Overexpression of DDR2 contributes to cell invasion and migration in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Background Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) is a unique receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that is activated by fibrillar collagens. Although DDR2 contributes to the metastasis of some tumors, its role in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression level, clinical and pathological significance, and biologic function of DDR2 in HNSCC. Methods Real-time quantitative PCR, western blot, and immunohistochemical staining were employed to assess the expression levels of DDR2 in HNSCC specimens. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of DDR2 was used to evaluate its consequences on cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and the process of hypoxia-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Then nude mouse xenograft and tail vein metastasis models were utilized to validate the in vitro results. Results DDR2 was highly expressed in high grade HNSCC tissues and lowly expressed in low grade HNSCC tissues, but absent or rarely expressed in cancer-associated normal tissues. Both the frequency and expression intensity of DDR2 were significantly associated with tumor pathologic stage and lymph node metastasis. In vitro, DDR2 overexpression in HNSCC cells failed to alter cell proliferation but markedly accelerates cell invasion and migration as well as hypoxia-induced EMT. In vivo, elevated expression of DDR2 speeds up the metastasis of HNSCC cells to the lung. Conclusion DDR2 plays an important role in HNSCC metastasis, and might be a promising target for future therapies in this type of cancer.
Project description:Increasing matrix stiffness caused by the extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition surrounding cancer cells is accompanied by epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here, we show that expression levels of EMT marker genes along with discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) can increase upon matrix stiffening. DDR2 silencing by short hairpin RNA downregulated EMT markers. Promoter analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that c-Myb and LEF1 may be responsible for DDR2 induction during cell culture on a stiff matrix. Mechanistically, c-Myb acetylation by p300, which is upregulated on the stiff matrix, seems to be necessary for the c-Myb-and-LEF1-mediated DDR2 expression. Finally, we found that the c-Myb-DDR2 axis is crucial for lung cancer cell line proliferation and expression of EMT marker genes in a stiff environment. Thus, our results suggest that DDR2 regulation by p300 expression and/or c-Myb acetylation upon matrix stiffening may be necessary for regulation of EMT and invasiveness of lung cancer cells.
Project description:The diverse malignant, stromal, and immune cells in tumors affect growth, metastasis, and response to therapy. We profiled transcriptomes of ?6,000 single cells from 18 head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients, including five matched pairs of primary tumors and lymph node metastases. Stromal and immune cells had consistent expression programs across patients. Conversely, malignant cells varied within and between tumors in their expression of signatures related to cell cycle, stress, hypoxia, epithelial differentiation, and partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (p-EMT). Cells expressing the p-EMT program spatially localized to the leading edge of primary tumors. By integrating single-cell transcriptomes with bulk expression profiles for hundreds of tumors, we refined HNSCC subtypes by their malignant and stromal composition and established p-EMT as an independent predictor of nodal metastasis, grade, and adverse pathologic features. Our results provide insight into the HNSCC ecosystem and define stromal interactions and a p-EMT program associated with metastasis.
Project description:Receptor kinases Discoidin Domain Receptors (DDRs) 1 and 2 are emerging as new therapeutic targets in breast cancer (BC). However, the expression of DDR proteins during BC progression and their association with BC subtypes remain poorly defined. Herein we report the first comprehensive immunohistochemical analyses of DDR protein expression in a wide range of breast tissues. DDR1 and DDR2 expression was investigated by immunohistochemistry in 218 samples of normal breast (n = 10), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS, n = 10), and invasive carcinomas (n = 198), arrayed in tissue microarrays with comprehensive clinical and follow-up information. Staining was evaluated for cell type, subcellular localization, percentage and intensity (scores 1-4), and association with disease subtype and outcome. In normal epithelium and DCIS, DDR1 was highly expressed, while DDR2 was negative in normal epithelium, and in DCIS it localized to cells at the epithelial-stromal interface. Of the 198 invasive carcinomas, DDR1 was high in 87 (44 %) and low in 103 (52 %), and DDR2 was high in 110 (56 %) and low in 87 (44 %). High DDR2 was associated with high tumor grade (P = 0.002), triple-negative subtype (TNBC) (P < 0.0001), and worse survival (P = 0.037). We discovered a novel concordant deregulation of DDR expression, with a DDR1(Low)/DDR2(High) profile significantly associated with TNBC, compared to luminal tumors (P = 0.012), and with worse overall survival. In conclusion, DDR2 upregulation occurs in DCIS, before stromal invasion, and may reflect epithelial-stromal cross-talk. A DDR1(Low)/DDR2(High) protein profile is associated with TNBC and may identify invasive carcinomas with worse prognosis.
