Gael Molloy

Barts Cancer Institute, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (9)42.59 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Methylated DNA immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (MeDIP-seq) has the potential to identify changes in DNA methylation important in cancer development. In order to understand the role of epigenetic modulation in the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) we have applied MeDIP-seq to the DNA of 12 AML patients and 4 normal bone marrows. This analysis revealed leukemia-associated differentially methylated regions that included gene promoters, gene bodies, CpG islands and CpG island shores. Two genes (SPHKAP and DPP6) with significantly methylated promoters were of interest and further analysis of their expression showed them to be repressed in AML. We also demonstrated considerable cytogenetic subtype specificity in the methylomes affecting different genomic features. Significantly distinct patterns of hypomethylation of certain interspersed repeat elements were associated with cytogenetic subtypes. The methylation patterns of members of the SINE family tightly clustered all leukemic patients with an enrichment of Alu repeats with a high CpG density (P<0.0001). We were able to demonstrate significant inverse correlation between intragenic interspersed repeat sequence methylation and gene expression with SINEs showing the strongest inverse correlation (R(2) = 0.7). We conclude that the alterations in DNA methylation that accompany the development of AML affect not only the promoters, but also the non-promoter genomic features, with significant demethylation of certain interspersed repeat DNA elements being associated with AML cytogenetic subtypes. MeDIP-seq data were validated using bisulfite pyrosequencing and the Infinium array.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33213. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Advances in enzyme regulation 11/2009; 50(1):96-103.
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    ABSTRACT: Promoter methylation is a common phenomenon in tumours, including haematological malignancies. In the present study, we investigated 36 cases of high hyperdiploid (>50 chromosomes) acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) with methylation-specific multiplex ligase-dependent probe amplification to determine the extent of aberrant methylation in this subgroup. The analysis, which comprised the promoters of 35 known tumour suppressor genes, showed that 16 genes displayed abnormal methylation in at least one case each. The highest number of methylated gene promoters seen in a single case was thirteen, with all but one case displaying methylation for at least one gene. The most common targets were ESR1 (29/36 cases; 81%), CADM1 (IGSF4, TSLC1; 25/36 cases; 69%), FHIT (24/36 cases; 67%) and RARB (22/36 cases; 61%). Interestingly, quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that although methylation of the CADM1 and RARB promoters resulted in the expected pattern of downregulation of the respective genes, no difference could be detected in FHIT expression between methylation-positive and -negative cases. Furthermore, TIMP3 was not expressed regardless of methylation status, showing that aberrant methylation does not always lead to gene expression changes. Taken together, our findings suggest that aberrant methylation of tumour suppressor gene promoters is a common phenomenon in high hyperdiploid ALL.
    British Journal of Haematology 12/2008; 144(6):838 - 847. · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The acquisition of uniparental disomy (aUPD) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) results in homozygosity for known gene mutations. Uncovering novel regions of aUPD has the potential to identify previously unknown mutational targets. We therefore aimed to develop a map of the regions of aUPD in AML. Here, we have analyzed a large set of diagnostic AML samples (n = 454) from young adults (age: 15-55 years) using genotype arrays. Acquired UPD was found in 17% of the samples with a nonrandom distribution particularly affecting chromosome arms 13q, 11p, and 11q. Novel recurrent regions of aUPD were uncovered at 2p, 17p, 2q, 17q, 1p, and Xq. Overall, aUPDs were observed across all cytogenetic risk groups, although samples with aUPD13q (5.4% of samples) belonged exclusively to the intermediate-risk group as defined by cytogenetics. All cases with a high FLT3-ITD level, measured previously, had aUPD13q covering the FLT3 gene. Significantly, none of the samples with FLT3-ITD(-)/FLT3-TKD(+) mutation exhibited aUPD13q. Of the 119 aUPDs observed, the majority (87%) were due to mitotic recombination while only 13% were due to nondisjunction. This study demonstrates aUPD is a frequent and significant finding in AML and pinpoints regions that may contain novel mutational targets.
    Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 06/2008; 47(9):729-39. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite advances in the curative treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), recurrence will occur in the majority of cases. At diagnosis, acquisition of segmental uniparental disomy (UPD) by mitotic recombination has been reported in 15% to 20% of AML cases, associated with homozygous mutations in the region of loss of heterozygosity. This study aimed to discover if clonal evolution from heterozygous to homozygous mutations by mitotic recombination provides a mechanism for relapse. DNA from 27 paired diagnostic and relapsed AML samples were analyzed using genotyping arrays. Newly acquired segmental UPDs were observed at relapse in 11 AML samples (40%). Six were segmental UPDs of chromosome 13q, which were shown to lead to a change from heterozygosity to homozygosity for internal tandem duplication mutation of FLT3 (FLT3 ITD). Three further AML samples had evidence of acquired segmental UPD of 13q in a subclone of the relapsed leukemia. One patient acquired segmental UPD of 19q that led to homozygosity for a CEBPA mutation 207C>T. Finally, a single patient with AML acquired segmental UPD of chromosome 4q, for which the candidate gene is unknown. We conclude that acquisition of segmental UPD and the resulting homozygous mutation is a common event associated with relapse of AML.
