ResearchPad - skin-neoplasms https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Identification of differentially expressed genes in actinic keratosis samples treated with ingenol mebutate gel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14730 Actinic keratosis is a common skin disease that may progress to invasive squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. Ingenol mebutate has demonstrated efficacy in field treatment of actinic keratosis. However, molecular mechanisms on ingenol mebutate response are not yet fully understood. In this study, we evaluated the gene expression profiles of actinic keratosis lesions before and after treatment with ingenol mebutate using microarray technology. Actinic keratoses on face/scalp of 15 immunocompetent patients were identified and evaluated after treatment with topical ingenol mebutate gel 0.015%, applied once daily for 3 consecutive days. Diagnostic and clearance of lesions was determined by clinical, dermoscopic, and reflectance confocal microscopy criteria. Lesional and non-lesional skin biopsies were subjected to gene expression analysis profiled by Affymetrix microarray. Differentially expressed genes were identified, and enrichment analyses were performed using STRING database. At 8 weeks post-treatment, 60% of patients responded to ingenol mebutate therapy, achieving complete clearance in 40% of cases. A total of 128 differentially expressed genes were identified following treatment, and downregulated genes (114 of 128) revealed changes in pathways important to epidermal development, keratinocyte differentiation and cornification. In responder patients, 388 downregulated genes (of 450 differentially expressed genes) were also involved in development/differentiation of the epidermis, and immune system-related pathways, such as cytokine and interleukin signaling. Cluster analysis revealed two relevant clusters showing upregulated profile patterns in pre-treatment actinic keratoses of responders, as compared to non-responders. Again, differentially expressed genes were mainly associated with cornification, keratinization and keratinocyte differentiation. Overall, the present study provides insight into the gene expression profile of actinic keratoses after treatment with ingenol mebutate, as well as identification of genetic signatures that could predict treatment response.

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<![CDATA[Prognostic value of uPAR expression and angiogenesis in primary and metastatic melanoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466554d5eed0c484518a14

Angiogenesis is important for the progression of cutaneous melanoma. Here, we analyzed the prognostic impact of the angiogenic factor urokinase plasminogen activator resecptor (uPAR), vascular proliferation index (VPI) and tumor necrosis as a measure of hypoxia in a patient series of nodular melanomas (n = 255) and matched loco-regional metastases (n = 78). Expression of uPAR was determined by immunohistochemistry and VPI was assessed by dual immunohistochemistry using Factor-VIII/Ki67 staining. Necrosis was recorded based on HE-slides. As novel findings, high uPAR expression and high VPI were associated with each other, and with increased tumor thickness, presence of tumor necrosis, tumor ulceration, increased mitotic count and reduced cancer specific survival in primary melanoma. In matched cases, VPI was decreased in metastases, whereas the frequency of necrosis was increased. Our findings demonstrate for the first time the impact on melanoma specific survival of uPAR expression and VPI in primary tumors, and of increased necrosis as an indicator of tumor hypoxia in loco-regional metastases. These findings support the importance of tumor angiogenesis in melanoma aggressiveness, and suggest uPAR as an indicator of vascular proliferation and a potential biomarker in melanoma.

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<![CDATA[Nucleosome positions establish an extended mutation signature in melanoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841d8d5eed0c484fcae6a

