Topic Editors

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche, Chimiche, Farmaceutiche (STEBICEF), Edificio 16, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
LAQV-REQUIMTE, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

Molecular Profiling and Identification of Molecular Signatures Associated with Tissue Development, Tumorigenesis, and Anticancer Agents’ Action

Abstract submission deadline
closed (30 November 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 May 2023)
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

During tissue development or tumorigenesis, changes in the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation induce molecular reprogramming, leading to differential gene expressions. Molecular profiling, such as transcriptomics and proteomics, has expanded the knowledge of the repertoire of the transcribed genes specifically inherent to either developing or transformed model systems, thereby allowing the identification and classification of sets of molecular signatures. The individuation of single or panels of novel expression markers has provided a broader picture of the numerous and complex aspects associated with the development of body structures and the molecular pathogenesis of diverse malignancies, also aiding in the dissection of the mode of action of anticancer agents and thereby yielding potentially clinically relevant diagnostic and prognostic information. We are pleased to invite you to contribute original research articles and reviews focused on the identification of molecular biomarkers associated with the building of tissue structures or the progression of cancer, which might also unveil novel routes of signal transduction and cell metabolism, including the molecular profilings associated with antitumoral agents. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Claudio Luparello
Dr. Rita Ferreira
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • tissue development
  • carcinogenesis
  • anticancer agents
  • molecular signatures
  • gene signatures
  • epigenetic signatures
  • protein signatures
  • genomics
  • transcriptomics
  • proteomics

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Biology
biology
4.2 4.0 2012 18.7 Days CHF 2700
Biomedicines
biomedicines
4.7 3.7 2013 15.4 Days CHF 2600
Cancers
cancers
5.2 7.4 2009 17.9 Days CHF 2900
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
5.6 7.8 2000 16.3 Days CHF 2900
Onco
onco
- - 2021 18.3 Days CHF 1000

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Published Papers (61 papers)

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22 pages, 1778 KiB  
Review
A Deep View of the Biological Property of Interleukin-33 and Its Dysfunction in the Gut
by Yi Wang, Chengwei He, Shuzi Xin, Xiaohui Liu, Sitian Zhang, Boya Qiao, Hongwei Shang, Lei Gao and Jingdong Xu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(17), 13504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241713504 - 31 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
Intestinal diseases have always posed a serious threat to human health, with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) being one of them. IBD is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation, including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). The “alarm” cytokine IL-33, which is [...] Read more.
Intestinal diseases have always posed a serious threat to human health, with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) being one of them. IBD is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation, including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). The “alarm” cytokine IL-33, which is intimately associated with Th2 immunity, is a highly potent inflammatory factor that is considered to have dual functions—operating as both a pro-inflammatory cytokine and a transcriptional regulator. IL-33 has been shown to play a crucial role in both the onset and development of IBD. Therefore, this review focuses on the pathogenesis of IBD, the major receptor cell types, and the activities of IL-33 in innate and adaptive immunity, as well as its underlying mechanisms and conflicting conclusions in IBD. We have also summarized different medicines targeted to IL-33-associated diseases. Furthermore, we have emphasized the role of IL-33 in gastrointestinal cancer and parasitic infections, giving novel prospective therapeutic utility in the future application of IL-33. Full article
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13 pages, 863 KiB  
Article
A Study of DNA Methylation of Bladder Cancer Biomarkers in the Urine of Patients with Neurogenic Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction
by Periklis Koukourikis, Maria Papaioannou, Petros Georgopoulos, Ioannis Apostolidis, Stavroula Pervana and Apostolos Apostolidis
Biology 2023, 12(8), 1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12081126 - 12 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Background: Bladder cancer (BCa) in patients suffering from neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) is a significant concern due to its advanced stage at diagnosis and high mortality rate. Currently, there is a scarcity of specific guidelines for BCa screening in these patients. [...] Read more.
Background: Bladder cancer (BCa) in patients suffering from neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) is a significant concern due to its advanced stage at diagnosis and high mortality rate. Currently, there is a scarcity of specific guidelines for BCa screening in these patients. The development of urine biomarkers for BCa seems to be an attractive non-invasive method of screening or risk stratification in this patient population. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification, resulting in the transcriptional silencing of tumor suppression genes, that is frequently detected in the urine of BCa patients. Objectives: We aimed to investigate DNA hypermethylation in five gene promoters, previously associated with BCa, in the urine of NLUTD patients, and in comparison with healthy controls. Design, setting and participants: This was a prospective case–control study that recruited neurourology outpatients from a public teaching hospital who had suffered from NLUTD for at least 5 years. They all underwent cystoscopy combined with biopsy for BCa screening following written informed consent. DNA was extracted and DNA methylation was assessed for the RASSF1, RARβ, DAPK, TERT and APC gene promoters via quantitative methylation-specific PCR in urine specimens from the patients and controls. Results: Forty-one patients of mixed NLUTD etiology and 35 controls were enrolled. DNA was detected in 36 patients’ urine specimens and in those of 22 controls. In the urine specimens, DNA was hypermethylated in at least one of five gene promoters in 17/36 patients and in 3/22 controls (47.22% vs. 13.64%, respectively, p = 0.009). RASSF1 was hypermethylated in 10/17 (58.82%) specimens with detected methylation, APC in 7/17 (41.18%), DAPK in 4/17 (23.53%), RAR-β2 in 3/17 (17.56%) and TERT in none. According to a multivariate logistic regression analysis, NLUTD and male gender were significantly associated with hypermethylation (OR = 7.43, p = 0.007 and OR = 4.21; p = 0.04, respectively). In the tissue specimens, histology revealed TaLG BCa in two patients and urothelial squamous metaplasia in five patients. Chronic bladder inflammation was present in 35/41 bladder biopsies. Conclusions: DNA hypermethylation in a panel of five BCa-associated genes in the urine was significantly more frequent in NLUTD patients than in the controls. Our results warrant further evaluation in longitudinal studies assessing the clinical implications and possible associations between DNA hypermethylation, chronic inflammation and BCa in the NLUTD population. Full article
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16 pages, 2653 KiB  
Article
Extracellular-Vesicle-Based Cancer Panels Diagnose Glioblastomas with High Sensitivity and Specificity
by Melike Mut, Zelal Adiguzel, Canan Cakir-Aktas, Şahin Hanalioğlu, Gamze Gungor-Topcu, Ezgi Kiyga, Ilkay Isikay, Aydan Sarac, Figen Soylemezoglu, Thomas Strobel, Elisabet Ampudia-Mesias, Charles Cameron, Tulay Aslan, Eray Tekirdas, Mutlu Hayran, Kader Karli Oguz, Christine Henzler, Nurten Saydam and Okay Saydam
Cancers 2023, 15(15), 3782; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15153782 - 26 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1251
Abstract
Glioblastoma is one of the most devastating neoplasms of the central nervous system. This study focused on the development of serum extracellular vesicle (EV)-based glioblastoma tumor marker panels that can be used in a clinic to diagnose glioblastomas and to monitor tumor burden, [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma is one of the most devastating neoplasms of the central nervous system. This study focused on the development of serum extracellular vesicle (EV)-based glioblastoma tumor marker panels that can be used in a clinic to diagnose glioblastomas and to monitor tumor burden, progression, and regression in response to treatment. RNA sequencing studies were performed using RNA isolated from serum EVs from both patients (n = 85) and control donors (n = 31). RNA sequencing results for preoperative glioblastoma EVs compared to control EVs revealed 569 differentially expressed genes (DEGs, 2XFC, FDR < 0.05). By using these DEGs, we developed serum-EV-based biomarker panels for the following glioblastomas: wild-type IDH1 (96% sensitivity/80% specificity), MGMT promoter methylation (91% sensitivity/73% specificity), p53 gene mutation (100% sensitivity/89% specificity), and TERT promoter mutation (89% sensitivity/100% specificity). This is the first study showing that serum-EV-based biomarker panels can be used to diagnose glioblastomas with a high sensitivity and specificity. Full article
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18 pages, 3489 KiB  
Article
Residues from Homologous Transmembrane Helices 4 and 10 Are Critical for P-Glycoprotein (ABCB1)-Mediated Drug Transport
by Hadiar Rahman, Mark J. Ware, Andaleeb Sajid, Sabrina Lusvarghi, Stewart R. Durell and Suresh V. Ambudkar
Cancers 2023, 15(13), 3459; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15133459 - 01 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
P-glycoprotein (P-gp, ABCB1) transports structurally dissimilar hydrophobic and amphipathic compounds, including anticancer drugs, thus contributing to multidrug-resistant cancer. Cryo-EM structures of human P-gp revealed that TMHs 4 and 10 contribute to the formation of the drug-binding cavity and undergo conformational changes during drug [...] Read more.
P-glycoprotein (P-gp, ABCB1) transports structurally dissimilar hydrophobic and amphipathic compounds, including anticancer drugs, thus contributing to multidrug-resistant cancer. Cryo-EM structures of human P-gp revealed that TMHs 4 and 10 contribute to the formation of the drug-binding cavity and undergo conformational changes during drug transport. To assess the role of the conformational changes in TMH4 and TMH10 during drug transport, we generated two mutants (TMH4-7A and TMH10-7A), each containing seven alanine substitutions. Analysis of the drug efflux function of these mutants using 15 fluorescent substrates revealed that most of the substrates were transported, indicating that even seven mutations in an individual helix have no significant effect on transport function. We then designed the TMH4,10-14A mutant combining seven mutations in both TMHs 4 and 10. Interestingly, when the TMH4,10-14A mutant was tested with 15 substrates, there was no efflux observed for fourteen. The basal ATPase activity of the TMH4,10-14A mutant, similar to that of the WT protein, was inhibited by zosuquidar but was not stimulated by verapamil or rhodamine 6G. Molecular dynamics simulations indicated that the mutations cause TMHs 4 and 10 to pack tighter to their proximal helices, reducing their independent mobility. In aggregate, our findings demonstrate the critical role of the residues of homologous TMHs 4 and 10 for substrate transport, consistent with conformational changes observed in the structure of P-gp. Full article
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20 pages, 7374 KiB  
Article
Identification and Validation of a Metabolism-Related Prognostic Signature Associated with M2 Macrophage Infiltration in Gastric Cancer
by Yunze Liu, Haocheng Zheng, Anna Meilin Gu, Yuan Li, Tieshan Wang, Chengze Li, Yixiao Gu, Jie Lin and Xia Ding
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(13), 10625; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241310625 - 25 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1566
Abstract
High levels of M2 macrophage infiltration invariably contribute to poor cancer prognosis and can be manipulated by metabolic reprogramming in the tumor microenvironment. However, the metabolism-related genes (MRGs) affecting M2 macrophage infiltration and their clinical implications are not fully understood. In this study, [...] Read more.
High levels of M2 macrophage infiltration invariably contribute to poor cancer prognosis and can be manipulated by metabolic reprogramming in the tumor microenvironment. However, the metabolism-related genes (MRGs) affecting M2 macrophage infiltration and their clinical implications are not fully understood. In this study, we identified 173 MRGs associated with M2 macrophage infiltration in cases of gastric cancer (GC) using the TCGA and GEO databases. Twelve MRGs were eventually adopted as the prognostic signature to develop a risk model. In the high-risk group, the patients showed poorer survival outcomes than patients in the low-risk group. Additionally, the patients in the high-risk group were less sensitive to certain drugs, such as 5-Fluorouracil, Oxaliplatin, and Cisplatin. Risk scores were positively correlated with the infiltration of multiple immune cells, including CD8+ T cells and M2 macrophages. Furthermore, a difference was observed in the expression and distribution between the 12 signature genes in the tumor microenvironment through single-cell sequencing analysis. In vitro experiments proved that the M2 polarization of macrophages was suppressed by Sorcin-knockdown GC cells, thereby hindering the proliferation and migration of GC cells. These findings provide a valuable prognostic signature for evaluating clinical outcomes and corresponding treatment options and identifying potential targets for GC treatment. Full article
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21 pages, 846 KiB  
Review
Novel Investigational Agents and Pathways That May Influence the Future Management of Acute Myeloid Leukemia
by Naveen Premnath and Yazan F. Madanat
Cancers 2023, 15(11), 2958; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15112958 - 29 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2215
Abstract
Acute Myeloid leukemia (AML) is a clinically heterogeneous disease with a 5-year overall survival of 32% between 2012 to 2018. The above number severely dwindles with age and adverse risk of disease, presenting opportunities for new drug development and is an area of [...] Read more.
