Fascin is involved in the chemotherapeutic resistance of breast cancer cells predominantly via the PI3K/Akt pathway.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A major therapeutic challenge for breast cancer is the ability of cancer cells to evade killing of conventional chemotherapeutic agents. We have recently reported the actin-bundling protein (fascin) as a major regulator of breast cancer metastasis and survival. METHODS: Survival of breast cancer patients that received chemotherapy and xenograft tumour model was used to assess the effect of chemotherapy on fascin-positive and -negative breast cancer cells. Molecular and cellular assays were used to gain in-depth understanding of the relationship between fascin and chemoresistance. RESULTS: We showed a significant correlation between fascin expression and shorter survival in breast cancer patients who received chemotherapy. In xenograft experiments, fascin-positive cancer cells displayed significantly more resistance to chemotherapy-mediated apoptotic cell death than fascin-negative counterparts. This increased chemoresistance was at least partially mediated through PI3K/Akt signalling, and was paralleled by increased FAK phosphorylation, enhanced expression of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (XIAP and Livin) and suppression of the proapoptotic markers (caspase 9, caspase 3 and PARP). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report to demonstrate fascin involvement in breast cancer chemotherapeutic resistance, supporting the development of fascin-targeting drugs for better treatment of chemoresistance breast cancer.
Project description:Breast cancer remains the second cause of tumor-related mortality in women worldwide mainly due to chemoresistance and metastasis. The chemoresistance and metastasis are attributed to a rare subpopulation with enriched stem-like characteristics, thus called Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs). We have previously reported aberrant expression of the actin-bundling protein (fascin) in breast cancer cells, which enhances their chemoresistance, metastasis and enriches CSC population. The intracellular mechanisms that link fascin with its downstream effectors are not fully elucidated. Here, loss and gain of function approaches in two different breast cancer models were used to understand how fascin promotes disease progression. Importantly, findings were aligned with expression data from actual breast cancer patients. Expression profiling of a large breast cancer dataset (TCGA, 530 patients) showed statistically significant correlation between fascin expression and a key adherence molecule, ?1 integrin (ITGB1). In vitro manipulation of fascin expression in breast cancer cells exhibited its direct effect on ITGB1 expression. Fascin-mediated regulation of ITGB1 was critical for several breast cancer cell functions including adhesion to different extracellular matrix, self-renewability and chemoresistance. Importantly, there was a significant relationship between fascin and ITGB1 co-expression and short disease-free as well as overall survival in chemo-treated breast cancer patients. This novel role of fascin effect on ITGB1 expression and its outcome on cell self-renewability and chemoresistance strongly encourages for dual targeting of fascin-ITGB1 axis as a therapeutic approach to halt breast cancer progression and eradicate it from the root.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a rare population of tumor cells with high self-renewability potential, have gained increasing attention due to their contribution to chemoresistance and metastasis. We have previously demonstrated a critical role for the actin-bundling protein (fascin) in mediating breast cancer chemoresistance through activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). The latter is known to trigger the ?-catenin signaling pathway. Whether fascin activation of FAK would ultimately trigger ?-catenin signaling pathway has not been elucidated. Here, we assessed the effect of fascin manipulation in breast cancer cells on triggering ?-catenin downstream targets and its dependence on FAK. Gain and loss of fascin expression showed its direct effect on the constitutive expression of ?-catenin downstream targets and enhancement of self-renewability. In addition, fascin was essential for glycogen synthase kinase 3? inhibitor-mediated inducible expression and function of the ?-catenin downstream targets. Importantly, fascin-mediated constitutive and inducible expression of ?-catenin downstream targets, as well as its subsequent effect on CSC function, was at least partially FAK dependent. To assess the clinical relevance of the in vitro findings, we evaluated the consequence of fascin, FAK, and ?-catenin downstream target coexpression on the outcome of breast cancer patient survival. Patients with coexpression of fascinhigh and FAKhigh or high ?-catenin downstream targets showed the worst survival outcome, whereas in fascinlow, patient coexpression of FAKhigh or high ?-catenin targets had less significant effect on the survival. Altogether, our data demonstrated the critical role of fascin-mediated ?-catenin activation and its dependence on intact FAK signaling to promote breast CSC function. These findings suggest that targeting of fascin-FAK-?-catenin axis may provide a novel therapeutic approach for eradication of breast cancer from the root.
Project description:Despite major advances in early detection and prognosis, chemotherapy resistance is a major hurdle in the battle against breast cancer. Identifying predictive markers and understanding the mechanisms are key steps to overcoming chemoresistance. Methylation-controlled J protein (MCJ, also known as DNAJC15) is a negative regulator of mitochondrial respiration and has been associated with chemotherapeutic drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines. Here we show, in a retrospective study of a large cohort of breast cancer patients, that low MCJ expression in breast tumors predicts high risk of relapse in patients treated with chemotherapy; however, MCJ expression does not correlate with response to endocrine therapy. In a prospective study in breast cancer patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy, low MCJ expression also correlates with poor clinical response to chemotherapy and decreased disease-free survival. Using MCJ-deficient mice, we demonstrate that lack of MCJ is sufficient to induce mammary tumor chemoresistance in vivo. Thus, loss of expression of this endogenous mitochondrial modulator in breast cancer promotes the development of chemoresistance.
Project description:The development of chemoresistance and inability in elimination of cancer stem cells are among the key limitations of cancer chemotherapy. Novel molecular therapeutic strategies able to overcome such limitations are urgently needed for future effective management of cancer. In this report, we show that EpCAM-aptamer-guided survivin RNAi effectively downregulated survivin both in colorectal cancer cells in vitro and in a mouse xenograft model for colorectal cancer. When combined with the conventional chemotherapeutic agents, the aptamer-guided survivin RNAi was able to enhance the sensitivity towards 5-FU or oxaliplatin in colorectal cancer stem cells, increase apoptosis, inhibit tumour growth and improve the overall survival of mice bearing xenograft colorectal cancer. Our results indicate that survivin is one of the key players responsible for the innate chemoresistance of colorectal cancer stem cells. Thus, aptamer-mediated targeting of survivin in cancer stem cells in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs constitutes a new avenue to improve treatment outcome in oncologic clinics.
Project description:Advanced breast cancer (eg. stage IV) is resistant to chemotherapy. In this work, we identified potentially druggable targets that are critically involved in chemoresistance. We showed that eIF4E is highly phosphorylated at serine 209 in breast cancer patients in response to chemotherapy, which significantly correlated with poorer clinical responses and outcomes. Depletion of eIF4E enhanced the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of chemotherapeutic drugs in breast cancer cells. Chemotherapy activated the Wnt/?-catenin signaling in an eIF4E-dependent manner. However, MNK inhibitors prevented chemotherapeutic drug-induced eIF4E phosphorylation and ?-catenin activation, which enhanced the breast cancer cell response to chemotherapy in vitro and in vivo. These findings indicate MNK-eIF4E-?-catenin is an activator of the breast cancer cell response to chemotherapy and highlights the therapeutic value of inhibiting MNK to overcome chemoresistance in breast cancer.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Dexamethasone (Dex), a glucocorticoid (GC), is used as a pretreatment drug in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Dex functions by binding to the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) to prevent allergic reactions and severe chemotherapeutic side effects such as nausea and vomiting. However, the mechanisms by which Dex causes chemoresistance remain unknown.<h4>Methods</h4>We used docetaxel and cisplatin to treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells with or without Dex and assessed cell proliferation using a sulforhodamine B colorimetric (SRB) assay. Additionally, Western blotting was employed to measure Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5), GR and several apoptosis-related proteins. To determine how the GR regulates KLF5, we used qRT-PCR, luciferase reporter assays and ChIP assays. Finally, we detected the involvement of Dex in TNBC chemotherapeutic resistance using HCC1806 xenograft model in vivo.<h4>Results</h4>In this study, we demonstrated that Dex induces docetaxel and cisplatin resistance in TNBC cells in vitro and in vivo. Dex up-regulates pro-survival transcription factor KLF5 expression at both mRNA and protein levels dependent on GR. Importantly, Dex failed to promote cancer cell survival and tumor growth when KLF5 induction was blocked.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We conclude that KLF5 is a Dex-induced gene that contributes to Dex-mediated drug chemoresistance, providing a potential novel target for TNBC treatment.
Project description:Multidrug chemoresistance is a major clinical obstacle in breast cancer treatment. We aimed to elucidate the sensitivity to therapeutics in gemcitabine-resistant breast cancer models. Pooled library screening combined with RNA-seq was conducted to explore the potential targets involved in gemcitabine resistance in breast cancer cells. Cytotoxicity and tumor xenograft assays were used to evaluate the effect of calcium-activated channel subfamily N member 4 (KCNN4) inhibitors on the cellular sensitivity of breast cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs both in vitro and in vivo. We found that KCNN4 is an important determinant for the cytotoxicity of gemcitabine. Elevated KCNN4 expression enhanced resistance to chemotherapeutic antimetabolites and promoted cell proliferation. Conversely, silencing KCNN4 or chemical inhibition of KCNN4 by the specific inhibitor TRAM-34 inhibited the chemoresistance and cell proliferation. Mechanistically, KCNN4 upregulated BCL2-related protein A1 (BCL2A1) to suppress apoptosis by activating RAS-MAPK and PI3K-AKT signaling. Moreover, high expression levels of KCNN4 and BCL2A1 were associated with shortened disease-free survival in the cohort studies. Collectively, our findings showed that KCNN4 is a key modulator of progression and drug resistance in breast cancer, indicating that targeting KCNN4 may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy to overcome multidrug chemoresistance in this disease.
