[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT), is a rare and understudied cancer with a dismal prognosis. SCCOHT’s infrequency has hindered empirical study of its biology and clinical management. However, we and others have recently identified inactivating mutations in the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling gene SMARCA4 with concomitant loss of SMARCA4 protein in the majority of SCCOHT tumors1-4. Here we summarize these findings and report SMARCA4 status by targeted sequencing and/or immunohistochemistry (IHC) in an additional 12 SCCOHT tumors, 3 matched germlines, and the cell line SCCOHT-1. We also report the identification of a homozygous inactivating mutation in the gene SMARCB1 in one SCCOHT tumor with wild type SMARCA4, suggesting that SMARCB1 inactivation may also play a role in the pathogenesis of SCCOHT. To date, SMARCA4 mutations and protein loss have been reported in the majority of 69 SCCOHT cases (including 2 cell lines). These data firmly establish SMARCA4 as a tumor suppressor whose loss promotes the development of SCCOHT, setting the stage for rapid advancement in the biological understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of this rare tumor type.
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 11/2014; · 4.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by deficits in cerebral metabolic rates of glucose in the posterior cingulate (PC) and precuneus in AD subjects, and in APOEε4 carriers, decades prior to the onset of measureable cognitive deficits. However, the cellular and molecular basis of this phenotype remains to be clarified. Given the roles of astrocytes in energy storage and brain immunity, we sought to characterize the transcriptome of AD PC astrocytes. Cells were laser capture microdissected from AD (n=10) and healthy elderly control (n=10) subjects for RNA sequencing. We generated >5.22 billion reads and compared sequencing data between controls and AD patients. We identified differentially expressed mitochondria-related genes including TRMT61B, FASTKD2, and NDUFA4L2, and using pathway and weighted gene co-expression analyses, we identified differentially expressed immune response genes. A number of these genes, including CLU, C3, and CD74, have been implicated in Abeta generation or clearance. This data provides key insights into astrocyte-specific contributions to AD and we present this data set as a publicly available resource.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Matching molecularly targeted therapies with cancer subtype-specific gene mutations is revolutionizing oncology care. However, for rare cancers this approach is problematic due to the often poor understanding of the disease's natural history and phenotypic heterogeneity, making treatment of these cancers a particularly unmet medical need in clinical oncology. Advanced Sézary syndrome (SS), an aggressive, exceedingly rare variant of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a prototypical example of a rare cancer. Through whole genome and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of a SS patient's tumor we discovered a highly expressed gene fusion between CTLA4 (cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4) and CD28 (cluster of differentiation 28), predicting a novel stimulatory molecule on the surface of tumor T cells. Treatment with the CTLA4 inhibitor ipilimumab resulted in a rapid clinical response. Our findings suggest a novel driver mechanism for SS, and cancer in general, and exemplify an emerging model of cancer treatment using exploratory genomic analysis to identify a personally targeted treatment option when conventional therapies are exhausted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oncogenic fusion genes underlie the mechanism of several common cancers. Next-generation sequencing based RNA-seq analyses have revealed an increasing number of recurrent fusions in a variety of cancers. However, absence of a publicly available gene-fusion focused RNA-seq data impedes comparative assessment and collaborative development of novel gene fusions detection algorithms. We have generated nine synthetic poly-adenylated RNA transcripts that correspond to previously reported oncogenic gene fusions. These synthetic RNAs were spiked at known molarity over a wide range into total RNA prior to construction of next-generation sequencing mRNA libraries to generate RNA-seq data.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The outcome of patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma (mCRC) following first line therapy is poor, with median survival of less than one year. The purpose of this study was to identify candidate therapeutically targetable somatic events in mCRC patient samples by whole genome sequencing (WGS), so as to obtain targeted treatment strategies for individual patients.
