Gene Summary

Gene:CHGA; chromogranin A
Aliases: CGA
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the chromogranin/secretogranin family of neuroendocrine secretory proteins. It is found in secretory vesicles of neurons and endocrine cells. This gene product is a precursor to three biologically active peptides; vasostatin, pancreastatin, and parastatin. These peptides act as autocrine or paracrine negative modulators of the neuroendocrine system. Two other peptides, catestatin and chromofungin, have antimicrobial activity and antifungal activity, respectively. Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2014]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: CHGA (cancer-related)

Dugnani E, Sordi V, Pellegrini S, et al.
Gene expression analysis of embryonic pancreas development master regulators and terminal cell fate markers in resected pancreatic cancer: A correlation with clinical outcome.
Pancreatology. 2018; 18(8):945-953 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite the recent introduction of new drugs and the development of innovative multi-target treatments, the prognosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains very poor. Even when PDAC is resectable, the rate of local or widespread disease recurrence remains particularly high. Currently, reliable prognostic biomarkers of recurrence are lacking. We decided to explore the potential usefulness of pancreatic developmental regulators as biomarkers of PDAC relapse.
METHODS: We analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR the mRNA of selected factors involved either in pancreatic organogenesis (ISL1, NEUROD1, NGN3, NKX2.2, NKX6.1, PAX4, PAX6, PDX1 and PTF1α) or associated with terminally committed pancreatic cells (CHGA, CHGB, GAD2, GCG, HNF6α, INS, KRT19, SYP) in 17 PDAC cell lines and in frozen tumor samples from 41 PDAC patients.
RESULTS: High baseline levels of the ISL1, KRT19, PAX6 and PDX1 mRNAs in PDAC cell lines, were risk factors for time-dependent xenograft appearance after subcutaneous injection in CD1-Nude mice. Consistently, in human PDAC samples, high levels of KRT19 mRNA were associated with reduced overall survival and earlier recurrence. Higher levels of PDX1 or PAX6 mRNAs were instead associated with a higher frequency of local recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that selected factors associated with pancreas development or its terminal differentiation might be implicated in mechanisms of PDAC progression and/or metastatic spread and that the measurement of their mRNA in tumors might be potentially used to improve patient prognostic stratification and prediction of the relapse site.

Li Y, Zhang Q, Lovnicki J, et al.
SRRM4 gene expression correlates with neuroendocrine prostate cancer.
Prostate. 2019; 79(1):96-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) is an aggressive subtype of castrate-resistant prostate cancer characterized by poor patient outcome. Whole transcriptome sequencing analyses identified a NEPC-specific RNA splicing program that is predominantly controlled by the SRRM4 gene, suggesting that SRRM4 drives NEPC development. However, whether SRRM4 expression in patients may aid pathologists in diagnosing NEPC and predicting patient survival remains to be determined. In this study, we have applied RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry assays to measure the expressions of SRRM4, NEPC markers (SYP, CD56, and CHGA), and adenocarcinoma (AdPC) markers (AR, PSA) in a series of tissue microarrays constructed from castrate-resistant prostate tumors, treatment-naïve tumors collected from radical prostatectomy, and tumors treated with neoadjuvant hormonal therapy (NHT) for 0-12 months. Three pathologists also independently evaluated tumor histology and NEPC marker status. Here, we report that SRRM4 in castrate-resistant tumors is highly expressed in NEPC, strongly correlated with SYP, CD56, and CHGA expressions (Pearson correlation r = 0.883, 0.675, and 0.881; P < 0.0001) and negatively correlated with AR and PSA expressions (Pearson correlation r = -0.544 and -0.310; P < 0.05). Overall survival is 12.3 months for patients with SRRM4 positive tumors, comparing to 23 months for patients with SRRM4 negative tumors. In treatment-naïve AdPC, low SRRM4 expression is detected in ∼16% tumor cores. It correlates with SYP and CHGA expressions, but not Gleason scores. AdPC treated with >7 month NHT has significantly higher SRRM4 expression. Based on these findings, we conclude that SRRM4 expression in castrate-resistant tumors is highly correlated with NEPC and poor patient survival. It may serve as a diagnosis and prognosis biomarker of NEPC.

Zhang D, Xie C, Wang R, et al.
Effective preparation of a monoclonal antibody against human chromogranin A for immunohistochemical diagnosis.
BMC Biotechnol. 2018; 18(1):25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human chromogranin A (CgA) is a ~ 49 kDa secreted protein mainly from neuroendocrine cells and endocrine cells. The CgA values in the diagnosis of tumor, and in the potential role in prognostic and predictive tumor as a biomarker.
RESULTS: The synthesized gene of CgA coding area was cloned and expressed as fusion protein CgA-His in procaryotic system. Then the purified CgA-His protein was mixed with QuickAntibody-Mouse5W adjuvant, and injected into mice. The CgA-His protein was also used as coating antigen to determine the antiserum titer. By screening, a stable cell line named 4E5, which can generate anti-CgA monoclonal antibody (mAb), was obtained. The isotype of 4E5 mAb was IgG
CONCLUSIONS: A sensitive and reliable method was successfully developed for rapid production of anti-CgA mAb for immunohistochemistry diagnosis in this study, and the current study also provides conclusive guidelines for preparation of mAbs and implements in immunohistochemistry diagnosis.

