In trypanosomatids, gene expression is regulated mainly by post-transcriptional mechanisms, which affect mRNA processing, translation and degradation. Currently, our understanding of factors that regulate either mRNA stability or translation is rather limited. We know that often, the regulators are proteins that bind to the 3'-untranslated region; they presumably interact with ribonucleases and translation factors. However, very few such proteins have been characterized in any detail. Here we describe a genome-wide screen to find proteins implicated in post-transcriptional regulation in Trypanosoma brucei. We made a library of random genomic fragments in a plasmid that was designed for expression of proteins fused to an RNA-binding domain, the lambda-N peptide. This was transfected into cells expressing mRNAs encoding a positive or negative selectable marker, and bearing the "boxB" lambda-N recognition element in the 3'-untranslated region. The screen identified about 300 proteins that could be implicated in post-transcriptional mRNA regulation. These included known regulators, degradative enzymes and translation factors, many canonical RNA-binding proteins, and proteins that act via multi-protein complexes. However there were also nearly 150 potential regulators with no previously annotated function, or functions unrelated to mRNA metabolism. Almost 50 novel regulators were shown to bind RNA using a targeted proteome array. The screen also provided fine structure mapping of the hit candidates' functional domains. Our findings not only confirm the key role that RNA-binding proteins play in the regulation of gene expression in trypanosomatids, but also suggest new roles for previously uncharacterized proteins.
Stroke induces a profound neuroinflammatory reaction that leads to secondary cerebral tissue injury. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a key anti-inflammatory cytokine that is endogenously produced by immune cells and limits this inflammatory reaction. Previously, therapeutic administration of IL-10 has been shown to be neuroprotective in experimental stroke. However, the signaling pathways affected by this approach are largely unknown. The aim of this study was to verify the neuroprotective effects of IL-10 in an experimental mouse stroke model and to analyze the pathways modulated by this approach. Therefore, we performed a whole genome microarray analysis comparing the cerebral gene expression profile at two time points after cortical stroke in IL-10-treated and control C57Bl/6J mice. We administered IL-10 locally by intracerebroventricular injection. We were able to validate a reduction of infarct volume by IL-10 administration and characterized the kinetics of endogenous cerebral IL-10 expression after stroke. The microarray analysis revealed that IL-10 treatment effectively downregulated pro-inflammatory signaling cascades which were upregulated by the ischemic lesion in the acute phase after the stroke. This is the first study characterizing the global gene regulation profile of IL-10 immunotherapy for ischemic stroke. Our results emphasize the key role of IL-10 as a neuroprotective cytokine and suggest several novel downstream pathways for further investigation to better understand the mechanisms of post-stroke neuroinflammation.
Synthetic lethality is an appealing technique for selectively targeting cancer cells which have acquired molecular changes that distinguish them from normal cells. High-throughput RNAi-based screens have been successfully used to identify synthetic lethal pathways with well-characterized tumor suppressors and oncogenes. The recent identification of metabolic tumor suppressors suggests that the concept of synthetic lethality can be applied to selectively target cancer metabolism as well.
About 70% of newly diagnosed cases of bladder cancer are low-stage, low-grade, non muscle-invasive. Standard treatment is transurethral resection. About 60% of the tumors will recur, however, and in part progress to become invasive. Therefore, surveillance cystoscopy is performed after resection. However, in the USA and Europe alone, about 54 000 new patients per year undergo repeated cystoscopies over several years, who do not experience recurrence. Analysing in a pilot study resected tumors from patients with (n = 19) and without local recurrence (n = 6) after a period of 5 years by means of an antibody microarray that targeted 724 cancer-related proteins, we identified 255 proteins with significantly differential abundance. Most are involved in the regulation and execution of apoptosis and cell proliferation. A multivariate classifier was constructed based on 20 proteins. It facilitates the prediction of recurrence with a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 100%. As a measure of overall accuracy, the area under the curve value was found to be 91%. After validation in additional sample cohorts with a similarly long follow-up, such a signature could support decision making about the stringency of surveillance or even different treatment options.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) have distinct gene expression patterns according to localization, genotype and aggressiveness. DNA methylation at CpG dinucleotides is an important mechanism for regulation of gene expression. We performed targeted DNA methylation analysis of 1.505 CpG loci in 807 cancer-related genes in a cohort of 76 GISTs, combined with genome-wide mRNA expression analysis in 22 GISTs, to identify signatures associated with clinicopathological parameters and prognosis. Principal component analysis revealed distinct DNA methylation patterns associated with anatomical localization, genotype, mitotic counts and clinical follow-up. Methylation of a single CpG dinucleotide in the non-CpG island promoter of SPP1 was significantly correlated with shorter disease-free survival. Hypomethylation of this CpG was an independent prognostic parameter in a multivariate analysis compared to anatomical localization, genotype, tumor size and mitotic counts in a cohort of 141 GISTs with clinical follow-up. The epigenetic regulation of SPP1 was confirmed in vitro, and the functional impact of SPP1 protein on tumorigenesis-related signaling pathways was demonstrated. In summary, SPP1 promoter methylation is a novel and independent prognostic parameter in GISTs, and might be helpful in estimating the aggressiveness of GISTs from the intermediate-risk category.
Genome sequencing has led to the identification of many proteins, which had not been recognized before. In consequence, the basic set of human proteins is generally known. Far less information, however, exists about protein-protein interactions, which are required and responsible for cellular activities and their control. Many protein isoforms that result from mutations, splice-variations and post-translational modifications also come into play. Until recently, interactions of only few protein partners could be analyzed in a single experiment. However, this does not meet the challenge of investigating the highly complex interaction patterns in cellular systems. It is made even more demanding by the need to determine the intensity of interactions quantitatively in order to properly understand protein interplay. Currently available techniques vary with respect to accuracy, reliability, reproducibility and throughput and their performances range from a mere qualitative demonstration of binding to a quantitative characterization of affinities. In this article, an overview is given of the methodologies available for analysis of protein-protein interactions.
Pancreatic stellate cells are key mediators in chronic pancreatitis and play a central role in the development of pancreatic fibrosis, stromal formation, and progression of pancreatic cancer. This study was aimed at investigating molecular changes at the level of the proteome that are associated with the activation of pancreatic stellate cells by proinflammatory factors, namely TNF-?, FGF2, IL6, and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 4 (CCL4). They were added individually to cells growing in serum-free medium next to controls in medium supplemented with serum, thus containing a mixture of them all, or in serum-free medium alone. Variations were detected by means of a microarray of 810 antibodies targeting relevant proteins. All tested factors triggered increased proliferation and migration. Further analysis showed that TNF-? is the prime factor responsible for the activation of pancreatic stellate cells. CCL4 is associated with cellular neovascularization, whereas FGF2 and IL6 induction led to better cellular survival and decreased apoptotic activity of the stellate cells. The identified direct effects of individual cytokines on human pancreatic stellate cells provide new insights about their contribution to pancreatic cancer promotion.
