Gene Summary

Gene:MYB; v-myb avian myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog
Aliases: efg, Cmyb, c-myb, c-myb_CDS
Summary:This gene encodes a transcription factor that is a member of the MYB family of transcription factor genes. The protein contains three domains, an N-terminal DNA-binding domain, a central transcriptional activation domain and a C-terminal domain involved in transcriptional repression. This protein plays an essential role in the regulation of hematopoiesis and may play a role in tumorigenesis. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Jun 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transcriptional activator Myb
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 11 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 11 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

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).

Latest Publications: MYB (cancer-related)

Sanghvi VR, Mavrakis KJ, Van der Meulen J, et al.
Characterization of a set of tumor suppressor microRNAs in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Sci Signal. 2014; 7(352):ra111 [PubMed] Related Publications
The posttranscriptional control of gene expression by microRNAs (miRNAs) is highly redundant, and compensatory effects limit the consequences of the inactivation of individual miRNAs. This implies that only a few miRNAs can function as effective tumor suppressors. It is also the basis of our strategy to define functionally relevant miRNA target genes that are not under redundant control by other miRNAs. We identified a functionally interconnected group of miRNAs that exhibited a reduced abundance in leukemia cells from patients with T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). To pinpoint relevant target genes, we applied a machine learning approach to eliminate genes that were subject to redundant miRNA-mediated control and to identify those genes that were exclusively targeted by tumor-suppressive miRNAs. This strategy revealed the convergence of a small group of tumor suppressor miRNAs on the Myb oncogene, as well as their effects on HBP1, which encodes a transcription factor. The expression of both genes was increased in T-ALL patient samples, and each gene promoted the progression of T-ALL in mice. Hence, our systematic analysis of tumor suppressor miRNA action identified a widespread mechanism of oncogene activation in T-ALL.

Costa AF, Altemani A, García-Inclán C, et al.
Analysis of MYB oncogene in transformed adenoid cystic carcinomas reveals distinct pathways of tumor progression.
Lab Invest. 2014; 94(6):692-702 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adenoid cystic carcinomas can occasionally undergo dedifferentiation, a phenomenon also referred to as high-grade transformation. However, cases of adenoid cystic carcinomas have been described showing transformation to adenocarcinomas that are not poorly differentiated, indicating that high-grade transformation may not necessarily reflect a more advanced stage of tumor progression, but rather a transformation to another histological form, which may encompass a wide spectrum of carcinomas in terms of aggressiveness. The aim of this study was to gain more insight in the biology of this pathological phenomenon by means of genetic profiling of both histological components. Using microarray comparative genomic hybridization, we compared the genome-wide DNA copy-number changes of the conventional and transformed area of eight adenoid cystic carcinomas with high-grade transformation, comprising four with transformation into moderately differentiated adenocarcinomas and four into poorly differentiated carcinomas. In general, the poorly differentiated carcinoma cases showed a higher total number of copy-number changes than the moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma cases, and this correlated with a worse clinical course. Special attention was given to chromosomal translocation and protein expression of MYB, recently being considered to be an early and major oncogenic event in adenoid cystic carcinomas. Our data showed that the process of high-grade transformation is not always accompanied by an accumulation of genetic alterations; both conventional and transformed components harbored unique genetic alterations, which indicate a parallel progression. Our data further demonstrated that the MYB/NFIB translocation is not necessarily an early event or fundamental for the progression to adenoid cystic carcinoma with high-grade transformation.

Huser CA, Gilroy KL, de Ridder J, et al.
Insertional mutagenesis and deep profiling reveals gene hierarchies and a Myc/p53-dependent bottleneck in lymphomagenesis.
PLoS Genet. 2014; 10(2):e1004167 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Retroviral insertional mutagenesis (RIM) is a powerful tool for cancer genomics that was combined in this study with deep sequencing (RIM/DS) to facilitate a comprehensive analysis of lymphoma progression. Transgenic mice expressing two potent collaborating oncogenes in the germ line (CD2-MYC, -Runx2) develop rapid onset tumours that can be accelerated and rendered polyclonal by neonatal Moloney murine leukaemia virus (MoMLV) infection. RIM/DS analysis of 28 polyclonal lymphomas identified 771 common insertion sites (CISs) defining a 'progression network' that encompassed a remarkably large fraction of known MoMLV target genes, with further strong indications of oncogenic selection above the background of MoMLV integration preference. Progression driven by RIM was characterised as a Darwinian process of clonal competition engaging proliferation control networks downstream of cytokine and T-cell receptor signalling. Enhancer mode activation accounted for the most efficiently selected CIS target genes, including Ccr7 as the most prominent of a set of chemokine receptors driving paracrine growth stimulation and lymphoma dissemination. Another large target gene subset including candidate tumour suppressors was disrupted by intragenic insertions. A second RIM/DS screen comparing lymphomas of wild-type and parental transgenics showed that CD2-MYC tumours are virtually dependent on activation of Runx family genes in strong preference to other potent Myc collaborating genes (Gfi1, Notch1). Ikzf1 was identified as a novel collaborating gene for Runx2 and illustrated the interface between integration preference and oncogenic selection. Lymphoma target genes for MoMLV can be classified into (a) a small set of master regulators that confer self-renewal; overcoming p53 and other failsafe pathways and (b) a large group of progression genes that control autonomous proliferation in transformed cells. These findings provide insights into retroviral biology, human cancer genetics and the safety of vector-mediated gene therapy.

