Research IndicatorsGraph generated 06 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 06 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (3)
Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.
Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
Search the Epigenomics database and view relevant gene tracks of samples.
Latest Publications: HHEX (cancer-related)
Forkhead box E1 encodes the transcription factor FOXE1 (or TTF-2), which together with Homeobox protein NKX2-1, PAX8 and HHEX, are pivotal proteins required for thyroid gland formation, differentiation and function. Recently, genome-wide association studies have identified FOXE1 as a thyroid cancer (TC) susceptibility gene in populations of European descent. After that, a number of studies reported that the rs965513, rs1867277, and rs71369530 polymorphism in FOXE1 has been implicated in TC risk. However, the causal variants remain unknown. To derive a more precise estimation of the relationship, a meta-analysis of 9,828 TC cases and 109,995 controls from 14 case-control studies was performed. Overall, significant results were observed for rs965513 (OR=1.71, 95% CI: 1.59-1.85, P<10(-5)), rs1867277 (OR=1.64, 95% CI: 1.51-1.78, P<10(-5)) and rs71369530 (OR=2.01, 95% CI: 1.66-2.44, P<10(-5)) polymorphism. In the subgroup analysis by ethnicity, we found that rs965513 polymorphism confer high risk for Caucasians with per-allele OR of 1.80 (95% CI: 1.69-1.92, P<10(-5)) compared to East Asians of 1.35 (95% CI: 1.09-1.67, P=0.006). There was strong evidence of heterogeneity, which largely disappeared after stratification by ethnicity. In the subgroup analysis by sample size, and study design, significantly increased risks were found for the polymorphism. In conclusion, this meta-analysis demonstrated that common variations of FOXE1 are a risk factor associated with increased TC susceptibility.
Ma RC, So WY, Tam CH, et al.Genetic variants for type 2 diabetes and new-onset cancer in Chinese with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2014; 103(2):328-37 [PubMed
] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of cancer. This study aimed to evaluate associations between recently reported type 2 diabetes (T2D) susceptibility genetic variants and cancer risk in a prospective cohort of Chinese patients with T2D.
METHODS: Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in IGF2BP2, CDKAL1, SLC30A8, CDKN2A/B, HHEX and TCF7L2, all identified from genome-wide association studies of T2D, were genotyped in 5900 T2D patients [age mean ± SD = 57 ± 13 years, % males = 46] without any known cancer at baseline. Associations between new-onset of cancer and SNPs were tested by Cox proportional hazard models with adjustment of conventional risk factors.
RESULTS: During the mean follow-up period of 8.5 ± 3.3 years, 429 patients (7.3%) developed cancer. Of the T2D-related SNPs, the G-alleles of HHEX rs7923837 (hazard ratio [HR] (95% C.I.) = 1.34 (1.08-1.65); P = 6.7 ×10(-3) under dominant model) and TCF7L2 rs290481 (HR (95% C.I.) = 1.16 (1.01-1.33); P = 0.040 under additive model) were positively associated with cancer risk, while the G-allele of CDKAL1 rs7756992 was inversely associated (HR (95% C.I.) = 0.80 (0.65-1.00); P = 0.048 under recessive model). The risk alleles of these significant SNPs exhibited combined effect on increasing cancer risk (per-allele HR (95% C.I.) = 1.25 (1.12-1.39); P = 4.8 × 10(-5)). The adjusted cancer risk was 2.41 (95% C.I. 1.23-4.69) for patients with four risk alleles comparing to patients without risk allele.
CONCLUSIONS: T2D-related variants HHEX rs7923837, TCF7L2 rs290481 and CDKAL1 rs7756992 increased cancer risk in patients with diabetes.
IMPACT: Our findings provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of cancer in diabetes.
The LMO2 oncogene is deregulated in the majority of human T-cell leukemia cases and in most gene therapy-induced T-cell leukemias. We made transgenic mice with enforced expression of Lmo2 in T-cells by the CD2 promoter/enhancer. These transgenic mice developed highly penetrant T-ALL by two distinct patterns of gene expression: one in which there was concordant activation of Lyl1, Hhex, and Mycn or alternatively, with Notch1 target gene activation. Most strikingly, this gene expression clustering was conserved in human Early T-cell Precursor ALL (ETP-ALL), where LMO2, HHEX, LYL1, and MYCN were most highly expressed. We discovered that HHEX is a direct transcriptional target of LMO2 consistent with its concordant gene expression. Furthermore, conditional inactivation of Hhex in CD2-Lmo2 transgenic mice markedly attenuated T-ALL development, demonstrating that Hhex is a crucial mediator of Lmo2's oncogenic function. The CD2-Lmo2 transgenic mice offer mechanistic insight into concordant oncogene expression and provide a model for the highly treatment-resistant ETP-ALL subtype.
Costanzi E, Urbanelli L, Bellezza I, et al.Hypermethylation contributes to down-regulation of lysosomal β-hexosaminidase α subunit in prostate cancer cells.