Ultraviolet (UV) light-induced mutations are unevenly distributed across skin cancer genomes, but the molecular mechanisms responsible for this heterogeneity are not fully understood. Here, we assessed how nucleosome structure impacts the positions of UV-induced mutations in human melanomas. Analysis of mutation positions from cutaneous melanomas within strongly positioned nucleosomes revealed a striking ~10 base pair (bp) oscillation in mutation density with peaks occurring at dinucleotides facing away from the histone octamer. Additionally, higher mutation density at the nucleosome dyad generated an overarching “translational curvature” across the 147 bp of DNA that constitutes the nucleosome core particle. This periodicity and curvature cannot be explained by sequence biases in nucleosomal DNA. Instead, our genome-wide map of UV-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) indicates that CPD formation is elevated at outward facing dinucleotides, mirroring the oscillation of mutation density within nucleosome-bound DNA. Nucleotide excision repair (NER) activity, as measured by XR-seq, inversely correlated with the curvature of mutation density associated with the translational setting of the nucleosome. While the 10 bp periodicity of mutations is maintained across nucleosomes regardless of chromatin state, histone modifications, and transcription levels, overall mutation density and curvature across the core particle increased with lower transcription levels. Our observations suggest structural conformations of DNA promote CPD formation at specific sites within nucleosomes, and steric hindrance progressively limits lesion repair towards the nucleosome dyad. Both mechanisms create a unique extended mutation signature within strongly positioned nucleosomes across the human genome.

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<![CDATA[Theranostic Properties of a Survivin-Directed Molecular Beacon in Human Melanoma Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db00ab0ee8fa60bc654e

Survivin is an inhibitor of apoptosis overexpressed in different types of tumors and undetectable in most terminally differentiated normal tissues. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the in vitro theranostic properties of a molecular beacon-oligodeoxynucleotide (MB) that targets survivin mRNA. We used laser scanning confocal microscopy to study MB delivery in living cells and real-time PCR and western blot to assess selective survivin-targeting in human malignant melanoma cells. We further assess the pro-apoptotic effect of MB by measuring internucleosomal DNA fragmentation, dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and changes in nuclear morphology. Transfection of MB into A375 and 501 Mel cells generated high signal intensity from the cytoplasm, while no signal was detected in the extracellular environment and in survivin-negative cells (i.e., human melanocytes and monocytes). MB time dependently decreased survivin mRNA and protein expression in melanoma cells with the maximum effect reached at 72 h. Treatment of melanoma cells with MB induced apoptosis by significant changes in MMP, accumulation of histone-complexed DNA fragments in the cytoplasm and nuclear condensation. MB also enhanced the pro-apoptotic effect of standard chemotherapeutic drugs tested at clinically relevant concentrations. The MB tested in the current study conjugates the ability of imaging with the pharmacological silencing activity against survivin mRNA in human melanoma cells and may represent an innovative approach for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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<![CDATA[Upregulated Expression of Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel Subfamily V Receptors in Mucosae of Patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Patients with a History of Alcohol Consumption or Smoking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da18ab0ee8fa60b7bfc0

Objectives

Transient receptor potential cation channel (subfamily V, members 1–4) (TRPV1–4) are expressed in skin and neurons and activated by external stimuli in normal mucosae of all oral cavity sites. The oral cavity is exposed to various stimuli, including temperature, mechanical stimuli, chemical substances, and changes in pH, and, notably, the risk factors for oncogenic transformation in oral squamous epithelium are the same as the external stimuli received by TRPV1–4 receptors. Hence, we examined the relationship between oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and TRPV1–4 expression.

Materials and Methods

Oral SCC patients (n = 37) who underwent surgical resection were included in this study. We investigated the expression of TRPV1–4 by immunohistochemical staining and quantification of TRPV1–4 mRNA in human oral mucosa. In addition, we compared the TRPV1–4 levels in mucosa from patients with SCC to those in normal oral mucosa.

Results

The receptors were expressed in oral mucosa at all sites (tongue, buccal mucosa, gingiva, and oral floor) and the expression was stronger in epithelia from patients with SCC than in normal epithelia. Furthermore, alcohol consumption and tobacco use were strongly associated with the occurrence of oral cancer and were found to have a remarkable influence on TRPV1–4 receptor expression in normal oral mucosa. In particular, patients with a history of alcohol consumption demonstrated significantly higher expression levels.

