Sriram Venneti

Institut Claudius Regaud, Tolosa de Llenguadoc, Midi-Pyrénées, France

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Publications (68)

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The revolution in cancer genomics has uncovered a variety of clinically relevant mutations in primary brain tumours, creating an urgent need to develop non-invasive imaging biomarkers to assess and integrate this genetic information into the clinical management of patients. Metabolic reprogramming is a central hallmark of cancer, including brain tumours; indeed, many of the molecular pathways implicated in the pathogenesis of brain tumours result in reprogramming of metabolism. This relationship provides the opportunity to devise in vivo metabolic imaging modalities to improve diagnosis, patient stratification, and monitoring of treatment response. Metabolic phenomena, such as the Warburg effect and altered mitochondrial metabolism, can be leveraged to image brain tumours using techniques including PET and MRI. Moreover, genetic alterations, such as mutations affecting isocitrate dehydrogenase, are associated with unique metabolic signatures that can be detected using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The need to translate our understanding of the molecular features of brain tumours into imaging modalities with clinical utility is growing; metabolic imaging provides a unique platform to achieve this objective. In this Review, we examine the molecular basis for metabolic reprogramming in brain tumours, and examine current non-invasive metabolic imaging strategies that can be used to interrogate these molecular characteristics with the ultimate goal of guiding and improving patient care.
    Article · Jul 2016 · Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology
  • Article · Jul 2016 · Cancer Research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several types of pediatric cancers reportedly contain high-frequency missense mutations in histone H3, yet the underlying oncogenic mechanism remains poorly characterized. Here we report that the H3 lysine 36–to–methionine (H3K36M) mutation impairs the differentiation of mesenchymal progenitor cells and generates undifferentiated sarcoma in vivo. H3K36M mutant nucleosomes inhibit the enzymatic activities of several H3K36 methyltransferases. Depleting H3K36 methyltransferases, or expressing an H3K36I mutant that similarly inhibits H3K36 methylation, is sufficient to phenocopy the H3K36M mutation. After the loss of H3K36 methylation, a genome-wide gain in H3K27 methylation leads to a redistribution of polycomb repressive complex 1 and de-repression of its target genes known to block mesenchymal differentiation. Our findings are mirrored in human undifferentiated sarcomas in which novel K36M/I mutations in H3.1 are identified.
    Article · May 2016 · Science
  • Daniel R. Wahl · Sriram Venneti
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Common pathways and mechanisms can be found in both cancers and inborn errors of metabolism. 2-Hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) acidurias and isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1/2 mutant tumors are examples of this phenomenon. 2-HG can exist in two chiral forms, D(R)-2-HG and L(S)-2-HG, which are elevated in D- and L-acidurias, respectively. D-2-HG was subsequently discovered to be synthesized in IDH 1/2 mutant tumors including ∼70% of intermediate-grade gliomas and secondary glioblastomas (GBM). Recent studies have revealed that L-2-HG is generated in hypoxia in IDH wild-type tumors. Both 2-HG enantiomers have similar structures as α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and can competitively inhibit α-KG-dependent enzymes. This inhibition modulates numerous cellular processes, including histone and DNA methylation, and can ultimately impact oncogenesis. D-2-HG can be detected in vivo in glioma patients and animal models using advanced imaging modalities. Finally, pharmacologic inhibitors of mutant IDH 1/2 attenuate the production of D-2-HG and show great promise as therapeutic agents.