Chemotherapy of advanced pancreatic cancer has mainly been gemcitabine-based for the past 15 years, with only limited effect. Recently, combination therapy that also targets checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) has become an attractive option. The central role of CHK1 in many DNA-damage response pathways, however, may result in undesired cytotoxicity in normal cells, causing side effects. We were searching for other target molecules of similar function that may be more specific and thus better suited for combination therapy. To this end a negative selection RNAi screen was performed in cell lines with small hairpin RNA molecules targeting over 10,000 genes. Genes that were found to be synthetically lethal with gemcitabine and whose proteins act upstream of CHK1 were characterised in more detail. In particular, the inhibition of RAD17 potentiated gemcitabine cytotoxicity in the pancreatic cancer cell lines BxPC-3 and MiaPaca-2 and in the primary cell line JoPaca-1 that closely resembles primary tumour tissue. Further analysis showed that the synergistic effect of RAD17 knockdown and gemcitabine leads to forced mitotic entry of cells arrested in S phase by gemcitabine treatment, resulting in asymmetric DNA distribution during anaphase followed by DNA fragmentation and finally cell death by mitotic catastrophe. Our data suggest RAD17 as a novel target protein for gemcitabine combination therapy supplementing or complementing inhibition of CHK1. In contrast to CHK1, RAD17 knockdown by itself does not lead to abnormal DNA segregation, suggesting a more specific action.
Breast cancer stem cells are suspected to be responsible for tumour recurrence, metastasis formation as well as chemoresistance. Consequently, great efforts have been made to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer stem cell maintenance. In order to study these rare cells in-vitro, they are typically enriched via mammosphere culture. Here we developed a mammosphere-based negative selection shRNAi screening system suitable to analyse the involvement of thousands of genes in the survival of cells with cancer stem cell properties.
KRAS mutations are major factors involved in initiation and maintenance of pancreatic tumors. The impact of different mutations on patient survival has not been clearly defined. We screened tumors from 171 pancreatic cancer patients for mutations in KRAS and CDKN2A genes. Mutations in KRAS were detected in 134 tumors, with 131 in codon 12 and only 3 in codon 61. The GGT>GAT (G12D) was the most frequent mutation and was present in 60% (80/134). Deletions and mutations in CDKN2A were detected in 43 tumors. Analysis showed that KRAS mutations were associated with reduced patient survival in both malignant exocrine and ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC). Patients with PDACs that had KRAS mutations showed a median survival of 17 months compared to 30 months for those without mutations (log-rank P?=?0.07) with a multivariate hazard ratio (HR) of 2.19 (95%CI 1.09-4.42). The patients with G12D mutation showed a median survival of 16 months (log-rank-test P?=?0.03) and an associated multivariate HR 2.42 (95%CI 1.14-2.67). Although, the association of survival in PDAC patients with CDKN2A aberrations in tumors was not statistically significant, the sub-group of patients with concomitant KRAS mutations and CDKN2A alterations in tumors were associated with a median survival of 13.5 months compared to 22 months without mutation (log-rank-test P?=?0.02) and a corresponding HR of 3.07 (95%CI 1.33-7.10). Our results are indicative of an association between mutational status and survival in PDAC patients, which if confirmed in subsequent studies can have potential clinical application.
There is strong epidemiologic evidence indicating that common genetic variability could be implicated in pancreatic cancer risk and, to date, various loci have been proposed. In particular, there is increasing evidence of the involvement of ABO gene variability and pancreatic cancer risk. In a large multicentric study of 1,028 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cases and 2,257 controls in the context of the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium, we investigated the suggested association with increased risk for carriers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) determining the A or B allele in comparison with the O allele, which encodes for a non-functional enzyme. Since glycosyltransferase activity, encoded by ABO, is higher for the A1 variant compared with the A2 variant, we investigated the hypothesis that A1 carriers were at an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. In our analysis, carriers of the A1 were indeed at greater risk of developing the disease. In addition, we investigated the possible influence that genetic variability at the ABO locus may have in pancreatic cancer survival, but we observed no effect in our population.
Based on about a decade of technical developments in analysing the human proteome with antibody microarrays and experience in performing such analyses, now there are the means at hand for detailed and simultaneously global investigations of this kind. Many technical aspects have been dealt with of both the microarray format itself - such as overcoming kinetic and mass transport limitations and thus achieving accurate measurements - and ancillary processes - such as extraction procedures that provide good protein solubilisation, produce reproducible yields and preserve the native protein conformation as much as possible. The overall analysis process is robust and reproducible, highly sensitive down to the level of single-molecule detection and permits an analysis of several parameters on many molecules at a time. While the study of body liquids is widely applied, analyses of tissue proteomes are still scarce. However, conditions do exist to perform the latter at a quality level that meets the standards for clinical applications. This review highlights methodological aspects relevant for a biomedically useful analysis of cellular samples and discusses the potential of such studies, in particular, in view of personalised medicine approaches.
Dilated cardiomyopathies (DCM) show remarkable variability in their age of onset, phenotypic presentation, and clinical course. Hence, disease mechanisms must exist that modify the occurrence and progression of DCM, either by genetic or epigenetic factors that may interact with environmental stimuli. In the present study, we examined genome-wide cardiac DNA methylation in patients with idiopathic DCM and controls. We detected methylation differences in pathways related to heart disease, but also in genes with yet unknown function in DCM or heart failure, namely Lymphocyte antigen 75 (LY75), Tyrosine kinase-type cell surface receptor HER3 (ERBB3), Homeobox B13 (HOXB13) and Adenosine receptor A2A (ADORA2A). Mass-spectrometric analysis and bisulphite-sequencing enabled confirmation of the observed DNA methylation changes in independent cohorts. Aberrant DNA methylation in DCM patients was associated with significant changes in LY75 and ADORA2A mRNA expression, but not in ERBB3 and HOXB13. In vivo studies of orthologous ly75 and adora2a in zebrafish demonstrate a functional role of these genes in adaptive or maladaptive pathways in heart failure.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading cancer-related causes of death in the western world with an urgent need for new treatment strategies. Recently, hyperforin and nemorosone have been described as promising anti-cancer lead compounds. While hyperforin has been thoroughly investigated in vitro and in vivo, in vivo data for nemorosone are still missing. Thus, we investigated the growth-inhibitory potential of nemorosone on pancreatic cancer xenografts in NMRI nu/nu mice and determined basic pharmacokinetic parameters. Xenograft tumors were treated with nemorosone and gemcitabine, the current standard of care. Tumor sections were subjected to H&E as well as caspase 3 and Ki-67 staining. Nemorosone plasma kinetics were determined by HPLC and mass spectrometry. Induction of CYP3A4 and other metabolizing enzymes by nemorosone and hyperforin was tested on primary hepatocytes using qRT-PCR. At a dose of 50 mg/kg nemorosone per day, a significant growth-inhibitory effect was observed in pancreatic cancer xenografts. The compound was well tolerated and rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream with a half-life of approximately 30 min. Different metabolites were detected, possibly resembling CYP3A4-independent oxidation products. It is concluded that nemorosone is a potential anti-cancer lead compound with good bioavailability, little side-effects and promising growth-inhibitory effects, thus representing a valuable compound for a combination therapy approach.
