Gene Summary

Gene:DEK; DEK proto-oncogene
Aliases: D6S231E
Summary:This gene encodes a protein with one SAP domain. This protein binds to cruciform and superhelical DNA and induces positive supercoils into closed circular DNA, and is also involved in splice site selection during mRNA processing. Chromosomal aberrations involving this region, increased expression of this gene, and the presence of antibodies against this protein are all associated with various diseases. Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein DEK
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (10)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 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.

  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins
  • Eph Family Receptors
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogenes
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Cancer RNA
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Myeloid Leukemia
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Recurrence
  • Chromosome 9
  • Transplantation Chimera
  • Adolescents
  • Base Sequence
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Karyotyping
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Dek
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • Oncogenes
  • Gene Expression
  • Translocation
  • Young Adult
  • PCNA
  • Transfection
  • Apoptosis
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Chromosome 6
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Telomerase
  • Signal Transduction
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)t(6;9)(p23;q34) DEK-NUP214 in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome
The recurrent chromosomal translocation t(6;9)(p23;q34) involving the DEK and NUP214 genes occurs in a subset of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia. The DEK-NUP214 fusion protein (cloned by von Lindern et al,1992) consists of almost the whole of the DEK protein fused to the C-terminal two-thirds of the NUP214 protein.
View Publications72
RetinoblastomaDEK and Retinoblastoma View Publications7
Bladder CancerDEK and Bladder Cancer View Publications3

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

Latest Publications: DEK (cancer-related)

Qian Z, Yang J, Liu H, et al.
The miR-1204 regulates apoptosis in NSCLC cells by targeting DEK.
Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2019; 57(2):64-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: This study endeavors to analyze the effects of miR-1204 on the expression of DEK oncogene in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and to study the molecular mechanisms of these effects.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The miR-1204 mimics and inhibitors were transfected into the (A549 and SPC) NSCLC cells. Then the mRNA levels, cell viability, apoptosis rate, morphology and caspase activity were determined. The expression of apoptosis-related proteins Bcl-2 and Bax was also analyzed.
RESULTS: In NSCLC cell lines (A549 and SPC), DEK mRNA levels were down-regulated in miR-1204 overex-pression group. In miR-1204 inhibition group, the expression of DEK mRNA showed an opposite trend. The overexpression of miR-1204 increases the apoptosis rate in NSCLC cells. The Bcl-2 levels in the miR-1204 over-expression group were decreased, while the Bax level was increased. In the miR-1204 inhibition group, expression of Bcl-2 and Bax showed opposite trends. Cell staining revealed cell's morphological changes; the apoptosis in the miR-1204 overexpression group revealed significant morphological features, such as brighter nuclei and nu-clear condensation. Results indicated a typical characteristic of apoptosis in the miR-1204 overexpression group. Caspase-9 and Caspase-3 were involved in the apoptosis pathway, which was mediated by miR-1204 and DEK.
CONCLUSIONS: The miR-1204 induces apoptosis of NSCLC cells by inhibiting the expression of DEK. The mech-anism of apoptosis involves down-regulation of Bcl-2 and up-regulation of Bax expression. Moreover, the apoptosis was mediated by mitochondria-related caspase 9/3 pathway.

Yang W, Lee KW, Srivastava RM, et al.
Immunogenic neoantigens derived from gene fusions stimulate T cell responses.
Nat Med. 2019; 25(5):767-775 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
Anti-tumor immunity is driven by self versus non-self discrimination. Many immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer have taken advantage of tumor neoantigens derived from somatic mutations. Here, we demonstrate that gene fusions are a source of immunogenic neoantigens that can mediate responses to immunotherapy. We identified an exceptional responder with metastatic head and neck cancer who experienced a complete response to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy, despite a low mutational load and minimal pre-treatment immune infiltration in the tumor. Using whole-genome sequencing and RNA sequencing, we identified a novel gene fusion and demonstrated that it produces a neoantigen that can specifically elicit a host cytotoxic T cell response. In a cohort of head and neck tumors with low mutation burden, minimal immune infiltration and prevalent gene fusions, we also identified gene fusion-derived neoantigens that generate cytotoxic T cell responses. Finally, analyzing additional datasets of fusion-positive cancers, including checkpoint-inhibitor-treated tumors, we found evidence of immune surveillance resulting in negative selective pressure against gene fusion-derived neoantigens. These findings highlight an important class of tumor-specific antigens and have implications for targeting gene fusion events in cancers that would otherwise be less poised for response to immunotherapy, including cancers with low mutational load and minimal immune infiltration.

