[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell lines are the foundation for much of the fundamental research into the mechanisms underlying normal biologic processes and disease mechanisms. It is estimated that 15%-35% of human cell lines are misidentified or contaminated, resulting in a huge waste of resources and publication of false or misleading data. Here we evaluate a panel of 96 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays utilizing Fluidigm microfluidics technology for authentication and sex determination of human cell lines. The SNPtrace Panel was tested on 907 human cell lines. Pairwise comparison of these data show the SNPtrace Panel discriminated among identical, related and unrelated pairs of samples with a high degree of confidence, equivalent to short tandem repeat (STR) profiling. We also compared annotated sex calls with those determined by the SNPtrace Panel, STR and Illumina SNP arrays, revealing a high number of male samples are identified as female due to loss of the Y chromosome. Finally we assessed the sensitivity of the SNPtrace Panel to detect intra-human cross-contamination, resulting in detection of as little as 2% contaminating cell population. In conclusion, this study has generated a database of SNP fingerprints for 907 cell lines used in biomedical research and provides a reliable, fast, and economic alternative to STR profiling which can be applied to any human cell line or tissue sample.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a well-known cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but the regulators effectively driving virus production and HCC progression remain unclear. By using genetically engineered mouse models, we show that overexpression of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) accelerated HCC progression, supporting the genomic analysis that an up-regulated HGF signature is associated with poor prognosis in HBV-positive HCC patients. We show that for both liver regeneration and spontaneous HCC development there is an inclusive requirement for MET expression, and when HGF induces autocrine activation the tumor displays sensitivity to a small-molecule Met inhibitor. Our results demonstrate that HGF is a driver of HBV-induced HCC progression and may serve as an effective biomarker for Met-targeted therapy. MET inhibitors are entering clinical trials against cancer, and our data provide a molecular basis for targeting the Met pathway in hepatitis B-induced HCC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A crippling dwarfism was first described in the Miniature Poodle in Great Britain in 1956. Here, we resolve the genetic basis of this recessively inherited disorder. A case-control analysis (8∶8) of genotype data from 173 k SNPs revealed a single associated locus on CFA14 (P(raw) <10(-8)). All affected dogs were homozygous for an ancestral haplotype consistent with a founder effect and an identical-by-descent mutation. Systematic failure of nine, nearly contiguous SNPs, was observed solely in affected dogs, suggesting a deletion was the causal mutation. A 130-kb deletion was confirmed both by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis and by cloning the physical breakpoints. The mutation was perfectly associated in all cases and obligate heterozygotes. The deletion ablated all but the first exon of SLC13A1, a sodium/sulfate symporter responsible for regulating serum levels of inorganic sulfate. Our results corroborate earlier findings from an Slc13a1 mouse knockout, which resulted in hyposulfatemia and syndromic defects. Interestingly, the metabolic disorder in Miniature Poodles appears to share more clinical signs with a spectrum of human disorders caused by SLC26A2 than with the mouse Slc13a1 model. SLC26A2 is the primary sodium-independent sulfate transporter in cartilage and bone and is important for the sulfation of proteoglycans such as aggregan. We propose that disruption of SLC13A1 in the dog similarly causes undersulfation of proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix (ECM), which impacts the conversion of cartilage to bone. A co-dominant DNA test of the deletion was developed to enable breeders to avoid producing affected dogs and to selectively eliminate the mutation from the gene pool.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by the absence of expression of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER-2. Thirty percent of patients recur after first line treatment, and metastatic TNBC (mTNBC) has a poor prognosis with median survival of one year. Here, we present initial analyses of whole genome and transcriptome sequencing data from 14 prospective metastatic mTNBC. We have cataloged the collection of somatic genomic alterations in these advanced tumors; particularly those that might inform targeted therapies. Genes mutated in multiple tumors included TP53, LRP1B, HERC1, CDH5, RB1, and NF1. Notable genes involved in focal structural events were CTNNA1, PTEN, FBXW7, BRCA2, WT1, FGFR1, KRAS, HRAS, ARAF, BRAF, and PGCP. Homozygous deletion of CTNNA1 was detected in 2 of 6 African Americans. RNA sequencing revealed consistent overexpression of the FOXM1 gene, when tumor gene expression was compared to nonmalignant breast samples. Using an outlier analysis of gene expression comparing one cancer to all the others, we detected expression patterns unique to each patient's tumor. Integrative DNA/RNA analysis provided evidence for deregulation of mutated genes, including the monoallelic expression of TP53 mutations. Finally, molecular alterations in several cancers supported targeted therapeutic intervention on clinical trials with known inhibitors, particularly for alterations in the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/MTOR pathways. In conclusion, whole genome and transcriptome profiling of mTNBC have provided insights into somatic events occurring in this difficult to treat cancer. These genomic data have guided patients to investigational treatment trials and provide hypotheses for future trials in this irremediable cancer.