Browsing by Subject "BETA-CATENIN"

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  • Mäkitie, Riikka E.; Henning, Petra; Jiu, Yaming; Kämpe, Anders; Kogan, Konstantin; Costantini, Alice; Välimäki, Ville-Valtteri; Medina-Gomez, Carolina; Pekkinen, Minna; Salusky, Isidro B.; Schalin-Jäntti, Camilla; Haanpää, Maria K.; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Bassett, John H. Duncan; Williams, Graham R.; Lerner, Ulf H.; Pereira, Renata C.; Lappalainen, Pekka; Mäkitie, Outi (2021)
    Ras homologous guanosine triphosphatases (RhoGTPases) control several cellular functions, including cytoskeletal actin remodeling and cell migration. Their activities are downregulated by GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). Although RhoGTPases are implicated in bone remodeling and osteoclast and osteoblast function, their significance in human bone health and disease remains elusive. Here, we report defective RhoGTPase regulation as a cause of severe, early-onset, autosomal-dominant skeletal fragility in a three-generation Finnish family. Affected individuals (n = 13) presented with multiple low-energy peripheral and vertebral fractures despite normal bone mineral density (BMD). Bone histomorphometry suggested reduced bone volume, low surface area covered by osteoblasts and osteoclasts, and low bone turnover. Exome sequencing identified a novel heterozygous missense variant c.652G>A (p.G218R) in ARHGAP25, encoding a GAP for Rho-family GTPase Rac1. Variants in the ARHGAP25 5 ' untranslated region (UTR) also associated with BMD and fracture risk in the general population, across multiple genomewide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses (lead variant rs10048745). ARHGAP25 messenger RNA (mRNA) was expressed in macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF)-stimulated human monocytes and mouse osteoblasts, indicating a possible role for ARHGAP25 in osteoclast and osteoblast differentiation and activity. Studies on subject-derived osteoclasts from peripheral blood mononuclear cells did not reveal robust defects in mature osteoclast formation or resorptive activity. However, analysis of osteosarcoma cells overexpressing the ARHGAP25 G218R-mutant, combined with structural modeling, confirmed that the mutant protein had decreased GAP-activity against Rac1, resulting in elevated Rac1 activity, increased cell spreading, and membrane ruffling. Our findings indicate that mutated ARHGAP25 causes aberrant Rac1 function and consequently abnormal bone metabolism, highlighting the importance of RhoGAP signaling in bone metabolism in familial forms of skeletal fragility and in the general population, and expanding our understanding of the molecular pathways underlying skeletal fragility. (c) 2021 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
  • NBCS Collaborators; ABCTB Investigators; kConFab Investigators; Morra, Anna; Escala-Garcia, Maria; Beesley, Jonathan; Muranen, Taru A.; Nevanlinna, Heli (2021)
    Background Given the high heterogeneity among breast tumors, associations between common germline genetic variants and survival that may exist within specific subgroups could go undetected in an unstratified set of breast cancer patients. Methods We performed genome-wide association analyses within 15 subgroups of breast cancer patients based on prognostic factors, including hormone receptors, tumor grade, age, and type of systemic treatment. Analyses were based on 91,686 female patients of European ancestry from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, including 7531 breast cancer-specific deaths over a median follow-up of 8.1 years. Cox regression was used to assess associations of common germline variants with 15-year and 5-year breast cancer-specific survival. We assessed the probability of these associations being true positives via the Bayesian false discovery probability (BFDP < 0.15). Results Evidence of associations with breast cancer-specific survival was observed in three patient subgroups, with variant rs5934618 in patients with grade 3 tumors (15-year-hazard ratio (HR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] 1.32 [1.20, 1.45], P = 1.4E-08, BFDP = 0.01, per G allele); variant rs4679741 in patients with ER-positive tumors treated with endocrine therapy (15-year-HR [95% CI] 1.18 [1.11, 1.26], P = 1.6E-07, BFDP = 0.09, per G allele); variants rs1106333 (15-year-HR [95% CI] 1.68 [1.39,2.03], P = 5.6E-08, BFDP = 0.12, per A allele) and rs78754389 (5-year-HR [95% CI] 1.79 [1.46,2.20], P = 1.7E-08, BFDP = 0.07, per A allele), in patients with ER-negative tumors treated with chemotherapy. Conclusions We found evidence of four loci associated with breast cancer-specific survival within three patient subgroups. There was limited evidence for the existence of associations in other patient subgroups. However, the power for many subgroups is limited due to the low number of events. Even so, our results suggest that the impact of common germline genetic variants on breast cancer-specific survival might be limited.
