Project description:The inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is associated with more aggressive solid tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Notch signaling in cancer stem cells promotes cancer progression and requires Notch cleavage by ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) proteases. We hypothesized that iNOS/NO promotes Notch1 activation through TACE/ADAM17 activation in liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs), leading to a more aggressive cancer phenotype. Expression of the stem cell markers CD24 and CD133 in the tumors of patients with HCC was associated with greater iNOS expression and worse outcomes. The expression of iNOS in CD24+CD133+ LCSCs, but not CD24-CD133- LCSCs, promoted Notch1 signaling and stemness characteristics in vitro and in vivo, as well as accelerating HCC initiation and tumor formation in the mouse xenograft tumor model. iNOS/NO led to Notch1 signaling through a pathway involving the soluble guanylyl cyclase/cGMP/PKG-dependent activation of TACE/ADAM17 and up-regulation of iRhom2 in LCSCs. In patients with HCC, higher TACE/ADAM17 expression and Notch1 activation correlated with poor prognosis. These findings link iNOS to Notch1 signaling in CD24+CD133+ LCSCs through the activation of TACE/ADAM17 and identify a mechanism for how iNOS contributes to progression of CD24+CD133+ HCC.
Project description:CD133 has been implicated as a cancer stem cell (CSC) surface marker in several malignancies including pancreatic cancer. However, the functional role of this surface glycoprotein in the cancer stem cell remains elusive. In this study, we determined that CD133 overexpression induced "stemness" properties in MIA-PaCa2 cells along with increased tumorigenicity, tumor progression, and metastasis in vivo. Additionally, CD133 expression induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and increased in vitro invasion. EMT induction and increased invasiveness were mediated by NF-?B activation, as inhibition of NF-?B mitigated these effects. This study showed that CD133 expression contributes to pancreatic cancer "stemness," tumorigenicity, EMT induction, invasion, and metastasis.
Project description:Cutaneous SCC (cSCC) is the most frequently occuring skin cancer with metastatic potential and can manifest rapidly as a common side effect in patients receiving systemic kinase inhibitors. Here, we use massively parallel exome and targeted level sequencing of 132 sporadic cSCCs and of 39 squamoproliferative lesions and cSCCs arising in patients receiving the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib, as well as 10 normal skin samples, to identify NOTCH1 mutation as an early event in squamous cell carcinogenesis. Bisected vemurafenib-induced lesions revealed surprising heterogeneity with different activating HRAS and NOTCH1 mutations identified in two halves of the same cSCC, suggesting polyclonal origin. Immunohistochemical analysis using an antibody specific to nuclear NOTCH1 correlates with mutation status in sporadic cSCCs, and regions of NOTCH1 loss or downregulation are frequently observed in normal-looking skin. Our data indicate that NOTCH1 acts as a gatekeeper in human cSCC.
Project description:Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients have high risk of recurrence and metastasis, and current treatment options remain limited. Cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) have been linked to cancer initiation, progression and chemotherapy resistance. Notch signaling is a key pathway regulating TNBC CSC survival. Treatment of TNBC with PI3K or mTORC1/2 inhibitors results in drug-resistant, Notch-dependent CSC. However, downstream mechanisms and potentially druggable Notch effectors in TNBC CSCs are largely unknown. We studied the role of the AKT pathway and mitochondrial metabolism downstream of Notch signaling in TNBC CSC from cell lines representative of different TNBC molecular subtypes as well as a novel patient-derived model. We demonstrate that exposure of TNBC cells to recombinant Notch ligand Jagged1 leads to rapid AKT phosphorylation in a Notch1-dependent but RBP-J? independent fashion. This requires mTOR and IKK?. Jagged1 also stimulates mitochondrial respiration and fermentation in an AKT- and IKK-dependent fashion. Notch1 co-localizes with mitochondria in TNBC cells. Pharmacological inhibition of Notch cleavage by gamma secretase inhibitor PF-03084014 in combination with AKT inhibitor MK-2206 or IKK-targeted NF-?B inhibitor Bay11-7082 blocks secondary mammosphere formation from sorted CD90hi or CD44+CD24low (CSCs) cells. A TNBC patient-derived model gave comparable results. Besides mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, Jagged1 also triggers nuclear, NF-?B-dependent transcription of anti-apoptotic gene cIAP-2. This requires recruitment of Notch1, IKK? and NF-?B to the cIAP-2 promoter. Our observations support a model where Jagged1 triggers IKK?-dependent, mitochondrial and nuclear Notch1 signals that stimulate AKT phosphorylation, oxidative metabolism and transcription of survival genes in PTEN wild-type TNBC cells. These data suggest that combination treatments targeting the intersection of the Notch, AKT and NF-?B pathways have potential therapeutic applications against CSCs in TNBC cases with Notch1 and wild-type PTEN expression.
