Gene Summary

Gene:NBN; nibrin
Aliases: ATV, NBS, P95, NBS1, AT-V1, AT-V2
Summary:Mutations in this gene are associated with Nijmegen breakage syndrome, an autosomal recessive chromosomal instability syndrome characterized by microcephaly, growth retardation, immunodeficiency, and cancer predisposition. The encoded protein is a member of the MRE11/RAD50 double-strand break repair complex which consists of 5 proteins. This gene product is thought to be involved in DNA double-strand break repair and DNA damage-induced checkpoint activation. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Wilms Tumour
  • Breast Cancer
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Chromosome 8
  • MRE11 Homologue Protein
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Young Adult
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Slovakia
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA Repair Enzymes
  • Rabbits
  • Genotype
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Mutation
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Taiwan
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • DNA Damage
  • Adolescents
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Double-Stranded DNA Breaks
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • Telomere-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Telomere
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • DNA Repair
  • Sequence Homology
  • Transfection
  • Genetic Recombination
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: NBN (cancer-related)

Gröschel S, Hübschmann D, Raimondi F, et al.
Defective homologous recombination DNA repair as therapeutic target in advanced chordoma.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):1635 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chordomas are rare bone tumors with few therapeutic options. Here we show, using whole-exome and genome sequencing within a precision oncology program, that advanced chordomas (n = 11) may be characterized by genomic patterns indicative of defective homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair and alterations affecting HR-related genes, including, for example, deletions and pathogenic germline variants of BRCA2, NBN, and CHEK2. A mutational signature associated with HR deficiency was significantly enriched in 72.7% of samples and co-occurred with genomic instability. The poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib, which is preferentially toxic to HR-incompetent cells, led to prolonged clinical benefit in a patient with refractory chordoma, and whole-genome analysis at progression revealed a PARP1 p.T910A mutation predicted to disrupt the autoinhibitory PARP1 helical domain. These findings uncover a therapeutic opportunity in chordoma that warrants further exploration, and provide insight into the mechanisms underlying PARP inhibitor resistance.

Cowman S, Fan YN, Pizer B, Sée V
Decrease of Nibrin expression in chronic hypoxia is associated with hypoxia-induced chemoresistance in some brain tumour cells.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):300 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Solid tumours are less oxygenated than normal tissues. This is called tumour hypoxia and leads to resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The molecular mechanisms underlying such resistance have been investigated in a range of tumour types, including the adult brain tumours glioblastoma, yet little is known for paediatric brain tumours. Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumour in children. We aimed to elucidate the impact of hypoxia on the sensitivity of MB cells to chemo- and radiotherapy.
METHODS: We used two MB cell line (D283-MED and MEB-Med8A) and a widely used glioblastoma cell line (U87MG) for comparison. We applied a range of molecular and cellular techniques to measure cell survival, cell cycle progression, protein expression and DNA damage combined with a transcriptomic micro-array approach in D283-MED cells, for global gene expression analysis in acute and chronic hypoxic conditions.
RESULTS: In D283-MED and U87MG, chronic hypoxia (5 days), but not acute hypoxia (24 h) induced resistance to chemotherapy and X-ray irradiation. This acquired resistance upon chronic hypoxia was present but less pronounced in MEB-Med8A cells. Using transcriptomic analysis in D283-MED cells, we found a large transcriptional remodelling upon long term hypoxia, in particular the expression of a number of genes involved in detection and repair of double strand breaks (DSB) was altered. The levels of Nibrin (NBN) and MRE11, members of the MRN complex (MRE11/Rad50/NBN) responsible for DSB recognition, were significantly down-regulated. This was associated with a reduction of Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) activation by etoposide, indicating a profound dampening of the DNA damage signalling in hypoxic conditions. As a consequence, p53 activation by etoposide was reduced, and cell survival enhanced. Whilst U87MG shared the same dampened p53 activity, upon chemotherapeutic drug treatment in chronic hypoxic conditions, these cells used a different mechanism, independent of the DNA damage pathway.
CONCLUSION: Together our results demonstrate a new mechanism explaining hypoxia-induced resistance involving the alteration of the response to DSB in D283-MED cells, but also highlight the cell type to cell type diversity and the necessity to take into account the differing tumour genetic make-up when considering re-sensitisation therapeutic protocols.

Wang L, Wang H, Wang T, et al.
Analysis of polymorphisms in genes associated with the FA/BRCA pathway in three patients with multiple primary malignant neoplasms.
Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol. 2019; 47(1):1101-1112 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cases of more than three primary cancers are very rare. This study analyzed the genetic susceptibility of gene polymorphisms in three patients with multiple primary malignant neoplasms and examined the possible pathogenesis. The clinical data and whole genome sequence of three patients (1 with 5 primary cancers, 1 with 4 primary cancers, and 1 with 3 primary cancers) were aligned with a series of databases. We found the three patients contained a total of seven types of malignant tumours (endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, ureter cancer, bladder cancer and kidney cancer). It was found that the varied genes in Patient 1 (5 primary cancers) were BRIP1, FANCG, NBN, AXIN2, SRD5A2, and CEBPA. Patient 2 (4 primary cancers) had variations in the following genes: BMPR1A, FANCD2, MLH3, BRCA2, and FANCM. Patient 3 (3 primary cancers) had variations in the following genes: MEN1, ATM, MSH3, BRCA1, FANCL, CEBPA, and FANCA. String software was used to analyze the KEGG pathway of the variations in these three samples, which revealed that the genes are involved in the Fanconi anaemia pathway. Defects in DNA damage repair may be one of the causes of multiple primary cancers.