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lung cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease in terms of both underlying genetic lesions and response to therapeutic treatments. We performed deep whole genome sequencing and transcriptome sequencing on 19 lung cancer cell lines and 3 lung tumor/normal pairs. Overall, our data show that cell line models exhibit similar mutation spectra to human tumor samples. Smoker and never-smoker cancer samples exhibit distinguishable patterns of mutations. A number of epigenetic regulators, including KDM6A, ASH1L, SMARCA4 and ATAD2, are frequently altered by mutations or copy number changes. A systematic survey of splice-site mutations identified 106 splice site mutations associated with cancer specific aberrant splicing, including mutations in several known cancer-related genes. RAC1b, an isoform of the RAC1 GTPase that includes one additional exon, was found to be preferentially up-regulated in lung cancer. We further show that its expression is significantly associated with sensitivity to a MAP2K (MEK) inhibitor PD-0325901. Taken together, these data present a comprehensive genomic landscape of a large number of lung cancer samples and further demonstrate that cancer-specific alternative splicing is a widespread phenomenon that has potential utility as therapeutic biomarkers. The detailed characterizations of the lung cancer cell lines also provide genomic context to the vast amount of experimental data gathered for these lines over the decades, and represent highly valuable resources for cancer biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pituitary tumor transforming gene (PTTG1) is a recently discovered oncogene implicated in malignant progression of both endocrine and nonendocrine malignancies. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is cytogenetically characterized by chromosome 3p deletions that harbor the ccRCC-related von Hippel-Lindau, PBRM1, BAP1, and SETD2 tumor suppressor genes, along with chromosome 5q amplifications where the significance has been unclear. PTTG1 localizes to the chromosome 5q region where amplifications occur in ccRCC. In this study, we report a functional role for PTTG1 in ccRCC tumorigenesis. PTTG1 was amplified in ccRCC, overexpressed in tumor tissue, and associated with high-grade tumor cells and poor patient prognosis. In preclinical models, PTTG1 ablation reduced tumorigenesis and invasion. An analysis of gene expression affected by PTTG1 indicated an association with invasive and metastatic disease. PTTG1-dependent expression of the RhoGEF proto-oncogene ECT2 was observed in a number of ccRCC cell lines. Moreover, ECT2 expression correlated with PTTG1 expression and poor clinical features. Together, our findings reveal features of PTTG1 that are consistent with its identification of an oncogene amplified on chromsome 5q in ccRCC, where it may offer a novel therapeutic target of pathologic significance in this disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because oncogene MET and EGF receptor (EGFR) inhibitors are in clinical development against several types of cancer, including glioblastoma, it is important to identify predictive markers that indicate patient subgroups suitable for such therapies. We investigated in vivo glioblastoma models characterized by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) autocrine or paracrine activation, or by MET or EGFR amplification, for their susceptibility to MET inhibitors. HGF autocrine expression correlated with high phospho-MET levels in HGF autocrine cell lines, and these lines showed high sensitivity to MET inhibition in vivo. An HGF paracrine environment may enhance glioblastoma growth in vivo but did not indicate sensitivity to MET inhibition. EGFRvIII amplification predicted sensitivity to EGFR inhibition, but in the same tumor, increased copies of MET from gains of chromosome 7 did not result in increased MET activity and did not predict sensitivity to MET inhibitors. Thus, HGF autocrine glioblastoma bears an activated MET signaling pathway that may predict sensitivity to MET inhibitors. Moreover, serum HGF levels may serve as a biomarker for the presence of autocrine tumors and their responsiveness to MET therapeutics.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The receptor tyrosine kinase MET is frequently amplified in human tumors, resulting in high cell surface densities and constitutive activation even in the absence of growth factor stimulation by its endogenous ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). We sought to identify mechanisms of signaling crosstalk that promote MET activation by searching for kinases that are coordinately dysregulated with wild-type MET in human tumors. Our bioinformatic analysis identified leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 (LRRK2), which is amplified and overexpressed in papillary renal and thyroid carcinomas. Down-regulation of LRRK2 in cultured tumor cells compromises MET activation and selectively reduces downstream MET signaling to mTOR and STAT3. Loss of these critical mitogenic pathways induces cell cycle arrest and cell death due to loss of ATP production, indicating that MET and LRRK2 cooperate to promote efficient tumor cell growth and survival in these cancers.