Platzbecker U, Middeke JM, Sockel K, et al.
Measurable residual disease-guided treatment with azacitidine to prevent haematological relapse in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukaemia (RELAZA2): an open-label, multicentre, phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2018; 19(12):1668-1679 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Monitoring of measurable residual disease (MRD) in patients with advanced myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) who achieve a morphological complete remission can predict haematological relapse. In this prospective study, we aimed to determine whether MRD-guided pre-emptive treatment with azacitidine could prevent relapse in these patients.
METHODS: The relapse prevention with azacitidine (RELAZA2) study is an open-label, multicentre, phase 2 trial done at nine university health centres in Germany. Patients aged 18 years or older with advanced MDS or AML, who had achieved a complete remission after conventional chemotherapy or allogeneic haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation, were prospectively screened for MRD during 24 months from baseline by either quantitative PCR for mutant NPM1, leukaemia-specific fusion genes (DEK-NUP214, RUNX1-RUNX1T1, CBFb-MYH11), or analysis of donor-chimaerism in flow cytometry-sorted CD34-positive cells in patients who received allogeneic haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation. MRD-positive patients in confirmed complete remission received azacitidine 75 mg/m
FINDINGS: Between Oct 10, 2011, and Aug 20, 2015, we screened 198 patients with advanced MDS (n=26) or AML (n=172), of whom 60 (30%) developed MRD during the 24-month screening period and 53 (88%) were eligible to start study treatment. 6 months after initiation of azacitidine, 31 (58%, 95% CI 44-72) of 53 patients were relapse-free and alive (p<0·0001; one-sided binomial test for null hypothesis p
INTERPRETATION: Pre-emptive therapy with azacitidine can prevent or substantially delay haematological relapse in MRD-positive patients with MDS or AML who are at high risk of relapse. Our study also suggests that continuous MRD negativity during regular MRD monitoring might be prognostic for patient outcomes.
FUNDING: Celgene Pharma, José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), and German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) Foundation.

Hacker KE, Bolland DE, Tan L, et al.
The DEK Oncoprotein Functions in Ovarian Cancer Growth and Survival.
Neoplasia. 2018; 20(12):1209-1218 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
DNA damage repair alterations play a critical role in ovarian cancer tumorigenesis. Mechanistic drivers of the DNA damage response consequently present opportunities for therapeutic targeting. The chromatin-binding DEK oncoprotein functions in DNA double-strand break repair. We therefore sought to determine the role of DEK in epithelial ovarian cancer. DEK is overexpressed in both primary epithelial ovarian cancers and ovarian cancer cell lines. To assess the impact of DEK expression levels on cell growth, small interfering RNA and short hairpin RNA approaches were utilized. Decreasing DEK expression in ovarian cancer cell lines slows cell growth and induces apoptosis and DNA damage. The biologic effects of DEK depletion are enhanced with concurrent chemotherapy treatment. The in vitro effects of DEK knockdown are reproduced in vivo, as DEK depletion in a mouse xenograft model results in slower tumor growth and smaller tumors compared to tumors expressing DEK. These findings provide a compelling rationale to target the DEK oncoprotein and its pathways as a therapeutic strategy for treating epithelial ovarian cancer.

de Albuquerque Oliveira AC, Kappes F, Martins DBG, de Lima Filho JL
The unique DEK oncoprotein in women's health: A potential novel biomarker.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 106:142-148 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast and cervical cancer are the first and fourth cancer types with the highest prevalence in women, respectively. The developmental profiles of cancer in women can vary by genetic markers and cellular events. In turn, age and lifestyle influence in the cellular response and also on the cancer progression and relapse. The human DEK protein, a histone chaperone, belongs to a specific subclass of chromatin topology modulators, being involved in the regulation of DNA-dependent processes. These epigenetic mechanisms have dynamic and reversible nature, have been proposed as targets for different treatment approaches, especially in tumor therapy. The expression patterns of DEK vary between healthy and cancer cells. High expression of DEK is associated with poor prognosis in many cancer types, suggesting that DEK takes part in oncogenic activities via different molecular pathways, including inhibition of senescence and apoptosis. The focus of this review was to highlight the role of the DEK protein in these two female cancers.

Selvan LDN, Danda R, Madugundu AK, et al.
Phosphoproteomics of Retinoblastoma: A Pilot Study Identifies Aberrant Kinases.
Molecules. 2018; 23(6) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumour of the retina which most often occurs in children. Earlier studies on retinoblastoma have concentrated on the identification of key players in the disease and have not provided information on activated/inhibited signalling pathways. The dysregulation of protein phosphorylation in cancer provides clues about the affected signalling cascades in cancer. Phosphoproteomics is an ideal tool for the study of phosphorylation changes in proteins. Hence, global phosphoproteomics of retinoblastoma (RB) was carried out to identify signalling events associated with this cancer. Over 350 proteins showed differential phosphorylation in RB compared to control retina. Our study identified stress response proteins to be hyperphosphorylated in RB which included H2A histone family member X (H2AFX) and sirtuin 1. In particular, Ser140 of H2AFX also known as gamma-H2AX was found to be hyperphosphorylated in retinoblastoma, which indicated the activation of DNA damage response pathways. We also observed the activation of anti-apoptosis in retinoblastoma compared to control. These observations showed the activation of survival pathways in retinoblastoma. The identification of hyperphosphorylated protein kinases including Bromodomain containing 4 (BRD4), Lysine deficient protein kinase 1 (WNK1), and Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) in RB opens new avenues for the treatment of RB. These kinases can be considered as probable therapeutic targets for RB, as small-molecule inhibitors for some of these kinases are already in clinical trials for the treatment other cancers.

