Gene Summary

Gene:EGR2; early growth response 2
Aliases: CHN1, AT591, CMT1D, CMT4E, KROX20
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a transcription factor with three tandem C2H2-type zinc fingers. Defects in this gene are associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1D (CMT1D), Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4E (CMT4E), and with Dejerine-Sottas syndrome (DSS). Multiple transcript variants encoding two different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:E3 SUMO-protein ligase EGR2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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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

Specific Cancers (8)

Latest Publications: EGR2 (cancer-related)

Jian Z, Cheng T, Zhang Z, et al.
Glycemic Variability Promotes Both Local Invasion and Metastatic Colonization by Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.
Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018; 6(4):429-449 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background & Aims: Although nearly half of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients have diabetes mellitus with episodes of hyperglycemia, its tumor microenvironment is hypoglycemic. Thus, it is crucial for PDAC cells to develop adaptive mechanisms dealing with oscillating glucose levels. So far, the biological impact of such glycemic variability on PDAC biology remains unknown.
Methods: Murine PDAC cells were cultured in low- and high-glucose medium to investigate the molecular, biochemical, and metabolic influence of glycemic variability on tumor behavior. A set of in vivo functional assays including orthotopic implantation and portal and tail vein injection were used. Results were further confirmed on tissues from PDAC patients.
Results: Glycemic variability has no significant effect on PDAC cell proliferation. Hypoglycemia is associated with local invasion and angiogenesis, whereas hyperglycemia promotes metastatic colonization. Increased metastatic colonization under hyperglycemia is due to increased expression of runt related transcription factor 3 (Runx3), which further activates expression of collagen, type VI, alpha 1 (Col6a1), forming a glycemic pro-metastatic pathway. Through epigenetic machinery, retinoic acid receptor beta (Rarb) expression fluctuates according to glycemic variability, acting as a critical sensor relaying the glycemic signal to Runx3/Col6a1. Moreover, the signal axis of Rarb/Runx3/Col6a1 is pharmaceutically accessible to a widely used antidiabetic substance, metformin, and Rar modulator. Finally, PDAC tissues from patients with diabetes show an increased expression of COL6A1.
Conclusions: Glycemic variability promotes both local invasion and metastatic colonization of PDAC. A pro-metastatic signal axis Rarb/Runx3/Col6a1 whose activity is controlled by glycemic variability is identified. The therapeutic relevance of this pathway needs to be explored in PDAC patients, especially in those with diabetes.

Märklin M, Heitmann JS, Fuchs AR, et al.
NFAT2 is a critical regulator of the anergic phenotype in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):755 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is a clonal disorder of mature B cells. Most patients are characterised by an indolent disease course and an anergic phenotype of their leukaemia cells, which refers to a state of unresponsiveness to B cell receptor stimulation. Up to 10% of CLL patients transform from an indolent subtype to an aggressive form of B cell lymphoma over time (Richter´s syndrome) and show a significantly worse treatment outcome. Here we show that B cell-specific ablation of Nfat2 leads to the loss of the anergic phenotype culminating in a significantly compromised life expectancy and transformation to aggressive disease. We further define a gene expression signature of anergic CLL cells consisting of several NFAT2-dependent genes including Cbl-b, Grail, Egr2 and Lck. In summary, this study identifies NFAT2 as a crucial regulator of the anergic phenotype in CLL.NFAT2 is a transcription factor that has been linked with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), but its functions in CLL manifestation are still unclear. Here the authors show, by analysing mouse CLL models and characterising biopsies from CLL patients, that NFAT2 is an important regulator for the anergic phenotype of CLL.

Sharafeldin N, Slattery ML, Liu Q, et al.
Multiple Gene-Environment Interactions on the Angiogenesis Gene-Pathway Impact Rectal Cancer Risk and Survival.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017; 14(10) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Characterization of gene-environment interactions (GEIs) in cancer is limited. We aimed at identifying GEIs in rectal cancer focusing on a relevant biologic process involving the angiogenesis pathway and relevant environmental exposures: cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and animal protein intake. We analyzed data from 747 rectal cancer cases and 956 controls from the Diet, Activity and Lifestyle as a Risk Factor for Rectal Cancer study. We applied a 3-step analysis approach: first, we searched for interactions among single nucleotide polymorphisms on the pathway genes; second, we searched for interactions among the genes, both steps using Logic regression; third, we examined the GEIs significant at the 5% level using logistic regression for cancer risk and Cox proportional hazards models for survival. Permutation-based test was used for multiple testing adjustment. We identified 8 significant GEIs associated with risk among 6 genes adjusting for multiple testing:

Gregory KJ, Morin SM, Schneider SS
Regulation of early growth response 2 expression by secreted frizzled related protein 1.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):473 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1) expression is down-regulated in a multitude of cancers, including breast cancer. Loss of Sfrp1 also exacerbates weight gain as well as inflammation. Additionally, loss of SFRP1 enhances TGF-β signaling and the downstream MAPK pathway. TGF-β has been shown to increase the expression of Early Growth Response 2 (EGR2), a transcription factor implicated in immune function in a wide variety of cell types. The work described here was initiated to determine whether SFRP1 modulation affects TGF-β mediated EGR2 expression in mammary tissues as well as macrophage polarization.
METHODS: Real-time PCR analysis was performed to examine EGR2 expression in human and murine mammary epithelial cells and tissues in response to SFRP1 modulation. Chemical inhibition was employed to investigate the roles TGF-β and MAPK signaling play in the control of EGR2 expression in response to SFRP1 loss. Primary murine macrophages were isolated from Sfrp1
RESULTS: Knockdown of SFRP1 expression increases the expression of EGR2 mRNA in human mammary epithelial cells and addition of rSFRP1 decreases the expression of EGR2 when added to explant mammary gland tissues. Chemical inhibition of both TGF-β and MAPK signaling in Sfrp1
CONCLUSIONS: Loss of SFRP1 likely contributes to tumor progression by altering the expression of a critical transcription factor in both the epithelium and the immune system.

