Research IndicatorsGraph generated 21 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 21 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (4)
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).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
Search the Epigenomics database and view relevant gene tracks of samples.
Latest Publications: PRC1 (cancer-related)
The TRIM37 (also known as MUL) gene is located in the 17q23 chromosomal region, which is amplified in up to ∼ 40% of breast cancers. TRIM37 contains a RING finger domain, a hallmark of E3 ubiquitin ligases, but its protein substrate(s) is unknown. Here we report that TRIM37 mono-ubiquitinates histone H2A, a chromatin modification associated with transcriptional repression. We find that in human breast cancer cell lines containing amplified 17q23, TRIM37 is upregulated and, reciprocally, the major H2A ubiquitin ligase RNF2 (also known as RING1B) is downregulated. Genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-chip experiments in 17q23-amplified breast cancer cells identified many genes, including multiple tumour suppressors, whose promoters were bound by TRIM37 and enriched for ubiquitinated H2A. However, unlike RNF2, which is a subunit of polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1), we find that TRIM37 associates with polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2). TRIM37, PRC2 and PRC1 are co-bound to specific target genes, resulting in their transcriptional silencing. RNA-interference-mediated knockdown of TRIM37 results in loss of ubiquitinated H2A, dissociation of PRC1 and PRC2 from target promoters, and transcriptional reactivation of silenced genes. Knockdown of TRIM37 in human breast cancer cells containing amplified 17q23 substantially decreases tumour growth in mouse xenografts. Conversely, ectopic expression of TRIM37 renders non-transformed cells tumorigenic. Collectively, our results reveal TRIM37 as an oncogenic H2A ubiquitin ligase that is overexpressed in a subset of breast cancers and promotes transformation by facilitating silencing of tumour suppressors and other genes.
Scelfo A, Piunti A, Pasini DThe controversial role of the Polycomb group proteins in transcription and cancer: how much do we not understand Polycomb proteins?
FEBS J. 2015; 282(9):1703-22 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Polycomb group proteins (PcGs) are a large protein family that includes diverse biochemical features assembled together in two large multiprotein complexes. These complexes maintain gene transcriptional repression in a cell type specific manner by modifying the surrounding chromatin to control development, differentiation and cell proliferation. PcGs are also involved in several diseases. PcGs are often directly or indirectly implicated in cancer development for which they have been proposed as potential targets for cancer therapeutic strategies. However, in the last few years a series of discoveries about the basic properties of PcGs and the identification of specific genetic alterations affecting specific Polycomb proteins in different tumours have converged to challenge old dogmas about PcG biological and molecular functions. In this review, we analyse these new data in the context of the old knowledge, highlighting the controversies and providing new models of interpretation and ideas that will perhaps bring some order among apparently contradicting observations.
In a three-stage genome-wide association study among East Asian women including 22,780 cases and 24,181 controls, we identified 3 genetic loci newly associated with breast cancer risk, including rs4951011 at 1q32.1 (in intron 2 of the ZC3H11A gene; P=8.82×10(-9)), rs10474352 at 5q14.3 (near the ARRDC3 gene; P=1.67×10(-9)) and rs2290203 at 15q26.1 (in intron 14 of the PRC1 gene; P=4.25×10(-8)). We replicated these associations in 16,003 cases and 41,335 controls of European ancestry (P=0.030, 0.004 and 0.010, respectively). Data from the ENCODE Project suggest that variants rs4951011 and rs10474352 might be located in an enhancer region and transcription factor binding sites, respectively. This study provides additional insights into the genetics and biology of breast cancer.
Laugesen A, Helin KChromatin repressive complexes in stem cells, development, and cancer.
Cell Stem Cell. 2014; 14(6):735-51 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The chromatin environment is essential for the correct specification and preservation of cell identity through modulation and maintenance of transcription patterns. Many chromatin regulators are required for development, stem cell maintenance, and differentiation. Here, we review the roles of the polycomb repressive complexes, PRC1 and PRC2, and the HDAC1- and HDAC2-containing complexes, NuRD, Sin3, and CoREST, in stem cells, development, and cancer, as well as the ongoing efforts to develop therapies targeting these complexes in human cancer. Furthermore, we discuss the role of repressive complexes in modulating thresholds for gene activation and their importance for specification and maintenance of cell fate.
The JmjC domain histone H3K36me2/me1 demethylase NDY1/KDM2B is overexpressed in various types of cancer. Here we show that knocking down NDY1 in a set of 10 cell lines derived from a broad range of human tumors inhibited their anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent growth by inducing senescence and/or apoptosis in some and by inhibiting G1 progression in all. We further show that the knockdown of NDY1 in mammary adenocarcinoma cell lines decreased the number, size, and replating efficiency of mammospheres and downregulated the stem cell markers ALDH and CD44, while upregulating CD24. Together, these findings suggest that NDY1 is required for the self-renewal of cancer stem cells and are in agreement with additional findings showing that tumor cells in which NDY1 was knocked down undergo differentiation and a higher number of them is required to induce mammary adenocarcinomas, upon orthotopic injection in animals. Mechanistically, NDY1 functions as a master regulator of a set of miRNAs that target several members of the polycomb complexes PRC1 and PRC2, and its knockdown results in the de-repression of these miRNAs and the downregulation of their polycomb targets. Consistent with these observations, NDY1/KDM2B is expressed at higher levels in basal-like triple-negative breast cancers, and its overexpression is associated with higher rates of relapse after treatment. In addition, NDY1-regulated miRNAs are downregulated in both normal and cancer mammary stem cells. Finally, in primary human breast cancer, NDY1/KDM2B expression correlates negatively with the expression of the NDY1-regulated miRNAs and positively with the expression of their PRC targets.
