Inhibition of fibroblast secreted QSOX1 perturbs extracellular matrix in the tumor microenvironment and decreases tumor growth and metastasis in murine cancer models.
ABSTRACT: Extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in tumor development and dissemination, but few points of therapeutic intervention targeting ECM of the tumor microenvironment have been exploited to date. Recent observations suggest that the enzymatic introduction of disulfide bond cross-links into the ECM may be modulated to affect cancer progression. Specifically, the disulfide bond-forming activity of the enzyme Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) is required by fibroblasts to assemble ECM components for adhesion and migration of cancer cells. Based on this finding and the increased QSOX1 expression in the stroma of aggressive breast carcinomas, we developed monoclonal antibody inhibitors with the aim of preventing QSOX1 from participating in pro-metastatic ECM remodeling. Here we show that QSOX1 inhibitory antibodies decreased tumor growth and metastasis in murine cancer models and had added benefits when provided together with chemotherapy. Mechanistically, the inhibitors dampened stromal participation in tumor development, as the tumors of treated animals showed fewer myofibroblasts and poorer ECM organization. Thus, our findings demonstrate that specifically targeting excess stromal QSOX1 secreted in response to tumor-cell signaling provides a means to modulate the tumor microenvironment and may complement other therapeutic approaches in cancer.
Project description:Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) is a highly conserved disulfide bond-generating enzyme that is overexpressed in diverse tumor types. Its enzymatic activity promotes the growth and invasion of tumor cells and alters extracellular matrix composition. In a nude mouse-human tumor xenograft model, tumors containing shRNA for QSOX1 grew significantly more slowly than controls, suggesting that QSOX1 supports a proliferative phenotype in vivo. High throughput screening experiments identified ebselen as an in vitro inhibitor of QSOX1 enzymatic activity. Ebselen treatment of pancreatic and renal cancer cell lines stalled tumor growth and inhibited invasion through Matrigel in vitro. Daily oral treatment with ebselen resulted in a 58% reduction in tumor growth in mice bearing human pancreatic tumor xenografts compared to controls. Mass spectrometric analysis of ebselen-treated QSOX1 mechanistically revealed that C165 and C237 of QSOX1 covalently bound to ebselen. This report details the anti-neoplastic properties of ebselen in pancreatic and renal cancer cell lines. The results here offer a "proof-of-principle" that enzymatic inhibition of QSOX1 may have clinical relevancy.
Project description:The QSOX1 protein (Quiescin Sulfhydryl oxidase 1) catalyzes the formation of disulfide bonds and is involved in the folding and stability of proteins. More recently, QSOX1 has been associated with tumorigenesis and protection against cellular stress. It has been demonstrated in our laboratory that QSOX1 reduces proliferation, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells in vitro and reduces tumor growth in vivo. In addition, QSOX1 expression has been shown to be induced by oxidative or ER stress and to prevent cell death linked to these stressors. Given the function of QSOX1 in these two processes, which have been previously linked to autophagy, we wondered whether QSOX1 might be regulated by autophagy inducers and play a role in this catabolic process. To answer this question, we used in vitro models of breast cancer cells in which QSOX1 was overexpressed (MCF-7) or extinguished (MDA-MB-231). We first showed that QSOX1 expression is induced following amino acid starvation and maintains cellular homeostasis. Our results also indicated that QSOX1 inhibits autophagy through the inhibition of autophagosome/lysosome fusion. Moreover, we demonstrated that inhibitors of autophagy mimic the effect of QSOX1 on cell invasion, suggesting that its role in this process is linked to the autophagy pathway. Previously published data demonstrated that extinction of QSOX1 promotes tumor growth in NOG mice. In this study, we further demonstrated that QSOX1 null tumors present lower levels of the p62 protein. Altogether, our results demonstrate for the first time a role of QSOX1 in autophagy in breast cancer cells and tumors.
