[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large number of computational methods have been developed for analyzing differential gene expression in RNA-seq data. We describe a comprehensive evaluation of common methods using the SEQC benchmark dataset and ENCODE data. We consider a number of key features, including normalization, accuracy of differential expression detection and differential expression analysis when one condition has no detectable expression. We find significant differences among the methods, but note that array-based methods adapted to RNA-seq data perform comparably to methods designed for RNA-seq. Our results demonstrate that increasing the number of replicate samples significantly improves detection power over increased sequencing depth.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatic alterations of the lymphoid transcription factor gene PAX5 (also known as BSAP) are a hallmark of B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), but inherited mutations of PAX5 have not previously been described. Here we report a new heterozygous germline variant, c.547G>A (p.Gly183Ser), affecting the octapeptide domain of PAX5 that was found to segregate with disease in two unrelated kindreds with autosomal dominant B-ALL. Leukemic cells from all affected individuals in both families exhibited 9p deletion, with loss of heterozygosity and retention of the mutant PAX5 allele at 9p13. Two additional sporadic ALL cases with 9p loss harbored somatic PAX5 substitutions affecting Gly183. Functional and gene expression analysis of the PAX5 mutation demonstrated that it had significantly reduced transcriptional activity. These data extend the role of PAX5 alterations in the pathogenesis of pre-B cell ALL and implicate PAX5 in a new syndrome of susceptibility to pre-B cell neoplasia.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Context:Hurthle cell cancer (HCC) is an understudied cancer with poor prognosis.Objective:Our objective was to elucidate the genomic foundations of HCC.Design and Setting:We conducted a large-scale integrated analysis of mutations, gene expression profiles, and copy number alterations in HCC at a single tertiary-care cancer institution.Methods:Mass spectrometry-based genotyping was used to interrogate hot spot point mutations in the most common thyroid oncogenes: BRAF, RET, NRAS, HRAS, KRAS, PIK3CA, MAP2K1, and AKT1. In addition, common oncogenic fusions of RET and NTRK1 as well as PAX8/PPARγ and AKAP9-BRAF were also assessed by RT-PCR. Global copy number changes and gene expression profiles were determined in the same tumor set as the mutational analyses.Results:We report that the mutational, transcriptional, and copy number profiles of HCC were distinct from those of papillary thyroid cancer and follicular thyroid cancer, indicating HCC to be a unique type of thyroid malignancy. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of gene expression showed the 3 groups of Hurthle tumors (Hurthle cell adenoma [HA], minimally invasive Hurthle cell carcinoma [HMIN], and widely invasive Hurthle cell carcinoma [HWIDE] clustered separately with a marked difference between HWIDE and HA. Global copy number analysis also indicated distinct subgroups of tumors that may arise as HWIDE and HMIN. Molecular pathways that differentiate HA from HWIDE included the PIK3CA-Akt-mTOR and Wnt/β-catenin pathways, potentially providing a rationale for new targets for this type of malignancy.Conclusions:Our data provide evidence that HCC may be a unique thyroid cancer distinct from papillary and follicular thyroid cancer.
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 03/2013; · 6.50 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-throughput sequencing of RNA transcripts (RNA-seq) has become the method
of choice for detection of differential expression (DE). Concurrent with the
growing popularity of this technology there has been a significant research
effort devoted towards understanding the statistical properties of this data
and the development of analysis methods. We report on a comprehensive
evaluation of the commonly used DE methods using the SEQC benchmark data set.
We evaluate a number of key features including: assessment of normalization,
accuracy of DE detection, modeling of genes expressed in only one condition,
and the impact of sequencing depth and number of replications on identifying DE
genes. We find significant differences among the methods with no single method
consistently outperforming the others. Furthermore, the performance of
array-based approach is comparable to methods customized for RNA-seq data.
