Publications by authors named "Mary E Aakre"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Inhibiting Cxcr2 disrupts tumor-stromal interactions and improves survival in a mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

J Clin Invest 2011 Oct 19;121(10):4106-17. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), one of the most lethal neoplasms, is characterized by an expanded stroma with marked fibrosis (desmoplasia). We previously generated pancreas epithelium-specific TGF-β receptor type II (Tgfbr2) knockout mice in the context of Kras activation (mice referred to herein as Kras+Tgfbr2KO mice) and found that they developed aggressive PDAC that recapitulated the histological manifestations of the human disease. The mouse PDAC tissue showed strong expression of connective tissue growth factor (Ctgf), a profibrotic and tumor-promoting factor, especially in the tumor-stromal border area, suggesting an active tumor-stromal interaction. Here we show that the PDAC cells in Kras+Tgfbr2KO mice secreted much higher levels of several Cxc chemokines compared with mouse pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia cells, which are preinvasive. The Cxc chemokines induced Ctgf expression in the pancreatic stromal fibroblasts, not in the PDAC cells themselves. Subcutaneous grafting studies revealed that the fibroblasts enhanced growth of PDAC cell allografts, which was attenuated by Cxcr2 inhibition. Moreover, treating the Kras+Tgfbr2KO mice with the CXCR2 inhibitor reduced tumor progression. The decreased tumor progression correlated with reduced Ctgf expression and angiogenesis and increased overall survival. Taken together, our data indicate that tumor-stromal interactions via a Cxcr2-dependent chemokine and Ctgf axis can regulate PDAC progression. Further, our results suggest that inhibiting tumor-stromal interactions might be a promising therapeutic strategy for PDAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI42754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195452PMC
October 2011

Disruption of bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) in mammary tumors promotes metastases through cell autonomous and paracrine mediators.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012 Feb 16;109(8):2814-9. Epub 2011 May 16.

Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the TGF-β superfamily of signaling molecules. BMPs can elicit a wide range of effects in many cell types and have previously been shown to induce growth inhibition in carcinoma cells as well as normal epithelia. Recently, it has been demonstrated that BMP4 and BMP7 are overexpressed in human breast cancers and may have tumor suppressive and promoting effects. We sought to determine whether disruption of the BMP receptor 2 (BMPR2) would alter mammary tumor progression in mice that express the Polyoma middle T antigen. Mice expressing Polyoma middle T antigen under the mouse mammary tumor virus promoter were combined with mice that have doxycycline-inducible expression of a dominant-negative (DN) BMPR2. We did not observe any differences in tumor latency. However, mice expressing the BMPR2-DN had a fivefold increase in lung metastases. We characterized several cell autonomous changes and found that BMPR2-DN-expressing tumor cells had higher rates of proliferation. We also identified unique changes in inflammatory cells and secreted chemokines/cytokines that accompanied BMPR2-DN-expressing tumors. By immunohistochemistry, it was found that BMPR2-DN primary tumors and metastases had an altered reactive stroma, indicating specific changes in the tumor microenvironment. Among the changes we discovered were increased myeloid derived suppressor cells and the chemokine CCL9. BMP was shown to directly regulate CCL9 expression. We conclude that BMPR2 has tumor-suppressive function in mammary epithelia and microenvironment and that disruption can accelerate mammary carcinoma metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1101139108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3286911PMC
February 2012

Quantitative analysis of the secretome of TGF-beta signaling-deficient mammary fibroblasts.

Proteomics 2010 Jul;10(13):2458-70

Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA.

Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) is a master regulator of autocrine and paracrine signaling pathways between a tumor and its microenvironment. Decreased expression of TGF-beta type II receptor (TbetaRII) in stromal cells is associated with increased tumor metastasis and shorter patient survival. In this study, SILAC quantitative proteomics was used to identify differentially externalized proteins in the conditioned media from the mammary fibroblasts with or without intact TbetaRII. Over 1000 proteins were identified and their relative differential levels were quantified. Immunoassays were used to further validate identification and quantification of the proteomic results. Differential expression was detected for various extracellular proteins, including proteases and their inhibitors, growth factors, cytokines, and extracellular matrix proteins. CXCL10, a cytokine found to be up-regulated in the TbetaRII knockout mammary fibroblasts, is shown to directly stimulate breast tumor cell proliferation and migration. Overall, this study revealed hundreds of specific extracellular protein changes modulated by deletion of TbetaRII in mammary fibroblasts, which may play important roles in the tumor microenvironment. These results warrant further investigation into the effects of inhibiting the TGF-beta signaling pathway in fibroblasts because systemic inhibition of TGF-beta signaling pathways is being considered as a potential cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pmic.200900701DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4156855PMC
July 2010

Epidermal growth factor receptor plays a significant role in hepatocyte growth factor mediated biological responses in mammary epithelial cells.

