[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mutation is the most common genetic change in sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). Although deregulations of miRNAs have been frequently reported in this malignancy, APC-regulated miRNAs have not been extensively documented. Here, by using an APC-inducible cell line and array analysis, we identified a total of 26 deregulated miRNAs. Among them, members of miR-17-92 cluster were dramatically inhibited by APC and induced by enforced expression of β-catenin. Furthermore, we demonstrate that activated β-catenin resulted from APC loss binds to and activates the miR-17-92 promoter. Notably, enforced expression of miR-19a overrides APC tumor suppressor activity, and knockdown of miR-19a in cancer cells with compromised APC function reduced their aggressive features in vitro. Finally, we observed that expression of miR-19a significantly correlates with β-catenin levels in colorectal cancer specimens, and it is associated to the aggressive stage of tumor progression. Thus, our study reveals that miR-17-92 cluster is directly regulated by APC/β-catenin pathway and could be a potential therapeutic target in colon cancers with aberrant APC/β-catenin signaling.Oncogene advance online publication, 25 January 2016; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.522.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
We previously found that an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-based gene expression signature was highly correlated to the first principal component (PC1) of 326 colorectal cancer (CRC) tumors and was prognostic. This study was designed to improve these signatures for better prediction of metastasis and outcome.
468 CRC tumors including all stages (I-IV) and metastatic lesions were used to develop a new prognostic score (ΔPC1.EMT) by subtracting the EMT signature score from its correlated PC1 signature score. The score was validated on six other independent datasets with total 3697 tumors.
ΔPC1.EMT was found to be far more predictive of metastasis and outcome than its parent scores. It performed well in Stages I-III, amongst MSI subtypes, and across multiple mutation-based subclasses, demonstrating a refined capacity to predict distant metastatic potential in tumors even with a "good" prognosis. For example, in the PETACC-3 clinical trial dataset it predicted worse overall survival in an adjusted multivariable model for Stage III patients (HR by IQR=1.50, 95%CI=1.25-1.81, P=0.000016, N=644). The improved performance of ΔPC1.EMT was related to its propensity of identifying epithelial-like subpopulations as well as mesenchymal-like subpopulations. Biologically, the signature was correlated positively with RAS signaling but negatively with mitochondrial metabolism. ΔPC1.EMT was a "best of assessed" prognostic score when compared to ten other known prognostic signatures.
The study developed a prognostic signature score with a propensity of detecting non-EMT features, including epithelial cancer stem cell-related properties, thereby improving its potential to predict metastasis and poorer outcome in Stages I-III patients.
Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Clinical Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastasis is thought to be a clonal event whereby a single cell initiates the development of a new tumor at a distant site. However the degree to which primary and metastatic tumors differ on a molecular level remains unclear. To further evaluate these concepts, we used next generation sequencing (NGS) to assess the molecular composition of paired primary and metastatic colorectal cancer tissue specimens.
468 colorectal tumor samples from a large personalized medicine initiative were assessed by targeted gene sequencing of 1,321 individual genes. Eighteen patients produced genomic profiles for 17 paired primary:metastatic (and 2 metastatic:metastatic) specimens.
An average of 33.3 mutations/tumor were concordant (shared) between matched samples, including common well-known genes (APC, KRAS, TP53). An average of 2.3 mutations/tumor were discordant (unshared) among paired sites. KRAS mutational status was always concordant. The overall concordance rate for mutations was 93.5%; however, nearly all (18/19 (94.7%)) paired tumors showed at least one mutational discordance. Mutations were seen in: TTN, the largest gene (5 discordant pairs), ADAMTS20, APC, MACF1, RASA1, TP53, and WNT2 (2 discordant pairs), SMAD2, SMAD3, SMAD4, FBXW7, and 66 others (1 discordant pair).
Whereas primary and metastatic tumors displayed little variance overall, co-evolution produced incremental mutations in both. These results suggest that while biopsy of the primary tumor alone is likely sufficient in the chemotherapy-naïve patient, additional biopsies of primary or metastatic disease may be necessary to precisely tailor therapy following chemotherapy resistance or insensitivity in order to adequately account for tumor evolution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) are pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) precursors. Differentiating between high-risk IPMNs that warrant surgical resection and low-risk IPMNs that can be monitored is a significant clinical problem, and we sought to discover a panel of mi(cro)RNAs that accurately classify IPMN risk status.
In a discovery phase, genome-wide miRNA expression profiling was performed on 28 surgically-resected, pathologically-confirmed IPMNs (19 high-risk, 9 low-risk) using Taqman MicroRNA Arrays. A validation phase was performed in 21 independent IPMNs (13 high-risk, 8 low-risk). We also explored associations between miRNA expression level and various clinical and pathological factors and examined genes and pathways regulated by the identified miRNAs by integrating data from bioinformatic analyses and microarray analysis of miRNA gene targets. Six miRNAs (miR-100, miR-99b, miR-99a, miR-342-3p, miR-126, miR-130a) were down-regulated in high-risk versus low-risk IPMNs and distinguished between groups (P<10-3, area underneath the curve (AUC) = 87%). The same trend was observed in the validation phase (AUC = 74%). Low miR-99b expression was associated with main pancreatic duct involvement (P = 0.021), and serum albumin levels were positively correlated with miR-99a (r = 0.52, P = 0.004) and miR-100 expression (r = 0.49, P = 0.008). Literature, validated miRNA:target gene interactions, and pathway enrichment analysis supported the candidate miRNAs as tumor suppressors and regulators of PDAC development. Microarray analysis revealed that oncogenic targets of miR-130a (ATG2B, MEOX2), miR-342-3p (DNMT1), and miR-126 (IRS-1) were up-regulated in high- versus low-risk IPMNs (P<0.10).
This pilot study highlights miRNAs that may aid in preoperative risk stratification of IPMNs and provides novel insights into miRNA-mediated progression to pancreatic malignancy. The miRNAs identified here and in other recent investigations warrant evaluation in biofluids in a well-powered prospective cohort of individuals newly-diagnosed with IPMNs and other pancreatic cysts and those at increased genetic risk for these lesions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Recent data have suggested that regular aspirin use improves overall and cancer-specific survival in the subset of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients harboring PIK3CA mutations. However, the number of PIK3CA-mutated CRC patients examined in these studies was modest. Our collaborative study aims to validate the association between regular aspirin use and survival in patients with PIK3CA-mutated CRC.
Patients and methods:
Patients with PIK3CA-mutated CRC were identified at Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC) in the United States and Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) in Australia. Prospective clinicopathological data and survival data were available. At MCC, PIK3CA mutations were identified by targeted exome sequencing using the Illumina GAIIx Next Generation Sequencing platform. At RMH, Sanger sequencing was utilized. Multivariate survival analyses were conducted using Cox logistic regression.
From a cohort of 1487 CRC patients, 185 patients harbored a PIK3CA mutation. Median age of patients with PIK3CA-mutated tumors was 72 years (range: 34-92) and median follow up was 54 months. Forty-nine (26%) patients used aspirin regularly. Regular aspirin use was not associated with improved overall survival (multivariate HR 0.96, p = 0.86). There was a trend towards improved cancer-specific survival (multivariate HR 0.60, p = 0.14), but this was not significant.
Despite examining a large number of patients, we did not confirm that regular aspirin use was associated with statistically significant improvements in survival in PIK3CA-mutated CRC patients. Prospective evaluation of this relationship is warranted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Senescence-associated genes (SAGs) are responsible for the senescence-associated secretory phenotype, linked in turn to cellular aging, the aging brain, and the pathogenesis of cancer. Objective: We hypothesized that senescence-associated genes are overexpressed in older patients, in higher grades of glioma, and portend a poor prognosis. Methods: Forty-seven gliomas were arrayed on a custom version of the Affymetrix HG-U133 + 2.0 GeneChip, for expression of fo(u)rteen senescence-associated genes: CCL2, CCL7, CDKN1A, COPG, CSF2RB, CXCL1, ICAM-1, IGFBP-3, IL-6, IL-8, SAA4, TNFRSF-11B, TNFSF-11 and TP53. A combined "senescence score" was generated using principal component analysis to measure the combined effect of the senescence-associated gene signature. Results: An elevated senescence score correlated with older age (r = 0.37; P = .01) as well as a higher degree of malignancy, as determined by WHO, histological grade (r = 0.49; P < .001). There was a mild association with poor prognosis (P = .06). Gliosarcomas showed the highest scores. Six genes independently correlated with either age (IL-6, TNFRSF-11B, IGFBP-3, SAA4, and COPG), prognosis (IL-6, SAA4), or the grade of the glioma (IL-6, IL-8, ICAM-1, IGFBP-3, and COPG). Conclusion: We report: 1) a novel molecular signature in human gliomas, based on cellular senescence, translating the concept of SAG to human cancer, 2) the senescence signature is composed of genes central to the pathogenesis of gliomas, defining a novel, aggressive subtype of glioma; and 3) these genes provide prognostic biomarkers, as well as targets, for drug discovery and immunotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims Based on KRAS testing, the subset of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) that could benefit from anti-EGFR therapy can be better delineated. Though KRAS testing has become significantly more prevalent over the last few years, methods for testing remain heterogeneous and discordance has been reported between methods.
Methods In this study, we examined a CRC patient population and compared KRAS testing done in Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) approved laboratories as part of standard clinical care and by next-generation sequencing (NGS) using the Illumina platform. Discordances were further evaluated with manual review of the NGS testing.
Results Out of 468 CRC patient samples, 77 had KRAS testing done by both CLIA assay and NGS. There were concordant results between testing methodologies in 74 out of 77 patients, or 96% (95% CI 89% to 99%). There were three patient samples that showed discordant results between the two methods of testing. Upon further investigation of the NGS results for the three discordant cases, one sample showed a low level of the mutation seen in the standard testing, one sample showed low tumour fraction and a third did not show any evidence of the mutation that was found with the standard assay. Five patients had KRAS mutations not typically tested with standard testing.
Conclusions Overall there was a high concordance rate between NGS and standard testing for KRAS. However, NGS revealed mutations that are not tested for with standard KRAS assays that might have clinical impact with regards to the role for anti-EGFR therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key developmental program that is often activated during cancer progression and may promote resistance to therapy. An analysis of patients (n = 71) profiled with both gene expression and a global microRNA assessment (∼415 miRs) identified miR-147 as highly anti-correlated with an EMT gene expression signature score and postulated to reverse EMT (MET).
miR-147 was transfected into colon cancer cells (HCT116, SW480) as well as lung cancer cells (A-549). The cells were assessed for morphological changes, and evaluated for effects on invasion, motility, and the expression of key EMT markers. Resistance to chemotherapy was evaluated by treating cells with gefitinib, an EGFR inhibitor. The downstream genes regulated by miR-147 were assayed using the Affymetrix GeneChip U133 Plus2.0 platform. miR-147 was identified to: 1. cause MET primarily by increasing the expression of CDH1 and decreasing that of ZEB1; 2. inhibit the invasion and motility of cells; 3. cause G1 arrest by up-regulating p27 and down-regulating cyclin D1. miR-147 also dramatically reversed the native drug resistance of the colon cancer cell line HCT116 to gefitinib. miR-147 significantly repressed Akt phosphorylation, and knockdown of Akt with siRNA induced MET. The morphologic effects of miR-147 on cells appear to be attenuated by TGF-B1, promoting a plastic and reversible transition between MET and EMT.
miR-147 induced cancer cells to undergo MET and induced cell cycle arrest, suggesting a potential tumor suppressor role. miR-147 strikingly increased the sensitivity to EGFR inhibitor, gefitinib in cell with native resistance. We conclude that miR-147 might have therapeutic potential given its ability to inhibit proliferation, induce MET, as well as reverse drug sensitivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a set of 26 finite quandles that distinguish (up to reversal and
mirror image) by number of colorings, all of the 2977 prime oriented knots with
up to 12 crossings. We also show that 1058 of these knots can be distinguished
from their mirror images by the number of colorings by quandles from a certain
set of 23 finite quandles. We study the colorings of these 2977 knots by all of
the 431 connected quandles of order at most 35 found by L. Vendramin. Among
other things, we collect information about quandles that have the same number
of colorings for all of the 2977 knots. For example, we prove that if $Q$ is a
simple quandle of prime power order then $Q$ and the dual quandle $Q^*$ of $Q$
have the same number of colorings for all knots and conjecture that this holds
for all Alexander quandles $Q$. We study a knot invariant based on a quandle
homomorphism $f:Q_1\to Q_0$. We also apply the quandle colorings we have
computed to obtain some new results for the bridge index, the Nakanishi index,
the tunnel number, and the unknotting number. In an appendix we discuss various
properties of the quandles in Vendramin's list. Links to the data computed and
various programs in C, GAP and Maple are provided.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Notch signaling pathway plays a significant role in differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, and stem cell processes. It is essential for maintenance of the normal colon crypt and has been implicated in colorectal cancer oncogenesis. Downregulation of the Notch pathway through gamma-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) has been shown to induce apoptosis and enhance response to chemotherapy in a variety of malignancies. In this study, we analyzed the effect of MRK-003 (Merck), a potent inhibitor of gamma-secretase, on oxaliplatin-induced apoptosis in colon cancer. Unexpectedly, gamma-secretase inhibition reduced oxaliplatin-induced apoptosis while GSI treatment alone was shown to have no effect on growth or apoptosis. We determined that the underlying mechanism of action involved an increase in protein levels of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members Mcl-1 and/or Bcl-xL which resulted in reduced Bax and Bak activation. Blocking of Mcl-1 and/or Bcl-xL through siRNA or the small molecule inhibitor obatoclax restored the apoptotic potential of cells treated with both oxaliplatin and MRK-003. Moreover, obatoclax synergized with MRK-003 alone to induce apoptosis. Our findings warrant caution when treating colon cancer with the combination of GSIs and chemotherapy, whereas other drug combinations, such as GSIs plus obatoclax, should be explored.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-secreting hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) represent a genetically distinct subset of tumors often associated with a worse prognosis. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie these phenotypic differences remain poorly understood.
HCC tumor samples from 27 patients were profiled using the Affymetrix 133 Plus 2.0 GeneChips. GeneGO Metacore software was used to identify altered biologic pathways. Expression validation was confirmed by RT-PCR. Manipulation of miR-675 by overexpression and antagomir-mediated knockdown was carried out with subsequent evaluation of effects on cell behavior by cell cycle, proliferation, invasion, and growth in soft agar assays.
We identified a strong relationship between primary tumor H19 gene expression and elevated serum AFP. H19 has recently been identified to encode microRNA-675 (miR-675), and we confirmed the relationship in an independent sample of patients. Pathway analyses of the effect of miR-675 overexpression in hepatoma cells revealed a predominant upregulation of cell adhesion and cell cycle initiation pathways. We have demonstrated that miR-675 mediates increases in proliferation and an accumulation of cells with tetraploid DNA content associated with a repression of Rb. We also demonstrated that overexpression of miR-675 alters cellular morphology, reduces invasive potential, and increases anchorage-independent growth capacity. These findings are consistent with a mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition, associated with a reduction in the expression of the key EMT mediator, Twist1.
Expression of the miR-675 in hepatocellular carcinoma links a dramatic upregulation of proliferative and growth capacity with inhibition of motility in HCC cells.
No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Annals of Surgical Oncology