Perhaps most importantly, our results demonstrate that increasing the number of
replicate samples provides significantly more detection power than increased
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A subset of KIT/PDGFRA wild-type gastrointestinal stromal tumors (WT GIST) have been associated with alteration of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex II function. A recent report identified four non-syndromic, KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST harboring compound heterozygous or homozygous mutations in SDHA encoding the main subunit of the SDH complex II. METHODS: Next generation sequencing was applied on five pediatric and one young adult WT GIST, by whole exome capture and SOLiD 3-plus system sequencing. The putative mutations were first confirmed by Sanger sequencing and then screened on a larger panel of 11 pediatric and young adult WT GIST, including 5 in the context of Carney triad. RESULTS: A germline p.Arg31X nonsense SDHA mutation was identified in one of the six cases tested by SOLiD platform. An additional p.D38V missense mutation in SDHA exon 2 was identified by Sanger sequencing in the extended KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST patients cohort. Western blotting showed loss of SDHA expression in the two cases harboring SDHA mutations, while expression being retained in the other WT GIST tumors. Results were further confirmed by immunohistochemistry for both SDHA and SDHB, which showed a concurrent loss of expression of both proteins in SDHA-mutant lesions, while the remaining WT tumors showed only loss of SDHB expression. CONCLUSIONS: Germline and/or somatic aberrations of SDHA occur in a small subset of KIT/PDGFRA WT GISTs, outside the Carney's triad and are associated with loss of both SDHA and SDHB protein expression. Mutations of the SDH complex II are more particularly associated with KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST occurring in young adults. Although pediatric GIST consistently display alterations of SDHB protein expression, further molecular studies are needed to identify the crucial genes involved in their tumorigenesis.
BMC Cancer 09/2012; 12(1):408. · 3.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer drugs often induce dramatic responses in a small minority of patients. We used whole-genome sequencing to investigate the genetic basis of a durable remission of metastatic bladder cancer in a patient treated with everolimus, a drug that inhibits the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signaling pathway. Among the somatic mutations was a loss-of-function mutation in TSC1 (tuberous sclerosis complex 1), a regulator of mTOR pathway activation. Targeted sequencing revealed TSC1 mutations in about 8% of 109 additional bladder cancers examined, and TSC1 mutation correlated with everolimus sensitivity. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using whole-genome sequencing in the clinical setting to identify previously occult biomarkers of drug sensitivity that can aid in the identification of patients most likely to respond to targeted anticancer drugs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Bacteremia is a frequent complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). It is unclear whether changes in the intestinal microbiota during allo-HSCT contribute to the development of bacteremia. We examined the microbiota of patients undergoing allo-HSCT, and correlated microbial shifts with the risk of bacteremia. Methods. Fecal specimens were collected longitudinally from 94 patients undergoing allo-HSCT, from before transplant until 35 days after transplant. The intestinal microbiota was characterized by 454 pyrosequencing of the V1-V3 region of bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA genes. Microbial diversity was estimated by grouping sequences into operational taxonomic units and calculating the Shannon diversity index. Phylogenetic classification was obtained using the Ribosomal Database Project classifier. Associations of the microbiota with clinical predictors and outcomes were evaluated. Results. During allo-HSCT, patients developed reduced diversity, with marked shifts in bacterial populations inhabiting the gut. Intestinal domination, defined as occupation of at least 30% of the microbiota by a single predominating bacterial taxon, occurred frequently. Commonly encountered dominating organisms included Enterococcus, Streptococcus, and various Proteobacteria. Enterococcal domination was increased 3-fold by metronidazole administration, whereas domination by Proteobacteria was reduced 10-fold by fluoroquinolone administration. As a predictor of outcomes, enterococcal domination increased the risk of Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus bacteremia 9-fold, and proteobacterial domination increased the risk of gram-negative rod bacteremia 5-fold. Conclusions. During allo-HSCT, the diversity and stability of the intestinal flora are disrupted, resulting in domination by bacteria associated with subsequent bacteremia. Assessment of fecal microbiota identifies patients at highest risk for bloodstream infection during allo-HCST.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous disease with respect to presentation and clinical outcome. The prognostic value of recently identified somatic mutations has not been systematically evaluated in a phase 3 trial of treatment for AML.
We performed a mutational analysis of 18 genes in 398 patients younger than 60 years of age who had AML and who were randomly assigned to receive induction therapy with high-dose or standard-dose daunorubicin. We validated our prognostic findings in an independent set of 104 patients.
We identified at least one somatic alteration in 97.3% of the patients. We found that internal tandem duplication in FLT3 (FLT3-ITD), partial tandem duplication in MLL (MLL-PTD), and mutations in ASXL1 and PHF6 were associated with reduced overall survival (P=0.001 for FLT3-ITD, P=0.009 for MLL-PTD, P=0.05 for ASXL1, and P=0.006 for PHF6); CEBPA and IDH2 mutations were associated with improved overall survival (P=0.05 for CEBPA and P=0.01 for IDH2). The favorable effect of NPM1 mutations was restricted to patients with co-occurring NPM1 and IDH1 or IDH2 mutations. We identified genetic predictors of outcome that improved risk stratification among patients with AML, independently of age, white-cell count, induction dose, and post-remission therapy, and validated the significance of these predictors in an independent cohort. High-dose daunorubicin, as compared with standard-dose daunorubicin, improved the rate of survival among patients with DNMT3A or NPM1 mutations or MLL translocations (P=0.001) but not among patients with wild-type DNMT3A, NPM1, and MLL (P=0.67).