Project description:Estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer (BCER-) is mainly treated with chemotherapeutics. Leptin signaling can influence BCER- progression, but its effects on patient survival and chemoresistance are not well understood. We hypothesize that leptin signaling decreases the survival of BCER- patients by, in part, inducing the expression of chemoresistance-related genes. The correlation of expression of leptin receptor (OBR), leptin-targeted genes (CDK8, NANOG, and RBP-Jk), and breast cancer (BC) patient survival was determined from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) mRNA data. Leptin-induced expression of proliferation and chemoresistance-related molecules was investigated in triple-negative BC (TNBC) cells that respond differently to chemotherapeutics. Leptin-induced gene expression in TNBC was analyzed by RNA-Seq. The specificity of leptin effects was assessed using OBR inhibitors (shRNA and peptides). The results show that OBR and leptin-targeted gene expression are associated with lower survival of BCER- patients. Importantly, the co-expression of these genes was also associated with chemotherapy failure. Leptin signaling increased the expression of tumorigenesis and chemoresistance-related genes (ABCB1, WNT4, ADHFE1, TBC1D3, LL22NC03, RDH5, and ITGB3) and impaired chemotherapeutic effects in TNBC cells. OBR inhibition re-sensitized TNBC to chemotherapeutics. In conclusion, the co-expression of OBR and leptin-targeted genes may be used as a predictor of survival and drug resistance of BCER- patients. Targeting OBR signaling could improve chemotherapeutic efficacy.
Project description:Chemotherapy resistance of breast cancer poses a great challenge to the survival of patients. During breast cancer treatment, the development of intrinsic and acquired drug resistance tends to further induce adverse prognosis, such as metastasis. In recent years, the progress of research on cytokine-modulated tumor microenvironment and breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) has shed light on defining the mechanisms of drug resistance gradually. In this review, we have discussed cytokine regulation on breast cancer chemoresistance. Cytokines can affect tumor cell behavior or reprogram tumor niche through specific signaling pathways, thereby regulating the progress of drug resistance. In addition, we summarized the mutually regulatory networks between cytokines and BCSCs in mediating chemoresistance. Cytokines in the tumor microenvironment can regulate the self-renewal and survival of BCSCs in a variety of ways, sequentially promoting chemotherapeutic resistance. Therefore, the combinational treatment of BCSC targeting and cytokine blockade may have a positive effect on the clinical treatment of breast cancer.
Project description:Livin, a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family, is expressed at a high level in lung adenocarcinoma and influences the progression of cancer, and its response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Aberrant microRNA (miRNA) expression has also been associated with cancer initiation and development. However, the clinical significance of Livin and its relationship with miRNAs in lung adenocarcinoma are still unclear. In the present study, the expression level of Livin in 90 pairs of lung adenocarcinoma and their adjacent tissues were detected by immunohistochemistry staining. Spearman correlation and Kaplan-Meier, univariate and multivariate analyses were applied to evaluate the correlation between the expression of Livin and clinical characteristics. With the integration of bioinformatics analysis and dual-luciferase reporter gene assays, we identified the miRNA that can target Livin mRNA. The functional effects of miRNA-mediated Livin knockdown were assessed by Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) and apoptosis assays, and cell cycle analysis. The present study revealed that Livin was upregulated in lung adenocarcinoma tissues and may be associated with the poor prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma patients. The overexpression of Livin is partly caused by the downregulation of miR-198. Further exploration revealed that miRNA-198-mediated silencing of Livin significantly inhibited cell growth and enhanced apoptosis of A549 cells, accompanied by marked upregulation of caspase-3. Finally, we observed that the miR-198 overexpression and Livin neutralization had similar effects on improving cisplatin chemosensitivity in A549 cells. Overall, these findings suggest that Livin has the potential to become a biomarker for predicting the prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma and may provide a promising strategy for assisting chemotherapy of lung adenocarcinoma through the miR-198/Livin/caspase-3 regulatory network.