Saqafi B, Rahbarizadeh F
Polyethyleneimine-polyethylene glycol copolymer targeted by anti-HER2 nanobody for specific delivery of transcriptionally targeted tBid containing construct.
Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol. 2019; 47(1):501-511 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present research seeks to investigate the process of mixing targeted gene delivery and transcriptional targeting. We have conjugated Polyethylenimine polymers (PEI) and molecules of poly (ethylene glycol). The next step was covalent attachment of anti-HER2 variables domains of camelid heavy chains antibodies (VHHs) or nanobodies (Nbs) to the distal terminals of NHS-PEG3500 in PEI-PEG nanoparticles. The whole procedure yielded PEI-PEG-Nb immunoconjugates. Having determined the properties of polyplexes, steps were taken to investigate the most efficient ratio of PEI polymers to pDNA molecules (N/P) so that the greatest rate of transfection may be obtained. This immune targeted nano biopolymer could condense the gene constructs that coded a transcriptionally targeted truncated -Bid (tBid) killer gene which was controlled by the breast cancer-specific MUC1 promoter. The favourable physicochemical properties matching both the size and zeta potential were observed in engineered polyplexes. Elevated transfection efficiency in HER2 positive cell lines using Nb-modified polyplexes were shown by the results of flow cytometry as compared against non-modified particles. 1.6 and 4.8 fold higher transfection efficiencies were observed in in vitro gene expression researches which used PEI-PEG-Nb/pGL4.50 compared to the situation when native PEI polymers were utilized in both BT-474 and SK-BR-3, respectively. A 2.22 and 3.62 fold rise in the level of tBid gene expression in BT-474 and SK-BR-3 cell lines relative to unmodified PEI treated cells was the result of transfection with PEI-PEG-Nb/pMUC1-tBid, respectively. In those HER2-positive cells which were transfected by targeted polyplexes, higher levels of cell death were observed. This fact points not only to the effective targeted delivery, but it is also indicative of transcriptional targeting efficiency of tBid killer gene when its expression is controlled by MUC1 promoter.

Situ Y, Chung L, Lee CS, Ho V
MRN (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1) Complex in Human Cancer and Prognostic Implications in Colorectal Cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(4) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex has been studied in multiple cancers. The identification of MRN complex mutations in mismatch repair (MMR)-defective cancers has sparked interest in its role in colorectal cancer (CRC). To date, there is evidence indicating a relationship of MRN expression with reduced progression-free survival, although the significance of the MRN complex in the clinical setting remains controversial. In this review, we present an overview of the function of the MRN complex, its role in cancer progression, and current evidence in colorectal cancer. The evidence indicates that the MRN complex has potential utilisation as a biomarker and as a putative treatment target to improve outcomes of colorectal cancer.

Krivokuca A, Boljevic I, Jovandic S, et al.
Germline mutations in cancer susceptibility genes in high grade serous ovarian cancer in Serbia.
J Hum Genet. 2019; 64(4):281-290 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clinical criteria for genetic testing of genes other than BRCA1/2 in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) still do not exist. We assessed the frequency and predictors of deleterious mutations in 19 cancer predisposition genes in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) in Serbia. Next-generation sequencing was used to identify germline mutations in the whole coding regions of a gene panel. Patients' characteristics and sequencing data were summarized with descriptive statistics and compared using chi-square test. Among 131 HGSOC patients, 23 had BRCA1 (17.6%) while 5 had BRCA2 (3.8%) mutation. In addition, 9 (6.9%) pathogenic mutations were detected in other genes including BRIP1 (n = 2;1.5%), CHEK2 (n = 2;1.5%), NBN (n = 3;2.3%) and RAD51C (n = 2;1.5%). Factors that predicted for BRCA1/2 mutations were: breast and ovarian cancers in the same patient (p = 0.031), young age of EOC (p = 0.029), menstrual status (p = 0.004) and family history of cancer (p < 0.0001). However, these factors did not predict for mutations in other cancer susceptibility genes. Applying established referral criteria for genetic testing in Serbia will help identify BRCA1/2 mutation carriers but will not help identify mutations in other cancer susceptibility genes. Until better predictors emerge we should be performing wider genetic testing of EOC in order to identify all mutation carriers.

Lotan TL, Kaur HB, Alharbi AM, et al.
DNA damage repair alterations are frequent in prostatic adenocarcinomas with focal pleomorphic giant-cell features.
Histopathology. 2019; 74(6):836-843 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
AIMS: Prostatic adenocarcinomas with focal pleomorphic giant-cell features constitute a rare tumour subtype with abysmal clinical outcomes. More than one-third of patients with this histology die within a year of the initial diagnosis of prostate cancer. We aimed to perform molecular profiling of these tumors to identify potential therapeutic targets.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Here, we performed next-generation sequencing with a highly validated targeted panel (UW-OncoPlex) on somatic tumour DNA extracted from eight cases of prostatic adenocarcinoma with focal pleomorphic giant-cell features, including cases with and without prior treatment for prostate cancer. We found that DNA damage repair mutations are common in this rare subset of prostate tumours, with two of eight having bi-allelic pathogenic mutations in homologous DNA repair genes (including BRCA2 and NBN) and two of eight having bi-allelic pathogenic mutations in mismatch repair genes (including MSH2 and MLH1).
CONCLUSION: These data are consistent with emerging data showing that DNA repair alterations are enriched among castration-resistant prostate cancer and aggressive subsets of primary tumours. Given that these patients are potential candidates for poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor and/or immune checkpoint blockade, and have a poor prognosis with standard therapy, we recommend that tumour and germline DNA sequencing with or without mismatch repair protein immunohistochemistry be considered for all prostatic adenocarcinomas with focal pleomorphic giant-cell features.

Hong S, Xu J, Li Y, et al.
Topoisomerase IIβ-binding protein 1 activates expression of E2F1 and p73 in HPV-positive cells for genome amplification upon epithelial differentiation.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(17):3274-3287 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) constitutively activate ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ataxia telangiectasia- and Rad3-related (ATR) DNA damage repair pathways for viral genome amplification. HPVs activate these pathways through the immune regulator STAT-5. For the ATR pathway, STAT-5 increases expression of the topoisomerase IIβ-binding protein 1 (TopBP1), a scaffold protein that binds ATR and recruits it to sites of DNA damage. TopBP1 also acts as a transcriptional regulator, and we investigated how this activity influenced the HPV life cycle. We determined that TopBP1 levels are increased in cervical intraepithelial neoplasias as well as cervical carcinomas, consistent with studies in HPV-positive cell lines. Suppression of TopBP1 by shRNAs impairs HPV genome amplification and activation of the ATR pathway but does not affect the total levels of ATR and CHK1. In contrast, knockdown reduces the expression of other DNA damage factors such as RAD51 and Mre11 but not BRCA2 or NBS1. Interestingly, TopBP1 positively regulates the expression of E2F1, a TopBP1-binding partner, and p73 in HPV-positive cells in contrast to its effects in other cell types. TopBP1 transcriptional activity is regulated by AKT, and treatment with AKT inhibitors suppresses expression of E2F1 and p73 without interfering with ATR signaling. Importantly, the levels of p73 are elevated in HPV-positive cells and its knockdown impairs HPV genome amplification. This demonstrates that p73, like p63 and p53, is an important regulator of the HPV life cycle that is controlled by the transcriptional activating properties of the multifunctional TopBP1 protein.

