Oxygen deficiency in tumor tissue is associated with a malign phenotype, characterized by high invasiveness, increased metastatic potential and poor prognosis. Hypoxia chambers are the established standard model for in vitro studies on tumor hypoxia. An enzymatic hypoxia system (GOX/CAT) based on the use of glucose oxidase (GOX) and catalase (CAT) that allows induction of stable hypoxia for in vitro approaches more rapidly and with less operating expense has been introduced recently. Aim of this work is to compare the enzymatic system with the established technique of hypoxia chamber in respect of gene expression, glucose metabolism and radioresistance, prior to its application for in vitro investigation of oxygen deficiency.
We have previously reported that over-expression of a panel of 119 genes correlates with the metastatic potential of pancreatic carcinoma cells. We sought to identify and functionally characterize candidate tumour metastasis promoting genes among this library using a secondary phenotype-assisted screen. Here we report the discovery of the metastasis-promoting function of a hitherto not characterized gene located on chromosome 14 (ORF138), which we have named novel metastasis-promoting gene 1 (NVM-1). The NVM-1 transcript is extensively alternatively spliced, is expressed endogenously in a number of different tissues, and is strongly over-expressed at the protein level in a variety of human tumour types. Importantly, NVM-1 expression stimulates the migratory and invasive behaviour of tumour cells and promotes metastasis formation in experimental animals in vivo. Up-regulation of FMNL2 and MT1E and down-regulation of TIMP4 and MHC-I is observed as a consequence of NVM-1 expression. Together these data identify NVM-1 as a gene that is functionally involved in tumour metastasis, and suggest that NVM-1 may constitute a promising therapeutic target for inhibition of tumour metastasis.
Cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CS/CPB) is associated with increased risk for postoperative complications causing substantial morbidity and mortality. To identify the molecular mechanisms underlying CS/CPB-induced pathophysiology we employed an integrative systems biology approach using the whole blood transcriptome as the sentinel organ.
Tissue fibrosis is an integral component of chronic inflammatory (liver and pancreas) diseases and pancreatic cancer. Activated pancreatic- (PSC) and hepatic- (HSC) stellate cells play a key role in fibrogenesis. To identify organ- and disease-specific stellate cell transcriptional fingerprints, we employed genome-wide transcriptional analysis of primary human PSC and HSC isolated from patients with chronic inflammation or cancer.
Endothelial cells (EC) in tumor and normal tissue constitute critical radiotherapy targets. MicroRNAs have emerged as master switchers of the cellular transcriptome. Here, we seek to investigate the role of miRNAs in primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) after ionizing radiation.
To unravel biological mechanisms potentially resulting in the obliteration process after radiosurgery (RS) of human cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) by investigating molecular signatures on the transcriptomic level in peripheral blood of patients.
With the use of genome-wide cDNA microarrays, we investigated the transcriptome profile of the human osteosarcoma Sa OS and U-2 OS cell lines. In all, 1,098 chip entries were differentially regulated in the two cell lines; of these, 796 entries corresponded to characterized mRNAs. The identified genes are mostly expressed in epithelial tissues and localize on chromosomes 1, 10, and 20. Furthermore, signaling cascades for cell cycle, glycolysis, and gluconeogenesis, the p53 pathway, cell communication, and focal adhesion were found to be differently regulated in the two cell lines. The transcriptome profiles reported here provide novel information about the considerable molecular differences between these two widely used human osteosarcoma cell lines.
High-throughput "omics" based data analysis play emerging roles in life sciences and molecular diagnostics. This emphasizes the urgent need for user-friendly windows-based software interfaces that could process the diversity of large tab-delimited raw data files generated by these methods. Depending on the study, dozens to hundreds of these data tables are generated. Before the actual statistical or cluster analysis, these data tables have to be combined and merged to expression matrices (e.g., in case of gene expression analysis). Gene annotations as well as information concerning the samples analyzed may be appended, renewed or extended. Often additional data values shall be computed or certain features must be filtered out.
