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Noh K.H.,Korea University | Kim S.-H.,Korea University | Kim S.-H.,Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology | Kim J.H.,Korea University | And 16 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2014

Identifying immune escape mechanisms used by tumors may define strategies to sensitize them to immunotherapies to which they are otherwise resistant. In this study, we show that the antiapoptotic gene API5 acts as an immune escape gene in tumors by rendering them resistant to apoptosis triggered by tumor antigen-specificT cells. Its RNAi-mediated silencing in tumor cells expressing high levels of API5 restored antigen-specific immune sensitivity. Conversely, introducing API5 into API5low cells conferred immune resistance. Mechanistic investigations revealed that API5 mediated resistance by upregulating FGF2 signaling through a FGFR1/PKCd/ERK effector pathway that triggered degradation of the proapoptotic molecule BIM. Blockade of FGF2, PKCd, or ERK phenocopied the effect of API5 silencing in tumor cells expressing high levels of API5 to either murine or human antigen-specific T cells. Our results identify a novel mechanism of immune escape that can be inhibited to potentiate the efficacy of targeted active immunotherapies. Cancer Res; 74(13); 3556-66. © 2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

Zand B.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Previs R.A.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Rupaimoole R.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Mitamura T.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 32 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2016

Background: The clinical and biological effects of metabolic alterations in cancer are not fully understood. Methods: In high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) samples (n = 101), over 170 metabolites were profiled and compared with normal ovarian tissues (n = 15). To determine NAT8L gene expression across different cancer types, we analyzed the RNA expression of cancer types using RNASeqV2 data available from the open access The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) website (http://www.cbioportal.org/public-portal/). Using NAT8L siRNA, molecular techniques and histological analysis, we determined cancer cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, and tumor growth in in vitro and in vivo (n = 6-10 mice/group) settings. Data were analyzed with the Student's t test and Kaplan-Meier analysis. Statistical tests were two-sided. Results: Patients with high levels of tumoral NAA and its biosynthetic enzyme, aspartate N-acetyltransferase (NAT8L), had worse overall survival than patients with low levels of NAA and NAT8L. The overall survival duration of patients with higher-than-median NAA levels (3.6 years) was lower than that of patients with lower-than-median NAA levels (5.1 years, P =. 03). High NAT8L gene expression in other cancers (melanoma, renal cell, breast, colon, and uterine cancers) was associated with worse overall survival. NAT8L silencing reduced cancer cell viability (HEYA8: control siRNA 90.61%±2.53, NAT8L siRNA 39.43%±3.00, P <. 001; A2780: control siRNA 90.59%±2.53, NAT8L siRNA 7.44%±1.71, P <. 001) and proliferation (HEYA8: control siRNA 74.83%±0.92, NAT8L siRNA 55.70%±1.54, P <. 001; A2780: control siRNA 50.17%±4.13, NAT8L siRNA 26.52%±3.70, P <. 001), which was rescued by addition of NAA. In orthotopic mouse models (ovarian cancer and melanoma), NAT8L silencing reduced tumor growth statistically significantly (A2780: control siRNA 0.52 g±0.15, NAT8L siRNA 0.08 g±0.17, P <. 001; HEYA8: control siRNA 0.79 g±0.42, NAT8L siRNA 0.24 g±0.18, P =. 008, A375-SM: control siRNA 0.55 g±0.22, NAT8L siRNA 0.21 g±0.17g, P =. 001). NAT8L silencing downregulated the anti-apoptotic pathway, which was mediated through FOXM1. Conclusion: These findings indicate that the NAA pathway has a prominent role in promoting tumor growth and represents a valuable target for anticancer therapy. Altered energy metabolism is a hallmark of cancer (1). Proliferating cancer cells have much greater metabolic requirements than nonproliferating differentiated cells (2,3). Moreover, altered cancer metabolism elevates unique metabolic intermediates, which can promote cancer survival and progression (4,5). Furthermore, emerging evidence suggests that proliferating cancer cells exploit alternative metabolic pathways to meet their high demand for energy and to accumulate biomass (6-8). © 2016 The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Calin G.A.,Center for Interference and Non Coding | Calin G.A.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Coleman R.L.,Center for Interference and Non Coding | Coleman R.L.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 4 more authors.
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2011

Inherent difficulties with blocking many desirable targets using conventional approaches have prompted many to consider using RNA interference (RNAi) as a therapeutic approach. Although exploitation of RNAi has immense potential as a cancer therapeutic, many physiological obstacles stand in the way of successful and efficient delivery. This Review explores current challenges to the development of synthetic RNAi-based therapies and considers new approaches to circumvent biological barriers, to avoid intolerable side effects and to achieve controlled and sustained release. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Wu S.Y.,University of Houston | Yang X.,AM Biotechnologies, LLC | Gharpure K.M.,University of Houston | Hatakeyama H.,University of Houston | And 43 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

