[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In mammals, large caliber axons are ensheathed by myelin, a glial specialization supporting axon integrity and conferring accelerated and energy-efficient action potential conduction. Myelin basic protein (MBP) is required for normal myelin elaboration with maximal mbp transcription in oligodendrocytes requiring the upstream M3 enhancer. To further characterize the mechanism regulating mbp transcription, we defined M3 structure/function relationships by evaluating its evolutionary conservation, DNA footprints and the developmental programing conferred in mice by M3 derivatives. Multiple M3 regulatory element combinations were found to drive expression in oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells with a minimal 129 bp sequence conferring expression in oligodendrocytes throughout myelin elaboration, maintenance and repair. Unexpectedly, M3 derivatives conferred markedly different spatial and temporal expression programs thus illuminating striking transcriptional heterogeneity within post-mitotic oligodendrocytes. Finally, one M3 derivative engaged only during primary myelination, not during adult remyelination, demonstrating that transcriptional regulation in the two states is not equivalent. GLIA 2015.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over 50 loci associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) have been uncovered by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Identifying additional loci has the potential to help elucidate aspects of the underlying biological processes leading to better understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease. We re-evaluated a GWAS by excluding controls that have family history of CRC or personal history of colorectal polyps, as we hypothesized that their inclusion reduces power to detect associations. This is supported empirically and through simulations. Two-phase GWAS analysis was performed in a total of 16,517 cases and 14,487 controls. We identified rs17094983, a SNP associated with risk of CRC [p = 2.5 × 10(-10); odds ratio estimated by re-including all controls (OR) = 0.87, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.83-0.91; minor allele frequency (MAF) = 13 %]. Results were replicated in samples of African descent (1894 cases and 4703 controls; p = 0.01; OR = 0.86, 95 % CI 0.77-0.97; MAF = 16 %). Gene expression data in 195 colon adenocarcinomas and 59 normal colon tissues from two different studies revealed that this locus has genotypes that are associated with RTN1 (Reticulon 1) expression (p = 0.001), a protein-coding gene involved in survival and proliferation of cancer cells which is highly expressed in normal colon tissues but has significantly reduced expression in tumor cells (p = 1.3 × 10(-8)).
Human Genetics 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00439-015-1598-6 · 4.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Blood-based epigenome-wide association studies that aim at comparing CpG methylation between colorectal cancer (CRC) patients and controls can lead to the discovery of diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers. Numerous confounders can lead to spurious associations. We aimed to see if 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/leucovorin chemotherapy administered to cases prior to the collection of their blood has an effect on methylation. 304 patients who received treatment and 273 who did not were profiled on the HumanMethylation450 array. Association tests were adjusted for confounders, including proxies for leukocyte cell counts. There were substantial methylation differences between these two groups that vanished once the leukocyte heterogeneity was accounted for. We observed a significant decrease of T cells in the treatment group (CD4+:p=10(-6); CD8+:p=0.036) and significant increase of NK cells (p=0.05) and monocytes (p=0.0006). 5-FU/leucovorin has no effect on global and local blood-based methylation profiles, other than through differences in the leukocyte compositions that the treatment induced.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic susceptibility to colorectal cancer is caused by rare pathogenic mutations and common genetic variants that contribute to familial risk. Here we report the results of a two-stage association study with 18,299 cases of colorectal cancer and 19,656 controls, with follow-up of the most statistically significant genetic loci in 4,725 cases and 9,969 controls from two Asian consortia. We describe six new susceptibility loci reaching a genome-wide threshold of P<5.0E-08. These findings provide additional insight into the underlying biological mechanisms of colorectal cancer and demonstrate the scientific value of large consortia-based genetic epidemiology studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herein we provide a detailed molecular analysis of the spatial heterogeneity of clinically localized, multifocal prostate cancer to delineate new oncogenes or tumor suppressors. We initially determined the copy number aberration (CNA) profiles of 74 patients with index tumors of Gleason score 7. Of these, 5 patients were subjected to whole-genome sequencing using DNA quantities achievable in diagnostic biopsies, with detailed spatial sampling of 23 distinct tumor regions to assess intraprostatic heterogeneity in focal genomics. Multifocal tumors are highly heterogeneous for single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), CNAs and genomic rearrangements. We identified and validated a new recurrent amplification of MYCL, which is associated with TP53 deletion and unique profiles of DNA damage and transcriptional dysregulation. Moreover, we demonstrate divergent tumor evolution in multifocal cancer and, in some cases, tumors of independent clonal origin. These data represent the first systematic relation of intraprostatic genomic heterogeneity to predicted clinical outcome and inform the development of novel biomarkers that reflect individual prognosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many epidemiology studies report that atopic conditions such as allergies are associated with reduced pancreas cancer risk. The reason for this relationship is not yet understood. This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate the association between variants in atopy-related candidate genes and pancreatic cancer risk.
