Tumor suppressor candidate 2 (TUSC2, FUS-1) and human cancers

Discovery Medicine 2017 May [Link

Rimkus T, Sirkisoon S, Harrison A, Lo HW


Tumor suppressor candidate 2 (TUSC2, also known as FUS1) was identified in 2000 as a candidate tumor suppressor gene located in a region on chromosome 3p21.3 that is homozygously deleted in some lung and breast cancers. The deletion is rare in lung and breast cancers, but is frequent in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Evidence to date indicates that TUSC2 behaves as a tumor suppressor in lung cancer; however, its role as a tumor suppressor for other tumor types has not been fully established. Loss of TUSC2 expression at the mRNA and protein levels has been reported in various cancers. While the mechanisms underlying the loss are still not well understood, several microRNAs have been reported to downregulate TUSC2 expression. TUSC2 elicits its anti-tumor effects through regulating G1 cell cycle progression, apoptosis, calcium homeostasis, gene expression, and the activity of various protein tyrosine kinases and Ser/Thr kinases, albeit the precise mechanisms that TUSC2 utilizes to regulate these cellular processes and signaling molecules are still elusive. TUSC2 restoration has been exploited as an anti-cancer therapy in various cancers in preclinical models, and clinically in patients with lung cancer. The first-in-human phase I trial demonstrated desirable safety outcomes. Phase I/II trials are being conducted to evaluate the efficacy of combining TUSC2-nanoparticles with erlotinib, an FDA-approved EGFR inhibitor. This review summarizes recent findings that advanced our understanding of TUSC2 as a novel tumor suppressor and a therapeutic opportunity for treating TUSC2-deficient cancers.