Molecular Oncology Program

Miami, FL, United States

Molecular Oncology Program

Miami, FL, United States
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PubMed | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Molecular Oncology Program and University of Miami
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cancer research | Year: 2014

BRCA1 mutation carriers are predisposed to developing basal-like breast cancers with high metastasis and poor prognosis. Yet, how BRCA1 suppresses formation of basal-like breast cancers is still obscure. Deletion of p18(Ink4c) (p18), an inhibitor of CDK4 and CDK6, functionally inactivates the RB pathway, stimulates mammary luminal stem cell (LSC) proliferation, and leads to spontaneous luminal tumor development. Alternately, germline mutation of Brca1 shifts the fate of luminal cells to cause luminal-to-basal mammary tumor transformation. Here, we report that disrupting Brca1 by either germline or epithelium-specific mutation in p18-deficient mice activates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and induces dedifferentiation of LSCs, which associate closely with expansion of basal and cancer stem cells and formation of basal-like tumors. Mechanistically, BRCA1 bound to the TWIST promoter, suppressing its activity and inhibiting EMT in mammary tumor cells. In human luminal cancer cells, BRCA1 silencing was sufficient to activate TWIST and EMT and increase tumor formation. In parallel, TWIST expression and EMT features correlated inversely with BRCA1 expression in human breast cancers. Together, our findings showed that BRCA1 suppressed TWIST and EMT, inhibited LSC dedifferentiation, and repressed expansion of basal stem cells and basal-like tumors. Thus, our work offers the first genetic evidence that Brca1 directly suppresses EMT and LSC dedifferentiation during breast tumorigenesis.

Gebhard A.W.,Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology Program | Jain P.,University of South Florida | Jain P.,H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute | Jain P.,Modulation Therapeutics, Inc. | And 10 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2013

Our laboratory recently reported that treatment with the D-amino acid containing peptide HYD1 induces necrotic cell death in multiple myeloma cell lines. Because of the intriguing biological activity and promising in vivo activity of HYD1, we pursued strategies for increasing the therapeutic efficacy of the linear peptide. These efforts led to a cyclized peptidomimetic, MTI-101, with increased in vitro activity and robust in vivo activity as a single agent using two myeloma models that consider the bone marrow microenvironment. MTI-101 treatment similar to HYD1 induced reactive oxygen species, depleted ATP levels, and failed to activate caspase-3. Moreover, MTI-101 is cross-resistant in H929 cells selected for acquired resistance to HYD1. Here, we pursued an unbiased chemical biology approach using biotinylated peptide affinity purification and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry analysis to identify binding partners of MTI-101. Using this approach, CD44was identified as a predominant binding partner. Reducing the expression of CD44 was sufficient to induce cell death in multiple myeloma cell lines, indicating that multiple myeloma cells require CD44 expression for survival. Ectopic expression of CD44s correlated with increased binding of the FAM-conjugated peptide. However, ectopic expression of CD44s was not sufficient to increase the sensitivity to MTI-101-induced cell death. Mechanistically, we show that MTI-101-induced cell death occurs via a Rip1-, Rip3-, or Drp1-dependent and -independent pathway. Finally, we show that MTI-101 has robust activity as a single agent in the SCID-Hu bone implant and 5TGM1 in vivo model of multiple myeloma. Mol Cancer Ther; 12(11); 2446-58. © 2013 AACR.

Benny Klimek M.E.,University of Miami | Aydogdu T.,University of Miami | Link M.J.,Molecular Oncology Program | Pons M.,Molecular Oncology Program | And 2 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2010

Cachexia, progressive loss of fat and muscle mass despite adequate nutrition, is a devastating complication of cancer associated with poor quality of life and increased mortality. Myostatin is a potent tonic muscle growth inhibitor. We tested how myostatin inhibition might influence cancer cachexia using genetic and pharmacological approaches. First, hypermuscular myostatin null mice were injected with Lewis lung carcinoma or B16F10 melanoma cells. Myostatin null mice were more sensitive to tumor-induced cachexia, losing more absolute mass and proportionately more muscle mass than wild-type mice. Because myostatin null mice lack expression from development, however, we also sought to manipulate myostatin acutely. The histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A has been shown to increase muscle mass in normal and dystrophic mice by inducing the myostatin inhibitor, follistatin. Although Trichostatin A administration induced muscle growth in normal mice, it failed to preserve muscle in colon-26 cancer cachexia. Finally we sought to inhibit myostatin and related ligands by administration of the Activin receptor extracellular domain/Fc fusion protein, ACVR2B-Fc. Systemic administration of ACVR2B-Fc potently inhibited muscle wasting and protected adipose stores in both colon-26 and Lewis lung carcinoma cachexia, without affecting tumor growth. Enhanced cachexia in myostatin knockouts indicates that host-derived myostatin is not the sole mediator of muscle wasting in cancer. More importantly, skeletal muscle preservation with ACVR2B-Fc establishes that targeting myostatin-family ligands using ACVR2B-Fc or related molecules is an important and potent therapeutic avenue in cancer cachexia. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Pelullo M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Quaranta R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Talora C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Checquolo S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 13 more authors.
Neoplasia (United States) | Year: 2014

Deregulated Notch signaling has been extensively linked to T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Here, we show a direct relationship between Notch3 receptor and Jagged1 ligand in human cell lines and in a mouse model of T-ALL. We provide evidence that Notch-specific ligand Jagged1 is a new Notch3 signaling target gene. This essential event justifies an aberrant Notch3/Jagged1 cis-expression inside the same cell. Moreover, we demonstrate in Notch3-IC- overexpressing T lymphoma cells that Jagged1 undergoes a raft-associated constitutive processing. The proteolytic cleavage allows the Jagged1 intracellulardomain toempower Notch signaling activity and to increase the transcriptional activation of Jagged1 itself (autocrine effect). On the other hand, the release of the soluble Jagged1 extracellular domain has a positive impact on activating Notch signaling in adjacent cells (paracrine effect), finally giving rise to a Notch3/Jagged1 auto-sustaining loop that supports the survival, proliferation, and invasion of lymphoma cells and contributes to the development and progression of Notch-dependent T-ALL. These observations are also supported by a study conducted on a cohort of patients in which Jagged1 expression is associated to adverse prognosis. © 2014 Neoplasia Press, Inc.

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