De Luca L, Trino S, Laurenzana I, et al.
Knockdown of miR-128a induces Lin28a expression and reverts myeloid differentiation blockage in acute myeloid leukemia.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(6):e2849 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lin28A is a highly conserved RNA-binding protein that concurs to control the balance between stemness and differentiation in several tissue lineages. Here, we report the role of miR-128a/Lin28A axis in blocking cell differentiation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a genetically heterogeneous disease characterized by abnormally controlled proliferation of myeloid progenitor cells accompanied by partial or total inability to undergo terminal differentiation. First, we found Lin28A underexpressed in blast cells from AML patients and AML cell lines as compared with CD34+ normal precursors. In vitro transfection of Lin28A in NPM1-mutated OCI-AML3 cell line significantly triggered cell-cycle arrest and myeloid differentiation, with increased expression of macrophage associate genes (EGR2, ZFP36 and ANXA1). Furthermore, miR-128a, a negative regulator of Lin28A, was found overexpressed in AML cells compared with normal precursors, especially in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) and in 'AML with maturation' (according to 2016 WHO classification of myeloid neoplasms and acute leukemia). Its forced overexpression by lentiviral infection in OCI-AML3 downregulated Lin28A with ensuing repression of macrophage-oriented differentiation. Finally, knockdown of miR-128a in OCI-AML3 and in APL/AML leukemic cells (by transfection and lentiviral infection, respectively) induced myeloid cell differentiation and increased expression of Lin28A, EGR2, ZFP36 and ANXA1, reverting myeloid differentiation blockage. In conclusion, our findings revealed a new mechanism for AML differentiation blockage, suggesting new strategies for AML therapy based upon miR-128a inhibition.

Zeng T, Wang D, Chen J, et al.
LncRNA-AF113014 promotes the expression of Egr2 by interaction with miR-20a to inhibit proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(5):e0177843 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), tentatively identified as non-protein coding RNA, are transcripts more than 200nt in length and accounting for 98% of the whole genome of human being. Accumulating evidence showed aberrant expressions of lncRNAs are strongly correlated to the development of cancers. In this study, AF113014 is a new lncRNA identified from Microarray. We found AF113014 is differentially expressed between HCC cell lines and normal hepatocytes. Functionally, AF113014 inhibited proliferation of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo, whereas the opposite effect was observed when AF113014 knockdown. Moreover, we identified that Egr2, a tumor suppressor gene, was a downstream target gene of AF113014. Furthermore, we discovered that AF113014 up-regulated Egr2 expression through interacting with miR-20a by using dual-luciferase reporter assay, qRT-PCR and Western blotting analysis. Our data provides a new insight for understanding the mechanisms of HCC.

Wang Y
Transcriptional Regulatory Network Analysis for Gastric Cancer Based on mRNA Microarray.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2017; 23(4):785-791 [PubMed] Related Publications
We aimed to screen the differential expressed genes (DEGs) and transcriptional factors (TFs) related to gastric cancer. GSE19826 microarray data downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus was used to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and PPI network of DEGs were constructed by the Retrieval of Interacting Genes database. Pathway enrichment analysis of DEGs were performed by Gene Set Enrichment Analysis. Then, the transcriptional regulatory network was constructed based on TRANSFAC database. Finally, regulatory impact factor (RIF) of TF was calculated. We identified 446 DEGs including 209 up- and 237 down-regulated genes. These DEGs were mainly significantly enriched in 5 pathways including ECM receptor interaction (p = 0.013899), spliceosome (p = 0.025591), bladder cancer (p = 0.026316), focal adhesion (p = 0.047809) and WNT signaling pathway (p = 0.048077). PPI network with 247 nodes and 913 edges were constructed and COL5A2 was the hub node. Transcriptional regulatory network with 6 differently expressed TFs, 58 non-differently expressed TFs, 44 DEGs and 735 non-DEGs was constructed. Finally, top 5 TFs including CRX, TFAP4, NKX2-1, MYB and RARG with higher Z

Li WX, He K, Tang L, et al.
Comprehensive tissue-specific gene set enrichment analysis and transcription factor analysis of breast cancer by integrating 14 gene expression datasets.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(4):6775-6786 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in women. Several key genes and pathways have been proven to correlate with breast cancer pathology. This study sought to explore the differences in key transcription factors (TFs), transcriptional regulation networks and dysregulated pathways in different tissues in breast cancer. We employed 14 breast cancer datasets from NCBI-GEO and performed an integrated analysis in three different tissues including breast, blood and saliva. The results showed that there were eight genes (CEBPD, EGR1, EGR2, EGR3, FOS, FOSB, ID1 and NFIL3) down-regulated in breast tissue but up-regulated in blood tissue. Furthermore, we identified several unreported tissue-specific TFs that may contribute to breast cancer, including ATOH8, DMRT2, TBX15 and ZNF367. The dysregulation of these TFs damaged lipid metabolism, development, cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation and metastasis processes. Among these pathways, the breast tissue showed the most serious impairment and the blood tissue showed a relatively moderate damage, whereas the saliva tissue was almost unaffected. This study could be helpful for future biomarker discovery, drug design, and therapeutic and predictive applications in breast cancers.