Corsello A, Di Filippo L, Massironi S, et al.
Vasostatin-1: A novel circulating biomarker for ileal and pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(5):e0196858 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chromogranin A (CgA) is a plasma biomarker widely used in the follow-up of patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs). However, its accuracy as a tumor biomarker is relatively low because plasma CgA can increase also in patients with other diseases or in subjects treated with proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of widely-used drugs.
METHODS: In the attempt to identify a more reliable biomarker for NENs, we investigated, by ELISA, the circulating levels of full-length CgA (CgA1-439) and of various CgA-derived fragments in 17 patients with ileal or pancreatic NENs, 10 healthy controls, and 21 healthy volunteers before and after treatment with PPIs.
RESULTS: Patients with ileal or pancreatic NENs showed increased plasma levels of total-CgA and CgA1-76 fragment (vasostatin-1, VS-1) compared to controls [median (25th-75th-percentiles); total-CgA: 1.85 nM (1.01-4.28) vs 0.75 nM (0.52-0.89), p = 0.004; VS-1: 2.76 nM (1.09-7.10) vs 0.29 nM (0.26-0.32), p<0.001, respectively], but not of CgA1-439 or CgA1-373 fragment. VS-1 positively correlated with total-CgA (r = 0.65, p<0.001). The Receiver Operating Characteristic area under the curve was 0.9935 for VS-1 and 0.8824 for total-CgA (p = 0.067). Treatment of patients with somatostatin analogues decreased both total-CgA and VS-1. In contrast, administration of PPIs increased the plasma levels of total-CgA, but not of VS-1.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that plasma VS-1 is a novel biomarker for ileal and pancreatic NENs. Considering that VS-1 is a well-defined fragment not induced by proton-pump inhibitors, this polypeptide might represent a biomarker for NENs diagnosis and follow-up more accurate and easier to standardize than CgA.

Bodei L, Kidd MS, Singh A, et al.
PRRT genomic signature in blood for prediction of
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2018; 45(7):1155-1169 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) utilizes somatostatin receptor (SSR) overexpression on neuroendocrine tumors (NET) to deliver targeted radiotherapy. Intensity of uptake at imaging is considered related to efficacy but has low sensitivity. A pretreatment strategy to determine individual PRRT response remains a key unmet need. NET transcript expression in blood integrated with tumor grade provides a PRRT predictive quotient (PPQ) which stratifies PRRT "responders" from "non-responders". This study clinically validates the utility of the PPQ in NETs.
METHODS: The development and validation of the PPQ was undertaken in three independent
RESULTS: In the developmental cohort, 56% responded to PRRT. The PPQ predicted 100% of responders and 84% of non-responders (accuracy: 93%). In the two validation cohorts (response: 64-79%), the PPQ was 95% accurate (Bad Berka: PPQ + =97%, PPQ- = 93%; Rotterdam: PPQ + =94%, PPQ- = 100%). Overall, the median PFS was not reached in PPQ+ vs PPQ- (10-14 months; HR: 18-77, p < 0.0001). In the comparator cohorts, the predictor (PPQ) was 47-50% accurate for SSA-treatment and 50% as a prognostic. No differences in PFS were respectively noted (PPQ+: 10-12 months vs. PPQ-: 9-15 months).
CONCLUSION: The PPQ derived from circulating NET specific genes and tumor grade prior to the initiation of therapy is a highly specific predictor of the efficacy of PRRT with an accuracy of 95%.

He XR, Liu Z, Wei J, et al.
Primary desmoplastic small round cell tumor in the left orbit: a case report and literature review.
Int Ophthalmol. 2019; 39(2):471-475 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Desmoplastic small round cell tumor is a rare malignant neoplasm that most often occurs in the abdomen or pelvis of young men. We herein describe a rare case of desmoplastic small round cell tumor arising from the left orbit in a 16-year-old male.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A biopsy was performed and the histology showed the nests of tumor cells with small round cell morphology. The tumor cells showed immunopositivity for desmin, CD99, CD56, SMA, NSE, CgA, SYN, Ki67 and vimentin. Fluorescence in situ hybridization study using EWSR1 break-apart probe was positive for EWSR1 gene rearrangement. After complete surgical resection of the tumor, we did not find tumor recurrence or metastasis with one-year follow-up. Furthermore, a review of the relevant English literature has been discussed.
CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, for the first time, we report a case of desmoplastic small round cell tumor which is located in the orbital region.

Mjønes P, Nordrum IS, Sørdal Ø, et al.
Expression of the Cholecystokinin-B Receptor in Neoplastic Gastric Cells.
Horm Cancer. 2018; 9(1):40-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer is an important disease due to its high mortality. Despite the decline in frequency, most cases are discovered late in its course, and most of the cancer patients die within a few years of diagnosis. In addition to Helicobacter pylori gastritis, gastrin is considered an important factor in the development of this disease, and thus, cholecystokinin-B receptor (CCKBR) becomes of interest. The aim of our study was to explore whether CCKBR is expressed in stomach cancers. Thirty-seven tumors from 19 men and 18 women diagnosed with either adenocarcinoma or neuroendocrine neoplasm (NENs) were included in this study. The tumors were classified into 29 adenocarcinomas and eight NENs. Immunohistochemistry with antibodies against chromogranin A (CgA), synaptophysin and CCKBR, and in situ hybridization with probes against CgA, CCKBR and histidine decarboxylase were used to further explore these tumors. Thirty-three (89%) of the tumors expressed CCKBR protein, whereas only 20 (54%) of all tumors expressed CCKBR mRNA. Of the 20 tumors expressing CCKBR mRNA, eight were NENs and 12 were adenocarcinoma. The highest amount of CCKBR was expressed in NEN. Interestingly, a high degree of co-expression of CCKBR and CgA was observed when the two markers were examined together with in situ hybridization. In conclusion, we found that all eight NENs expressed CCKBR and neuroendocrine markers in a majority of tumor cells. The same markers were also expressed in a proportion of adenocarcinomas supporting the view that gastrin is important in the development of gastric cancer.