  • Punovuori, Anna Karolina; Malaguti, Mattias; Lowell, Sally (2021)
    During early neural development, changes in signalling inform the expression of transcription factors that in turn instruct changes in cell identity. At the same time, switches in adhesion molecule expression result in cellular rearrangements that define the morphology of the emerging neural tube. It is becoming increasingly clear that these two processes influence each other; adhesion molecules do not simply operate downstream of or in parallel with changes in cell identity but rather actively feed into cell fate decisions. Why are differentiation and adhesion so tightly linked? It is now over 60 years since Conrad Waddington noted the remarkable "Constancy of the Wild Type" (Waddington in Nature 183: 1654-1655, 1959) yet we still do not fully understand the mechanisms that make development so reproducible. Conversely, we do not understand why directed differentiation of cells in a dish is sometimes unpredictable and difficult to control. It has long been suggested that cells make decisions as 'local cooperatives' rather than as individuals (Gurdon in Nature 336: 772-774, 1988; Lander in Cell 144: 955-969, 2011). Given that the cadherin family of adhesion molecules can simultaneously influence morphogenesis and signalling, it is tempting to speculate that they may help coordinate cell fate decisions between neighbouring cells in the embryo to ensure fidelity of patterning, and that the uncoupling of these processes in a culture dish might underlie some of the problems with controlling cell fate decisions ex-vivo. Here we review the expression and function of cadherins during early neural development and discuss how and why they might modulate signalling and differentiation as neural tissues are formed.
  • Tervaniemi, Mari H.; Siitonen, H. Annika; Soderhall, Cilla; Minhas, Gurinder; Vuola, Jyrki; Tiala, Erica Inkeri; Sormunen, Raija; Samuelsson, Lena; Suomela, Sari; Kere, Juha; Elomaa, Outi (2012)
  • Soovares, Piret; Pasanen, Annukka; Similä-Maarala, Jonna; Bützow, Ralf; Lassus, Heini (2022)
    Objective. The role of clinicopathological factors and molecular markers in prognostic classification of endometrioid ovarian carcinoma (EnOC) is not established. Tumor grade is used in risk assessment, but the role of current 3-tier grading system has been challenged. Methods. Clinicopathological factors and 12 immunohistochemical biomarkers (PR, ER, beta-catenin, vimentin, ARID1A, HNF1-beta, p53, p16, MIB-1, E-cadherin, c-erb-B2 and L1CAM) were analyzed as regards patient outcome in 215 contemporarily classified EnOCs. Results. Of clinical parameters, grade and stage appeared as strong independent prognostic factors both for disease-free and disease-specific overall survival. Grades 1-3 distinguished clearly from each other in the survival analysis, whereas stages I-II and stages III-IV clustered with each other. PR, ER, nuclear beta-catenin and vimentin positivity were associated with favorable overall outcome and clinical parameters, whereas abnormal expression of p53, overexpression of p16 and L1CAM positivity were associated with aggressive disease characteristics and poor survival. The frequency of good-prognosis markers PR and beta-catenin gradually decreased and poor-prognosis markers p53, p16 and L1CAM gradually increased from grade 1-3. However, vimentin and ER were expressed at similar frequencies across different grades and presented with independent prognostic significance. Conclusions. We found histological grade and disease stage, but not residual tumor, to be independent clinical prognostic factors in EnOC. A set of good-prognosis markers (PR, ER, beta-catenin and vimentin) and poor-prognosis markers (p53, p16 and L1CAM) were identified. Our findings support continuation of the use of the 3-tier grading system for EnOC and provide clinically feasible IHC biomarkers for prognostic profiling. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Kurtzeborn, Kristen; Kwon, Hyuk Nam; Iaroshenko, Vladislav; Faisal, Imrul; Ambroz, Martin; Jin, Xing; Qureshi, Talha; Kupari, Jussi; Ihermann-Hella, Anneliis; Väänänen, Juho; Tyynismaa, Henna; Bousova, Iva; Park, Sunghyouk; Kuure, Satu (2022)