Kim JA, Hwang B, Park SN, et al.
Genomic Profile of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in Korea Identified by Targeted Sequencing.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(12):e0167641 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is extremely rare in Asian countries and there has been one report on genetic changes for 5 genes (TP53, SF3B1, NOTCH1, MYD88, and BIRC3) by Sanger sequencing in Chinese CLL. Yet studies of CLL in Asian countries using Next generation sequencing have not been reported. We aimed to characterize the genomic profiles of Korean CLL and to find out ethnic differences in somatic mutations with prognostic implications. We performed targeted sequencing for 87 gene panel using next-generation sequencing along with G-banding and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for chromosome 12, 13q14.3 deletion, 17p13 deletion, and 11q22 deletion. Overall, 36 out of 48 patients (75%) harbored at least one mutation and mean number of mutation per patient was 1.6 (range 0-6). Aberrant karyotypes were observed in 30.4% by G-banding and 66.7% by FISH. Most recurrent mutation (>10% frequency) was ATM (20.8%) followed by TP53 (14.6%), SF3B1 (10.4%), KLHL6 (8.3%), and BCOR (6.25%). Mutations of MYD88 was associated with moderate adverse prognosis by multiple comparisons (P = 0.055). Mutation frequencies of MYD88, SAMHD1, EGR2, DDX3X, ZMYM3, and MED12 showed similar incidence with Caucasians, while mutation frequencies of ATM, TP53, KLHL6, BCOR and CDKN2A tend to be higher in Koreans than in Caucasians. Especially, ATM mutation showed 1.5 fold higher incidence than Caucasians, while mutation frequencies of SF3B1, NOTCH1, CHD2 and POT1 tend to be lower in Koreans than in Caucasians. However, mutation frequencies between Caucasians and Koreans were not significantly different statistically, probably due to low number of patients. Collectively, mutational profile and adverse prognostic genes in Korean CLL were different from those of Caucasians, suggesting an ethnic difference, while profile of cytogenetic aberrations was similar to those of Caucasians.

Young E, Noerenberg D, Mansouri L, et al.
EGR2 mutations define a new clinically aggressive subgroup of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2017; 31(7):1547-1554 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recurrent mutations within EGR2 were recently reported in advanced-stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients and associated with a worse outcome. To study their prognostic impact, 2403 CLL patients were examined for mutations in the EGR2 hotspot region including a screening (n=1283) and two validation cohorts (UK CLL4 trial patients, n=366; CLL Research Consortium (CRC) patients, n=490). Targeted deep-sequencing of 27 known/postulated CLL driver genes was also performed in 38 EGR2-mutated patients to assess concurrent mutations. EGR2 mutations were detected in 91/2403 (3.8%) investigated cases, and associated with younger age at diagnosis, advanced clinical stage, high CD38 expression and unmutated IGHV genes. EGR2-mutated patients frequently carried ATM lesions (42%), TP53 aberrations (18%) and NOTCH1/FBXW7 mutations (16%). EGR2 mutations independently predicted shorter time-to-first-treatment (TTFT) and overall survival (OS) in the screening cohort; they were confirmed associated with reduced TTFT and OS in the CRC cohort and independently predicted short OS from randomization in the UK CLL4 cohort. A particularly dismal outcome was observed among EGR2-mutated patients who also carried TP53 aberrations. In summary, EGR2 mutations were independently associated with an unfavorable prognosis, comparable to CLL patients carrying TP53 aberrations, suggesting that EGR2-mutated patients represent a new patient subgroup with very poor outcome.

Ahmad HM, Muiwo P, Muthuswami R, Bhattacharya A
FosB regulates expression of miR-22 during PMA induced differentiation of K562 cells to megakaryocytes.
Biochimie. 2017; 133:1-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Expression of many miRNAs is altered in different cancers and these changes are thought to play a key role in formation and progression of cancer. In chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) a number of miRNAs are known to be down regulated as compared to normal cells. In this report we have investigated the mechanism of this down regulation by using PMA induced differentiation of CML cell line K562 to megakaryocytes as an experimental system. On treatment with PMA, expression of many down regulated miRNAs including miR-22 is induced. PMA also induces expression of several transcription factors, including FosB, EGR1 and EGR2. Our results using a number of approaches, such as promoter reporter assay, FosB knock down and Chip assay, suggest that the expression of miR-22 is regulated transcriptionally by FosB.

Martinelli M, Parra A, Scapoli L, et al.
CD99 polymorphisms significantly influence the probability to develop Ewing sarcoma in earlier age and patient disease progression.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(47):77958-77967 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma (EWS), the second most common primary bone tumor in pediatric age, is known for its paucity of recurrent somatic abnormalities. Apart from the chimeric oncoprotein that derives from the fusion of EWS and FLI genes, recent genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility variants near the EGR2 gene that regulate DNA binding of EWS-FLI. However, to induce transformation, EWS-FLI requires the presence of additional molecular events, including the expression of CD99, a cell surface molecule with critical relevance for the pathogenesis of EWS. High expression of CD99 is a common and distinctive feature of EWS cells, and it has largely been used for the differential diagnosis of the disease. The present study first links CD99 germline genetic variants to the susceptibility of EWS development and its progression. In particular, a panel of 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms has been genotyped in a case-control study. The CD99 rs311059 T variant was found to be significantly associated [P value = 0.0029; ORhet = 3.9 (95% CI 1.5-9.8) and ORhom = 5.3 (95% CI 1.2-23.7)] with EWS onset in patients less than 14 years old, while the CD99 rs312257-T was observed to be associated [P value = 0.0265; ORhet = 3.5 (95% CI 1.3-9.9)] with a reduced risk of relapse. Besides confirming the importance of CD99, our findings indicate that polymorphic variations in this gene may affect either development or progression of EWS, leading to further understanding of this cancer and development of better diagnostics/prognostics for children and adolescents with this devastating disease.

