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Melanomas are characterized by driver and loss-of-function mutations that promote mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. MEK inhibitors are approved for use in BRAF-mutated melanoma; however, early-phase clinical trials show occasional responses in driver-negative melanoma, suggesting other alterations conferring MAPK/ERK dependency. To identify additional structural alterations in melanoma, we evaluated RNA-Seq from a set of known MAPK/ERK regulators using a novel population-based algorithm in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We identified recurrent MAP3K8 rearrangements in 1.7% of melanomas in TCGA, occurring in more than 15% of tumors without known driver mutations (, and ). Using an independent tumor set, we validated a similar rearrangement frequency by FISH. MAP3K8-rearranged melanomas exhibit a low mutational burden and absence of typical UV-mutational patterns. We identified two melanoma cell lines that harbor endogenous truncating MAP3K8 rearrangements that demonstrate exquisite dependency. Rearrangement and amplification of the MAP3K8 locus in melanoma cells result in increased levels of a truncated, active MAP3K8 protein; oncogenic dependency on the aberrant MAP3K8; and a concomitant resistance to BRAF inhibition and sensitivity to MEK or ERK1/2 inhibition. Our findings reveal and biochemically characterize targetable oncogenic MAP3K8 truncating rearrangements in driver mutation-negative melanoma, and provide insight to therapeutic approaches for patients with these tumors. These data provide rationale for using MEK or ERK inhibitors in a subset of driver-negative, MAPK/ERK-dependent melanomas harboring truncating MAP3K8 rearrangements. IMPLICATIONS: This is the first mechanistic study and therapeutic implications of truncating MAP3K8 rearrangements in driver-negative melanoma.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.
Bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (BET) family inhibitors offer an approach to treating hematological malignancies. We used precision nuclear run-on transcription sequencing (PRO-seq) to create high-resolution maps of active RNA polymerases across the genome in t(8;21) acute myeloid leukemia (AML), as these polymerases are exceptionally sensitive to BET inhibitors. PRO-seq identified over 1,400 genes showing impaired release of promoter-proximal paused RNA polymerases, including the stem cell factor receptor tyrosine kinase KIT that is mutated in t(8;21) AML. PRO-seq also identified an enhancer 3' to KIT. Chromosome conformation capture confirmed contacts between this enhancer and the KIT promoter, while CRISPRi-mediated repression of this enhancer impaired cell growth. PRO-seq also identified microRNAs, including MIR29C and MIR29B2, that target the anti-apoptotic factor MCL1 and were repressed by BET inhibitors. MCL1 protein was upregulated, and inhibition of BET proteins sensitized t(8:21)-containing cells to MCL1 inhibition, suggesting a potential mechanism of resistance to BET-inhibitor-induced cell death.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Myeloid translocation genes (MTGs), originally identified as chromosomal translocations in acute myelogenous leukemia, are transcriptional corepressors that regulate hematopoietic stem cell programs. Analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database revealed that MTGs were mutated in epithelial malignancy and suggested that loss of function might promote tumorigenesis. Genetic deletion of MTGR1 and MTG16 in the mouse has revealed unexpected and unique roles within the intestinal epithelium. Mtgr1 mice have progressive depletion of all intestinal secretory cells, and Mtg16 mice have a decrease in goblet cells. Furthermore, both Mtgr1 and Mtg16 mice have increased intestinal epithelial cell proliferation. We thus hypothesized that loss of MTGR1 or MTG16 would modify Apc-dependent intestinal tumorigenesis. Mtgr1 mice, but not Mtg16 mice, had a 10-fold increase in tumor multiplicity. This was associated with more advanced dysplasia, including progression to invasive adenocarcinoma, and augmented intratumoral proliferation. Analysis of chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing data sets for MTGR1 and MTG16 targets indicated that MTGR1 can regulate Wnt and Notch signaling. In support of this, immunohistochemistry and gene expression analysis revealed that both Wnt and Notch signaling pathways were hyperactive in Mtgr1 tumors. Furthermore, in human colorectal cancer (CRC) samples MTGR1 was downregulated at both the transcript and protein level. Overall our data indicates that MTGR1 has a context-dependent effect on intestinal tumorigenesis.
The therapeutic targeting of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) has been a burgeoning area of research since 2007 when ALK fusions were initially identified in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The field has rapidly progressed through development of the first-generation ALK inhibitor, crizotinib, to an understanding of mechanisms of acquired resistance to crizotinib and is currently witnessing an explosion in the development of next-generation ALK inhibitors such as ceritinib, alectinib, PF-06463922, AP26113, X-396, and TSR-011. As with most targeted therapies, acquired resistance appears to be an inevitable outcome. Current preclinical and clinical studies are focused on the development of rational therapeutic strategies, including novel ALK inhibitors, as well as rational combination therapies to maximize disease control by delaying or overcoming acquired therapeutic resistance. This review summarizes the existing clinical data and ongoing research pertaining to the clinical application of ALK inhibitors in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent ∼25% of current drug targets. Ligand binding to these receptors activates G proteins and arrestins, which are involved in differential signaling pathways. Because functionally selective or biased ligands activate one of these two pathways, they may be superior medications for certain diseases states. The identification of such ligands requires robust drug screening assays for both G protein and arrestin activity. This unit describes protocols for two bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET)-based assays used to monitor arrestin recruitment to GPCRs. One assay requires modification of GPCRs by fusion to a BRET donor or acceptor moiety, whereas the other can detect arrestin recruitment to unmodified GPCRs.
