Gene Summary

Gene:CHIA; chitinase acidic
Aliases: CHIT2, AMCASE, TSA1902
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene degrades chitin, which is found in the cell wall of most fungi as well as in arthropods and some nematodes. The encoded protein can also stimulate interleukin 13 expression, and variations in this gene can lead to asthma susceptibility. Several transcript variants encoding a few different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Apr 2012]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:acidic mammalian chitinase
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

Specific Cancers (8)

Latest Publications: CHIA (cancer-related)

Lin JT, Chan TC, Li CF, et al.
Downregulation of the cytochrome P450 4B1 protein confers a poor prognostic factor in patients with urothelial carcinomas of upper urinary tracts and urinary bladder.
APMIS. 2019; 127(4):170-180 [PubMed] Related Publications
The objective of this study was to examine the expression level of cytochrome P450 4B1 (CYP4B1) protein and its clinical significance in specimens from patients with urothelial carcinomas (UC) including upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC, n = 340) and urinary bladder urothelial carcinoma (UBUC, n = 295). Data mining on public domains identified five potential candidate transcripts which were downregulated in advanced UBUCs, indicating that it might implicate in UC progression. Immunohistochemistry was performed to analyze the CYP4B1 protein levels on 635 tissues from UC patients retrospectively. Immunoexpression of CYP4B1 was further estimated using the H-score method. Correlations between CYP4B1 H-score and important clinicopathological factors, as well as the significance of CYP4B1 expression level for disease-specific and metastasis-free survivals were evaluated. In UTUCs and UBUCs, 118 (34.7%) and 92 (31.2%) patients, respectively, were identified to be of CYP4B1 downregulation. The CYP4B1 expression level was found to be associated with several clinicopathological factors and patient survivals. Downregulation of CYP4B1 protein was correlated to advanced primary tumor (p < 0.001), nodal metastasis (p < 0.001), high histological grade (p = 0.001), vascular invasion (p < 0.001), perineural invasion (p = 0.017) and mitotic rate (p = 0.036) in UTUCs and/or UBUCs. Low CYP4B1 protein level independently predicted inferior disease-specific (p = 0.009; p < 0.001) and metastasis-free (p = 0.035; p < 0.001) survivals in UTUC and UBUC patients. Our findings showed that downregulation of CYP4B1 protein level is an independent unfavorable prognosticator. Loss of the CYP4B1 gene expression may play an important role in UC progression.

Tsai YS, Jou YC, Tsai HT, et al.
Prothymosin-α enhances phosphatase and tensin homolog expression and binds with tripartite motif-containing protein 21 to regulate Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1/nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 signaling in human bladder cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(4):1208-1219 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prothymosin-α (PTMA) is a small, acidic protein that is usually transported into the nucleus and involves many cellular and immunological functions. Previous studies demonstrated that aberrant location of PTMA expression exists in human bladder cancer, but the role of PTMA protein expression remains elusive. In this study, we created ectopic nuclear or cytoplasmic PTMA expression in human bladder cancer cells by infecting lentiviruses carrying wild type or deleted nuclear localization signal of the PTMA gene. The in vivo tumorigenesis assay showed PTMA protein with deleted nuclear localization signal promotes J82 xenograft tumor growth in mice and shortens their survival more so than the wild type. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that wild-type PTMA protein binds to the PTEN promoter and enhances phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) expression. Through immunoblot proteomics and in vivo ubiquitination studies, PTMA protein can bind with tripartite motif-containing protein 21 (TRIM21) and block its ubiquitination. Also, TRIM21 can downregulate both forms of PTMA protein. In human bladder tumors, loss of nuclear PTMA expression was an unfavorable prognostic indicator for shorter disease-free survival (hazard ratio, 1.54; P = 0.009). Our data support that nuclear PTMA protein serves as a tumor suppressor in bladder cancer through upregulating PTEN and orchestrating TRIM21 for the regulation of Nrf2 signaling.

Tan AT, Yang N, Lee Krishnamoorthy T, et al.
Use of Expression Profiles of HBV-DNA Integrated Into Genomes of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells to Select T Cells for Immunotherapy.
Gastroenterology. 2019; 156(6):1862-1876.e9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is often associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Cells of most HBV-related HCCs contain HBV-DNA fragments that do not encode entire HBV antigens. We investigated whether these integrated HBV-DNA fragments encode epitopes that are recognized by T cells and whether their presence in HCCs can be used to select HBV-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) for immunotherapy.
METHODS: HCC cells negative for HBV antigens, based on immunohistochemistry, were analyzed for the presence of HBV messenger RNAs (mRNAs) by real-time polymerase chain reaction, sequencing, and Nanostring approaches. We tested the ability of HBV mRNA-positive HCC cells to generate epitopes that are recognized by T cells using HBV-specific T cells and TCR-like antibodies. We then analyzed HBV gene expression profiles of primary HCCs and metastases from 2 patients with HCC recurrence after liver transplantation. Using the HBV-transcript profiles, we selected, from a library of TCRs previously characterized from patients with self-limited HBV infection, the TCR specific for the HBV epitope encoded by the detected HBV mRNA. Autologous T cells were engineered to express the selected TCRs, through electroporation of mRNA into cells, and these TCR T cells were adoptively transferred to the patients in increasing numbers (1 × 10
RESULTS: HCC cells that did not express whole HBV antigens contained short HBV mRNAs, which encode epitopes that are recognized by and activate HBV-specific T cells. Autologous T cells engineered to express TCRs specific for epitopes expressed from HBV-DNA in patients' metastases were given to 2 patients without notable adverse events. The cells did not affect liver function over a 1-year period. In 1 patient, 5 of 6 pulmonary metastases decreased in volume during the 1-year period of T-cell administration.
CONCLUSIONS: HCC cells contain short segments of integrated HBV-DNA that encodes epitopes that are recognized by and activate T cells. HBV transcriptomes of these cells could be used to engineer T cells for personalized immunotherapy. This approach might be used to treat a wider population of patients with HBV-associated HCC.