Liu D, Yu X, Wang S, et al.
The gain and loss of long noncoding RNA associated-competing endogenous RNAs in prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(35):57228-57238 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PC) is one of the most common solid tumors in men. However, the molecular mechanism of PC remains unclear. Numerous studies have demonstrated that long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) can act as microRNA (miRNA) sponge, one type of competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs), which offers a novel viewpoint to elucidate the mechanisms of PC. Here, we proposed an integrative systems biology approach to infer the gain and loss of ceRNAs in PC. First, we re-annotated exon microarray data to obtain lncRNA expression profiles of PC. Second, by integrating mRNA and miRNA expression, as well as miRNA targets, we constructed lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA ceRNA networks in cancer and normal samples. The lncRNAs in these two ceRNA networks tended to have a longer transcript length and cover more exons than the lncRNAs not involved in ceRNA networks. Next, we further extracted the gain and loss ceRNA networks in PC. We found that the gain ceRNAs in PC participated in cell cycle, and the loss ceRNAs in PC were associated with metabolism. We also identified potential prognostic ceRNA pairs such as MALAT1-EGR2 and MEG3-AQP3. Finally, we inferred a novel mechanism of known drugs, such as cisplatin, for the treatment of PC through gain and loss ceRNA networks. The potential drugs such as 1,2,6-tri-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucopyranose (TGGP) could modulate lncRNA-mRNA competing relationships, which may uncover new strategy for treating PC. In summary, we systematically investigated the gain and loss of ceRNAs in PC, which may prove useful for identifying potential biomarkers and therapeutics for PC.

Couch G, Redman JE, Wernisch L, et al.
The Discovery and Validation of Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Esophageal Squamous Dysplasia and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2016; 9(7):558-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The 5-year survival rate of esophageal cancer is less than 10% in developing countries, where more than 90% of these cancers are esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC). Endoscopic screening is undertaken in high incidence areas. Biomarker analysis could reduce the subjectivity associated with histologic assessment of dysplasia and thus improve diagnostic accuracy. The aims of this study were therefore to identify biomarkers for esophageal squamous dysplasia and carcinoma. A publicly available dataset was used to identify genes with differential expression in ESCC compared with normal esophagus. Each gene was ranked by a support vector machine separation score. Expression profiles were examined, before validation by qPCR and IHC. We found that 800 genes were overexpressed in ESCC compared with normal esophagus (P < 10(-5)). Of the top 50 genes, 33 were expressed in ESCC epithelium and not in normal esophagus epithelium or stroma using the Protein Atlas website. These were taken to qPCR validation, and 20 genes were significantly overexpressed in ESCC compared with normal esophagus (P < 0.05). TNFAIP3 and CHN1 showed differential expression with IHC. TNFAIP3 expression increased gradually through normal esophagus, mild, moderate and severe dysplasia, and SCC (P < 0.0001). CHN1 staining was rarely present in the top third of normal esophagus epithelium and extended progressively towards the surface in mild, moderate, and severe dysplasia, and SCC (P < 0.0001). Two novel promising biomarkers for ESCC were identified, TNFAIP3 and CHN1. CHN1 and TNFAIP3 may improve diagnostic accuracy of screening methods for ESCC. Cancer Prev Res; 9(7); 558-66. ©2016 AACR.

Ghosh A, Ghosh A, Datta S, et al.
Hepatic miR-126 is a potential plasma biomarker for detection of hepatitis B virus infected hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(11):2732-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Controversies about the origin of circulating miRNAs have encouraged us to identify organ specific circulating miRNAs as disease biomarkers. To identify liver-specific miRNAs for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), global expression profiling of miRNAs in liver tissue of HBV-HCC and HBV-control with no or mild fibrosis was evaluated. A total of 40 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified in HCC. Among ten highly altered miRNAs, six miRNAs were successfully validated in tissues, whereas only two miRNAs, miR-126 and miR-142-3p showed increased expression in plasma of HBV-HCC compared to HBV-non-HCC patients. Subsequently, ROC curve analysis revealed that neither miR-126 nor miR-142-3p performed better than AFP in discriminating HCC from non-HCC while combination of each with AFP showed significantly higher efficiency rather than AFP alone (AUC: 0.922, 0.908 vs. 0.88; sensitivity: 0.84, 0.86 vs. 0.82 and specificity: 0.92, 0.94 vs. 0.86 respectively). Interestingly, triple combination of markers (miR-126 + miR-142-3p + AFP) showed no additive effect on efficiency (AUC: 0.925) over the dual combination. Again, the expression of only miR-126 was noticed significantly higher in HBV-HCC patients with low-AFP [<250 ng/ml] compared to either non-HCC or liver cirrhosis (AUC: 0.77, 0.64, respectively). Furthermore, no alteration in expression of mir-126 in HCV-HCC or non-viral-HCC revealed that miR-126 + AFP might be specific to HBV-HCC. To understand the physiological role of these two miRNAs in hepato-carcinogenesis, target genes related to cancer pathways (APAF1, APC2, CDKN2A, IRS1, CRKL, LIFR, EGR2) were verified. Thus, combination of circulating miR-126 + AFP is a promising noninvasive diagnostic biomarker for HBV-HCC and may be useful in the management of HCC patients.