Project description:Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) is an enzyme overexpressed by many different tumor types. QSOX1 catalyzes the formation of disulfide bonds in proteins. Because short hairpin knockdowns (KD) of QSOX1 have been shown to suppress tumor growth and invasion <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>, we hypothesized that chemical compounds inhibiting QSOX1 enzymatic activity would also suppress tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. High throughput screening using a QSOX1-based enzymatic assay revealed multiple potential QSOX1 inhibitors. One of the inhibitors, known as "SBI-183," suppresses tumor cell growth in a Matrigel-based spheroid assay and inhibits invasion in a modified Boyden chamber, but does not affect viability of nonmalignant cells. Oral administration of SBI-183 inhibits tumor growth in 2 independent human xenograft mouse models of renal cell carcinoma. We conclude that SBI-183 warrants further exploration as a useful tool for understanding QSOX1 biology and as a potential novel anticancer agent in tumors that overexpress QSOX1.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: The gene quiescin/sulfhydryl oxidase 1, QSOX1, encodes an enzyme directed to the secretory pathway and excreted into the extracellular space. QSOX1 participates in the folding and stability of proteins and thus could regulate the biological activity of its substrates in the secretory pathway and/or outside the cell. The involvement of QSOX1 in oncogenesis has been studied primarily in terms of its differential expression in systemic studies. QSOX1 is overexpressed in prostate cancers and in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. In contrast, QSOX1 gene expression is repressed in endothelial tumors. In the present study, we investigated the role of QSOX1 in breast cancer. METHODS: We analyzed QSOX1 mRNA expression in a cohort of 217 invasive ductal carcinomas of the breast. Moreover, we investigated QSOX1's potential role in regulating tumor growth and metastasis using cellular models in which we overexpressed or extinguished QSOX1 and xenograft experiments. RESULTS: We showed that the QSOX1 expression level is inversely correlated to the aggressiveness of breast tumors. Our results show that QSOX1 leads to a decrease in cell proliferation, clonogenic capacities and promotes adhesion to the extracellular matrix. QSOX1 also reduces the invasive potential of cells by reducing cell migration and decreases the activity of the matrix metalloproteinase, MMP-2, involved in these mechanisms. Moreover, in vivo experiments show that QSOX1 drastically reduces the tumor development. CONCLUSIONS: Together, these results suggest that QSOX1 could be posited as a new biomarker of good prognosis in breast cancer and demonstrate that QSOX1 inhibits human breast cancer tumorogenesis.
Project description:As lung cancer shows the highest mortality in cancer-related death, serum biomarkers are demanded for lung cancer diagnosis and its treatment. To discover lung cancer protein biomarkers, secreted proteins from primary cultured lung cancer and adjacent normal tissues from patients were subjected to LC/MS?MS proteomic analysis. Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase (QSOX1) was selected as a biomarker candidate from the enriched proteins in the secretion of lung cancer cells. QSOX1 levels were higher in 82% (51 of 62 tissues) of lung cancer tissues compared to adjacent normal tissues. Importantly, QSOX1 serum levels were significantly higher in cancer patients (p < 0.05, Area Under curve (AUC) = 0.89) when measured by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). Higher levels of QSOX1 were also uniquely detected in lung cancer tissues, among several other solid cancers, by immunohistochemistry. QSOX1-knock-downed Lewis lung cancer (LLC) cells were less viable from oxidative stress and reduced migration and invasion. In addition, LLC mouse models with QSOX1 knock-down also proved that QSOX1 functions in promoting cancer metastasis. In conclusion, QSOX1 might be a lung cancer tissue-derived biomarker and be involved in the promotion of lung cancers, and thus can be a therapeutic target for lung cancers.