    Blood 05/2008; 112(3):814-21. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is the most common acute leukaemia in adults; however, the genetic aetiology of the disease is not yet fully understood. A quantitative expression profile analysis of 157 mature miRNAs was performed on 100 AML patients representing the spectrum of known karyotypes common in AML. The principle observation reported here is that AMLs bearing a t(15;17) translocation had a distinctive signature throughout the whole set of genes, including the up regulation of a subset of miRNAs located in the human 14q32 imprinted domain. The set included miR-127, miR-154, miR-154*, miR-299, miR-323, miR-368, and miR-370. Furthermore, specific subsets of miRNAs were identified that provided molecular signatures characteristic of the major translocation-mediated gene fusion events in AML. Analysis of variance showed the significant deregulation of 33 miRNAs across the leukaemic set with respect to bone marrow from healthy donors. Fluorescent in situ hybridisation analysis using miRNA-specific locked nucleic acid (LNA) probes on cryopreserved patient cells confirmed the results obtained by real-time PCR. This study, conducted on about a fifth of the miRNAs currently reported in the Sanger database (microrna.sanger.ac.uk), demonstrates the potential for using miRNA expression to sub-classify cancer and suggests a role in the aetiology of leukaemia.
    PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(5):e2141. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) are the second most commonly diagnosed cancers in fair-skinned people; yet the genetic mechanisms involved in SCC tumorigenesis remain poorly understood. We have used single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarray analysis to examine genome-wide allelic imbalance in 16 primary and 2 lymph node metastatic SCC using paired non-tumour samples to counteract normal copy number variation. The most common genetic change was loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on 9p, observed in 13 of 16 primary SCC. Other recurrent events included LOH on 3p (9 tumors), 2q, 8p, and 13 (each in 8 SCC) and allelic gain on 3q and 8q (each in 6 tumors). Copy number-neutral LOH was observed in a proportion of samples, implying that somatic recombination had led to acquired uniparental disomy, an event not previously demonstrated in SCC. As well as recurrent patterns of gross chromosomal changes, SNP microarray analysis revealed, in 2 primary SCC, a homozygous microdeletion on 9p23 within the protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type D (PTPRD) locus, an emerging frequent target of homozygous deletion in lung cancer and neuroblastoma. A third sample was heterozygously deleted within this locus and PTPRD expression was aberrant. Two of the 3 primary SCC with PTPRD deletion had demonstrated metastatic potential. Our data identify PTPRD as a candidate tumor suppressor gene in cutaneous SCC with a possible association with metastasis.
    Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 08/2007; 46(7):661-9. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many techniques have been developed in recent years for genome-wide analysis of genetic alterations, but no current approach is capable of rapidly identifying all chromosome rearrangements with precise definition of breakpoints. Combining multiple color fluorescent in situ hybridization and high-density single nucleotide polymorphism array analyses, we present here an approach for high resolution karyotyping and fast identification of chromosome breakpoints. We characterized all of the chromosome amplifications and deletions, and most of the chromosome translocation breakpoints of three prostate cancer cell lines at a resolution which can be further analyzed by sequence-based techniques. Genes at the breakpoints were readily determined and potentially fused genes identified. Using high-density exon arrays we simultaneously confirmed altered exon expression patterns in many of these breakpoint genes.
    Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 08/2007; 46(7):675-83. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short single-stranded RNAs that have a potentially important role in gene regulation. Using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay specific to the mature miRNA, the expression level of a selected group of haematopoietic tissue-specific miRNAs was measured across a set of 30 primary adult acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) with a normal karyotype. The expression levels of each miRNA were correlated with the genome-wide mRNA expression profiles in the same leukaemias. This revealed that miR-181a correlated strongly with the AML morphological sub-type and with the expression of genes previously identified through sequence analysis as potential interaction targets. Three other miRNAs, miR-10a, miR-10b and miR-196a-1, showed a clear correlation with HOX gene expression.
    Leukemia 06/2007; 21(5):912-6. · 10.16 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

406 Citations
42.59 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012
    • Barts Cancer Institute
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009
    • Queen Mary, University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008
    • Cancer Research UK
      • Institute of Cancer Sciences
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom