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The purpose of this method is to obtain high-integrity RNA samples from enteric ganglia collected from unfixed, freshly-resected human intestinal tissue using laser capture microdissection (LCM). We have identified five steps in the workflow that are crucial for obtaining RNA isolates from enteric ganglia with sufficiently high quality and quantity for RNA-seq. First, when preparing intestinal tissue, each sample must have all excess liquid removed by blotting prior to flattening the serosa as much as possible across the bottom of large base molds. Samples are then quickly frozen atop a slurry of dry ice and 2-methylbutane. Second, when sectioning the tissue, it is important to position cryomolds so that intestinal sections parallel the full plane of the myenteric plexus, thereby yielding the greatest surface area of enteric ganglia per slide. Third, during LCM, polyethylene napthalate (PEN)-membrane slides offer the greatest speed and flexibility in outlining the non-uniform shapes of enteric ganglia when collecting enteric ganglia. Fourth, for distinct visualization of enteric ganglia within sections, ethanol-compatible dyes, like Cresyl Violet, offer excellent preservation of RNA integrity relative to aqueous dyes. Finally, for the extraction of RNA from captured ganglia, we observed differences between commercial RNA extraction kits that yielded superior RNA quantity and quality, while eliminating DNA contamination. Optimization of these factors in the current protocol greatly accelerates the workflow and yields enteric ganglia samples with exceptional RNA quality and quantity.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease that can be classified into distinct molecular subtypes by gene expression profiling. Considered a difficult-to-treat cancer, a fraction of TNBC patients benefit significantly from neoadjuvant chemotherapy and have far better overall survival. Outside of BRCA1/2 mutation status, biomarkers do not exist to identify patients most likely to respond to current chemotherapy; and, to date, no FDA-approved targeted therapies are available for TNBC patients. Previously, we developed an approach to identify six molecular subtypes TNBC (TNBCtype), with each subtype displaying unique ontologies and differential response to standard-of-care chemotherapy. Given the complexity of the varying histological landscape of tumor specimens, we used histopathological quantification and laser-capture microdissection to determine that transcripts in the previously described immunomodulatory (IM) and mesenchymal stem-like (MSL) subtypes were contributed from infiltrating lymphocytes and tumor-associated stromal cells, respectively. Therefore, we refined TNBC molecular subtypes from six (TNBCtype) into four (TNBCtype-4) tumor-specific subtypes (BL1, BL2, M and LAR) and demonstrate differences in diagnosis age, grade, local and distant disease progression and histopathology. Using five publicly available, neoadjuvant chemotherapy breast cancer gene expression datasets, we retrospectively evaluated chemotherapy response of over 300 TNBC patients from pretreatment biopsies subtyped using either the intrinsic (PAM50) or TNBCtype approaches. Combined analysis of TNBC patients demonstrated that TNBC subtypes significantly differ in response to similar neoadjuvant chemotherapy with 41% of BL1 patients achieving a pathological complete response compared to 18% for BL2 and 29% for LAR with 95% confidence intervals (CIs; [33, 51], [9, 28], [17, 41], respectively). Collectively, we provide pre-clinical data that could inform clinical trials designed to test the hypothesis that improved outcomes can be achieved for TNBC patients, if selection and combination of existing chemotherapies is directed by knowledge of molecular TNBC subtypes.
