Tenascin-C induces migration and invasion through JNK/c-Jun signalling in pancreatic cancer.
ABSTRACT: Tenascin-C (TNC), a large extracellular matrix glycoprotein, has been reported to be associated with metastasis and poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer. However, the effects and mechanisms of TNC in pancreatic cancer metastasis largely remain unclear. We performed Transwell assays to investigate the effects of TNC on Capan-2, AsPC-1 and PANC-1 cells. In addition, western blot and RT-qPCR assays were used to examine potential TNC metastasis-associated targets, such as JNK/c-Jun, Paxillin/FAK, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, Vimentin, and MMP9/2. Lastly, we utilized a variety of methods, such as immunofluorescence, gelatin zymography and immunoprecipitation, to determine the molecular mechanisms of TNC in pancreatic cancer cell motility. The present study showed that TNC induced migration and invasion in pancreatic cancer cells and regulated a number of metastasis-associated proteins, including the EMT markers, MMP9 and Paxillin. Moreover, our data showed that TNC induced pancreatic cancer cells to generate an EMT phenotype and acquire motility potential through the activation of JNK/c-Jun signalling. In addition, TNC increased the DNA binding activity of c-Jun to the MMP9 promoter, an action likely resulting in increased MMP9 expression and activity. TNC/JNK also markedly induced the phosphorylation of Paxillin on serine 178, which is critical for the association between FAK and Paxillin and promoted the formation of focal adhesions. TNC/JNK initiates cell migration and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells through the promotion of EMT, the transactivation of MMP9 and the phosphorylation of Paxillin on serine 178. TNC may be a potential therapeutic target for treating pancreatic cancer metastasis.
Project description:Metastatic progression remains a major burden for cancer patients and is associated with eventual resistance to prevailing therapies such as chemotherapy. Here, we reveal how chemotherapy induces extracellular matrix (ECM), wound healing and stem cell network in cancer cells via the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, leading to reduced therapeutic efficacy. We find that elevated JNK activity in cancer cells is linked to poor clinical outcome in breast cancer patients and is critical for tumor initiation and metastasis in xenograft mouse models of breast cancer. We show that JNK signaling enhances expression of the ECM and stem cell niche components osteopontin, also called secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1), and tenascin C (TNC), that promote lung metastasis. We demonstrate that both SPP1 and TNC are direct targets of the c-Jun transcription factor. Exposure to multiple chemotherapies further exploits this JNK-mediated axis to confer treatment resistance. Importantly, JNK inhibition or disruption of SPP1 or TNC expression sensitizes experimental mammary tumors and metastases to chemotherapy, thus providing insights to consider for future treatment strategies against breast cancer.
Project description:Metastatic progression remains a major burden for cancer patients and is associated with eventual resistance to prevailing therapies such as chemotherapy. Here, we reveal how chemotherapy induces an extracellular matrix (ECM), wound healing, and stem cell network in cancer cells via the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, leading to reduced therapeutic efficacy. We find that elevated JNK activity in cancer cells is linked to poor clinical outcome in breast cancer patients and is critical for tumor initiation and metastasis in xenograft mouse models of breast cancer. We show that JNK signaling enhances expression of the ECM and stem cell niche components osteopontin, also called secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1), and tenascin C (TNC), that promote lung metastasis. We demonstrate that both SPP1 and TNC are direct targets of the c-Jun transcription factor. Exposure to multiple chemotherapies further exploits this JNK-mediated axis to confer treatment resistance. Importantly, JNK inhibition or disruption of SPP1 or TNC expression sensitizes experimental mammary tumors and metastases to chemotherapy, thus providing insights to consider for future treatment strategies against metastatic breast cancer.
Project description:Transforming growth factor (TGF)-? triggers the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of cancer cells via well-orchestrated crosstalk between Smad and non-Smad signaling pathways, including Wnt/?-catenin. Since EMT-induced motility and invasion play a critical role in cancer metastasis, EMT-related molecules are emerging as novel targets of anti-cancer therapies. Traf2- and Nck-interacting kinase (TNIK) has recently been considered as a first-in-class anti-cancer target molecule to regulate Wnt signaling pathway, but pharmacologic inhibition of its EMT activity has not yet been studied. Here, using 5-(4-methylbenzamido)-2-(phenylamino)thiazole-4-carboxamide (KY-05009) with TNIK-inhibitory activity, its efficacy to inhibit EMT in cancer cells was validated. The molecular docking/binding study revealed the binding of KY-05009 in the hinge region of TNIK, and the inhibitory activity of KY-05009 against TNIK was confirmed by an ATP competition assay (Ki, 100 nM). In A549 cells, KY-05009 significantly and strongly inhibited the TGF-?-activated EMT through the attenuation of Smad and non-Smad signaling pathways, including the Wnt, NF-?B, FAK-Src-paxillin-related focal adhesion, and MAP kinases (ERK and JNK) signaling pathways. Continuing efforts to identify and validate potential therapeutic targets associated with EMT, such as TNIK, provide new and improved therapies for treating and/or preventing EMT-based disorders, such as cancer metastasis and fibrosis.