Acute Myeloid leukemia (AML) is a clinically heterogeneous disease with a 5-year overall survival of 32% between 2012 to 2018. The above number severely dwindles with age and adverse risk of disease, presenting opportunities for new drug development and is an area of dire unmet need. Basic science and clinical investigators across the world have been working on many new and old molecule formulations and combination strategies to improve outcomes in this disease. In this review, we discuss select promising novel agents in various stages of clinical development for patients with AML. Full article
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24 pages, 7011 KiB  
Article
TIGD1 Function as a Potential Cuproptosis Regulator Following a Novel Cuproptosis-Related Gene Risk Signature in Colorectal Cancer
by Zhiwei Wu, Changwei Lin, Fan Zhang, Zhixing Lu, Yaohui Wang, Yang Liu, Zhijiao Zhou, Liang Li and Liying Song
Cancers 2023, 15(8), 2286; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15082286 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1955
Abstract
Cuproptosis is a new form of copper-dependent programmed cell death commonly occurring within the body. There is emerging evidence indicating that cuproptosis has a significant regulatory function in the onset and progression of cancer. However, it is still unclear how cuproptosis regulates cancer [...] Read more.
Cuproptosis is a new form of copper-dependent programmed cell death commonly occurring within the body. There is emerging evidence indicating that cuproptosis has a significant regulatory function in the onset and progression of cancer. However, it is still unclear how cuproptosis regulates cancer and whether other genes are involved in the regulation. Using the TCGA-COAD dataset of 512 samples, we found that seven of ten cuproptosis markers showed prognostic value in colorectal cancer (CRC) using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Furthermore, 31 prognostic cuproptosis-related genes were identified using weighted gene co-expression network analysis and univariate Cox analysis. Subsequently, we constructed a 7-PCRG signature using least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO)–Cox regression analysis. The risk score predicting survival in patients with CRC was evaluated. Two risk groups were classified based on their risk scores. The two groups revealed a significant difference in immune cells, such as B and T cells. Furthermore, we identified differences in many immune functions and checkpoints, including CD276 and CD28. In vitro experiments showed that a hub cuproptosis-related gene, TIGD1, could significantly regulate cuproptosis in CRC after exposure to elesclomol. This study validated that cuproptosis was closely related to the progression of CRC. Seven new cuproptosis-related genes were identified, and the function of TIGD1 in cuproptosis was preliminarily understood. Since a certain concentration of copper in CRC cells is important, cuproptosis may provide a new target for cancer therapy. This study may provide novel insights into the treatment of CRC. Full article
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45 pages, 2221 KiB  
Review
Pathogenesis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: The Interplay of Apoptosis and Autophagy
by Elias Kouroumalis, Ioannis Tsomidis and Argyro Voumvouraki
Biomedicines 2023, 11(4), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11041166 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2870
Abstract
The pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a multifactorial process that has not yet been fully investigated. Autophagy and apoptosis are two important cellular pathways that are critical for cell survival or death. The balance between apoptosis and autophagy regulates liver cell turnover [...] Read more.
The pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a multifactorial process that has not yet been fully investigated. Autophagy and apoptosis are two important cellular pathways that are critical for cell survival or death. The balance between apoptosis and autophagy regulates liver cell turnover and maintains intracellular homeostasis. However, the balance is often dysregulated in many cancers, including HCC. Autophagy and apoptosis pathways may be either independent or parallel or one may influence the other. Autophagy may either inhibit or promote apoptosis, thus regulating the fate of the liver cancer cells. In this review, a concise overview of the pathogenesis of HCC is presented, with emphasis on new developments, including the role of endoplasmic reticulum stress, the implication of microRNAs and the role of gut microbiota. The characteristics of HCC associated with a specific liver disease are also described and a brief description of autophagy and apoptosis is provided. The role of autophagy and apoptosis in the initiation, progress and metastatic potential is reviewed and the experimental evidence indicating an interplay between the two is extensively analyzed. The role of ferroptosis, a recently described specific pathway of regulated cell death, is presented. Finally, the potential therapeutic implications of autophagy and apoptosis in drug resistance are examined. Full article
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15 pages, 3045 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis Identifies Tumor Immune Microenvironment Signaling Networks Supporting Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
by Lawrence P. McKinney, Rajesh Singh, I. King Jordan, Sooryanarayana Varambally, Eric B. Dammer and James W. Lillard, Jr.
Onco 2023, 3(2), 81-95; https://doi.org/10.3390/onco3020007 - 10 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2242
Abstract
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cause of cancer death in American men. Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is the most lethal form of PCa and preferentially metastasizes to the bones through incompletely understood molecular mechanisms. Herein, we processed RNA sequencing [...] Read more.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cause of cancer death in American men. Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is the most lethal form of PCa and preferentially metastasizes to the bones through incompletely understood molecular mechanisms. Herein, we processed RNA sequencing data from patients with mCRPC (n = 60) and identified 14 gene clusters (modules) highly correlated with mCRPC bone metastasis. We used a novel combination of weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) and upstream regulator and gene ontology analyses of clinically annotated transcriptomes to identify the genes. The cyan module (M14) had the strongest positive correlation (0.81, p = 4 × 10−15) with mCRPC bone metastasis. It was associated with two significant biological pathways through KEGG enrichment analysis (parathyroid hormone synthesis, secretion, and action and protein digestion and absorption). In particular, we identified 10 hub genes (ALPL, PHEX, RUNX2, ENPP1, PHOSPHO1, PTH1R, COL11A1, COL24A1, COL22A1, and COL13A1) using cytoHubba of Cytoscape. We also found high gene expression for collagen formation, degradation, absorption, cell-signaling peptides, and bone regulation processes through Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis. Full article
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17 pages, 1257 KiB  
Article
New Bioactive Peptides from the Mediterranean Seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile and Their Impact on Antimicrobial Activity and Apoptosis of Human Cancer Cells
by Diletta Punginelli, Valentina Catania, Giulia Abruscato, Claudio Luparello, Mirella Vazzana, Manuela Mauro, Vincenzo Cunsolo, Rosaria Saletti, Antonella Di Francesco, Vincenzo Arizza and Domenico Schillaci
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(6), 5650; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24065650 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2160
Abstract
The demand for new molecules to counter bacterial resistance to antibiotics and tumor cell resistance is increasingly pressing. The Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica is considered a promising source of new bioactive molecules. Polypeptide-enriched fractions of rhizomes and green leaves of the seagrass were [...] Read more.
The demand for new molecules to counter bacterial resistance to antibiotics and tumor cell resistance is increasingly pressing. The Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica is considered a promising source of new bioactive molecules. Polypeptide-enriched fractions of rhizomes and green leaves of the seagrass were tested against Gram-positive (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis) and Gram-negative bacteria (e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli), as well as towards the yeast Candida albicans. The aforementioned extracts showed indicative MIC values, ranging from 1.61 μg/mL to 7.5 μg/mL, against the selected pathogens. Peptide fractions were further analyzed through a high-resolution mass spectrometry and database search, which identified nine novel peptides. Some discovered peptides and their derivatives were chemically synthesized and tested in vitro. The assays identified two synthetic peptides, derived from green leaves and rhizomes of P. oceanica, which revealed interesting antibiofilm activity towards S. aureus, E. coli, and P. aeruginosa (BIC50 equal to 17.7 μg/mL and 70.7 μg/mL). In addition, the natural and derivative peptides were also tested for potential cytotoxic and apoptosis-promoting effects on HepG2 cells, derived from human hepatocellular carcinomas. One natural and two synthetic peptides were proven to be effective against the “in vitro” liver cancer cell model. These novel peptides could be considered a good chemical platform for developing potential therapeutics. Full article
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19 pages, 1715 KiB  
Review
Benefits and Challenges of Inhibiting EZH2 in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
by MHD Ouis Al Khatib, Giulia Pinton, Laura Moro and Chiara Porta
Cancers 2023, 15(5), 1537; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15051537 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2112
Abstract
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive thoracic cancer that is mainly associated with prior exposure to asbestos fibers. Despite being a rare cancer, its global rate is increasing and the prognosis remains extremely poor. Over the last two decades, despite the constant [...] Read more.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive thoracic cancer that is mainly associated with prior exposure to asbestos fibers. Despite being a rare cancer, its global rate is increasing and the prognosis remains extremely poor. Over the last two decades, despite the constant research of new therapeutic options, the combination chemotherapy with cisplatin and pemetrexed has remained the only first-line therapy for MPM. The recent approval of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB)-based immunotherapy has opened new promising avenues of research. However, MPM is still a fatal cancer with no effective treatments. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is a histone methyl transferase that exerts pro-oncogenic and immunomodulatory activities in a variety of tumors. Accordingly, a growing number of studies indicate that EZH2 is also an oncogenic driver in MPM, but its effects on tumor microenvironments are still largely unexplored. This review describes the state-of-the-art of EZH2 in MPM biology and discusses its potential use both as a diagnostic and therapeutic target. We highlight current gaps of knowledge, the filling of which will likely favor the entry of EZH2 inhibitors within the treatment options for MPM patients. Full article
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25 pages, 14933 KiB  
Article
Construction of Two Independent RAB Family-Based Scoring Systems Based on Machine Learning Algorithms and Definition of RAB13 as a Novel Therapeutic Target for Hepatocellular Carcinoma
by Chenhao Jiang, Zijian Liu, Jingsheng Yuan, Zhenru Wu, Lingxiang Kong, Jiayin Yang and Tao Lv
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(5), 4335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24054335 - 22 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1912
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a global health challenge with a low early diagnosis rate and high mortality. The Rab GTPase (RAB) family plays an essential role in the occurrence and progression of HCC. Nonetheless, a comprehensive and systematic investigation of the RAB family [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a global health challenge with a low early diagnosis rate and high mortality. The Rab GTPase (RAB) family plays an essential role in the occurrence and progression of HCC. Nonetheless, a comprehensive and systematic investigation of the RAB family has yet to be performed in HCC. We comprehensively assessed the expression landscape and prognostic significance of the RAB family in HCC and systematically correlated these RAB family genes with tumor microenvironment (TME) characteristics. Then, three RAB subtypes with distinct TME characteristics were determined. Using a machine learning algorithm, we further established a RAB score to quantify TME features and immune responses of individual tumors. Moreover, to better evaluate patient prognosis, we established a RAB risk score as an independent prognostic factor for patients with HCC. The risk models were validated in independent HCC cohorts and distinct HCC subgroups, and their complementary advantages guided clinical practice. Furthermore, we further confirmed that the knockdown of RAB13, a pivotal gene in risk models, suppressed HCC cell proliferation and metastasis by inhibiting the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, CDK1/CDK4 expression, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In addition, RAB13 inhibited the activation of JAK2/STAT3 signaling and the expression of IRF1/IRF4. More importantly, we confirmed that RAB13 knockdown enhanced GPX4-dependent ferroptosis vulnerability, highlighting RAB13 as a potential therapeutic target. Overall, this work revealed that the RAB family played an integral role in forming HCC heterogeneity and complexity. RAB family-based integrative analysis contributed to enhancing our understanding of the TME and guided more effective immunotherapy and prognostic evaluation. Full article
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15 pages, 5896 KiB  
Article
Tenascin C in Lung Diseases
by Chantal Donovan, Xu Bai, Yik Lung Chan, Min Feng, Kin-Fai Ho, Hai Guo, Hui Chen and Brian G. Oliver
Biology 2023, 12(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020199 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2176
Abstract
Tenascin C (TNC) is a multifunctional large extracellular matrix protein involved in numerous cellular processes in embryonic development and can be increased in disease, or under conditions of trauma or cell stress in adults. However, the role of TNC in lung diseases remains [...] Read more.
Tenascin C (TNC) is a multifunctional large extracellular matrix protein involved in numerous cellular processes in embryonic development and can be increased in disease, or under conditions of trauma or cell stress in adults. However, the role of TNC in lung diseases remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the expression of TNC during development, in offspring following maternal particulate matter (PM) exposure, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. TNC expression is increased during lung development in biopsy cells, endothelial cells, mesenchymal cells, and epithelial cells. Maternal PM exposure increased TNC and collagen deposition, which was not affected by the removal of PM exposure after pregnancy. TNC expression was also increased in basal epithelial cells and fibroblasts in patients with asthma and AT2 and endothelial cells in patients with COPD. Furthermore, there was an increase in the expression of TNC in stage II compared to stage IA lung cancer; however, overall survival analysis showed no correlation between levels of TNC and survival. In conclusion, TNC is increased during lung development, in offspring following maternal PM exposure, and in asthma, COPD, and lung cancer tissues. Therefore, targeting TNC may provide a novel therapeutic target for lung diseases. Full article
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14 pages, 2672 KiB  
Article
Plasma Cytokines/Chemokines as Predictive Biomarkers for Lymphedema in Breast Cancer Patients
by Anna R. Vang, Simona F. Shaitelman, John C. Rasmussen, Wenyaw Chan, Eva M. Sevick-Muraca and Melissa B. Aldrich
Cancers 2023, 15(3), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15030676 - 21 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2232
Abstract
Breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) occurs in ~ 40% of patients after axillary lymph node dissection (ALND), radiation therapy (RT), or chemotherapy. First-line palliative treatment utilizes compression garments and specialized massage. Reparative microsurgeries have emerged as a second-line treatment, yet both compression and surgical [...] Read more.
Breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) occurs in ~ 40% of patients after axillary lymph node dissection (ALND), radiation therapy (RT), or chemotherapy. First-line palliative treatment utilizes compression garments and specialized massage. Reparative microsurgeries have emerged as a second-line treatment, yet both compression and surgical therapy are most effective at early stages of LE development. Identifying patients at the highest risk for BCRL would allow earlier, more effective treatment. Perometric arm volume measurements, near-infrared fluorescent lymphatic imaging (NIRF-LI) data, and blood were collected between 2016 and 2021 for 40 study subjects undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Plasma samples were evaluated using MILLIPLEX human cytokine/chemokine panels at pre-ALND and at 12 months post-RT. A Mann–Whitney t-test showed that G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-2α, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-15, IL-17A, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-3, IL-6, and MIP-1β were significantly higher at pre-ALND in those presenting with BCRL at 12 months post-RT. MIP-1β and IL-6 were significantly higher at pre-ALND in those who developed dermal backflow, but no BCRL, at 12 months post-RT. Plasma IL-15, IL-3, and MIP-1β were elevated at 12 months after RT in those with clinical BCRL. These findings establish BCRL as a perpetual inflammatory disorder, and suggest the use of plasma cytokine/chemokine levels to predict those at highest risk. Full article
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17 pages, 2175 KiB  
Article
Gene-Function-Based Clusters Explore Intricate Networks of Gene Expression of Circulating Tumor Cells in Patients with Colorectal Cancer
by Chi-Shuan Huang, Harn-Jing Terng and Yi-Ting Hwang
Biomedicines 2023, 11(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11010145 - 06 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1679
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a complex disease characterized by dynamically deregulated gene expression and crosstalk between signaling pathways. In this study, a new approach based on gene-function-based clusters was introduced to explore the CRC-associated networks of gene expression. Each cluster contained genes involved [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a complex disease characterized by dynamically deregulated gene expression and crosstalk between signaling pathways. In this study, a new approach based on gene-function-based clusters was introduced to explore the CRC-associated networks of gene expression. Each cluster contained genes involved in coordinated regulatory activity, such as RAS signaling, the cell cycle process, transcription, or translation. A retrospective case–control study was conducted with the inclusion of 119 patients with histologically confirmed colorectal cancer and 308 controls. The quantitative expression data of 15 genes were obtained from the peripheral blood samples of all participants to investigate cluster–gene and gene–gene interactions. DUSP6, MDM2, and EIF2S3 were consistently selected as CRC-associated factors with high significance in all logistic models. CPEB4 became an insignificant factor only when combined with the clusters for cell cycle processes and for transcription. The CPEB4/DUSP6 complex was a prerequisite for the significance of MMD, whereas EXT2, RNF4, ZNF264, WEE1, and MCM4 were affected by more than two clusters. Intricate networks among MMD, RAS signaling factors (DUSP6, GRB2, and NF1), and translation factors (EIF2S3, CPEB4, and EXT2) were also revealed. Our results suggest that limited G1/S transition, uncontrolled DNA replication, and the cap-independent initiation of translation may be dominant and concurrent scenarios in circulating tumor cells derived from colorectal cancer. This gene-function-based cluster approach is simple and useful for revealing intricate CRC-associated gene expression networks. These findings may provide clues to the metastatic mechanisms of circulating tumor cells in patients with colorectal cancer. Full article
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20 pages, 10968 KiB  
Article
A Comprehensive Analysis of the Effects of Key Mitophagy Genes on the Progression and Prognosis of Lung Adenocarcinoma
by Dongjun Dai, Lihong Liu, Yinglu Guo, Yongjie Shui and Qichun Wei
Cancers 2023, 15(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15010057 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1793
Abstract
The aim of our study was to perform a comprehensive analysis of the gene expression, copy number variation (CNV) and mutation of key mitophagy genes in the progression and prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). We obtained the data from The Cancer Genome Atlas [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to perform a comprehensive analysis of the gene expression, copy number variation (CNV) and mutation of key mitophagy genes in the progression and prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). We obtained the data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Clustering analysis was performed to stratify the mitophagy related groups. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) based cox model was used to select hub survival genes. An independent validation cohort was retrieved from Gene Expression Omnibus database. We found 24 out of 27 mitophagy genes were aberrantly expressed between tumor and normal samples. CNV gains were associated with higher expression of mitophagy genes in 23 of 27 mitophagy genes. The clustering analysis identified high and low risk mitophagy groups with distinct survival differences. The high risk mitophagy groups had higher tumor mutation burden, stemness phenotype, total CNVs and lower CD4+ T cells infiltration. Drugs targeted to high risk mitophagy groups were identified including the PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitor, HDAC inhibitor and chemotherapy agents such as cisplatin and gemcitabine. In addition, the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between mitophagy groups. Further univariate Cox analysis of each DEG and subsequent LASSO-based Cox model revealed a mitophagy-related prognostic signature. The risk score model of this signature showed a strong ability to predict the overall survival of LUAD patients in training and validation datasets. In conclusion, the mitophagy genes played an important role in the progression and prognosis of LUAD, which might provide useful information for the treatment of LUAD. Full article
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22 pages, 1243 KiB  
Review
The Emerging Role of uORF-Encoded uPeptides and HLA uLigands in Cellular and Tumor Biology
by Lara Jürgens and Klaus Wethmar
Cancers 2022, 14(24), 6031; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14246031 - 07 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2370
Abstract
Recent technological advances have facilitated the detection of numerous non-canonical human peptides derived from regulatory regions of mRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and other cryptic transcripts. In this review, we first give an overview of the classification of these novel peptides and summarize recent [...] Read more.
Recent technological advances have facilitated the detection of numerous non-canonical human peptides derived from regulatory regions of mRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and other cryptic transcripts. In this review, we first give an overview of the classification of these novel peptides and summarize recent improvements in their annotation and detection by ribosome profiling, mass spectrometry, and individual experimental analysis. A large fraction of the novel peptides originates from translation at upstream open reading frames (uORFs) that are located within the transcript leader sequence of regular mRNA. In humans, uORF-encoded peptides (uPeptides) have been detected in both healthy and malignantly transformed cells and emerge as important regulators in cellular and immunological pathways. In the second part of the review, we focus on various functional implications of uPeptides. As uPeptides frequently act at the transition of translational regulation and individual peptide function, we describe the mechanistic modes of translational regulation through ribosome stalling, the involvement in cellular programs through protein interaction and complex formation, and their role within the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-associated immunopeptidome as HLA uLigands. We delineate how malignant transformation may lead to the formation of novel uORFs, uPeptides, or HLA uLigands and explain their potential implication in tumor biology. Ultimately, we speculate on a potential use of uPeptides as peptide drugs and discuss how uPeptides and HLA uLigands may facilitate translational inhibition of oncogenic protein messages and immunotherapeutic approaches in cancer therapy. Full article
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32 pages, 1084 KiB  
Review
Circular RNAs in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: From Biomarkers to Therapeutic Targets
by Yumin Qiu, Yan Chen, Oluwatobi Agbede, Esra Eshaghi and Chun Peng
Cancers 2022, 14(22), 5711; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14225711 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2498
Abstract
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal gynecological cancer, and more than 70% of patients are diagnosed at advanced stages. Despite the application of surgery and chemotherapy, the prognosis remains poor due to the high relapse rate. It is urgent to identify [...] Read more.
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal gynecological cancer, and more than 70% of patients are diagnosed at advanced stages. Despite the application of surgery and chemotherapy, the prognosis remains poor due to the high relapse rate. It is urgent to identify novel biomarkers and develop novel therapeutic strategies for EOC. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of noncoding RNAs generated from the “back-splicing” of precursor mRNA. CircRNAs exert their functions via several mechanisms, including acting as miRNA sponges, interacting with proteins, regulating transcription, and encoding functional proteins. Recent studies have identified many circRNAs that are dysregulated in EOC and may be used as diagnostic and prognostic markers. Increasing evidence has revealed that circRNAs play a critical role in ovarian cancer progression by regulating various cellular processes, including proliferation, apoptosis, metastasis, and chemosensitivity. The circRNA-based therapy may be a novel strategy that is worth exploring in the future. Here, we provide an overview of EOC and circRNA biogenesis and functions. We then discuss the dysregulations of circRNAs in EOC and the possibility of using them as diagnostic/prognostic markers. We also summarize the role of circRNAs in regulating ovarian cancer development and speculate their potential as therapeutic targets. Full article
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23 pages, 5064 KiB  
Article
The Association of R-Loop Binding Proteins Subtypes with CIN Implicates Therapeutic Strategies in Colorectal Cancer
by Wenchao Zhao, Qian Pei, Yongwei Zhu, Dongdong Zhan, Guo Mao, Meng Wang, Yanfang Qiu, Ke Zuo, Haiping Pei, Lun-Quan Sun, Ming Wen and Rong Tan
Cancers 2022, 14(22), 5607; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14225607 - 15 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2053
Abstract
Chromosomal instability (CIN) covers approximately 65 to 70% of colorectal cancer patients and plays an essential role in cancer progression. However, the molecular features and therapeutic strategies related to those patients are still controversial. R-loop binding proteins (RLBPs) exert significant roles in transcription [...] Read more.
Chromosomal instability (CIN) covers approximately 65 to 70% of colorectal cancer patients and plays an essential role in cancer progression. However, the molecular features and therapeutic strategies related to those patients are still controversial. R-loop binding proteins (RLBPs) exert significant roles in transcription and replication. Here, integrative colorectal cancer proteogenomic analysis identified two RLBPs subtypes correlated with distinct prognoses. Cluster I (CI), represented by high expression of RLBPs, was associated with the CIN phenotype. While Cluster II (CII) with the worst prognosis and low expression of RLBPs was composed of a high percentage of patients with mucinous adenocarcinoma or right-sided colon cancer. The molecular feature analysis revealed that the active RNA processing, ribosome synthesis, and aberrant DNA damage repair were shown in CI, a high inflammatory signaling pathway, and lymphocyte infiltration was enriched in CII. In addition, we revealed 42 tumor-associated RLBPs proteins. The CI with high expression of tumor-associated proteins was sensitive to drugs targeting genome integrity and EGFR in both cell and organoid models. Thus, our study unveils a significant molecular association of the CIN phenotype with RLBPs, and also provides a powerful resource for further functional exploration of RLBPs in cancer progression and therapeutic application. Full article
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22 pages, 4976 KiB  
Article
Spontaneous Transformation of a p53 and Rb-Defective Human Fallopian Tube Epithelial Cell Line after Long Passage with Features of High-Grade Serous Carcinoma
by Yu-Hsun Chang, Tang-Yuan Chu and Dah-Ching Ding
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(22), 13843; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232213843 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
Ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal gynecological cancers, and 80% are high-grade serous carcinomas (HGSOC). Despite advances in chemotherapy and the development of targeted therapies, the survival rate of HGSOC has only moderately improved. Therefore, a cell model that reflects the [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal gynecological cancers, and 80% are high-grade serous carcinomas (HGSOC). Despite advances in chemotherapy and the development of targeted therapies, the survival rate of HGSOC has only moderately improved. Therefore, a cell model that reflects the pathogenesis and clinical characteristics of this disease is urgently needed. We previously developed a human fallopian tube epithelial cell line (FE25) with p53 and Rb deficiencies. After long-term culture in vitro, cells at high-passage numbers showed spontaneous transformation (FE25L). This study aimed to compare FE25 cells cultured in vitro for low (passage 16–31) and high passages (passage 116–139) to determine whether these cells can serve as an ideal cell model of HGSOC. Compared to the cells at low passage, FE25L cells showed increased cell proliferation, clonogenicity, polyploidy, aneuploidy, cell migration, and invasion. They also showed more resistance to chemotherapy and the ability to grow tumors in xenografts. RNA-seq data also showed upregulation of hypoxia, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and the NF-κB pathway in FE25L compared to FE25 cells. qRT-PCR confirmed the upregulation of EMT, cytokines, NF-κB, c-Myc, and the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Cross-platform comparability found that FE25L cells could be grouped with the other most likely HGSOC lines, such as TYKNU and COV362. In conclusion, FE25L cells showed more aggressive malignant behavior than FE25 cells and hence might serve as a more suitable model for HGSOC research. Full article
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40 pages, 4636 KiB  
Review
Research Trend and Detailed Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms of Food Bioactive Compounds against Cancer: A Comprehensive Review with Special Emphasis on Probiotics
by Manas Yogendra Agrawal, Shreyas Gaikwad, Sangeeta Srivastava and Sanjay K. Srivastava
Cancers 2022, 14(22), 5482; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14225482 - 08 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2451
Abstract
In an attempt to find a potential cure for cancer, scientists have been probing the efficacy of the food we eat and its bioactive components. Over the decades, there has been an exponentially increasing trend of research correlating food and cancer. This review [...] Read more.
