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E-cadherin-deficient cells have synthetic lethal vulnerabilities in plasma membrane organisation, dynamics and function.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The E-cadherin gene (CDH1) is frequently mutated in diffuse gastric cancer and lobular breast cancer, and germline mutations predispose to the cancer syndrome Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer. We are taking a synthetic lethal approach to identify druggable vulnerabilities in CDH1-mutant cancers. METHODS:Density distributions of cell viability data from a genome-wide RNAi screen of isogenic MCF10A and MCF10A-CDH1-/- cells were used to identify protein classes affected by CDH1 mutation. The synthetic lethal relationship between selected protein classes and E-cadherin was characterised by drug sensitivity assays in both the isogenic breast MCF10A cells and CDH1-isogenic gastric NCI-N87. Endocytosis efficiency was quantified using cholera toxin B uptake. Pathway metagene expression of 415 TCGA gastric tumours was statistically correlated with CDH1 expression. RESULTS:MCF10A-CDH1-/- cells showed significantly altered sensitivity to RNAi inhibition of groups of genes including the PI3K/AKT pathway, GPCRs, ion channels, proteosomal subunit proteins and ubiquitinylation enzymes. Both MCF10A-CDH1-/- and NCI-N87-CDH1-/- cells were more sensitive than wild-type cells to compounds that disrupted plasma membrane composition and trafficking, but showed contrasting sensitivities to inhibitors of actin polymerisation and the chloride channel inhibitor NS3728. The MCF10A-CDH1-/- cell lines showed reduced capacity to endocytose cholera toxin B. Pathway metagene analysis identified 20 Reactome pathways that were potentially synthetic lethal in tumours. Genes involved in GPCR signalling, vesicle transport and the metabolism of PI3K and membrane lipids were strongly represented amongst the candidate synthetic lethal genes. CONCLUSIONS:E-cadherin loss leads to disturbances in receptor signalling and plasma membrane trafficking and organisation, creating druggable vulnerabilities.
Project description:The CDH1 gene, encoding the cell adhesion protein E-cadherin, is one of the most frequently mutated genes in gastric cancer and inactivating germline CDH1 mutations are responsible for hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome (HDGC). Using cell viability assays, we identified that breast (MCF10A) and gastric (NCI-N87) cells lacking CDH1 expression are more sensitive to allosteric AKT inhibitors than their CDH1-expressing isogenic counterparts. Apoptosis priming and total apoptosis assays in the isogenic MCF10A cells confirmed the enhanced sensitivity of E-cadherin-null cells to the AKT inhibitors. In addition, two of these inhibitors, ARQ-092 and MK2206, preferentially targeted mouse-derived gastric Cdh1-/- organoids for growth arrest. AKT protein expression and activation (as measured by phosphorylation of serine 473) were differentially regulated in E-cadherin-null MCF10A and NCI-N87 cells, with downregulation in the normal breast cells, but upregulation in the gastric cancer cells. Bioinformatic analysis of the TCGA STAD dataset revealed that AKT3, but not AKT1 or AKT2, is upregulated in the majority of E-cadherin-deficient gastric cancers. In conclusion, allosteric AKT inhibitors represent a promising class of drugs for chemoprevention and chemotherapy of cancers with E-cadherin loss.
Project description:The cell-cell adhesion protein E-cadherin (CDH1) is a tumor suppressor that is required to maintain cell adhesion, cell polarity and cell survival signalling. Somatic mutations in CDH1 are common in diffuse gastric cancer (DGC) and lobular breast cancer (LBC). In addition, germline mutations in CDH1 predispose to the autosomal dominant cancer syndrome Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC). One approach to target cells with mutations in specific tumor suppressor genes is synthetic lethality. To identify novel synthetic lethal compounds for the treatment of cancers associated with E-cadherin loss, we have undertaken a high-throughput screening campaign of ~114,000 lead-like compounds on an isogenic pair of human mammary epithelial cell lines - with and without CDH1 expression. This unbiased approach identified 12 novel compounds that preferentially harmed E-cadherin-deficient cells. Validation of these compounds using both real-time and end-point viability assays identified two novel compounds with significant synthetic lethal activity, thereby demonstrating that E-cadherin loss creates druggable vulnerabilities within tumor cells. In summary, we have identified novel synthetic lethal compounds that may provide a new strategy for the prevention and treatment of both sporadic and hereditary LBC and DGC.
