Gene Summary

Gene:MAP3K1; mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 1
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a serine/threonine kinase and is part of some signal transduction cascades, including the ERK and JNK kinase pathways as well as the NF-kappa-B pathway. The encoded protein is activated by autophosphorylation and requires magnesium as a cofactor in phosphorylating other proteins. This protein has E3 ligase activity conferred by a plant homeodomain (PHD) in its N-terminus and phospho-kinase activity conferred by a kinase domain in its C-terminus. [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2012]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 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 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.

  • Risk Factors
  • Genotype
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • FGFR2
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Breast Cancer
  • China
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Alleles
  • Phosphorylation
  • Cohort Studies
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • CRAF
  • Transcription
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Chromosome 5
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Mutation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Signal Transduction
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinase 1
  • BRCA1
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Logistic Models
  • Species Specificity
  • Odds Ratio
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Risk Assessment
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

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

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

Latest Publications: MAP3K1 (cancer-related)

Guo Z, Sui L, Qi J, et al.
miR-196b inhibits cell migration and invasion through targeting MAP3K1 in hydatidiform mole.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 113:108760 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that are closely associated with carcinogenesis. Accumulating data indicate that miR-196b participates in the development of various types of cancers. However, the role of miR-196b in the formation of hydatidiform mole (HM) is still unclear. Our previous studies have demonstrated that miR-196b levels were decreased in JAR and BeWo cells and in HM tissue samples, as demonstrated by RT-PCR analysis. Furthermore, we discovered that overexpression of miR-196b in JAR and BeWo cells inhibited cellular proliferation, migration and invasion, as shown by Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) and transwell assays, respectively. Subsequently, we explored the interaction of miR-196b with its target gene in human choriocarcinoma cell lines. MAP3K1 is a target gene predicted by bioinformatic analysis that was previously shown to exhibit reduced expression levels following treatment with miR-196b in JAR and BeWo cells. We demonstrated that MAP3K1 was a direct target of miR-196b using the dual-luciferase reporter assay in Hela cells. In summary, the present study demonstrated that miR-196b suppressed proliferation, migration and invasion of human choriocarcinoma cells by inhibiting its transcriptional target MAP3K1. miR-196b and MAP3K1 may be considered potential targets for the clinical treatment of HM.

Antonucci L, Di Magno L, D'Amico D, et al.
Mitogen-activated kinase kinase kinase 1 inhibits hedgehog signaling and medulloblastoma growth through GLI1 phosphorylation.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(2):505-514 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aberrant activation of hedgehog (HH) signaling is a leading cause of the development of medulloblastoma, a pediatric tumor of the cerebellum. The FDA‑approved HH inhibitor, Vismodegib, which targets the transmembrane transducer SMO, has shown limited efficacy in patients with medulloblastoma, due to compensatory mechanisms that maintain an active HH‑GLI signaling status. Thus, the identification of novel actionable mechanisms, directly affecting the activity of the HH‑regulated GLI transcription factors is an important goal for these malignancies. In this study, using gene expression and reporter assays, combined with biochemical and cellular analyses, we demonstrate that mitogen‑activated kinase kinase kinase 1 (MEKK1), the most upstream kinase of the mitogen‑activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation modules, suppresses HH signaling by associating and phosphorylating GLI1, the most potent HH‑regulated transcription factor. Phosphorylation occurred at multiple residues in the C‑terminal region of GLI1 and was followed by an increased association with the cytoplasmic proteins 14‑3‑3. Of note, the enforced expression of MEKK1 or the exposure of medulloblastoma cells to the MEKK1 activator, Nocodazole, resulted in a marked inhibitory effect on GLI1 activity and tumor cell proliferation and viability. Taken together, the results of this study shed light on a novel regulatory mechanism of HH signaling, with potentially relevant implications in cancer therapy.

Koh J, Nam SK, Roh H, et al.
Somatic mutational profiles of stage II and III gastric cancer according to tumor microenvironment immune type.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2019; 58(1):12-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
We aimed to determine somatic mutational profiles of stage II/III gastric cancers (GCs) according to their tumor microenvironment immune types (TMITs), which classify cancer based on co-assessment of PD-L1 expression and CD8

Griffith OL, Spies NC, Anurag M, et al.
The prognostic effects of somatic mutations in ER-positive breast cancer.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):3476 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Here we report targeted sequencing of 83 genes using DNA from primary breast cancer samples from 625 postmenopausal (UBC-TAM series) and 328 premenopausal (MA12 trial) hormone receptor-positive (HR+) patients to determine interactions between somatic mutation and prognosis. Independent validation of prognostic interactions was achieved using data from the METABRIC study. Previously established associations between MAP3K1 and PIK3CA mutations with luminal A status/favorable prognosis and TP53 mutations with Luminal B/non-luminal tumors/poor prognosis were observed, validating the methodological approach. In UBC-TAM, NF1 frame-shift nonsense (FS/NS) mutations were also a poor outcome driver that was validated in METABRIC. For MA12, poor outcome associated with PIK3R1 mutation was also reproducible. DDR1 mutations were strongly associated with poor prognosis in UBC-TAM despite stringent false discovery correction (q = 0.0003). In conclusion, uncommon recurrent somatic mutations should be further explored to create a more complete explanation of the highly variable outcomes that typifies ER+ breast cancer.