Simple, reliable tools for diagnosis of human African Trypanosomiases could ease field surveillance and enhance patient care. In particular, current methods to distinguish patients with (stage II) and without (stage I) brain involvement require samples of cerebrospinal fluid. We describe here an exploratory study to find out whether miRNAs from peripheral blood leukocytes might be useful in diagnosis of human trypanosomiasis, or for determining the stage of the disease. Using microarrays, we measured miRNAs in samples from Trypanosoma brucei gambiense-infected patients (9 stage I, 10 stage II), 8 seronegative parasite-negative controls and 12 seropositive, but parasite-negative subjects. 8 miRNAs (out of 1205 tested) showed significantly lower expression in patients than in seronegative, parasite-negative controls, and 1 showed increased expression. There were no clear differences in miRNAs between patients in different disease stages. The miRNA profiles could not distinguish seropositive, but parasitologically negative samples from controls and results within this group did not correlate with those from the trypanolysis test. Some of the regulated miRNAs, or their predicted mRNA targets, were previously reported changed during other infectious diseases or cancer. We conclude that the changes in miRNA profiles of peripheral blood lymphocytes in human African trypanosomiasis are related to immune activation or inflammation, are probably disease-non-specific, and cannot be used to determine the disease stage. The approach has little promise for diagnostics but might yield information about disease pathology.
Antibody microarrays are a multiplexing technique for the analyses of hundreds of different analytes in parallel from small sample volumes of few microlitres only. With sensitivities in the picomolar to femtomolar range, they are gaining importance in proteomic analyses. These sensitivities can be obtained for complex protein samples without any pre-fractionation or signal amplification. Also, no expensive or elaborate protein depletion steps are needed. As with custom DNA-microarrays, the implementation of a dual-colour assay adds to assay robustness and reproducibility and was therefore a focus of our technical implementation. In order to perform antibody microarray experiments for large sets of samples and analytes in a robust manner, it was essential to optimise the experimental layout, the protein extraction, labelling and incubation as well as data processing steps. Here, we present our current protocol, which is used for the simultaneous analysis of the abundance of more than 800 proteins in plasma, urine, and tissue samples.
A universally applicable labelling and purification process was established to prepare biologically active proteins with a stoichiometric 1:1 ratio of attached dye-label. The dye-label is linked to a specific DNA sequence, which acts as a barcode-like tag for affinity purification. The DNA-dye tag is covalently bound to the target protein, which is present in excess to assure the binding of not more than one dye per molecule. Affinity purification occurs at magnetic beads that are functionalized with oligonucleotides that are complementary to the DNA-tag of the labelled proteins but for one or two mismatches. Washing removes all unbound, unlabelled molecules. The labelled protein is subsequently released by the addition of a fully complementary oligonucleotide. This process allows a gentle purification of a protein fraction that has exactly one label attached to each molecule under conditions that preserve protein structure.
Epigenetic aberrations are recognized as an early and common event during carcinogenesis. This provides a strong rationale for a therapeutic intervention at the epigenetic level. Current epigenetically active drugs, however, lack specificity for particular genomic loci. Better processes for a more targeted manipulation of the cancer epigenome are needed. One option could be the ability of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) to recruit the chromatin modification complexes to particular genomic loci. In consequence, epigenetic variations would not be stochastic but controlled by a directed programme, through which specific groups of genes are regulated by promoter methylation and(or) histone marks, even if located on different chromosomes. lncRNAs are known to be functionally involved in cell fate specification and carcinogenesis. Depleting lncRNAs with oncogenic potential or replacing scarce molecules with tumor suppressor activity could therefore be employed for a specific reprogramming of the epigenome of cancer cells. Apart from the targeted manner and thus specificity, the mode of action by itself could be an advantage of lncRNA-associated therapy. Similar to what happens naturally during cell fate decisions, the whole developmental programme of a cell or particular parts of it could be reset. In consideration of the early onset of epigenetic aberrations, such an approach could even be useful for cancer prevention.
Adenoviruses (Ads), especially HAdV-5, have been genetically equipped with tumor-restricted replication potential to enable applications in oncolytic cancer therapy. Such oncolytic adenoviruses have been well tolerated in cancer patients, but their anti-tumor efficacy needs to be enhanced. In this regard, it should be considered that cancer cells, dependent on their tissue of origin, can differ substantially from the normal host cells to which Ads are adapted by complex virus-host interactions. Consequently, viral replication efficiency, a key determinant of oncolytic activity, might be suboptimal in cancer cells. Therefore, we have analyzed both the replication kinetics of HAdV-5 and the virus-induced transcriptome in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC) in comparison to cancer cells. This is the first report on genome-wide expression profiling of Ads in their native host cells. We found that E1A expression and onset of viral genome replication are most rapid in HBEC and considerably delayed in melanoma cells. In squamous cell lung carcinoma cells, we observed intermediate HAdV-5 replication kinetics. Infectious particle production, viral spread and lytic activity of HAdV-5 were attenuated in melanoma cells versus HBEC. Expression profiling at the onset of viral genome replication revealed that HAdV-5 induced the strongest changes in the cellular transcriptome in HBEC, followed by lung cancer and melanoma cells. We identified prominent regulation of genes involved in cell cycle and DNA metabolism, replication and packaging in HBEC, which is in accord with the necessity to induce S phase for viral replication. Strikingly, in melanoma cells HAdV-5 triggered opposing regulation of said genes and, in contrast to lung cancer cells, no weak S phase induction was detected when using the E2F promoter as reporter. Our results provide a rationale for improving oncolytic adenoviruses either by adaptation of viral infection to target tumor cells or by modulating tumor cell functions to better support viral replication.
Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst mortality rates of all cancers. Little is known about its etiology, particularly regarding inherited risk. The PanScan project, a genome-wide association study, identified several common polymorphisms affecting pancreatic cancer susceptibility. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ABO, sonic hedgehog (SHH), telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), nuclear receptor subfamily 5, group A, member 2 (NR5A2) were found to be associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Moreover the scan identified loci on chromosomes 13q22.1 and 15q14, to which no known genes or other functional elements are mapped. We sought to replicate these observations in two additional, independent populations (from Germany and the UK), and also evaluate the possible impact of these SNPs on patient survival. We genotyped 15 SNPs in 690 cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and in 1277 healthy controls. We replicated several associations between SNPs and PDAC risk. Furthermore we found that SNP rs8028529 was weakly associated with a better overall survival (OS) in both populations. We have also found that NR5A2 rs12029406_T allele was associated with a shorter survival in the German population. In conclusion, we found that rs8028529 could be, if these results are replicated, a promising marker for both risk and prognosis for this lethal disease.
Nanoparticles are sphere-like biocompatible materials made of inert silica, metal or crystals of a few nanometers in size. They are emerging as a novel class of therapeutics for cancer treatment. Being more selective and specific toward their targets, nanoparticles have the ability to enhance the anticancer effects and to simultaneously reduce systemic toxicity compared with conventional therapeutics. Furthermore, they offer the potential to overcome drug resistance leading to higher intracellular drug accumulation. Nowadays, nanotechnologies are applied to molecular diagnostics and incorporated in cutting-edge molecular diagnostic methods, such as DNA and protein microarray biochips. Nanotechnologies enable diagnosis at the single-cell and single-molecule levels. Recent progress in cancer nanotechnology raises exciting opportunities for specific drug delivery. The purpose of this review is to give an overview about different types of nanoparticles and to summarize the latest results regarding their diagnostic and therapeutic applications in the clinic with more focus on cancer treatment. Furthermore, we discuss opportunities, limitations, and challenges faced by therapeutic nanoparticles.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading cancer-related causes of death due to high chemo-resistance and fast metastasation. Nemorosone, a polycyclic polyprenylated acylphloroglucinol, has recently been identified as a promising anticancer agent. Here, we examine its growth-inhibitory effects on pancreatic cancer cells. Based on transcription profiling, a molecular mode of action is proposed.
Following the advances in human genome sequencing, attention has shifted in part toward the elucidation of the encoded biological functions. Since proteins are the driving forces behind very many biological activities, large-scale examinations of their expression variations, their functional roles and regulation have moved to the central stage. A significant fraction of the human proteome consists of secreted proteins. Exploring this set of molecules offers unique opportunities for understanding molecular interactions between cells and fosters biomarker discovery that could advance the detection and monitoring of diseases. Antibody microarrays are among the relatively new proteomic methodologies that may advance the field significantly because of their relative simplicity, robust performance and high sensitivity down to single-molecule detection. In addition, several aspects such as variations in amount, structure and activity can be assayed at a time. Antibody microarrays are therefore likely to improve the analytical capabilities in proteomics and consequently permit the production of even more informative and reliable data. This review looks at recent applications of this novel platform technology in secretome analysis and reflects on the future.
DNA methylation profiling has become an important aspect of biomedical molecular analysis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of bisulphite-treated DNA is a processing step that is common to many currently used methods of quantitative methylation analysis. Preferential amplification of unmethylated alleles-known as PCR-bias-may significantly affect the accuracy of quantification. To date, no universal experimental approach has been reported to overcome the problem. This study presents an effective method of correcting biased methylation data. The procedure includes a calibration performed in parallel to the analysis of the samples under investigation. DNA samples with defined degrees of methylation are analysed. The observed deviation of the experimental results from the expected values is used for calculating a regression curve. The equation of the best-fitting curve is then used for correction of the data obtained from the samples of interest. The process can be applied irrespective of the locus interrogated and the number of sites analysed, avoiding an optimization of the amplification conditions for each individual locus.
Based on a single-molecule sensitive fluorescence-linked immunosorbent assay, an analytical platform for the detection of lipoarabinomannan (LAM), a lipopolysaccharide marker of tuberculosis, was established that is about 3 orders of magnitude more sensitive than comparable current ELISA assays. No amplification step was required. Also, no particular sample preparation had to be done. Since individual binding events are detected, true quantification was possible simply by counting individual signals. Utilizing a total internal reflection configuration, unprocessed biological samples (human urine and plasma) to which LAM was added could be analyzed without the requirement of sample purification or washing steps during analysis. Samples containing about 600 antigen molecules per microliter produced a distinct signal. The methodology developed can be employed for any set of target molecules for which appropriate antibodies exist.
Estrogen receptor ? (ER?) upregulation causes abnormal cell proliferation in about two thirds of breast cancers, yet understanding of the underlying mechanisms remains incomplete. Here, we show that high expression of the microRNA miR-375 in ER?-positive breast cell lines is a key driver of their proliferation. miR-375 overexpression was caused by loss of epigenetic marks including H3K9me2 and local DNA hypomethylation, dissociation of the transcriptional repressor CTCF from the miR-375 promoter, and interactions of ER? with regulatory regions of miR-375. Inhibiting miR-375 in ER?-positive MCF-7 cells resulted in reduced ER? activation and cell proliferation. A combination of expression profiling from tumor samples and miRNA target prediction identified RASD1 as a potential miR-375 target. Mechanistic investigations revealed that miR-375 regulates RASD1 by targeting the 3 untranslated region in RASD1 mRNA. Additionally, we found that RASD1 negatively regulates ER? expression. Our findings define a forward feedback pathway in control of ER? expression, highlighting new strategies to treat ER?-positive invasive breast tumors.
Toxicogenomics represents the integration of genomics and toxicology to investigate the interaction between genes and environmental stress in human health. It is a scientific field that studies how the genome is involved in responses to environmental stressors and toxicants. The patterns of altered gene expression that are caused by specific exposures or disease outcomes reveal how toxicants may act and cause disease. Nowadays, toxicogenomics faces great challenges in discriminating the molecular basis of toxicity. We do believe that advances in this field will eventually allow us to describe all the toxicological interactions that occur within a living system. Toxicogenomic responses of a toxic agent in one species (e.g., laboratory animals) may predict the mode of action in another species (e.g., humans) (predictive toxicology). Development and application of toxicogenomic databases and new bioinformatics tools are among the most important aspects of toxicogenomic research which will facilitate sharing and interpretation of the huge amount of biological information generated in this field. Medicinal herbs have played an important role in pharmacy from ancient to modern times. Nowadays, there is a revival of interest in medicinal plants and an increasing scientific interest in bioactive natural products. Medicinal herbs are usually considered to be nontoxic. However, the consumption of herbs could produce prominent toxic effects either due to inherent toxicity or to contaminants (heavy metals, microorganisms, pesticides, toxic organic solvents, radioactivity, etc.). Therefore, a critical assessment of their toxicity is an urgent issue. This review explores the field of toxicogenomics, pinpoints some of its research approaches and describes the challenges it faces. In particular, Chinese herbal preparations have been implicated.
With the completeness of genome databases, it has become possible to develop a novel FISH (Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization) technique called COMBO-FISH (COMBinatorial Oligo FISH). In contrast to other FISH techniques, COMBO-FISH makes use of a bioinformatics approach for probe set design. By means of computer genome database searching, several oligonucleotide stretches of typical lengths of 15-30 nucleotides are selected in such a way that all uniquely colocalize at the given genome target. The probes applied here were Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNAs)-synthetic DNA analogues with a neutral backbone-which were synthesized under high purity conditions. For a probe repetitively highlighted in centromere 9, PNAs labeled with different dyes were tested, among which Alexa 488(®) showed reversible photobleaching (blinking between dark and bright state) a prerequisite for the application of SPDM (Spectral Precision Distance/Position Determination Microscopy) a novel technique of high resolution fluorescence localization microscopy. Although COMBO-FISH labeled cell nuclei under SPDM conditions sometimes revealed fluorescent background, the specific locus was clearly discriminated by the signal intensity and the resulting localization accuracy in the range of 10-20 nm for a detected oligonucleotide stretch. The results indicate that COMBO-FISH probes with blinking dyes are well suited for SPDM, which will open new perspectives on molecular nanostructural analysis of the genome.
Antibody microarrays are a developing tool for global proteomic profiling. A protocol was established that permits robust analyses of protein extracts from mammalian tissues and cells rather than body fluids. The factors optimized were buffer composition for surface blocking, blocking duration, protein handling and processing, labeling parameters like type of dye, molar ratio of label versus protein, and dye removal, as well as incubation parameters such as duration, temperature, buffer, and sample agitation.
Determination of the sequence of the human genome and knowledge of the genetic code have allowed rapid progress in the identification of mammalian proteins. However, far less is known about the molecular mechanisms that control expression of human genes and about the variations in gene expression that underlie many pathological states, including cancer. This is caused in part by lack of information about the binding specificities of DNA-binding proteins and particularly regulative important molecules such as transcription factors. It is consequently crucial to develop new technologies or improve existing ones for the analysis of DNA-protein interaction in order to identify and characterise DNA response elements and the related transcription factors or other DNA-binding proteins. The techniques that are currently available vary with respect to the type of result that can be expected from the assay: a mere qualitative demonstration of binding; the identification of response element sequences at high throughput; or a quantitative characterisation of affinities. This article gives an overview of early and recent methodologies applied to such ends.
Recent advances in antibody microarray technology have made it possible to measure the expression of hundreds of proteins simultaneously in a competitive dual-colour approach similar to dual-colour gene expression microarrays. Thus, the established normalisation methods for gene expression microarrays, e.g. loess regression, can in principle be applied to protein microarrays. However, the typical assumptions of such normalisation methods might be violated due to a bias in the selection of the proteins to be measured. Due to high costs and limited availability of high quality antibodies, the current arrays usually focus on a high proportion of regulated targets. Housekeeping features could be used to circumvent this problem, but they are typically underrepresented on protein arrays. Therefore, it might be beneficial to select invariant features among the features already represented on available arrays for normalisation by a dedicated selection algorithm.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human malignancies with an increasing incidence worldwide. In addition to the poor survival rates, combinations using gemcitabine as a backbone have failed to show any benefit beyond monotherapy. These facts underscore an urgent need for novel therapeutic options and motivated us to study the effect of berberine on pancreatic cancer cells. Here, we undertook an mRNA-based gene expression profiling study in order to get deeper insight into the molecular targets mediating the growth inhibitory effects of berberine on pancreatic cancer cells compared to normal ones. Twenty-four hours after treatment, berberine showed preferential selectivity toward pancreatic cancer cells compared to normal ones. Moreover, expression profiling and Ingenuity pathway analysis results showed that the cytotoxicity of berberine was accompanied with an activation of BRCA1-mediated DNA damage response, G1/S and G2/M cell cycle checkpoint regulation, and P53 signalling pathways. The activation of these signalling pathways might be explained by the fact that berberine intercalates DNA and induces DNA strand break through inhibition of topoisomerases and induction of DNA lesions.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human malignancies with an increasing incidence worldwide. Despite an increase in the number of systemic treatments available for pancreatic cancer, the impact of therapy on the clinical course of the disease has been modest, underscoring an urgent need for new therapeutic options. Although selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors have been demonstrated to have cancer-preventive effects, the mechanism of their effects is not clearly known. Moreover, there have been no unbiased studies to identify novel molecular targets of NS-398 regarding pancreatic cancer. Here we undertook a gene expression profiling study to identify novel molecular targets modulating the growth inhibitory effects of NS-398 on pancreatic cancer cell lines. Our mRNA-based gene expression results showed that the growth inhibitory effect of NS-398 was accompanied with an activation of G1/S and G2/M cell cycle regulation, P53 signalling, apoptotic, aryl hydrocarbon receptor and death receptor signalling pathways. Moreover, we reported, for the first time, that the growth inhibitory effect of NS-398 is mediated by down-regulation of RRM2, CTGF, MCM2 and PCNA and up-regulation of NAG-1 in all cell lines.
Acquired drug resistance represents a frequent obstacle which hampers efficient chemotherapy of cancers. The contribution of aberrant DNA methylation to the development of drug resistant tumor cells has gained increasing attention over the past decades. Hence, the objective of the presented study was to characterize DNA methylation changes which arise from treatment of tumor cells with the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. DNA methylation levels from CpG islands (CGIs) linked to twenty-eight genes, whose expression levels had previously been shown to contribute to resistance against DNA double strand break inducing drugs or tumor progression in different cancer types were analyzed. High-definition DNA methylation profiles which consisted of methylation levels from 800 CpG sites mapping to CGIs around the transcription start sites of the selected genes were determined. In order to investigate the influence of CGI methylation on the expression of associated genes, their mRNA levels were investigated via qRT-PCR. It was shown that the employed method is suitable for providing highly accurate methylation profiles, comparable to those obtained via clone sequencing, the gold standard for high-definition DNA methylation studies. In breast carcinoma cells with acquired resistance against the double strand break inducing drug doxorubicin, changes in methylation of specific cytosines from CGIs linked to thirteen genes were detected. Moreover, similarities between methylation profiles obtained from breast and ovarian carcinoma cell lines with acquired doxorubicin resistance were found. The expression levels of a subset of analyzed genes were shown to be linked to the methylation levels of the analyzed CGIs. Our results provide detailed DNA methylation information from two separate model systems for acquired doxorubicin resistance and suggest the occurrence of similar methylation changes in both systems upon exposure to the drug.
Scientific progress in genetics, cell and molecular biology has greatly ameliorated our comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms of neoplastic transformation and progression. The rapidly advancing identification of molecular targets in human cancers during the last decade has provided an excellent starting point for the development of novel therapeutics. A huge variety of potential molecular targets have been identified, many of which are already in the market for therapeutic purposes. It is now becoming possible to target pathways and/or molecules that are crucial in maintaining the malignant phenotype. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is often considered as alternative or complementary medicine. TCM represents a holistic approach and lacks high-quality scientific evidence on its effectiveness. Therefore, it is frequently regarded with some scepticism by western academic medicine. In this review, we report that application of modern technologies allowed identification of novel molecular targets modulating the anti-tumour activity of natural products derived from TCM. Moreover, we tried to cross the bridge between TCM and Western modern medicine to be able to implement them for the sake of cancer patients.
Antibody microarrays have the potential to enable comprehensive proteomic analysis of small amounts of sample material. Here, protocols are presented for the production, quality assessment, and reproducible application of antibody microarrays in a two-color mode with an array of 1,800 features, representing 810 antibodies that were directed at 741 cancer-related proteins. In addition to measures of array quality, we implemented indicators for the accuracy and significance of dual-color detection. Dual-color measurements outperform a single-color approach concerning assay reproducibility and discriminative power. In the analysis of serum samples, depletion of high-abundance proteins did not improve technical assay quality. On the contrary, depletion introduced a strong bias in protein representation. In an initial study, we demonstrated the applicability of the protocols to proteins derived from urine samples. We identified differences between urine samples from pancreatic cancer patients and healthy subjects and between sexes. This study demonstrates that biomedically relevant data can be produced. As demonstrated by the thorough quality analysis, the dual-color antibody array approach proved to be competitive with other proteomic techniques and comparable in performance to transcriptional microarray analyses.
In trypanosomes, the predominant mechanisms of regulation of gene expression are post-transcriptional. The DEAD-box RNA helicase DHH1 was identified in a screen for gene products that are necessary for the instability of the GPI-PLC mRNA in insect-stage trypanosomes. Expression of an ATPase-deficient dhh1 mutant caused a rapid growth arrest associated with a decrease in polysomes, an increase in P-bodies and a slight decrease in average mRNA levels. However, the effect of dhh1 mutant expression on both turnover and translational repression of mRNAs was selective. Whereas there was little effect on the stability of constitutive mRNAs, the control of a large cohort of developmentally regulated mRNAs was reversed; many mRNAs normally downregulated in insect-stage trypanosomes were stabilized and many mRNAs normally upregulated decreased in level. One stabilised mRNA, ISG75, was characterised further. Despite the overall decrease in polysomes, the proportion of the ISG75 mRNA in polysomes was unchanged and the result was ISG75 protein accumulation. Our data show that specific mRNAs can escape DHH1-mediated translational repression. In trypanosomes, DHH1 has a selective role in determining the levels of developmentally regulated mRNAs.
The process of extracting comprehensive proteome representations is a crucial step for many proteomic studies. While antibody microarrays are an evolving and promising methodology in proteomics, the issue of protein extraction from tissues for this kind of analysis has never been addressed. Here, we describe a single-step extraction buffer for the isolation of proteins from mammalian tissues under native conditions in an effective and reproducible manner. Protein was extracted from cell lines BxPC-3 and SU.86.86, rat organs (pancreas, liver, heart and lung) and human pancreatic cancer tissues using several buffer systems that contained individual nonionic or zwitterionic detergents in comparison to commercial extraction buffers. Also, detergent combinations were used that included at least one polymeric phenylethylene glycol, a long-chain amidosulfobetaine, cholate and a zwitterionic detergent. Extracts were analyzed for protein quantity and quality. The detergent cocktails exhibited superior extraction capacity. Additionally, they demonstrated a substantially higher recovery of membrane and compartmental proteins as well as much better preservation of protein functionality. Also, they did not interfere with subsequent analysis steps such as labeling. In Western blot and antibody microarray assays, they outperformed the other buffer systems, indicating that they should also be useful for other types of proteomic studies.
RNAi screens via pooled short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) have recently become a powerful tool for the identification of essential genes in mammalian cells. In the past years, several pooled large-scale shRNA screens have identified a variety of genes involved in cancer cell proliferation. All of those studies employed microarray analysis, utilizing either the shRNAs half hairpin sequence or an additional shRNA-associated 60 nt barcode sequence as a molecular tag. Here we describe a novel method to decode pooled RNAi screens, namely barcode tiling array analysis, and demonstrate how this approach can be used to precisely quantify the abundance of individual shRNAs from a pool.
An increasing amount of expressed sequence tag (EST) and genomic data, predominantly for the cnidarians Acropora, Hydra and Nematostella, reveals that cnidarians have a high genomic complexity, despite being one of the morphologically simplest multicellular animals. Considering the diversity of cnidarians, we performed an EST project on the hydroid Hydractinia echinata, to contribute towards a broader coverage of this phylum. After random sequencing of almost 9000 clones, EST characterization revealed a broad diversity in gene content. Corroborating observations in other cnidarians, Hydractinia sequences exhibited a higher sequence similarity to vertebrates than to ecdysozoan invertebrates. A significant number of sequences were hitherto undescribed in metazoans, suggesting that these may be either cnidarian innovations or ancient genes lost in the bilaterian genomes analysed so far. However, we cannot rule out some degree of contamination from commensal bacteria. The identification of unique Hydractinia sequences emphasizes that the acquired genomic information generated so far is not large enough to be representative of the highly diverse cnidarian phylum. Finally, a database was created to store all the acquired information (http://www.mchips.org/hydractinia_echinata.html).