Project description:KRAS oncogenic mutations are widespread in lung cancer and, because direct targeting of KRAS has proven to be challenging, KRAS-driven cancers lack effective therapies. One alternative strategy for developing KRAS targeted therapies is to identify downstream targets involved in promoting important malignant features, such as the acquisition of a cancer stem-like and metastatic phenotype. Based on previous studies showing that KRAS activates nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-?B) through inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase ? (IKK?) to promote lung tumourigenesis, we hypothesized that inhibition of IKK? would reduce stemness, migration and invasion of KRAS-mutant human lung cancer cells. We show that KRAS-driven lung tumoursphere-derived cells exhibit stemness features and increased IKK? kinase activity. IKK? targeting by different approaches reduces the expression of stemness-associated genes, tumoursphere formation, and self-renewal, and preferentially impairs the proliferation of KRAS-driven lung tumoursphere-derived cells. Moreover, we show that IKK? targeting reduces tumour cell migration and invasion, potentially by regulating both expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2). In conclusion, our results indicate that IKK? is an important mediator of KRAS-induced stemness and invasive features in lung cancer, and, therefore, might constitute a promising strategy to lower recurrence rates, reduce metastatic dissemination, and improve survival of lung cancer patients with KRAS-driven disease.
Project description:Background:Whether and how amarogentin suppresses the angiogenesis effect in liver cancer cells after insufficient radiofrequency ablation (iRFA) are still poorly studied. Methods:The number of liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs) and the level of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) were assessed in liver cancer tissue after iRFA. Then, CD133-positive cells were detected in iRFA models of HepG2 and Huh7 cell lines treated with amarogentin. Tube formation assays were applied to observe the antiangiogenesis effects of amarogentin. In addition, the angiogenesis-related molecules p53, delta-like ligand 4 (Dll4), and Notch1 were detected in the iRFA cells and mouse models treated with amarogentin. Results:The mRNA and protein expression levels of CD133 and VEGFA were significantly higher in the residual liver cancer tissue than in the liver cancer tissues treated by hepatectomy. Amarogentin then markedly decreased the percentage of CD133-positive cells in the iRFA model in both HepG2 and Huh7 cell lines. The number of tubules formed by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) was significantly decreased by amarogentin. Inversely, the antiangiogenesis effect of amarogentin was counteracted after p53 silencing in the iRFA cell models. Conclusion:Amarogentin prevents the malignant transformation of liver cancer after iRFA via affecting stemness and the p53-dependent VEGFA/Dll4/Notch1 pathway to inhibit cancer cell angiogenesis.
Project description:As a top leading cause of cancer death in many countries, colorectal cancer (CRC) has drawn increasing attention to the study of the pathological mechanism. According to the "cancer stem cell hypothesis", malignancies originate from a small fraction of cancer cells that show self-renewal properties to initiate and sustain tumor growth and tumor metastasis. Therefore, these cancer stem cells (CSC) probably play important roles in tumor recurrence, metastasis, and drug resistance. Previous research reported that lysine-specific histone demethylase 1 (LSD1) maintains cancer stemness through up-regulating stemness markers SOX2 and OCT4. CD133 is believed to be the most robust surface marker for CRC stem cells, however the regulatory effect of LSD1 on stemness of CD133+ CRC has never been reported. In this study, our objectives included: 1) to isolate pure CD133+ and CD133- cells from SW620 cell line; 2) to investigate the effect of LSD1 on the characteristics of CD133+ stem cancer cells by knocking down the target gene. Results suggested that the SW620 cell line had both CD133+ and CD133- subsets. The CD133+ subset exhibited more CSC-like characteristics compared with the CD133- subset with higher viability, colony formation rate, migration and invasion rate, resistance to anti-cancer drugs, and apoptosis in vitro. The CD133+ also induced faster tumor formation and larger tumors in vivo. In the LSD1-knockdown CD133+ cells, the CSC-like characteristics had been all weakened. We conclude that LSD1 was important for CSCs to maintain their "stemness" features, which could be a potential therapeutic target of CRC.
Project description:An increasing interest in liver cancer stemness arises owing to its aggressive behavior and poor prognosis. CD133, a widely known liver cancer stem cell marker, plays critical roles in the maintenance of liver cancer stemness. Thus, exploring the regulatory mechanism of CD133 expression is significant. In the present study, we proved the carcinogenesis roles of aquaporin 3 (AQP3) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and demonstrated that AQP3 promotes the stem cell-like properties of hepatoma cells by regulating CD133 expression. In addition, AQP3 promoted the stimulation and nuclear translocation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) with a subsequent increase in the level of CD133 promoter-acetylated histone H3. This phenomenon accelerated CD133 transcription. Next, whether AQP3 acted as an oncogenic gene in HCC and maintained the stemness of CD133+ hepatoma cells were elucidated; also, a novel mechanism underlying the AQP3/STAT3/CD133 pathway in HCC was deduced.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Profound chemoresistance remains an intractable obstacle in pancreatic cancer treatment. Pancreatic cancer stem cells (CSCs) and the ubiquitous hypoxic niche have been proposed to account for drug resistance. However, the mechanism involved requires further exploration. This study investigated whether the hypoxic niche enhances gemcitabine-induced stemness and acquired resistance in pancreatic cancer cells by activating the AKT/Notch1 signaling cascade. The therapeutic effects of blockading this signaling cascade on gemcitabine-enriched CSCs were also investigated. METHODS:The expression levels of CSC-associated markers Bmi1 and Sox2 as well as those of proteins involved in AKT/Notch1 signaling were measured by Western blot analysis. The expression level of the pancreatic CSC marker CD24 was measured by flow cytometry. Change in gemcitabine sensitivity was evaluated by the MTT assay. The ability of sphere formation was tested by the sphere-forming assay in stem cell medium. The ability of migration and invasion was detected by the transwell migration/invasion assay. A mouse xenograft model of pancreatic cancer was established to determine the effect of Notch1 inhibition on the killing effect of gemcitabine in vivo. The ability of metastasis was investigated by an in vivo lung metastasis assay. RESULTS:Gemcitabine promoted pancreatic cancer cell stemness and associated malignant phenotypes such as enhanced migration, invasion, metastasis, and chemoresistance. The AKT/Notch1 signaling cascade was activated after gemcitabine treatment and mediated this process. Blockading this pathway enhanced the killing effect of gemcitabine in vivo. However, supplementation with hypoxia treatment synergistically enhanced the AKT/Notch1 signaling pathway and collaboratively promoted gemcitabine-induced stemness. CONCLUSIONS:These findings demonstrate a novel mechanism of acquired gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer cells through induction of stemness, which was mediated by the activation of AKT/Notch1 signaling and synergistically aggravated by the ubiquitous hypoxic niche. Our results might provide new insights for identifying potential targets for reversing chemoresistance in patients with pancreatic cancer.