Potential Therapeutic Target
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2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (8) ◽  
Changhwan Yoon ◽  
Jun Lu ◽  
Sandra W. Ryeom ◽  
M. Celeste Simon ◽  
Sam S. Yoon

AbstractTo identify drivers of sarcoma cancer stem-like cells (CSCs), we compared gene expression using RNA sequencing between HT1080 fibrosarcoma and SK-LMS-1 leiomyosarcoma spheroids (which are enriched for CSCs) compared with the parent populations. The most overexpressed survival signaling-related gene in spheroids was phosphoinositide-3-kinase regulatory subunit 3 (PIK3R3), a regulatory subunit of PI3K, which functions in tumorigenesis and metastasis. In a human sarcoma microarray, PIK3R3 was also overexpressed by 4.1-fold compared with normal tissues. PIK3R3 inhibition using shRNA in the HT1080, SK-LMS-1, and DDLS8817 dedifferentiated liposarcoma in spheroids and in CD133+ cells (a CSC marker) reduced expression of CD133 and the stem cell factor Nanog and blocked spheroid formation by 61–71%. Mechanistic studies showed that in spheroid cells, PIK3R3 activated AKT and ERK signaling. Inhibition of PIK3R3, AKT, or ERK using shRNA or inhibitors decreased expression of Nanog, spheroid formation by 68–73%, and anchorage-independent growth by 76–91%. PIK3R3 or ERK1/2 inhibition similarly blocked sarcoma spheroid cell migration, invasion, secretion of MMP-2, xenograft invasion into adjacent normal tissue, and chemotherapy resistance. Together, these results show that signaling through the PIK3R3/ERK/Nanog axis promotes sarcoma CSC phenotypes such as migration, invasion, and chemotherapy resistance, and identify PIK3R3 as a potential therapeutic target in sarcoma.

Oncogene ◽  
2021 ◽  
Shaobin Huang ◽  
Wuguo Deng ◽  
Peng Wang ◽  
Yue Yan ◽  
Chuanbo Xie ◽  

AbstractWe identified fermitin family member 2 (FERMT2, also known as kindlin-2) as a potential target in A375 cell line by siRNA library screening. Drugs that target mutant BRAF kinase lack durable efficacy in the treatment of melanoma because of acquired resistance, thus the identification of novel therapeutic targets is needed. Immunohistochemistry was used to identify kindlin-2 expression in melanoma samples. The interaction between kindlin-2 and Rac1 or p-Rac/Cdc42 guanine nucleotide exchange factor 6 (α-Pix) was investigated. Finally, the tumor suppressive role of kindlin-2 was validated in vitro and in vivo. Analysis of clinical samples and Oncomine data showed that higher levels of kindlin-2 predicted a more advanced T stage and M stage and facilitated metastasis and recurrence. Kindlin-2 knockdown significantly inhibited melanoma growth and migration, whereas kindlin-2 overexpression had the inverse effects. Further study showed that kindlin-2 could specifically bind to p-α-Pix(S13) and Rac1 to induce a switch from the inactive Rac1-GDP conformation to the active Rac1-GTP conformation and then stimulate the downstream MAPK pathway. Moreover, we revealed that a Rac1 inhibitor suppressed melanoma growth and metastasis and the combination of the Rac1 inhibitor and vemurafenib resulted in a better therapeutic outcome than monotherapy in melanoma with high kindlin-2 expression and BRAF mutation. Our results demonstrated that kindlin-2 promoted melanoma progression, which was attributed to specific binding to p-α-Pix(S13) and Rac1 to stimulate the downstream MAPK pathway. Thus, kindlin-2 could be a potential therapeutic target for treating melanoma.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (15) ◽  
pp. 8058
Shama R. Iyer ◽  
Sameer B. Shah ◽  
Richard M. Lovering

The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a specialized synapse that bridges the motor neuron and the skeletal muscle fiber and is crucial for conversion of electrical impulses originating in the motor neuron to action potentials in the muscle fiber. The consideration of contributing factors to skeletal muscle injury, muscular dystrophy and sarcopenia cannot be restricted only to processes intrinsic to the muscle, as data show that these conditions incur denervation-like findings, such as fragmented NMJ morphology and corresponding functional changes in neuromuscular transmission. Primary defects in the NMJ also influence functional loss in motor neuron disease, congenital myasthenic syndromes and myasthenia gravis, resulting in skeletal muscle weakness and heightened fatigue. Such findings underscore the role that the NMJ plays in neuromuscular performance. Regardless of cause or effect, functional denervation is now an accepted consequence of sarcopenia and muscle disease. In this short review, we provide an overview of the pathologic etiology, symptoms, and therapeutic strategies related to the NMJ. In particular, we examine the role of the NMJ as a disease modifier and a potential therapeutic target in neuromuscular injury and disease.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Zhen Huang ◽  
Hui Chen ◽  
Shenglin Wang ◽  
Hongxiang Wei ◽  
Xinwen Wang ◽  

