Gene Summary

Gene:SMARCB1; SWI/SNF related, matrix associated, actin dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily b, member 1
Aliases: RDT, INI1, SNF5, Snr1, BAF47, MRD15, RTPS1, Sfh1p, hSNFS, SNF5L1, SWNTS1, PPP1R144
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is part of a complex that relieves repressive chromatin structures, allowing the transcriptional machinery to access its targets more effectively. The encoded nuclear protein may also bind to and enhance the DNA joining activity of HIV-1 integrase. This gene has been found to be a tumor suppressor, and mutations in it have been associated with malignant rhabdoid tumors. Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:SWI/SNF-related matrix-associated actin-dependent regulator of chromatin subfamily B member 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 20 August, 2015


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 21 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 20 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

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: SMARCB1 (cancer-related)

Torchia J, Picard D, Lafay-Cousin L, et al.
Molecular subgroups of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours in children: an integrated genomic and clinicopathological analysis.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(5):569-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Rhabdoid brain tumours, also called atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours, are lethal childhood cancers with characteristic genetic alterations of SMARCB1/hSNF5. Lack of biological understanding of the substantial clinical heterogeneity of these tumours restricts therapeutic advances. We integrated genomic and clinicopathological analyses of a cohort of patients with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours to find out the molecular basis for clinical heterogeneity in these tumours.
METHODS: We obtained 259 rhabdoid tumours from 37 international institutions and assessed transcriptional profiles in 43 primary tumours and copy number profiles in 38 primary tumours to discover molecular subgroups of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours. We used gene and pathway enrichment analyses to discover group-specific molecular markers and did immunohistochemical analyses on 125 primary tumours to evaluate clinicopathological significance of molecular subgroup and ASCL1-NOTCH signalling.
FINDINGS: Transcriptional analyses identified two atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour subgroups with differential enrichment of genetic pathways, and distinct clinicopathological and survival features. Expression of ASCL1, a regulator of NOTCH signalling, correlated with supratentorial location (p=0·004) and superior 5-year overall survival (35%, 95% CI 13-57, and 20%, 6-34, for ASCL1-positive and ASCL1-negative tumours, respectively; p=0·033) in 70 patients who received multimodal treatment. ASCL1 expression also correlated with superior 5-year overall survival (34%, 7-61, and 9%, 0-21, for ASCL1-positive and ASCL1-negative tumours, respectively; p=0·001) in 39 patients who received only chemotherapy without radiation. Cox hazard ratios for overall survival in patients with differential ASCL1 enrichment treated with chemotherapy with or without radiation were 2·02 (95% CI 1·04-3·85; p=0·038) and 3·98 (1·71-9·26; p=0·001). Integrated analyses of molecular subgroupings with clinical prognostic factors showed three distinct clinical risk groups of tumours with different therapeutic outcomes.
INTERPRETATION: An integration of clinical risk factors and tumour molecular groups can be used to identify patients who are likely to have improved long-term radiation-free survival and might help therapeutic stratification of patients with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours.
FUNDING: C17 Research Network, Genome Canada, b.r.a.i.n.child, Mitchell Duckman, Tal Doron and Suri Boon foundations.

Smith MJ
Germline and somatic mutations in meningiomas.
Cancer Genet. 2015; 208(4):107-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Meningiomas arise from the arachnoid layer of the meninges that surround the brain and spine. They account for over one third of all primary central nervous system tumors in adults and confer a significant risk of location-dependent morbidity due to compression or displacement. A significant increase in risk of meningiomas is associated with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) disease through mutation of the NF2 gene. In addition, approximately 5% of individuals with schwannomatosis disease develop meningiomas, through mutation of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex subunit, SMARCB1. Recently, a second SWI/SNF complex subunit, SMARCE1, was identified as a cause of clear cell meningiomas, indicating a wider role for this complex in meningioma disease. The sonic hedgehog (SHH)-GLI1 signaling pathway gene, SUFU, has also been identified as the cause of hereditary multiple meningiomas in a large Finnish family. The recent identification of somatic mutations in components of the SHH-GLI1 and AKT1-MTOR signaling pathways indicates the potential for cross talk of these pathways in the development of meningiomas. This review describes the known meningioma predisposition genes and their links to the recently identified somatic mutations.

Wang X, Liu X, Lin Z, et al.
Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) arising from the acoustic nerve in a young adult: a case report and a review of literature.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2015; 94(4):e439 [PubMed] Related Publications
Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs) are rare, highly malignant central nervous system tumors that predominantly occur in young children. A 22-year-old woman presented with a 4-year history of relapsing tinnitus and gradual hearing loss. Neuroimaging revealed an enhanced intrinsic left internal auditory canal mass. The patient underwent radiotherapy treatment. Three years later, the tumor size continued to increase, as observed by imaging, and ultimately evolved into the left cerebellopontine angle. As a consequence, a total tumor resection was performed, and a pathological diagnosis of AT/RT was made. Aggressive radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment continued; however, the tumor recurred within 11 months after the total tumor resection. The patient died within 4 months of the second operation. Histopathologically, the tumor contained characteristic rhabdoid cells with areas that resembled a classical primitive neuroectodermal tumor. Immunostaining showed loss of INI1 protein expression in tumor cells, and fluorescence in situ hybridization showed a hemizygous deletion of the hSNF5/INI1 gene region on 22q11.2. This is the first report of an AT/RT that arised from the acoustic nerve in a young adult. Despite manifold diagnostic and therapeutic advances, the prognosis of patients with AT/RT remains poor.

Sredni ST, Tomita T
Rhabdoid tumor predisposition syndrome.
Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2015 Jan-Feb; 18(1):49-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdoid tumors (RT), or malignant rhabdoid tumors, are among the most aggressive and lethal forms of human cancer. They can arise in any location in the body but are most commonly observed in the brain, where they are called atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT), and in the kidneys, where they are called rhabdoid tumors of the kidney. The vast majority of rhabdoid tumors present with a loss of function in the SMARCB1 gene, also known as INI1, BAF47, and hSNF5, a core member of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex. Recently, mutations in a 2nd locus of the SWI/SNF complex, the SMARCA4 gene, also known as BRG1, were found in rhabdoid tumors with retention of SMARCB1 expression. Familial cases may occur in a condition known as rhabdoid tumor predisposition syndrome (RTPS). In RTPS, germline inactivation of 1 allele of a gene occurs. When the mutation occurs in the SMARCB1 gene, the syndrome is called RTPS1, and when the mutation occurs in the SMARCA4 gene it is called RTPS2. Children presenting with RTPS tend to develop tumors at a younger age, but the impact that germline mutation has on survival remains unclear. Adults who carry the mutation tend to develop multiple schwannomas. The diagnosis of RTPS should be considered in patients with RT, especially if they have multiple primary tumors, and/or in individuals with a family history of RT. Because germline mutations result in an increased risk of carriers developing RT, genetic counseling for families with this condition is recommended.

Deb S, Wong SQ, Li J, et al.
Mutational profiling of familial male breast cancers reveals similarities with luminal A female breast cancer with rare TP53 mutations.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 111(12):2351-60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Male breast cancer (MBC) is still poorly understood with a large proportion arising in families with a history of breast cancer. Genomic studies have focused on germline determinants of MBC risk, with minimal knowledge of somatic changes in these cancers.
METHODS: Using a TruSeq amplicon cancer panel, this study evaluated 48 familial MBCs (3 BRCA1 germline mutant, 17 BRCA2 germline mutant and 28 BRCAX) for hotspot somatic mutations and copy number changes in 48 common cancer genes.
RESULTS: Twelve missense mutations included nine PIK3CA mutations (seven in BRCAX patients), two TP53 mutations (both in BRCA2 patients) and one PTEN mutation. Common gains were seen in GNAS (34.1%) and losses were seen in GNAQ (36.4%), ABL1 (47.7%) and ATM (34.1%). Gains of HRAS (37.5% vs 3%, P=0.006), STK11 (25.0% vs 0%, P=0.01) and SMARCB1 (18.8% vs 0%, P=0.04) and the loss of RB1 (43.8% vs 13%, P=0.03) were specific to BRCA2 tumours.
CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to perform high-throughput somatic sequencing on familial MBCs. Overall, PIK3CA mutations are most commonly seen, with fewer TP53 and PTEN mutations, similar to the profile seen in luminal A female breast cancers. Differences in mutation profiles and patterns of gene gains/losses are seen between BRCA2 (associated with TP53/PTEN mutations, loss of RB1 and gain of HRAS, STK11 and SMARCB1) and BRCAX (associated with PIK3CA mutations) tumours, suggesting that BRCA2 and BRCAX MBCs may be distinct and arise from different tumour pathways. This has implications on potential therapies, depending on the BRCA status of MBC patients.

Smith MJ, Isidor B, Beetz C, et al.
Mutations in LZTR1 add to the complex heterogeneity of schwannomatosis.
Neurology. 2015; 84(2):141-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 13/01/2016 Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine the proportion of individuals in our schwannomatosis cohort whose disease is associated with an LZTR1 mutation.
METHODS: We used exome sequencing, Sanger sequencing, and copy number analysis to screen 65 unrelated individuals with schwannomatosis who were negative for a germline NF2 or SMARCB1 mutation. We also screened samples from 39 patients with a unilateral vestibular schwannoma (UVS), plus at least one other schwannoma, but who did not have an identifiable germline or mosaic NF2 mutation.
RESULTS: We identified germline LZTR1 mutations in 6 of 16 patients (37.5%) with schwannomatosis who had at least one affected relative, 11 of 49 (22%) sporadic patients, and 2 of 39 patients with UVS in our cohort. Three germline mutation-positive patients in total had developed a UVS. Mosaicism was excluded in 3 patients without germline mutation in NF2, SMARCB1, or LZTR1 by mutation screening in 2 tumors from each.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data confirm the relationship between mutations in LZTR1 and schwannomatosis. They indicate that germline mutations in LZTR1 confer an increased risk of vestibular schwannoma, providing further overlap with NF2, and that further causative genes for schwannomatosis remain to be identified.

Kohashi K, Yamada Y, Hotokebuchi Y, et al.
ERG and SALL4 expressions in SMARCB1/INI1-deficient tumors: a useful tool for distinguishing epithelioid sarcoma from malignant rhabdoid tumor.
Hum Pathol. 2015; 46(2):225-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
ERG is immunoexpressed in vascular endothelial tumors, blastic extramedullary myeloid tumors, and tumors with ERG-involved translocation, such as prostate carcinoma or Ewing sarcoma. Recently, ERG immunoexpression was reported in an epithelioid sarcoma, which is a SMARCB1/INI1-deficient tumor, although epithelioid sarcoma is not associated with chromosomal translocations involving ERG and is categorized as a tumor with uncertain differentiation. SALL4 is essential for a proliferation and stabilization of embryonic stem cells. It was reported that SALL4 expression may aid in distinguishing epithelioid sarcoma from malignant rhabdoid tumor. We analyzed the frequency of ERG and SALL4 expressions in 80 SMARCB1/INI1-deficient tumors, including 45 epithelioid sarcomas (conventional-type, 24; proximal-type, 20), 17 malignant rhabdoid tumors, 5 atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors, 6 undifferentiated/unclassified sarcomas, 5 myoepithelial tumors, and 4 extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas. We found that ERG expression was present in 18 of the epithelioid sarcomas (41%), including 13 conventional-type (54%) and 5 proximal-type (25%), whereas all 17 of the malignant rhabdoid tumors exhibited negative immunoreactivity. One atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (20%), 1 myoepithelial carcinoma (20%), 1 undifferentiated/unclassified sarcoma (17%), and no extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas (0%) also showed ERG expression. SALL4 expression was recognized in 5 epithelioid sarcomas (11%), 12 malignant rhabdoid tumors (71%), 2 atypical teradoid/rhabdoid tumors (40%), 4 undifferentiated/unclassified sarcomas (67%), 1 myoepithelial tumor (20%), and none of the extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas (0%). Therefore, the evaluation of ERG and SALL4 immunoexpressions may be a useful diagnostic tool to distinguish epithelioid sarcoma, especially proximal type, from malignant rhabdoid tumor.

