Paula M Vertino

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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Publications (66)424.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: CRISPR/Cas9 systems are a versatile tool for genome editing due to the highly efficient targeting of DNA sequences complementary to their RNA guide strands. However, it has been shown that RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease cleaves genomic DNA sequences containing mismatches to the guide strand. A better understanding of the CRISPR/Cas9 specificity is needed to minimize off-target cleavage in large mammalian genomes. Here we show that genomic sites could be cleaved by CRISPR/Cas9 systems when DNA sequences contain insertions ('DNA bulge') or deletions ('RNA bulge') compared to the RNA guide strand, and Cas9 nickases used for paired nicking can also tolerate bulges in one of the guide strands. Variants of single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs) for four endogenous loci were used as model systems, and their cleavage activities were quantified at different positions with 1- to 5-bp bulges. We further investigated 114 putative genomic off-target loci of 27 different sgRNAs and confirmed 15 off-target sites, each harboring a single-base bulge and one to three mismatches to the guide strand. Our results strongly indicate the need to perform comprehensive off-target analysis related to DNA and sgRNA bulges in addition to base mismatches, and suggest specific guidelines for reducing potential off-target cleavage.
    Nucleic Acids Research 05/2014; · 8.81 Impact Factor
  • Priya Kapoor-Vazirani, Paula M Vertino
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    ABSTRACT: RNA polymerase II (Pol II) promoter-proximal pausing plays a critical role in post-initiation transcriptional regulation at many metazoan genes. We recently showed that histone H4 lysine 16 acetylation (H4K16Ac), mediated by the MSL complex, facilitates the release of paused Pol II. In contrast, H4 lysine 20 trimethylation (H4K20me3), mediated by SUV420H2, enforces Pol II pausing by inhibiting MSL recruitment. However, how H4K16Ac and H4K20me3 are locally regulated in Pol II pausing remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that PR-SET7/SETD8, which monomethylates histone H4 lysine 20 (H4K20me1), controls H4K16Ac and H4K20me3, and in so doing regulates Pol II pausing dynamics. PR-SET7-mediated H4K20me1 is necessary for the recruitment of the MSL complex, subsequent H4K16Ac and release of Pol II into active elongation. Although dispensable for SUV420H2 recruitment, PR-SET7-mediated H4K20me1 is required for H4K20me3. Whereas depletion of SUV420H2 is sufficient to deplete H4K20me3 and relieve an H4K20me3-induced pause, pausing is maintained in the absence of PR-SET7 despite H4K20me3 depletion due to an inability to recruit the MSL complex in the absence of H4K20me1. These findings highlight the requirement for PR-SET7 and H4K20me1 in establishing both the H4K16Ac and H4K20me3 marks and points to a dual role in the local regulation of Pol II pausing.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation is an early event in bronchial carcinogenesis and increased DNA methyltransferase (DNMT)1 protein expression is a crucial step in the oncogenic transformation of epithelia. Here, we investigate the role of class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) 1-3 in the stabilization of DNMT1 protein and as a potential therapeutic target for lung cancer chemoprevention. Long-term exposure of immortalized bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC-3KT) to low doses of tobacco-related carcinogens led to oncogenic transformation, increased HDAC expression, cell cycle independent increased DNMT1 stability and DNA hypermethylation. Overexpression of HDACs was associated with increased DNMT1 stability and knockdown of HDACs reduced DNMT1 protein levels and induced DNMT1 acetylation. This suggests a causal relationship among increased class I HDACs levels, upregulation of DNMT1 protein, and subsequent promoter hypermethylation. Targeting of class I HDACs with valproic acid (VPA) was associated with reduced HDAC expression and a profound reduction of DNMT1 protein level. Treatment of transformed bronchial epithelial cells with VPA resulted in reduced colony formation, demethylation of the aberrantly methylated SFRP2 promoter and de-repression of SFRP2 transcription. These data suggest that inhibition of HDAC activity may reverse or prevent carcinogen induced transformation. Finally, immunohistochemistry on human lung cancer specimens revealed a significant increase in DNMT1, HDAC1, HDAC2, and HDAC3 expression, supporting our hypotheses that class I HDACs are mediators of DNMT1 stability.
