Gene Summary

Gene:MYCL; MYCL proto-oncogene, bHLH transcription factor
Aliases: LMYC, L-Myc, MYCL1, bHLHe38
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein L-Myc
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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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.

  • Chromosome 1
  • Cancer DNA
  • myc Genes
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Gene Amplification
  • Genetic Markers
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Telomerase
  • Cervical Cancer
  • N-Myc Proto-Oncogene Protein
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Retinoblastoma Binding Proteins
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Disease Progression
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Mutation
  • Gene Expression
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Lung Cancer
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • BRAF
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Radiography
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogenes
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • TP53
  • Nuclear Proteins
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: MYCL (cancer-related)

Qin P, Wang H, Zhang F, et al.
Targeted silencing of MYCL1 by RNA interference inhibits migration and invasion of MGC-803 gastric cancer cells.
Cell Biochem Funct. 2019; 37(4):266-272 [PubMed] Related Publications
MYCL1 protein expression encoded by a proto-oncogene MYCL1, a member of the MYC family, is correlated with poor prognosis in gastric cancer patients. Nevertheless, the role of MYCL1 in gastric cancer cells remains unknown. In this study, the expression levels of MYCL1 mRNA and protein were downregulated by lentiviral-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) in the MGC-803 gastric cancer cell line. Then, the influence of MYCL1 on the biological behaviour of gastric cancer cells was investigated. Finally, a stable animal model of the MGC-803 human gastric cancer tumour model in nude mice was made successfully. Functionally, silencing of MYCL1 inhibited migration and invasion of the MGC-803 line in vitro and was accompanied with some ultrastructural changes. These results provide some evidences that lentiviral-mediated MYCL1 silencing may be a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of gastric cancer. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: Gastric cancer is one of the most common malignant tumours worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in China. Our previous study revealed that expression of MYCL1 in gastric cancer tissue was associated with poor prognosis of patients. However, the potential underlying mechanism is still unclear. In the current study, we displayed the influence of MYCL1 gene on invasion and migration phenotype of gastric cancer cells and provided a possible explanation from the aspect of structural alteration. Our results suggested that downregulation of MYCL1 may be a potential therapeutic strategy for gastric cancer.

Park DE, Cheng J, Berrios C, et al.
Dual inhibition of MDM2 and MDM4 in virus-positive Merkel cell carcinoma enhances the p53 response.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019; 116(3):1027-1032 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) contributes to approximately 80% of all Merkel cell carcinomas (MCCs), a highly aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. MCV-positive MCC expresses small T antigen (ST) and a truncated form of large T antigen (LT) and usually contains wild-type p53 (TP53) and RB (RB1). In contrast, virus-negative MCC contains inactivating mutations in TP53 and RB1. While the MCV-truncated LT can bind and inhibit RB, it does not bind p53. We report here that MCV LT binds to RB, leading to increased levels of ARF, an inhibitor of MDM2, and activation of p53. However, coexpression of ST reduced p53 activation. MCV ST recruits the MYC homologue MYCL (L-Myc) to the EP400 chromatin remodeler complex and transactivates specific target genes. We observed that depletion of EP400 in MCV-positive MCC cell lines led to increased p53 target gene expression. We suspected that the MCV ST-MYCL-EP400 complex could functionally inactivate p53, but the underlying mechanism was not known. Integrated ChIP and RNA-sequencing analysis following EP400 depletion identified MDM2 as well as CK1α, an activator of MDM4, as target genes of the ST-MYCL-EP400 complex. In addition, MCV-positive MCC cells expressed high levels of MDM4. Combining MDM2 inhibitors with lenalidomide targeting CK1α or an MDM4 inhibitor caused synergistic activation of p53, leading to an apoptotic response in MCV-positive MCC cells and MCC-derived xenografts in mice. These results support dual targeting of MDM2 and MDM4 in virus-positive MCC and other p53 wild-type tumors.

Kalkat M, Resetca D, Lourenco C, et al.
MYC Protein Interactome Profiling Reveals Functionally Distinct Regions that Cooperate to Drive Tumorigenesis.
Mol Cell. 2018; 72(5):836-848.e7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming members of the MYC family (MYC, MYCL1, and MYCN) encode transcription factors containing six highly conserved regions, termed MYC homology boxes (MBs). By conducting proteomic profiling of the MB interactomes, we demonstrate that half of the MYC interactors require one or more MBs for binding. Comprehensive phenotypic analyses reveal that two MBs, MB0 and MBII, are universally required for transformation. MBII mediates interactions with acetyltransferase-containing complexes, enabling histone acetylation, and is essential for MYC-dependent tumor initiation. By contrast, MB0 mediates interactions with transcription elongation factors via direct binding to the general transcription factor TFIIF. MB0 is dispensable for tumor initiation but is a major accelerator of tumor growth. Notably, the full transforming activity of MYC can be restored by co-expression of the non-transforming MB0 and MBII deletion proteins, indicating that these two regions confer separate molecular functions, both of which are required for oncogenic MYC activity.