Nassan MA, Soliman MM, Ismail SA, El-Shazly S
Effect of
Biosci Rep. 2018; 38(6) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer and a leading cause of death in women.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An experimental model of breast cancer was induced in female albino rats using single intragastric dose of 7, 12 dimethylbenz (α) anthracene (DMBA) in sesame oil (50 mg/kg b.wt). Four months after DMBA administration, incidence of breast cancer was confirmed by measuring cancer antigen 15-3 (CA15-3) serum levels.
RESULTS: Level of CA15-3 was normalized in DMBA group administered TOE for 4 weeks. Administration of DMBA increased expression of

Győrffy B, Pongor L, Bottai G, et al.
An integrative bioinformatics approach reveals coding and non-coding gene variants associated with gene expression profiles and outcome in breast cancer molecular subtypes.
Br J Cancer. 2018; 118(8):1107-1114 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Sequence variations in coding and non-coding regions of the genome can affect gene expression and signalling pathways, which in turn may influence disease outcome.
METHODS: In this study, we integrated somatic mutations, gene expression and clinical data from 930 breast cancer patients included in the TCGA database. Genes associated with single mutations in molecular breast cancer subtypes were identified by the Mann-Whitney U-test and their prognostic value was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. Results were confirmed using gene expression profiles from the Metabric data set (n = 1988) and whole-genome sequencing data from the TCGA cohort (n = 117).
RESULTS: The overall mutation rate in coding and non-coding regions were significantly higher in ER-negative/HER2-negative tumours (P = 2.8E-03 and P = 2.4E-07, respectively). Recurrent sequence variations were identified in non-coding regulatory regions of several cancer-associated genes, including NBPF1, PIK3CA and TP53. After multivariate regression analysis, gene signatures associated with three coding mutations (CDH1, MAP3K1 and TP53) and two non-coding variants (CRTC3 and STAG2) in cancer-related genes predicted prognosis in ER-positive/HER2-negative tumours.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that sequence alterations influence gene expression and oncogenic pathways, possibly affecting the outcome of breast cancer patients. Our data provide potential opportunities to identify non-coding variations with functional and clinical relevance in breast cancer.

Dominguez-Valentin M, Nakken S, Tubeuf H, et al.
Identification of genetic variants for clinical management of familial colorectal tumors.
BMC Med Genet. 2018; 19(1):26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The genetic mechanisms for families who meet the clinical criteria for Lynch syndrome (LS) but do not carry pathogenic variants in the mismatch repair (MMR) genes are still undetermined. We aimed to study the potential contribution of genes other than MMR genes to the biological and clinical characteristics of Norwegian families fulfilling Amsterdam (AMS) criteria or revised Bethesda guidelines.
METHODS: The Hereditary Cancer Biobank of the Norwegian Radium Hospital was interrogated to identify individuals with a high risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) for whom no pathogenic variants in MMR genes had been found in routine diagnostic DNA sequencing. Forty-four cancer susceptibility genes were selected and analyzed by using our in-house designed TruSeq amplicon-based assay for targeted sequencing. RNA splicing- and protein-dedicated in silico analyses were performed for all variants of unknown significance (VUS). Variants predicted as likely to affect splicing were experimentally analyzed by resorting to minigene assays.
RESULTS: We identified a patient who met the revised Bethesda guidelines and carried a likely pathogenic variant in CHEK2 (c.470 T > C, p.I157T). In addition, 25 unique VUS were identified in 18 individuals, of which 2 exonic variants (MAP3K1 c.764A > G and NOTCH3 c.5854G >A) were analyzed in the minigene splicing assay and found not to have an effect on RNA splicing.
CONCLUSIONS: Among high-risk CRC patients that fulfill the AMS criteria or revised Bethesda guidelines, targeted gene sequencing identified likely pathogenic variant and VUS in other genes than the MMR genes (CHEK2, NOTCH3 and MAP3K1). Our study suggests that the analysis of genes currently excluded from routine molecular diagnostic screens may confer cancer susceptibility.

Dankova Z, Zubor P, Grendar M, et al.
Association of single nucleotide polymorphisms in FGF-RAS/MAP signalling cascade with breast cancer susceptibility.
Gen Physiol Biophys. 2017; 36(5):565-572 [PubMed] Related Publications
The fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) and Ras/mitogen activated protein (RAS/MAP) signalling cascades are the main molecular pathways involved in breast carcinogenesis. This study aims to determine the association between FGF10 (rs4415084 C>T), FGFR2 (rs2981582 C>T) and MAP3K1 (rs889312 A>C) gene polymorphisms and breast cancer, to analyse the discriminative ability of each SNP and to test the accuracy of the predictive breast cancer risk model which includes all SNPs. We conducted a case-control study of 170 women (57.06 ± 11.60 years) with histologically confirmed breast cancer and 146 controls (50.24 ± 10.69 years). High resolution melting (HRM) method with Sanger sequencing validation was used in analyses. We have revealed significant association of FGFR2 and MAP3K1 polymorphisms with breast cancer. The odds ratio of FGFR2 T allele was 1.897 (95% CI 1.231-2.936, p = 0.004) and MAP3K1 C allele 1.804 (95% CI 1.151-2.845, p = 0.012). FGFR2 polymorphism achieved the best discriminative ability (41.95%). The Random Forest algorithm selected FGFR2, MAP3K1 and age as important breast cancer predictors. The accuracy of this prediction model approached moderate accuracy (70%), with 35.9% sensitivity and 88.6% specificity.

Hong CC, Sucheston-Campbell LE, Liu S, et al.
Genetic Variants in Immune-Related Pathways and Breast Cancer Risk in African American Women in the AMBER Consortium.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018; 27(3):321-330 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Oh SE, Mouradian MM
Regulation of Signal Transduction by DJ-1.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017; 1037:97-131 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The ability of DJ-1 to modulate signal transduction has significant effects on how the cell regulates normal processes such as growth, senescence, apoptosis, and autophagy to adapt to changing environmental stimuli and stresses. Perturbations of DJ-1 levels or function can disrupt the equilibrium of homeostatic signaling networks and set off cascades that play a role in the pathogenesis of conditions such as cancer and Parkinson's disease.DJ-1 plays a major role in various pathways. It mediates cell survival and proliferation by activating the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) pathway and the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. It attenuates cell death signaling by inhibiting apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) activation as well as by inhibiting mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 1 (MEKK1/MAP3K1) activation of downstream apoptotic cascades. It also modulates autophagy through the ERK, Akt, or the JNK/Beclin1 pathways. In addition, DJ-1 regulates the transcription of genes essential for male reproductive function, such as spermatogenesis, by relaying nuclear receptor androgen receptor (AR) signaling. In this chapter, we summarize the ways that DJ-1 regulates these pathways, focusing on how its role in signal transduction contributes to cellular homeostasis and the pathologic states that result from dysregulation.

