Increased frequency of wild-type arylamine-N-acetyltransferase allele NAT2*4 homozygotes in Portuguese patients with colorectal cancer.
Gil JP. Lechner MC.
Gulbenkian Institute of Sciences, Oeiras and Molecular Biology Unit, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal.
Here we report that colorectal cancer patients show a markedly higher frequency (3-fold) of wild-type NAT2*4 allele homozygotes than the control population. However, a marked difference in NAT2*4/NAT2*4 genotype frequency associated with the patients gender was observed pointing to a male-specific effect of this genotype as a risk factor in colon cancer. The arylamine-N-acetyltransferase (E.C. 188.8.131.52.) NAT2, a phase II detoxification enzyme, has been implicated in procarcinogen activation, namely from food contained arylamines, cigarette smoking, as well as environmental amines of various types. NAT2 is encoded by a polymorphic gene presenting several allelic variants encoding partially inactive enzymes expressed in human liver and colon. Epidemiological studies based on phenotype determination have long indicated the importance of the NAT2 active phenotype as a susceptibility factor in colorectal cancer. In the present study we investigated the NAT2 allelic frequencies and genotype distribution in a group of 114 unrelated colorectal cancer patients, in parallel with 201 healthy Portuguese subjects. We first demonstrate that the frequency of the wild-type NAT2*4 allele in the Portuguese sample population (23.4%) does not significantly differ from the values described for other Europeans. Besides the 3-fold higher frequency of NAT2*4 homozygotes found in colorectal cancer subjects, the NAT2*4/NAT2*5A compound genotype, known to determine a faster acetylator phenotype than other heterozygotic combinations, also increased by the same order of magnitude. These two genotypes represent 32% of the patients population versus 11% of the healthy controls. Taken together, our results strongly indicate that NAT2 genotype, particularly NAT2*4 allele zygosity, constitutes an individual susceptibility trait associated with sporadic colorectal cancer development, probably due to the local dietary habits in Portugal.
Evidence for the suppression of apoptosis by the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha (PPAR alpha).
Roberts RA. James NH. Woodyatt NJ. Macdonald N. Tugwood JD.
Zeneca Central Toxicology Laboratory, Alderley Park, Macclesfield, UK. ruth.roberts@CTL.ZENECA.com
Peroxisome proliferators (PPs) are a class of nongenotoxic rodent hepatocarcinogens. We have demonstrated previously that PPs suppress both spontaneous rat hepatocyte apoptosis and that induced by exogenous stimuli such as transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGFbeta1). PPs transcriptionally activate the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-alpha (PPAR alpha), a member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. Here, we investigate whether activation of PPAR alpha mediates the suppression of rat hepatocyte apoptosis induced by PPs. We isolated a naturally occurring variant form of PPAR alpha (hPPAR alpha-6/29) from human liver by PCR cloning. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) demonstrated that hPPAR alpha-6/29 shared the ability of mPPAR alpha to heterodimerise with the retinoid X receptor (RXR) and bind to DNA. When hPPAR alpha-6/29 was transfected into Hepa1c1c7 cells together with a reporter plasmid containing a PPAR response element (PPRE), hPPAR alpha-6/29, unlike mPPAR alpha, could not be activated by PPs. Furthermore, hPPAR alpha-6/29 could act as a dominant negative regulator of PPAR-mediated gene transcription since increasing concentrations of hPPAR alpha-6/29 abrogated the activation of co-transfected mPPAR alpha. When introduced into primary rat liver cell cultures by transient transfection, hPPAR alpha-6/29 prevented the suppression of hepatocyte apoptosis by the PP nafenopin, but not that seen in response to phenobarbitone (PB), a nongenotoxic carcinogen whose action does not involve PPAR alpha. The suppression of hepatocyte apoptosis was abrogated completely even though only 30% of hepatocytes were transfected, suggesting the involvement of a soluble factor. These data indicate that activation of rat liver PPAR alpha provides a survival signal for hepatocytes, preventing their death in response to apoptotic stimuli.