Sroczynska P, Cruickshank VA, Bukowski JP, et al.
shRNA screening identifies JMJD1C as being required for leukemia maintenance.
Blood. 2014; 123(12):1870-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are implicated in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL). Recent progress suggests that proteins involved in epigenetic control are amenable to drug intervention, but little is known about the cancer-specific dependency on epigenetic regulators for cell survival and proliferation. We used a mouse model of human AML induced by the MLL-AF9 fusion oncogene and an epigenetic short hairpin RNA (shRNA) library to screen for novel potential drug targets. As a counter-screen for general toxicity of shRNAs, we used normal mouse bone marrow cells. One of the best candidate drug targets identified in these screens was Jmjd1c. Depletion of Jmjd1c impairs growth and colony formation of mouse MLL-AF9 cells in vitro as well as establishment of leukemia after transplantation. Depletion of JMJD1C impairs expansion and colony formation of human leukemic cell lines, with the strongest effect observed in the MLL-rearranged ALL cell line SEM. In both mouse and human leukemic cells, the growth defect upon JMJD1C depletion appears to be primarily due to increased apoptosis, which implicates JMJD1C as a potential therapeutic target in leukemia.

Vonlanthen J, Okoniewski MJ, Menigatti M, et al.
A comprehensive look at transcription factor gene expression changes in colorectal adenomas.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Biological processes are controlled by transcription networks. Expression changes of transcription factor (TF) genes in precancerous lesions are therefore crucial events in tumorigenesis. Our aim was to obtain a comprehensive picture of these changes in colorectal adenomas.
METHODS: Using a 3-pronged selection procedure, we analyzed transcriptomic data on 34 human tissue samples (17 adenomas and paired samples of normal mucosa, all collected with ethics committee approval and written, informed patient consent) to identify TFs with highly significant tumor-associated gene expression changes whose potential roles in colorectal tumorigenesis have been under-researched. Microarray data were subjected to stringent statistical analysis of TF expression in tumor vs. normal tissues, MetaCore-mediated identification of TF networks displaying enrichment for genes that were differentially expressed in tumors, and a novel quantitative analysis of the publications examining the TF genes' roles in colorectal tumorigenesis.
RESULTS: The 261 TF genes identified with this procedure included DACH1, which plays essential roles in the proper proliferation and differentiation of retinal and leg precursor cell populations in Drosophila melanogaster. Its possible roles in colorectal tumorigenesis are completely unknown, but it was found to be markedly overexpressed (mRNA and protein) in all colorectal adenomas and in most colorectal carcinomas. However, DACH1 expression was absent in some carcinomas, most of which were DNA mismatch-repair deficient. When networks were built using the set of TF genes identified by all three selection procedures, as well as the entire set of transcriptomic changes in adenomas, five hub genes (TGFB1, BIRC5, MYB, NR3C1, and TERT) where identified as putatively crucial components of the adenomatous transformation process.
CONCLUSION: The transcription-regulating network of colorectal adenomas (compared with that of normal colorectal mucosa) is characterized by significantly altered expression of over 250 TF genes, many of which have never been investigated in relation to colorectal tumorigenesis.

Fogelstrand L, Staffas A, Wasslavik C, et al.
Prognostic implications of mutations in NOTCH1 and FBXW7 in childhood T-ALL treated according to the NOPHO ALL-1992 and ALL-2000 protocols.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014; 61(3):424-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In children, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) has inferior prognosis compared with B-cell precursor ALL. In order to improve survival, individualized treatment strategies and thus risk stratification algorithms are warranted, ideally already at the time of diagnosis.
PROCEDURE: We analyzed the frequency and prognostic implication of mutations in NOTCH1 and FBXW7 in 79 cases of Swedish childhood T-ALL treated according to the Nordic Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (NOPHO) ALL-1992 and ALL-2000 protocols. In a subgroup of patients, we also investigated the functional relevance of NOTCH1 mutations measured as expression of the HES1, MYB, and MYC genes.
RESULTS: Forty-seven of the cases (59%) displayed mutations in NOTCH1 and/or FBXW7. There was no difference in overall (P = 0.14) or event-free survival (EFS) (P = 0.10) in patients with T-ALL with mutation(s) in NOTCH1/FBXW7 compared with patients with T-ALL without mutations in any of these genes. T-ALL carrying NOTCH1 mutations had increased HES1 and MYB mRNA expression (HES1 9.2 ± 1.9 (mean ± SEM), MYB 8.7 ± 0.8 (mean ± SEM)) compared to T-ALL with wild-type NOTCH1 (HES1 1.8 ± 0.7, MYB 5.1 ± 1.2, P = 0.02 and 0.008, respectively). In cases of T-ALL with high HES1 expression, improved overall (P = 0.02) and EFS (P = 0.028) was seen.
CONCLUSIONS: Increased NOTCH activity, reflected by increased HES1 expression, is associated with improved outcome in pediatric T-ALL, but its role as a diagnostic tool or a therapeutic target in future clinical treatment protocols remains to be elucidated.

Pusztaszeri MP, Sadow PM, Ushiku A, et al.
MYB immunostaining is a useful ancillary test for distinguishing adenoid cystic carcinoma from pleomorphic adenoma in fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens.
Cancer Cytopathol. 2014; 122(4):257-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The distinction between adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) and pleomorphic adenoma (PA) on fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) can be challenging. Recently, a specific translocation t(6;9) involving the v-myb avian myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog (MYB) and nuclear factor I/B (NFIB) genes was identified in ACCs, in which it contributes to MYB overexpression. The authors investigated the use of MYB immunocytochemistry in FNAB specimens as an ancillary test for the cytologic diagnosis of ACC.
METHODS: The expression of MYB was assessed in alcohol-fixed cytologic smears of histologically confirmed ACCs (n = 20) and PAs (n = 20) using immunocytochemistry. The corresponding ACCs and PAs from formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded surgical resection specimens also were stained immunohistochemically for MYB. The nuclear expression of MYB was assessed semiquantitatively using a scoring system (from 0 to 6) that combined the proportion and the intensity of staining. A score ≥4 was considered positive, and a score ≤3 was considered negative.
RESULTS: On FNAB material, 80% of ACCs (N = 16 of 20) were immunocytochemically positive for MYB. In contrast, all PAs (N = 20 of 20) were negative for MYB (P < .0001). The sensitivity of MYB on FNAB was 80%, and the specificity was 100% relative to PA. Results on corresponding histology were similar to the cytology results; however, there was often a zonal staining pattern with central areas of tumor (range, 20%-90%) that lacked immunoreactivity, thus suggesting that the immunoreactivity was maintained better in alcohol-fixed FNAB material.
CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to PAs, a majority of ACCs are immunocytochemically positive for MYB. The test is more effective using alcohol-fixed FNAB material and is potentially useful for the cytologic distinction of ACC and PA.

Kouno T, de Hoon M, Mar JC, et al.
Temporal dynamics and transcriptional control using single-cell gene expression analysis.
Genome Biol. 2013; 14(10):R118 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Changes in environmental conditions lead to expression variation that manifest at the level of gene regulatory networks. Despite a strong understanding of the role noise plays in synthetic biological systems, it remains unclear how propagation of expression heterogeneity in an endogenous regulatory network is distributed and utilized by cells transitioning through a key developmental event.
RESULTS: Here we investigate the temporal dynamics of a single-cell transcriptional network of 45 transcription factors in THP-1 human myeloid monocytic leukemia cells undergoing differentiation to macrophages. We systematically measure temporal regulation of expression and variation by profiling 120 single cells at eight distinct time points, and infer highly controlled regulatory modules through which signaling operates with stochastic effects. This reveals dynamic and specific rewiring as a cellular strategy for differentiation. The integration of both positive and negative co-expression networks further identifies the proto-oncogene MYB as a network hinge to modulate both the pro- and anti-differentiation pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to averaged cell populations, temporal single-cell expression profiling provides a much more powerful technique to probe for mechanistic insights underlying cellular differentiation. We believe that our approach will form the basis of novel strategies to study the regulation of transcription at a single-cell level.

Mitani Y, Roberts DB, Fatani H, et al.
MicroRNA profiling of salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma: association of miR-17-92 upregulation with poor outcome.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e66778 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare relentlessly progressive malignant tumor. The molecular events associated with ACC tumorigenesis are poorly understood. Variable microRNAs (miRNA) have been correlated with tumorigenesis of several solid tumors but not in ACC. To investigate the association of miRNAs with the development and/or progression of ACC, we performed a comparative analysis of primary ACC specimens and matched normal samples and a pooled salivary gland standard and correlated the results with clinicopathologic factors and validated selected miRNAs in a separate set of 30 tumors.
METHODS: MiRNA array platform was used for the identification of target miRNAs and the data was subjected to informatics and statistical interrelations. The results were also collected with the MYB-NFIB fusion status and the clinicopathologic features.
RESULTS: Differentially dysregulated miRNAs in ACC were characterized in comparison to normal expression. No significant differences in miRNA expression were found between the MYB-NFIB fusion positive and -negative ACCs. Of the highly dysregulated miRNA in ACC, overexpression of the miR-17 and miR-20a were significantly associated with poor outcome in the screening and validation sets.
CONCLUSION: Our study indicates that the upregulation of miR-17-92 may play a role in the biology of ACC and could be potentially targeted in future therapeutic studies.

von Holstein SL, Fehr A, Persson M, et al.
Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lacrimal gland: MYB gene activation, genomic imbalances, and clinical characteristics.
Ophthalmology. 2013; 120(10):2130-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To investigate genetic alterations in lacrimal gland adenoid cystic carcinomas (ACCs) with emphasis on the MYB-NFIB fusion oncogene and its downstream targets, MYB rearrangements, and copy number alterations in relation to clinical data and survival.
DESIGN: Experimental study.
PARTICIPANTS AND CONTROLS: Fourteen patients with primary lacrimal gland ACC were included. As a control, we also studied the expression of MYB-NFIB in 19 non-ACC lacrimal gland tumors.
METHODS: The expression and identity of MYB-NFIB fusion transcripts were studied using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and nucleotide sequence analyses. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry were used to evaluate the expression of MYB/MYB-NFIB target genes. High-resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization (arrayCGH) and fluorescence in situ hybridization were used to study copy number alterations and MYB rearrangements.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: mRNA or protein expression of MYB-NFIB, MYB, and its down stream targets; copy number alterations; and genomic rearrangements.
RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 43 years (equal gender distribution), and the median time of survival was 8.6 years. The MYB-NFIB fusion was expressed in 7 of 14 ACCs. In contrast, all non-ACC tumors were fusion-negative. All 13 ACCs tested stained positive for the MYB protein, and for the MYB targets KIT and BCL2, 12 were positive for MYC and CCNE1, and 9 were positive for CCNB1. Rearrangements of MYB were detected in 8 of 13 cases, including 2 cases with gain of an apparently intact MYB gene. The arrayCGH analysis revealed recurrent copy number alterations with losses involving 6q23-q27, 12q12-q14.1, and 17p13.3-p12, and gains involving 19q12, 19q13.31-qter, 8q24.13-q24.21, 11q12.3-q14.1, and 6q23.3. Neither MYB-NFIB fusion nor any copy number alteration correlated with survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Lacrimal gland ACCs are frequently positive for the MYB-NFIB fusion, overexpress MYB and its downstream targets, and have genomic profiles characterized by losses involving 6q, 12q, and 17p, and gains involving 19q, 8q, and 11q. Our findings show that lacrimal gland ACCs are genetically and clinically similar to their salivary gland counterparts and that MYB-NFIB is a clinically useful diagnostic biomarker for ACC. Our data also suggest that MYB and its downstream targets are potential therapeutic targets for these tumors.
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

