High-resolution array CGH identifies common mechanisms that drive embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma pathogenesis.
ABSTRACT Pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma occurs as two biologically distinct histological variants, embryonal (ERMS) and alveolar (ARMS). To identify genomic changes that drive ERMS pathogenesis, we used a new array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) platform to examine a specific subset of ERMS tumors, those occurring in children with clinically defined intermediate-risk disease. The aCGH platform used has an average probe spacing ∼1 kb, and can identify genomic changes with single gene resolution. Our data suggest that these tumors share a common genomic program that includes inactivation of a master regulator of the p53 and Rb pathways, CDKN2A/B, and activation of FGFR4, Ras, and Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. The CDKN2A/B tumor suppressor is deleted in most patient samples. FGFR4, which encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, is activated in 20% of tumors, predominantly by amplification of mutant, activating FGFR4 alleles. Over 50% of patients had low-level gains of a region containing the Hh-pathway transcription factor GLI1, and a gene expression pattern consistent with Hh-pathway activation. We also identified intragenic deletions affecting NF1, a tumor suppressor and inhibitor of Ras, in 15% of tumor samples. Deletion of NF1 and the presence of activating Ras mutations (in 42% of patients) were mutually exclusive, suggesting NF1 loss is an alternative and potentially common mechanism of Ras activation in ERMS. Our data suggest that intermediate-risk ERMS is driven by a common set of genomic defects, a finding that has important implications for the application of targeted therapies to improve the treatment of children diagnosed with this disease.
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ABSTRACT: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a relatively common tumour predisposition syndrome related to germline aberrations of NF1, a tumour suppressor gene. The gene product neurofibromin is a negative regulator of the Ras cellular proliferation pathway, and also exerts tumour suppression via other mechanisms. Recent next-generation sequencing projects have revealed somatic NF1 aberrations in various sporadic tumours. NF1 plays a critical role in a wide range of tumours. NF1 alterations appear to be associated with resistance to therapy and adverse outcomes in several tumour types. Identification of a patient's germline or somatic NF1 aberrations can be challenging, as NF1 is one of the largest human genes, with a myriad of possible mutations. Epigenetic factors may also also contribute to inadequate levels of neurofibromin in cancer cells. Clinical trials of NF1-based therapeutic approaches are currently limited. Preclinical studies on neurofibromin-deficient malignancies have mainly been on malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour cell lines or xenografts derived from NF1 patients. However, the emerging recognition of the role of NF1 in sporadic cancers may lead to the development of NF1-based treatments for other tumour types. Improved understanding of the implications of NF1 aberrations is critical for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.Oncotarget 07/2014; · 6.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common pediatric soft tissue sarcoma with poor prognosis. The genetic etiology of RMS remains largely unclear underlying its development and progression. To reveal novel genes more precisely and new therapeutic targets associated with RMS, we used high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to explore tumor-associated copy number variations (CNVs) and genes in RMS. We confirmed several important genes by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR). We then performed bioinformatics-based functional enrichment analysis for genes located in the genomic regions with CNVs. In addition, we identified miRNAs located in the corresponding amplification and deletion regions and performed miRNA functional enrichment analysis. aCGH analyses revealed that all RMS showed specific gains and losses. The amplification regions were 12q13.12, 12q13.3, and 12q13.3-q14.1. The deletion regions were 1p21.1, 2q14.1, 5q13.2, 9p12, and 9q12. The recurrent regions with gains were 12q13.3, 12q13.3-q14.1, 12q14.1, and 17q25.1. The recurrent regions with losses were 9p12-p11.2, 10q11.21-q11.22, 14q32.33, 16p11.2, and 22q11.1. The mean mRNA level of GLI1 in RMS was 6.61-fold higher than that in controls (p = 0.0477) by QRT-PCR. Meanwhile, the mean mRNA level of GEFT in RMS samples was 3.92-fold higher than that in controls (p = 0.0354). Bioinformatic analysis showed that genes were enriched in functions such as immunoglobulin domain, induction of apoptosis, and defensin. Proto-oncogene functions were involved in alveolar RMS. miRNAs that located in the amplified regions in RMS tend to be enriched in oncogenic activity (miR-24 and miR-27a). In conclusion, this study identified a number of CNVs in RMS and functional analyses showed enrichment for genes and miRNAs located in these CNVs regions. These findings may potentially help the identification of novel biomarkers and/or drug targets implicated in diagnosis of and targeted therapy for RMS.PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e94924. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is one of the most common soft-tissue sarcomas in children and adolescents with poor prognosis. Yet, there is lack of effective prognostic biomarkers for RMS. The present study, therefore, aimed to explore potential biomarkers for RMS based on our previous findings using array comparative genomic hybridization. We investigated guanine nucleotide exchange factor, GEFT, at expression level in 45 RMS patients and 36 normal striated muscle controls using immunohistochemistry using tissue microarrays. The expression rate of GEFT in RMS samples (42/45, 93.33%) was significantly higher (P<0.05) than that in normal controls (5/36, 13.89%). Moreover, the overexpression rate of GEFT in RMS (31/45, 68.89%) was also significantly higher (P<0.05) than that in normal controls (0/36, 0.00%). Increased expression of GEFT correlated significantly with advanced disease stages (stages III/IV) (P=0.001), lymph node metastasis (P=0.019), and distant metastasis (P=0.004), respectively, in RMS patients. In addition, RMS patients having overexpressed GEFT experienced worse overall survival (OS) than those having low levels of GEFT (P=0.001). GEFT overexpression was determined to be an independent prognostic factor for poor OS in RMS patients (hazard ratio: 3.491, 95% confidence interval: 1.121-10.871, P=0.004). In conclusion, these observations provide the first evidence of GEFT overexpression in RMS and its correlations with disease aggressiveness and metastasis. These findings suggest that GEFT may serve as a promising biomarker predicting poor prognosis in RMS patients, thus implying its potential as a therapeutic target.International journal of clinical and experimental pathology 01/2014; 7(4):1606-15. · 1.78 Impact Factor