Wagner AH, Devarakonda S, Skidmore ZL, et al.
Recurrent WNT pathway alterations are frequent in relapsed small cell lung cancer.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):3787 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Nearly all patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) eventually relapse with chemoresistant disease. The molecular mechanisms driving chemoresistance in SCLC remain un-characterized. Here, we describe whole-exome sequencing of paired SCLC tumor samples procured at diagnosis and relapse from 12 patients, and unpaired relapse samples from 18 additional patients. Multiple somatic copy number alterations, including gains in ABCC1 and deletions in MYCL, MSH2, and MSH6, are identifiable in relapsed samples. Relapse samples also exhibit recurrent mutations and loss of heterozygosity in regulators of WNT signaling, including CHD8 and APC. Analysis of RNA-sequencing data shows enrichment for an ASCL1-low expression subtype and WNT activation in relapse samples. Activation of WNT signaling in chemosensitive human SCLC cell lines through APC knockdown induces chemoresistance. Additionally, in vitro-derived chemoresistant cell lines demonstrate increased WNT activity. Overall, our results suggest WNT signaling activation as a mechanism of chemoresistance in relapsed SCLC.

Mobark NA, Al-Harbi M, Mosleh O, et al.
A case of molecularly profiled extraneural medulloblastoma metastases in a child.
BMC Med Genet. 2018; 19(1):10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Extraneural metastases are relatively rare manifestations of medulloblastoma.
CASE PRESENTATION: We present the case of a young boy with group three MYCN-amplified medulloblastoma. He received multimodal chemotherapy consisting of gross total resection followed by postoperative craniospinal radiation and adjuvant chemotherapy. The patient developed extraneural metastases 4 months after the end of therapy. Literature review identifies the poor prognosis of MYCN-amplified medulloblastomas as well as extraneural metastases; we review the current limitations and future directions of medulloblastoma treatment options.
CONCLUSION: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first molecularly characterized report of extraneural metastases of medulloblastoma in a child.

Schick M, Habringer S, Nilsson JA, Keller U
Pathogenesis and therapeutic targeting of aberrant MYC expression in haematological cancers.
Br J Haematol. 2017; 179(5):724-738 [PubMed] Related Publications
Identifying and therapeutically targeting cancer cell liabilities is of utmost importance in order to improve the treatment of patients with malignancies of poor prognosis. The MYC family genes (MYC, MYCN and MYCL) are among the most deregulated proto-oncogenes in human cancer. Aberrant MYC expression is frequently associated with poor prognosis. Although many aspects of MYC-mediated tumour biology are well characterized, there are currently no effective means for targeting MYC in a specific manner that have been established for clinical use. This review first discusses the role of MYC in the pathogenesis of haematopoietic malignancies, and secondly summarizes how insight into MYC functions could be translated into therapeutic approaches. In particular, we will address the possibilities of taking advantage of MYC-induced cancer cell vulnerabilities that could be exploited in terms of synthetic lethal interactions.

Cheng J, Park DE, Berrios C, et al.
Merkel cell polyomavirus recruits MYCL to the EP400 complex to promote oncogenesis.
PLoS Pathog. 2017; 13(10):e1006668 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) frequently contains integrated copies of Merkel cell polyomavirus DNA that express a truncated form of Large T antigen (LT) and an intact Small T antigen (ST). While LT binds RB and inactivates its tumor suppressor function, it is less clear how ST contributes to MCC tumorigenesis. Here we show that ST binds specifically to the MYC homolog MYCL (L-MYC) and recruits it to the 15-component EP400 histone acetyltransferase and chromatin remodeling complex. We performed a large-scale immunoprecipitation for ST and identified co-precipitating proteins by mass spectrometry. In addition to protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) subunits, we identified MYCL and its heterodimeric partner MAX plus the EP400 complex. Immunoprecipitation for MAX and EP400 complex components confirmed their association with ST. We determined that the ST-MYCL-EP400 complex binds together to specific gene promoters and activates their expression by integrating chromatin immunoprecipitation with sequencing (ChIP-seq) and RNA-seq. MYCL and EP400 were required for maintenance of cell viability and cooperated with ST to promote gene expression in MCC cell lines. A genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen confirmed the requirement for MYCL and EP400 in MCPyV-positive MCC cell lines. We demonstrate that ST can activate gene expression in a EP400 and MYCL dependent manner and this activity contributes to cellular transformation and generation of induced pluripotent stem cells.

