Gene Summary

Gene:ATF1; activating transcription factor 1
Aliases: TREB36, EWS-ATF1, FUS/ATF-1
Summary:This gene encodes an activating transcription factor, which belongs to the ATF subfamily and bZIP (basic-region leucine zipper) family. It influences cellular physiologic processes by regulating the expression of downstream target genes, which are related to growth, survival, and other cellular activities. This protein is phosphorylated at serine 63 in its kinase-inducible domain by serine/threonine kinases, cAMP-dependent protein kinase A, calmodulin-dependent protein kinase I/II, mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase and cyclin-dependent kinase 3 (cdk-3). Its phosphorylation enhances its transactivation and transcriptional activities, and enhances cell transformation. Fusion of this gene and FUS on chromosome 16 or EWSR1 on chromosome 22 induced by translocation generates chimeric proteins in angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma and clear cell sarcoma. This gene has a pseudogene on chromosome 6. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:cyclic AMP-dependent transcription factor ATF-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
-ATF1 and Clear Cell Sarcoma View Publications65
Soft Tissue SarcomaATF1 and Soft Tissue Cancers View Publications36
MelanomaATF1 and Melanoma View Publications25
Bone Cancer (primary)ATF1 and Bone Cancer View Publications14
Skin CancerATF1 and Skin Cancer View Publications13
Lung CancerATF1 and Lung Cancer View Publications15
Salivary Gland CancerATF1 and Salivary Gland Cancer View Publications19
Skin Cancert(12; 22)(q13; q12) Translocation in Clear Cell Sarcoma
The t(12;22)(q13;q12) is characteristic of malignant melanoma of soft parts (clear cell sarcoma). This fuses the ATF1 gene on chromosome 12 with the EWS gene on chromosome 22.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ATF1 (cancer-related)

Pei J, Zhao X, Patchefsky AS, et al.
Clinical application of RNA sequencing in sarcoma diagnosis: An institutional experience.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2019; 98(25):e16031 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Accurate diagnoses of sarcoma are sometimes challenging on conventional histomorphology and immunophenotype. Many specific genetic aberrations including chromosomal translocations have been identified in various sarcomas, which can be detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction analysis. Next-generation sequencing-based RNA sequencing can screen multiple sarcoma-specific chromosome translocations/fusion genes in 1 test, which is especially useful for sarcoma without obvious differentiation. In this report, we utilized RNA sequencing on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens to investigate the possibility of diagnosing sarcomas by identifying disease-specific fusion genes. Targeted RNA sequencing was performed on 6 sarcoma cases. The expected genetic alterations (clear cell sarcoma/EWSR1-ATF1, Ewing sarcoma/EWSR1-FLI1, myxoid liposarcoma/DDIT3-FUS) in four cases were detected and confirmed by secondary tests. Interestingly, three SS18 fusion genes (SS18-SSX2B, SS18-SSX2, and SS18-SSX4) were identified in a synovial sarcoma case. A rare fusion gene (EWSR1-PATZ1) was identified in a morphologically challenging case; which enabled us to establish the diagnosis of low grade glioneural tumor. In conclusion, RNA sequencing on FFPE specimen is a reliable method in establishing the diagnosis of sarcoma in daily practice.

Xu Y, Zhou W, Zhang C, et al.
Long non-coding RNA RP11-552M11.4 favors tumorigenesis and development of cervical cancer via modulating miR-3941/ATF1 signaling.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2019; 130:24-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
As one of the most aggressive malignancies, cervical cancer (CC) which mainly affects females has high risks of relapse and death. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) RP11-552M11.4 is verified to promote the progression of ovarian cancer; nevertheless, its role and the probable molecular mechanisms in CC remain unclear until the present study. Herein, we unveiled that the expression of lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 tested by qRT-PCR was enhanced in tumor tissues compared with the para-carcinoma tissues and related to FIGO Stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular invasion and distant metastasis in CC. Additionally, CC patients with high lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 level suffered from poor clinical outcomes. Moreover, silenced lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 restrained cell proliferation, migration and invasion in CC cells. Subsequently, the mechanistic studies revealed that lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 functioned as a ceRNA of ATF1 in CC by acting as the endogenous sponge for miR-3941, which was identified as a tumor suppressor in CC. Moreover, both miR-3941 inhibition and ATF1 overexpression restored the impacts of inhibited lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 on cellular processes in CC cells. Our observations elucidated the carcinogenic role of lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 in CC was mediated through miR-3941/ATF1 axis, giving a new insight into the effective target for the treatment and prognosis of cervical cancer.

Aghajan Y, Malicki DM, Levy ML, Crawford JR
Atypical central neurocytoma with novel EWSR1-ATF1 fusion and MUTYH mutation detected by next-generation sequencing.
BMJ Case Rep. 2019; 12(1) [PubMed] Related Publications
We present the case of a 13-year-old boy with a very unusual periventricular atypical central neurocytoma with unique molecular features treated with subtotal surgical resection and photon intensity-modulated radiotherapy. Histological features were most consistent with atypical central neurocytoma. However, next-generation sequencing analysis revealed a novel EWSR1-ATF1 gene fusion (EWSR1-ATF1) as well as a MUTYH mutation. The EWSR1-ATF1 raised the possibility of Ewing sarcoma or angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, however, FLI-1 immunohistochemistry was negative. MUTYH mutations have been reported in diffuse midline paediatric glioma. The role of EWSR1-ATF1 and MUTYH mutations in central nervous system tumours is not well established. We present the first case of EWSR1-ATF1 and MUTYH mutation in a rare paediatric atypical central neurocytoma. Further studies are indicated to elucidate the consequences of these gene alterations in the context of paediatric central nervous system tumours as well as to investigate the potential role for targeted therapies.