    Background: MAPK/ERK signaling is a well-known mediator of extracellular stimuli controlling intracellular responses to growth factors and mechanical cues. The critical requirement of MAPK/ERK signaling for embryonic stem cell maintenance is demonstrated, but specific functions in progenitor regulation during embryonic development, and in particular kidney development remain largely unexplored. We previously demonstrated MAPK/ERK signaling as a key regulator of kidney growth through branching morphogenesis and normal nephrogenesis where it also regulates progenitor expansion. Here, we performed RNA sequencing-based whole-genome expression analysis to identify transcriptional MAPK/ERK targets in two distinct renal populations: the ureteric bud epithelium and the nephron progenitors. Results: Our analysis revealed a large number (5053) of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in nephron progenitors and significantly less (1004) in ureteric bud epithelium, reflecting likely heterogenicity of cell types. The data analysis identified high tissue-specificity, as only a fraction (362) of MAPK/ERK targets are shared between the two tissues. Tissue-specific MAPK/ERK targets participate in the regulation of mitochondrial energy metabolism in nephron progenitors, which fail to maintain normal mitochondria numbers in the MAPK/ERK-deficient tissue. In the ureteric bud epithelium, a dramatic decline in progenitor-specific gene expression was detected with a simultaneous increase in differentiation-associated genes, which was not observed in nephron progenitors. Our experiments in the genetic model of MAPK/ERK deficiency provide evidence that MAPK/ERK signaling in the ureteric bud maintains epithelial cells in an undifferentiated state. Interestingly, the transcriptional targets shared between the two tissues studied are over-represented by histone genes, suggesting that MAPK/ERK signaling regulates cell cycle progression and stem cell maintenance through chromosome condensation and nucleosome assembly. Conclusions: Using tissue-specific MAPK/ERK inactivation and RNA sequencing in combination with experimentation in embryonic kidneys, we demonstrate here that MAPK/ERK signaling maintains ureteric bud tip cells, suggesting a regulatory role in collecting duct progenitors. We additionally deliver new mechanistic information on how MAPK/ERK signaling regulates progenitor maintenance through its effects on chromatin accessibility and energy metabolism.
  • Cooper, Rory L.; Lloyd, Victoria J.; Di-Poï, Nicolas; Fletcher, Alexander G.; Barrett, Paul M.; Fraser, Gareth J. (2019)
    Vertebrates possess a diverse range of integumentary epithelial appendages, including scales, feathers and hair. These structures share extensive early developmental homology, as they mostly originate from a conserved anatomical placode. In the context of avian epithelial appendages, feathers and scutate scales are known to develop from an anatomical placode. However, our understanding of avian reticulate (footpad) scale development remains unclear.
  • Brodski, Claude; Blaess, Sandra; Partanen, Juha; Prakash, Nilima (2019)
    Dopamine-synthesizing neurons located in the mammalian ventral midbrain are at the center stage of biomedical research due to their involvement in severe human neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, most prominently Parkinson's Disease (PD). The induction of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons depends on two important signaling centers of the mammalian embryo: the ventral midline or floor plate (FP) of the neural tube, and the isthmic organizer (IsO) at the mid-/hindbrain boundary (MHB). Cells located within and close to the FP secrete sonic hedgehog (SHH), and members of the wingless-type MMTV integration site family (WNT1/5A), as well as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family. The IsO cells secrete WNT1 and the fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8). Accordingly, the FGF8, SHH, WNT, and BMP signaling pathways play crucial roles during the development of the mDA neurons in the mammalian embryo. Moreover, these morphogens are essential for the generation of stem cell-derived mDA neurons, which are critical for the modeling, drug screening, and cell replacement therapy of PD. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the functions and crosstalk of these signaling pathways in mammalian mDA neuron development in vivo and their applications in stem cell-based paradigms for the efficient derivation of these neurons in vitro.
  • Mäkitie, R. E.; Niinimäki, R.; Kakko, S.; Honkanen, T.; Kovanen, P. E.; Mäkitie, O. (2018)
    This study explores bone marrow function in patients with defective WNT1 signaling. Bone marrow samples showed increased reticulin and altered granulopoiesis while overall hematopoiesis was normal. Findings did not associate with severity of osteoporosis. These observations provide new insight into the role of WNT signaling in bone marrow homeostasis. WNT signaling regulates bone homeostasis and survival and self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells. Aberrant activation may lead to osteoporosis and bone marrow pathology. We aimed to explore bone marrow findings in a large family with early-onset osteoporosis due to a heterozygous WNT1 mutation. We analyzed peripheral blood samples, and bone marrow aspirates and biopsies from 10 subjects with WNT1 mutation p.C218G. One subject was previously diagnosed with idiopathic myelofibrosis and others had no previously diagnosed hematologic disorders. The findings were correlated with the skeletal phenotype, as evaluated by number of peripheral and spinal fractures and bone mineral density. Peripheral blood samples showed no abnormalities in cell counts, morphology or distributions but mild increase in platelet count. Bone marrow aspirates (from 8/10 subjects) showed mild decrease in bone marrow iron storages in 6 and variation in cell distributions in 5 subjects. Bone marrow biopsies (from 6/10 subjects) showed increased bone marrow reticulin (grade MF-2 in the myelofibrosis subject and grade MF-1 in 4 others), and an increase in overall, and a shift towards early-phase, granulopoiesis. The bone marrow findings did not associate with the severity of skeletal phenotype. Defective WNT signaling associates with a mild increase in bone marrow reticulin and may predispose to myelofibrosis, while overall hematopoiesis and peripheral blood values are unaltered in individuals with a WNT1 mutation. In this family with WNT1 osteoporosis, bone marrow findings were not related to the severity of osteoporosis.
  • Li, Hao; Hohenstein, Peter; Kuure, Satu (2021)
    The adult mammalian kidney is a poorly regenerating organ that lacks the stem cells that could replenish functional homeostasis similarly to, e.g., skin or the hematopoietic system. Unlike a mature kidney, the embryonic kidney hosts at least three types of lineage-specific stem cells that give rise to (a) a ureter and collecting duct system, (b) nephrons, and (c) mesangial cells together with connective tissue of the stroma. Extensive interest has been raised towards these embryonic progenitor cells, which are normally lost before birth in humans but remain part of the undifferentiated nephrogenic rests in the pediatric renal cancer Wilms tumor. Here, we discuss the current understanding of kidney-specific embryonic progenitor regulation in the innate environment of the developing kidney and the types of disruptions in their balanced regulation that lead to the formation of Wilms tumor.
  • Biggs, Leah C.; Mäkelä, Otto J. M.; Myllymäki, Satu-Marja; Das Roy, Rishi; Närhi, Katja; Pispa, Johanna; Mustonen, Tuija; Mikkola, Marja L. (2018)
    Mesenchymal condensation is a critical step in organogenesis, yet the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. The hair follicle dermal condensate is the precursor to the permanent mesenchymal unit of the hair follicle, the dermal papilla, which regulates hair cycling throughout life and bears hair inductive potential. Dermal condensate morphogenesis depends on epithelial Fibroblast Growth Factor 20 (Fgf20). Here, we combine mouse models with 3D and 4D microscopy to demonstrate that dermal condensates form de novo and via directional migration. We identify cell cycle exit and cell shape changes as early hallmarks of dermal condensate morphogenesis and find that Fgf20 primes these cellular behaviors and enhances cell motility and condensation. RNAseq profiling of immediate Fgf20 targets revealed induction of a subset of dermal condensate marker genes. Collectively, these data indicate that dermal condensation occurs via directed cell movement and that Fgf20 orchestrates the early cellular and molecular events.
  • Santti, Kirsi; Ihalainen, Hanna; Ronty, Mikko; Boehling, Tom; Karlsson, Christina; Haglund, Caj; Tarkkanen, Maija; Blomqvist, Carl (2018)
    Background and Objectives: Desmoid tumors are soft-tissue tumors originating from myofibroblasts with a tendency to recur after surgery. High expression of proliferation markers is associated with shortened progression-free and/or overall survival in many neoplasms, including soft-tissue sarcomas. We investigated the prognostic role of cyclin A and Ki67 in desmoid tumors by immunohistochemistry. Methods: The study included 76 patients with desmoid tumor operated at Helsinki University Hospital between 1987 and 2011. A tissue micro array (TMA) was constructed and the TMA sections were immunostained with cyclin A and Ki67 antibodies. A computer-assisted image analysis was performed. Results: Cyclin A expression was evaluable in 74 and Ki67 in 70 patients. Cyclin A immunopositivity varied from 0% to 9.9%, with a mean of 1.9%. Cyclin A expression correlated significantly with Ki67. Cyclin A expression was associated with recurrence-free survival (HR 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1-3.2, P = .02), as were positive margin (HR 6.0, 95% CI = 1.6-22.5, P = .008) and extremity location (HR 5.3, 95% CI = 1.7-16.8, P = 0.005). Ki67 immunopositivity varied from 0.33% to 13.8%, with a mean of 4.6%, but had no significant prognostic impact (HR 1.1, P = .2). Conclusions: Our study indicates that cyclin A may be a new prognostic biomarker in surgically treated desmoid tumors.
  • Iivonen, Anna-Pauliina; Kärkinen, Juho; Yellapragada, Venkatram; Sidoroff, Virpi; Almusa, Henrikki; Vaaralahti, Kirsi; Raivio, Taneli (2021)
    Patients with deletions on chromosome 9q31.2 may exhibit delayed puberty, craniofacial phenotype including cleft lip/palate, and olfactory bulb hypoplasia. We report a patient with congenital HH with anosmia (Kallmann syndrome, KS) and a de novo 2.38 Mb heterozygous deletion in 9q31.2. The deletion breakpoints (determined with wholegenome linked-read sequencing) were in the FKTN gene (9:108,331,353) and in a non-coding area (9:110,707,332) (hg19). The deletion encompassed six protein-coding genes (FKTN, ZNF462, TAL2, TMEM38B, RAD23B, and KLF4). ZNF462 haploinsufficiency was consistent with the patient's Weiss-Kruszka syndrome (craniofacial phenotype, developmental delay, and sensorineural hearing loss), but did not explain his KS. In further analyses, he did not carry rare sequence variants in 32 known KS genes in whole-exome sequencing and displayed no aberrant splicing of 15 KS genes that were expressed in peripheral blood leukocyte transcriptome. The deletion was 1.8 Mb upstream of a KS candidate gene locus (PALM2AKAP2) but did not suppress its expression. In conclusion, this is the first report of a patient with Weiss-Kruszka syndrome and KS. We suggest that patients carrying a microdeletion in 9q31.2 should be evaluated for the presence of KS and KS-related features.
  • Heino, Sarika; Fang, Shentong; Lähde, Marianne; Högström, Jenny; Nassiri, Sina; Campbell, Andrew; Flanagan, Dustin; Raven, Alexander; Hodder, Michael; Nasreddin, Nadia; Xue, Hai-Hui; Delorenzi, Mauro; Leedham, Simon; Petrova, Tatiana; Sansom, Owen; Alitalo, Kari (2021)
    Somatic mutations in APC or CTNNB1 genes lead to aberrant Wnt signaling and colorectal cancer (CRC) initiation and progression via-catenin-T cell factor/lymphoid enhancer binding factor TCF/LEF transcription factors. We found that Lef1 was expressed exclusively in Apc-mutant, Wnt ligand-independent tumors, but not in ligand-dependent, serrated tumors. To analyze Lef1 function in tumor development, we conditionally deleted Lef1 in intestinal stem cells of Apc(fl/fl) mice or broadly from the entire intestinal epithelium of Apc(fl/fl) or Apc(Min/+) mice. Loss of Lef1 markedly increased tumor initiation and tumor cell proliferation, reduced the expression of several Wnt antagonists, and increased Myc proto-oncogene expression and formation of ectopic crypts in Apc-mutant adenomas. Our results uncover a previously unknown negative feedback mechanism in CRC, in which ectopic Lef1 expression suppresses intestinal tumorigenesis by restricting adenoma cell dedifferentiation to a crypt-progenitor phenotype and by reducing the formation of cancer stem cell niches.
  • Iherman-Hella, Anneliis; Lume, Maria; Miinalainen, Ilkka; Pirttiniemi, Anniina; Gui, Yujuan; Peränen, Johan; Charron, Jean; Saarma, Mart; Costantini, Frank; Kuure, Satu Helena (2014)
  • Eloranta, Katja; Nousiainen, Ruth; Cairo, Stefano; Pakarinen, Mikko P.; Wilson, David B.; Pihlajoki, Marjut; Heikinheimo, Markku (2021)
    The neuropilins NRP1 and NRP2 are multifunctional glycoproteins that have been implicated in several cancer-related processes including cell survival, migration, and invasion in various tumor types. Here, we examine the role of neuropilins in hepatoblastoma (HB), the most common pediatric liver malignancy. Using a combination of immunohistochemistry, RNA analysis and western blotting, we observed high level expression of NRP1 and NRP2 in 19 of 20 HB specimens and in a majority of human HB cell lines (HUH6 and five cell lines established from patient-derived xenografts) studied but not in normal hepatocytes. Silencing of NRP2 expression in HUH6 and HB-282 HB cells resulted in decreased cell viability, impaired cytoskeleton remodeling, and reduced cell motility, suggesting that NRP2 contributes to the malignant phenotype. We propose that neuropilins warrant further investigation as biomarkers of HB and potential therapeutic targets.
  • Flanagan, Dustin J.; Pentinmikko, Nalle; Luopajärvi, Kalle; Willis, Nicky J.; Gilroy, Kathryn; Raven, Alexander P.; Mcgarry, Lynn; Englund, Johanna I.; Webb, Anna T.; Scharaw, Sandra; Nasreddin, Nadia; Hodder, Michael C.; Ridgway, Rachel A.; Minnee, Emma; Sphyris, Nathalie; Gilchrist, Ella; Najumudeen, Arafath K.; Romagnolo, Beatrice; Perret, Christine; Williams, Ann C.; Clevers, Hans; Nummela, Pirjo; Lähde, Marianne; Alitalo, Kari; Hietakangas, Ville; Hedley, Ann; Clark, William; Nixon, Colin; Kirschner, Kristina; Jones, E. Yvonne; Ristimäki, Ari; Leedham, Simon J.; Fish, Paul; Vincent, Jean-Paul; Katajisto, Pekka; Sansom, Owen J. (2021)
    The tumour suppressor APC is the most commonly mutated gene in colorectal cancer. Loss of Apc in intestinal stem cells drives the formation of adenomas in mice via increased WNT signalling(1), but reduced secretion of WNT ligands increases the ability of Apc-mutant intestinal stem cells to colonize a crypt (known as fixation)(2). Here we investigated how Apc-mutant cells gain a clonal advantage over wild-type counterparts to achieve fixation. We found that Apc-mutant cells are enriched for transcripts that encode several secreted WNT antagonists, with Notum being the most highly expressed. Conditioned medium from Apc-mutant cells suppressed the growth of wild-type organoids in a NOTUM-dependent manner. Furthermore, NOTUM-secreting Apc-mutant clones actively inhibited the proliferation of surrounding wild-type crypt cells and drove their differentiation, thereby outcompeting crypt cells from the niche. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of NOTUM abrogated the ability of Apc-mutant cells to expand and form intestinal adenomas. We identify NOTUM as a key mediator during the early stages of mutation fixation that can be targeted to restore wild-type cell competitiveness and provide preventative strategies for people at a high risk of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Wiener, Zoltan; Hogstrom, Jenny; Hyvonen, Ville; Band, Arja M.; Kallio, Pauliina; Holopainen, Tanja; Dufva, Olli; Haglund, Caj; Kruuna, Olli; Oliver, Guillermo; Ben-Neriah, Yinon; Alitalo, Kari (2014)
  • Rahmani, Farzad; Hashemzehi, Milad; Avan, Amir; Barneh, Farnaz; Asgharzadeh, Fereshteh; Marjaneh, Reyhaneh Moradi; Soleimani, Atena; Parizadeh, Mohammadreza; Ferns, Gordon A.; Mobarhan, Majid Ghayour; Ryzhikov, Mikhail; Afshari, Amir Reza; Ahmadian, Mohammad Reza; Giovannetti, Elisa; Jafari, Mohieddin; Khazaei, Majid; Hassanian, Seyed Mahdi (2021)
    Background: The therapeutic potency of Rigosertib (RGS) in the treatment of the myelodysplastic syndrome has been investigated previously, but little is known about its mechanisms of action. Methods: The present study integrates systems and molecular biology approaches to investigate the mechanisms of the anti-tumor effects of RGS, either alone or in combination with 5-FU in cellular and animal models of colorectal cancer (CRC). Results: The effects of RGS were more pronounced in dedifferentiated CRC cell types, compared to cell types that were epithelial-like. RGS inhibited cell proliferation and cell cycle progression in a cell-type specific manner, and that was dependent on the presence of mutations in KRAS, or its down-stream effectors. RGS increased both early and late apoptosis, by regulating the expression of p53, BAX and MDM2 in tumor model. We also found that RGS induced cell senescence in tumor tissues by increasing ROS generation, and impairing oxidant/anti-oxidant balance. RGS also inhibited angiogenesis and metastatic behavior of CRC cells, by regulating the expression of CD31, E-cadherin, and matrix metalloproteinases-2 and 9. Conclusion: Our findings support the therapeutic potential of this potent RAS signaling inhibitor either alone or in combination with standard regimens for the management of patients with CRC.
