Aberrant JAK/STAT Signaling Suppresses TFF1 and TFF2 through Epigenetic Silencing of GATA6 in Gastric Cancer.
ABSTRACT: Aberrant Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling is crucial to the development of gastric cancer. In this study, we examined the role of STAT3 in the expression and methylation of its targets in gastric cancer patients. Results from RNA sequencing identified an inverse correlation between the expression of STAT3 and GATA6 in 23 pairs of gastric cancer patient samples. We discovered that the expression of GATA6 is epigenetically silenced through promoter methylation in gastric cancer cell lines. Interestingly, the inhibition of STAT3 using a novel STAT3 inhibitor restored the expression of GATA6 and its targets, trefoil factors 1 and 2 (TFF1/2). Moreover, disruption of STAT3 binding to GATA6 promoter by small hairpin RNA restored GATA6 expression in AGS cells. A clinically significant correlation was also observed between the expression of GATA6 and TFF1/2 among tissue samples from 60 gastric cancer patients. Finally, bisulfite pyrosequencing revealed GATA6 methylation in 65% (39/60) of the patients, and those with higher GATA6 methylation tended to have shorter overall survival. In conclusion, we demonstrated that aberrant JAK/STAT signaling suppresses TFF1/2 partially through the epigenetic silencing of GATA6. Therapeutic intervention of STAT3 in reversing the epigenetic status of GATA6 could benefit the treatment of gastric cancer and is worthy of further investigation.
Project description:TFF1, a secreted protein, plays an essential role in keeping the integrity of gastric mucosa and its barrier function. Loss of TFF1 expression in the TFF1-knockout (KO) mouse leads to a pro-inflammatory phenotype with a cascade of gastric lesions that include low-grade dysplasia, high-grade dysplasia, and adenocarcinomas. In this study, we demonstrate nuclear localization of p-STAT<sup>Y705</sup>, with significant overexpression of several STAT3 target genes in gastric glands from the TFF1-KO mice. We also show frequent loss of TFF1 with nuclear localization of STAT3 in human gastric cancers. The reconstitution of TFF1 protein in human gastric cancer cells and 3D gastric glands organoids from TFF1-KO mice abrogates IL6-induced nuclear p-STAT3<sup>Y705</sup> expression. Reconstitution of TFF1 inhibits IL6-induced STAT3 transcription activity, suppressing expression of its target genes. TFF1 blocks IL6R?-GP130 complex formation through interfering with binding of IL6 to its receptor IL6R?. These findings demonstrate a functional role of TFF1 in suppressing gastric tumorigenesis by impeding the IL6-STAT3 pro-inflammatory signaling axis.
Project description:While aberrant JAK/STAT signaling is crucial to the development of gastric cancer (GC), its effects on epigenetic alterations of its transcriptional targets remains unclear. In this study, by expression microarrays coupled with bioinformatic analyses, we identified a putative STAT3 target gene, NR4A3 that was downregulated in MKN28 GC daughter cells overexpressing a constitutively activated STAT3 mutant (S16), as compared to an empty vector control (C9). Bisulphite pyrosequencing and demethylation treatment showed that NR4A3 was epigenetically silenced by promoter DNA methylation in S16 and other GC cell lines including AGS cells, showing constitutive activation of STAT3. Subsequent experiments revealed that NR4A3 promoter binding by STAT3 might repress its transcription. Long-term depletion of STAT3 derepressed NR4A3 expression, by promoter demethylation, in AGS GC cells. NR4A3 re-expression in GC cell lines sensitized the cells to cisplatin, and inhibited tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, in an animal model. Clinically, GC patients with high NR4A3 methylation, or lower NR4A3 protein expression, had significantly shorter overall survival. Intriguingly, STAT3 activation significantly associated only with NR4A3 methylation in low-stage patient samples. Taken together, aberrant JAK/STAT3 signaling epigenetically silences a potential tumor suppressor, NR4A3, in gastric cancer, plausibly representing a reliable biomarker for gastric cancer prognosis.
Project description:The interleukin-mediated Janus kinase (JAK)/STAT pathway plays a crucial role in carcinogenesis. Recently, increased STAT3 activity was found in hepatocellular carcinoma and multiple myeloma in which there was silencing of SOCS-1 (suppressor of cytokine signalling-1) by gene promoter hypermethylation. We investigated the expression level of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and SOCS-1 in gastric cancer cell lines. Expression of SOCS-1 correlated with IL-6 level in most of the cell lines, except for AGS cells in which SOCS-1 was absent despite a high level of IL-6 production. Methylation analysis by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and bisulphite sequencing revealed that CpG island of SOCS-1 was densely methylated in AGS cells. Demethylation treatment by 5'aza-deoxycytidine restored SOCS-1 expression and also suppressed constitutive STAT3 phosphorylation in AGS cells. Moreover, methylation of SOCS-1 was detected in 27.5% (11 of 40) of primary gastric tumours samples, 10% (one of 10) of adjacent noncancer tissues but not in any (zero of nine) normal gastric mucosa. Methylation of SOCS-1 also correlated with the loss of mRNA expression in some primary gastric cancers. In conclusion, this is the first report to demonstrate that hypermethylation of SOCS-1 led to gene silencing in gastric cancer cell line and primary tumour samples. Downregulation of SOCS-1 cooperates with IL-6 in the activation of JAK/STAT pathway in gastric cancer.
