[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sequenced eight melanoma exomes to identify new somatic mutations in metastatic melanoma. Focusing on the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K) family, we found that 24% of melanoma cell lines have mutations in the protein-coding regions of either MAP3K5 or MAP3K9. Structural modeling predicted that mutations in the kinase domain may affect the activity and regulation of these protein kinases. The position of the mutations and the loss of heterozygosity of MAP3K5 and MAP3K9 in 85% and 67% of melanoma samples, respectively, together suggest that the mutations are likely to be inactivating. In in vitro kinase assays, MAP3K5 I780F and MAP3K9 W333* variants had reduced kinase activity. Overexpression of MAP3K5 or MAP3K9 mutants in HEK293T cells reduced the phosphorylation of downstream MAP kinases. Attenuation of MAP3K9 function in melanoma cells using siRNA led to increased cell viability after temozolomide treatment, suggesting that decreased MAP3K pathway activity can lead to chemoresistance in melanoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has become a major concern in Western countries due to rapid rises in incidence coupled with very poor survival rates. One of the key risk factors for the development of this cancer is the presence of Barrett's esophagus (BE), which is believed to form in response to repeated gastro-esophageal reflux. In this study we performed comparative, genome-wide expression profiling (using Illumina whole-genome Beadarrays) on total RNA extracted from esophageal biopsy tissues from individuals with EAC, BE (in the absence of EAC) and those with normal squamous epithelium. We combined these data with publically accessible raw data from three similar studies to investigate key gene and ontology differences between these three tissue states. The results support the deduction that BE is a tissue with enhanced glycoprotein synthesis machinery (DPP4, ATP2A3, AGR2) designed to provide strong mucosal defenses aimed at resisting gastro-esophageal reflux. EAC exhibits the enhanced extracellular matrix remodeling (collagens, IGFBP7, PLAU) effects expected in an aggressive form of cancer, as well as evidence of reduced expression of genes associated with mucosal (MUC6, CA2, TFF1) and xenobiotic (AKR1C2, AKR1B10) defenses. When our results are compared to previous whole-genome expression profiling studies keratin, mucin, annexin and trefoil factor gene groups are the most frequently represented differentially expressed gene families. Eleven genes identified here are also represented in at least 3 other profiling studies. We used these genes to discriminate between squamous epithelium, BE and EAC within the two largest cohorts using a support vector machine leave one out cross validation (LOOCV) analysis. While this method was satisfactory for discriminating squamous epithelium and BE, it demonstrates the need for more detailed investigations into profiling changes between BE and EAC.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e22513. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large number of new genomic features are being discovered using high throughput techniques. The next challenge is to automatically map them to the reference genome for further analysis and functional annotation. We have developed a tool that can be used to map important genomic features to the latest version of the human genome and also to annotate new features. These genomic features could be of many different source types, including miRNAs, microarray primers or probes, Chip-on-Chip data, CpG islands and SNPs to name a few. A standalone version and web interface for the tool can be accessed through: http://populationhealth.qimr.edu.au/cgi-bin/webFOG/index.cgi. The project details and source code is also available at http://www.bioinformatics.org/webfog.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2010; 401(3):447-50. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Widespread applicability of tissue-based mRNA expression screening for Barrett esophagus (BE) is likely to require (1) accurate methods for assaying archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) histopathology specimens taken at endoscopy, and (2) validation studies of promising biomarkers in different patient cohorts.
30 genes were significantly differentially expressed by histopathology tissue type. The direction and magnitude of the differences were very similar to those found in previous studies using fresh frozen tissues. Novel upregulated genes were TSPAN8 (also known as CO-029), TSPAN24 (CD151), EGR1 and TCIRG1. Novel downregulated genes were DPYD, TSPAN29 (CD9) and Ets1. Strong associations between histopathology type and gene expression were observed with the overexpressed genes: cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2), for which histopathology type explained 77.7% of the variation in expression, TSPAN1 (73.5%), TSPAN8 (62.9%), SPARC (62.1%), MMP7 (50.8%); and the under-expressed genes ADH7 (53.7%), APC (58.2%), RAR-gamma (51.3%).
mRNA was isolated from 54 FFPE small endoscopic biopsies from patients with Barrett intestinal metaplasia (BE), esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), or control patients with a normal squamous-lined esophagus. Multiplexed tandem PCR (MT-PCR) was used to quantitate 50 selected candidate genes for BE and control genes in duplicate. Principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted to explore the presence of global differences in gene expression profiles. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) of the transformed data was used to identify genes that were differentially expressed between different histological subtypes. Differentially expressed genes with a fold change of ≥2 (upregulated) or ≤-2 (downregulated) are reported with the p value for each comparison (EAC vs. normal, EAC vs. BE and BE vs. normal). The Benjamini-Hochberg method was used to control the false discovery rate at 0.01 for all comparisons.
Alterations in expression of select genes are strongly associated with BE or EAC or both. This study's findings for many highly differentially expressed genes are very similar to those previously reported, suggesting that these genes should be tested further in longitudinal studies for their potential role as biomarkers of progression to more advanced Barrett disease.
Cancer biology & therapy 07/2010; 10(2):172-9. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 18-23 nucleotide non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression in a sequence specific manner. Little is known about the repertoire and function of miRNAs in melanoma or the melanocytic lineage. We therefore undertook a comprehensive analysis of the miRNAome in a diverse range of pigment cells including: melanoblasts, melanocytes, congenital nevocytes, acral, mucosal, cutaneous and uveal melanoma cells.
We sequenced 12 small RNA libraries using Illumina's Genome Analyzer II platform. This massively parallel sequencing approach of a diverse set of melanoma and pigment cell libraries revealed a total of 539 known mature and mature-star sequences, along with the prediction of 279 novel miRNA candidates, of which 109 were common to 2 or more libraries and 3 were present in all libraries.
Some of the novel candidate miRNAs may be specific to the melanocytic lineage and as such could be used as biomarkers to assist in the early detection of distant metastases by measuring the circulating levels in blood. Follow up studies of the functional roles of these pigment cell miRNAs and the identification of the targets should shed further light on the development and progression of melanoma.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(3):e9685. · 3.53 Impact Factor