A population-based case-control study of pancreas cancer cases diagnosed during 2011-2012 (via Ontario Cancer Registry), and controls recruited using random digit dialing utilized DNA from 179 cases and 566 controls. Following an exhaustive literature review, SNPs in 180 candidate genes were pre-screened using dbGaP pancreas cancer GWAS data; 147 SNPs in 56 allergy-related immunologic genes were retained and genotyped. Logistic regression was used to estimate age-adjusted odd ratio (AOR) for each variant and false discovery rate was used to adjust Wald p-values for multiple testing. Subsequently, a risk allele score was derived based on statistically significant variants.
18 SNPs in 14 candidate genes (CSF2, DENND1B, DPP10, FLG, IL13, IL13RA2, LRP1B, NOD1, NPSR1, ORMDL3, RORA, STAT4, TLR6, TRA) were significantly associated with pancreas cancer risk. After adjustment for multiple comparisons, two LRP1B SNPs remained statistically significant; for example, LRP1B rs1449477 (AA vs. CC: AOR=0.37, 95% CI: 0.22-0.62; p (adjusted)=0.04). Furthermore, the risk allele score was associated with a significant reduction in pancreas cancer risk (p=0.0007).
Preliminary findings suggest certain atopy-related variants may be associated with pancreas cancer risk. Further studies are needed to replicate this, and to elucidate the biology behind the growing body of epidemiologic evidence suggesting allergies may reduce pancreatic cancer risk.
PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0125273. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0125273 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined genetic and epigenetic changes that occur during disease progression from indolent to aggressive forms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) using serial samples from 27 patients. Analysis of DNA mutations grouped the leukemia cases into three categories: evolving (26%), expanding (26%) and static (47%). Thus, approximately three-quarters of the CLL cases had little to no genetic subclonal evolution. However, we identified significant recurrent DNA methylation changes during progression at 4752 CpGs enriched for regions near Polycomb 2 repressive complex (PRC2) targets. Progression-associated CpGs near the PRC2 targets undergo methylation changes in the same direction during disease progression as during normal development from naive to memory B cells. Our study shows that CLL progression does not typically occur via subclonal evolution, but that certain CpG sites undergo recurrent methylation changes. Our results suggest CLL progression may involve developmental processes shared in common with the generation of normal memory B cells.
Blood Cancer Journal 04/2015; 5(4). DOI:10.1038/bcj.2015.14 · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dormant leukemia stem cells (LSC) promote therapeutic resistance and leukemic progression as a result of unbridled activation of stem cell gene expression programs. Thus, we hypothesized that 1) deregulation of the hedgehog (Hh) stem cell self-renewal and cell cycle regulatory pathway would promote dormant human LSC generation and 2) that PF-04449913, a clinical antagonist of the GLI2 transcriptional activator, smoothened (SMO), would enhance dormant human LSC eradication.
To test these postulates, whole transcriptome RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), microarray, qRT-PCR, stromal co-culture, confocal fluorescence microscopic, nanoproteomic, serial transplantation and cell cycle analyses were performed on FACS purified normal, chronic phase (CP) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), blast crisis (BC) phase CML progenitors with or without PF-04449913 treatment.
Notably, RNA-seq analyses revealed that Hh pathway and cell cycle regulatory gene overexpression correlated with leukemic progression. While lentivirally enforced GLI2 expression enhanced leukemic progenitor dormancy in stromal co-cultures, this was not observed with a mutant GLI2 lacking a transactivation domain, suggesting that GLI2 expression prevented cell cycle transit. Selective SMO inhibition with PF-04449913 in humanized stromal co-cultures and LSC xenografts reduced downstream GLI2 protein and cell cycle regulatory gene expression. Moreover, SMO inhibition enhanced cell cycle transit and sensitized BC LSC to tyrosine kinase inhibition in vivo at doses that spare normal HSC.
In summary, while GLI2, forms part of a core HH pathway transcriptional regulatory network that promotes human myeloid leukemic progression and dormant LSC generation, selective inhibition with PF-04449913 reduces the dormant LSC burden thereby providing a strong rationale for clinical trials predicated on SMO inhibition in combination with TKIs or chemotherapeutic agents with the ultimate aim of obviating leukemic therapeutic resistance, persistence and progression.
Journal of Translational Medicine 03/2015; 13(1):98. DOI:10.1186/s12967-015-0453-9 · 3.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer.
