Gyan Bhanot

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States

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Publications (79)188.84 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Translating findings in rodent models to humans has been a corner-stone of modern biology and drug development. However, in many cases a naive 'extrapolation' between the two species has not succeeded. As a result, clinical trials of new drugs sometimes fail even after considerable success in the mouse or rat stage of development. In addition to in-vitro studies, inter-species translation requires analytical tools that can predict the enriched gene sets in human cells under various stimuli from corresponding measurements in animals. Such tools can improve our understanding of the underlying biology and optimize the allocation of resources for drug development.
    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Using gene expression to infer changes in protein phosphorylation levels induced in cells by various stimuli is an outstanding problem. The Intra-species protein phosphorylation challenge organized by the IMPROVER consortium provided the framework to identify the best approaches to address this issue.
    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Animal models are widely used in bio-medical research for reasons ranging from practical to ethical. An important issue is whether rodent models are predictive of human biology. This has been addressed recently in the framework of a series of challenges designed by the systems biology verification for Industrial Methodology for Process Verification in Research (sbv IMPROVER) initiative. In particular, one of the sub-challenges was devoted to the prediction of protein phosphorylation responses in human bronchial epithelial cells, exposed to a number of different chemical stimuli, given the responses in rat bronchial epithelial cells. Participating teams were asked to make inter-species predictions on the basis of available training examples, comprising transcriptomics and phosphoproteomics data.
    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Defective autophagy has been implicated in mammary tumorigenesis, as the gene encoding the essential autophagy regulator BECN1 is deleted in human breast cancers and Becn1(+/-) mice develop mammary hyperplasias. In agreement with a recent study, which reports concurrent allelic BECN1 loss and ERBB2 amplification in a small number of human breast tumors, we found that low BECN1 mRNA correlates with ERBB2-overexpression in breast cancers, suggesting that BECN1 loss and ERBB2 overexpression may functionally interact in mammary tumorigenesis. We now report that ERBB2 overexpression suppressed autophagic response to stress in mouse mammary and human breast cancer cells. ERBB2-overexpressing Becn1(+/+) and Becn1(+/-) immortalized mouse mammary epithelial cells (iMMECs) formed mammary tumors in nude mice with similar kinetics, and monoallelic Becn1 loss did not alter ERBB2- and PyMT-driven mammary tumorigenesis. In human breast cancer databases, ERBB2-expressing tumors exhibit a low autophagy gene signature, independent of BECN1 mRNA expression, and have similar gene expression profiles with non-ERBB2-expressing breast tumors with low BECN1 levels. We also found that ERBB2-expressing BT474 breast cancer cells, despite being partially autophagy-deficient under stress, can be sensitized to the anti-ERBB2 antibody trastuzumab (tzb) by further pharmacological or genetic autophagy inhibition. Our results indicate that ERBB2-driven mammary tumorigenesis is associated with functional autophagy suppression and ERBB2-positive breast cancers are partially autophagy-deficient even in a wild-type BECN1 background. Furthermore and extending earlier findings using tzb-resistant cells, exogenously imposed autophagy inhibition increases the anticancer effect of trastuzumab on tzb-sensitive ERBB2-expressing breast tumor cells, indicating that pharmacological autophagy suppression has a wider role in the treatment of ERBB2-positive breast cancer.
    Autophagy 01/2014; 10(4). · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For a unicellular, non-motile organism like Saccharomyces cerevisiae, carbon sources act both as nutrients and as signaling molecules, and consequently affect various fitness parameters including growth. It is therefore advantageous for yeast strains to adapt their growth to carbon source variation. The ability of a given genotype to manifest different phenotypes in varying environments is known as phenotypic plasticity. To identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) that drive plasticity in growth, two growth parameters (growth rate and biomass) were measured for a set of meiotic recombinants of two genetically divergent yeast strains grown in different carbon sources. To identify QTLs contributing to plasticity across pairs of environments, gene-environment interaction mapping was performed, which identified several QTLs that have a differential effect across environments, some of which act antagonistically across pairs of environments. Multi-QTL analysis identified loci interacting with previously known growth affecting QTLs as well as novel two-QTL interactions that affect growth. A QTL that had no significant independent effect was found to alter growth rate and biomass for several carbon sources through two-QTL interactions. Our study demonstrates that environment-specific epistatic interactions contribute to the growth plasticity in yeast. We propose that a targeted scan for epistatic interactions, such as the one described here, can help unravel mechanisms regulating phenotypic plasticity.
