[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pacemaking activity of specialized tissues in the heart and gut results in lifelong rhythmic contractions. Here we describe a new syndrome characterized by Chronic Atrial and Intestinal Dysrhythmia, termed CAID syndrome, in 16 French Canadians and 1 Swede. We show that a single shared homozygous founder mutation in SGOL1, a component of the cohesin complex, causes CAID syndrome. Cultured dermal fibroblasts from affected individuals showed accelerated cell cycle progression, a higher rate of senescence and enhanced activation of TGF-β signaling. Karyotypes showed the typical railroad appearance of a centromeric cohesion defect. Tissues derived from affected individuals displayed pathological changes in both the enteric nervous system and smooth muscle. Morpholino-induced knockdown of sgol1 in zebrafish recapitulated the abnormalities seen in humans with CAID syndrome. Our findings identify CAID syndrome as a novel generalized dysrhythmia, suggesting a new role for SGOL1 and the cohesin complex in mediating the integrity of human cardiac and gut rhythm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell fate acquisition is heavily influenced by direct interactions between master regulators and tissue-specific enhancers. However, it remains unclear how lineage-specifying transcription factors, which are often expressed in both progenitor and mature cell populations, influence cell differentiation. Using in vivo mouse liver development as a model, we identified thousands of enhancers that are bound by the master regulators HNF4A and FOXA2 in a differentiation-dependent manner, subject to chromatin remodeling, and associated with differentially expressed target genes. Enhancers exclusively occupied in the embryo were found to be responsive to developmentally regulated TEAD2 and coactivator YAP1. Our data suggest that Hippo signaling may affect hepatocyte differentiation by influencing HNF4A and FOXA2 interactions with temporal enhancers. In summary, transcription factor-enhancer interactions are not only tissue specific but also differentiation dependent, which is an important consideration for researchers studying cancer biology or mammalian development and/or using transformed cell lines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations of DNA repair pathways contribute to tumorigenesis and provide a therapeutic target for synthetic lethal interactions in tumor cells. Given that tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 1 (Tdp1) repairs stalled topoisomerase-I DNA complexes, we hypothesized that inhibition of Tdp1 has synthetic lethal effects in some cancers. To test this, we screened tumor arrays for Tdp1 expression and observed that Tdp1 is expressed in many tumors, including more than 90% of human breast tumors. Subsequent chemical screening identified putative Tdp1 inhibitors. Treatment of control human mammary epithelial cells and the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 with compound CD00509 preferentially sensitized MCF-7 cells to camptothecin and decreased cell proliferation 25% more than camptothecin treatment alone. This suggests that CD00509 specifically targeted Tdp1 in vitro, and CD00509 increased the sensitivity of wild-type murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to camptothecin to a degree comparable to that of Tdp1(-/-) MEFs. In addition, consistent with poly ADP-ribose polymerase-1 (PARP-1) collaborating with Tdp1 in DNA repair, combined Tdp1 and PARP-1 inhibition was more detrimental to MCF-7 cells than either treatment alone, whereas the combination was not additively harmful to control mammary cells. We conclude that targeting Tdp1 in anticancer therapy preferentially enhances the sensitivity of some breast cancer cells to camptothecin and may be an effective adjuvant for breast cancer therapy.