Improving small interfering RNA (siRNA) efficacy in target cell populations remains a challenge to its clinical implementation. Here, we report a chemical modification, consisting of phosphorodithioate (PS2) and 2′-O-Methyl (2′-OMe) MePS2 on one nucleotide that significantly enhances potency and resistance to degradation for various siRNAs. We find enhanced potency stems from an unforeseen increase in siRNA loading to the RNA-induced silencing complex, likely due to the unique interaction mediated by 2′-OMe and PS2. We demonstrate the therapeutic utility of MePS2 siRNAs in chemoresistant ovarian cancer mouse models via targeting GRAM domain containing 1B (GRAMD1B), a protein involved in chemoresistance. GRAMD1B silencing is achieved in tumours following MePS2-modified siRNA treatment, leading to a synergistic anti-tumour effect in combination with paclitaxel. Given the previously limited success in enhancing siRNA potency with chemically modified siRNAs, our findings represent an important advance in siRNA design with the potential for application in numerous cancer types. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Saad A.F.,301 University Blvd | Hu W.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Sood A.K.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Sood A.K.,Center for Interference and Non Coding
Hormones and Cancer | Year: 2010

Multiple genetic alterations play a role in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer. Although many key proteins and pathways involved in ovarian carcinogenesis and metastasis have been discovered, knowledge of the early steps leading to malignancy remains poorly understood. This poor understanding stems from lack of data from early-stage cancers and absence of a well-established premalignant state universal to all ovarian cancer subtypes. Existing evidence suggests that ovarian cancers develop either through a stepwise mutation process (low-grade pathway), through genetic instability resulting in hastened metastasis (high-grade pathway), or more recently through what has been described as the "'fimbrial-ovarian' serous neoplasia theory." In this latter model, ovarian serous cancers evolve from premalignant lesions in the distal fallopian tube called tubal intraepithelial carcinoma. In this manuscript, we review key genetic and molecular changes that occur in cancer cell progression and suggest a model of ovarian cancer pathogenesis involving both tumor cell mutations and microenvironmental factors. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Seviour E.G.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Sehgal V.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Lu Y.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Luo Z.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 17 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2016

The myc oncogene is overexpressed in almost half of all breast and ovarian cancers, but attempts at therapeutic interventions against myc have proven to be challenging. Myc regulates multiple biological processes, including the cell cycle, and as such is associated with cell proliferation and tumor progression. We identified a protein signature of high myc, low p27 and high phospho-Rb significantly correlated with poor patient survival in breast and ovarian cancers. Screening of a miRNA library by functional proteomics in multiple cell lines and integration of data from patient tumors revealed a panel of five microRNAs (miRNAs) (miR-124, miR-365, miR-34b∗, miR-18a and miR-506) as potential tumor suppressors capable of reversing the p27/myc/phospho-Rb protein signature. Mechanistic studies revealed an RNA-activation function of miR-124 resulting in direct induction of p27 protein levels by binding to and inducing transcription on the p27 promoter region leading to a subsequent G1 arrest. Additionally, in vivo studies utilizing a xenograft model demonstrated that nanoparticle-mediated delivery of miR-124 could reduce tumor growth and sensitize cells to etoposide, suggesting a clinical application of miRNAs as therapeutics to target the functional effect of myc on tumor growth. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Bhattacharyya S.,Rochester College | Saha S.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Giri K.,Rochester College | Lanza I.R.,Rochester College | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer deaths. Most patients respond initially to platinum-based chemotherapy after surgical debulking, however relapse is very common and ultimately platinum resistance emerges. Understanding the mechanism of tumor growth, metastasis and drug resistant relapse will profoundly impact the therapeutic management of ovarian cancer. Methods/Principal Findings: Using patient tissue microarray (TMA), in vitro and in vivo studies we report a role of of cystathionine-beta- synthase (CBS), a sulfur metabolism enzyme in ovarian carcinoma. We report here that the expression of cystathionine-beta-synthase (CBS), a sulfur metabolism enzyme, is common in primary serous ovarian carcinoma. The in vitro effects of CBS silencing can be reversed by exogenous supplementation with the GSH and H2S producing chemical Na2S. Silencing CBS in a cisplatin resistant orthotopic model in vivo by nanoliposomal delivery of CBS siRNA inhibits tumor growth, reduces nodule formation and sensitizes ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin. The effects were further corroborated by immunohistochemistry that demonstrates a reduction of H&E, Ki-67 and CD31 positive cells in si-RNA treated as compared to scrambled-RNA treated animals. Furthermore, CBS also regulates bioenergetics of ovarian cancer cells by regulating mitochondrial ROS production, oxygen consumption and ATP generation. This study reports an important role of CBS in promoting ovarian tumor growth and maintaining drug resistant phenotype by controlling cellular redox behavior and regulating mitochondrial bioenergetics. Conclusion: The present investigation highlights CBS as a potential therapeutic target in relapsed and platinum resistant ovarian cancer. © 2013 Bhattacharyya et al.

