Curcumin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition in oral cancer cells via c-Met blockade
Authors: Ohnishi, Yuichi; Sakamoto, Tsukasa; Li, Zhengguang; Yasui, Hiroki; Hamada, Hiroyuki; Kubo, Hirohito; Nakajima, Masahiro
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common type of oral cancer. OSCC cells are highly invasive, a characteristic that involves epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); the conversion of immotile epithelial cells into motile mesenchymal cells. EMT is involved in the progression of various types of cancer by promoting tumour cell scattering and conferring to these cells cancer stem cell (CSC)-like characteristics, such as self-renewal. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) signalling plays an important role in EMT induction and, therefore, contributes to cell invasion and metastasis in cancer. Due to its potential chemopreventative and anti-tumour activities, curcumin has attracted much interest and has been shown to act as a potent EMT inhibitor in various types of cancer. However, at present, the potential effects of curcumin on HGF-induced EMT in OSCC have not been investigated. Here, we demonstrated that HGF signalling could induce EMT in the HSC4 and Ca9-22 OSCC cell lines via the HGF receptor c-Met and downstream activation of the pro-survival ERK pathway. Notably, curcumin inhibited HGF-induced EMT and cell motility in HSC-4 and Ca9-22 cells via c-Met blockade. Therefore, these findings establish curcumin as a candidate drug for OSCC treatment. Furthermore, curcumin was able to effectively inhibit the HGF-induced increase in the levels of vimentin by downregulating the expression of phosphorylated c-Met, an ERK. In conclusion, the results of the present study demonstrated that curcumin was able to reverse HGF-induced EMT, possibly by inhibiting c-Met expression in oral cancer cells, providing a strong basis for the development of novel approaches for the treatment of oral cancer.
Protein profiling of fine-needle aspirates reveals subtype-associated immune signatures and involvement of chemokines in breast cancer
Authors: Franzen, Bo; Alexeyenko, Andrey; Kamali-Moghaddam, Masood; Hatschek, Thomas; Kanter, Lena; Ramqvist, Torbjorn; Kierkegaard, Jonas; Masucci, Giuseppe; Auer, Gert; Landegren, Ulf; Lewensohn, Rolf
There are increasing demands for informative cancer biomarkers, accessible via minimally invasive procedures, both for initial diagnostics and for follow-up of personalized cancer therapy, including immunotherapy. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy provides ready access to relevant tissue samples; however, the minute amounts of sample require sensitive multiplex molecular analysis to be of clinical biomarker utility. We have applied proximity extension assays (PEA) to analyze 167 proteins in FNA samples from patients with breast cancer (BC; n = 25) and benign lesions (n = 32). We demonstrate that the FNA BC samples could be divided into two main clusters, characterized by differences in expression levels of the estrogen receptor (ER) and the proliferation marker Ki67. This clustering corresponded to some extent to established BC subtypes. Our analysis also revealed several proteins whose expression levels differed between BC and benign lesions (e.g., CA9, GZMB, IL-6, VEGFA, CXCL11, PDL1, and PCD1), as well as several chemokines correlating with ER and Ki67 status (e.g., CCL4, CCL8, CCL20, CXCL8, CXCL9, and CXCL17). Finally, we also identified three signatures that could predict Ki67 status, ER status, and tumor grade, respectively, based on a small subset of proteins, which was dominated by chemokines. To our knowledge, expression profiles of CCL13 in benign lesions and BC have not previously been described but were shown herein to correlate with proliferation (P = 0.00095), suggesting a role in advanced BC. Given the broad functional range of the proteins analyzed, immune-related proteins were overrepresented among the observed alterations. Our pilot study supports the emerging role of chemokines in BC progression. Due to the minimally traumatic sampling and clinically important molecular information for therapeutic decisions, this methodology is promising for future immunoscoring and monitoring of treatment efficacy in BC.