Seminal discoveries have established that epigenetic modifications are important for driving tumor progression. Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are highly conserved epigenetic effectors that maintain, by posttranslational modification of histones, the silenced state of genes involved in critical biologic processes, including cellular development, stem cell plasticity, and tumor progression. PcG proteins are found in two multimeric protein complexes called Polycomb repressive complexes: PRC1 and PRC2. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), catalytic core subunit of PRC2, epigenetically silences several tumor-suppressor genes by catalyzing the trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 27, which serves as a docking site for DNA methyltransferases and histone deacetylases. Evidence suggests that overexpression of EZH2 is strongly associated with cancer progression and poor outcome in disparate cancers, including hematologic and epithelial malignancies. The regulatory circuit and molecular cues causing EZH2 deregulation vary in different cancer types. Therefore, this review provides a comprehensive overview on the oncogenic role of EZH2 during tumorigenesis and highlights the multifaceted role of EZH2, as either a transcriptional activator or repressor depending on the cellular context. Additional insight is provided on the recent understanding of the causes and consequences of EZH2 overexpression in specific cancer types. Finally, evidence is discussed on how EZH2 has emerged as a promising target in anticancer therapy and the prospects for targeting EZH2 without affecting global methylation status. Thus, a better understanding of the complex epigenetic regulatory network controlling EZH2 expression and target genes facilitates the design of novel therapeutic interventions.
Shiogama S, Yoshiba S, Soga D, et al.Aberrant expression of EZH2 is associated with pathological findings and P53 alteration.
Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(10):4309-17 [PubMed
] Related Publications
AIM: Enhancer of zeste homolog-2 (EZH2) and B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region-1 homolog (BMI1) are members of the polycomb group of proteins, which function as transcriptional repressors through chromatin modification. EZH2 forms part of the polycomb repressive complex (PRC)-2, while BMI1 is a component of PRC1. Previous studies have shown that EZH2 is highly expressed in various type of cancers. Expression of EZH2 is reported to be regulated by the P53-E2F/retinoblastoma (RB)-related pathway, and a correlation between P53 mutation and EZH2 expression was recently found in breast cancer. Here, we examined the relationship between P53 and EZH2 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using immunohistochemistry, we investigated the expression of EZH2 and BMI1 in 99 surgically-resected OSCC and 34 epithelial dysplasia samples. We analyzed associations between aberrant expression of EZH2 and BMI1, and clinicopathological findings and patient outcome. P53 expression was also examined and analyzed in relation to EZH2 and BMI1 expression.
RESULTS: EZH2 and BMI1 protein were up-regulated in OSCC tissues compared with epithelial dysplasia and normal epithelium. Aberrant EZH2 and BMI1 protein expression was observed in 32 and 59 of the 99 OSCC samples, respectively. Aberrant EZH2 and BMI1 expression was significantly associated with mode of invasion, but not with lymph node metastasis or survival rate. Aberrant EZH2 expression was associated with P53 alteration in OSCC tissue. Expression of EZH2 mRNA in SAS/neo cells, which have wild-type P53, was significantly lower than in SAS/mp53 cells that have a mutant P53 gene.
CONCLUSION: P53 alteration may be involved in dysregulated EZH2 expression, and aberrant expression of EZH2 may play a role in carcinogenesis of OSCC.
Abd Al Kader L, Oka T, Takata K, et al.In aggressive variants of non-Hodgkin lymphomas, Ezh2 is strongly expressed and polycomb repressive complex PRC1.4 dominates over PRC1.2.
Virchows Arch. 2013; 463(5):697-711 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are important for the regulation of hematopoiesis by regulating chromatin compaction and silencing genes related to differentiation and cell cycle. Overexpression of enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (Ezh2) and Bmi-1/PCGF4 has been implicated in solid organ cancers, while Mel-18/PCGF2 has been reported as a tumor suppressor. Detailed expression profiles of PcG proteins and their diagnostic significance in malignant lymphomas are still unknown. In this study, we analyzed the expression levels of Ezh2, Bmi-1, Mel-18, and Ki67 in 197 Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patient samples and in lymphoma cell lines using immunohistochemistry, fluorescent immunocytochemistry, and Western blotting. Immunohistochemical staining showed that Ezh2 expression was significantly increased in aggressive compared to indolent subtypes of B cell neoplasms (P = 0.000-0.030), while no significant differences in Bmi-1 expression were found between these subtypes. Compared to the normal counterpart, T cell lymphomas showed significant overexpression of Bmi-1 (P = 0.011) and Ezh2 (P = 0.000). The Ki67 labeling index showed a positive correlation with Ezh2 expression in B cell lymphomas (correlation coefficient (Co) = 0.983, P = 0.000) and T/NK cell lymphomas (Co = 0.629, P = 0.000). Fluorescent immunohistochemical staining showed coexpression of Ezh2 and Ki67 in the same tumor cells, indicating that Ezh2 expression correlates with cell proliferation. Both B and T/NK cell neoplasms showed low expression of Mel-18 and high expression of both Bmi-1 and Ezh2. In conclusion, in aggressive lymphoma variants, Ezh2 is strongly expressed and polycomb repressive complex PRC1.4 dominates over PRC1.2. Coexpression of Bmi-1 and Ezh2 is a characteristic of aggressive lymphomas. Ezh2 correlates with the proliferation and aggressive nature of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.
