Inhibition of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Tumor Growth by Electroacupuncture with Encircled Needling and Its Mechanisms in a Mice Xenograft Model.
ABSTRACT: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancer without effective targeted drugs. While breast cancer patients often use acupuncture for the relief of cancer-induced pain or the side effects of chemo- or radiation therapy, little information is known regarding the direct effects of electroacupuncture on TNBC tumor and its potential mechanisms. Here, we created a mice model of TNBC and electroacupuncture with encircled needling around the tumors was given to the animals daily for 3 weeks at 15-20 Hz (3 min, each time). For sham electroacupuncture control, the skin was punctured to a depth of 5 mm and then the needle was quickly withdrawn without electrical stimulation or manual needle manipulation. We found that electroacupuncture significantly inhibited TNBC tumor growth and the inhibitory rate increased gradually overtime. Mechanistic analysis showed that electroacupuncture inhibited tumor angiogenesis by reducing the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), its receptor VEGF-R and neuropilin 1 (NRP-1). Electroacupuncture also led to a significant decrease of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression and an increase of tissue inhibitor of MMP (TIMP-2) expression. Additionally, the expression of semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) and nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) p75 in TNBC tissue was significantly upregulated in response to electroacupuncture. Furthermore, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha level in the serum was dramatically reduced after electroacupuncture. These results showed that electroacupuncture could directly inhibit TNBC tumor growth through the inhibition of proteins related to tumor angiogenesis and extracellular matrix, the suppression of TNBC-induced inflammation and the upregulation of nerve growth factor receptors.
Project description:Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most difficult breast cancer subtype to treat. TNBC patients have significantly higher expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in tumors compared to non-TNBC patients. VEGF not only exerts its pro-angiogenic effects on endothelial cells but also acts as a survival and autocrine growth factor for VEGF receptor (VEGFR) expressing cancer cells. Silencing the expression of VEGF is therefore a potential therapy for TNBC. Methods: A novel biocompatible linear copolymer poly[bis(ε-Lys-PEI)Glut-PEG] (PLEGP) was developed to deliver VEGF siRNA for TNBC therapy. The copolymer is composed of lysine and glutaric acid, a natural metabolite of amino acids in the body. Low-molecular weight polyethyleneimine (PEI) was grafted to the copolymer to efficiently condense siRNA into nanocomplex without inducing cytotoxicity. Various in vitro studies were performed to evaluate the stability, cellular uptake, tumor penetration, and biological activities of the VEGF siRNA nanocomplex. The anti-tumor activities of the nanocomplex was also evaluated in an orthotopic TNBC mouse model. Results: PEIs with different molecular weights were evaluated, and the copolymer PLEGP1800 was able to easily form a stable nanocomplex with siRNAs and protect them from serum degradation. The siRNA/PLEGP1800 nanocomplex exhibited negligible cytotoxicity but showed high cellular uptake, high transfection efficiency, and high tumor penetration. In vitro activity studies showed that the siRNA nanocomplex significantly inhibited migration and invasion of TNBC cells. Moreover, the VEGF siRNA nanocomplex efficiently inhibited tumor growth in an orthotopic TNBC mouse model and down-regulated VEGF expression in the tumor. Conclusion: PLEGP1800 is a safe and efficient copolymer to deliver siRNAs for TNBC therapy. It could potentially be applied to other cancers by changing the cargo and incorporating tumor-specific ligands.
