[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conventional karyotyping (550 bands resolution) is able to identify chromosomal aberrations >5-10 Mb, which represent a known cause of intellectual disability/developmental delay (ID/DD) and/or multiple congenital anomalies (MCA). Array-Comparative Genomic Hybridization (array-CGH) has increased the diagnostic yield of 15-20%.
In a cohort of 700 ID/DD cases with or without MCA, including 15 prenatal diagnoses, we identified a subgroup of seven patients with a normal karyotype and a large complex rearrangement detected by array-CGH (at least 6, and up to 18 Mb). FISH analysis could be performed on six cases and showed that rearrangements were translocation derivatives, indistinguishable from a normal karyotype as they involved a similar band pattern and size. Five were inherited from a parent with a balanced translocation, whereas two were apparently de novo. Genes spanning the rearrangements could be associated with some phenotypic features in three cases (case 3: DOCK8; case 4: GATA3, AKR1C4; case 6: AS/PWS deletion, CHRNA7), and in two, likely disease genes were present (case 5: NR2F2, TP63, IGF1R; case 7: CDON). Three of our cases were prenatal diagnoses with an apparently normal karyotype.
Large complex rearrangements of up to 18 Mb, involving chromosomal regions with similar size and band appearance may be overlooked by conventional karyotyping. Array-CGH allows a precise chromosomal diagnosis and recurrence risk definition, further confirming this analysis as a first tier approach to clarify molecular bases of ID/DD and/or MCA. In prenatal tests, array-CGH is confirmed as an important tool to avoid false negative results due to karyotype intrinsic limit of detection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recently described genetic disorder has been associated with 13q12.3 microdeletion spanning three genes, namely, KATNAL1, LINC00426, and HMGB1. Here, we report a new case with similar clinical features that we have followed from birth to 5 years old. The child carried a complex rearrangement with a double translocation: 46,XX,t(7;13)(p15;q14),t(11;15)(q23;q22). Array-CGH identified a de novo microdeletion at 13q12.2q13.1 spanning 3-3.4 Mb and overlapping 13q12.3 critical region. Clinical features resembling those reported in the literature confirm the existence of a distinct 13q12.3 microdeletion syndrome and provide further evidence that is useful to characterize its phenotypic expression during the 5 years of development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small supernumerary marker chromosomes (sSMCs) are additional, structurally abnormal chromosomes, generally smaller than chromosome 20 of the same metaphase spread. Due to their small size, they are difficult to characterize by conventional cytogenetics alone. In regard to their clinical effects, sSMCs are a heterogeneous group: in particular, sSMCs containing pericentromeric euchromatin are likely to be associated with abnormal outcomes, although exceptions have been reported. To improve characterization of the genetic content of sSMCs, several approaches might be applied based on different molecular and molecular-cytogenetic assays, e.g., fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), array-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH), and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA).To provide a complementary tool for the characterization of sSMCs, we constructed and validated a new, FISH-based, pericentromeric Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) clone set that with a high resolution spans the most proximal euchromatic sequences of all human chromosome arms, excluding the acrocentric short arms.
By FISH analysis, we assayed 561 pericentromeric BAC probes and excluded 75 that showed a wrong chromosomal localization. The remaining 486 probes were used to establish 43 BAC-based pericentromeric panels. Each panel consists of a core, which with a high resolution covers the most proximal euchromatic ~0.7 Mb (on average) of each chromosome arm and generally bridges the heterochromatin/euchromatin junction, as well as clones located proximally and distally to the core. The pericentromeric clone set was subsequently validated by the characterization of 19 sSMCs. Using the core probes, we could rapidly distinguish between heterochromatic (1/19) and euchromatic (11/19) sSMCs, and estimate the euchromatic DNA content, which ranged from approximately 0.13 to more than 10 Mb. The characterization was not completed for seven sSMCs due to a lack of information about the covered region in the reference sequence (1/19) or sample insufficiency (6/19).