The nuclear eicosanoid receptor, PPARgamma, is aberrantly expressed in colonic cancers.
DuBois RN. Gupta R. Brockman J. Reddy BS. Krakow SL. Lazar MA.
Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA. email@example.com
Continuous use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) lowers the relative risk of colorectal cancer in humans and decreases tumor yield in rodents treated with carcinogens. One well documented target for NSAIDs is prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase (cyclooxygenase) and two isoforms of this enzyme have been identified, cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). COX enzymes produce eicosanoid products, some of which have recently been shown to activate transcription mediated by the nuclear hormone receptor peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma), whose expression is largely restricted to adipose tissue. The present study was undertaken to determine if PPARgamma was expressed in colonic tumors. PPARgamma messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels were assayed in colonic tumors and normal adjacent mucosa, as well as in a variety of human colon cancer cell lines. There was a marked increase in PPARgamma RNA levels in four out of four of the colonic tumors compared to paired normal mucosa, where little expression of PPARgamma was detected. Western blotting analysis showed that PPARgamma protein was expressed in four out of five colonic tumor samples. PPARgamma was also expressed in a subset of polyps, and in certain human colon cancer cell lines as well. Additionally, we were able to demonstrate that an eicosanoid, 15 deoxy-delta12,14 PGJ2, transactivated transcription of a PPRE-driven promoter in CaCo-2 cells. Thus, we have shown that PPARgamma gene and protein expression is elevated in rodent colon tumors, in selected human colon cancer cell lines and that the PPARgamma receptor is functional in CaCo-2 cells. Since PPARgamma is a ligand-modulated transcription factor, it may provide a novel target for chemopreventive strategies for colorectal cancer.
RER phenotype and its associated mutations in familial gastric cancer.
Shinmura K. Tani M. Isogaki J. Wang Y. Sugimura H. Yokota J.
Biology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.
To clarify the genetic background of gastric cancer, we collected 28 familial gastric cancers (FGCs) with reference to the Amsterdam criteria in hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and investigated the frequency of replication error (RER) at six microsatellite loci and frameshift mutations in its related genes in these tumors. RER was detected in seven (25%) of the 28 gastric cancers. Five (18%) cases showed RER at more than two loci. The apparent increased incidence of RER in FGC was not detected compared with that reported in sporadic gastric cancers previously. Among four cases with RER at more than three loci, frameshift mutations in the (A)8 track of the hMSH3 gene were detected in all the four cases and mutations in the (A)10 track of the transforming growth factor-beta type II receptor (TGF-beta RII) gene were detected in the three of them. Histologically, three of the four cases were of the intestinal type, and the other one was the diffuse type. No mutation was detected in the (C)8 and (GT)3 tracks of the hMSH6 and TGF-beta RII genes respectively. These results indicate that the acquisition of the RER phenotype equally influences the gastric carcinogenesis of both sporadic and familial cases, and that the majority of FGC is pathogenetically distinct from HNPCC.
Canthaxanthin induces apoptosis in human cancer cell lines.
Palozza P. Maggiano N. Calviello G. Lanza P. Piccioni E. Ranelletti FO. Bartoli GM.
Institute of General Pathology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.
To investigate the possibility that canthaxanthin inhibits cancer cell growth by inducing apoptosis, human WiDr colon adenocarcinoma and SK-MEL-2 melanoma cells were treated with two different doses of the carotenoid for 48 h. Canthaxanthin was incorporated and/or associated to cells. The treatment with the carotenoid caused growth inhibition in both cell types. Concomitantly, apoptosis was induced. Increasing time of exposure and carotenoid concentration, this effect was more pronounced. At 48 h, the percentages of apoptotic cells were 13 and 15, using 1 microM canthaxanthin, and 18 and 20, using 10 microM canthaxanthin in WiDr and SK-MEL-2 cells, respectively. This study represents the first demonstration that canthaxanthin is able to induce apoptosis in tumour cells.
