Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition
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2021 ◽  
Anais Aulas ◽  
Maria-Lucia Liberatoscioli ◽  
Pascal Finetti ◽  
Olivier Cabaud ◽  
David J Birnbaum ◽  

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second cause of death worldwide. Up to 70% of CRC patients will metastasize at one point. Understanding the chain of events that lead to metastasis occurrence is urgent to identify new biomarkers of progression or new targets to prevent and delay disease evolution. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a major program engaged during metastasis. EMT is extremely complex to analyze in situ due to the broad involvement of its transcription factors. We hypothesized that a relevant and dynamic in vitro model of pure cancer cells will reveal a combination of new genes that might further identify signs of EMT in cancer tissues. We treated HT-29 cells grown in 3D with an EMT-inducing factor, but also looked at reverse changes after EMT-inducing factor removal. For each condition, pan-transcriptomic analyses were done. Genes that were both induced upon EMT induction and inhibited upon EMT release (mesenchymal to epithelial transition or MET) were selected. Consistent with our hypothesis, we identified new genes for the EMT-MET programs. These genes were used to build a metagene that, when applied to a large database of transcriptomic data from primary colorectal tumors (n= 2,239), had an independent prognosis value. Finally, we submitted this metagene to CMap and identified drugs that might affect EMT-MET programs. Statins, well-known inhibitors of cholesterol synthesis, were among them and effectively delayed MET in vitro. These data show that cholesterol and EMT pathways are opposite regulators and impact differently tumors differentiation and outcome.

2021 ◽  
Vol 23 (1) ◽  
Kenneth F. Fuh ◽  
Robert D. Shepherd ◽  
Jessica S. Withell ◽  
Brayden K. Kooistra ◽  
Kristina D. Rinker

Abstract Background Mechanical interactions between tumor cells and microenvironments are frequent phenomena during breast cancer progression, however, it is not well understood how these interactions affect Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT). EMT is associated with the progression of most carcinomas through induction of new transcriptional programs within affected epithelial cells, resulting in cells becoming more motile and adhesive to endothelial cells. Methods MDA-MB-231, SK-BR-3, BT-474, and MCF-7 cells and normal Human Mammary Epithelial Cells (HMECs) were exposed to fluid flow in a parallel-plate bioreactor system. Changes in expression were quantified using microarrays, qPCR, immunocytochemistry, and western blots. Gene–gene interactions were elucidated using network analysis, and key modified genes were examined in clinical datasets. Potential involvement of Smads was investigated using siRNA knockdown studies. Finally, the ability of flow-stimulated and unstimulated cancer cells to adhere to an endothelial monolayer, migrate and invade membrane pores was evaluated in flow and static adhesion experiments. Results Fluid flow stimulation resulted in upregulation of EMT inducers and downregulation of repressors. Specifically, Vimentin and Snail were upregulated both at the gene and protein expression levels in flow stimulated HMECs and MDA-MB-231 cells, suggesting progression towards an EMT phenotype. Flow-stimulated SNAI2 was abrogated with Smad3 siRNA. Flow-induced overexpression of a panel of cell adhesion genes was also observed. Network analysis revealed genes involved in cell flow responses including FN1, PLAU, and ALCAM. When evaluated in clinical datasets, overexpression of FN1, PLAU, and ALCAM was observed in patients with different subtypes of breast cancer. We also observed increased adhesion, migration and invasion of flow-stimulated breast cancer cells compared to unstimulated controls. Conclusions This study shows that fluid forces on the order of 1 Pa promote EMT and adhesion of breast cancer cells to an endothelial monolayer and identified biomarkers were distinctly expressed in patient populations. A better understanding of how biophysical forces such as shear stress affect cellular processes involved in metastatic progression of breast cancer is important for identifying new molecular markers for disease progression, and for predicting metastatic risk.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (19) ◽  
pp. 10588
Federico Armando ◽  
Samanta Mecocci ◽  
Virginia Orlandi ◽  
Ilaria Porcellato ◽  
Katia Cappelli ◽  

