made use of Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) to investigate the relevant BioFunctions enriched by the costitutive activation of AKT1-, PI3K- or PTEN-dependent signalling in lung epithelial cells. Expectedly, the analysis of the DEGs common to all three alterations highlighted a group of BioFunctions that included Cell Proliferation of tumor cell lines (14 DEGs), Invasion of cells (10 DEGs) and Migration of tumour cell lines (10 DEGs), with a common core of 5 genes (ATF3, CDKN1A, GDF15, HBEGF and LCN2) that likely represent downstream effectors of the pro-oncogenic activities of PI3K/AKT signalling. Conversely, IPA analysis of exclusive DEGs led to the identification of different downstream effectors that are modulated by mutant AKT1 (TGFBR2, CTSZ, EMP1), mutant PIK3CA (CCND2, CDK2, IGFBP2, TRIB1) and PTEN loss (ASNS, FHL2). These findings not only shed light on the molecular mechanisms that are activated by aberrant signalling through the PI3K/AKT pathway in lung epithelial cells, but also contribute to the identification of previously unrecognised molecules whose regulation takes part in the development of lung cancer.

Jang HH, Lee HN, Kim SY, et al.
Expression of RNA-binding Motif Protein 3 (
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(4):1779-1785 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have shown a potential role of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) in a variety of biological pathways, including cancer progression, whilst their expression in various tumor types may be associated with patient prognosis. However, the role of the RBP family members has not been explored in colon cancer and their possible use as prognostic biomarkers is largely unknown.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To determine the prognostic role of three RBP genes: insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 (IGFBP2), RNA-binding motif protein 3 (RBM3), and cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (CIRP) in colon cancer.
RESULTS: We examined the RNA expression of IGFBP2, RBM3, and CIRP in 94 human colon cancer samples along with matched normal tissue samples from each patient using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). No significant associations were observed between RNA expression of RBPs and the studied clinical features. The estimated 5-year disease-free survival rate was significantly better for patients with higher expression of RBM3 and CIRP, while patient survival was not significantly correlated to IGFBP2 expression.
CONCLUSION: RBM3 and CIRP may be useful prognostic biomarkers of colon cancer.

Lee CC, Chen PH, Ho KH, et al.
The microRNA-302b-inhibited insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 signaling pathway induces glioma cell apoptosis by targeting nuclear factor IA.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(3):e0173890 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that post-transcriptionally control the expression of genes involved in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) development. Although miR-302b functions as a tumor suppressor, its role in GBM is still unclear. Therefore, this study comprehensively explored the roles of miR-302b-mediated gene networks in GBM cell death. We found that miR-302b levels were significantly higher in primary astrocytes than in GBM cell lines. miR-302b overexpression dose dependently reduced U87-MG cell viability and induced apoptosis through caspase-3 activation and poly(ADP ribose) polymerase degradation. A transcriptome microarray revealed 150 downregulated genes and 380 upregulated genes in miR-302b-overexpressing cells. Nuclear factor IA (NFIA), higher levels of which were significantly related to poor survival, was identified as a direct target gene of miR-302b and was involved in miR-302b-induced glioma cell death. Higher NFIA levels were observed in GBM cell lines and human tumor sections compared with astrocytes and non-tumor tissues, respectively. NFIA knockdown significantly enhanced apoptosis. We found high levels of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 (IGFBP2), another miR-302b-downregulated gene, in patients with poor survival. We verified that NFIA binds to the IGFBP2 promoter and transcriptionally enhances IGFBP2 expression levels. We identified that NFIA-mediated IGFBP2 signaling pathways are involved in miR-302b-induced glioma cell death. The identification of a regulatory loop whereby miR-302b inhibits NFIA, leading to a decrease in expression of IGFBP-2, may provide novel directions for developing therapies to target glioblastoma tumorigenesis.