Wang R, Li J, Zhao Y, et al.
Investigating the therapeutic potential and mechanism of curcumin in breast cancer based on RNA sequencing and bioinformatics analysis.
Breast Cancer. 2018; 25(2):206-212 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is a prevalent cancer in female. This study aims to investigate the therapeutic potential and mechanism of curcumin in breast cancer.
METHODS: After cultivation, human breast cancer cells (MCF-7 cells) were treated with 0.1% (v/v) 15 µmol/ml curcumin-dimethylsulfoxide solution and 0.1% (v/v) dimethylsulfoxide, respectively, at 37 °C and 5% CO
RESULTS: After DEGs screening, 347 DEGs were identified. Up-regulated DEGs were enriched in 14 functions and 3 pathways, and associated with 12 drugs. Down-regulated DEGs were enriched in 14 functions and 9 pathways, and associated with 14 drugs. Moreover, 5 DEGs were associated with breast cancer, including PGAP3, MAP3K1, SERPINE1, PON2, and GSTO2. PPI network was constructed, and the top DEGs were FOS, VIM, FGF2, MAPK1, SPARC, TOMM7, PSMB10, TCEB2, SOCS1, COL4A1, UQCR11, SERPINE1, and ISG15.
CONCLUSION: Curcumin might have therapeutic potential in breast cancer through regulating breast cancer-related genes, including SERPINE1, PGAP3, MAP3K1, MAPK1, GSTO2, VIM, SPARC, and FGF2. However, validations are required.

Berger MD, Stintzing S, Heinemann V, et al.
Impact of genetic variations in the MAPK signaling pathway on outcome in metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with first-line FOLFIRI and bevacizumab: data from FIRE-3 and TRIBE trials.
Ann Oncol. 2017; 28(11):2780-2785 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: The MAPK-interacting kinase 1 (MKNK1) is localized downstream of the RAS/RAF/ERK and the MAP3K1/MKK/p38 signaling pathway. Through phosphorylation MKNK1 regulates the function of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E, a key player in translational control, whose expression is often upregulated in metastatic colorectal cancer patients (mCRC). Preclinical data suggest that MKNK1 increases angiogenesis by upregulating angiogenic factors. We therefore hypothesize that variations in the MKNK1 gene predict outcome in mCRC patients treated with first-line FOLFIRI and bevacizumab (bev).
Patients and methods: A total of 567 patients with KRAS wild-type mCRC in the randomized phase III FIRE-3 and TRIBE trials treated with first-line FOLFIRI/bev (discovery and validation cohorts) or FOLFIRI and cetuximab (cet) (control cohort) were included in this study. Five single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the MAPK signaling pathway were analyzed.
Results: AA genotype carriers of the MKNK1 rs8602 single-nucleotide polymorphism treated with FOLFIRI/bev in the discovery cohort (FIRE-3) had a shorter progression-free survival (PFS) than those harboring any C (7.9 versus 10.3 months, Hazard ratio (HR) 1.73, P = 0.038). This association could be confirmed in the validation cohort (TRIBE) in multivariable analysis (PFS 9.0 versus 11.0 months, HR 3.04, P = 0.029). Furthermore, AA carriers in the validation cohort had a decreased overall response rate (25% versus 66%, P = 0.049). Conversely, AA genotype carriers in the control group receiving FOLFIRI/cet did not show a shorter PFS. By combining both FOLFIRI/bev cohorts the worse outcome among AA carriers became more significant (PFS 9.0 versus 10.5 months) in univariable (HR 1.74, P = 0.015) and multivariable analysis (HR 1.76, P = 0.022). Accordingly, AA carriers did also exhibit an inferior overall response rate compared with those harboring any C (36% versus 65%, P = 0.005).
Conclusion: MKNK1 polymorphism rs8602 might serve as a predictive marker in KRAS wild-type mCRC patients treated with FOLFIRI/bev in the first-line setting. Additionally, MKNK1 might be a promising target for drug development.

Jara L, Morales S, de Mayo T, et al.
Mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2 and other breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes in Central and South American populations.
Biol Res. 2017; 50(1):35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer (BC) is the most common malignancy among women worldwide. A major advance in the understanding of the genetic etiology of BC was the discovery of BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) genes, which are considered high-penetrance BC genes. In non-carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations, disease susceptibility may be explained of a small number of mutations in BRCA1/2 and a much higher proportion of mutations in ethnicity-specific moderate- and/or low-penetrance genes. In Central and South American populations, studied have focused on analyzing the distribution and prevalence of BRCA1/2 mutations and other susceptibility genes that are scarce in Latin America as compared to North America, Europe, Australia, and Israel. Thus, the aim of this review is to present the current state of knowledge regarding pathogenic BRCA variants and other BC susceptibility genes. We conducted a comprehensive review of 47 studies from 12 countries in Central and South America published between 2002 and 2017 reporting the prevalence and/or spectrum of mutations and pathogenic variants in BRCA1/2 and other BC susceptibility genes. The studies on BRCA1/2 mutations screened a total of 5956 individuals, and studies on susceptibility genes analyzed a combined sample size of 11,578 individuals. To date, a total of 190 different BRCA1/2 pathogenic mutations in Central and South American populations have been reported in the literature. Pathogenic mutations or variants that increase BC risk have been reported in the following genes or genomic regions: ATM, BARD1, CHECK2, FGFR2, GSTM1, MAP3K1, MTHFR, PALB2, RAD51, TOX3, TP53, XRCC1, and 2q35.