    Cancer Prevention Research 01/2014; · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammation has been associated with fatigue during and after various types of breast cancer treatments. We examined whether prior chemotherapy was associated with DNA methylation patterns that could explain persisting inflammation and/or fatigue in women treated for breast cancer. Prior to breast radiation therapy, DNA was extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 61 Stage 0-IIIA breast cancer patients who had received partial mastectomy with or without chemotherapy. DNA methylation was assessed at >485,000 CpG sites across the genome along with fatigue and plasma inflammatory markers previously associated with fatigue. Compared to non-chemotherapy-treated women, women who had received chemotherapy exhibited significantly decreased methylation at eight CpG sites (p<1.03x10-7) including four in exon 11 of transmembrane protein 49 (TMEM49), which demonstrated the largest decreases in methylation. Lower methylation at each identified CpG site was associated with increased plasma soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (sTNFR2) and interleukin (IL)-6 and mediated the relationship between chemotherapy and increases in these inflammatory biomarkers adjusting for multiple clinical and treatment characteristics. sTNFR2, but not CpG methylation status, was correlated with fatigue. Six months after breast radiation therapy, DNA methylation, inflammatory biomarkers and fatigue assessments were repeated in a subset of subjects (N=39). Reduced methylation in 4 of the 8 identified CpG sites was still observed in chemotherapy versus non-chemotherapy-treated patients, albeit with some decay indicating the dynamic and potentially reversible nature of the changes. Reduced methylation in these 4 CpG sites also continued to correlate with either increased sTNFR2 or IL-6, but not fatigue. In conclusion, prior chemotherapy treatment was associated with decreased methylation of CpG sites in DNA from PBMCs of breast cancer patients, which correlated with increased inflammatory markers prior to and 6 months after radiation therapy. Persisting epigenetic changes secondary to chemotherapy may be one factor that contributes to inflammation and its consequences including cancer-related fatigue in vulnerable breast cancer patients.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 01/2014; · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant promoter DNA methylation can serve as a predictive biomarker for improved clinical responses to certain chemotherapeutics. One of the major advantages of methylation biomarkers is the ease of detection and clinical application. In order to identify methylation biomarkers predictive of a response to a taxane-platinum based chemotherapy regimen in advanced NSCLC we performed an unbiased methylation analysis of 1,536 CpG dinucleotides in cancer-associated gene loci and correlated results with clinical outcomes.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(9):e107124. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a pipeline to perform integrative analysis of mate-pair (MP) and paired-end (PE) genomic DNA sequencing data. Our pipeline detects structural variations (SVs) by taking aligned sequencing read pairs as input and classifying these reads into properly paired and discordantly paired categories based on their orientation and inferred insert sizes. Recurrent SV was identified from the discordant read pairs. Our pipeline takes into account genomic annotation and genome repetitive element information to increase detection specificity. Application of our pipeline to whole-genome MP and PE sequencing data from three multiple myeloma cell lines (KMS11, MM.1S, and RPMI8226) recovered known SVs, such as heterozygous TRAF3 deletion, as well as a novel experimentally validated SPI1 - ZNF287 inter-chromosomal rearrangement in the RPMI8226 cell line.
    Cancer informatics 01/2014; 13(Suppl 2):49-53.
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    Wei Zhou, Adam I Marcus, Paula Vertino
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) is aberrant activated in many cancer types, and two Rapamycin derivatives are currently approved by FDA for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma. Mechanistically, mTOR is hyperactivated in human cancers either due to the genetic activation of its upstream activating signaling pathways or the genetic inactivation of its negative regulators. The tumor suppressor liver kinase B1 (LKB1; also known as serine/threonine kinase 11, STK11) involves in cell polarity, cell detachment and adhesion, tumor metastasis, and energetic stress response. One of LKB1's key roles is to negatively regulate mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) activity. This review summarizes the molecular basis of this negative interaction, and recent research progress in this area.
