The focus of this proposal is on the role of the cyclin D1 oncogene in oral cancer. Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) are aggressive tumors that result in significant mortality and morbidity. Frequently, these tumors initiate as a precancerous lesion that develops to an invasive neoplasm. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the transition to invasive neoplasia are not fully understood. Furthermore, the role of dietary agents in modifying this process has not been studied. The cyclin D1 oncogene plays an important role in OSCC development. Cyclin D1 is a key regulator of the G1-S phase of the cell cycle. Acting via its kinase partners CDK4 and CDK6, it results in phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein to effect cell cycle progression. The current paradigm assumes that this is the major mechanism of cyclin D1's oncogenic actions. However, there is emerging evidence that cyclin D1 participates in transcriptional control. We recently discovered that cyclin D1 binds to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and modulates vitamin D signaling. This finding is particularly significant in that vitamin D plays an essential role in regulation of keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. The studies described in this proposa will study the intersection between the cyclin D1 and vitamin D signaling pathways. The short-term goals of this proposal are to (1) examine the mechanism by which cyclin D1 deregulates vitamin D signaling and (2) examine role of dietary vitamin D deficiency in modulating the development of oral pre-cancer and cancer. The long-term goal is to study the contribution of vitamin D signaling in oral keratinocyte physiology and pathophysiology, its intersection with oncogenic pathways and its implications for oral carcinogenesis. To achieve these goals two Specific Aims are proposed.
Specific Aim 1 will investigate the mechanism by which cyclin D1 deregulates VDR-mediated transcriptional control.
Specific Aim 2 will examine the role of dietary vitamin D deficiency in modulating cyclin D1-driven oral pre-cancer using a transgenic mouse model system. These studies will significantly increase our understanding of cyclin D1's oncogenic mechanisms and vitamin D's role in modulating oral cancer risk. Given the emerging problem of vitamin D nutritional status both in the United States as well as globally, our studies have tremendous implications for potential dietary and chemopreventive approaches to oral cancer management. Furthermore, cyclin D1 is an established oncogene for several tumor types and there is growing evidence for vitamin D's role in several cancers. Thus, our studies have potentially broad implications for several other tumors types.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this project is to study interaction between the cyclin D1 oncogene and vitamin D and the implication of these interactions on oral pre-cancer and cancer. This knowledge is essential to better understand the mechanisms of cyclin D1's actions in oral keratinocytes and its cooperation with dietary agents in cancer development. These studies will have important implications in guiding development of chemopreventive approaches to manage oral pre-cancer and cancer. Given the emerging problem of vitamin D nutritional status both in the United States as well as globally, these studies have tremendous implications for public health. Although our studies are focused on studying interactions between cyclin D1 and vitamin D in oral cancers, these studies have potentially broad implications for several other tumors types.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
5R03DE022598-02
Application #
8743203
Study Section
NIDR Special Grants Review Committee (DSR)
Program Officer
Venkatachalam, Sundaresan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of California Los Angeles
Department
Dentistry
Type
Schools of Dentistry/Oral Hygn
DUNS #
City
Los Angeles
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90095
Yuan, Feng-Ning F; Valiyaparambil, Jayasanker; Woods, Michael C et al. (2014) Vitamin D signaling regulates oral keratinocyte proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Int J Oncol 44:1625-33