Defense Date

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Biochemistry

First Advisor

Devanand Sarkar

Abstract

First identified over a decade ago, Astrocyte Elevated Gene-1 (AEG-1) has been studied extensively due to early reports of its overexpression in various cancer cell lines. Research groups all over the globe including our own have since identified AEG-1 overexpression in cancers of diverse lineages including cancers of the liver, colon, skin, prostate, breast, lung, esophagus, neurons and neuronal glia as compared to matched normal tissue. A comprehensive and convincing body of data currently points to AEG-1 as an essential component, critical to the progression and perhaps onset of cancer. AEG-1 is a potent activator of multiple pro-tumorigenic signal transduction pathways such as mitogen-activated protein extracellular kinase (MEK)/ extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), phosphotidyl-inositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mTOR, NF-κB and Wnt/β-catenin pathway. In addition, studies show that AEG-1 not only alters

global gene and protein expression profiles, it also modulates fundamental intracellular processes, such as transcription, translation and RNA interference in cancer cells most likely by functioning as a scaffold protein.

The mechanisms by which AEG-1 is overexpressed in cancer have been studied extensively and it is clear that multiple layers of regulation including genomic amplification, transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and posttranslational controls are involved however; the mechanism by which AEG 1 itself induces its oncogenic effects is still poorly understood. Just as questions remain about the exact role of AEG-1 in carcinogenesis, very little is known about the role of AEG-1 in regulating normal physiological functions in the liver. With the help of the Massey Cancer Center Transgenic/Knockout Mouse Core, our lab has successfully created a germline-AEG-1 knockout mouse (AEG-1-/-) as a model to interrogate AEG-1 function in vivo. Here I present the insights gained from efforts to analyze this novel AEG-1-/- mouse model. Aspects of the physiological functions of AEG-1 will be covered in chapter two wherein details of the characterization of the AEG-1-/- mouse are described including the role of AEG-1 in lipid metabolism. Chapter three discusses novel discoveries about the specific role of AEG-1 in mediating hepatocarcinogenesis by modulating NF-κB, a critical inflammatory pathway.

First identified over a decade ago, Astrocyte Elevated Gene-1 (AEG-1) has been studied extensively due to early reports of its overexpression in various cancer cell lines. Research groups all over the globe including our own have since identified AEG-1 overexpression in cancers of diverse lineages including cancers of the liver, colon, skin, prostate, breast, lung, esophagus, neurons and neuronal glia as compared to matched normal tissue. A comprehensive and convincing body of data currently points to AEG-1 as an essential component, critical to the progression and perhaps onset of cancer. AEG-1 is a potent activator of multiple pro-tumorigenic signal transduction pathways such as mitogen-activated protein extracellular kinase (MEK)/ extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), phosphotidyl-inositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mTOR, NF-κB and Wnt/β-catenin pathway. In addition, studies show that AEG-1 not only alters

global gene and protein expression profiles, it also modulates fundamental intracellular processes, such as transcription, translation and RNA interference in cancer cells most likely by functioning as a scaffold protein. The mechanisms by which AEG-1 is overexpressed in cancer have been studied extensively and it is clear that multiple layers of regulation including genomic amplification, transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and posttranslational controls are involved however; the mechanism by which AEG 1 itself induces its oncogenic effects is still poorly understood. Just as questions remain about the exact role of AEG-1 in carcinogenesis, very little is known about the role of AEG-1 in regulating normal physiological functions in the liver. With the help of the Massey Cancer Center Transgenic/Knockout Mouse Core, our lab has successfully created a germline-AEG-1 knockout mouse (AEG-1-/-) as a model to interrogate AEG-1 function in vivo. Here I present the insights gained from efforts to analyze this novel AEG-1-/- mouse model. Aspects of the physiological functions of AEG-1 will be covered in chapter two wherein details of the characterization of the AEG-1-/- mouse are described including the role of AEG-1 in lipid metabolism. Chapter three discusses novel discoveries about the specific role of AEG-1 in mediating hepatocarcinogenesis by modulating NF-κB, a critical inflammatory pathway.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

9-17-2014