    G3-Genes Genomes Genetics 01/2014; · 1.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The avian influenza A H5N1 virus occasionally infects humans, with high mortality rates. Although all current human infections are from avian-to-human transmission, it has been shown that H5N1 can be evolved to transmit between mammals, and is therefore a pandemic threat. For H5N1 surveillance, it is of interest to identify the avian isolates most likely to infect humans. In this study, we develop a method to identify mutations significantly associated with avian to human transmission.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e100754. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the landscape of somatic genomic alterations of 66 chromophobe renal cell carcinomas (ChRCCs) on the basis of multidimensional and comprehensive characterization, including mtDNA and whole-genome sequencing. The result is consistent that ChRCC originates from the distal nephron compared with other kidney cancers with more proximal origins. Combined mtDNA and gene expression analysis implicates changes in mitochondrial function as a component of the disease biology, while suggesting alternative roles for mtDNA mutations in cancers relying on oxidative phosphorylation. Genomic rearrangements lead to recurrent structural breakpoints within TERT promoter region, which correlates with highly elevated TERT expression and manifestation of kataegis, representing a mechanism of TERT upregulation in cancer distinct from previously observed amplifications and point mutations.
    Cancer Cell 12/2013; 26(3):319-330. · 24.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the landscape of somatic genomic alterations of 66 chromophobe renal cell carcinomas (ChRCCs) on the basis of multidimensional and comprehensive characterization, including mtDNA and whole-genome sequencing. The result is consistent that ChRCC originates from the distal nephron compared with other kidney cancers with more proximal origins. Combined mtDNA and gene expression analysis implicates changes in mitochondrial function as a component of the disease biology, while suggesting alternative roles for mtDNA mutations in cancers relying on oxidative phosphorylation. Genomic rearrangements lead to recurrent structural breakpoints within TERT promoter region, which correlates with highly elevated TERT expression and manifestation of kataegis, representing a mechanism of TERT upregulation in cancer distinct from previously observed amplifications and point mutations.
    Cancer Cell. 12/2013; 26(3):319-330.
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    ABSTRACT: Yeast sporulation efficiency is a quantitative trait and is known to vary among experimental populations and natural isolates. Some studies have uncovered the genetic basis of this variation and have identified the role of sporulation genes (IME1, RME1) and sporulation-associated genes (FKH2, PMS1, RAS2, RSF1, SWS2), as well as non-sporulation pathway genes (MKT1, TAO3) in maintaining this variation. However, these studies have been done mostly in experimental populations. Sporulation is a response to nutrient deprivation. Unlike laboratory strains, natural isolates have likely undergone multiple selections for quick adaptation to varying nutrient conditions. As a result, sporulation efficiency in natural isolates may have different genetic factors contributing to phenotypic variation. Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains in the genetically and environmentally diverse SGRP collection, we have identified genetic loci associated with sporulation efficiency variation in a set of sporulation and sporulation-associated genes. Using two independent methods for association mapping and correcting for population structure biases, our analysis identified two linked clusters containing 4 non-synonymous mutations in genes - HOS4, MCK1, SET3, and SPO74. Five regulatory polymorphisms in five genes such as MLS1 and CDC10 were also identified as putative candidates. Our results provide candidate genes contributing to phenotypic variation in the sporulation efficiency of natural isolates of yeast.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e69765. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Targeting differentially activated or perturbed tumour pathways is the key idea in individualised cancer therapy, which is emerging as an important option in treating cancers with poor prognostic profiles. TP53 mutation status is known as a core determinant of survival in breast cancer. The pathways disrupted in association with TP53 mutation status in tumours are not well characterised. Method: In this study, we stratify breast cancers based on their TP53 mutation status and identify the set of dysregulated tumorigenic pathways and corresponding candidate driver genes using breast cancer gene expression profiles. Expressions of these genes were evaluated for their effect on patient survival first in univariate models, followed by multivariate models with TP53 status as a covariate. Results: The most strongly differentially enriched pathways between breast cancers stratified by TP53 mutation status include in addition to TP53 signalling, several known cancer pathways involved in renal, prostate, pancreatic, colorectal, lung and other cancers, and signalling pathways such as calcium signalling, MAPK, ERBB and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signalling pathways. We found that mutant TP53 in conjunction with active estrogen receptor (ER) signalling significantly influence survival. We also found that upregulation of VEGFA mRNA levels in association with active ER signalling is a significant marker for poor survival, even in the presence of wild-type TP53. Conclusion: Mutation status of TP53 in breast cancer involves wide ranging derangement of several pathways. Among the candidate genes of the significantly deranged pathways, we identified VEGFA expression as an important marker of survival even when controlled by TP53 mutation status. Interestingly, independent of the TP53 mutation status, the survival effect of VEGFA was found significant in patients with active ER signalling (ER/PgR+), but not in those with ER/PgR− status. Therefore, we propose more studies to focus on the role of complex interplay between TP53, ER and VEGF signalling from therapeutic and prognostic context in breast cancer.