Conclusion

Various external stimuli may influence the behavior of cancer cells. Overexpression of TRPV1-4 is likely to be a factor in enhanced sensitivity to external stimuli. These findings could contribute to the establishment of novel strategies for cancer therapy or prevention.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of Testing Methods for the Detection of BRAF V600E Mutations in Malignant Melanoma: Pre-Approval Validation Study of the Companion Diagnostic Test for Vemurafenib]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3bab0ee8fa60bd4b6e

Background

The cobas 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test is a CE-marked and FDA-approved in vitro diagnostic assay used to select patients with metastatic melanoma for treatment with the selective BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib. We describe the pre-approval validation of this test in two external laboratories.

Methods

Melanoma specimens were tested for BRAF V600 mutations at two laboratories with the: cobas BRAF Mutation Test; ABI BRAF test; and bidirectional direct sequencing. Positive (PPA) and negative (NPA) percent agreements were determined between the cobas test and the other assays. Specimens with discordant results were tested with massively parallel pyrosequencing (454). DNA blends with 5% mutant alleles were tested to assess detection rates.

Results

Invalid results were observed in 8/116 specimens (6·9%) with Sanger, 10/116 (8·6%) with ABI BRAF, and 0/232 (0%) with the cobas BRAF test. PPA was 97·7% for V600E mutation for the cobas BRAF test and Sanger, and NPA was 95·3%. For the cobas BRAF test and ABI BRAF, PPA was 71·9% and NPA 83·7%. For 16 cobas BRAF test-negative/ABI BRAF-positive specimens, 454 sequencing detected no codon 600 mutations in 12 and variant codon 600 mutations in four. For eight cobas BRAF test-positive/ABI BRAF-negative specimens, four were V600E and four V600K by 454 sequencing. Detection rates for 5% mutation blends were 100% for the cobas BRAF test, 33% for Sanger, and 21% for the ABI BRAF. Reproducibility of the cobas BRAF test was 111/116 (96%) between the two sites.

Conclusions

It is feasible to evaluate potential companion diagnostic tests in external laboratories simultaneously to the pivotal clinical trial validation. The health authority approved assay had substantially better performance characteristics than the two other methods. The overall success of the cobas BRAF test is a proof of concept for future biomarker development.

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<![CDATA[Quantitative Multi-Parametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Tumor Response to Photodynamic Therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da13ab0ee8fa60b7a2e2

Objective

The aim of this study was to characterize response to photodynamic therapy (PDT) in a mouse cancer model using a multi-parametric quantitative MRI protocol and to identify MR parameters as potential biomarkers for early assessment of treatment outcome.

Methods

CT26.WT colon carcinoma tumors were grown subcutaneously in the hind limb of BALB/c mice. Therapy consisted of intravenous injection of the photosensitizer Bremachlorin, followed by 10 min laser illumination (200 mW/cm2) of the tumor 6 h post injection. MRI at 7 T was performed at baseline, directly after PDT, as well as at 24 h, and 72 h. Tumor relaxation time constants (T1 and T2) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were quantified at each time point. Additionally, Gd-DOTA dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI was performed to estimate transfer constants (Ktrans) and volume fractions of the extravascular extracellular space (ve) using standard Tofts-Kermode tracer kinetic modeling. At the end of the experiment, tumor viability was characterized by histology using NADH-diaphorase staining.

Results

The therapy induced extensive cell death in the tumor and resulted in significant reduction in tumor growth, as compared to untreated controls. Tumor T1 and T2 relaxation times remained unchanged up to 24 h, but decreased at 72 h after treatment. Tumor ADC values significantly increased at 24 h and 72 h. DCE-MRI derived tracer kinetic parameters displayed an early response to the treatment. Directly after PDT complete vascular shutdown was observed in large parts of the tumors and reduced uptake (decreased Ktrans) in remaining tumor tissue. At 24 h, contrast uptake in most tumors was essentially absent. Out of 5 animals that were monitored for 2 weeks after treatment, 3 had tumor recurrence, in locations that showed strong contrast uptake at 72 h.