Mjønes P, Sagatun L, Nordrum IS, Waldum HL
Neuron-Specific Enolase as an Immunohistochemical Marker Is Better Than Its Reputation.
J Histochem Cytochem. 2017; 65(12):687-703 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The diagnosis of neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) may be challenging and is based on typical morphological features and positive staining for antibodies of neuroendocrine differentiation. Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) being a cytosolic marker may be useful in this setting. NSE is by many considered nonspecific, due to the finding of this marker in tumors considered not to be of neuroendocrine origin. Our aim was to determine whether this is true and whether NSE is more specific than previously realized. We examined 178 tumors (carcinomas and NENs) from breast, lung, stomach, and kidney using immunohistochemistry with the following markers: chromogranin A, synaptophysin, CD56, secretagogin, and NSE. Expression of NSE was compared with that of the other markers. NSE was expressed in 138 (78%) of all tumors. Of the NSE-expressing tumors, 95 (68%) cases expressed one or more additional neuroendocrine markers. The staining intensity and number of NSE-expressing tumor cells were highest among tumors of neuroendocrine origin and clear cell renal cell carcinomas. A positive association was found between NSE expression and the number of additional neuroendocrine markers expressed in each of the tumors. Practically all tumors positive for an accepted neuroendocrine marker also expressed NSE.

Billon P, Bryant EE, Joseph SA, et al.
CRISPR-Mediated Base Editing Enables Efficient Disruption of Eukaryotic Genes through Induction of STOP Codons.
Mol Cell. 2017; 67(6):1068-1079.e4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Standard CRISPR-mediated gene disruption strategies rely on Cas9-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Here, we show that CRISPR-dependent base editing efficiently inactivates genes by precisely converting four codons (CAA, CAG, CGA, and TGG) into STOP codons without DSB formation. To facilitate gene inactivation by induction of STOP codons (iSTOP), we provide access to a database of over 3.4 million single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) for iSTOP (sgSTOPs) targeting 97%-99% of genes in eight eukaryotic species, and we describe a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay that allows the rapid detection of iSTOP-mediated editing in cell populations and clones. To simplify the selection of sgSTOPs, our resource includes annotations for off-target propensity, percentage of isoforms targeted, prediction of nonsense-mediated decay, and restriction enzymes for RFLP analysis. Additionally, our database includes sgSTOPs that could be employed to precisely model over 32,000 cancer-associated nonsense mutations. Altogether, this work provides a comprehensive resource for DSB-free gene disruption by iSTOP.

Xing D, Suryo Rahmanto Y, Zeppernick F, et al.
Mutation of NRAS is a rare genetic event in ovarian low-grade serous carcinoma.
Hum Pathol. 2017; 68:87-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Activating mutations involving the members of the RAS signaling pathway, including KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF, have been reported in ovarian low-grade serous carcinoma and its precursor lesion, serous borderline tumor (SBT). Whether additional genetic alterations in the RAS oncogene family accumulate during the progression of SBT to invasive low-grade serous carcinoma (LGSC) remains largely unknown. Although mutations of KRAS and BRAF occur at a very early stage of progression, even preceding the development of SBT, additional driving events, such as NRAS mutations, have been postulated to facilitate progression. In this study, we analyzed NRAS exon 3 mutational status in 98 cases that were diagnosed with SBT/atypical proliferative serous tumor, noninvasive LGSC, or invasive LGSC. Of the latter, NRAS Q61R (CAA to CGA) mutations were detected in only 2 of 56 (3.6%) cases. The same mutation was not detected in any of the SBTs (atypical proliferative serous tumors) or noninvasive LGSCs. Mutational analysis for hotspots in KRAS and BRAF demonstrated a wild-type pattern of KRAS and BRAF in one of the NRAS-mutated cases. Interestingly, another LGSC case with NRAS mutation harbored a concurrent BRAF V600L mutation. These findings indicate that, although recurrent NRAS mutations are present, their low prevalence indicates that NRAS plays a limited role in the development of LGSC. Further studies to identify other oncogenic events that drive LGSC progression are warranted.