Cifdaloz M, Osterloh L, Graña O, et al.
Systems analysis identifies melanoma-enriched pro-oncogenic networks controlled by the RNA binding protein CELF1.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):2249 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
Melanomas are well-known for their altered mRNA expression profiles. Yet, the specific contribution of mRNA binding proteins (mRBPs) to melanoma development remains unclear. Here we identify a cluster of melanoma-enriched genes under the control of CUGBP Elav-like family member 1 (CELF1). CELF1 was discovered with a distinct prognostic value in melanoma after mining the genomic landscape of the 692 known mRBPs across different cancer types. Genome-wide transcriptomic, proteomic, and RNA-immunoprecipitation studies, together with loss-of-function analyses in cell lines, and histopathological evaluation in clinical biopsies, revealed an intricate repertoire of CELF1-RNA interactors with minimal overlap with other malignancies. This systems approach uncovered the oncogene DEK as an unexpected target and downstream effector of CELF1. Importantly, CELF1 and DEK were found to represent early-induced melanoma genes and adverse indicators of overall patient survival. These results underscore novel roles of CELF1 in melanoma, illustrating tumor type-restricted functions of RBPs in cancer.

You S, Guan Y, Li W
Epithelial‑mesenchymal transition in colorectal carcinoma cells is mediated by DEK/IMP3.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 17(1):1065-1070 [PubMed] Related Publications
To investigate the inhibitory effects of DEK/insulin‑like growth factor II mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP3) on epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) in colorectal carcinoma cells. SW620 and SW480 cell lines were selected. DEK‑interfering lentivirus was transfected to knockdown DEK expression. Subsequently, MTT assays and flow cytometry were utilized to measure cell viability, and apoptosis, respectively. Cell invasion was detected using a Transwell assay. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were used to detect the expression of E‑cadherin, vimentin, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)‑9. Compared with the blank control, cells transfected with DEK‑interfering lentivirus demonstrated a remarkable reduction in cell viability (P<0.05). The apoptotic rate in the DEK‑interfering lentivirus group was significantly enhanced compared with the blank control group (P<0.05). In the DEK‑interfering lentivirus group, the expression of E‑cadherin was significantly elevated (P<0.05), while the expression of vimentin and MMP‑9 were significantly reduced in both cell lines (P<0.05). The results of the present study demonstrated that EMT of colorectal carcinoma cells was partially mediated by DEK, which likely affected the invasive ability of colorectal carcinoma cells. In addition, cell proliferation and apoptosis were susceptible to DEK silencing. The current study has provided experimental evidence for the treatment of colorectal carcinoma using DEK silencing.

Panagopoulos I, Gorunova L, Torkildsen S, et al.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2017 Nov-Dec; 14(6):437-443 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Given the diagnostic, prognostic, biologic, and even therapeutic impact of leukemia-associated translocations and fusion genes, it is important to detect cryptic genomic rearrangements that may exist in hematological malignancies.
CASE REPORT: RNA-sequencing was performed on an acute myeloid leukemia case with the bone marrow karyotype 45,X,-Y,t(9;12) (q34;q15)[16].
RESULTS: The DEK-NUP214 and PRRC2B-DEK fusion genes were found. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction together with direct sequencing verified the presence of both. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that the DEK-NUP214 fusion gene was located on the 6p22 band of a seemingly normal chromosome 6.
CONCLUSION: RNA-sequencing proved to be a valuable tool for the detection of a fusion of genes DEK and NUP214 in a leukemia that showed cryptic cytogenetic rearrangement of chromosome band 9q34.

Nakashima T, Tomita H, Hirata A, et al.
Promotion of cell proliferation by the proto-oncogene DEK enhances oral squamous cell carcinogenesis through field cancerization.
Cancer Med. 2017; 6(10):2424-2439 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) develops through a multistep carcinogenic process involving field cancerization. The DEK gene is a proto-oncogene with functions in genetic and epigenetic modifications, and has oncogenic functions, including cellular proliferation, differentiation, and senescence. DEK overexpression is associated with malignancies; however, the functional roles of DEK overexpression are unclear. We demonstrated that DEK-expressing cells were significantly increased in human dysplasia/carcinoma in situ and OSCC. Furthermore, we generated ubiquitous and squamous cell-specific doxycycline (DOX)-inducible Dek mice (iDek and iDek-e mice respectively). Both DOX+ iDek and iDek-e mice did not show differences in the oral mucosa compared with DOX- mice. In the environment exposed to carcinogen, DOX-treated (DOX+) iDek mice showed field cancerization and OSCC development. Microarray analysis revealed that DEK overexpression was mediated by the upregulation of DNA replication- and cell cycle-related genes, particularly those related to the G