Journal of Biomolecular Screening 08/2014; · 2.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent genomic analyses of pathologically defined tumor types identify ''within-a-tissue'' disease sub-types. However, the extent to which genomic sig-natures are shared across tissues is still unclear. We performed an integrative analysis using five genome-wide platforms and one proteomic platform on 3,527 specimens from 12 cancer types, revealing a unified classification into 11 major subtypes. Five subtypes were nearly identical to their tissue-of-origin counterparts, but several distinct cancer types were found to converge into common subtypes. Lung squamous, head and neck, and a subset of bladder cancers coalesced into one subtype typified by TP53 alterations, TP63 amplifications, and high expression of immune and proliferation pathway genes. Of note, bladder cancers split into three pan-cancer subtypes. The multiplatform classification, while correlated with tissue-of-origin, provides inde-pendent information for predicting clinical outcomes. All data sets are available for data-mining from a uni-fied resource to support further biological discov-eries and insights into novel therapeutic strategies. INTRODUCTION
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adenocarcinoma of the lung is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Here we report molecular profiling of 230 resected lung adenocarcinomas using messenger RNA, microRNA and DNA sequencing integrated with copy number, methylation and proteomic analyses. High rates of somatic mutation were seen (mean 8.9 mutations per megabase). Eighteen genes were statistically significantly mutated, including RIT1 activating mutations and newly described loss-of-function MGA mutations which are mutually exclusive with focal MYC amplification. EGFR mutations were more frequent in female patients, whereas mutations in RBM10 were more common in males. Aberrations in NF1, MET, ERBB2 and RIT1 occurred in 13% of cases and were enriched in samples otherwise lacking an activated oncogene, suggesting a driver role for these events in certain tumours. DNA and mRNA sequence from the same tumour highlighted splicing alterations driven by somatic genomic changes, including exon 14 skipping in MET mRNA in 4% of cases. MAPK a
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IntroductionAs the health care system moves further toward enhanced patient empowerment, many members of the general population are seeking medical answers for themselves in their genome. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies offer genetic testing that promises to establish ancestry and predisposition to traits, diseases and conditions (Harris et al. 2013). DTC companies predominately offer panel-based testing, which interrogates single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in or near specific genes. Some panels target ancestry; others target SNPs that have been associated statistically with disease. The true predictive value of panels that incorporate numerous SNPS into mathematical risk modeling is unknown, particularly when considering the small proportion of the overall heritability of a trait that is accounted for by these genetic variants (McCarthy et al. 2008). Perhaps in response to this and to concerns articulated by regulatory authorities, some companies have left the DTC medical test
Journal of Genetic Counseling 06/2014; · 1.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional heterogeneity within tumors presents a significant therapeutic challenge. Here we show that quiescent, therapy-resistant Sox2(+) cells propagate sonic hedgehog subgroup medulloblastoma by a mechanism that mirrors a neurogenic program. Rare Sox2(+) cells produce rapidly cycling doublecortin(+) progenitors that, together with their postmitotic progeny expressing NeuN, comprise tumor bulk. Sox2(+) cells are enriched following anti-mitotic chemotherapy and Smoothened inhibition, creating a reservoir for tumor regrowth. Lineage traces from Sox2(+) cells increase following treatment, suggesting that this population is responsible for relapse. Targeting Sox2(+) cells with the antineoplastic mithramycin abrogated tumor growth. Addressing functional heterogeneity and eliminating Sox2(+) cells presents a promising therapeutic paradigm for treatment of sonic hedgehog subgroup medulloblastoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extraordinary advancements in sequencing technology have made what was once a decade-long multi-institutional endeavor into a methodology with the potential for practical use in a clinical setting. We therefore set out to examine the clinical value of next-generation sequencing by enrolling patients with incurable or ambiguous tumors into the Personalized OncoGenomics initiative at the British Columbia Cancer Agency whereby whole genome and transcriptome analyses of tumor/normal tissue pairs are completed with the ultimate goal of directing therapeutics. First, we established that the sequencing, analysis, and communication with oncologists could be completed in less than 5 weeks. Second, we found that cancer diagnostics is an area that can greatly benefit from the comprehensiveness of a whole genome analysis. Here, we present a scenario in which a metastasized sphenoid mass, which was initially thought of as an undifferentiated squamous cell carcinoma, was rediagnosed as an SMARCB1-negative rhabdoid tumor based on the newly acquired finding of homozygous SMARCB1 deletion. The new diagnosis led to a change in chemotherapy and a complete nodal response in the patient. This study also provides additional insight into the mutational landscape of an adult SMARCB1-negative tumor that has not been explored at a whole genome and transcriptome level.