    Ai zheng = Aizheng = Chinese journal of cancer 05/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Though clinicians can predict which patients are at risk for developing metastases, traditional therapies often prove ineffective and metastatic disease is the primary cause of cancer patient death; therefore, there is a need to develop anti-metastatic therapies that can be administered over long durations to specifically inhibit the motility of cancer cells. Withaniasomnifera root extracts (WRE) have anti-proliferative activity and the active component, Withaferin A, inhibits the pro-metastatic protein, vimentin. Vimentin is an intermediate filament protein and is part of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) program to promote metastasis. Here, we determined whether WRE standardized to Withaferin A (sWRE) possesses anti-metastatic activity and whether it inhibits cancer motility via inhibition of vimentin and the EMT program. Several formulations of sWRE were created to enrich for Withaferin A and a stock solution of sWRE in EtOH could recover over 90% of the Withaferin A found in the original extract powder. This sWRE formulation inhibited breast cancer cell motility and invasion at concentrations less than 1µM while having negligible cytotoxicity at this dose. sWRE treatment disrupted vimentin morphology in cell lines, confirming its vimentin inhibitory activity. To determine if sWRE inhibited EMT, TGF-β was used to induce EMT in MCF10A human mammary epithelial cells. In this case, sWRE prevented EMT induction and inhibited 3-D spheroid invasion. These studies were taken into a human xenograft and mouse mammary carcinoma model. In both models, sWRE and Withaferin A showed dose-dependent inhibition of tumor growth and metastatic lung nodule formation with minimal systemic toxicity. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that low concentrations of sWRE inhibit cancer metastasis potentially through EMT inhibition. Moreover, these doses of sWRE have nearly no toxicity in normal mouse organs, suggesting the potential for clinical use of orally administered WRE capsules.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e75069. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monoallelic point mutations of the NADP(+)-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenases IDH1 and IDH2 occur frequently in gliomas, acute myeloid leukemias, and chondromas and display robust association with specific DNA hypermethylation signatures. Here we show that heterozygous expression of the IDH1(R132H) allele is sufficient to induce the genome-wide alterations in DNA methylation characteristic of these tumors. Using a gene targeting approach, we knocked-in a single copy of the most frequently observed IDH1 mutation, R132H, into a human cancer cell line and profiled changes in DNA methylation at over 27,000 CpG dinucleotides relative to wild-type parental cells. We find that IDH1(R132H/WT) mutation induces widespread alterations in DNA methylation, including hypermethylation of 2,010 and hypomethylation of 842 CpG loci. We demonstrate that many of these alterations are consistent with those observed in IDH1-mutant and G-CIMP+ primary gliomas and can segregate IDH wild-type and mutated tumors, as well as those exhibiting the G-CIMP phenotype in unsupervised analysis of two primary glioma cohorts. Further, we show that the direction of IDH1(R132H/WT)-mediated DNA methylation change is largely dependent upon pre-existing DNA methylation levels, resulting in depletion of moderately methylated loci. Additionally, whereas the levels of multiple histone H3 and H4 methylation modifications were globally increased, consistent with broad inhibition of histone demethylation, hypermethylation at H3K9 in particular accompanied locus-specific DNA hypermethylation at several genes downregulated in IDH1(R132H/WT) knock-in cells. These data provide insight on epigenetic alterations induced by IDH1 mutations and support a causal role for IDH1(R132H/WT) mutants in driving epigenetic instability in human cancer cells.
    Genome Research 08/2012; · 14.40 Impact Factor
  • Paula M Vertino, Paul A Wade
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    ABSTRACT: In this issue of Molecular Cell, Ginno et al. (2012) describe unusual sequence features at promoter CpG islands that can lead to formation of persistent RNA-DNA hybrids (R loops), which are proposed to prevent genomic DNA methylation.
    Molecular cell 03/2012; 45(6):708-9. · 14.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytosine residues in mammalian DNA occur in at least three forms, cytosine (C), 5-methylcytosine (M; 5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (H; 5hmC). During semi-conservative DNA replication, hemi-methylated (M/C) and hemi-hydroxymethylated (H/C) CpG dinucleotides are transiently generated, where only the parental strand is modified and the daughter strand contains native cytosine. Here, we explore the role of DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) and ten eleven translocation (Tet) proteins in perpetuating these states after replication, and the molecular basis of their recognition by methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD) proteins. Using recombinant proteins and modified double-stranded deoxyoligonucleotides, we show that DNMT1 prefers a hemi-methylated (M/C) substrate (by a factor of >60) over hemi-hydroxymethylated (H/C) and unmodified (C/C) sites, whereas both DNMT3A and DNMT3B have approximately equal activity on all three substrates (C/C, M/C and H/C). Binding of MBD proteins to methylated DNA inhibited Tet1 activity, suggesting that MBD binding may also play a role in regulating the levels of 5hmC. All five MBD proteins generally have reduced binding affinity for 5hmC relative to 5mC in the fully modified context (H/M versus M/M), though their relative abilities to distinguish the two varied considerably. We further show that the deamination product of 5hmC could be excised by thymine DNA glycosylase and MBD4 glycosylases regardless of context.