Project description:Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed invasive cancers among women around the world. Among several subtypes, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is highly aggressive and chemoresistant. Treatment of TNBC patients has been challenging due to heterogeneity and devoid of well-defined molecular targets. Thus, identification of novel effective and selective agents against TNBC is essential.We used epoxyazadiradione to assess the cell viability, mitochondrial potential, ROS level, cell migration, apoptosis and protein expression in cell culture models of TNBC MDA-MB-231 and ER+ MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The molecular mechanism was examined in two different type of breast cancer cells in response to epoxyazadiradione. We have also analyzed the effect of epoxyazadiradione on breast tumor growth using in vivo mice model.In this study, we for the first time investigated that out of 10 major limonoids isolated from Azadirachta indica, epoxyazadiradione exhibits most potent anti-cancer activity in both TNBC and ER+ breast cancer cells. Epoxyazadiradione induces apoptosis and inhibits PI3K/Akt-mediated mitochondrial potential, cell viability, migration and angiogenesis. It also inhibits the expression of pro-angiogenic and pro-metastatic genes such as Cox2, OPN, VEGF and MMP-9 in these cells. Furthermore, epoxyazadiradione attenuates PI3K/Akt-mediated AP-1 activation. Our in vivo data revealed that epoxyazadiradione suppresses breast tumor growth and angiogenesis in orthotopic NOD/SCID mice model.Our findings demonstrate that epoxyazadiradione inhibits PI3K/Akt-dependent mitochondrial depolarisation, induces apoptosis and attenuates cell migration, angiogenesis and breast tumor growth suggesting that this compound may act as a potent therapeutic agent for the management of breast cancer.
Project description:Murine breast cancer models relying on intraductal tumor cell inoculations are attractive because they allow the study of breast cancer from early ductal carcinoma in situ to metastasis. Using a fully immunocompetent 4T1-based intraductal model for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) we aimed to investigate the immunological responses that guide such intraductal tumor progression, focusing on the prominent role of macrophages.Intraductal inoculations were performed in lactating female mice with luciferase-expressing 4T1 mammary tumor cells either with or without additional RAW264.7 macrophages, mimicking basal versus increased macrophage-tumor cell interactions in the ductal environment. Imaging of 4T1-derived luminescence was used to monitor primary tumor growth and metastases. Tumor proliferation, hypoxia, disruption of the ductal architecture and tumor immune populations were determined immunohistochemically. M1- (pro-inflammatory) and M2-related (anti-inflammatory) cytokine levels were determined by Luminex assays and ELISA to investigate the activation state of the macrophage inoculum. Levels of the metastatic proteins matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as well as of the immune-related disease biomarkers chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) and lipocalin 2 (LCN2) were measured by ELISA to evaluate disease progression at the protein level.Mice intraductally co-injected with macrophages showed severe splenomegaly with faster ductal breakthrough of tumor cells and increased metastases in axillary lymph nodes and lungs. These mice showed higher M1-related cytokines in the early disease stages (at 1 to 3 weeks post-inoculation) due to the pro-inflammatory nature of RAW264.7 macrophages with increased Ly6G-positive neutrophils and decreased anti-inflammatory macrophages in the tumor microenvironment. However, upon metastasis (at 5 weeks post-inoculation), a prominent increase in M2-related cytokine levels was detected and established a tumor microenvironment with similar immune populations and cytokine responses as in mice which received only 4T1 tumor cells. The observed tumor-associated immune responses and the increased metastasis were associated with significantly induced local and systemic levels of MMP-9, VEGF, CHI3L1 and LCN2.The current experimental study with an innovative immunocompetent intraductal model for TNBC pinpoints towards a metastasis-supporting M1 to M2 macrophage polarization in the mammary ducts mediated by 4T1-derived signaling. We propose to explore this process as immunotherapeutic target.