Crea F, Clermont PL, Mai A, Helgason CDHistone modifications, stem cells and prostate cancer.
Curr Pharm Des. 2014; 20(11):1687-97 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PCa) is a very common neoplasm, which is generally treated by chemo-, radio-, and/or hormonal-therapy. After a variable time, PCa becomes resistant to conventional treatment, leading to patient death. Prostate tumor-initiating cells (TICs) and cancer repopulating cells (CRCs) are stem-like populations, driving respectively cancer initiation and progression. Histone modifiers (HMs) control gene expression in normal and cancer cells, thereby orchestrating key physiological and pathological processes. In particular, Polycomb group genes (PcGs) are a set of HMs crucial for lineage-specific gene silencing and stem cell self renewal. PcG products are organized into two main Polycomb Repressive Complexes (PRCs). At specific loci, PRC2 catalyzes histone H3 Lys27 trimethylation, which triggers gene silencing by recruiting PRC1, histone deacetylases and DNA methyl transferases. PRC1 catalyzes addition of the repressive mark histone H2A ubiquitination. Recently, the catalytic component of PRC1 (BMI1) was shown to play critical roles in prostate CRC self-renewal and resistance to chemotherapy, resulting in poorer prognosis. Similarly, pharmacological disruption of PRC2 by a small molecule inhibitor reduced the tumorigenicity and metastatic potential of prostate CRCs. Along with PcGs, some histone lysine demethylases (KDMs) are emerging as critical regulators of TIC/CRC biology. KDMs may be inhibited by specific small molecules, some of which display antitumor activity in PCa cells at micromolar concentrations. Since epigenetic gene regulation is crucial for stem cell biology, exploring the role of HMs in prostate cancer is a promising path that may lead to novel treatments.
Our goal of this study was to reconstruct a "genome-scale co-expression network" and find important modules in lung adenocarcinoma so that we could identify the genes involved in lung adenocarcinoma. We integrated gene mutation, GWAS, CGH, array-CGH and SNP array data in order to identify important genes and loci in genome-scale. Afterwards, on the basis of the identified genes a co-expression network was reconstructed from the co-expression data. The reconstructed network was named "genome-scale co-expression network". As the next step, 23 key modules were disclosed through clustering. In this study a number of genes have been identified for the first time to be implicated in lung adenocarcinoma by analyzing the modules. The genes EGFR, PIK3CA, TAF15, XIAP, VAPB, Appl1, Rab5a, ARF4, CLPTM1L, SP4, ZNF124, LPP, FOXP1, SOX18, MSX2, NFE2L2, SMARCC1, TRA2B, CBX3, PRPF6, ATP6V1C1, MYBBP1A, MACF1, GRM2, TBXA2R, PRKAR2A, PTK2, PGF and MYO10 are among the genes that belong to modules 1 and 22. All these genes, being implicated in at least one of the phenomena, namely cell survival, proliferation and metastasis, have an over-expression pattern similar to that of EGFR. In few modules, the genes such as CCNA2 (Cyclin A2), CCNB2 (Cyclin B2), CDK1, CDK5, CDC27, CDCA5, CDCA8, ASPM, BUB1, KIF15, KIF2C, NEK2, NUSAP1, PRC1, SMC4, SYCE2, TFDP1, CDC42 and ARHGEF9 are present that play a crucial role in cell cycle progression. In addition to the mentioned genes, there are some other genes (i.e. DLGAP5, BIRC5, PSMD2, Src, TTK, SENP2, PSMD2, DOK2, FUS and etc.) in the modules.
BACKGROUND: The Polycomb Repressor Complex (PRC) is an epigenetic regulator of transcription whose action is mediated by 2 protein complexes, PRC1 and PRC2. PRC is oncogenic in glioblastoma, where it is involved in cancer stem cell maintenance and radioresistance.
METHODS: We used a set of glioblastoma patient samples, glioma stem cells, and neural stem cells from a mouse model of glioblastoma. We characterized gene/protein expression and cellular phenotypes by quantitative PCR/Western blotting and clonogenic, cell-cycle, and DNA damage assays. We performed overexpression/knockdown studies by lentiviral infection and microRNA/small interfering RNA oligonucleotide transfection.
RESULTS: We show that microRNA-128 (miR-128) directly targets mRNA of SUZ12, a key component of PRC2, in addition to BMI1, a component of PRC1 that we previously showed as a target as well. This blocks the partially redundant functions of PRC1/PRC2, thereby significantly reducing PRC activity and its associated histone modifications. MiR-128 and SUZ12/BMI1 show opposite expression in human glioblastomas versus normal brain and in glioma stemlike versus neural stem cells. Furthermore, miR-128 renders glioma stemlike cells less radioresistant by preventing the radiation-induced expression of both PRC components. Finally, miR-128 expression is significantly reduced in neural stem cells from the brain of young, presymptomatic mice in our mouse model of glioblastoma. This suggests that loss of miR-128 expression in brain is an early event in gliomagenesis. Moreover, knockdown of miR-128 expression in nonmalignant mouse and human neural stem cells led to elevated expression of PRC components and increased clonogenicity.
