[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poor prognosis and resistance to therapy in malignant gliomas is mainly due to the highly dispersive nature of glioma cells. This dispersive characteristic results from genetic alterations in key regulators of cell migration and diffusion. A better understanding of these regulatory signals holds promise to improve overall survival and response to therapy. Using mapping arrays to screen for genomic alterations in gliomas, we recently identified alterations of the protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type kappa gene (PTPRK) that correlate to patient outcomes. These PTPRK alterations are very relevant to glioma biology as PTPRK can directly sense cell-cell contact and is a dephosphorylation regulator of tyrosine phosphorylation signaling, which is a major driving force behind tumor development and progression. Subsequent sequencing of the full length PTPRK transcripts revealed novel PTPRK gene deletion and missense mutations in numerous glioma biopsies. PTPRK mutations were cloned and expressed in PTPRK-null malignant glioma cells. The effect of these mutations on PTPRK anti-oncogenic function and their association with response to anti-glioma therapeutics, such as temozolomide and tyrosine kinase inhibitors, was subsequently analyzed using in vitro cell-based assays. These genetic variations altered PTPRK activity and its post-translational processing. Reconstitution of wild-type PTPRK in malignant glioma cell lines suppressed cell growth and migration by inhibiting EGFR and β-catenin signaling and improved the effect of conventional therapies for glioma. However, PTPRK mutations abrogated tumor suppressive effects of wild-type PTPRK and altered sensitivity of glioma cells to chemotherapy.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e62852. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant gliomas are the most frequent type of primary brain tumors. Patients' outcome has not improved despite new therapeutics, thus underscoring the need for a better understanding of their genetics and a fresh approach to treatment. The lack of reproducibility in the classification of many gliomas presents an opportunity where genomics may be paramount for accurate diagnosis and therefore best for therapeutic decisions. The aim of this work is to identify large and focal copy number abnormalities (CNA) and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) events in a malignant glioma population. We hypothesized that these explorations will allow discovery of genetic markers that may improve diagnosis and predict outcome. DNA from glioma specimens were subjected to CNA and LOH analyses. Our studies revealed more than 4000 CNA and several LOH loci. Losses of chromosomes 1p and/or 19q, 10, 13, 14, and 22 and gains of 7, 19, and 20 were found. Several of these alterations correlated significantly with histology and grade. Further, LOH was detected at numerous chromosomes. Interestingly, several of these loci harbor genes with potential or reported tumor suppressor properties. These novel genetic signatures may lead to critical insights into diagnosis, classification, prognosis, and design of individualized therapies.
Omics: a journal of integrative biology 03/2012; 16(3):113-22. · 2.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain metastasis (BM) can affect ∼ 25% of nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients during their lifetime. Efforts to characterize patients that will develop BM have been disappointing. microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the expression of target mRNAs. miRNAs play a role in regulating a variety of targets and, consequently, multiple pathways, which make them a powerful tool for early detection of disease, risk assessment, and prognosis. We investigated miRNAs that may serve as biomarkers to differentiate between NSCLC patients with and without BM. miRNA microarray profiling was performed on samples from clinically matched NSCLC from seven patients with BM (BM+) and six without BM (BM−). Using t-test and further qRT-PCR validation, eight miRNAs were confirmed to be significantly differentially expressed. Of these, expression of miR-328 and miR-330-3p were able to correctly classify BM+ vs. BM− patients. This classifier was used on a validation cohort (n = 15), and it correctly classified 12/15 patients. Gene expression analysis comparing A549 parental and A549 cells stably transfected to over-express miR-328 (A549-328) identified several significantly differentially expressed genes. PRKCA was one of the genes over-expressed in A549-328 cells. Additionally, A549-328 cells had significantly increased cell migration compared to A549 cells, which was significantly reduced upon PRKCA knockdown. In summary, miR-328 has a role in conferring migratory potential to NSCLC cells working in part through PRKCA and with further corroboration in additional independent cohorts, these miRNAs may be incorporated into clinical treatment decision making to stratify NSCLC patients at higher risk for developing BM.