Project description:Dysregulated JAK/STAT signaling has been implicated in the molecular pathogenesis of gastric cancer. However, downstream effectors of STAT signaling that facilitate gastric carcinogenesis remain to be explored. We previously identified the Drosophila ortholog of human GRAMD1B in our genome-wide RNAi screen to identify novel components of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway in Drosophila. Here, we examined the involvement of GRAMD1B in JAK/STAT-associated gastric carcinogenesis. We found that GRAMD1B expression is positively regulated by JAK/STAT signaling and GRAMD1B inhibition decreases STAT3 levels, suggesting the existence of a positive feedback loop. Consistently, GRAMD1B and JAK/STAT signaling acted synergistically to promote gastric cancer cell survival by upregulating the expression of the anti-apoptotic molecule Bcl-xL. Interestingly, our immunohistochemical analysis for GRAMD1B revealed a gradual loss of cytoplasmic staining but an increase in the nuclear accumulation of GRAMD1B, as gastric tissue becomes malignant. GRAMD1B expression levels were also found to be significantly associated with clinicopathological features of the gastric cancer patients, particularly the tumor grades and lymph node status. Moreover, GRAMD1B and pSTAT3 (Tyr705) showed a positive correlation in gastric tissues, thereby confirming the existence of a close link between these two signaling molecules in vivo. This new knowledge about JAK/STAT-GRAMD1B regulation deepens our understanding of JAK/STAT signaling in gastric carcinogenesis and provides a foundation for the development of novel biomarkers in gastric cancer.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>The purpose of this study was to identify genes that were epigenetically silenced by STAT3 in gastric cancer.<h4>Methods</h4>MBDcap-Seq and expression microarray were performed to identify genes that were epigenetically silenced in AGS gastric cancer cell lines depleted of STAT3. Cell lines and animal experiments were performed to investigate proliferation and metastasis of miR-193a and YWHAZ in gastric cancer cell lines. Bisulfite pyrosequencing and tissue microarray were performed to investigate the promoter methylation of miR-193a and expression of STAT3, YWHAZ in patients with gastritis (n = 8) and gastric cancer (n = 71). Quantitative methylation-specific PCR was performed to examine miR-193a promoter methylation in cell-free DNA of serum samples in gastric cancer patients (n = 19).<h4>Results</h4>As compared with parental cells, depletion of STAT3 resulted in demethylation of a putative STAT3 target, miR-193a, in AGS gastric cancer cells. Although bisulfite pyrosequencing and epigenetic treatment confirmed that miR-193a was epigenetically silenced in gastric cancer cell lines, ChIP-PCR found that it may be indirectly affected by STAT3. Ectopic expression of miR-193a in AGS cells inhibited proliferation and migration of gastric cancer cells. Further expression microarray and bioinformatics analysis identified YWHAZ as one of the target of miR-193a in AGS gastric cancer cells, such that depletion of YWHAZ reduced migration in AGS cells, while its overexpression increased invasion in MKN45 cells <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>. Clinically, bisulfite pyrosequencing revealed that promoter methylation of miR-193a was significantly higher in human gastric cancer tissues (n = 11) as compared to gastritis (n = 8, p < 0.05). Patients infected with H. pylori showed a significantly higher miR-193a methylation than those without H. pylori infection (p < 0.05). Tissue microarray also showed a positive trend between STAT3 and YWHAZ expression in gastric cancer patients (n = 60). Patients with serum miR-193a methylation was associated with shorter overall survival than those without methylation (p < 0.05).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Constitutive activation of JAK/STAT signaling may confer epigenetic silencing of the STAT3 indirect target and tumor suppressor microRNA, miR-193a in gastric cancer. Transcriptional suppression of miR-193a may led to overexpression of YWHAZ resulting in tumor progression. Targeted inhibition of STAT3 may be a novel therapeutic strategy against gastric cancer.
Project description:Gastric cancer (GC) is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The Tff1 knockout (KO) mouse model develops gastric lesions that include low-grade dysplasia (LGD), high-grade dysplasia (HGD), and adenocarcinomas. In this study, we used Affymetrix microarrays gene expression platforms for analysis of molecular signatures in the mouse stomach [Tff1-KO (LGD) and Tff1 wild-type (normal)] and human gastric cancer tissues and their adjacent normal tissue samples. Combined integrated bioinformatics analysis of mouse and human datasets indicated that 172 genes were consistently deregulated in both human gastric cancer samples and Tff1-KO LGD lesions (P?<?.05). Using Ingenuity pathway analysis, these genes mapped to important transcription networks that include MYC, STAT3, ?-catenin, RELA, NFATC2, HIF1A, and ETS1 in both human and mouse. Further analysis demonstrated activation of FOXM1 and inhibition of TP53 transcription networks in human gastric cancers but not in Tff1-KO LGD lesions. Using real-time RT-PCR, we validated the deregulated expression of several genes (VCAM1, BGN, CLDN2, COL1A1, COL1A2, COL3A1, EpCAM, IFITM1, MMP9, MMP12, MMP14, PDGFRB, PLAU, and TIMP1) that map to altered transcription networks in both mouse and human gastric neoplasia. Our study demonstrates significant similarities in deregulated transcription networks in human gastric cancer and gastric tumorigenesis in the Tff1-KO mouse model. The data also suggest that activation of MYC, STAT3, RELA, and ?-catenin transcription networks could be an early molecular step in gastric carcinogenesis.
Project description:Dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, Mr 32000 (DARPP-32), is frequently overexpressed in early stages of gastric cancers. We utilized in vitro assays, 3D gastric gland organoid cultures, mouse models, and human tissue samples to investigate the biological and molecular impact of DARPP-32 on activation of IGF1R and STAT3 signaling and gastric tumorigenesis. DARPP-32 enhanced phosphorylation of IGF1R (Y1135), a step that was critical for STAT3 phosphorylation at Y705, nuclear localization, and transcription activation. By using proximity ligation and co-immunoprecipitation assays, we found that IGF1R and DARPP-32 co-existed in the same protein complex. Binding of DARPP-32 to IGF1R promoted IGF1R phosphorylation with subsequent activation of downstream SRC and STAT3. Analysis of gastric tissues from the TFF1 knockout (KO) mouse model of gastric neoplasia, demonstrated phosphorylation of STAT3 in the early stages of gastric tumorigenesis. By crossing the TFF1 KO mice with DARPP-32 (DP) knockout (KO) mice, that have normal stomach, we obtained double knockout (TFF1 KO/DP KO). The gastric mucosa from the double KO mice did not show phosphorylation of IGF1R or STAT3. In addition, the TFF1 KO/DP KO mice had a significant delay in developing neoplastic gastric lesions. Analysis of human gastric cancer tissue microarrays, showed high levels of DARPP-32 and positive immunostaining for nuclear STAT3 in cancer tissues, as compared to non-cancer histologically normal tissues. In summary, the DARPP-32-IGF1R signaling axis plays a key role in regulating the STAT3 signaling, a critical step in gastric tumorigenesis.
Project description:Inappropriate activation of JAK/STAT signaling occurs with high frequency in human cancers and is associated with cancer cell survival and proliferation. Therefore, the development of pharmacologic STAT signaling inhibitors has therapeutic potential in the treatment of human cancers. Here, we report 2-[(3,5-bis-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-hydroxy-methyl]-1-(4-nitro-phenylamino)-6-phenyl-1,2,4a,7a-tetrahydro-pyrrolo[3,4-b]-pyridine-5,7-dione (AUH-6-96) as a novel small-molecule inhibitor of JAK/STAT signaling that we initially identified through a cell-based high-throughput screening using cultured Drosophila cells. Treatment of Drosophila cells with AUH-6-96 resulted in a reduction of Unpaired-induced transcriptional activity and tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT92E, the sole Drosophila STAT homologue. In human cancer cell lines, AUH-6-96 inhibited both constitutive and interleukin-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation. Specifically, in Hodgkin lymphoma L540 cells, treatment with AUH-6-96 resulted in reduced levels of tyrosine phosphorylated STAT3 and of the STAT3 downstream target gene SOCS3 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In addition, AUH-6-96-treated L540 cells showed decreased expression of persistently activated JAK3, suggesting that AUH-6-96 inhibits the JAK/STAT pathway signaling in L540 cells by affecting JAK3 activity and subsequently blocking STAT3 signaling. Importantly, AUH-6-96 selectively affected cell viability only of cancer cells harboring aberrant JAK/STAT signaling. In support of the specificity of AUH-6-96 for inhibition of JAK/STAT signaling, treatment with AUH-6-96 decreased cancer cell survival by inducing programmed cell death by down-regulating the expression of STAT3 downstream target antiapoptotic genes, such as Bcl-xL. In summary, this study shows that AUH-6-96 is a novel small-molecule inhibitor of JAK/STAT signaling and may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of human cancers harboring aberrant JAK/STAT signaling.
Project description:The Helicobacter pylori protein CagA may undergo tyrosine phosphorylation following its entry into human gastric epithelial cells with downstream effects on signal transduction. Disruption of the gp130 receptor that modulates the balance of the SHP2/ERK and JAK/STAT pathways enhanced peptic ulceration and gastric cancer in gp130 knock-out mice. In this study, we evaluated the effect of translocated CagA in relation to its tyrosine phosphorylation status on the gp130-mediated signal switch between the SHP2/ERK and JAK/STAT3 pathways. We showed that in the presence of CagA, SHP2 was recruited to gp130. Phosphorylated CagA showed enhanced SHP2 binding activity and ERK1/2 phosphorylation, whereas unphosphorylated CagA showed preferential STAT3 activation. These findings indicate that the phosphorylation status of CagA affects the signal switch between the SHP2/ERK and JAK/STAT3 pathways through gp130, providing a novel mechanism to explain H. pylori signaling.