C D Stiles

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (158)1349.12 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The bHLH transcription factor Olig2 is expressed in cycling neural progenitor cells but also in terminally differentiated, myelinating oligodendrocytes. Sustained expression of Olig2 is counterintuitive because all known functions of the protein in expansion of neural progenitors and specification of oligodendrocyte progenitors are completed with the formation of mature white matter. How are the biological functions of Olig2 suppressed in terminally differentiated oligodendrocytes? In previous studies, we have shown that a triple serine motif in the amino terminus of Olig2 is phosphorylated in cycling neural progenitors but not in their differentiated progeny. We now show that phosphorylation of the triple serine motif regulates intranuclear compartmentalization of murine Olig2. Phosphorylated Olig2 is preferentially localized to a transcriptionally active "open" chromatin compartment together with coregulator proteins essential for regulation of gene expression. Unphosphorylated Olig2, as seen in mature white matter, is localized mainly within a transcriptionally inactive, chromatin fraction characterized by condensed and inaccessible DNA. Of special note is the observation that the p53 tumor suppressor protein is confined to the open chromatin fraction. Proximity ligation assays show that phosphorylation brings Olig2 within 30 nm of p53 within the open chromatin compartment. The data thus shed light on previously noted promitogenic functions of phosphorylated Olig2, which reflect, at least in part, an oppositional relationship with p53 functions.
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 06/2014; 34(25):8507-18.
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal GABAergic interneuron density, and imbalance of excitatory versus inhibitory tone, is thought to result in epilepsy, neurodevelopmental disorders, and psychiatric disease. Recent studies indicate that interneuron cortical density is determined primarily by the size of the precursor pool in the embryonic telencephalon. However, factors essential for regulating interneuron allocation from telencephalic multipotent precursors are poorly understood. Here we report that Olig1 represses production of GABAergic interneurons throughout the mouse brain. Olig1 deletion in mutant mice results in ectopic expression and upregulation of Dlx1/2 genes in the ventral medial ganglionic eminences and adjacent regions of the septum, resulting in an ∼30% increase in adult cortical interneuron numbers. We show that Olig1 directly represses the Dlx1/2 I12b intergenic enhancer and that Dlx1/2 functions genetically downstream of Olig1. These findings establish Olig1 as an essential repressor of Dlx1/2 and interneuron production in developing mammalian brain.
    Neuron 02/2014; 81(3):574-87. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low-grade gliomas represent the most frequent brain tumors arising during childhood. They are characterized by a broad and heterogeneous group of tumors that are currently classified by the WHO according to their morphological appearance. Here we review the clinical features of these tumors, current therapeutic strategies and the recent discovery of genomic alterations characteristic to these tumors. We further explore how these recent biological findings stand to transform the treatment for these tumors and impact the diagnostic criteria for pediatric low-grade gliomas.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Reviews on Cancer 01/2014; · 9.03 Impact Factor
  • Ekaterina Pak, Rosalind A Segal, Charles D Stiles
    Nature Neuroscience 11/2013; 16(12):1710-1712. · 15.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pediatric low-grade gliomas (PLGGs) are among the most common solid tumors in children but, apart from BRAF kinase mutations or duplications in specific subclasses, few genetic driver events are known. Diffuse PLGGs comprise a set of uncommon subtypes that exhibit invasive growth and are therefore especially challenging clinically. We performed high-resolution copy-number analysis on 44 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded diffuse PLGGs to identify recurrent alterations. Diffuse PLGGs exhibited fewer such alterations than adult low-grade gliomas, but we identified several significantly recurrent events. The most significant event, 8q13.1 gain, was observed in 28% of diffuse astrocytoma grade IIs and resulted in partial duplication of the transcription factor MYBL1 with truncation of its C-terminal negative-regulatory domain. A similar recurrent deletion-truncation breakpoint was identified in two angiocentric gliomas in the related gene v-myb avian myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog (MYB) on 6q23.3. Whole-genome sequencing of a MYBL1-rearranged diffuse astrocytoma grade II demonstrated MYBL1 tandem duplication and few other events. Truncated MYBL1 transcripts identified in this tumor induced anchorage-independent growth in 3T3 cells and tumor formation in nude mice. Truncated transcripts were also expressed in two additional tumors with MYBL1 partial duplication. Our results define clinically relevant molecular subclasses of diffuse PLGGs and highlight a potential role for the MYB family in the biology of low-grade gliomas.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Drug transit through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is essential for therapeutic responses in malignant glioma. Conventional methods for assessment of BBB penetrance require synthesis of isotopically labeled drug derivatives. Here, we report a new methodology using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI) to visualize drug penetration in brain tissue without molecular labeling. In studies summarized here, we first validate heme as a simple and robust MALDI MSI marker for the lumen of blood vessels in the brain. We go on to provide three examples of how MALDI MSI can provide chemical and biological insights into BBB penetrance and metabolism of small molecule signal transduction inhibitors in the brain - insights that would be difficult or impossible to extract by use of radiolabeled compounds.
