TTPA

Gene Summary

Gene:TTPA; tocopherol (alpha) transfer protein
Aliases: ATTP, AVED, TTP1, alphaTTP
Location:8q12.3
Summary:This gene encodes a soluble protein that binds alpha-trocopherol, a form of vitamin E, with high selectivity and affinity. This protein plays an important role in regulating vitamin E levels in the body by transporting vitamin E between membrane vesicles and facilitating the secretion of vitamin E from hepatocytes to circulating lipoproteins. Mutations in this gene cause hereditary vitamin E deficiency (ataxia with vitamin E deficiency, AVED) and retinitis pigmentosa. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:alpha-tocopherol transfer protein
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 08 August, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (12)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 08 August 2015 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.

  • Transcription
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Chromosome 8
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins
  • MMP2
  • beta Catenin
  • Cancer RNA
  • U937 Cells
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Breast Cancer
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator
  • Thromboplastin
  • Plasminogen Activators
  • Cell Surface Receptors
  • Urothelium
  • Vitronectin
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Retinoic Acid
  • Cancer DNA
  • Down-Regulation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • TGFB1
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Gene Expression
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transfection
  • gamma Catenin
  • Promoter Regions
  • Cell Movement
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Tumor Markers
  • Prostate Cancer
Tag cloud generated 08 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: TTPA (cancer-related)

Scheiber MN, Watson PM, Rumboldt T, et al.
FLI1 expression is correlated with breast cancer cellular growth, migration, and invasion and altered gene expression.
Neoplasia. 2014; 16(10):801-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
ETS factors have been shown to be dysregulated in breast cancer. ETS factors control the expression of genes involved in many biological processes, such as cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. FLI1 is an ETS protein aberrantly expressed in retrovirus-induced hematological tumors, but limited attention has been directed towards elucidating the role of FLI1 in epithelial-derived cancers. Using data mining, we show that loss of FLI1 expression is associated with shorter survival and more aggressive phenotypes of breast cancer. Gain and loss of function cellular studies indicate the inhibitory effect of FLI1 expression on cellular growth, migration, and invasion. Using Fli1 mutant mice and both a transgenic murine breast cancer model and an orthotopic injection of syngeneic tumor cells indicates that reduced Fli1 contributes to accelerated tumor growth. Global expression analysis and RNA-Seq data from an invasive human breast cancer cell line with over expression of either FLI1 and another ETS gene, PDEF, shows changes in several cellular pathways associated with cancer, such as the cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction and PI3K-Akt signaling pathways. This study demonstrates a novel role for FLI1 in epithelial cells. In addition, these results reveal that FLI1 down-regulation in breast cancer may promote tumor progression.

Elumalai P, Brindha Mercy A, Arunkamar R, et al.
Nimbolide inhibits invasion and migration, and down-regulates uPAR chemokine gene expression, in two breast cancer cell lines.
Cell Prolif. 2014; 47(6):540-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in women, worldwide. Urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA) is a serine protease that is involved in cancer progression, especially invasion and metastasis of breast cancer. Nimbolide is a potent cytotoxic limnoid isolated from Azadirachta indica. Our previous studies have shown that nimbolide elicits pleiotropic effects on breast cancer cells; however, its roles in invasion and migration have not previously been fully elucidated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Protein expression of pEGFR, VEGFR, NFκB, IKKα, IKKβ, MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMP-2 were analysed by western blotting. We also analysed expressions of uPA, uPAR genes and chemokines by real-time PCR. Breast cancer cell invasion was assessed by transwell invasion assay and cell migration analysed by scratch wound healing assay.
RESULTS: Our results showed that reduced protein expression of pEGFR, VEGFR, NFκB, IKKα, β, MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMP-2 was higher in nimbolide-treated breast cancer cells. mRNA expression of uPA, uPAR, chemokines and their receptors were also significantly reduced in response to nimbolide treatment. Nimbolide inhibited breast cancer cell migration and invasion as shown in transwell invasion and wound healing assays.
CONCLUSION: These results clearly proved inhibitory effects of nimbolide on tumour cell invasion and migration by down-regulating proteins critically involved in regulation of cell invasion and metastasis, suggesting a possible therapeutic role of nimbolide for breast cancer.

Donepudi MS, Kondapalli K, Amos SJ, Venkanteshan P
Breast cancer statistics and markers.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2014 Jul-Sep; 10(3):506-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is one of the familiar diseases in women. Incidence and mortality due to cancer, particularly breast cancer has been increasing for last 50 years, even though there is a lacuna in the diagnosis of breast cancer at early stages. According to World Health Organization (WHO) 2012 reports, breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women, accounting 23% of all cancer deaths. In Asia, one in every three women faces the risk of breast cancer in their lifetime as per reports of WHO 2012. Here, the review is been focused on different breast cancer markers, that is, tissue markers (hormone receptors, human epidermal growth factor-2, urokinase plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor, p53 and cathepsin D), genetic markers (BRAC1 and 2 and gene expression microarray technique, etc.), and serum markers (CA 15.3, BR 27.29, MCA, CA 549, carcinoembryonic antigen, oncoproteins, and cytokeratins) used in present diagnosis, but none of the mentioned markers can diagnose breast cancer at an early stage. There is a disquieting need for the identification of best diagnosing marker, which can be able to diagnose even in early stage of breast carcinogenesis.

Ashour AA, Gurbuz N, Alpay SN, et al.
Elongation factor-2 kinase regulates TG2/β1 integrin/Src/uPAR pathway and epithelial-mesenchymal transition mediating pancreatic cancer cells invasion.
J Cell Mol Med. 2014; 18(11):2235-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the lethal cancers with extensive local tumour invasion, metastasis, early systemic dissemination and poorest prognosis. Thus, understanding the mechanisms regulating invasion/metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is the key for developing effective therapeutic strategies for pancreatic cancer (PaCa). Eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase (eEF-2K) is an atypical kinase that we found to be highly up-regulated in PaCa cells. However, its role in PaCa invasion/progression remains unknown. Here, we investigated the role of eEF-2K in cellular invasion, and we found that down-regulation of eEF-2K, by siRNA or rottlerin, displays impairment of PaCa cells invasion/migration, with significant decreases in the expression of tissue transglutaminase (TG2), the multifunctional enzyme implicated in regulation of cell attachment, motility and survival. These events were associated with reductions in β1 integrin/uPAR/MMP-2 expressions as well as decrease in Src activity. Furthermore, inhibition of eEF-2K/TG2 axis suppresses the EMT, as demonstrated by the modulation of the zinc finger transcription factors, ZEB1/Snail, and the tight junction proteins, claudins. Importantly, while eEF-2K silencing recapitulates the rottlerin-induced inhibition of invasion and correlated events, eEF-2K overexpression, by lentivirus-based expression system, suppresses such rottlerin effects and potentiates PaCa cells invasion/migration capability. Collectively, our results show, for the first time, that eEF-2K is involved in regulation of the invasive phenotype of PaCa cells through promoting a new signalling pathway, which is mediated by TG2/β1 integrin/Src/uPAR/MMP-2, and the induction of EMT biomarkers which enhance cancer cell motility and metastatic potential. Thus, eEF-2K could represent a novel potential therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer.