Salem SM, Hamed AR, Mosaad RM
MTDH and MAP3K1 are direct targets of apoptosis-regulating miRNAs in colorectal carcinoma.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 94:767-773 [PubMed] Related Publications
Artificially designed miRNAs mimics and inhibitors that specifically target known oncogenes have attracted significant research attention. Herein, we aimed to explore whether MIR-375, MIR-145, and MIR-224 are involved in induction of apoptosis of CRC cells by regulating apoptosis-mediating genes MTDH, MAP3K1, PDK1, BAX, and BCL-XL. MTT assay was used to assess cell growth. Apoptosis was determined in terms of caspase activity measurement and phosphatidylserine detection using annexin V staining by flow cytometry. Quantitative real time PCR, Western blotting, and luciferase reporter assay were carried out to validate genes regulation and targeting by miRNAs. We found that ectopic expression of MIR-375 and MIR-145, and inhibition of MIR-224 can decrease cell growth and induce cell ability to undergo early apoptosis. At mRNA level, transfected cells displayed down-regulation of MTDH, PDK1 and BCL-XL, while BAX and MAP3K1 were up-regulated. Protein expression of MTDH was decreased in cells transfected with MIR-145 mimic and MIR-224 inhibitor but remained unchanged in MIR-375 mimic-transfected cells. Furthermore, MAP3K1 protein expression exibited a decreased level after MIR-375 transient expression with no significant change after MIR-145 mimic or MIR-224 inhibitor transfection. Luciferase reporter assay revealed that MIR-375 and MIR-145 can bind to 3'UTR of MTDH, supporting that MTDH is directly targeted by both miRNAs. Similarly, MAP3K1 was found to be directly regulated by MIR-375. The study concluded that the expression modulation of tumor suppressors MIR-375 and MIR-145, and oncomiR MIR-224 have the ability to induce apoptosis of CRC cells through regulation of apoptosis mediating genes MTDH, MAP3K1, PDK1, BCL-XL and BAX.

Martino B, Mammì C, Labate C, et al.
Genetic risk of prediabetes and diabetes development in chronic myeloid leukemia patients treated with nilotinib.
Exp Hematol. 2017; 55:71-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Impaired fasting glucose and type 2 diabetes represent adverse events in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treated with the second generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor nilotinib. An unweighted genetic risk score (uGRS) for the prediction of insulin resistance, consisting of 10 multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms, has been proposed. We evaluated uGRS predictivity in 61 CML patients treated with nilotinib. Patients were genotyped for IRS1, GRB14, ARL15, PPARG, PEPD, ANKRD55/MAP3K1, PDGFC, LYPLAL1, RSPO3, and FAM13A1 genes. The uGRS was based on the sum of the risk alleles within the set of selected single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Molecular response (MR)

Zhou Q, Dai J, Chen T, et al.
Downregulation of PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6b is responsible for lung adenocarcinoma cell EMT and invasion.
Cell Signal. 2017; 38:49-59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Atypical protein kinase C ζ (PKCζ) forms an apico-basal polarity complex with Partitioning Defective (Pard) 3 and Pard6 to regulate normal epithelial cell apico-basolateral polarization. The dissociation of the PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 complex is essential for the disassembly of the tight/adherens junction and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that is critical for tumor spreading. Loss of cell polarity and epithelial organization is strongly correlated with malignancy and tumor progression in some other cancer types. However, it is unclear whether the PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 complex plays a role in the progression of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We found that hypoxia downregulated the PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 complex, correlating with induction of lung cancer cell migration and invasion. Silencing of the PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 polarity complex components induced lung cancer cell EMT, invasion, and colonization in vivo. Suppression of Pard3 was associated with altered expression of genes regulating wound healing, cell apoptosis/death and cell motility, and particularly upregulation of MAP3K1 and fibronectin which are known to contribute to lung cancer progression. Human lung adenocarcinoma tissues expressed less Pard6b and PKCζ than the adjacent normal tissues and in experimental mouse lung adenocarcinoma, the levels of Pard3 and PKCζ were also decreased. In addition, we showed that a methylation locus in the gene body of Pard3 is positively associated with the expression of Pard3 and that methylation of the Pard3 gene increased cellular sensitivity to carboplatin, a common chemotherapy drug. Suppression of Pard3 increased chemoresistance in lung cancer cells. Together, these results suggest that reduced expression of PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 contributes to NSCLC EMT, invasion, and chemoresistance.

Dominguez-Valentin M, Nakken S, Tubeuf H, et al.
Potentially pathogenic germline CHEK2 c.319+2T>A among multiple early-onset cancer families.
Fam Cancer. 2018; 17(1):141-153 [PubMed] Related Publications
To study the potential contribution of genes other than BRCA1/2, PTEN, and TP53 to the biological and clinical characteristics of multiple early-onset cancers in Norwegian families, including early-onset breast cancer, Cowden-like and Li-Fraumeni-like syndromes (BC, CSL and LFL, respectively). The Hereditary Cancer Biobank from the Norwegian Radium Hospital was used to identify early-onset BC, CSL or LFL for whom no pathogenic variants in BRCA1/2, PTEN, or TP53 had been found in routine diagnostic DNA sequencing. Forty-four cancer susceptibility genes were selected and analyzed by our in-house designed TruSeq amplicon-based assay for targeted sequencing. Protein- and RNA splicing-dedicated in silico analyses were performed for all variants of unknown significance (VUS). Variants predicted as the more likely to affect splicing were experimentally analyzed by minigene assay. We identified a CSL individual carrying a variant in CHEK2 (c.319+2T>A, IVS2), here considered as likely pathogenic. Out of the five VUS (BRCA2, CDH1, CHEK2, MAP3K1, NOTCH3) tested in the minigene splicing assay, only NOTCH3 c.14090C>T (p.Ser497Leu) showed a significant effect on RNA splicing, notably by inducing partial skipping of exon 9. Among 13 early-onset BC, CSL and LFL patients, gene panel sequencing identified a potentially pathogenic variant in CHEK2 that affects a canonical RNA splicing signal. Our study provides new information on genetic loci that may affect the risk of developing cancer in these patients and their families, demonstrating that genes presently not routinely tested in molecular diagnostic settings may be important for capturing cancer predisposition in these families.