Conclusion

DCE-MRI is an effective tool for visualization of vascular effects directly after PDT. Endogenous contrast parameters T1, T2, and ADC, measured at 24 to 72 h after PDT, are also potential biomarkers for evaluation of therapy outcome.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive measurement of UVB-induced non-melanoma skin cancer burden in mice using photographic images as a substitute for the caliper method]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb966

The vernier caliper has been used as a gold standard to measure the length, width and height of skin tumors to calculate their total area and volume. It is a simple method for collecting data on a few tumors at a time, but becomes tedious, time-consuming and stressful for the animals and the operator when used for measuring multiple tumors in a large number of animals in protocols such as UVB-induced non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in SKH-1 mice. Here, we show that photographic images of these mice taken within a few minutes under optimized conditions can be subjected to computerized analyses to determine tumor volume and area as accurately and precisely as the caliper method. Unlike the caliper method, the photographic method also records the incidence and multiplicity of tumors, thus permitting comprehensive measurement of tumor burden in the animal. The simplicity and ease of this method will permit more frequent monitoring of tumor burden in long protocols, resulting in the creation of additional data about dynamic changes in progression of cancer or the efficacy of therapeutic intervention. The photographic method can broadly substitute the caliper method for quantifying other skin pathologies.

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<![CDATA[Expression Profiling of CYP1B1 in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Counterintuitive Downregulation in Tumors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f0ab0ee8fa60b6e452

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) has a very flagitious treatment regime. A prodrug approach is thought to aid in targeting chemotherapy. CYP1B1, a member of cytochrome P450 family, has been implicated in chemical carcinogenesis. There exists a general accordance that this protein is overexpressed in a variety of cancers, making it an ideal candidate for a prodrug therapy. The activation of the prodrug facilitated by CYP1B1 would enable the targeting of chemotherapy to tumor tissues in which CYP1B1 is specifically overexpressed as a result reducing the non-specific side effects that the current chemotherapy elicits. This study was aimed at validating the use of CYP1B1 as a target for the prodrug therapy in OSCC. The expression profile of CYP1B1 was analysed in a panel of 51 OSCC tumors, their corresponding normal tissues, an epithelial dysplasia lesion and its matched normal tissue by qRT-PCR, Western blotting and Immunohistochemistry. CYP1B1 was found to be downregulated in 77.78% (28/36) tumor tissues in comparison to their corresponding normal tissues as well as in the epithelial dysplasia lesion compared to its matched normal tissue at the transcriptional level, and in 92.86% (26/28) of tumor tissues at the protein level. This report therefore clearly demonstrates the downregulation of CYP1B1 at the transcriptional and translational levels in tumor tissues in comparison to their corresponding normal tissues. These observations indicate that caution should be observed as this therapy may not be applicable universally to all cancers and also suggest the possibility of a prophylactic therapy for oral cancer.

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<![CDATA[Kita Driven Expression of Oncogenic HRAS Leads to Early Onset and Highly Penetrant Melanoma in Zebrafish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e6ab0ee8fa60b6b5b0

Background

Melanoma is the most aggressive and lethal form of skin cancer. Because of the increasing incidence and high lethality of melanoma, animal models for continuously observing melanoma formation and progression as well as for testing pharmacological agents are needed.

Methodology and Principal Findings

Using the combinatorial Gal4 –UAS system, we have developed a zebrafish transgenic line that expresses oncogenic HRAS under the kita promoter. Already at 3 days transgenic kita-GFP-RAS larvae show a hyper-pigmentation phenotype as earliest evidence of abnormal melanocyte growth. By 2–4 weeks, masses of transformed melanocytes form in the tail stalk of the majority of kita-GFP-RAS transgenic fish. The adult tumors evident between 1–3 months of age faithfully reproduce the immunological, histological and molecular phenotypes of human melanoma, but on a condensed time-line. Furthermore, they show transplantability, dependence on mitfa expression and do not require additional mutations in tumor suppressors. In contrast to kita expressing melanocyte progenitors that efficiently develop melanoma, mitfa expressing progenitors in a second Gal4-driver line were 4 times less efficient in developing melanoma during the three months observation period.

