BRCA1 tumours correlate with a HIF-1alpha phenotype and have a poor prognosis through modulation of hydroxylase enzyme profile expression.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: There are limited data regarding the hypoxia pathway in familial breast cancers. We therefore performed a study of hypoxic factors in BRCA1, BRCA2 and BRCAX breast cancers. METHODS: Immunoperoxidase staining for HIF-1alpha, PHD1, PHD2, PHD3, VEGF and FIH was carried out in 125 (38 BRCA1, 33 BRCA2 and 54 BRCAX) breast carcinomas. These were correlated with clinicopathological parameters and the intrinsic breast cancer phenotypes. RESULTS: BRCA1 tumours correlated with positivity for HIF-1alpha (P=0.008) and negativity for PHD3 (P=0.037). HIF-1alpha positivity (P=0.001), PHD3 negativity (P=0.037) and nuclear FIH negativity (P=0.011) was associated with basal phenotype. HIF-1alpha expression correlated with high tumour grade (P=0.009), negative oestrogen receptor (ER) status (P=0.001) and the absence of lymph node metastasis (P=0.028). Nuclear FIH expression and PHD3 correlated with positive ER expression (P=0.024 and P=0.035, respectively). BRCA1 cancers with positive HIF-1alpha or cytoplasmic FIH had a significantly shorter relapse-free survival (P=0.007 and P=0.049, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The aggressive nature of BRCA1 and basal-type tumours may be partly explained by an enhanced hypoxic drive and hypoxia driven ER degradation because of suppressed PHD and aberrantly located FIH expression. This may have important implications, as these tumours may respond to compounds directed against HIF-1alpha or its downstream targets.
Project description:Basal-like tumours account for 15% of invasive breast carcinomas and are associated with a poorer prognosis and resistance to therapy. We hypothesised that this aggressive phenotype is because of an intrinsically elevated hypoxic response. Microarrayed tumours from 188 patients were stained for hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1alpha, prolyl hydroxylase (PHD)1, PHD2, PHD3 and factor inhibiting HIF (FIH)-1, and carbonic anhydrase (CA) IX stained in 456 breast tumours. Tumour subtypes were correlated with standard clincopathological parameters as well as hypoxic markers. Out of 456 tumours 62 (14%) tumours were basal-like. These tumours were positively correlated with high tumour grade (P<0.001) and were associated with a significantly worse disease-free survival compared with luminal tumours (P<0.001). Fifty percent of basal-like tumours expressed HIF-1alpha, and more than half expressed at least one of the PHD enzymes and FIH-1. Basal-like tumours were nine times more likely to be associated with CAIX expression (P<0.001) in a multivariate analysis. Carbonic anhydrase IX expression was positively correlated with tumour size (P=0.005), tumour grade (P<0.001) and oestrogen receptor (ER) negativity (P<0.001). Patients with any CAIX-positive breast tumour phenotype and in the basal tumour group had a significantly worse prognosis than CAIX-negative tumours when treated with chemotherapy (P<0.001 and P=0.03, respectively). The association between basal phenotype and CAIX suggests that the more aggressive behaviour of these tumours is partly due to an enhanced hypoxic response. Further, the association with chemoresistance in CAIX-positive breast tumours and basal-like tumours in particular raises the possibility that targeted therapy against HIF pathway or downstream genes such as CAs may be an approach to investigate for these patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Hereditary breast cancer comprises 5-10% of all breast cancers. Mutations in two high-risk susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, along with rare intermediate-risk genes and common low-penetrance alleles identified, altogether explain no more than 45% of the high-risk breast cancer families, although the majority of cases are unaccounted for and are designated as BRCAX tumours. Micro RNAs have called great attention for classification of different cancer types and have been implicated in a range of important biological processes and are deregulated in cancer pathogenesis. METHODS: Here we have performed an exploratory hypothesis-generating study of miRNA expression profiles in a large series of 66 primary hereditary breast tumours by microarray analysis. RESULTS: Unsupervised clustering analysis of miRNA molecular profiles revealed distinct subgroups of BRCAX tumours, 'normal-like' BRCAX-A, 'proliferative' BRCAX-B, 'BRCA1/2-like' BRCAX-C and 'undefined' BRCAX-D subgroup. These findings introduce a new insight in the biology of hereditary breast cancer, defining specific BRCAX subgroups, which could help in the search for novel susceptibility pathways in hereditary breast cancer. CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrate that BRCAX hereditary breast tumours can be sub-classified into four previously unknown homogenous groups characterised by specific miRNA expression signatures and histopathological features.