CONCLUSIONS: MiR-128 is an important suppressor of PRC activity, and its absence is an early event in gliomagenesis.
Stimulation of transcriptional elongation is a key activity of leukemogenic MLL fusion proteins. Here, we provide evidence that MLL-ENL also inhibits Polycomb-mediated silencing as a prerequisite for efficient transformation. Biochemical studies identified ENL as a scaffold that contacted the elongation machinery as well as the Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) component CBX8. These interactions were mutually exclusive in vitro, corresponding to an antagonistic behavior of MLL-ENL and CBX8 in vivo. CBX8 inhibited elongation in a specific reporter assay, and this effect was neutralized by direct association with ENL. Correspondingly, CBX8-binding-defective MLL-ENL could not fully activate gene loci necessary for transformation. Finally, we demonstrate dimerization of MLL-ENL as a neomorphic activity that may augment Polycomb inhibition and transformation.
Au SL, Ng IO, Wong CMEpigenetic dysregulation in hepatocellular carcinoma: focus on polycomb group proteins.
Front Med. 2013; 7(2):231-41 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development is characterized by the presence of epigenetic alterations, including promoter DNA hypermethylation and post-translational modifications of histone, which profoundly affect expression of a wide repertoire of genes critical for cancer development. Emerging data suggest that deregulation of polycomb group (PcG) proteins, which are key chromatin modifiers repressing gene transcription during developmental stage, plays a causative role in oncogenesis. PcG proteins assemble into polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) and polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) to impose the histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) modification for repression. In this review, we will first recapitulate the mechanisms of two key epigenetic pathways: DNA methylation and histone modifications. Specifically, we will focus our discussion on the molecular roles of PcG proteins. Next, we will highlight recent findings on PcG proteins, their clinicopathological implication and their downstream molecular consequence in hepatocarcinogenesis. Last but not least, we will consider the therapeutic potential of targeting enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) as a possible treatment for HCC. Improving our understanding on the roles of PcG proteins in hepatocarcinogenesis can benefit the development of epigenetic-based therapy.
Ehrlichova M, Mohelnikova-Duchonova B, Hrdy J, et al.The association of taxane resistance genes with the clinical course of ovarian carcinoma.
Genomics. 2013; 102(2):96-101 [PubMed
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Taxane and platinum-based chemotherapy regimens are standard treatment for advanced ovarian carcinoma. Expression levels of putative markers of taxane resistance in carcinoma tissues and paired peritoneal samples (n=55) and in 16 samples of ovaries without signs of carcinoma were compared with clinical data and the patients' time to progression. KIF14, PRC1, CIT and ABCC1 genes were significantly overexpressed in carcinomas when compared with normal ovarian tissues, while ABCB1 and CASP9 expression was decreased. Associations of protein expression of the proliferation marker Ki-67 with KIF14, PRC1, ABCB1 and CASP2 were found. Lastly, it was discovered that ABCB1 and CASP2 levels associated with FIGO stage and that the CIT level associated with the time to progression of ovarian carcinoma patients (P<0.0001). In conclusion, ABCB1, CASP2, KIF14, PRC1 and CIT genes seem to associate with surrogate markers of ovarian carcinoma progression and CIT gene associates with therapy outcome.
BACKGROUND: Bmi1 is an integral component of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) and is involved in the pathogenesis of multiple cancers. It also plays a key role in the functioning of endogenous stem cells and cancer stem cells. Previous work implicated a role for cancer stem cells in the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer. We hypothesized that Bmi1 plays an integral role in enhancing pancreatic tumorigenicity and the function of cancer stem cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
METHODS: We measured endogenous Bmi1 levels in primary human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas, pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias (PanINs) and normal pancreas by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. The function of Bmi1 in pancreatic cancer was assessed by alteration of Bmi1 expression in several cell model systems by measuring cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, in vitro invasion, chemotherapy resistance, and in vivo growth and metastasis in an orthotopic model of pancreatic cancer. We also assessed the cancer stem cell frequency, tumorsphere formation, and in vivo growth of human pancreatic cancer xenografts after Bmi1 silencing.
RESULTS: Bmi1 was overexpressed in human PanINs, pancreatic cancers, and in several pancreatic cancer cell lines. Overexpression of Bmi1 in MiaPaCa2 cells resulted in increased proliferation, in vitro invasion, larger in vivo tumors, more metastases, and gemcitabine resistance while opposite results were seen when Bmi1 was silenced in Panc-1 cells. Bmi1 was overexpressed in the cancer stem cell compartment of primary human pancreatic cancer xenografts. Pancreatic tumorspheres also demonstrated high levels of Bmi1. Silencing of Bmi1 inhibited secondary and tertiary tumorsphere formation, decreased primary pancreatic xenograft growth, and lowered the proportion of cancer stem cells in the xenograft tissue.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results implicate Bmi1 in the invasiveness and growth of pancreatic cancer and demonstrate its key role in the regulation of pancreatic cancer stem cells.