Segawa K, Sugita S, Aoyama T, et al.
Detection of specific gene rearrangements by fluorescence in situ hybridization in 16 cases of clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue and 6 cases of clear cell sarcoma-like gastrointestinal tumor.
Diagn Pathol. 2018; 13(1):73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue (CCSST) and clear cell sarcoma-like gastrointestinal tumor (CCSLGT) are malignant mesenchymal tumors that share some pathological features, but they also have several different characteristics. They are well known to express chimeric fusions of Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1 (EWSR1) and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) family members; namely, EWSR1-activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1) and EWSR1-CREB1. In addition, recent studies have suggested the presence of other fusions.
METHODS: We used fluorescence in situ hybridization to detect specific rearrangements including EWSR1, ATF1, CREB1, and cAMP response element modulator (CREM) in 16 CCSST and 6 CCSLGT cases. We also used reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect specific chimeric fusions of EWSR1-ATF1 and EWSR1-CREB1 using fresh tumor samples in available cases.
RESULTS: A total of 15 of 16 CCSST cases (93.8%) had EWSR1 rearrangement, of which 11 (68.8%) also had ATF1 rearrangement, suggestive of the presence of EWSR1-ATF1 fusions. One CCSST case (6.3%) was found to have EWSR1 and CREM rearrangements, and 4 of 6 CCSLGT cases (66.7%) had EWSR1 rearrangement, of which 2 (33.3%) showed ATF1 rearrangement and the other 2 cases (33.3%) showed CREB1 rearrangement. These cases most likely had EWSR1-ATF1 and EWSR1-CREB1 fusions, respectively. RT-PCR was performed in 8 available cases, including 6 CCSSTs and 2 CCSLGTs. All CCSSTs showed EWSR1-ATF1 fusions. Among the 2 CCSLGT cases, one had EWSR1-ATF1 fusion and the other had EWSR1-CREB1 fusion.
CONCLUSIONS: Rearrangements of EWSR1 and ATF1 or EWSR1-ATF1 fusion were predominantly found in CCSST, whereas those of EWSR1 and CREB1 or EWSR1-CREB1 tended to be detected in CCSLGT. A novel CREM fusion was also detected in a few cases of CCSST and CCSLGT. The cases in which EWSR1 rearrangement was detected without definitive partner genes should be considered for the presence of CREM rearrangement.

Hakozaki M, Tamura H, Dobashi Y, et al.
Establishment and Characterization of a Novel Human Clear-cell Sarcoma of Soft-tissue Cell Line, RSAR001, Derived from Pleural Effusion of a Patient with Pleural Dissemination.
Anticancer Res. 2018; 38(9):5035-5042 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Clear cell sarcoma (CCS) of soft tissue is exceedingly rare and frequently exhibits aggressive behavior. Toward the goals of improving the aggressive course and poor prognosis of CCS, and establish new therapeutic methods, molecular genetic and biological characterizations of CCS are required.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A new human CCS cell line (designated RSAR001) was established from the pleural effusion of a 44-year-old man with multiple lung metastases and pleural dissemination. The cell line and its xenograft were characterized including their morphology, immunohistochemistry, cytogenetic analysis, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, direct sequencing analysis, and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis.
RESULTS: The cell line has been maintained for over 12 months with more than 50 passages. RSAR001 cells exhibited a fascicular or diffuse growth pattern of short spindle- or oval-shaped cells with clear cytoplasm in heterotransplanted tumor, that was similar to the primary tumor. Immunophenotypically, RSAR001 cells in vitro and in vivo exhibited almost the same characteristics as the primary tumor. Cytogenetic analyses revealed a translocation, t(12;22)(q13;q12). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing analysis detected transcripts of the Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1-activating transcription factor 1 (EWSR1-ATF1) type 1 fusion gene. Fluorescence in situ hybridization using a break-apart probe for the EWSR1 gene on 22q12 showed a rearrangement.
CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that the RSAR001 cell line harbors EWSR1-ATF1 type 1 chimeric fusion gene, which is specific to CCS. RSAR001 cells might be useful for investigating biological behaviors and developing new treatments such as molecular-targeting antitumor drugs or immunological drugs for CCS.

Chapman E, Skalova A, Ptakova N, et al.
Molecular Profiling of Hyalinizing Clear Cell Carcinomas Revealed a Subset of Tumors Harboring a Novel EWSR1-CREM Fusion: Report of 3 Cases.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2018; 42(9):1182-1189 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe a novel gene fusion, EWSR1-CREM, identified in 3 cases of clear cell carcinoma (CCC) using anchored multiplex polymerase chain reaction, a next-generation sequencing-based technique. CCC is a low-grade salivary tumor recently characterized to have EWSR1-ATF1 fusions in the majority of cases. Three cases of malignant tumor presenting in the base of tongue, lung, and nasopharynx were studied. All cases shared a clear cell morphology with hyalinized stroma, presence of mucin and p63 positivity and were initially diagnosed as mucoepidermoid carcinoma but were negative for evidence of any of the expected gene fusions. Anchored multiplex polymerase chain reaction demonstrated a EWSR1-CREM fusion in all 3 cases to confirm a diagnosis of CCC. This finding is biologically justified as CREM and ATF1 both belong to the CREB family of transcription factors. EWSR1-CREM fusions have not been previously reported in CCC and have only rarely been reported in other tumors. We show that the ability to discover novel gene variants with next-generation sequencing-based assays has clinical utility in the pathologic classification of fusion gene-associated tumors.

Gareton A, Pierron G, Mokhtari K, et al.
ESWR1-CREM Fusion in an Intracranial Myxoid Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma-Like Tumor: A Case Report and Literature Review.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2018; 77(7):537-541 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene fusions of EWSR1 with members of the CREB family of transcription factors (CREB1, ATF1, and CREM) have recently been described in exceptional intracranial myxoid mesenchymal tumors. Although this is a known gene fusion found in various mesenchymal tumors, EWSR1 fusion with CREM has only been observed in 3 intracranial myxoid tumors. In this paper, we present 1 such tumor with in-depth histopathological description and long-term follow-up. There is controversy regarding whether these tumors represent a novel entity or simply an intracranial localization of the myxoid variant of angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, a rare soft tissue tumor of the extremities. Out of 11 cases mentioned in the literature, the 3 isolated case reports by Dunham et al, Ochalski et al, and Alshareef et al are designated as angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, whereas the others are defined as a novel tumoral entity called intracranial myxoid mesenchymal tumor with EWSR1-CREB fusion. We believe the vast morphological and immunohistochemical spectrum of angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma makes it difficult to dismiss this diagnosis.

Su YR, Di C, Bien S, et al.
A Mixed-Effects Model for Powerful Association Tests in Integrative Functional Genomics.
Am J Hum Genet. 2018; 102(5):904-919 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have successfully identified thousands of genetic variants for many complex diseases; however, these variants explain only a small fraction of the heritability. Recently, genetic association studies that leverage external transcriptome data have received much attention and shown promise for discovering novel variants. One such approach, PrediXcan, is to use predicted gene expression through genetic regulation. However, there are limitations in this approach. The predicted gene expression may be biased, resulting from regularized regression applied to moderately sample-sized reference studies. Further, some variants can individually influence disease risk through alternative functional mechanisms besides expression. Thus, testing only the association of predicted gene expression as proposed in PrediXcan will potentially lose power. To tackle these challenges, we consider a unified mixed effects model that formulates the association of intermediate phenotypes such as imputed gene expression through fixed effects, while allowing residual effects of individual variants to be random. We consider a set-based score testing framework, MiST (mixed effects score test), and propose two data-driven combination approaches to jointly test for the fixed and random effects. We establish the asymptotic distributions, which enable rapid calculation of p values for genome-wide analyses, and provide p values for fixed and random effects separately to enhance interpretability over GWASs. Extensive simulations demonstrate that our approaches are more powerful than existing ones. We apply our approach to a large-scale GWAS of colorectal cancer and identify two genes, POU5F1B and ATF1, which would have otherwise been missed by PrediXcan, after adjusting for all known loci.

Libertini M, Thway K, Noujaim J, et al.
Clear Cell Sarcoma-like Tumor of the Gastrointestinal Tract: Clinical Outcome and Pathologic Features of a Molecularly Characterized Tertiary Center Case Series.
Anticancer Res. 2018; 38(3):1479-1483 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Clear cell sarcoma-like tumor of the gastrointestinal tract (CCSLTGT) is a very rare and relatively recently characterized mesenchymal neoplasm arising within the wall of the small bowel, stomach, or large bowel, predominantly in adolescents and young adults. Only few anecdotal reports or small series have been published and a consensus on treatment has not been formulated. Complete resection remains the only curative option for localized disease, but despite optimal surgery, CCSLTGT typically shows highly aggressive behavior with a high rate of local recurrence, metastases, and death from disease. The hallmark of CCSLTGT is the presence of EWSR1-CREB1 or EWSR1-ATF1 gene fusions, detectable with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The aim of this study was to assess all referred cases of CCSLTGT, and document the pathological features, treatment and outcome of these patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all cases of histologically- and molecularly-confirmed CCSLTGT with EWSR1-CREB1 or EWSR1-ATF1 fusions at our tertiary sarcoma center, between 2009 and 2016.
RESULTS: We assessed six patients diagnosed with CCSLTGT. In a median follow-up of 8 months, all patients received surgery, and additionally one patient was treated with chemotherapy and had progressive disease. Five of six patients experienced recurrence or progression of disease and 4 of 6 patients died of disease.
CONCLUSION: Our study confirms that CCSLTGT is a very rare aggressive sarcoma subtype with a very poor outcome. Greater international collaboration is required to obtain a better understanding of this disease.

Takamatsu M, Sato Y, Muto M, et al.
Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma of the bronchial glands: presentation of three cases and pathological comparisons with salivary gland counterparts and bronchial mucoepidermoid carcinomas.
Mod Pathol. 2018; 31(6):923-933 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma of the bronchial glands is a very rare tumor. Since only five reports describing six tumors have been published to date, only a little is known about specific histologic findings and clinical features. Because of its rarity, hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma has not been described in the latest WHO classification of pulmonary tumors yet. Here we present three cases of bronchial hyalinizing clear cell carcinomas, confirmed by both fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and RT-PCR, focusing on histologic and immunohistochemical characteristics in a comparison with three cases of salivary gland origin. In addition, we compared immunohistochemical features with bronchial mucoepidermoid carcinoma, a lesion that needs to be taken into account in differential diagnosis of hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma. All our bronchial hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma cases were surgically resected. Histologically, tumor cells showed clear to eosinophilic cytoplasm with hyalinizing stroma in various proportions, resembling those of salivary gland origin. Immunohistochemically, tumor cells were positive for CK7, CK5/6, p40, p63, and ATF1, while they were negative for TTF1, Napsin A, HMB45, and SOX10. The CK5/6 staining pattern varied in mucoepidermoid carcinomas, while that of hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma was uniformly positive. FISH revealed EWSR1-ATF1 fusion, and RT-PCR with sequencing confirmed specificity of the chimeric gene for hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma. Clinically, bronchial hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma was characterized by occurrence in the fourth to sixth decades, no link with smoking history, and a predilection for the right lung, in line with previous reports. In summary, our study confirmed that the bronchial hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma is a histologically and genetically identical tumor to that of salivary gland origin, and that gene rearrangement analysis can play a critical role in distinction from mucoepidermoid carcinoma.