Project description:Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and comprehensively studied malignancies. Hypoxic conditions during formation of CRC may support the development of more aggressive cancers. Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), a major player in cancerous tissue adaptation to hypoxia, is negatively regulated by the family of prolyl hydroxylase enzymes (PHD1, PHD2, PHD3) and asparaginyl hydroxylase, called factor inhibiting HIF (FIH).PHD1, PHD2, PHD3 and FIH gene expression was evaluated using quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting in primary colonic adenocarcinoma and adjacent histopathologically unchanged colonic mucosa from patients who underwent radical surgical resection of the colon (n=90), and the same methods were used for assessment of PHD3 gene expression in HCT116 and DLD-1 CRC cell lines. DNA methylation levels of the CpG island in the promoter regulatory region of PHD1, PHD2, PHD3 and FIH were assessed using bisulfite DNA sequencing and high resolution melting analysis (HRM) for patients and HRM analysis for CRC cell lines.We found significantly lower levels of PHD1, PHD2 and PHD3 transcripts (p=0.00026; p<0.00001; p<0.00001) and proteins (p=0.004164; p=0.0071; p<0.00001) in primary cancerous than in histopathologically unchanged tissues. Despite this, we did not observe statistically significant differences in FIH transcript levels between cancerous and histopathologically unchanged colorectal tissue, but we found a significantly increased level of FIH protein in CRC (p=0.0169). The reduced PHD3 expression was correlated with significantly increased DNA methylation in the CpG island of the PHD3 promoter regulatory region (p<0.0001). We did not observe DNA methylation in the CpG island of the PHD1, PHD2 or FIH promoter in cancerous and histopathologically unchanged colorectal tissue. We also showed that 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine induced DNA demethylation leading to increased PHD3 transcript and protein level in HCT116 cells.We demonstrated that reduced PHD3 expression in cancerous tissue was accompanied by methylation of the CpG rich region located within the first exon and intron of the PHD3 gene. The diminished expression of PHD1 and PHD2 and elevated level of FIH protein in cancerous tissue compared to histopathologically unchanged colonic mucosa was not associated with DNA methylation within the CpG islands of the PHD1, PHD2 and FIH genes.
Project description:Cells adapt to hypoxia by a cellular response, where hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) becomes stabilized and directly activates transcription of downstream genes. In addition to this "canonical" response, certain aspects of the pathway require integration with Notch signaling, i.e., HIF-1alpha can interact with the Notch intracellular domain (ICD) to augment the Notch downstream response. In this work, we demonstrate an additional level of complexity in this cross-talk: factor-inhibiting HIF-1 (FIH-1) regulates not only HIF activity, but also the Notch signaling output and, in addition, plays a role in how Notch signaling modulates the hypoxic response. We show that FIH-1 hydroxylates Notch ICD at two residues (N(1945) and N(2012)) that are critical for the function of Notch ICD as a transactivator within cells and during neurogenesis and myogenesis in vivo. FIH-1 negatively regulates Notch activity and accelerates myogenic differentiation. In its modulation of the hypoxic response, Notch ICD enhances recruitment of HIF-1alpha to its target promoters and derepresses HIF-1alpha function. Addition of FIH-1, which has a higher affinity for Notch ICD than for HIF-1alpha, abrogates the derepression, suggesting that Notch ICD sequesters FIH-1 away from HIF-1alpha. In conclusion, the data reveal posttranslational modification of the activated form of the Notch receptor and an intricate mode of cross-coupling between the Notch and hypoxia signaling pathways.