Jiang Z, Guo Y, Miao L, et al.
SMAD3 silencing enhances DNA damage in radiation therapy by interacting with MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 complex in glioma.
J Biochem. 2019; 165(4):317-322 [PubMed] Related Publications
Radiotherapy is the major treatment modality for malignant glioma. However, the treatment response of radiotherapy is suboptimal due to resistance. Here we aimed to explore the effect and mechanism of Mothers against decapentaplegic homologue (SMAD3) silencing in sensitizing malignant glioma to radiotherapy. Clonogenic assay was used to evaluate the sensitivity of glioma cells to increasing doses of radiation. Glioma cells were transfected with small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) specific to SMAD3. Overexpression of SMAD3 was achieved by transfecting expression plasmid encoding SMAD3 cDNA. Changes in MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 mRNA and protein levels were assessed through qPCR analysis and western blot analysis, respectively. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) was used to confirm the interaction between SMAD3 and MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex. Silencing of SMAD3 increased sensitivity of glioma cells to radiotherapy. MRE11, RAD50 and NBS1 were overexpressed in response to radiotherapy, which was attenuated by SMAD3 silencing while boosted by SMAD3 overexpression. ChIP analysis confirmed the interaction of SMAD3 with MRE11, RAD50 and NBS1 under radiotherapy, which was inhibited by SMAD3 silencing. SMAD3 silencing is an effective strategy for sensitizing glioma to radiotherapy, which is mediated by the interaction of SMAD3 with the MRN complex.

Urtishak KA, Wang LS, Culjkovic-Kraljacic B, et al.
Targeting EIF4E signaling with ribavirin in infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(13):2241-2262 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
The poor outcomes in infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) necessitate new treatments. Here we discover that EIF4E protein is elevated in most cases of infant ALL and test EIF4E targeting by the repurposed antiviral agent ribavirin, which has anticancer properties through EIF4E inhibition, as a potential treatment. We find that ribavirin treatment of actively dividing infant ALL cells on bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) at clinically achievable concentrations causes robust proliferation inhibition in proportion with EIF4E expression. Further, we find that ribavirin treatment of KMT2A-rearranged (KMT2A-R) infant ALL cells and the KMT2A-AFF1 cell line RS4:11 inhibits EIF4E, leading to decreases in oncogenic EIF4E-regulated cell growth and survival proteins. In ribavirin-sensitive KMT2A-R infant ALL cells and RS4:11 cells, EIF4E-regulated proteins with reduced levels of expression following ribavirin treatment include MYC, MCL1, NBN, BCL2 and BIRC5. Ribavirin-treated RS4:11 cells exhibit impaired EIF4E-dependent nuclear to cytoplasmic export and/or translation of the corresponding mRNAs, as well as reduced phosphorylation of the p-AKT1, p-EIF4EBP1, p-RPS6 and p-EIF4E signaling proteins. This leads to an S-phase cell cycle arrest in RS4:11 cells corresponding to the decreased proliferation. Ribavirin causes nuclear EIF4E to re-localize to the cytoplasm in KMT2A-AFF1 infant ALL and RS4:11 cells, providing further evidence for EIF4E inhibition. Ribavirin slows increases in peripheral blasts in KMT2A-R infant ALL xenograft-bearing mice. Ribavirin cooperates with chemotherapy, particularly L-asparaginase, in reducing live KMT2A-AFF1 infant ALL cells in BMSC co-cultures. This work establishes that EIF4E is broadly elevated across infant ALL and that clinically relevant ribavirin exposures have preclinical activity and effectively inhibit EIF4E in KMT2A-R cases, suggesting promise in EIF4E targeting using ribavirin as a means of treatment.

Cai W, Lv W, Feng Y, et al.
The therapeutic effect in gliomas of nanobubbles carrying siRNA combined with ultrasound-targeted destruction.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2018; 13:6791-6807 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
Background: Nanobubbles (NBs) combined with ultrasound-targeted destruction (UTD) have become promising potential carriers for drug or siRNA delivery. Due to their nano-size, NBs could penetrate tumor blood vessels and accumulate in intercellular spaces so that "sonoporation" induced by UTD would act directly on the tumor cells to increase cell membrane permeability.
Methods: Based on the successful the fabrication of NBs, we synthesized NBs carrying siRNA (NBs-siRNA) by using a biotin-streptavidin system. We then utilized ultrasound irradiation (UI)-targeted NBs-siRNA to improve siRNA transfection and achieve the inhibition of glioma growth.
Results: NBs as carriers combined with UI effectively enhanced siRNA transfection and the effect of silencing targeted genes in vitro. Additionally, a better therapeutic effect was shown in the NBs-siRNA with UI group in vivo compared with that of microbubbles (MBs) with UI or NBs-siRNA without UI.
Conclusion: These results indicated that NBs combined with UTD might be an ideal delivery vector for siRNA to achieve the noninvasive treatment of glioma.

