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BACKGROUND - Wilms tumor (WT) is the most common childhood kidney cancer worldwide, yet its incidence and clinical behavior vary according to race and access to adequate healthcare resources. To guide and streamline therapy in the war-torn and resource-constrained city of Baghdad, Iraq, we conducted a first-ever molecular analysis of 20 WT specimens to characterize the biological features of this lethal disease within this challenged population.
METHODS - Next-generation sequencing of ten target genes associated with WT development and treatment resistance (WT1, CTNNB1, WTX, IGF2, CITED1, SIX2, p53, N-MYC, CRABP2, and TOP2A) was completed. Immunohistochemistry was performed for 6 marker proteins of WT (WT1, CTNNB1, NCAM, CITED1, SIX2, and p53). Patient outcomes were compiled.
RESULTS - Mutations were detected in previously described WT "hot spots" (e.g., WT1 and CTNNB1) as well as novel loci that may be unique to the Iraqi population. Immunohistochemistry showed expression domains most typical of blastemal-predominant WT. Remarkably, despite the challenges facing families and care providers, only one child, with combined WT1 and CTNNB1 mutations, was confirmed dead from disease. Median clinical follow-up was 40.5 months (range 6-78 months).
CONCLUSIONS - These data suggest that WT biology within a population of Iraqi children manifests features both similar to and unique from disease variants in other regions of the world. These observations will help to risk stratify WT patients living in this difficult environment to more or less intensive therapies and to focus treatment on cell-specific targets.
Chromatin remodeler Brahma related gene 1 (BRG1) is silenced in approximately 10% of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAs). We previously showed that BRG1 inhibits the formation of intraductal pancreatic mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) and that IPMN-derived PDA originated from ductal cells. However, the role of BRG1 in pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia-derived (PanIN-derived) PDA that originated from acinar cells remains elusive. Here, we found that exclusive elimination of Brg1 in acinar cells of Ptf1a-CreER; KrasG12D; Brg1fl/fl mice impaired the formation of acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) and PanIN independently of p53 mutation, while PDA formation was inhibited in the presence of p53 mutation. BRG1 bound to regions of the Sox9 promoter to regulate its expression and was critical for recruitment of upstream regulators, including PDX1, to the Sox9 promoter and enhancer in acinar cells. SOX9 expression was downregulated in BRG1-depleted ADMs/PanINs. Notably, Sox9 overexpression canceled this PanIN-attenuated phenotype in KBC mice. Furthermore, Brg1 deletion in established PanIN by using a dual recombinase system resulted in regression of the lesions in mice. Finally, BRG1 expression correlated with SOX9 expression in human PDAs. In summary, BRG1 is critical for PanIN initiation and progression through positive regulation of SOX9. Thus, the BRG1/SOX9 axis is a potential target for PanIN-derived PDA.
Infection with Helicobacter pylori is one of the strongest risk factors for development of gastric cancer. Although these bacteria infect approximately half of the world's population, only a small fraction of infected individuals develops gastric malignancies. Interactions between host and bacterial virulence factors are complex and interrelated, making it difficult to elucidate specific processes associated with H. pylori-induced tumorigenesis. In this study, we found that H. pylori inhibits p14ARF tumor suppressor by inducing its degradation. This effect was found to be strain-specific. Downregulation of p14ARF induced by H. pylori leads to inhibition of autophagy in a p53-independent manner in infected cells. We identified TRIP12 protein as E3 ubiquitin ligase that is upregulated by H. pylori, inducing ubiquitination and subsequent degradation of p14ARF protein. Using isogenic H. pylori mutants, we found that induction of TRIP12 is mediated by bacterial virulence factor CagA. Increased expression of TRIP12 protein was found in infected gastric epithelial cells in vitro and human gastric mucosa of H. pylori-infected individuals. In conclusion, our data demonstrate a new mechanism of ARF inhibition that may affect host-bacteria interactions and facilitate tumorigenic transformation in the stomach.
