MAY 25, 2020 9:59 AM PDT

Using Transcription Factors to Predict Bladder Cancer Prognosis

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

Bladder cancer is a rare form of cancer, with a relatively high recovery rate. Recurrence is still an issue; however, with around half of patients affected. Prognostic tests can help identify patients who have a high likelihood of recurrence before it occurs. Using this information, doctors can take preventative measures and increase the overall survival rate of patients.

A team from Taiwan decided to tackle this task, focusing on identifying possible transcription factors that might influence tumor progression. Previous work has shown transcription factors tied to the differentiation of cells in adults may also have pro-tumor effects. They analyzed a series of these transcription factors in bladder cancer to identify any that correlate with recurrence-free survival (RFS). Sex determining region Y box-2 (SOX2) was found to be the only transcription factor tested that had a strong correlation.

Normally SOX2 is a transcription factor involved in the maintenance of undifferentiated cells. It had been implicated in recent work to be a possible pro-tumor factor in some cancers. SOX2 was tested to identify its role in cell survival using two bladder cancer cell lines, one with high SOX2 expression and one with low expression. They found that a low SOX2 expression led to a reduction in cellular proliferation. Following this discovery, they focused their testing on the AKT pathway and if SOX2 affected it. This pathway is involved in cellular proliferation, and its abnormal activation is common in many cancers. The analysis showed that high levels of SOX2 correlated with high levels of AKT activation in bladder cancer.

The group then examined the genetic expression of SOX2 overexpressing bladder cancer cells versus normal expressing bladder cancer cells. Insulin like growth factor 2 (IGF2), a peptide hormone whose overexpression in other cancers is linked to an aggressive phenotype, was found to increase and decrease with SOX2 levels. Importantly, IGF2 signaling was vital in the cellular proliferation affects SOX2 generated. This effectively connects SOX2 to two separate pro-tumor factors, AKT activation, and IGF2 levels, which make it a good target for further biomarker studies.

This work identified SOX2 as a possible biomarker that can be used to predict the prognosis of bladder cancer patients. Furthermore, SOX2’s connection to both AKT and IGF2 makes it a potential therapeutic target for future research. SOX2 is already being studied in several other cancers, including lung and breast cancers. With further investigation, it may prove to be a good target for prognostic tests and increase the survival of patients diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Sources: Nature, Cell Signaling Technologies, Inc.

 

About the Author
  • Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
You May Also Like
JUL 08, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Is It Possible to Prevent Leukemia in Down Syndrome Patients?
JUL 08, 2021
Is It Possible to Prevent Leukemia in Down Syndrome Patients?
Children with Down syndrome have a significantly higher likelihood myeloid leukemia occurring in the first five years of ...
JUL 13, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Friend or Foe? New Cancer-Tracking Pen Guides Surgeons.
JUL 13, 2021
Friend or Foe? New Cancer-Tracking Pen Guides Surgeons.
Researchers have developed the first diagnostic “pen” that acts as a guide for surgeons, helping them distin ...
AUG 18, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cancer Patients Use Less Cannabis than General Public
AUG 18, 2021
Cancer Patients Use Less Cannabis than General Public
Despite increasing legalization for recreational cannabis across the US, cancer patients have largely abstained from usi ...
SEP 13, 2021
Cancer
Fat Loss can Predict Gastric Cancer Survival
SEP 13, 2021
Fat Loss can Predict Gastric Cancer Survival
Cancer cachexia is a metabolic disorder in cancer patients experiencing uncontrolled weight loss.  While cancer cac ...
SEP 23, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
The FDA approves the first and only oral treatment for a certain non-small cell lung cancer.
SEP 23, 2021
The FDA approves the first and only oral treatment for a certain non-small cell lung cancer.
Last week, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for the first oral therapy to ...
NOV 10, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Does Cannabis Use Reduce the Risk of Cancer?
NOV 10, 2021
Does Cannabis Use Reduce the Risk of Cancer?
In medical terminology, there are few terms as imposing as ‘cancer.’ According to the Centers for Disea ...
Loading Comments...