Almodovar K, Iams WT, Meador CB, et al.
Longitudinal Cell-Free DNA Analysis in Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer Reveals Dynamic Insights into Treatment Efficacy and Disease Relapse.
J Thorac Oncol. 2018; 13(1):112-123 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Patients with SCLC have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Because access to longitudinal tumor samples is very limited in patients with this disease, we chose to focus our studies on the characterization of plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) for rapid, noninvasive monitoring of disease burden.
METHODS: We developed a liquid biopsy assay that quantifies somatic variants in cfDNA. The assay detects single nucleotide variants, copy number alterations, and insertions or deletions in 14 genes that are frequently mutated in SCLC, including tumor protein p53 gene (TP53), retinoblastoma 1 gene (RB1), BRAF, KIT proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase gene (KIT), notch 1 gene (NOTCH1), notch 2 gene (NOTCH2), notch 3 gene (NOTCH3), notch 4 gene (NOTCH4), phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha gene (PIK3CA), phosphatase and tensin homolog gene (PTEN), fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 gene (FGFR1), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog gene (MYC), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene lung carcinoma derived homolog gene (MYCL1), and v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene neuroblastoma derived homolog gene (MYCN).
RESULTS: Over the course of 26 months of peripheral blood collection, we examined 140 plasma samples from 27 patients. We detected disease-associated mutations in 85% of patient samples with mutant allele frequencies ranging from 0.1% to 87%. In our cohort, 59% of the patients had extensive-stage disease, and the most common mutations occurred in TP53 (70%) and RB1 (52%). In addition to mutations in TP53 and RB1, we detected alterations in 10 additional genes in our patient population (PTEN, NOTCH1, NOTCH2, NOTCH3, NOTCH4, MYC, MYCL1, PIK3CA, KIT, and BRAF). The observed allele frequencies and copy number alterations tracked closely with treatment responses. Notably, in several cases analysis of cfDNA provided evidence of disease relapse before conventional imaging.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that liquid biopsies are readily applicable in patients with SCLC and can potentially provide improved monitoring of disease burden, depth of response to treatment, and timely warning of disease relapse in patients with this disease.

Brägelmann J, Böhm S, Guthrie MR, et al.
Family matters: How MYC family oncogenes impact small cell lung cancer.
Cell Cycle. 2017; 16(16):1489-1498 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is one of the most deadly cancers and currently lacks effective targeted treatment options. Recent advances in the molecular characterization of SCLC has provided novel insight into the biology of this disease and raises hope for a paradigm shift in the treatment of SCLC. We and others have identified activation of MYC as a driver of susceptibility to Aurora kinase inhibition in SCLC cells and tumors that translates into a therapeutic option for the targeted treatment of MYC-driven SCLC. While MYC shares major features with its paralogs MYCN and MYCL, the sensitivity to Aurora kinase inhibitors is unique for MYC-driven SCLC. In this review, we will compare the distinct molecular features of the 3 MYC family members and address the potential implications for targeted therapy of SCLC.

Munksgaard Thorén M, Vaapil M, Staaf J, et al.
Myc-induced glutaminolysis bypasses HIF-driven glycolysis in hypoxic small cell lung carcinoma cells.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(30):48983-48995 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We previously demonstrated that small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cells lack HIF-2α protein expression, whereas HIF-1α in these cells is expressed at both acute and prolonged hypoxia. Here we show that low HIF2A expression correlates with high expression of MYC genes. Knockdown of HIF1A expression had no or limited effect on cell survival and growth in vitro. Unexpectedly, hypoxic ATP levels were not affected by HIF-1α knockdown and SCLC cell viability did not decrease upon glucose deprivation. In line with these in vitro data, xenograft tumor-take and growth were not significantly affected by repressed HIF1A expression. Glutamine withdrawal drastically decreased SCLC cell proliferation and increased cell death at normoxia and hypoxia in a HIF-independent fashion and the dependence on glutaminolysis was linked to amplification of either MYC or MYCL. Downregulation of GLS expression, regulating the first step of the glutaminolysis pathway, in MYC/MYCL overexpressing SCLC cells resulted in both impaired growth and increased cell death. Our results suggest that MYC/MYCL overexpression in SCLC cells overrides the need of HIF-1 activity in response to hypoxia by inducing glutaminolysis and lipogenesis. Targeting the glutaminolysis pathway might hence be a novel approach to selectively kill MYC amplified SCLC cells in vivo.

Allison Stewart C, Tong P, Cardnell RJ, et al.
Dynamic variations in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), ATM, and SLFN11 govern response to PARP inhibitors and cisplatin in small cell lung cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(17):28575-28587 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, with a 5-year survival <7%. A major barrier to progress is the absence of predictive biomarkers for chemotherapy and novel targeted agents such as PARP inhibitors. Using a high-throughput, integrated proteomic, transcriptomic, and genomic analysis of SCLC patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and profiled cell lines, we identified biomarkers of drug sensitivity and determined their prevalence in patient tumors. In contrast to breast and ovarian cancer, PARP inhibitor response was not associated with mutations in homologous recombination (HR) genes (e.g., BRCA1/2) or HRD scores. Instead, we found several proteomic markers that predicted PDX response, including high levels of SLFN11 and E-cadherin and low ATM. SLFN11 and E-cadherin were also significantly associated with in vitro sensitivity to cisplatin and topoisomerase1/2 inhibitors (all commonly used in SCLC). Treatment with cisplatin or PARP inhibitors downregulated SLFN11 and E-cadherin, possibly explaining the rapid development of therapeutic resistance in SCLC. Supporting their functional role, silencing SLFN11 reduced in vitro sensitivity and drug-induced DNA damage; whereas ATM knockdown or pharmacologic inhibition enhanced sensitivity. Notably, SCLC with mesenchymal phenotypes (i.e., loss of E-cadherin and high epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) signature scores) displayed striking alterations in expression of miR200 family and key SCLC genes (e.g., NEUROD1, ASCL1, ALDH1A1, MYCL1). Thus, SLFN11, EMT, and ATM mediate therapeutic response in SCLC and warrant further clinical investigation as predictive biomarkers.