Xu Y, Liang Z, Li C, et al.
LCMR1 interacts with DEK to suppress apoptosis in lung cancer cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 16(4):4159-4164 [PubMed] Related Publications
To win the war against lung cancer, the molecular mechanisms underlying its oncogenesis and metastasis must be identified in order to develop novel diagnosis and treatment strategies. We previously identified a novel gene, namely lung cancer metastasis related protein 1 (LCMR1; GenBank accession no. AY148462), which was demonstrated to be overexpressed in non‑small‑cell lung cancer. LCMR1 expression was significantly associated with clinical stage. To further understand the mechanism of LCMR1 in lung cancer, the present study screened a cDNA library from the lung cancer cell line 95D for proteins interacting with LCMR1 by yeast two‑hybrid assay, and the protein DEK was identified. Co‑immunoprecipitation and glutathione S‑transferase pull‑down assays were performed to confirm the interaction between LCMR1 and DEK in vivo and in vitro. The results demonstrated that the interaction was mediated primarily by the N‑terminal region of DEK, suggesting that LCMR1 may be involved in the regulation of cell apoptosis. Using RNA interference, DEK and LCMR1 were demonstrated to cooperate in the inhibition of apoptosis in lung cancer cells, and this effect was associated with the induced myeloid leukemia protein cell differentiation protein 1 pathway. The present findings suggest that LCMR1 might serve as a potential molecular target for lung cancer therapy.

Feng T, Liu Y, Li C, et al.
DEK proto-oncogene is highly expressed in astrocytic tumors and regulates glioblastoma cell proliferation and apoptosis.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(7):1010428317716248 [PubMed] Related Publications
Astrocytic tumors are the most common neuroepithelial neoplasms with high relapse rate after surgery. Understanding the molecular mechanisms for astrocytic tumorigenesis and progression will lead to early diagnosis and effective treatment of astrocytic tumors. The DEK mRNA and protein expression in normal brain tissues and astrocytic tumors was quantified. To investigate DEK functions in tumor cells, DEK gene was silenced with siRNA in U251 glioblastoma cells. Cell proliferation, cell cycle and apoptosis were then measured. The expression and activity of key genes that regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis were also measured. We identified DEK as a high expressed gene in astrocytic tumor tissues. DEK expression level was positively correlated with the pathological grade of astrocytic tumors. Gene silencing of DEK in U251 glioblastomas inhibited cell proliferation and blocked cells at G0/G1 phase of cell cycle. DEK depletion also induced cell apoptosis, with up-regulated expression of P53 and P21 and down-regulated expression of Bcl-2 and C-myc. The Caspase-3 activity in U251 cells was also significantly increased after knockdown. Our results provided evidences that DEK regulates proliferation and apoptosis of glioblastomas. DEK gene silencing may induce apoptosis through P53-dependent pathway. Our data indicated DEK plays multiple roles to facilitate tumor growth and maintenance. It can be used as a potential target for astrocytic tumor diagnosis and gene therapy.

Xu X, Zou L, Yao Q, et al.
Silencing DEK downregulates cervical cancer tumorigenesis and metastasis via the DEK/p-Ser9-GSK-3β/p-Tyr216-GSK-3β/β-catenin axis.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 38(2):1035-1042 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer is the second most common gynecological malignancy. The mechanisms of the genesis and progression of cervical cancer are complicated and not thoroughly understood. DEK is reported as an oncogene in various cancers, such as acute myeloid leukemia, bladder cancer, breast cancer and hepatocellular cancer. However, its role in cervical cancer has not been well studied. In our study, we confirmed the DEK protein as an oncoprotein in cervical cancer tissues which is correlated to cervical cancer FIGO staging and tumor type. Moreover, in vitro loss of DEK inhibited cervical cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion. We proved that silencing DEK downregulated Wnt/β-catenin and MMP-9, and silencing DEK increased GSK-3β activity via regulating its phosphorylation instead of translation. Silencing DEK reduced p-Ser9-GSK-3β and increased p-Tyr216-GSK-3β, which resulted in β-catenin degradation. Finally, the xenograft model in nude mice proved that silencing DEK impaired cervical cancer cell tumorigenicity. This research unveiled the function of DEK in tumorigenesis and metastasis via the DEK/p-Ser9-GSK-3β/p-Tyr216-GSK-3β/β-catenin axis in cervical cancer and gave insights into DEK-targeting therapy for patients suffering from cervical cancer.

Çalışkaner ZO, Çakar T, Özçelik E, et al.
DEK protein level is a biomarker of CD138positive normal and malignant plasma cells.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(5):e0178025 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
Overexpression of DEK oncogene is associated with increased proliferation of carcinoma cells and it is observed in several solid tumors due to the amplification of the 6p22.3 chromosomal region where DEK locates. Although the same chromosomal amplification occurs in multiple myeloma (MM), a plasma cell neoplasm, whether the expression and the copy number of the DEK gene are affected in MM remains elusive. We show that despite the increased copy number in CD138positive MM cells (4 out of 41 MM samples), DEK mRNA expression was down-regulated compared with that in CD138negative bone marrow (BM) cells of the same patients (P<0.0001). DEK protein was not detectable by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in CD138positive normal plasma cells or in malignant plasma cells of MM patients (n = 56) whereas it was widely expressed in normal and neoplastic B-cells. Stable knockdown or overexpression of DEK in CD138positive MM cell lines did not affect the proliferation and viability of the cells profoundly in the presence or absence of chemotherapeutic agent melphalan whereas knockdown of DEK moderately but significantly increased the expression level of CD138 (p<0.01). Decreased DEK expression in plasma cells suggests a potential role of this gene in plasma cell development and lack of detectable DEK protein by IHC could be used as a biomarker for normal and malignant plasma cells.