Biochimie. 2014; 101:75-82 [PubMed
] Related Publications
β-Hexosaminidase, involved in degradation of glycoproteins and glycosphingolipids, is altered in several tumours leading to enhanced migration capacity. To date, the expression of the β-hexosaminidase isoenzymes in prostate cancer cells has not been elucidated. By using PC3, LNCaP, DUCaP, MDAPCa 2b, and hyperplasic prostate (BPH-1) cell lines, we analysed the β-hexosaminidase activity in each cell line and determined β-hexosaminidase α subunit gene expression in PC3, LNCaP, and BPH-1. We then investigated the methylation status of the gene promoter and determined the cellular responses of PC3 and LNCaP after transfection with β-hexosaminidase α subunit. We found that each prostate cancer cell line had a decrease in total hexosaminidase activity and that the lack of hexosaminidase A activity, observed in PC3 and LNCaP cells, was associated with mRNA disappearance. The HEXA promoter region in LNCaP and PC3 cell lines had methylated CpG islands, as confirmed by 5'-Aza-2'-deoxycitidine treatment, in PC3 cells, used as cell cancer model. We also tested, the involvement of hexosaminidase A in the migration capacity by migration assay using Hex α subunit-transfected PC3. Finally, we found that, after Hex α subunit transfection, both PC3 and LNCaP were less susceptible to exogenous ceramide treatment. Results indicate a likely contribution of the lysosomal enzyme to the acquisition of cancerous features.
Salsi V, Ferrari S, Gorello P, et al.NUP98 fusion oncoproteins promote aneuploidy by attenuating the mitotic spindle checkpoint.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(4):1079-90 [PubMed
] Related Publications
NUP98 is a recurrent fusion partner in chromosome translocations that cause acute myelogenous leukemia. NUP98, a nucleoporin, and its interaction partner Rae1, have been implicated in the control of chromosome segregation, but their mechanistic contributions to tumorigenesis have been unclear. Here, we show that expression of NUP98 fusion oncoproteins causes mitotic spindle defects and chromosome missegregation, correlating with the capability of NUP98 fusions to cause premature securin degradation and slippage from an unsatisfied spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). NUP98 fusions, unlike wild-type NUP98, were found to physically interact with the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C)(Cdc20) and to displace the BubR1 SAC component, suggesting a possible mechanistic basis for their interference with SAC function. In addition, NUP98 oncoproteins displayed a prolonged half-life in cells. We found that NUP98 stability is controlled by a PEST sequence, absent in NUP98 oncoproteins, whose deletion reproduced the aberrant SAC-interfering activity of NUP98 oncoproteins. Together, our findings suggest that NUP98 oncoproteins predispose myeloid cells to oncogenic transformation or malignant progression by promoting whole chromosome instability.
Kershaw RM, Siddiqui YH, Roberts D, et al.PRH/HHex inhibits the migration of breast and prostate epithelial cells through direct transcriptional regulation of Endoglin.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(49):5592-600 [PubMed
] Related Publications
PRH/HHex (proline-rich homeodomain protein) is a transcription factor that controls cell proliferation and cell differentiation in a variety of tissues. Aberrant subcellular localisation of PRH is associated with breast cancer and thyroid cancer. Further, in blast crisis chronic myeloid leukaemia, and a subset of acute myeloid leukaemias, PRH is aberrantly localised and its activity is downregulated. Here we show that PRH is involved in the regulation of cell migration and cancer cell invasion. We show for the first time that PRH is expressed in prostate cells and that a decrease in PRH protein levels increases the migration of normal prostate epithelial cells. We show that a decrease in PRH protein levels also increases the migration of normal breast epithelial cells. Conversely, PRH overexpression inhibits cell migration and cell invasion by PC3 and DU145 prostate cancer cells and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Previous work has shown that the transforming growth factor-β co-receptor Endoglin inhibits the migration of prostate and breast cancer cells. Here we show that PRH can bind to the Endoglin promoter in immortalised prostate and breast cells. PRH overexpression in these cells results in increased Endoglin protein expression, whereas PRH knockdown results in decreased Endoglin protein expression. Moreover, we demonstrate that Endoglin overexpression abrogates the increased migration shown by PRH knockdown cells. Our data suggest that PRH controls the migration of multiple epithelial cell lineages in part at least through the direct transcriptional regulation of Endoglin. We discuss these results in terms of the functions of PRH in normal cells and the mislocalisation of PRH seen in multiple cancer cell types.
Parvathi MV, Murthy PB, Vennila M, Suresh BVRegulation of BMI1 Polycomb gene expression in histological grades of invasive ductal breast carcinomas and its correlation with hormone receptor status.
Tumour Biol. 2013; 34(6):3807-15 [PubMed
] Related Publications
BMI1 is the first functional mammalian Polycomb group (PcG) proto-oncogene involved in multiple biological processes. Regulation of B cell-specific Moloney murine leukaemia virus integration site 1 (BMI1) expression with increase in histological grades of breast carcinoma in correlation with hormone receptor status was studied in 60 Indian breast cancer patient's formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue blocks. Relative expression of BMI1 was studied using real-time PCR. Immunohistochemistry explained the distribution of hormone receptor markers. Correlation of BMI1 gene expression with oestrogen receptor, progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2/neu status was analysed using Hex-protein docking tool. The hormone receptor expression was reduced with increasing grades of breast tumour. BMI1 gene expression was downregulated (real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis). Docking analysis explained the correlation between BMI1 and PR expression. BMI1 gene was co-regulated (down) with PR in the invasive ductal breast carcinoma with relative progression explicating it a diagnostic biomarker for ductal carcinoma of the breast.
Angiogenesis is essential for solid tumour growth, whilst the molecular profiles of tumour blood vessels have been reported to be different between cancer types. Although presently available anti-angiogenic strategies are providing some promise for the treatment of some cancers it is perhaps not surprisingly that, none of the anti-angiogenic agents available work on all tumours. Thus, the discovery of novel anti-angiogenic targets, relevant to individual cancer types, is required. Using Affymetrix microarray analysis of laser-captured, CD31-positive blood vessels we have identified 63 genes that are upregulated significantly (5-72 fold) in angiogenic blood vessels associated with human invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast as compared with blood vessels in normal human breast. We tested the angiogenic capacity of a subset of these genes. Genes were selected based on either their known cellular functions, their enriched expression in endothelial cells and/or their sensitivity to anti-VEGF treatment; all features implicating their involvement in angiogenesis. For example, RRM2, a ribonucleotide reductase involved in DNA synthesis, was upregulated 32-fold in IDC-associated blood vessels; ATF1, a nuclear activating transcription factor involved in cellular growth and survival was upregulated 23-fold in IDC-associated blood vessels and HEX-B, a hexosaminidase involved in the breakdown of GM2 gangliosides, was upregulated 8-fold in IDC-associated blood vessels. Furthermore, in silico analysis confirmed that AFT1 and HEX-B also were enriched in endothelial cells when compared with non-endothelial cells. None of these genes have been reported previously to be involved in neovascularisation. However, our data establish that siRNA depletion of Rrm2, Atf1 or Hex-B had significant anti-angiogenic effects in VEGF-stimulated ex vivo mouse aortic ring assays. Overall, our results provide proof-of-principle that our approach can identify a cohort of potentially novel anti-angiogenic targets that are likley to be, but not exclusivley, relevant to breast cancer.
The PRH/Hhex transcription factor represses multiple genes in the VEGF signalling pathway (VSP) to inhibit myeloid cell survival. Protein kinase CK2 phosphorylates PRH and counteracts the inhibitory effect of this protein on cell survival by blocking the repression of VSP genes. Here we show that the BCR-ABL/Src kinase inhibitor dasatinib decreases PRH phosphorylation and increases PRH-dependent repression of Vegf and Vegfr-1. Moreover in the absence of PRH, dasatinib does not inhibit cell survival as effectively as in PRH expressing cells. Thus the re-establishment of gene control by PRH is in part responsible for the therapeutic effects of dasatinib.
Kim JJ, Choi YM, Cho YM, et al.Polycystic ovary syndrome is not associated with polymorphisms of the TCF7L2, CDKAL1, HHEX, KCNJ11, FTO and SLC30A8 genes.
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2012; 77(3):439-45 [PubMed
] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Insulin resistance is a core feature of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Recently, genome-wide association studies have reported a number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with reproducible associations and susceptibilities to type 2 diabetes. We examined the potential association between the diabetogenic genes uncovered in the genome-wide association studies and PCOS in Korean women.
DESIGN: Case-control study.
PATIENTS: Women with or without PCOS.
MEASUREMENTS: DNA samples from 377 patients with PCOS and 386 age-matched controls were genotyped.
RESULTS: None of the 12 SNPs in the six genes (KCNJ11, TCF7L2, SLC30A8, HHEX, FTO and CDKAL1) uncovered in the genome-wide association studies were associated with PCOS. For further analysis, the patients with PCOS were divided into two or three subgroups according to genotype, and the associations between the genotypes and insulin resistance or insulin secretory capacity were assessed. No SNPs were significantly associated with HOMA-IR, HOMA (βcell) (%), or 2-h 75-g oral glucose tolerance test insulin levels in the patients with PCOS; there were no significant associations with other serum hormonal and metabolic markers, such as androgen or glucose levels.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the six type 2 diabetes-associated genes identified in genome-wide association studies are not associated with PCOS.
NK-like (NKL) homeobox genes code for transcription factors, which can act as key regulators in fundamental cellular processes. NKL genes have been implicated in divergent types of cancer. In this review, we summarize the involvement of NKL genes in cancer and leukemia in particular. NKL genes can act as tumor-suppressor genes and as oncogenes, depending on tissue type. Aberrant expression of NKL genes is especially common in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). In T-ALL, 8 NKL genes have been reported to be highly expressed in specific T-ALL subgroups, and in ~30% of cases, high expression is caused by chromosomal rearrangement of 1 of 5 NKL genes. Most of these NKL genes are normally not expressed in T-cell development. We hypothesize that the NKL genes might share a similar downstream effect that promotes leukemogenesis, possibly due to mimicking a NKL gene that has a physiological role in early hematopoietic development, such as HHEX. All eight NKL genes posses a conserved Eh1 repressor motif, which has an important role in regulating downstream targets in hematopoiesis and possibly in leukemogenesis as well. Identification of a potential common leukemogenic NKL downstream pathway will provide a promising subject for future studies.
Strickland NJ, Matsha T, Erasmus RT, Zaahl MGMolecular analysis of ceruloplasmin in a South African cohort presenting with oesophageal cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2012; 131(3):623-32 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Oesophageal cancer (OC) is a disease characterized by the development of malignant tumors in the epithelial cells lining the oesophagus. It demonstrates marked ethnic variation, with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) being more prevalent in the Black population and adenocarcinoma (ADC) occurring more often in Caucasians. The etiology of this complex disease has been attributed to a variety of factors, including an excess of iron (resulting in increased tumourigenesis), oesophageal injury and inflammation (due in part to Barrett's oesophagus and smoking among others). The aim of this study was to determine if genetic variations identified in the ceruloplasmin (CP) gene (implicated in iron homeostasis) contribute to OC pathogenesis or susceptibility. The study cohort consisted of 96 unrelated OC patients from the Black Xhosa-speaking South African population and 88 population-matched control individuals. The promoter and coding regions of the CP gene were analyzed for DNA sequence variation using heteroduplex single-strand conformation polymorphism (HEX-SSCP) analysis, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and semi-automated bidirectional DNA sequencing analysis. Fourteen previously described and four novel variants were identified. Statistically significant associations were revealed for two of the novel variants with OC in this study and could, therefore, potentially contribute to disease susceptibility. In silico analysis of the region of the promoter spanning the identified variants sought to identify putative transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) that could possibly regulate the expression of CP. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine CP with respect to OC in the Black South African population.