El-Naggar AK, Kaye FJ, Stenman G
The 3rd Salivary Gland Tumor Workshop meeting report.
Head Neck. 2013; 35(8):1057-60 [PubMed] Related Publications

Zhang J, Wu G, Miller CP, et al.
Whole-genome sequencing identifies genetic alterations in pediatric low-grade gliomas.
Nat Genet. 2013; 45(6):602-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The most common pediatric brain tumors are low-grade gliomas (LGGs). We used whole-genome sequencing to identify multiple new genetic alterations involving BRAF, RAF1, FGFR1, MYB, MYBL1 and genes with histone-related functions, including H3F3A and ATRX, in 39 LGGs and low-grade glioneuronal tumors (LGGNTs). Only a single non-silent somatic alteration was detected in 24 of 39 (62%) tumors. Intragenic duplications of the portion of FGFR1 encoding the tyrosine kinase domain (TKD) and rearrangements of MYB were recurrent and mutually exclusive in 53% of grade II diffuse LGGs. Transplantation of Trp53-null neonatal astrocytes expressing FGFR1 with the duplication involving the TKD into the brains of nude mice generated high-grade astrocytomas with short latency and 100% penetrance. FGFR1 with the duplication induced FGFR1 autophosphorylation and upregulation of the MAPK/ERK and PI3K pathways, which could be blocked by specific inhibitors. Focusing on the therapeutically challenging diffuse LGGs, our study of 151 tumors has discovered genetic alterations and potential therapeutic targets across the entire range of pediatric LGGs and LGGNTs.

Han SS, Son DJ, Yun H, et al.
Piperlongumine inhibits proliferation and survival of Burkitt lymphoma in vitro.
Leuk Res. 2013; 37(2):146-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Piperlongumine (PL), a pepper plant alkaloid from Piper longum, kills solid tumor cells in a highly selective, potent fashion. To evaluate whether PL may have similar effects on malignant blood cells, we determined the efficacy with which PL inhibits the B-lymphocyte derived neoplasm, Burkitt lymphoma (BL). Low micromolar concentrations of PL (IC(50) = 2.8 μM × 8.5 μM) curbed growth and survival of two EBV(+) BL cell lines (Daudi, Raji) and two EBV BL cell lines (Ramos, DG-75), but left normal peripheral blood B-lymphocytes unharmed. PL-dependent cytotoxicity was effected in part by reduced NF-κB and MYC activity, with the former being caused by inhibition of IκBα degradation, nuclear translocation of p65, and binding of NF-κB dimers to cognate DNA sequences in gene promoters. In 4 of 4 BL cell lines, the NF-κB/MYC-regulated cellular target genes, E2F1 and MYB, were down regulated, while the stress sensor gene, GADD45B, was up regulated. The EBV-encoded oncogene, LMP-1, was suppressed in Daudi and Raji cells. Considering that NF-κB, MYC and LMP-1 play a crucial role in the biology of many blood cancers including BL, our results provide a strong preclinical rationale for considering PL in new intervention approaches for patients with hematologic malignancies.

Requena C, Rubio L, Traves V, et al.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization for the differential diagnosis between Spitz naevus and spitzoid melanoma.
Histopathology. 2012; 61(5):899-909 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The differential diagnosis between Spitz naevus and spitzoid melanoma can be extremely difficult, or even impossible. In recent years, many attempts have been made to find specific histopathological or immunohistochemical markers, although none has proved successful. Because the prognosis and treatment of each are very different, it is important to distinguish between these entities. We evaluated the ability of the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay-designed to detect the copy number of the RREB1 (6p25), MYB (6q23) and CCND1 (11q13) genes and of centromere 6 (Cep 6)-in order to distinguish between Spitz naevus and spitzoid melanoma.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We evaluated 12 spitzoid melanomas and six Spitz naevi from our records. The diagnosis of both conditions was based on previously described histopathological criteria. We obtained valuable results for FISH in eight spitzoid melanomas and five Spitz naevi. Chromosomal aberrations were detected in seven of the eight spitzoid melanomas (FISH-positive) and in none of the five Spitz naevi. The FISH-negative spitzoid melanoma was the least typical in its group.
CONCLUSIONS: FISH was able to distinguish between Spitz naevus and spitzoid melanoma, with a sensitivity of 87.5% and a specificity of 100%. Our findings suggest that FISH could prove a useful tool in the differential diagnosis between these entities.

Gysin S, Paquette J, McMahon M
Analysis of mRNA profiles after MEK1/2 inhibition in human pancreatic cancer cell lines reveals pathways involved in drug sensitivity.
Mol Cancer Res. 2012; 10(12):1607-19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutationally activated KRAS, detected in approximately 90% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDA), has proven an intractable pharmacologic target to date. Consequently, efforts to treat KRAS-mutated cancers are focused on targeting RAS-regulated signaling pathways. In mouse models, expression of BRAF(V600E) combined with dominant-negative TP53 elicits PDA, and pharmacologic blockade of mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK) inhibits proliferation of human PDA-derived cell lines. To better understand the role of RAF→MEK→ERK signaling on PDA cell proliferation, we assessed the consequences of MEK inhibition on global patterns of mRNA expression and tumor cell proliferation in a panel of human PDA-derived cell lines. This analysis revealed that RAF→MEK→ERK signaling regulates mRNAs involved in cell-cycle control as well as regulators of the immune system. Linear regression analysis of relative drug sensitivity and mRNA expression revealed mRNAs and pathways correlating with relative drug sensitivity of the cell lines. Mice carrying orthotopically implanted pancreas tumors that were treated with MEK inhibitor displayed reduced tumor growth, concomitant with a reduction of cells in S phase. Furthermore, analysis of tumor mRNA expression revealed PDA cell lines to display similar baseline and MEK inhibitor mRNA expression profiles in vitro and in vivo. Among the proteins subject to downregulation following MEK inhibition, we identified c-MYC as a key driver of cell proliferation downstream of RAF→MEK→ERK signaling. Indeed, in some PDA cell lines, RNA interference-mediated silencing of c-MYC expression had antiproliferative effects similar to that of MEK inhibition, thereby highlighting the importance of c-MYC in key aspects of pancreatic cancer cell maintenance.