Qiu J, Zhang W, Xia Q, et al.
RNA sequencing identifies crucial genes in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) progression.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2016; 100(1):151-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The study aims to uncover molecular mechanisms of PTC (papillary thyroid carcinoma) progression and provide therapeutic biomarkers.
METHODS: The paired tumor and control tissues were obtained from 5 PTC patients. RNA was extracted and cDNA libraries were constructed. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed on the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform using paired-end method. After preprocessing of the RNA-seq data, gene expression value was calculated by RPKM. Then the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified with edgeR. Functional enrichment and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analyses were conducted for the DEGs. Module analysis of the PPI network was also performed. Transcription factors (TFs) of DEGs were predicted.
RESULTS: A cohort of 496 up-regulated DEGs mainly correlating with the ECM degradation pathways, and 440 down-regulated DEGs predominantly enriching in transmembrane transport process were identified. Hub nodes in the PPI network were RRM2 and a set of collagens (COL1A1, COL3A1 and COL5A1), which were also remarkable in module 3 and module 5, respectively. Genes in module 3 were associated with cell cycle pathways, while in module 5 were related to ECM degradation pathways. PLAU, PSG1 and EGR2 were the crucial TFs with higher transcriptional activity in PTC than in control.
CONCLUSION: Several genes including COL1A1, COL3A1, RRM2, PLAU, and EGR2 might be used as biomarkers of PTC therapy. Among them, COL1A1 and COL3A1 might exert their functions via involving in ECM degradation pathway, while RRM2 through cell cycle pathway. PLAU might be an active TF, whereas EGR2 might be a tumor suppressor.

De Cecco L, Capaia M, Zupo S, et al.
Interleukin 21 Controls mRNA and MicroRNA Expression in CD40-Activated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0134706 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Several factors support CLL cell survival in the microenvironment. Under different experimental conditions, IL21 can either induce apoptosis or promote CLL cell survival. To investigate mechanisms involved in the effects of IL21, we studied the ability of IL21 to modulate gene and miRNA expressions in CD40-activated CLL cells. IL21 was a major regulator of chemokine production in CLL cells and it modulated the expression of genes involved in cell movement, metabolism, survival and apoptosis. In particular, IL21 down-regulated the expression of the chemokine genes CCL4, CCL3, CCL3L1, CCL17, and CCL2, while it up-regulated the Th1-related CXCL9 and CXCL10. In addition, IL21 down-regulated the expression of genes encoding signaling molecules, such as CD40, DDR1 and PIK3CD. IL21 modulated a similar set of genes in CLL and normal B-cells (e.g. chemokine genes), whereas other genes, including MYC, TNF, E2F1, EGR2 and GAS-6, were regulated only in CLL cells. An integrated analysis of the miRNome and gene expression indicated that several miRNAs were under IL21 control and these could, in turn, influence the expression of potential target genes. We focused on hsa-miR-663b predicted to down-regulate several relevant genes. Transfection of hsa-miR-663b or its specific antagonist showed that this miRNA regulated CCL17, DDR1, PIK3CD and CD40 gene expression. Our data indicated that IL21 modulates the expression of genes mediating the crosstalk between CLL cells and their microenvironment and miRNAs may take part in this process.

Zhuo W, Ge W, Meng G, et al.
MicroRNA‑20a promotes the proliferation and cell cycle of human osteosarcoma cells by suppressing early growth response 2 expression.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(4):4989-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial in cancer development. However, the underlying mechanisms of miRNAs in osteosarcoma (OS) remain largely uncharacterized. The present study investigated the role of miR‑20a in OS cell proliferation. It was determined that miR‑20a expression is markedly upregulated in OS tissues and cells compared with the matched adjacent normal tissues and h‑FOB human osteoblast cell lines. Ectopic expression of miR‑20a promoted the proliferation and anchorage‑independent growth of OS cells, whereas inhibition of miR‑20a reduced this effect. Bioinformatics analysis further revealed early growth response 2 (EGR2), as a potential target of miR‑20a. Data from luciferase reporter assays showed that miR‑20a directly binds to the 3'‑untranslated region (3'‑UTR) of EGR2 mRNA and represses expression at the transcriptional and translational levels. In functional assays, miR‑20a promoted OS cell proliferation and the cell cycle, which could be suppressed by an inhibitor of miR‑20a. In conclusion, the data provide compelling evidence that miR‑20a functions as an onco‑miRNA, which is important in promoting cell proliferation in OS, and its oncogenic effect is mediated primarily through direct suppression of EGR2 expression.