BMC Medical Genomics 06/2014; 7(1):36. · 3.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Alzheimer’s disease is a common debilitating dementia with known heritability, for which 20 late onset susceptibility loci have been identified, but more remain to be discovered. This study sought to identify new susceptibility genes, using an alternative gene-wide analytical approach which tests for patterns of association within genes, in the powerful genome-wide association dataset of the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project Consortium, comprising over 7 m genotypes from 25,580 Alzheimer’s cases and 48,466 controls.
Principal Findings: In addition to earlier reported genes, we detected genome-wide significant loci on chromosomes 8 (TP53INP1, p=1.461026) and 14 (IGHV1-67 p=7.961028) which indexed novel susceptibility loci.
Significance: The additional genes identified in this study, have an array of functions previously implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, including aspects of energy metabolism, protein degradation and the immune system and add further weight to these pathways as potential therapeutic targets in Alzheimer’s disease
PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e94661. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) carry poor prognosis in all ethnicities, and patients of African ancestry have a higher incidence of TNBC. We hypothesize that there are distinct signaling pathways active in the mesenchymal (CD44+CD24-) and epithelial-like (ALDH+) cancer stem cells in TNBCs that confer especially aggressive metastatic phenotypes to promote motility and migratory behavior versus self-renewal and proliferative expansion in response to tissue signals, respectively. Here we set out to understand the molecular differences between these cell populations in a multi-ethnic cohort of TNBC using RNA-sequencing technologies.
Methods: Xenografts were grown in NSG2 mice from TNBCs of 2 Ghanaian, 3 African American, and 3 Caucasian patients. Cell populations were Fluorescence-activated cell sorting FACS sorted to subselect and collect ALDH+EpCAM+ (ALDH+) cells and CD24-CD44+EpCAM+ALDH- (CD44+) cells. We extracted RNA from sorted cell populations and performed RNA-sequencing using the Illumina Next Generation Sequencing platform. Differential gene expression was performed using DESeq comparing bulk tumor versus either the FACS sorted ALDH+ or CD44+ fractions, and amongst the stem cell compartment, we compared CD44+ versus ALDH+ cells.
Results: For each comparison pair, genes were clustered into the 10 most up- and down-regulated pathways by GeneGo (unsupervised). Across ethnicities, common themes of affected pathways emerge from binary comparisons. Preliminary analyses demonstrated that expression in bulk tumor versus ALDH+ stem cells indicate upregulation of genes primarily involved in modulation of immune responses, cell adhesion, and androgen receptor expression, among others, whereas pathways involved in regulation of cell protrusions and migration are downregulated. In comparison, CD44+ cells exhibit upregulation of pathways involved in cytoskeletal regulation, Akt, and Notch and downregulation of adhesions through Ephrin signaling, gap junctions, and degradation of beta catenin, among others. Table 1 depict select robust up- and down-regulated pathways
Conclusion: This study delineates patterns of gene expression consistent with a migratory phenotype for CD44+ stem cells that resembles neuronal stem cells and a phenotype of ALDH+ stem cells that is consistent with making epithelial junctions and downregulating RhoGTPases and other gene pathways involved in mesenchymal migration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract LB-202: Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary Hypercalcemic Type (SCCOHT) is a rare and highly aggressive malignancy that affects children and young women at a mean age of 24 (range 14 months - 58 years). SCCOHT is refractory to standard of care therapy for ovarian cancer, with ~75% mortality within 18 months of diagnosis. The early age of onset of SCCOHT and reports of familial occurrence in some cases, strongly suggest an underlying hereditary etiology. To understand the molecular pathogenesis of SCCOHT, we performed next-generation genomic sequencing on a series of tumor and germline samples from SCCOHT patients. This analysis revealed germline and somatic inactivating mutations in SMARCA4, a subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, in 75% (9/12) of SCCOHT patients. Moreover, immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of 15 tumors revealed that 87% (13/15) of tumors lacked SMARCA4 protein. The high prevalence of SMARCA4 mutations in SCCOHT has not been previously reported in other, more common ovarian carcinomas. We therefore examined the expression of SMARCA4 protein in 300 ovarian carcinomas of different histologies by IHC and found SMARCA4 protein loss in only 6 tumors. In addition, the BIN-67 SCCOHT cell line, which harbors 2 splice site mutations in SMARCA4, showed complete absence of SMARCA4 protein by Western blot while representative cell lines from 4 other ovarian carcinoma subtypes as well as immortalized granulosa cells (SVOG) and adult granulosa tumor cells (KGN) all maintained SMARCA4 expression. The prevalence of germline and sporadic SMARCA4 mutations as well as frequent SMARCA4 protein loss in SCCOHTs implicates this gene as a tumor suppressor in this cancer and more broadly suggests a role for the SWI/SNF complex in its pathogenesis. In addition to providing evidence to the pathogenesis of SCCOHT, this finding provides the opportunity to develop treatment approaches for SCCOHT based on targeting vulnerabilities of SMARCA4-deficient cells.
