[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Addition of rituximab (R) to fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC) has significantly improved patient outcomes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Whether baseline gene expression can identify patients who will benefit from immunochemotherapy over chemotherapy alone has not been determined. We assessed genome-wide expression of 300 pretreatment specimens from a subset of 552 patients in REACH, a study of FC or R-FC in relapsed CLL. An independent test set was derived from 282 pretreatment specimens from CLL8, a study of FC or R-FC in treatment-naïve patients. Genes specific for benefit from R-FC were determined by assessing treatment-gene interactions in Cox proportional hazards models. REACH patients with higher pretreatment protein tyrosine kinase 2 (PTK2) mRNA levels derived greater benefit from R-FC, with significant improvements in progression-free survival, independent of known prognostic factors in a multivariate model. Examination of PTK2 gene expression in CLL8 patients yielded similar results. Furthermore, PTK2 inhibition blunted rituximab-dependent cell death in vitro. This retrospective analysis from 2 independent trials revealed that increased PTK2 expression is associated with improved outcomes for CLL patients treated with R-FC vs FC. PTK2 expression may be a useful biomarker for patient selection in future trials. REACH (NCT00090051) and CLL8 (NCT00281918) were registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a highly conserved physiological program involved in development and tissue repair; however, its aberrant activation has been implicated in accelerating the progression of a variety of cancers. In breast cancer, the microRNAs (miRNAs) miR-221 and miR-222 (miR-221/222) are differentially expressed in the clinically more aggressive basal-like subtype compared to luminal subtype of breast cancer and upregulation of miR-221/222 induces the EMT by targeting the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of the GATA family transcriptional repressor TRPS1 (tricho-rhino-phalangeal syndrome type 1). The complete mechanism through which miR-221/222 promotes the EMT, however, is not fully understood. We identified adiponectin receptor 1 (ADIPOR1), a receptor for the adipocytokine adiponectin, as a direct target of miR-221/222. ADIPOR1 is expressed at higher levels in the luminal compared to the basal-like subtype of breast cancer cell lines, which can be reduced by miR-221/222 targeting of its 3'UTR. In addition, miR-221/222 were negatively correlated with ADIPOR1 expression across breast cancer cell lines and tumors. ADIPOR1 depletion by siRNA in MCF10A cells induced the EMT and increased cell invasion. Depletion of ADIPOR1 by siRNA induced activation of the canonical nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) and subsequent phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in an interleukin 6 (IL6)-dependent manner. Finally, overexpression of ADIPOR1 in the basal-like cell line, MDA-MB-231, attenuated cell invasion and promoted the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET). We conclude that ADIPOR1 negatively regulates EMT in breast cancer and provides an additional node by which miR-221/222 induces the EMT. These results suggest that ADIPOR1 may play an important role in breast cancer progression and metastasis, and could potentially offer an alternative therapeutic strategy for basal-like breast cancer patients.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e66502. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Compared with the luminal subtype, the basal-like subtype of breast cancer has an aggressive clinical behavior, but the reasons for this difference between the two subtypes are poorly understood. We identified microRNAs (miRNAs) miR-221 and miR-222 (miR-221/222) as basal-like subtype-specific miRNAs that decrease expression of epithelial-specific genes and increase expression of mesenchymal-specific genes. In addition, expression of these miRNAs increased cell migration and invasion, which collectively are characteristics of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The basal-like transcription factor FOSL1 (also known as Fra-1) directly stimulated the transcription of miR-221/222, and the abundance of these miRNAs decreased with inhibition of MEK (mitogen-activated or extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase), placing miR-221/222 downstream of the RAS pathway. The miR-221/222-mediated reduction in E-cadherin abundance depended on their targeting of the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of TRPS1 (trichorhinophalangeal syndrome type 1), which is a member of the GATA family of transcriptional repressors. TRPS1 inhibited EMT by directly repressing expression of ZEB2 (Zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 2). Therefore, miR-221/222 may contribute to the aggressive clinical behavior of basal-like breast cancers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The basal-like subtype of breast cancer has an aggressive clinical behavior compared to that of the luminal subtype. We identified the microRNAs (miRNAs) miR-221 and miR-222 (miR-221/222) as basal-like subtype-specific miRNAs and showed that expression of miR-221/222 decreased expression of epithelial-specific genes and increased expression of mesenchymal-specific genes, and increased cell migration and invasion in a manner characteristic of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The transcription factor FOSL1 (also known as Fra-1), which is found in basal-like breast cancers but not in the luminal subtype, stimulated the transcription of miR-221/222, and the abundance of these miRNAs decreased with inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or MEK (mitogen-activated or extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase), placing miR-221/222 downstream of the RAS pathway. Furthermore, miR-221/222-mediated reduction in E-cadherin abundance depended on their targeting the 3' untranslated region of the GATA family transcriptional repressor TRPS1 (tricho-rhino-phalangeal syndrome type 1), which inhibited EMT by decreasing ZEB2 (zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox2) expression. We conclude that by promoting EMT, miR-221/222 may contribute to the more aggressive clinical behavior of basal-like breast cancers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The primary function of B cells, critical components of the adaptive immune response, is to produce antibodies against foreign antigens, as well as to perform isotype class switching, which changes the heavy chain of an antibody so that it can interact with different repertoires of effector cells. CD40 is a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily of cell surface receptors that transmits survival signals to B cells. In contrast, in B cell cancers, stimulation of CD40 signaling results in a heterogeneous response in which cells can sometimes undergo cell death in response to treatment, depending on the system studied. We found an association between sensitivity to CD40 stimulation and mutation of the tumor suppressor p53 in a panel of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cell lines. Consistent with p53's tumor suppressor role, we found that higher levels of intrinsic DNA damage and increased proliferation rates, as well as higher levels of BCL6, a transcriptional repressor proto-oncogene, were associated with sensitivity to CD40 stimulation. In addition, CD40 treatment-resistant cell lines were sensitized to CD40 stimulation after the introduction of DNA-damaging agents. Using gene expression analysis, we also showed that resistant cell lines exhibited a preexisting activated CD40 pathway and that an mRNA expression signature comprising CD40 target genes predicted sensitivity and resistance to CD40-activating agents in cell lines and mouse xenograft models. Finally, the gene signature predicted tumor shrinkage and progression-free survival in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma treated with dacetuzumab, a monoclonal antibody with partial CD40 agonist activity. These data show that CD40 pathway activation status may be useful in predicting the antitumor activity of CD40-stimulating therapeutic drugs.
Science translational medicine 03/2011; 3(74):74ra22. · 14.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we describe the generation of an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) consisting of a humanized anti-CD79b antibody that is conjugated to monomethylauristatin E (MMAE) through engineered cysteines (THIOMABs) by a protease cleavable linker. By using flow cytometry, we detected the surface expression of CD79b in almost all non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients, suggesting that anti-CD79b-vcMMAE could be widely used in these malignancies. By using NHL cell lines to simulate a patient population we discovered that a minimal cell-surface expression level of CD79b was required for in vitro activity. Within the subpopulation of cell lines above this minimal threshold, we found that sensitivity to free MMAE, mutation of cancer genes, and cell doubling time were poorly correlated with in vitro activity; however, the expression level of BCL-XL was correlated with reduced sensitivity to anti-CD79b-vcMMAE. This observation was supported by in vivo data showing that a Bcl-2 family inhibitor, ABT-263, strikingly enhanced the activity of anti-CD79b-vcMMAE. Furthermore, anti-CD79b-vcMMAE was significantly more effective than a standard-of-care regimen, R-CHOP (ie, rituximab with a single intravenous injection of 30 mg/kg cyclophosphamide, 2.475 mg/kg doxorubicin, 0.375 mg/kg vincristine, and oral dosing of 0.15 mg/kg prednisone once a day for 5 days), in 3 xenograft models of NHL. Together, these data suggest that anti-CD79b-vcMMAE could be broadly efficacious for the treatment of NHL.