Zhou YQ, Lv XP, Li S, et al.
Synergy of urokinase‑type plasminogen activator receptor isomer (D1D2) and integrin α5β1 causes malignant transformation of hepatic cells and the occurrence of liver cancer.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 10(5):2568-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlations and possible synergy among the urokinase‑type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) isomer D1D2 and integrin α5β1 expression levels, malignant transformation in hepatic cells and the occurrence of liver cancer. The expression site and concentration of uPAR (D1D2) were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization at the gene level in 60 samples of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues, 60 samples of para‑carcinoma tissues and 25 samples of normal liver tissues. The mRNA levels of uPAR (D1D2) and integrin α5β1 were markedly increased para‑carcinoma tissue and liver cancer tissue as compared with those in normal tissue. The grey values of the three groups were significantly different (P<0.05). In situ hybridization revealed that the expression levels of uPAR (D1D2) and integrin α5β1 in the cytoplasm and the positive rate of the two molecules in the HCC tissue were significantly higher than those in the para-carcinoma and normal liver tissues, and the expression levels were positively correlated (rs1=0.257, P<0.05; rs2=0.261, P<0.05). The results suggested that uPAR (D1D2) mRNA overexpression may be due to changes in the conformation of the uPAR isomer. Synergy of uPAR (D1D2) mRNA and integrin α5β1 interaction may result in abnormal signal transduction in liver cells and ultimately liver cell abnormal clonal hyperplasia and malignant transformation.

Lin CW, Chou YE, Chiou HL, et al.
Pterostilbene suppresses oral cancer cell invasion by inhibiting MMP-2 expression.
Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2014; 18(10):1109-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Polyphenol compounds, present in a wide variety of natural plants, exhibit antioxidant and free radical scavenging ability and induce apoptosis in various cancer cells. However, the effect of pterostilbene on oral cancer cell metastasis has not been clarified.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The present study aimed to examine the anti-metastatic properties of pterostilbene in human oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)-9 cells.
RESULTS: In this study, pterostilbene treatment significantly inhibited migration/invasion capacities of SCC-9 cells in vitro. The results of zymography and western blotting revealed that the activities and protein levels of the MMP-2 and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) was inhibited by pterostilbene. Western blot analysis also showed that pterostilbene inhibits the phosphorylation of Akt, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and p38. Determinations of the mRNA levels, real-time polymerase chain reaction and promoter assays were conducted to evaluate the inhibitory effects of pterostilbene on MMP-2 and u-PA expression in SCC-9 cells. Such inhibitory effects were associated with the upregulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and the downregulation of the transcription factors of NF-κB, SP-1 and CREB signaling pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: Pterostilbene may have potential use as a chemopreventive agent against oral cancer metastasis.

Lin CY, Chen HJ, Huang CC, et al.
ADAM9 promotes lung cancer metastases to brain by a plasminogen activator-based pathway.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(18):5229-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
The transmembrane cell adhesion protein ADAM9 has been implicated in cancer cell migration and lung cancer metastasis to the brain, but the underpinning mechanisms are unclear and clinical support has been lacking. Here, we demonstrate that ADAM9 enhances the ability of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to cleave and stimulate the function of the promigratory protein CDCP1 to promote lung metastasis. Blocking this mechanism of cancer cell migration prolonged survival in tumor-bearing mice and cooperated with dexamethasone and dasatinib (a dual Src/Abl kinase inhibitor) treatment to enhance cytotoxic treatment. In clinical specimens, high levels of ADAM9 and CDCP1 correlated with poor prognosis and high risk of mortality in patients with lung cancer. Moreover, ADAM9 levels in brain metastases derived from lung tumors were relatively higher than the levels observed in primary lung tumors. Our results show how ADAM9 regulates lung cancer metastasis to the brain by facilitating the tPA-mediated cleavage of CDCP1, with potential implications to target this network as a strategy to prevent or treat brain metastatic disease.

Lee YR, Kim KM, Jeon BH, Choi S
The hexane fraction of Naematoloma sublateritium extract suppresses the TNF-α-induced metastatic potential of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells through modulation of the JNK and p38 pathways.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1284-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Naematoloma sublateritium (Fr.) P. Karst is a basidiomycete that has been used as traditional medicine. N. sublateritium produces a triterpenoid antitumor compound, clavaric acid, but, in general, the effects of N. sublateritium constituents against tumor invasion and metastasis have been poorly studied. To investigate the inhibitory effect of N. sublateritium constituents on highly invasive and metastatic tumor cells, the TNF-α-stimulated human breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB‑231 was treated with the hexane fraction of an N. sublateritium extract (HFNS). Non-cytotoxic concentrations of HFNS markedly inhibited the invasion and migration of the MDA-MB‑231 cells in the Matrigel invasion assay and wound-healing analysis, respectively. Gelatin zymography showed that HFNS suppressed the activity of MMP-9, but not of MMP-2. Immunoblotting demonstrated that treatment with HFNS had decreased the level of MMP-9 and urokinase plasminogen activator-1 (uPA-1), but had upregulated expression of the endogenous inhibitor proteins, including TIMP-1,-2, and PAI-1, in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, HFNS suppressed the phosphorylation of p38 and JNK1/2, but not that of ERK1/2. This was confirmed by pretreatment of cells with specific inhibitors prior to stimulation with TNF-α. HFNS treatment also led to a dose-dependent inhibition of the DNA-binding activities of AP-1 and NFκB, which are downstream targets of JNK and p38. These data suggested that HFNS inhibits the metastatic potential of MDA-MB‑231 cells by inhibiting the phosphorylation of JNK/p38 and reducing AP-1 and NFκB DNA-binding activities. Therefore, HFNS may be a potential therapeutic agent against metastasis of breast cancer.

