E2F signature is predictive for the pancreatic adenocarcinoma clinical outcome and sensitivity to E2F inhibitors, but not for the response to cytotoxic-based treatments.
ABSTRACT: The main goal of this study was to find out strategies of clinical relevance to classify patients with a pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) for individualized treatments. In the present study a set of 55 patient-derived xenografts (PDX) were obtained and their transcriptome were analyzed by using an Affymetrix approach. A supervised bioinformatics-based analysis let us to classify these PDX in two main groups named E2F-highly dependent and E2F-lowly dependent. Afterwards their characterization by using a Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that E2F high patients survived significantly less than E2F low patients (9.5 months vs. 16.8 months; p?=?0.0066). Then we tried to establish if E2F transcriptional target levels were associated to the response to cytotoxic treatments by comparing the IC50 values of E2F high and E2F low cells after gemcitabine, 5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, docetaxel or irinotecan treatment, and no association was found. Then we identified an E2F inhibitor compound, named ly101-4B, and we observed that E2F-higly dependent cells were more sensitive to its treatment (IC50 of 19.4?±?1.8?µM vs. 44.1?±?4.4?µM; p?=?0.0061). In conclusion, in this work we describe an E2F target expression-based classification that could be predictive for patient outcome, but more important, for the sensitivity of tumors to the E2F inhibitors as a treatment. Finally, we can assume that phenotypic characterization, essentially by an RNA expression analysis of the PDAC, can help to predict their clinical outcome and their response to some treatments when are rationally selected.
Project description:H19 is a long noncoding RNA differentially expressed in many tumors and participates in tumorigenesis. This study aimed to investigate the expression and function of H19 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Pure malignant cells were isolated from frozen sections of 25 PDAC cases by laser captured microdessection, and H19 expression level was detected by qRT-PCR. Knockdown and overexpression were employed to manipulate H19 levels in pancreatic cancer cells, then cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle, and the growth of xenografts were evaluated. E2F-1 levels in PDAC tissues were detected by Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis. We found that H19 was overexpressed in PDAC tissues and correlated to histological grade of PDAC. Knockdown of H19 in T3M4 and PANC-1 cells with high H19 endogenous level suppressed cell viability, proliferation and tumor growth, while H19 overexpression in COLO357 and CAPAN-1 with low H19 endogenous level enhanced cell viability, proliferation and tumor growth. Knockdown of H19 led to G0/G1 arrest, accompanied by decreased levels of E2F-1 and its downstream targets. E2F-1 was overexpressed in PDAC tissues with possible correlation with H19 expression level. In conclusion, H19 is overexpressed and plays oncogenic role in PDAC through promoting cancer cell proliferation via the upregulation of E2F-1.
Project description:E2F transcription factors play an essential role in cell proliferation and apoptosis and their activity is frequently deregulated in human cancers. In a yeast two-hybrid screen we identified a novel E2F-binding protein. Due to its strong phosphorylation we named it EAPP (e2F-associated phosphoprotein). EAPP is localized in the nucleus and interacts with E2F-1, E2F-2, and E2F-3, but not with E2F-4. Examination of a number of human cell lines revealed that EAPP levels are elevated in most transformed cells. Moreover, EAPP mRNA was detected in all investigated human tissues in varying amounts. EAPP is present throughout the cell cycle but disappears during mitosis. In transfection assays with reporters controlled by either an artificial E2F-dependent promoter or the murine thymidine kinase promoter, EAPP increased the activation caused by E2F-1 but not by E2F-4. Surprisingly, the promoter of the p14(ARF) gene, which was also activated by E2F-1, became repressed by EAPP. Overexpression of EAPP in U2OS cells resulted in a significant increase of cells in S-phase, whereas RNAi-mediated knock down of EAPP reduced the fraction of cells in S-phase. Taken together, these data suggest that EAPP modulates E2F-regulated transcription, stimulates proliferation, and may be involved in the malignant transformation of cells.