Nuclear translocation of beta-catenin in hereditary and carcinogen-induced intestinal adenomas.
Sheng H. Shao J. Williams CS. Pereira MA. Taketo MM. Oshima M. Reynolds AB. Washington MK. DuBois RN. Beauchamp RD.
Department of Surgery, The Vanderbilt Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.
The physical interaction between beta-catenin and the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene, and the ability of APC to regulate cytoplasmic levels of beta-catenin suggest a role for beta-catenin in colorectal carcinogenesis. In this study, we found that beta-catenin immunoreactivity was detected exclusively in the cell membrane and cytoplasm of morphologically normal intestinal epithelial cells with predominant distribution in the differentiated nonproliferative cell population. In contrast, beta-catenin was localized predominantly in the nucleus of adenomas from Min/+ mice and transgenic mice expressing a mutant truncated form of the APC gene (Apc(delta716) mice). Beta-catenin was expressed predominantly at the cell membrane and cytoplasm of the nontransformed rat intestinal epithelial (RIE-1) cells in culture, whereas predominantly nuclear localization of beta-catenin was observed in the human colon cancer cell line SW480. In the azoxymethane (AOM) treated rats, overexpression and nuclear localization of beta-catenin was observed in all adenomas. Previous studies have indicated the incidence of APC mutations amongst AOM-induced tumors to be 15% or less. These results demonstrate that nuclear localization of beta-catenin is a common event in colorectal tumorigenesis.
Absence of regular alpha2(I) collagen chains in colon carcinoma biopsy fragments.
Pucci-Minafra I. Andriolo M. Basirico L. Alessandro R. Luparello C. Buccellato C. Garbelli R. Minafra S.
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Palermo, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is known to play an active role in numerous biological processes such as differentiation, apoptosis and cancer. Extensive alterations of epithelial basement membranes and of interstitial ECM are known to occur during the progression of most invasive carcinomas. Collagen, which represents the major component of the interstitial ECM, is primarily involved in the stromal changes at the site of tumor cell invasion. We have previously described the occurrence in breast and colon cancer ECM of an oncofetal form of collagen, characterized by an acidic chain distinct from those of type I and III collagen. In the present paper, we bring evidence that alpha2(I) collagen chains in colon cancer tissues expressing the acidic chains, are either overmodified or absent, both as protein and as regular mRNA transcripts. The results obtained strongly suggest that: i) the disorganisation of the collagen architecture and the phenomenon of fibril dispersion, which accompanies the lysis of basement membrane, is not only due to the enzymatic degradation of the collagen fibres, but presumably also to changes of the collagen molecules deposited in the stroma; ii) the neosynthesis of collagen occurring at tumor-host interface is deeply deregulated, and therefore to be considered the result of altered collagen gene expression correlated with the tumor progression, rather than as a mere defensive reaction of the host cells.
Inhibition of DNA cytosine methyltransferase by chemopreventive selenium compounds, determined by an improved assay for DNA cytosine methyltransferase and DNA cytosine methylation.
Fiala ES. Staretz ME. Pandya GA. El-Bayoumy K. Hamilton SR.
Division of Biochemical Pharmacology, American Health Foundation, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA. email@example.com
The organoselenium compounds benzyl selenocyanate (BSC) and 1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)selenocyanate (p-XSC), as well as sodium selenite, are effective chemopreventive agents for various chemically induced tumors in animal models at both the initiation and postinitiation stages. The mechanisms involved at the postinitiation stage are not clear. Because several lines of evidence indicate that inhibition of excess DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase (Mtase) may be a sufficient factor for the suppression or reversion of carcinogenesis, we examined the effects of sodium selenite, BSC, p-XSC and benzyl thiocyanate (BTC), the sulfur analog of BSC, on Mtase activity in nuclear extracts of human colon carcinomas, and of p-XSC on the Mtase activity of HCT116 human colon carcinoma cells in culture. For this purpose, we developed an improved Mtase assay, in which the incorporation of the methyl-[3H] group from S-adenosyl[methyl-3H]methionine into deoxycytidine of poly(dI-dC)-poly(dI-dC), is specifically determined by HPLC with radioflow detection after enzymatic hydrolysis, enhancing specificity and reliability. In a variation, using SssI methyltransferase and labeled S-adenosylmethionine, the overall methylation status of DNA in various tissues can also be compared. Selenite, BSC and p-XSC inhibited Mtase extracted from a human colon carcinoma with IC50s of 3.8, 8.1 and 5.2 microM, respectively; BTC had no effect. p-XSC also inhibited the Mtase activity and growth of human colon carcinoma HCT116 cells, with an IC50 of approximately 20 microM. The improved Mtase assay should prove to be a reliable method for screening potential Mtase inhibitors, especially using cells in culture. We suggest that inhibition of Mtase may be a major mechanism of chemoprevention by selenium compounds at the postinitiation stage of carcinogenesis.
Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by tea polyphenols.
Yang GY. Liao J. Kim K. Yurkow EJ. Yang CS.
Laboratory for Cancer Research, College of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08855-0789, USA.
In order to study the biological activities of tea preparations and purified tea polyphenols, their growth inhibitory effects were investigated using four human cancer cell lines. Growth inhibition was measured by [3H]thymidine incorporation after 48 h of treatment. The green tea catechins (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC) displayed strong growth inhibitory effects against lung tumor cell lines H661 and H1299, with estimated IC50 values of 22 microM, but were less effective against lung cancer cell line H441 and colon cancer cell line HT-29 with IC50 values 2- to 3-fold higher. (-)-Epicatechin-3-gallate, had lower activities, and (-)-epicatechin was even less effective. Preparations of green tea polyphenols and theaflavins had higher activities than extracts of green tea and decaffeinated green tea. The results suggest that the growth inhibitory activity of tea extracts is caused by the activities of different tea polyphenols. Exposure of H661 cells to 30 microM EGCG, EGC or theaflavins for 24 h led to the induction of apoptosis as determined by an annexin V apoptosis assay, showing apoptosis indices of 23, 26 and 8%, respectively; with 100 microM of these compounds, the apoptosis indices were 82, 76 and 78%, respectively. Incubation of H661 cells with EGCG also induced a dose-dependent formation of H2O2. Addition of H2O2 to H661 cells caused apoptosis in a manner similar to that caused by EGCG. The EGCG-induced apoptosis in H661 cells was completely inhibited by exogenously added catalase (50 units/ml). These results suggest that tea polyphenol-induced production of H2O2 may mediate apoptosis and that this may contribute to the growth inhibitory activities of tea polyphenols in vitro.
Mutation analysis of the Smad2 gene in human colon cancers using genomic DNA and intron primers.
Takenoshita S. Tani M. Mogi A. Nagashima M. Nagamachi Y. Bennett WP. Hagiwara K. Harris CC. Yokota J.
First Department of Surgery, Gunma University School of Medicine, Japan.
In mammals, one of the Mad homologues, Smad2, was reported to be a mediator of TGF-beta signaling, and was found mutated in some cases of colon and lung cancers. To extend the analysis of this gene, we previously investigated the genomic organization of the human Smad2 gene and defined the structure of 12 exons and flanking introns. In this study, we designed 11 sets of intron-based primers to examine the entire coding region of the Smad2 gene. By the PCR-SSCP method using these primers, we screened genomic DNA sequences of colorectal cancers for mutations of the Smad2 gene. Though there was no mutation within all exons of the Smad2 gene, two of 60 sporadic colorectal cancers displayed deletions in the polypyrimidine tract preceding exon 4. Deletions of this region were also detected in colon cancer cell lines, and were clustered within cells exhibiting microsatellite instability. Deletions in the polypyrimidine tract had various effects on pre-mRNA splicing, but had no effect on the splicing of the Smad2 gene in these cases. However, our data support the idea that the polypyrimidine tract in the splicing acceptor site is a target of mutations in mismatch repair-deficient tumors.