Publications by authors named "Elena A Pop"

11 Publications

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Differential associations of SLCO transporters with prostate cancer aggressiveness between African Americans and European Americans.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Feb 22. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Urology, Roswell Park Comprehensive cancer Center.

Background: Androgen receptor signaling is crucial to prostate cancer aggressiveness. Members of the solute carrier family of the organic anion transporting peptides (SLCOs) are potential regulators of androgen availability in prostate tissue. It remains unknown whether genetic variations in SLCOs contribute to the differences in prostate cancer aggressiveness in African Americans (AAs) and European Americans (EAs).

Methods: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 11 SLCO members were selected with addition of 139 potentially functional SNPs and 128 ancestry informative markers. A total of 1045 SNPs were genotyped and analyzed in 993 AAs and 1057 EAs from the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project. Expression and cellular localization of SLCOs were examined using quantitative RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and in situ RNA hybridization in independent sets of prostate cancer cases.

Results: Significant associations with prostate cancer characteristics were found for SNPs in SLCO2A1 and SLCO5A1. The associations differed by race (P for interaction <0.05). SNPs in SLCO2A1 were associated with reduced tumor aggressiveness and low Gleason score in AAs; whereas, SNPs in SLCO5A1 were associated with high clinical stage in EAs. In prostate tissue, SLCO2A1 and SLCO5A1 were the most expressed SLCOs at the mRNA level and were expressed predominantly in prostate endothelial and epithelial cells at the protein level, respectively.

Conclusions: SLCO2A1 and SLCO5A1 play important but different roles in prostate cancer aggressiveness in AAs versus EAs.

Impact: The finding calls for consideration of racial differences in biomarker studies of prostate cancer and for investigations on functions of SLCO2A1 and SLCO5A1 in prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1389DOI Listing
February 2021

Inhibition of dihydrotestosterone synthesis in prostate cancer by combined frontdoor and backdoor pathway blockade.

Oncotarget 2018 Feb 10;9(13):11227-11242. Epub 2018 Jan 10.

Department of Urology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is palliative and prostate cancer (CaP) recurs as lethal castration-recurrent/resistant CaP (CRPC). One mechanism that provides CaP resistance to ADT is primary backdoor androgen metabolism, which uses up to four 3α-oxidoreductases to convert 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol (DIOL) to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The goal was to determine whether inhibition of 3α-oxidoreductase activity decreased conversion of DIOL to DHT. Protein sequence analysis showed that the four 3α-oxidoreductases have identical catalytic amino acid residues. Mass spectrometry data showed combined treatment using catalytically inactive 3α-oxidoreductase mutants and the 5α-reductase inhibitor, dutasteride, decreased DHT levels in CaP cells better than dutasteride alone. Combined blockade of frontdoor and backdoor pathways of DHT synthesis provides a therapeutic strategy to inhibit CRPC development and growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5834294PMC
February 2018

Characterization of Prostate Cancer in a Functional Eunuch.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2016 09;14(9):1054-60

From the Departments of Urology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Pathology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York.

Background: Eunuchs rarely, if ever, develop prostate cancer (CaP). This article reports on a 62-year-old functional eunuch from prepubertal mumps orchitis who developed clinically localized CaP.

Methods: Serum and CaP and benign prostate tissue androgen levels were measured using a validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay. The assay measures testosterone; dihydrotestosterone (DHT); the adrenal androgens, androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone; and the androgen metabolites, androsterone and androstanedione. Gene and protein expression levels of androgen metabolism enzymes, and androgen receptor and androgen-regulated genes were measured using quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, respectively.

Results: Intracrine androgen metabolism produced tissue DHT when serum and tissue testosterone levels were castrate and undetectable, respectively. Androgen receptor, androgen-regulated, and androgen metabolism enzyme genes were expressed but at lower levels in CaP than benign tissues.

Conclusions: DHT was synthesized using the primary backdoor androgen metabolism pathway and not using androstenedione or dehydroepiandrosterone via the frontdoor or secondary backdoor pathways.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5749417PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2016.0116DOI Listing
September 2016

Intake of dietary antioxidants is inversely associated with biomarkers of oxidative stress among men with prostate cancer.