Jung M, Russell AJ, Liu B, et al.
A Myc Activity Signature Predicts Poor Clinical Outcomes in Myc-Associated Cancers.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(4):971-981 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myc transcriptional activity is frequently deregulated in human cancers, but a Myc-driven gene signature with prognostic ability across multiple tumor types remains lacking. Here, we selected 18 Myc-regulated genes from published studies of Myc family targets in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and neuroblastoma. A Myc family activity score derived from the 18 genes was correlated to

Berrios C, Padi M, Keibler MA, et al.
Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Small T Antigen Promotes Pro-Glycolytic Metabolic Perturbations Required for Transformation.
PLoS Pathog. 2016; 12(11):e1006020 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is an etiological agent of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a highly aggressive skin cancer. The MCPyV small tumor antigen (ST) is required for maintenance of MCC and can transform normal cells. To gain insight into cellular perturbations induced by MCPyV ST, we performed transcriptome analysis of normal human fibroblasts with inducible expression of ST. MCPyV ST dynamically alters the cellular transcriptome with increased levels of glycolytic genes, including the monocarboxylate lactate transporter SLC16A1 (MCT1). Extracellular flux analysis revealed increased lactate export reflecting elevated aerobic glycolysis in ST expressing cells. Inhibition of MCT1 activity suppressed the growth of MCC cell lines and impaired MCPyV-dependent transformation of IMR90 cells. Both NF-κB and MYC have been shown to regulate MCT1 expression. While MYC was required for MCT1 induction, MCPyV-induced MCT1 levels decreased following knockdown of the NF-κB subunit RelA, supporting a synergistic activity between MCPyV and MYC in regulating MCT1 levels. Several MCC lines had high levels of MYCL and MYCN but not MYC. Increased levels of MYCL was more effective than MYC or MYCN in increasing extracellular acidification in MCC cells. Our results demonstrate the effects of MCPyV ST on the cellular transcriptome and reveal that transformation is dependent, at least in part, on elevated aerobic glycolysis.

Simbolo M, Mafficini A, Sikora KO, et al.
Lung neuroendocrine tumours: deep sequencing of the four World Health Organization histotypes reveals chromatin-remodelling genes as major players and a prognostic role for TERT, RB1, MEN1 and KMT2D.
J Pathol. 2017; 241(4):488-500 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was applied to 148 lung neuroendocrine tumours (LNETs) comprising the four World Health Organization classification categories: 53 typical carcinoid (TCs), 35 atypical carcinoid (ACs), 27 large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas, and 33 small-cell lung carcinomas. A discovery screen was conducted on 46 samples by the use of whole-exome sequencing and high-coverage targeted sequencing of 418 genes. Eighty-eight recurrently mutated genes from both the discovery screen and current literature were verified in the 46 cases of the discovery screen, and validated on additional 102 LNETs by targeted NGS; their prevalence was then evaluated on the whole series. Thirteen of these 88 genes were also evaluated for copy number alterations (CNAs). Carcinoids and carcinomas shared most of the altered genes but with different prevalence rates. When mutations and copy number changes were combined, MEN1 alterations were almost exclusive to carcinoids, whereas alterations of TP53 and RB1 cell cycle regulation genes and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway genes were significantly enriched in carcinomas. Conversely, mutations in chromatin-remodelling genes, including those encoding histone modifiers and members of SWI-SNF complexes, were found at similar rates in carcinoids (45.5%) and carcinomas (55.0%), suggesting a major role in LNET pathogenesis. One AC and one TC showed a hypermutated profile associated with a POLQ damaging mutation. There were fewer CNAs in carcinoids than in carcinomas; however ACs showed a hybrid pattern, whereby gains of TERT, SDHA, RICTOR, PIK3CA, MYCL and SRC were found at rates similar to those in carcinomas, whereas the MEN1 loss rate mirrored that of TCs. Multivariate survival analysis revealed RB1 mutation (p = 0.0005) and TERT copy gain (p = 0.016) as independent predictors of poorer prognosis. MEN1 mutation was associated with poor prognosis in AC (p = 0.0045), whereas KMT2D mutation correlated with longer survival in SCLC (p = 0.0022). In conclusion, molecular profiling may complement histology for better diagnostic definition and prognostic stratification of LNETs. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Kato F, Fiorentino FP, Alibés A, et al.
MYCL is a target of a BET bromodomain inhibitor, JQ1, on growth suppression efficacy in small cell lung cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(47):77378-77388 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We aimed to elucidate the effect of JQ1, a BET inhibitor, on small cell lung cancers (SCLCs) with MYCL amplification and/or expression. Fourteen SCLC cell lines, including four with MYCL amplification, were examined for the effects of JQ1 on protein and gene expression by Western blot and mRNA microarray analyses. The sensitivity of SCLC cells to JQ1 was assessed by cell growth and apoptosis assays. MYCL was expressed in all the 14 cell lines, whereas MYC/MYCN expression was restricted mostly to cell lines with gene amplification. ASCL1, a transcription factor shown to play a role in SCLC, was also expressed in 11/14 cell lines. All SCLC cell lines were sensitive to JQ1 with GI50 values ≤1.23 μM, with six of them showing GI50 values <0.1 μM. Expression of MYCL as well as MYCN, ASCL1 and other driver oncogenes including CDK6 was reduced by JQ1 treatment, in particular in the cell lines with high expression of the respective genes; however, no association was observed between the sensitivity to JQ1 and the levels of MYCL, MYCN and ASCL1 expression. In contrast, levels of CDK6 expression and its reduction rates by JQ1 were associated with JQ1 sensitivity. Therefore, we concluded that CDK6 is a novel target of JQ1 and predictive marker for JQ1 sensitivity in SCLC cells.