American Association for Cancer Research 105th Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, USA; 04/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small cell carcinoma of the ovary of hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is an extremely rare, aggressive cancer affecting children and young women. We identified germline and somatic inactivating mutations in the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling gene SMARCA4 in 75% (9/12) of SCCOHT cases in addition to SMARCA4 protein loss in 82% (14/17) of SCCOHT tumors but in only 0.4% (2/485) of other primary ovarian tumors. These data implicate SMARCA4 in SCCOHT oncogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder is a common, heritable mental illness characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression. Despite considerable effort to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of bipolar disorder, causative genetic risk factors remain elusive. We conducted a comprehensive genomic analysis of bipolar disorder in a large Old Order Amish pedigree. Microsatellite genotypes and high-density SNP-array genotypes of 388 family members were combined with whole genome sequence data for 50 of these subjects, comprising 18 parent-child trios. This study design permitted evaluation of candidate variants within the context of haplotype structure by resolving the phase in sequenced parent-child trios and by imputation of variants into multiple unsequenced siblings. Non-parametric and parametric linkage analysis of the entire pedigree as well as on smaller clusters of families identified several nominally significant linkage peaks, each of which included dozens of predicted deleterious variants. Close inspection of exonic and regulatory variants in genes under the linkage peaks using family-based association tests revealed additional credible candidate genes for functional studies and further replication in population-based cohorts. However, despite the in-depth genomic characterization of this unique, large and multigenerational pedigree from a genetic isolate, there was no convergence of evidence implicating a particular set of risk loci or common pathways. The striking haplotype and locus heterogeneity we observed has profound implications for the design of studies of bipolar and other related disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advanced cholangiocarcinoma continues to harbor a difficult prognosis and therapeutic options have been limited. During the course of a clinical trial of whole genomic sequencing seeking druggable targets, we examined six patients with advanced cholangiocarcinoma. Integrated genome-wide and whole transcriptome sequence analyses were performed on tumors from six patients with advanced, sporadic intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (SIC) to identify potential therapeutically actionable events. Among the somatic events captured in our analysis, we uncovered two novel therapeutically relevant genomic contexts that when acted upon, resulted in preliminary evidence of anti-tumor activity. Genome-wide structural analysis of sequence data revealed recurrent translocation events involving the FGFR2 locus in three of six assessed patients. These observations and supporting evidence triggered the use of FGFR inhibitors in these patients. In one example, preliminary anti-tumor activity of pazopanib (in vitro FGFR2 IC50≈350 nM) was noted in a patient with an FGFR2-TACC3 fusion. After progression on pazopanib, the same patient also had stable disease on ponatinib, a pan-FGFR inhibitor (in vitro, FGFR2 IC50≈8 nM). In an independent non-FGFR2 translocation patient, exome and transcriptome analysis revealed an allele specific somatic nonsense mutation (E384X) in ERRFI1, a direct negative regulator of EGFR activation. Rapid and robust disease regression was noted in this ERRFI1 inactivated tumor when treated with erlotinib, an EGFR kinase inhibitor. FGFR2 fusions and ERRFI mutations may represent novel targets in sporadic intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and trials should be characterized in larger cohorts of patients with these aberrations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integration of carcinogenic human papillomaviruses (HPVs) into the host genome is a significant tumorigenic factor in specific cancers including cervical carcinoma. Although major strides have been made with respect to HPV diagnosis and prevention, identification and development of efficacious treatments for cervical cancer patients remains a goal and thus requires additional detailed characterization of both somatic events and HPV integration. Given this need, the goal of this study was to use the next generation sequencing to simultaneously evaluate somatic alterations and expression changes in a patient's cervical squamous carcinoma lesion metastatic to the lung and to detect and analyze HPV infection in the same sample.