Project description:The migration ability of urothelial carcinoma corresponding to dismal prognosis had not been fully investigated. The interaction of extracellular collagen with a unique transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase, Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2), was selected by data mining. We arranged real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to evaluate the transcript levels in 26 urinary tract urothelial carcinoma and 26 urinary bladder urothelial carcinoma specimens, showing significantly increase corresponding to advanced primary stage (p = 0.003 and p < 0.001, respectively). An immunohistochemistry analysis and H-score calculation were performed to determine DDR2 expression in 340 urinary tract urothelial carcinoma and 295 urinary bladder urothelial carcinoma. Assessments of the correlation to clinicopathologic features, disease-specific survival, and metastasis-free survival were conducted. The transcript levels in advanced stage were higher than those in early stage and were correlated with poor prognosis. The higher expression was positively correlated to higher pT status (p < 0.001), higher histological grade (urinary tract, p = 0.041; urinary bladder, p < 0.001), greater vascular invasion (p < 0.001), and higher mitotic rate (urinary tract, p = 0.039; urinary bladder, p < 0.001). Higher expression also indicates significantly worse disease-specific survival and metastasis-free survival. In vitro study revealed knockdown of DDR2 resulted in a depletion of cellular viability, migratory, and invasive ability, supporting the oncogenic function of DDR2.
Project description:Objective: Microfibrillar-associated protein 5 (MFAP5) is highly expressed in many types of cancers. Our previous study has observed that overexpression of MFAP5 was correlated with lymph nodes metastasis and poor prognosis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Materials and methods: The MFAP5 expression is detected under hypoxia condition. HNSCC cell lines are transfected with MFAP5-expressing lentivirus vector to establish stable overexpression model. Wound-healing, migration and invasion assay are used to determine the effect of MFAP5 on HNSCC and metastasis-related proteins are examined by Western blot. In vivo lung metastasis assays are conducted by the tail vein injection. In addition, immunohistochemistry is applied to analyze the correlation of MFAP5, hypoxia-induced factor-1 ? (HIF-1?), and vimentin in 84 HNSCC patients' tissue samples. Results: Firstly, MFAP5 expression can be markedly induced under hypoxia condition in HNSCC cell lines. Cell lines with MFAP5 overexpression has a significant higher ability of migration and invasion. In addition, in vivo assay observes that overexpression of MFAP5 can promote tumor lung metastasis. Furthermore, MFAP5 facilitates this process by activating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program via AKT pathway in HNSCC cell lines. The pro-metastatic effect of MFAP5 can be reversed by MK2206, an AKT phosphorylation inhibitor. Lastly, the positive correlation among HIF-1?, MFAP5 and vimentin from tissue samples and TCGA dataset are also observed in HNSCC. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates MFAP5 plays a critical role in hypoxia-induced EMT program via AKT pathway in HNSCC, which would be a very promising therapeutic target.
Project description:Anterior gradient protein 2 (AGR2) is a novel biomarker with potential oncogenic role. We sought to investigate the diagnostic and prognostic role of AGR2 on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with an emphasis on its correlation of cancer stemloid cells (CSC) and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). We found that AGR2 protein levels were higher in HNSCC than in normal oral mucosa. High levels of AGR2 were associated with the T category, pathological grade and lymph node metastasis of HNSCC. Expression of AGR2 increased in recurring HNSCC after radiotherapy and in post cisplatin-based chemotherapeutic tissues. In HNSCC cell lines, knock-down of AGR2 induced apoptosis, reduced sphere formation, and down-regulated Survivin, Cyclin D1, Bcl2, Bcl2l1, Slug, Snail, Nanog and Oct4. In addition, over-expressed AGR2 in transgenic mice with spontaneous HNSCC was associated with lost function of Tgfbr1 and/ or lost function of Pten. In vitro knockdown TGFBR1 in HNSCC cell lines increased AGR2 expression. These results suggest that AGR2 is involved in EMT and self-renewal of CSC and may present a potential therapeutic target (oncotarget) for HNSCC.