Teng Y, Lang L, Jauregui CE
The Complexity of DEK Signaling in Cancer Progression.
Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2018; 18(3):256-265 [PubMed] Related Publications
The DNA binding protein and chromatin structural regulator DEK regulate many cellular processes. These include proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, senescence, DNA repairing and the maintenance of stem cell phenotype. DEK is increasingly recognized as a crucial player in many steps of cancer initiation and progression, and is precisely regulated by abundant promoting and inhibiting factors directly or indirectly. DEK may serve as an architectural modulating protein to regulate the expression and function of multiple human genes in cancer cells. In this article we have reviewed the specificities and complexities of DEK in the regulation of transcription factors and global chromatin, including its biologic roles in malignant cells, and summarized the current research. The possible use of DEK as a diagnostic marker and drug target in the prevention or treatment of tumors is also discussed.

Visconte V, Shetty S, Przychodzen B, et al.
Clinicopathologic and molecular characterization of myeloid neoplasms with isolated t(6;9)(p23;q34).
Int J Lab Hematol. 2017; 39(4):409-417 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The t(6;9)(p23;q34);DEK-NUP214 [t(6;9)] abnormality is found in 0.7-1.8% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). FLT3-ITD mutations are detected in t(6;9) patients. The t(6;9) abnormality is associated with poor outcomes. We studied the clinicopathologic and molecular profiles of patients with AML/MDS carrying t(6;9).
METHODS: We collected clinical data of nine patients with AML/MDS with isolated t(6;9) (median age = 41 years; male/female = 4/5) and genotyped DNAs using whole exome, Sanger, and targeted sequencing.
RESULTS: Our cohort was characterized by frequent multilineage dysplasia (56%), absence of phospho-STAT3/STAT5 expression, presence of myeloid markers (CD13, CD33, CD34, CD117, HLA-DR) with an aberrant expression of CD7, and poor outcome (median survival of 20 months). Although basophilia has been described in association with t(6;9), we observed lack of marrow basophilia in our cohort. Molecularly, 83% (5/6) of patients with AML/MDS with t(6;9) were characterized by at least one somatic mutation. Among them, four patients showed multiple mutations. FLT3-ITD mutations were detected in 33% of patients (2/6); 80% (4/5) of mutant patients died even after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrated that AML/MDS patients with t(6;9) have diverse molecular mutations regardless of the presence of FLT3 mutations, which may contribute to their poor survival outcomes.

Sun J, Bi F, Yang Y, et al.
DEK protein overexpression predicts poor prognosis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 37(2):857-864 [PubMed] Related Publications
DEK, a transcription factor, is involved in mRNA splicing, transcriptional control, cell division and differentiation. Recent studies suggest that DEK overexpression can promote tumorigenesis in a wide range of cancer cell types. However, little is known concerning the status of DEK in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Based on the microarray data from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), the expression levels of DEK mRNA in PDAC tissues were significantly higher than levels in the adjacent non-tumor tissues. To explore the clinical features of DEK overexpression in PDAC, 87 PDAC and 52 normal pancreas tissues were selected for immunoenzyme staining of the DEK protein. Localization of the DEK protein was detected in PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells using immunofluorescence (IF) staining. The correlations between DEK overexpression and the clinical features of PDAC were evaluated using the Chi-squared (χ2) and Fisher's exact tests. The survival rates were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method, and the relationship between prognostic factors and patient survival was also analyzed by the Cox proportional hazard models. The expression levels of DEK mRNA in PDAC tissues were significantly higher than that in the adjacent non‑tumor tissues. The DEK protein showed a primarily nuclear staining pattern in PDAC. The positive rate of the DEK protein was 52.9% (46/87) in PDAC, which was significantly higher than that in the adjacent normal pancreatic tissues (7.7%, 4/52). DEK overexpression in PDAC was correlated with tumor size, histological grade, tumor‑node‑metastasis (TNM) stage and overall survival (OS) rates. In addition, multivariate analysis demonstrated that DEK overexpression was an independent prognostic factor along with histological grade and TNM stage in patients with PDAC. In conclusion, DEK overexpression is associated with PDAC progression and may be a potential biomarker for poor prognostic evaluation in PDAC.

Riveiro-Falkenbach E, Ruano Y, García-Martín RM, et al.
DEK oncogene is overexpressed during melanoma progression.
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2017; 30(2):194-202 [PubMed] Related Publications
DEK is an oncoprotein involved in a variety of cellular functions, such as DNA repair, replication, and transcriptional control. DEK is preferentially expressed in actively proliferating and malignant cells, including melanoma cell lines in which DEK was previously demonstrated to play a critical role in proliferation and chemoresistance. Still, the impact of this protein in melanoma progression remains unclear. Thus, we performed a comprehensive analysis of DEK expression in different melanocytic tumors. The immunostaining results of 303 tumors demonstrated negligible DEK expression in benign lesions. Conversely, malignant lesions, particularly in metastatic cases, were largely positive for DEK expression, which was partially associated with genomic amplification. Importantly, DEK overexpression was correlated with histological features of aggressiveness in primary tumors and poor prognosis in melanoma patients. In conclusion, our study provides new insight into the involvement of DEK in melanoma progression, as well as proof of concept for its potential application as a marker and therapeutic target of melanoma.

Delaunay S, Rapino F, Tharun L, et al.
Elp3 links tRNA modification to IRES-dependent translation of LEF1 to sustain metastasis in breast cancer.
J Exp Med. 2016; 213(11):2503-2523 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
Quantitative and qualitative changes in mRNA translation occur in tumor cells and support cancer progression and metastasis. Posttranscriptional modifications of transfer RNAs (tRNAs) at the wobble uridine 34 (U34) base are highly conserved and contribute to translation fidelity. Here, we show that ELP3 and CTU1/2, partner enzymes in U34 mcm

Qin H, Malek S, Cowell JK, Ren M
Transformation of human CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells with DEK-NUP214 induces AML in an immunocompromised mouse model.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(43):5686-5691 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous disease comprising a large number of subtypes defined by specific chromosome abnormalities. One such subtype carries the t(6;9)(p22;q34) chromosome rearrangement, which leads to expression of the DEK-NUP214 chimeric gene, and has a particularly poor outcome. To provide a better understanding of the molecular etiology of these relatively rare individual AML variants, it is necessary to generate in vivo models, which can also serve as a means to evaluate targeted therapies based on their specific genetic abnormalities. Here, we describe the development of a human cell AML, generated in CD34+ human hematopoietic progenitor cells xenografted into immunocompromised mice that express human myeloid cell growth factors. Within 6 months, these mice develop a human cell AML with phenotypic characteristics of the primary t(6;9) disease and a CD45+CD13+CD34+CD38+ immunophenotype. Gene expression studies show that members of the HOX family of genes (HOXA9, 10, B3, B4 and PBX3) are highly upregulated in the AML from this mouse model as well as from primary human t(6;9) AML. Gene expression analysis also identified several other significantly disregulated pathways involving KRAS, BRCA1 and ALK, for example. This is the first report of a humanized model of the DEK-NUP214 disease and provides a means to study the development and treatment of this particular subtype of AML.

Qiao MX, Li C, Zhang AQ, et al.
Regulation of DEK expression by AP-2α and methylation level of DEK promoter in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(4):2382-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
DEK is overexpressed in multiple invasive tumors. However, the transcriptional regulatory mechanism of DEK remains unclear. In the present study, progressive-type truncation assay indicated that CpG2-2 (-167 bp/+35 bp) was the DEK core promoter, whose methylation inhibited DEK expression. Bisulfite genomic sequencing analysis indicated that the methylation levels of the DEK promoter in normal hepatic cells and tissues were higher than those in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. TFSEARCH result revealed transcription factor binding sites in CpG2-2. Among the sites, the AP-2α binding site showed the most significant methylation difference; hence, AP-2α is a key transcription factor that regulates DEK expression. Point or deletion mutation of the AP-2α binding site significantly reduced the promoter activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated the binding of AP-2α to the core promoter. Furthermore, knock down of endogenous AP-2α downregulated DEK expression, whereas overexpression of AP-2α upregulated DEK expression. Thus, AP-2α is an important transcription factor of DEK expression, which is correlated with the methylation level of the DEK core promoter in HCC.

Kooi IE, Mol BM, Massink MP, et al.
A Meta-Analysis of Retinoblastoma Copy Numbers Refines the List of Possible Driver Genes Involved in Tumor Progression.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153323 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: While RB1 loss initiates retinoblastoma development, additional somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs) can drive tumor progression. Although SCNAs have been identified with good concordance between studies at a cytoband resolution, accurate identification of single genes for all recurrent SCNAs is still challenging. This study presents a comprehensive meta-analysis of genome-wide SCNAs integrated with gene expression profiling data, narrowing down the list of plausible retinoblastoma driver genes.
METHODS: We performed SCNA profiling of 45 primary retinoblastoma samples and eight retinoblastoma cell lines by high-resolution microarrays. We combined our data with genomic, clinical and histopathological data of ten published genome-wide SCNA studies, which strongly enhanced the power of our analyses (N = 310).
RESULTS: Comprehensive recurrence analysis of SCNAs in all studies integrated with gene expression data allowed us to reduce candidate gene lists for 1q, 2p, 6p, 7q and 13q to a limited gene set. Besides the well-established driver genes RB1 (13q-loss) and MYCN (2p-gain) we identified CRB1 and NEK7 (1q-gain), SOX4 (6p-gain) and NUP205 (7q-gain) as novel retinoblastoma driver candidates. Depending on the sample subset and algorithms used, alternative candidates were identified including MIR181 (1q-gain) and DEK (6p gain). Remarkably, our study showed that copy number gains rarely exceeded change of one copy, even in pure tumor samples with 100% homozygosity at the RB1 locus (N = 34), which is indicative for intra-tumor heterogeneity. In addition, profound between-tumor variability was observed that was associated with age at diagnosis and differentiation grades.
INTERPRETATION: Since focal alterations at commonly altered chromosome regions were rare except for 2p24.3 (MYCN), further functional validation of the oncogenic potential of the described candidate genes is now required. For further investigations, our study provides a refined and revised set of candidate retinoblastoma driver genes.