Turri-Zanoni M, Medicina D, Lombardi D, et al.
Sinonasal mucosal melanoma: Molecular profile and therapeutic implications from a series of 32 cases.
Head Neck. 2013; 35(8):1066-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Primary sinonasal mucosal melanomas are aggressive tumors with a poor clinical control by current treatments, raising the urgent need of novel strategies.
METHODS: By fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), direct sequencing, and immunohistochemistry, we investigate the spectrum of molecular abnormalities in a cohort of 32 cases of primary sinonasal mucosal melanomas.
RESULTS: We found that all primary sinonasal mucosal melanomas lack BRAF V600E mutation; in addition, they are characterized by somatic mutations of NRAS (22%) and KIT (12.5%), together with amplification of RREB1 (100%) and loss of MYB (76%). The large majority of cases showed KIT protein expression (96.9%). Among tumor suppressor genes, primary sinonasal mucosal melanomas showed loss of PTEN (48.1%) and p16/INK4a (55.2%). All tested cases showed expression of pAkt and pErk, suggesting a combined activation of PI3K/Akt and RAS-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: This molecular fingerprint strongly argues against the clinical efficacy of BRAF-inhibitors, but could candidate primary sinonasal mucosal melanomas to therapeutic strategies targeting RAS and KIT mutations or inhibiting PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway.

Sarvaiya PJ, Schwartz JR, Hernandez CP, et al.
Role of c-Myb in the survival of pre B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and leukemogenesis.
Am J Hematol. 2012; 87(10):969-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer in children. The current treatment protocol for ALL involves an intense chemotherapy regimen yielding cure rates of nearly 80%. However, new therapies need to be designed not only to increase the survival rate but also to combat the risk of severe therapy associated toxicities including secondary malignancies, growth problems, organ damage, and infertility. The c-Myb proto-oncogene is highly expressed in immature hematopoietic cells. In this study, we demonstrate that loss of c-Myb itself decreased the viability of these leukemic cells. Additionally, the inhibition of c-Myb caused a decrease in cell proliferation, significantly increased the number of cells in G(0) /G(1) phase of the cell cycle, increased the sensitivity of pre-B-ALL cells to cytotoxic agents in vitro, and significantly delayed disease onset in a mouse model of leukemia. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Bcl-2 is a target of c-Myb in pre-B-ALL cells. Our results identify c-Myb as a potential therapeutic target in pre-B-ALL and suggest that suppression of c-Myb levels or activity, in combination with currently used therapies and/or dose reduction, may lead to a decrease in toxicity and an increase in patient survival rates. Because c-Myb is aberrantly expressed in several other malignancies, targeting c-Myb will have broad clinical applications.

Zhang Y, Chen R, Zhang W, et al.
[Expression of c-myc and c-myb gene in leukemic bone marrow stromal cells and their correlation].
Zhongguo Shi Yan Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2012; 20(3):531-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study was purposed to investigate the expression level of oncogene c-myc and c-myb in leukemic cells and leukemic bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) and the correlation with each other. The expression levels of c-myc and c-myb in those cells were examined semi-quantitatively by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Flow cytometry analysis was used to detect the membrane surface antigens of leukemic cells and BMSC. The karyotype was analyzed by G-banding techniques. The results showed that (1) c-myc and c-myb gene were expressed in the normal control group, the leukemic cells and BMSC of patients group. The mean expression levels of c-myb mRNA and c-myc mRNA in abnormal chromosomal leukemic cells were 1.03 ± 0.48 and 1.15 ± 0.38 respectively, which were significantly higher than those in control group (P < 0.05). In the abnormal karyotype stromal cells, the mean expression level of c-myb mRNA and c-myc mRNA were 2.08 ± 0.82 and 1.46 ± 0.29 respectively (P < 0.05). (2) The expression level of c-myc and c-myb mRNA were closely associated with patients' platelet counts (P < 0.05). (3) The expression of c-myc mRNA linearly correlated with the expression of c-myb mRNA in different prognostic groups. (4) In acute leukemic cells and BMSC, c-myc expression positively correlated with c-myb expression. (5) The expression level of c-myc in leukemic cells correlated with the expression levels of c-myc and c-myb in BMSC, respectively. It is concluded that the reduction of c-myc or c-myb expression levels may be a therapeutic regimen for leukemia.

Persson M, Andrén Y, Moskaluk CA, et al.
Clinically significant copy number alterations and complex rearrangements of MYB and NFIB in head and neck adenoid cystic carcinoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2012; 51(8):805-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the head and neck is a malignant tumor with poor long-term prognosis. Besides the recently identified MYB-NFIB fusion oncogene generated by a t(6;9) translocation, little is known about other genetic alterations in ACC. Using high-resolution, array-based comparative genomic hybridization, and massively paired-end sequencing, we explored genomic alterations in 40 frozen ACCs. Eighty-six percent of the tumors expressed MYB-NFIB fusion transcripts and 97% overexpressed MYB mRNA, indicating that MYB activation is a hallmark of ACC. Thirty-five recurrent copy number alterations (CNAs) were detected, including losses involving 12q, 6q, 9p, 11q, 14q, 1p, and 5q and gains involving 1q, 9p, and 22q. Grade III tumors had on average a significantly higher number of CNAs/tumor compared to Grade I and II tumors (P = 0.007). Losses of 1p, 6q, and 15q were associated with high-grade tumors, whereas losses of 14q were exclusively seen in Grade I tumors. The t(6;9) rearrangements were associated with a complex pattern of breakpoints, deletions, insertions, inversions, and for 9p also gains. Analyses of fusion-negative ACCs using high-resolution arrays and massively paired-end sequencing revealed that MYB may also be deregulated by other mechanisms in addition to gene fusion. Our studies also identified several down-regulated candidate tumor suppressor genes (CTNNBIP1, CASP9, PRDM2, and SFN) in 1p36.33-p35.3 that may be of clinical significance in high-grade tumors. Further, studies of these and other potential target genes may lead to the identification of novel driver genes in ACC.