Visser-Grieve S, Hao Y, Yang XHuman homolog of Drosophila expanded, hEx, functions as a putative tumor suppressor in human cancer cell lines independently of the Hippo pathway.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(9):1189-95 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The Hippo signaling network is proving to be an essential regulator within the cell, participating in multiple cellular phenotypes including cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell migration and organ size control. Much of this pathway is conserved from flies to mammals; however, how the upstream components, namely Expanded, affect downstream processes in mammalian systems has remained elusive. Only recently has human Expanded (hEx), also known as FRMD6 or Willin, been identified. However, its functional significance with respect to its putative tumor suppressor function and activation of the Hippo pathway has not been studied. In this study, we show for the first time that hEx possesses several tumor suppressor properties. First, hEx dramatically inhibits cell proliferation in two human cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-436 cells, and sensitizes these cells to the chemotherapeutic drug Taxol. Furthermore, downregulation of hEx in the immortalized MCF10A breast cell line leads to enhanced proliferation and resistance to Taxol treatment. As evidence for its tumor suppressor function, overexpression of hEx inhibits colony formation, soft agar colony growth in vitro and in vivo tumor growth in nude mice. Although Drosophila expanded (ex) can activate the Hippo pathway, surprisingly no significant alterations were discovered in the phosphorylation status of any of the Hippo pathway components, including downstream tumor suppressor LATS1, upon overexpression of hEx. In addition, knockdown of both LATS1 and LATS2 in hEx-overexpressing cells was unable to rescue the hEx phenotype, suggesting that hEx functions independently of the Hippo pathway in this cell line. Alternatively, we propose a mechanism through which hEx inhibits progression through the S phase of the cell cycle by upregulating p21(Cip1) and downregulating Cyclin A. This is the first study to functionally characterize hEx and show that hEx acts in a distinct manner compared with Drosophila expanded.
Su J, You P, Zhao JP, et al.A potential role for the homeoprotein Hhex in hepatocellular carcinoma progression.
Med Oncol. 2012; 29(2):1059-67 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common primary malignant tumor of the liver, often associated with the dysregulation of transcriptional pathways involved in cell growth and differentiation. The hematopoietically expressed homeobox protein (Hhex) is an important transcription factor throughout liver development and is essential to liver bud formation and hepatoblast differentiation. Here, we report a relationship between Hhex expression and HCC. First, adenovirus-mediated Hhex delivery into the hepatoma cell line, Hepa1-6, resulted in decreased expression of several proto-oncogenes (c-Jun and Bcl2), increased expression of some tumor suppressor genes (P53 and Rb), and enhanced expression of a cluster of hepatocytic and bile ductular markers. Second, Hhex expression significantly attenuated Hepa1-6 tumorigenicity in nude mice. Third, we report a correlation between Hhex expression and the differentiation state of human HCC. In 24 cases of clinical specimens, there was a significant difference in Hhex expression between poorly differentiated HCC and well-differentiated HCC (P < 0.001). Taken together, these results indicate that Hhex is a potential candidate molecular marker for HCC pathological evaluation, suggesting a need to evaluate Hhex as a potential target for therapeutic intervention.
Oram SH, Thoms JA, Pridans C, et al.A previously unrecognized promoter of LMO2 forms part of a transcriptional regulatory circuit mediating LMO2 expression in a subset of T-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia patients.
Oncogene. 2010; 29(43):5796-808 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The T-cell oncogene Lim-only 2 (LMO2) critically influences both normal and malignant haematopoiesis. LMO2 is not normally expressed in T cells, yet ectopic expression is seen in the majority of T-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) patients with specific translocations involving LMO2 in only a subset of these patients. Ectopic lmo2 expression in thymocytes of transgenic mice causes T-ALL, and retroviral vector integration into the LMO2 locus was implicated in the development of clonal T-cell disease in patients undergoing gene therapy. Using array-based chromatin immunoprecipitation, we now demonstrate that in contrast to B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, human T-ALL samples largely use promoter elements with little influence from distal enhancers. Active LMO2 promoter elements in T-ALL included a previously unrecognized third promoter, which we demonstrate to be active in cell lines, primary T-ALL patients and transgenic mice. The ETS factors ERG and FLI1 previously implicated in lmo2-dependent mouse models of T-ALL bind to the novel LMO2 promoter in human T-ALL samples, while in return LMO2 binds to blood stem/progenitor enhancers in the FLI1 and ERG gene loci. Moreover, LMO2, ERG and FLI1 all regulate the +1 enhancer of HHEX/PRH, which was recently implicated as a key mediator of early progenitor expansion in LMO2-driven T-ALL. Our data therefore suggest that a self-sustaining triad of LMO2/ERG/FLI1 stabilizes the expression of important mediators of the leukaemic phenotype such as HHEX/PRH.
INTRODUCTION: Obesity and diabetes are known risk factors for endometrial cancer; thus, the genetic risk factors of these phenotypes might also be associated with endometrial cancer risk. To evaluate this hypothesis, we genotyped tag-single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and candidate SNPs in FTO and HHEX in a primary set of 417 endometrial cancer cases and 406 population-based controls, and validated significant findings in a replication set of approximately 2,347 cases and 3,140 controls from three additional studies.
METHODS: We genotyped 189 tagSNPs in FTO (including rs8050136) and five tagSNPs in HHEX (including rs1111875) in the primary set and one SNP each in FTO (rs12927155) and HHEX (rs1111875) in the validation set. Per allele odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to estimate the association between the genotypes of each SNPs (as an ordinal variable) and endometrial cancer risk using unconditional logistic regression models, controlling for age and site.
RESULTS: In the primary study, the most significant finding in FTO was rs12927155 (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.21-2.01; P = 5.8 x 10(-4)), and in HHEX, it was rs1111875 (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.66-0.97; P = 0.026). In the validation studies, the pooled per allele OR, adjusted for age and study for FTO, was rs12927155 (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.83-1.06; P = 0.29), whereas for HHEX, it was rs1111875 (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.92-1.10; P = 0.96).
CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that common genetic variants in two genes previously related to obesity (FTO) and diabetes (HHEX) by genome-wide association scans were not associated with endometrial cancer risk.
IMPACT: Polymorphisms in FTO and HHEX are unlikely to have large effects on endometrial cancer risk but may have weaker effects.
The proline-rich homeodomain protein (PRH) plays multiple roles in the control of gene expression during embryonic development and in the adult. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a mitogen that stimulates cell proliferation and survival via cell surface receptors including VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2. VEGF signaling is of critical importance in angiogenesis and hematopoiesis and is elevated in many tumors. Here we show that PRH binds directly to the promoter regions of the Vegf, Vegfr-1, and Vegfr-2 genes and that in each case PRH represses transcription. We demonstrate that overexpression or knockdown of PRH directly impinges on the survival of both leukemic and tumor cells and that the modulation of VEGF and VEGF receptor signaling by PRH mediates these effects. Our findings demonstrate that PRH is a key regulator of the VEGF signaling pathway and describe a mechanism whereby PRH plays an important role in tumorigenesis and leukemogenesis.
There is a known inverse association between type 2 diabetes (T2D) and prostate cancer (PrCa) that is poorly understood. Genetic studies of the T2D-PrCa association may provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of this association. We evaluated associations in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study between PrCa and nine T2D single nucleotide polymorphisms from genome-wide association studies of T2D (in CDKAL1, CDKN2A/B, FTO, HHEX, IGF2BP2, KCNJ11, PPARG, SLC30A8, and TCF7L2) and four T2D single nucleotide polymorphisms from pre-genome-wide association studies (in ADRB2, CAPN10, SLC2A2, and UCP2). From 1987 to 2000, there were 397 incident PrCa cases among 6,642 men ages 45 to 64 years at baseline. We used race-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to estimate associations between PrCa and increasing number of T2D risk-raising alleles. PrCa was positively associated with the CAPN10 rs3792267 G allele [hazard ratio (HR) 1.20; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.00-1.44] and inversely associated with the SLC2A2 rs5400 Thr110 allele (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72, 1.00), the UCP2 rs660339 Val55 allele (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.73, 0.97) and the IGF2BP2 rs4402960 T allele (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.61-1.02; blacks only). The TCF7L2 rs7903146 T allele was inversely associated with PrCa using a dominant genetic model (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.65-0.97). Further knowledge of T2D gene-PrCa mechanisms may improve understanding of PrCa etiology.
McCormack MP, Young LF, Vasudevan S, et al.The Lmo2 oncogene initiates leukemia in mice by inducing thymocyte self-renewal.
Science. 2010; 327(5967):879-83 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The LMO2 oncogene causes a subset of human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALL), including four cases that arose as adverse events in gene therapy trials. To investigate the cellular origin of LMO2-induced leukemia, we used cell fate mapping to study mice in which the Lmo2 gene was constitutively expressed in the thymus. Lmo2 induced self-renewal of committed T cells in the mice more than 8 months before the development of overt T-ALL. These self-renewing cells retained the capacity for T cell differentiation but expressed several genes typical of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), suggesting that Lmo2 might reactivate an HSC-specific transcriptional program. Forced expression of one such gene, Hhex, was sufficient to initiate self-renewal of thymocytes in vivo. Thus, Lmo2 promotes the self-renewal of preleukemic thymocytes, providing a mechanism by which committed T cells can then accumulate additional genetic mutations required for leukemic transformation.
PURPOSE: This study was to evaluate whether polymorphisms of TCF7L2 (rs7903146) and HHEX (rs1111875) genes responsible for insulin secretion are associated with the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in Chinese people.
METHODS: 326 PCOS patients and 290 healthy individuals as controls were studied. Blood samples were obtained for DNA analyses and hormone measurements. Genotyping of the TCF7L2 (rs7903146) and HHEX (rs1111875) genes was carried out by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method.
RESULTS: We did not find statistically significant differences in the distribution of the TCF7L2 rs7903146 and HHEX rs1111875 polymorphisms between the Chinese women with PCOS and the controls. Levels of hormones such as insulin, FSH, LH, LH/FSH, P, T and E2 were also similar between the different genotypes of the genes TCF7L2 and HHEX, respectively, which was confirmed within either the PCOS subjects or controls.
CONCLUSIONS: There was no association of either of the two variants, rs7903146 of TCF7L2 and rs1111875 of HHEX, with the occurrence of PCOS in the Chinese population.
Jankovic D, Gorello P, Liu T, et al.Leukemogenic mechanisms and targets of a NUP98/HHEX fusion in acute myeloid leukemia.
