[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chordomas are rare mesenchymal tumors occurring exclusively in the midline from clivus to sacrum. Early tumor detection is extremely important as these tumors are resistant to chemotherapy and irradiation. Despite continuous research efforts surgical excision remains the main treatment option. Because of the often challenging anatomic location early detection is important to enable complete tumor resection and to reduce the high incidence of local recurrences. The aim of this study was to explore whether DNA methylation, a well known epigenetic marker, may play a role in chordoma development and if hypermethylation of specific CpG islands may serve as potential biomarkers correlated with SNP analyses in chordoma. The study was performed on tumor samples from ten chordoma patients. We found significant genomic instability by Affymetrix 6.0. It was interesting to see that all chordomas showed a loss of 3q26.32 (PIK 3CA) and 3q27.3 (BCL6) thus underlining the potential importance of the PI3K pathway in chordoma development. By using the AITCpG360 methylation assay we elucidated 20 genes which were hyper/hypomethylated compared to normal blood. The most promising candidates were nine hyper/hypomethylated genes C3, XIST, TACSTD2, FMR1, HIC1, RARB, DLEC1, KL, and RASSF1. In summary, we have shown that chordomas are characterized by a significant genomic instability and furthermore we demonstrated a characteristic DNA methylation pattern. These findings add new insights into chordoma development, diagnosis and potential new treatment options.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e56609. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Reports on common mutations in neuroendocrine tumors (NET) are rare and clonality of NET metastases has not been investigated in this tumor entity yet. We selected one NET and the corresponding lymph node and liver metastases as well as the derivative cell lines to screen for somatic mutations in the primary NET and to track the fate of genetic changes during metastasis and in vitro progression. RESULTS: Applying microarray based sequence capture resequencing including 4,935 Exons from of 203 cancer-associated genes and high-resolution copy number and genotype analysis identified multiple somatic mutations in the primary NET, affecting BRCA2, CTNNB1, ERCC5, HNF1A, KIT, MLL, RB1, ROS1, SMAD4, and TP53. All mutations were confirmed in the patients' lymph node and liver metastasis tissue as well as early cell line passages. In contrast to the tumor derived cell line, higher passages of the metastases derived cell lines lacked somatic mutations and chromosomal alterations, while expression of the classical NET marker serotonin was maintained. CONCLUSION: Our study reveals that both metastases have evolved from the same pair of genetically differing NET cell clones. In both metastases, the in vivo dominating "mutant" tumor cell clone has undergone negative selection in vitro being replaced by the "non-mutant" tumor cell population. This is the first report of a bi-clonal origin of NET derived metastases, indicating selective advantage of interclonal cooperation during metastasis. In addition, this study underscores the importance to monitor cell line integrity using high-resolution genome analysis tools.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The distal hereditary motor neuropathies (dHMNs) are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders affecting the lower motoneuron. In a family with both autosomal-dominant dHMN and dHMN type V (dHMN/dHMN-V) present in three generations, we excluded mutations in all genes known to be associated with a dHMN phenotype through Sanger sequencing and defined three potential loci through linkage analysis. Whole-exome sequencing of two affected individuals revealed a single candidate variant within the linking regions, i.e., a splice-site alteration in REEP1 (c.304-2A>G). A minigene assay confirmed complete loss of splice-acceptor functionality and skipping of the in-frame exon 5. The resulting mRNA is predicted to be expressed at normal levels and to encode an internally shortened protein (p.102_139del). Loss-of-function REEP1 mutations have previously been identified in dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a disease associated with upper-motoneuron pathology. Consistent with our clinical-genetic data, we show that REEP1 is strongly expressed in the lower motoneurons as well. Upon exogeneous overexpression in cell lines we observe a subcellular localization defect for p.102_139del that differs from that observed for the known HSP-associated missense mutation c.59C>A (p.Ala20Glu). Moreover, we show that p.102_139del, but not p.Ala20Glu, recruits atlastin-1, i.e., one of the REEP1 binding partners, to the altered sites of localization. These data corroborate the loss-of-function nature of REEP1 mutations in HSP and suggest that a different mechanism applies in REEP1-associated dHMN.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2012; 91(1):139-45. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chordomas are rare, low to intermediate grade malignant bone tumors of the axial skeleton. Current treatment options are limited to surgical procedures, as chordomas are largely resistant to conventional radiation and chemotherapy. Cell lines are valuable tools for exploring molecular mechan-isms involved in tumorigenesis and they have a fundamental impact on the development of new anticancer agents. To date, only two chordoma cell lines exist world-wide. In the present study we report a third chordoma cell line, MUG-Chor1, as well as corresponding cultured fibroblasts established from a recur-rent morphologically 'classic' sacrococcygeal chordoma of a 58-year-old Caucasian female. The cells are brachyury-positive and have the characteristics of chordoma. The genetic profile of the primary chordoma and the established chordoma cell line was investigated during the culturing period (early and late passage). MUG-Chor1 is karyotypically, <2n>43-47,XX,del(3)(q1?), +7,del(9)(p1?),der(9;15)(q10;q10),-10,+der(12)t(9;12)(p2?;q1?),der (12)t(12;19)(p;p)t(17;19)(q;q),-15,der(17;21)(q10;q10),der(20)t(10;20) (q25?26?;q11?12?),-21,-22/idemx2 and displays known, chordoma-typical genetic changes, such as chromosomal gains at T/brachyury locus (6q27), losses at 9p24.3-p13.1 (includes the CDKN2a/CDKN2b locus), 10p15.3-q23.32 (includes the PTEN locus) and losses of 10q25.2 (includes the PDCD4 locus). MUG-Chor1 bears a marked resemblance to chordomas in vivo and is, therefore, an optimal in vitro chordoma model.