Cancer Biol Ther 2007 Apr;6(4):561-70

Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt-lngram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-6838, USA.

Breast cancers often have deregulated hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and c-Met signaling that results in increased tumor growth and invasion. Elucidating the mechanism responsible for HGF/c-Met action in breast cancer progression has been difficult as c-Met communicates with a number of secondary receptors that can lead to various pathological outcomes. Understanding how these secondary receptors facilitate HGF/c-Met cellular responses will aid in the development of better therapeutic treatment options for breast cancer patients with elevated HGF signaling. In the present study it was shown that the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) plays a significant role in HGF/c-Met mediated biological activities indicative of advanced tumor pathology, including enhanced proliferation and invasion. The clinically relevant EGFR inhibitor gefitinib was used to determine the role of EGFR in HGF-induced proliferation and motility in several mammary carcinoma cells including PyVmT, MDA-MB-231 and 4T1. Our analyses indicated that EGFR inhibition significantly blocked HGF activation of c-Met and EGFR and that inhibition of these pathways mitigated HGF induced proliferation and motility. The data indicate that this inhibition was not through a direct effect of gefitinib on c-Met, but that EGFR is necessary for c-Met activation in the assays performed. These results provide a novel mechanism of action for EGFR as a mediator of HGF signaling thereby linking EGFR to the oncogenic potential of c-Met in mammary carcinomas cells.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3395216PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cbt.6.4.3851DOI Listing
April 2007

Aggressive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in mice caused by pancreas-specific blockade of transforming growth factor-beta signaling in cooperation with active Kras expression.

Genes Dev 2006 Nov;20(22):3147-60

Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an almost uniformly lethal disease in humans. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling plays an important role in PDAC progression, as indicated by the fact that Smad4, which encodes a central signal mediator downstream from TGF-beta, is deleted or mutated in 55% and the type II TGF-beta receptor (Tgfbr2) gene is altered in a smaller subset of human PDAC. Pancreas-specific Tgfbr2 knockout mice have been generated, alone or in the context of active Kras (Kras(G12D)) expression, using the Cre-loxP system driven by the endogenous Ptf1a (pancreatic transcription factor-1a) locus. Pancreas-selective Tgfbr2 knockout alone gave no discernable phenotype in 1.5 yr. Pancreas-specific Kras(G12D) activation alone essentially generated only intraepithelial neoplasia within 1 yr. In contrast, the Tgfbr2 knockout combined with Kras(G12D) expression developed well-differentiated PDAC with 100% penetrance and a median survival of 59 d. Heterozygous deletion of Tgfbr2 with Kras(G12D) expression also developed PDAC, which indicated a haploinsufficiency of TGF-beta signaling in this genetic context. The clinical and histopathological manifestations of the combined Kras(G12D) expression and Tgfbr2 knockout mice recapitulated human PDAC. The data show that blockade of TGF-beta signaling and activated Ras signaling cooperate to promote PDAC progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.1475506DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1635149PMC
November 2006

Activation of the Erk pathway is required for TGF-beta1-induced EMT in vitro.

Neoplasia 2004 Sep-Oct;6(5):603-10

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, 2220 Pierce Avenue South, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) can be tumor-suppressive through the activation of the Smad-mediated signaling pathway. TGF-beta1 can also enhance tumor progression by stimulating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) through additional pathways. EMT is characterized by the acquisition of a fibroblast-like cell morphology, dissolution of tight junctions, disruption of adherence junctions, and formation of actin stress fibers. There is evidence linking the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways to the induction of TGF-beta1-mediated EMT. However, the role of Erk in the induction of TGF-beta1-mediated EMT remains unclear. TGF-beta1 treatment of normal murine mammary gland (NMuMG) epithelial cells resulted in increased gene expression of Ras, Raf, MEK1/2, and Erk1/2, as shown by microarray analysis and real-time polymerase chain reaction. Upon 24 and 48 hours of treatment with TGF-beta1, NMuMG and mouse cortical tubule (MCT) epithelial cells underwent EMT as shown by changes in cell morphology, delocalization of zonula occludens-1 and E-cadherin from cell-cell junctions, and formation of actin stress fibers. TGF-beta1 treatment also resulted in increased levels of phosphorylated Erk and Erk kinase activity. Treatment with an MEK inhibitor, U0126, inhibited increased Erk phosphorylation and kinase activity, and blocked TGF-beta1-induced EMT in both cell lines. These data show that TGF-beta1 induces the activation of the Erk signaling pathway, which is required for TGF-beta1-mediated EMT in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1593/neo.04241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1531665PMC
April 2005

Induction by transforming growth factor-beta1 of epithelial to mesenchymal transition is a rare event in vitro.