Zhang Y, Liu J, Wang S, et al.
The DEK oncogene activates VEGF expression and promotes tumor angiogenesis and growth in HIF-1α-dependent and -independent manners.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(17):23740-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
The DEK oncogene is overexpressed in various cancers and overexpression of DEK correlates with poor clinical outcome. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the most important regulator of tumor angiogenesis, a process essential for tumor growth and metastasis. However, whether DEK enhances tumor angiogenesis remains unclear. Here, we show that DEK is a key regulator of VEGF expression and tumor angiogenesis. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we found that DEK promoted VEGF transcription in breast cancer cells (MCF7, ZR75-1 and MDA-MB-231) by directly binding to putative DEK-responsive element (DRE) of the VEGF promoter and indirectly binding to hypoxia response element (HRE) upstream of the DRE through its interaction with the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), a master regulator of tumor angiogenesis and growth. DEK is responsible for recruitment of HIF-1α and the histone acetyltransferase p300 to the VEGF promoter. DEK-enhanced VEGF increases vascular endothelial cell proliferation, migration and tube formation as well as angiogenesis in the chick chorioallantoic membrane. DEK promotes tumor angiogenesis and growth in nude mice in HIF-1α-dependent and -independent manners. Immunohistochemical staining showed that DEK expression positively correlates with the expression of VEGF and microvessel number in 58 breast cancer patients. Our data establish DEK as a sequence-specific binding transcription factor, a novel coactivator for HIF-1α in regulation of VEGF transcription and a novel promoter of angiogenesis.

Li X, Zhang W, Zhou L, et al.
MicroRNA-592 targets DEK oncogene and suppresses cell growth in the hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(10):12455-63 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are classes of small, non-coding RNAs that regulate the translation of target mRNA transcripts. In this study, we demonstrated that miR-592 was downregulated in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and could suppress growth of the human HCC cell line HepG2. A tumor oncogene, DEK, was identified as a direct target of miR-592. Luciferase report assay indicated miR-592 regulates DEK expression though bind to its 3'UTR. Furthermore, knockdown of DEK also suppressed cell proliferation of HepG2 cells, which was consist with miR-592. At last, we suggested that DEK was upregulated in HCC tissues inversely with miR-592. These results demonstrated that miR-592 targets DEK transcript and suppresses HCC cell growth, and may provide potential therapeutic target in human HCC.

Liu X, Qi D, Qi J, et al.
Significance of DEK overexpression for the prognostic evaluation of non-small cell lung carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(1):155-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the present study, we explored the role of DEK expression for the prognostic evaluation of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). DEK protein and mRNA expression levels were detected in NSCLC cells and fresh tissue samples of NSCLC paired with adjacent non-tumor tissues, respectively. NSCLC cases (n=196) meeting strict follow-up criteria were selected for immunohistochemical staining of DEK protein. Correlations between DEK expression and clinicopathological features of the NSCLC cases were evaluated using Chi-square tests. Survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and the relationship between prognostic factors and patient overall survival was analyzed using Cox proportional hazard analysis. Based on the results, the levels of DEK protein and mRNA were significantly upregulated in 6 fresh tissue samples of NSCLC. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the DEK expression rate was significantly higher in the NSCLC samples compared with either the adjacent non-tumor tissues or normal lung tissues. DEK expression was correlated with poor differentiation and late pathological stage of NSCLC. DEK expression was also correlated with low disease-free survival and overall survival rates. In the early-stage group, disease-free and overall survival rates of patients with DEK expression were significantly lower than those of patients without DEK expression. Further analysis using a Cox proportional hazard regression model revealed that DEK expression emerged as a significant independent hazard factor for the overall survival rate of patients with NSCLC. Consequently, DEK plays an important role in the progression of NSCLC. DEK may potentially be used as an independent biomarker for the prognostic evaluation of NSCLC.

Adams AK, Bolanos LC, Dexheimer PJ, et al.
IRAK1 is a novel DEK transcriptional target and is essential for head and neck cancer cell survival.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(41):43395-407 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
The chromatin-binding DEK protein was recently reported to promote the growth of HPV+ and HPV- head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs). Relevant cellular and molecular mechanism(s) controlled by DEK in HNSCC remain poorly understood. While DEK is known to regulate specific transcriptional targets, global DEK-dependent gene networks in HNSCC are unknown. To identify DEK transcriptional signatures we performed RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) in HNSCC cell lines that were either proficient or deficient for DEK. Bioinformatic analyses and subsequent validation revealed that IRAK1, a regulator of inflammatory signaling, and IRAK1-dependent regulatory networks were significantly repressed upon DEK knockdown in HNSCC. According to TCGA data, 14% of HNSCC specimens overexpressed IRAK1, thus supporting possible oncogenic functions. Furthermore, genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of IRAK1 in HNSCC cell lines was sufficient to attenuate downstream signaling such as ERK1/2 and to induce HNSCC cell death by apoptosis. Finally, targeting DEK and IRAK1 simultaneously enhanced cell death as compared to targeting either alone. Our findings reveal that IRAK1 promotes cell survival and is an attractive therapeutic target in HNSCC cells. Thus, we propose a model wherein IRAK1 stimulates tumor signaling and phenotypes both independently and in conjunction with DEK.