Our results demonstrate that this pericentromeric clone set is useful as an alternative tool for sSMC characterization, primarily in cases of very small SMCs that contain either heterochromatin exclusively or a tiny amount of euchromatic sequence, and also in cases of low-level or cryptic mosaicism. The resulting data will foster knowledge of human proximal euchromatic regions involved in chromosomal imbalances, thereby improving genotype--phenotype correlations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism is a rare disease that is characterized by delayed/absent puberty and/or infertility due to an insufficient stimulation of an otherwise normal pituitary–gonadal axis by gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) action. Because reduced or normal luteinizing hormone (LH)/follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels may be observed in the affected patients, the term idiopathic central hypogonadism (ICH) appears to be more appropriate. This disease should be distinguished from central hypogonadism that is combined with other pituitary deficiencies. Isolated ICH has a complex pathogenesis and is fivefold more prevalent in males. ICH frequently appears in a sporadic form, but several familial cases have also been reported. This finding, in conjunction with the description of numerous pathogenetic gene variants and the generation of several knockout models, supports the existence of a strong genetic component. ICH may be associated with several morphogenetic abnormalities, which include osmic defects that, with ICH, constitute the cardinal manifestations of Kallmann syndrome (KS). KS accounts for approximately 40% of the total ICH cases and has been generally considered to be a distinct subgroup. However, the description of several pedigrees, which include relatives who are affected either with isolated osmic defects, KS, or normo-osmic ICH (nICH), justifies the emerging idea that ICH is a complex genetic disease that is characterized by variable expressivity and penetrance. In this context, either multiple gene variants or environmental factors and epigenetic modifications may contribute to the variable disease manifestations. We review the genetic mechanisms that are presently known to be involved in ICH pathogenesis and provide a clinical overview of the 227 cases that have been collected by the collaborating centres of the Italian ICH Network.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and aim:
We identified a balanced de novo translocation involving chromosomes Xq25 and 8q24 in an eight year-old girl with a non-progressive form of congenital ataxia, cognitive impairment and cerebellar hypoplasia.
Methods and results:
Breakpoint definition showed that the promoter of the Protein Tyrosine Kinase 2 (PTK2, also known as Focal Adhesion Kinase, FAK) gene on chromosome 8q24.3 is translocated 2 kb upstream of the THO complex subunit 2 (THOC2) gene on chromosome Xq25. PTK2 is a well-known non-receptor tyrosine kinase whereas THOC2 encodes a component of the evolutionarily conserved multiprotein THO complex, involved in mRNA export from nucleus. The translocation generated a sterile fusion transcript under the control of the PTK2 promoter, affecting expression of both PTK2 and THOC2 genes. PTK2 is involved in cell adhesion and, in neurons, plays a role in axonal guidance, and neurite growth and attraction. However, PTK2 haploinsufficiency alone is unlikely to be associated with human disease. Therefore, we studied the role of THOC2 in the CNS using three models: 1) THOC2 ortholog knockout in C.elegans which produced functional defects in specific sensory neurons; 2) Thoc2 knockdown in primary rat hippocampal neurons which increased neurite extension; 3) Thoc2 knockdown in neuronal stem cells (LC1) which increased their in vitro growth rate without modifying apoptosis levels.
We suggest that THOC2 can play specific roles in neuronal cells and, possibly in combination with PTK2 reduction, may affect normal neural network formation, leading to cognitive impairment and cerebellar congenital hypoplasia.
Journal of Medical Genetics 06/2013; 50(8). DOI:10.1136/jmedgenet-2013-101542 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aromatase inhibitors (AIs), such as anastrozole, are established in the treatment of hormone-dependent breast cancer. However, ∼20% of patients with hormone receptor-positive breast tumors treated with anastrozole do not respond and it remains impossible to accurately predict sensitivity. Since polymorphisms in the aromatase gene may influence the response to inhibitory drugs, we evaluated the presence of rs6493497 and rs7176005 polymorphisms (mapping in the 5'-flanking region of the CYP19A1 gene coding for the aromatase protein) in a cohort of 37 patients with postmenopausal breast cancer who received three-month neoadjuvant treatment with anastrozole. We then investigated any association of the polymorphisms with changes in aromatase mRNA expression change and/or response to treatment. We also analyzed five miRNAs computationally predicted to target aromatase, to observe any association between their expression and sensitivity to anastrozole. Three samples carried the two polymorphisms and the remaining samples were wild-type for both, however, no association with response or with aromatase mRNA basal expression level or expression difference after therapy was observed. Polymorphic samples that were resistant to anastrozole showed no change or decrease in aromatase expression following AI treatment, whereas an increase in expression was observed for the polymorphic responsive samples. No statistically significant correlation was observed between miRNA and aromatase mRNA expression, or with response to anastrozole neoadjuvant treatment. These data indicate that the polymorphisms analyzed are not involved in aromatase activity and that other epigenetic mechanisms may regulate aromatase protein expression.