    British Journal of Cancer 10/2012; 107(10):1722–1728. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model for analysis of the conserved mechanisms that modulate healthy aging. In the aging nematode nervous system, neuronal death and/or detectable loss of processes are not readily apparent, but because dendrite restructuring and loss of synaptic integrity are hypothesized to contribute to human brain decline and dysfunction, we combined fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy (EM) to screen at high resolution for nervous system changes. We report two major components of morphological change in the aging C. elegans nervous system: (1) accumulation of novel outgrowths from specific neurons, and (2) physical decline in synaptic integrity. Novel outgrowth phenotypes, including branching from the main dendrite or new growth from somata, appear at a high frequency in some aging neurons, but not all. Mitochondria are often associated with age-associated branch sites. Lowered insulin signaling confers some maintenance of ALM and PLM neuron structural integrity into old age, and both DAF-16/FOXO and heat shock factor transcription factor HSF-1 exert neuroprotective functions. hsf-1 can act cell autonomously in this capacity. EM evaluation in synapse-rich regions reveals a striking decline in synaptic vesicle numbers and a diminution of presynaptic density size. Interestingly, old animals that maintain locomotory prowess exhibit less synaptic decline than same-age decrepit animals, suggesting that synaptic integrity correlates with locomotory healthspan. Our data reveal similarities between the aging C. elegans nervous system and mammalian brain, suggesting conserved neuronal responses to age. Dissection of neuronal aging mechanisms in C. elegans may thus influence the development of brain healthspan-extending therapies.
    Journal of Neuroscience 06/2012; 32(26):8778-90. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In non-cancerous cells, phosphorylated proteins exist transiently, becoming de-phosphorylated by specific phosphatases that terminate propagation of signaling pathways. In cancers, compromised phosphatase activity and/or expression occur and contribute to tumor phenotype. The non-receptor phosphatase, PTPN13, has recently been dubbed a putative tumor suppressor. It decreased expression in breast cancer correlates with decreased overall survival. Here we show that PTPN13 regulates a new signaling complex in breast cancer consisting of ErbB2, Src, and EphrinB1. To our knowledge, this signaling complex has not been previously described. Co-immunoprecipitation and localization studies demonstrate that EphrinB1, a PTPN13 substrate, interacts with ErbB2. In addition, the oncogenic V660E ErbB2 mutation enhances this interaction, while Src kinase mediates EphrinB1 phosphorylation and subsequent MAP Kinase signaling. Decreased PTPN13 function further enhances signaling. The association of oncogene kinases (ErbB2, Src), a signaling transmembrane ligand (EphrinB1) and a phosphatase tumor suppressor (PTPN13) suggest that EphrinB1 may be a relevant therapeutic target in breast cancers harboring ErbB2-activating mutations and decreased PTPN13 expression.