Ali SM, Yao M, Yao J, et al.
Comprehensive genomic profiling of different subtypes of nasopharyngeal carcinoma reveals similarities and differences to guide targeted therapy.
Cancer. 2017; 123(18):3628-3637 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To date, no targeted therapy has been approved for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and this underscores the need for an in-depth understanding of clinically relevant genomic alterations (CRGAs).
METHODS: Comprehensive genomic profiling was performed for 190 NPC patients, including 20 patients with nasopharyngeal adenocarcinoma (NPAC), 62 patients with nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (NPSCC), and 108 patients with nasopharyngeal undifferentiated carcinoma (NPUC). The associations of genes and pathways with subtypes, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections, and the tumor mutation burden (TMB) were statistically evaluated.
RESULTS: Although the overall rates of genomic alterations were similar, the 3 NPC subtypes exhibited different mutational landscapes. Notably, mutations in a proven-treatable target gene, isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2), were significantly associated with NPUC but not with NPAC or NPSCC. The top 5 ranked CRGAs included CDKN2A (29%), IDH2 (16%), SMARCB1 (7%), PIK3CA (6%), and NF1 (5%) in NPUC; CDKN2A (27%), PIK3CA (23%), FBXW7 (11%), PTEN (11%), and EGFR (8%) in NPSCC; and CDKN2A (20%), KRAS (15%), CCND1 (10%), MAP3K1 (10%), and NOTCH1 (10%) in NPAC. The incidence of EBV infections significantly correlated with the subtypes and with TP53, CDKN2A, and CDKN2B. The TMB status correlated with the subtypes and with LRP1B, FBXW7, and PIK3CA mutations as well as DNA repair, phosphoinositide 3-kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin, and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that different NPC subtypes harbor different CRGAs. Both EBV infections and the TMB are associated with the NPC subtypes as well as the alterations of individual genes and pathways. The high frequency of IDH2 mutations in NPUC may facilitate potential targeted therapy and will ultimately point to new therapeutic strategies. Cancer 2017;123:3628-37. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Xie Y, Li G, Chen M, et al.
Mutation screening of 10 cancer susceptibility genes in unselected breast cancer patients.
Clin Genet. 2018; 93(1):41-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Variants of cancer susceptibility genes other than BRCA1/2 have been proved to be associated with increased risks of breast cancer. This study was performed to investigate the spectrum and prevalence of mutations in 10 cancer susceptibility genes in paired tumor/normal tissues of 292 unselected Chinese breast cancer patients. We performed an analysis of germline and somatic variants in ATM, CDH1, CHEK2, ESR1, GATA3, MAP3K1, MSH2, PALB2, RB1 and STK11 genes by integrating microfluidic PCR-based target enrichment and next-generation sequencing technologies. In total, 3 germline and 25 somatic deleterious mutations were found among 27 patients (9.25%), and 17 of them were novel mutations. Most deleterious mutations were prevalent in luminal A invasive breast cancer (P = .014). We also observed 83 variants of uncertain significance (VUS) in 100 patients (34.25%), 23 of which were predicted to be deleterious by in silico prediction programs (MetaSVM and MetaLR). VUS carriers had higher positive rate of lymph node metastasis than non-carriers (P = .008) and were predominantly present in ER+ tumors (P = .018). Our findings would enhance the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of breast cancer in Chinese population.

Kuo SH, Yang SY, You SL, et al.
Polymorphisms of ESR1, UGT1A1, HCN1, MAP3K1 and CYP2B6 are associated with the prognosis of hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(13):20925-20938 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In this study, we investigated whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified by genome-wide association study (GWAS) (MAP3K1, FGFR2, TNRC9, HCN1, and 5p12), and SNPs involved in the metabolism of estrogen (CYP19, COMT, ESR1, and UGT1A1), tamoxifen (CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP3A5, and CYP2D6), and chemotherapeutic agents (ABCB1, ALDH3A1, and CYP2B6) are associated with the prognoses of 414 hormone receptor (HR)-positive early breast cancers with negative or 1 to 3 nodal metastases. At a median follow-up period of 10.6 years, 363 patients were alive, and 51 (12.3%) had died. Multiple-adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals for distant disease-free survival (DDFS), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) in association with the genotypes of 34 SNPs from the above-mentioned 16 genes were evaluated, using the stepwise selection Cox model. We found that the SNP, ESR1-codon325 rs1801132 (G/G+G/C), was associated with a longer DDFS, whereas UGT1A1 rs4148323 (A/A+A/G), and HCN1 rs981782 (A/A+A/C) were significantly associated with poorer DDFS. MAP3K1 rs889312 (C/C) and CYP2B6 rs3211371 (T/C) were significantly associated with poor DFS, DDFS and OS. Among premenopausal women, MAP3K1 rs889312 (C/C), CYP2B6 rs3211371 (T/C), CYP2B6 rs4802101 (T/T), ABCB1 rs2032582 (C/C), and ALDH3A1 rs2231142 (G/G) were significantly associated with poor DDFS, DFS, or OS. Our results provide additional evidence that genetic polymorphisms observed in SNPs are associated with the prognoses of patients with HR-positive breast cancers; this may indicate different treatment strategies for these patients.

Puzone R, Pfeffer U
SNP variants at the MAP3K1/SETD9 locus 5q11.2 associate with somatic PIK3CA variants in breast cancers.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2017; 25(3):384-387 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies have revealed many breast cancer (BC) risk-associated genetic variants that might functionally interact with other molecular determinants of BC. We analysed the association of 21 known risk-associated single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) with recurrent somatic variants in two cohorts of 77 and 754 oestrogen receptor α-positive BCs. Four SNVs located at 5q11.2 were found to be associated with the somatic PIK3CA variant status in the pilot cohort of 77 cases with odds ratio (OR) up to 6.5 indicating strong effects, and were selected for the validation phase. Two of these SNVs, rs252913 and rs331499, located in the MAP3K1/SETD9 gene boundary, were confirmed to be associated with somatic PIK3CA variants in the large cohort with OR 2.97 (1.17-7.75) and 1.76 (1.11-2.77), respectively, notably higher than their BC risk-associated values, both around 1.1. In the presence of the SNV or of somatic PIK3CA variants, cancers express significantly elevated levels of MAP3K1 and SETD9, with synergy of SNV and PIK3CA variants in MAP3K1 gene overexpression, consistent with a preferential PIK3CA-dependent regulation of the variant alleles.

Lefebvre C, Bachelot T, Filleron T, et al.
Mutational Profile of Metastatic Breast Cancers: A Retrospective Analysis.
PLoS Med. 2016; 13(12):e1002201 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Major advances have been achieved in the characterization of early breast cancer (eBC) genomic profiles. Metastatic breast cancer (mBC) is associated with poor outcomes, yet limited information is available on the genomic profile of this disease. This study aims to decipher mutational profiles of mBC using next-generation sequencing.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: Whole-exome sequencing was performed on 216 tumor-blood pairs from mBC patients who underwent a biopsy in the context of the SAFIR01, SAFIR02, SHIVA, or Molecular Screening for Cancer Treatment Optimization (MOSCATO) prospective trials. Mutational profiles from 772 primary breast tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used as a reference for comparing primary and mBC mutational profiles. Twelve genes (TP53, PIK3CA, GATA3, ESR1, MAP3K1, CDH1, AKT1, MAP2K4, RB1, PTEN, CBFB, and CDKN2A) were identified as significantly mutated in mBC (false discovery rate [FDR] < 0.1). Eight genes (ESR1, FSIP2, FRAS1, OSBPL3, EDC4, PALB2, IGFN1, and AGRN) were more frequently mutated in mBC as compared to eBC (FDR < 0.01). ESR1 was identified both as a driver and as a metastatic gene (n = 22, odds ratio = 29, 95% CI [9-155], p = 1.2e-12) and also presented with focal amplification (n = 9) for a total of 31 mBCs with either ESR1 mutation or amplification, including 27 hormone receptor positive (HR+) and HER2 negative (HER2-) mBCs (19%). HR+/HER2- mBC presented a high prevalence of mutations on genes located on the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway (TSC1 and TSC2) as compared to HR+/HER2- eBC (respectively 6% and 0.7%, p = 0.0004). Other actionable genes were more frequently mutated in HR+ mBC, including ERBB4 (n = 8), NOTCH3 (n = 7), and ALK (n = 7). Analysis of mutational signatures revealed a significant increase in APOBEC-mediated mutagenesis in HR+/HER2- metastatic tumors as compared to primary TCGA samples (p < 2e-16). The main limitations of this study include the absence of bone metastases and the size of the cohort, which might not have allowed the identification of rare mutations and their effect on survival.
CONCLUSIONS: This work reports the results of the analysis of the first large-scale study on mutation profiles of mBC. This study revealed genomic alterations and mutational signatures involved in the resistance to therapies, including actionable mutations.

Reineri S, Agati S, Miano V, et al.
A Novel Functional Domain of Tab2 Involved in the Interaction with Estrogen Receptor Alpha in Breast Cancer Cells.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(12):e0168639 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tab2, originally described as a component of the inflammatory pathway, has been implicated in phenomena of gene de-repression in several contexts, due to its ability to interact with the NCoR corepressor. Tab2 interacts also with steroid receptors and dismisses NCoR from antagonist-bound Estrogen and Androgen Receptors on gene regulatory regions, thus modifying their transcriptional activity and leading to pharmacological resistance in breast and prostate cancer cells. We demonstrated previously that either Tab2 knock-down, or a peptide mimicking the Estrogen Receptor alpha domain interacting with Tab2, restore the antiproliferative response to Tamoxifen in Tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells. In this work, we map the domain of Tab2 responsible of Estrogen Receptor alpha interaction. First, using both co-immunoprecipitation and pull-down with recombinant proteins, we found that the central part of Tab2 is primarily responsible for this interaction, and that this region also interacts with Androgen Receptor. Then, we narrowed down the essential interaction region by means of competition assays using recombinant protein pull-down. The interaction motif was finally identified as a small region adjacent to, but not overlapping, the Tab2 MEKK1 phosphorylation sites. A synthetic peptide mimicking this motif efficiently displaced Tab2 from interacting with recombinant Estrogen Receptor alpha in vitro, prompting us to test its efficacy using derivatives of the MCF7 breast carcinoma cell lines that are spontaneously resistant to Tamoxifen. Indeed, we observed that this mimic peptide, made cell-permeable by addition of the TAT minimal carrier domain, reduced the growth of Tamoxifen-resistant MCF7 cells in the presence of Tamoxifen. These data indicate a novel functional domain of the Tab2 protein with potential application in drug design.