Basu R, Wu S, Kopchick JJ
Targeting growth hormone receptor in human melanoma cells attenuates tumor progression and epithelial mesenchymal transition via suppression of multiple oncogenic pathways.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(13):21579-21598 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent reports have confirmed highest levels of growth hormone (GH) receptor (GHR) transcripts in melanoma, one of the most aggressive forms of human cancer. Yet the mechanism of GH action in melanoma remains mostly unknown. Here, using human malignant melanoma cells, we examined the effects of GH excess or siRNA mediated GHR knock-down (GHRKD) on tumor proliferation, migration and invasion. GH promoted melanoma progression while GHRKD attenuated the same. Western blot analysis revealed drastic modulation of multiple oncogenic signaling pathways (JAK2, STAT1, STAT3, STAT5, AKT, mTOR, SRC and ERK1/2) following addition of GH or GHRKD. Further, we show that GH excess upregulates expression of markers of epithelial mesenchymal transition in human melanoma, while the effects were reversed by GHRKD. Interestingly, we observed consistent expression of GH transcript in the melanoma cells as well as marked modulation of the IGF receptors and binding proteins (IGF1R, IGF2R, IR, IGFBP2, IGFBP3) and the oncogenic HGF-MET mRNA, in response to excess GH or GHRKD. Our study thus identifies the mechanistic model of GH-GHR action in human melanoma and validates it as an important pharmacological target of intervention.

Komisarof J, McCall M, Newman L, et al.
A four gene signature predictive of recurrent prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(2):3430-3440 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer is the most common form of non-dermatological cancer among US men, with an increasing incidence due to the aging population. Patients diagnosed with clinically localized disease identified as intermediate or high-risk are often treated by radical prostatectomy. Approximately 33% of these patients will suffer recurrence after surgery. Identifying patients likely to experience recurrence after radical prostatectomy would lead to improved clinical outcomes, as these patients could receive adjuvant radiotherapy. Here, we report a new tool for prediction of prostate cancer recurrence based on the expression pattern of a small set of cooperation response genes (CRGs). CRGs are a group of genes downstream of cooperating oncogenic mutations previously identified in a colon cancer model that are critical to the cancer phenotype. We show that systemic dysregulation of CRGs is also found in prostate cancer, including a 4-gene signature (HBEGF, HOXC13, IGFBP2, and SATB1) capable of differentiating recurrent from non-recurrent prostate cancer. To develop a suitable diagnostic tool to predict disease outcomes in individual patients, multiple algorithms and data handling strategies were evaluated on a training set using leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV). The best-performing algorithm, when used in combination with a predictive nomogram based on clinical staging, predicted recurrent and non-recurrent disease outcomes in a blinded validation set with 83% accuracy, outperforming previous methods. Disease-free survival times between the cohort of prostate cancers predicted to recur and predicted not to recur differed significantly (p = 1.38x10-6). Therefore, this test allows us to accurately identify prostate cancer patients likely to experience future recurrent disease immediately following removal of the primary tumor.

Lee NH, Kim M, Oh SY, et al.
Gene expression profiling of hematologic malignant cell lines resistant to oncolytic virus treatment.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(1):1213-1225 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pexa-Vec (pexastimogene devacirpvec; JX-594) has emerged as an attractive tool in oncolytic virotherapy. Pexa-Vec demonstrates oncolytic and immunotherapeutic mechanisms of action. But the determinants of resistance to Pexa-Vec are mostly unknown. We treated hemoatologic malignant cells with Pexa-Vec and examined the gene-expression pattern of sensitive and resistant cells. Human myeloid malignant cell lines (RPMI-8226, IM-9, K562, THP-1) and lymphoid cancer cell lines (MOLT4, CCRF-CEM, Ramos, U937) were treated with Pexa-Vec. Pexa-Vec was cytotoxic on myeloid cell lines in a dose-dependent manner, and fluorescent imaging and qPCR revealed that Pexa-Vec expression was low in RAMOS than IM-9 after 24 hrs and 48 hrs of infection. Gene expression profiles between two groups were analyzed by microarray. Genes with at least 2-fold increase or decrease in their expression were identified. A total of 660 genes were up-regulated and 776 genes were down-regulated in lymphoid cancer cell lines. The up- and down-regulated genes were categorized into 319 functional gene clusters. We identified the top 10 up-regulated genes in lymphoid cells. Among them three human genes (LEF1, STAMBPL1, and SLFN11) strongly correlated with viral replication. Up-regulation of PVRIG, LPP, CECR1, Arhgef6, IRX3, IGFBP2, CD1d were related to resistant to Pexa-Vec. In conclusion, lymphoid malignant cells are resistant to Pexa-Vec and displayed up-regulated genes associated with resistance to oncolytic viral therapy. These data provide potential targets to overcome resistance, and suggest that molecular assays may be useful in selecting patients for further clinical trials with Pexa-Vec.