    PLoS ONE 06/2012; 7(1):e30447. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs are a class of noncoding RNA molecules that co-regulate the expression of multiple genes via mRNA transcript degradation or translation inhibition. Since they often target entire pathways, they may be better drug targets than genes or proteins. MicroRNAs are known to be dysregulated in many tumours and associated with aggressive or poor prognosis phenotypes. Since they regulate mRNA in a tissue specific manner, their functional mRNA targets are poorly understood. In previous work, we developed a method to identify direct mRNA targets of microRNA using patient matched microRNA/mRNA expression data using an anti-correlation signature. This method, applied to clear cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (ccRCC), revealed many new regulatory pathways compromised in ccRCC. In the present paper, we apply this method to identify dysregulated microRNA/mRNA mechanisms in ovarian cancer using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). TCGA Microarray data was normalized and samples whose class labels (tumour or normal) were ambiguous with respect to consensus ensemble K-Means clustering were removed. Significantly anti-correlated and correlated genes/microRNA differentially expressed between tumour and normal samples were identified. TargetScan was used to identify gene targets of microRNA. We identified novel microRNA/mRNA mechanisms in ovarian cancer. For example, the expression level of RAD51AP1 was found to be strongly anti-correlated with the expression of hsa-miR-140-3p, which was significantly down-regulated in the tumour samples. The anti-correlation signature was present separately in the tumour and normal samples, suggesting a direct causal dysregulation of RAD51AP1 by hsa-miR-140-3p in the ovary. Other pairs of potentially biological relevance include: hsa-miR-145/E2F3, hsa-miR-139-5p/TOP2A, and hsa-miR-133a/GCLC. We also identified sets of positively correlated microRNA/mRNA pairs that are most likely result from indirect regulatory mechanisms. Our findings identify novel microRNA/mRNA relationships that can be verified experimentally. We identify both generic microRNA/mRNA regulation mechanisms in the ovary as well as specific microRNA/mRNA controls which are turned on or off in ovarian tumours. Our results suggest that the disease process uses specific mechanisms which may be significant for their utility as early detection biomarkers or in the development of microRNA therapies in treating ovarian cancers. The positively correlated microRNA/mRNA pairs suggest the existence of novel regulatory mechanisms that proceed via intermediate states (indirect regulation) in ovarian tumorigenesis.
    BMC Research Notes 03/2012; 5:164.
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    ABSTRACT: The Maasai are a pastoral people in Kenya and Tanzania, whose traditional diet of milk, blood and meat is rich in lactose, fat and cholesterol. In spite of this, they have low levels of blood cholesterol, and seldom suffer from gallstones or cardiac diseases. Field studies in the 1970s suggested that the Maasai have a genetic adaptation for cholesterol homeostasis. Analysis of HapMap 3 data using Fixation Index (Fst) and two metrics of haplotype diversity: the integrated Haplotype Score (iHS) and the Cross Population Extended Haplotype Homozygosity (XP-EHH), identified genomic regions and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as strong candidates for recent selection for lactase persistence and cholesterol regulation in 143-156 founder individuals from the Maasai population in Kinyawa, Kenya (MKK). The non-synonmous SNP with the highest genome-wide Fst was the TC polymorphism at rs2241883 in Fatty Acid Binding Protein 1(FABP1), known to reduce low density lipoprotein and tri-glyceride levels in Europeans. The strongest signal identified by all three metrics was a 1.7 Mb region on Chr2q21. This region contains the genes LCT (Lactase) and MCM6 (Minichromosome Maintenance Complex Component) involved in lactase persistence, and the gene Rab3GAP1 (Rab3 GTPase-activating Protein Catalytic Subunit), which contains polymorphisms associated with total cholesterol levels in a genome-wide association study of >100,000 individuals of European ancestry. Sanger sequencing of DNA from six MKK samples showed that the GC-14010 polymorphism in the MCM6 gene, known to be associated with lactase persistence in Africans, is segregating in MKK at high frequency (∼58%). The Cytochrome P450 Family 3 Subfamily A (CYP3A) cluster of genes, involved in cholesterol metabolism, was identified by Fst and iHS as candidate loci under selection. Overall, our study identified several specific genomic regions under selection in the Maasai which contain polymorphisms in genes associated with lactase persistence and cholesterol regulation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e44751. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To improve cancer therapy, it is critical to target metastasizing cells. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are rare cells found in the blood of patients with solid tumors and may play a key role in cancer dissemination. Uncovering CTC phenotypes offers a potential avenue to inform treatment. However, CTC transcriptional profiling is limited by leukocyte contamination; an approach to surmount this problem is single cell analysis. Here we demonstrate feasibility of performing high dimensional single CTC profiling, providing early insight into CTC heterogeneity and allowing comparisons to breast cancer cell lines widely used for drug discovery. We purified CTCs using the MagSweeper, an immunomagnetic enrichment device that isolates live tumor cells from unfractionated blood. CTCs that met stringent criteria for further analysis were obtained from 70% (14/20) of primary and 70% (21/30) of metastatic breast cancer patients; none were captured from patients with non-epithelial cancer (n = 20) or healthy subjects (n = 25). Microfluidic-based single cell transcriptional profiling of 87 cancer-associated and reference genes showed heterogeneity among individual CTCs, separating them into two major subgroups, based on 31 highly expressed genes. In contrast, single cells from seven breast cancer cell lines were tightly clustered together by sample ID and ER status. CTC profiles were distinct from those of cancer cell lines, questioning the suitability of such lines for drug discovery efforts for late stage cancer therapy. For the first time, we directly measured high dimensional gene expression in individual CTCs without the common practice of pooling such cells. Elevated transcript levels of genes associated with metastasis NPTN, S100A4, S100A9, and with epithelial mesenchymal transition: VIM, TGFß1, ZEB2, FOXC1, CXCR4, were striking compared to cell lines. Our findings demonstrate that profiling CTCs on a cell-by-cell basis is possible and may facilitate the application of 'liquid biopsies' to better model drug discovery.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e33788. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adjuvant hormonal therapy is administered to all early stage ER+ breast cancers, and has led to significantly improved survival. Unfortunately, a subset of ER+ breast cancers suffer early relapse despite hormonal therapy. To identify molecular markers associated with early relapse in ER+ breast cancer, an outlier analysis method was applied to a published gene expression dataset of 268 ER+ early-stage breast cancers treated with tamoxifen alone. Increased expression of sets of genes that clustered in chromosomal locations consistent with the presence of amplicons at 8q24.3, 8p11.2, 17q12 (HER2 locus) and 17q21.33-q25.1 were each found to be independent markers for early disease recurrence. Distant metastasis free survival (DMFS) after 10 years for cases with any amplicon (DMFS = 56.1%, 95% CI = 48.3-63.9%) was significantly lower (P = 0.0016) than cases without any of the amplicons (DMFS = 87%, 95% CI = 76.3% -97.7%). The association between presence of chromosomal amplifications in these regions and poor outcome in ER+ breast cancers was independent of histologic grade and was confirmed in independent clinical datasets. A separate validation using a FISH-based assay to detect the amplicons at 8q24.3, 8p11.2, and 17q21.33-q25.1 in a set of 36 early stage ER+/HER2- breast cancers treated with tamoxifen suggests that the presence of these amplicons are indeed predictive of early recurrence. We conclude that these amplicons may serve as prognostic markers of early relapse in ER+ breast cancer, and may identify novel therapeutic targets for poor prognosis ER+ breast cancers.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e38575. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Experimental models show a male bias in murine malaria; however, extant literature on biases in human clinical malaria is inconclusive. Studies in hyperendemic areas document an absence of sexual dimorphism in clinical malaria. Data on sex bias in clinical malaria in hypoendemic areas is ambiguous--some reports note a male bias but do not investigate the role of differential mosquito exposure in that bias. Moreover, these studies do not examine whether the bias is age related. This study investigates whether clinical malaria in hypoendemic regions exhibits a sex bias and whether this bias is age-dependent. We also consider the role of vector exposure in this bias. Retrospective passive clinical malaria datasets (2002-2007) and active surveillance datasets (2000-2009) were captured for the hypoendemic Mumbai region in Western India. To validate findings, passive retrospective data was captured from a primary malaria clinic (2006-2007) in hypoendemic Rourkela (Eastern India). Data was normalized by determining percent slide-positivity rates (SPRs) for males and females, and parasite-positivity distributions were established across age groups. The Mann-Whitney test, Wilcoxon Signed Rank test, and Chi-square analysis were used to determine statistical significances. In both the Mumbai and Rourkela regions, clinical malaria exhibited an adult male bias (p<0.01). A sex bias was not observed in children aged ≤10. Post-puberty, male SPRs were significantly greater than females SPRs (p<0.01). This adult male bias was observed for both vivax and falciparum clinical disease. Analysis of active surveillance data did not reveal an age or sex bias in the frequency of parasite positivity. This study demonstrates an age-dependent sex bias in clinical malaria in hypoendemic regions and enhanced incidence of clinical malaria in males following puberty. Possible roles of sex hormones, vector exposure, co-infections, and other factors in this enhanced susceptibility are discussed.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35592. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a pre-invasive carcinoma of the breast that exhibits several distinct morphologies but the link between morphology and patient outcome is not clear. We hypothesize that different mechanisms of growth may still result in similar 2D morphologies, which may look different in 3D. To elucidate the connection between growth and 3D morphology, we reconstruct the 3D architecture of cribriform DCIS from resected patient material. We produce a fully automated algorithm that aligns, segments, and reconstructs 3D architectures from microscopy images of 2D serial sections from human specimens. The alignment algorithm is based on normalized cross correlation, the segmentation algorithm uses histogram equilization, Otsu's thresholding, and morphology techniques to segment the duct and cribra. The reconstruction method combines these images in 3D. We show that two distinct 3D architectures are indeed found in samples whose 2D histological sections are similarly identified as cribriform DCIS. These differences in architecture support the hypothesis that luminal spaces may form due to different mechanisms, either isolated cell death or merging fronds, leading to the different architectures. We find that out of 15 samples, 6 were found to have 'bubble-like' cribra, 6 were found to have 'tube-like' criba and 3 were 'unknown.' We propose that the 3D architectures found, 'bubbles' and 'tubes', account for some of the heterogeneity of the disease and may be prognostic indicators of different patient outcomes.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e44011. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a pre-invasive carcinoma of the breast that exhibits several distinct morphologies. The staging of the disease is often based on 2-dimensional (2D) slices from tissue samples stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Therefore, much of the 3-dimensional (3D) structure of the carcinoma is unknown. We develop a method for producing 3D reconstructions of DCIS specimens from serial sections. This includes an alignment, duct segmentation, cribra segmentation and 3D reconstruction method. Our results show that there are different 3D architectures of cribriform DCIS classified by 2D histological slices. We conclude that the 3D morphology of the disease is complex and may provide additional clinical information than the classical 2D approach.
    Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (IECBES), 2012 IEEE EMBS Conference on; 01/2012
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    ABSTRACT: Normal cellular behavior can be described as a complex, regulated network of interaction between genes and proteins. Targeted cancer therapies aim to neutralize specific proteins that are necessary for the cancer cell to remain viable in vivo. Ideally, the proteins targeted should be such that their downregulation has a major impact on the survival/fitness of the tumor cells and, at the same time, has a smaller effect on normal cells. It is difficult to use standard analysis methods on gene or protein expression levels to identify these targets because the level thresholds for tumorigenic behavior are different for different genes/proteins. We have developed a novel methodology to identify therapeutic targets by using a new paradigm called "gene centrality." The main idea is that, in addition to being overexpressed, good therapeutic targets should have a high degree of connectivity in the tumor network because one expects that suppression of its expression would affect many other genes. We propose a mathematical quantity called "centrality," which measures the degree of connectivity of genes in a network in which each edge is weighted by the expression level of the target gene. Using our method, we found that several SRC proto-oncogenes LYN, YES1, HCK, FYN, and LCK have high centrality in identifiable subsets of basal-like and HER2+ breast cancers. To experimentally validate the clinical value of this finding, we evaluated the effect of YES1 knockdown in basal-like breast cancer cell lines that overexpress this gene. We found that YES1 downregulation has a significant effect on the survival of these cell lines. Our results identify YES1 as a target for therapeutics in a subset of basal-like breast cancers.
    Genes & cancer 10/2010; 1(10):1063-73.

Publication Stats

2k Citations
188.84 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2014
    • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
      • • Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
      • • Department of Physics
      New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
  • 2012
    • Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ)
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2008
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
      Livermore, California, United States
  • 2007–2008
    • Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2006–2007
    • Boston University
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • University of Central Florida
      Orlando, Florida, United States
  • 2004–2006
    • Institute for Advanced Study
      • Simons Center for Systems Biology
      Princeton, NJ, United States
  • 2005
    • IBM
      Armonk, New York, United States
  • 2003
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Molecular Biology
      Princeton, NJ, United States