In Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected gastric carcinoma, EBV-encoded BARF1 has been hypothesized to function as an oncogene. To evaluate cellular changes induced by BARF1, we isolated the full-length BARF1 gene from gastric carcinoma cells that were naturally infected with EBV and transfected BARF1 into EBV-negative gastric carcinoma cells. BARF1 protein was primarily secreted into culture supernatant and only marginally detectable within cells. Compared with gastric carcinoma cells containing empty vector, BARF1-expressing gastric carcinoma cells exhibited increased cell proliferation (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in apoptosis, invasion, or migration between BARF1-expressing gastric carcinoma cells and empty vector-transfected cells. BARF1-expressing gastric carcinoma cells demonstrated increased nuclear expression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B) RelA protein and increased NF-?B-dependent cyclin D1. The expression of p21(WAF1) was diminished by BARF1 transfection and increased by NF-?B inhibition. Proliferation of naturally EBV-infected gastric carcinoma cells was suppressed by BARF1 small interfering RNA (siRNA) (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical analysis of 120 human gastric carcinoma tissues demonstrated increased expression of cyclin D1 and reduced expression of p21(WAF1) in EBV-positive samples versus EBV-negative gastric carcinomas (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the secreted BARF1 may stimulate proliferation of EBV-infected gastric carcinoma cells via upregulation of NF-?B/cyclin D1 and reduction of the cell cycle inhibitor p21(WAF1), thereby facilitating EBV-induced cancer progression.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is associated with a high potential for metastasis and disease recurrence, even after surgical resection. The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis proposes that CSCs are responsible for chemo-resistance, recurrence, and metastasis. Dysadherin is a prognostic indicator of metastasis and poor survival in many different cancer types. In this study, we investigated the possible link between dysadherin and CSC in HCC.
Although hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) has been implicated in abnormal lipid metabolism in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated hepatic steatosis, its underlying molecular mechanism remains unclear. Liver X receptor (LXR) plays an important role in regulating the expression of genes involved in hepatic lipogenesis. Here we demonstrate that LXRalpha and LXRbeta mediate HBV-associated hepatic steatosis. We have found that HBx induces the expression of LXR and its lipogenic target genes, such as sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), fatty acid synthase (FAS), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, and this is accompanied by the accumulation of lipid droplets. RNA interference with LXR expression decreases the amount of lipid droplets as well as the expression of the lipogenic genes, and this indicates that HBx-induced lipogenesis is LXR-dependent. LXRalpha and HBx colocalize in the nucleus and are physically associated. HBx induces the transactivation function of LXRalpha by recruiting CREB binding protein to the promoter of the target gene. Furthermore, we have observed that expression of LXR is increased in the livers of HBx-transgenic mice. Finally, there is a significant increase in the expression of LXRbeta (P = 0.036), SREBP-1c (P = 0.008), FAS, and stearoyl-coenyzme A desaturase-1 (P = 0.001) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in comparison with adjacent nontumorous nodules in human HBV-associated HCC specimens.
The pathogenic mechanisms of human autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) have been well known to include the mutational inactivation of PKD2. Although haploinsufficiency and loss of heterozygosity at the Pkd2 locus can cause cyst formation in mice, polycystin-2 is frequently expressed in the renal cyst of human ADPKD, raising the possibility that deregulated activation of PKD2 may be associated with the cystogenesis of human ADPKD. To determine whether increased PKD2 expression is physiologically pathogenic, we generated PKD2-overexpressing transgenic mice. These mice developed typical renal cysts and an increase of proliferation and apoptosis, which are reflective of the human ADPKD phenotype. These manifestations were first observed at six months, and progressed with age. In addition, we found that ERK activation was induced by PKD2 overexpression via B-Raf signaling, providing a possible molecular mechanism of cystogenesis. In PKD2 transgenic mice, B-Raf/MEK/ERK sequential signaling was up-regulated. Additionally, the transgenic human polycystin-2 partially rescues the lethality of Pkd2 knock-out mice and therefore demonstrates that the transgene generated a functional product. Functional strengthening or deregulated activation of PKD2 may be a direct cause of ADPKD. The present study provides evidence for an in vivo role of overexpressed PKD2 in cyst formation. This transgenic mouse model should provide new insights into the pathogenic mechanism of human ADPKD.
The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis proposes that CSCs are the root of cancer and cause cancer metastasis and recurrence. In this study, we examined whether Ras signaling is associated with stemness of the CSCs population characterized by the stem cell antigen (Sca-1) phenotype in a 4T1 syngeneic mouse model of breast cancer. The Sca-1(pos) putative CSCs had high levels of activated Ras and phosphorylated MEK (p-MEK), compared with counterparts. The Ras farnesylation inhibitor (FTI-277) suppressed the maintenance and expansion of CSCs. Therefore, selective inhibition of Ras activation may be useful for stem-specific cancer therapy.
High aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity has been recognized as a marker of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in breast cancer. In this study, we examined whether inhibition of ALDH activity suppresses stem-like cell properties in a 4T1 syngeneic mouse model of breast cancer. We found that ALDH-positive 4T1 cells showed stem cell-like properties in vitro and in vivo. Blockade of ALDH activity reduced the growth of CSCs in breast cancer cell lines. Treatment of mice with the ALDH inhibitor diethylaminobenzaldehyde (DEAB) significantly suppressed 4T1 cell metastasis to the lung. Recent evidence suggests that ALDH affects the response of stem cells to hypoxia; therefore, we examined a possible link between ALDH and hypoxia signaling in breast cancer. Hypoxia-inducible factor-2? (HIF-2?) was highly dysregulated in ALDH-positive 4T1 cells. We observed that ALDH was highly correlated with the HIF-2? expression in breast cancer cell lines and tissues. DEAB treatment of breast cancer cells reduced the expression of HIF-2? in vitro. In addition, reduction of HIF-2? expression suppressed in vitro self-renewal ability and in vivo tumor initiation in ALDH-positive 4T1 cells. Therefore, our findings may provide the evidence necessary for exploring a new strategy in the treatment of breast cancer.
High dysadherin expression has been recognized as a biological predictor of metastasis and poor prognosis for many different cancer types; however, the molecular mechanisms of how dysadherin affects cancer progression are still poorly understood. In this study, we examined whether AKT signaling could link dysadherin expression with downstream events that promote the metastatic potential of human breast cancer cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of breast cancer tissues showed that dysadherin expression was highly associated with elevated expression of phospho-AKT. The introduction of dysadherin cDNA into BT-474, MCF-7 and T-47D breast cancer cell lines enhanced their levels of AKT phosphorylation, while knockdown of dysadherin in MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T breast cancer cell lines suppressed AKT phosphorylation. Treatment with the AKT inhibitor triciribine suppressed dysadherin-mediated pro-metastatic effects, including epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cell motility and drug resistance. These findings suggest that dysadherin might contribute to breast cancer progression through AKT activation.
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