In an attempt to find a potential cure for cancer, scientists have been probing the efficacy of the food we eat and its bioactive components. Over the decades, there has been an exponentially increasing trend of research correlating food and cancer. This review explains the molecular mechanisms by which bioactive food components exhibit anticancer effects in several cancer models. These bioactive compounds are mainly plant based or microbiome based. While plants remain the primary source of these phytochemicals, little is known about probiotics, i.e., microbiome sources, and their relationships with cancer. Thus, the molecular mechanisms underlying the anticancer effect of probiotics are discussed in this review. The principal mode of cell death for most food bioactives is found to be apoptosis. Principal oncogenic signaling axes such as Akt/PI3K, JAK/STAT, and NF-κB seem to be modulated due to these bioactives along with certain novel targets that provide a platform for further oncogenic research. It has been observed that probiotics have an immunomodulatory effect leading to their chemopreventive actions. Various foods exhibit better efficacy as complete extracts than their individual phytochemicals, indicating an orchestrated effect of the food components. Combining bioactive agents with available chemotherapies helps synergize the anticancer action of both to overcome drug resistance. Novel techniques to deliver bioactive agents enhance their therapeutic response. Such combinations and novel approaches are also discussed in this review. Notably, most of the food components that have been studied for cancer have shown their efficacy in vivo. This bolsters the claims of these studies and, thus, provides us with hope of discovering anticancer agents in the food that we eat. Full article
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13 pages, 3584 KiB  
Article
Genetic Inactivation of Notch1 Synergizes with Loss of Trp53 to Induce Tumor Formation in the Adult Mouse Forebrain
by Elena Parmigiani and Claudio Giachino
Cancers 2022, 14(21), 5409; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14215409 - 02 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1890
Abstract
Simultaneous genetic inactivation of the key Notch signaling mediator RBP-Jk and p53 leads to the formation of forebrain tumors in mice, suggesting a tumor suppressor role of the Notch pathway in this context. However, the contribution of individual Notch receptors to the tumor-suppressive [...] Read more.
Simultaneous genetic inactivation of the key Notch signaling mediator RBP-Jk and p53 leads to the formation of forebrain tumors in mice, suggesting a tumor suppressor role of the Notch pathway in this context. However, the contribution of individual Notch receptors to the tumor-suppressive activity of Notch signaling in the brain remains elusive. Here, we show that simultaneous Notch1 and Notch2 deletion, similar to complete ablation of canonical Notch signaling by Rbpj inactivation, cooperates with Trp53 deletion to promote tumor growth in the adult forebrain. We also demonstrate that inactivation of Notch1 and Trp53 in cells with active Notch signaling is sufficient to induce brain tumor or hyperplasia formation. Analysis of tumor location suggests a multifocal origin and shows that ventral forebrain regions and olfactory bulbs are the most affected sites. Hence, Notch1 cooperates with p53 to repress malignant transformation in the adult mouse forebrain. Full article
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20 pages, 7193 KiB  
Article
Use of High-Plex Data Reveals Novel Insights into the Tumour Microenvironment of Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma
by Raffaele De Filippis, Georg Wölflein, In Hwa Um, Peter D. Caie, Sarah Warren, Andrew White, Elizabeth Suen, Emily To, Ognjen Arandjelović and David J. Harrison
Cancers 2022, 14(21), 5387; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14215387 - 01 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2292
Abstract
Although immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have significantly improved the oncological outcomes, about one-third of patients affected by clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) still experience recurrence. Current prognostic algorithms, such as the Leibovich score (LS), rely on morphological features manually assessed by pathologists [...] Read more.
Although immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have significantly improved the oncological outcomes, about one-third of patients affected by clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) still experience recurrence. Current prognostic algorithms, such as the Leibovich score (LS), rely on morphological features manually assessed by pathologists and are therefore subject to bias. Moreover, these tools do not consider the heterogeneous molecular milieu present in the Tumour Microenvironment (TME), which may have prognostic value. We systematically developed a semi-automated method to investigate 62 markers and their combinations in 150 primary ccRCCs using Multiplex Immunofluorescence (mIF), NanoString GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiling (DSP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted image analysis in order to find novel prognostic signatures and investigate their spatial relationship. We found that coexpression of cancer stem cell (CSC) and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers such as OCT4 and ZEB1 are indicative of poor outcome. OCT4 and the immune markers CD8, CD34, and CD163 significantly stratified patients at intermediate LS. Furthermore, augmenting the LS with OCT4 and CD34 improved patient stratification by outcome. Our results support the hypothesis that combining molecular markers has prognostic value and can be integrated with morphological features to improve risk stratification and personalised therapy. To conclude, GeoMx® DSP and AI image analysis are complementary tools providing high multiplexing capability required to investigate the TME of ccRCC, while reducing observer bias. Full article
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15 pages, 3745 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic Profiling of Breast Cancer Cells Induced by Tumor-Associated Macrophages Generates a Robust Prognostic Gene Signature
by Meijun Long, Jiajie Wang and Mei Yang
Cancers 2022, 14(21), 5364; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14215364 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1536
Abstract
Breast cancer, one of the most prevalent neoplasms in the world, continues attracting worldwide attention. Macrophage, as the most abundant non-malignant cell in tumor, plays critical roles in both immune surveillance and tumorigenesis and has become a cell target of immunotherapy. Among all [...] Read more.
Breast cancer, one of the most prevalent neoplasms in the world, continues attracting worldwide attention. Macrophage, as the most abundant non-malignant cell in tumor, plays critical roles in both immune surveillance and tumorigenesis and has become a cell target of immunotherapy. Among all macrophages, tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) is regarded as the main force to promote tumorigenesis. To get an overall view of its impact on breast cancer, we employed a simplified and indirect coculturing cell model followed by RNA-sequencing to detect cancer cell’s transcriptomic response induced by TAM and a prognostic gene signature was constructed based on it. Evidence from both cell models and clinical samples strengthened TAM’s full-dimensional impact on breast cancer, involved in almost all known signal pathways dysregulated during tumorigenesis from transcription, translation and molecule transport to immune-related pathways. Consequently, the gene signature developed from these genes was tested to be powerful in prognostic prediction and associated with various clinical and biological features of breast cancer. Our study presented a more complete view of TAM’s impact on breast cancer, which strengthened its role as an important therapy target. A 45-gene signature from the TAM-regulated genes was developed and shown potential in clinical application. Full article
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30 pages, 1686 KiB  
Review
The Mechanistic Roles of Sirtuins in Breast and Prostate Cancer
by Cosmos Ifeanyi Onyiba, Christopher J. Scarlett and Judith Weidenhofer
Cancers 2022, 14(20), 5118; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14205118 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3359
Abstract
Mammalian sirtuins (SIRT1–7) are involved in a myriad of cellular processes, including apoptosis, proliferation, differentiation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, aging, DNA repair, senescence, viability, survival, and stress response. In this review, we discuss the current information on the mechanistic roles of SIRT1–7 and their downstream [...] Read more.
Mammalian sirtuins (SIRT1–7) are involved in a myriad of cellular processes, including apoptosis, proliferation, differentiation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, aging, DNA repair, senescence, viability, survival, and stress response. In this review, we discuss the current information on the mechanistic roles of SIRT1–7 and their downstream effects (tumor promotion or suppression) in cancers of the breast and prostate. Specifically, we highlight the involvement of sirtuins in the regulation of various proteins implicated in proliferation, apoptosis, autophagy, chemoresistance, invasion, migration, and metastasis of breast and prostate cancer. Additionally, we highlight the available information regarding SIRT1–7 regulation by miRNAs, laying much emphasis on the consequences in the progression of breast and prostate cancer. Full article
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9 pages, 1290 KiB  
Communication
Practical Implications of KRAS Mutation Status and Sidedness of Primary Tumour in Patients with Colorectal Cancer and Synchronous Liver Metastases: A Subset Analysis of the CoSMIC Study
by Anthony K. C. Chan and Ajith K. Siriwardena
Cancers 2022, 14(19), 4833; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14194833 - 03 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
Patients with colorectal cancer presenting with synchronous liver metastases have less favourable outcomes than those with primary-only disease. There is evidence of different genetic mutational signatures according to the sidedness of the primary tumour. KRAS mutations are key driver mutations in colorectal cancer [...] Read more.
Patients with colorectal cancer presenting with synchronous liver metastases have less favourable outcomes than those with primary-only disease. There is evidence of different genetic mutational signatures according to the sidedness of the primary tumour. KRAS mutations are key driver mutations in colorectal cancer progression. This post hoc analysis of the previously reported CoSMIC inception cohort explores the association between primary tumour sidedness and KRAS mutational status on the outcome of patients with colorectal cancer and synchronous liver metastases. Patients diagnosed with synchronous disease were recruited between April 2014 and March 2017 and, after exclusions, 83 patients undergoing colorectal primary KRAS mutation testing constituted the final study population. Data were collected prospectively on demographic profiles, treatment, and outcomes. Twenty-one patients (25%) had right-sided tumours and 62 (75%) had left-sided tumours, with 46 (55%) and 37 (45%) exhibiting wildtype and mutated KRAS, respectively. There was no difference in distribution of liver metastases by KRAS status (unilobar vs. bi-lobar; p = 0.58; Fisher’s Exact test) and no difference in 5-year survival according to KRAS mutation status (Log-rank test, p = 0.82) or tumour sidedness (p = 0.16). In summary, in this cohort of patients with colorectal cancer and synchronous liver metastases, neither KRAS mutation status nor tumour sidedness influenced survival. Full article
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15 pages, 2282 KiB  
Article
Concomitant Inhibition of FASN and SREBP Provides a Promising Therapy for CTCL
by Cheng Chi, Lisa Harth, Marina Ramírez Galera, Marina Passos Torrealba, Chella Krishna Vadivel, Carsten Geisler, Charlotte Menné Bonefeld, Pia Rude Nielsen, Michael Bzorek, Jürgen C. Becker, Lise Mette Rahbek Gjerdrum, Niels Ødum and Anders Woetmann
Cancers 2022, 14(18), 4491; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14184491 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2274
Abstract
Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a group of non-Hodgkin’s primary cutaneous T cell lymphomas, with Mycosis Fungoides and Sézary syndrome (SS) being the two most common subtypes. Fatty acid synthase (FASN) is a crucial enzyme that catalyses the biosynthesis of fatty acids, [...] Read more.
Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a group of non-Hodgkin’s primary cutaneous T cell lymphomas, with Mycosis Fungoides and Sézary syndrome (SS) being the two most common subtypes. Fatty acid synthase (FASN) is a crucial enzyme that catalyses the biosynthesis of fatty acids, which has been reported to play an oncogenic role in various malignancies but not in CTCL so far. Herein, we show that FASN is highly expressed in CTCL cell lines and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from CTCL patients, while it is not in PBMCs from healthy individuals. The inhibition of FASN in CTCL cell lines impairs cell viability, survival, and proliferation, but, interestingly, it also increases FASN expression. However, inhibiting sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP), a transcription factor that promotes the expression of FASN, partially reversed the upregulation of FASN induced by FASN inhibitors. Thus, the combination of FASN and SREBP inhibitors enhanced the effects on both CTCL cell lines and PBMCs from SS patients, where a valid inhibition on cell proliferation could be verified. Importantly, compared to non-malignant cells, primary malignant cells are more sensitive to the inhibition of FASN and SREBP, making the combination of FASN and SREBP inhibitors a promising novel therapeutic strategy in CTCL. Full article
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25 pages, 4881 KiB  
Article
Identification and Validation of the lncRNA MYOSLID as a Regulating Factor of Necroptosis and Immune Cell Infiltration in Colorectal Cancer following Necroptosis-Related LncRNA Model Establishment
by Zhiwei Wu, Fan Zhang, Yaohui Wang, Zhixing Lu and Changwei Lin
Cancers 2022, 14(18), 4364; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14184364 - 07 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
Necroptosis is a newly defined form of programmed cell death that plays an important role in cancers. However, necroptosis-related lncRNAs (NRLs) involved in colorectal cancer (CRC) have not yet been thoroughly studied. Methods: In this study, a 4-NRL model was developed based on [...] Read more.