Experimental and therapeutic medicine 03/2013; 5(3):902-906. DOI:10.3892/etm.2012.878 · 1.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Nuclear Factor I-X (NFIX) is a member of the nuclear factor I (NFI) family proteins, which are implicated as site-specific DNA-binding proteins and is deleted or mutated in a subset of patients with Sotos-like overgrowth syndrome and in patients with Marshall-Smith syndrome. We evaluated an additional patient with clinical features of Sotos-like syndrome by sequencing analysis of the NFIX gene and identified a 21 nucleotide in frame deletion predicting loss of 7 amino acids in the DNA-binding/dimerization domain of the NFIX protein. The deleted residues are all evolutionally conserved amino acids. The present report further confirms that mutations in DNA-binding/dimerization domain cause haploinsufficiency of the NFIX protein and strongly suggests that in individuals with Sotos-like features unrelated to NSD1 changes genetic testing of NFIX should be considered.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pharmacological resistance is a serious threat to the clinical success of hormone therapy for breast cancer. The antiproliferative response to antagonistic drugs such as tamoxifen (Tam) critically depends on the recruitment of NCoR/SMRT corepressors to estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) bound to estrogen target genes. Under certain circumstances, as demonstrated in the case of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) treatment, the protein Tab2 interacts with ERα/NCoR and causes dismissal of NCoR from these genes, leading to loss of the antiproliferative response. In Tam-resistant (TamR) ER-positive breast cancer cells, we observed that Tab2 presents a shift in mobility on sodium dodecyl sulfate--PAGE (SDS-PAGE) similar to that seen in MCF7 wt upon stimulation with IL-1β, suggesting constitutive activation. Accordingly, TamR treatment with Tab2-specific short interfering RNA, restored the antiproliferative response to Tam in these cells. As Tab2 is known to directly interact with the N-terminal domain of ERα, we synthesized a peptide composed of a 14-aa motif of this domain, which effectively competes with ERα/Tab2 interaction in pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation experiments, fused to the carrier TAT peptide to allow internalization. Treatment of TamR cells with this peptide resulted in partial recovery of the antiproliferative response to Tam, suggesting a strategy to revert pharmacological resistance in breast cancer. Silencing of Tab2 in TamR cells by siRNA caused modulation of a gene set related to the control of cell cycle and extensively connected to BRCA1 in a functional network. These genes were able to discern two groups of patients, from a published data set of Tam-treated breast cancer profiles, with significantly different disease-free survival. Altogether, our data implicate Tab2 as a mediator of resistance to endocrine therapy and as a potential new target to reverse pharmacological resistance and potentiate antiestrogen action.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neural tube defects (NTDs), most commonly spina bifida and anencephaly, can be prevented with periconceptional intake of folic acid in about 70% of cases. Recurrence of NTDs despite supplementation of high dose of folic acid further suggests that a proportion of NTD cases might be resistant to folic acid. Moreover, heterogeneity of NTDs has been suggested in animal studies, indicating that only some sub-type of NTDs should be considered sensitive to folate intake. Inositol isomers (particularly myo- and chiro-inositol) can prevent folate-resistant NTDs in the curly-tail mutant mouse, suggesting that some cases of human NTDs might benefit from inositol supplementation. In humans, lower inositol blood concentration was found in pregnant women carrying NTD fetuses, whereas a periconceptional combination therapy with folic acid associated with inositol has been linked to normal live births, despite high NTD recurrence risk. Fifteen pregnancies from 12 Caucasian women from different parts of Italy with at least one previous NTD-affected pregnancy underwent periconceptional combined myo-inositol and folic acid supplementation. Maternal serum α-feto-protein levels were found in the normal range, and normal results on ultrasound examination were found in all the pregnancies that followed. No collateral effects or intense uterine contractions were demonstrated in this pilot study in any of the pregnancies after inositol supplementation, and seventeen babies were born without any type of NTD.