Project description:Aberrant transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) plays an important role in the development of cancer such as tumor metastasis and invasion. TGF-?-responsive gene signature is highly activated in chemotherapy-treated triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Here, we investigated the effect of zerumbone (ZER) on TGF-?1 signaling pathway and tumorigenecity of TNBC cells. Our results showed that the level of TGF-?1 mRNA expression and cell invasiveness were higher in TNBC cells than in non-TNBC cells. On the other hand, the cell motility of TNBC cells was completely suppressed by LY2109761, a novel selective TGF-? receptor type I/II (T?RI/II) dual inhibitor. In addition, FN and MMP-2 expression, which play an important role on cell motility in various cancer cells, were dose-dependently decreased by LY2109761. TGF-?1 increased FN, MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in HCC1806 TNBC cells. TGF-?1-induced MMP-9 expression was decreased by both a MEK inhibitor, UO126, and a smad3 inhibitor, SIS3. Induction of FN and MMP-2 by TGF-?1 was just decreased by SIS3. Overexpression of smad3 significantly increased FN, MMP-2, and MMP-9 expression. Interestingly, ZER significantly suppressed TGF-?1-induced FN, MMP-2, and MMP-9 expression in HCC1806 cells. In addition, ZER completely decreased TGF-?1-induced the phosphorylation of smad3. Finally, we observed that ZER suppressed the tumorigenecity such as tumor volume, weight, Ki67 expression, and metastasis in TNBC cells xenograft models. Taken together, we demonstrated that ZER suppresses TGF-?1-induced FN, MMP-2, and MMP-9 expression through the inactivation of smad3 and inhibits the tumorigenecity of TNBC cells. Therefore, we suggest that ZER may act as a promising drug for treatment of TNBC.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a highly metastatic breast cancer with poor prognosis. In the present study, we demonstrated that Src, a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, might provide an effective therapeutic strategy to overcome TNBC invasion and metastasis, which are mediated via the synergistic action of the lysosomal enzyme cathepsin S (CTSS) and gelatinase MMP-9. Knock-down of MMP-9 and CTSS using siRNAs resulted in a synergistic suppression of MDA-MB-231 cell invasion, which was similarly observed with pharmacological inhibitors. During the screening of new drug candidates that suppress both CTSS and MMP-9, BJ-2302, a novel 7-azaindolin-2-one derivative, was discovered. Src, an upstream activator of both pathways (PI3K/Akt and Ras/Raf/ERK) responsible for the expression of CTSS and MMP-9, was identified as a high-affinity target of BJ-2302 (IC90: 3.23?µM) through a Src kinase assay and a drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS) assay. BJ-2302 effectively suppressed MDA-MB-231 cell invasion (Matrigel invasion assay) and metastasis (chorioallantoic membrane assay xenografted with MDA-MB-231-luc2-tdTomato cancer cells). Unlike Z-FL-COCHO (potent CTSS inhibitor), BJ-2302 did not induce any cytotoxicity in MCF-10A normal breast epithelial cells. Additionally, BJ-2302 (1?mg/kg) strongly suppressed TNBC cell proliferation in vitro and tumor growth in a xenograft mouse tumor model. The anti-metastatic and anti-tumor effects of BJ-2302 were superior to those of Z-FL-COCHO (1?mg/kg) or batimastat (30?mg/kg), a pan-MMP inhibitor. In summary, inhibition of Src kinase suppressed TNBC tumor growth and metastasis, and Src inhibitors such as BJ-2302 may constitute a novel therapeutic tool to treat breast cancer that expresses high levels of CTSS and MMP-9.