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding the signaling pathways that drive aggressive breast cancers is critical to the development of effective therapeutics. The oncogene MET is associated with decreased survival in breast cancer, yet the role that MET plays in the various breast cancer subtypes is unclear. We describe a knockin mouse with mutationally activated Met (Met(mut)) that develops a high incidence of diverse mammary tumors with basal characteristics, including metaplasia, absence of progesterone receptor and ERBB2 expression, and expression of cytokeratin 5. With gene expression and tissue microarray analysis, we show that high MET expression in human breast cancers significantly correlated with estrogen receptor negative/ERBB2 negative tumors and with basal breast cancers. Few treatment options exist for breast cancers of the basal or trastuzumab-resistant ERBB2 subtypes. We conclude from these studies that MET may play a critical role in the development of the most aggressive breast cancers and may be a rational therapeutic target.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While many genetic alterations have been identified in melanoma, the relevant molecular events that contribute to disease progression are poorly understood. Most primary human melanomas exhibit loss of expression of the CDKN2A locus in addition to activation of the canonical mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. In this study, we used a Cdkn2a-deficient mouse melanocyte cell line to screen for secondary genetic events in melanoma tumor progression. Upon investigation, intrachromosomal gene amplification of Met, a receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in melanoma progression, was identified in Cdkn2a-deficient tumors. RNA interference targeting Met in these tumor cells resulted in a significant delay in tumor growth in vivo compared with the control cells. MET expression is rarely detected in primary human melanoma but is frequently observed in metastatic disease. This study validates a role for Met activation in melanoma tumor progression in the context of Cdkn2a deficiency.
Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromosomal abnormalities, such as structural and numerical abnormalities, are a common occurrence in cancer. The close association of homologous chromosomes during interphase, a phenomenon termed somatic chromosome pairing, has been observed in cancerous cells, but the functional consequences of somatic pairing have not been established. Gene expression profiling studies revealed that somatic pairing of chromosome 19 is a recurrent chromosomal abnormality in renal oncocytoma, a neoplasia of the adult kidney. Somatic pairing was associated with significant disruption of gene expression within the paired regions and resulted in the deregulation of the prolyl-hydroxylase EGLN2 [corrected] a key protein that regulates the oxygen-dependent degradation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). Overexpression of EGLN2 [corrected] in renal oncocytoma increased ubiquitin-mediated destruction of HIF and concomitantly suppressed the expression of several HIF-target genes, including the pro-death BNIP3L gene. The transcriptional changes that are associated with somatic pairing of chromosome 19 mimic the transcriptional changes that occur following DNA amplification. Therefore, in addition to numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities, alterations in chromosomal spatial dynamics should be considered as genomic events that are associated with tumorigenesis. The identification of EGLN2 as a significantly deregulated gene that maps within the paired chromosome region directly implicates defects in the oxygen-sensing network to the biology of renal oncocytoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report and characterize the copy number alterations (CNAs) in 35 clear cell and 12 papillary renal cell carcinomas (RCC) using Affymetrix 100K SNP arrays. Novel gain and loss regions are identified in both subtypes. In addition, statistically significant CNA are detected and associated with the pathological features: VHL mutation status, tumor grades, and sarcomatoid component in clear cell RCC and in types 1 and 2 of papillary RCC. Florescence in situ hybridization confirmed the copy number gain in the transforming growth factor, beta-induced gene (TGFBI), which is a possible oncogene for clear cell RCC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromosome instability and aneuploidy are hallmarks of cancer, but it is not clear how changes in the chromosomal content of a cell contribute to the malignant phenotype. Previously we have shown that we can readily isolate highly proliferative tumor cells and their revertants from highly invasive tumor cell populations, indicating how phenotypic shifting can contribute to malignant progression. Here we show that chromosome instability and changes in chromosome content occur with phenotypic switching. Further, we show that changes in the copy number of each chromosome quantitatively impose a proportional change in the chromosome transcriptome ratio. This correlation also applies to subchromosomal regions of derivative chromosomes. Importantly, we show that the changes in chromosome content and the transcriptome favor the expression of a large number of genes appropriate for the specific tumor phenotype. We conclude that chromosome instability generates the necessary chromosome diversity in the tumor cell populations and, therefore, the transcriptome diversity to allow for environment-facilitated clonal expansion and clonal evolution of tumor cell populations.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2007 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences