31,407 research outputs found

    Inducers of epithelial mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cells in malignant pleural effusions

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    The Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) plays a role not only in tumor metastasis but also in tumor recurrence. This process is believed to be tightly linked to the presence of Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) however, it is still not clear which factors could induce EMT and how it could be a source for CSCs. It has been demonstrated that Malignant Pleural Effusion (MPEs) may represent an excellent source to identify markers and molecular mechanisms involved in EMT and CSCs development. Growth factors, cell differentiation markers and molecular adhesion are involved in some of the crucial neoplastic cell events such as proliferation, metastasis, resistance to chemotherapy and EMT. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of which molecular markers can orchestrate EMT and CSCs in MPEs

    TGF-beta 1 induces human alveolar epithelial to mesenchymal cell transition (EMT)

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    Background: Fibroblastic foci are characteristic features in lung parenchyma of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). They comprise aggregates of mesenchymal cells which underlie sites of unresolved epithelial injury and are associated with progression of fibrosis. However, the cellular origins of these mesenchymal phenotypes remain unclear. We examined whether the potent fibrogenic cytokine TGF-β1 could induce epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the human alveolar epithelial cell line, A549, and investigated the signaling pathway of TGF-β1-mediated EMT. Methods: A549 cells were examined for evidence of EMT after treatment with TGF-β1. EMT was assessed by: morphology under phase-contrast microscopy; Western analysis of cell lysates for expression of mesenchymal phenotypic markers including fibronectin EDA (Fn-EDA), and expression of epithelial phenotypic markers including E-cadherin (E-cad). Markers of fibrogenesis, including collagens and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) were also evaluated by measuring mRNA level using RT-PCR, and protein by immunofluorescence or Western blotting. Signaling pathways for EMT were characterized by Western analysis of cell lysates using monoclonal antibodies to detect phosphorylated Erk1/2 and Smad2 after TGF-β1 treatment in the presence or absence of MEK inhibitors. The role of Smad2 in TGF-β1-mediated EMT was investigated using siRNA. Results: The data showed that TGF-β1, but not TNF-α or IL-1β, induced A549 cells with an alveolar epithelial type II cell phenotype to undergo EMT in a time-and concentration-dependent manner. The process of EMT was accompanied by morphological alteration and expression of the fibroblast phenotypic markers Fn-EDA and vimentin, concomitant with a downregulation of the epithelial phenotype marker E-cad. Furthermore, cells that had undergone EMT showed enhanced expression of markers of fibrogenesis including collagens type I and III and CTGF. MMP-2 expression was also evidenced. TGF-β1-induced EMT occurred through phosphorylation of Smad2 and was inhibited by Smad2 gene silencing; MEK inhibitors failed to attenuate either EMT-associated Smad2 phosphorylation or the observed phenotypic changes. Conclusion: Our study shows that TGF-β1 induces A549 alveolar epithelial cells to undergo EMT via Smad2 activation. Our data support the concept of EMT in lung epithelial cells, and suggest the need for further studies to investigate the phenomenon

    Cigarette smoke extract induces a phenotypic shift in epithelial cells: involvement of HIF1α in mesenchymal transition

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    In COPD, matrix remodeling contributes to airflow limitation. Recent evidence suggests that next to fibroblasts, the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition can contribute to matrix remodeling. CSE has been shown to induce EMT in lung epithelial cells, but the signaling mechanisms involved are largely unknown and subject of this study. EMT was assessed in A549 and BEAS2B cells stimulated with CSE by qPCR, Western blotting and immunofluorescence for epithelial and mesenchymal markers, as were collagen production, cell adhesion and barrier integrity as functional endpoints. Involvement of TGF-beta and HIF1 alpha signaling pathways were investigated. In addition, mouse models were used to examine the effects of CS on hypoxia signaling and of hypoxia per se on mesenchymal expression. CSE induced EMT characteristics in A549 and BEAS2B cells, evidenced by decreased expression of epithelial markers and a concomitant increase in mesenchymal marker expression after CSE exposure. Furthermore cells that underwent EMT showed increased production of collagen, decreased adhesion and disrupted barrier integrity. The induction of EMT was found to be independent of TGF-beta signaling. On the contrary, CS was able to induce hypoxic signaling in A549 and BEAS2B cells as well as in mice lung tissue. Importantly, HIF1 alpha knock-down prevented induction of mesenchymal markers, increased collagen production and decreased adhesion after CSE exposure, data that are in line with the observed induction of mesenchymal marker expression by hypoxia in vitro and in vivo. Together these data provide evidence that both bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells undergo a functional phenotypic shift in response to CSE exposure which can contribute to increased collagen deposition in COPD lungs. Moreover, HIF1 alpha signaling appears to play an important role in this process