Xiong L, Wu F, Wu Q, et al.
Aberrant enhancer hypomethylation contributes to hepatic carcinogenesis through global transcriptional reprogramming.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):335 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) exhibit distinct promoter hypermethylation patterns, but the epigenetic regulation and function of transcriptional enhancers remain unclear. Here, our affinity- and bisulfite-based whole-genome sequencing analyses reveal global enhancer hypomethylation in human HCCs. Integrative epigenomic characterization further pinpoints a recurrent hypomethylated enhancer of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-beta (C/EBPβ) which correlates with C/EBPβ over-expression and poorer prognosis of patients. Demethylation of C/EBPβ enhancer reactivates a self-reinforcing enhancer-target loop via direct transcriptional up-regulation of enhancer RNA. Conversely, deletion of this enhancer via CRISPR/Cas9 reduces C/EBPβ expression and its genome-wide co-occupancy with BRD4 at H3K27ac-marked enhancers and super-enhancers, leading to drastic suppression of driver oncogenes and HCC tumorigenicity. Hepatitis B X protein transgenic mouse model of HCC recapitulates this paradigm, as C/ebpβ enhancer hypomethylation associates with oncogenic activation in early tumorigenesis. These results support a causal link between aberrant enhancer hypomethylation and C/EBPβ over-expression, thereby contributing to hepatocarcinogenesis through global transcriptional reprogramming.

Mase S, Shinjo K, Totani H, et al.
ZNF671 DNA methylation as a molecular predictor for the early recurrence of serous ovarian cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(3):1105-1116 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Serous ovarian cancer is the most frequent type of epithelial ovarian cancer. Despite the use of surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy, many patients suffer from recurrence within 6 months, termed platinum resistance. Currently, the lack of relevant molecular biomarkers for the prediction of the early recurrence of serous ovarian cancers is linked to the poor prognosis. To identify an effective biomarker for early recurrence, we analyzed the genome-wide DNA methylation status characteristic of early recurrence after treatment. The patients in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset who showed a complete response after the first therapy were categorized into 2 groups: early recurrence serous ovarian cancer (ERS, recurrence ≤12 months, n = 51) and late recurrence serous ovarian cancer (LRS, recurrence >12 months, n = 158). Among the 12 differently methylated probes identified between the 2 groups, we found that ZNF671 was the most significantly methylated gene in the early recurrence group. A validation cohort of 78 serous ovarian cancers showed that patients with ZNF671 DNA methylation had a worse prognosis (P < .05). The multivariate analysis revealed that the methylation status of ZNF671 was an independent factor for predicting the recurrence of serous ovarian cancer patients both in the TCGA dataset and our cohort (P = .049 and P = .021, respectively). Functional analysis revealed that the depletion of ZNF671 expression conferred a more migratory and invasive phenotype to the ovarian cancer cells. Our data indicate that ZNF671 functions as a tumor suppressor in ovarian cancer and that the DNA methylation status of ZNF671 might be an effective biomarker for the recurrence of serous ovarian cancer after platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy.

Zhang Z, Chng KR, Lingadahalli S, et al.
An AR-ERG transcriptional signature defined by long-range chromatin interactomes in prostate cancer cells.
Genome Res. 2019; 29(2):223-235 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aberrant activities of transcription factors such as the androgen receptor (AR) underpin prostate cancer development. While the AR