Birth Defects Research Part A Clinical and Molecular Teratology 11/2011; 91(11):962-5. DOI:10.1002/bdra.22853 · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is an inherited cerebrovascular disease due to mutations involving loss or gain of a cysteine residue in the NOTCH3 gene. A cluster of mutations around exons 3 and 4 was originally reported. Identification of pathogenic mutation is important for diagnostic confirmation of the disease, however genetic counselling and testing of relatives at risk is critical in mutation carriers.
Mutation analysis of the NOTCH3 gene was performed through direct sequencing in 140 patients with clinical suspicion of CADASIL. Patients underwent genetic counselling pre and post testing. The 2-23 exons containing all EGF-like domains were screened.
14 familial forms of the disease have been identified with 14 different causative mutations in exons 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 14, 19, 20 and 22 of the NOTCH3 gene; no pathogenetic mutations have been identified in exons 6 and 8; several genetic variations both in coding as well as in intronic regions were identified too.
Our data confirm the importance of screening the whole EGF-like domains region of NOTCH3 gene for the molecular diagnosis of CADASIL among the Italian population too. Moreover genetic variants different from loss or gain of a cysteine residue are identified and presented.
Journal of the neurological sciences 05/2011; 307(1-2):144-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2011.04.019 · 2.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stable expression of the tyrosine kinase receptor ErbB4 confers increased migratory behavior to the neuronal progenitor cell line ST14A, in response to neuregulin 1 (NRG1) stimulation. We used gene expression profiling analysis to identify transcriptional changes associated with higher migratory activity caused by the activation of a specific ErbB4 isoform, and found constitutive up-regulation of the epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 8 (Eps8), a multimodular regulator of actin dynamics. We confirmed the increase of Eps8, both at the mRNA and at the protein level, in stable clones expressing two different ErbB4 isoforms, both characterized by high migratory activity. Using Transwell assays and experimental manipulation of Eps8 expression level, we demonstrated that Eps8 synergizes with ErbB4 to increase both basal and ligand induced cell migration, whereas siRNA mediated Eps8 silencing strongly impairs cell motility and NRG1 induced actin cytoskeleton remodeling. By transient knockdown of Eps8 through in vivo siRNA electroporation, followed by explant primary cultures, we demonstrated that Eps8 down-regulation affects migration of normal neuronal precursors. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that Eps8 is a key regulator of motility of neuronal progenitor cells expressing ErbB4, both in basal conditions and in response to external motogenic cues.
Experimental Cell Research 04/2011; 317(6):757-69. DOI:10.1016/j.yexcr.2011.01.023 · 3.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NCAH) is a morbid condition sustained by the reduced function of one of the enzymes involved in the adrenal steroid biosynthesis pathway, mainly the 21-hydroxylase. Different degrees of enzyme activity impairment determine different clinical pictures, with childhood or post-pubertal onset. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between genotype, phenotype, and adrenal hormonal levels in a group of 66 patients affected by NCAH attending outpatient pediatric or endocrinological Clinics. Our findings show that age at pubarche/menarche was significantly younger, height SD score) and Δ bone age-chronological age were significantly higher in patients with a more severe enzyme activity impairment, while cutaneous androgenization and menstrual irregularities in post-pubertal girls were not related to the grading of genotype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report clinical and behavioural evaluation data in 42 Italian girls with triple X syndrome whose diagnosis was made prenatally between 1998 and 2006 in three Italian centres. At initial evaluation, reproductive and medical histories were collected. Clinical assessment of the child was performed by a clinical geneticist and included a detailed personal history, physical evaluation and auxological measurements. To analyse how parents coped with specific events in the prenatal and postnatal periods, we conducted an interview that included 35 specific questions designed to elicit retrospective judgements on prenatal communication, present and future worries, needs and expectations. In a subset of probands, we also administered the formal Italian Temperament Questionnaire assessment test that investigates adaptation, general environment and socialisation. This test also assesses the emotional component of temperament. Clinical results in the affected children are similar to those previously reported with evidence of increased growth in the pre-puberal age and an average incidence of congenital malformation and health needs. Median age for the time first words were pronounced was 12 months, showing a slight delay in language skills, which tended to improve by the time they reached school age. Parental responses to the interview demonstrated residual anxiety but with a satisfactory adaptation to and a positive recall of the prenatal counselling session. Parental adaptation of the 47,XXX girls require indeed a proper educational support. This support seems to be available in Italy. An integrated approach to prenatal counselling is the best way to manage the anxiety and falsely imagined consequences that parents feel after being told that their foetus bears such a genetic abnormality.