Necroptosis is a newly defined form of programmed cell death that plays an important role in cancers. However, necroptosis-related lncRNAs (NRLs) involved in colorectal cancer (CRC) have not yet been thoroughly studied. Methods: In this study, a 4-NRL model was developed based on the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) algorithm. A series of informatic, in vitro and in vivo analyses were applied to validate the prognostic value of the model and the potential function of the hub lncRNA MYOSLID. Results: The model exhibited an excellent capacity for the prediction of overall survival and other clinicopathological features of CRC patients using Kaplan–Meier (K–M) survival curves and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Furthermore, a significant difference in the levels of immune cells, such as CD4 memory T cells and activated mast cells, between two risk groups was observed. The low-risk patients had a higher expression of immune checkpoints, such as PDCD1 (PD-1) and CD274 (PD-L1). The levels of MYOSLID, a hub lncRNA in our model, were higher in CRC tissues than in normal tissues. Knockdown of MYOSLID induced necroptosis and inhibited the proliferation of CRC cells in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, knockdown of MYOSLID also increased the percentage of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in subcutaneously transplanted tumours. Conclusion: Our model is a promising biomarker that can be used to predict clinical outcomes in CRC patients, and MYOSLID plays an important role in regulating necroptosis and immune cell infiltration in CRC. Full article
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17 pages, 32729 KiB  
Article
Identification of Human Global, Tissue and Within-Tissue Cell-Specific Stably Expressed Genes at Single-Cell Resolution
by Lingyu Qiu, Chen Liang, Yidong Zheng, Huayu Kang, Aiyue Chen, Chunlin Chen, Xinlong Wang, Jielin Yang, Qiongfang Fang, Xinjie Hui, Yueming Hu, Zewei Chen, Ou Sha, Wei-Guo Zhu and Yejun Wang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(18), 10214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms231810214 - 06 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1872
Abstract
Stably Expressed Genes (SEGs) are a set of genes with invariant expression. Identification of SEGs, especially among both healthy and diseased tissues, is of clinical relevance to enable more accurate data integration, gene expression comparison and biomarker detection. However, it remains unclear how [...] Read more.
Stably Expressed Genes (SEGs) are a set of genes with invariant expression. Identification of SEGs, especially among both healthy and diseased tissues, is of clinical relevance to enable more accurate data integration, gene expression comparison and biomarker detection. However, it remains unclear how many global SEGs there are, whether there are development-, tissue- or cell-specific SEGs, and whether diseases can influence their expression. In this research, we systematically investigate human SEGs at single-cell level and observe their development-, tissue- and cell-specificity, and expression stability under various diseased states. A hierarchical strategy is proposed to identify a list of 408 spatial-temporal SEGs. Development-specific SEGs are also identified, with adult tissue-specific SEGs enriched with the function of immune processes and fetal tissue-specific SEGs enriched in RNA splicing activities. Cells of the same type within different tissues tend to show similar SEG composition profiles. Diseases or stresses do not show influence on the expression stableness of SEGs in various tissues. In addition to serving as markers and internal references for data normalization and integration, we examine another possible application of SEGs, i.e., being applied for cell decomposition. The deconvolution model could accurately predict the fractions of major immune cells in multiple independent testing datasets of peripheral blood samples. The study provides a reliable list of human SEGs at the single-cell level, facilitates the understanding on the property of SEGs, and extends their possible applications. Full article
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28 pages, 6420 KiB  
Review
Novel Insights into miR-944 in Cancer
by Jinze Shen, Qurui Wang, Chenhao Liang, Xinming Su, Yufei Ke, Yunan Mao, Jie Fang and Shiwei Duan
Cancers 2022, 14(17), 4232; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14174232 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2236
Abstract
miRNA is a class of endogenous short-chain non-coding RNAs consisting of about 22 nucleotides. miR-944 is located in the fourth intron of the TP63 gene in the 3q28 region. miR-944 is abnormally expressed in cancers in multiple systems including neural, endocrine, respiratory, reproductive, [...] Read more.
miRNA is a class of endogenous short-chain non-coding RNAs consisting of about 22 nucleotides. miR-944 is located in the fourth intron of the TP63 gene in the 3q28 region. miR-944 is abnormally expressed in cancers in multiple systems including neural, endocrine, respiratory, reproductive, and digestive systems. miR-944 can target at least 27 protein-coding genes. miR-944 can regulate a series of cell behaviors, such as cell cycle, proliferation, invasion and migration, EMT, apoptosis, etc. miR-944 participates in the networks of 11 ceRNAs, including six circRNAs and five lncRNAs. miR-944 is involved in three signaling pathways. The abnormal expression of miR-944 is closely related to the clinicopathological conditions of various cancer patients. Deregulated expression of miR-944 is significantly associated with clinicopathology and prognosis in cancer patients. In addition, miR-944 is also associated with the development of DDP, RAPA, DOX, and PTX resistance in cancer cells. miR-944 is involved in the anticancer molecular mechanisms of matrine and Rhenium-liposome drugs. In conclusion, this work systematically summarizes the related findings of miR-944, which will provide potential hints for follow-up research on miR-944. Full article
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19 pages, 3736 KiB  
Article
Activation of the Anaphase Promoting Complex Reverses Multiple Drug Resistant Cancer in a Canine Model of Multiple Drug Resistant Lymphoma
by Terra G. Arnason, Valerie MacDonald-Dickinson, Matthew Casey Gaunt, Gerald F. Davies, Liubov Lobanova, Brett Trost, Zoe E. Gillespie, Matthew Waldner, Paige Baldwin, Devon Borrowman, Hailey Marwood, Frederick S. Vizeacoumar, Franco J. Vizeacoumar, Christopher H. Eskiw, Anthony Kusalik and Troy A. A. Harkness
Cancers 2022, 14(17), 4215; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14174215 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
Like humans, canine lymphomas are treated by chemotherapy cocktails and frequently develop multiple drug resistance (MDR). Their shortened clinical timelines and tumor accessibility make canines excellent models to study MDR mechanisms. Insulin-sensitizers have been shown to reduce the incidence of cancer in humans [...] Read more.
Like humans, canine lymphomas are treated by chemotherapy cocktails and frequently develop multiple drug resistance (MDR). Their shortened clinical timelines and tumor accessibility make canines excellent models to study MDR mechanisms. Insulin-sensitizers have been shown to reduce the incidence of cancer in humans prescribed them, and we previously demonstrated that they also reverse and delay MDR development in vitro. Here, we treated canines with MDR lymphoma with metformin to assess clinical and tumoral responses, including changes in MDR biomarkers, and used mRNA microarrays to determine differential gene expression. Metformin reduced MDR protein markers in all canines in the study. Microarrays performed on mRNAs gathered through longitudinal tumor sampling identified a 290 gene set that was enriched in Anaphase Promoting Complex (APC) substrates and additional mRNAs associated with slowed mitotic progression in MDR samples compared to skin controls. mRNAs from a canine that went into remission showed that APC substrate mRNAs were decreased, indicating that the APC was activated during remission. In vitro validation using canine lymphoma cells selected for resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs confirmed that APC activation restored MDR chemosensitivity, and that APC activity was reduced in MDR cells. This supports the idea that rapidly pushing MDR cells that harbor high loads of chromosome instability through mitosis, by activating the APC, contributes to improved survival and disease-free duration. Full article
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20 pages, 9236 KiB  
Article
Hypermethylation of PRKCZ Regulated by E6 Inhibits Invasion and EMT via Cdc42 in HPV-Related Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
by Hao-Fan Wang, Jian Jiang, Jia-Shun Wu, Mei Zhang, Xin Pang, Li Dai, Ya-Ling Tang and Xin-Hua Liang
Cancers 2022, 14(17), 4151; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14174151 - 27 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1872
Abstract
Purpose: To study the role of target genes with aberrant DNA methylation in HPV+ HNSCC. Methods: A HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array (Illumina) was used to identify differentially methylated genes. CCK-8, flow cytometry, wound healing, and cell invasion assays were conducted to analyze the biological [...] Read more.
Purpose: To study the role of target genes with aberrant DNA methylation in HPV+ HNSCC. Methods: A HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array (Illumina) was used to identify differentially methylated genes. CCK-8, flow cytometry, wound healing, and cell invasion assays were conducted to analyze the biological roles of PRKCZ. Western blot, qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and animal studies were performed to explore the mechanisms underlying the functions of PRKCZ. Results: We selected PRKCZ, which is associated with HPV infection, as our target gene. PRKCZ was hypermethylated in HPV+ HNSCC patients, and PRKCZ methylation status was negatively related to the pathological grading of HNSCC patients. Silencing PRKCZ inhibited the malignant capacity of HPV+ HNSCC cells. Mechanistically, HPV might promote DNMT1 expression via E6 to increase PRKCZ methylation. Cdc42 was required for the PRKCZ-mediated mechanism of action, contributing to the occurrence of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in HPV+ HNSCC cells. In addition, blocking PRKCZ delayed tumor growth in HPV16-E6/E7 transgenic mice. Cdc42 expression was decreased, whereas E-cadherin levels increased. Conclusion: We suggest that PRKCZ hypermethylation induces EMT via Cdc42 to act as a potent tumor promoter in HPV+ HNSCC. Full article
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28 pages, 9717 KiB  
Review
TNF Receptor Associated Factor 2 (TRAF2) Signaling in Cancer
by Daniela Siegmund, Jennifer Wagner and Harald Wajant
Cancers 2022, 14(16), 4055; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14164055 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5021
Abstract
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor associated factor-2 (TRAF2) has been originally identified as a protein interacting with TNF receptor 2 (TNFR2) but also binds to several other receptors of the TNF receptor superfamily (TNFRSF). TRAF2, often in concert with other members of the [...] Read more.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor associated factor-2 (TRAF2) has been originally identified as a protein interacting with TNF receptor 2 (TNFR2) but also binds to several other receptors of the TNF receptor superfamily (TNFRSF). TRAF2, often in concert with other members of the TRAF protein family, is involved in the activation of the classical NFκB pathway and the stimulation of various mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascades by TNFRSF receptors (TNFRs), but is also required to inhibit the alternative NFκB pathway. TRAF2 has also been implicated in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signaling, the regulation of autophagy, and the control of cell death programs. TRAF2 fulfills its functions by acting as a scaffold, bringing together the E3 ligase cellular inhibitor of apoptosis-1 (cIAP1) and cIAP2 with their substrates and various regulatory proteins, e.g., deubiquitinases. Furthermore, TRAF2 can act as an E3 ligase by help of its N-terminal really interesting new gene (RING) domain. The finding that TRAF2 (but also several other members of the TRAF family) interacts with the latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) oncogene of the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) indicated early on that TRAF2 could play a role in the oncogenesis of B-cell malignancies and EBV-associated non-keratinizing nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). TRAF2 can also act as an oncogene in solid tumors, e.g., in colon cancer by promoting Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Moreover, tumor cell-expressed TRAF2 has been identified as a major factor-limiting cancer cell killing by cytotoxic T-cells after immune checkpoint blockade. However, TRAF2 can also be context-dependent as a tumor suppressor, presumably by virtue of its inhibitory effect on the alternative NFκB pathway. For example, inactivating mutations of TRAF2 have been associated with tumor development, e.g., in multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. In this review, we summarize the various TRAF2-related signaling pathways and their relevance for the oncogenic and tumor suppressive activities of TRAF2. Particularly, we discuss currently emerging concepts to target TRAF2 for therapeutic purposes. Full article
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17 pages, 2052 KiB  
Article
Ultra Deep Sequencing of Circulating Cell-Free DNA as a Potential Tool for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Management
by Mónica Higuera, Elena Vargas-Accarino, María Torrens, Josep Gregori, María Teresa Salcedo, Joan Martínez-Campreciós, Gloria Torres, María Bermúdez-Ramos, Itxarone Bilbao, Mercedes Guerrero-Murillo, Xavier Serres-Créixams, Xavier Merino, Francisco Rodríguez-Frías, Josep Quer and Beatriz Mínguez
Cancers 2022, 14(16), 3875; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14163875 - 11 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2050
Abstract
Background: Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) concentrations have been described to be inversely correlated with prognosis in cancer. Mutations in HCC-associated driver genes in cfDNA have been reported, but their relation with patient’s outcome has not been described. Our aim was to elucidate whether mutations [...] Read more.
Background: Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) concentrations have been described to be inversely correlated with prognosis in cancer. Mutations in HCC-associated driver genes in cfDNA have been reported, but their relation with patient’s outcome has not been described. Our aim was to elucidate whether mutations found in cfDNA could be representative from those present in HCC tissue, providing the rationale to use the cfDNA to monitor HCC. Methods: Tumoral tissue, paired nontumor adjacent tissue and blood samples were collected from 30 HCC patients undergoing curative therapies. Deep sequencing targeting HCC driver genes was performed. Results: Patients with more than 2 ng/µL of cfDNA at diagnosis had higher mortality (mean OS 24.6 vs. 31.87 months, p = 0.01) (AUC = 0.782). Subjects who died during follow-up, had a significantly higher number of mutated genes (p = 0.015) and number of mutations (p = 0.015) on cfDNA. Number of mutated genes (p = 0.001), detected mutations (p = 0.001) in cfDNA and ratio (number of mutations/cfDNA) (p = 0.003) were significantly associated with recurrence. However, patients with a ratio (number of mutations/cfDNA) above 6 (long-rank p = 0.0003) presented a higher risk of recurrence than those with a ratio under 6. Detection of more than four mutations in cfDNA correlated with higher risk of death (long-rank p = 0.042). Conclusions: In summary, cfDNA and detection of prevalent HCC mutations could have prognostic implications in early-stage HCC patients Full article
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22 pages, 2540 KiB  
Article
Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Restore Cancer Cell Sensitivity towards T Lymphocytes Mediated Cytotoxicity in Pancreatic Cancer
by Chin-King Looi, Li-Lian Gan, Wynne Sim, Ling-Wei Hii, Felicia Fei-Lei Chung, Chee-Onn Leong, Wei-Meng Lim and Chun-Wai Mai
Cancers 2022, 14(15), 3709; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14153709 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3054
Abstract
Despite medical advancements, the prognosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has not improved significantly over the past 50 years. By utilising the large-scale genomic datasets available from the Australia Pancreatic Cancer Project (PACA-AU) and The Cancer Genomic Atlas Project (TCGA-PAAD), we studied the [...] Read more.