Chen PY, Chen YT, Gao WY, et al.
Nobiletin Down-Regulates c-KIT Gene Expression and Exerts Antileukemic Effects on Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells.
J Agric Food Chem. 2018; 66(51):13423-13434 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nobiletin, a dietary citrus flavonoid, has been reported to possess several biological activities such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the antileukemic effects of nobiletin and its underlying mechanisms on human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. We demonstrated that nobiletin (0-100 μM) significantly reduced cell viability from 100.0 ± 9.6% to 31.1 ± 2.8% in human AML THP-1 cell line. Nobiletin arrested cell cycle progression in G1 phase and induced myeloid cell differentiation in human AML cells. Microarray analysis showed that mRNA expression of the c- KIT gene, a critical proto-oncogene associated with leukemia progression, was dramatically reduced in nobiletin-treated AML cells. Furthermore, we verified that AML cells treated with nobiletin (40 and 80 μM) for 48 h markedly suppressed c-KIT mRNA expression (from 1.00 ± 0.07-fold to 0.62 ± 0.08- and 0.30 ± 0.05-fold) and reduced the level of c-KIT protein expression (from 1.00 ± 0.11-fold to 0.60 ± 0.15- and 0.34 ± 0.05-fold) by inhibition of KIT promoter activity. The knockdown of c-KIT expression by shRNA attenuated cancer cell growth and induced cell differentiation. Moreover, we found that the overexpression of c-KIT abolished nobiletin-mediated cell growth inhibition in leukemia cells. These results indicate that nobiletin exerts antileukemic effects through the down-regulation of c-KIT gene expression in AML cells. Finally, we demonstrated that the combination of a conventional AML chemotherapeutic agent, cytarabine, with nobiletin resulted in more reduction of cell viability in AML cells. Our current findings suggest that nobiletin is a novel c-KIT inhibitor and may serve as a chemo-preventive or -therapeutic agent against human AML.

Sharma A, Cao EY, Kumar V, et al.
Longitudinal single-cell RNA sequencing of patient-derived primary cells reveals drug-induced infidelity in stem cell hierarchy.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):4931 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chemo-resistance is one of the major causes of cancer-related deaths. Here we used single-cell transcriptomics to investigate divergent modes of chemo-resistance in tumor cells. We observed that higher degree of phenotypic intra-tumor heterogeneity (ITH) favors selection of pre-existing drug-resistant cells, whereas phenotypically homogeneous cells engage covert epigenetic mechanisms to trans-differentiate under drug-selection. This adaptation was driven by selection-induced gain of H3K27ac marks on bivalently poised resistance-associated chromatin, and therefore not expressed in the treatment-naïve setting. Mechanistic interrogation of this phenomenon revealed that drug-induced adaptation was acquired upon the loss of stem factor SOX2, and a concomitant gain of SOX9. Strikingly we observed an enrichment of SOX9 at drug-induced H3K27ac sites, suggesting that tumor evolution could be driven by stem cell-switch-mediated epigenetic plasticity. Importantly, JQ1 mediated inhibition of BRD4 could reverse drug-induced adaptation. These results provide mechanistic insights into the modes of therapy-induced cellular plasticity and underscore the use of epigenetic inhibitors in targeting tumor evolution.

Hale VL, Jeraldo P, Chen J, et al.
Distinct microbes, metabolites, and ecologies define the microbiome in deficient and proficient mismatch repair colorectal cancers.
Genome Med. 2018; 10(1):78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Links between colorectal cancer (CRC) and the gut microbiome have been established, but the specific microbial species and their role in carcinogenesis remain an active area of inquiry. Our understanding would be enhanced by better accounting for tumor subtype, microbial community interactions, metabolism, and ecology.
METHODS: We collected paired colon tumor and normal-adjacent tissue and mucosa samples from 83 individuals who underwent partial or total colectomies for CRC. Mismatch repair (MMR) status was determined in each tumor sample and classified as either deficient MMR (dMMR) or proficient MMR (pMMR) tumor subtypes. Samples underwent 16S rRNA gene sequencing and a subset of samples from 50 individuals were submitted for targeted metabolomic analysis to quantify amino acids and short-chain fatty acids. A PERMANOVA was used to identify the biological variables that explained variance within the microbial communities. dMMR and pMMR microbial communities were then analyzed separately using a generalized linear mixed effects model that accounted for MMR status, sample location, intra-subject variability, and read depth. Genome-scale metabolic models were then used to generate microbial interaction networks for dMMR and pMMR microbial communities. We assessed global network properties as well as the metabolic influence of each microbe within the dMMR and pMMR networks.
RESULTS: We demonstrate distinct roles for microbes in dMMR and pMMR CRC. Bacteroides fragilis and sulfidogenic Fusobacterium nucleatum were significantly enriched in dMMR CRC, but not pMMR CRC. These findings were further supported by metabolic modeling and metabolomics indicating suppression of B. fragilis in pMMR CRC and increased production of amino acid proxies for hydrogen sulfide in dMMR CRC.
CONCLUSIONS: Integrating tumor biology and microbial ecology highlighted distinct microbial, metabolic, and ecological properties unique to dMMR and pMMR CRC. This approach could critically improve our ability to define, predict, prevent, and treat colorectal cancers.

Fang CL, Lin CC, Chen HK, et al.
Ubiquitin-specific protease 3 overexpression promotes gastric carcinogenesis and is predictive of poor patient prognosis.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(11):3438-3449 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers, knowledge of its development and carcinogenesis is limited. To date, expression of ubiquitin-specific protease 3 (USP3) in all types of cancer, including GC, is still unknown. The present study explored the involvement of USP3 in the carcinogenesis and prognosis of GC. We measured USP3 expression in normal and GC tissues and cell lines. Correlations between USP3 protein level and clinicopathological parameters, as well as the significance of USP3 protein level for disease-free survival were assessed. Small hairpin RNA technology and transfection were used to investigate the effect of USP3 manipulation on cell proliferation and spreading. Moreover, xenograft proliferation and metastasis were used to explore the influence of USP3 on tumor growth and metastasis in animals. An increase in USP3 expression was observed in GC cells and tissues. The overexpression of USP3 was significantly correlated with several clinicopathological parameters and poor disease-free survival. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that the overexpression of USP3 was an independent prognostic biomarker. Silencing of USP3 suppressed GC cell proliferation and spreading in vitro as well as xenograft proliferation and metastasis in vivo; however, opposite results were obtained when USP3 was overexpressed. Further studies showed that USP3 influenced cell proliferation and spreading by regulating the cell cycle control- and epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related molecules. This study suggests that USP3 overexpression can be a useful biomarker for predicting the outcomes of GC patients and that USP3 targeting represents a potential modality for treating GC.

Uen YH, Fang CL, Lin CC, et al.
Ceramide synthase 6 predicts the prognosis of human gastric cancer: It functions as an oncoprotein by dysregulating the SOCS2/JAK2/STAT3 pathway.
Mol Carcinog. 2018; 57(12):1675-1689 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers, knowledge of its development, and carcinogenesis is limited. The present study explored the involvement of ceramide synthase 6 (CERS6) in GC carcinogenesis and prognosis. RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to examine the expression of CERS6. Transfection and small hairpin RNA technology were used to investigate the effect of CERS6 manipulation on cell proliferation and spread as well as the underlying mechanism. Moreover, xenograft proliferation was employed to explore the influence of CERS6 on tumor growth in animals. It was found that overexpression of CERS6 was significantly correlated with several clinicopathologic parameters and poor disease-free survival. The overexpression and silencing of CERS6 in GC cells facilitated and suppressed cell proliferation and spread as well as xenograft proliferation, respectively. Mechanistic studies further revealed that CERS6 influenced cell proliferation and spread by regulating cell cycle control and metastasis-related protein through the SOCS2/JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway. Collectively, this study suggests that CERS6 overexpression could be a useful biomarker for predicting the outcomes of GC patients and that CERS6 targeting represents a potential modality for treating GC.

Wu CT, Lin WY, Chen WC, Chen MF
Predictive Value of CD44 in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer and Its Relationship with IL-6 Signaling.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2018; 25(12):3518-3526 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CD44, a cancer stem cell surface marker, is associated with treatment resistance and prognosis in some cancers. In the present study, we examined the predictive value of CD44 in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC).
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical outcomes of 105 MIBC patients and correlated these outcomes with the expression of CD44. Furthermore, the bladder cancer cell lines HT1197 and MB49 were selected for cellular and animal experiments to investigate the correlation between CD44 and tumor aggressiveness.
RESULTS: Analysis of clinical specimens indicated that CD44 staining was significantly associated with a higher clinical stage, higher locoregional failure rate, and lower disease-specific survival rate for MIBC patients. Using cellular experiments and orthotopic tumor models, we showed that CD44+ bladder cancer cells had a higher invasion ability and augmented epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) compared with CD44 cells. There was a significant correlation between interleukin (IL)-6 and CD44 levels noted by in vitro testing, and clinical samples. Blockade of IL-6 attenuated the expression of CD44, cancer stem-cell-like properties, and aggressive tumor behavior in vitro and in vivo. The related changes included the attenuated STAT3 activation and EMT, and decreased programmed death ligand 1-mediated T-cell suppression.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that CD44 expression is positively associated with tumor aggressiveness in bladder cancer, and activated IL-6 signaling provides a suitable microenvironment for the induction of CD44 expression.

Chen TJ, He HL, Shiue YL, et al.
High chloride channel accessory 1 expression predicts poor prognoses in patients with rectal cancer receiving chemoradiotherapy.
Int J Med Sci. 2018; 15(11):1171-1178 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Song TL, Nairismägi ML, Laurensia Y, et al.
Oncogenic activation of the STAT3 pathway drives PD-L1 expression in natural killer/T-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2018; 132(11):1146-1158 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mature T-cell lymphomas, including peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) and extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (NKTL), represent a heterogeneous group of non-Hodgkin lymphomas with dismal outcomes and limited treatment options. To determine the extent of involvement of the JAK/STAT pathway in this malignancy, we performed targeted capture sequencing of 188 genes in this pathway in 171 PTCL and NKTL cases. A total of 272 nonsynonymous somatic mutations in 101 genes were identified in 73% of the samples, including 258 single-nucleotide variants and 14 insertions or deletions. Recurrent mutations were most frequently located in