Perineural invasion, the growth of tumor cells along nerves, is a key feature of pancreatic cancer. The cardinal symptom of pancreatic cancer, abdominal pain often radiating to the back, as well as the high frequency of local tumor recurrence following resection are both attributed to the unique ability of pancreatic tumor cells to invade the neuronal system. The molecular mechanisms underlying the neuroaffinity of pancreatic tumors are not completely understood. In this study, we developed a novel method to monitor ex vivo perineural invasion into surgically resected rat vagal nerves by different human pancreatic tumor cell lines. Genome-wide transcriptional analyses were employed to identify the consensus set of genes differentially regulated in all highly nerve-invasive (nerve invasion passage 3) versus less invasive (nerve invasion passage 0) pancreatic tumor cells. The critical involvement of kinesin family member 14 (KIF14) and Rho-GDP dissociation inhibitor beta (ARHGDIbeta) in perineural invasion was confirmed on RNA and protein levels in human pancreatic tumor specimens. We found significant up-regulation of KIF14 and ARHGDIbeta mRNA levels in patients with pancreatic cancer, and both proteins were differentially expressed in tumor cells invading the perineural niche of pancreatic cancer patients as detected by immunohistochemistry. Moreover, functional knockdown of KIF14 and ARHGDIbeta using small interfering RNA resulted in altered basal and/or perineural invasion of pancreatic tumor cells. Our work provides novel insights into the molecular determinants of perineural invasion in pancreatic cancer. The established nerve invasion model and the consensus signature of perineural invasion could be instrumental in the identification of novel therapeutic targets of pancreatic cancer as exemplified by KIF14 and ARHGDIbeta.
Testicular germ cell cancers in young adult men derive from a precursor lesion called carcinoma in situ (CIS) of the testis. CIS cells were suggested to arise from primordial germ cells or gonocytes. However, direct studies on purified samples of CIS cells are lacking. To overcome this problem, we performed laser microdissection of CIS cells. Highly enriched cell populations were obtained and subjected to gene expression analysis. The expression profile of CIS cells was compared with microdissected gonocytes, oogonia, and cultured embryonic stem cells with and without genomic aberrations. Three samples of each tissue type were used for the analyses. Unique expression patterns for these developmentally very related cell types revealed that CIS cells were very similar to gonocytes because only five genes distinguished these two cell types. We did not find indications that CIS was derived from a meiotic cell, and the similarity to embryonic stem cells was modest compared with gonocytes. Thus, we provide new evidence that the molecular phenotype of CIS cells is similar to that of gonocytes. Our data are in line with the idea that CIS cells may be gonocytes that survived in the postnatal testis. We speculate that disturbed development of somatic cells in the fetal testis may play a role in allowing undifferentiated cells to survive in the postnatal testes. The further development of CIS into invasive germ cell tumors may depend on signals from their postpubertal niche of somatic cells, including hormones and growth factors from Leydig and Sertoli cells.
Tumor dormancy has important implications for early detection and treatment of cancer. Lack of experimental models and limited clinical accessibility constitute major obstacles to the molecular characterization of dormant tumors. We have developed models in which human tumors remain dormant for a prolonged period of time (>120 days) until they switch to rapid growth and become strongly angiogenic. These angiogenic tumors retain their ability to grow fast once injected in new mice. We hypothesized that dormant tumors undergo a stable genetic reprogramming during their switch to the fast-growing phenotype. Genome-wide transcriptional analysis was done to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying the switch of dormant breast carcinoma, glioblastoma, osteosarcoma, and liposarcoma tumors. A consensus expression signature distinguishing all four dormant versus switched fast-growing tumors was generated. In alignment with our phenotypic observation, the angiogenesis process was the most significantly affected functional gene category. The switch of dormant tumors was associated with down-regulation of angiogenesis inhibitor thrombospondin and decreased sensitivity of angiogenic tumors to angiostatin. The conversion of dormant tumors to exponentially growing tumors was also correlated with regulation and activation of pathways not hitherto linked to tumor dormancy process, such as endothelial cell-specific molecule-1, 5-ecto-nucleotidase, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3, epidermal growth factor receptor, insulin-like growth factor receptor, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling. Further, novel dormancy-specific biomarkers such as H2BK and Eph receptor A5 (EphA5) were discovered. EphA5 plasma levels in mice and mRNA levels in tumor specimens of glioma patients correlated with diseases stage. These data will be instrumental in identifying novel early cancer biomarkers and could provide a rationale for development of dormancy-promoting tumor therapy strategies.