Blood. 2008; 111(12):5672-82 [PubMed
] Related Publications
We have studied a patient with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and t(10;11)(q23;p15) as the sole cytogenetic abnormality. Molecular analysis revealed a translocation involving nucleoporin 98 (NUP98) fused to the DNA-binding domain of the hematopoietically expressed homeobox gene (HHEX). Expression of NUP98/HHEX in murine bone marrow cells leads to aberrant self-renewal and a block in normal differentiation that depends on the integrity of the NUP98 GFLG repeats and the HHEX homeodomain. Transplantation of bone marrow cells expressing NUP98/HHEX leads to transplantable acute leukemia characterized by extensive infiltration of leukemic blasts expressing myeloid markers (Gr1(+)) as well as markers of the B-cell lineage (B220(+)). A latency period of 9 months and its clonal character suggest that NUP98/HHEX is necessary but not sufficient for disease induction. Expression of EGFP-NUP98/HHEX fusions showed a highly similar nuclear localization pattern as for other NUP98/homeodomain fusions, such as NUP98/HOXA9. Comparative gene expression profiling in primary bone marrow cells provided evidence for the presence of common targets in cells expressing NUP98/HOXA9 or NUP98/HHEX. Some of these genes (Hoxa5, Hoxa9, Flt3) are deregulated in NUP98/HHEX-induced murine leukemia as well as in human blasts carrying this fusion and might represent bona fide therapeutic targets.
Mitsuhashi J, Tsukahara S, Suzuki R, et al.Retroviral integration site analysis and the fate of transduced clones in an MDR1 gene therapy protocol targeting metastatic breast cancer.
Hum Gene Ther. 2007; 18(10):895-906 [PubMed
] Related Publications
A clinical study of an MDR1 gene therapy protocol targeting metastatic breast cancer has been conducted in which the patients received high-dose chemotherapy, a transplant of MDR1-transduced autologous CD34(+) cells, and docetaxel. We herein report the molecular results of a 6-year follow-up of an individual in this study (patient 1). HaMDR-transduced cells, which had been initially detected in the peripheral blood of this individual, were found to have gradually decreased. After 10 cycles of docetaxel (days 71-316), MDR1 transgene levels were found to have increased, and then decreased to undetectable levels by day 1461. Thirty-eight MDR1-transduced clones were identified in patient 1, of which 11 showed a retroviral integration in close proximity to genes listed in the Retrovirus Tagged Cancer Gene Database (RTCGD). Four short-life clones in this group were found to harbor retroviral integrations close to the ZFHX1B, NOTCH1, BMI1, or HHEX gene; these genes have been frequently reported in the RTCGD. In addition, a long-lived RTCGD-hit clone, L-34, had a retroviral integration at a position 179 kb upstream of the EVI1 gene. L-34 was detectable on days 327-1154, but became undetectable 3 years after the docetaxel treatments had ceased. An additional three docetaxel-induced long-life clones showed comparable polymerase chain reaction profiles, which were also similar to that of the total MDR1-transduced cells. Our results thus show that docetaxel may have been effective in promoting the expansion of several MDR1-transduced clones in patient 1, but that they persist in the peripheral blood for only a few years.
Moore SW, Appfelstaedt J, Zaahl MGFamilial medullary carcinoma prevention, risk evaluation, and RET in children of families with MEN2.
J Pediatr Surg. 2007; 42(2):326-32 [PubMed
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UNLABELLED: The ability to predict the risk of MEN2 and medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) by genetic RET proto-oncogene analysis has provided an essential tool in identifying patients in whom thyroid cancer can be prevented by prophylactic thyroidectomy but emphasizes the need for clear policy guidelines. Children of families with RET cysteine mutations (exons 10, 11, 13, and 16) may develop early metastatic tumours and require prophylactic thyroidectomy. The 918 mutation associated with MEN2B is associated with early aggressive behaviour and distant metastatic spread. This has led to active screening of affected families underlining the need for specific intervention strategies.
AIM: To evaluate the risk to children of families with MEN2 and to assess the risk and determine the treatment.
METHODS: Twenty-five patients from 10 families with MEN2 phenotypes were screened for RET mutations. Polymerase chain reaction amplification was performed on all 21 exons of the RET proto-oncogene, followed by heteroduplex single-strand conformation polymorphism (HEX-SSCP) analysis. Polymerase chain reaction products demonstrating variation in the HEX-SSCP gels were subjected to automated DNA sequencing analysis.
RESULTS: Eleven significant RET mutations were detected in affected families. Eight index cases received initial thyroidectomy for established MTC (plus 2 advised). In the family members screened, 3 prophylactic thyroidectomies (2 with early MTC) were performed and a further 2 recommended. An exon 10 C620W missense mutation (the "Janus" gene) was detected in a patient with Hirschsprung's disease plus 1 family member.
CONCLUSION: RET analysis of MEN has revolutionized the management of children of families with MEN2 and allowed surgical prediction and prophylaxis to take place. The presence of an exon 10 C620W mutation in association with Hirschsprung's disease was difficult to assess. We suggest possible guidelines for management of families with MTC and the role of genetic testing in their evaluation.
Carlisle DL, Liu X, Hopkins TM, et al.Nicotine activates cell-signaling pathways through muscle-type and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in non-small cell lung cancer cells.
Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2007; 20(6):629-41 [PubMed
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Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are expressed on non-neuronal cell types, including normal bronchial epithelial cells, and nicotine has been reported to cause Akt activation in cultured normal airway cells. This study documents mRNA and protein expression of subunits known to form a muscle-type nAChR in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines. In one NSCLC examined, mRNA and protein for a heteropentamer neuronal-type alpha3beta2 nAChR was detected in addition to a muscle-type receptor. Protein for the alpha5 nAChR was also detected in NSCLC cells. Although, mRNA for the alpha7 nAChR subunit was observed in all cell lines, alpha7 protein was not detectable by immunoblot in NSCLC cell extracts. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) of NSCLC primary tissues from 18 patients demonstrated protein expression of nAChR alpha1 and beta1 subunits, but not alpha7 subunit, in lung tumors, indicating preferential expression of the muscle-type receptor. In addition, the beta1 subunit showed significantly increased expression in lung tumors as compared to non-tumor bronchial tissue. The alpha1 subunit also showed evidence of high expression in lung tumors. Nicotine at a concentration of 10 microM caused phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) (p44/42) that could be inhibited using nAChR antagonists. Inhibition was observed at 100 nM alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BTX) or 10 microM hexamethonium (HEX); maximal inhibition was achieved using a combination of alpha-BTX and HEX. Akt was also phosphorylated in NSCLC cells after exposure to nicotine; this effect was inhibited by the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and antagonists to the neuronal-type nAChR, but not to the muscle-type receptor. Nicotine triggered influx of calcium in the 273T NSCLC cell line, suggesting that L-type calcium channels were activated. 273T cells also showed greater activation of p44/42 MAPK than of Akt in response to nicotine. Cultures treated with nicotine and the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib showed a significant increase in the number of surviving cells compared to gefitinib alone. These data indicate that the muscle-type nAChR, rather than the alpha7 type, is highly expressed in NSCLC and leads to downstream activation of the p44/42 MAPK pathway. Neuronal-type receptors are also present and functional, as evidenced by antagonist studies, although, the expression levels are lower than muscle-type nAChR. They also lead to downstream activation of MAPK and Akt. Nicotine may play a role in regulating survival of NSCLC cells and endogenous acetylcholine released locally in the lung and/or chronic nicotine exposure might play a role in NSCLC development. In addition, exposure of NSCLC patients to nicotine through use of nicotine replacement products or use of tobacco products may alter the efficacy of therapy with EGFR inhibitors.
BACKGROUND: The homeobox gene HEX is expressed in several cell types during different phases of animal development. It encodes for a protein localized in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. During early mouse development, HEX is expressed in the primitive endoderm of blastocyst. Later, HEX is expressed in developing thyroid, liver, lung, as well as in haematopoietic progenitors and endothelial cells. Absence of nuclear expression has been observed during neoplastic transformation of the thyroid follicular cells. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the localization and the function of the protein HEX in normal and tumoral breast tissues and in breast cancer cell lines.
METHODS: HEX expression and nuclear localization were investigated by immunohistochemistry in normal and cancerous breast tissue, as well as in breast cancer cell lines. HEX mRNA levels were evaluated by real-time PCR. Effects of HEX expression on Sodium Iodide Symporter (NIS) gene promoter activity was investigated by HeLa cell transfection.
RESULTS: In normal breast HEX was detected both in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm. In both ductal and lobular breast carcinomas, a great reduction of nuclear HEX was observed. In several cells from normal breast tissue as well as in MCF-7 and T47D cell line, HEX was observed in the nucleolus. MCF-7 treatment with all-trans retinoic acid enhanced HEX expression and induced a diffuse nuclear localization. Enhanced HEX expression and diffuse nuclear localization were also obtained when MCF-7 cells were treated with inhibitors of histone deacetylases such as sodium butyrate and trichostatin A. With respect to normal non-lactating breast, the amount of nuclear HEX was greatly increased in lactating tissue. Transfection experiments demonstrated that HEX is able to up-regulate the activity of NIS promoter.
CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that localization of HEX is regulated in epithelial breast cells. Since modification of localization occurs during lactation and tumorigenesis, we suggest that HEX may play a role in differentiation of the epithelial breast cell.
Song JH, Kim HJ, Lee CH, et al.Identification of gene expression signatures for molecular classification in human leukemia cells.
Int J Oncol. 2006; 29(1):57-64 [PubMed
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Although the methods by which leukemia is classified have been improved for effective therapies, leukemia patients occasionally exhibit diverse, sometimes unpredictable, responses to treatment. Consequently, these patients also evidence individually different clinical courses when administered with anti-leukemia drugs. In order to find new, more precise molecular markers for leukemia classification, we have analyzed the gene expression profiles from 65 diagnostic bone marrow specimens of adult patients with AML, ALL, CML or CLL by using high-throughput DNA microarrays harboring approximately 8,300 unique human genes or expression sequence tags. In the present study, we identified a group of leukemia-specific genes, which manifest gene expression profiles distinctly representative of normal bone marrow samples, as determined by a significance analysis of microarray (SAM) and GeneSpring 6.1 programs. We also determined the minimal number of genes showing a difference between acute and chronic leukemia patient groups. Furthermore, the unsupervised cluster analysis revealed a gene subset which can be used to distinguish between AML, ALL, CML and CLL patient groups, based on expression signatures. The expression levels of differentially regulated genes were verified via the principle component analysis (PCA). Our results may provide a novel set of molecular criteria for the classification of leukemia patients, and may also facilitate effects to discovery new targets, allowing for more effective treatment of leukemia patients.
Abou El Hassan MA, Braam SR, Kruyt FAA real-time RT-PCR assay for the quantitative determination of adenoviral gene expression in tumor cells.