We found that DNMT3A and NPM1 mutations and MLL translocations predicted an improved outcome with high-dose induction chemotherapy in patients with AML. These findings suggest that mutational profiling could potentially be used for risk stratification and to inform prognostic and therapeutic decisions regarding patients with AML. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others.).
New England Journal of Medicine 03/2012; 366(12):1079-89. · 51.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular events underlying progression of well-differentiated liposarcoma (WDLS) to dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLS) are poorly defined. This study sought to identify copy number alterations (CNA) associated with dedifferentiation of WDLS, with DDLS morphology, and with patient outcomes.
Fifty-five WDLS and 52 DDLS were analyzed using Agilent 244K comparative genomic hybridization and Affymetrix U133A expression arrays. CNAs were identified by RAE analysis. Thirty-nine of the DDLS specimens were categorized morphologically by a single pathologist.
Nine regions of CNA were identified as recurrent in DDLS but not WDLS; 79% of DDLS had at least one of these CNAs. Loss of the chromosome segment 11q23-24, the most common event, was observed only in DDLS that morphologically resembled the genomically complex sarcomas, undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma and myxofibrosarcoma. 11q23-24 loss was itself associated with increased genomic complexity in DDLS. Loss of 19q13, but not 11q23-24, was associated with poor prognosis. Median disease-specific survival was shorter for patients with19q13 loss (27 months) than for patients with diploid 19q13 (>90 months; P < 0.0025), and 19q13 loss was associated with local recurrence (HR, 2.86; P = 0.013). Common copy number losses were associated with transcriptional downregulation of potential tumor suppressors and adipogenesis-related genes (e.g., EI24 and CEBPA).
Dedifferentiation of WDLS is associated with recurrent CNAs in 79% of tumors. In DDLS, loss of 11q23-24 is associated with genomic complexity and distinct morphology whereas loss of 19q13 predicts poor prognosis. CNAs in liposarcoma improve risk stratification for patients and will help identify potential tumor suppressors driving liposarcoma progression.
Clinical Cancer Research 03/2012; 18(5):1334-40. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer gene fusions that encode a chimeric protein are often characterized by an intragenic discontinuity in the RNA\expression levels of the exons that are 5' or 3' to the fusion point in one or both of the fusion partners due to differences in the levels of activation of their respective promoters. Based on this, we developed an unbiased, genome-wide bioinformatic screen for gene fusions using Affymetrix Exon array expression data. Using a training set of 46 samples with different known gene fusions, we developed a data analysis pipeline, the "Fusion Score (FS) model", to score and rank genes for intragenic changes in expression. In a separate discovery set of 41 tumor samples with possible unknown gene fusions, the FS model generated a list of 552 candidate genes. The transcription factor gene NCOA2 was one of the candidates identified in a mesenchymal chondrosarcoma. A novel HEY1-NCOA2 fusion was identified by 5' RACE, representing an in-frame fusion of HEY1 exon 4 to NCOA2 exon 13. RT-PCR or FISH evidence of this HEY1-NCOA2 fusion was present in all additional mesenchymal chondrosarcomas tested with a definitive histologic diagnosis and adequate material for analysis (n = 9) but was absent in 15 samples of other subtypes of chondrosarcomas. We also identified a NUP107-LGR5 fusion in a dedifferentiated liposarcoma but analysis of 17 additional samples did not confirm it as a recurrent event in this sarcoma type. The novel HEY1-NCOA2 fusion appears to be the defining and diagnostic gene fusion in mesenchymal chondrosarcomas.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 02/2012; 51(2):127-39. · 3.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Well-differentiated liposarcoma (WDLS) and dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLS) represent the most common biological group of liposarcoma, and there is a pressing need to develop targeted therapies for patients with advanced disease. To identify potential therapeutic targets, we sought to identify differences in the adipogenic pathways between DDLS, WDLS, and normal adipose tissue. In a microarray analysis of DDLS (n = 84), WDLS (n = 79), and normal fat (n = 23), C/EBPα, a transcription factor involved in cell cycle regulation and differentiation, was underexpressed in DDLS when compared to both WDLS and normal fat (15.2- and 27.8-fold, respectively). In normal adipose-derived stem cells, C/EBPα expression was strongly induced when cells were cultured in differentiation media, but in three DDLS cell lines, this induction was nearly absent. We restored C/EBPα expression in one of the cell lines (DDLS8817) by transfection of an inducible C/EBPα expression vector. Inducing C/EBPα expression reduced proliferation and caused cells to accumulate in G2/M. Under differentiation conditions, the cell proliferation was reduced further, and 66% of the DDLS cells containing the inducible C/EBPα expression vector underwent apoptosis as demonstrated by annexin V staining. These cells in differentiation conditions expressed early adipocyte-specific mRNAs such as LPL and FABP4, but they failed to accumulate intracellular lipid droplets, a characteristic of mature adipocytes. These results demonstrate that loss of C/EBPα is an important factor in suppressing apoptosis and maintaining the dedifferentiated state in DDLS. Restoring C/EBPα may be a useful therapeutic approach for DDLS.