Project description:Tumor cells undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) to convert from a benign to a malignant phenotype. Our recent focus has been signaling pathways that promote EMT in response to collagen. We have shown that human pancreatic cancer cells respond to collagen by up-regulating N-cadherin, which promotes tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. Initial characterization showed that knocking down c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase prevented N-cadherin up-regulation and limited tumor growth and invasion in a mouse model for pancreatic cancer. The current study was designed to understand the pathway from collagen to N-cadherin up-regulation. Initiation of the signal requires two collagen receptors, alpha2beta1 integrin and discoidin domain receptor (DDR) 1. Each receptor propagates signals through separate pathways that converge to up-regulate N-cadherin. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK)-related protein tyrosine kinase (Pyk2) is downstream of DDR1, whereas FAK is downstream of alpha2beta1 integrin. Both receptor complexes rely on the p130 Crk-associated substrate scaffold. Interestingly, Rap1, but not Rho family guanosine triphosphatases, is required for the response to collagen I.
Project description:The acquisition of invasiveness in ovarian cancer (OC) is accompanied by the process of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The MUC4 mucin is overexpressed in ovarian tumors and has a role in the invasiveness of OC cells. The present study was aimed at evaluating the potential involvement of MUC4 in the metastasis of OC cells by inducing EMT. Ectopic overexpression of MUC4 in OC cells (SKOV3-MUC4) resulted in morphological alterations along with a decreased expression of epithelial markers (E-cadherin and cytokeratin (CK)-18) and an increased expression of mesenchymal markers (N-cadherin and vimentin) compared with the control cells (SKOV3-vector). Also, pro-EMT transcription factors TWIST1, TWIST2 and SNAIL showed an upregulation in SKOV3-MUC4 cells. We further investigated the pathways upstream of N-cadherin, such as focal adhesion kinase (FAK), MKK7, JNK1/2 and c-Jun, which were also activated in the SKOV3-MUC4 cells compared with SKOV3-vector cells. Inhibition of phospho-FAK (pFAK) and pJNK1/2 decreased N-cadherin expression in the MUC4-overexpressing cells, which further led to a significant decrease in cellular motility. Knockdown of N-cadherin decreased the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 (ERK1/2), AKT and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9), and inhibited the motility in the SKOV3-MUC4 cells. Upon in vivo tumorigenesis and metastasis analysis, the SKOV3-MUC4 cells produced significantly larger tumors and demonstrated a higher incidence of metastasis to distance organs (peritoneal wall, colon, intestine, stomach, lymph nodes, liver and diaphragm). Taken together, our study reveals a novel role for MUC4 in inducing EMT through the upregulation of N-cadherin and promoting metastasis of OC cells.
Project description:(1) Background: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer cell stemness maintenance (SM) are important factors for cancer metastasis. Although hypoxia has been considered as a possible factor for EMT induction and promotion of SM, studies in this area, apart from hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathways and severe hypoxia, are scant. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of different oxygen levels on EMT induction and SM and elucidate the signaling pathways involved in colorectal cancer cells. (2) Methods: Cell morphological analysis, migration assay, immunofluorescence staining of cytoskeleton and Western blotting were performed on human colorectal cancer cells HT-29, DLD-1, and SW-480 cultured at 1%, 10%, and normal (21%) O2 levels. The role played by c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was evaluated through the use of the specific JNK inhibitor SP600125. (3) Results: This study evaluated 1% and 10% O2 are possible conditions for EMT induction and SM. This study also demonstrated the partial relieve of EMT induction and SM by SP600125, showing the importance of the JNK pathway in these processes. Furthermore, this study proposed a novel pathway on the regulation of Akt by JNK-c-Jun. (4) Conclusions: This study suggests 10% O2 as another possible condition for EMT induction, and SM and JNK pathways play important roles in these processes through multiple factors. Inhibition of JNK could be explored as treatment for inhibiting metastasis in colorectal cancer cells.