Despite the development of diagnostic and treatment strategies, the survival outcome of patients with osteosarcoma remains poor. Nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) plays a crucial role in the inflammasome pathway, which is related to the progression of various tumors. However, the effect of NLRP3 on osteosarcoma has not yet been well explored. Our study aimed to investigate the role of NLRP3 in the malignant biological behavior of osteosarcoma as well as its therapeutic value. Immunohistochemistry was applied to investigate the NLRP3 expression in osteosarcoma and osteochondroma specimens. Cell Counting Kit-8, colony formation, wound healing, transwell, and flow cytometry assays were used to explore the contribution of NLRP3 to the proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptosis and cell cycle distribution of osteosarcoma cells in vitro. Western blot was performed to evaluate the expression of NLRP3 and the related proteins in osteosarcoma cell lines after the blockade of NLRP3 using CY-09 and lentivirus intervention. Furthermore, tumor formation assay was used to analyze the effect of NLRP3 on the growth of osteosarcoma in vivo. The results showed that the NLRP3 protein was overexpressed in osteosarcoma, which was independently correlated with the poor prognosis of patients. Moreover, NLRP3 suppression by the inhibitor of CY-09 or lentivirus-induced gene knockdown inhibited the cell proliferation, migration, invasion and promoted the cell apoptosis and G1 cell cycle arrest in osteosarcoma via targeting the inflammasome pathway. Our in vivo results confirmed that the inhibition of NLRP3 suppressed the tumor formation of osteosarcoma. In conclusion, NLRP3 may be regarded as an independent prognostic biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for osteosarcoma.

Yingchong Wang ◽  
Qi Li ◽  
Dingwen Hu ◽  
Daolong Gao ◽  
Wenbiao Wang ◽  

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, and its infection may cause severe neurodegenerative diseases. The outbreak of ZIKV in 2015 in South American has caused severe human congenital and neurologic disorders. Thus, it is vitally important to figure out inner mechanism of ZIKV infection. Here, our data suggested that the ubiquitin-specific peptidase 38 (USP38) played an important role in host resistance to ZIKV infection, during which ZIKV infection did not affect USP38 expression. Mechanistically, USP38 bound to ZIKV envelope (E) protein through its C-terminal domain and attenuated its K48-linked and K63-linked polyubiquitination, thereby repressed the infection of ZIKV. In addition, we found that the deubiquitinase activity of USP38 was essential to inhibit ZIKV infection, and the mutant that lacked the deubiquitinase activity of USP38 lost ability to inhibit the infection. In conclusion, we found a novel host protein USP38 against ZIKV infection, and this may represent a potential therapeutic target for the treatment and prevention of ZIKV infection.

2021 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Dongqiong Xiao ◽  
Xiaojuan Su ◽  
Hu Gao ◽  
Xihong Li ◽  
Yi Qu

Lysophosphatidic acid receptor 1 (Lpar1), which is found in almost all human tissues but is most abundant in the brain, can couple to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and participate in regulating cell proliferation, migration, survival, and apoptosis. Endothelial differentiation gene-2 receptor (Edg2), the protein encoded by the Lpar1 gene, is present on various cell types in the central nervous system (CNS), such as neural stem cells (NSCs), oligodendrocytes, neurons, astrocytes, and microglia. Lpar1 deletion causes neurodevelopmental disorders and CNS diseases, such as brain cancer, neuropsychiatric disorders, demyelination diseases, and neuropathic pain. Here, we summarize the possible roles and mechanisms of Lpar1/Edg2 in CNS disorders and diseases and propose that Lpar1/Edg2 might be a potential therapeutic target for CNS disorders and diseases.

