[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is considered to display a high degree of intratumor heterogeneity, without any obvious morphological and pathological steps to define sequential evolution, and its progression may vary among individual tumors. In an attempt to elucidate these etiological and phenotypic complexities, the present study, based on the fundamental concept that genomic instability is the engine of both tumor progression and tumor heterogeneity, was conducted to test the hypothesis that breast cancer pathogenesis is driven by double-strand break (DSB)-initiated chromosome instability (CIN). The rationale underlying this hypothesis is derived from the clues provided by family breast cancer syndromes, in which susceptibility genes, including p53, ATM, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are involved within the common functional pathway of DSB-related checkpoint/ repair. Because genomic deletion caused by DSB is reflected in the genetic mechanism of loss of heterozygosity (LOH), this genome-wide LOH study was conducted, using 100 tumors and 400 microsatellite markers. To minimize the effect of heterogeneity within tumors, the experimental technique of laser capture microdissection was used to ensure that genetic and phenotypic examinations were based on the same tumor cells. Support for our hypothesis comes from the observations that: (a) the extent of DSB-initiated CIN in tumors significantly increased as tumors progressed to poorer grades or later stages; (b) in the sequential steps toward CIN, the loci of p53 and ATM, the key checkpoint genes against DSB, were lost at the earliest stage; and (c) many loci identified to be important in breast tumorigenesis were the genomic sites possibly harboring the genes involved in DSB-related checkpoint/repair (including RAD51, RAD52, and BRCA1) or CIN (including FA-A, FA-D, and WRN), and a higher number of these loci showing LOH was significantly associated with increased level of DSB-initiated CIN (P < 0.0001). Breast cancers are thus considered to be sequentially progressive with CIN. However, CIN might also cause genetic heterogeneity, which was revealed by the findings that LOH at some markers was observed only in the component of ductal carcinoma in situ but not in the invasive component of the same tumors. In addition, some markers were found to preferentially lose at specific tumor grades, implying their contribution to genetic heterogeneity during tumor development. Therefore, this study suggests that breast cancer progression is clonal with regard to CIN, but different breast cancers would present distinct molecular profiles resulting from genetic heterogeneity caused by CIN.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amplification of chromosome arm 3q is the most consistent aberration in cervical cancer, and is implicated in the progression of dysplastic uterine cervical cells into invasive cancer. The present study employed the 'positional candidate gene' strategy to determine the contribution of PIK3CA, which is located in 3q26.3, in cervical tumorigenesis. PIK3CA is known to be involved in the PI 3-kinase/AKT signaling pathway, which plays an important role in regulating cell growth and apoptosis. The results of comparative genomic hybridization show that the 3q26.3 amplification was the most consistent chromosomal aberration in primary tissues of cervical carcinoma, and a positive correlation between an increased copy number of PIK3CA (detected by competitive PCR) and 3q26.3 amplification was found in tumor tissues and in cervical cancer cell lines. In cervical cancer cell lines harboring amplified PIK3CA, the expression of gene product (p110alpha) of PIK3CA was increased, and was subsequently associated with high kinase activity. In addition, transformation phenotypes in these lines, including increased cell growth and decreased apoptosis, were found to be significantly affected by the treatment of specific PI 3-kinase inhibitor, suggesting that increased expression of PIK3CA in cervical cancer may result in promoting cell proliferation and reducing apoptosis. These evidences support that PIK3CA is an oncogene in cervical cancer and PIK3CA amplification may be linked to cervical tumorigenesis. Oncogene (2000).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine whether biomarkers such as sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and chromosome aberrations (CAs) can predict cancer development, a nested case-control study was performed in a blackfoot endemic area with a known high cancer risk. A cohort of 686 residents was recruited from three villages in the blackfoot endemic area. Personal characteristics were collected, and venous blood was drawn for lymphocyte culture and stored in a refrigerator. The vital status and cancer development were followed using the National Death Registry, Cancer Registry, and Blackfoot Disease Registry. The follow-up period was from August 1991 to July 1995. During this 4-year period, 31 residents developed various types of cancer. Blood culture samples from nine of these subjects were unsuitable for experiments due to improper storage. Finally, a total of 22 cancer cases had cytogenetic samples that could be analyzed. Twenty-two control subjects were selected from those who did not develop cancer in the study period, and these subjects were matched to cases by sex, age, smoking habits, and residential area. The results showed that there was no significant difference in the frequencies of SCE and chromatid-type CAs between the case and control groups. However, the frequencies of chromosome-type CAs, e.g., chromosome-type gaps, chromosome-type breaks, chromosome-type breaks plus exchanges, total chromosome-type aberrations, and total frequencies of CAs in the case group, were significantly higher than those in the control group (P < 0.05). The odds ratio of cancer risk in subjects with more than zero chromosome-type breaks was 5.0 (95% confidence interval = 1.09-22.82) compared to those with zero chromosomal breaks. The odds ratios for more than zero chromosome-type breaks plus exchanges and a frequency of total chromosome-type aberrations of >1.007% were 11.0 and 12.0, respectively (P < 0.05). Subjects with a total CA frequency of >4.023% had a 9-fold increase for cancer risk. These results indicate that chromosome-type CAs are good biomarkers for the prediction of cancer development, whereas SCEs and chromatid-type CAs cannot predict cancer risk.