Huang LE, Cohen AL, Colman H, et al.
IGFBP2 expression predicts IDH-mutant glioma patient survival.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(1):191-202 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutations of the isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 and 2 genes occur in ~80% of lower-grade (WHO grade II and grade III) gliomas. Mutant IDH produces (R)-2-hydroxyglutarate, which induces DNA hypermethylation and presumably drives tumorigenesis. Interestingly, IDH mutations are associated with improved survival in glioma patients, but the underlying mechanism for the difference in survival remains unclear. Through comparative analyses of 286 cases of IDH-wildtype and IDH-mutant lower-grade glioma from a TCGA data set, we report that IDH-mutant gliomas have increased expression of tumor-suppressor genes (NF1, PTEN, and PIK3R1) and decreased expression of oncogenes(AKT2, ARAF, ERBB2, FGFR3, and PDGFRB) and glioma progression genes (FOXM1, IGFBP2, and WWTR1) compared with IDH-wildtype gliomas. Furthermore, each of these genes is prognostic in overall gliomas; however, within the IDH-mutant group, none remains prognostic except IGFBP2 (encodinginsulin-like growth factor binding protein 2). Through validation in an independent cohort, we show that patients with low IGFBP2 expressiondisplay a clear advantage in overall and disease-free survival, whereas those with high IGFBP2 expressionhave worse median survival than IDH-wildtype patients. These observations hold true across different histological and molecular subtypes of lower-grade glioma. We propose therefore that an unexpected biological consequence of IDH mutations in glioma is to ameliorate patient survival by promoting tumor-suppressor signaling while inhibiting that of oncogenes, particularly IGFBP2.

Yoneyama T, Ohtsuki S, Honda K, et al.
Identification of IGFBP2 and IGFBP3 As Compensatory Biomarkers for CA19-9 in Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer Using a Combination of Antibody-Based and LC-MS/MS-Based Proteomics.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(8):e0161009 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal tumors, and reliable detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer and risk diseases for pancreatic cancer is essential to improve the prognosis. As 260 genes were previously reported to be upregulated in invasive ductal adenocarcinoma of pancreas (IDACP) cells, quantification of the corresponding proteins in plasma might be useful for IDACP diagnosis. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to identify plasma biomarkers for early detection of IDACP by using two proteomics strategies: antibody-based proteomics and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)-based proteomics. Among the 260 genes, we focused on 130 encoded proteins with known function for which antibodies were available. Twenty-three proteins showed values of the area under the curve (AUC) of more than 0.8 in receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of reverse-phase protein array (RPPA) data of IDACP patients compared with healthy controls, and these proteins were selected as biomarker candidates. We then used our high-throughput selected reaction monitoring or multiple reaction monitoring (SRM/MRM) methodology, together with an automated sample preparation system, micro LC and auto analysis system, to quantify these candidate proteins in plasma from healthy controls and IDACP patients on a large scale. The results revealed that insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP)2 and IGFBP3 have the ability to discriminate IDACP patients at an early stage from healthy controls, and IGFBP2 appeared to be increased in risk diseases of pancreatic malignancy, such as intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs). Furthermore, diagnosis of IDACP using the combination of carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9), IGFBP2 and IGFBP3 is significantly more effective than CA19-9 alone. This suggests that IGFBP2 and IGFBP3 may serve as compensatory biomarkers for CA19-9. Early diagnosis with this marker combination may improve the prognosis of IDACP patients.

Chen PH, Chang CK, Shih CM, et al.
The miR-204-3p-targeted IGFBP2 pathway is involved in xanthohumol-induced glioma cell apoptotic death.
Neuropharmacology. 2016; 110(Pt A):362-375 [PubMed] Related Publications
Xanthohumol (XN), a prenylated chalcone extracted from hop plant Humulus lupulus L. (Cannabaceae), has potential for cancer therapy, including gliomas. Micro (mi)RNAs are small noncoding RNAs that control gene expression. Several miRNAs have been identified to participate in regulating glioma development. However, no studies have demonstrated whether miRNA is involved in XN cytotoxicity resulting in glioma cell death. This study investigated the effects of XN-mediated miRNA expression in activating apoptotic pathways in glioblastoma U87 MG cells. First, we found that XN significantly reduced cell viability and induced apoptosis via pro-caspase-3/8 cleavage and poly(ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP) degradation. We also identified that pro-caspase-9 cleavage, Bcl2 family expression changes, mitochondrial dysfunction, and intracellular ROS generation also participated in XN-induced glioma cell death. With a microarray analysis, miR-204-3p was identified as the most upregulated miRNA induced by XN cytotoxicity. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/c-Fos pathway was validated to participate in XN-upregulated miR-204-3p expression. With a promoter assay and ChIP analysis, we found that c-Fos dose-dependently bound to the miR-204-3p gene promoter region. Furthermore, miR-204-3p levels decreased in several glioma cell lines compared to astrocytes. Overexpression of miR-204-3p enhanced glioma cell apoptosis. IGFBP2, an upregulated regulator of glioma proliferation, was validated by a TCGA analysis as a direct target gene of miR-204-3p. XN's inhibition of the IGFBP2/AKT/Bcl2 pathway via miR-204-3p targeting played a critical role in mediating glioma cell death. These results emphasized that the XN-mediated miR-204-3p network may provide novel therapeutic strategies for future glioblastoma therapy and drug development.

Knutson KL, Clynes R, Shreeder B, et al.
Improved Survival of HER2+ Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Trastuzumab and Chemotherapy Is Associated with Host Antibody Immunity against the HER2 Intracellular Domain.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(13):3702-10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The addition of trastuzumab to chemotherapy extends survival among patients with HER2(+) breast cancer. Prior work showed that trastuzumab and chemotherapy augments HER2 extracellular domain (ECD)-specific antibodies. The current study investigated whether combination therapy induced immune responses beyond HER2-ECD and, importantly, whether those immune responses were associated with survival. Pretreatment and posttreatment sera were obtained from 48 women with metastatic HER2(+) breast cancer on NCCTG (now Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology) studies, N0337 and N983252. IgG to HER2 intracellular domain (ICD), HER2-ECD, p53, IGFBP2, CEA, and tetanus toxoid were examined. Sera from 25 age-matched controls and 26 surgically resected HER2(+) patients were also examined. Prior to therapy, some patients with metastatic disease had elevated antibodies to IGFBP2, p53, HER2-ICD, HER2-ECD, and CEA, but not to tetanus toxin, relative to controls and surgically resected patients. Treatment augmented antibody responses to HER2-ICD in 69% of metastatic patients, which was highly associated with improved progression-free survival (PFS; HR = 0.5, P = 0.0042) and overall survival (OS; HR = 0.7, P = 0.038). Augmented antibody responses to HER2-ICD also correlated (P = 0.03) with increased antibody responses to CEA, IGFBP2, and p53, indicating that treatment induces epitope spreading. Paradoxically, patients who already had high preexisting immunity to HER2-ICD did not respond to therapy with increased antibodies to HER2-ICD and demonstrated poorer PFS (HR = 1.6, P < 0.0001) and OS (HR = 1.4, P = 0.0006). Overall, the findings further demonstrate the importance of the adaptive immune system in the efficacy of trastuzumab-containing regimens. Cancer Res; 76(13); 3702-10. ©2016 AACR.