Tanigawa M, Nakayama M, Taira T, et al.
Insulinoma-associated protein 1 (INSM1) is a useful marker for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.
Med Mol Morphol. 2018; 51(1):32-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Insulinoma-associated protein 1 (INSM1) is an important biomarker of Achaete-scute homolog-like 1-driven pathways. For diagnosis of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNET), chromogranin A (CGA), synaptophysin (SYP), and neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) were also considered as potential biomarkers. However, it is often difficult to diagnose it immunohistochemically. Hence, we examined the expression pattern of INSM1 in pancreatic solid tumors. We detected INSM1, CGA, SYP, and NCAM immunohistochemically, in 27 cases of NET [pure type: 25 cases, mixed adenoneuroendocrine carcinoma (MANEC): 2 cases]. We included 5 cases of solid-pseudopapillary neoplasm (SPN), 7 cases of acinar cell carcinoma (ACC), and 15 cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) as the control group. Nuclear expression of INSM1 was found in all PanNET pure type cases. However, expression of INSM1 was negative in PDAC, ACC, and SPN in all cases, whereas faint expression was seen in the cytoplasm from SPN. MANEC comprises of two components: neuroendocrine carcinoma and adenocarcinoma components. The NET component was positive for INSM1 expression, whereas the PDAC component does not express INSM1, which aids in distinguishing these components. Our results suggest that INSM1 is a useful immunohistochemical marker for diagnosing pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.

Marachelian A, Villablanca JG, Liu CW, et al.
Expression of Five Neuroblastoma Genes in Bone Marrow or Blood of Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Neuroblastoma Provides a New Biomarker for Disease and Prognosis.
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(18):5374-5383 [PubMed] Related Publications

Hu X, Martinez-Ledesma E, Zheng S, et al.
Multigene signature for predicting prognosis of patients with 1p19q co-deletion diffuse glioma.
Neuro Oncol. 2017; 19(6):786-795 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: Co-deletion of 1p and 19q marks a diffuse glioma subtype associated with relatively favorable overall survival; however, heterogeneous clinical outcomes are observed within this category.
Methods: We assembled gene expression profiles and sample annotation of 374 glioma patients carrying the 1p/19q co-deletion. We predicted 1p/19q status using gene expression when annotation was missing. A first cohort was randomly split into training (n = 170) and a validation dataset (n = 163). A second validation set consisted of 41 expression profiles. An elastic-net penalized Cox proportional hazards model was applied to build a classifier model through cross-validation within the training dataset.
Results: The selected 35-gene signature was used to identify high-risk and low-risk groups in the validation set, which showed significantly different overall survival (P = .00058, log-rank test). For time-to-death events, the high-risk group predicted by the gene signature yielded a hazard ratio of 1.78 (95% confidence interval, 1.02-3.11). The signature was also significantly associated with clinical outcome in the The Cancer Genome Atlas (CGA) IDH-mutant 1p/19q wild-type and IDH-wild-type glioma cohorts. Pathway analysis suggested that high risk was associated with increased acetylation activity and inflammatory response. Tumor purity was found to be significantly decreased in high-risk IDH-mutant with 1p/19q co-deletion gliomas and IDH-wild-type glioblastomas but not in IDH-wild-type lower grade or IDH-mutant, non-co-deleted gliomas.
Conclusion: We identified a 35-gene signature that identifies high-risk and low-risk categories of 1p/19q positive glioma patients. We have demonstrated heterogeneity amongst a relatively new glioma subtype and provided a stepping stone towards risk stratification.

Chandler CM, Lin X
Cytomorphology of metastatic pituitary carcinoma to the bone.
Diagn Cytopathol. 2017; 45(7):645-650 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastatic pituitary carcinoma to bone is rare. In this report, we present a case of a 59-year-old female with recurrent pituitary adenoma of the sparsely granulated somatotroph subtype with metastasis to a few bony sites 10 years later. Needle core biopsy (NCB) with touch preparations was performed on a 5 mm lesion in left ilium. Diff-Quik stained NCB touch preparation slides showed a few loosely cohesive epithelial polygonal cells that were arranged in nests or acini, or singly, had scant vacuolated cytoplasm and eccentrically located round nuclei (plasmacytoid) with slight nuclear pleomorphism, fine granular chromatin, conspicuous nucleoli, and smooth nuclear membrane. Trilineage hematopoietic cells of bone marrow were also appreciated in the background. H&E stained core sections showed fragments of bone and bone marrow with nests of bland epithelial cells with similar cytomorphology as seen in NCB touch preparation slides. The tumor cells were immunoreactive for juxtanuclear dot-like staining of pan-cytokeratin (CAM 5.2 and AE1/AE3) (a specific feature), neuroendocrine markers (CD56, synaptophysin, and chromogranin. Additionally, scattered cells were immunoreactive for growth hormone. Molecular test showed that tumor cells were negative for the promoter methylation of O-6-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase (MGMT). Final diagnosis of metastatic pituitary carcinoma was rendered. Morphology of metastatic pituitary carcinoma, its differential, clinical presentation and treatment were discussed. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2017;45:645-650. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Gold B
Somatic mutations in cancer: Stochastic versus predictable.
Mutat Res. 2017; 814:37-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
The origins of human cancers remain unclear except for a limited number of potent environmental mutagens, such as tobacco and UV light, and in rare cases, familial germ line mutations that affect tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes. A significant component of cancer etiology has been deemed stochastic and correlated with the number of stem cells in a tissue, the number of times the stem cells divide and a low incidence of random DNA polymerase errors that occur during each cell division. While somatic mutations occur during each round of DNA replication, mutations in cancer driver genes are not stochastic. Out of a total of 2843 codons, 1031 can be changed to stop codons by a single base substitution in the tumor suppressor APC gene, which is mutated in 76% of colorectal cancers (CRC). However, the nonsense mutations, which comprise 65% of all the APC driver mutations in CRC, are not random: 43% occur at Arg CGA codons, although they represent <3% of the codons. In TP53, CGA codons comprise <3% of the total 393 codons but they account for 72% and 39% of the mutations in CRC and ovarian cancer OVC, respectively. This mutation pattern is consistent with the kinetically slow, but not stochastic, hydrolytic deamination of 5-methylcytosine residues at specific methylated CpG sites to afford T·G mismatches that lead to C→T transitions and stop codons at CGA. Analysis of nonsense mutations in CRC, OVC and a number of other cancers indicates the need to expand the predictable risk factors for cancer to include, in addition to random polymerase errors, the methylation status of gene body CGA codons in tumor suppressor genes.

Naykoo NA, Dil-Afroze, Rasool R, et al.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms, haplotype association and tumour expression of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene with lung carcinoma.
Gene. 2017; 608:95-102 [PubMed] Related Publications
VEGF contains several polymorphic sites known to influence its expression. We examined the possible association between+405(-634)C>G,+936C>T,-2578C>A and lung cancer in 199 Kashmiri patients and 401 healthy controls. VEGF+405CG,+936CT+TT and-2578CA genotypes were significantly associated with lung cancer risk compared to VEGF+405CC,+936CC and-2578AA+CC genotypes [OR=0.07 (0.04-0.13), P<0.0001, OR=0.36 (0.25-0.52), P<0.0001 and 0.08 (0.05-0.13), P<0.0001]. Haplotype analysis revealed that CGA and TGA haplotypes of VEGF gene conveys the risk for lung cancer [OR=0.18 (0.10-0.33), P<0.0001 and 0.07 (0.03-0.13), P<0.0001]. VEGF expression revealed non-significant association with the genotypes of the three SNPs. In conclusion, the SNPs examined appear to influence lung cancer susceptibility while as genotypes of the SNPs don't appear to have significant association with VEGF mRNA expression in lung tumours.

Nanno Y, Toyama H, Matsumoto I, et al.
Baseline plasma chromogranin A levels in patients with well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas: A potential predictor of postoperative recurrence.
Pancreatology. 2017 Mar - Apr; 17(2):291-294 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The present study aimed to elucidate prognostic values of baseline plasma chromogranin A (CgA) concentrations in patients with resectable, well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs).
METHODS: Preoperative CgA levels in 21 patients with PNET were correlated with clinicopathological factors and patients' survival.
RESULTS: Plasma CgA levels ranged 2.9-30.8 pmol/mL (median 6.0), and were significantly elevated in patients with post-operative recurrence (P = 0.004). Using the receiver operating characteristic curve, the optimal cutoff value to predict tumor recurrence was determined as 17.0 pmol/mL. This threshold identified patients with recurrence with 60% sensitivity, 100% specificity, and 90% overall accuracy. Patients with higher CgA levels showed worse recurrence-free survival than those with low CgA levels, both in total (P < 0.001) and in G2 patients (P = 0.020).
CONCLUSIONS: Combined plasma CgA concentrations and WHO grading may assist in better stratification of PNET patients in terms of the risk of recurrence.

Ramalingam S, Eisenberg A, Foo WC, et al.
Treatment-related neuroendocrine prostate cancer resulting in Cushing's syndrome.
Int J Urol. 2016; 23(12):1038-1041 [PubMed] Related Publications
Here we present, to the best of our knowledge, the first case of a paraneoplastic Cushing's syndrome (hypercortisolism) resulting from treatment-related neuroendocrine prostate cancer - a highly aggressive and difficult disease to treat. A 51-year-old man was started on androgen deprivation therapy after presenting with metastatic prostate cancer, characterized by diffuse osseous metastasis. Shortly thereafter, he developed progressive disease with biopsy proven neuroendocrine prostate cancer as well as symptoms of increased skin pigmentation, hypokalemia, hypertension, hyperglycemia and profound weakness, consistent with ectopic Cushing's syndrome. Molecular analysis of the patient's tumor through RNA sequencing showed high expression of several genes including CHGA, ASCL1, CALCA, HES6, PCSK1, CALCB and INSM1 confirming his neuroendocrine phenotype; elevated POMC expression was found, supporting the diagnosis of ectopic Cushing's syndrome.

d'Herbomez M, Coppin L, Bauters C, et al.
Biomarkers of neuroendocrine tumors.
Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 2016; 74(6):669-679 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroendocrine tumors (NET) are rare heterogenous tumors which prevalence is increasing. Their features vary by anatomical location, functionality and hormonal production. Their management needs a multidisciplinary approach. Functional tumors develop characteristic clinical syndromes in contrast to non-functional tumors that are diagnosed fortuitously or at advanced stage. NET can secrete many specific and general biomarkers. CgA is the most sensitive general marker. Its value should be interpreted along with the renal function and the gastrin level. Some new biomarkers such as NTproBNP, proGRP and NET gene transcripts have been identified. The latter are not yet routine in clinical practice. We present In this review biological biomarkers involved in NET with a focus on the assays and their use in clinical practice.

