ETV4 Promotes Metastasis in Response to Activation of PI3-Kinase and Ras Signaling in a Mouse Model of Advanced Prostate Cancer

“Combinatorial activation of PI3-kinase and RAS signaling occurs frequently in advanced prostate cancer and is associated with adverse patient outcome. We now report that the oncogenic Ets variant 4 (Etv4) promotes prostate cancer metastasis in response to coactivation of PI3-kinase and Ras signaling pathways in a genetically engineered mouse model of highly penetrant, metastatic prostate cancer. Using an inducible Cre driver to simultaneously inactivate Pten while activating oncogenic Kras and a fluorescent reporter allele in the prostate epithelium, we performed lineage tracing in vivo to define the temporal and spatial occurrence of prostate tumors, disseminated tumor cells, and metastases. These analyses revealed that though disseminated tumors cells arise early following the initial occurrence of prostate tumors, there is a significant temporal lag in metastasis, which is temporally coincident with the up-regulation of Etv4 expression in primary tumors. Functional studies showed that knockdown of Etv4 in a metastatic cell line derived from the mouse model abrogates the metastatic phenotype but does not affect tumor growth. Notably, expression and activation of ETV4, but not other oncogenic ETS genes, is correlated with activation of both PI3-kinase and Ras signaling in human prostate tumors and metastases. Our findings indicate that ETV4 promotes metastasis in prostate tumors that have activation of PI3-kinase and Ras signaling, and therefore, ETV4 represents a potential target of therapeutic intervention for metastatic prostate cancer.”


Proteasome Activator Complex PA28 Identified as an Accessible Target in Prostate Cancer by in vivo Selection of Human Antibodies

“Antibody cancer therapies rely on systemically accessible targets and suitable antibodies that exert a functional activity or deliver a payload to the tumor site. Here, we present proof-of-principle of in vivo selection of human antibodies in tumor-bearing mice that identified a tumor-specific antibody able to deliver a payload and unveils the target antigen. By using an ex vivo enrichment process against freshly disaggregated tumors to purge the repertoire, in combination with in vivo biopanning at optimized phage circulation time, we have identified a human domain antibody capable of mediating selective localization of phage to human prostate cancer xenografts. Affinity chromatography followed by mass spectrometry analysis showed that the antibody recognizes the proteasome activator complex PA28. The specificity of soluble antibody was confirmed by demonstrating its binding to the active human PA28αβ complex. Whereas systemically administered control phage was confined in the lumen of blood vessels of both normal tissues and tumors, the selected phage spread from tumor vessels into the perivascular tumor parenchyma. In these areas, the selected phage partially colocalized with PA28 complex. Furthermore, we found that the expression of the α subunit of PA28 [proteasome activator complex subunit 1 (PSME1)] is elevated in primary and metastatic human prostate cancer and used anti-PSME1 antibodies to show that PSME1 is an accessible marker in mouse xenograft tumors. These results support the use of PA28 as a tumor marker and a potential target for therapeutic intervention in prostate cancer.”


Pharmacological Inactivation of Skp2 SCF Ubiquitin Ligase Restricts Cancer Stem Cell Traits and Cancer Progression

“Skp2 E3 ligase is overexpressed in numerous human cancers and plays a critical role in cell-cycle progression, senescence, metabolism, cancer progression, and metastasis. In the present study, we identified a specific Skp2 inhibitor using high-throughput in silico screening of large and diverse chemical libraries. This Skp2 inhibitor selectively suppresses Skp2 E3 ligase activity, but not activity of other SCF complexes. It also phenocopies the effects observed upon genetic Skp2 deficiency, such as suppressing survival and Akt-mediated glycolysis and triggering p53-independent cellular senescence. Strikingly, we discovered a critical function of Skp2 in positively regulating cancer stem cell populations and self-renewal ability through genetic and pharmacological approaches. Notably, Skp2 inhibitor exhibits potent antitumor activities in multiple animal models and cooperates with chemotherapeutic agents to reduce cancer cell survival. Our study thus provides pharmacological evidence that Skp2 is a promising target for restricting cancer stem cell and cancer progression.”