Tumor dormancy refers to a critical stage in cancer development in which tumor cells remain occult for a prolonged period of time until they eventually progress and become clinically apparent. We previously showed that the switch of dormant tumors to fast-growth is angiogenesis dependent and requires a stable transcriptional reprogramming in tumor cells. Considering microRNAs (miRs) as master regulators of transcriptome, we sought to investigate their role in the control of tumor dormancy. We report here the identification of a consensus set of 19 miRs that govern the phenotypic switch of human dormant breast carcinoma, glioblastoma, osteosarcoma, and liposarcoma tumors to fast-growth. Loss of expression of dormancy-associated miRs (DmiRs, 16/19) was the prevailing regulation pattern correlating with the switch of dormant tumors to fast-growth. The expression pattern of two DmiRs (miR-580 and 190) was confirmed to correlate with disease stage in human glioma specimens. Reconstitution of a single DmiR (miR-580, 588 or 190) led to phenotypic reversal of fast-growing angiogenic tumors towards prolonged tumor dormancy. Of note, 60% of angiogenic glioblastoma and 100% of angiogenic osteosarcoma over-expressing miR190 remained dormant during the entire observation period of ? 120 days. Next, the ability of DmiRs to regulate angiogenesis and dormancy-associated genes was evaluated. Transcriptional reprogramming of tumors via DmiR-580, 588 or 190 over-expression resulted in downregulation of pro-angiogenic factors such as TIMP-3, bFGF and TGFalpha. In addition, a G-CSF independent downregulation of Bv8 was found as a common target of all three DmiRs and correlated with decreased tumor recruitment of bone marrow-derived CD11b+ Gr-1+ myeloid cells. In contrast, antiangiogenic and dormancy promoting pathways such as EphA5 and Angiomotin were upregulated in DmiR over-expressing tumors. This work suggests novel means to reverse the malignant tumor phenotype into an asymptomatic dormant state and may provide promising targets for early detection or prevention of cancer.
Quantitative analysis of transcriptional regulation of genes is a prerequisite for a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of action of different radiation qualities such as photon, proton or carbon ion irradiation. Microarrays and real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) are considered the two cornerstones of gene expression analysis. In interpreting these results it is critical to normalize the expression levels of the target genes by that of appropriately selected endogenous control genes (ECGs) or housekeeping genes. We sought to systematically investigate common ECG candidates for their stability after different radiation modalities in different human cell lines by qRT-PCR. We aimed to identify the most robust set of ECGs or housekeeping genes for transcriptional analysis in irradiation studies.
The mTOR signaling plays an integral role in cellular homeostasis controlling the transition between the catabolic and anabolic states. Originally approved as immunosuppressive agents preventing allograft rejection, inhibitors of mTOR signaling have recently entered the arena of cancer therapy. Using rapamycin derivative (RAD001) as a prototype inhibitor, we aimed to systematically analyze the molecular mechanisms underlying the pleiotropic effects of mTOR signaling. Using proliferation- and clonogenic survival assays, a preferential sensitivity of microvascular endothelial cells (HDMVEC) followed by fibroblasts and U87 gliblastoma to RAD001 treatment was found. In contrast, lung- and prostate tumor cells demonstrated relative resistance against RAD001 treatment. In co-culture with fibroblasts, RAD001 exerted potent antiangiogenic effects by inhibiting endothelial cell tube formation. Further, RAD001 treatment efficiently prevented tumor growth in U87 tumor xenografts. Integrative transcriptome analysis was performed to decipher the molecular mechanism underlying RAD001 -induced anti-tumor and antiangiogenic effects. The predominant expression pattern was downregulation of genes after RAD001 treatment in all three sensitive cell types. Among the RAD001 downregulated genes, a transcriptional network was discovered enriched for genes related to angiogenesis processes and extracellular matrix remodeling, e.g., VEGF, HIF1A, CXCLs, IL6, FN, PAI-1 or NRP1. Of note, key components of PI3K upstream (PDK1) as well as mTORC2 downstream signaling (SGK1, NDRG) were downregulated by RAD001. Decreased expression of IMPDH and 139 common gene targets between mycophenolic acid and RAD001 suggested in part shared mechanisms underlying their antiangiogenic and immunosuppressive effects. In summary, key genetic participants governing anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic effects of mTOR inhibition were identified.
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