Equine penile squamous cell carcinoma (epSCC) is the most frequent tumor of the external male genitalia, representing 67.5% of equine genital cancers. epSCC is associated with papilloma virus (PV) infection and has been recently proposed as a model for human PV-induced squamous cell carcinomas. It has already been suggested that epSCC might undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). This work aims to investigate in detail this process and the possible role of PV oncoproteins in epSCC. For this purpose, 18 penile SCCs were retrospectively selected and tested for both EcPV2 presence and oncoproteins (EcPV2 E6 and EcPV2 E7) expression. Moreover, immunohistochemical EMT characterization was carried out by analyzing the main epithelial markers (E-cadherin, β-catenin, and pan-cytokeratin AE3/AE1), the main mesenchymal markers (N-cadherin and vimentin), and the main EMT-related transcription factors (TWIST-1, ZEB-1). PCR analysis was positive for EcPV2 in 16 out of 18 samples. EMT was investigated in epSCC positive for EcPV2. The immunohistochemistry results suggested the presence of EMT processes in the neoplastic cells at the tumor invasive front. Moreover, the significant upregulation of RANKL, together with BCATN1, LEF1, and FOSL1 genes, might suggest a canonical Wnt pathway activation, similarly to what is reported in human penile squamous cell carcinomas

2021 ◽  
Zhongyi Fan ◽  
Jingjing Duan ◽  
Lei Zhang ◽  
Qiong Chen ◽  
Wen Xiao ◽  

Abstract Background: Uveal melanoma (UM) is an aggressive primary intraocular tumor in adults, with high metastatic capacity and high morbidity. However, the mechanisms of UM metastasis have not been clearly elucidated.Methods: The PTK2 expression and activation were performed in the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and 25 patients of UM. The role of PTK2 in promoting metastasis was explored in vitro and in vivo. Subsequently, we revealed the correlation between PTK2 expression and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Finally, we explored the reason for the high expression of PTK2 in UM.Results: Our study found that protein tyrosine kinase 2 (PTK2) was overexpressed in UM specimens, and as a novel independent risk factor, its overexpression predicted the poor survival of UM patients. For the molecular mechanism, PTK2 promoted EMT phenotype, thus leading to tumor metastasis in UM cells. Subsequently, we have demonstrated that PTK2 was a functional gene of chromosome 8q gain accounting for UM metastasis, providing a novel molecular mechanism for the aberrantly expression and activation of PTK2 in UM.Conclusion: Our data reveal the important role and mechanism of PTK2 in the metastatic process of UM, which may clue to a new predictive biomarker for UM metastasis and a new therapeutic target for UM treatment.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Ramesh Krishnan ◽  
Esmond L. Arrindell ◽  
Caminita Frank ◽  
Zhang Jie ◽  
Randal K. Buddington

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a devastating disease of prematurity that is associated with mechanical ventilation and hyperoxia. We used preterm pigs delivered at gestational day 102 as a translational model for 26–28-week infants to test the hypothesis administering recombinant human keratinocyte growth factor (rhKGF) at initiation of mechanical ventilation will stimulate type II cell proliferation and surfactant production, mitigate ventilator induced lung injury, and reduce epithelial to mesenchymal transition considered as a precursor to BPD. Newborn preterm pigs were intubated and randomized to receive intratracheal rhKGF (20 μg/kg; n = 6) or saline (0.5 ml 0.9% saline; control; n = 6) before initiating 24 h of ventilation followed by extubation to nasal oxygen for 12 h before euthanasia and collection of lungs for histopathology and immunohistochemistry to assess expression of surfactant protein B and markers of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. rhKGF pigs required less oxygen during mechanical ventilation, had higher tidal volumes at similar peak pressures indicative of improved lung compliance, and survival was higher after extubation (83% vs. 16%). rhKGF increased surfactant protein B expression (p < 0.05) and reduced TGF-1β (p < 0.05), that inhibits surfactant production and is a prominent marker for epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Our findings suggest intratracheal administration of rhKGF at initiation of mechanical ventilation enhances surfactant production, reduces ventilator induced lung injury, and attenuates epithelial-mesenchymal transition while improving pulmonary functions. rhKGF is a potential therapeutic strategy to mitigate pulmonary responses of preterm infants that require mechanical ventilation and thereby reduce the incidence and severity of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

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