Project description:BACKGROUND: E-cadherin is an adherens junction protein that forms homophilic intercellular contacts in epithelial cells while also interacting with the intracellular cytoskeletal networks. It has roles including establishment and maintenance of cell polarity, differentiation, migration and signalling in cell proliferation pathways. Its downregulation is commonly observed in epithelial tumours and is a hallmark of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). METHODS: To improve our understanding of how E-cadherin loss contributes to tumorigenicity, we investigated the impact of its elimination from the non-tumorigenic breast cell line MCF10A. We performed cell-based assays and whole genome RNAseq to characterize an isogenic MCF10A cell line that is devoid of CDH1 expression due to an engineered homozygous 4 bp deletion in CDH1 exon 11. RESULTS: The E-cadherin-deficient line, MCF10A CDH1-/- showed subtle morphological changes, weaker cell-substrate adhesion, delayed migration, but retained cell-cell contact, contact growth inhibition and anchorage-dependent growth. Within the cytoskeleton, the apical microtubule network in the CDH1-deficient cells lacked the radial pattern of organization present in the MCF10A cells and F-actin formed thicker, more numerous stress fibres in the basal part of the cell. Whole genome RNAseq identified compensatory changes in the genes involved in cell-cell adhesion while genes involved in cell-substrate adhesion, notably ITGA1, COL8A1, COL4A2 and COL12A1, were significantly downregulated. Key EMT markers including CDH2, FN1, VIM and VTN were not upregulated although increased expression of proteolytic matrix metalloprotease and kallikrein genes was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our results demonstrated that E-cadherin loss alone was insufficient to induce an EMT or enhance transforming potential in the non-tumorigenic MCF10A cells but was associated with broad transcriptional changes associated with tissue remodelling.
Project description:Background: E-cadherin is an adherens junction protein that forms homophilic intercellular contacts in epithelial cells while also interacting with the intracellular cytoskeletal networks. It has roles including establishment and maintenance of cell polarity, differentiation, migration and signalling in cell proliferation pathways. Its downregulation is commonly observed in epithelial tumours and is a hallmark of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Methods: To improve our understanding of how E-cadherin loss contributes to tumorigenicity, we investigated the impact of its elimination from the non-tumorigenic breast cell line MCF10A. We performed cell-based assays and whole genome RNAseq to characterize an isogenic MCF10A cell line that is devoid of CDH1 expression due to an engineered homozygous 4bp deletion in CDH1 exon 11. Results: The E-cadherin-deficient line, MCF10A CDH1-/- showed subtle morphological changes, weaker cell-substrate adhesion, delayed migration, but retained cell-cell contact, contact growth inhibition and anchorage-dependent growth. Within the cytoskeleton, the apical microtubule network in the CDH1-deficient cells lacked the radial pattern of organization present in the MCF10A cells and F-actin formed thicker, more numerous stress fibres in the basal part of the cell. Whole genome RNAseq identified compensatory changes in the genes involved in cell-cell adhesion while genes involved in cell-substrate adhesion, notably ITGA1, COL8A1, COL4A2 and COL12A1, were significantly downregulated. Key EMT markers including CDH2, FN1, VIM and VTN were not upregulated although increased expression of proteolytic matrix metalloprotease and kallikrein genes was observed. Conclusions: Overall, our results demonstrated that E-cadherin loss alone was insufficient to induce an EMT or enhance transforming potential in the non-tumorigenic MCF10A cells but was associated with broad transcriptional changes associated with tissue remodelling. Examination of the impact of E-cadherin (CDH1) loss in an isogenic pair of breast cell lines.