    Scientific Reports 01/2013; 3:2859. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors oligodendrocyte transcription factor 1 (OLIG1) and OLIG2 are structurally similar and, to a first approximation, coordinately expressed in the developing CNS and postnatal brain. Despite these similarities, it was apparent from early on after their discovery that OLIG1 and OLIG2 have non-overlapping developmental functions in patterning, neuron subtype specification and the formation of oligodendrocytes. Here, we summarize more recent insights into the separate roles of these transcription factors in the postnatal brain during repair processes and in neurological disease states, including multiple sclerosis and malignant glioma. We discuss how the unique functions of OLIG1 and OLIG2 may reflect their distinct genetic targets, co-regulator proteins and/or post-translational modifications.
    Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11/2012; 13(12):819-31. · 31.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gliomas consist of multiple histologic and molecular subtypes with different clinical phenotypes and responsiveness to treatment. However, enrollment criteria for clinical trials still largely do not take into account these underlying molecular differences. We have incorporated a high-throughput tumor genotyping program based on the ABI SNaPshot platform as well as other molecular diagnostic tests into the standard evaluation of glioma patients in order to assess whether prospective molecular profiling would allow rational patient selection onto clinical trials. From 218 gliomas we prospectively collected SNaPshot genotyping data on 68 mutated loci from 15 key cancer genes along with data from clinical assays for gene amplification (EGFR, PDGFRA, MET), 1p/19q co-deletion and MGMT promoter methylation. SNaPshot mutations and focal gene amplifications were detected in 38.5 and 47.1 % of glioblastomas, respectively. Genetic alterations in EGFR, IDH1 and PIK3CA closely matched frequencies reported in recent studies. In addition, we identified events that are rare in gliomas although are known driver mutations in other cancer types, such as mutations of AKT1, BRAF and KRAS. Patients with genetic alterations that activate signaling pathways were enrolled onto genetically selective clinical trials for malignant glioma as well as for other solid cancers. High-throughput molecular profiling incorporated into the routine clinical evaluation of glioma patients may enable the rational selection of patients for targeted therapy clinical trials and thereby improve the likelihood that such trials succeed.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 07/2012; 110(1):89-98. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lengthy developmental programs generate cell diversity within an organotypic framework, enabling the later physiological actions of each organ system. Cell identity, cell diversity and cell function are determined by cell type-specific transcriptional programs; consequently, transcriptional regulatory factors are useful markers of emerging cellular complexity, and their expression patterns provide insights into the regulatory mechanisms at play. We performed a comprehensive genome-scale in situ expression screen of 921 transcriptional regulators in the developing mammalian urogenital system. Focusing on the kidney, analysis of regional-specific expression patterns identified novel markers and cell types associated with development and patterning of the urinary system. Furthermore, promoter analysis of synexpressed genes predicts transcriptional control mechanisms that regulate cell differentiation. The annotated informational resource (www.gudmap.org) will facilitate functional analysis of the mammalian kidney and provides useful information for the generation of novel genetic tools to manipulate emerging cell populations.
