Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium

New Orleans, LA, United States

Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium

New Orleans, LA, United States

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Onyeagucha B.C.,University of Arizona | Mercado-Pimentel M.E.,University of Arizona | Mercado-Pimentel M.E.,Arizona Cancer Center | Hutchison J.,University of Arizona | And 4 more authors.
Experimental Cell Research | Year: 2013

Accumulating evidence indicates that elevated S100P promotes the pathogenesis of cancers, including colon cancer. S100P exerts its effects by binding to and activating the Receptor for Advance Glycation End-products (RAGE). The effects of up-regulated S100P/RAGE signaling on cell functions are well documented. Despite these observations, little is known about the downstream targets of S100P/RAGE signaling. In the present study, we demonstrated for the first time that activation of RAGE by S100P regulates oncogenic microRNA-155 (miR-155) expression through Activator Protein-1 (AP-1) stimulation in colon cancer cells. Ectopic S100P up-regulated miR-155 levels in human colon cancer cells. Conversely, knockdown of S100P resulted in a decrease in miR-155 levels. Exogenous S100P induced miR-155 expression, but blockage of the RAGE with anti-RAGE antibody suppressed the induction of miR-155 by exogenous S100P. Attenuation of AP-1 activation through pharmacological inhibition of MEK activation or genetic inhibition of c-Jun activation using dominant negative c-Jun (TAM67) suppressed miR-155 induction by exogenous S100P. Also, S100P treatment stimulated the enrichment of c-Fos, an AP-1 family member, at the miR-155 host gene promoter site. Finally, a functional study demonstrated that miR-155 knockdown decreases colon cancer cell growth, motility, and invasion. Altogether, these data demonstrate that the expression of miR-155 is regulated by S100P and is dependent on RAGE activation and stimulation of AP-1. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Liu X.,Jilin University | Liu X.,Tulane University | Gao R.,Jilin University | Gao R.,Tulane University | And 9 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2010

Background: Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death in men worldwide. Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) protein family that is expressed in the majority of human tumors including prostate cancer, but is barely detectable in terminally differentiated normal cells. Downregulation of survivin could sensitize prostate cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents in vitro and in vivo. Selenium is an essential trace element. Several studies have shown that selenium compounds inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. The objective of this study is to investigate whether survivin gene silencing in conjunction with selenium treatment could enhance the therapeutic efficacy for prostate cancer and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.Methods: Expression of survivin was analyzed in a collection of normal and malignant prostatic tissues by immunohistochemical staining. In vitro studies were conducted in PC-3M, C4-2B, and 22Rv1 prostate cancer cells. The effect of selenium on survivin expression was analyzed by Western blotting and semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Survivin gene knockdown was carried out by transfecting cells with a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) designed against survivin. Cell proliferation was quantitated by the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)- 2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide (MTT) assay and apoptosis by propidium iodide staining followed by flow cytometry analysis. Finally, in vivo tumor growth assay was performed by establishing PC-3M xenograft in nude mice and monitoring tumor growth following transfection and treatment.Results: We found that survivin was undetectable in normal prostatic tissues but was highly expressed in prostate cancers. Survivin knockdown or selenium treatment inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells, but the selenium effect was modest. In contrast to what have been observed in other cell lines, selenium treatment had little or no effect on survivin expression in several androgen-independent prostate cancer cell lines. Survivin knockdown sensitized these cells to selenium growth inhibition and apoptosis induction. In nude mice bearing PC-3M xenografts, survivin knockdown synergizes with selenium in inhibiting tumor growth.Conclusions: Selenium could inhibit the growth of hormone-refractory prostate cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo, but the effects were modest. The growth inhibition was not mediated by downregulating survivin expression. Survivin silencing greatly enhanced the growth inhibitory effects of selenium. © 2010 Liu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Buckles E.,Dillard University | Qian C.,Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center | Tadros A.,Dillard University | Majumdar S.,Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center | And 5 more authors.
Asian Journal of Andrology | Year: 2014

The speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) is a tumor suppressor in prostate cancer (PCa). SPOP somatic mutations have been reported in up to 15% of PCa of those of European descent. However, the genetic roles of SPOP in African American (AA)-PCa are currently unknown. We sequenced the SPOP gene to identify somatic mutations in 49 AA prostate tumors and identified three missense mutations (p.Y87C, p.F102S, and p.G111E) in five AA prostate tumors (10%) and one synonymous variant (p.I106I) in one tumor. Intriguingly, all of mutations and variants clustered in exon six, and all of the mutations altered conserved amino acids. Moreover, two mutations (p.F102S and p.G111E) have only been identified in AA-PCa to date. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed a lower level of SPOP expression in tumors carrying SPOP mutations than their matched normal prostate tissues. In addition, SPOP mutations and novel variants were detected in 5 of 27 aggressive PCa and one of 22 less aggressive PCa (P < 0.05). Further studies with increased sample size are needed to validate the clinicopathological significance of these SPOP mutations in AA-PCa. © 2014 AJA, SIMM & SJTU.


Sides M.D.,Tulane University | Klingsberg R.C.,Tulane University | Shan B.,Tulane University | Gordon K.A.,Tulane University | And 9 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology | Year: 2011

The histopathology of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) includes the presence of myofibroblasts within so-called fibroblastic foci, and studies suggest that lung myofibroblasts may be derived from epithelial cells through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 is expressed and/or activated in fibrogenesis, and induces EMT in lung epithelial cells in a dose-dependent manner. A higher occurrence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been reported in the lung tissue of patients with IPF. EBV expresses latent membrane protein (LMP) 1 during the latent phase of infection, and may play a role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis inasmuch as LMP-1may act as a constitutively active TNF-α receptor. Our data show a remarkable increase in mesenchymal cell markers, along with a concurrent reduction in the expression of epithelial cell markers in lung epithelial cells cotreated with LMP-1, and very low doses of TGF-β1. This effect was mirrored in lung epithelial cells infected with EBV expressing LMP1 and cotreated with TGF-β1. LMP1 pro-EMT signaling was identified, and occurs primarily through the nuclear factor-κB pathway and secondarily through the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway. Activation of the ERK pathway was shown to be critical for aspects of TGF-β1-induced EMT. LMP1 accentuates the TGF-β1 activation of ERK. Together, these data demonstrate that the presence of EBV-LMP1 in lung epithelial cells synergizes with TGF-β1 to induce EMT. Our in vitro data may help to explain the observation that patients with IPF demonstrating positive staining for LMP1 in lung epithelial cells have a more rapid demise than patients in whom LMP1 is not detected.


Zhang J.,Tulane University | Baddoo M.,Tulane Health science Center and Tulane Cancer Center | Han C.,Tulane University | Strong M.J.,Tulane Health science Center and Tulane Cancer Center | And 7 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Although much progress has been made in understanding cancer cellular metabolism adaptation, the co-regulations between genes of metabolism and cancer pathways and their interactions remain poorly characterized. Here, we applied gene co-expression network analysis to 1509 metabolic gene expression data generated from 120 HCC and 180 non-tumor human liver tissues by microarray. Our analyses reveal that metabolism genes can be classified into different co-expression modules based on their associations with HCC related traits. The co-regulation mechanism of the carbon metabolism genes in normal liver tissues was interrupted during the processes of carcinogenesis. In parallel, we performed RNAseq analysis of HCC and non-tumor human liver tissues, and identified a unique 22-carbon-metabolism-genesignature of increased expression. This gene signature was further verified in multiple microarray data sets, and its prognostic value was also proven by HCC patients' survival data from TCGA. Additionally, the tumorigenic function of two representative genes, CS and ACSS1, were validated experimentally by cell growth and spheroid formation assays. The current study provides evidence for the reprogramming of the co-regulation network between carbon metabolism and cancer pathway genes in HCC. In addition, this study also reveals a unique 22-carbon-metabolism-gene-expressionsignature in HCC. Strategies targeting these genes may represent new therapeutic approaches for HCC treatment.


