Cancer cells are defined by their ability to invade through the basement membrane, a critical step during metastasis. While increased secretion of proteases, which facilitates degradation of the basement membrane, and alterations in the cytoskeletal architecture of cancer cells have been previously studied, the contribution of the mechanical properties of cells in invasion is unclear. Here, we applied a magnetic tweezer system to establish that stiffness of patient tumor cells and cancer cell lines inversely correlates with migration and invasion through three-dimensional basement membranes, a correlation known as a power law. We found that cancer cells with the highest migratory and invasive potential are five times less stiff than cells with the lowest migration and invasion potential. Moreover, decreasing cell stiffness by pharmacologic inhibition of myosin II increases invasiveness, whereas increasing cell stiffness by restoring expression of the metastasis suppressor T?RIII/betaglycan decreases invasiveness. These findings are the first demonstration of the power-law relation between the stiffness and the invasiveness of cancer cells and show that mechanical phenotypes can be used to grade the metastatic potential of cell populations with the potential for single cell grading. The measurement of a mechanical phenotype, taking minutes rather than hours needed for invasion assays, is promising as a quantitative diagnostic method and as a discovery tool for therapeutics. By showing that altering stiffness predictably alters invasiveness, our results indicate that pathways regulating these mechanical phenotypes are novel targets for molecular therapy of cancer. Cancer Res; 71(15); 5075–80. ©2011 AACR.
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Polycomb group proteins (PcG) function as transcriptional repressors of gene expression. The important role of PcG in mediating repression of the INK4b-ARF-INK4a locus, by directly binding to the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) transcript antisense noncoding RNA in the INK4 locus (ANRIL), was recently shown. INK4b-ARF-INK4a encodes 3 tumor-suppressor proteins, p15INK4b, p14ARF, and p16INK4a, and its transcription is a key requirement for replicative or oncogene-induced senescence and constitutes an important barrier for tumor growth. ANRIL gene is transcribed in the antisense orientation of the INK4b-ARF-INK4a gene cluster, and different single-nucleotide polymorphisms are associated with increased susceptibility to several diseases. Although lncRNA-mediated regulation of INK4b-ARF-INK4a gene is not restricted to ANRIL, both polycomb repressive complex-1 (PRC1) and -2 (PRC2) interact with ANRIL to form heterochromatin surrounding the INK4b-ARF-INK4a locus, leading to its repression. This mechanism would provide an increased advantage for bypassing senescence, sustaining the requirements for the proliferation of stem and/or progenitor cell populations or inappropriately leading to oncogenesis through the aberrant saturation of the INK4b-ARF-INK4a locus by PcG complexes. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the underlying epigenetic mechanisms that link PcG function with ANRIL, which impose gene silencing to control cellular homeostasis as well as cancer development. Cancer Res; 71(16); 5365–9. ©2011 AACR. cancerres.aacrjournals.org
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Expression of CD34 and CD7 on human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia discriminates functionally heterogeneous cell populations
1249 (August 2011).
Authors: B Gerby, E Clappier, F Armstrong, C Deswarte, J Calvo, S Poglio, J Soulier, N Boissel, T Leblanc, A Baruchel, J Landman-Parker, P H Roméo, P Ballerini
& F Pflumio
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Autologous peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) transplantation is the treatment of choice for selected myeloma patients. However, tumor cells contaminating the apheresis product are a potential source of relapse. Here we report a sequential purging strategy targeting mature and immature clonogenic myeloma cell populations in the autograft. Thawed PBPC products of myeloma patients were treated with rituximab to kill CD138?20+ B cells (highly clonogenic immature cells), and bortezomib to target CD138+ cells (normal and differentiated myeloma plasma cells), followed by coculture with allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from normal donors. After 7 days of coculture, nonadherent cells were removed and cultured in the absence of MSC for an additional 7 days. Then, efficacy of purging (removal of CD138?20+ and CD138+ cells) was assessed by flow cytometry and PCR. We used our ex vivo purging strategy to treat frozen aphereses from 16 patients. CD138+ and CD138?20+(19+) cells present in the initial products were depleted more than 3 and 4 logs, respectively based on 106 flow-acquisition events, and to levels below the limit of detection by PCR. In contrast, total nucleated cell (TNC), CD34+ cell, and colony-forming cell numbers were increased by approximately 12 to 20, 8-, and 23-fold, respectively. Overall, ex vivo treatment of apheresis products with rituximab, bortezomib, and coculture with normal donor MSC depleted mature and immature myeloma cells from clinical aphereses while expanding the normal hematopoietic progenitor cell compartment. Cancer Res; 71(14); 5040–9. ©2011 AACR. cancerres.aacrjournals.org
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Identification and reversal of treatment resistance mechanisms of clinically refractory tumor cells is critical for successful cancer therapy. Here we show that ATP-binding cassette member B5 (ABCB5) identifies therapy-refractory tumor cells in colorectal cancer patients following fluorouracil (5-FU)–based chemoradiation therapy and provide evidence for a functional role of ABCB5 in colorectal cancer 5-FU resistance. Examination of human colon and colorectal cancer specimens revealed ABCB5 to be expressed only on rare cells within healthy intestinal tissue, whereas clinical colorectal cancers exhibited substantially increased levels of ABCB5 expression. Analysis of successive, patient-matched biopsy specimens obtained prior to and following neoadjuvant 5-FU–based chemoradiation therapy in a series of colorectal cancer patients revealed markedly enhanced abundance of ABCB5-positive tumor cells when residual disease was detected. Consistent with this finding, the ABCB5-expressing tumor cell population was also treatment refractory and exhibited resistance to 5-FU–induced apoptosis in a colorectal cancer xenograft model of 5-FU monotherapy. Mechanistically, short hairpin RNA–mediated ABCB5 knockdown significantly inhibited tumorigenic xenograft growth and sensitized colorectal cancer cells to 5-FU–induced cell killing. Our results identify ABCB5 as a novel molecular marker of therapy-refractory tumor cells in colorectal cancer patients and point to a need for consistent eradication of ABCB5-positive resistant tumor cell populations for more effective colorectal cancer therapy. Cancer Res; 71(15); 5307–16. ©2011 AACR. cancerres.aacrjournals.org
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atp binding, biopsy specimens, cancer cells, cancer res, cancer specimens, cell population, cell populations, colorectal cancer patients, colorectal cancer therapy, colorectal cancers, expression analysis, human colon, intestinal tissue, molecular marker, residual disease, resistance mechanisms, resistant tumor, Science News, treatment resistance, tumor cell, tumor cells