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Early analyses of human breast cancer identified high expression of the insulin-like growth factor type 1 receptor (IGF-1R) correlated with hormone receptor positive breast cancer and associated with a favorable prognosis, whereas low expression of IGF-1R correlated with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). We previously demonstrated that the IGF-1R acts as a tumor and metastasis suppressor in the Wnt1 mouse model of TNBC. The mechanisms for how reduced IGF-1R contributes to TNBC phenotypes is unknown. METHODS:We analyzed the METABRIC dataset to further stratify IGF-1R expression with patient survival and specific parameters of TNBC. To investigate molecular events associated with the loss of IGF-1R function in breast tumor cells, we inhibited IGF-1R in human cell lines using an IGF-1R blocking antibody and analyzed MMTV-Wnt1-mediated mouse tumors with reduced IGF-1R function through expression of a dominant-negative transgene. RESULTS:Our analysis of the Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium (METABRIC) dataset revealed association between low IGF-1R and reduced overall patient survival. IGF-1R expression was inversely correlated with patient survival even within hormone receptor-positive breast cancers, indicating reduced overall patient survival with low IGF-1R was not due simply to low IGF-1R expression within TNBCs. Inhibiting IGF-1R in either mouse or human tumor epithelial cells increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and activation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response. IGF-1R inhibition in tumor epithelial cells elevated interleukin (IL)-6 and C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) expression, which was reversed by ROS scavenging. Moreover, the Wnt1/dnIGF-1R primary tumors displayed a tumor-promoting immune phenotype. The increased CCL2 promoted an influx of CD11b+ monocytes into the primary tumor that also had increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-3, and MMP-9 expression. Increased MMP activity in the tumor stroma was associated with enhanced matrix remodeling and collagen deposition. Further analysis of the METABRIC dataset revealed an increase in IL-6, CCL2, and MMP-9 expression in patients with low IGF-1R, consistent with our mouse tumor model and data in human breast cancer cell lines. CONCLUSIONS:Our data support the hypothesis that reduction of IGF-1R function increases cellular stress and cytokine production to promote an aggressive tumor microenvironment through infiltration of immune cells and matrix remodeling.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) promote tumor progression and distant metastasis in breast cancer. Cadherin 11 (CDH11) is overexpressed in invasive breast cancer cells and implicated in distant bone metastases in several cancers. The WNT signalling pathway regulates CSC activity. Growing evidence suggest that cadherins play critical roles in WNT signalling pathway. However, CDH11 role in canonical WNT signalling and CSCs in breast cancer is poorly understood. METHODS:We investigated the functional association between CDH11 and WNT signalling pathway in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), by analyzing their expression profile in the TCGA Breast Cancer (BRCA) cohort and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of TNBC samples. RESULTS:We observed a significant correlation between high CDH11 expression and poor prognosis in the basal and TNBC subtypes. Also, CDH11 expression positively correlated with ?-catenin, wingless type MMTV integration site (WNT)2, and transcription factor (TCF)12 expression. IHC results showed CDH11 and ?-catenin expression significantly correlated in TNBC patients (p < 0.05). We also showed that siRNA-mediated loss-of-CDH11 (siCDH11) function decreases ?-catenin, Met, c-Myc, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)7 expression level in MDA-MB-231 and Hs578t. Interestingly, immunofluorescence staining showed that siCDH11 reduced ?-catenin nuclear localization and attenuated TNBC cell migration, invasion and tumorsphere-formation. Of translational relevance, siCDH11 exhibited significant anticancer efficacy in murine tumor xenograft models, as demonstrated by reduced tumor-size, inhibited tumor growth and longer survival time. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings indicate that by modulating ?-catenin, CDH11 regulates the canonical WNT signalling pathway. CDH11 inhibition suppresses the CSC-like phenotypes and tumor growth of TNBC cells and represents a novel therapeutic approach in TNBC treatment.