Dauchy R.T.,Tulane University | Dauchy R.T.,Biology Group | Xiang S.,Tulane University | Xiang S.,Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium | And 23 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2014

Resistance to endocrine therapy is a major impediment to successful treatment of breast cancer. Preclinical and clinical evidence links resistance to antiestrogen drugs in breast cancer cells with the overexpression and/or activation of various pro-oncogenic tyrosine kinases. Disruption of circadian rhythms by night shift work or disturbed sleep-wake cycles may lead to an increased risk of breast cancer and other diseases. Moreover, light exposure at night (LEN) suppresses the nocturnal production of melatonin that inhibits breast cancer growth. In this study, we used a rat model of estrogen receptor (ERα+) MCF-7 tumor xenografts to demonstrate how altering light/dark cycles with dim LEN (dLEN) speed the development of breast tumors, increasing their metabolism and growth and conferring an intrinsic resistance to tamoxifen therapy. These characteristics were not observed in animals in which the circadian melatonin rhythm was not disrupted, or in animals subjected to dLEN if they received nocturnal melatonin replacement. Strikingly, our results also showed thatmelatonin acted both as a tumor metabolic inhibitor and a circadian-regulated kinase inhibitor to reestablish the sensitivity of breast tumors to tamoxifen and tumor regression. Together, our findings show how dLEN-mediated disturbances in nocturnal melatonin production can render tumors insensitive to tamoxifen. © 2014 American Association for Cancer Research.


PubMed | Tulane Health science Center and Tulane Cancer Center, Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium and Tulane University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Although much progress has been made in understanding cancer cellular metabolism adaptation, the co-regulations between genes of metabolism and cancer pathways and their interactions remain poorly characterized. Here, we applied gene co-expression network analysis to 1509 metabolic gene expression data generated from 120 HCC and 180 non-tumor human liver tissues by microarray. Our analyses reveal that metabolism genes can be classified into different co-expression modules based on their associations with HCC related traits. The co-regulation mechanism of the carbon metabolism genes in normal liver tissues was interrupted during the processes of carcinogenesis. In parallel, we performed RNAseq analysis of HCC and non-tumor human liver tissues, and identified a unique 22-carbon-metabolism-gene-signature of increased expression. This gene signature was further verified in multiple microarray data sets, and its prognostic value was also proven by HCC patients survival data from TCGA. Additionally, the tumorigenic function of two representative genes, CS and ACSS1, were validated experimentally by cell growth and spheroid formation assays. The current study provides evidence for the reprogramming of the co-regulation network between carbon metabolism and cancer pathway genes in HCC. In addition, this study also reveals a unique 22-carbon-metabolism-gene-expression-signature in HCC. Strategies targeting these genes may represent new therapeutic approaches for HCC treatment.


The study of breast cancer metastasis depends on the use of established breast cancer cell lines that do not accurately represent the heterogeneity and complexity of human breast tumors. A tumor model was developed using primary breast tumor-initiating cells isolated from patient core biopsies that would more accurately reflect human breast cancer metastasis.Tumorspheres were isolated under serum-free culture conditions from core biopsies collected from five patients with clinical diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). Isolated tumorspheres were transplanted into the mammary fat pad of NUDE mice to establish tumorigenicity in vivo. Tumors and metastatic lesions were analyzed by hematoxylin and eosin (H+E) staining and immunohistochemistry (IHC).Tumorspheres were successfully isolated from all patient core biopsies, independent of the estrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PR)/Her2/neu status or tumor grade. Each tumorsphere was estimated to contain 50-100 cells. Transplantation of 50 tumorspheres (1-5 103 cells) in combination with Matrigel into the mammary fat pad of NUDE mice resulted in small, palpable tumors that were sustained up to 12 months post-injection. Tumors were serially transplanted three times by re-isolation of tumorspheres from the tumors and injection into the mammary fat pad of NUDE mice. At 3 months post-injection, micrometastases to the lung, liver, kidneys, brain and femur were detected by measuring content of human chromosome 17. Visible macrometastases were detected in the lung, liver and kidneys by 6 months post-injection. Primary tumors variably expressed cytokeratins, Her2/neu, cytoplasmic E-cadherin, nuclear catenin and fibronectin but were negative for ER and vimentin. In lung and liver metastases, variable redistribution of E-cadherin and catenin to the membrane of tumor cells was observed. ER was re-expressed in lung metastatic cells in two of five samples.Tumorspheres isolated under defined culture conditions from patient core biopsies were tumorigenic when transplanted into the mammary fat pad of NUDE mice, and metastasized to multiple mouse organs. Micrometastases in mouse organs demonstrated a dormancy period prior to outgrowth of macrometastases. The development of macrometastases with organ-specific phenotypic distinctions provides a superior model for the investigation of organ-specific effects on metastatic cancer cell survival and growth.

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