    Nucleic Acids Research 02/2012; 40(11):4841-9. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brain angiogenesis inhibitor 1 (BAI1) is a putative G protein-coupled receptor with potent antiangiogenic and antitumorigenic properties that is mutated in certain cancers. BAI1 is expressed in normal human brain, but it is frequently silenced in glioblastoma multiforme. In this study, we show that this silencing event is regulated by overexpression of methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 2 (MBD2), a key mediator of epigenetic gene regulation, which binds to the hypermethylated BAI1 gene promoter. In glioma cells, treatment with the DNA demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC) was sufficient to reactivate BAI1 expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that MBD2 was enriched at the promoter of silenced BAI1 in glioma cells and that MBD2 binding was released by 5-Aza-dC treatment. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of MBD2 expression led to reactivation of BAI1 gene expression and restoration of BAI1 functional activity, as indicated by increased antiangiogenic activity in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our results suggest that MBD2 overexpression during gliomagenesis may drive tumor growth by suppressing the antiangiogenic activity of a key tumor suppressor. These findings have therapeutic implications because inhibiting MBD2 could offer a strategy to reactivate BAI1 and suppress glioma pathobiology.
    Cancer Research 07/2011; 71(17):5859-70. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many human genes exhibit evidence of initiated RNA polymerase II (Pol II) at their promoters, despite a lack of significant full-length transcript. Such genes exhibit promoter-proximal "pausing," wherein initiated Pol II accumulates just downstream of the transcription start site due to a rate-limiting step mediating the transition to elongation. The mechanisms that regulate the escape of Pol II from pausing and the relationship to chromatin structure remain incompletely understood. Recently, we showed that CpG island hypermethylation and epigenetic silencing of TMS1/ASC in human breast cancers are accompanied by a local shift from histone H4 lysine 16 acetylation (H4K16Ac) to H4 lysine 20 trimethylation (H4K20me3). Here, we show that hMOF-mediated H4K16Ac and SUV420H2-mediated H4K20me3 play opposing roles in the regulation of Pol II pausing. We found that H4K16Ac promoted the release of Pol II from pausing through the recruitment of BRD4 and pTEFb. Aberrant methylation of CpG island DNA blocked Pol II recruitment to gene promoters. Whereas the inhibition of DNA methylation allowed for the reassociation and initiation of Pol II at the TMS1 promoter, Pol II remained paused in the presence of H4K20me3. Combined inhibition of H4K20me3 and DNA methylation resulted in the rerecruitment of hMOF and subsequent H4K16Ac, release of Pol II into active elongation, and synergistic reactivation of TMS1 expression. Marking by H4K20me3 was not restricted to TMS1 but also occurred at other genes independently of DNA methylation, where it similarly imposed a block to Pol II promoter escape through a mechanism that involved the local inhibition of H4K16Ac. These data indicate that H4K20me3 invokes gene repression by antagonizing hMOF-mediated H4K16Ac and suggest that overcoming Pol II pausing might be a rate-limiting step in achieving tumor suppressor gene reactivation in cancer therapy.
    Molecular and cellular biology 02/2011; 31(8):1594-609. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Withaferin A (WFA) is purified from the plant Withania somnifera and inhibits the vimentin cytoskeleton. Vimentin overexpression in cancer correlates with metastatic disease, induction of epithelial to mesenchymal transition and reduced patient survival. As vimentin functions in cell motility, we wanted to test the hypothesis that WFA inhibits cancer metastasis by disrupting vimentin function. These data showed that WFA had weak cytotoxic and apoptotic activity at concentrations less than or equal to 500 nM, but retained potent anti-invasive activity at these low doses. Imaging of breast cancer cell lines revealed that WFA induces perinuclear vimentin accumulation followed by rapid vimentin depolymerization. A concomitant induction of vimentin ser56 phosphorylation was observed, which is consistent with vimentin disassembly. Structure activity relationships were established using a set of chemically modified WFA analogs and showed that the predicted vimentin-binding region of WFA is necessary to induce vimentin ser56 phosphorylation and for its anti-invasive activity. Pharmacokinetic studies in mice revealed that WFA reaches peak concentrations up to 2 μM in plasma with a half-life of 1.36 hr following a single 4 mg/kg dose. In a breast cancer metastasis mouse model, WFA showed dose-dependent inhibition of metastatic lung nodules and induced vimentin ser56 phosphorylation, with minimal toxicity to lung tissue. Based upon these studies, we conclude that WFA is a potent breast cancer anti-metastatic agent and the anti-metastatic activity of WFA is, at least in part, mediated through its effects on vimentin and vimentin ser56 phosphorylation.