Li Z, Oganesyan D, Mooney R, et al.
L-MYC Expression Maintains Self-Renewal and Prolongs Multipotency of Primary Human Neural Stem Cells.
Stem Cell Reports. 2016; 7(3):483-495 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pre-clinical studies indicate that neural stem cells (NSCs) can limit or reverse CNS damage through direct cell replacement, promotion of regeneration, or delivery of therapeutic agents. Immortalized NSC lines are in growing demand due to the inherent limitations of adult patient-derived NSCs, including availability, expandability, potential for genetic modifications, and costs. Here, we describe the generation and characterization of a new human fetal NSC line, immortalized by transduction with L-MYC (LM-NSC008) that in vitro displays both self-renewal and multipotent differentiation into neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes. These LM-NSC008 cells were non-tumorigenic in vivo, and migrated to orthotopic glioma xenografts in immunodeficient mice. When administered intranasally, LM-NSC008 distributed specifically to sites of traumatic brain injury (TBI). These data support the therapeutic development of immortalized LM-NSC008 cells for allogeneic use in TBI and other CNS diseases.

Borromeo MD, Savage TK, Kollipara RK, et al.
ASCL1 and NEUROD1 Reveal Heterogeneity in Pulmonary Neuroendocrine Tumors and Regulate Distinct Genetic Programs.
Cell Rep. 2016; 16(5):1259-1272 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) is a high-grade pulmonary neuroendocrine tumor. The transcription factors ASCL1 and NEUROD1 play crucial roles in promoting malignant behavior and survival of human SCLC cell lines. Here, we find that ASCL1 and NEUROD1 identify heterogeneity in SCLC, bind distinct genomic loci, and regulate mostly distinct genes. ASCL1, but not NEUROD1, is present in mouse pulmonary neuroendocrine cells, and only ASCL1 is required in vivo for tumor formation in mouse models of SCLC. ASCL1 targets oncogenic genes including MYCL1, RET, SOX2, and NFIB while NEUROD1 targets MYC. ASCL1 and NEUROD1 regulate different genes that commonly contribute to neuronal function. ASCL1 also regulates multiple genes in the NOTCH pathway including DLL3. Together, ASCL1 and NEUROD1 distinguish heterogeneity in SCLC with distinct genomic landscapes and distinct gene expression programs.

Semenova EA, Kwon MC, Monkhorst K, et al.
Transcription Factor NFIB Is a Driver of Small Cell Lung Cancer Progression in Mice and Marks Metastatic Disease in Patients.
Cell Rep. 2016; 16(3):631-43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine tumor, and no effective treatment is available to date. Mouse models of SCLC based on the inactivation of Rb1 and Trp53 show frequent amplifications of the Nfib and Mycl genes. Here, we report that, although overexpression of either transcription factor accelerates tumor growth, NFIB specifically promotes metastatic spread. High NFIB levels are associated with expansive growth of a poorly differentiated and almost exclusively E-cadherin (CDH1)-negative invasive tumor cell population. Consistent with the mouse data, we find that NFIB is overexpressed in almost all tested human metastatic high-grade neuroendocrine lung tumors, warranting further assessment of NFIB as a tumor progression marker in a clinical setting.

Suzuki K, Yamamoto K, Arakawa Y, et al.
Antimyeloma activity of bromodomain inhibitors on the human myeloma cell line U266 by downregulation of MYCL.
Anticancer Drugs. 2016; 27(8):756-65 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bromodomain and extraterminal protein (BET) inhibitors suppress the expression of c-MYC. U266, a human myeloma cell line, expresses the MYCL gene, but not the c-MYC gene. Our aim was to analyse the antimyeloma activity of BET inhibitors on U266 cells. Two BET inhibitors, I-BET151 and JQ1, were tested. U266 cell proliferation decreased to 61.5 and 54.0% of the control after incubation with 500 nmol/l I-BET151 for 72 and 96 h and to 53.5 and 56.4% of control after incubation with 500 nmol/l JQ1 for 72 and 96 h by MTS tetrazolium, respectively. BET inhibitors induced cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase in U266 cells, but did not induce apoptosis by flow cytometry. According to Gene Set Enrichment Analysis, MYC-related genes were significantly downregulated in U266 cells treated with I-BET151 similar to KMS11 cells that expressed c-MYC. The MYCL1 was expressed in U266 cells, whereas c-MYC and MYCN were not by quantitative real-time reverse-transcription-PCR. Incubation with I-BET151 induced downregulation of MYCL1 in U266 cells. BET inhibitors decreased the cell proliferation in U266 cells with overexpression of MYCL less than those without overexpression of MYCL. BET inhibitors induce G1 arrest without apoptosis and interfere with the proliferation of U266 myeloma cells, which express MYCL, but not c-MYC. BET inhibitors might be active in cancers that express MYCL, but not c-MYC.