Hoyer J, Vasileiou G, Uebe S, et al.
Addition of triple negativity of breast cancer as an indicator for germline mutations in predisposing genes increases sensitivity of clinical selection criteria.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):926 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. 12-15% of all tumors are triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC). So far, TNBC has been mainly associated with mutations in BRCA1. The presence of other predisposing genes seems likely since DNA damage repair is a complex process that involves several genes. Therefore we investigated if mutations in other genes are involved in cancer development and whether TNBC is an additional indicator of mutational status besides family history and age of onset.
METHODS: We performed a germline panel-based screening of 10 high and low-moderate penetrance breast cancer susceptibility genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM, CDH1, CHEK2, NBN, PALB2, RAD51C, RAD51D and TP53) in 229 consecutive individuals affected with TNBC unselected for age, family history or bilateral disease. Within this cohort we compared the number of mutation carriers fulfilling clinical selection criteria with the total number of carriers identified.
RESULTS: Age at diagnosis ranged from 23 to 80 years with an average age of 50.2 years. In 57 women (24.9%) we detected a pathogenic mutation, with a higher frequency (29.7%) in the group manifesting cancer before 60 years. Deleterious BRCA1 mutations occurred in 14.8% of TNBC patients. These were predominantly recurrent frameshift mutations (24/34, 70.6%). Deleterious BRCA2 mutations occurred in 5.7% of patients, all but one (c.1813dupA) being unique. While no mutations were found in CDH1 and TP53, 10 mutations were detected in one of the six other predisposition genes. Remarkably, neither of the ATM, RAD51D, CHEK2 and PALB2 mutation carriers had a family history. Furthermore, patients with non-BRCA1/2 mutations were not significantly younger than mutation negative women (p = 0.3341). Most importantly, among the 57 mutation carriers, ten (17.5%) would be missed using current clinical testing criteria including five (8%) with BRCA1/2 mutations.
CONCLUSIONS: In summary, our data confirm and expand previous studies of a high frequency of germline mutations in genes associated with ineffective repair of DNA damage in women with TNBCs. Neither age of onset, contralateral disease nor family history were able to discern all mutation positive individuals. Therefore, TNBC should be considered as an additional criterion for panel based genetic testing.

Ho V, Chung L, Singh A, et al.
Overexpression of the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex in rectal cancer correlates with poor response to neoadjuvant radiotherapy and prognosis.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):869 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 (MRN) complex plays an essential role in detecting and repairing double-stranded breaks, and thus the potential roles of MRE11, RAD50 and NBS1 proteins in the pathogenesis of various cancers is the subject of investigation. This study was aimed at assessing the three-protein panel of MRN complex subunits as a potential radiosensitivity marker and evaluating the prognostic and clinicopathological implications of MRN expression in rectal cancer.
METHODS: Samples from 265 rectal cancer patients treated with surgery and adjuvant chemoradiotherapy, including samples from 55 patients who were treated with neoadjuvant radiotherapy between 2000 and 2011, were analyzed. Expression of MRN complex proteins in tissue samples was determined by immunohistochemistry. Univariate and multivariate analyses were carried out to identify clinicopathological characteristics that are associated with the MRN three-protein panel expression in rectal cancer samples.
RESULTS: In Kaplan-Meier survival analyses, we found that high level expression of MRN complex proteins in postoperative samples was associated with poor disease-free (p = 0.021) and overall (P = 0.002) survival. Interestingly, high MRN expression also correlated with poor disease-free (P = 0.047) and overall (P = 0.024) survival in the neoadjuvant radiotherapy subgroup. In multivariate analysis, combined MRN expression (hazard ratio = 2.114, 95% confidence interval 1.096-4.078, P = 0.026) and perineural invasion (hazard ratio = 2.160, 95% confidence interval 1.209-3.859, P = 0.009) were significantly associated with a worse disease-free survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Expression levels of MRN complex proteins significantly predict disease-free survival in rectal cancer patients, including those treated with neoadjuvant radiotherapy, and may have value in the management of these patients.

Marshall CH, Fu W, Wang H, et al.
Prevalence of DNA repair gene mutations in localized prostate cancer according to clinical and pathologic features: association of Gleason score and tumor stage.
Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2019; 22(1):59-65 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: DNA repair gene mutations are present in 8-10% of localized prostate cancers. It is unknown whether this is influenced by clinicopathologic factors.
METHODS: We interrogated localized prostate adenocarcinomas with tumor DNA sequencing information from the TCGA validated (n = 333) and Nature Genetics (n = 377) datasets. Homologous recombination repair genes included in our analysis were: ATM, BRCA1/2, CDK12, CHEK1/2, FANCA, FANCD2, FANCL, GEN1, NBN, PALB2, RAD51, and RAD51C. Proportions of cases with pathogenic DNA repair mutations (and in ATM/BRCA1/2 specifically) were reported by Gleason grade group, clinical T, pathologic T, and pathologic N stage. Odds ratios and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare proportions between categories.
RESULTS: Patients with Gleason grade groups 3 and higher were 2.2 times more likely to harbor any DNA repair mutation (95% CI: 1.2-4.2; 10.3% versus 5.0%) and were 2.7 times more likely to have BRCA1/2 or ATM mutations (95% CI: 1.3-6.6; 7.0% versus 2.7%) compared to those in Gleason grade groups 1-2. Patients with pathologic T3 and T4 stage (pT3/pT4) were 2.6 times more likely to have any DNA repair mutation (95% CI: 1.3-6.6; 13.0% versus 5.5%) and were 3.2 times more likely to have BRCA1/2 or ATM mutations (95% CI: 1.2-11.3; 9.5% versus 3.1%) compared to those with pT2 disease. There was no difference by clinical tumor or nodal stage. Among men with Gleason grade group ≥ 3 and clinical stage ≥ cT3, 21.3% (1 in 5) had a DNA repair mutation in any gene and 11.7% (1 in 9) had a mutation in ATM/BRCA1/2.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of pathogenic DNA repair gene alterations is enriched in men with advanced tumor stages and higher Gleason grade groups, with maximal enrichment observed in those with Gleason grade group ≥ 3 and clinical stage ≥ cT3 disease. This information can be used to guide eligibility criteria for genomically targeted clinical trials in the neoadjuvant/adjuvant settings.

