76 research outputs found

    Colorectal Cancer Chemoprevention by Mesalazine and Its Derivatives

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    Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) face an increased lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Independent factors associated with increased risk include long disease duration, extensive colonic involvement, young age at onset of IBD, severity of inflammation, primary sclerosing cholangitis, backwash ileitis, and a family history of CRC, thus emphasising the role of intestinal inflammation as an underlying mechanism. This notion is also supported by the demonstration that the use of certain drugs used to attenuate the ongoing mucosal inflammation, such as mesalazine, seems to associate with a reduced incidence of colitis-associated CRC. In the last decade, work from many laboratories has contributed to delineate the mechanisms by which mesalazine alters CRC cell behaviour. In this paper, we review the available experimental data supporting the ability of mesalazine and its derivatives to interfere with intracellular signals involved in CRC cell growth

    {STAT}3 Interactors as Potential Therapeutic Targets for Cancer Treatment

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    Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) mediate essential signaling pathways in different biological processes, including immune responses, hematopoiesis, and neurogenesis. Among the STAT members, STAT3 plays crucial roles in cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation. While STAT3 activation is transient in physiological conditions, STAT3 becomes persistently activated in a high percentage of solid and hematopoietic malignancies (e.g., melanoma, multiple myeloma, breast, prostate, ovarian, and colon cancers), thus contributing to malignant transformation and progression. This makes STAT3 an attractive therapeutic target for cancers. Initial strategies aimed at inhibiting STAT3 functions have focused on blocking the action of its activating kinases or sequestering its DNA binding ability. More recently, the diffusion of proteomic-based techniques, which have allowed for the identification and characterization of novel STAT3-interacting proteins able to modulate STAT3 activity via its subcellular localization, interact with upstream kinases, and recruit transcriptional machinery, has raised the possibility to target such cofactors to specifically restrain STAT3 oncogenic functions. In this article, we summarize the available data about the function of STAT3 interactors in malignant cells and discuss their role as potential therapeutic targets for cancer treatment

    Interleukin-21 in cancer immunotherapy: Friend or foe?

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    Interleukin (IL)-21, a cytokine produced by activated conventional CD4+ T lymphocytes and Natural Killer T cells, drives anti-tumor immunity in the skin and kidney. However IL-21 is also pro-inflammatory in many tissues and promotes colitis-associated colon cancer. Understanding the biology of IL-21 in these different situations is needed to ensure maximal therapeutic benefit

    Albendazole negatively regulates keratinocyte proliferation

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    Abstract Background: Increased keratinocyte proliferation occurs in the skin of psoriatic patients and is supposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of this disorder. Compounds interfering with keratinocyte proliferation could be useful in the management of psoriatic patients. Aim: To investigate whether albendazole, an anti-helmintic drug that regulates epithelial cell function in various systems, inhibits keratinocyte proliferation in models of psoriasis. Methods: Aldara-treated mice received daily topical application of albendazole. Keratinocyte proliferation and keratin (K) 6 and K16 expression were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting and inflammatory cells/mediators were analysed by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR. In human keratinocytes (HEKa and HaCaT) treated with albendazole, cell cycle and proliferation, keratins and cell cycle-associated factors were evaluated by flow cytometry, colorimetric assay and Western blotting respectively. Results: Aldara-treated mice given albendazole exhibited reduced epidermal thickness, decreased number of proliferating keratinocytes and K6/K16 expression. Reduction of CD3- and Ly6G-positive cells in the skin of albendazole-treated mice associated with inhibition of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-17A, IL-36, CCL17, CXCL1, CXCL2 and CXCL5 expression. Treatment of keratinocytes with albendazole reduced K6/K16 expression and reversibly inhibited cell growth by promoting accumulation of cells in S-phase. This phenomenon was accompanied by down-regulation of CDC25A, a phosphatase regulating progression of cell cycle through S-phase, and PKR-dependent hyper-phosphorylation of eIF2α, an inhibitor of CDC25 translation. In Aldara-treated mice, albendazole activated PKR, enhanced eIF2α phosphorylation and reduced CDC25A expression. Conclusions: Data show that albendazole inhibits keratinocyte proliferation and exerts therapeutic effect in a murine model of psoriasis