Conclusions and Significance

This indicates that zebrafish kita promoter is a powerful tool for driving oncogene expression in the right cells and at the right level to induce early onset melanoma in the presence of tumor suppressors. Thus our zebrafish model provides a link between kita expressing melanocyte progenitors and melanoma and offers the advantage of a larval phenotype suitable for large scale drug and genetic modifier screens.

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<![CDATA[Activation of the PI3K/AKT Pathway in Merkel Cell Carcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4eab0ee8fa60bdb42b

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a highly aggressive skin cancer with an increasing incidence. The understanding of the molecular carcinogenesis of MCC is limited. Here, we scrutinized the PI3K/AKT pathway, one of the major pathways activated in human cancer, in MCC. Immunohistochemical analysis of 41 tumor tissues and 9 MCC cell lines revealed high levels of AKT phosphorylation at threonine 308 in 88% of samples. Notably, the AKT phosphorylation was not correlated with the presence or absence of the Merkel cell polyoma virus (MCV). Accordingly, knock-down of the large and small T antigen by shRNA in MCV positive MCC cells did not affect phosphorylation of AKT. We also analyzed 46 MCC samples for activating PIK3CA and AKT1 mutations. Oncogenic PIK3CA mutations were found in 2/46 (4%) MCCs whereas mutations in exon 4 of AKT1 were absent. MCC cell lines demonstrated a high sensitivity towards the PI3K inhibitor LY-294002. This finding together with our observation that the PI3K/AKT pathway is activated in the majority of human MCCs identifies PI3K/AKT as a potential new therapeutic target for MCC patients.

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<![CDATA[Human Herpesvirus-8 Infection Leads to Expansion of the Preimmune/Natural Effector B Cell Compartment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0bab0ee8fa60bca2bc

Background

Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) is the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and of some lymphoproliferative disorders of B cells. Most malignancies develop after long-lasting viral dormancy, and a preventing role for both humoral and cellular immune control is suggested by the high frequency of these pathologies in immunosuppressed patients. B cells, macrophages and dendritic cells of peripheral lymphoid organs and blood represent the major reservoir of HHV-8. Due to the dual role of B cells in HHV-8 infection, both as virus reservoir and as agents of humoral immune control, we analyzed the subset distribution and the functional state of peripheral blood B cells in HHV-8-infected individuals with and without cKS.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Circulating B cells and their subsets were analyzed by 6-color flow cytometry in the following groups: 1- patients HHV-8 positive with classic KS (cKS) (n = 47); 2- subjects HHV-8 positive and cKS negative (HSP) (n = 10); 3- healthy controls, HHV-8 negative and cKS negative (HC) (n = 43). The number of B cells belonging to the preimmune/natural effector compartment, including transitional, pre-naïve, naïve and MZ-like subsets, was significantly higher among HHV-8 positive subjects, with or without cKS, while was comparable to healthy controls in the antigen-experienced T-cell dependent compartment. The increased number of preimmune/natural effector B cells was associated with increased resistance to spontaneous apoptosis, while it did not correlate with HHV-8 viral load.

Conclusions/Significance

Our results indicate that long-lasting HHV-8 infection promotes an imbalance in peripheral B cell subsets, perturbing the equilibrium between earlier and later steps of maturation and activation processes. This observation may broaden our understanding of the complex interplay between viral and immune factors leading HHV-8-infected individuals to develop HHV-8-associated malignancies.

