David A Solomon

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States

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Publications (28)224.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) tightly regulate tyrosine phosphorylation essential for cell growth, adhesion, migration, and survival. We performed a mutational analysis of the PTP gene family in cutaneous metastatic melanoma and identified 23 phosphatase genes harboring somatic mutations. Among these, receptor-type tyrosine-protein phosphatase delta (PTPRD) was one of the most highly mutated genes, harboring 17 somatic mutations in 79 samples, a prevalence of 21.5%. Functional evaluation of six PTPRD mutations revealed enhanced anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent growth. Interestingly, melanoma cells expressing mutant PTPRD were significantly more migratory than cells expressing wild-type PTPRD or vector alone, indicating a novel gain-of-function associated with mutant PTPRD. In order to understand the molecular mechanisms of PTPRD mutations, we searched for its binding partners by converting the active PTPRD enzyme into a ‘‘substrate trap’’ form. Using mass spectrometry and co-immunoprecipitation, we report desmoplakin, a desmosomal protein that is implicated in cell-cell adhesion, as a novel PTPRD substrate. Further analysis showed reduced phosphatase activity of mutant PTPRD against desmoplakin. Our findings identify an essential signaling cascade that is disrupted in melanoma. Moreover, because PTPRD is also mutated in glioblastomas and adenocarcinoma of the colon and lung, our data might be applicable to a large number of human cancers.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    Human Mutation 08/2014; · 5.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (EFT) is a group of highly malignant small round blue cell tumors occurring in children and young adults. We report here the largest genomic survey to date of 101 EFT (65 tumors and 36 cell lines). Using a combination of whole genome sequencing and targeted sequencing approaches, we discover that EFT has a very low mutational burden (0.15 mutations/Mb) but frequent deleterious mutations in the cohesin complex subunit STAG2 (21.5% tumors, 44.4% cell lines), homozygous deletion of CDKN2A (13.8% and 50%) and mutations of TP53 (6.2% and 71.9%). We additionally note an increased prevalence of the BRCA2 K3326X polymorphism in EFT patient samples (7.3%) compared to population data (OR 7.1, p = 0.006). Using whole transcriptome sequencing, we find that 11% of tumors pathologically diagnosed as EFT lack a typical EWSR1 fusion oncogene and that these tumors do not have a characteristic Ewing sarcoma gene expression signature. We identify samples harboring novel fusion genes including FUS-NCATc2 and CIC-FOXO4 that may represent distinct small round blue cell tumor variants. In an independent EFT tissue microarray cohort, we show that STAG2 loss as detected by immunohistochemistry may be associated with more advanced disease (p = 0.15) and a modest decrease in overall survival (p = 0.10). These results significantly advance our understanding of the genomic and molecular underpinnings of Ewing sarcoma and provide a foundation towards further efforts to improve diagnosis, prognosis, and precision therapeutics testing.
    PLoS Genetics 07/2014; 10(7):e1004475. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    David A Solomon, Jung-Sik Kim, Todd Waldman
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    ABSTRACT: Cohesin is a multi-protein complex composed of four core subunits (SMC1A, SMC3, RAD21, and either STAG1 or STAG2) that is responsible for the cohesion of sister chromatids following DNA replication until its cleavage during mitosis thereby enabling faithful segregation of sister chromatids into two daughter cells. Recent cancer genomics analyses have discovered a high frequency of somatic mutations in the genes encoding the core cohesin subunits as well as cohesin regulatory factors (e.g. NIPBL, PDS5B, ESPL1) in a select subset of human tumors including glioblastoma, Ewing sarcoma, urothelial carcinoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and acute megakaryoblastic leukemia. Herein we review these studies including discussion of the functional significance of cohesin inactivation in tumorigenesis and potential therapeutic mechanisms to selectively target cancers harboring cohesin mutations.
    BMB reports 05/2014; · 1.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent data has identified STAG2, a core subunit of the multifunctional cohesin complex, as a highly recurrently mutated gene in several types of cancer. We sought to identify a therapeutic strategy to selectively target cancer cells harboring inactivating mutations of STAG2 using two independent pairs of isogenic glioblastoma cell lines containing either an endogenous mutant STAG2 allele or a wild-type STAG2 allele restored by homologous recombination. We find that STAG2 mutation is associated with significantly increased sensitivity to inhibitors of the DNA repair enzyme poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP). STAG2-mutated, PARP-inhibited cells accumulated in G2 phase and had a higher percentage of micronuclei, fragmented nuclei and chromatin bridges compared to wild-type STAG2 cells. We also observed more 53BP1 foci in STAG2-mutated glioblastoma cells suggesting that these cells have defects in DNA repair. Furthermore, cells with STAG2 mutations were more sensitive than cells with wild-type STAG2 when PARP inhibitors were used in combination with DNA damaging agents. These data suggest that PARP is a potential target for tumours harbouring inactivating mutations in STAG2, and strongly recommend that STAG2 status be determined and correlated with therapeutic response to PARP inhibitors, both prospectively and retrospectively, in clinical trials.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 12/2013; · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we report the discovery of truncating mutations of the gene encoding the cohesin subunit STAG2, which regulates sister chromatid cohesion and segregation, in 36% of papillary non-invasive urothelial carcinomas and 16% of invasive urothelial carcinomas of the bladder. Our studies suggest that STAG2 has a role in controlling chromosome number but not the proliferation of bladder cancer cells. These findings identify STAG2 as one of the most commonly mutated genes in bladder cancer.
    Nature Genetics 10/2013; · 35.21 Impact Factor
  • The American journal of surgical pathology 10/2013; 37(10):1627-30. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant astrocytomas (MA) are aggressive central nervous system tumors with poor prognosis. Activating mutation of BRAF (BRAF(V600E)) has been reported in a subset of these tumors, especially in children. We have investigated the incidence of BRAF(V600E) in additional pediatric patient cohorts and examined the effects of BRAF blockade in preclinical models of BRAF(V600E) and wild-type BRAF MA. BRAF(V600E) mutation status was examined in two pediatric MA patient cohorts. For functional studies, BRAF(V600E) MA cell lines were used to investigate the effects of BRAF shRNA knockdown in vitro, and to investigate BRAF pharmacologic inhibition in vitro and in vivo. BRAF(V600E) mutations were identified in 11 and 10% of MAs from two distinct series of tumors (six of 58 cases total). BRAF was expressed in all MA cell lines examined, among which BRAF(V600E) was identified in four instances. Using the BRAF(V600E)-specific inhibitor PLX4720, pharmacologic blockade of BRAF revealed preferential antiproliferative activity against BRAF(V600E) mutant cells in vitro, in contrast to the use of shRNA-mediated knockdown of BRAF, which inhibited cell growth of glioma cell lines regardless of BRAF mutation status. Using orthotopic MA xenografts, we show that PLX4720 treatment decreases tumor growth and increases overall survival in mice-bearing BRAF(V600E) mutant xenografts, while being ineffective, and possibly tumor promoting, against xenografts with wild-type BRAF. Our results indicate a 10% incidence of activating BRAF(V600E) among pediatric MAs. With regard to implications for therapy, our results support evaluation of BRAF(V600E)-specific inhibitors for treating BRAF(V600E) MA patients.
    Clinical Cancer Research 12/2011; 17(24):7595-604. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most cancer cells are characterized by aneuploidy, an abnormal number of chromosomes. We have identified a clue to the mechanistic origins of aneuploidy through integrative genomic analyses of human tumors. A diverse range of tumor types were found to harbor deletions or inactivating mutations of STAG2, a gene encoding a subunit of the cohesin complex, which regulates the separation of sister chromatids during cell division. Because STAG2 is on the X chromosome, its inactivation requires only a single mutational event. Studying a near-diploid human cell line with a stable karyotype, we found that targeted inactivation of STAG2 led to chromatid cohesion defects and aneuploidy, whereas in two aneuploid human glioblastoma cell lines, targeted correction of the endogenous mutant alleles of STAG2 led to enhanced chromosomal stability. Thus, genetic disruption of cohesin is a cause of aneuploidy in human cancer.
    Science 08/2011; 333(6045):1039-43. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Following DNA damage, human cells undergo arrests in the G(1) and G(2) phases of the cell cycle and a simultaneous arrest in cell size. We previously demonstrated that the cell size arrest can be uncoupled from the cell cycle arrest by mutational inactivation of the PTEN tumor suppressor gene. Here we show that the cell size checkpoint is inducible by DNA-damaging chemotherapeutic agents as well as by ionizing radiation and is effectively regulated by PTEN but not by its oncogenic counterpart, PIK3CA. Mutational analysis of PTEN and pharmacological inhibition of Akt revealed that modulation of Akt phosphorylation is unnecessary for cell size checkpoint control. To discover putative PTEN regulators and/or effectors involved in size checkpoint control, we employed a novel endogenous epitope tagging (EET) approach, which revealed that endogenous PTEN interacts at the membrane with an actin-remodeling complex that includes actin, gelsolin, and EPLIN. Pharmacological inhibition of actin remodeling in PTEN(+/+) cells recapitulated the lack of size checkpoint control seen in PTEN(-/-) cells. Taken together, these results provide further support for the existence of a DNA damage-inducible size checkpoint that is regulated by a major tumor suppressor, and they provide a novel Akt-independent mechanism by which PTEN controls cell size.
    Molecular and cellular biology 07/2011; 31(13):2756-71. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The glioblastoma genome displays remarkable chromosomal aberrations, which harbor critical glioblastoma-specific genes contributing to several oncogenetic pathways. To identify glioblastoma-targeted genes, we completed a multifaceted genome-wide analysis to characterize the most significant aberrations of DNA content occurring in glioblastomas. We performed copy number analysis of 111 glioblastomas by Digital Karyotyping and Illumina BeadChip assays and validated our findings using data from the TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) glioblastoma project. From this study, we identified recurrent focal copy number alterations in 1p36.23 and 4p16.3. Expression analyses of genes located in the two regions revealed genes which are dysregulated in glioblastomas. Specifically, we identify EGFR negative regulator, ERRFI1, within the minimal region of deletion in 1p36.23. In glioblastoma cells with a focal deletion of the ERRFI1 locus, restoration of ERRFI1 expression slowed cell migration. Furthermore, we demonstrate that TACC3, an Aurora-A kinase substrate, on 4p16.3, displays gain of copy number, is overexpressed in a glioma-grade-specific pattern, and correlates with Aurora kinase overexpression in glioblastomas. Our multifaceted genomic evaluation of glioblastoma establishes ERRFI1 as a potential candidate tumor suppressor gene and TACC3 as a potential oncogene, and provides insight on targets for oncogenic pathway-based therapy.
    Oncotarget 08/2010; 1(4):265-77. · 6.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) and isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) are enzymes which convert isocitrate to alpha-ketoglutarate while reducing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+to NADPH). IDH1/2 were recently identified as mutated in a large percentage of progressive gliomas. These mutations occur at IDH1(R132) or the homologous IDH2(R172). Melanomas share some genetic features with IDH1/2-mutated gliomas, such as frequent TP53 mutation. We sought to test whether melanoma is associated with IDH1/2 mutations. Seventy-eight human melanoma samples were analyzed for IDH1(R132) and IDH2(R172) mutation status. A somatic, heterozygous IDH1 c.C394T (p.R132C) mutation was identified in one human melanoma metastasis to the lung. Having identified this mutation in one metastasis, we sought to test the hypothesis that certain selective pressures in the brain environment may specifically favor the cell growth or survival of tumor cells with mutations in IDH1/2, regardless of primary tumor site. To address this, we analyzed IDH1(R132) and IDH2(R172) mutation status 53 metastatic brain tumors, including nine melanoma metastases. Results revealed no mutations in any samples. This lack of mutations would suggest that mutations in IDH1(R132) or IDH2(R172) may be necessary for the formation of tumors in a cell-lineage dependent manner, with a particularly strong selective pressure for mutations in progressive gliomas; this also suggests the lack of a particular selective pressure for growth in brain tissue in general. Studies on the cell-lineages of tumors with IDH1/2 mutations may help clarify the role of these mutations in the development of brain tumors.