    Insulin-like Growth Factor II mRNA-Binding Protein 1 Regulates Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth through the Surveillance of CDC25A mRNA

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    : A number of data indicate that the sources of different kinds of PDAC may be discovered at the transcription/transduction stage. RNA metabolism is manipulated at various steps by different RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), and the deregulation or irregular activity of RBPs is known to contribute to tumor promotion and progression. The insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein family (IMPs), and IMP1 in particular, has been linked with a poor prognosis in PDAC patients; however, little is known about its contribution in PDAC carcinogenesis. In this study, we investigated the function of IMP1 in PDAC. To evaluate IMP1 expression and correlation with PDAC prognosis, we utilized several public databases. Using a specific siRNA IMP1, we analyzed cell death and cell cycle progression in PDAC cell lines and 3D spheroids. the role of IMP1 was also evaluated in vivo in a panc-1-derived tumor xenograft murine model. Public data suggest that PDAC patients with higher expression of IMP1 showed poor overall and progression-free survival. IMP1 silencing leads to reduced cell growth in PDAC cells and three-dimensional spheroids. Abrogation of IMP1 in PDAC cells showed lower levels of CDC25A, increased phosphorylation of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)2, and accumulation of PDAC cells in the G1 phase. immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that IMP1 binds CDC25A mRNA, thus controlling cell-cycle progression. Ultimately, we proved that suppression of IMP1 blocked in vivo growth of Panc-1 transferred into immunodeficient mice. Our results indicate that IMP1 drives the PDCA cell cycle and represents a novel strategy for overcoming PDCA cell proliferation

    Peritoneal expression of Matrilysin helps identify early post-operative recurrence of colorectal cancer

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    Recurrence of colorectal cancer (CRC) following a potentially curative resection is a challenging clinical problem. Matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) is over-expressed by CRC cells and supposed to play a major role in CRC cell diffusion and metastasis. MMP-7 RNA expression was assessed by real-time PCR using specific primers in peritoneal washing fluid obtained during surgical procedure. After surgery, patients underwent a regular follow up for assessing recurrence. transcripts for MMP-7 were detected in 31/57 samples (54%). Patients were followed-up (range 20–48 months) for recurrence prevention. Recurrence was diagnosed in 6 out of 55 patients (11%) and two patients eventually died because of this. Notably, all the six patients who had relapsed were positive for MMP-7. Sensitivity and specificity of the test were 100% and 49% respectively. Data from patients have also been corroborated by computational approaches. Public available coloncarcinoma datasets have been employed to confirm MMP7 clinical impact on the disease. Interestingly, MMP-7 expression appeared correlated to Tgfb-1, and correlation of the two factors represented a poor prognostic factor. This study proposes positivity of MMP-7 in peritoneal cavity as a novel biomarker for predicting disease recurrence in patients with CRC

    NPD-0414-2 and NPD-0414-24, Two Chemical Entities Designed as Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) Ligands, Inhibit Gut Inflammatory Signals

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    Defects in counterregulatory mechanisms contribute to amplify the detrimental inflammatory response leading to the pathologic process occurring in the gut of patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), the major inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), in human beings. One such mechanism involves aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a transcription factor activated by natural and synthetic ligands, which induces the production of interleukin (IL)-22 and down-regulates inflammatory signals. In IBD, AhR expression is down-regulated and its activation by natural ligands promotes clinical and endoscopic benefit. Since the use of AhR natural ligands can associate with serious adverse events, we developed new chemical ligands of AhR and assessed their regulatory effects. Among these derivatives, we selected the compounds NPD-0414-2 and NPD-0414-24, as they displayed the more pronounced capacity to induce IL-22. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells and lamina propria mononuclear cells (LPMC) were isolated from CD and UC patients. Cells were treated in vitro with Ficz, AhR ligands, and AhR antagonist and then cytokines’ expression was evaluated by real-time PCR and flow cytometry. After the induction of TNBS colitis, Ficz and AhR ligands were injected intra-peritoneally to wild type and AhR knock-out mice. After 4 days, mice were sacrificed and colonic tissues were collected for histologic examination and real-time PCR analysis. Treatment of IBD LPMC with NPD-0414-2 and NPD-0414-24 reduced IFN-γ and increased IL-22 transcripts, and these effects were abrogated by CH223191, a specific inhibitor of AhR interaction with its ligands. Mice given NPD-0414-2 and NPD-0414-24 developed a significantly less severe form of TNBS colitis and exhibited reduced expression of IFN-γ and increased expression of IL-22. The therapeutic effect of NPD-0414-2 and NPD-0414-24 on the ongoing colitis was abrogated in AhR-deficient mice. Collectively, these data show that NPD-0414-2 and NPD-0414-24 exert Ahr-dependent regulatory effects in the gut