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Transcriptional regulators are recurrently altered through translocations, deletions, or aberrant expression in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although critically important in leukemogenesis, the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms they trigger remain largely unknown. Here, we identified that Id1 (inhibitor of DNA binding 1) plays a pivotal role in acute myeloid leukemogenesis. Using genetically modified mice, we found that loss of Id1 inhibited t(8;21) leukemia initiation and progression in vivo by abrogating protein kinase B (AKT)1 activation, and that Id1 interacted with AKT1 through its C terminus. An Id1 inhibitor impaired the in vitro growth of AML cells and, when combined with an AKT inhibitor, triggered even greater apoptosis and growth inhibition, whereas normal hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells were largely spared. We then performed in vivo experiments and found that the Id1 inhibitor significantly prolonged the survival of t(8;21)(+) leukemic mice, whereas overexpression of activated AKT1 promoted leukemogenesis. Thus, our results establish Id1/Akt1 signaling as a potential therapeutic target in t(8;21) leukemia.
© 2015 by The American Society of Hematology.
Type II topoisomerases are essential enzymes that modulate DNA under- and overwinding, knotting, and tangling. Beyond their critical physiological functions, these enzymes are the targets for some of the most widely prescribed anticancer drugs (topoisomerase II poisons) in clinical use. Topoisomerase II poisons kill cells by increasing levels of covalent enzyme-cleaved DNA complexes that are normal reaction intermediates. Drugs such as etoposide, doxorubicin, and mitoxantrone are frontline therapies for a variety of solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Unfortunately, their use also is associated with the development of specific leukemias. Regimens that include etoposide or doxorubicin are linked to the occurrence of acute myeloid leukemias that feature rearrangements at chromosomal band 11q23. Similar rearrangements are seen in infant leukemias and are associated with gestational diets that are high in naturally occurring topoisomerase II-active compounds. Finally, regimens that include mitoxantrone and epirubicin are linked to acute promyelocytic leukemias that feature t(15;17) rearrangements. The first part of this article will focus on type II topoisomerases and describe the mechanism of enzyme and drug action. The second part will discuss how topoisomerase II poisons trigger chromosomal breaks that lead to leukemia and potential approaches for dissociating the actions of drugs from their leukemogenic potential.
© 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.
Loss of chromosome 7 and del(7q) [-7/del(7q)] are recurring cytogenetic abnormalities in hematologic malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia and therapy-related myeloid neoplasms, and associated with an adverse prognosis. Despite intensive effort by many laboratories, the putative myeloid tumor suppressor(s) on chromosome 7 has not yet been identified.We performed transcriptome sequencing and SNP array analysis on de novo and therapy-related myeloid neoplasms, half with -7/del(7q). We identified a 2.17-Mb commonly deleted segment on chromosome band 7q22.1 containing CUX1, a gene encoding a homeodomain-containing transcription factor. In 1 case, CUX1 was disrupted by a translocation, resulting in a loss-of-function RNA fusion transcript. CUX1 was the most significantly differentially expressed gene within the commonly deleted segment and was expressed at haploinsufficient levels in -7/del(7q) leukemias. Haploinsufficiency of the highly conserved ortholog, cut, led to hemocyte overgrowth and tumor formation in Drosophila melanogaster. Similarly, haploinsufficiency of CUX1 gave human hematopoietic cells a significant engraftment advantage on transplantation into immunodeficient mice. Within the RNA-sequencing data, we identified a CUX1-associated cell cycle transcriptional gene signature, suggesting that CUX1 exerts tumor suppressor activity by regulating proliferative genes. These data identify CUX1 as a conserved, haploinsufficient tumor suppressor frequently deleted in myeloid neoplasms.
Medulloblastoma, the most common malignant paediatric brain tumour, is currently treated with nonspecific cytotoxic therapies including surgery, whole-brain radiation, and aggressive chemotherapy. As medulloblastoma exhibits marked intertumoural heterogeneity, with at least four distinct molecular variants, previous attempts to identify targets for therapy have been underpowered because of small samples sizes. Here we report somatic copy number aberrations (SCNAs) in 1,087 unique medulloblastomas. SCNAs are common in medulloblastoma, and are predominantly subgroup-enriched. The most common region of focal copy number gain is a tandem duplication of SNCAIP, a gene associated with Parkinson's disease, which is exquisitely restricted to Group 4α. Recurrent translocations of PVT1, including PVT1-MYC and PVT1-NDRG1, that arise through chromothripsis are restricted to Group 3. Numerous targetable SCNAs, including recurrent events targeting TGF-β signalling in Group 3, and NF-κB signalling in Group 4, suggest future avenues for rational, targeted therapy.