    TGF-beta 1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and therapeutic intervention in diabetic nephropathy

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    Background/Aims: Epithelial-to-mesenchymal cell transformation (EMT) is the trans-differentiation of tubular epithelial cells into myofibroblasts, an event underlying progressive chronic kidney disease in diabetes, resulting in fibrosis. Mainly reported in proximal regions of the kidney, EMT is now recognized as a key contributor to the loss of renal function throughout the nephron in diabetic nephropathy (DN). Concomitant upregulation of TGF-beta in diabetes makes this pro-fibrotic cytokine an obvious candidate in the development of these fibrotic complications. This article reviews recent findings clarifying our understanding of the role of TGF-beta and associated sub-cellular proteins in EMT. Methods: To understand the pathology of EMT and the role of TGF-beta, we reviewed the literature using PubMed for English language articles that contained key words related to EMT, TGF-beta and DN. Results: EMT and phenotypic plasticity of epithelial cells throughout the nephron involves cytoskeletal reorganization and de novo acquisition of classic mesenchymal markers. Concurrent downregulation of epithelial adhesion molecules results in a loss of function and decreased cell coupling, contributing to a loss of epithelial integrity. TGF-beta 1 is pivotal in mediating these phenotypic changes. Conclusion: TGF-beta-induced EMT is a key contributor to fibrotic scar formation as seen in DN, and novel routes for future therapeutic intervention are discussed

    Endothelin-1 Drives Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition In Hypertensive Nephroangiosclerosis

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    BACKGROUND: Tubulointerstitial fibrosis, the final outcome of most kidney diseases, involves activation of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). Endothelin‐1 (ET‐1) activates EMT in cancer cells, but it is not known whether it drives EMT in the kidney. We therefore tested the hypothesis that tubulointerstitial fibrosis involves EMT driven by ET‐1. METHODS AND RESULTS: Transgenic TG[mRen2]27 (TGRen2) rats developing fulminant angiotensin II–dependent hypertension with prominent cardiovascular and renal damage were submitted to drug treatments targeted to ET‐1 and/or angiotensin II receptor or left untreated (controls). Expressional changes of E‐cadherin and α‐smooth muscle actin (αSMA) were examined as markers of renal EMT. In human kidney HK‐2 proximal tubular cells expressing the ET(B) receptor subtype, the effects of ET‐1 with or without ET‐1 antagonists were also investigated. The occurrence of renal fibrosis was associated with EMT in control TGRen2 rats, as evidenced by decreased E‐cadherin and increased αSMA expression. Irbesartan and the mixed ET‐1 receptor antagonist bosentan prevented these changes in a blood pressure–independent fashion (P < 0.001 for both versus controls). In HK‐2 cells ET‐1 blunted E‐cadherin expression, increased αSMA expression (both P < 0.01), collagen synthesis, and metalloproteinase activity (P < 0.005, all versus untreated cells). All changes were prevented by the selective ET(B) receptor antagonist BQ‐788. Evidence for involvement of the Rho‐kinase signaling pathway and dephosphorylation of Yes‐associated protein in EMT was also found. CONCLUSIONS: In angiotensin II–dependent hypertension, ET‐1 acting via ET(B) receptors and the Rho‐kinase and Yes‐associated protein induces EMT and thereby renal fibrosis

    Tumour budding and poorly differentiated clusters in colon cancer – different manifestations of partial epithelial-mesenchymal transition

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    Morphological features including infiltrative growth, tumour budding (TB) and poorly differentiated clusters (PDCs), have a firmly established negative predictive value in colorectal cancer (CRC). Despite extensive research, the mechanisms underlying different tumour growth patterns remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in TB and PDCs in CRC. Using laser-capture microdissection, we obtained distinct parts of the primary CRC including TB, PDCs, expansive tumour front and the central part of the tumour and analysed the expression of EMT-related markers, i.e., miR-200 family, ZEB1/2, RND3 and CDH1. In TB, the miR-200 family and CDH1 were significantly downregulated, while ZEB2 was significantly upregulated. In PDCs, miR- 141, miR-200c and CDH1 were significantly downregulated. No significant differences were observed in the expression of any EMT-related markers between the expansive tumour front and the central part of the tumour. Our results suggest that both TB and PDCs are related to partial EMT. Discrete differences in morphology and EMT-related markers expression between TB and PDCs indicate that they represent different manifestations of partial EMT. TB seems to be closer to complete EMT than PDCs