Grünewald TG, Bernard V, Gilardi-Hebenstreit P, et al.
Chimeric EWSR1-FLI1 regulates the Ewing sarcoma susceptibility gene EGR2 via a GGAA microsatellite.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(9):1073-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deciphering the ways in which somatic mutations and germline susceptibility variants cooperate to promote cancer is challenging. Ewing sarcoma is characterized by fusions between EWSR1 and members of the ETS gene family, usually EWSR1-FLI1, leading to the generation of oncogenic transcription factors that bind DNA at GGAA motifs. A recent genome-wide association study identified susceptibility variants near EGR2. Here we found that EGR2 knockdown inhibited proliferation, clonogenicity and spheroidal growth in vitro and induced regression of Ewing sarcoma xenografts. Targeted germline deep sequencing of the EGR2 locus in affected subjects and controls identified 291 Ewing-associated SNPs. At rs79965208, the A risk allele connected adjacent GGAA repeats by converting an interspaced GGAT motif into a GGAA motif, thereby increasing the number of consecutive GGAA motifs and thus the EWSR1-FLI1-dependent enhancer activity of this sequence, with epigenetic characteristics of an active regulatory element. EWSR1-FLI1 preferentially bound to the A risk allele, which increased global and allele-specific EGR2 expression. Collectively, our findings establish cooperation between a dominant oncogene and a susceptibility variant that regulates a major driver of Ewing sarcomagenesis.

Fufa TD, Byun JS, Wakano C, et al.
The Tax oncogene enhances ELL incorporation into p300 and P-TEFb containing protein complexes to activate transcription.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 465(1):5-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
The eleven-nineteen lysine-rich leukemia protein (ELL) is a key regulator of RNA polymerase II mediated transcription. ELL facilitates RNA polymerase II transcription pause site entry and release by dynamically interacting with p300 and the positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb). In this study, we investigated the role of ELL during the HTLV-1 Tax oncogene induced transactivation. We show that ectopic expression of Tax enhances ELL incorporation into p300 and P-TEFb containing transcriptional complexes and the subsequent recruitment of these complexes to target genes in vivo. Depletion of ELL abrogates Tax induced transactivation of the immediate early genes Fos, Egr2 and NF-kB, suggesting that ELL is an essential cellular cofactor of the Tax oncogene. Thus, our study identifies a novel mechanism of ELL-dependent transactivation of immediate early genes by Tax and provides the rational for further defining the genome-wide targets of Tax and ELL.

Liu X, Shi H, Liu B, et al.
miR-330-3p controls cell proliferation by targeting early growth response 2 in non-small-cell lung cancer.
Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2015; 47(6):431-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the most common lung cancers, and microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported to play essential roles in NSCLC. Recent studies have indicated that miR-330-3p expression is up-regulated in NSCLC samples and in tissues of NSCLC brain metastasis. In this study, up-regulation of miR-330-3p expression was confirmed in NSCLC and 20 NSCLC patient samples. Furthermore, miR-330-3p was over-expressed in NSCLC cell lines A549 and H23, and the promotive function of miR-330-3p was investigated in regulating NSCLC cell proliferation and cell cycle distribution. To identify potential target genes of miR-330-3p in NSCLC, the miRNA target prediction databases were used. Luciferase activity assay and real-time RT-PCR analysis confirmed that miR-330-3p is negatively correlated with the expression of early growth response 2 (EGR2). Moreover, it was also found that EGR2 mRNA contains two potential binding sites for miR-330-3p. Knock-down of EGR2 with siRNA was demonstrated to have a similar effect as the over-expression of miR-330-3p in NSCLC cell lines. Taken together, our results show that EGR2 is a target of miR-330-3p.

Salotti J, Sakchaisri K, Tourtellotte WG, Johnson PF
An Arf-Egr-C/EBPβ pathway linked to ras-induced senescence and cancer.
Mol Cell Biol. 2015; 35(5):866-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) protects normal cells from transformation by Ras, whereas cells lacking p14/p19(Arf) or other tumor suppressors can be transformed. The transcription factor C/EBPβ is required for OIS in primary fibroblasts but is downregulated by H-Ras(V12) in immortalized NIH 3T3 cells through a mechanism involving p19(Arf) loss. Here, we report that members of the serum-induced early growth response (Egr) protein family are also downregulated in 3T3(Ras) cells and directly and redundantly control Cebpb gene transcription. Egr1, Egr2, and Egr3 recognize three sites in the Cebpb promoter and associate transiently with this region after serum stimulation, coincident with Cebpb induction. Codepletion of all three Egrs prevented Cebpb expression, and serum induction of Egrs was significantly blunted in 3T3(Ras) cells. Egr2 and Egr3 levels were also reduced in Ras(V12)-expressing p19(Arf) null mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), and overall Egr DNA-binding activity was suppressed in Arf-deficient but not wild-type (WT) MEFs, leading to Cebpb downregulation. Analysis of human cancers revealed a strong correlation between EGR levels and CEBPB expression, regardless of whether CEBPB was increased or decreased in tumors. Moreover, overexpression of Egrs in tumor cell lines induced CEBPB and inhibited proliferation. Thus, our findings identify the Arf-Egr-C/EBPβ axis as an important determinant of cellular responses (senescence or transformation) to oncogenic Ras signaling.