Baheti S, Tang X, O'Brien DR, et al.
HGT-ID: an efficient and sensitive workflow to detect human-viral insertion sites using next-generation sequencing data.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2018; 19(1):271 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Transfer of genetic material from microbes or viruses into the host genome is known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT). The integration of viruses into the human genome is associated with multiple cancers, and these can now be detected using next-generation sequencing methods such as whole genome sequencing and RNA-sequencing.
RESULTS: We designed a novel computational workflow, HGT-ID, to identify the integration of viruses into the human genome using the sequencing data. The HGT-ID workflow primarily follows a four-step procedure: i) pre-processing of unaligned reads, ii) virus detection using subtraction approach, iii) identification of virus integration site using discordant and soft-clipped reads and iv) HGT candidates prioritization through a scoring function. Annotation and visualization of the events, as well as primer design for experimental validation, are also provided in the final report. We evaluated the tool performance with the well-understood cervical cancer samples. The HGT-ID workflow accurately detected known human papillomavirus (HPV) integration sites with high sensitivity and specificity compared to previous HGT methods. We applied HGT-ID to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) whole-genome sequencing data (WGS) from liver tumor-normal pairs. Multiple hepatitis B virus (HBV) integration sites were identified in TCGA liver samples and confirmed by HGT-ID using the RNA-Seq data from the matched liver pairs. This shows the applicability of the method in both the data types and cross-validation of the HGT events in liver samples. We also processed 220 breast tumor WGS data through the workflow; however, there were no HGT events detected in those samples.
CONCLUSIONS: HGT-ID is a novel computational workflow to detect the integration of viruses in the human genome using the sequencing data. It is fast and accurate with functions such as prioritization, annotation, visualization and primer design for future validation of HGTs. The HGT-ID workflow is released under the MIT License and available at .

Liu BH, Jobichen C, Chia CSB, et al.
Targeting cancer addiction for SALL4 by shifting its transcriptome with a pharmacologic peptide.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(30):E7119-E7128 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Sal-like 4 (SALL4) is a nuclear factor central to the maintenance of stem cell pluripotency and is a key component in hepatocellular carcinoma, a malignancy with no effective treatment. In cancer cells, SALL4 associates with nucleosome remodeling deacetylase (NuRD) to silence tumor-suppressor genes, such as PTEN. Here, we determined the crystal structure of an amino-terminal peptide of SALL4(1-12) complexed to RBBp4, the chaperone subunit of NuRD, at 2.7 Å, and subsequent design of a potent therapeutic SALL4 peptide (FFW) capable of antagonizing the SALL4-NURD interaction using systematic truncation and amino acid substitution studies. FFW peptide disruption of the SALL4-NuRD complex resulted in unidirectional up-regulation of transcripts, turning SALL4 from a dual transcription repressor-activator mode to singular transcription activator mode. We demonstrate that FFW has a target affinity of 23 nM, and displays significant antitumor effects, inhibiting tumor growth by 85% in xenograft mouse models. Using transcriptome and survival analysis, we discovered that the peptide inhibits the transcription-repressor function of SALL4 and causes massive up-regulation of transcripts that are beneficial to patient survival. This study supports the SALL4-NuRD complex as a drug target and FFW as a viable drug candidate, showcasing an effective strategy to accurately target oncogenes previously considered undruggable.

Yeong J, Lim JCT, Lee B, et al.
High Densities of Tumor-Associated Plasma Cells Predict Improved Prognosis in Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
Front Immunol. 2018; 9:1209 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy affecting women, but the heterogeneity of the condition is a significant obstacle to effective treatment. Triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) do not express HER2 or the receptors for estrogen or progesterone, and so often have a poor prognosis. Tumor-infiltrating T cells have been well-characterized in TNBC, and increased numbers are associated with better outcomes; however, the potential roles of B cells and plasma cells have been large. Here, we conducted a retrospective correlative study on the expression of B cell/plasma cell-related genes, and the abundance and localization of B cells and plasma cells within TNBCs, and clinical outcome. We analyzed 269 TNBC samples and used immunohistochemistry to quantify tumor-infiltrating B cells and plasma cells, coupled with NanoString measurement of expression of immunoglobulin metagenes. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients bearing TNBCs with above-median densities of CD38

Chou HC, Lu CH, Su YC, et al.
Proteomic analysis of honokiol-induced cytotoxicity in thyroid cancer cells.
Life Sci. 2018; 207:184-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Honokiol is a natural product extracted from herbal plants such as the Magnolia species which have been shown to exhibit anti-tumor and anti-metastatic properties. However, the effects of honokiol on thyroid cancers are largely unknown.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To determine whether honokiol might be useful for the treatment of thyroid cancer and to elucidate the mechanism of toxicity of honokiol, we analyzed the impact of honokiol treatment on differential protein expression in human thyroid cancer cell line ARO using lysine-labeling two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) combined with mass spectrometry (MS).
KEY FINDINGS: This study revealed 178 proteins that showed a significant change in expression levels and also revealed that honokiol-induced cytotoxicity in thyroid cancer cells involves dysregulation of cytoskeleton, protein folding, transcription control and glycolysis.
SIGNIFICANCE: Our work shows that combined proteomic strategy provides a rapid method to study the molecular mechanisms of honokiol-induced cytotoxicity in thyroid cancer cells. The identified targets may be useful for further evaluation as potential targets in thyroid cancer therapy.