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Comprehensive molecular characterization of urothelial bladder carcinoma The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network* Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder is a common malignancy that causes approximately 150,000 deaths per year world-wide. So far, no molecularly targeted agents have been approved for treatment of the disease. As part of The Cancer Genome Atlas project, we report here an integrated analysis of 131 urothelial carcinomas to provide a comprehensive land-scape of molecular alterations. There were statistically significant recurrent mutations in 32 genes, including multiple genes involved in cell-cycle regulation, chromatin regulation, and kinase signalling pathways, as well as 9 genes not previ-ously reported as significantly mutated in any cancer. RNA sequencing revealed four expression subtypes, two of which (papillary-like and basal/squamous-like) were also evident in microRNA sequencing and protein data. Whole-genome and RNA sequencing identified recurrent in-frame activating FGFR3–TACC3 fusions and expression or integration of several viruses (including HPV16) that are associated with gene inactivation. Our analyses identified potential therapeutic targets in 69% of the tumours, including 42% with targets in the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase/AKT/mTOR pathway and 45% with targets (including ERBB2) in the RTK/MAPK pathway. Chromatin regulatory genes were more frequently mutated in urothelial carcinoma than in any other common cancer studied so far, indicating the future possibility of targeted therapy for chromatin abnormalities. Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, causing an estimated 150,000 deaths per year 1 . Previous studies have identified multiple regions of somatic copy number alteration, including amplification of PPARG, E2F3, EGFR, CCND1 and MDM2, as well as loss of CDKN2A and RB1 (refs 2, 3). Sequencing of candidate pathways has identified recurrent mutations in TP53, FGFR3, PIK3CA, TSC1, RB1 and HRAS (refs 2, 3). Whole-exome sequenc-ing of nine bladder cancers, followed by a replication analysis of 88 cancers, identified mutations at .10% frequency in several chromatin remodelling genes: KDM6A, CREBBP, EP300 and ARID1A (ref. 4). Focused molecular analyses 5,6 have delineated tumour subtypes and identified kinase-activating FGFR3 gene fusions 7,8
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Critical for human gene therapy is the availability of small promoter tools to drive gene expression in a highly specific and reproducible manner. We tackled this challenge by developing human DNA MiniPromoters using computational biology and phylogenetic conservation. MiniPromoters were tested in mouse as single-copy knock-ins at the Hprt locus on the X Chromosome, and evaluated for lacZ reporter expression in CNS and non-CNS tissue. Eighteen novel MiniPromoters driving expression in mouse brain were identified, two MiniPromoters for driving pan-neuronal expression, and 17 MiniPromoters for the mouse eye. Key areas of therapeutic interest were represented in this set: the cerebral cortex, embryonic hypothalamus, spinal cord, bipolar and ganglion cells of the retina, and skeletal muscle. We also demonstrated that three retinal ganglion cell MiniPromoters exhibit similar cell-type specificity when delivered via adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors intravitreally. We conclude that our methodology and characterization has resulted in desirable expression characteristics that are intrinsic to the MiniPromoter, not dictated by copy number effects or genomic location, and results in constructs predisposed to success in AAV. These MiniPromoters are immediately applicable for pre-clinical studies towards gene therapy in humans, and are publicly available to facilitate basic and clinical research, and human gene therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: JAGuaR is an alignment protocol for RNA-seq reads that uses an extended reference to increase alignment sensitivity. It uses BWA to align reads to the genome and reference transcript models (including annotated exon-exon junctions) specifically allowing for the possibility of a single read spanning multiple exons. Reads aligned to the transcript models are then re-mapped on to genomic coordinates, transforming alignments that span multiple exons into large-gapped alignments on the genome. While JAGuaR does not detect novel junctions, we demonstrate how JAGuaR generates fast and accurate transcriptome alignments, which allows for both sensitive and specific SNV calling.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e102398. · 3.53 Impact Factor