Feng D, Ye X, Zhu Z, et al.
Comparative transcriptome analysis between metastatic and non-metastatic gastric cancer reveals potential biomarkers.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 11(1):386-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
The transcriptome of metastatic gastric cancer (GC) was compared to that of non-metastatic GC to identify metastasis-related biomarkers. The gene expression dataset GSE21328, comprising 2 metastatic GC samples and 2 non-metastatic GC samples, was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Differential expression analysis was performed with the package limma of Bioconductor to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis was performed to identify significantly altered biological functions. In addition, the transcriptional regulatory and protein-protein interaction networks were constructed with information from the UCSC genome browser and STRING database, respectively, followed by functional enrichment analysis of all of the genes in these two networks. A total of 584 DEGs were identified, of which 175 were upregulated and 409 downregulated. Clustering analysis confirmed that these genes can distinguish metastatic from non-metastatic GC. Upregulated genes were enriched for the xenobiotic metabolic process, while downregulated genes were enriched for immune response and related pathways. Among the 584 DEGs, six genes (DAND5, EGR2, FOXD1, LMO2, PRRX2 and STAT1) were shown to encode transcription factors, which were used to establish the transcriptional regulatory network with 169 target genes, forming 175 nodes. The proteins of this network were significantly enriched for the process of negative regulation of cell differentiation. In conclusion, this study identified a range of DEGs in metastatic GC, which may enhance our current knowledge on this disease. Among these genes, STAT1 and EGR2 may constitute potential biomarkers of GC metastasis.

Damm F, Mylonas E, Cosson A, et al.
Acquired initiating mutations in early hematopoietic cells of CLL patients.
Cancer Discov. 2014; 4(9):1088-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Appropriate cancer care requires a thorough understanding of the natural history of the disease, including the cell of origin, the pattern of clonal evolution, and the functional consequences of the mutations. Using deep sequencing of flow-sorted cell populations from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), we established the presence of acquired mutations in multipotent hematopoietic progenitors. Mutations affected known lymphoid oncogenes, including BRAF, NOTCH1, and SF3B1. NFKBIE and EGR2 mutations were observed at unexpectedly high frequencies, 10.7% and 8.3% of 168 advanced-stage patients, respectively. EGR2 mutations were associated with a shorter time to treatment and poor overall survival. Analyses of BRAF and EGR2 mutations suggest that they result in deregulation of B-cell receptor (BCR) intracellular signaling. Our data propose disruption of hematopoietic and early B-cell differentiation through the deregulation of pre-BCR signaling as a phenotypic outcome of CLL mutations and show that CLL develops from a pre-leukemic phase.
SIGNIFICANCE: The origin and pathogenic mechanisms of CLL are not fully understood. The current work indicates that CLL develops from pre-leukemic multipotent hematopoietic progenitors carrying somatic mutations. It advocates for abnormalities in early B-cell differentiation as a phenotypic convergence of the diverse acquired mutations observed in CLL.

Davidson B, Abeler VM, Førsund M, et al.
Gene expression signatures of primary and metastatic uterine leiomyosarcoma.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(4):691-700 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is the most common uterine sarcoma. Although the disease is relatively rare, it is responsible for considerable mortality due to frequent metastasis and chemoresistance. The molecular events related to LMS metastasis are unknown to date. The present study compared the global gene expression patterns of primary uterine LMSs and LMS metastases. Gene expression profiles of 13 primary and 15 metastatic uterine LMSs were analyzed using the HumanRef-8 BeadChip from Illumina. Differentially expressed candidate genes were validated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry. To identify differently expressed genes between primary and metastatic tumors, we performed one-way analysis of variance with Benjamini-Hochberg correction. This led to identification of 203 unique probes that were significantly differentially expressed in the 2 tumor groups by greater than 1.58-fold with P < .01, of which 94 and 109 were overexpressed in primary and metastatic LMSs, respectively. Genes overexpressed in primary uterine LMSs included OSTN, NLGN4X, NLGN1, SLITRK4, MASP1, XRN2, ASS1, RORB, HRASLS, and TSPAN7. Genes overexpressed in LMS metastases included TNNT1, FOLR3, TDO2, CRYM, GJA1, TSPAN10, THBS1, SGK1, SHMT1, EGR2, and AGT. Quantitative real-time PCR confirmed significant anatomical site-related differences in FOLR3, OSTN, and NLGN4X levels; and immunohistochemistry showed significant differences in TDO2 expression. Gene expression profiling differentiates primary uterine LMSs from LMS metastases. The molecular signatures unique to primary and metastatic LMSs may aid in understanding tumor progression in this cancer and in providing a molecular basis for prognostic studies and therapeutic target discovery.

Rondahl V, Holmlund C, Karlsson T, et al.
Lrig2-deficient mice are protected against PDGFB-induced glioma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e73635 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The leucine-rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domains (LRIG) proteins constitute an integral membrane protein family that has three members: LRIG1, LRIG2, and LRIG3. LRIG1 negatively regulates growth factor signaling, but little is known regarding the functions of LRIG2 and LRIG3. In oligodendroglial brain tumors, high expression of LRIG2 correlates with poor patient survival. Lrig1 and Lrig3 knockout mice are viable, but there have been no reports on Lrig2-deficient mice to date.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Lrig2-deficient mice were generated by the ablation of Lrig2 exon 12 (Lrig2E12). The Lrig2E12-/- mice showed a transiently reduced growth rate and an increased spontaneous mortality rate; 20-25% of these mice died before 130 days of age, with the majority of the deaths occurring before 50 days. Ntv-a transgenic mice with different Lrig2 genotypes were transduced by intracranial injection with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) B-encoding replication-competent avian retrovirus (RCAS)-producing DF-1 cells. All injected Lrig2E12+/+ mice developed Lrig2 expressing oligodendroglial brain tumors of lower grade (82%) or glioblastoma-like tumors of higher grade (18%). Lrig2E12-/- mice, in contrast, only developed lower grade tumors (77%) or had no detectable tumors (23%). Lrig2E12-/- mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) showed altered induction-kinetics of immediate-early genes Fos and Egr2 in response to PDGF-BB stimulation. However, Lrig2E12-/- MEFs showed no changes in Pdgfrα or Pdgfrβ levels or in levels of PDGF-BB-induced phosphorylation of Pdgfrα, Pdgfrβ, Akt, or extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2). Overexpression of LRIG1, but not of LRIG2, downregulated PDGFRα levels in HEK-293T cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The phenotype of Lrig2E12-/- mice showed that Lrig2 was a promoter of PDGFB-induced glioma, and Lrig2 appeared to have important molecular and developmental functions that were distinct from those of Lrig1 and Lrig3.