Chang JW, Kuo WH, Lin CM, et al.
Wild-type p53 upregulates an early onset breast cancer-associated gene GAS7 to suppress metastasis via GAS7-CYFIP1-mediated signaling pathway.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(30):4137-4150 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The early onset breast cancer patients (age ≤ 40) often display higher incidence of axillary lymph node metastasis, and poorer five-year survival than the late-onset patients. To identify the genes and molecules associated with poor prognosis of early onset breast cancer, we examined gene expression profiles from paired breast normal/tumor tissues, and coupled with Gene Ontology and public data base analysis. Our data showed that the expression of GAS7b gene was lower in the early onset breast cancer patients as compared to the elder patients. We found that GAS7 was associated with CYFIP1 and WAVE2 complex to suppress breast cancer metastasis via blocking CYFIP1 and Rac1 protein interaction, actin polymerization, and β1-integrin/FAK/Src signaling. We further demonstrated that p53 directly regulated GAS7 gene expression, which was inversely correlated with p53 mutations in breast cancer specimens. Our study uncover a novel regulatory mechanism of p53 in early onset breast cancer progression through GAS7-CYFIP1-mediated signaling pathways.

Chen PY, Tien HJ, Chen SF, et al.
Response of Myeloid Leukemia Cells to Luteolin is Modulated by Differentially Expressed Pituitary Tumor-Transforming Gene 1 (PTTG1) Oncoprotein.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(4) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Luteolin, a flavonoid nutraceutical abundant in vegetables and fruits, exhibits a wide range of bioactive properties, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. Pituitary tumor-transforming gene 1 (PTTG1), an oncoprotein that regulates cell proliferation, is highly expressed in several types of cancer cells including leukemia. In this study, we aim to investigate the anti-cancer effects of luteolin on cells with differential PTTG1 expression and their underlying mechanisms in human myeloid leukemia cells. Methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay data showed that luteolin (25-100 μM) significantly reduced cell viability in THP-1, HL-60 and K562 cells but did not affect normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Flow cytometric analysis and Western blot data demonstrated that luteolin induced a stronger apoptosis on undifferentiated myeloid leukemia cells with higher PTTG1 protein levels than on 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)- or all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA)-differentiated cells with lower PTTG1 expression. Furthermore, PTTG1 knockdown by shRNA in leukemia cells suppressed cell proliferation, arrested cell-cycle progression and impaired the effectiveness of luteolin on cell-cycle regulation. Moreover, PTTG1-knockdown cells with luteolin exposure presented a reduction of the apoptotic proteins and maintained higher levels of the anti-apoptotic proteins such as Mcl-1, Bcl-2 and p21, which exhibited greater resistance to apoptosis. Finally, microarray analysis showed that 20 genes associated with cell proliferation, such as

Resar L, Chia L, Xian L
Lessons from the Crypt: HMGA1-Amping up Wnt for Stem Cells and Tumor Progression.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(8):1890-1897 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
High mobility group A1 (HMGA1) chromatin remodeling proteins are enriched in aggressive cancers and stem cells, although their common function in these settings has remained elusive until now. Recent work in murine intestinal stem cells (ISC) revealed a novel role for Hmga1 in enhancing self-renewal by amplifying Wnt signaling, both by inducing genes expressing Wnt agonist receptors and Wnt effectors. Surprisingly, Hmga1 also "builds" a stem cell niche by upregulating

Korbolina EE, Brusentsov II, Bryzgalov LO, et al.
Novel approach to functional SNPs discovery from genome-wide data reveals promising variants for colon cancer risk.
Hum Mutat. 2018; 39(6):851-859 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the majority of colorectal cancer (CRC) cases, the genetic basis of predisposition remains unexplained. The goal of the study was to assess the regulatory SNPs (rSNPs) in the human genome and to reveal СRC drivers based on the available chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq, ChIA-PET) and transcriptional profiling (RNA-Seq) data. We combined positional (locations within genome regulatory elements) and functional (associated with allele-specific binding and expression) criteria followed by an analysis using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and minor allele frequency (MAF) datasets. DeSeq2 analysis through 70 CRC patients reinforced the regulatory potential. rSNPs (1,476) that were associated with significant (P < 0.01) allele-specific events resulting in thirty that exhibited a link with CRC according to the MAF and 27, with a risk of malignancy in general according to GWAS. Selected rSNPs may modify the expression of genes for tumor suppressors and the regulators of signaling pathways, including noncoding RNAs. However, the rSNPs from the most represented group affect the expression of genes related to splicing. Our findings strongly suggest that the identified variants might contribute to CRC susceptibility, which indicates that aberrant splicing is one of the key mechanisms for unraveling disease etiopathogenesis and provides useful inputs for interpreting how genotypic variation corresponds to phenotypic outcome.