Mei P, Bai J, Shi M, et al.
BRMS1 suppresses glioma progression by regulating invasion, migration and adhesion of glioma cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e98544 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) is a metastasis suppressor gene in several solid tumors. However, the expression and function of BRMS1 in glioma have not been reported. In this study, we investigated whether BRMS1 play a role in glioma pathogenesis. Using the tissue microarray technology, we found that BRMS1 expression is significantly decreased in glioma compared with tumor adjacent normal brain tissue (P<0.01, χ(2) test) and reduced BRMS1 staining is associated with WHO stages (P<0.05, χ(2) test). We also found that BRMS1 was significantly downregulated in glioma cell lines compared to normal human astrocytes (P<0.01, χ(2) test). Furthermore, we demonstrated that BRMS1 overexpression inhibited glioma cell invasion by suppressing uPA, NF-κB, MMP-2 expression and MMP-2 enzyme activity. Moreover, our data showed that overexpression of BRMS1 inhibited glioma cell migration and adhesion capacity compared with the control group through the Src-FAK pathway. Taken together, this study suggested that BRMS1 has a role in glioma development and progression by regulating invasion, migration and adhesion activities of cancer cells.

Roomi MW, Kalinovsky T, Niedzwiecki A, Rath M
Modulation of uPA, MMPs and their inhibitors by a novel nutrient mixture in human glioblastoma cell lines.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(2):887-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Brain tumors are highly aggressive tumors that are characterized by high levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 secretions that degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM) and basement membrane, allowing cancer cells to spread to distal organs. Proteases play a key role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis by digesting the basement membrane and ECM components. Strong clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates association of elevated levels of urokinase plasminogen activators (uPA) and MMPs with cancer progression, metastasis and shortened patient survival. MMP activities are regulated by specific tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Our main objective was to study the effect of a nutrient mixture (NM) on the activity of uPA, MMPs and TIMPs in various human gliomas. Human glioblastoma (LN-18, T-98G and A-172) cell lines (ATCC) were cultured in their respective media and treated at confluence with NM at 0, 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1000 µg/ml. Analysis of uPA activity was carried out by fibrin zymography, MMPs by gelatinase zymography and TIMPs by reverse zymography. Glioblastoma cell lines LN-18 and T-98G expressed uPA, which was inhibited by NM in a dose-dependent manner. However, no bands corresponding to uPA were detected for the A-172 cell line. On gelatinase zymography, all three cell lines showed bands corresponding to MMP-2 and LN-18 and T-98G showed PMA (100 ng/ml)-induced MMP-9. NM inhibited their expression in a dose-dependent manner. Activity of TIMP-2 was upregulated by NM in all glioma cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. Analysis revealed a positive correlation between uPA and MMP-2 and a negative correlation between uPA/MMPs and TIMP-2. These findings suggest the therapeutic potential of NM in the treatment of gliomas.

Boonstra MC, Verbeek FP, Mazar AP, et al.
Expression of uPAR in tumor-associated stromal cells is associated with colorectal cancer patient prognosis: a TMA study.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:269 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The receptor for urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPAR) is associated with cancer development and progression. Within the tumor microenvironment uPAR is expressed by malignant cells as well as tumor-associated stromal cells. However, the contribution of uPAR expression in these stromal cells to malignancy and patient survival in colorectal cancer is still unclear. This study compares the association of uPAR expression in both colorectal tumor-associated stromal cells and neoplastic cells with clinico-pathological characteristics and patient survival using tissue micro arrays (TMA).
METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining of uPAR expression was performed on tumor tissue from 262 colorectal cancer patients. Kaplan-Meier, log rank, and uni- and multivariate Cox's regression analyses were used to calculate associations between uPAR expression and patient survival.
RESULTS: In the colorectal tumor-associated stromal microenvironment, uPAR is expressed in macrophages, (neoangiogenic) endothelial cells and myofibroblasts. uPAR expression in tumor-associated stromal cells and neoplastic cells (and both combined) were negatively associated with overall survival (OS) and Disease Free Survival (DFS). Uni- and multivariate Cox's regression analysis for combined uPAR expression in tumor-associated stromal and neoplastic cells showed significant and independent negative associations with OS and DFS. Only uPAR expression in tumor-associated stromal cells showed independent significance in the uni- and multivariate analysis for DFS.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates a significant independent negative association between colorectal cancer patient survival and uPAR expression in especially tumor-associated stromal cells.

Zhou Y, Lǚ X, Li S, Zhan L
Correlation between the overexpression of urokinase receptor isoform uPAR (D1D2) and hepatic cell malignant transformation.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 9(5):1689-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
In order to provide an abundant source of specimen and to reveal the correlation between the overexpression of urokinase plasminogen activator receptor isoform uPAR (D1D2) and hepatic cell malignant transformation, the optimal liver cell culture method was selected from three cell culture methods to culture and separate out liver cells with a high density, high purity and high activity. The specimens were used to culture and assess the uPAR (D1D2) mRNA level in normal liver cells, liver cancer cells and para-carcinoma cells. In the present study, the correlation between the overexpression of uPAR (D1D2) and hepatic cell malignant transformation was discussed. When comparing the tissue block adherent method, liver cell grinding method and pancreatic enzyme digestion method, the liver tissue adherent method was found to be economical, simple and overall the optimal method for liver cell culture. This was used as a reference standard for cell culture. RT-PCR was used to determine isoform uPAR (D1D2) mRNA level in normal liver cells, para-carcinoma cells and liver cancer cells. The comparison of uPAR (D1D2) mRNA levels in normal liver cells, para-carcinoma cells and liver cancer cells, demonstrated that the brightness of the cells clearly increased in normal liver cells, para-carcinoma cells and liver cancer cells. The comparison of the cell grey values of three groups demonstrated a statistically significant difference (P<0.05). The liver tissue adherent method was able to produce liver cells with a high density, high purity and high activity, providing a sufficient source of specimen for our subsequent experiments. The electrophoresis results showed that: uPAR (D1D2) mRNA expression increased from normal liver cells to para-carcinoma cells to liver cancer cells, inferring that uPAR (D1D2) mRNA overexpression may be the result of changes in the conformation of the uPAR isoform. In addition, it is closely associated with abnormal cell signal transduction, which leads to clonal proliferation and abnormal differentiation of liver cells with malignant transformation in liver cells.

