Surgery (St Vincent's) - Research Publications

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    PPAR gamma-independent induction of growth arrest and apoptosis in prostate and bladder carcinoma
    Chaffer, CL ; Thomas, DM ; Thompson, EW ; Williams, ED (BMC, 2006-03-06)
    BACKGROUND: Although PPARgamma antagonists have shown considerable pre-clinical efficacy, recent studies suggest PPARgamma ligands induce PPARgamma-independent effects. There is a need to better define such effects to permit rational utilization of these agents. METHODS: We have studied the effects of a range of endogenous and synthetic PPARgamma ligands on proliferation, growth arrest (FACS analysis) and apoptosis (caspase-3/7 activation and DNA fragmentation) in multiple prostate carcinoma cell lines (DU145, PC-3 and LNCaP) and in a series of cell lines modelling metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder (TSU-Pr1, TSU-Pr1-B1 and TSU-Pr1-B2). RESULTS: 15-deoxy-prostaglandin J2 (15dPGJ2), troglitazone (TGZ) and to a lesser extent ciglitazone exhibited inhibitory effects on cell number; the selective PPARgamma antagonist GW9662 did not reverse these effects. Rosiglitazone and pioglitazone had no effect on proliferation. In addition, TGZ induced G0/G1 growth arrest whilst 15dPGJ2 induced apoptosis. CONCLUSION: Troglitazone and 15dPGJ2 inhibit growth of prostate and bladder carcinoma cell lines through different mechanisms and the effects of both agents are PPARgamma-independent.
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    Staurosporine augments EGF-mediated EMT in PMC42-LA cells through actin depolymerisation, focal contact size reduction and Snail1 induction - A model for cross-modulation
    Hugo, HJ ; Wafai, R ; Blick, T ; Thompson, EW ; Newgreen, DF (BMC, 2009-07-15)
    BACKGROUND: A feature of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) relevant to tumour dissemination is the reorganization of actin cytoskeleton/focal contacts, influencing cellular ECM adherence and motility. This is coupled with the transcriptional repression of E-cadherin, often mediated by Snail1, Snail2 and Zeb1/deltaEF1. These genes, overexpressed in breast carcinomas, are known targets of growth factor-initiated pathways, however it is less clear how alterations in ECM attachment cross-modulate to regulate these pathways. EGF induces EMT in the breast cancer cell line PMC42-LA and the kinase inhibitor staurosporine (ST) induces EMT in embryonic neural epithelial cells, with F-actin de-bundling and disruption of cell-cell adhesion, via inhibition of aPKC. METHODS: PMC42-LA cells were treated for 72 h with 10 ng/ml EGF, 40 nM ST, or both, and assessed for expression of E-cadherin repressor genes (Snail1, Snail2, Zeb1/deltaEF1) and EMT-related genes by QRT-PCR, multiplex tandem PCR (MT-PCR) and immunofluorescence +/- cycloheximide. Actin and focal contacts (paxillin) were visualized by confocal microscopy. A public database of human breast cancers was assessed for expression of Snail1 and Snail2 in relation to outcome. RESULTS: When PMC42-LA were treated with EGF, Snail2 was the principal E-cadherin repressor induced. With ST or ST+EGF this shifted to Snail1, with more extreme EMT and Zeb1/deltaEF1 induction seen with ST+EGF. ST reduced stress fibres and focal contact size rapidly and independently of gene transcription. Gene expression analysis by MT-PCR indicated that ST repressed many genes which were induced by EGF (EGFR, CAV1, CTGF, CYR61, CD44, S100A4) and induced genes which alter the actin cytoskeleton (NLF1, NLF2, EPHB4). Examination of the public database of breast cancers revealed tumours exhibiting higher Snail1 expression have an increased risk of disease-recurrence. This was not seen for Snail2, and Zeb1/deltaEF1 showed a reverse correlation with lower expression values being predictive of increased risk. CONCLUSION: ST in combination with EGF directed a greater EMT via actin depolymerisation and focal contact size reduction, resulting in a loosening of cell-ECM attachment along with Snail1-Zeb1/deltaEF1 induction. This appeared fundamentally different to the EGF-induced EMT, highlighting the multiple pathways which can regulate EMT. Our findings add support for a functional role for Snail1 in invasive breast cancer.