Project description:Current therapies for treating pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are largely ineffective, with the desmoplastic environment established within these tumors being considered a central issue. We established a 3D spheroid co-culture in vitro model using a PDAC cell line (either PANC-1 or Capan-2), combined with stellate cells freshly isolated from pancreatic tumors (PSC) or hepatic lesions (HSC), and human type I collagen to analyze the efficiency of the chemotherapeutic gemcitabine (GEM) as well as two novel drug candidates derived from natural products: pseudopterosin (PsA-D) and O-methyltylophorinidine (TYLO). Traditional 2D in vitro testing of these agents for cytotoxicity on PANC-1 demonstrated IC50 values of 4.6 (±0.47) nM, 34.02 (±1.35) µM, and 1.99 (± 0.13) µM for Tylo, PsA-D, and GEM, respectively; these values were comparable for Capan-2: 5.58 (±1.74) nM, 33.94 (±1.02) µM, and 0.41 (±0.06) µM for Tylo, PsA-D, and GEM, respectively. Importantly, by assessing the extent of viable cells within 3D co-culture spheroids of PANC-1 with PSC or HSC, we could demonstrate a significant lack of efficacy for GEM, while TYLO remained active and PsA-D showed slightly reduced efficacy: GEM in PANC-1/PSC (IC50 = >100 µM) or PANC-1/HSC (IC50 = >100 µM) spheroids, TYLO in PANC-1/PSC (IC50 = 3.57 ± 1.30 nM) or PANC-1/HSC (IC50 = 6.39 ± 2.28 nM) spheroids, and to PsA-D in PANC-1/PSC (IC50 = 54.42 ± 12.79 µM) or PANC-1/HSC (IC50 = 51.75 ± 0.60 µM). Microscopic 3D rendering supported these cytotoxicity outcomes, showing little or no morphological spheroid structure change during this period of rapid cell death. Our results support the use of this 3D spheroid co-culture in vitro model having a desmoplastic microenvironment for the identification of possible novel chemotherapeutic drug candidates for PDAC, such as TYLO and PsA-D.
Project description:The transcription factor E2F-1 plays a crucial role in the control of cell proliferation. E2F-1 has tumor suppressive properties by inducing apoptosis and autophagy. In this study, E2F-1 and its truncated form (E2Ftr), lacking the transactivation domain (TAD), were compared for their ability to induce autophagy. In Gaussia luciferase-based assays, both E2F-1 and E2Ftr induced the proteolytic cleavage of the autophagic marker LC3. In addition, LC3 and autophagy protein 5 (Atg5) were upregulated by E2F-1 and E2Ftr. Likewise, both E2F proteins induced a punctate pattern of GFP-tagged LC3, indicating autophagosome formation. The presence of double-membrane autophagic vesicles induced by E2F-1 and E2Ftr was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The application of z-VAD-fmk, a caspase inhibitor, partially blocked both E2F-1 and E2Ftr-mediated cytotoxicity. Moreover, Atg5 (-/-) cells were more resistant to the E2F-1 or E2Ftr-induced cell killing effect than Atg5 wt cells. The TAD of E2F-1 is not essential for induction of autophagy; apoptosis and autophagy cooperate for an efficient cancer cell killing effect induced by E2F-1 or E2Ftr. E2Ftr-induced autophagy is a promising approach to destroy tumors that are resistant to conventional treatments.
Project description:Pancreatic cancer (PC) is anticipated to be second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States by 2030. Surgery remains the only potentially curative treatment for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common form of PC. Multiple recent preclinical studies focus on identifying effective treatments for PDAC, but the models available for these studies often fail to reproduce the heterogeneity of this tumor type. Data generated with such models are of unknown clinical relevance. Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models offer several advantages over human cell line-based in vitro and in vivo models and models of non-human origin. PDX models retain genetic characteristics of the human tumor specimens from which they were derived, have intact stromal components, and are more predictive of patient response than traditional models. This review briefly describes the advantages and disadvantages of 2D cultures, organoids and genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models of PDAC, and focuses on the applications, characteristics, advantages, limitations, and the future potential of PDX models for improving the management of PDAC.
Project description:The E2F transcription factors play a role in regulating the expression of genes required for cell proliferation. Their activity appears to be regulated by association with the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) and the pRb-related proteins p107 and p130. In vivo, pRb is found in complex with a subset of E2F components--namely, E2F-1, E2F-2, and E2F-3. Here we describe the characterization of cDNAs encoding two unusual E2Fs, E2F-4 and E2F-5, each identified by the ability of their gene product to interact with p130 in a yeast two-hybrid system. E2F-4 and -5 share common sequences with E2F-1, E2F-2, and E2F-3 and, like these other E2Fs, the ability to heterodimerize with DP-1, thereby acquiring the ability to bind an E2F DNA recognition sequence with high affinity. However, in contrast to E2F-1, E2F-4 and E2F-5 fail to bind pRb in a two-hybrid assay. Moreover, they show a unique pattern of expression in synchronized human keratinocytes: E2F-4 and E2F-5 mRNA expression is maximal in mid-G1 phase before E2F-1 expression is detectable. These findings suggest that E2F-4 and E2F-5 may contribute to the regulation of early G1 events including the G0/G1 transition.