Pharmacological Inactivation of Skp2 SCF Ubiquitin Ligase Restricts Cancer Stem Cell Traits and Cancer Progression

“Skp2 E3 ligase is overexpressed in numerous human cancers and plays a critical role in cell-cycle progression, senescence, metabolism, cancer progression, and metastasis. In the present study, we identified a specific Skp2 inhibitor using high-throughput in silico screening of large and diverse chemical libraries. This Skp2 inhibitor selectively suppresses Skp2 E3 ligase activity, but not activity of other SCF complexes. It also phenocopies the effects observed upon genetic Skp2 deficiency, such as suppressing survival and Akt-mediated glycolysis and triggering p53-independent cellular senescence. Strikingly, we discovered a critical function of Skp2 in positively regulating cancer stem cell populations and self-renewal ability through genetic and pharmacological approaches. Notably, Skp2 inhibitor exhibits potent antitumor activities in multiple animal models and cooperates with chemotherapeutic agents to reduce cancer cell survival. Our study thus provides pharmacological evidence that Skp2 is a promising target for restricting cancer stem cell and cancer progression.”


A Core Human Primary Tumor Angiogenesis Signature Identifies the Endothelial Orphan Receptor ELTD1 as a Key Regulator of Angiogenesis

“Limited clinical benefits derived from anti-VEGF therapy have driven the identification of new targets involved in tumor angiogenesis. Here, we report an integrative meta-analysis to define the transcriptional program underlying angiogenesis in human cancer. This approach identified ELTD1, an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor whose expression is induced by VEGF/bFGF and repressed by DLL4 signaling. Extensive analysis of multiple cancer types demonstrates significant upregulation of ELTD1 in tumor-associated endothelial cells, with a higher expression correlating with favorable prognosis. Importantly, ELTD1 silencing impairs endothelial sprouting and vessel formation in vitro and in vivo, drastically reducing tumor growth and greatly improving survival. Collectively, these results provide insight into the regulation of tumor angiogenesis and highlight ELTD1 as key player in blood vessel formation.”


A Core Human Primary Tumor Angiogenesis Signature Identifies the Endothelial Orphan Receptor ELTD1 as a Key Regulator of Angiogenesis

“Limited clinical benefits derived from anti-VEGF therapy have driven the identification of new targets involved in tumor angiogenesis. Here, we report an integrative meta-analysis to define the transcriptional program underlying angiogenesis in human cancer. This approach identified ELTD1, an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor whose expression is induced by VEGF/bFGF and repressed by DLL4 signaling. Extensive analysis of multiple cancer types demonstrates significant upregulation of ELTD1 in tumor-associated endothelial cells, with a higher expression correlating with favorable prognosis. Importantly, ELTD1 silencing impairs endothelial sprouting and vessel formation in vitro and in vivo, drastically reducing tumor growth and greatly improving survival. Collectively, these results provide insight into the regulation of tumor angiogenesis and highlight ELTD1 as key player in blood vessel formation.”


A Core Human Primary Tumor Angiogenesis Signature Identifies the Endothelial Orphan Receptor ELTD1 as a Key Regulator of Angiogenesis

“Limited clinical benefits derived from anti-VEGF therapy have driven the identification of new targets involved in tumor angiogenesis. Here, we report an integrative meta-analysis to define the transcriptional program underlying angiogenesis in human cancer. This approach identified ELTD1, an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor whose expression is induced by VEGF/bFGF and repressed by DLL4 signaling. Extensive analysis of multiple cancer types demonstrates significant upregulation of ELTD1 in tumor-associated endothelial cells, with a higher expression correlating with favorable prognosis. Importantly, ELTD1 silencing impairs endothelial sprouting and vessel formation in vitro and in vivo, drastically reducing tumor growth and greatly improving survival. Collectively, these results provide insight into the regulation of tumor angiogenesis and highlight ELTD1 as key player in blood vessel formation.”