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    Induction of epithelial to mesenchymal transition in PMC42-LA human breast carcinoma cells by carcinoma-associated fibroblast secreted factors
    Lebret, SC ; Newgreen, DF ; Thompson, EW ; Ackland, ML (BMC, 2007-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Breast carcinoma is accompanied by changes in the acellular and cellular components of the microenvironment, the latter typified by a switch from fibroblasts to myofibroblasts. METHODS: We utilised conditioned media cultures, Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry to investigate the differential effects of normal mammary fibroblasts (NMFs) and mammary cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) on the phenotype and behaviour of PMC42-LA breast cancer cells. NMFs were obtained from a mammary gland at reduction mammoplasty, and CAFs from a mammary carcinoma after resection. RESULTS: We found greater expression of myofibroblastic markers in CAFs than in NMFs. Medium from both CAFs and NMFs induced novel expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin and cytokeratin-14 in PMC42-LA organoids. However, although conditioned media from NMFs resulted in distribution of vimentin-positive cells to the periphery of PMC42-LA organoids, this was not seen with CAF-conditioned medium. Upregulation of vimentin was accompanied by a mis-localization of E-cadherin, suggesting a loss of adhesive function. This was confirmed by visualizing the change in active beta-catenin, localized to the cell junctions in control cells/cells in NMF-conditioned medium, to inactive beta-catenin, localized to nuclei and cytoplasm in cells in CAF-conditioned medium. CONCLUSION: We found no significant difference between the influences of NMFs and CAFs on PMC42-LA cell proliferation, viability, or apoptosis; significantly, we demonstrated a role for CAFs, but not for NMFs, in increasing the migratory ability of PMC42-LA cells. By concentrating NMF-conditioned media, we demonstrated the presence of factor(s) that induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition in NMF-conditioned media that are present at higher levels in CAF-conditioned media. Our in vitro results are consistent with observations in vivo showing that alterations in stroma influence the phenotype and behaviour of surrounding cells and provide evidence for a role for CAFs in stimulating cancer progression via an epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These findings have implications for our understanding of the roles of signalling between epithelial and stromal cells in the development and progression of mammary carcinoma.
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    Stimulation of MMP-II (stromelysin-3) expression in mouse fibroblasts by cytokines, collagen and co-culture with human breast cancer cell lines
    Selvey, S ; Haupt, LM ; Thompson, EW ; Matthaei, KI ; Irving, MG ; Griffiths, LR (BMC, 2004-07-25)
    BACKGROUND: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are central to degradation of the extracellular matrix and basement membrane during both normal and carcinogenic tissue remodeling. MT1-MMP (MMP-14) and stromelysin-3 (MMP-11) are two members of the MMP family of proteolytic enzymes that have been specifically implicated in breast cancer progression. Expressed in stromal fibroblasts adjacent to epithelial tumour cells, the mechanism of MT1-MMP and MMP-11 induction remains unknown. METHODS: To investigate possible mechanisms of induction, we examined the effects of a number of plausible regulatory agents and treatments that may physiologically influence MMP expression during tumour progression. Thus NIH3T3 and primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) were: a) treated with the cytokines IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8 and TGF-beta for 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours; b) grown on collagens I, IV and V; c) treated with fibronectin, con-A and matrigel; and d) co-cultured with a range of HBC (human breast cancer) cell lines of varied invasive and metastatic potential. RESULTS: Competitive quantitative RT-PCR indicated that MMP-11 expression was stimulated to a level greater than 100%, by 48 hour treatments of IL-1beta, IL-2, TGF-beta, fibronectin and collagen V. No other substantial changes in expression of MMP-11 or MT1-MMP in either tested fibroblast culture, under any treatment conditions, were observed. CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated significant MMP-11 stimulation in mouse fibroblasts using cytokines, matrix constituents and HBC cell lines, and also some inhibition of MT1-MMP. Our data suggest that the regulation of these genes in the complex stromal-epithelial interactions that occur in human breast carcinoma, is influenced by several mechanisms.