Project description:E2F DNA binding sites are found in a number of genes whose expression is tightly regulated during the cell cycle. The activity of E2F transcription factors is regulated by association with specific repressor molecules that can bind and inhibit the E2F transactivation domain. For E2F-1, E2F-2, and E2F-3, the repressor is the product of the retinoblastoma gene, pRb. E2f-4 interacts with pRb-related p107 and not with pRb itself. Recently, a cDNA encoding a third member of the retinoblastoma gene family, p130, was isolated. p130 also interacts with E2F DNA binding activity, primarily in the G0 phase of the cell cycle. We report here the cloning of a fifth member of the E2F gene family. The human E2F-5 cDNA encodes a 346-amino-acid protein with a predicted molecular mass of 38 kDa. E2F-5 is more closely related to E2F-4 (78% similarity) than to E2F-1 (57% similarity). E2F-5 resembles the other E2Fs in that it binds to a consensus E2F site in a cooperative fashion with DP-1. By using a specific E2F-5 antiserum, we found that under physiological conditions, E2F-5 interacts preferentially with p130.
Project description:Arginases are enzymes that are involved in many human diseases and have been targeted for new treatments. Here a series of cinnamides was designed, synthesized and evaluated in vitro and in silico for their inhibitory activity against mammalian arginase. Using a microassay on purified liver bovine arginase (b-ARG I), (E)-N-(2-phenylethyl)-3,4-dihydroxycinnamide, also named caffeic acid phenylamide (CAPA), was shown to be slightly more active than our natural reference inhibitor, chlorogenic acid (IC50 = 6.9 ± 1.3 and 10.6 ± 1.6 µM, respectively) but it remained less active that the synthetic reference inhibitor N?-hydroxy-nor-l-arginine nor-NOHA (IC50 = 1.7 ± 0.2 µM). Enzyme kinetic studies showed that CAPA was a competitive inhibitor of arginase with Ki = 5.5 ± 1 µM. Whereas the activity of nor-NOHA was retained (IC50 = 5.7 ± 0.6 µM) using a human recombinant arginase I (h-ARG I), CAPA showed poorer activity (IC50 = 60.3 ± 7.8 µM). However, our study revealed that the cinnamoyl moiety and catechol function were important for inhibitory activity. Docking results on h-ARG I demonstrated that the caffeoyl moiety could penetrate into the active-site pocket of the enzyme, and the catechol function might interact with the cofactor Mn2+ and several crucial amino acid residues involved in the hydrolysis mechanism of arginase. The results of this study suggest that 3,4-dihydroxycinnamides are worth being considered as potential mammalian arginase inhibitors, and could be useful for further research on the development of new arginase inhibitors.
Project description:The E2F family of transcription factors play an essential role in the regulation of cell cycle progression. In a screen for E2F-regulated genes we identified a novel E2F family member, E2F7. Like the recently identified E2F-like proteins of Arabidopsis, E2F7 has two DNA binding domains and binds to the E2F DNA binding consensus site independently of DP co-factors. Consistent with being an E2F target gene, we found that the expression of E2F7 is cell cycle regulated. Ectopic expression of E2F7 results in suppression of E2F target genes and accumulation of cells in G1. Furthermore, E2F7 associates with E2F-regulated promoters in vivo, and this association increases in S phase. Interestingly, however, E2F7 binds only a subset of E2F-dependent promoters in vivo, and in agreement with this, inhibition of E2F7 expression results in specific derepression of these promoters. Taken together, these data demonstrate that E2F7 is a unique repressor of a subset of E2F target genes whose products are required for cell cycle progression.
Project description:Functional inactivation of the pRB pathway is a very frequent event in human cancer, resulting in deregulated activity of the E2F transcription factors. To understand the functional role of the E2Fs in cell proliferation, we have developed cell lines expressing E2F-1, E2F-2, and E2F-3 fused to the estrogen receptor ligand binding domain (ER). In this study, we demonstrated that activation of all three E2Fs could relieve the mitogen requirement for entry into S phase in Rat1 fibroblasts and that E2F activity leads to a shortening of the G(0)-G(1) phase of the cell cycle by 6 to 7 h. In contrast to the current assumption that E2F-1 is the only E2F capable of inducing apoptosis, we showed that deregulated E2F-2 and E2F-3 activities also result in apoptosis. Using the ERE2F-expressing cell lines, we demonstrated that several genes containing E2F DNA binding sites are efficiently induced by the E2Fs in the absence of protein synthesis. Furthermore, CDC25A is defined as a novel E2F target whose expression can be directly regulated by E2F-1. Data showing that CDC25A is an essential target for E2F-1, since its activity is required for efficient induction of S phase by E2F-1, are provided. Finally, our results show that expression of two E2F target genes, namely CDC25A and cyclin E, is sufficient to induce entry into S phase in quiescent fibroblasts. Taken together, our results provide an important step in defining how E2F activity leads to deregulated proliferation.