Br J Nutr 2016 Jan 2;115(1):68-74. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

1Department of Nutritional Sciences,University of Connecticut,Storrs,CT 06269-4017,USA.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-cutaneous cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality among men in the USA. Growing evidence suggests that oxidative stress is involved in the development and progression of prostate cancer. In this study, the association between antioxidants from diet and supplements and biomarkers of oxidative stress in blood (n 278), urine (n 298) and prostate tissue (n 55) were determined among men from the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project. The association between antioxidant intake and oxidative stress biomarkers in blood and urine was determined using linear regression, adjusting for age, race, prostate cancer aggressiveness and smoking status. Greater antioxidant intake was found to be associated with lower urinary 8-isoprostane concentrations, with a 10% increase in antioxidant intake corresponding to an unadjusted 1·1% decrease in urinary 8-isoprostane levels (95% CI -1·7, -0·3%; P value<0·01) and an adjusted 0·6% decrease (95% CI -1·4, 0·2%; P value=0·16). In benign prostate tissue, thioredoxin 1 was inversely associated with antioxidant intake (P=0·02). No significant associations were found for other blood or urinary biomarkers or for malignant prostate tissue. These results indicate that antioxidant intake may be associated with less oxidative stress among men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114515004249DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7817245PMC
January 2016

Thioredoxin 1 in Prostate Tissue Is Associated with Gleason Score, Erythrocyte Antioxidant Enzyme Activity, and Dietary Antioxidants.

Prostate Cancer 2015 18;2015:728046. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.

Background. Prostate cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer and second leading cause of cancer-related mortality in men in the US. Growing evidence suggests that oxidative stress is involved in prostate cancer. Methods. In this study, thioredoxin 1 (Trx 1), an enzyme and subcellular indicator of redox status, was measured in prostate biopsy tissue from 55 men from the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project. A pathologist blindly scored levels of Trx 1. The association between Trx 1 and the Gleason score, erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activity, and dietary antioxidant intake was determined using Fisher's exact test. Results. Trx 1 levels in benign prostate tissue in men with incident prostate cancer were positively associated with the Gleason score (P = 0.01) and inversely associated with dietary antioxidant intake (P = 0.03). In prostate cancer tissue, Trx 1 levels were associated with erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity (P = 0.01). No association was found for other erythrocyte enzymes. Greater Gleason score of malignant tissue corresponds to a greater difference in Trx 1 levels between malignant and benign tissue (P = 0.04). Conclusion. These results suggest that the redox status of prostate tissue is associated with prostate cancer grade and both endogenous and exogenous antioxidants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/728046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4556330PMC
September 2015

Mechanism of androgen receptor corepression by CKβBP2/CRIF1, a multifunctional transcription factor coregulator expressed in prostate cancer.

Mol Cell Endocrinol 2014 Jan 5;382(1):302-313. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, United States; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, United States. Electronic address:

The transcription factor coregulator Casein kinase IIβ-binding protein 2 or CR6-interacting factor 1 (CKβBP2/CRIF1) binds the androgen receptor (AR) in prostate cancer cells and in response to dihydrotestosterone localizes with AR on the prostate-specific antigen gene enhancer, but does not bind DNA suggesting CKβBP2/CRIF1 localization in chromatin is determined by AR. In this study we show also that CKβBP2/CRIF1 inhibits wild-type AR and AR N-terminal transcriptional activity, binds to the AR C-terminal region, inhibits interaction of the AR N- and C-terminal domains (N/C interaction) and competes with p160 coactivator binding to the AR C-terminal domain, suggesting CKβBP2/CRIF1 interferes with AR activation functions 1 and 2. CKβBP2/CRIF1 is expressed mainly in stromal cells of benign prostatic hyperplasia and in stroma and epithelium of prostate cancer. CKβBP2/CRIF1 protein is increased in epithelium of androgen-dependent prostate cancer compared to benign prostatic hyperplasia and decreased slightly in castration recurrent epithelium compared to androgen-dependent prostate cancer. The multifunctional CKβBP2/CRIF1 is a STAT3 interacting protein and reported to be a coactivator of STAT3. CKβBP2/CRIF1 is expressed with STAT3 in prostate cancer where STAT3 may help to offset the AR repressor effect of CKβBP2/CRIF1 and allow AR regulation of prostate cancer growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2013.09.036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880566PMC
January 2014

Melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-A11) enhances transcriptional activity by linking androgen receptor dimers.

J Biol Chem 2013 Jan 21;288(3):1939-52. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7500, USA.