Project description:Increased collagen deposition by breast cancer (BC)-associated mesenchymal stem/multipotent stromal cells (MSC) promotes metastasis, but the mechanisms are unknown. Here, we report that the collagen receptor discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) is essential for stromal-BC communication. In human BC metastasis, DDR2 is concordantly upregulated in metastatic cancer and multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells. In MSCs isolated from human BC metastasis, DDR2 maintains a fibroblastic phenotype with collagen deposition and induces pathological activation of DDR2 signaling in BC cells. Loss of DDR2 in MSCs impairs their ability to promote DDR2 phosphorylation in BC cells, as well as BC cell alignment, migration, and metastasis. Female ddr2-deficient mice homozygous for the slie mutation show inefficient spontaneous BC metastasis. These results point to a role for mesenchymal stem cell DDR2 in metastasis and suggest a therapeutic approach for metastatic BC.
Project description:Peritoneal dissemination is the most frequent, incurable metastasis occurring in patients with advanced gastric cancer (GC). However, molecular mechanisms driving peritoneal dissemination still remain poorly understood. Here, we aimed to provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms that drive the peritoneal dissemination of GC. We performed combined expression analysis with in vivo-selected metastatic cell lines and samples from 200 GC patients to identify driver genes of peritoneal dissemination. The driver-gene functions associated with GC dissemination were examined using a mouse xenograft model. We identified a peritoneal dissemination-associated expression signature, whose profile correlated with those of genes related to development, focal adhesion, and the extracellular matrix. Among the genes comprising the expression signature, we identified that discoidin-domain receptor 2 (DDR2) as a potential regulator of peritoneal dissemination. The DDR2 was upregulated by the loss of DNA methylation and that DDR2 knockdown reduced peritoneal metastasis in a xenograft model. Dasatinib, an inhibitor of the DDR2 signaling pathway, effectively suppressed peritoneal dissemination. DDR2 was identified as a driver gene for GC dissemination from the combined expression signature and can potentially serve as a novel therapeutic target for inhibiting GC peritoneal dissemination.
Project description:Increased stromal collagen deposition in human breast tumours correlates with metastases. We show that activation of the collagen I receptor DDR2 (discoidin domain receptor 2) regulates SNAIL1 stability by stimulating ERK2 activity, in a Src-dependent manner. Activated ERK2 directly phosphorylates SNAIL1, leading to SNAIL1 nuclear accumulation, reduced ubiquitylation and increased protein half-life. DDR2-mediated stabilization of SNAIL1 promotes breast cancer cell invasion and migration in vitro, and metastasis in vivo. DDR2 expression was observed in most human invasive ductal breast carcinomas studied, and was associated with nuclear SNAIL1 and absence of E-cadherin expression. We propose that DDR2 maintains SNAIL1 level and activity in tumour cells that have undergone epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), thereby facilitating continued tumour cell invasion through collagen-I-rich extracellular matrices by sustaining the EMT phenotype. As such, DDR2 could be an RTK (receptor tyrosine kinase) target for the treatment of breast cancer metastasis.
Project description:Objective: Human carbonyl reductase 1 (CBR1) plays key roles in the regulation of oxidative stress and tumor progression. However, the detailed mechanism and clinical correlation between CBR1 and tumor progression in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is largely unexplored. This study will focus the effects of CBR1 on head and neck cancer progression and explore the possible mechanisms. Materials and Methods: CBR1 mRNA expression was analyzed according to lymph node metastasis (LNM) status in patients with HNSCC from publicly available databases. CBR1 protein levels were measured and compared in HNSCC patient tissues, with or without metastasis, using immunohistochemistry (IHC). The invasive ability of HNSCC with modulated CBR1 expression was assayed using an invasion assay. Expression levels of EMT marker proteins were analyzed using immunoblotting. Results: HNSCC patients with LNM showed lower expression of CBR1 than those without LNM. In addition, IHC in tissues indicated that patients with LNM had relatively lower levels of CBR1 in cancer tissue. Consistently, in vitro invasion assay, we found that CBR1 inhibition using specific short interfering RNA treatment resulted in two- to three-fold increased invasion ability of HNSCC cell lines. Also, we proved that depletion of CBR1 activated marker proteins participating in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) signaling. CBR1 inhibition increased levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in HNSCC cells leading to upregulation of ?-catenin, one of main transcription factors that induce EMT-related genes. Conclusion: Our findings suggested that CBR1 plays an important role in metastasis of HNSCC tumors via regulation of ROS-mediated ?-catenin activity, and that CBR1 may be marker for progression of HNSCC to metastasis.