Tumors vary widely in chromosomal level genome instability. To gain a better understanding of the underlying defects which foster specific types of aberrations, we investigated the response of cells of related genetic backgrounds to challenge with methotrexate. We studied mismatch repair deficient HCT116 cells, two derivatives also deficient in XRCC5 (HCT116 Ku86+/-) or BLM (HCT116 BLM-/-), and mismatch repair competent HCT116+chr3 cells. We show that colony formation occurred at a significantly higher frequency in HCT116 cells and HCT116 Ku86+/- cells compared to HCT116 BLM-/- and HCT116+chr3 cells. Visible colonies arose most rapidly in HCT116 Ku86+/- cells, whereas they formed most slowly in HCT116+chr3 cells. Copy number changes acquired by the methotrexate resistant HCT116 and HCT116 BLM-/- cells most often included whole chromosome gains or losses or no acquired copy number changes, whereas resistance in HCT116+chr3 and HCT116 Ku86+/- cells was associated with amplification of DHFR and copy number transitions leading to increased copy number of DHFR, respectively. The additional copies of DHFR were present on unstable chromosomes and organized as inverted repeats in HCT116+chr3 cells, while they were most often present as direct repeats in HCT116 Ku86+/- cells. These observations suggest that different mutational mechanisms promote drug resistance in these genetic backgrounds; mismatch repair deficiency in HCT116, high rates of chromosomal instability in HCT116 Ku86+/-, and low rates of chromosomal instability in HCT116+chr3. On the other hand, it appears that loss of BLM function suppresses the mismatch repair mutator mechanism in mismatch repair and BLM deficient HCT116 BLM-/- cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hedgehog signaling is often activated in tumors, yet it remains unclear how GLI2, a transcription factor activated by this pathway, acts as an oncogene. We show that GLI2 is a pleiotropic oncogene. The overexpression induces genomic instability and blocks differentiation, likely mediated in part by enhanced expression of the stem cell gene SOX2. GLI2 also induces transforming growth factor (TGF)B1-dependent transdifferentiation of foreskin and tongue, but not gingival fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, creating an environment permissive for invasion by keratinocytes, which are in various stages of differentiation having downregulated GLI2. Thus, upregulated GLI2 expression is sufficient to induce a number of the acquired characteristics of tumor cells; however, the stroma, in a tissue-specific manner, determines whether certain GLI2 oncogenic traits are expressed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gene amplification is one of the most frequent manifestations of genomic instability in human tumors and plays an important role in tumor progression and acquisition of drug resistance. To better understand the factors involved in acquired resistance to cytotoxic drugs via gene amplification, we have analyzed the structure and dynamics of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene amplification in HT29 cells treated with methotrexate (MTX). Analysis of the DHFR gene amplification process shows that the amplicon exhibits a complex structure that is consistently reproduced in independent treatments. The cytogenetic manifestation of the amplification in advanced stages of the treatment may be in the form of double minutes or as a homogeneously stained region. To get insights into the mechanisms of resistance, we have also investigated the sensitization to MTX of MTX-resistant cells after drug withdrawal and reexposure to MTX. Passive loss of the DHFR amplicon by withdrawal of the drug results in MTX-sensitive cells exhibiting a substantial reduction of their capacity or even an incapacity to generate resistance when submitted to a second cycle of MTX treatment. On a second round of drug administration, the resistant cells generate a different amplicon structure, suggesting that the formation of the amplicon as in the first cycle of treatment is not feasible. These results indicate that DHFR gene amplification is a "wear and tear" process in HT29 cells and that MTX-resistant cells may become responsive to a second round of treatment if left untreated during a sufficient period of time.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 03/2009; 8(2):424-32. DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-0759 · 5.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gene amplification and copy number changes play a pivotal role in malignant transformation and progression of human tumor cells by mediating the activation of genes and oncogenes, which are involved in many different cellular processes including development of drug resistance. Since doxorubicin (DX) and methotrexate (MTX) are the two most important drugs for high-grade osteosarcoma (OS) treatment, the aim of this study was to identify genes gained or amplified in six DX- and eight MTX-resistant variants of the human OS cell lines U-2OS and Saos-2, and to get insights into the mechanisms underlying the amplification processes. Comparative genomic hybridization techniques identified amplification of MDR1 in all six DX-resistant and of DHFR in three MTX-resistant U-2OS variants. In addition, progressive gain of MLL was detected in the four U-2OS variants with higher resistance levels either to DX or MTX, whereas gain of MYC was found in all Saos-2 MTX-resistant variants and the U-2OS variant with the highest resistance level to DX. Fluorescent in situ hybridization revealed that MDR1 was amplified in U-2OS and Saos-2/DX-resistant variants manifested as homogeneously staining regions and double minutes, respectively. In U-2OS/MTX-resistant variants, DHFR was amplified in homogeneously staining regions, and was coamplified with MLL in relation to the increase of resistance to MTX. Gene amplification was associated with gene overexpression, whereas gene gain resulted in up-regulated gene expression. These results indicate that resistance to DX and MTX in human OS cell lines is a multigenic process involving gene copy number and expression changes.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 04/2009; 48(4):289-309. DOI:10.1002/gcc.20640 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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