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patients with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC), a cancer predisposition syndrome associated with germline mutations of the CDH1 (E-cadherin) gene, have few effective treatment options. Despite marked differences in natural history, histopathology, and genetic profile to patients afflicted by sporadic gastric cancer, patients with HDGC receive, in large, identical systemic regimens. The lack of a robust preclinical in vitro system suitable for effective drug screening has been one of the obstacles to date which has hampered therapeutic advances in this rare disease. METHODS:In order to identify therapeutic leads selective for the HDGC subtype of gastric cancer, we compared gene expression profiles and drug phenotype derived from an oncology library of 1912 compounds between gastric cancer cells established from a patient with metastatic HDGC harboring a c.1380delA CDH1 germline variant and sporadic gastric cancer cells. RESULTS:Unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis shows select gene expression alterations in c.1380delA CDH1 SB.mhdgc-1 cells compared to a panel of sporadic gastric cancer cell lines with enrichment of ERK1-ERK2 (extracellular signal regulated kinase) and IP3 (inositol trisphosphate)/DAG (diacylglycerol) signaling as the top networks in c.1380delA SB.mhdgc-1 cells. Intracellular phosphatidylinositol intermediaries were increased upon direct measure in c.1380delA CDH1 SB.mhdgc-1 cells. Differential high-throughput drug screening of c.1380delA CDH1 SB.mhdgc-1 versus sporadic gastric cancer cells identified several compound classes with enriched activity in c.1380 CDH1 SB.mhdgc-1 cells including mTOR (Mammalian Target Of Rapamycin), MEK (Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase), c-Src kinase, FAK (Focal Adhesion Kinase), PKC (Protein Kinase C), or TOPO2 (Topoisomerase II) inhibitors. Upon additional drug response testing, dual PI3K (Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase)/mTOR and topoisomerase 2A inhibitors displayed up to >100-fold increased activity in hereditary c.1380delA CDH1 gastric cancer cells inducing apoptosis most effectively in cells with deficient CDH1 function. CONCLUSION:Integrated pharmacological and transcriptomic profiling of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer cells with a loss-of-function c.1380delA CDH1 mutation implies various pharmacological vulnerabilities selective to CDH1-deficient familial gastric cancer cells and suggests novel treatment leads for future preclinical and clinical treatment studies of familial gastric cancer.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Loss of E-cadherin (CDH1), Smad4, and p53 has been shown to play an integral role in gastric, intestinal, and breast cancer formation. Compound conditional knockout mice for Smad4, p53, and E-cadherin were generated to define and compare the roles of these genes in gastric, intestinal, and breast cancer development by crossing with Pdx-1-Cre, Villin-Cre, and MMTV-Cre transgenic mice. Interestingly, gastric adenocarcinoma was significantly more frequent in Pdx-1-Cre;Smad4(F/F);Trp53(F/F);Cdh1(F) (/+) mice than in Pdx-1-Cre;Smad4(F/F);Trp53(F/F);Cdh1(+/+) mice, demonstrating that Cdh1 heterozygosity accelerates the development and progression of gastric adenocarcinoma, in combination with loss of Smad4 and p53. Pdx-1-Cre;Smad4(F/F);Trp53(F/F);Cdh1(F) (/+) mice developed gastric adenocarcinomas without E-cadherin expression. However, intestinal and mammary adenocarcinomas with the same genetic background retained E-cadherin expression and were phenotypically similar to mice with both wild-type Cdh1 alleles. Lung metastases were identified in Pdx-1-Cre;Smad4(F/F);Trp53(F/F);Cdh1(F) (/+) mice, but not in the other genotypes. Nuclear ?-catenin accumulation was identified at the invasive tumor front of gastric adenocarcinomas arising in Pdx-1-Cre;Smad4(F/F);Trp53(F/F);Cdh1(F) (/+) mice. This phenotype was less prominent in mice with intact E-cadherin or Smad4, indicating that the inhibition of ?-catenin signaling by E-cadherin or Smad4 downregulates signaling pathways involved in metastases in Pdx-1-Cre;Smad4(F/F);Trp53(F/F);Cdh1(F) (/+) mice. Knockdown of ?-catenin significantly inhibited the migratory activity of Pdx-1-Cre;Smad4(F/F);Trp53(F/F);Cdh1(F) (/+) cell lines. Thus, loss of E-cadherin and Smad4 cooperates with p53 loss to promote the development and metastatic progression of gastric adenocarcinomas, with similarities to human gastric adenocarcinoma. IMPLICATIONS:This study demonstrates that inhibition of ?-catenin is a converging node for the antimetastatic signaling pathways driven by E-cadherin and Smad4 in Pdx-1-Cre;Smad4(F/F);Trp53(F/F);Cdh1(F) (/+) mice, providing novel insights into mechanisms for gastric cancer metastasis.
