Nonmelanoma skin cancer is one of the most common malignancies in humans. Different therapeutic strategies for the treatment of these tumors are currently being investigated. Given the growth-inhibiting effects of cannabinoids on gliomas and the wide tissue distribution of the two subtypes of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), we studied the potential utility of these compounds in anti–skin tumor therapy. Here we show that the CB1 and the CB2 receptor are expressed in normal skin and skin tumors of mice and humans. In cell culture experiments pharmacological activation of cannabinoid receptors induced the apoptotic death of tumorigenic epidermal cells, whereas the viability of nontransformed epidermal cells remained unaffected. Local administration of the mixed CB1/CB2 agonist WIN-55,212-2 or the selective CB2 agonist JWH-133 induced a considerable growth inhibition of malignant tumors generated by inoculation of epidermal tumor cells into nude mice. Cannabinoid-treated tumors showed an increased number of apoptotic cells. This was accompanied by impairment of tumor vascularization, as determined by altered blood vessel morphology and decreased expression of proangiogenic factors (VEGF, placental growth factor, and angiopoietin 2). Abrogation of EGF-R function was also observed in cannabinoid-treated tumors. These results support a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of skin tumors.
M. Llanos Casanova, Cristina Blázquez, Jesús Martínez-Palacio, Concepción Villanueva, M. Jesús Fernández-Aceñero, John W. Huffman, José L. Jorcano, Manuel Guzmán
Tobacco-related diseases such as lung cancer cause over 4.2 million deaths annually, with approximately 400,000 deaths per year occurring in the US. Genotoxic effects of tobacco components have been described, but effects on signaling pathways in normal cells have not been described. Here, we show activation of the serine/threonine kinase Akt in nonimmortalized human airway epithelial cells in vitro by two components of cigarette smoke, nicotine and the tobacco-specific carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK). Activation of Akt by nicotine or NNK occurred within minutes at concentrations achievable by smokers and depended upon α3-/α4-containing or α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, respectively. Activated Akt increased phosphorylation of downstream substrates such as GSK-3, p70S6K, 4EBP-1, and FKHR. Treatment with nicotine or NNK attenuated apoptosis caused by etoposide, ultraviolet irradiation, or hydrogen peroxide and partially induced a transformed phenotype manifest as loss of contact inhibition and loss of dependence on exogenous growth factors or adherence to ECM. In vivo, active Akt was detected in airway epithelial cells and lung tumors from NNK-treated A/J mice, and in human lung cancers derived from smokers. Redundant Akt activation by nicotine and NNK could contribute to tobacco-related carcinogenesis by regulating two processes critical for tumorigenesis, cell growth and apoptosis.
Kip A. West, John Brognard, Amy S. Clark, Ilona R. Linnoila, Xiaowei Yang, Sandra M. Swain, Curtis Harris, Steven Belinsky, Phillip A. Dennis
Stephan Fellner, Björn Bauer, David S. Miller, Martina Schaffrik, Martina Fankhänel, Thilo Spruß, Günther Bernhardt, Claudia Graeff, Lothar Färber, Harald Gschaidmeier, Armin Buschauer, Gert Fricker
Robin Parihar, Julie Dierksheide, Yan Hu, William E. Carson
Sabina Signoretti, Lucia Di Marcotullio, Andrea Richardson, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Beth Isaac, Montserrat Rue, Franco Monti, Massimo Loda, Michele Pagano
Anindita Bhoumik, Tian-Gui Huang, Vladimir Ivanov, Lisa Gangi, Rui F. Qiao, Savio L.C. Woo, Shu-Hsia Chen, Ze’ev Ronai