Li X, Zhang Z, Yu M, et al.
Involvement of miR-20a in promoting gastric cancer progression by targeting early growth response 2 (EGR2).
Int J Mol Sci. 2013; 14(8):16226-39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers, with high incidences in East Asia. microRNAs (miRNAs) play essential roles in the carcinogenesis of GC. miR-20a was elevated in GC, while the potential function of miR-20a was poorly understood. miR-20a expression was examined in GC tissues and cell lines. The effects of miR-20a on the growth, migration, invasion, and chemoresistance of GC cells were examined. Luciferase reporter assay and Western blot were used to screen the target of miR-20a. miR-20a was increased in GC tissues and cell lines. miR-20a promoted the growth, migration and invasion of GC cells, enhanced the chemoresistance of GC cells to cisplatin and docetaxel. Luciferase activity and Western blot confirmed that miR-20a negatively regulated EGR2 expression. Overexpression of EGR2 significantly attenuated the oncogenic effect of miR-20a. miR-20a was involved in the carcinogenesis of GC through modulation of the EGR2 signaling pathway.

Gomez-Sanchez JA, Gomis-Coloma C, Morenilla-Palao C, et al.
Epigenetic induction of the Ink4a/Arf locus prevents Schwann cell overproliferation during nerve regeneration and after tumorigenic challenge.
Brain. 2013; 136(Pt 7):2262-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
The number of Schwann cells is fitted to axonal length in peripheral nerves. This relationship is lost when tumorigenic stimuli induce uncontrolled Schwann cell proliferation, generating tumours such us neurofibromas and schwannomas. Schwann cells also re-enter the cell cycle following nerve injury during the process of Wallerian degeneration. In both cases proliferation is finally arrested. We show that in neurofibroma, the induction of Jmjd3 (jumonji domain containing 3, histone lysine demethylase) removes trimethyl groups on lysine-27 of histone-H3 and epigenetically activates the Ink4a/Arf-locus, forcing Schwann cells towards replicative senescence. Remarkably, blocking this mechanism allows unrestricted proliferation, inducing malignant transformation of neurofibromas. Interestingly, our data suggest that in injured nerves, Schwann cells epigenetically activate the same locus to switch off proliferation and enter the senescence programme. Indeed, when this pathway is genetically blocked, Schwann cells fail to drop out of the cell cycle and continue to proliferate. We postulate that the Ink4a/Arf-locus is expressed as part of a physiological response that prevents uncontrolled proliferation of the de-differentiated Schwann cell generated during nerve regeneration, a response that is also activated to avoid overproliferation after tumorigenic stimuli in the peripheral nervous system.

Zhang N, Wei X, Xu L
miR-150 promotes the proliferation of lung cancer cells by targeting P53.
FEBS Lett. 2013; 587(15):2346-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is one of the most common causes for cancer-related death. Previous studies suggested that uncontrolled cell proliferation induced by activation of pro-cancer genes or inhibition of cancer suppressor genes plays an important role in the pathogenesis of lung cancer. Here, we demonstrate that miR-150 is aberrantly upregulated in lung cancer tissue and negatively correlates with the expression of the proapoptotic gene p53 but not EGR2. We show that miR-150 specifically targets the 3'-UTR of p53 and regulates its expression. Inhibition of miR-150 effectively delays cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis, accompanied by increased p53 protein expression. Our data reveals the mechanisms underlying miR-150 regulated lung cancer pathogenesis, which might be beneficial for lung cancer therapy.

Bousquet M, Zhuang G, Meng C, et al.
miR-150 blocks MLL-AF9-associated leukemia through oncogene repression.
Mol Cancer Res. 2013; 11(8):912-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The microRNA miR-150, a critical regulator of hematopoiesis, is downregulated in mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL). In this study, miR-150 acts as a potent leukemic tumor suppressor by blocking the oncogenic properties of leukemic cells. By using MLL-AF9-transformed cells, we demonstrate that ectopic expression of miR-150 inhibits blast colony formation, cell growth, and increases apoptosis in vitro. More importantly, ectopic expression of miR-150 in MLL-AF9-transformed cells completely blocked the development of myeloid leukemia in transplanted mice. Furthermore, gene expression profiling revealed that miR-150 altered the expression levels of more than 30 "stem cell signature" genes and many others that are involved in critical cancer pathways. In addition to the known miR-150 target Myb, we also identified Cbl and Egr2 as bona fide targets and shRNA-mediated suppression of these genes recapitulated the pro-apoptotic effects observed in leukemic cells with miR-150 ectopic expression. In conclusion, we demonstrate that miR-150 is a potent leukemic tumor suppressor that regulates multiple oncogenes.
IMPLICATIONS: These data establish new, key players for the development of therapeutic strategies to treat MLL-AF9-related leukemia.

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