Project description:Lipocalin 2 (Lcn2) is a promising therapeutic target as well as a potential diagnostic biomarker for breast cancer. It has been previously shown to promote breast cancer progression by inducing the epithelial to mesenchymal transition in breast cancer cells as well as by enhancing angiogenesis. Lcn2 levels in urine and tissue samples of breast cancer patients has also been correlated with breast cancer status and poor patient prognosis. In this study, we have engineered a novel liposomal small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery system to target triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) via a recently identified molecular target, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). This ICAM-1-targeted, Lcn2 siRNA- encapsulating liposome (ICAM-Lcn2-LP) binds human TNBC MDA-MB-231cells significantly stronger than non-neoplastic MCF-10A cells. Efficient Lcn2 knockdown by ICAM-Lcn2-LPs led to a significant reduction in the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) from MDA-MB-231 cells, which, in turn, led to reduced angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. Angiogenesis (neovascularization) is a requirement for solid tumor growth and progression, and its inhibition is an important therapeutic strategy for human cancers. Our results indicate that a tumor-specific strategy such as the TNBC-targeted, anti-angiogenic therapeutic approach developed here, may be clinically useful in inhibiting TNBC progression.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), characterized by the absence or low expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2), is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancer. TNBC accounts for about 15% of breast cancer cases in the U.S., and is known for high relapse rates and poor overall survival (OS). Chemo-resistant TNBC is a genetically diverse, highly heterogeneous, and rapidly evolving disease that challenges our ability to individualize treatment for incomplete responders and relapsed patients. Currently, the frontline standard chemotherapy, composed of anthracyclines, alkylating agents, and taxanes, is commonly used to treat high-risk and locally advanced TNBC. Several FDA-approved drugs that target programmed cell death protein-1 (Keytruda) and programmed death ligand-1 (Tecentriq), poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), and/or antibody drug conjugates (Trodelvy) have shown promise in improving clinical outcomes for a subset of TNBC. These inhibitors that target key genetic mutations and specific molecular signaling pathways that drive malignant tumor growth have been used as single agents and/or in combination with standard chemotherapy regimens. Here, we review the current TNBC treatment options, unmet clinical needs, and actionable drug targets, including epidermal growth factor (EGFR), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptor beta (ER?), phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and protein kinase B (PKB or AKT) activation in TNBC. Supported by strong evidence in developmental, evolutionary, and cancer biology, we propose that the K-RAS/SIAH pathway activation is a major tumor driver, and SIAH is a new drug target, a therapy-responsive prognostic biomarker, and a major tumor vulnerability in TNBC. Since persistent K-RAS/SIAH/EGFR pathway activation endows TNBC tumor cells with chemo-resistance, aggressive dissemination, and early relapse, we hope to design an anti-SIAH-centered anti-K-RAS/EGFR targeted therapy as a novel therapeutic strategy to control and eradicate incurable TNBC in the future.
Project description:Triple negative breast cancer lacks estrogen, progesterone and epidermal growth factor receptors rendering it refractory to available targetedtherapies. TNBC is associated with central fibrosis and necrosis, both indicators of tumor hypoxia. Hypoxia inducible factor 1? is up-regulated under hypoxia and its expression is associated with induction of angiogenesis resulting in proliferation, aggressive tumor phenotype and metastasis. In this study we evaluate the potential use of HIF-1? as aTNBC-specific marker.62 TNBC, 64 HER2+, and 64 hormone-receptors positive breast cancer cases were evaluated for central fibrosis and necrosis, HIF-1?, HIF-1?, VEGFR3, CD31 expression and microvessel density. RNA extraction from paraffin-embedded samples, followed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) evaluation of HIF-1? and VEGF transcripts was performed on 54 cases (18 from each subtype).HIF-1? protein was expressed in 35.5% TNBC, 45.3% HER2+and 25.0% ER+/PR+ (p = 0.055; ?2 test). PCRanalysis of subgroup of breast cancers, 84.2% expressed HIF-1? protein and its transcripts, while only 66.7% expressed VEGF transcripts simultaneously with the HIF-1? protein and its transcripts. Central fibrosis and necrosis was highest in TNBC (p = 0.015; ?2 test), while MVD was comparable among all groups (p = 0.928; ?2 test). VEGFR3 was highest in TNBC expressing HIF-1?. HIF-1? protein was expressed in 32.0% of HIF-1?(+), and in (44.3%) of HIF-1?(-) breast cancer cases (p = 0.033; ?2 test). Moreover, HIF-1? expression in cases with central fibrosis and necrosis was highest in the HER2+ followed by the TNBC (p = 0.156; ?2 test).A proportion of TNBC express HIF-1? but not in a significantly different manner from other breast cancer subtypes. The potential of anti-HIF-1? targeted therapy is therefore not a candidate for exclusive use in TNBC, but should be considered in all breast cancers, especially in the setting of clinically aggressive or refractory disease.