Giacoia EG, Miyake M, Lawton A, et al.
PAI-1 leads to G1-phase cell-cycle progression through cyclin D3/cdk4/6 upregulation.
Mol Cancer Res. 2014; 12(3):322-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The canonical function of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1/SERPINE1) is as an inhibitor of urokinase-type plasminogen activator for blood clot maintenance, but it is now also considered a pleiotropic factor that can exert diverse cellular and tumorigenic effects. However, the mechanism controlling its pleiotropic effects is far from being understood. To elucidate the tumorigenic role of PAI-1, we tested the effects of PAI-1 after manipulation of its expression or through the use of a small-molecule inhibitor, tiplaxtinin. Downregulation of PAI-1 significantly reduced cellular proliferation through an inability to progress from the G(0-G1) phase of the cell cycle. Accordingly, overexpression of PAI-1 augmented proliferation by encouraging S-phase entry. Biochemically, cell-cycle arrest was associated with the depletion of the G(1)-phase transition complexes, cyclin D3/cdk4/6 and cyclin E/cdk2, in parallel with the upregulation of the cell-cycle inhibitors p53, p21Cip1/Waf1, and p27Kip1. PAI-1 depletion significantly decreased the tumor size of urothelial T24 and UM-UC-14 xenografts, and overexpression of PAI-1 substantially increased the tumor size of HeLa xenografts. Finally, immunohistochemical analysis of human bladder and cervical tumor tissue microarrays revealed increased expression of PAI-1 in cancerous tissue, specifically in aggressive tumors, supporting the relevance of this molecule in human tumor biology.
IMPLICATIONS: Targeting PAI-1 has beneficial antitumoral effects and should be further investigated clinically.

Huang C, Xie D, Cui J, et al.
FOXM1c promotes pancreatic cancer epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and metastasis via upregulation of expression of the urokinase plasminogen activator system.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(6):1477-88 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The transcription factor Forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) plays important roles in the formation of several human tumors, including pancreatic cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms by which FOXM1 promotes pancreatic tumor epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis are unknown.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The effect of altered expression of FOXM1 and urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) on EMT and metastasis was examined using animal models of pancreatic cancer. Also, the underlying mechanisms of altered pancreatic cancer invasion and metastasis were analyzed using in vitro molecular biology assays. Finally, the clinical relevance of dysregulated FOXM1/uPAR signaling was investigated using pancreatic tumor and normal pancreatic tissue specimens.
RESULTS: Pancreatic tumor specimens and cell lines predominantly overexpressed the FOXM1 isoform FOXM1c. FOXM1c overexpression promoted EMT in and migration, invasion, and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells, whereas downregulation of FOXM1 expression inhibited these processes. The level of FOXM1 expression correlated directly with that of uPAR expression in pancreatic cancer cell lines and tumor specimens. Moreover, FOXM1c overexpression upregulated uPAR expression in pancreatic cancer cells, whereas inhibition of FOXM1 expression suppressed uPAR expression. Furthermore, transfection of FOXM1c into pancreatic cancer cells directly activated the uPAR promoter, whereas inhibition of FOXM1 expression by FOXM1 siRNA suppressed its activation in these cells. Finally, we identified an FOXM1-binding site in the uPAR promoter and demonstrated that FOXM1 protein bound directly to it. Deletion mutation of this site significantly attenuated uPAR promoter activity.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrated that FOXM1c contributes to pancreatic cancer development and progression by enhancing uPAR gene transcription, and thus, tumor EMT and metastasis.

Roomi MW, Kalinovsky T, Rath M, Niedzwiecki A
Effect of a nutrient mixture on matrix metalloproteinase-9 dimers in various human cancer cell lines.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(3):986-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Strong clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates association of elevated levels of matrix metalloproteinase MMP-9 with cancer progression, metastasis and shortened patient survival, as it plays a key role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis by digesting the basement membrane and ECM components. MMP-9 is secreted in both the monomeric and dimeric form. Although there is little research on MMP-9 dimers, some studies have shown the dimer to be associated with more aggressive tumor progression. Our objective was to study the relative secretion patterns of MMP-9 monomer and dimer in a variety of cancer cell lines and the effect of a nutrient mixture (NM) containing lysine, proline, ascorbic acid and green tea extract on MMP-9 secretion. The cancer cell lines were grown in their respective media, supplemented with 10% FBS, penicillin (100 U/ml) and streptomycin (100 µg/ml) in 24-well tissue culture plates. At near confluence, the cells were treated with NM at 0,10, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 µg/ml. Parallel sets of cultures were treated with PMA (100 ng/ml) for induction of MMP-9. Cell MMP-9 secretion was assayed by gelatinase zymography. MMP-9 dimer secretion patterns of cancer cells fell into different categories. We observed no MMP-9 dimer in prostate DU-145 and PC-3, pancreatic MIA-Pa-Ca2, colon HCT-116, bladder T-24, head and neck FaDu, glioblastoma A-172, T-98 and LN-18 and leukemia HL-60, Jurkat, and Raji cell lines. MMP-dimer secretion only with PMA induction was seen in breast MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, uterine SK-UT-1, lung A-549, tongue SC-25, melanoma A2058, osteosarcoma U-2OS, rhabdomyosarcoma, fibrosarcoma HT-1080, chondrosarcoma SW-1350 and liposarcoma SW-872. Cervical HeLa and DoTc 2 4510, renal 786-0 and HCC SK-Hep-1 cells exhibited MMP-9 dimer without PMA treatment and increased secretion with PMA treatment. Sarcomas had the highest levels of MMP-9 monomer and dimer with and without PMA among these cancer cell lines. Cervical, uterine and male breast cancer cell lines showed the next highest levels of MMP-9, followed by breast cancer cell lines. Melanoma, renal, lung, head and neck and HCC showed lower levels and prostate, glioblastoma, bladder and leukemia cell lines the lowest. NM showed dose-dependent inhibition of MMP-9 monomer and dimer in all cell lines tested. In conclusion, high MMP-9 and dimer secretion levels correlated with the most aggressive cancer cell lines. NM was effective in inhibiting MMP-9 and dimer secretion in all cell lines tested, suggesting its therapeutic potential as an antimetastatic agent.