Matsuda Y, Kimura N, Yoshimoto T, et al.
Dopamine-Secreting Paraganglioma in the Retroperitoneum.
Endocr Pathol. 2017; 28(1):36-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, which exclusively produce dopamine, are very rare. Herein, we report for the first time a Japanese case of an exclusively dopamine-producing paraganglioma accompanied by detailed immunohistochemical analyses. A 70-year-old Japanese woman was referred to our hospital for functional examination of her left retroperitoneal mass. Her adrenal functions were normal, except for excessive dopamine secretion. After the tumorectomy, her dopamine level normalized. The histopathological diagnosis of the tumor was paraganglioma; this was confirmed by positive immunostaining of chromogranin A (CgA), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), and succinate dehydrogenase gene subunit B (SDHB). However, the immunostaining of CgA in the tumor cells showed peculiar dot-like staining located corresponding to Golgi complex in the perinuclear area, rather than the diffuse cytoplasmic staining usually observed in epinephrine- or norepinephrine-producing functional pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas. The immunohistochemical results suggested that the tumor cells had sparse neuroendocrine granules in the cytoplasm, resulting in inhibition of catecholamine synthesis from dopamine to norepinephrine in neurosecretory granules. This may be the mechanism responsible for exclusive dopamine secretion in the present case.

Boyce M, Moore AR, Sagatun L, et al.
Netazepide, a gastrin/cholecystokinin-2 receptor antagonist, can eradicate gastric neuroendocrine tumours in patients with autoimmune chronic atrophic gastritis.
Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2017; 83(3):466-475 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIMS: Netazepide, a gastrin/cholecystokinin 2 receptor antagonist, once daily for 12 weeks reduced the number of tumours and size of the largest one in 16 patients with autoimmune chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG), achlorhydria, hypergastrinaemia and multiple gastric neuroendocrine tumours (type 1 gastric NETs), and normalized circulating chromogranin A (CgA) produced by enterochromaffin-like cells, the source of the tumours. The aim was to assess whether longer-term netazepide treatment can eradicate type 1 gastric NETs.
METHODS: After a mean 14 months off netazepide, 13 of the 16 patients took it for another 52 weeks. Assessments were: gastroscopy; gene-transcript expression in corpus biopsies using quantitative polymerase chain reaction; blood CgA and gastrin concentrations; and safety assessments.
RESULTS: While off-treatment, the number of tumours, the size of the largest one, and CgA all increased again. Netazepide for 52 weeks: cleared all tumours in 5 patients; cleared all but one tumour in one patient; reduced the number of tumours and size of the largest one in the other patients; normalized CgA in all patients; and reduced mRNA abundances of CgA and histidine decarboxylase in biopsies. Gastrin did not increase further, confirming that the patients had achlorhydria. Netazepide was safe and well tolerated.
CONCLUSIONS: A gastrin/cholecystokinin 2 receptor antagonist is a potential medical and targeted treatment for type 1 gastric NETs, and an alternative to regular gastroscopy or surgery. Treatment should be continuous because the tumours will regrow if it is stopped. Progress can be monitored by CgA in blood or biomarkers in mucosal biopsies.

Curnis F, Dallatomasina A, Bianco M, et al.
Regulation of tumor growth by circulating full-length chromogranin A.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(45):72716-72732 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chromogranin A (CgA), a neuroendocrine secretory protein, and its fragments are present in variable amounts in the blood of normal subjects and cancer patients. We investigated whether circulating CgA has a regulatory function in tumor biology and progression. Systemic administration of full-length CgA, but not of fragments lacking the C-terminal region, could reduce tumor growth in murine models of fibrosarcoma, mammary adenocarcinoma, Lewis lung carcinoma, and primary and metastatic melanoma, with U-shaped dose-response curves. Tumor growth inhibition was associated with reduction of microvessel density and blood flow in neoplastic tissues. Neutralization of endogenous CgA with antibodies against its C-terminal region (residues 410-439) promoted tumor growth. Structure-function studies showed that the C-terminal region of CgA contains a bioactive site and that cleavage of this region causes a marked loss of anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor potency. Mechanistic studies showed that full-length CgA could induce, with a U-shaped dose-response curve, the production of protease nexin-1 in endothelial cells, a serine protease inhibitor endowed of anti-angiogenic activity. Gene silencing or neutralization of protease nexin-1 with specific antibodies abolished both anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor effects of CgA. These results suggest that circulating full-length CgA is an important inhibitor of angiogenesis and tumor growth, and that cleavage of its C-terminal region markedly reduces its activity. Pathophysiological changes in CgA blood levels and/or its fragmentation might regulate disease progression in cancer patients.

Ito T, Hijioka S, Masui T, et al.
Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms in Japan.
J Gastroenterol. 2017; 52(1):9-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several new developments have occurred in the field of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasm (PNEN) recently in Japan. First, the utility of chromogranin A (CgA), useful for the diagnosis and monitoring of the treatment response of neuroendocrine neoplasm (NEN), has been demonstrated in Japan. For PNEN diagnosis and treatment, grading and correct histological diagnosis according to the WHO 2010 classification is important. Regarding the histological diagnosis, the advent of endoscopic ultrasonography-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) has enabled correct pathological diagnosis and suitable treatment for the affected tissue. Furthermore, EUS-FNA has also facilitates the assessment of the presence or absence of gene mutations. In addition, patients who have a well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumor (NET) showing a Ki-67 index of higher than 20 % according to the WHO 2010 classification, have also been identified, and their responses to treatment were found to be different from those of patients with poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC). Therefore, the concept of NET G3 was proposed. Additionally, somatostatin receptor type 2 is expressed in several cases of NET, and somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (

Volante M, Tota D, Giorcelli J, et al.
Androgen deprivation modulates gene expression profile along prostate cancer progression.
Hum Pathol. 2016; 56:81-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the standard of care for metastatic prostate cancer and initially induces tumor regression, but invariably results in castration-resistant prostate cancer through various mechanisms, incompletely discovered. Our aim was to analyze the dynamic modulation, determined by ADT, of the expression of selected genes involved in the pathogenesis and progression of prostate cancer (TMPRSS2:ERG, WNT11, SPINK1, CHGA, AR, and SPDEF) using real-time polymerase chain reaction in a series of 59 surgical samples of prostate carcinomas, including 37 cases preoperatively treated with ADT and 22 untreated cases, and in 43 corresponding biopsies. The same genes were analyzed in androgen-deprived and control LNCaP cells. Three genes were significantly up-modulated (WNT11 and AR) or down-modulated (SPDEF) in patients treated with ADT versus untreated cases, as well as in androgen-deprived LNCaP cells. The effect of ADT on CHGA gene up-modulation was almost exclusively detected in cases positive for the TMPRSS2:ERG fusion. The correlation between biopsy and surgical samples was poor for most of the tested genes. Gene expression analysis of separate tumor areas from the same patient showed an extremely heterogeneous profile in the 6 tested cases (all untreated). In conclusion, our results strengthened the implication of ADT in promoting a prostate cancer aggressive phenotype and identified potential biomarkers, with special reference to the TMPRSS2:ERG fusion, which might favor the development of neuroendocrine differentiation in hormone-treated patients. However, intratumoral heterogeneity limits the use of gene expression analysis as a potential prognostic or predictive biomarker in patients treated with ADT.

Fossmark R, Calvete O, Mjønes P, et al.
ECL-cell carcinoids and carcinoma in patients homozygous for an inactivating mutation in the gastric H(+) K(+) ATPase alpha subunit.
APMIS. 2016; 124(7):561-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
A family with a missense variant of the ATP4A gene encoding the alpha subunit of the gastric proton pump (H(+) K(+) ATPase) has recently been described. Homozygous siblings were hypergastrinemic (median gastrin 486 pM) and had gastric tumours diagnosed at a median age of 33 years. In the current histopathological study, we further characterized the tumours found in the gastric corpus. The tumours had the histological appearance of carcinoids (NET G1 or G2) and were immunoreactive for the general neuroendocrine markers chromogranin A (CgA) and synaptophysin as well as the ECL-cell markers vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) and histidine decarbozylase (HDC). One of the tumours consisted of a NET G2 component, but also had a component with glandular growth, which morphologically was classified as an intestinal type adenocarcinoma. Many glands of the adenocarcinoma contained a large proportion of cells positive for neuroendocrine markers, especially the small vesicle marker synaptophysin and the cytoplasmic enzyme HDC. In conclusion, patients homozygous for an inactivating ATP4A mutation develop gastric ECL-cell carcinoids in their 3rd or 4th decade. The adenocarcinoma may be classified as neuroendocrine with ECL-cell differentiation.

Luque RM, Ibáñez-Costa A, Sánchez-Tejada L, et al.
The Molecular Registry of Pituitary Adenomas (REMAH): A bet of Spanish Endocrinology for the future of individualized medicine and translational research.
Endocrinol Nutr. 2016 Jun-Jul; 63(6):274-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pituitary adenomas are uncommon, difficult to diagnose tumors whose heterogeneity and low incidence complicate large-scale studies. The Molecular Registry of Pituitary Adenomas (REMAH) was promoted by the Andalusian Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SAEN) in 2008 as a cooperative clinical-basic multicenter strategy aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment of pituitary adenomas by combining clinical, pathological, and molecular information. In 2010, the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN) extended this project to national level and established 6 nodes with common protocols and methods for sample and clinical data collection, molecular analysis, and data recording in a common registry ( The registry combines clinical data with molecular phenotyping of the resected pituitary adenoma using quantitative real-time PCR of expression of 26 genes: Pituitary hormones (GH-PRL-LH-FSH-PRL-ACTH-CGA), receptors (somatostatin, dopamine, GHRH, GnRH, CRH, arginine-vasopressin, ghrelin), other markers (Ki67, PTTG1), and control genes. Until 2015, molecular information has been collected from 704 adenomas, out of 1179 patients registered. This strategy allows for comparative and relational analysis between the molecular profile of the different types of adenoma and the clinical phenotype of patients, which may provide a better understanding of the condition and potentially help in treatment selection. The REMAH is therefore a unique multicenter, interdisciplinary network founded on a shared database that provides a far-reaching translational approach for management of pituitary adenomas, and paves the way for the conduct of combined clinical-basic innovative studies on large patient samples.

Zeng YJ, Lai W, Wu H, et al.
Neuroendocrine-like cells -derived CXCL10 and CXCL11 induce the infiltration of tumor-associated macrophage leading to the poor prognosis of colorectal cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(19):27394-407 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Our previous study revealed that neuroendocrine differentiation in colorectal cancer is one of the important factors leading to worse prognosis. In this study, we apply immunohistochemical staining, Western-blot, RT-PCR and ELISA to investigate the underlying mechanism that how the neuroendocrine differentiation to affect the prognosis of colorectal cancer. The interaction of colorectal cancer cells, neuroendocrine-like cells and tumor-associated macrophages in colorectal cancer progress is also investigated. By analyzing 82 cases of colorectal cancer patients treated in our institution, we found that colorectal adenocarcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation had increasing number of tumor-associated macrophages and worse prognosis. Further evaluation of cytology showed that neuroendocrine cells have the ability to recruit tumor-associated macrophages to infiltrate the tumor tissue, and the tumor-associated macrophages enhance the proliferation and invasion abilities of the colon cancer cells. Moreover, we confirmed that CXCL10 and CXCL11 are the key chemokines in neuroendocrine-like cells and they promote the chemotaxis activity of tumor-associated macrophages. The secretion of CXCL10 and CXCL11 by neuroendocrine-like cells can recruit tumor-associated macrophages to infiltrate in tumor tissues. The latter enhances the proliferation and invasion of colorectal cancer cell and lead to poor prognosis.