    Article · Nov 2015 · Brain Pathology
  • T. Xu · H. Zhang · S. S. Park · [...] · J.-F. Rual
    Article · Nov 2015 · Neuro-Oncology
  • Sriram Venneti · Paul S. Mischel
    Article · Nov 2015 · Brain Pathology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Differentiating tumor from normal brain is a major barrier to achieving optimal outcome in brain tumor surgery. New imaging techniques for visualizing tumor margins during surgery are needed to improve surgical results. We recently demonstrated the ability of stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy, a nondestructive, label-free optical method, to reveal glioma infiltration in animal models. We show that SRS reveals human brain tumor infiltration in fresh, unprocessed surgical specimens from 22 neurosurgical patients. SRS detects tumor infiltration in near-perfect agreement with standard hematoxylin and eosin light microscopy (kappa = 0.86). The unique chemical contrast specific to SRS microscopy enables tumor detection by revealing quantifiable alterations in tissue cellularity, axonal density, and protein/lipid ratio in tumor-infiltrated tissues. To ensure that SRS microscopic data can be easily used in brain tumor surgery, without the need for expert interpretation, we created a classifier based on cellularity, axonal density, and protein/lipid ratio in SRS images capable of detecting tumor infiltration with 97.5% sensitivity and 98.5% specificity. Quantitative SRS microscopy detects the spread of tumor cells, even in brain tissue surrounding a tumor that appears grossly normal. By accurately revealing tumor infiltration, quantitative SRS microscopy holds potential for improving the accuracy of brain tumor surgery.
    Article · Oct 2015 · Science translational medicine
  • Article · Aug 2015 · Cancer Research
  • Andrew M Intlekofer · Raymond G Dematteo · Sriram Venneti · [...] · Craig B Thompson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatic mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 or 2 (IDH1/2) contribute to the pathogenesis of cancer via production of the "oncometabolite" D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG). Elevated D-2HG can block differentiation of malignant cells by functioning as a competitive inhibitor of α-ketoglutarate (α-KG)-dependent enzymes, including Jumonji family histone lysine demethylases. 2HG is a chiral molecule that can exist in either the D-enantiomer or the L-enantiomer. Although cancer-associated IDH1/2 mutants produce D-2HG, biochemical studies have demonstrated that L-2HG also functions as a potent inhibitor of α-KG-dependent enzymes. Here we report that under conditions of oxygen limitation, mammalian cells selectively produce L-2HG via enzymatic reduction of α-KG. Hypoxia-induced L-2HG is not mediated by IDH1 or IDH2, but instead results from promiscuous substrate usage primarily by lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA). During hypoxia, the resulting increase in L-2HG is necessary and sufficient for the induction of increased methylation of histone repressive marks, including histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9me3). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Article · Jul 2015 · Cell metabolism
  • Conference Paper · Jun 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling promotes the growth and progression of glioblastoma (GBM), a highly aggressive type of brain tumor. We previously reported that decreased miR-218 expression in GBM directly promotes RTK activity by increasing the expression of key RTKs and their signaling mediators, including the RTK epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), phospholipase C-γ1 (PLCγ1), and the kinases PIK3CA and ARAF. However, increased RTK signaling usually activates negative feedback mechanisms to maintain homeostasis. We found that decreased miR-218 expression in GBM cells also increased the expression of genes encoding additional upstream and downstream components of RTK signaling pathways, including the RTK platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα) and the kinases ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) and S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), that collectively overrode the negative feedback mechanism. Furthermore, increased RTK signaling itself suppressed miR-218 expression. Mass spectrometry and DNA pull-down identified binding of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) along with the transcriptional repressor BCL2-associated transcription factor 1 (BCLAF1) directly to the miR-218 locus. These data identify previously unknown feedback loops by which miR-218 repression promotes increased RTK signaling in high-grade gliomas. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    Article · May 2015 · Science Signaling
  • Article · Apr 2015 · Neuro-Oncology
  • Sriram Venneti · Jason T Huse
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low-grade gliomas (LGG) constitute grades I and II tumors of astrocytic and grade II tumors of oligodendroglial lineage. Although these tumors are typically slow growing, they may be associated with significant morbidity and mortality because of recurrence and malignant progression, even in the setting of optimal resection. LGG in pediatric and adult age groups are currently classified by morphologic criteria. Recent years have heralded a molecular revolution in understanding brain tumors, including LGG. Next-generation sequencing has definitively demonstrated that pediatric and adult LGG fundamentally differ in their underlying molecular characteristics, despite being histologically similar. Pediatric LGG show alterations in FGFR1 and BRAF in pilocytic astrocytomas and FGFR1 alterations in diffuse astrocytomas, each converging on the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. Adult LGG are characterized by IDH1/2 mutations and ATRX mutations in astrocytic tumors and IDH1/2 mutations and 1p/19q codeletions in oligodendroglial tumors. TERT promoter mutations are also noted in LGG and are mainly associated with oligodendrogliomas. These findings have considerably refined approaches to classifying these tumors. Moreover, many of the molecular alterations identified in LGG directly impact on prognosis, tumor biology, and the development of novel therapies.