Walther C, Tayebwa J, Lilljebjörn H, et al.
A novel SERPINE1-FOSB fusion gene results in transcriptional up-regulation of FOSB in pseudomyogenic haemangioendothelioma.
J Pathol. 2014; 232(5):534-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pseudomyogenic haemangioendothelioma (PHE) is an intermediate malignant vascular soft tissue tumour primarily affecting children and young adults. The molecular basis of this neoplasm is unknown. We here used chromosome banding analysis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), mRNA sequencing, RT-PCR and quantitative real-time PCR on a series of morphologically well-characterized PHEs to show that a balanced translocation, t(7;19)(q22;q13), detected as the sole cytogenetic aberration in two cases, results in fusion of the SERPINE1 and FOSB genes. This translocation has not been observed in any other bone or soft tissue tumour. Interphase FISH on sections from eight additional PHEs identified the same SERPINE1-FOSB fusion in all cases. The role of SERPINE1, which is highly expressed in vascular cells, in this gene fusion is probably to provide a strong promoter for FOSB, which was found to be expressed at higher levels in PHEs than in other soft tissue tumours. FOSB encodes a transcription factor belonging to the FOS family of proteins, which, together with members of the JUN family of transcription factors, are major components of the activating protein 1 (AP-1) complex. Further studies are needed to understand the cellular impact of the aberrant expression of the FOSB gene, but as the t(7;19) resulting in the SERPINE1-FOSB fusion seems to be pathognomonic for PHE, FISH or RT-PCR could be useful for differential diagnostic purposes.

Weissinger D, Tagscherer KE, Macher-Göppinger S, et al.
The soluble Decoy Receptor 3 is regulated by a PI3K-dependent mechanism and promotes migration and invasion in renal cell carcinoma.
Mol Cancer. 2013; 12(1):120 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Overexpression of Decoy Receptor 3 (DcR3), a soluble member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, is a common event in several types of cancer. In renal cell carcinoma (RCC), DcR3 overexpression is associated with lymph node and distant metastasis as well as a poor prognosis. However, the functional role and regulation of DcR3 expression in RCC is so far unknown.
METHODS: Modulation of DcR3 expression by siRNA and ectopic gene expression, respectively, was performed in ACHN and 769-P RCC cell lines. Functional effects of a modulated DcR3 expression were analyzed with regard to migration, invasion, adhesion, clonogenicity, and proliferation. Furthermore, quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblot analyses were performed to evaluate the expression of downstream mediators of DcR3. In further experiments, luciferase assays, quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblot analyses were applied to study the regulation of DcR3 expression in RCC. Additionally, an ex vivo tissue slice culture technique combined with immunohistochemistry was used to study the regulation of DcR3 expression in human RCC specimens.
RESULTS: Here, we show that DcR3 promotes adhesion, migration and invasiveness of RCC cells. The DcR3-dependent increase in cellular invasiveness is accompanied with an up-regulation of integrin alpha 4, matrixmetalloproteinase 7 and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA). Further, we identified a signaling pathway regulating DcR3 expression in RCC. Using in vitro experiments as well as an ex vivo RCC tissue slice culture model, we demonstrate that expression of DcR3 is regulated in a PI3K/AKT-dependent manner involving the transcription factor nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT).
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our results identify DcR3 as a key driver of tumor cell dissemination and suggest DcR3 as a promising target for rational therapy of RCC.

Chen K, Zhang S, Ji Y, et al.
Baicalein inhibits the invasion and metastatic capabilities of hepatocellular carcinoma cells via down-regulation of the ERK pathway.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e72927 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Baicalein, a widely used Chinese herbal medicine, has historically been used in anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer therapies. However, the anti-metastatic effect and molecular mechanism(s) of baicalein on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain poorly understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the anti-metastatic effects of baicalein and related mechanism(s) on HCC. Based on assays utilized in both HCC cell lines and in an animal model, we found that baicalein inhibited tumor cell metastasis in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, after treatment with baicalein for 24 hours, there was a decrease in the levels of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9 and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) expression as well as proteinase activity in hepatocellular carcinoma MHCC97H cells. Meanwhile, the expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) and TIMP-2 were increased in a dose-dependent fashion. Moreover, baicalein treatment dramatically decreased the levels of the phosphorylated forms of MEK1 and ERK1/2. MEK1 overexpression partially blocked the anti-metastatic effects of baicalein. Combined treatment with an ERK inhibitor (U0126) and baicalein resulted in a synergistic reduction in MMP-2, MMP-9 and u-PA expression and an increase in TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 expression; the invasive capabilities of MHCC97H cells were also inhibited. In conclusion, baicalein inhibits tumor cell invasion and metastasis by reducing cell motility and migration via the suppression of the ERK pathway, suggesting that baicalein is a potential therapeutic agent for HCC.

Bauer SR, Richman EL, Sosa E, et al.
Antioxidant and vitamin E transport genes and risk of high-grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer recurrence.
Prostate. 2013; 73(16):1786-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Observational studies suggest an inverse association between vitamin E and risk of prostate cancer, particularly aggressive tumors. However, three large randomized controlled trials have reported conflicting results. Thus, we examined circulating vitamin E and vitamin E-related genes in relation to risk of high-grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer recurrence among men initially diagnosed with clinically organ-confined disease.
METHODS: We measured circulating α- and γ-tocopherol and genotyped 30 SNPs in SOD1, SOD2, SOD3, TTPA, and SEC14L2 among 573 men with organ-confined prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy. We examined associations between circulating vitamin E, genotypes, and risk of high-grade prostate cancer (Gleason grade ≥ 8 or 7 with primary score ≥ 4; n = 117) using logistic regression, and risk of recurrence (56 events; 3.7 years median follow-up) using Cox proportional hazards regression.
RESULTS: Circulating γ-tocopherol was associated with an increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer (Q4 v. Q1 odds ratio [OR] = 1.87; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.97-3.58; P trend =0.02). The less common allele in SOD3 rs699473 was associated with an increased risk of high-grade disease (T > C: OR = 1.40, 95% CI: 1.04-1.89). Two independent SNPs in SOD1 were inversely associated with prostate cancer recurrence in additive models (rs17884057 hazard ratio [HR] = 0.49, 95%CI: 0.25-0.96; rs9967983 HR = 0.62, 95% CI: 0.40-0.95).
CONCLUSIONS: Among men with clinically organ-confined prostate cancer, genetic variation in SOD may be associated with risk of high-grade disease at diagnosis and disease recurrence. Circulating γ-tocopherol levels may also be associated with an increased risk of high-grade disease at diagnosis.