    The Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein Regulates RIPK1 and Colorectal Cancer Resistance to Necroptosis

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    Background & aims: The fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) affects multiple steps of the mRNA metabolism during brain development and in different neoplastic processes. However, the contribution of FMRP in colon carcinogenesis has not been investigated. Methods: FMR1 mRNA transcript and FMRP protein expression were analyzed in human colon samples derived from patients with sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) and healthy subjects. We used a well-established mouse model of sporadic CRC induced by azoxymethane to determine the possible role of FMRP in CRC. To address whether FMRP controls cancer cell survival, we analyzed cell death pathway in CRC human epithelial cell lines and in patient-derived colon cancer organoids in presence or absence of a specific FMR1 antisense oligonucleotide or siRNA. Results: We document a significant increase of FMRP in human CRC relative to non-tumor tissues. Next, using an inducible mouse model of CRC, we observed a reduction of colonic tumor incidence and size in the Fmr1 knockout mice. The abrogation of FMRP induced spontaneous cell death in human CRC cell lines activating the necroptotic pathway. Indeed, specific immunoprecipitation experiments on human cell lines and CRC samples indicated that FMRP binds receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) mRNA, suggesting that FMRP acts as a regulator of necroptosis pathway through the surveillance of RIPK1 mRNA metabolism. Treatment of human CRC cell lines and patient-derived colon cancer organoids with the FMR1 antisense resulted in up-regulation of RIPK1. Conclusions: Altogether, these data support a role for FMRP in controlling RIPK1 expression and necroptotic activation in CRC

    Smad7 Sustains Stat3 Expression and Signaling in Colon Cancer Cells

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    : Colorectal cancer (CRC) cells contain elevated levels of active signal transducer and the activator of transcription (Stat)-3, which exerts proliferative and anti-apoptotic effects. Various molecules produced in the CRC tissue can activate Stat3, but the mechanisms that amplify such an activation are yet to be determined. In this paper, we assessed whether Smad7, an inhibitor of Transforiming Growth Factor (TGF)-β1 activity, sustains Stat3 expression/activation in CRC cells. Both Smad7 and phosphorylated (p)/activated-Stat3 were more expressed in the tumoral areas of CRC patients, compared to the normal adjacent colonic mucosa of the same patients, and were co-localized in primary CRC cells and CRC cell lines. The knockdown of Smad7 with a Smad7 antisense oligonucleotide (AS) reduced p-Stat3 in both unstimulated and interleukin (IL)-6- and IL-22-stimulated DLD-1 and HCT116 cells. Consistently, reduced levels of BCL-xL and survivin, two downstream signaling targets of Stat3 activation, were seen in Smad7 AS-treated cells. An analysis of the mechanisms underlying Smad7 AS-induced Stat3 inactivation revealed that Smad7 AS reduced Stat3 RNA and protein expression. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed the direct regulatory effect of Smad7 on the Stat3 promoter. RNA-sequencing data from the Tumor, Normal and Metastatic (TNM) plot database showed a positive correlation between Smad7 and Stat3 in 1450 CRC samples. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence supporting the theory that Smad7 positively regulates Stat3 function in CRC
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