New Suppressor Effects In Liver Cancer

And the War On Cancer continues. Here are some results researchers discovered concerning tumor suppression. I’m sorry if this article may seem a little tough to read.

The role of NADPH oxidase NOX4, as an inhibitor of the epithelial-amoeboid transition, has been unveiled by the researchers of the TGS-beta and Cancer group of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) in collaboration with King’s College London.  This is a process that contributes to the migration and invasion of tumor cells and has been published in the journal Oncogene.

There are previous studies where the researchers suggest that NOX4 acts as a tumor suppressor in the liver, through inhibiting cell proliferation.  According to Dr. Isabel Fabregat, leader of the IDIBELL research group, they have proven that NOX4 is also an important inhibitor of the invasion and metastasis of liver tumor cells.

It has been indicated in vitro studies that NOX4 silencing in liver tumor cells induces a migratory movement that is known as amoeboid.  In relation to cell contractility, the amoeboid movement is regulated by the Rho family of proteins. The increased expression of these proteins results in this type of movement that is associated with aggressive metastases.

It was observed in the study of hepatocellular carcinoma patients that a significant number of cases present NOX4 deletions.  Those patients with a low expression of NOX4 and a high expression of Rho proteins had a much worse prognosis, thus this gives the vitro study a translational relevance as it brings new prognostic biomarkers for this type of cancer.

The TGF-beta cytokine regulates NOX4 at the transcriptional level.  The research group has studied this for more than 15 years and it is known that TGF-beta acts as a tumor suppressor in early stages, but becomes an inductor in late ones.  When the expression levels of NOX4 are low and the Rho proteins are high, the patients could be ideal candidates for this type of drug. NOX4 could not only be used as a marker of poor prognosis but also as a marker for the use of TGF-beta inhibitory drugs.

The main author of the work is Eva Crosas-Molist who was co-directed by Victoria Sanz Moreno from King’s College, and Isabel Fabregat from IDIBELL.  This research will now focus on in-depth study of the molecular mechanisms regulated by NOX4.

-Dr Fredda Branyon

image c/o pixabay

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