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See detailDownregulation of the TGF-beta pseudoreceptor BAMBI in non-small cell lung cancer enhances TGF-beta signaling and invasion.
Marwitz, Sebastian; Depner, Sofia; Dvornikov, Dmytro et al

in Cancer research (2016)

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is characterized by early metastasis and has the highest mortality rate among all solid tumors, with the majority of patients diagnosed at an advanced stage where ... [more ▼]

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is characterized by early metastasis and has the highest mortality rate among all solid tumors, with the majority of patients diagnosed at an advanced stage where curative therapeutic options are lacking. In this study, we identify a targetable mechanism involving TGF-beta elevation that orchestrates tumor progression in this disease. Substantial activation of this pathway was detected in human lung cancer tissues with concomitant downregulation of BAMBI, a negative regulator of the TGF-beta signaling pathway. Alterations of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) marker expression were observed in lung cancer samples compared to tumor-free tissues. Distinct alterations in the DNA methylation of the gene regions encoding TGF-beta pathway components were detected in NSCLC samples compared to tumor-free lung tissues. In particular, epigenetic silencing of BAMBI was identified as a hallmark of NSCLC. Reconstitution of BAMBI expression in NSCLC cells resulted in a marked reduction of TGF-beta-induced EMT, migration and invasion in vitro, along with reduced tumor burden and tumor growth in vivo. In conclusion, our results demonstrate how BAMBI downregulation drives the invasiveness of NSCLC, highlighting TGF-beta signaling as a candidate therapeutic target in this setting. [less ▲]

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See detailContext-specific flow through the MEK/ERK module produces cell- and ligand-specific patterns of ERK single and double phosphorylation.
Iwamoto, Nao; D'Alessandro, Lorenza A.; Depner, Sofia et al

in Science signaling (2016), 9(413), 13

The same pathway, such as the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, can produce different cellular responses, depending on stimulus or cell type. We examined the phosphorylation dynamics of the ... [more ▼]

The same pathway, such as the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, can produce different cellular responses, depending on stimulus or cell type. We examined the phosphorylation dynamics of the MAPK kinase MEK and its targets extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) in primary hepatocytes and the transformed keratinocyte cell line HaCaT A5 exposed to either hepatocyte growth factor or interleukin-6. By combining quantitative mass spectrometry with dynamic modeling, we elucidated network structures for the reversible threonine and tyrosine phosphorylation of ERK in both cell types. In addition to differences in the phosphorylation and dephosphorylation reactions, the HaCaT network model required two feedback mechanisms, which, as the experimental data suggested, involved the induction of the dual-specificity phosphatase DUSP6 and the scaffold paxillin. We assayed and modeled the accumulation of the double-phosphorylated and active form of ERK1/2, as well as the dynamics of the changes in the monophosphorylated forms of ERK1/2. Modeling the differences in the dynamics of the changes in the distributions of the phosphorylated forms of ERK1/2 suggested that different amounts of MEK activity triggered context-specific responses, with primary hepatocytes favoring the formation of double-phosphorylated ERK1/2 and HaCaT A5 cells that produce both the threonine-phosphorylated and the double-phosphorylated form. These differences in phosphorylation distributions explained the threshold, sensitivity, and saturation of the ERK response. We extended the findings of differential ERK phosphorylation profiles to five additional cultured cell systems and matched liver tumor and normal tissue, which revealed context-specific patterns of the various forms of phosphorylated ERK. [less ▲]

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