Damhofer H, Medema JP, Veenstra VL, et al.
Assessment of the stromal contribution to Sonic Hedgehog-dependent pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Mol Oncol. 2013; 7(6):1031-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains one of the most lethal malignancies. It is typically detected at an advanced stage, at which the therapeutic options are very limited. One remarkable feature of PDAC that contributes to its resilience to treatment is the extreme stromal activation seen in these tumors. Often, the vast majority of tumor bulk consists of non-tumor cells that together provide a tumor-promoting environment. One of the signals that maintains and activates the stroma is the developmental protein Sonic Hedgehog (SHH). As the disease progresses, tumor cells produce increasing amounts of SHH, which activates the surrounding stroma to aid in tumor progression. To better understand this response and identify targets for inhibition, we aimed to elucidate the proteins that mediate the SHH-driven stromal response in PDAC. For this a novel mixed-species coculture model was set up in which the cancer cells are human, and the stroma is modeled by mouse fibroblasts. In conjunction with next-generation sequencing we were able to use the sequence difference between these species to genetically distinguish between the epithelial and stromal responses to SHH. The stromal SHH-dependent genes from this analysis were validated and their relevance for human disease was subsequently determined in two independent patient cohorts. In non-microdissected tissue from PDAC patients, in which a large amount of stroma is present, the targets were confirmed to associate with tumor stroma versus normal pancreatic tissue. Patient survival analysis and immunohistochemistry identified CDA, EDIL3, ITGB4, PLAUR and SPOCK1 as SHH-dependent stromal factors that are associated with poor prognosis in PDAC patients. Summarizing, the presented data provide insight into the role of the activated stroma in PDAC, and how SHH acts to mediate this response. In addition, the study has yielded several candidates that are interesting therapeutic targets for a disease for which treatment options are still inadequate.

Ding Y, Zhang H, Zhong M, et al.
Clinical significance of the uPA system in gastric cancer with peritoneal metastasis.
Eur J Med Res. 2013; 18:28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: It has been demonstrated that urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is involved in tumor cell metastasis by degrading the extracellular matrix. However, there is little direct evidence of clinical uPA system expression in peritoneal metastatic tissues of gastric cancer. The objective of this study was to investigate uPA system expression in peritoneal tissues of peritoneal and nonperitoneal metastasis patients, and to explore the diagnostic value of the uPA system.
METHODS: Expressions of uPA, uPAR, and PAI-1 were measured by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and ELISA. uPA activity was detected using a uPA activity kit.
RESULTS: There was no significant difference in uPA, uPAR, and PAI-1 expression in two types of peritoneal tissue in seven patients with peritoneal metastasis. However, uPA, uPAR, and PAI-1 expressions in peritoneal metastatic lesions were significantly higher than those in normal peritoneal tissues of 24 nonperitoneal metastasis patients (P <0.05). Moreover, no statistical discrepancy of uPA activity was observed in various different tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: The expression of the uPA system positively correlates with peritoneal metastasis of gastric cancer. This expression difference in peritoneal or nonperitoneal metastasis patients may provide a reference for diagnosis of peritoneal metastasis.

Astorgues-Xerri L, Riveiro ME, Tijeras-Raballand A, et al.
Unraveling galectin-1 as a novel therapeutic target for cancer.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2014; 40(2):307-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
Galectins belong to a family of carbohydrate-binding proteins with an affinity for β-galactosides. Galectin-1 is differentially expressed by various normal and pathologic tissues and displays a wide range of biological activities. In oncology, galectin-1 plays a pivotal role in tumor growth and in the multistep process of invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Evidence indicates that galectin-1 exerts a variety of functions at different steps of tumor progression. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that galectin-1 cellular localization and galectin-1 binding partners depend on tumor localization and stage. Recently, galectin-1 overexpression has been extensively documented in several tumor types and/or in the stroma of cancer cells. Its expression is thought to reflect tumor aggressiveness in several tumor types. Galectin-1 has been identified as a promising drug target using synthetic and natural inhibitors. Preclinical data suggest that galectin-1 inhibition may lead to direct antiproliferative effects in cancer cells as well as antiangiogenic effects in tumors. We provide an up-to-date overview of available data on the role of galectin-1 in different molecular and biochemical pathways involved in human malignancies. One of the major challenges faced in targeting galectin-1 is the translation of current knowledge into the design and development of effective galectin-1 inhibitors in cancer therapy.

Roomi MW, Kalinovsky T, Niedzwiecki A, Rath M
Modulation of u-PA, MMPs and their inhibitors by a novel nutrient mixture in pediatric human sarcoma cell lines.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 43(4):1027-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pediatric sarcomas are highly aggressive tumors that are characterized by high levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 secretions that degrade the ECM and basement membrane, allowing cancer cells to spread to distal organs. Proteases play a key role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis by digesting the basement membrane and ECM components. Strong clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates association of elevated levels of u-PA and MMPs with cancer progression, metastasis and shortened patient survival. MMP activities are regulated by specific tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Our main objective was to study the effect of a nutrient mixture (NM) on activity of u-PA, MMPs and TIMPs in various human pediatric sarcomas. Human osteosarcoma MNNG-HOS, osteosarcoma U-2OS and rhabdomyosarcoma RD cell lines (ATCC) were cultured in their respective media and treated at confluence with NM at 0, 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1,000 µg/ml. Analysis of u-PA activity was carried out by fibrin zymography, MMPs by gelatinase zymography and TIMPs by reverse zymography. All sarcoma cell lines studied expressed u-PA, which was inhibited by NM in a dose-dependent manner. On gelatinase zymography, osteosarcoma MNNG-HOS showed a band corresponding to MMP-2 and induction of MMP-9 with PMA (100 ng/ml) treatment. U-2OS osteosarcoma cells showed strong bands corresponding to inactive MMP-2 and MMP-9 and faint bands corresponding to active MMP-2 and MMP-9 dimer; PMA treatment enhanced MMP-9 and MMP-9 dimer activity. Rhabdomyosarcoma showed MMP-2 and faint MMP-9 bands; PMA treatment enhanced MMP-9 expression. NM inhibited their expression in a dose-dependent manner. Activity of TIMPs was upregulated by NM in all cancer cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. Analysis revealed a positive correlation between u-PA and MMPs and a negative correlation between u-PA/MMPs and TIMPs. These findings suggest the therapeutic potential of NM in treatment of pediatric sarcomas.

Hakelius M, Koskela A, Ivarsson M, et al.
Keratinocytes and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells regulate urokinase-type plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in fibroblasts.
Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(8):3113-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To investigate possible differences in the effects of soluble factors from oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cells (UT-SCC-87) and normal oral keratinocytes (NOK) on fibroblast expression of genes involved in tumor stroma turnover.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Transwell co-cultures with fibroblasts in collagen gels, and SCC cells or NOK in inserts were carried out. Fibroblast gene expression was measured with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
RESULTS: The expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) was up-regulated in co-cultures with SCC cells but not with NOK. In contrast, both SCC cells and NOK regulated matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP1) and -3, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP2) and -3 to a similar extent, while MMP2 and TIMP1 were largely unaffected. Interleukin 1 alpha (IL1α) up-regulated both MMP1 and MMP3 and down-regulated PAI-1, TIMP2 and -3.
CONCLUSION: SCC and NOK regulate fibroblast expression of genes involved in tumor stroma turnover differentially in vitro. These observations may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind extracellular matrix turnover in tumors.

Steinestel J, Cronauer MV, Müller J, et al.
Overexpression of p16(INK4a) in urothelial carcinoma in situ is a marker for MAPK-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition but is not related to human papillomavirus infection.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e65189 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in bladder carcinogenesis remains controversial. Overexpression of p16(INK4a), a surrogate marker for infection with oncogenic HPV in other tumours, has been described for urothelial carcinoma in situ (UCIS). Our goal was therefore to evaluate whether overexpression of p16(INK4a) is associated with HPV infection and to identify mechanisms of p16(INK4a) upregulation in UCIS.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 60 tissue specimens from a total of 45 patients (UCIS and controls), we performed p16(INK4a) immunohistochemistry followed by detection and subclassification of HPV DNA. In a subset of samples, we tested for gene amplification of p16(INK4a) applying fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). RAS/MAPK signalling and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was assessed using immunohistochemistry. Finally, we transfected urothelial carcinoma cells with KRAS and examined the expression of p16(INK4a) as well as markers of EMT.
RESULTS: We found overexpression of p16(INK4a) in 92.6% of UCIS and in all cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) controls. In contrast, we detected high-risk HPV DNA in 80% of CIN, but none in UCIS. There was no gene amplification of p16(INK4a). High levels of phosphorylated kinases and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and loss of membraneous E-cadherin were detected in UCIS. KRAS transfection of urothelial carcinoma cells led to upregulation of p16(INK4a) and uPA accompanied by loss of E-cadherin that could be inhibited by application of the kinase-inhibitor Sorafenib.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that overexpression of p16(INK4a) in UCIS is neither associated with HPV infection nor p16(INK4a) gene amplification but is a consequence of enhanced RAS/MAPK signalling that promotes EMT, possibly due to Sorafenib-sensitive paracrine secretion of the EMT activator uPA. These findings might open a novel therapeutic option for localized but aggressive urothelial cancer.

Hussain Z, Khan MI, Shahid M, Almajhdi FN
S-adenosylmethionine, a methyl donor, up regulates tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 in colorectal cancer.
Genet Mol Res. 2013; 12(2):1106-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA methylation is a fundamental epigenetic mechanism in regulating the expression of genes controlling crucial cell functions in cancer development. Gene silencing via CpG island methylation/demethylation in the promoter region is one of the mechanisms by which different genes are inactivated/activated in human cancers. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) is known to antagonize matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity and to suppress tumor growth, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. TIMP-2 expression has been found to be both upregulated and downregulated in various cancers. The inconsistent TIMP-2 expression and unclear epigenetic regulation lead us to investigate its role in colorectal cancer in the presence of a methylating agent. Highly invasive human colorectal cells SW-620 were treated with the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and its effect was evaluated by cell proliferation, cell cycle, invasion and migration assay. The ability of SAM to down regulate a panel of activated prometastatic, angiogenesis and growth- and cell cycle-regulatory genes was evaluated using end-point and real-time PCR. Treatment of SW-620 with SAM diminished cell proliferation and altered cell cycle kinetic G2/M phase cell cycle arrest. An in vitro matrigel invasion assay of SAM-treated cells showed a significant reduction in the invasive potential compared to untreated SW-620 cells. Treatment of SW-620 cells with SAM resulted in activation of TIMP-2 and inhibition of the expression of genes such as MMP (MMP-2, MT1-MMP), urokinase plasminogen activator, and vascular endothelial growth factors. The level of expression of tumor suppressor and apoptotic genes was not significantly higher compared to the untreated control. No changes in the levels of expression of genes (growth and cell cycle regulator), such as TGF-β, Smad2, Smad4, and p21 were observed. Our data support the hypothesis that TIMP-2, along with other prometastatic genes, is hypomethylated and expressed differently in colorectal cancer. Further in-depth analysis is warranted to confirm the promoter region CpG methylation pattern of the TIMP-2 gene.