Fiorentino FP, Tokgün E, Solé-Sánchez S, et al.
Growth suppression by MYC inhibition in small cell lung cancer cells with TP53 and RB1 inactivation.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(21):31014-28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is the most aggressive type of lung cancer with high mortality. One of the MYC family genes, MYC, MYCL or MYCN, is amplified in ~20% of the SCLCs; therefore, MYC proteins are potential therapeutic targets in SCLC patients. We investigated the therapeutic impact of Omomyc, a MYC dominant negative, in a panel of SCLC cell lines. Strikingly, Omomyc suppressed the growth of all tested cell lines by inducing cell cycle arrest and/or apoptosis. Induction of G1 arrest by Omomyc was found to be dependent on the activation of CDKN1A, in part, through the TP73 pathway. Our results strongly indicate that SCLC cells carrying amplification of MYC, MYCL or MYCN are addicted to MYC function, suggesting that MYC targeting would be an efficient therapeutic option for SCLC patients.

Rekhtman N, Pietanza MC, Hellmann MD, et al.
Next-Generation Sequencing of Pulmonary Large Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma Reveals Small Cell Carcinoma-like and Non-Small Cell Carcinoma-like Subsets.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(14):3618-29 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Pulmonary large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) is a highly aggressive neoplasm, whose biologic relationship to small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) versus non-SCLC (NSCLC) remains unclear, contributing to uncertainty regarding optimal clinical management. To clarify these relationships, we analyzed genomic alterations in LCNEC compared with other major lung carcinoma types.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: LCNEC (n = 45) tumor/normal pairs underwent targeted next-generation sequencing of 241 cancer genes by Memorial Sloan Kettering-Integrated Mutation Profiling of Actionable Cancer Targets (MSK-IMPACT) platform and comprehensive histologic, immunohistochemical, and clinical analysis. Genomic data were compared with MSK-IMPACT analysis of other lung carcinoma histologies (n = 242).
RESULTS: Commonly altered genes in LCNEC included TP53 (78%), RB1 (38%), STK11 (33%), KEAP1 (31%), and KRAS (22%). Genomic profiles segregated LCNEC into 2 major and 1 minor subsets: SCLC-like (n = 18), characterized by TP53+RB1 co-mutation/loss and other SCLC-type alterations, including MYCL amplification; NSCLC-like (n = 25), characterized by the lack of coaltered TP53+RB1 and nearly universal occurrence of NSCLC-type mutations (STK11, KRAS, and KEAP1); and carcinoid-like (n = 2), characterized by MEN1 mutations and low mutation burden. SCLC-like and NSCLC-like subsets revealed several clinicopathologic differences, including higher proliferative activity in SCLC-like tumors (P < 0.0001) and exclusive adenocarcinoma-type differentiation marker expression in NSCLC-like tumors (P = 0.005). While exhibiting predominant similarity with lung adenocarcinoma, NSCLC-like LCNEC harbored several distinctive genomic alterations, including more frequent mutations in NOTCH family genes (28%), implicated as key regulators of neuroendocrine differentiation.
CONCLUSIONS: LCNEC is a biologically heterogeneous group of tumors, comprising distinct subsets with genomic signatures of SCLC, NSCLC (predominantly adenocarcinoma), and rarely, highly proliferative carcinoids. Recognition of these subsets may inform the classification and management of LCNEC patients. Clin Cancer Res; 22(14); 3618-29. ©2016 AACR.

Siegfried A, Bertozzi AI, Bourdeaut F, et al.
Clinical, pathological, and molecular data on desmoplastic/nodular medulloblastoma: case studies and a review of the literature.
Clin Neuropathol. 2016 May-Jun; 35(3):106-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of this study was to better define the clinical and biopathological features of patients with desmoplastic/nodular medulloblastoma (DNMB) and to further characterize this subgroup. 17 children aged < 5 years, with initial DNMB treated according to the HIT-SKK protocol, were evaluated. A retrospective central radiological review, a pathological and immunohistochemical study, and array-CGH and sequencing of germline SUFU and PTCH1 genes were performed. 15 histologically reviewed cases were confirmed as DNMB including three cases of medulloblastoma with extensive nodularity. Median age at diagnosis was 26 months. Radiology showed five cases with a vermis location and one with T2 hyperintensity. All cases showed a SHH immunoprofile. A 9q deletion was found in 6 cases, a MYCN-MYCL amplification in 1 case, and a SUFU germline mutation in 1 case (/9). The presence of SUFU and PTCH1 germline mutations agreed with previous reports. At 3 years, progression-free survival and overallsurvival rates were 72 ± 15% and 85 ± 10%, respectively. The rate of recurrence was relatively high (4 patients). This may have been because chemotherapy was delayed in two cases. Age > 3 years, and residual tumor may also have been an explanation for recurrence.