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<![CDATA[A Reliable Method for the Selection of Exploitable Melanoma Archival Paraffin Embedded Tissues for Transcript Biomarker Profiling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d9ab0ee8fa60b671a0

The source tissue for biomarkers mRNA expression profiling of tumors has traditionally been fresh-frozen tissue. The adaptation of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues for routine mRNA profiling would however be invaluable in view of their abundance and the clinical information related to them. However, their use in the clinic remains a challenge due to the poor quality of RNA extracted from such tissues. Here, we developed a method for the selection of melanoma archival paraffin-embedded tissues that can be reliably used for transcript biomarker profiling. For that, we used qRT-PCR to conduct a comparative study in matched pairs of frozen and FFPE melanoma tissues of the expression of 25 genes involved in angiogenesis/tumor invasion and 15 housekeeping genes. A classification method was developed that can select the samples with a good frozen/FFPE correlation and identify those that should be discarded on the basis of paraffin data for four reference genes only. We propose therefore a simple and inexpensive assay which improves reliability of mRNA profiling in FFPE samples by allowing the identification and analysis of “good” samples only. This assay which can be extended to other genes would however need validation at the clinical level and on independent tumor series.

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<![CDATA[Association of Inherited Variation in Toll-Like Receptor Genes with Malignant Melanoma Susceptibility and Survival]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa4ab0ee8fa60ba6e3d

The family of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) is critical in linking innate and acquired immunity. Polymorphisms in the genes encoding TLRs have been associated with autoimmune diseases and cancer. We investigated the genetic variation of TLR genes and its potential impact on melanoma susceptibility and patient survival. The study included 763 cutaneous melanoma cases recruited in Germany and 736 matched controls that were genotyped for 47 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 8 TLR genes. The relationship between genotype, disease status and survival was investigated taking into account patient and tumor characteristics, and melanoma treatment. Analysis of 7 SNPs in TLR2, 7 SNPs in TLR3 and 8 SNPs in TLR4 showed statistically significant differences in distribution of inferred haplotypes between cases and controls. No individual polymorphism was associated with disease susceptibility except for the observed tendency for TLR2-rs3804099 (odds ratio OR  = 1.15, 95% CI 0.99–1.34, p = 0.07) and TLR4-rs2149356 (OR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.73–1.00, p = 0.06). Both polymorphisms were part of the haplotypes associated with risk modulation. An improved overall survival (Hazard ratio HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.32–0.88) and survival following metastasis (HR 0.55, 95% CI 0.34–0.91) were observed in carriers of the variant allele (D299G) of TLR4-rs4986790. In addition various TLR2, TLR4 and TLR5 haplotypes were associated with increased overall survival. Our results point to a novel association between TLR gene variants and haplotypes with melanoma survival. Our data suggest a role for the D299G polymorphism in the TLR4 gene in overall survival and a potential link with systemic treatment at stage IV of the disease. The polymorphic amino acid residue, located in the ectodomain of TLR4, can have functional consequences.

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<![CDATA[K-Ras Mediated Murine Epidermal Tumorigenesis Is Dependent upon and Associated with Elevated Rac1 Activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8bab0ee8fa60b9e12a

A common goal for potential cancer therapies is the identification of differences in protein expression or activity that would allow for the selective targeting of tumor vs. normal cells. The Ras proto-oncogene family (K-Ras, H-Ras and N-Ras) are amongst the most frequently mutated genes in human cancers. As a result, there has been substantial effort dedicated to determining which pathways are activated by Ras signaling and, more importantly, which of these contribute to cancer. Although the most widely studied Ras-regulated signaling pathway is the Raf/mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade, previous research in model systems has revealed that the Rac1 GTP-binding protein is also required for Ras-induced biological responses. However, what have been lacking are rigorous in vivo Rac1 target validation data and a clear demonstration that in Ras-driven hyperplastic lesions, Rac1 activity is increased. Using a combination of genetically-modified mouse models that allow for the tissue-selective activation or deletion of signaling molecules and an activation-state sensitive Rac1 antibody that detects GTP-bound Rac1, we found that Rac1 contributes to K-Ras induced epidermal papilloma initiation and growth and that Rac1 activity is elevated by oncogenic K-Ras in vivo. Previously, it was not practical to assess Rac1 activation status in the most commonly used format for clinical tumor specimens, formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues samples. However, this study clearly demonstrates that Rac1 is essential for K-Ras driven epithelial cell hyperproliferation and that Rac1 activity is elevated in tissues expressing mutant oncogenic K-Ras, while also characterizing the activation-state specific Rac1-GTP antibody as a probe to examine Rac1 activation status in FFPE samples. Our findings will facilitate further research on the status of Rac1 activity in human tumors and will help to define the tumor types of the patient population that could potentially benefit from therapies targeting Rac activation or downstream effector signaling pathways.