Prostate cancer growth and progression depend on androgen receptor (AR) signaling through transcriptional mechanisms that require interactions with coregulatory proteins, one of which is the primate-specific steroid receptor coregulator melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-A11). In this report, we provide evidence how increased expression of MAGE-A11 during prostate cancer progression enhances AR signaling and prostate cancer growth. MAGE-A11 protein levels were highest in castration-recurrent prostate cancer. The cyclic AMP-induced increase in androgen-dependent and androgen-independent AR transcriptional activity correlated with an increase in MAGE-A11 and was inhibited by silencing MAGE-A11 expression. MAGE-A11 mediated synergistic AR transcriptional activity in LAPC-4 prostate cancer cells. The ability of MAGE-A11 to rescue transcriptional activity of complementary inactive AR mutants and promote coimmunoprecipitation between unlike forms of AR suggests that MAGE-A11 links transcriptionally active AR dimers. A model for the AR·MAGE-A11 multidimeric complex is proposed in which one AR FXXLF motif of the AR dimer engages in the androgen-dependent AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction, whereas the second FXXLF motif region of the AR dimer interacts with dimeric MAGE-A11. The AR·MAGE-A11 multidimeric complex accounts for the dual functions of the AR FXXLF motif in the androgen-dependent AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction and binding MAGE-A11 and for synergy between reported AR splice variants and full-length AR. We conclude that the increased expression of MAGE-A11 in castration-recurrent prostate cancer, which is enhanced by cyclic AMP signaling, increases AR-dependent growth of prostate cancer by MAGE-A11 forming a molecular bridge between transcriptionally active AR dimers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M112.428409DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548502PMC
January 2013

RhoA as a mediator of clinically relevant androgen action in prostate cancer cells.

Mol Endocrinol 2012 May 28;26(5):716-35. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Department of Urology Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.

Recently, we have identified serum response factor (SRF) as a mediator of clinically relevant androgen receptor (AR) action in prostate cancer (PCa). Genes that rely on SRF for androgen responsiveness represent a small fraction of androgen-regulated genes, but distinguish benign from malignant prostate, correlate with aggressive disease, and are associated with biochemical recurrence. Thus, understanding the mechanism(s) by which SRF conveys androgen regulation to its target genes may provide novel opportunities to target clinically relevant androgen signaling. Here, we show that the small GTPase ras homolog family member A (RhoA) mediates androgen-responsiveness of more than half of SRF target genes. Interference with expression of RhoA, activity of the RhoA effector Rho-associated coiled-coil containing protein kinase 1 (ROCK), and actin polymerization necessary for nuclear translocation of the SRF cofactor megakaryocytic acute leukemia (MAL) prevented full androgen regulation of SRF target genes. Androgen treatment induced RhoA activation, increased the nuclear content of MAL, and led to MAL recruitment to the promoter of the SRF target gene FHL2. In clinical specimens RhoA expression was higher in PCa cells than benign prostate cells, and elevated RhoA expression levels were associated with aggressive disease features and decreased disease-free survival after radical prostatectomy. Overexpression of RhoA markedly increased the androgen-responsiveness of select SRF target genes, in a manner that depends on its GTPase activity. The use of isogenic cell lines and a xenograft model that mimics the transition from androgen-stimulated to castration-recurrent PCa indicated that RhoA levels are not altered during disease progression, suggesting that RhoA expression levels in the primary tumor determine disease aggressiveness. Androgen-responsiveness of SRF target genes in castration-recurrent PCa cells continued to rely on AR, RhoA, SRF, and MAL and the presence of intact SRF binding sites. Silencing of RhoA, use of Rho-associated coiled-coil containing protein kinase 1 inhibitors, or an inhibitor of SRF-MAL interaction attenuated (androgen-regulated) cell viability and blunted PCa cell migration. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that the RhoA signaling axis mediates clinically relevant AR action in PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/me.2011-1130DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3355556PMC
May 2012

Comparison of ACINUS, caspase-3, and TUNEL as apoptotic markers in determination of tumor growth rates of clinically localized prostate cancer using image analysis.

Prostate 2009 Nov;69(15):1603-1610

Department of Urology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York.

Background: The balance between apoptotic and proliferative processes determines the enlargement of a tumor. Accurate measurement of apoptotic and proliferative rates from diagnostic prostate biopsies would allow calculation of tumor growth rates in a population-based prostate cancer (CaP) study. Automated image analysis may be used if proliferation and apoptotic biomarkers provide clearly resolved immunostained images.