Sakumoto M, Oyama R, Takahashi M, et al.
Establishment and proteomic characterization of patient-derived clear cell sarcoma xenografts and cell lines.
In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2018; 54(2):163-176 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clear cell sarcoma (CCS) is an aggressive mesenchymal malignancy characterized by the unique chimeric EWS-ATF1 fusion gene. Patient-derived cancer models are essential tools for the understanding of tumorigenesis and the development of anti-cancer drugs; however, only a limited number of CCS cell lines exist. The objective of this study was to establish patient-derived CCS models. We established patient-derived CCS models from a 43-yr-old female patient. We prepared the patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) from tumor tissues obtained through biopsy or surgery and isolated stable cell lines from PDXs and the original tumor tissue. The presence of gene fusions was examined by RT-PCR, and Sanger sequencing. The established cell lines were characterized by short tandem repeat, viability, colony and spheroid formation, and invasion analyses. Differences in gene enrichment between the primary tumor and cell lines were examined by mass spectrometry and KEGG pathway analysis. The cell lines were maintained for more than 80 passages, and had tumorigenic characteristics such as colony and spheroid formation and invasion. Mass spectrometric proteome analysis demonstrated that the cell lines were enriched for similar but distinct molecular pathways, compared to those in the xenografts and original tumor tissue. Next, tyrosine kinase inhibitors were screened for their suppressive effects on viability. We found that ponatinib, vandetanib, and doxorubicin suppressed the growth of cell lines, and had equivalent IC

Skálová A, Stenman G, Simpson RHW, et al.
The Role of Molecular Testing in the Differential Diagnosis of Salivary Gland Carcinomas.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2018; 42(2):e11-e27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Salivary gland neoplasms are a morphologically heterogenous group of lesions that are often diagnostically challenging. In recent years, considerable progress in salivary gland taxonomy has been reached by the discovery of tumor type-specific fusion oncogenes generated by chromosome translocations. This review describes the clinicopathologic features of a selected group of salivary gland carcinomas with a focus on their distinctive genomic characteristics. Mammary analog secretory carcinoma is a recently described entity characterized by a t(12;15)(p13;q25) translocation resulting in an ETV6-NTRK3 fusion. Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma is a low-grade tumor with infrequent nodal and distant metastasis, recently shown to harbor an EWSR1-ATF1 gene fusion. The CRTC1-MAML2 fusion gene resulting from a t(11;19)(q21;p13) translocation, is now known to be a feature of both low-grade and high-grade mucoepidermoid carcinomas associated with improved survival. A t(6;9)(q22-23;p23-34) translocation resulting in a MYB-NFIB gene fusion has been identified in the majority of adenoid cystic carcinomas. Polymorphous (low-grade) adenocarcinoma and cribriform adenocarcinoma of (minor) salivary gland origin are related entities with partly differing clinicopathologic and genomic profiles; they are the subject of an ongoing taxonomic debate. Polymorphous (low-grade) adenocarcinomas are characterized by hot spot point E710D mutations in the PRKD1 gene, whereas cribriform adenocarcinoma of (minor) salivary glands origin are characterized by translocations involving the PRKD1-3 genes. Salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) is a high-grade adenocarcinoma with morphologic and molecular features akin to invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast, including HER2 gene amplification, mutations of TP53, PIK3CA, and HRAS and loss or mutation of PTEN. Notably, a recurrent NCOA4-RET fusion has also been found in SDC. A subset of SDC with apocrine morphology is associated with overexpression of androgen receptors. As these genetic aberrations are recurrent they serve as powerful diagnostic tools in salivary gland tumor diagnosis, and therefore also in refinement of salivary gland cancer classification. Moreover, they are promising as prognostic biomarkers and targets of therapy.

Bishop JA, Rooper LM, Chiosea SI, Westra WH
Clear Cell Carcinoma of Salivary Glands Is Frequently p16 Positive: A Pitfall in the Interpretation of Oropharyngeal Biopsies.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2018; 42(3):367-371 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Clear cell carcinoma (CCC) is a low-grade malignancy that commonly arises in minor salivary glands of the oropharynx and other sites. EWSR1-ATF1 gene fusions seem to be specific for this salivary neoplasm. Testing for EWSR1-ATF1 has expanded the histologic spectrum of CCC. As one important example, many CCCs have a predominantly squamous phenotype with few clear cells, a finding that can cause confusion with squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC). P16 immunohistochemical staining to determine human papillomavirus (HPV) status has become standard practice for all oropharyngeal carcinomas showing squamous differentiation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether this practice could contribute to the difficulty in distinguishing CCC from p16-positive SqCC. The authors' surgical pathology archives were searched for cases of CCC. All cases were evaluated with p16 immunohistochemistry, high-risk HPV RNA in situ hybridization (ISH), and EWSR1 gene break-apart fluorescence ISH. Sixteen CCCs were identified. All harbored an EWSR1 rearrangement. Eleven patients were women and 5 were men. They ranged in age from 30 to 85 years (mean, 58 y). The CCCs arose in the oropharynx (tongue base or tonsil) (n=8, 50%), oral cavity (n=4, 25%), and nasopharynx (n=4, 25%). Each case demonstrated clear cells, but the proportion was highly variable (10% to 90%, mean 48%), with 7 of 16 cases having <50% clear cells. Submitted diagnoses included SqCC (n=3) and mucoepidermoid carcinoma (n=2). Of the 3 patients diagnosed with SqCC, 1 was scheduled to undergo chemoradiation, and 1 had already completed chemoradiation. All 16 CCCs demonstrated p16 staining, with the percentage of p16-positive cells ranging from ≥70% (n=2), 50% to 69% (n=3), and 10% to 49% (n=11). Staining was cytoplasmic and nuclear. All cases were negative for high-risk HPV by RNA ISH. CCCs regularly show squamous features, often lack prominent clear cell changes, frequently arise in the oropharynx, and invariably show p16 staining. These features may cause confusion with SqCC, particularly HPV-related oropharyngeal SqCC. P16 staining is not to be taken as unequivocal evidence of an HPV-related SqCC, even for carcinomas showing squamous differentiation and originating in the oropharynx. Failure to recognize this pitfall could result in overly aggressive treatment of a low-grade carcinoma.

Shi Y, Wang W, Yang B, Tian H
ATF1 and RAS in exosomes are potential clinical diagnostic markers for cervical cancer.
Cell Biochem Funct. 2017; 35(7):477-483 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers among women worldwide. It is highly lethal yet can be treated when found in early stage. Thus, early detection is of significant important for early diagnosis of cervical cancer. Exosomes have been used as biomarkers in clinical diagnosis. It is unknown that whether blood exosomes associated with cervical cancer can be detected and if these exosomes can accurately represent the developmental stage of cervical cancer. Mouse models were made out of a relapsed cervical cancer patient's tumour sample for original and recurrent cervical cancer, and gene analysis in both tumours and exosomes in these mouse models were performed. We found that activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1) and RAS genes were significantly up-regulated in tumours of both primary and recurrent cervical cancer mouse model, and they can also be detected in the blood exosomes of the mouse model. Our results indicated that ATF1 and RAS could be potential candidate biomarkers for cervical cancer in early diagnosis. ATF1 and RAS genes were found significantly elevated in tumours of primary and recurrent cervical cancer mouse model, and they were also detected in the blood exosomes. Therefore, ATF1 and RAS could be used as a diagnostic marker for cervical cancer in the future.