We performed tumor and normal exome, tumor and normal shallow whole-genome sequencing, and RNA sequencing of the patient's lung metastasis.
We generated over 1.2 billion mapped reads and identified 130 somatic point mutations and indels, 21 genic translocations, 16 coding regions demonstrating copy number changes, and over 36 genes demonstrating altered expression in the tumor (corrected P < 0.05). Sequencing also revealed the HPV type 18 (HPV-18) integration in the metastasis. Using both DNA and RNA reads, we pinpointed 3 major events indicating HPV-18 integration into an intronic region of chromosome 6p25.1 in the patient's tumor and validated these events with Sanger sequencing. This integration site has not been reported for HPV-18.
We demonstrate that DNA and RNA sequencing can be used to concurrently characterize somatic alterations and expression changes in a biopsy and delineate HPV integration at base resolution in cervical cancer. Further sequencing will allow us to better understand the molecular basis of cervical cancer pathogenesis.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.
International Journal of Gynecological Cancer 01/2014; · 1.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common and complex neurodegenerative disease in the elderly individuals. Recently, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been used to investigate AD pathogenesis. These GWAS have yielded important new insights into the genetic mechanisms of AD. However, these newly identified AD susceptibility loci exert only very small risk effects and cannot fully explain the underlying AD genetic risk. We hypothesize that combining the findings from different AD GWAS may have greater power than genetic analysis alone. To identify new AD risk factors, we integrated findings from 3 previous large-scale AD GWAS (n = 14,138) using a gene-based meta-analysis and subsequently conducted a pathway analysis using the kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes and gene ontology databases. Interestingly, we not only confirmed previous findings, but also highlighted, for the first time, the involvement of cardiovascular disease-related pathways in AD. Our results provided the clues as to the link between these diseases using pathway analysis methods. We believe that these findings will be very useful for future genetic studies of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liposarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma, but little is known about the genomic basis of this disease. Given the low cell content of this tumor type, we utilized flow cytometry to isolate the diploid normal and aneuploid tumor populations from a well-differentiated liposarcoma prior to array comparative genomic hybridization and whole genome sequencing. This work revealed massive highly focal amplifications throughout the aneuploid tumor genome including MDM2, a gene that has previously been found to be amplified in well-differentiated liposarcoma. Structural analysis revealed massive rearrangement of chromosome 12 and 11 gene fusions, some of which may be part of double minute chromosomes commonly present in well-differentiated liposarcoma. We identified a hotspot of genomic instability localized to a region of chromosome 12 that includes a highly conserved, putative L1 retrotransposon element, LOC100507498 which resides within a gene cluster (NAV3, SYT1, PAWR) where 6 of the 11 fusion events occurred. Interestingly, a potential gene fusion was also identified in amplified DDR2, which is a potential therapeutic target of kinase inhibitors such as dastinib, that are not routinely used in the treatment of patients with liposarcoma. Furthermore, 7 somatic, damaging single nucleotide variants have also been identified, including D125N in the PTPRQ protein. In conclusion, this work is the first to report the entire genome of a well-differentiated liposarcoma with novel chromosomal rearrangements associated with amplification of therapeutically targetable genes such as MDM2 and DDR2.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e87113. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The discovery and reliable detection of markers for neurodegenerative diseases have been complicated by the inaccessibility of the diseased tissue- such as the inability to biopsy or test tissue from the central nervous system directly. RNAs originating from hard to access tissues, such as neurons within the brain and spinal cord, have the potential to get to the periphery where they can be detected non-invasively. The formation and extracellular release of microvesicles and RNA binding proteins have been found to carry RNA from cells of the central nervous system to the periphery and protect the RNA from degradation. Extracellular miRNAs detectable in peripheral circulation can provide information about cellular changes associated with human health and disease. In order to associate miRNA signals present in cell-free peripheral biofluids with neurodegenerative disease status of patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, we assessed the miRNA content in cerebrospinal fluid and serum from postmortem subjects with full neuropathology evaluations. We profiled the miRNA content from 69 patients with Alzheimer's disease, 67 with Parkinson's disease and 78 neurologically normal controls using next generation small RNA sequencing (NGS). We report the average abundance of each detected miRNA in cerebrospinal fluid and in serum and describe 13 novel miRNAs that were identified. We correlated changes in miRNA expression with aspects of disease severity such as Braak stage, dementia status, plaque and tangle densities, and the presence and severity of Lewy body pathology. Many of the differentially expressed miRNAs detected in peripheral cell-free cerebrospinal fluid and serum were previously reported in the literature to be deregulated in brain tissue from patients with neurodegenerative disease. These data indicate that extracellular miRNAs detectable in the cerebrospinal fluid and serum are reflective of cell-based changes in pathology and can be used to assess disease progression and therapeutic efficacy.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(5):e94839. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In females, X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is an epigenetic, gene dosage compensatory mechanism by inactivation of one copy of X in cells. Random XCI of one of the parental chromosomes results in an approximately equal proportion of cells expressing alleles from either the maternally or paternally inherited active X, and is defined by the XCI ratio. Skewed XCI ratio is suggestive of non-random inactivation, which can play an important role in X-linked genetic conditions. Current methods rely on indirect, semi-quantitative DNA methylation-based assay to estimate XCI ratio. Here we report a direct approach to estimate XCI ratio by integrated, family-trio based whole-exome and mRNA sequencing using phase-by-transmission of alleles coupled with allele-specific expression analysis. We applied this method to in silico data and to a clinical patient with mild cognitive impairment but no clear diagnosis or understanding molecular mechanism underlying the phenotype. Simulation showed that phased and unphased heterozygous allele expression can be used to estimate XCI ratio. Segregation analysis of the patient's exome uncovered a de novo, interstitial, 1.7 Mb deletion on Xp22.31 that originated on the paternally inherited X and previously been associated with heterogeneous, neurological phenotype. Phased, allelic expression data suggested an 83∶20 moderately skewed XCI that favored the expression of the maternally inherited, cytogenetically normal X and suggested that the deleterious affect of the de novo event on the paternal copy may be offset by skewed XCI that favors expression of the wild-type X. This study shows the utility of integrated sequencing approach in XCI ratio estimation.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(12):e113036. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As next-generation sequencing continues to have an expanding presence in the clinic, the identification of the most cost-effective and robust strategy for identifying copy number changes and translocations in tumor genomes is needed. We hypothesized that performing shallow whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 900-1000-bp inserts (long insert WGS, LI-WGS) improves our ability to detect these events, compared with shallow WGS of 300-400-bp inserts. A priori analyses show that LI-WGS requires less sequencing compared with short insert WGS to achieve a target physical coverage, and that LI-WGS requires less sequence coverage to detect a heterozygous event with a power of 0.99. We thus developed an LI-WGS library preparation protocol based off of Illumina's WGS library preparation protocol and illustrate the feasibility of performing LI-WGS. We additionally applied LI-WGS to three separate tumor/normal DNA pairs collected from patients diagnosed with different cancers to demonstrate our application of LI-WGS on actual patient samples for identification of somatic copy number alterations and translocations. With the evolution of sequencing technologies and bioinformatics analyses, we show that modifications to current approaches may improve our ability to interrogate cancer genomes.
Nucleic Acids Research 09/2013; · 8.81 Impact Factor