Mazhar A, Jamil F, Bashir Q, et al.
Genetic variants in FGFR2 and TNRC9 genes are associated with breast cancer risk in Pakistani women.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 14(4):3443-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) lead to genetic differences in breast cancer (BC) susceptibility among women from different ethnicities. The present study aimed at investigating the involvement of SNPs of three genes, including fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2), trinucleotide-repeat-containing 9 (TNRC9) and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 1 (MAP3K1), as risk factors for the development of BC. A case‑control study (90‑100 cases; 90‑100 controls) was performed to evaluate five genetic variants of three genes, including FGFR2 (SNPs: rs1219648, rs2981582), TNRC9 (SNPs: rs8051542, rs3803662) and MAP3K1 (SNP: rs889312) as BC risk factors in Pakistani women. Significant associations were observed between BC risk and two SNPs of FGFR2 [rs2981582 (P=0.005), rs1219648 (P=9.08e‑006)] and one SNP of TNRC9 [rs3803662) (P=0.012)] in Pakistani women. On examining the different interactions of these SNPs with various clinicopathological characteristics, all three associated genetic variants, rs2981582 rs1219648 and rs3803662, exhibited a greater predisposition to sporadic, in comparison to familial, BC. Furthermore, there was an increased effect of BC risk between haplotype combinations of the two SNPs of FGFR2 (rs2981582 and rs1219648) in Pakistani women. The results of the present study suggest that variants of FGFR2 and TNRC9 may contribute to the genetic susceptibility of BC in Pakistani women.

Marouf C, Göhler S, Filho MI, et al.
Analysis of functional germline variants in APOBEC3 and driver genes on breast cancer risk in Moroccan study population.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:165 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) is the most prevalent cancer in women and a major public health problem in Morocco. Several Moroccan studies have focused on studying this disease, but more are needed, especially at the genetic and molecular levels. Therefore, we investigated the potential association of several functional germline variants in the genes commonly mutated in sporadic breast cancer.
METHODS: In this case-control study, we examined 36 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 13 genes (APOBEC3A, APOBEC3B, ARID1B, ATR, MAP3K1, MLL2, MLL3, NCOR1, RUNX1, SF3B1, SMAD4, TBX3, TTN), which were located in the core promoter, 5'-and 3'UTR or which were nonsynonymous SNPs to assess their potential association with inherited predisposition to breast cancer development. Additionally, we identified a ~29.5-kb deletion polymorphism between APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B and explored possible associations with BC. A total of 226 Moroccan breast cancer cases and 200 matched healthy controls were included in this study.
RESULTS: The analysis showed that12 SNPs in 8 driver genes, 4 SNPs in APOBEC3B gene and 1 SNP in APOBEC3A gene were associated with BC risk and/or clinical outcome at P ≤ 0.05 level. RUNX1_rs8130963 (odds ratio (OR) = 2.25; 95 % CI 1.42-3.56; P = 0.0005; dominant model), TBX3_rs8853 (OR = 2.04; 95 % CI 1.38-3.01; P = 0.0003; dominant model), TBX3_rs1061651 (OR= 2.14; 95 % CI1.43-3.18; P = 0.0002; dominant model), TTN_rs12465459 (OR = 2.02; 95 % confidence interval 1.33-3.07; P = 0.0009; dominant model), were the most significantly associated SNPs with BC risk. A strong association with clinical outcome were detected for the genes SMAD4 _rs3819122 with tumor size (OR = 0.45; 95 % CI 0.25-0.82; P = 0.009) and TTN_rs2244492 with estrogen receptor (OR = 0.45; 95 % CI 0.25-0.82; P = 0.009).
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that genetic variations in driver and APOBEC3 genes were associated with the risk of BC and may have impact on clinical outcome. However, the reported association between the deletion polymorphism and BC risk was not confirmed in the Moroccan population. These preliminary findings require replication in larger studies.

Zhao L, Wang Y, Jiang L, et al.
MiR-302a/b/c/d cooperatively sensitizes breast cancer cells to adriamycin via suppressing P-glycoprotein(P-gp) by targeting MAP/ERK kinase kinase 1 (MEKK1).
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The importance of individual microRNAs (miRNAs) in tumor has been established in different cancers. However, their association with tumor chemoresistance has not been fully understood. Previously, we found two novel MDR-associated microRNAs (miRNAs). In this report, we investigated the combined effects of miRNA gene cluster in chemoresistance of breast cancer.
METHODS: This study was performed in two different breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7 and MCF-7/ADR). The levels of miRNAs and mRNA expression were determined by using Quantitative Real-Time PCR. Western blotting was used to detect the levels of protein molecules. Cell viability was assessed by MTS assay. Bioinformatics and Luciferase reporter assay was performed to examine miRNA binding to the 3'-UTR of target genes.
RESULTS: The miR-302S family including miR-302a, miR-302b, miR-302c, and miR-302d was significantly down-regulated in P-glycoprotein (P-gp)-overexpressing MCF-7/ADR cells. Overexpression of miR-302 increased intracellular accumulation of ADR and sensitized breast cancer cells to ADR. Most importantly, miR-302S produced stronger effects than each individual member alone. The four miRNAs cooperatively downregulate P-gp expression in regulating drug sensitivity. However, our results showed that the suppression of P-gp expression by miR-302 is not through typical miRNA-mediated mRNA degradation but at the level of protein and transcription. Further studies identified MAP/ERK kinase kinase 1 (MEKK1) as a direct and functional target of miR-302. miR-302 showed combinatorial effects on MKEE1 repression and MEKK1-mediated ERK pathway. The suppression of P-gp by miR-302 was reversed by MEKK1 overexpression.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that miR-302 cooperatively sensitizes breast cancer cells to adriamycin via suppressing P-glycoprotein by targeting MEKK1 of ERK pathway. miR-302 gene cluster may be a potential target for reversing P-gp-mediated chemoresistance in breast cancer.

Goh G, Walradt T, Markarov V, et al.
Mutational landscape of MCPyV-positive and MCPyV-negative Merkel cell carcinomas with implications for immunotherapy.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):3403-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare but highly aggressive cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma, associated with the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) in 80% of cases. To define the genetic basis of MCCs, we performed exome sequencing of 49 MCCs. We show that MCPyV-negative MCCs have a high mutation burden (median of 1121 somatic single nucleotide variants (SSNVs) per-exome with frequent mutations in RB1 and TP53 and additional damaging mutations in genes in the chromatin modification (ASXL1, MLL2, and MLL3), JNK (MAP3K1 and TRAF7), and DNA-damage pathways (ATM, MSH2, and BRCA1). In contrast, MCPyV-positive MCCs harbor few SSNVs (median of 12.5 SSNVs/tumor) with none in the genes listed above. In both subgroups, there are rare cancer-promoting mutations predicted to activate the PI3K pathway (HRAS, KRAS, PIK3CA, PTEN, and TSC1) and to inactivate the Notch pathway (Notch1 and Notch2). TP53 mutations appear to be clinically relevant in virus-negative MCCs as 37% of these tumors harbor potentially targetable gain-of-function mutations in TP53 at p.R248 and p.P278. Moreover, TP53 mutational status predicts death in early stage MCC (5-year survival in TP53 mutant vs wild-type stage I and II MCCs is 20% vs. 92%, respectively; P = 0.0036). Lastly, we identified the tumor neoantigens in MCPyV-negative and MCPyV-positive MCCs. We found that virus-negative MCCs harbor more tumor neoantigens than melanomas or non-small cell lung cancers (median of 173, 65, and 111 neoantigens/sample, respectively), two cancers for which immune checkpoint blockade can produce durable clinical responses. Collectively, these data support the use of immunotherapies for virus-negative MCCs.

Haddad SA, Lunetta KL, Ruiz-Narváez EA, et al.
Hormone-related pathways and risk of breast cancer subtypes in African American women.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015; 154(1):145-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We sought to investigate genetic variation in hormone pathways in relation to risk of overall and subtype-specific breast cancer in women of African ancestry (AA). Genotyping and imputation yielded data on 143,934 SNPs in 308 hormone-related genes for 3663 breast cancer cases (1098 ER-, 1983 ER+, 582 ER unknown) and 4687 controls from the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk (AMBER) Consortium. AMBER includes data from four large studies of AA women: the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, the Women's Circle of Health Study, the Black Women's Health Study, and the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Pathway- and gene-based analyses were conducted, and single-SNP tests were run for the top genes. There were no strong associations at the pathway level. The most significantly associated genes were GHRH, CALM2, CETP, and AKR1C1 for overall breast cancer (gene-based nominal p ≤ 0.01); NR0B1, IGF2R, CALM2, CYP1B1, and GRB2 for ER+ breast cancer (p ≤ 0.02); and PGR, MAPK3, MAP3K1, and LHCGR for ER- disease (p ≤ 0.02). Single-SNP tests for SNPs with pairwise linkage disequilibrium r (2) < 0.8 in the top genes identified 12 common SNPs (in CALM2, CETP, NR0B1, IGF2R, CYP1B1, PGR, MAPK3, and MAP3K1) associated with overall or subtype-specific breast cancer after gene-level correction for multiple testing. Rs11571215 in PGR (progesterone receptor) was the SNP most strongly associated with ER- disease. We identified eight genes in hormone pathways that contain common variants associated with breast cancer in AA women after gene-level correction for multiple testing.

Shain AH, Garrido M, Botton T, et al.
Exome sequencing of desmoplastic melanoma identifies recurrent NFKBIE promoter mutations and diverse activating mutations in the MAPK pathway.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(10):1194-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Desmoplastic melanoma is an uncommon variant of melanoma with sarcomatous histology, distinct clinical behavior and unknown pathogenesis. We performed low-coverage genome and high-coverage exome sequencing of 20 desmoplastic melanomas, followed by targeted sequencing of 293 genes in a validation cohort of 42 cases. A high mutation burden (median of 62 mutations/Mb) ranked desmoplastic melanoma among the most highly mutated cancers. Mutation patterns strongly implicate ultraviolet radiation as the dominant mutagen, indicating a superficially located cell of origin. Newly identified alterations included recurrent promoter mutations of NFKBIE, encoding NF-κB inhibitor ɛ (IκBɛ), in 14.5% of samples. Common oncogenic mutations in melanomas, in particular in BRAF (encoding p.Val600Glu) and NRAS (encoding p.Gln61Lys or p.Gln61Arg), were absent. Instead, other genetic alterations known to activate the MAPK and PI3K signaling cascades were identified in 73% of samples, affecting NF1, CBL, ERBB2, MAP2K1, MAP3K1, BRAF, EGFR, PTPN11, MET, RAC1, SOS2, NRAS and PIK3CA, some of which are candidates for targeted therapies.

Hou J, Ma J, Yu KN, et al.
Non-thermal plasma treatment altered gene expression profiling in non-small-cell lung cancer A549 cells.
BMC Genomics. 2015; 16:435 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent technological advances in atmospheric plasmas have made the creation of non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma (NTP) possible for utilization in the medical field. Although accumulated evidence suggests that NTP induces cell death in various cancer cell types thus offering a promising alternative treatment strategy, the mechanism underlying its therapeutic effect is not fully understood.
RESULTS: We analyzed relevant signaling cascades associated with the tumor protein p53, in particular the cell cycle arrest, DNA damage as well as the underlying apoptosis pathways. Based on our results, the major effect from plasma exposure was found to be the activation of MAPK and p53 signaling pathways, resulting in changes in gene expression of MEKK, GADD, FOS and JUN. Finally, a significant modulation in expression of genes related to cellular proliferation and differentiation was observed.
CONCLUSION: Overall, the presented data of the tumor transcriptome helped identify the key players in modulated gene expression following exposure to plasma at the molecular level, and also helped interpret the downstream processes. The present work laid the foundation for further studies to clarify the roles of multiple pathways in plasma-induced biological processes. Further investigation of these genes in other cell lines may reveal comprehensive mechanisms of plasma induced effects.

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