Methods: Clinical CaP aggressiveness was assigned as low, intermediate or high using clinical criteria for 46 research subjects with newly diagnosed CaP. Diagnostic biopsy sections from the research subjects were dual-labeled for proliferation biomarker, Ki-67 and apoptotic biomarker, apoptotic chromatin condensation inducer in the nucleus (ACINUS). Apoptotic biomarkers, caspase-3 and terminal deoxyribonucleotidyltransferase mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) were labeled separately. Images from immunostained sections were analyzed using automated image analysis and tumor growth rates computed. Association between clinical CaP aggressiveness and tumor growth rates was explored.

Results: Sixteen subjects had high, 17 had intermediate, and 13 had low clinical CaP aggressiveness. Positive immunostaining was localized to the nucleus for Ki-67, ACINUS, and TUNEL. A statistically significant linear trend across clinical CaP aggressiveness categories was found when tumor growth rates were calculated using ACINUS (P = 0.046). Logistic regression and ROC plots generated showed ACINUS (AUC = 0.677, P = 0.048) and caspase-3 (AUC = 0.694, P = 0.038) to be better predictors than TUNEL (AUC = 0.669, P = 0.110).

Conclusions: ACINUS met the criteria for automated image analysis and for calculation of apoptotic rate. Tumor growth rates determined using automated image analysis should be evaluated for clinical prediction of CaP aggressiveness, treatment response, recurrence, and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pros.21019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4348696PMC
November 2009

Effects of a high daily dose of soy isoflavones on DNA damage, apoptosis, and estrogenic outcomes in healthy postmenopausal women: a phase I clinical trial.

Menopause 2008 Jul-Aug;15(4 Pt 1):684-92

Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7461, USA.

Objective: A phase I double-blind clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of a high oral dose of soy isoflavones administered daily for 84 days to healthy postmenopausal women. Principal outcome measures included DNA damage, apoptosis, and changes indicative of estrogenic stimulation.

Design: After eligibility and equol-producer status were determined, stratified randomization was used to assign women to the isoflavone (active) or placebo group. Of the 30 women who completed the study, 18 were in the active group. DNA damage was assessed via COMET and apurinic/apyrimidinic site assays in lymphocytes. Apoptosis was evaluated via terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling and activated caspase-3 assays in lymphocytes. Estrogenic/antiestrogenic effects were assessed using a self-report questionnaire and by assaying for estrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin in blood.

Results: In treated postmenopausal women, there was no indication that high doses of soy isoflavones caused DNA strand breakage, increased apurinic/apyrimidinic sites, or increased apoptosis in peripheral lymphocytes. There were no significant changes in mean values for estrogenic effects or other laboratory measurements. Very few adverse events occurred, and the only drug-related adverse events were mild or grade 1 in severity.

Conclusions: Unconjugated soy isoflavones appear to be safe and well tolerated in healthy postmenopausal women at doses of 900 mg/day.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/gme.0b013e318167b8f2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2574732PMC
September 2008

Dietary isoflavones differentially induce gene expression changes in lymphocytes from postmenopausal women who form equol as compared with those who do not.

J Nutr Biochem 2007 Jun 8;18(6):380-90. Epub 2006 Sep 8.

Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7461, USA.

Human and animal studies suggest that dietary soy isoflavones reduce cancer risk, ameliorate postmenopausal syndrome and decrease bone resorption in postmenopausal women. The capacity to form the metabolite equol from daidzein is suggested as an important modulator of response to isoflavones; this capacity depends on gut colonization with appropriate bacteria. We administered a dietary supplement containing high-dose purified soy isoflavones (genistein, 558 mg/day; daidzein, 296 mg/day; and glycitein, 44 mg/day) to 30 postmenopausal women for 84 days and collected peripheral lymphocytes at timed intervals. Using microarray analysis, we determined whether changes in gene expression associated with this treatment support existing hypotheses as to isoflavones' mechanisms of action. Expression of a large number of genes was altered by isoflavone treatment, including induction of genes associated with cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) signaling and cell differentiation and decreased expression of genes associated with cyclin-dependent kinase activity and cell division. We report that isoflavone treatment in subjects who have the capacity to produce equol differentially affects gene expression as compared with nonproducers, supporting the plausibility of the importance of equol production. In general, isoflavones had a stronger effect on some putative estrogen-responsive genes in equol producers than in nonproducers. Our study suggests that, in humans, isoflavone changes are related to increased cell differentiation, increased cAMP signaling and G-protein-coupled protein metabolism and increased steroid hormone receptor activity and have some estrogen agonist effects; equol-production status is likely to be an important modulator of responses to isoflavones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2006.06.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2441946PMC
June 2007