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<![CDATA[Cutaneous Epithelial Tumors Induced by Vemurafenib Involve the MAPK and Pi3KCA Pathways but Not HPV nor HPyV Viral Infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab6ab0ee8fa60bacd19

The inhibitors of mutant BRAF that are used to treat metastatic melanoma induce squamoproliferative lesions. We conducted a prospective histopathological and molecular study on 27 skin lesions from 12 patients treated with vemurafenib. Mutation hot spots in HRAS, NRAS, KRAS, BRAF, and Pi3KCA were screened. HPV and HPyV infection status were also determined. The lesions consisted of 19 verrucal papillomas, 1 keratoacanthoma and 7 squamous cell carcinomas. No mutations were found within BRAF and NRAS. KRAS, HRAS, and Pi3KCA oncogenic mutations were found in 10 (83.3%), 7 (58.3%), and 4 (33.3%) patients respectively; however, these mutations were not consistent within all tumors of a given patient. Pi3KCA mutation was always associated with a mutation in HRAS. Finally, no correlation was found between the mutated gene or type of mutation and the type of cutaneous tumor or clinical response to vemurafenib. P16 protein level was not indicative of HPV infection. HPV was detected in only two lesions. Two cases had MCPyV, and one had HPyV7. In conclusion, neither HPV nor HPyV seem to be involved in the development of squamoproliferative lesions induced by verumafenib. By contrast, HRAS and KRAS play a predominant role in the physiopathology of these tumors.

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<![CDATA[A Melanoma Molecular Disease Model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da58ab0ee8fa60b8f4cc

While advanced melanoma remains one of the most challenging cancers, recent developments in our understanding of the molecular drivers of this disease have uncovered exciting opportunities to guide personalized therapeutic decisions. Genetic analyses of melanoma have uncovered several key molecular pathways that are involved in disease onset and progression, as well as prognosis. These advances now make it possible to create a “Molecular Disease Model” (MDM) for melanoma that classifies individual tumors into molecular subtypes (in contrast to traditional histological subtypes), with proposed treatment guidelines for each subtype including specific assays, drugs, and clinical trials. This paper describes such a Melanoma Molecular Disease Model reflecting the latest scientific, clinical, and technological advances.

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<![CDATA[Biotransformed Soybean Extract (BSE) Inhibits Melanoma Cell Growth and Viability In Vitro: Involvement of Nuclear Factor-Kappa B Signaling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3bab0ee8fa60b88139

Melanoma is recognized as one of the most aggressive cancers with a relatively high propensity for metastasis. The prognosis of melanoma remains poor in spite of treatment advances, emphasizing the importance of additional preventive measures. Isoflavonoids have become not only potential chemopreventive, but also important therapeutic natural agents. We evaluated the antiproliferative and proapoptotic properties of biotransformed soybean extract (BSE) in A375 melanoma cells. Previous analyses demonstrated that the concentration of daidzein, genistein and aminoacids/peptides present in BSE, fermented by Aspergillus awamori is much higher than in the non biotransformed extract (NBSE). Experiments comparing the efficacy of the extracts in preventing cancer cell growth showed that treatment (24 h) of aggressive melanoma cells (A375 and 451Lu) with BSE resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of growth and viability. In contrast, treatment with similar doses of NBSE failed to inhibit melanoma cell viability. Further studies in A375 cells showed that decrease in cell viability with BSE treatment (1.5–1.9 mg/ml; 24 h) was associated with induction of apoptosis. Immunoblot analysis revealed that BSE treatment resulted in induction of PARP cleavage, activation of caspase-3, -7, and -8 and increased expression of TRAIL and its receptor DR4. BSE did not activate the intrinsic apoptotic pathway in A375 cells, as no change was observed in caspase-9 expression. The expression of Bcl-2 apoptotic proteins such as Bid and Bax remained unaffected with BSE treated cells. Interestingly, we also showed that BSE treatment increased the phosphorylation and activation of IKK, IκBα degradation and p65/NF-κB translocation to the nucleus, and that stimulation of the NF-???B pathway was required for BSE-induced apoptosis of A375 cells. Our findings indicate that the biotransformation of soybean plays a crucial role in the extract anti-cancer effect observed in melanoma cells. However, further studies are warranted to define the active anti-cancer agent(s) present in BSE.