European Journal of Pediatrics 10/2010; 169(10):1255-61. DOI:10.1007/s00431-010-1221-8 · 1.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Campomelic dysplasia is a rare congenital skeletal disorder characterized by bowing of the long bones and a variety of other skeletal and extraskeletal defects, many of which can now be identified prenatally using advanced ultrasound equipment. The disorder is caused by mutations in SRY-box 9 (SOX9), a gene that is abundantly expressed in chondrocytes as well as in other tissues. However, the correlation between genotype and phenotype is still unclear. We report five cases of prenatally detected campomelic dysplasia in which the diagnosis was confirmed by molecular analysis.
Ultrasound examinations were performed between 12 and 32 weeks. Standard fetal biometric measurements were obtained. Fetal sex was determined sonographically and confirmed by chromosomal analysis. Genomic DNA was obtained in four cases before termination of pregnancy from chorionic villi or amniocytes and in one case postnatally from peripheral blood.
Skeletal dysplasia, most often limb shortening and bowed femora, was observed in one case in the first trimester, in three cases in the second trimester and in one case, presenting late for antenatal care, in the third trimester. Four of the pregnancies were terminated and one was carried to term. Postmortem/postnatal physical and radiographic examinations confirmed the presence of anomalies characteristic of campomelic dysplasia. A de novo mutation in the SOX9 gene was detected in all four cases that underwent termination. The father of the proband in the case that went to term was a carrier of a somatic mosaic mutation without clinical or radiographic signs of campomelic dysplasia.
It is likely that the integrated expertise of ultrasonographers, obstetricians, pediatricians and clinical geneticists will markedly improve the likelihood of accurate prenatal clinical diagnoses of campomelic dysplasia. This will, in turn, encourage more specific molecular testing and facilitate comprehensive genetic counseling.
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 09/2010; 36(3):315-23. DOI:10.1002/uog.7761 · 3.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SCA12 is an autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia characterized by onset in the fourth decade of life with action tremor of arms and head, mild ataxia, dysmetria, and hyperreflexia. The disease is caused by an expansion of >or=51 CAGs in the 5' region of the brain- specific phosphatase 2 regulatory subunit B-beta isoform (PPP2R2B) gene. SCA12 is very rare, except for a single ethnic group in India. We screened 159 Italian ataxic patients for SCA12 and identified two families that segregated an expanded allele of 57 to 58 CAGs, sharing a common haplotype. The age at onset, phenotype, and variability of symptoms were compatible with known cases. In one family, the disease was apparently sporadic due to possible incomplete penetrance and/or late age at onset. Our data indicate that SCA12 is also present in Italian patients, and its genetic testing should be applied to both sporadic and familial ataxias.