Project description:E-cadherin is a cell-cell adhesion protein encoded by CDH1 tumor-suppressor gene. CDH1 inactivating mutations, leading to loss of protein expression, are common in gastric cancer of the diffuse histotype, while alternative mechanisms modulating E-cadherin expression characterize the more common intestinal histotype. These mechanisms are still poorly understood. CDH1 intron 2 has recently emerged as a cis-modulator of E-cadherin expression, encoding non-canonical transcripts. One in particular, CDH1a, proved to be expressed in gastric cancer cell lines, while being absent in the normal stomach. For the first time, we evaluated by digital PCR the expression of CDH1 and CDH1a transcripts in cancer and normal tissue samples from 32 patients with intestinal-type gastric cancer. We found a significant decrease in CDH1 expression in tumors compared to normal counterparts (P = 0.001), which was especially evident in 76% of cases. CDH1a was detected at extremely low levels in 47% of tumors, but not in normal mucosa. A trend was observed of having less CDH1 in tumors expressing CDH1atranscript. The majority of tumors with both a decrease in CDH1 and presence of CDH1a also showed a decrease in miR-101 expression levels. On the whole, the decrease of CDH1 transcript, corresponding to the canonical protein, and the presence of CDH1a, corresponding to an alternative isoform, are likely to perturb E-cadherin-mediated signaling and cell-cell adhesion, thus contributing to intestinal-type gastric carcinogenesis.
Project description:Blepharocheilodontic syndrome (BCDS) consists of lagophthalmia, ectropion of the lower eyelids, distichiasis, euryblepharon, cleft lip/palate and dental anomalies and has autosomal dominant inheritance with variable expression. We identified heterozygous variants in two genes of the cadherin-catenin complex, CDH1, encoding E-cadherin, and CTNND1, encoding p120 catenin delta1 in 15 of 17 BCDS index patients, as was recently described in a different publication. CDH1 plays an essential role in epithelial cell adherence; CTNND1 binds to CDH1 and controls the stability of the complex. Functional experiments in zebrafish and human cells showed that the CDH1 variants impair the cell adhesion function of the cadherin-catenin complex in a dominant-negative manner. Variants in CDH1 have been linked to familial hereditary diffuse gastric cancer and invasive lobular breast cancer; however, no cases of gastric or breast cancer have been reported in our BCDS cases. Functional experiments reported here indicated the BCDS variants comprise a distinct class of CDH1 variants. Altogether, we identified the genetic cause of BCDS enabling DNA diagnostics and counseling, in addition we describe a novel class of dominant negative CDH1 variants.
Project description:CDH1 encodes E-cadherin, a key protein in adherens junctions. Given that E-cadherin is involved in major cellular processes such as embryogenesis and maintenance of tissue architecture, it is no surprise that deleterious effects arise from its loss of function. E-cadherin is recognised as a tumour suppressor gene, and it is well established that CDH1 genetic alterations cause diffuse gastric cancer and lobular breast cancer-the foremost manifestations of the hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome. However, in the last decade, evidence has emerged demonstrating that CDH1 mutations can be associated with lobular breast cancer and/or several congenital abnormalities, without any personal or family history of diffuse gastric cancer. To date, no genotype-phenotype correlations have been observed. Remarkably, there are reports of mutations affecting the same nucleotide but inducing distinct clinical outcomes. In this review, we bring together a comprehensive analysis of CDH1-associated disorders and germline alterations found in each trait, providing important insights into the biological mechanisms underlying E-cadherin's pleiotropic effects. Ultimately, this knowledge will impact genetic counselling and will be relevant to the assessment of risk of cancer development or congenital malformations in CDH1 mutation carriers.
Project description:Approximately 10% of gastric cancer cases show familial clustering but only 1-3% of gastric carcinomas arise as a result of inherited gastric cancer predisposition syndromes. Direct proof that Hereditary Gastric Cancer a genetic disease with a germline gene defect has come from the demonstration of co-segregation of germline E-cadherin (CDH1) mutations with early onset diffuse gastric cancer in families with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance (HDGC). E-cadherin is a transmembrane calcium-dependent cell-adhesion molecule involved in cell-junction formation and the maintenance of epithelial integrity. In this review, we describe frequency and type of CDH1 mutations in sporadic and familial gastric cancer. Further we demonstrate the functional significance of some CDH1 germline missense mutations found in HDGC. We also discuss the CDH1 polymorphisms that have been associated to gastric cancer. We report other types of malignancies associated to HDGC, besides diffuse gastric cancer. Moreover, we review the data available on putative alternative candidate genes screened in familial gastric cancer. Finally, we briefly discuss the role of low-penetrance genes and Helicobacter pylori in gastric cancer. This knowledge is a fundamental step towards accurate genetic counselling, in which a highly specialised pre-symptomatic therapeutic intervention should be offered.