Despite medical advancements, the prognosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has not improved significantly over the past 50 years. By utilising the large-scale genomic datasets available from the Australia Pancreatic Cancer Project (PACA-AU) and The Cancer Genomic Atlas Project (TCGA-PAAD), we studied the immunophenotype of PDAC in silico and identified that tumours with high cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) killing activity were associated with favourable clinical outcomes. Using the STRING protein–protein interaction network analysis, the identified differentially expressed genes with low CTL killing activity were associated with TWIST/IL-6R, HDAC5, and EOMES signalling. Following Connectivity Map analysis, we identified 44 small molecules that could restore CTL sensitivity in the PDAC cells. Further high-throughput chemical library screening identified 133 inhibitors that effectively target both parental and CTL-resistant PDAC cells in vitro. Since CTL-resistant PDAC had a higher expression of histone proteins and its acetylated proteins compared to its parental cells, we further investigated the impact of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) on CTL-mediated cytotoxicity in PDAC cells in vitro, namely SW1990 and BxPC3. Further analyses revealed that givinostat and dacinostat were the two most potent HDAC inhibitors that restored CTL sensitivity in SW1990 and BxPC3 CTL-resistant cells. Through our in silico and in vitro studies, we demonstrate the novel role of HDAC inhibition in restoring CTL resistance and that combinations of HDACi with CTL may represent a promising therapeutic strategy, warranting its further detailed molecular mechanistic studies and animal studies before embarking on the clinical evaluation of these novel combined PDAC treatments. Full article
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26 pages, 23020 KiB  
Article
The Multi-Omics Landscape and Clinical Relevance of the Immunological Signature of Phagocytosis Regulators: Implications for Risk Classification and Frontline Therapies in Skin Cutaneous Melanoma
by Jiahua Xing, Lingli Guo, Ziqi Jia, Yan Li and Yan Han
Cancers 2022, 14(15), 3582; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14153582 - 22 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1957
Abstract
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) have gained considerable attention as therapeutic targets. Monoclonal antibody treatments directed against tumor antigens contribute significantly to cancer cell clearance by activating macrophages to phagocytose tumor cells. Due to its complicated genetic and molecular pathways, skin cutaneous melanoma (SKCM) has [...] Read more.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) have gained considerable attention as therapeutic targets. Monoclonal antibody treatments directed against tumor antigens contribute significantly to cancer cell clearance by activating macrophages to phagocytose tumor cells. Due to its complicated genetic and molecular pathways, skin cutaneous melanoma (SKCM) has not yet attained the expected clinical efficacy and prognosis when compared to other skin cancers. Therefore, we chose TAMs as an entrance point. This study aimed to thoroughly assess the dysregulation and regulatory role of phagocytosis regulators in SKCM, as well as to understand their regulatory patterns in SKCM. This study subtyped prognosis-related phagocytosis regulators to investigate prognostic differences between subtypes. Then, we screened prognostic factors and constructed phagocytosis-related scoring models for survival prediction using differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between subtypes. Additionally, we investigated alternative treatment options using chemotherapeutic drug response data and clinical cohort treatment data. We first characterized and generalized phagocytosis regulators in SKCM and extensively examined the tumor immune cell infiltration. We created two phagocytosis regulator-related system (PRRS) phenotypes and derived PRRS scores using a principal component analysis (PCA) technique. We discovered that subtypes with low PRRS scores had a poor prognosis and decreased immune checkpoint-associated gene expression levels. We observed significant therapeutic and clinical improvements in patients with higher PRRS scores. Our findings imply that the PRRS scoring system can be employed as an independent and robust prognostic biomarker, serving as a critical reference point for developing novel immunotherapeutic methods. Full article
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22 pages, 4845 KiB  
Article
C8orf76 Modulates Ferroptosis in Liver Cancer via Transcriptionally Up-Regulating SLC7A11
by Duguang Li, Junhai Pan, Yiyin Zhang, Yirun Li, Shengxi Jin, Cheng Zhong, Peng Chen, Jingjing Ma, Wendi Hu, Xiaoxiao Fan and Hui Lin
Cancers 2022, 14(14), 3410; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14143410 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2980
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignant tumor worldwide. Chromosome 8 open reading frame 76 (C8orf76), a novel gene located in the nucleus, is highly expressed in many tumor types. However, the specific mechanisms and functions of C8orf76 in HCC remain unclear. Here, [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignant tumor worldwide. Chromosome 8 open reading frame 76 (C8orf76), a novel gene located in the nucleus, is highly expressed in many tumor types. However, the specific mechanisms and functions of C8orf76 in HCC remain unclear. Here, we reported for the first time that C8orf76 gene expression levels were frequently upregulated in liver cancer and significantly correlated with HCC development. C8orf76 downregulation induced G1-S arrest and inhibited cell proliferation. Intriguingly, C8orf76 deficiency could accelerate erastin or sorafenib-induced ferroptosis through increasing lipid reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Moreover, although C8orf76 overexpression did not affect tumorigenesis under normal conditions, it increased resistance to lipid disturbance and ferroptosis triggered by erastin or sorafenib, which further facilitated HCC cell growth and tumor progression. Mechanistically, C8orf76 bound to the promoter region of the solute carrier family 7 member 11 (SLC7A11) gene and upregulated SLC7A11 transcriptionally. SLC7A11-dependent cystine import led to sufficient GSH synthesis and lipid peroxidation inhibition, thus accelerating tumor growth. Our study indicated that C8orf76 could be a novel marker for HCC diagnosis. In addition, a better comprehensive understanding of the potential role of C8orf76 in HCC helped us develop novel therapeutic strategies for this intractable cancer. Full article
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22 pages, 12325 KiB  
Article
Crosstalk of Redox-Related Subtypes, Establishment of a Prognostic Model and Immune Responses in Endometrial Carcinoma
by Rui Geng, Jiahang Song, Zihang Zhong, Senmiao Ni, Wen Liu, Zhiqiang He, Shilin Gan, Qinghao Huang, Hao Yu, Jianling Bai and Jinhui Liu
Cancers 2022, 14(14), 3383; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14143383 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
Redox plays a central part in the pathogeneses and development of tumors. We comprehensively determined the expression patterns of redox-related genes (RRGs) in endometrial carcinoma (EC) cohorts from public databases and identified four different RRG-related clusters. The prognosis and the characteristics of TME [...] Read more.
Redox plays a central part in the pathogeneses and development of tumors. We comprehensively determined the expression patterns of redox-related genes (RRGs) in endometrial carcinoma (EC) cohorts from public databases and identified four different RRG-related clusters. The prognosis and the characteristics of TME cell infiltration of RRGcluster C patients were worse than those of other RRG clusters. When it comes to the gene cluster, there were great differences in clinicopathology traits and immunocyte infiltration. The RRG score was calculated by Cox analyses, and an RRG-based signature was developed. The risk score performed well in the EC cohort. Samples were separated into two risk subgroups with the standard of the value of the median risk score. Low-risk patients had a better prognosis and higher immunogenicity. In addition, RRG score was closely associated with immunophenoscore, microsatellite instability, tumor mutation burden, tumor stem cell index, copy number variation and chemotherapy sensitivity. The nomogram accurately predicted the prognosis of patients, and our model showed better performance than other published models. In conclusion, we built a prognostic model of RRGs which can help to evaluate clinical outcomes and guide more effective treatment. Full article
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17 pages, 2095 KiB  
Article
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer circRNAome Reveals Hsa_circ_0072309 as a Potential Risk Biomarker
by Leandro Magalhães, André M. Ribeiro-dos-Santos, Rebecca L. Cruz, Kivvi Duarte de Mello Nakamura, Rafael Brianese, Rommel Burbano, Sâmio Pimentel Ferreira, Ewaldo Lúcio Foro de Oliveira, Ana Karyssa Mendes Anaissi, Márcia Cristina de Sousa Nahúm, Samia Demachki, Amanda F. Vidal, Dirce Maria Carraro and Ândrea Ribeiro-dos-Santos
Cancers 2022, 14(13), 3280; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14133280 - 05 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2496
Abstract
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of long non-coding RNAs that have the ability to sponge RNA-Binding Proteins (RBPs). Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has very aggressive behavior and poor prognosis for the patient. Here, we aimed to characterize the global expression profile of [...] Read more.
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of long non-coding RNAs that have the ability to sponge RNA-Binding Proteins (RBPs). Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has very aggressive behavior and poor prognosis for the patient. Here, we aimed to characterize the global expression profile of circRNAs in TNBC, in order to identify potential risk biomarkers. For that, we obtained RNA-Seq data from TNBC and control samples and performed validation experiments using FFPE and frozen tissues of TNBC patients and controls, followed by in silico analyses to explore circRNA-RBP interactions. We found 16 differentially expressed circRNAs between TNBC patients and controls. Next, we mapped the RBPs that interact with the top five downregulated circRNAs (hsa_circ_0072309, circ_0004365, circ_0006677, circ_0008599, and circ_0009043) and hsa_circ_0000479, resulting in a total of 16 RBPs, most of them being enriched to pathways related to cancer and gene regulation (e.g., AGO1/2, EIF4A3, ELAVL1, and PTBP1). Among the six circRNAs, hsa_circ_0072309 was the one that presented the most confidence results, being able to distinguish TNBC patients from controls with an AUC of 0.78 and 0.81, respectively. This circRNA may be interacting with some RBPs involved in important cancer-related pathways and is a novel potential risk biomarker of TNBC. Full article
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12 pages, 583 KiB  
Article
Impact of FLT3-ITD Insertion Length on Outcomes in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Propensity Score-Adjusted Cohort Study
by Elizabeth M. Corley, Moaath K. Mustafa Ali, Hanan Alharthy, Kathryn A. F. Kline, Danielle Sewell, Jennie Y. Law, Seung Tae Lee, Sandrine Niyongere, Vu H. Duong, Maria R. Baer and Ashkan Emadi
Biology 2022, 11(6), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060916 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2164
Abstract
The prognostic significance of the length of internal tandem duplication (ITD) insertions in mutant FLT3 genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is controversial. We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the correlation between the ITD base-pair (bp) insertion length and clinical outcomes. The [...] Read more.
The prognostic significance of the length of internal tandem duplication (ITD) insertions in mutant FLT3 genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is controversial. We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the correlation between the ITD base-pair (bp) insertion length and clinical outcomes. The mutational status of the FLT3 gene was evaluated in 402 of 467 consecutive AML patients treated at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center between 2013 and 2020; 77 had FLT3-ITD mutations. Patients were divided into three cohorts based on bp insertion length (<30 (0–33rd percentile), 30–53 (34th–66th percentile),and >53 (>66th percentile)). The median overall survival (OS) of patients was 16.5 months (confidence interval (CI) 7.3-NA), 18.5 months (CI 7.3-NA), and 21.9 months (CI 19.1-NA) (p = 0.03) for the <30, 30–53, and >53 bp insertion length cohorts, respectively. The adjusted median event-free survival (EFS) for the ITD insertion lengths >30, 30–53, and >53 bp was 11.1 months (CI 2.8–16.5), 5.2 months (CI 2.9–12.6), and 9.1 months (CI 5.4-NA) (p = 0.5), respectively. Complete remission (CR) rates were 64% (<30 inserted bp), 55% (30–53 inserted bp), and 79% (>53 inserted bp) (p = 0.23). For patients treated with gilteritinib and midostaurin, the unadjusted median OS was not statistically significantly different between cohorts. Full article
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17 pages, 7413 KiB  
Article
MAEL Augments Cancer Stemness Properties and Resistance to Sorafenib in Hepatocellular Carcinoma through the PTGS2/AKT/STAT3 Axis
by Chaoran Shi, Dora Lai-Wan Kwong, Xue Li, Xia Wang, Xiaona Fang, Liangzhan Sun, Ying Tang, Xin-Yuan Guan and Shan-Shan Li
Cancers 2022, 14(12), 2880; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14122880 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2358
Abstract
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for tumorigenesis, therapeutic resistance, and metastasis in hepatocellular cancer (HCC). Cancer/testis antigen Maelstrom (MAEL) is implicated in the formation of CSC phenotypes, while the exact role and underlying mechanism remain unclear. Here, we found the upregulation of [...] Read more.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for tumorigenesis, therapeutic resistance, and metastasis in hepatocellular cancer (HCC). Cancer/testis antigen Maelstrom (MAEL) is implicated in the formation of CSC phenotypes, while the exact role and underlying mechanism remain unclear. Here, we found the upregulation of MAEL in HCC, with its expression negatively correlated with survival outcome. Functionally, MAEL promoted tumor cell aggressiveness, tumor stem-like potentials, and resistance to sorafenib in HCC cell lines. Transcriptional profiling indicated the dysregulation of stemness in MAEL knockout cells and identified PTGS2 as a critical downstream target transactivated by MAEL. The suppression effect of MAEL knockout in tumor aggressiveness was rescued in PTGS2 overexpression HCC cells. A molecular mechanism study revealed that the upregulation of PTGS2 by MAEL subsequently resulted in IL-8 secretion and the activation of AKT/NF-κB/STAT3 signaling. Collectively, our work identifies MAEL as an important stemness regulation gene in HCC. Targeting MAEL or its downstream molecules may provide a novel possibility for the elimination of CSC to enhance therapeutic efficacy for HCC patients in the future. Full article
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14 pages, 2667 KiB  
Article
The Machine-Learning-Mediated Interface of Microbiome and Genetic Risk Stratification in Neuroblastoma Reveals Molecular Pathways Related to Patient Survival
by Xin Li, Xiaoqi Wang, Ruihao Huang, Andres Stucky, Xuelian Chen, Lan Sun, Qin Wen, Yunjing Zeng, Hansel Fletcher, Charles Wang, Yi Xu, Huynh Cao, Fengzhu Sun, Shengwen Calvin Li, Xi Zhang and Jiang F. Zhong
Cancers 2022, 14(12), 2874; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14122874 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2366
Abstract
Currently, most neuroblastoma patients are treated according to the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) risk group assignment; however, neuroblastoma’s heterogeneity renders only a few predictors for treatment response, resulting in excessive treatment. Here, we sought to couple COG risk classification with tumor intracellular microbiome, [...] Read more.