    Development 05/2012; 139(10):1863-73. · 6.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alterations of BRAF are the most common known genetic aberrations in pediatric gliomas. They frequently are found in pilocytic astrocytomas, where genomic duplications involving BRAF and the poorly characterized gene KIAA1549 create fusion proteins with constitutive B-Raf kinase activity. BRAF V600E point mutations are less common and generally occur in nonpilocytic tumors. The development of BRAF inhibitors as drugs has created an urgent need for robust clinical assays to identify activating lesions in BRAF. KIAA1549-BRAF fusion transcripts have been detected in frozen tissue, however, methods for FFPE tissue have not been reported. We developed a panel of FFPE-compatible quantitative RT-PCR assays for the most common KIAA1549-BRAF fusion transcripts. Application of these assays to a collection of 51 low-grade pediatric gliomas showed 97% sensitivity and 91% specificity compared with fluorescence in situ hybridization or array comparative genomic hybridization. In parallel, we assayed samples for the presence of the BRAF V600E mutation by PCR pyrosequencing. The data further support previous observations that these two alterations of the BRAF, KIAA1549 fusions and V600E point mutations, are associated primarily with pilocytic astrocytomas and nonpilocytic gliomas, respectively. These results show that fusion transcripts and mutations can be detected reliably in standard FFPE specimens and may be useful for incorporation into future studies of pediatric gliomas in basic science or clinical trials.
    The Journal of molecular diagnostics: JMD 08/2011; 13(6):669-77. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancers of the nervous system are clinically challenging tumors that present with varied histopathologies and genetic etiologies. While the prognosis for the most malignant of these tumors is essentially unchanged despite decades of basic and translational science research, the past few years have witnessed the identification of numerous targetable molecular alterations in these cancers. With the advent of advanced genomic sequencing methodologies and the development of accurate small-animal models of these nervous system cancers, we are now ideally positioned to develop personalized therapies that target the unique cellular and molecular changes that define their formation and drive their continued growth. Recently, the National Cancer Institute convened a workshop to advance our understanding of nervous system cancer mouse models and to inform clinical trials by reconsidering these neoplasms as complex biological systems characterized by heterogeneity at all levels.
    Neuro-Oncology 07/2011; 13(7):692-9. · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High-grade gliomas are notoriously insensitive to radiation and genotoxic drugs. Paradoxically, the p53 gene is structurally intact in the majority of these tumors. Resistance to genotoxic modalities in p53-positive gliomas is generally attributed to attenuation of p53 functions by mutations of other components within the p53 signaling axis, such as p14(Arf), MDM2, and ATM, but this explanation is not entirely satisfactory. We show here that the central nervous system (CNS)-restricted transcription factor Olig2 affects a key posttranslational modification of p53 in both normal and malignant neural progenitors and thereby antagonizes the interaction of p53 with promoter elements of multiple target genes. In the absence of Olig2 function, even attenuated levels of p53 are adequate for biological responses to genotoxic damage.
    Cancer cell 03/2011; 19(3):359-71. · 25.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The bHLH transcription factors that regulate early development of the central nervous system can generally be classified as either antineural or proneural. Initial expression of antineural factors prevents cell cycle exit and thereby expands the pool of neural progenitors. Subsequent (and typically transient) expression of proneural factors promotes cell cycle exit, subtype specification, and differentiation. Against this backdrop, the bHLH transcription factor Olig2 in the oligodendrocyte lineage is unorthodox, showing antineural functions in multipotent CNS progenitor cells but also sustained expression and proneural functions in the formation of oligodendrocytes. We show here that the proliferative function of Olig2 is controlled by developmentally regulated phosphorylation of a conserved triple serine motif within the amino-terminal domain. In the phosphorylated state, Olig2 maintains antineural (i.e., promitotic) functions that are reflected in human glioma cells and in a genetically defined murine model of primary glioma.