Genetic alterations in signaling pathways that control cell-cycle progression, apoptosis, and cell growth are common hallmarks of cancer, but the extent, mechanisms, and co-occurrence of alterations in these pathways differ between individual tumors and tumor types. Using mutations, copy-number changes, mRNA expression, gene fusions and DNA methylation in 9,125 tumors profiled by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we analyzed the mechanisms and patterns of somatic alterations in ten canonical pathways: cell cycle, Hippo, Myc, Notch, Nrf2, PI-3-Kinase/Akt, RTK-RAS, TGFβ signaling, p53 and β-catenin/Wnt. We charted the detailed landscape of pathway alterations in 33 cancer types, stratified into 64 subtypes, and identified patterns of co-occurrence and mutual exclusivity. Eighty-nine percent of tumors had at least one driver alteration in these pathways, and 57% percent of tumors had at least one alteration potentially targetable by currently available drugs. Thirty percent of tumors had multiple targetable alterations, indicating opportunities for combination therapy.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Aneuploidy, whole chromosome or chromosome arm imbalance, is a near-universal characteristic of human cancers. In 10,522 cancer genomes from The Cancer Genome Atlas, aneuploidy was correlated with TP53 mutation, somatic mutation rate, and expression of proliferation genes. Aneuploidy was anti-correlated with expression of immune signaling genes, due to decreased leukocyte infiltrates in high-aneuploidy samples. Chromosome arm-level alterations show cancer-specific patterns, including loss of chromosome arm 3p in squamous cancers. We applied genome engineering to delete 3p in lung cells, causing decreased proliferation rescued in part by chromosome 3 duplication. This study defines genomic and phenotypic correlates of cancer aneuploidy and provides an experimental approach to study chromosome arm aneuploidy.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
For the past decade, cancer genomic studies have focused on mutations leading to splice-site disruption, overlooking those having splice-creating potential. Here, we applied a bioinformatic tool, MiSplice, for the large-scale discovery of splice-site-creating mutations (SCMs) across 8,656 TCGA tumors. We report 1,964 originally mis-annotated mutations having clear evidence of creating alternative splice junctions. TP53 and GATA3 have 26 and 18 SCMs, respectively, and ATRX has 5 from lower-grade gliomas. Mutations in 11 genes, including PARP1, BRCA1, and BAP1, were experimentally validated for splice-site-creating function. Notably, we found that neoantigens induced by SCMs are likely several folds more immunogenic compared to missense mutations, exemplified by the recurrent GATA3 SCM. Further, high expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 was observed in tumors with SCMs, suggesting candidates for immune blockade therapy. Our work highlights the importance of integrating DNA and RNA data for understanding the functional and the clinical implications of mutations in human diseases.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Failure to properly repair damaged due to myocardial infarction is a major cause of heart failure. In contrast with adult mammals, zebrafish hearts show remarkable regenerative capabilities after substantial damage. To characterize protein dynamics during heart regeneration, we employed an HPLC-ESI-MS/MS (mass spectrometry) approach. Myocardium tissues were taken from sham-operated fish and ventricle-resected sample at three different time points (2, 7, and 14 days); dynamics of protein expression were analyzed by an ion-current-based quantitative platform. More than 2000 protein groups were quantified in all 16 experiments. Two hundred and nine heart-regeneration-related protein groups were quantified and clustered into six time-course patterns. Functional analysis indicated that multiple molecular function and metabolic pathways were involved in heart regeneration. Interestingly, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis revealed that P53 signaling was inhibited during the heart regeneration, which was further verified by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR). In summary, we applied systematic proteomics analysis on regenerating zebrafish heart, uncovered the dynamics of regenerative genes expression and regulatory pathways, and provided invaluable insight into design regenerative-based strategies in human hearts.
E3 ubiquitin (UB) ligases E4B and carboxyl terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein (CHIP) use a common U-box motif to transfer UB from E1 and E2 enzymes to their substrate proteins and regulate diverse cellular processes. To profile their ubiquitination targets in the cell, we used phage display to engineer E2-E4B and E2-CHIP pairs that were free of cross-reactivity with the native UB transfer cascades. We then used the engineered E2-E3 pairs to construct "orthogonal UB transfer (OUT)" cascades so that a mutant UB (xUB) could be exclusively used by the engineered E4B or CHIP to label their substrate proteins. Purification of xUB-conjugated proteins followed by proteomics analysis enabled the identification of hundreds of potential substrates of E4B and CHIP in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. Kinase MAPK3 (mitogen-activated protein kinase 3), methyltransferase PRMT1 (protein arginine -methyltransferase 1), and phosphatase PPP3CA (protein phosphatase 3 catalytic subunit alpha) were identified as the shared substrates of the two E3s. Phosphatase PGAM5 (phosphoglycerate mutase 5) and deubiquitinase OTUB1 (ovarian tumor domain containing ubiquitin aldehyde binding protein 1) were confirmed as E4B substrates, and β-catenin and CDK4 (cyclin-dependent kinase 4) were confirmed as CHIP substrates. On the basis of the CHIP-CDK4 circuit identified by OUT, we revealed that CHIP signals CDK4 degradation in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress.
Functional disruptions of susceptibility genes by large genomic structure variant (SV) deletions in germlines are known to be associated with cancer risk. However, few studies have been conducted to systematically search for SV deletions in breast cancer susceptibility genes. We analysed deep (> 30x) whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data generated in blood samples from 128 breast cancer patients of Asian and European descent with either a strong family history of breast cancer or early cancer onset disease. To identify SV deletions in known or suspected breast cancer susceptibility genes, we used multiple SV calling tools including Genome STRiP, Delly, Manta, BreakDancer and Pindel. SV deletions were detected by at least three of these bioinformatics tools in five genes. Specifically, we identified heterozygous deletions covering a fraction of the coding regions of BRCA1 (with approximately 80kb in two patients), and TP53 genes (with ∼1.6 kb in two patients), and of intronic regions (∼1 kb) of the PALB2 (one patient), PTEN (three patients) and RAD51C genes (one patient). We confirmed the presence of these deletions using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). Our study identified novel SV deletions in breast cancer susceptibility genes and the identification of such SV deletions may improve clinical testing.