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<![CDATA[Phosphorylation and Subcellular Localization of p27Kip1 Regulated by Hydrogen Peroxide Modulation in Cancer Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da30ab0ee8fa60b84224

The Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (p27Kip1) is a key protein in the decision between proliferation and cell cycle exit. Quiescent cells show nuclear p27Kip1, but this protein is exported to the cytoplasm in response to proliferating signals. We recently reported that catalase treatment increases the levels of p27Kip1 in vitro and in vivo in a murine model. In order to characterize and broaden these findings, we evaluated the regulation of p27Kip1 by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in human melanoma cells and melanocytes. We observed a high percentage of p27Kip1 positive nuclei in melanoma cells overexpressing or treated with exogenous catalase, while non-treated controls showed a cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1. Then we studied the levels of p27Kip1 phosphorylated (p27p) at serine 10 (S10) and at threonine 198 (T198) because phosphorylation at these sites enables nuclear exportation of this protein, leading to accumulation and stabilization of p27pT198 in the cytoplasm. We demonstrated by western blot a decrease in p27pS10 and p27pT198 levels in response to H2O2 removal in melanoma cells, associated with nuclear p27Kip1. Melanocytes also exhibited nuclear p27Kip1 and lower levels of p27pS10 and p27pT198 than melanoma cells, which showed cytoplasmic p27Kip1. We also showed that the addition of H2O2 (0.1 µM) to melanoma cells arrested in G1 by serum starvation induces proliferation and increases the levels of p27pS10 and p27pT198 leading to cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1. Nuclear localization and post-translational modifications of p27Kip1 were also demonstrated by catalase treatment of colorectal carcinoma and neuroblastoma cells, extending our findings to these other human cancer types. In conclusion, we showed in the present work that H2O2 scavenging prevents nuclear exportation of p27Kip1, allowing cell cycle arrest, suggesting that cancer cells take advantage of their intrinsic pro-oxidant state to favor cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1.

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<![CDATA[Multiphoton Multispectral Fluorescence Lifetime Tomography for the Evaluation of Basal Cell Carcinomas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db02ab0ee8fa60bc71ee

We present the first detailed study using multispectral multiphoton fluorescence lifetime imaging to differentiate basal cell carcinoma cells (BCCs) from normal keratinocytes. Images were acquired from 19 freshly excised BCCs and 27 samples of normal skin (in & ex vivo). Features from fluorescence lifetime images were used to discriminate BCCs with a sensitivity/specificity of 79%/93% respectively. A mosaic of BCC fluorescence lifetime images covering >1 mm2 is also presented, demonstrating the potential for tumour margin delineation.

Using 10,462 manually segmented cells from the image data, we quantify the cellular morphology and spectroscopic differences between BCCs and normal skin for the first time. Statistically significant increases were found in the fluorescence lifetimes of cells from BCCs in all spectral channels, ranging from 19.9% (425–515 nm spectral emission) to 39.8% (620–655 nm emission). A discriminant analysis based diagnostic algorithm allowed the fraction of cells classified as malignant to be calculated for each patient. This yielded a receiver operator characteristic area under the curve for the detection of BCC of 0.83.

We have used both morphological and spectroscopic parameters to discriminate BCC from normal skin, and provide a comprehensive base for how this technique could be used for BCC assessment in clinical practice.

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