2021 ◽  
Juan Chen ◽  
Fan Li ◽  
Minli Yang ◽  
Yujiao Zhou ◽  
Haijun Deng ◽  

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths globally and tumor metastasis is one of the major causes of high mortality. To identify novel molecules contributing to HCC metastasis is critical to understanding the underlining mechanism of cancer metastasis. Here, combining the analyze based on published database and liver tissues from HCC patients, we identified that RNA binding protein L23 (RPL23) as a tumor metastasis driver in HCC. RPL23 was elevated in HCC and closely related to poor clinical outcomes. Furthermore, RPL23 depletion inhibited HCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion, while RPL23 overexpression promoted HCC cell metastasis. Mechanistically, RPL23 positively regulated MMP9 expression by stabilizing its mRNA. And increased MMP9 is involved in RPL23-mediated HCC metastasis. Importantly, RPL23 silencing reduced tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. In summary, we identified that RPL23 play an important role in HCC metastasis in an MMP9-dependent manner and may be a novel potential therapeutic target for HCC tumorigenesis and metastasis.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Weiping Xia ◽  
Yao He ◽  
Yu Gan ◽  
Bo Zhang ◽  
Guoyu Dai ◽  

Renal fibrosis (RF) is a pathological process that culminates in terminal renal failure in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Fibrosis contributes to progressive and irreversible decline in renal function. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in RF are complex and remain poorly understood. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a major type of non-coding RNAs, which significantly affect various disease processes, cellular homeostasis, and development through multiple mechanisms. Recent investigations have implicated aberrantly expressed lncRNA in RF development and progression, suggesting that lncRNAs play a crucial role in determining the clinical manifestation of RF. In this review, we comprehensively evaluated the recently published articles on lncRNAs in RF, discussed the potential application of lncRNAs as diagnostic and/or prognostic biomarkers, proposed therapeutic targets for treating RF-associated diseases and subsequent CKD transition, and highlight future research directions in the context of the role of lncRNAs in the development and treatment of RF.

Shuyi Cen ◽  
Kun Liu ◽  
Yu Zheng ◽  
Jianzhen Shan ◽  
Chao Jing ◽  

BRAF mutated colon cancer presents with poor survival, and the treatment strategies are controversial. The tumor microenvironment, which plays a key role in tumorigenesis as well as responses to treatments, of this subtype is largely unknown. In the present study, we analyzed the differences of immune microenvironments between BRAF mutated and BRAF wild-type colon cancer utilizing datasets from The Cancer Genome Atlas and Gene Expression Omnibus and confirmed the findings by tissue specimens of patients. We found that BRAF mutated colon cancer had more stromal cells, more immune cell infiltration, and lower tumor purity. Many immunotherapeutic targets, including PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA-4, LAG-3, and TIM-3, were highly expressed in BRAF mutated patients. BRAF mutation was also correlated with higher proportions of neutrophils and macrophages M1, and lower proportions of plasma cells, dendritic cells resting, and T cells CD4 naïve. In conclusion, our study demonstrates a different pattern of the immune microenvironment in BRAF mutated colon cancer and provides insights into the future use of checkpoint inhibitors in this subgroup of patients.

2021 ◽  
Yonglian Guo ◽  
Guohao Li ◽  
Zhihua Wan ◽  
Yuanjie Zhang ◽  
Dong Liu ◽  

Abstract Objective: Prostate cancer (PCa) refers to one of the most common tumors in male’s genitourinary system. Emerging research has confirmed that circRNAs play an important role in the occurrence and development of tumors. However, the correlation between circular RNA circITGA7 and PCa still remains unclear. Here, the role of circITGA7 in PCa was explored and the underlying mechanism was investigated as well.Methods: The circRNA expression profiles in PCa and the paracancerous tissues were established by high-throughput sequencing. The expression levels of circITGA7 in PCa tissues and cells were detected by qRT-PCR. Cell Counting Kit-8, colony formation, EdU and flow cytometry assays were used to detect the effects of circITGA7 on PCa cell proliferation. To further explore the underlying mechanisms, bioinformatics analysis on downstream target genes was carried out. RNA immunoprecipitation and dual-luciferase reporter assays were used to verify the direct relationship between miR-370-3p and circITGA7 or P21CIP1.Results: circITGA7 was downregulated in PCa tissues and cells. Gain- or loss-of-function assays showed that circITGA7 inhibited the proliferation of PCa cells in vivo and in vitro. Mechanically, circITGA7 served as a sponge for miR-370-3p and miR-370-3p could target P21CIP1 in PCa cells. The inhibition of cell proliferation induced by circITGA7 could be reversed by transfecting miR-370-3p mimic. Conclusion: Our data indicated that circITGA7 played an important role in inhibiting tumor proliferation in PCa and might be a potential therapeutic target.

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