J Virol Methods. 2006; 133(1):53-61 [PubMed
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Oncolytic adenoviruses are exploited as possible anticancer agents in clinical trails. To monitor adenoviral gene expression, a real-time RT-PCR method with a LightCycler was developed that allows the rapid and easy quantification of a number of early and late adenoviral genes in infected tumor cells. Primers were designed that can amplify the spliced forms of the genes encoding E1A13S, DNA polymerase (Pol), pre-terminal protein (pTP), adenoviral death protein (ADP), Hexon (Hex) and Penton (Pent) genes. Standard curves were generated using two-fold serial dilutions of cDNAs derived from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) H460 cells infected for 24h with wild-type adenovirus serotype 5. For all genes correlation coefficients of the standard curves of 0.984 or higher were obtained. The dynamic range of the assay was sufficient to allow the quantitative determination of adenoviral gene expression during a lytic cycle. This RT-PCR assay could be used as a research tool to study the effect of host-cell factors or exogenous treatments on adenoviral gene expression. As example, it is shown that the procedure is suitable to detect changes in adenoviral gene expression in infected H460 cells treated with paclitaxel that is known to enhance the antitumor effect of oncolytic adenoviruses.
Puppin C, D'Aurizio F, D'Elia AV, et al.Effects of histone acetylation on sodium iodide symporter promoter and expression of thyroid-specific transcription factors.
Endocrinology. 2005; 146(9):3967-74 [PubMed
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Inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDACs) activate the sodium iodide symporter (NIS) expression in thyroid tumor cells. In this study, mechanisms accounting for these effects were investigated. Various human thyroid tumor cell lines (ARO, BCPAP, FRO, TPC-1) were treated with the HDAC inhibitors Na butyrate (NaB) and tricostatin A (TSA), and the effects on the expression of NIS and several thyroid-specific transcription factors together with the activity of NIS promoter were evaluated. TSA and NaB increased NIS mRNA levels in all cell lines. Among thyroid-specific transcription factors, only expression of PAX8 in ARO cells was increased. Down-regulation of thyroid-specific transcription factor-1 expression was observed in BCPAP and TPC-1 cell lines. Thyroid-specific transcription factor-2 mRNA was reduced in FRO, BCPAP, and TPC-1 cells. Histone acetylation had no significant effects on HEX expression. Altogether, these data indicate that the increase of NIS expression is not mediated by modification of expression of thyroid-specific transcription factors. Accordingly, in transfection experiments performed in the HeLa cell line (which does not express thyroid-specific transcription factors), treatment with TSA and NaB increased NIS promoter activity. Stimulation of NIS promoter activity was also obtained by overexpressing histone acetylating proteins pCAF and p300 in HeLa cells. Conversely, overexpression of the HDAC 1 enzyme inhibited basal activity of the NIS promoter. Effects of TSA and NaB on NIS expression were also evaluated in nonthyroid cell lines MCF-7, Hep-G2, and SAOS-2. In all cell lines TSA and NaB greatly increased NIS mRNA levels. We concluded that control of NIS expression by inhibition of HDAC appears not to be mediated by cell-specific mechanisms, suggesting it as a potential strategy to induce radioiodine sensitivity in different human tumors.
The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) alters gene expression on multiple levels. In the cytoplasm, eIF4E acts in the rate-limiting step of translation initiation. In the nucleus, eIF4E facilitates nuclear export of a subset of mRNAs. Both of these functions contribute to eIF4E's ability to oncogenically transform cells. We report here that the homeodomain protein, HOXA9, is a positive regulator of eIF4E. HOXA9 stimulates eIF4E-dependent export of cyclin D1 and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) mRNAs in the nucleus, as well as increases the translation efficiency of ODC mRNA in the cytoplasm. These activities depend on direct interactions of HOXA9 with eIF4E and are independent of the role of HOXA9 in transcription. At the biochemical level, HOXA9 mediates these effects by competing with factors that repress eIF4E function, in particular the proline-rich homeodomain PRH/Hex. This competitive mechanism of eIF4E regulation is disrupted in a subset of leukemias, where HOXA9 displaces PRH from eIF4E, thereby contributing to eIF4E's dysregulation. In regard to these results and our previous finding that approximately 200 homeodomain proteins contain eIF4E binding sites, we propose that homeodomain modulation of eIF4E activity is a novel means through which this family of proteins implements their effects on growth and development.
Wain EM, Mitchell TJ, Russell-Jones R, Whittaker SJFine mapping of chromosome 10q deletions in mycosis fungoides and sezary syndrome: identification of two discrete regions of deletion at 10q23.33-24.1 and 10q24.33-25.1.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2005; 42(2):184-92 [PubMed
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Previous cytogenetic studies in mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sezary syndrome (SS) have identified a large and poorly defined area of chromosomal deletion on chromosome 10q. We report an extensive fine-mapping allelotyping study using 19 microsatellite markers in the region 10q22.3-10q26.13. Allelic loss was identified by loss of heterozygosity analysis in 26 of 60 (43%) cases: 15 of 45 (33%) with MF and 11 of 15 (73%) with SS. MF and SS samples showed similar patterns of allelic loss with the identification of two discrete regions of deletion which were mutually exclusive in all but two cases. Within the first region of deletion at 10q23.33-10q24.1, around microsatellite marker D10S185 (2.77 Mb), 23 genes were identified, including three (KIF11, HHEX, and HELLS) with functions that, if dysregulated, could be critical in MF and SS. The second region of deletion, 10q24.33-10q25.1, around microsatellite marker D10S530 (3.92 Mb), encodes 11 genes, the majority of which have poorly identified functions. This extensive allelotyping study provides the basis for future highly selective candidate gene analyses.