International Journal of Oncology 02/2012; 40(2):443-51. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Considerable non-allelic heterogeneity for autosomal recessively inherited Charcot-Marie-Tooth (ARCMT) disease has challenged molecular testing and often requires a large amount of work in terms of DNA sequencing and data interpretation or remains unpractical. This study tested the value of SNP array-based whole-genome homozygosity mapping as a first step in the molecular genetic diagnosis of sporadic or ARCMT in patients from inbred families or outbred populations with the ancestors originating from the same geographic area. Using 10 K 2.0 and 250 K Nsp Affymetrix SNP arrays, 15 (63%) of 24 CMT patients received an accurate genetic diagnosis. We used our Java-based script eHoPASA CMT-easy Homozygosity Profiling of SNP arrays for CMT patients to display the location of homozygous regions and their extent of marker count and base-pairs throughout the whole genome. CMT4C was the most common genetic subtype with mutations detected in SH3TC2, one (p.E632Kfs13X) appearing to be a novel founder mutation. A sporadic patient with severe CMT was homozygous for the c.250G > C (p.G84R) HSPB1 mutation which has previously been reported to cause autosomal dominant dHMN. Two distantly related CMT1 patients with early disease onset were found to carry a novel homozygous mutation in MFN2 (p.N131S). We conclude that SNP array-based homozygosity mapping is a fast, powerful, and economic tool to guide molecular genetic testing in ARCMT and in selected sporadic CMT patients.
Journal of Neurology 09/2011; 259(3):515-23. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large number of novel disease genes have been identified by homozygosity mapping and the positional candidate approach. In this study we used single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array-based, whole genome homozygosity mapping as the first step to a molecular diagnosis in the highly heterogeneous muscle disease, limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD). In a consanguineous family, both affected siblings showed homozygous blocks on chromosome 15 corresponding to the LGMD2A locus. Direct sequencing of CAPN3, encoding calpain-3, identified a homozygous deletion c.483delG (p.Ile162SerfsX17). In a sporadic LGMD patient complete absence of caveolin-3 on Western blot was observed. However, a mutation in CAV3 could not be detected. Homozygosity mapping revealed a large homozygous block at the LGMD2I locus, and direct sequencing of FKRP encoding fukutin-related-protein detected the common homozygous c.826 C>A (p.Leu276Ile) mutation. Subsequent re-examination of this patient's muscle biopsy showed aberrant α-dystroglycan glycosylation. In summary, we show that whole-genome homozygosity mapping using low cost SNP arrays provides a fast and non-invasive method to identify disease-causing mutations in sporadic patients or sibs from consanguineous families in LGMD2. Furthermore, this is the first study describing that in addition to PTRF, encoding polymerase I and transcript release factor, FKRP mutations may cause secondary caveolin-3 deficiency.