AlAli BM, Alyousef MJ, Kamel AS, et al.
Primary paranasal sinus hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma: a case report.
Diagn Pathol. 2017; 12(1):70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma (HCCC) is a rare low-grade tumour of salivary glands that was first described as a distinct entity in 1994 by Milchgrub et al. EWSR1-ATF1 fusion was found to be specific for this tumour. The majority of the reported cases of HCCC arise from minor salivary glands within the oral cavity. Primary HCCC of the paranasal sinus is extremely uncommon. To our knowledge, only three cases have been reported in the English literature. Herein, we present a case of HCCC of the posterior ethmoid/maxillary sinus.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 63-year-old lady who presented with a long history of epistaxis. CT scan revealed a destructive mass in the left ethmoid/posterior maxillary sinus extending to the nasal cavity. Surgical excision was done and microscopic evaluation showed a tumour composed mainly of nests of clear epithelial cells separated by fibrocellular and hyalinized septa with extensive bone destruction. The tumour cells expressed CK5/6, EMA and p63 immunohistochemically but were negative for S100 protein, PAX-8, RCC and CK7. Sinonasal renal cell-like adenocarcinomas, myoepithelial carcinoma and metastatic renal cell carcinoma were excluded by radiological and immunohistochemical studies. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis revealed an EWSR1 gene rearrangement. Postoperative radiation was administrated and the patient did not show recurrence or distant metastasis 4 months after the surgery.
CONCLUSION: Head and neck region have many tumours that demonstrate clear cell changes on histology. Thus, the differential diagnosis for HCCC is wide. Awareness of this rare entity and the possibility of it is arising in unusual location is necessary. EWSR1-AFT1 fusion, a consistent finding in HCCC, can be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Rito M, Fonseca I
Salivary Gland Neoplasms: Does Morphological Diversity Reflect Tumor Heterogeneity.
Pathobiology. 2018; 85(1-2):85-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Salivary gland tumor classification encompasses a vast list of benign and malignant neoplasms. Their morphological diversity is recognized not only between different entities but also within individual tumors. Tumor categories as described by the World Health Organization reflect, in part, a true genetic heterogeneity (e.g., translocations involving CRTC1 and CRTC3-MAML2 genes in mucoepidermoid carcinoma and MYB-NFIB fusion in adenoid cystic carcinoma). Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma shows diversity in its histological appearance, but recurrent rearrangements on PLAG1 and HMGA2 are common to its benign precursor. More recently, new categories have been defined, like secretory carcinoma with the t(12;15) (p13;q25) ETV6-NTRK3 translocation and clear-cell carcinoma with EWSR1-ATF1 fusion. Recent studies on cribriform adenocarcinoma of minor salivary gland origin and epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma point to a correlation with their morphological features. All of these advances show that the search of a histogenetic and genetic basis for salivary gland tumors is helping to clarify morphological categories and unraveling new ones. Nevertheless, currently morphology is still the hallmark of tumor classification and the gold standard. The therapeutic options for advanced tumors remain very limited but the discovery of translocation-generated gene fusions and increased knowledge of the genomic information of salivary gland tumors is creating opportunities for the development of specific targeted therapies.

Ding G, Li W, Liu J, et al.
LncRNA GHET1 activated by H3K27 acetylation promotes cell tumorigenesis through regulating ATF1 in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 94:326-331 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: GHET1 is one of tumor-related lncRNAs. We aimed to explore the functional involvement of GHET1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: In this study, HCC tissues and the paired normal tissues were collected for the detection of target molecules. The expression level of target molecules in HCC tissues or cell lines was determined by qRT-PCR and western blot, respectively. The expression of endogenous GHET1 and ATF1 was modulated by using cell transfection. RNA pull down assay was performed to examine the interaction between GHET1 and ATF1. ChIP assay was conducted to determine the H3K27Ac acetylation of GHET1 promoter.
RESULTS: H3K27 acetylation activated-GHET1 was upregulated in HCC tissues and cell lines. Moreover, GHET1 silencing could inhibit the proliferation, migration, invasion and EMT of HCC cells in vitro. GHET1 could regulate the expression of ATF1 mRNA and protein; RNA pull-down assays supported that GHET1 could bind to ATF1 protein. Furthermore, overexpression of ATF1 almost completely reversed the GHET1 knockdown mediated inhibition on the proliferation, migration, invasion and EMT of HCC cells.
CONCLUSION: LncRNA GHET1 was intimately involved in the occurrence and development of HCC through regulating ATF1.

Nakai T, Imura Y, Tamiya H, et al.
Trabectedin is a promising antitumor agent potentially inducing melanocytic differentiation for clear cell sarcoma.
Cancer Med. 2017; 6(9):2121-2130 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Clear cell sarcoma is an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma and highly resistant to conventional chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This devastating disease is defined by EWSR1-ATF1 fusion gene resulting from chromosomal translocation t(12;22)(q13;q12) and characterized by melanocytic differentiation. A marine-derived antineoplastic agent, trabectedin, inhibits the growth of myxoid liposarcoma and Ewing sarcoma by causing adipogenic differentiation and neural differentiation, respectively. In this study, we examined the antitumor effects and mechanism of action of trabectedin on human clear cell sarcoma cell lines. We showed that trabectedin decreased the cell proliferation of five clear cell sarcoma cell lines in a dose-dependent manner in vitro and reduced tumor growth of two mouse xenograft models. Flow cytometry and immunoblot analyses in vitro and immunohistochemical analysis in vivo revealed that trabectedin-induced G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Furthermore, trabectedin increased the expression of melanocytic differentiation markers along with downregulation of ERK activity in vitro and the rate of melanin-positive cells in vivo. These results suggest that trabectedin has potent antitumor activity against clear cell sarcoma cells by inducing cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and, in part, by promoting melanocytic differentiation through inactivation of ERK signaling. Our present study indicates that trabectedin is a promising differentiation-inducing agent for clear cell sarcoma.