Currently, most neuroblastoma patients are treated according to the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) risk group assignment; however, neuroblastoma’s heterogeneity renders only a few predictors for treatment response, resulting in excessive treatment. Here, we sought to couple COG risk classification with tumor intracellular microbiome, which is part of the molecular signature of a tumor. We determine that an intra-tumor microbial gene abundance score, namely M-score, separates the high COG-risk patients into two subpopulations (Mhigh and Mlow) with higher accuracy in risk stratification than the current COG risk assessment, thus sparing a subset of high COG-risk patients from being subjected to traditional high-risk therapies. Mechanistically, the classification power of M-scores implies the effect of CREB over-activation, which may influence the critical genes involved in cellular proliferation, anti-apoptosis, and angiogenesis, affecting tumor cell proliferation survival and metastasis. Thus, intracellular microbiota abundance in neuroblastoma regulates intracellular signals to affect patients’ survival. Full article
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18 pages, 2034 KiB  
Article
Stratification of Oligometastatic Prostate Cancer Patients by Liquid Biopsy: Clinical Insights from a Pilot Study
by Antonella Colosini, Simona Bernardi, Chiara Foroni, Nadia Pasinetti, Andrea Emanuele Guerini, Domenico Russo, Roberto Bresciani, Cesare Tomasi, Stefano Maria Magrini, Lilia Bardoscia and Luca Triggiani
Biomedicines 2022, 10(6), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10061321 - 04 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2298
Abstract
We propose a pilot, prospective, translational study with the aim of identifying possible molecular markers underlying metastatic prostate cancer (PC) evolution with the use of liquid biopsy. Twenty-eight castrate sensitive, oligometastatic PC patients undergoing bone and/or nodal stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) were recruited. [...] Read more.
We propose a pilot, prospective, translational study with the aim of identifying possible molecular markers underlying metastatic prostate cancer (PC) evolution with the use of liquid biopsy. Twenty-eight castrate sensitive, oligometastatic PC patients undergoing bone and/or nodal stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) were recruited. Peripheral blood samples were collected before the commencement of SBRT, then they were processed for circulating cell free DNA (cfDNA) extraction. Deep targeted sequencing was performed using a custom gene panel. The primary endpoint was to identify differences in the molecular contribution between the oligometastatic and polymetastatic evolution of PC to same-first oligo-recurrent disease presentation. Seventy-seven mutations were detected in 25/28 cfDNA samples: ATM in 14 (50%) cases, BRCA2 11 (39%), BRCA1 6 (21%), AR 13 (46%), ETV4, and ETV6 2 (7%). SBRT failure was associated with an increased risk of harboring the BRCA1 mutation (OR 10.5) (p = 0.043). The median cfDNA concentration was 24.02 ng/mL for ATM mutation carriers vs. 40.04 ng/mL for non-carriers (p = 0.039). Real-time molecular characterization of oligometastatic PC may allow for the identification of a true oligometastatic phenotype, with a stable disease over a long time being more likely to benefit from local, curative treatments or the achievement of long-term disease control. A prospective validation of our promising findings is desirable for a better understanding of the real impact of liquid biopsy in detecting tumor aggressiveness and clonal evolution. Full article
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15 pages, 2601 KiB  
Article
Antagonization of Ghrelin Suppresses Muscle Protein Deposition by Altering Gut Microbiota and Serum Amino Acid Composition in a Pig Model
by Xiaoxi Yan, He Zhang, Ailian Lin and Yong Su
Biology 2022, 11(6), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060840 - 30 May 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2357
Abstract
Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone that can increase food intake and has been reported to prevent muscle loss; however, the mechanism is not yet fully understood. In this study, [D-Lys3]-GHRP-6 (GHRP) was used to investigate the effects of the antagonization of ghrelin on [...] Read more.
Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone that can increase food intake and has been reported to prevent muscle loss; however, the mechanism is not yet fully understood. In this study, [D-Lys3]-GHRP-6 (GHRP) was used to investigate the effects of the antagonization of ghrelin on muscle protein deposition, eating patterns and gut microbiota in a pig model. We found that the growth performance and muscle fiber cross-sectional area of pigs treated with GHRP were significantly reduced compared with the control (CON) group. Moreover, the levels of serum isoleucine, methionine, arginine and tyrosine in the GHRP group were lower than that of the CON group. The abundance of acetate-producing bacteria (Oscillospiraceae UCG-005, Parabacteroides and Oscillospiraceae NK4A214 group) and acetate concentration in the colons of pigs treated with GHRP were significantly reduced. In addition, the injection of GHRP down-regulated the mRNA expression of MCT-1 and mTOR, and it up-regulated the mRNA expression of HDAC1, FOXO1 and Beclin-1. In summary, the antagonization of ghrelin reduced the concentration of important signal molecules (Arg, Met and Ile) that activate the mTOR pathway, concurrently reduce the concentration of HDAC inhibitors (acetate), promote autophagy and finally reduce protein deposition in muscles. Full article
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14 pages, 1559 KiB  
Article
Deciphering the Role of Histone Modifications in Uterine Leiomyoma: Acetylation of H3K27 Regulates the Expression of Genes Involved in Proliferation, Cell Signaling, Cell Transport, Angiogenesis and Extracellular Matrix Formation
by María Cristina Carbajo-García, Lucia de Miguel-Gómez, Elena Juárez-Barber, Alexandra Trelis, Javier Monleón, Antonio Pellicer, James M. Flanagan and Hortensia Ferrero
Biomedicines 2022, 10(6), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10061279 - 30 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1972
Abstract
Uterine leiomyoma (UL) is a benign tumor arising from myometrium (MM) with a high prevalence and unclear pathology. Histone modifications are altered in tumors, particularly via histone acetylation which is correlated with gene activation. To identify if the acetylation of H3K27 is involved [...] Read more.
Uterine leiomyoma (UL) is a benign tumor arising from myometrium (MM) with a high prevalence and unclear pathology. Histone modifications are altered in tumors, particularly via histone acetylation which is correlated with gene activation. To identify if the acetylation of H3K27 is involved in UL pathogenesis and if its reversion may be a therapeutic option, we performed a prospective study integrating RNA-seq (n = 48) and CHIP-seq for H3K27ac (n = 19) in UL vs MM tissue, together with qRT-PCR of SAHA-treated UL cells (n = 10). CHIP-seq showed lower levels of H3K27ac in UL versus MM (p-value < 2.2 × 10−16). From 922 DEGs found in UL vs. MM (FDR < 0.01), 482 presented H3K27ac. A differential acetylation (FDR < 0.05) was discovered in 82 of these genes (29 hyperacetylated/upregulated, 53 hypoacetylated/downregulated). Hyperacetylation/upregulation of oncogenes (NDP,HOXA13,COL24A1,IGFL3) and hypoacetylation/downregulation of tumor suppressor genes (CD40,GIMAP8,IL15,GPX3,DPT) altered the immune system, the metabolism, TGFβ3 and the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Functional enrichment analysis revealed deregulation of proliferation, cell signaling, transport, angiogenesis and extracellular matrix. Inhibition of histone deacetylases by SAHA increased expression of hypoacetylated/downregulated genes in UL cells (p < 0.05). Conclusively, H3K27ac regulates genes involved in UL onset and maintenance. Histone deacetylation reversion upregulates the expression of tumor suppressor genes in UL cells, suggesting targeting histone modifications as a therapeutic approach for UL. Full article
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26 pages, 6264 KiB  
Article
The Role of Selenoproteins SELENOM and SELENOT in the Regulation of Apoptosis, ER Stress, and Calcium Homeostasis in the A-172 Human Glioblastoma Cell Line
by Elena G. Varlamova, Michael V. Goltyaev and Egor A. Turovsky
Biology 2022, 11(6), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060811 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2184
Abstract
It is known that seven mammalian selenoproteins are localized in the endoplasmic reticulum: SELENOM, SELENOT, SELENOF, SELENOK, SELENOS, SELENON, and DIO2. Among them, SELENOM and SELENOT are the least studied; therefore, the study of their function using the widespread method of suppressing the [...] Read more.
It is known that seven mammalian selenoproteins are localized in the endoplasmic reticulum: SELENOM, SELENOT, SELENOF, SELENOK, SELENOS, SELENON, and DIO2. Among them, SELENOM and SELENOT are the least studied; therefore, the study of their function using the widespread method of suppressing the expression of genes encoding these proteins and the activity of the enzymes themselves by RNA interference is of great interest. We have shown that a decrease in the expression of SELENOM and SELENOT mRNA in the A-172 human glioblastoma cell line by more than 10 times and the quantitative content of enzymes by more than 3 times leads to ER stress, expressed as a decrease in the ER capacity for storing Ca2+ ions. At the level of regulation of apoptotic processes, SELENOM knockdown leads to an increase in the expression of pro-apoptotic CHOP, GADD34, PUMA, and BIM genes, but a compensatory increase in the levels of SELENOT and antioxidant genes from the group of glutathione peroxidases and thioredoxins did not induce cell death. Knockdown of SELENOT had the opposite effect, reducing the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins and regulating the level of a smaller number of genes encoding antioxidant enzymes, which also did not affect the baseline level of apoptosis in the studied cells. At the same time, ER stress induced by MSA or SeNPs induced a more pronounced pro-apoptotic effect in SELENOT knockdown cells through suppression of the expression of selenium-containing antioxidant proteins. Thus, in this work, for the first time, the mechanisms of fine regulation of the processes of apoptosis, cell proliferation, and ER stress by two ER resident proteins, SELENOM and SELENOT, are touched upon, which is not only fundamental but also applied to clinical importance due to the close relationship between the calcium signaling system of cells, folding proteins-regulators of apoptosis and cell survival pathways. Full article
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14 pages, 1151 KiB  
Article
A Prognostic and Carboplatin Response Predictive Model in Ovarian Cancer: A Mono-Institutional Retrospective Study Based on Clinics and Pharmacogenomics
by Nicoletta Staropoli, Mariamena Arbitrio, Angela Salvino, Francesca Scionti, Domenico Ciliberto, Rossana Ingargiola, Caterina Labanca, Giuseppe Agapito, Eleonora Iuliano, Vito Barbieri, Maria Cucè, Valeria Zuccalà, Mario Cannataro, Pierfrancesco Tassone and Pierosandro Tagliaferri
Biomedicines 2022, 10(5), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10051210 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1861
Abstract
Carboplatin is the cornerstone of ovarian cancer (OC) treatment, while platinum-response, dependent on interindividual variability, is the major prognostic factor for long-term outcomes. This retrospective study was focused on explorative search of genetic polymorphisms in the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion (ADME) genes for [...] Read more.