Roomi MW, Kalinovsky T, Niedzwiecki A, Rath M
Modulation of u-PA, MMPs and their inhibitors by a novel nutrient mixture in adult human sarcoma cell lines.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 43(1):39-49 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Adult sarcomas are highly aggressive tumors that are characterized by high levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 secretions that degrade the ECM and basement membrane, allowing cancer cells to spread to distal organs. Proteases play a key role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis by digesting the basement membrane and ECM components. Strong clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates association of elevated levels of u-PA and MMPs with cancer progression, metastasis and shortened patient survival. MMP activities are regulated by specific tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Our main objective was to study the effect of a nutrient mixture (NM) on the activity of u-PA, MMPs and TIMPs in various human adult sarcomas. Human fibrosarcoma (HT-1080), chondrosarcoma (SW-1353), liposarcoma (SW-872), synovial sarcoma (SW-982) and uterine leimyosarcoma (SK-UT-1) cell lines (ATCC) were cultured in their respective media and treated at confluence with NM at 0, 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1,000 µg/ml. Analysis of u-PA activity was carried out by fibrin zymography, MMPs by gelatinase zymography and TIMPs by reverse zymography. Fibrosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma cancer cell lines expressed u-PA, which was inhibited by NM in a dose-dependent manner. However, no bands corresponding to u-PA were detected for synovial sarcoma cells. On gelatinase zymography, fibrosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, liposarcoma and synovial sarcoma showed bands corresponding to MMP-2 and MMP-9 with enhancement of MMP-9 with PMA (100 ng/ml) treatment. Uterine leiomyosarcoma showed strong bands corresponding to inactive and active MMP-9 and a faint band corresponding to MMP-9 dimer induced with PMA treatment, but no MMP-2 band. NM inhibited their expression in a dose-dependent manner. Activity of TIMPs was upregulated by NM in all cancer cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. Analysis revealed a positive correlation between u-PA and MMPs and a negative correlation between u-PA/MMPs and TIMPs. These findings suggest the therapeutic potential of NM in treatment of adult sarcomas.

Pan G, Zhu Z, Huang J, et al.
Semaphorin 5A promotes gastric cancer invasion/metastasis via urokinase-type plasminogen activator/phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B.
Dig Dis Sci. 2013; 58(8):2197-204 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Semaphorin 5A, a member of the semaphorin family, was originally identified as an axonal guidance factor functioning during neuronal development. Previously, we showed that the expression of semaphorin 5A might contribute to the metastasis of gastric cancer. However, less information is currently available as to the involvement of uPA in the semaphorin 5A-induced metastasis and invasion of gastric cancer cells.
AIM: The present study was designed to test whether semaphorin 5A mediates the invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer via PI3K/Akt/uPA signaling.
METHODS: The semaphorin 5A-overexpressing cell was established from the gastric cancer cell line AGS. The effect of semaphorin 5A on the expression of uPA was evaluated by ELISA and Western blotting as well as RT-PCR assays, respectively. Synthetic or natural inhibitors and dominant-negative mutants were used to determine the hierarchical relationship between semaphorin 5A, PI3K/Akt and uPA in the invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer.
RESULTS: Overpression of semaphorin 5A enhanced the expression of uPA, and synthetic or natural inhibitors of uPA abolished semaphorin 5A-induced cell migration and invasion. Semaphorin 5A overexpression promoted the phosphorylation of Akt. Blocking effects of PI3K/Akt using pharmacologic inhibitors, dominant-negative mutants abolished the ability of semaphorin 5A to induce uPA expression and cell invasion and migration.
CONCLUSION: Semaphorin 5A could promote invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer through the PI3K/Akt/uPA signal transduction pathway. Semaphorin 5A and its regulated molecules could be the potential targets for cancer therapy.

Hagelgans A, Menschikowski M, Fuessel S, et al.
Deregulated expression of urokinase and its inhibitor type 1 in prostate cancer cells: role of epigenetic mechanisms.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2013; 94(3):458-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) play a crucial role in cancer progression. In the present study we examined the regulation of PAI-1 and uPA expressions in normal prostate epithelial cells (PrEC) and the prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP, DU-145, and PC-3. The antigen and mRNA levels of PAI-1 were down-regulated in cancer cells, especially in LNCaP and DU-145. In the presence of proinflammatory cytokines, an increase of PAI-1 mRNA levels was observed in PrEC, LNCaP and PC-3, but not in DU-145 cells. Treatment with demethylating agent, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine increased the level of PAI-1 transcript in DU-145 cells and restored the inducing effect of cytokines on PAI-1 expression. An aberrant methylation of PAI-1 promoter in DU-145 and LNCaP cells was shown by methylation-sensitive high resolution melting (MS-HRM) analysis. PAI-1 methylation was also significantly increased in tumor samples (23.2±1.7%) in comparison to adjacent non-tumor tissue (6.0±0.8%). Furthermore, the expression of uPA was increased in high invasive cell lines DU-145 and PC-3 in comparison to PrEC and low invasive LNCaP cells. MS-HRM analysis revealed aberrant methylation of uPA promoter in LNCaP cells, but not in PrEC, DU-145 and PC-3 cells, as well as in normal and prostate cancer tissue samples. In conclusion, the study shows that PAI-1 and uPA expressions were changed in opposite directions in high invasive prostate cancer cell lines resulting in a strong decrease of PAI-1/uPA ratio, which may indicate a shift towards proteolytic activities. Methylation of the PAI-1 gene is suggested as one of the molecular mechanisms involved in the cancer-associated down-regulation of the PAI-1 expression.

Zhao Y, Zhang D, Wang S, et al.
Holothurian glycosaminoglycan inhibits metastasis and thrombosis via targeting of nuclear factor-κB/tissue factor/Factor Xa pathway in melanoma B16F10 cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e56557 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Holothurian glycosaminoglycan (hGAG) is a high-molecular-weight form of fucosylated chondroitin sulfate and has an antithrombotic effect. Our previous studies demonstrated that hGAG efficiently inhibited tumor cell metastasis. The interplays between thrombosis and tumor progression may have a major impact on hematogenous metastasis. In this study, we demonstrated that the mouse melanoma B16F10 cells treated with hGAG displayed a significant reduction of metastasis and coagulation capacity in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic studies revealed that hGAG treatment in B16F10 cells remarkably inhibited the formation of fibrin through attenuating the generation of activated Factor Xa (FXa), without affecting the expression of urokinase (uPA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) that involved in fibrinolysis. Moreover, hGAG treatment downregulated the transcription and protein expression of tissue factor (TF). Promoter deletions, site mutations and functional studies identified that the nuclear transcription factor NF-κB binding region is responsible for hGAG-induced inhibition of TF expression. While the hGAG treatment of B16F10 cells was unable to inhibit NF-κB expression and phosphorylation, hGAG significantly prevented nuclear translocation of NF-κB from the cytosol, a potential mechanism underlying the transcriptional suppression of TF. Moreover, hGAG markedly suppressed the activation of p38MAPK and ERK1/2 signaling pathways, the central regulators for the expression of metastasis-related matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Consequently, hGAG exerts a dual function in the inhibition of metastasis and coagulation activity in mouse melanoma B16F10 cells. Our studies suggest hGAG to be a promising therapeutic agent for metastatic cancer treatment.

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