Landen Jr. C.N.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Goodman B.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Katre A.A.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Steg A.D.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | And 11 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2010

Aldehyde dehydrogenase-1A1 (ALDH1A1) expression characterizes a subpopulation of cells with tumor-initiating or cancer stem cell properties in several malignancies. Our goal was to characterize the phenotype of ALDH1A1-positive ovarian cancer cells and examine the biological effects of ALDH1A1 gene silencing. In our analysis of multiple ovarian cancer cell lines, we found that ALDH1A1 expression and activity was significantly higher in taxane- and platinum-resistant cell lines. In patient samples, 72.9% of ovarian cancers had ALDH1A1 expression in which the percentage of ALDH1A1-positive cells correlated negatively with progression-free survival (6.05 vs. 13.81 months; P < 0.035). Subpopulations of A2780cp20 cells with ALDH1A1 activity were isolated for orthotopic tumor-initiating studies, where tumorigenicity was approximately 50-fold higher with ALDH1A1-positive cells. Interestingly, tumors derived from ALDH1A1-positive cells gave rise to both ALDH1A1-positive and ALDH1A1-negative populations, but ALDH1A1-negative cells could not generate ALDH1A1-positive cells. In an in vivo orthotopic mouse model of ovarian cancer, ALDH1A1 silencing using nanoliposomal siRNA sensitized both taxane- and platinum-resistant cell lines to chemotherapy, significantly reducing tumor growth in mice compared with chemotherapy alone (a 74%-90% reduction; P < 0.015). These data show that the ALDH1A1 subpopulation is associated with chemoresistance and outcome in ovarian cancer patients, and targeting ALDH1A1 sensitizes resistant cells to chemotherapy. ALDH1A1-positive cells have enhanced, but not absolute, tumorigenicity but do have differentiation capacity lacking in ALDH1A1-negative cells. This enzyme may be important for identification and targeting of chemoresistant cell populations in ovarian cancer. © 2010 AACR.

Wang E.,Rochester College | Bhattacharyya S.,Rochester College | Szabolcs A.,Rochester College | Rodriguez-Aguayo C.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Undoubtedly ovarian cancer is a vexing, incurable disease for patients with recurrent cancer and therapeutic options are limited. Although the polycomb group gene, Bmi-1 that regulates the self-renewal of normal stem and progenitor cells has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many human malignancies, yet a role for Bmi-1 in influencing chemotherapy response has not been addressed before. Here we demonstrate that silencing Bmi-1 reduces intracellular GSH levels and thereby sensitizes chemoresistant ovarian cancer cells to chemotherapeutics such as cisplatin. By exacerbating ROS production in response to cisplatin, Bmi-1 silencing activates the DNA damage response pathway, caspases and cleaves PARP resulting in the induction apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. In an in vivo orthotopic mouse model of chemoresistant ovarian cancer, knockdown of Bmi-1 by nanoliposomal delivery significantly inhibits tumor growth. While cisplatin monotherapy was inactive, combination of Bmi-1 silencing along with cisplatin almost completely abrogated ovarian tumor growth. Collectively these findings establish Bmi-1 as an important new target for therapy in chemoresistant ovarian cancer. © 2011 Wang et al.

Stany M.P.,U.S. Army | Vathipadiekal V.,Harvard University | Ozbun L.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Stone R.L.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 19 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Clear cell ovarian cancer is an epithelial ovarian cancer histotype that is less responsive to chemotherapy and carries poorer prognosis than serous and endometrioid histotypes. Despite this, patients with these tumors are treated in a similar fashion as all other ovarian cancers. Previous genomic analysis has suggested that clear cell cancers represent a unique tumor subtype. Here we generated the first whole genomic expression profiling using epithelial component of clear cell ovarian cancers and normal ovarian surface specimens isolated by laser capture microdissection. All the arrays were analyzed using BRB ArrayTools and PathwayStudio software to identify the signaling pathways. Identified pathways validated using serous, clear cell cancer cell lines and RNAi technology. In vivo validations carried out using an orthotopic mouse model and liposomal encapsulated siRNA. Patient-derived clear cell and serous ovarian tumors were grafted under the renal capsule of NOD-SCID mice to evaluate the therapeutic potential of the identified pathway. We identified major activated pathways in clear cells involving in hypoxic cell growth, angiogenesis, and glucose metabolism not seen in other histotypes. Knockdown of key genes in these pathways sensitized clear cell ovarian cancer cell lines to hypoxia/glucose deprivation. In vivo experiments using patient derived tumors demonstrate that clear cell tumors are exquisitely sensitive to antiangiogenesis therapy (i.e. sunitinib) compared with serous tumors. We generated a histotype specific, gene signature associated with clear cell ovarian cancer which identifies important activated pathways critical for their clinicopathologic characteristics. These results provide a rational basis for a radically different treatment for ovarian clear cell patients.

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