DNA amplification is a frequent occurrence in cancer genomes. While tumor amplicons may harbor known oncogenes "driving" amplification, amplicons rarely comprise only single genes. The potential functional contribution of coamplified genes remains largely unexplored. In breast cancer, 20-30% of tumors exhibit amplification within chromosome band 17q12, containing the ERBB2 oncogene. Analysis of array-based comparative genomic hybridization and expression profiling data indicate that the minimum region of recurrent amplification (i.e., the amplicon "core") at 17q12 includes two other genes, GRB7 and STARD3, which exhibit elevated expression when amplified. Western blot analysis confirms overexpression of each at the protein level in breast cancer cell lines SKBR3 and BT474 harboring amplification. In these cell lines (but not in control MCF7 breast cancer cells lacking 17q12 amplification), targeted knockdown of ERBB2 expression using RNA interference (RNAi) methods results in decreased cell proliferation, decreased cell-cycle progression, and increased apoptosis. Notably, targeted knockdown of either GRB7 or STARD3 also leads to decreased cell proliferation and cell-cycle progression, albeit to a lesser extent compared with ERBB2 knockdown. We conclude that the amplification and resultant overexpression of genes coamplified with ERBB2 at 17q12 can contribute to proliferation levels of breast cancer cells. Our findings validate the utility of RNAi in the functional interrogation of tumor amplicons, and provide evidence for a contribution of coamplified genes to tumor phenotypes.
"In addition to HER-2, there are a number of other chromosome 17q11-12 genes, including closely neighboring GRB7, which may be amplified and over-expressed concurrently with HER-2 (Luoh ; Kao & Pollack ; Kauraniemi & Kallioniemi ; Bai & Luoh ; Stein et al. ; Glynn et al. ). The GRB7 gene codes for a multi-domain signal transduction molecule, and is known to play important roles in tumor growth and migration (Shen & Guan ). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Testing for human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2) in breast cancer is performed by either immunohistochemistry (IHC) or in situ hybridization (ISH). The growth factor receptor-bound protein-7 (GRB7) gene is in close proximity to HER-2 on chromosome 17q11-12 and codes a signal transduction molecule shown to be an independent adverse marker in breast cancer.
HER-2 and GRB7 protein expression from 613 frozen breast tumors was determined by Western analysis. HER-2 protein results were confirmed with IHC. Commercial HER-2 FISH was performed on a subset of tumors with multi-probe FISH used to assess the extent of HER-2 gene amplification. mRNA expression was determined by Multi-plex RT-PCR.
Seven tumors with GRB7 protein over-expression scored HER-2 FISH amplified but had no HER-2 protein over-expression. Four of the 7 tumors showed elevated GRB7 but not HER-2 mRNA over-expression. The breast cancer cell line HCC3153 did not over-express HER-2 protein but showed HER-2 FISH amplification of a limited segment around the HER-2 gene. Ten breast cancer tumors from the TCGA database had gene copy number increases around HER-2 without HER-2 mRNA or protein over-expression.
A subset of human breast cancers that test positive with FISH for HER-2 gene amplification do not over-express HER-2 protein. One mechanism for this discordance is the incomplete amplification of the smallest HER-2 region of chromosome 17q11-12, which includes GRB7. HER-2 gene amplification without protein over-expression is clinically significant because patients with such tumors are unlikely to benefit from HER-2 targeted therapy.
"For example, in the HER2 amplicon, only 7 of the 13 genes that map to the smallest region of amplification are expressed at significantly higher levels when amplified [20-22]. Conversely, evidence now suggests that an amplicon may harbour more than one driver [10,11,17,18,23,24]. For instance, within the 8p11.2 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 19q12 locus is amplified in a subgroup of oestrogen receptor (ER)-negative grade III breast cancers. This amplicon comprises nine genes, including cyclin E1 (CCNE1), which has been proposed as its 'driver'. The aim of this study was to identify the genes within the 19q12 amplicon whose expression is required for the survival of cancer cells harbouring their amplification.
We investigated the presence of 19q12 amplification in a series of 313 frozen primary breast cancers and 56 breast cancer cell lines using microarray comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH). The nine genes mapping to the smallest region of amplification on 19q12 were silenced using RNA interference in phenotypically matched breast cancer cell lines with (MDA-MB-157 and HCC1569) and without (Hs578T, MCF7, MDA-MB-231, ZR75.1, JIMT1 and BT474) amplification of this locus. Genes whose silencing was selectively lethal in amplified cells were taken forward for further validation. The effects of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) silencing and chemical inhibition were tested in cancer cells with and without CCNE1 amplification.
19q12 amplification was identified in 7.8% of ER-negative grade III breast cancer. Of the nine genes mapping to this amplicon, UQCRFS1, POP4, PLEKHF1, C19ORF12, CCNE1 and C19ORF2 were significantly over-expressed when amplified in primary breast cancers and/or breast cancer cell lines. Silencing of POP4, PLEKHF1, CCNE1 and TSZH3 selectively reduced cell viability in cancer cells harbouring their amplification. Cancer cells with CCNE1 amplification were shown to be dependent on CDK2 expression and kinase activity for their survival.
The 19q12 amplicon may harbour more than a single 'driver', given that expression of POP4, PLEKHF1, CCNE1 and TSZH3 is required for the survival of cancer cells displaying their amplification. The observation that cancer cells harbouring CCNE1 gene amplification are sensitive to CDK2 inhibitors provides a rationale for the testing of these chemical inhibitors in a subgroup of patients with ER-negative grade III breast cancers.
Breast cancer research: BCR 03/2012; 14(2):R53. DOI:10.1186/bcr3154 · 5.49 Impact Factor
"It is not uncommon to find multiple driver oncogenes within tumor amplicons (e.g. ref. ). Indeed, our own studies do not resolve whether KPNA7, within our 325 Kb minimal amplicon, might also have an oncogenic role (along with SMURF1). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease, and new therapeutic targets are urgently needed. We previously identified DNA amplification at 7q21-q22 in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Now, by high-resolution genomic profiling of human pancreatic cancer cell lines and human tumors (engrafted in immunodeficient mice to enrich the cancer epithelial fraction), we define a 325 Kb minimal amplicon spanning SMURF1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase and known negative regulator of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) growth inhibitory signaling. SMURF1 amplification was confirmed in primary human pancreatic cancers by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), where 4 of 95 cases (4.2%) exhibited amplification. By RNA interference (RNAi), knockdown of SMURF1 in a human pancreatic cancer line with focal amplification (AsPC-1) did not alter cell growth, but led to reduced cell invasion and anchorage-independent growth. Interestingly, this effect was not mediated through altered TGFβ signaling, assayed by transcriptional reporter. Finally, overexpression of SMURF1 (but not a catalytic mutant) led to loss of contact inhibition in NIH-3T3 mouse embryo fibroblast cells. Together, these findings identify SMURF1 as an amplified oncogene driving multiple tumorigenic phenotypes in pancreatic cancer, and provide a new druggable target for molecularly directed therapy.
PLoS ONE 08/2011; 6(8):e23924. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0023924 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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