Lefkowitch JH, Lagana SM, Kato T
Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Noncirrhotic Liver with Glycogenotic Foci: Basic Science Meets Genomic Medicine.
Semin Liver Dis. 2015; 35(4):450-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
During the past decade, the application of genomic analysis to liver tumors has provided extensive data concerning tumor phenotypes, signatures, outcomes, and prognosis. In this report the authors describe a middle-aged man without known risk factors for liver disease or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who developed a 19-cm HCC in his right lobe. The underlying liver was normal histologically except for multifocal glycogenotic foci similar to those found in experimental chemical carcinogenesis. Precision genomic analysis of this tumor disclosed five alterations with amplifications of genes CCNE1, FGF3 and FGF4, MYCL1, and ARID1A. The roles of these gene mutations and their potential effects in carcinogenesis in this case are discussed.

Temiz NA, Moriarity BS, Wolf NK, et al.
RNA sequencing of Sleeping Beauty transposon-induced tumors detects transposon-RNA fusions in forward genetic cancer screens.
Genome Res. 2016; 26(1):119-29 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Forward genetic screens using Sleeping Beauty (SB)-mobilized T2/Onc transposons have been used to identify common insertion sites (CISs) associated with tumor formation. Recurrent sites of transposon insertion are commonly identified using ligation-mediated PCR (LM-PCR). Here, we use RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data to directly identify transcriptional events mediated by T2/Onc. Surprisingly, the majority (∼80%) of LM-PCR identified junction fragments do not lead to observable changes in RNA transcripts. However, in CIS regions, direct transcriptional effects of transposon insertions are observed. We developed an automated method to systematically identify T2/Onc-genome RNA fusion sequences in RNA-seq data. RNA fusion-based CISs were identified corresponding to both DNA-based CISs (Cdkn2a, Mycl1, Nf2, Pten, Sema6d, and Rere) and additional regions strongly associated with cancer that were not observed by LM-PCR (Myc, Akt1, Pth, Csf1r, Fgfr2, Wisp1, Map3k5, and Map4k3). In addition to calculating recurrent CISs, we also present complementary methods to identify potential driver events via determination of strongly supported fusions and fusions with large transcript level changes in the absence of multitumor recurrence. These methods independently identify CIS regions and also point to cancer-associated genes like Braf. We anticipate RNA-seq analyses of tumors from forward genetic screens will become an efficient tool to identify causal events.

Kadakia KC, Tomlins SA, Sanghvi SK, et al.
Comprehensive serial molecular profiling of an "N of 1" exceptional non-responder with metastatic prostate cancer progressing to small cell carcinoma on treatment.
J Hematol Oncol. 2015; 8:109 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Small cell carcinoma/neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NePC) is a lethal, poorly understood prostate cancer (PCa) subtype. Controversy exists about the origin of NePC in this setting.
OBJECTIVE: To molecularly profile archived biopsy specimens from a case of early-onset PCa that rapidly progressed to NePC to identify drivers of the aggressive course and mechanisms of NePC origin and progression.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A 47-year-old patient presented with metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma (Gleason score 9). After a 6-month response to androgen deprivation therapy, the patient developed jaundice and liver biopsy revealed exclusively NePC. Targeted next generation sequencing (NGS) from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE)-isolated DNA was performed from the diagnostic prostate biopsy and the liver biopsy at progression.
INTERVENTION: Androgen deprivation therapy for adenocarcinoma followed by multiagent chemotherapy for NePC.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Identification of the mutational landscape in primary adenocarcinoma and NePC liver metastasis. Whether the NePC arose independently or was derived from the primary adenocarcinoma was considered based on mutational profiles.
RESULTS: A deleterious somatic SMAD4 L535fs variant was present in both prostate and liver specimens; however, a TP53 R282W mutation was exclusively enriched in the liver specimen. Copy number analysis identified concordant, low-level alterations in both specimens, with focal MYCL amplification and homozygous PTEN, RB1, and MAP2K4 losses identified exclusively in the NePC specimen. Integration with published genomic profiles identified MYCL as a recurrently amplified in NePC.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: NGS of routine biopsy samples from an exceptional non-responder identified SMAD4 as a driver of the aggressive course and supports derivation of NePC from primary adenocarcinoma (transdifferentiation).

Chayka O, D'Acunto CW, Middleton O, et al.
Identification and pharmacological inactivation of the MYCN gene network as a therapeutic strategy for neuroblastic tumor cells.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(4):2198-212 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The MYC family of transcription factors consists of three well characterized members, c-MYC, L-MYC, and MYCN, deregulated in the majority of human cancers. In neuronal tumors such as neuroblastoma, MYCN is frequently activated by gene amplification, and reducing its expression by RNA interference has been shown to promote growth arrest and apoptosis of tumor cells. From a clinical perspective, RNA interference is not yet a viable option, and small molecule inhibitors of transcription factors are difficult to develop. We therefore planned to identify, at the global level, the genes interacting functionally with MYCN required to promote fitness of tumor cells facing oncogenic stress. To find genes whose inactivation is synthetically lethal to MYCN, we implemented a genome-wide approach in which we carried out a drop-out shRNA screen using a whole genome library that was delivered into isogenic neuroblastoma cell lines expressing or not expressing MYCN. After the screen, we selected for in-depth analysis four shRNAs targeting AHCY, BLM, PKMYT1, and CKS1B. These genes were chosen because they are directly regulated by MYC proteins, associated with poor prognosis of neuroblastoma patients, and inhibited by small molecule compounds. Mechanistically, we found that BLM and PKMYT1 are required to limit oncogenic stress and promote stabilization of the MYCN protein. Cocktails of small molecule inhibitors of CKS1B, AHCY, BLM, and PKMYT1 profoundly affected the growth of all neuroblastoma cell lines but selectively caused death of MYCN-amplified cells. Our findings suggest that drugging the MYCN network is a promising avenue for the treatment of high risk, neuroblastic cancers.