    Article · Mar 2015 · Advances in Anatomic Pathology
  • Sriram Venneti · Mark P Dunphy · Hanwen Zhang · [...] · Craig B Thompson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucose and glutamine are the two principal nutrients that cancer cells use to proliferate and survive. Many cancers show altered glucose metabolism, which constitutes the basis for in vivo positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG). However, (18)F-FDG is ineffective in evaluating gliomas because of high background uptake in the brain. Glutamine metabolism is also altered in many cancers, and we demonstrate that PET imaging in vivo with the glutamine analog 4-(18)F-(2S,4R)-fluoroglutamine ((18)F-FGln) shows high uptake in gliomas but low background brain uptake, facilitating clear tumor delineation. Chemo/radiation therapy reduced (18)F-FGln tumor avidity, corresponding with decreased tumor burden. (18)F-FGln uptake was not observed in animals with a permeable blood-brain barrier or neuroinflammation. We translated these findings to human subjects, where (18)F-FGln showed high tumor/background ratios with minimal uptake in the surrounding brain in human glioma patients with progressive disease. These data suggest that (18)F-FGln is avidly taken up by gliomas, can be used to assess metabolic nutrient uptake in gliomas in vivo, and may serve as a valuable tool in the clinical management of gliomas. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    Article · Feb 2015 · Science translational medicine
  • Article · Jan 2015 · Cancer Research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Choroid plexus tumors (CPTs) are rare neoplasms arising from the choroid plexus epithelium, and occur predominantly in infants and children. CPTs may be associated with TP53 germline mutations (Li–Fraumeni syndrome), but the majority of CPTs are sporadic. Most commonly, CPTs present with signs of increased intracranial pressure; on imaging they are characterized as intraventricular contrast-enhancing masses. Histopathologically, CPTs comprise benign choroid plexus papilloma (CPP, WHO grade I), atypical choroid plexus papilloma (APP, WHO grade II), and malignant choroid plexus carcinoma (CPC, WHO grade III). Complete surgical resection may be curative for CPPs, while CPCs are additionally treated with chemotherapy and radiation. In this chapter we discuss these features in detail, as well as differential diagnosis and immunohistochemical studies. Particular emphasis is placed on the molecular alterations, how they can be detected in the laboratory using immunohistochemistry and molecular testing, and how they may lead to novel-targeted therapeutic approaches.
    Chapter · Jan 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs) are highly aggressive and lethal tumors encountered primarily in the pediatric age group. These tumors are defined by mutations and deletions in the SMARCB1 (SWI/SNF-related matrix-associated actin-dependent regulator of chromatin subfamily B member 1) gene (also referred to as SNF5/BAF47/INI1) or, in very rare cases, other genes related to the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. Histologically, these tumors are variable in their appearance and show a spectrum of features, including characteristic rhabdoid cells and immunohistochemical evidence of polyphenotypic differentiation. We discuss the clinical manifestations including epidemiology, neuroradiologic features, histopathology, differential diagnosis, and immunohistochemical studies that aid in the diagnosis of AT/RT. Emphasis is placed on the molecular genetic alterations encountered in this tumor, how detection of genetic alterations in SMARCB1 can be accomplished in the clinical laboratory using immunohistochemistry and molecular approaches, and how these alterations contribute to the elucidation of the pathogenesis of AT/RT. Finally, we outline the poor clinical prognosis borne by patients with AT/RT and discuss the current and potential new treatment regimens that could be used to treat these deadly tumors.
