• Mechanisms of Nuclear Export in Cancer and Resistance to Chemotherapy

      El-Tanani, Mohamed; Dakir, El-Habib; Raynor, Bethany; Morgan, Richard (2016-03-14)
      Tumour suppressor proteins, such as p53, BRCA1, and ABC, play key roles in preventing the development of a malignant phenotype, but those that function as transcriptional regulators need to enter the nucleus in order to function. The export of proteins between the nucleus and cytoplasm is complex. It occurs through nuclear pores and exported proteins need a nuclear export signal (NES) to bind to nuclear exportin proteins, including CRM1 (Chromosomal Region Maintenance protein 1), and the energy for this process is provided by the RanGTP/RanGDP gradient. Due to the loss of DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoints, drug resistance is a major problem in cancer treatment, and often an initially successful treatment will fail due to the development of resistance. An important mechanism underlying resistance is nuclear export, and a number of strategies that can prevent nuclear export may reverse resistance. Examples include inhibitors of CRM1, antibodies to the nuclear export signal, and alteration of nuclear pore structure. Each of these are considered in this review.
    • Nano-encapsulation of a novel anti-Ran-GTPase peptide for blockade of regulator of chromosome condensation 1 (RCC1) function in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells

      Haggag, Y.A.; Matchett, K.B.; Dakir, El-Habib; Buchanan, P.; Osman, M.A.; Elgizawy, S.A.; El-Tanani, Mohamed; Faheem, A.M.; McCarron, P.A. (2017-04)
      Ran is a small ras-related GTPase and is highly expressed in aggressive breast carcinoma. Overexpression induces malignant transformation and drives metastatic growth. We have designed a novel series of anti-Ran-GTPase peptides, which prevents Ran hydrolysis and activation, and although they display effectiveness in silico, peptide activity is suboptimal in vitro due to reduced bioavailability and poor delivery. To overcome this drawback, we delivered an anti-Ran-GTPase peptide using encapsulation in PLGA-based nanoparticles (NP). Formulation variables within a double emulsion solvent evaporation technique were controlled to optimise physicochemical properties. NP were spherical and negatively charged with a mean diameter of 182–277 nm. Peptide integrity and stability were maintained after encapsulation and release kinetics followed a sustained profile. We were interested in the relationship between cellular uptake and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) in the NP matrix, with results showing enhanced in vitro uptake with increasing PEG content. Peptide-loaded, pegylated (10% PEG)-PLGA NP induced significant cytotoxic and apoptotic effects in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, with no evidence of similar effects in cells pulsed with free peptide. Western blot analysis showed that encapsulated peptide interfered with the proposed signal transduction pathway of the Ran gene. Our novel blockade peptide prevented Ran activation by blockage of regulator of chromosome condensation 1 (RCC1) following peptide release directly in the cytoplasm once endocytosis of the peptide-loaded nanoparticle has occurred. RCC1 blockage was effective only when a nanoparticulate delivery approach was adopted.
    • Protein deregulation associated with breast cancer metastasis

      Chan, K.K.; Matchett, K.B.; McEnhill, P.M.; Dakir, El-Habib; McMullin, M.F.; El-Tanani, Y.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Faheem, A.; Rudland, P.S.; McCarron, P.A.; et al. (2015-08)
      Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent malignancies worldwide. It consists of a group of tumor cells that have the ability to grow uncontrollably, overcome replicative senescence (tumor progression) and metastasize within the body. Metastases are processes that consist of an array of complex gene dysregulation events. Although these processes are still not fully understood, the dysregulation of a number of key proteins must take place if the tumor cells are to disseminate and metastasize. It is now widely accepted that future effective and innovative treatments of cancer metastasis will have to encompass all the major components of malignant transformation. For this reason, much research is now being carried out into the mechanisms that govern the malignant transformation processes. Recent research has identified key genes involved in the development of metastases, as well as their mechanisms of action. A detailed understanding of the encoded proteins and their interrelationship generates the possibility of developing novel therapeutic approaches. This review will focus on a select group of proteins, often deregulated in breast cancer metastasis, which have shown therapeutic promise, notably, EMT, E-cadherin, Osteopontin, PEA3, Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-β) and Ran.
    • Ran GTPase promotes cancer progression via Met receptor-mediated downstream signaling

      Yuen, H-F.; Chan, K.K.; Platt-Higgins, A.; Dakir, El-Habib; Matchett, K.B.; Haggag, Y.A.; Jithesh, P.V.; Habib, T.; Faheem, A.; Dean, F.A.; et al. (2016-10-03)
      It has been shown previously that cancer cells with an activated oncogenic pathway, including Met activation, require Ran for growth and survival. Here, we show that knockdown of Ran leads to a reduction of Met receptor expression in several breast and lung cancer cell lines. This, in turn suppressed HGF expression and the Met-mediated activation of the Akt pathway, as well as cell adhesion, migration, and invasion. In a cell line model where Met amplification has previously been shown to contribute to gefitinib resistance, Ran knockdown sensitized cells to gefitinib-mediated inhibition of Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and consequently reduced cell proliferation. We further demonstrate that Met reductionmediated by knockdown of Ran, occurs at the post-transcriptional level, probably via a matrix metalloproteinase. Moreover, the level of immunoreactive Ran and Met are positively associated in human breast cancer specimens, suggesting that a high level of Ran may be a prerequisite for Met overexpression. Interestingly, a high level of immunoreactive Ran dictates the prognostic significance of Met, indicating that the co-overexpression of Met and Ran may be associated with cancer progression and could be used in combination as a prognostic indicator.