• Alterations in integrin expression modulates invasion of pancreatic cancer cells.

      Walsh, Naomi; Clynes, Martin; Crown, John; O'Donovan, Norma; National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland. naomi.walsh@dcu.ie (2009)
      BACKGROUND: Factors mediating the invasion of pancreatic cancer cells through the extracellular matrix (ECM) are not fully understood. METHODS: In this study, sub-populations of the human pancreatic cancer cell line, MiaPaCa-2 were established which displayed differences in invasion, adhesion, anoikis, anchorage-independent growth and integrin expression. RESULTS: Clone #3 displayed higher invasion with less adhesion, while Clone #8 was less invasive with increased adhesion to ECM proteins compared to MiaPaCa-2. Clone #8 was more sensitive to anoikis than Clone #3 and MiaPaCa-2, and displayed low colony-forming efficiency in an anchorage-independent growth assay. Integrins beta 1, alpha 5 and alpha 6 were over-expressed in Clone #8. Using small interfering RNA (siRNA), integrin beta1 knockdown in Clone #8 cells increased invasion through matrigel and fibronectin, increased motility, decreased adhesion and anoikis. Integrin alpha 5 and alpha 6 knockdown also resulted in increased motility, invasion through matrigel and decreased adhesion. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that altered expression of integrins interacting with different extracellular matrixes may play a significant role in suppressing the aggressive invasive phenotype. Analysis of these clonal populations of MiaPaCa-2 provides a model for investigations into the invasive properties of pancreatic carcinoma.
    • Detecting microRNA activity from gene expression data.

      Madden, Stephen F; Carpenter, Susan B; Jeffery, Ian B; Björkbacka, Harry; Fitzgerald, Katherine A; O'Neill, Luke A; Higgins, Desmond G; School of Medicine and Medical Science, Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. (2010)
      BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by binding to the messenger RNA (mRNA) of protein coding genes. They control gene expression by either inhibiting translation or inducing mRNA degradation. A number of computational techniques have been developed to identify the targets of miRNAs. In this study we used predicted miRNA-gene interactions to analyse mRNA gene expression microarray data to predict miRNAs associated with particular diseases or conditions. RESULTS: Here we combine correspondence analysis, between group analysis and co-inertia analysis (CIA) to determine which miRNAs are associated with differences in gene expression levels in microarray data sets. Using a database of miRNA target predictions from TargetScan, TargetScanS, PicTar4way PicTar5way, and miRanda and combining these data with gene expression levels from sets of microarrays, this method produces a ranked list of miRNAs associated with a specified split in samples. We applied this to three different microarray datasets, a papillary thyroid carcinoma dataset, an in-house dataset of lipopolysaccharide treated mouse macrophages, and a multi-tissue dataset. In each case we were able to identified miRNAs of biological importance. CONCLUSIONS: We describe a technique to integrate gene expression data and miRNA target predictions from multiple sources.
    • Effects of cIAP-1, cIAP-2 and XIAP triple knockdown on prostate cancer cell susceptibility to apoptosis, cell survival and proliferation.

      Gill, Catherine; Dowling, Catherine; O'Neill, Amanda J; Watson, R William G; UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. cgill@hrb.ie (2009)
      BACKGROUND: Manipulating apoptotic resistance represents an important strategy for the treatment of hormone refractory prostate cancer. We hypothesised that the Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) Proteins may be mediating this resistance and knockdown of cIAP-1, cIAP-2 and XIAP would increase sensitivity to apoptosis. METHODS: cIAP-1, cIAP-2 and XIAP where knocked down either individually or in combination using siRNA in androgen independent prostate cancer PC-3 cells as confirmed by real-time PCR and western blotting. Cells were then treated with TRAIL, Etoposide, or Tunicamycin, and apoptosis assessed by PI DNA staining. Apoptosis was confirmed with Annexin V labelling and measurement of PARP cleavage, and was inhibited using the pan-caspase inhibitor, zVAD.fmk. Clonogenic assays and assessment of ID-1 expression by western blotting were used to measure recovery and proliferation. RESULTS: PC-3 are resistant to TRAIL induced apoptosis and have elevated expression of cIAP-1, cIAP-2 and XIAP. Combined knockdown sensitised PC-3 to TRAIL induced apoptosis, but not to Etoposide or Tunicmycin, with corresponding increases in caspase activity and PARP cleavage which was inhibited by ZVAD.fmk. Triple knock down decreased proliferation which was confirmed by decreased ID-1 expression. CONCLUSION: Simultaneous knock down of the IAPs not only sensitised the PC-3 to TRAIL but also inhibited their proliferation rates and clonogenic survival. The inability to alter sensitivity to other triggers of apoptosis suggests that this effect is specific for death receptor pathways and knock down might facilitate immune-surveillance mechanisms to counter cancer progression and, in combination with therapeutic approaches using TRAIL, could represent an important treatment strategy.