    Chapter · Jan 2015
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    Sriram Venneti · Mark Dunphy · Hanwen Zhang · [...] · Craig Thompson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glutamine is the most abundant plasma amino acid and many cancers show altered glutamine metabolism. We evaluated glutamine uptake and metabolism in gliomas using PET imaging and biochemical approaches. We demonstrate that glutamine is a key TCA cycle anaplerotic substrate and is metabolized to generate 2-HG in IDH1-mutant gliomas. PET imaging with18F-labeled glutamine (18F-FGln) showed high uptake in gliomas in vivo but low background uptake in the surrounding brain in RCAS-PDGF/PTEN null and IDH1-mutant glioma animal models, facilitating clear tumor delineation in contrast to that seen with 18F-FDG. We did not observe 18F-FGln uptake in animals with neuroinflammation or animals with a disrupted BBB. Further, 18F-FGln uptake was specifically reduced on chemo/radiation therapy. Finally, 18F-FGln showed high avidity in human glioma with low uptake in the surrounding brain. These data suggest that 18F-FGln is specifically taken up by gliomas, can be used to assess the metabolic state of gliomas in vivo and may serve as a valuable tool in the clinical management of gliomas.
    Full-text available · Article · Nov 2014 · Neuro-Oncology
  • Source
    Ji Zhang · Jing Fan · Sriram Venneti · [...] · Craig B Thompson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many cancer cells consume large quantities of glutamine to maintain TCA cycle anaplerosis and support cell survival. It was therefore surprising when RNAi screening revealed that suppression of citrate synthase (CS), the first TCA cycle enzyme, prevented glutamine-withdrawal-induced apoptosis. CS suppression reduced TCA cycle activity and diverted oxaloacetate, the substrate of CS, into production of the nonessential amino acids aspartate and asparagine. We found that asparagine was necessary and sufficient to suppress glutamine-withdrawal-induced apoptosis without restoring the levels of other nonessential amino acids or TCA cycle intermediates. In complete medium, tumor cells exhibiting high rates of glutamine consumption underwent rapid apoptosis when glutamine-dependent asparagine synthesis was suppressed, and expression of asparagine synthetase was statistically correlated with poor prognosis in human tumors. Coupled with the success of L-asparaginase as a therapy for childhood leukemia, the data suggest that intracellular asparagine is a critical suppressor of apoptosis in many human tumors.
    Full-text available · Article · Sep 2014 · Molecular Cell
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pediatric glioblastomas (GBM) are highly aggressive and lethal tumors. Recent sequencing studies have shown that ~30 % of pediatric GBM and ~80 % of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas show K27M mutations in the H3F3A gene, a variant encoding histone H3.3. H3F3A K27M mutations lead to global reduction in H3K27me3. Our goal was to develop biomarkers for the histopathologic detection of these tumors. Therefore, we evaluated the utility of measuring H3K27me3 global reduction as a histopathologic and prognostic biomarker and tested an antibody directed specifically against the H3.3 K27M mutation in 290 samples. The study cohort included 203 pediatric (including 38 pediatric high-grade astrocytomas) and 38 adult brain tumors of various subtypes and grades and 49 non-neoplastic reactive brain tissues. Detection of H3.3 K27M by immunohistochemistry showed 100 % sensitivity and specificity and was superior to global reduction in H3K27me3 as a biomarker in diagnosing H3F3A K27M mutations. Moreover, cases that stained positive for H3.3 K27M showed a significantly poor prognosis compared to corresponding negative tumors. These results suggest that immunohistochemical detection of H3.3 K27M is a sensitive and specific surrogate for the H3F3A K27M mutation and defines a prognostically poor subset of pediatric GBM. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00401-014-1338-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Full-text available · Article · Sep 2014 · Acta Neuropathologica

Publication Stats

1k Citations


  • 2015
    • Institut Claudius Regaud
      Tolosa de Llenguadoc, Midi-Pyrénées, France
    • William Penn University
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2014
    • Keck School of Medicine USC
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2007
    • National Institute of Radiological Sciences
      • Molecular Imagining Center
      Chiba-shi, Chiba-ken, Japan
  • 2006
    • Bangalore University
      Bengalūru, Karnātaka, India
    • University of Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States