    International Journal of Cancer 01/2011; 129(11):2744-55. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The combinatorial pattern of DNA and histone modifications constitutes an epigenetic 'code' that shapes gene-expression patterns by enabling or restricting the transcriptional potential of genomic domains. DNA methylation is associated with histone modifications, particularly the absence of histone H3 lysine 4 methylation (H3K4me0) and the presence of H3K9 methylation. This article focuses on three protein domains (ATRX-Dnmt3-Dnmt3L [ADD], Cys-X-X-Cys [CXXC] and the methyl-CpG-binding domain [MBD]) and the functional implications of domain architecture in the mechanisms linking histone methylation and DNA methylation in mammalian cells. The DNA methyltransferase DNMT3a and its accessory protein Dnmt 3L contain a H3K4me0-interacting ADD domain that links the DNA methylation reaction with unmodified H3K4. The H3K4 methyltransferase MLL1 contains a CpG-interacting CXXC domain that may couple the H3K4 methylation reaction to unmethylated DNA. Another H3K4 methyltransferase, SET1, although lacking an intrinsic CXXC domain, interacts directly with an accessory protein CFP1 that contains the same domain. The H3K9 methyltransferase SETDB1 contains a putative MBD that potentially links the H3K4 methylation reaction to methylated DNA or may do so through the interaction with the MBD containing protein MBD1. Finally, we consider the domain structure of the DNA methyltransferase DNMT1, its accessory protein UHRF1 and their associated proteins, and propose a mechanism by which DNA methylation and histone methylation may be coordinately maintained through mitotic cell division, allowing for the transmission of parental DNA and for the histone methylation patterns to be copied to newly replicated chromatin.
    Epigenomics 10/2010; 2(5):657-69. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methyltransferase inhibitors are currently the standard of care for myelodysplastic syndrome and are in clinical trials for leukemias and solid tumors. However, the molecular basis underlying their activity remains poorly understood. Here, we studied the induction and long-term stability of gene reactivation at three methylated tumor suppressor loci in response to the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-azaCdR) in human breast cancer cells. At the TMS1/ASC locus, treatment with 5-azaCdR resulted in partial DNA demethylation, the reengagement of RNA polymerase II (Pol II), and a shift from a repressive chromatin profile marked with H3K9me2 and H4K20me3 to an active profile enriched in H3ac and H3K4me2. Using a single-molecule approach coupling chromatin immunoprecipitation with bisulfite sequencing, we show that H3ac, H3K4me2, and Pol II selectively associated with the demethylated alleles, whereas H3K9me2 preferentially marked alleles resistant to demethylation. H4K20me3 was unaffected by DNA demethylation and associated with both unmethylated and methylated alleles. After drug removal, TMS1 underwent partial remethylation, yet a subset of alleles remained stably demethylated for over 3 months. These alleles remained selectively associated with H3K4me2, H3ac, and Pol II and correlated with a sustained low level of gene expression. TMS1 alleles reacquired H3K9me2 over time, and those alleles that became remethylated retained H3ac. In contrast, CDH1 and ESR1 were remethylated and completely silenced within approximately 1 week of drug removal, and failed to maintain stably unmethylated alleles. Our data suggest that the ability to maintain Pol II occupancy is a critical factor in the long-term stability of drug-induced CpG island demethylation.
    Molecular Cancer Research 07/2010; 8(7):1048-59. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two abundant classes of mobile elements, namely Alu and L1 elements, continue to generate new retrotransposon insertions in human genomes. Estimates suggest that these elements have generated millions of new germline insertions in individual human genomes worldwide. Unfortunately, current technologies are not capable of detecting most of these young insertions, and the true extent of germline mutagenesis by endogenous human retrotransposons has been difficult to examine. Here, we describe technologies for detecting these young retrotransposon insertions and demonstrate that such insertions indeed are abundant in human populations. We also found that new somatic L1 insertions occur at high frequencies in human lung cancer genomes. Genome-wide analysis suggests that altered DNA methylation may be responsible for the high levels of L1 mobilization observed in these tumors. Our data indicate that transposon-mediated mutagenesis is extensive in human genomes and is likely to have a major impact on human biology and diseases.
    Cell 06/2010; 141(7):1253-61. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although US year 2000 guidelines recommended characterizing breast cancers by human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), national cancer registries do not collect HER2, rendering a population-based understanding of HER2 and clinical "triple subtypes" (estrogen receptor [ER] / progesterone receptor [PR] / HER2) largely unknown. We document the population-based prevalence of HER2 testing / status, triple subtypes and present the first report of subtype incidence rates. Medical records were searched for HER2 on 1842 metropolitan Atlanta females diagnosed with breast cancer during 2003-2004. HER2 testing/status and triple subtypes were analyzed by age, race/ethnicity, tumor factors, socioeconomic status, and treatment. Age-adjusted incidence rates were calculated. Over 90% of cases received HER2 testing: 12.6% were positive, 71.7% negative, and 15.7% unknown. HER2 testing compliance was significantly better for women who were younger, of Caucasian or African-American descent, or diagnosed with early stage disease. Incidence rates (per 100,000) were 21.1 for HER2+ tumors and 27.8 for triple-negative tumors, the latter differing by race (36.3 and 19.4 for black and white women, respectively). HER2 recommendations are not uniformly adhered to. Incidence rates for breast cancer triple subtypes differ by age/race. As biologic knowledge is translated into the clinical setting eg, HER2 as a biomarker, it will be incumbent upon national cancer registries to report this information. Incidence rates cautiously extrapolate to an annual burden of 3000 and 17,000 HER2+ tumors for black and white women, respectively, and triple-negative tumors among 5000 and 16,000 respectively. Testing, rate, and burden variations warrant population-based in-depth exploration and clinical translation.
    Cancer 03/2010; 116(11):2549-59. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The STK11/LKB1 gene encodes a ubiquitously expressed serine/threonine kinase that is mutated in multiple sporadic cancers including non-small cell lung carcinomas, pancreatic cancers, and melanomas. LKB1 plays a role in multiple cellular functions including cell growth, cell cycle progression, metabolism, cell polarity, and migration. To date, only a limited number of studies have assessed the status of LKB1 in cervical cancers. Herein, we investigate DNA methylation, DNA mutation, and transcription at the LKB1 locus in cervical cancer cell lines. We identified homozygous deletions of 25-85kb in the HeLa and SiHa cell lines. Deletion breakpoint analysis in HeLa cells revealed that the deletion resulted from an Alu-recombination-mediated deletion (ARMD) and generated a novel LKB1 fusion transcript driven by an uncharacterized CpG island promoter located approximately 11kb upstream of LKB1. Although the homozygous deletion in SiHa cells removes the entire LKB1 gene and portions of the neighboring genes SBNO2 and c19orf26, this deletion also generates a fusion transcript driven by the c19orf26 promoter and composed of both c19orf26 and SBNO2 sequences. Further analyses of public gene expression and mutation databases suggest that LKB1 and its neighboring genes are frequently dysregulated in primary cervical cancers. Thus, homozygous deletions affecting LKB1 in cervical cancers may generate multiple fusion transcripts involving LKB1, SBNO2, and c19orf26.
    Cancer genetics and cytogenetics 03/2010; 197(2):130-41. · 1.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation plays a crucial role in the regulation of gene expression and chromatin organization within normal eukaryotic cells. In cancer, however, global patterns of DNA methylation are altered with global hypomethylation of repeat-rich intergenic regions and hypermethylation of a subset of CpG-dense gene-associated regions (CpG islands). Extensive research has revealed the cellular machinery that catalyzes DNA methylation, as well as several large protein complexes that mediate the transcriptional repression of hypermethylated genes. However, research is only just beginning to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying the origins of cancer-specific DNA methylation. Herein, we present several recent advances regarding these mechanisms and discuss the relationship between histone modifications (i.e., H3K4me2/3, H4K16Ac, H3K9me2/3, H3K27me3, H4K20me3), chromatin-modifying enzymes (G9a, EZH2, hMOF, SUV4-20H), and aberrant DNA methylation. Additionally, the role played by inflammation, DNA damage, and miRNAs in the etiology of aberrant DNA methylation is considered. Finally, we discuss the clinical implications of aberrant DNA methylation and the utility of methylated biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and management.
    Clinical Cancer Research 07/2009; 15(12):3927-37. · 7.84 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
424.89 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2000–2014
    • Emory University
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology
      • • Winship Cancer Institute
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2009
    • Georgia Institute of Technology
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Georgia
      Атина, Georgia, United States
  • 1997
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Genetics and Development
      New York City, NY, United States
  • 1993–1997
    • Johns Hopkins University
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1992
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States