Hung JH, Wee SK, Omar HA, et al.
Nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor regulates LRWD1 expression and cellular adaptation to oxidative stress in human embryonal carcinoma cells.
Biochimie. 2018; 148:99-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
Leucine-rich repeats and WD repeat domain-containing protein 1 (LRWD1) is implicated in the regulation of signal transduction, transcription, RNA processing and tumor development. However, LRWD1 transcriptional regulation is not fully understood. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between LRWD1 expression and reactive oxygen species (ROS) level in human embryonal carcinoma cell line, NT2/D1 cells, which will help in understanding the transcriptional regulatory role of ROS in cells. Results showed that the exposure of NT2/D1 cells to various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H

Shen CH, Tung SY, Tseng MJ, Leu YW
Inverse Correlation between Methylation and Expression of the Delta-like Ligand 1 Gene in Gastric Cancer.
Chin J Physiol. 2018; 61(2):65-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Notch signaling is a candidate pathway that transmits environmental information into the cell and interferes with the epigenome of gastric cancer. This study aimed to explore if the Notch pathway was abnormally regulated during gastric tumorigenesis. To achieve the goal, Delta-like ligand 1 (DLL1) gene expression, Notch upstream signal, promoter methylation and its correlation with DLL1 expression were examined by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR (RT-PCR) in cultured gastric cancer cell lines or gastric cancer patient samples. Immunostainings and tissue arrays (n = 40) were used to confirm the DLL1 expression was down-regulated in cancer cells. Transient or stable Notch1 active domain (NICD)-overexpression suppressed proliferation of the gastric cells but the in vivo tumor growth was enhanced. The results of abnormal DLL1 methylation and expression observed in early gastric lesions and in gastric cancers may be relevant to the pathogenesis of gastric cancer.

Chang WC, Cheng WC, Cheng BH, et al.
Mitochondrial Acetyl-CoA Synthetase 3 is Biosignature of Gastric Cancer Progression.
Cancer Med. 2018; 7(4):1240-1252 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cholesterol affects cancer progression, and acetyl-CoA is the primary cholesterogenesis substrate. The previous work has defined cholesterol bioflux via lipoprotein/receptor route is the gastric cancer (GCa) prognosis biosignature. The prognosis importance of acetyl-CoA to cholesterogenesis (mevalonate pathway) in GCa is yet to be defined. Using Kaplan-Meier Plotter web-based gene survival analyzer and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)-database analyzed with DBdriver.v2 platform, we revealed acetyl-CoA production and the mevalonate pathway are associated with GCa prognosis. We found mitochondrial-derived acetyl-CoA contributing enzymes (acyl-coA synthetase super-family 3; ACSS3) is the GCa progression confounder. Interestingly, it is not HMGCR (the committee enzyme of mevalonate pathway), but lower mevalonate pathway enzymes (e.g., MVK, LSS, DHCR14A1, SC4MOL, HSD17B7, SC5D) promote GCa patients 5-years overall survival in a differential level. Advanced analyses found ACSS3 is prognosis biosignatures for multiple GCa disease conditions. This report uncovered a higher expression of ACSS3 in tumor comparing to normal parental lesions, which implicates a targeting value for GCa therapy. While knockdown ACSS3 could suppress growth and invasion of GCa cells, of which even more impactful under starvation condition. This is the first report, surprisingly, revealed ACSS3 as important cancer prognosis biomarker. Targeting ACSS3 could be a novel therapeutic strategy for cancer, in this case, GCa.

Miano V, Ferrero G, Rosti V, et al.
Luminal lncRNAs Regulation by ERα-Controlled Enhancers in a Ligand-Independent Manner in Breast Cancer Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(2) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Estrogen receptor-α (ERα) is a ligand-inducible protein which mediates estrogenic hormones signaling and defines the luminal BC phenotype. Recently, we demonstrated that even in absence of ligands ERα (apoERα) binds chromatin sites where it regulates transcription of several protein-coding and lncRNA genes. Noteworthy, apoERα-regulated lncRNAs marginally overlap estrogen-induced transcripts, thus representing a new signature of luminal BC genes. By the analysis of H3K27ac enrichment in hormone-deprived MCF-7 cells, we defined a set of Super Enhancers (SEs) occupied by apoERα, including one mapped in proximity of the DSCAM-AS1 lncRNA gene. This represents a paradigm of apoERα activity since its expression is largely unaffected by estrogenic treatment, despite the fact that E2 increases ERα binding on DSCAM-AS1 promoter. We validated the enrichment of apoERα, p300, GATA3, FoxM1 and CTCF at both DSCAM-AS1 TSS and at its associated SE by ChIP-qPCR. Furthermore, by analyzing MCF-7 ChIA-PET data and by 3C assays, we confirmed long range chromatin interaction between the SE and the DSCAM-AS1 TSS. Interestingly, CTCF and p300 binding showed an enrichment in hormone-depleted medium and in the presence of ERα, elucidating the dynamics of the estrogen-independent regulation of DSCAM-AS1 expression. The analysis of this lncRNA provides a paradigm of transcriptional regulation of a luminal specific apoERα regulated lncRNA.