Project description:The goal of the present study was to identify glycoproteins associated with the postoperative relapse of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to investigate their potential role in HCC metastasis. A method for quantitating N-glycoproteome was used to screen for, and identify, recurrence-related N-linked glycoproteins from 100 serum samples taken from patients with early-stage HCC. The prognostic significance of candidate glycoproteins was then validated in 193 HCC tissues using immunohistochemical staining. Serum core fucosylated quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (cf-QSOX1) was identified as a leading prognostic glycoprotein that significantly correlated with HCC recurrence. Patients with high serum cf-QSOX1 levels had a significantly longer time to recurrence (TTR) as compared with those with low serum cf-QSOX1. As was seen with serum cf-QSOX1, QSOX1 in HCC tissues was further shown to be significantly associated with good patient outcome. Gain-functional and loss-functional analyses of QSOX1-S were performed in vitro and in vivo. QSOX1-S overexpression significantly increased in vitro apoptosis, but decreased the invasive capacity of HCC cells, and reduced lung metastasis in nude mice models bearing human HCC. Furthermore, overexpression of a mutant version of QSOX1-S, which had eliminated the core-fucosylated glycan at Asn-130, showed no demonstrable effect on invasion or metastasis of HCC cells. Our study suggests that serum cf-QSOX1-S and tumor QSOX1 levels are helpful for predicting recurrence in HCC patients, and its core-fucosylated glycan at Asn-130 is critical for the inhibitory effects of QSOX1-S on invasion and metastasis of HCC.
Project description:The q arm of chromosome 1 is frequently amplified at the gene level in breast cancer. Since the significance of this is unclear we investigated whether 1q genes are overexpressed in this disease. The cDNA levels of 1q-located genes were analysed in a search for overexpressed genes. 26 genes mapping to the 1q arm show highly significant (P?0.01) overexpression of transcripts in breast cancer compared to normal breast tissue. Amongst those showing the highest levels of overexpression in both expressed sequence tag (EST) and serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) databases was enzyme quiescin Q6 sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1). We investigated QSOX1 cDNA derived from T47D breast carcinoma cells by RT-PCR and 3'-RACE PCR and identified a novel extended form of QSOX1 transcript, containing a long 3'UTR, nearly double the size of the previously reported QSOX1 cDNA, and confirmed its 3' end nucleotide sequence using RACE-PCR. We also used quantitative real-time PCR to analyse a panel of cDNAs derived from 50 clinically-graded normal and malignant breast tissue samples for the expression of QSOX1 mRNAs. QSOX1 transcription was elevated in an increasing proportion in the grade 2 and grade 3 tumours (graded according to the Nottingham prognostic index), with 10 of the 15 grade 3 tumours (67%) examined exceeding the normal range. There was a significant correlation between relative transcript level and clinical grade (P?0.01) for all qPCR primer sets tested. QSOX1 mRNA levels, based on SAGE expression data, did not correlate with either Estrogen Receptor (ER) or Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (ErbB-2 or HER2/neu) expression. Our data indicate that QSOX1 is a potential new prognostic marker which may prove of use in the staging of breast tumours and the stratification of breast cancer patients.
Project description:The flavoprotein quiescin-sulfhydryl oxidase (QSOX) rapidly inserts disulfide bonds into unfolded, reduced proteins with the concomitant reduction of oxygen to hydrogen peroxide. This study reports the first heterologous expression and enzymological characterization of a human QSOX1 isoform. Like QSOX isolated from avian egg white, recombinant HsQSOX1 is highly active toward reduced ribonuclease A (RNase) and dithiothreitol but shows a >100-fold lower k cat/ K m for reduced glutathione. Previous studies on avian QSOX led to a model in which reducing equivalents were proposed to relay through the enzyme from the first thioredoxin domain (C70-C73) to a distal disulfide (C509-C512), then across the dimer interface to the FAD-proximal disulfide (C449-C452), and finally to the FAD. The present work shows that, unlike the native avian enzyme, HsQSOX1 is monomeric. The recombinant expression system enabled construction of the first cysteine mutants for mechanistic dissection of this enzyme family. Activity assays with mutant HsQSOX1 indicated that the conserved distal C509-C512 disulfide is dispensable for the oxidation of reduced RNase or dithiothreitol. The four other cysteine residues chosen for mutagenesis, C70, C73, C449, and C452, are all crucial for efficient oxidation of reduced RNase. C452, of the proximal disulfide, is shown to be the charge-transfer donor to the flavin ring of QSOX, and its partner, C449, is expected to be the interchange thiol, forming a mixed disulfide with C70 in the thioredoxin domain. These data demonstrate that all the internal redox steps occur within the same polypeptide chain of mammalian QSOX and commence with a direct interaction between the reduced thioredoxin domain and the proximal disulfide of the Erv/ALR domain.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) oxidizes sulfhydryl groups to form disulfide bonds in proteins. Tumor specific expression of QSOX1 has been reported for numerous tumor types. In this study, we investigate QSOX1 as a marker of breast tumor progression and evaluate the role of QSOX1 as it relates to breast tumor growth and metastasis. METHODS: Correlation of QSOX1 expression with breast tumor grade, subtype and estrogen receptor (ER) status was gathered through informatic analysis using the "Gene expression based Outcome for Breast cancer Online" (GOBO) web-based tool. Expression of QSOX1 protein in breast tumors tissue microarray (TMA) and in a panel of breast cancer cell lines was used to confirm our informatics analysis. To investigate malignant cell mechanisms for which QSOX1 might play a key role, we suppressed QSOX1 protein expression using short hairpin (sh) RNA in ER+ Luminal A-like MCF7, ER+ Luminal B-like BT474 and ER- Basal-like BT549 breast cancer cell lines. RESULTS: GOBO analysis revealed high levels of QSOX1 RNA expression in ER+ subtypes of breast cancer. In addition, Kaplan Meyer analyses revealed QSOX1 RNA as a highly significant predictive marker for both relapse and poor overall survival in Luminal B tumors. We confirmed this finding by evaluation of QSOX1 protein expression in breast tumors and in a panel of breast cancer cell lines. Expression of QSOX1 in breast tumors correlates with increasing tumor grade and high Ki-67 expression. Suppression of QSOX1 protein slowed cell proliferation as well as dramatic inhibition of MCF7, BT474 and BT549 breast tumor cells from invading through Matrigel™ in a modified Boyden chamber assay. Inhibition of invasion could be rescued by the exogenous addition of recombinant QSOX1. Gelatin zymography indicated that QSOX1 plays an important role in the function of MMP-9, a key mediator of breast cancer invasive behavior. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our results suggest that QSOX1 is a novel biomarker for risk of relapse and poor survival in Luminal B breast cancer, and has a pro-proliferative and pro-invasive role in malignant progression partly mediated through a decrease in MMP-9 functional activity.
Project description:The thioredoxin superfamily has expanded and diverged extensively throughout evolution such that distant members no longer show appreciable sequence homology. Nevertheless, redox-active thioredoxin-fold proteins functioning in diverse physiological contexts often share canonical amino acids near the active-site (di-)cysteine motif. Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1), a catalyst of disulfide bond formation secreted by fibroblasts, is a multi-domain thioredoxin superfamily enzyme with certain similarities to the protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) enzymes. Among other potential functions, QSOX1 supports extracellular matrix assembly in fibroblast cultures. We introduced mutations at a cis-proline in QSOX1 that is conserved across the thioredoxin superfamily and was previously observed to modulate redox interactions of the bacterial enzyme DsbA. The resulting QSOX1 variants showed a striking detrimental effect when added exogenously to fibroblasts: they severely disrupted the extracellular matrix and cell adhesion, even in the presence of naturally secreted, wild-type QSOX1. The specificity of this phenomenon for particular QSOX1 mutants inspired an investigation of the effects of mutation on catalytic and redox properties. For a series of QSOX1 mutants, the detrimental effect correlated with the redox potential of the first redox-active site, and an X-ray crystal structure of one of the mutants revealed the reorganization of the cis-proline loop caused by the mutations. Due to the conservation of the mutated residues across the PDI family and beyond, insights obtained in this study may be broadly applicable to a variety of physiologically important redox-active enzymes. IMPACT STATEMENT: We show that mutation of a conserved cis-proline amino acid, analogous to a mutation used to trap substrates of a bacterial disulfide catalyst, has a dramatic effect on the physiological function of the mammalian disulfide catalyst QSOX1. As the active-site region of QSOX1 is shared with the large family of protein disulfide isomerases in humans, the effects of such mutations on redox properties, enzymatic activity, and biological targeting may be relevant across the family.