Project description:3,4-Dihydroxybenzalactone (DBL) was isolated from <i>Phellinus linteus</i> (PL), which is a folk medicine possessing various physiological effects. In this study, we used highly metastatic A549 cells to investigate efficacy of DBL inhibition of cancer metastasis and possible mechanisms. The results revealed DBL inhibited migratory and invasive abilities of cancer cells at noncytotoxic concentrations. We found DBL suppressed enzymatic activities, protein expression, and RNA levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9. Western blot results showed DBL decreased phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT, phosphorylation status of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/paxillin, which correlated with cell migratory ability. DBL also affected epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related biomarkers. In addition, DBL enhanced cytoprotective effects through elevated antioxidant enzymes including heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Moreover, DBL influenced the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor ?B (NF?B), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), Snail, and Slug in A549 cells. Taken together, these results suggested that treatment with DBL may act as a potential candidate to inhibit lung cancer metastasis by inhibiting MMP-2 and -9 via affecting PI3K/AKT, MAPKs, FAK/paxillin, EMT/Snail and Slug, Nrf2/antioxidant enzymes, and NF?B signaling pathways.
Project description:Pancreatic cancer has a devastating prognosis due to 80-90% of diagnostic cases occurring when metastasis has already presented. Activation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a prerequisite for metastasis because it allows for the dissemination of tumor cells to blood stream and secondary organs. Here, we sought to determine the role of SET oncoprotein, an endogenous inhibitor of PP2A, in EMT and pancreatic tumor progression. Among the two major isoforms of SET (isoform 1 and isoform 2), higher protein levels of SET isoform 2 were identified in aggressive pancreatic cancer cell lines. Overexpressing SET isoform 2, and to a lesser extent SET isoform 1, in epithelial cell lines promoted EMT-like features by inducing mesenchymal characteristics and promoting cellular proliferation, migration, invasion, and colony formation. Consistently, knockdown of SET isoforms in the mesenchymal cell line partially resisted these characteristics and promoted epithelial features. SET-induced EMT was likely facilitated by increased N-cadherin overexpression, decreased PP2A activity and/or increased expression of key EMT-driving transcription factors. Additionally, SET overexpression activated the Rac1/JNK/c-Jun signaling pathway that induced transcriptional activation of N-cadherin expression. In vivo, SET isoform 2 overexpression significantly correlated with increased N-cadherin in human PDAC and to tumor burden and metastatic ability in an orthotopic mouse tumor model. These findings identify a new role for SET in cancer and have implications for the design and targeting of SET for intervening pancreatic tumor progression.
Project description:In advanced malignancies, cancer cells have acquired capabilities to resist a variety of stress-inducing insults. We show that c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) stress signaling is highly active in cancer cells from patients with late stage breast cancer and promotes tumor growth and metastasis in mouse models. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that JNK activity induces genes associated with extracellular matrix (ECM), wound healing and mammary stem cells. The ECM proteins and niche components osteopontin (SPP1) and tenascin C (TNC) are induced by JNK signaling and promote metastatic colonization of the lungs. Notably, treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs induces JNK activity in breast cancer cells, reinforcing the production of SPP1 and TNC. Inhibition of JNK or reduction of SPP1 or TNC expression sensitizes primary tumors and metastases in mice to chemotherapy. In order to investigate cancer cell-response to chemotherapy, we exposed MDA231-LM2 breast cancer cells to the chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel and performed transcriptomic analysis using Affymetrix microarray. Overall design: MDA231-LM2 cells were treated with a vehicle (DMSO) or 5nM paclitaxel for 48 hours.
Project description:Target therapy aiming at critical molecules within the metastatic signal pathways is essential for prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. Hic-5 (hydrogen peroxide inducible clone-5) which belongs to the paxillin superfamily, can be stimulated by a lot of metastatic factors, such as transforming growth factor (TGF-β), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Previous studies implicated Hic-5 cross-talks with the ROS-c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signal cascade in a positive feedback manner. In this report, we addressed this issue in a comprehensive manner. By RNA interference and ectopic Hic-5 expression, we demonstrated Hic-5 was essential for activation of NADPH oxidase and ROS generation leading to activation of downstream JNK and c-jun transcription factor. This was initiated by interaction of Hic-5 with the regulator and adaptor of NADPH oxidase, Rac1 and Traf4, respectively, which may further phosphorylate the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Pyk2 at Tyr881. On the other hand, promoter activity assay coupled with deletion mapping and site directed mutagenesis strategies demonstrated the distal c-jun and AP4 putative binding regions (943-1126 bp upstream of translational start site) were required for transcriptional activation of Hic-5. Thus Hic-5 was both downstream and upstream of NADPH oxidase-ROS-JNK-c-jun cascade. This signal circuit was essential for regulating the expression of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) factors, such as Snail, Zeb1, E-cadherin, and matrix metalloproteinase 9, involved in HCC cell migration and metastasis. Due to the limited expression of Hic-5 in normal tissue, it can be a promising therapeutic target for preventing HCC metastasis.