Mitra P, Pereira LA, Drabsch Y, et al.
Estrogen receptor-α recruits P-TEFb to overcome transcriptional pausing in intron 1 of the MYB gene.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2012; 40(13):5988-6000 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The MYB proto-oncogene is expressed in most estrogen receptor-positive (ERα(+)) breast tumors and cell lines. Expression of MYB is controlled, in breast cancer and other cell types, by a transcriptional pausing mechanism involving an attenuation site located ∼1.7 kb downstream from the transcription start site. In breast cancer cells, ligand-bound ERα binds close to, and drives transcription beyond this attenuation site, allowing synthesis of complete transcripts. However, little is known, in general, about the factors involved in relieving transcriptional attenuation, or specifically how ERα coordinates such factors to promote transcriptional elongation. Using cyclin dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) inhibitors, reporter gene assays and measurements of total and intronic MYB transcription, we show that functionally active CDK9 is required for estrogen-dependent transcriptional elongation. We further show by ChIP and co-immunoprecipitation studies that the P-TEFb complex (CDK9/CyclinT1) is recruited to the attenuation region by ligand-bound ERα, resulting in increased RNA polymerase II Ser-2 phosphorylation. These data provide new insights into MYB regulation, and given the critical roles of MYB in tumorigenesis, suggest targeting MYB elongation as potential therapeutic strategy.

Miyazaki T, Pan Y, Joshi K, et al.
Telomestatin impairs glioma stem cell survival and growth through the disruption of telomeric G-quadruplex and inhibition of the proto-oncogene, c-Myb.
Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 18(5):1268-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Glioma stem cells (GSC) are a critical therapeutic target of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The effects of a G-quadruplex ligand, telomestatin, were evaluated using patient-derived GSCs, non-stem tumor cells (non-GSC), and normal fetal neural precursors in vitro and in vivo. The molecular targets of telomestatin were determined by immunofluorescence in situ hybridization (iFISH) and cDNA microarray. The data were then validated by in vitro and in vivo functional assays, as well as by immunohistochemistry against 90 clinical samples.
RESULTS: Telomestatin impaired the maintenance of GSC stem cell state by inducing apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. The migration potential of GSCs was also impaired by telomestatin treatment. In contrast, both normal neural precursors and non-GSCs were relatively resistant to telomestatin. Treatment of GSC-derived mouse intracranial tumors reduced tumor sizes in vivo without a noticeable cell death in normal brains. iFISH revealed both telomeric and non-telomeric DNA damage by telomestatin in GSCs but not in non-GSCs. cDNA microarray identified a proto-oncogene, c-Myb, as a novel molecular target of telomestatin in GSCs, and pharmacodynamic analysis in telomestatin-treated tumor-bearing mouse brains showed a reduction of c-Myb in tumors in vivo. Knockdown of c-Myb phenocopied telomestatin-treated GSCs both in vitro and in vivo, and restoring c-Myb by overexpression partially rescued the phenotype. Finally, c-Myb expression was markedly elevated in surgical specimens of GBMs compared with normal tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that telomestatin potently eradicates GSCs through telomere disruption and c-Myb inhibition, and this study suggests a novel GSC-directed therapeutic strategy for GBMs.

Cesi V, Casciati A, Sesti F, et al.
TGFβ-induced c-Myb affects the expression of EMT-associated genes and promotes invasion of ER+ breast cancer cells.
Cell Cycle. 2011; 10(23):4149-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Advanced breast cancer cells acquire metastatic properties in response to TGFβ. We show here that the expression of c-Myb increases in TGFβ-treated ER (+) breast cancer cells by protein stabilization, transcription activation and release from miR200-dependent down-regulation. In particular, we mapped 2 sites for miR200b, miR200c and miR429 binding in the 3' UTR of the human c-myb gene. These microRNAs decreased the expression of c-Myb when transfected in MCF-7 cells. In addition, luciferase activity from a vector containing the 3' UTR of the c-myb gene was inhibited by miR200s through a binding-dependent mechanism. siRNA- and shRNA-mediated down-regulation was used to investigate the role of c-Myb for the effects induced by TGFβ in ER(+) breast cancer MCF-7 and ZR-75.1 cells. Transfection with c-Myb siRNAs blocked the increase of Slug (SNAI2) and Bcl-2 expression and reversed the decrease in E-cadherin expression induced by TGF-β treatment. Conversely, c-Myb down-regulation decreased invasion and anchorage-independent growth of breast cancer cells expressing a constitutively active TGFβ receptor I. Finally, apoptosis induced by etoposide increased in c-Myb-silenced TGFβ-treated ER(+) cell lines. In summary, exposure of ER(+) breast cancer cells to TGFβ induces an increase of c-Myb expression which is required for expression of EMT-associated markers, in vitro invasion and anchorage-independent growth. Furthermore, our findings suggest a potentially detrimental effect of TGFβ and c-Myb co-expression in breast cancer.