European journal of medical genetics 01/2011; 54(3):214-9. · 1.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and their high-affinity receptors [fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs)] contribute to autocrine and paracrine growth stimulation in several non-liver cancer entities. Here we report that at least one member of the FGF8 subfamily (FGF8, FGF17, and FGF18) was up-regulated in 59% of 34 human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) samples that we investigated. The levels of the corresponding receptors (FGFR2, FGFR3, and FGFR4) were also elevated in the great majority of the HCC cases. Overall, 82% of the HCC cases showed overexpression of at least one FGF and/or FGFR. The functional implications of the deregulated FGF/FGFR system were investigated by the simulation of an insufficient blood supply. When HCC-1.2, HepG2, or Hep3B cells were subjected to serum withdrawal or the hypoxia-mimetic drug deferoxamine mesylate, the expression of FGF8 subfamily members increased dramatically. In the serum-starved cells, the incidence of apoptosis was elevated, whereas the addition of FGF8, FGF17, or FGF18 impaired apoptosis, which was associated with phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and ribosomal protein S6. In contrast, down-modulation of FGF18 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly reduced the viability of the hepatocarcinoma cells. siRNA targeting FGF18 also impaired the cells' potential to form clones at a low cell density or in soft agar. With respect to the tumor microenvironment, FGF17 and FGF18 stimulated the growth of HCC-derived myofibroblasts, and FGF8, FGF17, and FGF18 induced the proliferation and tube formation of hepatic endothelial cells. CONCLUSION: FGF8, FGF17, and FGF18 are involved in autocrine and paracrine signaling in HCC and enhance the survival of tumor cells under stress conditions, malignant behavior, and neoangiogenesis. Thus, the FGF8 subfamily supports the development and progression of hepatocellular malignancy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophies (SMA, also known as hereditary motor neuropathies) and hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies (HMSN) are clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders of the peripheral nervous system. Here we report that mutations in the TRPV4 gene cause congenital distal SMA, scapuloperoneal SMA, HMSN 2C. We identified three missense substitutions (R269H, R315W and R316C) affecting the intracellular N-terminal ankyrin domain of the TRPV4 ion channel in five families. Expression of mutant TRPV4 constructs in cells from the HeLa line revealed diminished surface localization of mutant proteins. In addition, TRPV4-regulated Ca(2+) influx was substantially reduced even after stimulation with 4alphaPDD, a TRPV4 channel-specific agonist, and with hypo-osmotic solution. In summary, we describe a new hereditary channelopathy caused by mutations in TRPV4 and present evidence that the resulting substitutions in the N-terminal ankyrin domain affect channel maturation, leading to reduced surface expression of functional TRPV4 channels.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Distal hereditary motor neuropathy type V (dHMN-V) and Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome (CMT) type 2 presenting with predominant hand involvement, also known as CMT2D and Silver syndrome (SS) are rare phenotypically overlapping diseases which can be caused by mutations in the Berardinelli-Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy 2 (BSCL2) and in the glycyl-tRNA synthetase encoding (GARS) genes. Mutations in the heat-shock proteins HSPB1 and HSPB8 can cause related distal hereditary motor neuropathies (dHMN) and are considered candidates for dHMN-V, CMT2, and SS.
To define the frequency and distribution of mutations in the GARS, BSCL2, HSPB1 and HSPB8 genes we screened 33 unrelated sporadic and familial patients diagnosed as either dHMN-V, CMT2D or SS. Exon 3 of the BSCL2 gene was screened in further 69 individuals with an unclassified dHMN phenotype or diagnosed as hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) complicated by pure motor neuropathy.
Four patients diagnosed with dHMN-V or SS carried known heterozygous BSCL2 mutations (N88S and S90L). In one dHMN-V patient we detected a putative GARS mutation (A57V). No mutations were detected in HSPB1 and HSPB8. The diagnostic yield gained in the series of 33 probands was 12% for BSCL2 mutations and 3% for GARS mutations. In the series of unclassified dHMN and complicated HSP cases no mutations were found.
Our data confirm that most likely only two mutations (N88S, S90L) in exon 3 of BSCL2 may lead to dHMN-V or SS phenotypes. Mutations in GARS, HSPB1 and HSPB8. are not a common cause of dHMN-V, SS and CMT2D. We would therefore suggest that a genetic testing of dHMN-V and SS patients should begin with screening of exon 3 of the BSCL2 gene. Screening of the GARS gene is useful in patients with CMT2 with predominant hand involvement and dHMN-V. The rather low frequencies of BSCL2, GARS, HSPB1 and HSPB8 mutations in dHMN-V, CMT2D and SS patients strongly point to further genetic heterogeneity of these related disorders.
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 01/2008; 263(1-2):100-6. · 2.24 Impact Factor