Project description:Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are key regulators in oxygen homeostasis. Their stabilization and activity are regulated by prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD)-1, -2, -3 and factor inhibiting HIF (FIH). This study investigated the relation between these oxygen sensors and the clinical behaviors and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Tissue microarray and RT-PCR analysis of tumor tissues and adjacent non-tumor liver tissues revealed that mRNA and protein levels of both PHD3 and FIH were lower within tumors. The lower expression of PHD3 in tumor was associated with larger tumor size, incomplete tumor encapsulation, vascular invasion and higher Ki-67 LI (p < 0.05). The lower expression of FIH in tumor was associated with incomplete tumor encapsulation, vascular invasion, as well as higher TNM stage, BCLC stage, microvascular density and Ki-67 LI (p < 0.05). Patients with reduced expression of PHD3 or FIH had markedly shorter disease-free survival (DFS), lower overall survival (OS), or higher recurrence (p < 0.05), especially early recurrence. Patients with simultaneously reduced expression of PHD3 and FIH exhibited the least chance of forming tumor encapsulation, highest TNM stage (p < 0.0083), lowest OS and highest recurrence rate (p < 0.05). Multivariate analysis indicated that a lower expression of FIH independently predicted a poor prognosis in HCC. These findings indicate that downregulation of PHD3 and FIH in HCC is associated with more aggressive tumor behavior and a poor prognosis. PHD3 and FIH may be potential therapeutic targets for HCC treatment.
Project description:The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship of expression of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1?-modifying enzymes prolyl hydroxylase (PHD)1, PHD2 and PHD3 to response of tumours and survival in breast cancer patients enrolled in a phase II trial of neoadjuvant anthracycline and tamoxifen therapy.The expression of PHD1, PHD2 and PHD3 together with HIF-1? and the HIF-inducible genes vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) and carbonic anhydrase IX were assessed by immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray approach in 211 patients with T2-4 N0-1 breast cancer enrolled in a randomised trial comparing single-agent epirubicin versus epirubicin and tamoxifen as the primary systemic treatment.PHD1, PHD2 and PHD3 were detected in 47/179 (26.7%), 85/163 (52.2%) and 69/177 (39%) of tumours at baseline. PHD2 and PHD3 expression was moderate/strong whereas PHD1 expression was generally weak. There was a significant positive correlation between HIF-1? and PHD1 (P = 0.002) and PHD3 (P < 0.05) but not PHD2 (P = 0.41). There was a significant positive relationship between VEGF and PHD1 (P < 0.008) and PHD3 (P = 0.001) but not PHD2 (P = 0.09). PHD1, PHD2 and PHD3 expression was significantly increased after epirubicin therapy (all P < 0.000) with no significant difference in PHD changes between the treatment arms. There was no significant difference in response in tumours that expressed PHDs and PHD expression was not associated with survival.Although expression of the PHDs was not related to response or survival in patients receiving neoadjuvant epirubicin, our data provide the first evidence that these enzymes are upregulated on therapy in breast cancer and that the biological effects independent of HIF make them therapeutic targets.
Project description:Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is a master regulator of oxygen homeostasis that controls angiogenesis, erythropoiesis, and glycolysis via transcriptional activation of target genes under hypoxic conditions. O(2)-dependent binding of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor protein targets the HIF-1alpha subunit for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. The activity of the HIF-1alpha transactivation domains is also O(2) regulated by a previously undefined mechanism. Here, we report the identification of factor inhibiting HIF-1 (FIH-1), a protein that binds to HIF-1alpha and inhibits its transactivation function. In addition, we demonstrate that FIH-1 binds to VHL and that VHL also functions as a transcriptional corepressor that inhibits HIF-1alpha transactivation function by recruiting histone deacetylases. Involvement of VHL in association with FIH-1 provides a unifying mechanism for the modulation of HIF-1alpha protein stabilization and transcriptional activation in response to changes in cellular O(2) concentration.