Movement Disorders 07/2010; 25(9):1269-73. DOI:10.1002/mds.22835 · 5.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aromatase inhibition (AI) is the most effective endocrine treatment for breast cancer in post-menopausal patients, but a percentage of hormone receptor-positive cancers do not benefit from such therapy: for example, about 20% of patients treated with anastrozole do not respond and it is still impossible to accurately predict sensitivity. Our main goal was to identify a robust expression signature predictive of response to neoadjuvant treatment with anastrozole in patients with ER+ breast cancer. At the same time, we addressed the question of delineating treatment effects and possible mechanisms of intrinsic resistance occurring in non-responder patients. We analyzed the transcriptome of 17 tru-cut biopsies before treatment and 13 matched surgical samples after 3 months treatment with anastrozole taken from ER+ breast tumors. Molecular profiles were related to clinical response data. Treatment with anastrozole was associated with a decreased expression of genes relating to cell proliferation and an increased expression of genes relating to inflammatory processes. There was also an enrichment of induction of T-cell anergy, positive regulation of androgen signalling, synaptic transmission and vesicle trafficking in non-responders, and of cell cycle inhibition and induction of immune response in responders. We identified an expression signature of 77 probes (54 genes) that predicted response in 100% of our cases. Five of them were able to accurately predict response on an independent dataset (P = 0.0056) of 52 ER+ breast cancers treated with letrozole. Ten fixed independent samples from the anastrozole study were also used for RT-qPCR validations. This study suggests that a relative small number of genes analysed in a pre-treatment biopsy may identify patients likely to respond to AI neoadjuvant treatment. This may have practical utility translatable to the clinics. Furthermore, it delineates novel mechanisms of intrinsic resistance to AI therapy that could be further investigated in order to explore circumventing treatments.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 06/2010; 121(2):399-411. DOI:10.1007/s10549-010-0887-y · 3.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duplications of lamin B1 (LMNB1) at 5q23 are implicated in adult-onset autosomal dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD) having been described in six families with diverse ethnic background but with a homogeneous phenotype. In a large Italian family, we recently identified a variant form of ADLD characterized clinically by absence of the autonomic dysfunction at onset described in ADLD and, on MRI, by milder cerebellar involvement with sparing of hemispheric white matter. Aim of this study was to investigate the genetic basis of this variant form of ADLD.
We carried out a genome-wide linkage analysis using microsatellite markers, and the genes in the candidate region were screened for point mutations. LMNB1 was also screened for deletions/duplications by real-time PCR, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and Southern blot.
We mapped the variant ADLD locus to 5q23.2-q23.3, a genomic region containing 11 genes including LMNB1. Neither gene copy-number defects nor point mutations in the LMNB1 gene were found. We also excluded point mutations in the coding exons of the other ten genes in the candidate region. However, expression of lamin B1 evaluated in lymphoblastoid cells was higher in patients than in healthy controls, and was similar to the lamin B1 expression levels found in a patient with LMNB1 duplication.
This observation suggests that a mutation in an LMNB1 regulatory sequence underlies the variant ADLD phenotype. Thus, adult forms of ADLD linked to 5q23 appear to be more heterogeneous clinically and genetically than previously thought.
European Journal of Neurology 12/2009; 17(4):541-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-1331.2009.02844.x · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify gene expression changes in melanocytic lesions, biopsies from 18 common nevi (CMN), 11 dysplastic nevi (DN), 8 radial and 15 vertical growth phase melanomas (RGPM, VGPM), and 5 melanoma metastases (MTS) were analyzed using whole genome microarrays. The comparison between CMN and RGPM showed an enrichment of Gene Ontology terms related to inter and intracellular junctions, whereas the transition from RGPM to VGPM underlined the alteration of apoptosis. Upregulation of genes involved in dsDNA break repair and downregulation of cellular adhesion genes were observed in MTS with respect to VGPM. DN exhibited rather heterogeneous molecular profiles, with some proliferation genes expressed at higher levels than in CMN, altered regulation of transcription compared to RGPM and a subset of processes, such as mismatch repair, equally expressed as in VGPM. Furthermore, the expression profile of genes involved into cellular detoxification and antigen presentation split them into two classes, with different proliferation potential. Finally, molecular profiling of individual lesions identified altered biological processes, such as regulation of apoptosis, regulation of transcription and T-cell activation, not associated with specific histological classes but rather with subgroups of samples without apparent relationship. This holds true for dysplastic nevi in particular. Our data indicate that generally the intersection between stage specific and sample specific molecular alterations may lead to a more precise determination of the individual progression risk of melanocytic lesions.
International Journal of Cancer 11/2009; 126(8):1869-81. DOI:10.1002/ijc.24899 · 5.09 Impact Factor