About 10% of epithelioid sarcomas have biallelic mutation of the SMARCB1 (SWI/SNF-related, matrix-associated, actin-dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily b, member 1) gene resulting in a lack of this nuclear protein. It has been suggested that SMARCB1 may be silenced by epigenetic changes in the remaining 90% of tumors. Thus, we hypothesized that the promoter of SMARCB1 is hypermethylated. We also examined SMARCB1 mRNA level to determine if a post-translational change was possible. Thirty-six cases of epithelioid sarcomas were studied. Immunohistochemistry and mutation analysis of the SMARCB1 gene were performed to select appropriate cases. Methylation status was assessed by methylation-specific PCR. Laser capture microdissection of tumor cells followed by real-time PCR was applied to examine the expression of SMARCB1 mRNA. Of 36 epithelioid sarcomas, 31 (86%) displayed a lack of SMARCB1 nuclear protein. In all, 4 (13%) of 31 SMARCB1-negative cases harbored biallelic deletion while 9 (33%) cases showed single-allelic deletion. One (4%) frameshift deletion of exon 3 and one point mutation of exon 7 were also found. In 16 (59%) cases, both alleles were intact. Altogether, 25/31 (81%) SMARCB1-negative cases had at least one intact allele. None of these cases demonstrated promoter hypermethylation. Low levels of SMARCB1 mRNA were found in all cases with tumor tissue extracted RNA (because of the minimal normal cell contamination) but no mRNA could be detected in laser dissected cases (containing only tumor cells). Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) overexpression was not characteristic of epithelioid sarcoma. Thus, loss of SMARCB1 expression in epithelioid sarcoma is caused neither by DNA hypermethylation nor by post-translational modifications. Most likely it is the microRNA destruction of SMARCB1 mRNA but further investigations are needed to elucidate this issue.
OBJECTIVES - Spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM) develops as a preneoplastic lesion in the stomachs of mice and humans after parietal cell loss. To identify the commonalities and differences between phenotypic SPEM lineages, SPEM were studied from three different mouse models of parietal cell loss: with chronic inflammation with Helicobacter felis infection; with acute inflammation with L635 treatment; and without inflammation following DMP-777 treatment.
DESIGN - RNA transcripts from laser capture microdissected normal chief cells and SPEM lineages were compared using gene microarray. Alterations in transcripts were validated by quantitative real-time PCR. Clusterin and cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) were selected for immunohistochemical analysis in all mouse models as well as in human SPEM, intestinal metaplasia and gastric cancer.
RESULTS - Transcript expression patterns demonstrated differences among the phenotypic SPEM models. Clusterin expression was significantly upregulated in all three mouse SPEM models as well as in human SPEM. The highest clusterin expression in human gastric cancers correlated with poor survival. Conversely, CFTR expression was upregulated only in SPEM with inflammation in mice. In humans, intestinal metaplasia, but not SPEM, expressed CFTR.
CONCLUSIONS - While markers such as clusterin are expressed in all phenotypic SPEM lineages, distinct patterns of upregulated genes including CFTR are present in murine metaplasia associated with inflammation, indicative of progression of metaplasia towards a more intestinalised metaplastic phenotype.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Mutational inactivation of adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is an early event in colorectal cancer (CRC) progression that affects the stability and increases the activity of β-catenin, a mediator of Wnt signaling. Progression of CRC also involves inactivation of signaling via transforming growth factor β and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), which are tumor suppressors. However, the interactions between these pathways are not clear. We investigated the effects of loss of the transcription factor Smad4 on levels of β-catenin messenger RNA (mRNA) and Wnt signaling.
METHODS - We used microarray analysis to associate levels of Smad4 and β-catenin mRNA in colorectal tumor samples from 250 patients. We performed oligonucleotide-mediated knockdown of Smad4 in human embryonic kidney (HEK293T) and in HCT116 colon cancer cells and transgenically expressed Smad4 in SW480 colon cancer cells. We analyzed adenomas from (APC(Δ1638/+)) and (APC(Δ1638/+)) × (K19Cre(ERT2)Smad4(lox/lox)) mice by using laser capture microdissection.
RESULTS - In human CRC samples, reduced levels of Smad4 correlated with increased levels of β-catenin mRNA. In Smad4-depleted cell lines, levels of β-catenin mRNA and Wnt signaling increased. Inhibition of BMP or depletion of Smad4 in HEK293T cells increased binding of RNA polymerase II to the β-catenin gene. Expression of Smad4 in SW480 cells reduced Wnt signaling and levels of β-catenin mRNA. In mice with heterozygous disruption of Apc(APC(Δ1638/+)), Smad4-deficient intestinal adenomas had increased levels of β-catenin mRNA and expression of Wnt target genes compared with adenomas from APC(Δ1638/+) mice that expressed Smad4.
CONCLUSIONS - Transcription of β-catenin is inhibited by BMP signaling to Smad4. These findings provide important information about the interaction among transforming growth factor β, BMP, and Wnt signaling pathways in progression of CRC.
Copyright Â© 2012 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.