  • Heinosalo, T.; Gabriel, M.; Kallio, L.; Adhikari, P.; Huhtinen, K.; Laajala, T. D.; Kaikkonen, E.; Mehmood, A.; Suvitie, P.; Kujari, H.; Aittokallio, T.; Perheentupa, A.; Poutanen, M. (2018)
    STUDY QUESTION: What is the role of SFRP2 in endometriosis? SUMMARY ANSWER: SFRP2 acts as a canonical WNT/CTNNBI signaling agonist in endometriosis, regulating endometriosis lesion growth and indicating endometriosis lesion borders together with CTNNBI (also known as beta catenin). WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Endometriosis is a common, chronic disease that affects women of reproductive age, causing pain and infertility, and has significant economic impact on national health systems. Despite extensive research, the pathogenesis of endometriosis is poorly understood, and targeted medical treatments are lacking. WNT signaling is dysregulated in various human diseases, but its role in extraovarian endometriosis has not been fully elucidated. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: We evaluated the significance of WNT signaling, and especially secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2), in extraovarian endometriosis, including peritoneal and deep lesions. The study design was based on a cohort of clinical samples collected by laparoscopy or curettage and questionnaire data from healthy controls and endometriosis patients. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Global gene expression analysis in human endometrium ( n = 104) and endometriosis (n = 177) specimens from 47 healthy controls and 103 endometriosis patients was followed by bioinformatics and supportive qPCR analyses. Immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, primary cell culture and siRNA knockdown approaches were used to validate the findings. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Among the 220 WNT signaling and CTNNBI target genes analysed, 184 genes showed differential expression in extraovarian endometriosis (P <0.05) compared with endometrium tissue, including SFRP2 and CTNNI. Menstrual cycle-dependent regulation of WNT genes observed in the endometrium was lost in endometriosis lesions, as shown by hierarchical clustering. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that SFRP2 and CTNNBI are novel endometriosis lesion border markers, complementing immunostaining for the known marker CD10 (also known as MME). SFRP2 and CTNNBI localized similarly in both the epithelium and stroma of extraovarian endometriosis tissue, and interestingly, both also indicated an additional distant lesion border, suggesting that WNT signaling is altered in the endometriosis stroma beyond the primary border indicated by the known marker CD10. SFRP2 expression was positively associated with pain symptoms experienced by patients (P <0.05), and functional loss of SFRP2 in extraovarian endometriosis primary cell cultures resulted in decreased cell proliferation (P <0.05) associated with reduced CTNNBI protein expression (P = 0.05). LIMITATIONS REASONS FOR CAUTION: SFRP2 and CTNNBI improved extraovarian endometriosis lesion border detection in a relatively small cohort (n = 20), although larger studies with different endometriosis subtypes in variable cycle phases and under hormonal medication are required. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The highly expressed SFRP2 and CTNNBI improve endometriosis lesion border detection, which can have clinical implications for better visualization of endometriosis lesions over CD10. Furthermore, SFRP2 acts as a canonical WNT/CTNNBI signaling agonist in endometriosis and positively regulates endometriosis lesion growth, suggesting that the WNT pathway may be an important therapeutic target for endometriosis.