Okoh VO, Felty Q, Parkash J, et al.Reactive oxygen species via redox signaling to PI3K/AKT pathway contribute to the malignant growth of 4-hydroxy estradiol-transformed mammary epithelial cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e54206 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 17-β-estradiol (E2)-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) on the induction of mammary tumorigenesis. We found that ROS-induced by repeated exposures to 4-hydroxy-estradiol (4-OH-E2), a predominant catechol metabolite of E2, caused transformation of normal human mammary epithelial MCF-10A cells with malignant growth in nude mice. This was evident from inhibition of estrogen-induced breast tumor formation in the xenograft model by both overexpression of catalase as well as by co-treatment with Ebselen. To understand how 4-OH-E2 induces this malignant phenotype through ROS, we investigated the effects of 4-OH-E2 on redox-sensitive signal transduction pathways. During the malignant transformation process we observed that 4-OH-E2 treatment increased AKT phosphorylation through PI3K activation. The PI3K-mediated phosphorylation of AKT in 4-OH-E2-treated cells was inhibited by ROS modifiers as well as by silencing of AKT expression. RNA interference of AKT markedly inhibited 4-OH-E2-induced in vitro tumor formation. The expression of cell cycle genes, cdc2, PRC1 and PCNA and one of transcription factors that control the expression of these genes - nuclear respiratory factor-1 (NRF-1) was significantly up-regulated during the 4-OH-E2-mediated malignant transformation process. The increased expression of these genes was inhibited by ROS modifiers as well as by silencing of AKT expression. These results indicate that 4-OH-E2-induced cell transformation may be mediated, in part, through redox-sensitive AKT signal transduction pathways by up-regulating the expression of cell cycle genes cdc2, PRC1 and PCNA, and the transcription factor - NRF-1. In summary, our study has demonstrated that: (i) 4-OH-E2 is one of the main estrogen metabolites that induce mammary tumorigenesis and (ii) ROS-mediated signaling leading to the activation of PI3K/AKT pathway plays an important role in the generation of 4-OH-E2-induced malignant phenotype of breast epithelial cells. In conclusion, ROS are important signaling molecules in the development of estrogen-induced malignant breast lesions.
The effect of preventive human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination on the reduction of the cervical cancer (CC) burden will not be known for 30 years. Therefore, it's still necessary to improve the procedures for CC screening and treatment. The objective of this study was to identify and characterize cellular targets that could be considered potential markers for screening or therapeutic targets. A pyramidal strategy was used. Initially the expression of 8,638 genes was compared between 43 HPV16-positive CCs and 12 healthy cervical epitheliums using microarrays. A total of 997 genes were deregulated, and 21 genes that showed the greatest deregulation were validated using qRT-PCR. The 6 most upregulated genes (CCNB2, CDC20, PRC1, SYCP2, NUSAP1, CDKN3) belong to the mitosis pathway. They were further explored in 29 low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CIN1) and 21 high-grade CIN (CIN2/3) to investigate whether they could differentiate CC and CIN2/3 (CIN2+) from CIN1 and controls. CCNB2, PRC1, and SYCP2 were mostly associated with CC and CDC20, NUSAP1, and CDKN3 were also associated with CIN2/3. The sensitivity and specificity of CDKN3 and NUSAP1 to detect CIN2+ was approximately 90%. The proteins encoded by all 6 genes were shown upregulated in CC by immunohistochemistry. The association of these markers with survival was investigated in 42 CC patients followed up for at least 42 months. Only CDKN3 was associated with poor survival and it was independent from clinical stage (HR = 5.9, 95%CI = 1.4-23.8, p = 0.01). CDKN3 and NUSAP1 may be potential targets for the development of screening methods. Nevertheless, further studies with larger samples are needed to define the optimal sensitivity and specificity. Inhibition of mitosis is a well-known strategy to combat cancers. Therefore, CDKN3 may be not only a screening and survival marker but a potential therapeutic target in CC. However, whether it's indispensable for tumor growth remains to be demonstrated.
PURPOSE: Prospectively identifying who will benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) would improve clinical decisions for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. In this study, we aim to develop and validate a functional gene set that predicts the clinical benefits of ACT in NSCLC.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: An 18-hub-gene prognosis signature was developed through a systems biology approach, and its prognostic value was evaluated in six independent cohorts. The 18-hub-gene set was then integrated with genome-wide functional (RNAi) data and genetic aberration data to derive a 12-gene predictive signature for ACT benefits in NSCLC.
RESULTS: Using a cohort of 442 stage I to III NSCLC patients who underwent surgical resection, we identified an 18-hub-gene set that robustly predicted the prognosis of patients with adenocarcinoma in all validation datasets across four microarray platforms. The hub genes, identified through a purely data-driven approach, have significant biological implications in tumor pathogenesis, including NKX2-1, Aurora Kinase A, PRC1, CDKN3, MBIP, and RRM2. The 12-gene predictive signature was successfully validated in two independent datasets (n = 90 and 176). The predicted benefit group showed significant improvement in survival after ACT (UT Lung SPORE data: HR = 0.34, P = 0.017; JBR.10 clinical trial data: HR = 0.36, P = 0.038), whereas the predicted nonbenefit group showed no survival benefit for 2 datasets (HR = 0.80, P = 0.70; HR = 0.91, P = 0.82).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to integrate genetic aberration, genome-wide RNAi data, and mRNA expression data to identify a functional gene set that predicts which resectable patients with non-small cell lung cancer will have a survival benefit with ACT.
Radulović V, de Haan G, Klauke KPolycomb-group proteins in hematopoietic stem cell regulation and hematopoietic neoplasms.