Abe A, Yamamoto Y, Iba S, et al.
NUP214-RAC1 and RAC1-COL12A1 Fusion in Complex Variant Translocations Involving Chromosomes 6, 7 and 9 in an Acute Myeloid Leukemia Case with DEK-NUP214.
Cytogenet Genome Res. 2015; 146(4):279-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
DEK-NUP214 gene fusion in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with poor prognosis. It is most often a sole translocation and more rarely observed as complex chromosomal forms. We describe an AML case with complex karyotype abnormalities involving chromosome bands 6p23, 6q13, 7p22, and 9q34. RNA sequencing analysis revealed that exon 17 of NUP214 (9q34) was fused to exon 2 of RAC1 (7p22). We also detected that the 5'-end of intron 1 of RAC1 was fused with the antisense strand of intron 5 of COL12A1 (6q13). RT-PCR analysis confirmed the expression of DEK-NUP214, NUP214-RAC1, RAC1-COL12A1, NUP214, and RAC1. These results suggest that the 5'- and 3'-ends of NUP214 from the breakpoint in the same locus were fused to RAC1 and DEK, respectively, and the 5'-end of RAC1 was fused to COL12A1. The reading frame of NUP214 was not matched with RAC1; however, high expression of the RAC1 protein was detected by Western blotting. This study identifies the variant complex fusion genesNUP214-RAC1 and RAC1- COL12A1 in a case of AML.

Mohamed AM, Balsat M, Thenoz M, et al.
Oncogene- and drug resistance-associated alternative exon usage in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):2889-909 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
In addition to spliceosome gene mutations, oncogene expression and drug resistance in AML might influence exon expression. We performed exon-array analysis and exon-specific PCR (ESPCR) to identify specific landscapes of exon expression that are associated with DEK and WT1 oncogene expression and the resistance of AML cells to AraC, doxorubicin or azacitidine. Data were obtained for these five conditions through exon-array analysis of 17 cell lines and 24 patient samples and were extended through qESPCR of samples from 152 additional AML cases. More than 70% of AEUs identified by exon-array were technically validated through ESPCR. In vitro, 1,130 to 5,868 exon events distinguished the 5 conditions from their respective controls while in vivo 6,560 and 9,378 events distinguished chemosensitive and chemoresistant AML, respectively, from normal bone marrow. Whatever the cause of this effect, 30 to 80% of mis-spliced mRNAs involved genes unmodified at the whole transcriptional level. These AEUs unmasked new functional pathways that are distinct from those generated by transcriptional deregulation. These results also identified new putative pathways that could help increase the understanding of the effects mediated by DEK or WT1, which may allow the targeting of these pathways to prevent resistance of AML cells to chemotherapeutic agents.

Sandén C, Gullberg U
The DEK oncoprotein and its emerging roles in gene regulation.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(8):1632-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The DEK oncogene is highly expressed in cells from most human tissues and overexpressed in a large and growing number of cancers. It also fuses with the NUP214 gene to form the DEK-NUP214 fusion gene in a subset of acute myeloid leukemia. Originally characterized as a member of this translocation, DEK has since been implicated in epigenetic and transcriptional regulation, but its role in these processes is still elusive and intriguingly complex. Similarly multifaceted is its contribution to cellular transformation, affecting multiple cellular processes such as self-renewal, proliferation, differentiation, senescence and apoptosis. Recently, the roles of the DEK and DEK-NUP214 proteins have been elucidated by global analysis of DNA binding and gene expression, as well as multiple functional studies. This review outlines recent advances in the understanding of the basic functions of the DEK protein and its role in leukemogenesis.

Lin D, Dong X, Wang K, et al.
Identification of DEK as a potential therapeutic target for neuroendocrine prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(3):1806-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/10/2019 Related Publications
Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) is an aggressive subtype of prostate cancer which does not respond to hormone therapy. Research of NEPC has been hampered by a lack of clinically relevant in vivo models. Recently, we developed a first-in-field patient tissue-derived xenograft model of complete neuroendocrine transdifferentiation of prostate adenocarcinoma. By comparing gene expression profiles of a transplantable adenocarcinoma line (LTL331) and its NEPC subline (LTL331R), we identified DEK as a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for NEPC. In the present study, elevated DEK protein expression was observed in all NEPC xenograft models and clinical NEPC cases, as opposed to their benign counterparts (0%), hormonal naïve prostate cancer (2.45%) and castration-resistant prostate cancer (29.55%). Elevated DEK expression was found to be an independent clinical risk factor, associated with shorter disease-free survival of hormonal naïve prostate cancer patients. DEK silencing in PC-3 cells led to a marked reduction in cell proliferation, cell migration and invasion. The results suggest that DEK plays an important role in the progression of prostate cancer, especially to NEPC, and provides a potential biomarker to aid risk stratification of prostate cancer and a novel target for therapy of NEPC.

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