Zhan W, Shelton CA, Greer PJ, et al.
Germline Variants and Risk for Pancreatic Cancer: A Systematic Review and Emerging Concepts.
Pancreas. 2018; 47(8):924-936 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer requires many genetic mutations. Combinations of underlying germline variants and environmental factors may increase the risk of cancer and accelerate the oncogenic process. We systematically reviewed, annotated, and classified previously reported pancreatic cancer-associated germline variants in established risk genes. Variants were scored using multiple criteria and binned by evidence for pathogenicity, then annotated with published functional studies and associated biological systems/pathways. Twenty-two previously identified pancreatic cancer risk genes and 337 germline variants were identified from 97 informative studies that met our inclusion criteria. Fifteen of these genes contained 66 variants predicted to be pathogenic (APC, ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDKN2A, CFTR, CHEK2, MLH1, MSH2, NBN, PALB2, PALLD, PRSS1, SPINK1, TP53). Pancreatic cancer risk genes were organized into key biological mechanisms that promote pancreatic oncogenesis within an oncogenic model. Development of precision medicine approaches requires updated variant information within the framework of an oncogenic progression model. Complex risk modeling may improve interpretation of early biomarkers and guide pathway-specific treatment for pancreatic cancer in the future. Precision medicine is within reach.

Lezina L, Spriggs RV, Beck D, et al.
CD40L/IL-4-stimulated CLL demonstrates variation in translational regulation of DNA damage response genes including ATM.
Blood Adv. 2018; 2(15):1869-1881 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
CD40L/interleukin-4 (IL-4) stimulation occurs in vivo in the tumor microenvironment and induces global translation to varying degrees in individuals with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in vitro. However, the implications of CD40L/IL-4 for the translation of specific genes is not known. To determine the most highly translationally regulated genes in response to CD40L/IL-4, we carried out ribosome profiling, a next-generation sequencing method. Significant differences in the translational efficiency of DNA damage response genes, specifically ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated kinase (ATM) and the MRE11/RAD50/NBN (MRN) complex, were observed between patients, suggesting different patterns of translational regulation. We confirmed associations between CD40L/IL-4 response and baseline ATM levels, induction of ATM, and phosphorylation of the ATM targets, p53 and H2AX. X-irradiation was used to demonstrate that CD40L/IL-4 stimulation tended to improve DNA damage repair. Baseline ATM levels, independent of the presence of 11q deletion, correlated with overall survival (OS). Overall, we suggest that there are individual differences in translation of specific genes, including ATM, in response to CD40L/IL-4 and that these interpatient differences might be clinically important.

Yurgelun MB, Chittenden AB, Morales-Oyarvide V, et al.
Germline cancer susceptibility gene variants, somatic second hits, and survival outcomes in patients with resected pancreatic cancer.
Genet Med. 2019; 21(1):213-223 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Germline variants in double-strand DNA damage repair (dsDDR) genes (e.g., BRCA1/2) predispose to pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and may predict sensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy and poly(ADP) ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. We sought to determine the prevalence and significance of germline cancer susceptibility gene variants in PDAC with paired somatic and survival analyses.
METHODS: Using a customized next-generation sequencing panel, germline/somatic DNA was analyzed from 289 patients with resected PDAC ascertained without preselection for high-risk features (e.g., young age, personal/family history). All identified variants were assessed for pathogenicity. Outcomes were analyzed using multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression.
RESULTS: We found that 28/289 (9.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.5-13.7%) patients carried pathogenic/likely pathogenic germline variants, including 21 (7.3%) dsDDR gene variants (3 BRCA1, 4 BRCA2, 14 other dsDDR genes [ATM, BRIP1, CHEK2, NBN, PALB2, RAD50, RAD51C]), 3 Lynch syndrome, and 4 other genes (APC p.I1307K, CDKN2A, TP53). Somatic sequencing and immunohistochemistry identified second hits in the tumor in 12/27 (44.4%) patients with germline variants (1 failed sequencing). Compared with noncarriers, patients with germline dsDDR gene variants had superior overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] 0.54; 95% CI 0.30-0.99; P = 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Nearly 10% of PDAC patients harbor germline variants, although the majority lack somatic second hits, the therapeutic significance of which warrants further study.

Chen D, Feng C, Tian X, et al.
Promyelocytic Leukemia Restricts Enterovirus 71 Replication by Inhibiting Autophagy.
Front Immunol. 2018; 9:1268 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
The promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein, also known as TRIM19, functions as a major organizer of PML nuclear bodies (NBs) in most mammalian cells and plays important roles in antiviral activities against both DNA and RNA viruses. In this study, we found that the downregulation of PML rendered HeLa cells more susceptible to infection by enterovirus 71 (EV71), and the overexpression of the PMLIII or PMLIV isoforms inhibited viral protein expression and resulted in viral titers that were 2-3 log units lower than those in the control. Using short interfering RNAs, the downregulation of either the PMLIII or PMLIV isoform increased both viral protein VP1 expression and viral production. The PML repression of EV71 replication was partially mediated by the inhibition of autophagy, and PML deficiency triggered autophagy. Furthermore, the EV71 infection resulted in a reduction in PML independent of the proteasome pathway. Instead, PML degradation was mediated by virus protease 3C

Mijuskovic M, Saunders EJ, Leongamornlert DA, et al.
Rare germline variants in DNA repair genes and the angiogenesis pathway predispose prostate cancer patients to develop metastatic disease.
Br J Cancer. 2018; 119(1):96-104 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer (PrCa) demonstrates a heterogeneous clinical presentation ranging from largely indolent to lethal. We sought to identify a signature of rare inherited variants that distinguishes between these two extreme phenotypes.
METHODS: We sequenced germline whole exomes from 139 aggressive (metastatic, age of diagnosis < 60) and 141 non-aggressive (low clinical grade, age of diagnosis ≥60) PrCa cases. We conducted rare variant association analyses at gene and gene set levels using SKAT and Bayesian risk index techniques. GO term enrichment analysis was performed for genes with the highest differential burden of rare disruptive variants.
RESULTS: Protein truncating variants (PTVs) in specific DNA repair genes were significantly overrepresented among patients with the aggressive phenotype, with BRCA2, ATM and NBN the most frequently mutated genes. Differential burden of rare variants was identified between metastatic and non-aggressive cases for several genes implicated in angiogenesis, conferring both deleterious and protective effects.
CONCLUSIONS: Inherited PTVs in several DNA repair genes distinguish aggressive from non-aggressive PrCa cases. Furthermore, inherited variants in genes with roles in angiogenesis may be potential predictors for risk of metastases. If validated in a larger dataset, these findings have potential for future clinical application.

Farina AR, Cappabianca L, Ruggeri P, et al.
The oncogenic neurotrophin receptor tropomyosin-related kinase variant, TrkAIII.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):119 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
Oncogenes derived from the neurotrophin receptor tropomyosin-related kinase TrkA act as drivers in sub-populations of a wide-range of human cancers. This, combined with a recent report that both adult and childhood cancers driven by novel oncogenic TrkA chimeric-fusions exhibit profound, long-lived therapeutic responses to the Trk inhibitor Larotrectinib, highlights the need to improve clinical detection of TrkA oncogene-driven cancers in order to maximise this novel therapeutic potential. Cancers potentially driven by TrkA oncogenes include a proportion of paediatric neuroblastomas (NBs) that express the alternative TrkA splice variant TrkAIII, which exhibits exon 6, 7 and 9 skipping and oncogenic-activity that depends upon deletion of the extracellular D4 Ig-like domain. In contrast to fully spliced TrkA, which exhibits tumour suppressor activity in NB and associates with good prognosis, TrkAIII associates with advanced stage metastatic disease, post therapeutic relapse and worse prognosis, induces malignant transformation of NIH-3T3 cells and exhibits oncogenic activity in NB models. TrkAIII induction in NB cells is stress-regulated by conditions that mimic hypoxia or perturbate the ER with potential to change TrkA tumour-suppressing signals into oncogenic TrkAIII signals within the stressful tumour microenvironment. In contrast to cell surface TrkA, TrkAIII re-localises to intracellular pre-Golgi membranes, centrosomes and mitochondria, within which it exhibits spontaneous ligand-independent activation, triggering a variety of mechanisms that promote tumorigenicity and malignant behaviour, which impact the majority of cancer hallmarks. In this review, we present updates on TrkAIII detection and association with human malignancies, the multiple ways TrkAIII exerts oncogenic activity and potential therapeutic approaches for TrkAIII expressing cancers, with particular reference to NB.

Berbegall AP, Bogen D, Pötschger U, et al.
Heterogeneous MYCN amplification in neuroblastoma: a SIOP Europe Neuroblastoma Study.
Br J Cancer. 2018; 118(11):1502-1512 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In neuroblastoma (NB), the most powerful prognostic marker, the MYCN amplification (MNA), occasionally shows intratumoural heterogeneity (ITH), i.e. coexistence of MYCN-amplified and non-MYCN-amplified tumour cell clones, called heterogeneous MNA (hetMNA). Prognostication and therapy allocation are still unsolved issues.
METHODS: The SIOPEN Biology group analysed 99 hetMNA NBs focussing on the prognostic significance of MYCN ITH.
RESULTS: Patients <18 months (18 m) showed a better outcome in all stages as compared to older patients (5-year OS in localised stages: <18 m: 0.95 ± 0.04, >18 m: 0.67 ± 0.14, p = 0.011; metastatic: <18 m: 0.76 ± 0.15, >18 m: 0.28 ± 0.09, p = 0.084). The genomic 'background', but not MNA clone sizes, correlated significantly with relapse frequency and OS. No relapses occurred in cases of only numerical chromosomal aberrations. Infiltrated bone marrows and relapse tumour cells mostly displayed no MNA. However, one stage 4s tumour with segmental chromosomal aberrations showed a homogeneous MNA in the relapse.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a rationale for the necessary distinction between heterogeneous and homogeneous MNA. HetMNA tumours have to be evaluated individually, taking age, stage and, most importantly, genomic background into account to avoid unnecessary upgrading of risk/overtreatment, especially in infants, as well as in order to identify tumours prone to developing homogeneous MNA.

Zhang B, Chen M, Zhang Y, et al.
An ultrasonic nanobubble-mediated PNP/fludarabine suicide gene system: A new approach for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(5):e0196686 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to generate an ultrasonic nanobubble (NB)-mediated purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP)/fludarabine suicide gene system for the treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: NBs were prepared from a mixture the phospholipids 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) and 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphate (DPPA), perfluoropropane gas and other materials using the high shear dispersion method. NBs treated with ultrasound irradiation functioned as a gene-transfer system, and a self-constructed suicide gene expression plasmid, pcDNA3.1(+)/PNP, treated with fludarabine functioned as a therapeutic gene. This system was used to determine the cytotoxic effects of PNP/fludarabine on HepG2 cells and SMMC7721 cells.
RESULTS: 1. NBs with a small diameter (208-416 nm) and at a high concentration and fine homogeneity were prepared under the optimal method. 2. The pcDNA3.1(+)/PNP plasmid was efficiently transfected into HCC cells using ultrasonic NBs. 3. At 0.75μg/ml fludarabine, PNP/fludarabine showed marked cytotoxic effects toward HepG2 and SMMC7721 cells. PNP/fludarabine achieved the same effect against both SMMC7721 and HepG2 cells but at a lower concentration of fludarabine for the latter. 4. Bystander effects: a 10-20% decrease in the cell survival rate was observed when only 5-10% of transfected cells were PNP positive.
CONCLUSIONS: NBs constitute a non-toxic, stable and effective gene-delivery platform. The PNP/fludarabine suicide gene system inhibited the growth of HCC cells, induced HCC cell apoptosis, and caused a notable bystander effect at a low fludarabine concentration. This study establishes an important new method for miniaturizing microbubbles and improving a new NB-mediated approach for gene therapy of HCC.

Fewings E, Larionov A, Redman J, et al.
Germline pathogenic variants in PALB2 and other cancer-predisposing genes in families with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer without CDH1 mutation: a whole-exome sequencing study.
Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018; 3(7):489-498 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Germline pathogenic variants in the E-cadherin gene (CDH1) are strongly associated with the development of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. There is a paucity of data to guide risk assessment and management of families with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer that do not carry a CDH1 pathogenic variant, making it difficult to make informed decisions about surveillance and risk-reducing surgery. We aimed to identify new candidate genes associated with predisposition to hereditary diffuse gastric cancer in affected families without pathogenic CDH1 variants.
METHODS: We did whole-exome sequencing on DNA extracted from the blood of 39 individuals (28 individuals diagnosed with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer and 11 unaffected first-degree relatives) in 22 families without pathogenic CDH1 variants. Genes with loss-of-function variants were prioritised using gene-interaction analysis to identify clusters of genes that could be involved in predisposition to hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.
FINDINGS: Protein-affecting germline variants were identified in probands from six families with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer; variants were found in genes known to predispose to cancer and in lesser-studied DNA repair genes. A frameshift deletion in PALB2 was found in one member of a family with a history of gastric and breast cancer. Two different MSH2 variants were identified in two unrelated affected individuals, including one frameshift insertion and one previously described start-codon loss. One family had a unique combination of variants in the DNA repair genes ATR and NBN. Two variants in the DNA repair gene RECQL5 were identified in two unrelated families: one missense variant and a splice-acceptor variant.
INTERPRETATION: The results of this study suggest a role for the known cancer predisposition gene PALB2 in families with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer and no detected pathogenic CDH1 variants. We also identified new candidate genes associated with disease risk in these families.
FUNDING: UK Medical Research Council (Sackler programme), European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (2007-13), National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres, and Cancer Research UK.

Sun X, Stewart DA, Sandhu R, et al.
Correlated metabolomic, genomic, and histologic phenotypes in histologically normal breast tissue.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(4):e0193792 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
Breast carcinogenesis is a multistep process accompanied by widespread molecular and genomic alterations, both in tumor and in surrounding microenvironment. It is known that tumors have altered metabolism, but the metabolic changes in normal or cancer-adjacent, nonmalignant normal tissues and how these changes relate to alterations in gene expression and histological composition are not well understood. Normal or cancer-adjacent normal breast tissues from 99 women of the Normal Breast Study (NBS) were evaluated. Data of metabolomics, gene expression and histological composition was collected by mass spectrometry, whole genome microarray, and digital image, respectively. Unsupervised clustering analysis determined metabolomics-derived subtypes. Their association with genomic and histological features, as well as other breast cancer risk factors, genomic and histological features were evaluated using logistic regression. Unsupervised clustering of metabolites resulted in two main clusters. The metabolite differences between the two clusters suggested enrichment of pathways involved in lipid metabolism, cell growth and proliferation, and migration. Compared with Cluster 1, subjects in Cluster 2 were more likely to be obese (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2, p<0.05), have increased adipose proportion (p<0.01) and associated with a previously defined Active genomic subtype (p<0.01). By the integrated analyses of histological, metabolomics and transcriptional data, we characterized two distinct subtypes of non-malignant breast tissue. Further research is needed to validate our findings, and understand the potential role of these alternations in breast cancer initiation, progression and recurrence.

Leon-Galicia I, Diaz-Chavez J, Albino-Sanchez ME, et al.
Resveratrol decreases Rad51 expression and sensitizes cisplatin‑resistant MCF‑7 breast cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(6):3025-3033 [PubMed] Related Publications
Resveratrol (RES), a polyphenol compound with anti‑proliferative properties, has been previously evaluated for its beneficial effects against a variety of tumour cells. The current study elucidated the means by which RES enhances the anti‑proliferative effects of cisplatin (CIS) on MCF‑7 cells, focusing on the inhibitory effects on DNA repair of double‑strand breaks (DSBs). Chemoresistant MCF‑7 cells (MCF‑7R) were generated by continuous exposure to low concentrations of CIS (10 µM CIS‑IC40) during 5 passages, with the IC50 value increasing ~3‑fold. Using an MTT assay, we estimated the changes in IC50 for CIS in MCF‑7, T47‑D, MDA‑MB‑231 and MCF‑7R cells in the presence of RES. The relative transcript level of Nbs‑1, Mre‑11 and Rad‑50 genes was assessed using RT‑qPCR analysis. Rad51 and H2AX [pSer139] protein expression was determined by western blot analysis. RES at 50 and 100 µM significantly enhanced the anti‑proliferative effects of CIS in both MCF‑7 and MCF‑7R cells, decreasing the IC50 values for CIS to one‑tenth and one‑sixth, respectively. A total of 100 µM RES decreased the relative transcript levels of homologous recombination (HR) initiation complex components and the Rad51 protein level in MCF‑7 and MCF‑7R cells. After 48 h of CIS DNA damage, the levels of Rad51 protein increased, but this effect was inhibited by 100 µM RES. RES also maintained serine 139 phosphorylation of histone H2AX, suggesting that RES prevents the repair of DSBs. It was observed that RES exerts an antagonistic effect over CIS on the activation of Rad51 and sustained phosphorylation of H2AX. The results suggest that RES in combination with DNA damage‑based therapy has potential as a strategy to overcome resistance and provide much safer and more effective treatment for breast cancer.

Mondal T, Juvvuna PK, Kirkeby A, et al.
Sense-Antisense lncRNA Pair Encoded by Locus 6p22.3 Determines Neuroblastoma Susceptibility via the USP36-CHD7-SOX9 Regulatory Axis.
Cancer Cell. 2018; 33(3):417-434.e7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Trait-associated loci often map to genomic regions encoding long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), but the role of these lncRNAs in disease etiology is largely unexplored. We show that a pair of sense/antisense lncRNA (6p22lncRNAs) encoded by CASC15 and NBAT1 located at the neuroblastoma (NB) risk-associated 6p22.3 locus are tumor suppressors and show reduced expression in high-risk NBs. Loss of functional synergy between 6p22lncRNAs results in an undifferentiated state that is maintained by a gene-regulatory network, including SOX9 located on 17q, a region frequently gained in NB. 6p22lncRNAs regulate SOX9 expression by controlling CHD7 stability via modulating the cellular localization of USP36, encoded by another 17q gene. This regulatory nexus between 6p22.3 and 17q regions may lead to potential NB treatment strategies.