Breast Cancer Res 2004 17;6(3):R215-31. Epub 2004 Mar 17.

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Introduction: Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 is proposed to inhibit the growth of epithelial cells in early tumorigenesis, and to promote tumor cell motility and invasion in the later stages of carcinogenesis through the induction of an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is a multistep process that is characterized by changes in cell morphology and dissociation of cell-cell contacts. Although there is growing interest in TGF-beta1-mediated EMT, the phenotype is limited to only a few murine cell lines and mouse models.

Methods: To identify alternative cell systems in which to study TGF-beta1-induced EMT, 18 human and mouse established cell lines and cultures of two human primary epithelial cell types were screened for TGF-beta1-induced EMT by analysis of cell morphology, and localization of zonula occludens-1, E-cadherin, and F-actin. Sensitivity to TGF-beta1 was also determined by [3H]thymidine incorporation, flow cytometry, phosphorylation of Smad2, and total levels of Smad2 and Smad3 in these cell lines and in six additional cancer cell lines.

Results: TGF-beta1 inhibited the growth of most nontransformed cells screened, but many of the cancer cell lines were insensitive to the growth inhibitory effects of TGF-beta1. In contrast, TGF-beta1 induced Smad2 phosphorylation in the majority of cell lines, including cell lines resistant to TGF-beta1-mediated cell cycle arrest. Of the cell lines screened only two underwent TGF-beta1-induced EMT.

Conclusion: The results presented herein show that, although many cancer cell lines have lost sensitivity to the growth inhibitory effect of TGF-beta1, most show evidence of TGF-beta1 signal transduction, but only a few cell lines undergo TGF-beta1-mediated EMT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/bcr778DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC400675PMC
July 2004

Transforming growth factor beta-regulated gene expression in a mouse mammary gland epithelial cell line.

Breast Cancer Res 2003 20;5(6):R187-98. Epub 2003 Aug 20.

Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Background: Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) plays an essential role in a wide array of cellular processes. The most well studied TGF-beta response in normal epithelial cells is growth inhibition. In some cell types, TGF-beta induces an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). NMuMG is a nontransformed mouse mammary gland epithelial cell line that exhibits both a growth inhibitory response and an EMT response to TGF-beta, rendering NMuMG cells a good model system for studying these TGF-beta effects.

Method: A National Institutes of Aging mouse 15,000 cDNA microarray was used to profile the gene expression of NMuMG cells treated with TGF-beta1 for 1, 6, or 24 hours. Data analyses were performed using GenePixPro and GeneSpring software. Selected microarray results were verified by northern analyses.

Results: Of the 15,000 genes examined by microarray, 939 were upregulated or downregulated by TGF-beta. This represents approximately 10% of the genes examined, minus redundancy. Seven genes previously not known to be regulated by TGF-beta at the transcriptional level (Akt and RhoB) or not at all (IQGAP1, mCalpain, actinin alpha3, Ikki, PP2A-PR53), were identified and their regulation by TGF-beta verified by northern blotting. Cell cycle pathway examination demonstrated downregulation of cyclin D2, c-myc, Id2, p107, E2F5, cyclin A, cyclin B, and cyclin H. Examination of cell adhesion-related genes revealed upregulation of c-Jun, alpha-actinin, actin, myosin light chain, p120cas catenin (Catns), alpha-integrin, integrin beta5, fibronectin, IQGAP1, and mCalpain.

Conclusion: Using a cDNA microarray to examine TGF-beta-regulated gene expression in NMuMG cells, we have shown regulation of multiple genes that play important roles in cell cycle control and EMT. In addition, we have identified several novel TGF-beta-regulated genes that may mediate previously unknown TGF-beta functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/bcr640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314403PMC
December 2003

Transgenic mice expressing a dominant-negative mutant type II transforming growth factor-beta receptor exhibit impaired mammary development and enhanced mammary tumor formation.

Am J Pathol 2003 Oct;163(4):1539-49

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.

