Pathway of the Month
- Recently, a five-center collaborative study1 reported that genetic variations of glypican-5 (GPC5) may significantly contribute to an increased risk of lung cancer in never smokers. GPC5 gene expression levels in normal lung tissues were found significantly lower in individuals who carry high-risk alleles, and the GPC5 expression level in adenocarcinoma tissue was significantly lower than in matched normal lung tissue. Reduction of expression of GPC5 may lead to the development of lung cancer, suggesting that this gene normally functions as a tumor suppressor.
- Metastasis is characterized by the ability of cancer cells to invade into adjacent tissue, intravasate into blood or lymphatic vessels, and extravasate into a distant tissue. Metastatic disease is primarily responsible for the low 5-year survival rate of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and therefore, an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate NSCLC metastasis is clearly warranted. The serine/threonine kinase and tumor suppressor LKB1 is mutated in 30% of NSCLC tumors, and recent evidence points to a prominent role in NSCLC metastasis.
- RBM5 is one member of a group of structurally related genes that includes RBM6 and RBM10. RBM10 maps to Xp11.23, and one allele is inactivated as a result of X chromosome inactivation. Both RBM5 and RBM6 map to 3p21.3, a tumor suppressor region that experiences loss of heterozygosity in the majority of lung cancers. Overexpression of RBM5, which encodes an RNA-binding protein involved in the regulation of alternative splicing and retards ascites associated tumor growth in immunocompromised mice, a phenomenon that may be related to an associated ability to modulate apoptosis.
- Genome-wide association studies revealed chromosome regions 15q24-25 were associated with a higher risk for development of lung cancer. The 15q24-25 region encompasses the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes (nAchR ±3, ±5, and ²4) that play a role in nicotine addiction. This review reports information of the acetylcholine receptor and lung cancer. In patients diagnosed with smoking-related lung cancer and who continue smoking, a negative correlation with lung cancer survival has been shown.
- Alterations in alternative splicing affect essential biologic processes and are the basis for a number of pathologic conditions, including cancer. In this review we will summarize the evidence supporting the relevance of alternative splicing in lung cancer. An example that illustrates this relevance is the altered balance between Bcl-xL and Bcl-xS, two splice variants of the apoptosis regulator Bcl-x. Splice modifications in cancer-related genes can be associated with modifications either in cis-acting splicing regulatory sequences or in trans-acting splicing factors.
- This is a short review focusing on leptin immunoinflammatory mechanisms that ultimately may contribute to lung cancer development. We explored the complex and intricate interaction of leptin with immune cells to propose a pathway of inflammation-associated lung cancer development.
- Signaling pathways responsible for embryogenesis play a critical role in the maintenance of stem cells in adult life and cellular responses to injury. Dysfunction of the developmental signaling pathways during adult homeostasis leads to various events resulting in the development of neoplasia. We review the biology of the hedgehog signaling pathway and its potential role in the development of lung cancer.