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 12/2011; 51(4):313-27. · 3.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We explored diverse alterations contributing to liposarcomagenesis by sequencing the genome, exome, transcriptome, and cytosine methylome of a primary and recurrent dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DLPS) from distinct chemotherapy/radiotherapy-naïve patients. The liposarcoma genomes had complex structural rearrangements, but in different patterns, and with varied effects on the structure and expression of affected genes. While the point mutation rate was modest, integrative analyses and additional screening identified somatic mutations in HDAC1 in 8.3% of DLPS. Liposarcoma methylomes revealed alterations in differentiation pathway genes, including CEBPA methylation in 24% of DLPS. Treatment with demethylating agents, which restored CEBPA expression in DLPS cells, was anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic in vitro and reduced tumor growth in vivo. Both genetic and epigenetic abnormalities established a role for small RNAs in liposarcomagenesis, typified by methylation-induced silencing of microRNA-193b in DLPS but not its well-differentiated counterpart. These findings reveal an unanticipated role for epigenetic abnormalities in DLPS tumors and suggest demethylating agents as potential therapeutics. Significance: Multimodality sequence analysis of DLPS revealed recurrent mutations and epigenetic abnormalities critical to liposarcomagenesis and to the suppression of adipocyte differentiation. Pharmacologic inhibition of DNA methylation promoted apoptosis and differentiated DLPS cells in vitro and inhibited tumor growth in vivo, providing a rationale for investigating methylation inhibitors in this disease.
Cancer Discovery 12/2011; 1(7):587-97. · 10.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insights into cancer genetics can lead to therapeutic opportunities. By cross-referencing chromosomal changes with an unbiased genetic screen we identify the ephrin receptor A7 (EPHA7) as a tumor suppressor in follicular lymphoma (FL). EPHA7 is a target of 6q deletions and inactivated in 72% of FLs. Knockdown of EPHA7 drives lymphoma development in a murine FL model. In analogy to its physiological function in brain development, a soluble splice variant of EPHA7 (EPHA7(TR)) interferes with another Eph-receptor and blocks oncogenic signals in lymphoma cells. Consistent with this drug-like activity, administration of the purified EPHA7(TR) protein produces antitumor effects against xenografted human lymphomas. Further, by fusing EPHA7(TR) to the anti-CD20 antibody (rituximab) we can directly target this tumor suppressor to lymphomas in vivo. Our study attests to the power of combining descriptive tumor genomics with functional screens and reveals EPHA7(TR) as tumor suppressor with immediate therapeutic potential.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gene fusions involving the catalytic domain of tyrosine kinases (TKs) are found in a variety of hematological and solid tumor malignancies. Clinically, TK fusions have emerged as prime targets for therapy with small molecule kinase inhibitors. Unfortunately, identification of TK fusions has been hampered by experimental limitations. Here, we developed version 2.0 of a genomically based systematic kinase fusion screen and used it to detect a novel imatinib-sensitive C6orf204-PDGFRB fusion in a patient with precursor T lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-ALL) and an associated myeloproliferative neoplasm with eosinophilia. These data validate the ability of this targeted capture-sequencing approach to detect TK fusion events in small amounts of DNA extracted directly from patient samples.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 09/2011; 51(1):54-65. · 3.