Żebracka-Gala J, Rudnik A, Hasse-Lazar K, et al.
Molecular classification of pituitary adenomas: in search for criteria useful for high-throughput studies.
Endokrynol Pol. 2016; 67(2):148-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The mechanism of pathogenesis of pituitary adenomas is still unknown, and it shows differences in pituitary cells of different origin. The aim of our study was to analyse the gene expression profile of pituitary hormones and their precursor genes: PRL, GH, POMC, TSHb, LHb, FSHb, and CGA by QPCR in particular types of pituitary adenomas, and to evaluate the results in the context of sample selection for microarray studies.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Analysis of the gene expression profile was performed in 84 samples of pituitary adenomas, by real-time quantitative PCR (QPCR).
RESULTS: As expected, expression of GH gene was significantly higher in somatotropinomas than in prolactinomas (p < 0.05). For POMC gene we noticed lower expression in all pituitary adenomas, except adrenocorticotropinomas (p < 0.05). In the case of PRL gene, the highest expression was observed; PRL+ adenomas were in third place. LHb and FSHb genes showed the highest expression, respectively, in LH-producing and FSH-producing pituitary adenomas; however, our analysis did not show statistically significant differences between LH-producing and FSH-producing adenomas.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that GH is a characteristic gene for somatotropinomas. We drew a similar conclusion for POMC gene and adrenocorticotropinomas. However, the results that we obtained for PRL, TSHb, LHb, FSHb, and CGA genes indicate that evaluation of gene expression is not sufficient for classification of particular subtypes of pituitary adenomas.

Cigrovski Berković M, Čačev T, Catela Ivković T, et al.
High VEGF serum values are associated with locoregional spread of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs).
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2016; 425:61-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) are highly vascularized neoplasms, capable of synthethisizing VEGF-A, a key mediator of angiogenesis. In pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) VEGF expression is higher in benign and low-grade tumors and associated with good prognosis (neuroendocrine paradox) while the VEGF role in gastrointestinal NETs (GI-NETs) is still unclear. In this study, we examined the VEGF-1154A/G polymorphism in 145 GEP-NET patients and 150 controls. Next, we measured VEGF serum levels and VEGF tumor protein expression, comparing it with Ki67 and tumor grade. Patients' VEGF serum levels were compared with VEGF -1145A/G genotypes and metastatic status as well as with chromogranin A (CgA) and 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA) in case of GI-NET patients. In this study GEP-NET patients had elevated VEGF serum values when compared to healthy controls (p = 0.0013). VEGF-1145G allele correlated with higher VEGF serum levels (p = 0.002). Patients with metastatic tumors had higher VEGF serum values when compared to patients without metastases (p = 0.033), and highest levels were observed in case of lymph node metastases (p = 0.008). VEGF-1145G allele was more frequent in non-functional GI-NET patients than in healthy controls (p = 0.041). CgA was superior to VEGF in tumor detection, while VEGF was superior to 5-HIAA. A correlation was observed between VEGF immunohistochemical staining and Ki-67 (p = 0.028). Tumours with weaker VEGF protein expression were more aggressive than tumours with stronger VEGF expression, confirming a "neuroendocrine paradox" in GI-NETs. Our results suggest the role of VEGF in GI-NETs locoregional spread.

Yu SY, Hong LC, Feng J, et al.
Integrative proteomics and transcriptomics identify novel invasive-related biomarkers of non-functioning pituitary adenomas.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(7):8923-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs) are usually macroadenomas and display invasion into surrounding tissues. The treatment for invasive NFPAs is still challenging. This study describes the differential patterns of gene expression between invasive and non-invasive NFPAs and identifies novel biomarkers involved in invasion of NFPAs for diagnosis and treatment. Using gene microarray technology, we examined the gene expression profile and found 1160 differentially expressed messenger RNA (mRNA) between invasive and non-invasive NFPAs. Then, we examined the protein profile by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and found 433 differentially expressed proteins between invasive and non-invasive NFPAs. Subsequently, we integrated the proteomics and transcriptomics datasets and identified 29 common changed molecules. Through bioinformatics analysis using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software, we showed that the 29 molecules were enriched in 25 canonical signaling pathways, 25 molecular and cellular functions, and 2 networks. Eight genes were identified involved in the invasion function by the molecular and cellular functions analysis, including CAT, CLU, CHGA, EZR, KRT8, LIMA1, SH3GLB2 and SLC2A1. Furthermore, we validated the decreased CHGA expression and increased CLU expression in invasive NFPAs by qRT-PCR and Western blot. Our study demonstrated that integration of proteomics and transcriptomics could prove advantageous for accelerating tumor biomarker discovery and CHGA and CLU might be important novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for invasion of NFPAs.

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