Kujiraoka S, Tsunematsu T, Sato Y, et al.
Establishment and characterization of a clear cell odontogenic carcinoma cell line with EWSR1-ATF1 fusion gene.
Oral Oncol. 2017; 69:46-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Clear cell odontogenic carcinoma (CCOC) is a rare malignant odontogenic tumor (MOT) characterized by sheets and lobules of vacuolated and clear cells. To understand the biology of CCOC, we established a new cell line, CCOC-T, with EWSR1-ATF1 fusion gene from a mandible tumor with distant metastasis and characterized this cell line.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To detect the EWSR1-ATF1 fusion gene, we used three CCOC cases, including the present case, by RT-PCR and FISH analysis. We characterized established CCOC-T cells by checking cell growth, invasion and the expression of odontogenic factors and bone-related factors. Moreover, the gene expression profile of CCOC-T cells was examined by microarray analysis.
RESULTS: Histologically, the primary tumor was comprised of cords and nests containing clear and squamoid cells separated by fibrous septa. In addition, ameloblastomatous islands with palisaded peripheral cells were observed, indicating probable odontogenic origin. This tumor expressed the fusion gene EWSR1-ATF1, which underlies the etiology of hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma (HCCC) and potentially that of CCOC. We found a breakpoint in the EWSR1-ATF1 fusion to be the same as that reported in HCCC. Established CCOC-T cells grew extremely slowly, but the cells showed highly invasive activity. Moreover, CCOC-T cells expressed bone-related molecules, odontogenic factors, and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related molecules.
CONCLUSION: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the establishment of a CCOC cell line. CCOC-T cells serve as a useful in vitro model for understanding the pathogenesis and nature of MOT.

Desmeules P, Joubert P, Zhang L, et al.
A Subset of Malignant Mesotheliomas in Young Adults Are Associated With Recurrent EWSR1/FUS-ATF1 Fusions.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2017; 41(7):980-988 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare, aggressive tumor often associated with asbestos exposure and characterized by complex genetic abnormalities, including deletions of chromosome 22. A gene fusion involving EWSR1 and YY1 gene on 14q32 has been reported in 2 patients over the age of 60 with peritoneal MM. However, the incidence of EWSR1 rearrangements in MM and the spectrum of its fusion partners remain unknown. We recently encountered 2 MM cases with EWSR1-ATF1 fusions and sought to investigate the prevalence and clinicopathologic features associated with this abnormality. As both index cases occurred as intra-abdominal tumors in young adults, we searched our files for pleural and peritoneal MM occurring in adults younger than age of 40. All cases were tested by fluorescence in situ hybridization using custom bacterial artificial chromosomes probes for EWSR1, FUS, and ATF1 genes. When available, immunohistochemistry for BAP1 was performed. A total of 25 MM from patients aged 40 or less were screened, either from peritoneum (n=13) or pleura (n=12), with a median age of 31 (range: 7 to 40 y). Two additional ATF1-rearranged tumors were identified at pleural and peritoneal sites with EWSR1 and FUS as fusion partners, respectively, for a total of 4 cases (16%, 4/25). The fusion-positive cases displayed classic epithelioid morphology, immunoreactivity for cytokeratins and WT1, and negativity for S100. BAP1 expression was retained in the 3 fusion-positive cases with available material, and in 80% (12/15) of the fusion-negative cases. Our results expand the spectrum of tumor types harboring EWSR1/FUS-ATF1 gene fusions to include a subgroup of conventional epithelioid MM. Other features of this unique MM subset include young age at presentation, lack of asbestos exposure and retained BAP1 expression.

Guo Y, Sun W, Gong T, et al.
miR-30a radiosensitizes non-small cell lung cancer by targeting ATF1 that is involved in the phosphorylation of ATM.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 37(4):1980-1988 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increasing number of studies report that microRNAs play important roles in radiosensitization. miR-30a has been proved to perform many functions in the development and treatment of cancer, and it is downregulated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissues and cells. This study was conducted to understand if miR-30a plays a role in the radiosensitivity of NSCLC cells. Radiosensitivity was examed by colony survival assay and tumor volume changing in vitro and in vivo, respectively. Bioinformatic analysis and luciferase reporter assays were used to distinguish the candidate target of miR-30a. qRT-PCR and western blotting were carried out to detect the relative expression of mRNAs and proteins. Cell cycle and cell apoptosis were determined by flow cytometry. Our results illustrated miR-30a could increase the radiosensitivity of NSCLC, especially in A549 cell line. In vivo experiment also showed the potential radiosensitizing possibility of miR-30a. Further exploration validated that miR-30a was directly targ-eting activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1). In studying the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) associated effects on cell radiosensitivity, we found that miR-30a could reduce radiation induced G2/M cell cycle arrest and may also affect radiation induced apoptosis. Together, our results demonstrated that miR-30a may modulate the radiosensitivity of NSCLC through reducing the function of ATF1 in phosphorylation of ATM and have potential therapeutic value.