    Neuron 03/2011; 69(5):906-17. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant gliomas are highly lethal tumors resistant to current therapies. The standard treatment modality for these tumors, surgical resection followed by radiation therapy and concurrent temozolomide, has demonstrated activity, but development of resistance and disease progression is common. Although oncogenic Ras mutations are uncommon in gliomas, Ras has been found to be constitutively activated through the action of upstream signaling pathways, suggesting that farnesyltransferase inhibitors may show activity against these tumors. We now report the in vitro and orthotopic in vivo results of combination therapy using radiation, temozolomide and lonafarnib (SCH66336), an oral farnesyl transferase inhibitor, in a murine model of glioblastoma. We examined the viability, proliferation, farnesylation of H-Ras, and activation of downstream signaling of combination-treated U87 cells in vitro. Lonafarnib alone or in combination with radiation and temozolomide had limited tumor cell cytotoxicity in vitro although it did demonstrate significant inhibition in tumor cell proliferation. In vivo, lonafarnib alone had a modest ability to inhibit orthotopic U87 tumors, radiation and temozolomide demonstrated better inhibition, while significant anti-tumor activity was found with concurrent lonafarnib, radiation, and temozolomide, with the majority of animals demonstrating a decrease in tumor volume. The use of tumor neurospheres derived from freshly resected adult human glioblastoma tissue was relatively resistant to both temozolomide and radiation therapy. Lonafarnib had a significant inhibitory activity against these neurospheres and could potentate the activity of temozolomide and radiation. These data support the continued research of high grade glioma treatment combinations of farnesyl transferase inhibitors, temozolomide, and radiation therapy.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 01/2011; 104(1):179-89. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular heterogeneity is a distinctive feature of high-grade gliomas [1]. What are the cellular mechanisms that give rise to the collection of cell types that comprise glioblastoma multiforme? According to the clonal evolution model of tumor heterogeneity (also known as the stochastic model), tumor initiation occurs by an induced change in a single previously normal cell (Fig. 3.1a) [2]. This neoplastic cell has a selective growth advantage compared with the surrounding normal cells. KeywordsGlioma stem cells-CD133-Neurospheres-Glioma cell of origin-Brain tumor
    12/2010: pages 45-53;
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    ABSTRACT: Pheochromocytomas, which are catecholamine-secreting tumors of neural crest origin, are frequently hereditary. However, the molecular basis of the majority of these tumors is unknown. We identified the transmembrane-encoding gene TMEM127 on chromosome 2q11 as a new pheochromocytoma susceptibility gene. In a cohort of 103 samples, we detected truncating germline TMEM127 mutations in approximately 30% of familial tumors and about 3% of sporadic-appearing pheochromocytomas without a known genetic cause. The wild-type allele was consistently deleted in tumor DNA, suggesting a classic mechanism of tumor suppressor gene inactivation. Pheochromocytomas with mutations in TMEM127 are transcriptionally related to tumors bearing NF1 mutations and, similarly, show hyperphosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) effector proteins. Accordingly, in vitro gain-of-function and loss-of-function analyses indicate that TMEM127 is a negative regulator of mTOR. TMEM127 dynamically associates with the endomembrane system and colocalizes with perinuclear (activated) mTOR, suggesting a subcompartmental-specific effect. Our studies identify TMEM127 as a tumor suppressor gene and validate the power of hereditary tumors to elucidate cancer pathogenesis.
    Nature Genetics 02/2010; 42(3):229-33. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: [This corrects the article on p. e7887 in vol. 4.].
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(9). · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Forward genetic screens in genetically accessible invertebrate organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster have shed light on transcription factors that specify formation of neurons in the vertebrate CNS. However, invertebrate models have, to date, been uninformative with respect to genes that specify formation of the vertebrate glial lineages. All recent insights into specification of vertebrate glia have come via monitoring the spatial and temporal expression patterns of individual transcription factors during development. In studies described here, we have taken this approach to the genome scale with an in silico screen of the Mahoney pictorial atlas of transcription factor expression in the developing CNS. From the population of 1445 known or probable transcription factors encoded in the mouse genome, we identify 12 novel transcription factors that are expressed in glial lineage progenitor cells. Entry-level screens for biological function establish one of these transcription factors, Klf15, as sufficient for genesis of precocious GFAP-positive astrocytes in spinal cord explants. Another transcription factor, Tcf4, plays an important role in maturation of oligodendrocyte progenitors.
