[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current clinical judgment in bladder cancer (BC) relies primarily on pathological stage and grade. We investigated whether a molecular classification of tumor cell differentiation, based on a developmental biology approach, can provide additional prognostic information. Exploiting large preexisting gene-expression databases, we developed a biologically supervised computational model to predict markers that correspond with BC differentiation. To provide mechanistic insight, we assessed relative tumorigenicity and differentiation potential via xenotransplantation. We then correlated the prognostic utility of the identified markers to outcomes within gene expression and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue datasets. Our data indicate that BC can be subclassified into three subtypes, on the basis of their differentiation states: basal, intermediate, and differentiated, where only the most primitive tumor cell subpopulation within each subtype is capable of generating xenograft tumors and recapitulating downstream populations. We found that keratin 14 (KRT14) marks the most primitive differentiation state that precedes KRT5 and KRT20 expression. Furthermore, KRT14 expression is consistently associated with worse prognosis in both univariate and multivariate analyses. We identify here three distinct BC subtypes on the basis of their differentiation states, each harboring a unique tumor-initiating population.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2012; 109(6):2078-83. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a pleiotropic transcription factor involved in a variety of physiological processes. STAT3 acts as a key transcriptional determinant of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell self-renewal and plays a pivotal function in early mammalian embryogenesis because the development of many organs requires STAT3 activation. However, little is known about the role of STAT3 function during ES cell differentiation. To answer this question, we built a lentiviral construct with 7-repeat STAT3-binding sequence (enhancer) and minimal TA (promoter) driving renilla luciferase and monomeric red fluorescence protein (Rluc-mRFP), followed by a constitutive cytomegalovirus promoter driving green fluorescent protein as a selection marker. The specificity of our custom-designed 7-repeat STAT3 reporter construct was first confirmed by cotransfection with constitutively active version of STAT3 (STAT3C) into human embryonic kidney 293T cells. Next, a mouse ES cell line stably transduced with STAT3 reporter construct was isolated. This ES cell line showed a tight response in reporter gene expression with leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) induction and was chosen as a developmental model for the STAT3 functional study. Using serial noninvasive bioluminescence imaging, we showed that the onset of embryoid body (EB) formation involved inhibition of STAT3 activity. However, during differentiation, STAT3 activity steadily increased from day 5 to 14 and was reduced by day 21. STAT3 activity was also confirmed separately by Western blots. Finally, phosphorylation of STAT3 was also found to correspond with cardiomyocyte differentiation. In summary, this is the first study to monitor real-time STAT3 activity during ES cell differentiation. This genetically modified line can be used to study the biological role of STAT3 during ES cell differentiation into different derivatives.
Stem cells and development 07/2008; 18(2):205-14. · 4.15 Impact Factor