The genetic landscape of high-risk neuroblastoma

1] The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. [2] Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. [3] Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. [4].
Nature Genetics (Impact Factor: 29.35). 01/2013; 45(3). DOI: 10.1038/ng.2529
Source: PubMed


Neuroblastoma is a malignancy of the developing sympathetic nervous system that often presents with widespread metastatic disease, resulting in survival rates of less than 50%. To determine the spectrum of somatic mutation in high-risk neuroblastoma, we studied 240 affected individuals (cases) using a combination of whole-exome, genome and transcriptome sequencing as part of the Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) initiative. Here we report a low median exonic mutation frequency of 0.60 per Mb (0.48 nonsilent) and notably few recurrently mutated genes in these tumors. Genes with significant somatic mutation frequencies included ALK (9.2% of cases), PTPN11 (2.9%), ATRX (2.5%, and an additional 7.1% had focal deletions), MYCN (1.7%, causing a recurrent p.Pro44Leu alteration) and NRAS (0.83%). Rare, potentially pathogenic germline variants were significantly enriched in ALK, CHEK2, PINK1 and BARD1. The relative paucity of recurrent somatic mutations in neuroblastoma challenges current therapeutic strategies that rely on frequently altered oncogenic drivers.

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Available from: Jaegil Kim, Feb 01, 2014
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    • "Neuroblastoma is the most common and deadly tumor of infancy [1, 2]. It accounts for about 10% of childhood cancers and the mortality reaches 12% [1, 3, 4]. Despite a better understanding of the molecular, cellular and genetic events that can lead to neuroblastoma development there is still a need to explore new druggable targets for this disease. "
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    ABSTRACT: The crosstalk between Hedgehog (HH) signaling and other signal transduction cascades has been extensively studied in different cancers. In neuroblastoma, mTOR/S6K1 signaling is known to have a role in the development of this disease and recent evidence also implicates the HH pathway. Moreover, S6K1 kinase has been shown to phosphorylate GLI1, the effector of HH signaling, promoting GLI1 transcriptional activity and oncogenic function in esophageal adenocarcinoma. In this study, we examined the possible interplay of S6K1 and GLI1 signaling in neuroblastoma. siRNA knockdowns were used to suppress S6K1 and GLI1 expression, and the siRNA effects were validated by real-time PCR and Western blotting. Cell proliferation analysis was performed with the EdU incorporation assay. Cytotoxic analysis with increasing concentrations of PI3K/mTOR and GLI inhibitors, individually and in combination, was used to determine drug response. Although knockdown of either S6K1 or GLI1 reduces the cellular proliferation of neuroblastoma cells, there is little effect of S6K1 on the expression of GLI1 mRNA and protein and on the capacity of GLI1 to activate target genes. No detectable phosphorylation of GLI1 is observed prior or following S6K1 knockdown. GLI1 overexpression can not rescue the reduced proliferation elicited by S6K1 knockdown. Moreover, inhibitors of PI3K/mTOR and GLI signaling reduced neuroblastoma cell growth, but no additional growth inhibitory effects were detected when the two classes of drugs were combined. Our results demonstrate that the impact of S6K1 kinase on neuroblastoma cells is not mediated through modulation of GLI1 expression/activity.
    BMC Cancer 08/2014; 14(1):600. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-14-600 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "Moreover, a recent paper by Pugh and co-workers, summarizing a large number of sequence data, indicates a low median exonic mutation frequency and only few recurrently mutated genes. Among these, ALK was most frequently affected (9.2%); all other genes were found to be mutated in less than 3%: PTPN11, 2.9%; ATRX, 2.5%; MYCN, 1.7%; NRAS, 0.83% (16). This study was completed by the findings of ARID1A and ARID1B mutations/deletion in 11% of analyzed tumors (17). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroblastoma serves as a paradigm for applying tumor genomic data for determining patient prognosis and thus for treatment allocation. MYCN status, i.e., amplified vs. non-amplified, was one of the very first biomarkers in oncology to discriminate aggressive from less aggressive or even favorable clinical courses of neuroblastoma. However, MYCN amplification is by far not the only genetic change associated with unfavorable clinical courses. So called "segmental chromosomal aberrations," (SCAs) i.e., gains or losses of chromosomal fragments, can also indicate tumor aggressiveness. The clinical use of these genomic aberrations has, however, been hampered for many years by methodical and interpretational problems. Only after reaching worldwide consensus on markers, methodology, and data interpretation, information on SCAs has recently been implemented in clinical studies. Now, a number of collaborative studies within COG, GPOH, and SIOPEN use genomic information to stratify therapy for patients with localized and metastatic disease. Recently, new types of DNA based aberrations influencing the clinical behavior of neuroblastomas have been described. Deletions or mutations of genes like ATRX and a phenomenon referred to as "chromothripsis" are all assumed to correlate with an unfavorable clinical behavior. However, these genomic aberrations need to be scrutinized in larger studies applying the most appropriate techniques. Single nucleotide polymorphism arrays have proven successful in deciphering genomic aberrations of cancer cells; these techniques, however, are usually not applied in the daily routine. Here, we present an ultra-high density (UHD) SNParray technique which is, because of its high specificity and sensitivity and the combined copy number and allele information, highly appropriate for the genomic diagnosis of neuroblastoma and other malignancies.
    Frontiers in Oncology 08/2014; 4:202. DOI:10.3389/fonc.2014.00202
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    • "MYCN amplification plays a significant role in development of NB and is considered to be a key therapeutic target for NB [26]. We asked whether CFMs target MYCN in NB cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroblastomas (NBs) are a clinically heterogeneous group of extra cranial pediatric tumors. Patients with high-risk, metastatic NBs have a long-term survival rate of below 40%, and are often resistant to current therapeutic modalities. Due to toxic side effects associated with radiation and chemotherapies, development of new agents is warranted to overcome resistance and effectively treat this disease in clinic. CARP-1 functional mimetics (CFMs) are an emerging class of small molecule compounds that inhibit growth of diverse cancer cell types. Here we investigated NB inhibitory potential of CFMs and the molecular mechanisms involved. CFM-1, -4, and -5 inhibited NB cell growth, in vitro, independent of their p53 and MYCN status. CFM-4 and -5 induced apoptosis in NB cells in part by activating pro-apoptotic stress-activated kinases (SAPKs) p38 and JNK, stimulating CARP-1 expression and cleavage of PARP1, while promoting loss of the oncogenes C and N-myc as well as mitotic cyclin B1. Treatments of NB cells with CFM-4 or -5 also resulted in loss of Inhibitory κB (IκB) α and β proteins. Micro-RNA profiling revealed upregulation of XIAP-targeting miR513a-3p in CFM-4-treated NB, mesothelioma, and breast cancer cells. Moreover, exposure of NB and breast cancer cells to CFM-4 or -5 resulted in diminished expression of anti-apoptotic XIAP1, cIAP1, and Survivin proteins. Expression of anti-miR513a-5p or miR513a-5p mimic, however, interfered with or enhanced, respectively, the breast cancer cell growth inhibition by CFM-4. CFMs also impacted biological properties of the NB cells by blocking their abilities to migrate, form colonies in suspension, and invade through the matrix-coated membranes. Our studies indicate anti-NB properties of CFM-4 and 5, and suggest that these CFMs and/or their future analogs have potential as anti-NB agents.
    PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e102567. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0102567 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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