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2010; 398(3):585-7. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (cdk4/6) occurs in the majority of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors, and represents a promising molecular target for the development of small molecule inhibitors. In the current study, we investigated the molecular determinants and in vivo response of diverse GBM cell lines and xenografts to PD-0332991, a cdk4/6-specific inhibitor. In vitro testing of PD-0332991 against a panel of GBM cell lines revealed a potent G(1) cell cycle arrest and induction of senescence in each of 16 retinoblastoma protein (Rb)-proficient cell lines regardless of other genetic lesions, whereas 5 cell lines with homozygous inactivation of Rb were completely resistant to treatment. Short hairpin RNA depletion of Rb expression conferred resistance of GBM cells to PD-0332991, further demonstrating a requirement of Rb for sensitivity to cdk4/6 inhibition. PD-0332991 was found to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier and proved highly effective in suppressing the growth of intracranial GBM xenograft tumors, including those that had recurred after initial therapy with temozolomide. Remarkably, no mice receiving PD-0332991 died as a result of disease progression while on therapy. Additionally, the combination of PD-0332991 and radiation therapy resulted in significantly increased survival benefit compared with either therapy alone. In total, our results support clinical trial evaluation of PD-0332991 against newly diagnosed as well as recurrent GBM, and indicate that Rb status is the primary determinant of potential benefit from this therapy.
    Cancer Research 03/2010; 70(8):3228-38. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The retinoblastoma (RB) tumor suppressor and its family members, p107 and p130, function by repressing E2F transcription factor activity to limit the expression of genes required for cell cycle progression. Traditionally, it is thought that the RB family proteins repress E2F target gene expression through complexing with E2F at gene promoters. However, whereas chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments have demonstrated p107 and p130 at E2F-responsive promoters, RB chromatin association has not been reliably observed. Here we used green fluorescent protein-tagged proteins to rigorously explore the mechanism of RB-mediated transcriptional repression relative to its p107 and p130 family members. The use of live cell fluorescent imaging demonstrated that RB, p107, and p130 exhibit similar nuclear dynamics. Although these findings suggest a similar engagement with nuclear structures, chromatin immunoprecipitation approaches with multiple independent antibodies failed to detect the association of RB with target gene promoters. However, by employing antibodies directed against green fluorescent protein, we could utilize the same antibody to assess RB, p107, and p130 engagement. This approach demonstrated RB association with target gene promoters in a fashion analogous to p107 and p130. Extension of this technology demonstrated that direct RB phosphorylation disrupts promoter association to regulate transcription. Thus, RB is associated with promoters in a manner similar to p107/p130 and that association is modulated by phosphorylation during cell cycle progression.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2009; 284(29):19265-19271. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inherited susceptibility to malignant melanoma has long been linked to genetic anomalies on chromosome 9p. Approximately 20-40% of melanoma-prone families have germline mutations in CDKN2A, which encodes the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16(INK4a) at chromosome 9p21.3. However, the susceptibility gene(s) in the 9p-linked families without CDKN2A alteration remains unidentified. Recently we and others have identified frequent deletions and somatic mutations of the PTPRD tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 9p in sporadic melanoma. We thus considered the possibility that inherited mutations of PTPRD could be responsible for familial melanoma or melanoma-astrocytoma syndrome in kindreds lacking mutations in CDKN2A. To test this hypothesis, we sequenced the PTPRD gene in probands from 12 familial melanoma and melanoma-astrocytoma kindreds that lack mutations in CDKN2A. In each case the PTPRD gene was wild-type. Our findings indicate that despite frequent lesions of PTPRD in sporadic melanomas, we find no evidence that PTPRD is the long sought "other" 9p susceptibility gene in familial melanoma.
    Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research 07/2009; 22(4):489-91. · 5.84 Impact Factor
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    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. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Switch (SWI)/sucrose nonfermentable (SNF) is an evolutionarily conserved complex with ATPase function, capable of regulating nucleosome position to alter transcriptional programs within the cell. It is known that the SWI/SNF complex is responsible for regulation of many genes involved in cell cycle control and proliferation, and it has recently been implicated in cancer development. The ATPase action of SWI/SNF is conferred through either the brahma-related gene 1 (Brg1) or brahma (Brm) subunit of the complex, and it is of central importance to the modification of nucleosome position. In this study, the role of the Brg1 and Brm subunits were examined as they relate to chromatin structure and organization. Deletion of the Brg1 ATPase results in dissolution of pericentromeric heterochromatin domains and a redistribution of histone modifications associated with these structures. This effect was highly specific to Brg1 and is not reproduced by the loss of Brm or SNF5/BAF47/INI1. Brg1 deficiency is associated with the appearance of micronuclei and aberrant mitoses that are a by-product of dissociated chromatin structure. Thus, Brg1 plays a critical role in maintaining chromatin structural integrity.
    Molecular biology of the cell 06/2009; 20(14):3192-9. · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The retinoblastoma (RB) tumor suppressor and its family members, p107 and p130, function by repressing E2F transcription factor activity to limit the expression of genes required for cell cycle progression. Traditionally, it is thought that the RB family proteins repress E2F target gene expression through complexing with E2F at gene promoters. However, whereas chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments have demonstrated p107 and p130 at E2F-responsive promoters, RB chromatin association has not been reliably observed. Here we used green fluorescent protein-tagged proteins to rigorously explore the mechanism of RB-mediated transcriptional repression relative to its p107 and p130 family members. The use of live cell fluorescent imaging demonstrated that RB, p107, and p130 exhibit similar nuclear dynamics. Although these findings suggest a similar engagement with nuclear structures, chromatin immunoprecipitation approaches with multiple independent antibodies failed to detect the association of RB with target gene promoters. However, by employing antibodies directed against green fluorescent protein, we could utilize the same antibody to assess RB, p107, and p130 engagement. This approach demonstrated RB association with target gene promoters in a fashion analogous to p107 and p130. Extension of this technology demonstrated that direct RB phosphorylation disrupts promoter association to regulate transcription. Thus, RB is associated with promoters in a manner similar to p107/p130 and that association is modulated by phosphorylation during cell cycle progression.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2009; 284(29):19265-71. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    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. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most dreaded cancer diagnoses due to its poor prognosis and the limited treatment options. Homozygous deletion of the p16(INK4a)/p14(ARF)/p15(INK4b) locus is among the most common genetic alterations in GBM. Two recent studies have shown that deletion and mutation of another INK4 family member, p18(INK4c), also drives the pathogenesis of GBM. This minireview will discuss the known roles for p18(INK4c) in the initiation and progression of cancer and suggest opportunities for future studies.
    Cancer Research 12/2008; 68(21):8657-60. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genomic alterations leading to aberrant activation of cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) complexes drive the pathogenesis of many common human tumor types. In the case of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), these alterations are most commonly due to homozygous deletion of p16(INK4a) and less commonly due to genomic amplifications of individual genes encoding cyclins or cdks. Here, we describe deletion of the p18(INK4c) cdk inhibitor as a novel genetic alteration driving the pathogenesis of GBM. Deletions of p18(INK4c) often occurred in tumors also harboring homozygous deletions of p16(INK4a). Expression of p18(INK4c) was completely absent in 43% of GBM primary tumors studied by immunohistochemistry. Lentiviral reconstitution of p18(INK4c) expression at physiologic levels in p18(INK4c)-deficient but not p18(INK4c)-proficient GBM cells led to senescence-like G(1) cell cycle arrest. These studies identify p18(INK4c) as a GBM tumor suppressor gene, revealing an additional mechanism leading to aberrant activation of cyclin/cdk complexes in this terrible malignancy.
    Cancer Research 05/2008; 68(8):2564-9. · 9.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

655 Citations
224.09 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2014
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Neurological Surgery
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 2013
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2008–2013
    • Georgetown University
      • Department of Oncology
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2009
    • Thomas Jefferson University
      • Department of Cancer Biology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 2003–2004
    • University of Cincinnati
      • Department of Cancer and Cell Biology
      Cincinnati, OH, United States