Tseng PL, Wu WH, Hu TH, et al.
Decreased succinate dehydrogenase B in human hepatocellular carcinoma accelerates tumor malignancy by inducing the Warburg effect.
Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):3081 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Changes in TCA cycle enzymes or respiratory activity are possible mechanisms of aerobic glycolysis that contributes to tumor progression. To clarify whether the decrease of succinate dehydrogenase B (SDHB) alters energy metabolism, induces the Warburg effect and results in tumor malignancy, SDHB expression was examined and modulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues and cells, respectively. SDHB level was often decreased in malignant HCC cells and tissues. Furthermore, the reduced SDHB expression was associated with advanced tumor stage and poor survival rate. Moreover, silencing of SDHB altered energy metabolism switched from aerobic respiration to glycolysis, resulted in the Warburg effect, and enhanced cell proliferation and motility. In contrast, the SDHB overexpression deregulated bioenergetic metabolism and decreased cell growth and migration. In mouse xenograft models, subcutaneous implantation and tail vein injection with SDHB knockdown cells resulted in a larger tumor volume and accelerated cancer metastasis, respectively. A mutation or decrease in SDHB induced the switch from aerobic respiration to glycolysis. This metabolic alteration was associated with tumor cell dedifferentiation, proliferation, motility and overall patient survival in HCC.

Bertrand D, Drissler S, Chia BK, et al.
ConsensusDriver Improves upon Individual Algorithms for Predicting Driver Alterations in Different Cancer Types and Individual Patients.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(1):290-301 [PubMed] Related Publications
Existing cancer driver prediction methods are based on very different assumptions and each of them can detect only a particular subset of driver genes. Here we perform a comprehensive assessment of 18 driver prediction methods on more than 3,400 tumor samples from 15 cancer types, all to determine their suitability in guiding precision medicine efforts. We categorized these methods into five groups: functional impact on proteins in general (FI) or specific to cancer (FIC), cohort-based analysis for recurrent mutations (CBA), mutations with expression correlation (MEC), and methods that use gene interaction network-based analysis (INA). The performance of driver prediction methods varied considerably, with concordance with a gold standard varying from 9% to 68%. FI methods showed relatively poor performance (concordance <22%), while CBA methods provided conservative results but required large sample sizes for high sensitivity. INA methods, through the integration of genomic and transcriptomic data, and FIC methods, by training cancer-specific models, provided the best trade-off between sensitivity and specificity. As the methods were found to predict different subsets of driver genes, we propose a novel consensus-based approach, ConsensusDriver, which significantly improves the quality of predictions (20% increase in sensitivity) in patient subgroups or even individual patients. Consensus-based methods like ConsensusDriver promise to harness the strengths of different driver prediction paradigms.

Singh SS, Vats S, Chia AY, et al.
Dual role of autophagy in hallmarks of cancer.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(9):1142-1158 [PubMed] Related Publications
Evolutionarily conserved across eukaryotic cells, macroautophagy (herein autophagy) is an intracellular catabolic degradative process targeting damaged and superfluous cellular proteins, organelles, and other cytoplasmic components. Mechanistically, it involves formation of double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes that capture cytosolic cargo and deliver it to lysosomes, wherein the breakdown products are eventually recycled back to the cytoplasm. Dysregulation of autophagy often results in various disease manifestations, including neurodegeneration, microbial infections, and cancer. In the case of cancer, extensive attention has been devoted to understanding the paradoxical roles of autophagy in tumor suppression and tumor promotion. In this review, while we summarize how this self-eating process is implicated at various stages of tumorigenesis, most importantly, we address the link between autophagy and hallmarks of cancer. This would eventually provide a better understanding of tumor dependence on autophagy. We also discuss how therapeutics targeting autophagy can counter various transformations involved in tumorigenesis. Finally, this review will provide a novel insight into the mutational landscapes of autophagy-related genes in several human cancers, using genetic information collected from an array of cancers.

Thompson KJ, Ingle JN, Tang X, et al.
A comprehensive analysis of breast cancer microbiota and host gene expression.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(11):e0188873 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The inflammatory tumoral-immune response alters the physiology of the tumor microenvironment, which may attenuate genomic instability. In addition to inducing inflammatory immune responses, several pathogenic bacteria produce genotoxins. However the extent of microbial contribution to the tumor microenvironment biology remains unknown. We utilized The Cancer Genome Atlas, (TCGA) breast cancer data to perform a novel experiment utilizing unmapped and mapped RNA sequencing read evidence to minimize laboratory costs and effort. Our objective was to characterize the microbiota and associate the microbiota with the tumor expression profiles, for 668 breast tumor tissues and 72 non-cancerous adjacent tissues. The prominent presence of Proteobacteria was increased in the tumor tissues and conversely Actinobacteria abundance increase in non-cancerous adjacent tissues. Further, geneset enrichment suggests Listeria spp to be associated with the expression profiles of genes involved with epithelial to mesenchymal transitions. Moreover, evidence suggests H. influenza may reside in the surrounding stromal material and was significantly associated with the proliferative pathways: G2M checkpoint, E2F transcription factors, and mitotic spindle assembly. In summary, further unraveling this complicated interplay should enable us to better diagnose and treat breast cancer patients.

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