[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Improvement in the clinical outcome of lung cancer is likely to be achieved by identification of the molecular events that underlie its pathogenesis. Here we show that a small inversion within chromosome 2p results in the formation of a fusion gene comprising portions of the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) gene and the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Mouse 3T3 fibroblasts forced to express this human fusion tyrosine kinase generated transformed foci in culture and subcutaneous tumours in nude mice. The EML4-ALK fusion transcript was detected in 6.7% (5 out of 75) of NSCLC patients examined; these individuals were distinct from those harbouring mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor gene. Our data demonstrate that a subset of NSCLC patients may express a transforming fusion kinase that is a promising candidate for a therapeutic target as well as for a diagnostic molecular marker in NSCLC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Balanced chromosome rearrangements (BCRs) can cause genetic diseases by disrupting or inactivating specific genes, and the characterization of breakpoints in disease-associated BCRs has been instrumental in the molecular elucidation of a wide variety of genetic disorders. However, mapping chromosome breakpoints using traditional methods, such as in situ hybridization with fluorescent dye-labeled bacterial artificial chromosome clones (BAC-FISH), is rather laborious and time-consuming. In addition, the resolution of BAC-FISH is often insufficient to unequivocally identify the disrupted gene. To overcome these limitations, we have performed shotgun sequencing of flow-sorted derivative chromosomes using "next-generation" (Illumina/Solexa) multiplex sequencing-by-synthesis technology. As shown here for three different disease-associated BCRs, the coverage attained by this platform is sufficient to bridge the breakpoints by PCR amplification, and this procedure allows the determination of their exact nucleotide positions within a few weeks. Its implementation will greatly facilitate large-scale breakpoint mapping and gene finding in patients with disease-associated balanced translocations.
Genome Research 08/2008; 18(7):1143-9. DOI:10.1101/gr.076166.108 · 13.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the success of tyrosine kinase-based cancer therapeutics, for most solid tumors the tyrosine kinases that drive disease remain unknown, limiting our ability to identify drug targets and predict response. Here we present the first large-scale survey of tyrosine kinase activity in lung cancer. Using a phosphoproteomic approach, we characterize tyrosine kinase signaling across 41 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and over 150 NSCLC tumors. Profiles of phosphotyrosine signaling are generated and analyzed to identify known oncogenic kinases such as EGFR and c-Met as well as novel ALK and ROS fusion proteins. Other activated tyrosine kinases such as PDGFRalpha and DDR1 not previously implicated in the genesis of NSCLC are also identified. By focusing on activated cell circuitry, the approach outlined here provides insight into cancer biology not available at the chromosomal and transcriptional levels and can be applied broadly across all human cancers.
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