Hauke J, Horvath J, Groß E, et al.
Gene panel testing of 5589 BRCA1/2-negative index patients with breast cancer in a routine diagnostic setting: results of the German Consortium for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer.
Cancer Med. 2018; 7(4):1349-1358 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
The prevalence of germ line mutations in non-BRCA1/2 genes associated with hereditary breast cancer (BC) is low, and the role of some of these genes in BC predisposition and pathogenesis is conflicting. In this study, 5589 consecutive BC index patients negative for pathogenic BRCA1/2 mutations and 2189 female controls were screened for germ line mutations in eight cancer predisposition genes (ATM, CDH1, CHEK2, NBN, PALB2, RAD51C, RAD51D, and TP53). All patients met the inclusion criteria of the German Consortium for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer for germ line testing. The highest mutation prevalence was observed in the CHEK2 gene (2.5%), followed by ATM (1.5%) and PALB2 (1.2%). The mutation prevalence in each of the remaining genes was 0.3% or lower. Using Exome Aggregation Consortium control data, we confirm significant associations of heterozygous germ line mutations with BC for ATM (OR: 3.63, 95%CI: 2.67-4.94), CDH1 (OR: 17.04, 95%CI: 3.54-82), CHEK2 (OR: 2.93, 95%CI: 2.29-3.75), PALB2 (OR: 9.53, 95%CI: 6.25-14.51), and TP53 (OR: 7.30, 95%CI: 1.22-43.68). NBN germ line mutations were not significantly associated with BC risk (OR:1.39, 95%CI: 0.73-2.64). Due to their low mutation prevalence, the RAD51C and RAD51D genes require further investigation. Compared with control datasets, predicted damaging rare missense variants were significantly more prevalent in CHEK2 and TP53 in BC index patients. Compared with the overall sample, only TP53 mutation carriers show a significantly younger age at first BC diagnosis. We demonstrate a significant association of deleterious variants in the CHEK2, PALB2, and TP53 genes with bilateral BC. Both, ATM and CHEK2, were negatively associated with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and estrogen receptor (ER)-negative tumor phenotypes. A particularly high CHEK2 mutation prevalence (5.2%) was observed in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive tumors.

Li C, Yang C, Wei G
Vandetanib inhibits cisplatin‑resistant neuroblastoma tumor growth and invasion.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(4):1757-1764 [PubMed] Related Publications
Resistance is the major cause of cisplatin treatment failure in neuroblastoma (NB). Vandetanib is widely used in the treatment of several cancers. In the present study, we aimed to determine the potential of vandetanib in cisplatin‑resistant NB therapy. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining was employed to detect p‑RET and CXCR4 expression in cisplatin‑resistant or ‑sensitive NB tissues from patients. Vandetanib was added to treat selected cisplatin‑resistant SH‑SY5Y cells (SH‑SY5Y‑R); this was followed by CCK8 assay, colony formation assay, and invasion assay. Furthermore, the effect of vandetanib on subcutaneous tumor growth was investigated in mice. Our results demonstrated greater expression of p‑RET and CXCR4 in cisplatin‑resistant neuroblastomas (NBs). Vandetanib significantly inhibited SH‑SY5Y‑R cell proliferation, colony formation, and invasion, while downregulating p‑RET and CXCR4 expression. Furthermore, vandetanib was as effective as high‑dose cisplatin in impairing cisplatin‑resistant NB subcutaneous tumor growth. Notably, vandetanib caused less severe liver toxicity in mice compared with high‑dose cisplatin. In summary, this study identified Vandetanib as a potential drug for cisplatin‑resistant NB treatment.

Hu X, Liao J, Zhao H, et al.
NBS1 rs2735383 polymorphism is associated with an increased risk of laryngeal carcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):175 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 (NBS1), as a key protein in the DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) repair pathway, plays an important role in maintaining genomic stability. Although single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in NBS1 have frequently been studied in multiple cancers, the relationships of two functional NBS1 polymorphisms (rs2735383 and rs1805794) with laryngeal carcinoma are yet unclear. Therefore, in the present study, we performed a case-control study including 342 cases and 345 controls to analyze the associations between two polymorphisms of NBS1 and the risk of laryngeal carcinoma.
METHODS: We used the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method to determine the genotypes of the functional SNPs in NBS1 gene.
RESULTS: In comparison with the homozygous rs2735383GG genotype, the CC genotype was significantly associated with an increased risk of laryngeal carcinoma (adjusted OR = 1.884, 95%CI = 1.215-2.921). The rs2735383C variant genotypes (GC + CC) conferred a 1.410-fold increased risk of laryngeal carcinoma (adjusted OR = 1.410, 95%CI = 1.004-1.980). Furthermore, when compared to rs2735383GG genotype in laryngeal carcinoma tissues, the combined GC and CC genotypes exerted a significantly lower mRNA level of NBS1 (P = 0.003). In contrast, no significant association was found between rs1805794G > C polymorphism and cancer risk (adjusted OR = 1.074, 95%CI = 0.759-1.518 for GC; adjusted OR = 1.100, 95%CI = 0.678-1.787 for CC; adjusted OR = 1.079, 95%CI = 0.774-1.505 for GC + CC).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that rs2735383G > C polymorphism in NBS1 may play a crucial role in the development of laryngeal carcinoma.

Ferrucci F, Ciaccio R, Monticelli S, et al.
MAX to MYCN intracellular ratio drives the aggressive phenotype and clinical outcome of high risk neuroblastoma.
Biochim Biophys Acta Gene Regul Mech. 2018; 1861(3):235-245 [PubMed] Related Publications
Childhood neuroblastoma, a disease of the sympathetic nervous system, is the most common solid tumour of infancy, remarkably refractory to therapeutic treatments. One of the most powerful independent prognostic indicators for this disease is the amplification of the MYCN oncogene, which occurs at high levels in approximately 25% of neuroblastomas. Interestingly, amplification and not just expression of MYCN has a strong prognostic value, although this fact appears quite surprising as MYCN is a transcription factor that requires dimerising with its partner MAX, to exert its function. This observation greatly suggests that the role of MYCN in neuroblastoma should be examined in the context of MAX expression. In this report, we show that, in contrast to what is found in normal cells, MAX expression is significantly different among primary NBs, and that its level appears to correlate with the clinical outcome of the disease. Importantly, controlled modulation of MAX expression in neuroblastoma cells with different extents of MYCN amplification, demonstrates that MAX can instruct gene transcription programs that either reinforce or weaken the oncogenic process enacted by MYCN. In general, our work illustrates that it is the MAX to MYCN ratio that can account for tumour progression and clinical outcome in neuroblastoma and proposes that such a ratio should be considered as an important criterion to the design and development of anti-MYCN therapies.

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