We have previously shown that expression of a dominant-negative type II transforming growth factor-beta receptor (DNIIR) in mammary epithelium under control of the MMTV promoter/enhancer causes alveolar hyperplasia and differentiation in virgin mice. Here we show that MMTV-DNIIR female mice have accelerated mammary gland differentiation during early pregnancy with impaired development during late pregnancy and lactation followed by delayed postlactational involution. Mammary tumors, mostly carcinoma in situ, developed spontaneously in the MMTV-DNIIR mice with a long median latency (27.5 months). Crossbreeding to MMTV-transforming growth factor (TGF)-alpha mice to obtain mice expressing both transgenes resulted in mammary tumor formation with a much shorter latency more similar to those expressing only the MMTV-TGF-alpha transgene (<10 months median latency). The major difference in mammary tumors arising in MMTV-TGF-alpha compared to bigenic MMTV-DNIIR/MMTV-TGF-alpha was the marked suppression of tumor invasion by DNIIR transgene expression. Invading carcinoma cells in both MMTV-DNIIR and bigenic animals showed loss of DNIIR transgene expression as determined by in situ hybridization. The data indicate that signaling from endogenous TGF-betas not only plays an important role in normal mammary gland physiology but also can also suppress the early stage of tumor formation and contribute to tumor invasion once carcinomas have developed.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1868288PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0002-9440(10)63510-9DOI Listing
October 2003

Transforming growth factor beta mimetics: discovery of 7-[4-(4-cyanophenyl)phenoxy]-heptanohydroxamic acid, a biaryl hydroxamate inhibitor of histone deacetylase.

Mol Cancer Ther 2002 Aug;1(10):759-68

Global Pharmaceutical Research & Development, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois 60064-6121, USA.

Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) is a multifunctional protein that has been shown to possess potent growth-inhibitory activity. To identify small molecular weight compounds with TGF-beta-like activities, high throughput screening was performed using mink lung epithelial cells stably transfected with a TGF-beta-responsive plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 promoter/luciferase construct. Biaryl hydroxamate compounds were identified that demonstrated TGF-beta-like activities. 7-[4-(4-cyanophenyl)phenoxy]-heptanohydroxamic acid (A-161906) demonstrated complete TGF-beta-like agonist activity in the plasminogen activator inhibitor 1/luciferase construct. A-161906 inhibited the proliferation of multiple cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner. Cells were growth arrested at the G1-S checkpoint similar to TGF-beta. Consistent with the G1-S arrest, A-161906 induced the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21waf1/cip1. A-161906 produced many cellular effects similar to that of TGF-beta but did not displace labeled TGF-beta from its receptors. Cells with mutations in either of the TGF-beta receptors I or II were growth-arrested by A-161906. Therefore, the site of action of A-161906 appears to be distal to the receptors and possibly involved with the signaling events controlled by TGF-beta. The TGF-beta mimetic effect of A-161906 can be partially, if not entirely, explained by its activity as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. A-161906 demonstrated potent HDAC-inhibitory activity (IC50 = 9 nM). A-161906 is a novel small molecular weight compound (< 400 MW) having TGF-beta mimetic activity as a result of its potent HDAC-inhibitory activity. These results and those of others demonstrate the importance of HDACs in regulation of the TGF-beta signaling pathway(s).
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August 2002

Rapamycin potentiates transforming growth factor beta-induced growth arrest in nontransformed, oncogene-transformed, and human cancer cells.

Mol Cell Biol 2002 Dec;22(23):8184-98

Department of Cancer Biology. Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.

Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) induces cell cycle arrest of most nontransformed epithelial cell lines. In contrast, many human carcinomas are refractory to the growth-inhibitory effect of TGF-beta. TGF-beta overexpression inhibits tumorigenesis, and abolition of TGF-beta signaling accelerates tumorigenesis, suggesting that TGF-beta acts as a tumor suppressor in mouse models of cancer. A screen to identify agents that potentiate TGF-beta-induced growth arrest demonstrated that the potential anticancer agent rapamycin cooperated with TGF-beta to induce growth arrest in multiple cell lines. Rapamycin also augmented the ability of TGF-beta to inhibit the proliferation of E2F1-, c-Myc-, and (V12)H-Ras-transformed cells, even though these cells were insensitive to TGF-beta-mediated growth arrest in the absence of rapamycin. Rapamycin potentiation of TGF-beta-induced growth arrest could not be explained by increases in TGF-beta receptor levels or rapamycin-induced dissociation of FKBP12 from the TGF-beta type I receptor. Significantly, TGF-beta and rapamycin cooperated to induce growth inhibition of human carcinoma cells that are resistant to TGF-beta-induced growth arrest, and arrest correlated with a suppression of Cdk2 kinase activity. Inhibition of Cdk2 activity was associated with increased binding of p21 and p27 to Cdk2 and decreased phosphorylation of Cdk2 on Thr(160). Increased p21 and p27 binding to Cdk2 was accompanied by decreased p130, p107, and E2F4 binding to Cdk2. Together, these results indicate that rapamycin and TGF-beta cooperate to inhibit the proliferation of nontransformed cells and cancer cells by acting in concert to inhibit Cdk2 activity.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC134072PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.22.23.8184-8198.2002DOI Listing
December 2002
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