Conditional BRAF(V600E) expression induces DNA synthesis, apoptosis, dedifferentiation, and chromosomal instability in thyroid PCCL3 cells
ABSTRACT The activating mutation BRAF(T1796A) is the most prevalent genetic alteration in papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC). It is associated with advanced PTCs, suggesting that this oncoprotein confers thyroid cancers with more aggressive properties. BRAF(T1796A) is also observed in thyroid micropapillary carcinomas and may thus be an early event in tumor development. To explore its biological consequences, we established doxycycline-inducible BRAF(V600E)-expressing clonal lines derived from well-differentiated rat thyroid PCCL3 cells. Expression of BRAF(V600E) did not induce growth in the absence of thyrotropin despite increasing DNA synthesis, which is likely explained because of a concomitant increase in apoptosis. Thyrotropin-dependent cell growth and DNA synthesis were reduced by BRAF(V600E) because of decreased thyrotropin responsiveness associated with inhibition of thyrotropin receptor gene expression. These results are similar to those obtained following conditional expression of RET/PTC. However, in contrast to RET/PTC, BRAF activation did not impair key activation steps distal to the thyrotropin receptor, such as forskolin-induced adenylyl cyclase activity or cyclic AMP-induced DNA synthesis. We reported previously that acute RET/PTC expression in PCCL3 cells did not induce genomic instability. By contrast, induction of BRAF(V600E) expression increased the frequency of micronuclei by both clastogenic and aneugenic events. These data indicate that BRAF(V600E) expression confers thyroid cells with little growth advantage because of concomitant activation of DNA synthesis and apoptosis. However, in contrast to RET/PTC, BRAF(V600E) may facilitate the acquisition of secondary genetic events through induction of genomic instability, which may account for its aggressive properties.
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ABSTRACT: Literature has consistently shown associations of BRAFV600E mutation with papillary thyroid cancer clinical features. However, the clinical utility of BRAF expression has not been clinically explored so far. We studied 67 thyroid nodules (32 benign nodules and 35 PTC cases). BRAF mRNA expression levels measured by a quantitative real-time PCR and a PCR-RFLP were used to identify BRAFV600E mutation. BRAF mRNA expression was significantly higher in malignant (198.2±373.9 AU) than in benign (4.1±6.9 AU) nodules (p<0.0001). BRAF expression identified malignancy with a sensitivity of 80.6%, specificity of 77.1%, positive predictive value of 75.8%, and negative predictive value of 81.8%. A cut-point of 4.712, identified by the ROC curve, was able to sort out malignant nodules with an accuracy of 78.8%. Although we did not find any correlation between the presence of BRAF V600E mutation and clinical or tumor features such as age (p=0.309), gender (p=0.5453), ethnicity (p=0.9820), tumor size (p=1.000), multifocality (p=0.2530) or mRNA levels (p=0.7510), the study power for BRAF expression and diagnosis (99%; FPRP=0.85) indicated that data is noteworthy despite the relative small number of patients investigated. We concluded that BRAF mRNA expression may help to identify PTC among thyroid nodules independently of the presence of BRAFV600E mutation.Pathology - Research and Practice 07/2012; 208(8):489-92. DOI:10.1016/j.prp.2012.05.013
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ABSTRACT: Histone acetylation is a major mechanism to regulate gene transcription. This post-translational modification is modified in cancer cells. In various tumor types the levels of acetylation at several histone residues are associated to clinical aggressiveness. By using immunohistochemistry we show that acetylated levels of lysines at positions 9-14 of H3 histone (H3K9-K14ac) are significantly higher in follicular adenomas (FA), papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC), follicular thyroid carcinomas (FTC) and undifferentiated carcinomas (UC) than in normal tissues (NT). Similar data have been obtained when acetylated levels of lysine 18 of H3 histone (H3K18ac) were evaluated. In this case, however, no difference was observed between NT and UC. When acetylated levels of lysine 12 of H4 histone (H4K12ac) were evaluated, only FA showed significantly higher levels in comparison with NT. These data indicate that modification histone acetylation is an early event along thyroid tumor progression and that H3K18 acetylation is switched off in the transition between differentiated and undifferentiated thyroid tumors. By using rat thyroid cell lines that are stably transfected with doxycyclin-inducible oncogenes, we show that the oncoproteins RET-PTC, RAS and BRAF increase levels of H3K9-K14ac and H3K18ac. In the non-tumorigenic rat thyroid cell line FRTL-5, TSH increases levels of H3K18ac. However, this hormone decreases levels of H3K9-K14ac and H4K12ac. In conclusion, our data indicate that neoplastic transformation and hormonal stimulation can modify levels of histone acetylation in thyroid cells.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 08/2011; 411(4):679-83. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.06.182
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ABSTRACT: Raf are conserved, ubiquitous serine/protein kinases discovered as the cellular elements hijacked by transforming retroviruses. The three mammalian RAF proteins (A, B and CRAF) can be activated by the human oncogene RAS, downstream from which they exert both kinase-dependent and kinase-independent, tumor-promoting functions. The kinase-dependent functions are mediated chiefly by the MEK/ERK pathway, whose activation is associated with proliferation in a broad range of human tumors. Almost 10 years ago, activating BRAF mutations were discovered in a subset of human tumors, and in the past year treatment with small-molecule RAF inhibitors has yielded unprecedented response rates in melanoma patients. Thus, Raf qualifies as an excellent molecular target for anticancer therapy. This review focuses on the role of BRAF and CRAF in different aspects of carcinogenesis, on the success of molecular therapies targeting Raf and the challenges they present.Oncogene 05/2011; 30(32):3477-88. DOI:10.1038/onc.2011.160