Huang GL, Liao D, Chen H, et al.
The protein level and transcription activity of activating transcription factor 1 is regulated by prolyl isomerase Pin1 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma progression.
Cell Death Dis. 2016; 7(12):e2571 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The function of activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1) and the mechanism about why ATF1 was over-phosphorylated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) progression is completely undiscovered. In this study, a series of experiments both in vitro and in vivo were used to characterize a promotive function of ATF1 in NPC tumorigenesis and identify prolyl isomerase Pin1 as a novel regulator of ATF1 at post-transcription. First, we found that overexpression of ATF1 promoted colony formation in NPC. However, the high protein level of ATF1 in NPC was not resulted from high mRNA level. Then, a direct interaction between Pin1 and ATF1 at Thr184 was demonstrated using mammalian two-hybrid assay and coimmunoprecipitation. Cycloheximide (CHX) treatment indicated Pin1 stabilized the expression of ATF1 at post-transcription level. We confirmed that Pin1 upregulated ATF1 transcriptional activity of Bcl-2 using luciferase reporter assay, quantitative RT-PCR and western blot. Furthermore, the newly identified phosphorylation of ATF1 at Thr184 was suggested to have an important role in ATF1 function of transcription and tumor promotion. Finally, high expression of Pin1 in NPC tissue was found to be positively correlated with ATF1. The ATF1 promoted NPC tumorigenesis was regulated by Pin1 both in vitro and in vivo. All these findings clearly state that Pin1 is a novel regulator of ATF1 at Thr184 and thereby enhances ATF1 transcription activity and tumorigenesis promotive function in NPC.

Kao YC, Sung YS, Zhang L, et al.
EWSR1 Fusions With CREB Family Transcription Factors Define a Novel Myxoid Mesenchymal Tumor With Predilection for Intracranial Location.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2017; 41(4):482-490 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recurrent gene fusions involving EWSR1 with members of the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) family (ATF1 and CREB1) have been reported in a diverse group of tumors including angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma (AFH), soft tissue and gastrointestinal clear cell sarcoma, primary pulmonary myxoid sarcoma, and hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma of salivary gland. We have recently encountered a group of 5 myxoid mesenchymal tumors positive for EWSR1 fusions with one of the CREB family member (ATF1, CREB1, and CREM), with histologic features distinct from any of the previously described pathologic entities. Tumors occurred in children or young adults (12 to 23 y; mean, 18 y), with equal sex distribution. All except 1 were intracranial (intra-axial, 2; meningeal, 2), whereas 1 was perirectal. Histologically, the tumors were well circumscribed, often lobulated, composed of uniform ovoid to round cells, and arranged in cord-like or reticular structures in a myxoid background. All except 1 displayed unique sunburst amianthoid fibers. Immunohistochemically, tumors were positive for epithelial membrane antigen (5/5; 4 focal, 1 diffuse) and desmin (3/5). A novel EWSR1-CREM fusion was identified by RNA sequencing in the perirectal tumor, which was further confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A second case with similar EWSR1-CREM fusion was identified by RT-PCR and FISH in a meningeal tumor. The remaining cases studied by FISH showed the presence of EWSR1-CREB1 fusion in 2 cases and EWSR1-ATF1 in 1. In conclusion, we report a distinct group of myxoid mesenchymal neoplasms occurring in children or young adults with a predilection for intracranial locations. Although the immunoprofile [epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), desmin] and the fusion type raise the possibility of a myxoid AFH, none of the typical histologic findings of AFH were present, suggesting a novel entity.

Lan J, Huang SC, Chen YH, et al.
Primary paranasal sinus clear cell carcinoma with EWSR1-ATF1 fusion: report of 2 molecularly confirmed cases exhibiting unique histopathology.
Hum Pathol. 2017; 63:139-143 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma (HCCC) is a rare low-grade tumor of the salivary glands made up of clear cells that form cords and nests in hyalinized stroma. To date, primary HCCCs of the paranasal sinus have not been described. This article presents 2 cases of HCCC of the maxillary sinus with unusual glandular formation and lymphoplasmacytic stroma in case 1 and a characteristic solid nest pattern and fibrocellular and hyalinized stroma in case 2. Immunohistochemical studies excluded myoepithelial origin and sinonasal renal cell-like adenocarcinomas. Negativity for p63 and p40 in case 1 ruled out a squamous cell origin. Both cases showed a rearranged EWSR1 gene. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction detected EWSR1-ATF1 fusion gene transcripts, and Sanger sequencing confirmed an EWSR1 exon 11 fused in-frame to ATF exon 3.

Hernandez-Prera JC, Kwan R, Tripodi J, et al.
Reappraising hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma: A population-based study with molecular confirmation.
Head Neck. 2017; 39(3):503-511 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma (HCCC) is a rare malignancy, characterized by EWSR1-ATF1 gene fusion, whose behavior is poorly understood, as it was for many years considered a diagnosis of exclusion.
METHODS: All available salivary gland carcinomas (n = 594) from our institution were reviewed. Diagnosis of HCCC was confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for EWSR1. Literature review was performed.
RESULTS: We found 15 patients with HCCCs (10 women, 5 men), 13 with EWSR1 rearrangement. Median age at diagnosis was 57 years (range, 31-87 years). Oral cavity (n = 9) and base of tongue (n = 4) were the most frequent primary sites. Combining our cases with those identified in literature review, the 10-year risk of local recurrence and locoregional nodal metastasis were 49% and 15%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Molecularly confirmed HCCC accounted for 2.5% of salivary gland malignancies at our institution. HCCCs are indolent tumors with a propensity for locoregional recurrence. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 39: 503-511, 2017.

Boland JM, Folpe AL
Oncocytic variant of malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumor: a potential diagnostic pitfall.
Hum Pathol. 2016; 57:13-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumor (MGNET) is a very rare, aggressive malignant neoplasm that may occur in any location in the gastrointestinal tract. Malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumors typically consist of sheet-like to pseudopapillary proliferation of primitive-appearing epithelioid cells with a moderate amount of lightly eosinophilic cytoplasm, round nuclei and small nucleoli, often in association with osteoclast-like giant cells. By immunohistochemistry, these tumors show expression of S100 protein and SOX10, in the absence of expression of more specific melanocytic markers (eg, HMB45, Melan A). Genetically, malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumors are characterized by rearrangements of the EWSR1 or FUS genes with CREB1 or ATF1. We report a case of gastric malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumor occurring in a 46-year-old woman and showing striking oncocytic cytoplasmic change, a previously undescribed potential diagnostic pitfall. An initial needle biopsy showed large, eosinophilic cells with S100 protein and SOX10 expression and lacking expression of KIT, DOG1, Melan A, keratin, chromogranin, or smooth muscle actin, and was interpreted as representing a granular cell tumor. The subsequent excision specimen showed similar-appearing areas, but also contained small more primitive-appearing areas, lacking oncocytic change and having high nuclear grade and brisk mitotic activity. This resection specimen was initially diagnosed as a malignant granular cell tumor. However subsequent gene expression profiling studies showed an EWSR1-ATF1 fusion, confirmed with fluorescence in situ hybridization for EWSR1, and a final diagnosis of MGNET with oncocytic change was made. This case highlights a previously undescribed pitfall in the diagnosis of MGNET, oncocytic change, and suggests that MGNET should be included in the differential diagnosis for unusual oncocytic neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract.

Hsieh MS, Wang H, Lee YH, et al.
Reevaluation of MAML2 fusion-negative mucoepidermoid carcinoma: a subgroup being actually hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma of the salivary gland with EWSR1 translocation.
Hum Pathol. 2017; 61:9-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma (HCCC) is a rare salivary gland tumor with a specific EWSR1-ATF1 fusion gene and can have mucin production. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) with a clear cell component is its morphologic mimic. Using MAML2 fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), a total of 49 MEC cases were separated into MAML2 fusion-positive (32 cases) and MAML2 fusion-negative groups (17 cases). This study used EWSR1 FISH to investigate MAML2 fusion-negative cases to identify previously unrecognized HCCC. Among 17 MAML2 fusion-negative cases, 3 had rearrangement of the EWSR1 gene and were reclassified as HCCC. Including 5 previously diagnosed HCCC cases, these 8 HCCC cases had a male-to-female ratio of 1:7, and most (7/8) tumors arose from oral minor salivary glands in the oral cavity (tongue base and palate). EWSR1-ATF1 fusion was confirmed by FISH in all 8 HCCC cases. The histologic features between genetically confirmed HCCC and MEC were compared. HCCC was significantly associated with minor salivary gland involvement, a discrepancy between low-grade cytology and intermediate- to high-grade histology using the MEC grading system, and absence of both epidermoid cells with abundant cytoplasm and goblet cells lining cysts or forming clusters. Clear cells and a hyalinized stroma were not specific for HCCC. HCCC may be erroneously classified as MEC because clear cells may be a minor histologic component and mucin production is not uncommon. Previously diagnosed MEC cases should be reevaluated, especially those arising from minor salivary glands or without MAML2 fusion. Careful histologic evaluation with supporting molecular testing can facilitate pathologic diagnoses.

Thway K, Strauss DC, Wren D, Fisher C
'Pure' spindle cell variant of angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, lacking classic histologic features.
Pathol Res Pract. 2016; 212(11):1081-1084 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma (AFH) is a soft tissue tumor of intermediate biologic potential and uncertain differentiation that most frequently occurs in the superficial extremities of children and young adults. It is histologically typified by nodules of ovoid to spindle cells with pseudoangiomatoid spaces and a surrounding dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate, desmin expression in about 50%, and association with EWSR1-CREB1, EWSR1-ATF1 or FUS-ATF1 gene fusions. The diagnosis still poses a challenge because AFH may not display all classic features, can show a variety of unusual histologic findings and lacks a specific immunoprofile. We describe a case of 'pure' spindle cell AFH arising in the forearm musculature of a 19 year-old female, which harbored EWSR1-CREB1 fusion transcripts by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The neoplasm was composed entirely of highly cellular fascicles of spindled cells architecturally resembling spindle cell sarcoma, and lacked obvious pseudoangiomatoid spaces or a lymphoid cuff. This purely spindle cell variant adds to the significant morphologic spectrum of AFH, and emphasizes that even when occuring at a typical site, AFH may be difficult to recognize when showing non-classical morphology. This is of clinical relevance, as AFH with this morphology could be potentially misdiagnosed as a high-grade sarcoma, with the patient subject to more radical therapeutic approaches.

Goh GH, Teh M, Vanecek T, et al.
Primary pulmonary clear cell sarcoma-the first two reported cases.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(1):111-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report two cases (male patients 50 and 55 years old) of clear cell sarcoma ("melanoma of soft parts") arising in the lung, of which one case showed regional lymph node metastases. Histologically, both tumors displayed varying clear epithelioid and spindle neoplastic cells arranged in storiform and nested growth patterns, separated by thin fibrovascular septa. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated positive expression of S-100 protein, HMB-45 and Melan-A in one case and S-100 protein only in the other. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed positive EWSR1 gene rearrangement, and a presence of EWS-ATF1 fusion transcript was confirmed by RT-PCR and sequencing in one case.

Zhang L, Jia Z, Mao F, et al.
Whole-exome sequencing identifies a somatic missense mutation of NBN in clear cell sarcoma of the salivary gland.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(6):3349-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clear cell sarcoma (CCS) is a rare, low-grade carcinoma commonly located in the distal extremities of young adults involving tendons and aponeuroses. CCS is characterized by its poor prognosis due to late diagnosis, multiple local recurrence, propensity to late metastases, and a high rate of tumor-related mortality. The genetic cause for CCS is thought to be EWSR1 gene translocation. However, CCS lacking a translocation may have other, as yet uncharacterized, genetic mutations that can cause the same pathological effect. A combination of whole‑exome sequencing and Sanger sequencing of cancer tissue and venous blood from a patient diagnosed with CCS of the salivary gland revealed a somatic missense mutation, c.1061C>T (p.P354L), in exon 9 of the Nibrin gene (NBN). This somatic missense mutation led to the conversion of proline to leucine (p.P354L), resulting in deleterious effects for the NBN protein. Multiple-sequence alignments showed that codon 354, where the mutation (c.1061C>T) occurs, is located within a phylogenetically conserved region. In conclusion, we here report a somatic missense mutation c.1061C>T (p.P354L) in the NBN gene in a patient with CCS lacking an EWSR1-ATF1 fusion. Our findings broaden the genotypic spectrum of CCS and provide new molecular insight that should prove useful in the future clinical genetic diagnosis of CCS.

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