International Journal of Cancer 11/2011; 129(11):2621 - 2631. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: O⁶-methylguanine DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation has been identified as a potential prognostic marker for glioblastoma patients. The relationship between the exact site of promoter methylation and its effect on gene silencing, and the patient's subsequent response to therapy, is still being defined. The aim of this study was to comprehensively characterize cytosine-guanine (CpG) dinucleotide methylation across the entire MGMT promoter and to correlate individual CpG site methylation patterns to mRNA expression, protein expression, and progression-free survival. To best identify the specific MGMT promoter region most predictive of gene silencing and response to therapy, we determined the methylation status of all 97 CpG sites in the MGMT promoter in tumor samples from 70 GBM patients using quantitative bisulfite sequencing. We next identified the CpG site specific and regional methylation patterns most predictive of gene silencing and improved progression-free survival. Using this data, we propose a new classification scheme utilizing methylation data from across the entire promoter and show that an analysis based on this approach, which we call 3R classification, is predictive of progression-free survival (HR = 5.23, 95% CI [2.089-13.097], p<0.0001). To adapt this approach to the clinical setting, we used a methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA) test based on the 3R classification and show that this test is both feasible in the clinical setting and predictive of progression free survival (HR = 3.076, 95% CI [1.301-7.27], p = 0.007). We discuss the potential advantages of a test based on this promoter-wide analysis and compare it to the commonly used methylation-specific PCR test. Further prospective validation of these two methods in a large independent patient cohort will be needed to confirm the added value of promoter wide analysis of MGMT methylation in the clinical setting.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e16146. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is widespread agreement that cancer gene discovery requires high-quality tumor samples. However, whether primary tumors or cultured samples are superior for cancer genomics has been a longstanding subject of debate. This debate has recently become more important because federally funded cancer genomics has been centralized under The Cancer Genome Atlas, which has chosen to focus exclusively on primary tumors. Here, we provide a data-driven "perspective" on the effect of sample type selection on cancer genomics research. We show that, in the case of glioblastoma multiforme, primary tumors and xenografts are best for the identification of amplifications, whereas xenografts and cell lines are superior for the identification of homozygous deletions. We also note that many of the most important oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes have been discovered through the use of cell lines and xenografts, and highlight the lack of published evidence supporting the dogma that ex vivo culture generates artifactual genetic lesions. Based on this analysis, we suggest that cancer genomics projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas should include a variety of sample types such as xenografts and cell lines in their integrated genomic analysis of cancer.
Cancer Research 07/2009; 69(14):5630-3. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic inactivation of tumor suppressor genes is a common feature in human cancer. Promoter hypermethylation and histone deacetylation are reversible epigenetic mechanisms associated with transcriptional regulation. DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1 and DNMT3b) regulate and maintain promoter methylation and are overexpressed in human cancer. We performed whole-genome microarray analysis to identify genes with altered expression after RNAi-induced suppression of DNMT in a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cell line. We then identified genes with both decreased expression and evidence of promoter CpG island hypermethylation in GBM tissue samples using a combined whole-genome microarray transcriptome analysis in conjunction with a promoter array analysis after DNA immunoprecipitation with anti-5-methylcytidine. DNMT1 and 3b knockdown resulted in the restored expression of 308 genes that also contained promoter region hypermethylation. Of these, 43 were also found to be downregulated in GBM tissue samples. Three downregulated genes with hypermethylated promoters and restored expression in response to acute DNMT suppression were assayed for methylation changes using bisulfite sequence analysis of the promoter region after chronic DNMT suppression. Restoration of gene expression was not associated with changes in promoter region methylation, but rather with changes in histone methylation and chromatin conformation. Two of the identified genes exhibited growth suppressive activity in in vitro assays. Combining targeted genetic manipulations with comprehensive genomic and expression analyses provides a potentially powerful new approach for identifying epigenetically regulated genes in GBM.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An additional tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 9p telomeric to the CDKN2A/B locus has long been postulated to exist. Using Affymetrix 250K single nucleotide polymorphism arrays to screen for copy number changes in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), we detected a high frequency of deletions of the PTPRD gene, which encodes a receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase at chromosome 9p23-24.1. Missense and nonsense mutations of PTPRD were identified in a subset of the samples lacking deletions, including an inherited mutation with somatic loss of the wild-type allele. We then sequenced the gene in melanoma and identified 10 somatic mutations in 7 of 57 tumors (12%). Reconstitution of PTPRD expression in GBM and melanoma cells harboring deletions or mutations led to growth suppression and apoptosis that was alleviated by both the somatic and constitutional mutations. These data implicate PTPRD in the pathogenesis of tumors of neuroectodermal origin and, when taken together with other recent reports of PTPRD mutations in adenocarcinoma of the colon and lung, suggest that PTPRD may be one of a select group of tumor suppressor genes that are inactivated in a wide range of common human tumor types.