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    In vitro and in vivo MMP gene expression localisation by In Situ-RT-PCR in cell culture and paraffin embedded human breast cancer cell line xenografts
    Haupt, LM ; Thompson, EW ; Trezise, AEO ; Irving, RE ; Irving, MG ; Griffiths, LR (BMC, 2006-01-24)
    BACKGROUND: Members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family of proteases are required for the degradation of the basement membrane and extracellular matrix in both normal and pathological conditions. In vitro, MT1-MMP (MMP-14, membrane type-1-MMP) expression is higher in more invasive human breast cancer (HBC) cell lines, whilst in vivo its expression has been associated with the stroma surrounding breast tumours. MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase) has been associated with MDA-MB-231 invasion in vitro, while MMP-3 (stromelysin-1) has been localised around invasive cells of breast tumours in vivo. As MMPs are not stored intracellularly, the ability to localise their expression to their cells of origin is difficult. METHODS: We utilised the unique in situ-reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (IS-RT-PCR) methodology to localise the in vitro and in vivo gene expression of MT1-MMP, MMP-1 and MMP-3 in human breast cancer. In vitro, MMP induction was examined in the MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 HBC cell lines following exposure to Concanavalin A (Con A). In vivo, we examined their expression in archival paraffin embedded xenografts derived from a range of HBC cell lines of varied invasive and metastatic potential. Mouse xenografts are heterogenous, containing neoplastic human parenchyma with mouse stroma and vasculature and provide a reproducible in vivo model system correlated to the human disease state. RESULTS: In vitro, exposure to Con A increased MT1-MMP gene expression in MDA-MB-231 cells and decreased MT1-MMP gene expression in MCF-7 cells. MMP-1 and MMP-3 gene expression remained unchanged in both cell lines. In vivo, stromal cells recruited into each xenograft demonstrated differences in localised levels of MMP gene expression. Specifically, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-435 and Hs578T HBC cell lines are able to influence MMP gene expression in the surrounding stroma. CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated the applicability and sensitivity of IS-RT-PCR for the examination of MMP gene expression both in vitro and in vivo. Induction of MMP gene expression in both the epithelial tumour cells and surrounding stromal cells is associated with increased metastatic potential. Our data demonstrate the contribution of the stroma to epithelial MMP gene expression, and highlight the complexity of the role of MMPs in the stromal-epithelial interactions within breast carcinoma.
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    The epithelial-mesenchymal transition: new insights in signaling, development, and disease
    Lee, JM ; Dedhar, S ; Kalluri, R ; Thompson, EW (ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2006-03-27)
    The conversion of an epithelial cell to a mesenchymal cell is critical to metazoan embryogenesis and a defining structural feature of organ development. Current interest in this process, which is described as an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), stems from its developmental importance and its involvement in several adult pathologies. Interest and research in EMT are currently at a high level, as seen by the attendance at the recent EMT meeting in Vancouver, Canada (October 1-3, 2005). The meeting, which was hosted by The EMT International Association, was the second international EMT meeting, the first being held in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia in October 2003. The EMT International Association was formed in 2002 to provide an international body for those interested in EMT and the reverse process, mesenchymal-epithelial transition, and, most importantly, to bring together those working on EMT in development, cancer, fibrosis, and pathology. These themes continued during the recent meeting in Vancouver. Discussion at the Vancouver meeting spanned several areas of research, including signaling pathway activation of EMT and the transcription factors and gene targets involved. Also covered in detail was the basic cell biology of EMT and its role in cancer and fibrosis, as well as the identification of new markers to facilitate the observation of EMT in vivo. This is particularly important because the potential contribution of EMT during neoplasia is the subject of vigorous scientific debate (Tarin, D., E.W. Thompson, and D.F. Newgreen. 2005. Cancer Res. 65:5996-6000; Thompson, E.W., D.F. Newgreen, and D. Tarin. 2005. Cancer Res. 65:5991-5995).