Khan S, Greco D, Michailidou K, et al.
MicroRNA related polymorphisms and breast cancer risk.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(11):e109973 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genetic variations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in microRNAs (miRNA) or in the miRNA binding sites may affect the miRNA dependent gene expression regulation, which has been implicated in various cancers, including breast cancer, and may alter individual susceptibility to cancer. We investigated associations between miRNA related SNPs and breast cancer risk. First we evaluated 2,196 SNPs in a case-control study combining nine genome wide association studies (GWAS). Second, we further investigated 42 SNPs with suggestive evidence for association using 41,785 cases and 41,880 controls from 41 studies included in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Combining the GWAS and BCAC data within a meta-analysis, we estimated main effects on breast cancer risk as well as risks for estrogen receptor (ER) and age defined subgroups. Five miRNA binding site SNPs associated significantly with breast cancer risk: rs1045494 (odds ratio (OR) 0.92; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.88-0.96), rs1052532 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95-0.99), rs10719 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.94-0.99), rs4687554 (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95-0.99, and rs3134615 (OR 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01-1.05) located in the 3' UTR of CASP8, HDDC3, DROSHA, MUSTN1, and MYCL1, respectively. DROSHA belongs to miRNA machinery genes and has a central role in initial miRNA processing. The remaining genes are involved in different molecular functions, including apoptosis and gene expression regulation. Further studies are warranted to elucidate whether the miRNA binding site SNPs are the causative variants for the observed risk effects.

Schaub FX, Cleveland JL
Tipping the MYC-MIZ1 balance: targeting the HUWE1 ubiquitin ligase selectively blocks MYC-activated genes.
EMBO Mol Med. 2014; 6(12):1509-11 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MYC family oncoproteins (MYC, N‐MYC and L‐MYC) function as basic helix‐loop‐helix‐leucine zipper (bHLH‐Zip) transcription factors that are activated (i.e., overexpressed) in well over half of all human malignancies (Boxer & Dang, 2001; Beroukhim et al, 2010). In this issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine, Eilers and colleagues (Peter et al, 2014) describe a novel approach to disable MYC, whereby inhibition of the ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 stabilizes MIZ1 and leads to the selective repression of MYC‐activated target genes.

Hoellein A, Fallahi M, Schoeffmann S, et al.
Myc-induced SUMOylation is a therapeutic vulnerability for B-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2014; 124(13):2081-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myc oncogenic transcription factors (c-Myc, N-Myc, and L-Myc) coordinate the control of cell growth, division, and metabolism. In cancer, Myc overexpression is often associated with aggressive disease, which is in part due to the destruction of select targets by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (eg, SCF(Skp2)-directed destruction of the Cdk inhibitor p27(Kip1)). We reasoned that Myc would also regulate SUMOylation, a related means of posttranslational modification of proteins, and that this circuit would play essential roles in Myc-dependent tumorigenesis. Here, we report marked increases in the expression of genes that encode regulators and components of the SUMOylation machinery in mouse and human Myc-driven lymphomas, resulting in hyper-SUMOylation in these tumors. Further, inhibition of SUMOylation by genetic means disables Myc-induced proliferation, triggering G2/M cell-cycle arrest, polyploidy, and apoptosis. Using genetically defined cell models and conditional expression systems, this response was shown to be Myc specific. Finally, in vivo loss-of-function and pharmacologic studies demonstrated that inhibition of SUMOylation provokes rapid regression of Myc-driven lymphoma. Thus, targeting SUMOylation represents an attractive therapeutic option for lymphomas with MYC involvement.

Wahlström T, Henriksson MA
Impact of MYC in regulation of tumor cell metabolism.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015; 1849(5):563-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The MYC proto-oncoproteins including c-MYC, MYCN and MYCL exert their functions as heterodimers with MAX, which in turn binds to E-box sequences at target promoters to regulate gene expression. It has been shown that MYC binds to 10-15% of all promoter regions and regulates genes involved in a wide variety of cellular functions. In normal cells the expression of MYC is tightly controlled whereas it is deregulated in the majority of human tumors. MYC contributes to malignant transformation by promoting multiple processes including uncontrolled cell proliferation, cell growth and genomic instability. Importantly, MYC promotes growth by activating genes involved in ribosomal and mitochondrial biogenesis, glucose and glutamine metabolism as well as lipid synthesis. Hence, MYC is contributing to the metabolic reprogramming essential for cancer cells to adapt to the tumor microenvironment. Here we give an overview of the role of MYC in regulation of metabolic pathways in tumor cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: MYC proteins in cell biology and pathology.

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