Leukemia. 2013; 27(3):523-33 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The equilibrium between self-renewal and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. In particular, Polycomb-group (PcG) proteins have been shown to be involved in this process by repressing genes involved in cell-cycle regulation and differentiation. PcGs are histone modifiers that reside in two multi-protein complexes: Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 and 2 (PRC1 and PRC2). The existence of multiple orthologs for each Polycomb gene allows the formation of a multitude of distinct PRC1 and PRC2 sub-complexes. Changes in the expression of individual PcG genes are likely to cause perturbations in the composition of the PRC, which affect PRC enzymatic activity and target selectivity. An interesting recent development is that aberrant expression of, and mutations in, PcG genes have been shown to occur in hematopoietic neoplasms, where they display both tumor-suppressor and oncogenic activities. We therefore comprehensively reviewed the latest research on the role of PcG genes in normal and malignant blood cell development. We conclude that future research to elucidate the compositional changes of the PRCs and methods to intervene in PRC assembly will be of great therapeutic relevance to combat hematological malignancies.
Ha SY, Kim SHCo-expression of Bmi1 and EZH2 as an independent poor prognostic factor in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Pathol Res Pract. 2012; 208(8):462-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Bmi1 polycomb ring finger oncogene (Bmi1) and the enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) are members of polycomb repressive complex (PRC) 1 and PRC2, respectively. PRC1 represses tumor suppressor genes such as p16INK4a and p14ARF in a PRC2-dependent manner. There have been few studies on Bmi1 or EZH2 expression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We investigated Bmi1 and EZH2 expression in 164 cases of ESCCs using immunohistochemistry, and evaluated the correlation with clinicopathologic features and their prognostic significance. Bmi1 and EZH2 were more highly expressed in tumor than in adjacent normal tissue (p<0.001). High expression of Bmi1 or EZH2 alone was not correlated with any clinicopathologic parameter and did not influence the prognosis. However, the group with high expression of both Bmi1 and EZH2 showed the poorest prognosis in overall survival (p=0.027) and disease-free survival (p=0.007). Also, it was an independent prognostic factor in overall survival (p=0.047). High expression of both Bmi1 and EZH2, not each alone, is an independent poor prognostic factor in ESCCs, supporting the repression of tumor suppressor gene by Bmi1 in an EZH2-dependent manner. This result suggests that both Bmi1 and EZH2, not each alone, could be potent candidates of new target therapy in ESCCs.
Ribeiro JD, Morey L, Mas A, et al.ZRF1 controls oncogene-induced senescence through the INK4-ARF locus.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(17):2161-8 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The reactivation of the INK4-ARF locus, which is epigenetically repressed by Polycomb proteins in healthy cells, is a hallmark of senescence. One mechanism of reactivating Polycomb-silenced genes is mediated by the epigenetic factor ZRF1, which associates with ubiquitinated histone H2A. We show that cells undergoing senescence following oncogenic Ras expression have increased ZRF1 levels, and that this binds to the p15INK4b, ARF and p16INK4a promoters. Furthermore, ZRF1 depletion in oncogenic Ras-expressing cells restores proliferation by preventing Arf and p16Ink4a expression, consequently bypassing senescence. Thus, ZRF1 regulates the INK4-ARF locus during cellular proliferation and senescence, and alterations in ZRF1 may contribute to tumorigenesis.
Polycomb Repressive Complex (PRC) 1 and PRC2 regulate genes involved in differentiation and development. However, the mechanism for how PRC1 and PRC2 are recruited to genes in mammalian cells is unclear. Here we present evidence for an interaction between the transcription factor REST, PRC1, and PRC2 and show that RNF2 and REST co-regulate a number of neuronal genes in human teratocarcinoma cells (NT2-D1). Using NT2-D1 cells as a model of neuronal differentiation, we furthermore showed that retinoic-acid stimulation led to displacement of PRC1 at REST binding sites, reduced H3K27Me3, and increased gene expression. Genome-wide analysis of Polycomb binding in Rest⁻/⁻ and Eed⁻/⁻ mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells showed that Rest was required for PRC1 recruitment to a subset of Polycomb regulated neuronal genes. Furthermore, we found that PRC1 can be recruited to Rest binding sites independently of CpG islands and the H3K27Me3 mark. Surprisingly, PRC2 was frequently increased around Rest binding sites located in CpG-rich regions in the Rest⁻/⁻ mES cells, indicating a more complex interplay where Rest also can limit PRC2 recruitment. Therefore, we propose that Rest has context-dependent functions for PRC1- and PRC2- recruitment, which allows this transcription factor to act both as a recruiter of Polycomb as well as a limiting factor for PRC2 recruitment at CpG islands.
B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region 1 (Bmi1) is a Polycomb Group (PcG) protein important in gene silencing. It is a component of Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1), which is required to maintain the transcriptionally repressive state of many genes. Bmi1 was initially identified as an oncogene that regulates cell proliferation and transformation, and is important in hematopoiesis and the development of nervous systems. Recently, it was reported that Bmi1 is a potential marker for intestinal stem cells. Because Wnt signaling plays a key role in intestinal stem cells, we analyzed the effects of Wnt signaling on Bmi1 expression. We found that Wnt signaling indeed regulates the expression of Bmi1 in colon cancer cells. In addition, the expression of Bmi1 in human colon cancers is significantly associated with nuclear β-catenin, a hallmark for the activated Wnt signaling. Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc finger protein highly expressed in the gut and skin. We recently found that KLF4 cross-talks with Wnt/β-catenin in regulating intestinal homeostasis. We demonstrated that KLF4 directly inhibits the expression of Bmi1 in colon cancer cells. We also found that Bmi1 regulates histone ubiquitination and is required for colon cancer proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Our findings further suggest that Bmi1 is an attractive target for cancer therapeutics.
