The circadian gene Timeless (TIM) provides a molecular bridge between circadian and cell cycle/DNA replication regulatory systems and has been recently involved in human cancer development and progression. However, its functional role in colorectal cancer (CRC), the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, has not been fully clarified yet. Here, the analysis of two independent CRC patient cohorts (total 1159 samples) reveals that loss of TIM expression is an unfavorable prognostic factor significantly correlated with advanced tumor stage, metastatic spreading, and microsatellite stability status. Genome-wide expression profiling, in vitro and in vivo experiments, revealed that TIM knockdown induces the activation of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program. Accordingly, the analysis of a large set of human samples showed that TIM expression inversely correlated with a previously established gene signature of canonical EMT markers (EMT score), and its ectopic silencing promotes migration, invasion, and acquisition of stem-like phenotype in CRC cells. Mechanistically, we found that loss of TIM expression unleashes ZEB1 expression that in turn drives the EMT program and enhances the aggressive behavior of CRC cells. Besides, the deranged TIM-ZEB1 axis sets off the accumulation of DNA damage and delays DNA damage recovery. Furthermore, we show that the aggressive and genetically unstable ‘CMS4 colorectal cancer molecular subtype’ is characterized by a lower expression of TIM and that patients with the combination of low-TIM/high-ZEB1 expression have a poorer outcome. In conclusion, our results as a whole suggest the engagement of an unedited TIM-ZEB1 axis in key pathological processes driving malignant phenotype acquisition in colorectal carcinogenesis. Thus, TIM-ZEB1 expression profiling could provide a robust prognostic biomarker in CRC patients, supporting targeted therapeutic strategies with better treatment selection and patients’ outcomes.

Colangelo, T., Carbone, A., Mazzarelli, F., Cuttano, R., Dama, E., Nittoli, T., et al. (2022). Loss of circadian gene Timeless induces EMT and tumor progression in colorectal cancer via Zeb1-dependent mechanism. CELL DEATH AND DIFFERENTIATION, 29(8), 1552-1568 [10.1038/s41418-022-00935-y].

Loss of circadian gene Timeless induces EMT and tumor progression in colorectal cancer via Zeb1-dependent mechanism

Dama E;
2022

Abstract

The circadian gene Timeless (TIM) provides a molecular bridge between circadian and cell cycle/DNA replication regulatory systems and has been recently involved in human cancer development and progression. However, its functional role in colorectal cancer (CRC), the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, has not been fully clarified yet. Here, the analysis of two independent CRC patient cohorts (total 1159 samples) reveals that loss of TIM expression is an unfavorable prognostic factor significantly correlated with advanced tumor stage, metastatic spreading, and microsatellite stability status. Genome-wide expression profiling, in vitro and in vivo experiments, revealed that TIM knockdown induces the activation of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program. Accordingly, the analysis of a large set of human samples showed that TIM expression inversely correlated with a previously established gene signature of canonical EMT markers (EMT score), and its ectopic silencing promotes migration, invasion, and acquisition of stem-like phenotype in CRC cells. Mechanistically, we found that loss of TIM expression unleashes ZEB1 expression that in turn drives the EMT program and enhances the aggressive behavior of CRC cells. Besides, the deranged TIM-ZEB1 axis sets off the accumulation of DNA damage and delays DNA damage recovery. Furthermore, we show that the aggressive and genetically unstable ‘CMS4 colorectal cancer molecular subtype’ is characterized by a lower expression of TIM and that patients with the combination of low-TIM/high-ZEB1 expression have a poorer outcome. In conclusion, our results as a whole suggest the engagement of an unedited TIM-ZEB1 axis in key pathological processes driving malignant phenotype acquisition in colorectal carcinogenesis. Thus, TIM-ZEB1 expression profiling could provide a robust prognostic biomarker in CRC patients, supporting targeted therapeutic strategies with better treatment selection and patients’ outcomes.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
colorectal cancer; TIMELESS; ZEB1;
English
1552
1568
17
Colangelo, T., Carbone, A., Mazzarelli, F., Cuttano, R., Dama, E., Nittoli, T., et al. (2022). Loss of circadian gene Timeless induces EMT and tumor progression in colorectal cancer via Zeb1-dependent mechanism. CELL DEATH AND DIFFERENTIATION, 29(8), 1552-1568 [10.1038/s41418-022-00935-y].
Colangelo, T; Carbone, A; Mazzarelli, F; Cuttano, R; Dama, E; Nittoli, T; Albanesi, J; Barisciano, G; Forte, N; Palumbo, O; Graziano, P; di Masi, A; Colantuoni, V; Sabatino, L; Bianchi, F; Mazzoccoli, G
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/366855
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