    Journal of Neuroscience 10/2009; 29(36):11399-408. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and its receptors (PDGFR) are frequently coexpressed in meningiomas, potentially contributing to their pathogenesis. The North American Brain Tumor Consortium conducted a phase II study to evaluate the therapeutic potential of imatinib mesylate (Gleevec), a PDGFR inhibitor, in patients with recurrent meningiomas. Patients were stratified into benign (WHO grade I) meningiomas or atypical (WHO grade II) and malignant (WHO grade III) meningiomas. The primary end point was 6-month progression-free survival (6M-PFS). Patients requiring enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs were ineligible. Patients received imatinib at a dose of 600 mg/day for the first 4-week cycle and then gradually increased to 800 mg/day for subsequent cycles, if there were no unacceptable toxicities. Plasma concentrations of imatinib and its active metabolite, CGP74588, were assessed. Twenty-three heavily pretreated patients were enrolled into the study (13 benign, 5 atypical, and 5 malignant meningiomas), of whom 22 were eligible. The study was closed prematurely due to slow accrual. Tissue was available only from a minority of patients, but in these specimens there was uniform distribution of PDGFR, the drug target. Imatinib was generally well tolerated. Of 19 patients evaluable for response, 10 progressed at the first scan, and 9 were stable. There were no complete or partial responses. Overall median PFS was 2 months (range, 0.7-34 months); 6M-PFS was 29.4%. For benign meningiomas, median PFS was 3 months (range, 1.1-34 months); 6M-PFS was 45%. For atypical and malignant meningiomas, median PFS was 2 months (range, 0.7-3.7 months); 6M-PFS was 0%. Cycle 1 trough concentrations of imatinib and CGP74588 were 2,129 +/- 1,600 ng/ml and 517 +/- 326 ng/ml, respectively. Single-agent imatinib was well tolerated but had no significant activity in recurrent meningiomas. Trough plasma concentrations of imatinib exceeded those associated with imatinib activity in chronic myelogenous leukemia.
    Neuro-Oncology 04/2009; 11(6):853-60. · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detection of critical cancer gene mutations in clinical tumor specimens may predict patient outcomes and inform treatment options; however, high-throughput mutation profiling remains underdeveloped as a diagnostic approach. We report the implementation of a genotyping and validation algorithm that enables robust tumor mutation profiling in the clinical setting. We developed and implemented an optimized mutation profiling platform ("OncoMap") to interrogate approximately 400 mutations in 33 known oncogenes and tumor suppressors, many of which are known to predict response or resistance to targeted therapies. The performance of OncoMap was analyzed using DNA derived from both frozen and FFPE clinical material in a diverse set of cancer types. A subsequent in-depth analysis was conducted on histologically and clinically annotated pediatric gliomas. The sensitivity and specificity of OncoMap were 93.8% and 100% in fresh frozen tissue; and 89.3% and 99.4% in FFPE-derived DNA. We detected known mutations at the expected frequencies in common cancers, as well as novel mutations in adult and pediatric cancers that are likely to predict heightened response or resistance to existing or developmental cancer therapies. OncoMap profiles also support a new molecular stratification of pediatric low-grade gliomas based on BRAF mutations that may have immediate clinical impact. Our results demonstrate the clinical feasibility of high-throughput mutation profiling to query a large panel of "actionable" cancer gene mutations. In the future, this type of approach may be incorporated into both cancer epidemiologic studies and clinical decision making to specify the use of many targeted anticancer agents.
    PLoS ONE 01/2009; 4(11):e7887. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

12k Citations
1,349.12 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1977–2014
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • • Department of Cancer Biology
      • • Department of Pediatric Oncology
      • • Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology
      • • Department of Medical Oncology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2001–2003
    • Centre for Cancer Biology
      Tarndarnya, South Australia, Australia
  • 1979–2003
    • Harvard Medical School
      • • Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology
      • • Department of Neurobiology
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 1993–2001
    • University College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2000
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 1995–1999
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      • Department of Neurology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 1997
    • University of Seoul
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 1996
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
      • Department of Neurology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 1990
    • Yale University
      • Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry
      New Haven, CT, United States
  • 1989–1990
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
      Boston, MA, United States
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Department of Molecular Biology
      Boston, MA, United States