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Common acquired melanocytic nevi are benign neoplasms that are composed of small, uniform melanocytes and are typically present as flat or slightly elevated pigmented lesions on the skin. We describe two families with a new autosomal dominant syndrome characterized by multiple, skin-colored, elevated melanocytic tumors. In contrast to common acquired nevi, the melanocytic neoplasms in affected family members ranged histopathologically from epithelioid nevi to atypical melanocytic proliferations that showed overlapping features with melanoma. Some affected individuals developed uveal or cutaneous melanomas. Segregating with this phenotype, we found inactivating germline mutations of BAP1, which encodes a ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase. The majority of melanocytic neoplasms lost the remaining wild-type allele of BAP1 by various somatic alterations. In addition, we found BAP1 mutations in a subset of sporadic melanocytic neoplasms showing histological similarities to the familial tumors. These findings suggest that loss of BAP1 is associated with a clinically and morphologically distinct type of melanocytic neoplasm.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) that harbor mutations within the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene are sensitive to the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) gefitinib and erlotinib. Unfortunately, all patients treated with these drugs will acquire resistance, most commonly as a result of a secondary mutation within EGFR (T790M). Because both drugs were developed to target wild-type EGFR, we hypothesized that current dosing schedules were not optimized for mutant EGFR or to prevent resistance. To investigate this further, we developed isogenic TKI-sensitive and TKI-resistant pairs of cell lines that mimic the behavior of human tumors. We determined that the drug-sensitive and drug-resistant EGFR-mutant cells exhibited differential growth kinetics, with the drug-resistant cells showing slower growth. We incorporated these data into evolutionary mathematical cancer models with constraints derived from clinical data sets. This modeling predicted alternative therapeutic strategies that could prolong the clinical benefit of TKIs against EGFR-mutant NSCLCs by delaying the development of resistance.
Science translational medicine 07/2011; 3(90):90ra59. · 10.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liposarcoma remains the most common mesenchymal cancer, with a mortality rate of 60% among patients with this disease. To address the present lack of therapeutic options, we embarked upon a study of microRNA (miRNA) expression alterations associated with liposarcomagenesis with the goal of exploiting differentially expressed miRNAs and the gene products they regulate as potential therapeutic targets. MicroRNA expression was profiled in samples of normal adipose tissue, well-differentiated liposarcoma, and dedifferentiated liposarcoma by both deep sequencing of small RNA libraries and hybridization-based Agilent microarrays. The expression profiles discriminated liposarcoma from normal adipose tissue and well differentiated from dedifferentiated disease. We defined over 40 miRNAs that were dysregulated in dedifferentiated liposarcomas in both the sequencing and the microarray analysis. The upregulated miRNAs included two cancer-associated species (miR-21 and miR-26a), and the downregulated miRNAs included two species that were highly abundant in adipose tissue (miR-143 and miR-145). Restoring miR-143 expression in dedifferentiated liposarcoma cells inhibited proliferation, induced apoptosis, and decreased expression of BCL2, topoisomerase 2A, protein regulator of cytokinesis 1 (PRC1), and polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1). The downregulation of PRC1 and its docking partner PLK1 suggests that miR-143 inhibits cytokinesis in these cells. In support of this idea, treatment with a PLK1 inhibitor potently induced G(2)-M growth arrest and apoptosis in liposarcoma cells. Taken together, our findings suggest that miR-143 re-expression vectors or selective agents directed at miR-143 or its targets may have therapeutic value in dedifferentiated liposarcoma.
Cancer Research 06/2011; 71(17):5659-69. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine and disease modeling is complicated by the variation in differentiation properties between lines. In this study, we characterized 13 human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and 26 human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines to identify markers that predict neural differentiation behavior. At a general level, markers previously known to distinguish mouse ESCs from epiblast stem cells (EPI-SCs) correlated with neural differentiation behavior. More specifically, quantitative analysis of miR-371-3 expression prospectively identified hESC and hiPSC lines with differential neurogenic differentiation propensity and in vivo dopamine neuron engraftment potential. Transient KLF4 transduction increased miR-371-3 expression and altered neurogenic behavior and pluripotency marker expression. Conversely, suppression of miR-371-3 expression in KLF4-transduced cells rescued neural differentiation propensity. miR-371-3 expression level therefore appears to have both a predictive and a functional role in determining human pluripotent stem cell neurogenic differentiation behavior.