Cheasley D, Pereira L, Lightowler S, et al.
Myb controls intestinal stem cell genes and self-renewal.
Stem Cells. 2011; 29(12):2042-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rapid advances have been made in the understanding of how the highly proliferative gastrointestinal tract epithelium is regulated under homeostasis and disease. The identification of putative intestinal stem cell (ISC) genes and the ability to culture ISC capable of generating all four lineages plus the architecture of small intestinal (SI) crypts has been transformative. Here, we show that transcription factor Myb governs ISC gene expression, particularly Lgr5. Lgr5 is associated with cells that have the capacity to generate all cell lineages in SI organoid cultures and colorectal cancer cells, which overexpress Myb. Furthermore, Wnt signaling and Myb cooperate in maximal Lgr5 promoter activation while hypomorphic Myb (plt4/plt4) mice have decreased Lgr5 expression. After ionizing radiation (IR), ISC genes are elevated; but in plt4/plt4 mice, this response is substantially subdued. ISC genes bmi-1 and olfm4 are expressed at subnormal levels in plt4/plt4 mice, and bmi-1 is induced with IR to half the level in mutant mice. dcamkl-1 and olfm4 failed to recover after IR in both wild-type (wt) and mutant mice. Although not considered as an ISC gene, cyclinE1 is nevertheless used to assist cells in the emergence from a quiescent state (an expectation of ISC following IR) and is overexpressed after IR in wt mice but does not change from a very low base in plt4/plt4 mice. Self-renewal assays using organoid cultures and inducible Myb knockout studies further highlighted the dependence of ISC on Myb consistent with role in other stem cell-containing tissues.

Andrejka L, Wen H, Ashton J, et al.
Animal-specific C-terminal domain links myeloblastosis oncoprotein (Myb) to an ancient repressor complex.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108(42):17438-43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Members of the Myb oncoprotein and E2F-Rb tumor suppressor protein families are present within the same highly conserved multiprotein transcriptional repressor complex, named either as Myb and synthetic multivuval class B (Myb-MuvB) or as Drosophila Rb E2F and Myb-interacting proteins (dREAM). We now report that the animal-specific C terminus of Drosophila Myb but not the more highly conserved N-terminal DNA-binding domain is necessary and sufficient for (i) adult viability, (ii) proper localization to chromosomes in vivo, (iii) regulation of gene expression in vivo, and (iv) interaction with the highly conserved core of the MuvB/dREAM transcriptional repressor complex. In addition, we have identified a conserved peptide motif that is required for this interaction. Our results imply that an ancient function of Myb in regulating G2/M genes in both plants and animals appears to have been transferred from the DNA-binding domain to the animal-specific C-terminal domain. Increased expression of B-MYB/MYBL2, the human ortholog of Drosophila Myb, correlates with poor prognosis in human patients with breast cancer. Therefore, our results imply that the specific interaction of the C terminus of Myb with the MuvB/dREAM core complex may provide an attractive target for the development of cancer therapeutics.

Zuber J, Rappaport AR, Luo W, et al.
An integrated approach to dissecting oncogene addiction implicates a Myb-coordinated self-renewal program as essential for leukemia maintenance.
Genes Dev. 2011; 25(15):1628-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although human cancers have complex genotypes and are genomically unstable, they often remain dependent on the continued presence of single-driver mutations-a phenomenon dubbed "oncogene addiction." Such dependencies have been demonstrated in mouse models, where conditional expression systems have revealed that oncogenes able to initiate cancer are often required for tumor maintenance and progression, thus validating the pathways they control as therapeutic targets. Here, we implement an integrative approach that combines genetically defined mouse models, transcriptional profiling, and a novel inducible RNAi platform to characterize cellular programs that underlie addiction to MLL-AF9-a fusion oncoprotein involved in aggressive forms of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We show that MLL-AF9 contributes to leukemia maintenance by enforcing a Myb-coordinated program of aberrant self-renewal involving genes linked to leukemia stem cell potential and poor prognosis in human AML. Accordingly, partial and transient Myb suppression precisely phenocopies MLL-AF9 withdrawal and eradicates aggressive AML in vivo without preventing normal myelopoiesis, indicating that strategies to inhibit Myb-dependent aberrant self-renewal programs hold promise as effective and cancer-specific therapeutics. Together, our results identify Myb as a critical mediator of oncogene addiction in AML, delineate relevant Myb target genes that are amenable to pharmacologic inhibition, and establish a general approach for dissecting oncogene addiction in vivo.

Moskaluk CA, Baras AS, Mancuso SA, et al.
Development and characterization of xenograft model systems for adenoid cystic carcinoma.
Lab Invest. 2011; 91(10):1480-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is one of the most common malignancies to arise in human salivary glands, and it also arises in the glandular tissue of other organ systems. To address the paucity of experimental model systems for this tumor type, we have undertaken a program of transplanting tissue samples of human ACC into immunodeficient nu/nu mice to create xenograft model systems. In 17 of 23 attempts (74%), xenograft tumors were successfully grown. In all cases, the histologic appearance of the donating tumor was recapitulated in the subsequent xenograft. Characterization of a subset of xenograft models by immunohistochemical biomarkers and by RNA transcript microarray analysis showed good fidelity in the recapitulation of gene expression patterns in the xenograft tumors compared with the human donor tumors. As ACC is known to frequently contain a t(6;9) translocation that fuses the MYB and NFIB genes, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of 12 ACC xenograft models was performed that assayed MYB locus break-apart and MYB-NFIB locus fusion. Of 12 xenograft models, 11 (92%) revealed MYB locus rearrangement and 10 (83%) showed evidence of fusion of the MYB and NFIB loci. The two related xenograft models (derived from primary and metastatic tumors, respectively, of the same human subject) were karyotyped, showing a t(1;6) translocation, suggesting MYB translocation to a novel fusion partner gene. Overall, our results indicate that ACC is amenable to xenografting and that ACC xenograft models recapitulate the molecular and morphologic characteristics of human tumors, suggesting utility as valid experimental and preclinical model systems for this disease.

Brill LB, Kanner WA, Fehr A, et al.
Analysis of MYB expression and MYB-NFIB gene fusions in adenoid cystic carcinoma and other salivary neoplasms.
Mod Pathol. 2011; 24(9):1169-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent studies have shown that the recurrent t(6;9)(q22-23;p23-24) translocation in adenoid cystic carcinoma results in a novel fusion of the MYB proto-oncogene with the transcription factor gene NFIB. To determine the frequency of this finding, we used RT-PCR assays of the MYB and MYB-NFIB fusion transcripts, and immunohistochemistry for the MYB protein, to study adenoid cystic carcinomas and other epithelial tumors of the salivary glands, and head and neck region. MYB-NFIB fusion transcript was detected in 25 of 29 (86%) frozen adenoid cystic carcinoma tumor samples, and in 14 of 32 (44%) formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded adenoid cystic carcinoma tumor specimens. In contrast, the MYB-NFIB fusion was not expressed in non-adenoid cystic carcinoma neoplasms of the head and neck, confirming the high specificity of the MYB-NFIB fusion. Adenoid cystic carcinomas from various anatomic sites, including salivary gland, sinonasal cavity, tracheobronchial tree, larynx, breast, and vulva were repeatedly fusion-positive, indicating that adenoid cystic carcinomas located in different anatomic sites not only have important morphologic features in common, but also probably evolve through activation of the same molecular pathways. Studies of the expression of MYB revealed that 89% of the tumors, including both fusion-positive and fusion-negative cases, overexpressed MYB RNA. Similarly, 82% of adenoid cystic carcinomas stained positive for MYB protein, compared with 14% of non-adenoid cystic carcinoma neoplasms, indicating that MYB immunostaining may be useful for the diagnosis of adenoid cystic carcinoma, but that neoplasms sometimes in the differential diagnosis are also labeled. The latter are, however, fusion-negative. In summary, our studies show that MYB activation through gene fusion or other mechanisms is a major oncogenic event in adenoid cystic carcinoma occurring at various anatomic sites. In addition to being a diagnostically useful biomarker for adenoid cystic carcinoma, MYB and its downstream effectors are also novel potential therapeutic targets.

Machová Poláková K, Lopotová T, Klamová H, et al.
Expression patterns of microRNAs associated with CML phases and their disease related targets.
Mol Cancer. 2011; 10:41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs are important regulators of transcription in hematopoiesis. Their expression deregulations were described in association with pathogenesis of some hematological malignancies. This study provides integrated microRNA expression profiling at different phases of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) with the aim to identify microRNAs associated with CML pathogenesis. The functions of in silico filtered targets are in this report annotated and discussed in relation to CML pathogenesis.
RESULTS: Using microarrays we identified differential expression profiles of 49 miRNAs in CML patients at diagnosis, in hematological relapse, therapy failure, blast crisis and major molecular response. The expression deregulation of miR-150, miR-20a, miR-17, miR-19a, miR-103, miR-144, miR-155, miR-181a, miR-221 and miR-222 in CML was confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR. In silico analyses identified targeted genes of these miRNAs encoding proteins that are involved in cell cycle and growth regulation as well as several key signaling pathways such as of mitogen activated kinase-like protein (MAPK), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR, ERBB), transforming growth factor beta (TGFB1) and tumor protein p53 that are all related to CML. Decreased levels of miR-150 were detected in patients at diagnosis, in blast crisis and 67% of hematological relapses and showed significant negative correlation with miR-150 proved target MYB and with BCR-ABL transcript level.
CONCLUSIONS: This study uncovers microRNAs that are potentially involved in CML and the annotated functions of in silico filtered targets of selected miRNAs outline mechanisms whereby microRNAs may be involved in CML pathogenesis.

Frau M, Ladu S, Calvisi DF, et al.
Mybl2 expression is under genetic control and contributes to determine a hepatocellular carcinoma susceptible phenotype.
J Hepatol. 2011; 55(1):111-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: MYBL2 is implicated in human malignancies and over expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We investigated Mybl2 role in the acquisition of susceptibility to HCC and tumor progression.
METHODS: MYBL2 mRNA and protein levels were evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblotting, respectively. MYBL2 expression in HCC cell lines was controlled through MYBL2 cDNA or anti-MYBL2 siRNA transfection. Gene expression profile of cells transfected with MYBL2 was analyzed by microarray.
RESULTS: Low induction of Mybl2 and its target Clusterin mRNAs, in low-grade dysplastic nodules (DN), progressively increased in fast growing high-grade DN and HCC of F344 rats, susceptible to hepatocarcinogenesis, whereas no/lower increases occurred in slow growing lesions of resistant BN rats. Highest Mybl2 protein activation, prevalently nuclear, occurred in F344 than BN lesions. Highest Mybl2, Clusterin, Cdc2, and Cyclin B1 expression occurred in fast progressing DN and HCC of E2f1 transgenics, compared to c-Myc transgenics, and anti-Mybl2 siRNA had highest anti-proliferative and apoptogenic effects in cell lines from HCC of E2f1 transgenics. MYBL2 transfected HepG2 and Huh7 cells exhibited increased cell proliferation and G1-S and G2-M cell cycle phases. The opposite occurred when MYBL2 was silenced by specific siRNA. MYBL2 transfection in Huh7 cells led to upregulation of genes involved in signal transduction, cell proliferation, cell motility, and downregulation of oncosuppressor and apoptogenic genes.
CONCLUSIONS: mybl2 expression and activation are under genetic control. Mybl2 upregulation induces fast growth and progression of premalignant and malignant liver, through cell cycle deregulation and activation of genes and pathways related to tumor progression.

Shiratori S, Kondo T, Fujisawa S, et al.
c-myc rearrangement in B-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma with the involvement of multiple extranodal lesions.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2011; 52(4):716-8 [PubMed] Related Publications

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