To identify common genetic markers that may confer differential benefit from aspirin or NSAID chemoprevention, we tested gene × environment interactions between regular use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in relation to risk of colorectal cancer.
Case-control study using data from 5 case-control and 5 cohort studies initiated between 1976 and 2003 across the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany and including colorectal cancer cases (n=8634) and matched controls (n=8553) ascertained between 1976 and 2011. Participants were all of European descent.
Genome-wide SNP data and information on regular use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs and other risk factors.
Regular use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs was associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer (prevalence, 28% vs 38%; odds ratio [OR], 0.69 [95% CI, 0.64-0.74]; P = 6.2 × 10-28) compared with nonregular use. In the conventional logistic regression analysis, the SNP rs2965667 at chromosome 12p12.3 near the MGST1 gene showed a genome-wide significant interaction with aspirin and/or NSAID use (P = 4.6 × 10-9 for interaction). Aspirin and/or NSAID use was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer among individuals with rs2965667-TT genotype (prevalence, 28% vs 38%; OR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.61-0.70]; P = 7.7 × 10-33) but with a higher risk among those with rare (4%) TA or AA genotypes (prevalence, 35% vs 29%; OR, 1.89 [95% CI, 1.27-2.81]; P = .002). In case-only interaction analysis, the SNP rs16973225 at chromosome 15q25.2 near the IL16 gene showed a genome-wide significant interaction with use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs (P = 8.2 × 10-9 for interaction). Regular use was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer among individuals with rs16973225-AA genotype (prevalence, 28% vs 38%; OR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.62-0.71]; P = 1.9 × 10-30) but was not associated with risk of colorectal cancer among those with less common (9%) AC or CC genotypes (prevalence, 36% vs 39%; OR, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.78-1.20]; P = .76).
In this genome-wide investigation of gene × environment interactions, use of aspirin and/or NSAIDs was associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer, and this association differed according to genetic variation at 2 SNPs at chromosomes 12 and 15. Validation of these findings in additional populations may facilitate targeted colorectal cancer prevention strategies.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 03/2015; 313(11):1133-1142. DOI:10.1001/jama.2015.1815 · 35.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The interplay between genetic and epigenetic variation is only partially understood. One form of epigenetic variation is methylation at CpG sites, which can be measured as methylation quantitative trait loci (meQTL). Here we report that in a panel of lymphocytes from 1,748 individuals, methylation levels at 1,919 CpG sites are correlated with at least one distal (trans) single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (Po3.2 Â 10 À 13 ; FDRo5%). These trans-meQTLs include 1,657 SNP–CpG pairs from different chromosomes and 262 pairs from the same chromosome that are 41 Mb apart. Over 90% of these pairs are replicated (FDRo5%) in at least one of two independent data sets. Genomic loci harbouring trans-meQTLs are significantly enriched (Po0.001) for long non-coding transcripts (2.2-fold), known epigenetic regulators (2.3-fold), piwi-interacting RNA clusters (3.6-fold) and curated transcription factors (4.1-fold), including zinc-finger proteins (8.75-fold). Long-range epigenetic networks uncovered by this approach may be relevant to normal and disease states.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a central mediator of allergic (atopic) inflammation. Therapies directed against IgE can alleviate hay fever and allergic asthma. Genetic association studies have not yet identified novel therapeutic targets or pathways underlying IgE regulation. We therefore surveyed epigenetic associations between serum IgE concentrations and methylation at loci concentrated in CpG islands genome wide in 95 nuclear pedigrees, using DNA from peripheral blood leukocytes. We validated positive results in additional families and in subjects from the general population. Here we show replicated associations-with a meta-analysis false discovery rate less than 10-4-between IgE and low methylation at 36 loci. Genes annotated to these loci encode known eosinophil products, and also implicate phospholipid inflammatory mediators, specific transcription factors and mitochondrial proteins. We confirmed that methylation at these loci differed significantly in isolated eosinophils from subjects with and without asthma and high IgE levels. The top three loci accounted for 13% of IgE variation in the primary subject panel, explaining the tenfold higher variance found compared with that derived from large single-nucleotide polymorphism genome-wide association studies. This study identifies novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers for patient stratification for allergic diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We propose an extension to quantile normalization that removes unwanted technical variation using control probes. We adapt our algorithm, functional normalization, to the Illumina 450k methylation array and address the open problem of normalizing methylation data with global epigenetic changes, such as human cancers. Using data sets from The Cancer Genome Atlas and a large case–control study, we show that our algorithm outperforms all existing normalization methods with respect to replication of results between experiments, and yields robust results even in the presence of batch effects. Functional normalization can be applied to any microarray platform, provided suitable control probes are available.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0503-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.