Phillips LM, Zhou X, Cogdell DE, et al.
Glioma progression is mediated by an addiction to aberrant IGFBP2 expression and can be blocked using anti-IGFBP2 strategies.
J Pathol. 2016; 239(3):355-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP2) overexpression is common in high-grade glioma and is both a strong biomarker of aggressive behaviour and a well-documented prognostic factor. IGFBP2 is a member of the secreted IGFBP family that functions by interacting with circulating IGFs to modulate IGF-mediated signalling. This traditional view of IGFBP2 activities has been challenged by the recognition of the diverse functions and cellular locations of members of the IGFBP family. IGFBP2 has been previously established as a driver of glioma progression to a higher grade. In this study, we sought to determine whether IGFBP2-overexpressing tumours are dependent on continued oncogene expression and whether IGFBP2 is a viable therapeutic target in glioma. We took advantage of the well-characterized RCAS/Ntv-a mouse model to create a doxycycline-inducible IGFBP2 model of glioma and demonstrated that the temporal expression of IGFBP2 has dramatic impacts on tumour progression and survival. Further, we demonstrated that IGFBP2-driven tumours are dependent on the continued expression of IGFBP2, as withdrawal of this oncogenic signal led to a significant decrease in tumour progression and prolonged survival. Inhibition of IGFBP2 also impaired tumour cell spread. To assess a therapeutically relevant inhibition strategy, we evaluated a neutralizing antibody against IGFBP2 and demonstrated that it impaired downstream IGFBP2-mediated oncogenic signalling pathways. The studies presented here indicate that IGFBP2 not only is a driver of glioma progression and a prognostic factor but is also required for tumour maintenance and thus represents a viable therapeutic target in the treatment of glioma. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Hawsawi Y, Humphries MP, Wright A, et al.
Deregulation of IGF-binding proteins -2 and -5 contributes to the development of endocrine resistant breast cancer in vitro.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(22):32129-43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tamoxifen (TAM) remains the adjuvant therapy of choice for pre-menopausal women with ERα-positive breast cancer. Resistance and recurrence remain, however, a major challenge with many women relapsing and subsequently dying. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis is involved in breast cancer pathogenesis and progression to endocrine resistant disease, but there is very little data on the expression and potential role of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP) during acquisition of the resistant phenotype. The aim of this study was to determine the expression and functional role of IGFBP-2 and -5 in the development of TAM resistance (TamR) in vitro and to test retrospectively whether they were predictive of resistance in a tissue microarray of 77 women with primary breast cancers who relapsed on/after endocrine therapy and 193 who did not with long term follow up. Reciprocal expression of IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-5 was observed at both mRNA and protein level in TamR cells. IGFBP-2 expression was increased by 10-fold while IGFBP-5 was decreased by 100-fold, compared to TAM-sensitive control cells. shRNA-mediated silencing of IGFBP-2 in TamR cells restored TAM sensitivity suggesting a causal role for this gene in TamR. While silencing of IGFBP-5 in control cells had no effect on TAM sensitivity, it significantly increased the migratory capacity of these cells. Quantitative image analysis of immunohistochemical data failed, however, to demonstrate an effect of IGFBP2 expression in endocrine-relapsed patients. Likewise, IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-5 expression failed to show any significant associations with survival either in patients relapsing or those not relapsing on/after endocrine therapy. By contrast, in silico mining of a separate published dataset showed that in patients who received endocrine treatment, loss of expression of IGBP-5 was significantly associated with worse survival. Overall these data suggest that co-ordinated and reciprocal alteration in IGFBP-2 and -5 expression may play a role in the acquisition of endocrine resistance.

López-Knowles E, Gao Q, Cheang MC, et al.
Heterogeneity in global gene expression profiles between biopsy specimens taken peri-surgically from primary ER-positive breast carcinomas.
Breast Cancer Res. 2016; 18(1):39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gene expression is widely used for the characterisation of breast cancers. Variability due to tissue heterogeneity or measurement error or systematic change due to peri-surgical procedures can affect measurements but is poorly documented. We studied the variability of global gene expression between core-cuts of primary ER+ breast cancers and the impact of delays to tissue stabilisation due to sample X-ray and of diagnostic core cutting.
METHODS: Twenty-six paired core-cuts were taken immediately after tumour excision and up to 90 minutes delay due to sample X-ray; 57 paired core-cuts were taken at diagnosis and 2 weeks later at surgical excision. Whole genome expression analysis was conducted on extracted RNA. Correlations and differences were assessed between the expression of individual genes, gene sets/signatures and intrinsic subtypes.
RESULTS: Twenty-three and 56 sample pairs, respectively, were suitable for analysis. The range of correlations for both sample sets were similar with the majority being >0.97 in both. Correlations between pairs for 18 commonly studied genes were also similar between the studies and mainly with Pearson correlation coefficients >0.6 except for a small number of genes, which had a narrow-dynamic range (e.g. MKI67, SNAI2). There was no systematic difference in intrinsic subtyping between the first and second sample of either set but there was c.15 % discordance between the subtype assignments between the pairs, mainly where the subtyping of individual samples was less certain. Increases in the expression of several stress/early-response genes (e.g. FOS, FOSB, JUN) were found in both studies and confirmed findings in earlier smaller studies. Increased expression of IL6, IGFBP2 and MYC (by 17 %, 14 % and 44 %, respectively) occurred between the samples taken 2 weeks apart and again confirmed findings from an earlier study.
CONCLUSIONS: There is generally good correlation in gene expression between pairs of core-cuts except where genes have a narrow dynamic range. Similar correlation coefficients to the average gene expression profiles of intrinsic subtype, particularly LumA and LumB, can lead to discordances between assigned subtypes. Substantial changes in expression of early-response genes occur within an hour after surgery and in IL6, IGFB2 and MYC as a result of diagnostic core-cut biopsy.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Trial number CRUK/07/015 . Study start date September 2008.

Usset JL, Raghavan R, Tyrer JP, et al.
Assessment of Multifactor Gene-Environment Interactions and Ovarian Cancer Risk: Candidate Genes, Obesity, and Hormone-Related Risk Factors.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016; 25(5):780-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Many epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk factors relate to hormone exposure and elevated estrogen levels are associated with obesity in postmenopausal women. Therefore, we hypothesized that gene-environment interactions related to hormone-related risk factors could differ between obese and non-obese women.
METHODS: We considered interactions between 11,441 SNPs within 80 candidate genes related to hormone biosynthesis and metabolism and insulin-like growth factors with six hormone-related factors (oral contraceptive use, parity, endometriosis, tubal ligation, hormone replacement therapy, and estrogen use) and assessed whether these interactions differed between obese and non-obese women. Interactions were assessed using logistic regression models and data from 14 case-control studies (6,247 cases; 10,379 controls). Histotype-specific analyses were also completed.
RESULTS: SNPs in the following candidate genes showed notable interaction: IGF1R (rs41497346, estrogen plus progesterone hormone therapy, histology = all, P = 4.9 × 10(-6)) and ESR1 (rs12661437, endometriosis, histology = all, P = 1.5 × 10(-5)). The most notable obesity-gene-hormone risk factor interaction was within INSR (rs113759408, parity, histology = endometrioid, P = 8.8 × 10(-6)).
CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated the feasibility of assessing multifactor interactions in large genetic epidemiology studies. Follow-up studies are necessary to assess the robustness of our findings for ESR1, CYP11A1, IGF1R, CYP11B1, INSR, and IGFBP2 Future work is needed to develop powerful statistical methods able to detect these complex interactions.
IMPACT: Assessment of multifactor interaction is feasible, and, here, suggests that the relationship between genetic variants within candidate genes and hormone-related risk factors may vary EOC susceptibility. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(5); 780-90. ©2016 AACR.

Warnecke-Eberz U, Metzger R, Hölscher AH, et al.
Diagnostic marker signature for esophageal cancer from transcriptome analysis.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(5):6349-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Diagnostic markers are needed for achieving a cure in esophageal cancer detecting and treating tumor cells earlier. In patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus (ESCC), we profiled the gene expression of ESCC compared to corresponding normal biopsies for diagnostic markers by genome microarrays. Profiling of gene expression identified 4844 genes differentially expressed, 2122 upregulated and 2722 downregulated in ESCC. Twenty-three overexpressed candidates with best scores from significance analysis have been selected for further analysis by TaqMan low-density array-technique using a validation cohort of 40 patients. The verification rate was 100 % for ESCC. Twenty-two markers were additionally overexpressed in adenocarcinoma of the esophagus (EAC). The markers significantly overexpressed already in earlier tumor stages (pT1-2) of both histological subtypes (n = 19) have been clustered in a "diagnostic signature": PLA2G7, PRAME, MMP1, MMP3, MMP12, LIlRB2, TREM2, CHST2, IGFBP2, IGFBP7, KCNJ8, EMILIN2, CTHRC1, EMR2, WDR72, LPCAT1, COL4A2, CCL4, and SNX10. The marker signature will be translated to clinical practice to prove its diagnostic impact. This diagnostic signature may contribute to the earlier detection of tumor cells, with the aim to complement clinical techniques resulting in the development of better detection of concepts of esophageal cancer for earlier therapy and more favorite prognosis.

Myers AL, Lin L, Nancarrow DJ, et al.
IGFBP2 modulates the chemoresistant phenotype in esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(28):25897-916 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) patients commonly present with advanced stage disease and demonstrate resistance to therapy, with response rates below 40%. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of resistance is crucial for improvement of clinical outcomes. IGFBP2 is a member of the IGFBP family of proteins that has been reported to modulate both IGF and integrin signaling and is a mediator of cell growth, invasion and resistance in other tumor types. In this study, high IGFBP2 expression was observed in a subset of primary EACs and was found to be significantly higher in patients with shorter disease-free intervals as well as in treatment-resistant EACs as compared to chemonaive EACs. Modulation of IGFBP2 expression in EAC cell lines promoted cell proliferation, migration and invasion, implicating a role in the metastatic potential of these cells. Additionally, knockdown of IGFBP2 sensitized EAC cells to cisplatin in a serum-dependent manner. Further in vitro exploration into this chemosensitization implicated both the AKT and ERK pathways. Silencing of IGFBP2 enhanced IGF1-induced immediate activation of AKT and reduced cisplatin-induced ERK activation. Addition of MEK1/2 (selumetinib or trametinib) or AKT (AKT Inhibitor VIII) inhibitors enhanced siIGFBP2-induced sensitization of EAC cells to cisplatin. These results suggest that targeted inhibition of IGFBP2 alone or together with either the MAPK or PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in IGFBP2-overexpressing EAC tumors may be an effective approach for sensitizing resistant EACs to standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Örd T, Örd D, Adler P, et al.
TRIB3 enhances cell viability during glucose deprivation in HEK293-derived cells by upregulating IGFBP2, a novel nutrient deficiency survival factor.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015; 1853(10 Pt A):2492-505 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glucose deprivation occurs in several human diseases, including infarctions and solid tumors, and leads to cell death. In this article, we investigate the role of the pseudokinase Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) in the cellular stress response to glucose starvation using cell lines derived from HEK293, which is highly glycolytic under standard conditions. Our results show that TRIB3 mRNA and protein levels are strongly upregulated in glucose-deprived cells via the induction of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) by the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensor kinase PERK. Cell survival in glucose-deficient conditions is enhanced by TRIB3 overexpression and reduced by TRIB3 knockdown. Genome-wide gene expression profiling uncovered approximately 40 glucose deprivation-responsive genes that are affected by TRIB3, including several genes involved in signaling processes and metabolism. Based on transcription factor motif analysis, the majority of TRIB3-downregulated genes are target genes of ATF4, which TRIB3 is known to inhibit. The gene most substantially upregulated by TRIB3 is insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP2). IGFBP2 mRNA and protein levels are downregulated in cells subjected to glucose deprivation, and reduced IGFBP2 expression aggravates cell death during glucose deficiency, while overexpression of IGFBP2 prolongs cell survival. Moreover, IGFBP2 silencing abrogates the pro-survival effect of TRIB3. Since TRIB3 augments IGFBP2 expression in glucose-starved cells, the data indicate that IGFBP2 contributes to the attenuation of cell death by TRIB3. These results implicate TRIB3 and IGFBP2, both of which are known to be overexpressed in several types of cancers, as pro-survival modulators of cell viability in nutrient-deficient microenvironments.

Kiss K, Baghy K, Spisák S, et al.
Chronic hyperglycemia induces trans-differentiation of human pancreatic stellate cells and enhances the malignant molecular communication with human pancreatic cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0128059 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Diabetes mellitus is linked to pancreatic cancer. We hypothesized a role for pancreatic stellate cells (PSC) in the hyperglycemia induced deterioration of pancreatic cancer and therefore studied two human cell lines (RLT-PSC, T3M4) in hyperglycemic environment.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The effect of chronic hyperglycemia (CHG) on PSCs was studied using mRNA expression array with real-time PCR validation and bioinformatic pathway analysis, and confirmatory protein studies. The stress fiber formation (IC: αSMA) indicated that PSCs tend to transdifferentiate to a myofibroblast-like state after exposure to CHG. The phosphorylation of p38 and ERK1/2 was increased with a consecutive upregulation of CDC25, SP1, cFOS and p21, and with downregulation of PPARγ after PSCs were exposed to chronic hyperglycemia. CXCL12 levels increased significantly in PSC supernatant after CHG exposure independently from TGF-β1 treatment (3.09-fold with a 2.73-fold without TGF-β1, p<0.05). The upregualtion of the SP1 transcription factor in PSCs after CHG exposure may be implicated in the increased CXCL12 and IGFBP2 production. In cancer cells, hyperglycemia induced an increased expression of CXCR4, a CXCL12 receptor that was also induced by PSC's conditioned medium. The receptor-ligand interaction increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and p38 resulting in activation of MAP kinase pathway, one of the most powerful stimuli for cell proliferation. Certainly, conditioned medium of PSC increased pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and this effect could be partially inhibited by a CXCR4 inhibitor. As the PSC conditioned medium (normal glucose concentration) increased the ERK1/2 and p38 phosphorylation, we concluded that PSCs produce other factor(s) that influence(s) pancreatic cancer behaviour.
CONCLUSIONS: Hyperglycemia induces increased CXCL12 production by the PSCs, and its receptor, CXCR4 on cancer cells. The ligand-receptor interaction activates MAP kinase signaling that causes increased cancer cell proliferation and migration.

Minchenko DO, Kharkova AP, Karbovskyi LL, Minchenko OH
Expression of insulin-like growth factor binding protein genes and its hypoxic regulation in U87 glioma cells depends on ERN1 mediated signaling pathway of endoplasmic reticulum stress.
Endocr Regul. 2015; 49(2):73-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to examine the association between the expression of insulin-like growth binding protein-1 and -2 (IGFBP1 and IGFBP2), insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA binding protein 3/KH domain containing protein over-expressed in cancer (IGF2BP3/KOC1), and HtrA serine peptidase 1/serine protease with IGF-binding domain (HTRA1/PRSS11) genes and function of endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling mediated by ERN1 (endoplasmic reticulum to nucleus signaling 1) as well as the regulation of these genes by hypoxia in U87glioma cells.
METHODS: The expression of IGFBP1, IGFBP2, IGF2BP3, and HTRA1 genes in U87 glioma cells and its subline with ERN1 signaling enzyme loss of function, were analyzed by qPCR. Cells underwent to hypoxia exposure (3% oxygen, 16 h).
RESULTS: The blockade of both enzymatic activities (kinase and endoribonuclease) of ERN1 in glioma cells led to a significant down-regulation of the expression of IGFBP1, IGFBP2, and IGF2BP3 genes and strong up-regulation of HTRA1. At the same time, the inhibition of ERN1 endoribonuclease significantly increased the expression of IGFBP1, IGFBP2, and HTRA1 genes and did not affect the IGF2BP3 gene expression. Hypoxia up-regulated the expression of IGFBP1 and IGFBP2 genes in control glioma cells, with more significant changes in IGFBP1 gene. Furthermore, effect of hypoxia on these gene expressions was significantly lower in glioma cells without ERN1 signaling enzyme function.
CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study demonstrate the dependence of insulin-like growth binding proteins as well as IGF2BP3 and HTRA1 gene expressions in U87 glioma cells on ERN1 signaling enzyme function and hypoxia, indicating its participation in the regulation of metabolic and proliferative processes via IGF/INS receptors, because endoplasmic reticulum stress is an important component of tumor growth and metabolic diseases.

Subbannayya Y, Mir SA, Renuse S, et al.
Identification of differentially expressed serum proteins in gastric adenocarcinoma.
J Proteomics. 2015; 127(Pt A):80-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Gastric adenocarcinoma is an aggressive cancer with poor prognosis. Blood based biomarkers of gastric cancer have the potential to improve diagnosis and monitoring of these tumors. Proteins that show altered levels in the circulation of gastric cancer patients could prove useful as putative biomarkers. We used an iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomic approach to identify proteins that show altered levels in the sera of patients with gastric cancer. Our study resulted in identification of 643 proteins, of which 48 proteins showed increased levels and 11 proteins showed decreased levels in serum from gastric cancer patients compared to age and sex matched healthy controls. Proteins that showed increased expression in gastric cancer included inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain H4 (ITIH4), Mannose-binding protein C (MBL2), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 (IGFBP2), serum amyloid A protein (SAA1), Orosomucoid 1 (ORM1) and extracellular superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn] (SOD3). We used multiple reaction monitoring assays and validated elevated levels of ITIH4 and SAA1 proteins in serum from gastric cancer patients.
BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Gastric cancer is a highly aggressive cancer associated with high mortality. Serum-based biomarkers are of considerable interest in diagnosis and monitoring of various diseases including cancers. Gastric cancer is often diagnosed at advanced stages resulting in poor prognosis and high mortality. Pathological diagnosis using biopsy specimens remains the gold standard for diagnosis of gastric cancer. Serum-based biomarkers are of considerable importance as they are minimally invasive. In this study, we carried out quantitative proteomic profiling of serum from gastric cancer patients to identify proteins that show altered levels in gastric cancer patients. We identified more than 50 proteins that showed altered levels in gastric cancer patient sera. Validation in a large cohort of well classified patient samples would prove useful in identifying novel blood based biomarkers for gastric cancers. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Proteomics in India.

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