Carboplatin is the cornerstone of ovarian cancer (OC) treatment, while platinum-response, dependent on interindividual variability, is the major prognostic factor for long-term outcomes. This retrospective study was focused on explorative search of genetic polymorphisms in the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion (ADME) genes for the identification of biomarkers prognostic/predictive of platinum-response in OC patients. Ninety-two advanced OC patients treated with carboplatin-based therapy were enrolled at our institution. Of these, we showed that 72% of patients were platinum-sensitive, with a significant benefit in terms of OS (p = 0.001). We identified an inflammatory-score with a longer OS in patients with lower scores as compared to patients with the maximum score (p = 0.001). Thirty-two patients were genotyped for 1931 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and five copy number variations (CNVs) by the DMET Plus array platform. Among prognostic polymorphisms, we found a potential role of UGT2A1 both as a predictor of platinum-response (p = 0.01) and as prognostic of survival (p = 0.05). Finally, we identified 24 SNPs related to OS. UGT2A1 correlates to an “inflammatory-score” and retains a potential prognostic role in advanced OC. These data provide a proof of concept that warrants further validation in follow-up studies for the definition of novel biomarkers in this aggressive disease. Full article
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28 pages, 4778 KiB  
Article
Profiling of the Prognostic Role of Extracellular Matrix-Related Genes in Neuroblastoma Using Databases and Integrated Bioinformatics
by Leila Jahangiri
Onco 2022, 2(2), 85-112; https://doi.org/10.3390/onco2020007 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2074
Abstract
A complex interaction occurs between cancer cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the tumour microenvironment (TME). In this study, the expressions and mutational profiles of 964 ECM-related genes and their correlations with patient overall survival (OS) in neuroblastoma, an aggressive paediatric malignancy, [...] Read more.
A complex interaction occurs between cancer cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the tumour microenvironment (TME). In this study, the expressions and mutational profiles of 964 ECM-related genes and their correlations with patient overall survival (OS) in neuroblastoma, an aggressive paediatric malignancy, were investigated using cBioPortal and PCAT databases. Furthermore, extended networks comprising protein-protein, protein-long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), and protein-miRNA of 12 selected ECM-related genes were established. The higher expressions of 12 ECM-related genes, AMBN, COLQ, ELFN1, HAS3, HSPE1, LMAN1, LRP5, MUC6, RAMP2, RUVBL2, SSBP1 and UMOD in neuroblastoma patients displayed a significant correlation with patient OS, while similar associations with neuroblastoma patient risk groups, histology and MYCN amplification were obtained. Furthermore, extended gene networks formed by these 12 ECM-related genes were established using Cytoscape, STRING, MSigDB/BioGRID, GeneMANIA and Omicsnet. Finally, the implications of the 12 ECM-related genes in other cancers were revealed using GEPIA2 and the Human Pathology Atlas databases. This meta-analysis showed the significance of these 12 ECM-related genes as putative prognostic predictors in neuroblastoma and other cancers. Full article
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14 pages, 3518 KiB  
Article
Secreted HSP90α-LRP1 Signaling Promotes Tumor Metastasis and Chemoresistance in Pancreatic Cancer
by Nina Xue, Tingting Du, Fangfang Lai, Jing Jin, Ming Ji and Xiaoguang Chen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5532; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105532 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2184
Abstract
The extracellular heat shock protein 90α (eHSP90α) has been reported to promote cancer cell motility. However, whether pancreatic cancer (PC) cells expressed membrane-bound or secreted HSP90α, as well as its underlying mechanism for PC progression, were still unclear. Our study demonstrated that the [...] Read more.
The extracellular heat shock protein 90α (eHSP90α) has been reported to promote cancer cell motility. However, whether pancreatic cancer (PC) cells expressed membrane-bound or secreted HSP90α, as well as its underlying mechanism for PC progression, were still unclear. Our study demonstrated that the amounts of secreted HSP90α proteins were discrepant in multiple PC cells. In addition, highly invasive Capan-2 cells have a higher level of secreted HSP90α compared with those of less invasive PL45 cells. The conditioned medium of Capan-2 cells or recombinant HSP90α treatment stimulated the migration and invasion of PC cells, which could be prevented with a neutralizing anti-HSP90α antibody. Furthermore, secreted HSP90α promoted elements of epithelial–mesenchymal transition in PL45 cells, including increases in vimentin and Snail expressions, decreases in E-cadherin expression, and changes in cell shape towards a mesenchymal phenotype, but these phenomena were reversed by the anti-HSP90α antibody in Capan-2 cells. In addition, high levels of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) were associated with worsened patient survival in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. We demonstrated LRP1 as a receptor of eHSP90α for its stimulatory role in metastasis, by activating the AKT pathway. In addition, silencing LRP1 enhanced the chemosensitivity to gemcitabine and doxorubicin in Capan-2 cells. Therefore, our study indicated that blocking secreted HSP90α underlies an aspect of metastasis and chemoresistance in PC. Full article
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18 pages, 8534 KiB  
Article
The Immunological Contribution of a Novel Metabolism-Related Signature to the Prognosis and Anti-Tumor Immunity in Cervical Cancer
by Sihui Yu, Xi Li, Mingjun Ma, Rui Yang, Jiawen Zhang and Sufang Wu
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2399; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14102399 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2344
Abstract
Cervical cancer is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy in the female reproductive system. Conventional stratification of patients based on clinicopathological characters has gradually been outpaced by a molecular profiling strategy. Our study aimed to identify a reliable metabolism-related predictive signature for the prognosis [...] Read more.
Cervical cancer is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy in the female reproductive system. Conventional stratification of patients based on clinicopathological characters has gradually been outpaced by a molecular profiling strategy. Our study aimed to identify a reliable metabolism-related predictive signature for the prognosis and anti-tumor immunity in cervical cancer. In this study, we extracted five metabolism-related hub genes, including ALOX12B, CA9, FAR2, F5 and TDO2, for the establishment of the risk score model. The Kaplan-Meier curve suggested that patients with a high-risk score apparently had a worse prognosis in the cervical cancer training cohort (TCGA, n = 304, p < 0.0001), validation cohort (GSE44001, n = 300, p = 0.0059) and pan-cancer cohorts (including nine TCGA tumors). Using a gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), we observed that the model was correlated with various immune-regulation-related pathways. Furthermore, pan-cancer cohorts and immunohistochemical analysis showed that the infiltration of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) was lower in the high-score group. Additionally, the model could also predict the prognosis of patients with cervical cancer based on the expression of immune checkpoints (ICPs) in both the discovery and validation cohorts. Our study established and validated a metabolism-related prognostic model, which might improve the accuracy of predicting the clinical outcome of patients with cervical cancer and provide guidance for personalized treatment. Full article
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17 pages, 8131 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Anti-Cancer Effects of Conditioned Medium from Hypoxic Human Adult Dermal Fibroblasts on Cervical Cancer Cells
by Kyu-Hyun Han, Ae-Kyeong Kim and Dong-ik Kim
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(9), 5134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23095134 - 04 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2250
Abstract
Hypoxia regulates fibroblast function by changing intracellular signaling and secretion factors, that influence the states of nearby cells. In this work, we investigated how medium (CM) from human adult dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) cultured in normoxic and hypoxic conditions affected cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. [...] Read more.
Hypoxia regulates fibroblast function by changing intracellular signaling and secretion factors, that influence the states of nearby cells. In this work, we investigated how medium (CM) from human adult dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) cultured in normoxic and hypoxic conditions affected cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. The HeLa cells showed decreased cell viability, increased apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest in response to CM from hypoxic-cultured HDFs (H-CM) compared with CM from normoxic-cultured HDFs (N-CM). Among the proteins up-regulated (>2-fold) in H-CM compared with N-CM, lymphotoxin-beta receptor (LTBR) decreased the viability of HeLa cells. Among the intracellular proteins down-regulated (>2-fold) in HeLa cells treated with H-CM compared with N-CM, the most enriched biological process GO term and KEGG pathway were protein deubiquitination and hsa05166:HTLV-I infection, respectively. In the protein–protein interaction network of intracellular proteins with altered expression (>2-fold), 1 up-regulated (TNF) and 8 down-regulated (ESR1, MCL1, TBP, CD19, LCK, PCNA, CHEK1, and POLA1) hub proteins were defined. Among the down-regulated hub proteins, the most enriched biological process GO term and KEGG pathway were leading strand elongation and hsa05166:HTLV-I infection, respectively. This study reveals that H-CM had stronger anti-cancer effects on cervical cancer cells than N-CM and induced intracellular signaling patterns related to those enhanced anti-cancer effects. Full article
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16 pages, 2440 KiB  
Article
Elevated LSD1 and SNAIL Expression Indicate Poor Prognosis in Hypopharynx Carcinoma
by Justus Bottner, Julika Ribbat-Idel, Luise Klapper, Tobias Jagomast, Anna-Lena Lemster, Sven Perner, Christian Idel and Jutta Kirfel
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(9), 5075; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23095075 - 03 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2141
Abstract
Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) are among the most common cancers worldwide and are associated with a poor prognosis for patients. Among HNSCC, those originating in the hypopharynx have the worst prognosis. The histone demethylase LSD1 has been shown to promote [...] Read more.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) are among the most common cancers worldwide and are associated with a poor prognosis for patients. Among HNSCC, those originating in the hypopharynx have the worst prognosis. The histone demethylase LSD1 has been shown to promote cancer initiation, progression, and relapse through various mechanisms and is upregulated in many cancer tissues. LSD1 physically interacts with SNAIL and is required for SNAIL mediated transcriptional repression. Previous studies of the prognostic value of LSD1 in HNSCC have been limited in their analysis of sub-sites, and a correlation between LSD1 and SNAIL has not been shown in HNSCC patient samples. Here we used a large, representative, and clinically well-characterized cohort of 339 HNSCC patients to investigate the co-expression of LSD1 and SNAIL and their prognostic value in all HNSCC using immunohistochemical staining. Elevated LSD1 expression correlated with advanced tumor stage and poor progression-free survival (PFS) in HNSCC originating in the hypopharynx. Overexpression of the transcription factor SNAIL independently correlated with worse overall survival (OS) and PFS in HNSCC in general and prominently in tumors of the hypopharynx. Furthermore, increased LSD1 expression significantly correlated with elevated SNAIL expression in patient samples. Therefore, the presented data implicates LSD1 and SNAIL as independent prognostic biomarkers. Full article
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14 pages, 332 KiB  
Review
Insight into the Role of Psychological Factors in Oral Mucosa Diseases
by Yuexin Guo, Boya Wang, Han Gao, Chengwei He, Rongxuan Hua, Lei Gao, Yixuan Du and Jingdong Xu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(9), 4760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23094760 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2552
Abstract
With the development of psychology and medicine, more and more diseases have found their psychological origins and associations, especially ulceration and other mucosal injuries, within the digestive system. However, the association of psychological factors with lesions of the oral mucosa, including oral squamous [...] Read more.
With the development of psychology and medicine, more and more diseases have found their psychological origins and associations, especially ulceration and other mucosal injuries, within the digestive system. However, the association of psychological factors with lesions of the oral mucosa, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), burning mouth syndrome (BMS), and recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), have not been fully characterized. In this review, after introducing the association between psychological and nervous factors and diseases, we provide detailed descriptions of the psychology and nerve fibers involved in the pathology of OSCC, BMS, and RAS, pointing out the underlying mechanisms and suggesting the clinical indications. Full article
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26 pages, 2094 KiB  
Article
Prostanoid Signaling in Cancers: Expression and Regulation Patterns of Enzymes and Receptors
by Pavel V. Ershov, Evgeniy O. Yablokov, Leonid A. Kaluzhskiy, Yuri V. Mezentsev and Alexis S. Ivanov
Biology 2022, 11(4), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11040590 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3042
Abstract
Cancer-associated disturbance of prostanoid signaling provides an aberrant accumulation of prostanoids. This signaling consists of 19 target genes, encoding metabolic enzymes and G-protein-coupled receptors, and prostanoids (prostacyclin, thromboxane, and prostaglandins E2, F, D2, H2). The [...] Read more.
Cancer-associated disturbance of prostanoid signaling provides an aberrant accumulation of prostanoids. This signaling consists of 19 target genes, encoding metabolic enzymes and G-protein-coupled receptors, and prostanoids (prostacyclin, thromboxane, and prostaglandins E2, F, D2, H2). The study addresses the systems biology analysis of target genes in 24 solid tumors using a data mining pipeline. We analyzed differential expression patterns of genes and proteins, promoter methylation status as well as tissue-specific master regulators and microRNAs. Tumor types were clustered into several groups according to gene expression patterns. Target genes were characterized as low mutated in tumors, with the exception of melanoma. We found at least six ubiquitin ligases and eight protein kinases that post-translationally modified the most connected proteins PTGES3 and PTGIS. Models of regulation of PTGIS and PTGIR gene expression in lung and uterine cancers were suggested. For the first time, we found associations between the patient’s overall survival rates with nine multigene transcriptomics signatures in eight tumors. Expression patterns of each of the six target genes have predictive value with respect to cytostatic therapy response. One of the consequences of the study is an assumption of prostanoid-dependent (or independent) tumor phenotypes. Thus, pharmacologic targeting the prostanoid signaling could be a probable additional anticancer strategy. Full article
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