Michael Morrissey

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (5)91.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive malignancy that is characterized by poor prognosis. Large-scale pharmacological profiling across more than 100 hematological cell line models identified a subset of MCL cell lines that are highly sensitive to the B cell receptor (BCR) signaling inhibitors ibrutinib and sotrastaurin. Sensitive MCL models exhibited chronic activation of the BCR-driven classical nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway, whereas insensitive cell lines displayed activation of the alternative NF-κB pathway. Transcriptome sequencing revealed genetic lesions in alternative NF-κB pathway signaling components in ibrutinib-insensitive cell lines, and sequencing of 165 samples from patients with MCL identified recurrent mutations in TRAF2 or BIRC3 in 15% of these individuals. Although they are associated with insensitivity to ibrutinib, lesions in the alternative NF-κB pathway conferred dependence on the protein kinase NIK (also called mitogen-activated protein 3 kinase 14 or MAP3K14) both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, NIK is a new therapeutic target for MCL treatment, particularly for lymphomas that are refractory to BCR pathway inhibitors. Our findings reveal a pattern of mutually exclusive activation of the BCR-NF-κB or NIK-NF-κB pathways in MCL and provide critical insights into patient stratification strategies for NF-κB pathway-targeted agents.
    Nature medicine 12/2013; · 27.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The systematic translation of cancer genomic data into knowledge of tumour biology and therapeutic possibilities remains challenging. Such efforts should be greatly aided by robust preclinical model systems that reflect the genomic diversity of human cancers and for which detailed genetic and pharmacological annotation is available. Here we describe the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE): a compilation of gene expression, chromosomal copy number and massively parallel sequencing data from 947 human cancer cell lines. When coupled with pharmacological profiles for 24 anticancer drugs across 479 of the cell lines, this collection allowed identification of genetic, lineage, and gene-expression-based predictors of drug sensitivity. In addition to known predictors, we found that plasma cell lineage correlated with sensitivity to IGF1 receptor inhibitors; AHR expression was associated with MEK inhibitor efficacy in NRAS-mutant lines; and SLFN11 expression predicted sensitivity to topoisomerase inhibitors. Together, our results indicate that large, annotated cell-line collections may help to enable preclinical stratification schemata for anticancer agents. The generation of genetic predictions of drug response in the preclinical setting and their incorporation into cancer clinical trial design could speed the emergence of 'personalized' therapeutic regimens.
    Nature 03/2012; 483(7391):603-7. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The malignant brain cancer medulloblastoma is characterized by mutations in Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway genes, which lead to constitutive activation of the G protein (heterotrimeric guanosine triphosphate-binding protein)-coupled receptor Smoothened (Smo). The Smo antagonist NVP-LDE225 inhibits Hh signaling and induces tumor regression in animal models of medulloblastoma. However, evidence of resistance was observed during the course of treatment. Molecular analysis of resistant tumors revealed several resistance mechanisms. We noted chromosomal amplification of Gli2, a downstream effector of Hh signaling, and, more rarely, point mutations in Smo that led to reactivated Hh signaling and restored tumor growth. Analysis of pathway gene expression signatures also, unexpectedly, identified up-regulation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling in resistant tumors as another potential mechanism of resistance. Probing the relevance of increased PI3K signaling, we demonstrated that addition of the PI3K inhibitor NVP-BKM120 or the dual PI3K-mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 to the initial treatment with the Smo antagonist markedly delayed the development of resistance. Our findings may be useful in informing treatment strategies for medulloblastoma.
    Science translational medicine 09/2010; 2(51):51ra70. · 10.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bmi-1 is a member of the Polycomb group family of proteins that function in the epigenetic silencing of genes governing self-renewal, differentiation, and proliferation. Bmi-1 was first identified through its ability to accelerate c-Myc-induced lymphomagenesis. Subsequent studies have further supported an oncogenic role for Bmi-1 in several cancers including those of the breast, lung, prostate, and brain. Using a stable and inducible shRNA system to silence Bmi-1 gene expression, we show a novel role for Bmi-1 in regulating the growth and clonogenic capacity of multiple myeloma cells both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, to elucidate novel gene targets controlled by Bmi-1, global transcriptional profiling studies were performed in the setting of induced loss of Bmi-1 function. We found that the expression of the proapoptotic gene Bim is negatively regulated by Bmi-1 and that Bim knockdown functionally rescues the apoptotic phenotype induced upon loss of Bmi-1. Therefore, these studies not only highlight Bmi-1 as a cancer-dependent factor in multiple myeloma, but also elucidate a novel antiapoptotic mechanism for Bmi-1 function involving the suppression of Bim.
    Cancer Research 07/2010; 70(13):5528-38. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bmi-1 and Mel-18 are structural homologues that belong to the Polycomb group of transcriptional regulators and are believed to stably maintain repression of gene expression by altering the state of chromatin at specific promoters. While a number of clinical and experimental observations have implicated Bmi-1 in human tumorigenesis, the role of Mel-18 in cancer cell growth has not been investigated. We report here that short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of either Bmi-1 or Mel-18 in human medulloblastoma DAOY cells results in the inhibition of proliferation, loss of clonogenic survival, anchorage-independent growth, and suppression of tumor formation in nude mice. Furthermore, overexpression of both Bmi-1 and Mel-18 significantly increases the clonogenic survival of Rat1 fibroblasts. In contrast, stable downregulation of Bmi-1 or Mel-18 alone does not affect the growth of normal human WI38 fibroblasts. Proteomics-based characterization of Bmi-1 and Mel-18 protein complexes isolated from cancer cells revealed substantial similarities in their respective compositions. Finally, gene expression analysis identified a number of cancer-relevant pathways that may be controlled by Bmi-1 and Mel-18 and also showed that these Polycomb proteins regulate a set of common gene targets. Taken together, these results suggest that Bmi-1 and Mel-18 may have overlapping functions in cancer cell growth.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 08/2007; 27(13):4968-79. · 5.37 Impact Factor