Cancer Research 01/2009; 68(24):10300-6. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Promoter hypermethylation and histone deacetylation are common epigenetic mechanisms implicated in the transcriptional silencing of tumor suppressor genes in human cancer. We treated two immortalized glioma cell lines, T98 and U87, and 10 patient-derived primary glioma cell lines with trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, or 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-AzaC), a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, to comprehensively identify the cohort of genes reactivated through the pharmacologic reversal of these distinct but related epigenetic processes. Whole-genome microarray analysis identified genes induced by TSA (653) or 5-AzaC treatment (170). We selected a subset of reactivated genes that were markedly induced (greater than two-fold) after treatment with either TSA or 5-AzaC in a majority of glioma cell lines but not in cultured normal astrocytes. We then characterized the degree of promoter methylation and transcriptional silencing of selected genes in histologically confirmed human tumor and nontumor brain specimens. We identified two novel brain expressed genes, BEX1 and BEX2, which were silenced in all tumor specimens and exhibited extensive promoter hypermethylation. Viral-mediated reexpression of either BEX1 or BEX2 led to increased sensitivity to chemotherapy-induced apoptosis and potent tumor suppressor effects in vitro and in a xenograft mouse model. Using an integrated approach, we have established a novel platform for the genome-wide screening of epigenetically silenced genes in malignant glioma. This experimental paradigm provides a powerful new method for the identification of epigenetically silenced genes with potential function as tumor suppressors, biomarkers for disease diagnosis and detection, and therapeutically reversible modulators of critical regulatory pathways important in glioma pathogenesis.
Cancer Research 08/2006; 66(13):6665-74. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An increasing incidence of brain cancer has been reported for the last three decades. In this study of brain cancer incidence and patient survival in the US, the authors attempt to update information on trends by examining data provided by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.
Population-based data from the SEER Program were used to calculate the incidence of and survival rates for people with brain cancer. The approximate Poisson method was used to calculate relative risks for brain cancer and to determine a 95% confidence interval. Annual age-standardized incidence rates were calculated, and time-trend analysis was conducted using joinpoint regression analysis. The relative risks of brain cancer were 1.48 for men compared with women, 3.18 for elderly persons compared with young adults, 1.86 for Caucasian patients compared with African-American patients, and 1.35 for those in metropolitan counties compared with those in nonmetropolitan counties. The incidence of brain cancer increased until 1987, when the annual percentage of change reversed direction, decreasing from 1.68 to 20.44%. The elderly experienced an increase until 1985, but their rates were stable thereafter. Rising trends were noticed for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), oligodendroglioma, anaplastic astrocytoma, medulloblastoma, and mixed glioma, and falling trends were observed for astrocytoma not otherwise specified and malignant glioma. The survival rate for patients with GBM has not shown improvement in the last two decades.
Increased risk of brain cancer is associated with being male, Caucasian, elderly, and residing in a metropolitan county. The incidence rate of brain cancer in the US is gradually declining, but the rising trend of GBM combined with its poor survival rate is disconcerting and needs further exploration.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animal models have been used extensively to discern the molecular biology of diseases and to gain insight into treatments. Nevertheless, discrepancies in the effects of treatments and procedures have been encountered during the transition from these animal models to application of the information to clinical trials in humans. To assess the genetic similarities between human gliomas and four cell lines used routinely in animal models, the authors used microarray technology to characterize the similarities and differences in gene expression.
To define the changes in gene expression, normal rat astrocytes were compared with four rat glioma cell lines (C6, 9L, F98, and RG2). The data were analyzed using two different methods: fold-change analysis and statistical analysis with t statistics. The gene products that were highlighted after intersecting the lists generated by the two methods of analysis were scrutinized against changes in gene expression reported in the literature. Tumorigenesis involves three major steps: the accumulation of genetic alterations, uncontrolled growth, and selected survival of transformed cells. The discussion of the results focuses attention on genes whose primary function is in pathways involved in glioma proliferation, infiltration, and neovascularization. A comparative microarray analysis of differentially expressed genes for four of the commonly used rat tumor cell lines is presented here.
Due to the variances between the cell lines and results from analyses in humans, caution must be observed in interpreting as well as in the translation of information learned from animal models to its application in human trials.