Protein affinity reagents (PARs), most commonly antibodies, are essential reagents for protein characterization in basic research, biotechnology, and diagnostics as well as the fastest growing class of therapeutics. Large numbers of PARs are available commercially; however, their quality is often uncertain. In addition, currently available PARs cover only a fraction of the human proteome, and their cost is prohibitive for proteome scale applications. This situation has triggered several initiatives involving large scale generation and validation of antibodies, for example the Swedish Human Protein Atlas and the German Antibody Factory. Antibodies targeting specific subproteomes are being pursued by members of Human Proteome Organisation (plasma and liver proteome projects) and the United States National Cancer Institute (cancer-associated antigens). ProteomeBinders, a European consortium, aims to set up a resource of consistently quality-controlled protein-binding reagents for the whole human proteome. An ultimate PAR database resource would allow consumers to visit one on-line warehouse and find all available affinity reagents from different providers together with documentation that facilitates easy comparison of their cost and quality. However, in contrast to, for example, nucleotide databases among which data are synchronized between the major data providers, current PAR producers, quality control centers, and commercial companies all use incompatible formats, hindering data exchange. Here we propose Proteomics Standards Initiative (PSI)-PAR as a global community standard format for the representation and exchange of protein affinity reagent data. The PSI-PAR format is maintained by the Human Proteome Organisation PSI and was developed within the context of ProteomeBinders by building on a mature proteomics standard format, PSI-molecular interaction, which is a widely accepted and established community standard for molecular interaction data. Further information and documentation are available on the PSI-PAR web site.
Trypanosoma brucei subspecies undergo establishment and maturation in tsetse flies mid-gut and salivary glands, respectively. Successful establishment of trypanosomes in tsetse mid-gut as well as their migration to saliva gland depends on the ability of these parasites to adapt rapidly to new environmental conditions and to negotiate the physical barriers. To identify subspecies specific genes which are differentially regulated during the establishment of T. brucei subspecies in tsetse flies mid-gut, a comparative genomic analysis between different T. brucei subspecies was performed using microarrays containing about 23040 T. brucei shotgun fragments. The whole genome analyses of RNA expression profiles revealed about 274 significantly differentially expressed genes between T. brucei subspecies. About 7% of the differentially regulated clones did not match to any T. brucei predicted genes. Most of the differentially regulated transcripts are involved in transport across cell membrane and also in the purines metabolism. The genes selectively up regulated in T. brucei gambiense and T. brucei rhodesiense (human infective T. brucei) like snoRNA and HSP70 are expressed in response to stress. The high failure rate in the process of establishment and maturation of T. brucei gambiense during cyclical transmission in tsetse flies may result from the incapacity of this parasite to regulate its growth due to the expression of a variety of chaperones or heat shock proteins. Genes selectively up regulated in T. brucei brucei like NT8.1 nucleoside/nucleobase transporters and S-adenosylmethionine synthetase may favour the establishment of this subspecies in tsetse mid-gut. These genes appear as potential targets for investigations on the development of vaccine blocking the transmission of trypanosomes in tsetse flies.
The diversity in the aggressiveness of cystic tumors of the pancreas - ranging from the usually benign serous cystadenoma to lesions of variable degrees of malignancy - was utilized for the identification of molecular factors that are involved in the occurrence of malignancy.
The incidence of cancer and its associated mortality are increasing globally, indicating an urgent need to develop even more effective and sensitive sets of biomarkers that could help in early diagnosis and consequent intervention. Given that many cellular processes are carried out by proteins, cancer research has recently shifted toward an exploration of the full proteome for such discovery. Among the advanced methodologies that are being developed for analyzing the proteome, antibody microarrays have become a prominent tool for gathering the information required for a better understanding of disease biology, early detection, discrimination of tumors and monitoring of disease progression. Here, we review the technical aspects and challenges in the development and use of antibody microarray assays and examine recently reported applications in oncoproteomics.
Proteins are the major class of effector molecules in cellular systems. For the identification of functional differences between normal and diseased tissues, a reliable analysis of their protein content is essential. Reproducible isolation and fractionation of intact proteins are important in this respect, but their complexity in structure and concentration, their close interaction, and their instability represent major challenges. For protein isolation in tissues, the breakdown of cell-cell and cell-matrix connections within a tissue without affecting protein quality is a critical factor. We compared different processes for a compartmental protein preparation from pancreatic tissue, one of the most challenging tissues for protein isolation because of its high protease content. Success of the different procedures varied greatly. Based on a scheme of tissue-slicing and subsequent cell isolation, we established a reliable workflow for the fractional extraction of cytosolic proteins, membrane and organelle proteins, nuclear proteins, and cytoskeletal filaments. The tissue slices also allow for a representative confirmation of individual samples cellular status by histochemical processes, and a proper separation or mixing of cellular material from across a tumor if required.
Trypanosome gene expression is regulated almost exclusively at the post-transcriptional level, with mRNA degradation playing a decisive role. When trypanosomes are transferred from the blood of a mammal to the midgut of a Tsetse fly, they transform to procyclic forms: gene expression is reprogrammed, changing the cell surface and switching the mode of energy metabolism. Within the blood, trypanosomes can pre-adapt for Tsetse transmission, becoming growth-arrested stumpy forms. We describe here the transitions in gene expression that occur during differentiation of in-vitro cultured bloodstream forms to procyclic forms.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human malignancies, with an extremely poor prognosis. The paucity of curative therapies has translated into an overall 5-year survival rate of less than 5%, underscoring a desperate need for new therapeutic options. Artesunate (ART), clinically used as anti-malarial agent, has recently revealed remarkable anti-tumor activity. However, the mechanisms underlying those activities in pancreatic cancer are not yet known. Here we evaluated the anti-tumor activity of Artesunate and the possible underlying mechanisms in pancreatic cancer. MiaPaCa-2 (poorly differentiated) and BxPC-3 (moderately differentiated) pancreatic cancer cell lines were treated with Artesunate and the effect was monitored by a tetrazolium-based assay (MTS) for evaluating cell viability and by flow cytometry and caspase 3/7 activation for apoptosis evaluation. In addition cDNA arrays were used to identify differentially expressed genes. The microarray data were then validated by RT-PCR and Western blotting. Moreover, pathways associated with these expression changes were identified using the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. The expression analysis identified a common set of genes that were regulated by Artesunate in pancreatic cancer. Our results provide the first in vitro evidence for the therapeutic utility of Artesunate in pancreatic cancer. Moreover, we identified Artesunate as a novel topoisomerase IIalpha inhibitor that inhibits pancreatic cancer growth through modulation of multiple signaling pathways. The present analysis is a starting point for the generation of hypotheses on candidate genes and for a more detailed dissection of the functional role of individual genes for the activity of Artesunate in tumor cells.
In eukaryotes, proteins containing RNA Recognition Motifs (RRMs) are involved in many different RNA processing reactions, RNA transport, and mRNA decay. Kinetoplastids rely extensively on post-transcriptional mechanisms to control gene expression, so RRM domain proteins are expected to play a prominent role. We here describe the results of an RNA interference screen targeting 37 of the 72 RRM-domain proteins of Trypanosoma brucei. RNAi targeting 8 of the genes caused clear growth inhibition in bloodstream trypanosomes, and milder effects were seen for 9 more genes. The small, single-RRM protein TbRBP3 specifically associated with 10 mRNAs in trypanosome lysates, but RBP3 depletion did not affect the transcriptome.