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: BRCA1 or BRCA2 germline mutations increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Tumour cells from germline mutation carriers have frequently lost the wild-type allele. This is predicted to result in genomic instability where cell survival depends upon dysfunctional checkpoint mechanisms. Tumorigenic potential could then be acquired through further genomic alterations. Surprisingly, somatic BRCA mutations are not found in sporadic breast tumours. BRCA1 methylation has been shown to occur in sporadic breast tumours and to be associated with reduced gene expression. We examined the frequency of BRCA1 methylation in 143 primary sporadic breast tumours along with BRCA1 copy number alterations and tumour phenotype. METHODS: Primary sporadic breast tumours were analysed for BRCA1alpha promoter methylation by methylation specific PCR and for allelic imbalance (AI) at BRCA1 and BRCA2 loci by microsatellite analysis and TP53 (also known as p53) mutations by constant denaturing gel electrophoresis. The BRCA1 methylated tumours were analysed for BRCA1 copy alterations by fluorescence in situ hybridisation and BRCA1 expression by immunostaining. RESULTS: BRCA1 methylation was found in 13/143 (9.1%) sporadic breast tumours. The BRCA1 methylated tumours were significantly associated with estrogen receptor (ER) negativity (P = 0.0475) and displayed a trend for BRCA1 AI (P = 0.0731) as well as young-age at diagnosis (< or = 55; P = 0.0898). BRCA1 methylation was not associated with BRCA2 AI (P = 0.5420), although a significant association was found between BRCA1 AI and BRCA2 AI (P < 0.0001).Absent/markedly reduced BRCA1 expression was observed in 9/13 BRCA1 methylated tumours, most of which had BRCA1 deletion. An elevated TP53 mutation frequency was found among BRCA1 methylated tumours (38.5%) compared with non-methylated tumours (17.2%). The BRCA1 methylated tumours were mainly of tumour grade 3 (7/13) and infiltrating ductal type (12/13). Only one methylated tumour was of grade 1. CONCLUSION: BRCA1 methylation is frequent in primary sporadic breast tumours. We found an indication for BRCA1 methylation to be associated with AI at the BRCA1 locus. Almost all BRCA1 methylated tumours with absent/markedly reduced BRCA1 expression (8/9) displayed BRCA1 deletion. Thus, epigenetic silencing and deletion of the BRCA1 gene might serve as Knudson's two 'hits' in sporadic breast tumorigenesis. We observed phenotypic similarities between BRCA1 methylated and familial BRCA1 tumours, based on BRCA1 deletion, TP53 mutations, ER status, young age at diagnosis and tumour grade.
Project description:A miRNAs profiling on a group of familial and sporadic breast cancers showed that miRNA-342 was significantly associated with estrogen receptor (ER) levels. To investigate at functional level the role of miR-342 in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, we focused our attention on its "in silico" predicted putative target gene ID4, a transcription factor of the helix-loop-helix protein family whose expression is inversely correlated with that of ER. ID4 is expressed in breast cancer and can negatively regulate BRCA1 expression. Our results showed an inverse correlation between ID4 and miR-342 as well as between ID4 and BRCA1 expression. We functionally validated the interaction between ID4 and miR-342 in a reporter Luciferase system. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that regulation of ID4 mediated by miR-342 could be involved in the pathogenesis of breast cancer by downregulating BRCA1 expression. We functionally demonstrated the interactions between miR-342, ID4 and BRCA1 in a model provided by ER-negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line that presented high levels of ID4. Overexpression of miR-342 in these cells reduced ID4 and increased BRCA1 expression, supporting a possible role of this mechanism in breast cancer. In the ER-positive MCF7 and in the BRCA1-mutant HCC1937 cell lines miR-342 over-expression only reduced ID4. In the cohort of patients we studied, a correlation between miR-342 and BRCA1 expression was found in the ER-negative cases. As ER-negative cases were mainly BRCA1-mutant, we speculate that the mechanism we demonstrated could be involved in the decreased expression of BRCA1 frequently observed in non BRCA1-mutant breast cancers and could be implicated as a causal factor in part of the familial cases grouped in the heterogeneous class of non BRCA1 or BRCA2-mutant cases (BRCAx). To validate this hypothesis, the study should be extended to a larger cohort of ER-negative cases, including those belonging to the BRCAx class.
Project description:Amino acid hydroxylation is a post-translational modification that regulates intra- and inter-molecular protein-protein interactions. The modifications are regulated by a family of 2-oxoglutarate- (2OG) dependent enzymes and, although the biochemistry is well understood, until now only a few substrates have been described for these enzymes. Using quantitative interaction proteomics, we screened for substrates of the proline hydroxylase PHD3 and the asparagine hydroxylase FIH, which regulate the HIF-mediated hypoxic response. We were able to identify hundreds of potential substrates. Enrichment analysis revealed that the potential substrates of both hydroxylases cluster in the same pathways but frequently modify different nodes of signaling networks. We confirm that two proteins identified in our screen, MAPK6 (Erk3) and RIPK4, are indeed hydroxylated in a FIH- or PHD3-dependent mechanism. We further determined that FIH-dependent hydroxylation regulates RIPK4-dependent Wnt signaling, and that PHD3-dependent hydroxylation of MAPK6 protects the protein from proteasomal degradation.