    Roflumilast N-oxide inhibits bronchial epithelial to mesenchymal transition induced by cigarette smoke in smokers with COPD

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    BACKGROUND: Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is under discussion as a potential mechanism of small airway remodelling in COPD. In bronchial epithelium of COPD and smokers markers of EMT were described. In vitro, EMT may be reproduced by exposing well-differentiated human bronchial epithelial cells (WD-HBEC) to cigarette smoke extract (CSE). EMT may be mitigated by an increase in cellular cAMP. OBJECTIVE: This study explored the effects of roflumilast N-oxide, a PDE4 inhibitor on CSE-induced EMT in WD-HBEC and in primary bronchial epithelial cells from smokers and COPD in vitro. METHODS: WD-HBEC from normal donors were stimulated with CSE (2.5%) for 72 h in presence of roflumilast N-oxide (2 nM or 1 μM) or vehicle. mRNA and protein of EMT markers αSMA, vimentin, collagen-1, E-cadherin, ZO-1, KRT5 as well as NOX4 were quantified by real-time quantitative PCR or protein array, respectively. Phosphorylated and total ERK1/2 and Smad3 were assessed by protein array. cAMP and TGFβ1 were measured by ELISA. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were determined by DCF fluorescence, after 30 min CSE (2.5%). Apoptosis was measured with Annexin V/PI labelling. In some experiments, EMT markers were determined in monolayers of bronchial epithelial cells from smokers, COPD versus controls. RESULTS: Roflumilast N-oxide protected from CSE-induced EMT in WD-HBEC. The PDE4 inhibitor reversed both the increase in mesenchymal and the loss in epithelial EMT markers. Roflumilast N-oxide restored the loss in cellular cAMP following CSE, reduced ROS, NOX4 expression, the increase in TGFβ1 release, phospho ERK1/2 and Smad3. The PDE4 inhibitor partly protected from the increment in apoptosis with CSE. Finally the PDE4 inhibitor decreased mesenchymal yet increased epithelial phenotype markers in HBEC of COPD and smokers. CONCLUSIONS: Roflumilast N-oxide may mitigate epithelial-mesenchymal transition in bronchial epithelial cells in vitro

    Fibronectin-1 expression is increased in aggressive thyroid cancer and favors the migration and invasion of cancer cells

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    n this study we analyzed the expression levels of markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in several papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs) and the relation with tumor genotypes and clinicopathological characteristics. The role of fibronectin-1 (FN1) was investigated by analyzing the effects of FN1 silencing in two human thyroid cancer cell lines. Most of EMT markers were significantly over-expressed in a group of 36 PTCs. In particular, FN1 mRNA levels were higher in tumor vs non-tumor tissue (117.3, p < 0.001) and also in aggressive and BRAF(V600E) samples. Similar results were observed (and confirmed at the protein level) when FN1 expression was analyzed in a validation group of 50 PTCs and six lymph node (LN) metastases. Silencing of FN1 in TPC-1 and BCPAP thyroid cancer cells significantly reduced proliferation, adhesion, migration, and invasion in both cell lines. Collectively, our data indicate that FN1 overexpression is an important determinant of thyroid cancer aggressiveness

    Marked epithelial to mesenchymal transition in surgical margins of oral cancer-an in vitro study

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    Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a feature of several types of human cancer, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). In the present study, tumor and margin cell cultures obtained from patients with OSCC were used to determine the expression patterns of certain EMT-associated markers, including vimentin, alpha -smooth muscle actin, SLUG and SNAIL. In addition, other EMT-associated features, including clonal, proliferative and migratory potential were compared between the two cell types. Cell cultures were generated from tumor and margin tissue samples from 6 patients and cultured up to the fifth passage. EMT marker expression was assessed by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR. Cell proliferation, colony formation and scratch wound healing assays were conducted to characterize the two cell types in terms of proliferation rates, clonality and motility. All of the studied markers were expressed in tumor and margin cells. Although no significant differences were noted with regard to the aforementioned markers, their expression tended to be higher in margin cultures than in tumor cultures. The expressions of the EMT markers were also higher in the fifth passage compared with those noted at the first with a few exceptions. The rates of proliferation and cell migration were decreased during passages, while the number of colonies was increased in both types of cell culture. Tumor and margin cells indicated certain similarities with regard to EMT transition characteristics
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