Article

Loss of Wild-Type ATRX Expression in Somatic Cell Hybrids Segregates with Activation of Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres

Cancer Research Unit, Children's Medical Research Institute, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 11/2012; 7(11):e50062. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050062
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) is a non-telomerase mechanism of telomere lengthening that occurs in about 10% of cancers overall and is particularly common in astrocytic brain tumors and specific types of sarcomas. Somatic cell hybridization analyses have previously shown that normal telomerase-negative fibroblasts and telomerase-positive immortalized cell lines contain repressors of ALT activity, indicating that activation of ALT results from loss of one or more unidentified repressors. More recently, ATRX or DAXX was shown to be mutated both in tumors with telomere lengths suggestive of ALT activity and in ALT cell lines. Here, an ALT cell line was separately fused to each of four telomerase-positive cell lines, and four or five independent hybrid lines from each fusion were examined for expression of ATRX and DAXX and for telomere lengthening mechanism. The hybrid lines expressed either telomerase or ALT, with the other mechanism being repressed. DAXX was expressed normally in all parental cell lines and in all of the hybrids. ATRX was expressed normally in each of the four telomerase-positive parental cell lines and in every telomerase-positive hybrid line, and was abnormal in the ALT parental cells and in all but one of the ALT hybrids. This correlation between ALT activity and loss of ATRX expression is consistent with ATRX being a repressor of ALT.

0 Followers
 · 
78 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previously, we reported that alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) may be a biomarker for chemo-sensitivity and late recurrence in neuroblastoma (NBL). In this study, alterations of ATRX or DAXX, which both encode chromatin remodeling proteins in telomeric region, and their relationship to ALT were examined in NBLs.Methods Our previous report on 121 NBLs revealed 11 NBLs with elongated telomeres by ALT. In these NBLs, ATRX or DAXX gene alterations were identified using next-generation sequencing and compared to clinical and other biological factors.ResultsIn 11 ALT cases, DAXX mutations were detected in one case, and ATRX alterations were detected in 10 cases. Except for one case, no DAXX or ATRX alterations were detected in 110 tumors with normal or shortened telomeres. MYCN amplification was not detected in ATRX altered tumors. In ALT cases, three infants showed ATRX deletions, and all seven cases detected after 18 months of age showed poor prognosis.Conclusions In NBLs, ALT was caused by ATRX or DAXX alterations. ATRX altered cases without MYCN amplification detected at greater than 18 months showed poor prognosis, suggesting that ATRX or DAXX alterations are a particular NBL subtype. Since these tumors showed chemo-resistance and late recurrence, complete resection in a surgical approach should be performed to improve patient prognosis.
    Journal of Pediatric Surgery 11/2014; 49(12). DOI:10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2014.09.029 · 1.31 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Circumvention of the telomere length-dependent mechanisms that control the upper boundaries of cellular proliferation is necessary for the unlimited growth of cancer. Most cancer cells achieve cellular immortality by up-regulating the expression of telomerase to extend and maintain their telomere length. However, a small but significant number of cancers do so via the exchange of telomeric DNA between chromosomes in a pathway termed alternative lengthening of telomeres, or ALT. Although it remains to be clarified why a cell chooses the ALT pathway and how ALT is initiated, recently identified mutations in factors that shape the chromatin and epigenetic landscape of ALT telomeres are shedding light on these mechanisms. In this review, we examine these recent findings and integrate them into the current models of the ALT mechanism.
    Trends in Cell Biology 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.tcb.2014.07.007 · 12.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human ALT cancers show high mutation rates in ATRX and DAXX. Although it is well known that the absence of ATRX/DAXX disrupts H3.3 deposition at heterochromatin, its impact on H3.3 deposition and post-translational modification in the global genome remains unclear. Here, we explore the dynamics of phosphorylated H3.3 serine 31 (H3.3S31ph) in human ALT cancer cells. While H3.3S31ph is found only at pericentric satellite DNA repeats during mitosis in most somatic human cells, a high level of H3.3S31ph is detected on the entire chromosome in ALT cells, attributable to an elevated CHK1 activity in these cells. Drug inhibition of CHK1 activity during mitosis and expression of mutant H3.3S31A in these ALT cells result in a decrease in H3.3S31ph levels accompanied with increased levels of phosphorylated H2AX serine 139 on chromosome arms and at the telomeres. Furthermore, the inhibition of CHK1 activity in these cells also reduces cell viability. Our findings suggest a novel role of CHK1 as an H3.3S31 kinase, and that CHK1-mediated H3.3S31ph plays an important role in the maintenance of chromatin integrity and cell survival in ALT cancer cells. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
    Nucleic Acids Research 02/2015; 43(5). DOI:10.1093/nar/gkv104 · 8.81 Impact Factor