Crea F, Paolicchi E, Marquez VE, Danesi RPolycomb genes and cancer: time for clinical application?
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2012; 83(2):184-93 [PubMed
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Polycomb group genes (PcGs) are epigenetic effectors, essential for stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency. Two main Polycomb repressive complexes (PRC1, PRC2) mediate gene silencing through histone post-translational modifications. PcGs have been the focus of investigation in cancer research. Many cancer types show an over-expression of PcGs, predicting poor prognosis, metastasis and chemoresistance. Genetic polymorphisms of EZH2 (a PRC2 component) are significantly associated to lung cancer risk. Recently, 3-Deazaneplanocin A (DZNeP) was identified as an efficient inhibitor of PRC2 activity. DZNeP impairs cancer stem cell self-renewal and tumorigenicity. Despite the well-established role of PcGs in cancer stem cell biology, few studies dissected the clinical significance of these genes. In this paper, we explore PcGs as predictive and prognostic factors in oncology, with particular emphasis on what they can add to current biomarkers. We also propose a model for the rational development of DZNeP-based anticancer regimens and suggest the therapeutic applications of this drug.
Jo S, Lee H, Kim S, et al.Inhibition of PCGF2 enhances granulocytic differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL-60 via induction of HOXA7.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011; 416(1-2):86-91 [PubMed
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This study tested the hypothesis that Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) may play a negative role in the granulocytic differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells. We first examined the expression of PRC1 genes during all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-mediated differentiation of human HL-60 cells, and identified PCGF2 as a gene down-regulated by ATRA in a time-dependent manner. Upon gene silencing of PCGF2 with lentiviral short hairpin RNA, granulocytic differentiation was induced as assessed by differentiation marker gene expression, nitroblue tetrazolium staining, Wright-Giemsa staining, and cell cycle analysis. We next identified HOXA7 as a homeobox gene up-regulated by ATRA and successfully induced granulocytic differentiation by overexpression of HOXA7. We next tested the relationship between PCGF2 and HOXA7 by quantifying the changes in HOXA7 and PCGF2 expression upon PCGF2 gene silencing and HOXA7 overexpression, respectively. HOXA7 expression was up-regulated by PCGF2 gene silencing, while PCGF2 expression remained unchanged by ectopic HOXA7 expression, suggesting PCGF2 as acting upstream of HOXA7. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was performed with HOXA7 chromatin. We observed gene-specific reduction in direct binding of Pcgf2 protein to HOXA7 chromatin upon PCGF2 gene silencing. Taken together, these results support the notion that down-regulation of PCGF2 is sufficient to induce granulocytic differentiation of HL-60 cells via de-repression of HOXA7 gene expression. In conclusion, we report that PCGF2, a PRC1 gene, played a negative role in the granulocytic differentiation of human APL cells.
Cellular senescence is an irreversible arrest of cell growth. Biochemical and morphological changes occur during cellular senescence, including the formation of a unique cellular morphology such as flattened cytoplasm. Function of mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and lysosomes are affected resulting in the inhibition of lysosomal and proteosomal pathways. Cellular senescence can be triggered by a number of factors including, aging, DNA damage, oncogene activation and oxidative stress. While the molecular mechanism of senescence involves p16 and p53 tumor suppressor genes and telomere shortening, this review is focused on the mechanism of p16 control. The p16-mediated senescence acts through the retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway inhibiting the action of the cyclin dependant kinases leading to G1 cell cycle arrest. Rb is maintained in a hypophosphorylated state resulting in the inhibition of transcription factor E2F1. Regulation of p16 expression is complex and involves epigenetic control and multiple transcription factors. PRC1 (Pombe repressor complex (1) and PRC2 (Pombe repressor complex (2) proteins and histone deacetylases play an important role in the promoter hypermethylation for suppressing p16 expression. While transcription factors YY1 and Id1 suppress p16 expression, transcription factors CTCF, Sp1 and Ets family members activate p16 transcription. Senescence occurs with the inactivation of suppressor elements leading to the enhanced expression of p16.
Polycomb group proteins have long been linked to the occurrence of different forms of cancer. Polycomb proteins form at least two distinct complexes, the Polycomb-repressive complexes 1 and 2 (PRC1 and PRC2). Some of the PRC complex subunits have been found to be overexpressed in a variety of different tumors. Epigenetic perturbations are likely to be the cause for transcriptional misregulation of tumor suppressor genes and of certain cell fates. It is especially critical for stem cells that their potential to self-renewal and to differentiate is tightly controlled and properly orchestrated. Misregulation of Polycomb protein levels often leads to either a block or unscheduled activation of developmental pathways, thereby enhancing the proliferation capability of a cell. The consequences of this misregulation have been linked to the establishment of cancer stem cells, which can produce tumors through a combination of increased self-renewal and the lack of complete cellular differentiation. Cancer stem cells are believed to persist within tumors and to elicit relapse and metastasis. In this review, we recapitulate the roles of Polycomb proteins in stem cell biology, and the impact their misregulation can have on cancer.
Wang SM, Ooi LL, Hui KMUpregulation of Rac GTPase-activating protein 1 is significantly associated with the early recurrence of human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(18):6040-51 [PubMed
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PURPOSE: To assess the significance of Rac GTPase-activating protein 1 (RACGAP1) expression in identifying HBV-positive human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients who are at high risk for recurrent disease.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The prognostic significance of RACGAP1 was compared with clinicopathologic parameters available at diagnosis using multivariate and log-rank test. RACGAP1 expression and outcome in recurrence was compared between 35 patients with recurrence and 41 patients without recurrence using Kaplan-Meier analysis. RACGAP1-targeted molecules and pathways were identified and characterized by inhibition with siRNA duplexes.
RESULTS: Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that the level of RACGAP1 expression is sufficient to predict the early recurrence of HCC: high RACGAP1 expression correlates with high risk of postresection recurrent HCC (P < 0.0005). Silencing of RACGAP1 in Hep3B and MHCC97-H HCC cells with high endogenous RACGAP1 expression inhibited cell migration and invasion. Using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis, the target molecules silenced in the RACGAP1 interactome were mostly genes related to the mitotic roles of the polo-like kinases. These included PRC1, AURKB, CDC2, ECT2, KIF23, PAK1, and PPP2R5E. In providing clinical corroboration of these results, when expression of these transcripts was analyzed in an expression database that we have established previously for HBV-positive HCC patients, these genes was mostly upregulated in patients who exhibited early recurrent disease and hence provided important corroboration of these results.
CONCLUSIONS: siRNA-silencing RACGAP1 mainly targeted genes in an interactome clinically relevant to early HCC recurrence. Besides being an independent informative prognostic biomarker, RACGAP1 could also be a potential molecular target for designing therapeutic strategies for HCC.
Liposarcoma remains the most common mesenchymal cancer, with a mortality rate of 60% among patients with this disease. To address the present lack of therapeutic options, we embarked upon a study of microRNA (miRNA) expression alterations associated with liposarcomagenesis with the goal of exploiting differentially expressed miRNAs and the gene products they regulate as potential therapeutic targets. MicroRNA expression was profiled in samples of normal adipose tissue, well-differentiated liposarcoma, and dedifferentiated liposarcoma by both deep sequencing of small RNA libraries and hybridization-based Agilent microarrays. The expression profiles discriminated liposarcoma from normal adipose tissue and well differentiated from dedifferentiated disease. We defined over 40 miRNAs that were dysregulated in dedifferentiated liposarcomas in both the sequencing and the microarray analysis. The upregulated miRNAs included two cancer-associated species (miR-21 and miR-26a), and the downregulated miRNAs included two species that were highly abundant in adipose tissue (miR-143 and miR-145). Restoring miR-143 expression in dedifferentiated liposarcoma cells inhibited proliferation, induced apoptosis, and decreased expression of BCL2, topoisomerase 2A, protein regulator of cytokinesis 1 (PRC1), and polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1). The downregulation of PRC1 and its docking partner PLK1 suggests that miR-143 inhibits cytokinesis in these cells. In support of this idea, treatment with a PLK1 inhibitor potently induced G(2)-M growth arrest and apoptosis in liposarcoma cells. Taken together, our findings suggest that miR-143 re-expression vectors or selective agents directed at miR-143 or its targets may have therapeutic value in dedifferentiated liposarcoma.
Thériault BL, Pajovic S, Bernardini MQ, et al.Kinesin family member 14: an independent prognostic marker and potential therapeutic target for ovarian cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2012; 130(8):1844-54 [PubMed
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The novel oncogene KIF14 (kinesin family member 14) shows genomic gain and overexpression in many cancers including OvCa (ovarian cancer). We discovered that expression of the mitotic kinesin KIF14 is predictive of poor outcome in breast and lung cancers. We now determine the prognostic significance of KIF14 expression in primary OvCa tumors, and evaluate KIF14 action on OvCa cell tumorigenicity in vitro. Gene-specific multiplex PCR and real-time QPCR were used to measure KIF14 genomic (109 samples) and mRNA levels (122 samples) in OvCa tumors. Association of KIF14 with clinical variables was studied using Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox regression analyses. Cellular effects of KIF14 overexpression (stable transfection) and inhibition (stable shRNA knockdown) were studied by proliferation (cell counts), survival (Annexin V immunocytochemistry) and colony formation (soft-agar growth). KIF14 genomic gain (>2.6 copies) was present in 30% of serous OvCas, and KIF14 mRNA was elevated in 91% of tumors versus normal epithelium. High KIF14 in tumors independently predicted for worse outcome (p = 0.03) with loss of correlation with proliferation marker expression and increased rates of recurrence. Overexpression of KIF14 in OvCa cell lines increased proliferation and colony formation (p < 0.01), whereas KIF14 knockdown induced apoptosis and dramatically reduced colony formation (p < 0.05). Our findings indicate that KIF14 mRNA is an independent prognostic marker in serous OvCa. Dependence of OvCa cells on KIF14 for maintenance of in vitro colony formation suggests a role of KIF14 in promoting a tumorigenic phenotype, beyond its known role in proliferation.