We report a flexible method for selective capture of sequence fragments from complex, eukaryotic genome libraries for next-generation sequencing based on hybridization to DNA microarrays. Using microfluidic array architecture and integrated hardware, the process is amenable to complete automation and does not introduce amplification steps into the standard library preparation workflow, thereby avoiding bias of sequence distribution and fragment lengths. We captured a discontiguous human genomic target region of 185 kb using a tiling design with 50mer probes. Analysis by high-throughput sequencing using an Illumina/Solexa 1G Genome Analyzer revealed 2150-fold enrichment with mean per base coverage between 4.6 and 107.5-fold for the individual target regions. This method represents a flexible and cost-effective approach for large-scale resequencing of complex genomes.
Neuromedin U (NmU) is a bioactive peptide, ubiquitously expressed in the gastrointestinal tract. Here, we analyzed the role of NmU in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) pathogenesis. NmU and NmU receptor-2 mRNA were significantly overexpressed in PDAC and in metastatic tissues. NmU and NmU receptor-2 were localized predominantly in cancer cells. NmU serum levels decreased after tumor resection. Although NmU exerted no effects on cancer cell proliferation, it induced c-Met and a trend towards increased invasiveness as well as an increased hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-mediated scattering. Thus, NmU may be involved in the HGF-c-Met paracrine loop regulating cell migration, invasiveness and dissemination of PDAC.
Two recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), conducted, respectively, in a Japanese and in a Chinese population, identified eight novel loci affecting PDAC risk.
Standard cancer cell lines do not model the intratumoural heterogeneity situation sufficiently. Clonal selection leads to a homogeneous population of cells by genetic drift. Heterogeneity of tumour cells, however, is particularly critical for therapeutically relevant studies, since it is a prerequisite for acquiring drug resistance and reoccurrence of tumours. Here, we report the isolation of a highly tumourigenic primary pancreatic cancer cell line, called JoPaca-1 and its detailed characterization at multiple levels. Implantation of as few as 100 JoPaca-1 cells into immunodeficient mice gave rise to tumours that were histologically very similar to the primary tumour. The high heterogeneity of JoPaca-1 was reflected by diverse cell morphology and a substantial number of chromosomal aberrations. Comparative whole-genome sequencing of JoPaca-1 and BxPC-3 revealed mutations in genes frequently altered in pancreatic cancer. Exceptionally high expression of cancer stem cell markers and a high clonogenic potential in vitro and in vivo was observed. All of these attributes make this cell line an extremely valuable model to study the biology of and pharmaceutical effects on pancreatic cancer.
DNA methylation patterns have been recognised as cancer-specific markers with high potential for clinical applications. We aimed at identifying methylation variations that differentiate between breast cancers and other breast tissue entities to establish a signature for diagnosis. Candidate genomic loci were analysed in 117 fresh-frozen breast specimens, which included cancer, benign and normal breast tissues from patients as well as material from healthy individuals. A cancer-specific DNA methylation signature was identified by microarray analysis in a test set of samples (n = 52, p < 2.1 × 10(-4)) and its performance was assessed through bisulphite pyrosequencing in an independent validation set (n = 65, p < 1.9 × 10(-7)). The signature is associated with SFRP2 and GHSR genes, and exhibited significant hypermethylation in cancers. Normal-appearing breast tissues from cancer patients were also methylated at these loci but to a markedly lower extent. This occurrence of methylated DNA in normal breast tissue of cancer patients is indicative of an epigenetic field defect. Concerning diagnosis, receiver operating characteristic curves and the corresponding area under the curve (AUC) analysis demonstrated a very high sensitivity and specificity of 89.3 and 100 %, respectively, for the GHSR methylation pattern (AUC >0.99). To date, this represents the DNA methylation marker of the highest sensitivity and specificity for breast cancer diagnosis. Functionally, ectopic expression of GHSR in a cell line model reduced breast cancer cell invasion without affecting cell viability upon stimulation of cells with ghrelin. Our data suggest a link between epigenetic down-regulation of GHSR and breast cancer cell invasion.
The Wnt/?-catenin signalling is aberrantly activated in primary B cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Epigenetic silencing of pathway inhibitor genes may be a mechanism for its activation. In this study, we investigated systematically and quantitatively the methylation status of 12 Wnt/?-catenin pathway inhibitor genes - CDH1, DACT1, DKK1, DKK2, DKK3, DKK4, SFRP1, SFRP2, SFRP3, SFRP4, SFRP5 and WIF1 - in the cell lines EHEB and MEC-1 as well as patient samples.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the most deadly forms of cancers, with a mortality that is almost identical to incidence. The inability to predict, detect or diagnose the disease early and its resistance to all current treatment modalities but surgery are the prime challenges to changing the devastating prognosis. Also, relatively little is known about pancreatic carcinogenesis. In order to better understand relevant aspects of pathophysiology, differentiation, and transformation, we analysed the cellular proteomes of 24 pancreatic cancer cell lines and two controls using an antibody microarray that targets 741 cancer-related proteins. In this analysis, 72 distinct disease marker proteins were identified that had not been described before. Additionally, categorizing cancer cells in accordance to their original location (primary tumour, liver metastases, or ascites) was made possible. A comparison of the cells degree of differentiation (well, moderately, or poorly differentiated) resulted in unique marker sets of high relevance. Last, 187 proteins were differentially expressed in primary versus metastatic cancer cells, of which the majority is functionally related to cellular movement.
A solid process for diagnosis could have a substantial impact on the successful treatment of pancreatic cancer, for which currently mortality is nearly identical to incidence. Variations in the abundance of all microRNA molecules from peripheral blood cells and pancreas tissues were analyzed on microarrays and in part validated by real-time PCR assays. In total, 245 samples from two clinical centers were studied that were obtained from patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma or chronic pancreatitis and from healthy donors. Utilizing the minimally invasive blood test, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and the corresponding area under the curve (AUC) analysis demonstrated very high sensitivity and specificity of a distinction between healthy people and patients with either cancer or chronic pancreatitis; respective AUC values of 0.973 and 0.950 were obtained. Confirmative and partly even more discriminative diagnosis could be performed on tissue samples with AUC values of 1.0 and 0.937, respectively. In addition, discrimination between cancer and chronic pancreatitis was achieved (AUC = 0.875). Also, several miRNAs were identified that exhibited abundance variations in both tissue and blood samples. The results could have an immediate diagnostic value for the evaluation of tumor reoccurrence in patients, who have undergone curative surgical resection, and for people with a familial risk of pancreatic cancer.
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