Masliah-Planchon J, Bièche I, Guinebretière JM, et al.
SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling and human malignancies.
Annu Rev Pathol. 2015; 10:145-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
The SWI/SNF complexes, initially identified in yeast 20 years ago, are a family of multi-subunit complexes that use the energy of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to remodel nucleosomes. Chromatin remodeling processes mediated by the SWI/SNF complexes are critical to the modulation of gene expression across a variety of cellular processes, including stemness, differentiation, and proliferation. The first evidence of the involvement of these complexes in carcinogenesis was provided by the identification of biallelic, truncating mutations of the SMARCB1 gene in malignant rhabdoid tumors, a highly aggressive childhood cancer. Subsequently, genome-wide sequencing technologies have identified mutations in genes encoding different subunits of the SWI/SNF complexes in a large number of tumors. SWI/SNF mutations, and the subsequent abnormal function of SWI/SNF complexes, are among the most frequent gene alterations in cancer. The mechanisms by which perturbation of the SWI/SNF complexes promote oncogenesis are not fully elucidated; however, alterations of SWI/SNF genes obviously play a major part in cancer development, progression, and/or resistance to therapy.

Skulte KA, Phan L, Clark SJ, Taberlay PC
Chromatin remodeler mutations in human cancers: epigenetic implications.
Epigenomics. 2014; 6(4):397-414 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chromatin remodeler complexes exhibit the ability to alter nucleosome composition and positions, with seemingly divergent roles in the regulation of chromatin architecture and gene expression. The outcome is directed by subunit variation and interactions with accessory factors. Recent studies have revealed that subunits of chromatin remodelers display an unexpectedly high mutation rate and/or are inactivated in a number of cancers. Consequently, a repertoire of epigenetic processes are likely to be affected, including interactions with histone modifying factors, as well as the ability to precisely modulate nucleosome positions, DNA methylation patterns and potentially, higher-order genome structure. However, the true significance of chromatin remodeler genetic aberrations in promoting a cascade of epigenetic changes, particularly during initiation and progression of cancer, remains largely unknown.

Bahrami A, Lee S, Caradine KD, et al.
SMARCB1 deletion by a complex three-way chromosomal translocation in an extrarenal malignant rhabdoid tumor.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):437-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdoid tumors (RTs) are highly aggressive malignant neoplasms of early childhood that arise in the kidney, brain, and extrarenal sites. The disease is genetically defined by biallelic disruption of the SMARCB1/INI1/SNF5 tumor suppressor gene, a core component of the ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling SWI/SNF complex. The molecular changes leading to SMARCB1 alterations in RTs are heterogeneous, including germline or constitutional inactivating mutations, partial or total gene deletions, copy number neutral loss of heterozygosity, and, less commonly, reciprocal translocations. We report a novel three-way chromosomal rearrangement, which was identified by conventional cytogenetic and sequential fluorescence in situ hybridization studies as the underlying molecular mechanism of the loss of SMARCB1 in an extrarenal RT. This case highlights the heterogeneity of genetic events that may lead to the loss of SMARCB1 and the development of RTs.

Bailey S, Murray MJ, Witkowski L, et al.
Biallelic somatic SMARCA4 mutations in small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT).
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015; 62(4):728-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is a rare, aggressive tumor that primarily affects young women. SCCOHT has recently been identified as a monogenic disorder caused by germline and/or somatic SMARCA4 mutations. We describe a 15-year-old Caucasian female with a SCCOHT harboring a previously unreported somatic mutation in the SMARCA4 gene (c.1757delA; p.K586.fs) with loss of heterozygosity. No germline mutation was identified. Subsequent immunohistochemical staining confirmed loss of SMARCA4 protein. These molecular findings will aid with SCCOHT diagnosis through immunohistochemical staining for SMARCA4 and in the future may have implications for the management of this disease.

Agaimy A
The expanding family of SMARCB1(INI1)-deficient neoplasia: implications of phenotypic, biological, and molecular heterogeneity.
Adv Anat Pathol. 2014; 21(6):394-410 [PubMed] Related Publications
Since the description of atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors of the central nervous system and renal/extrarenal malignant rhabdoid tumors in children, the clinicopathologic spectrum of neoplasms having in common a highly variable rhabdoid cell component (0% to 100%) and consistent loss of nuclear SMARCB1 (INI1) expression has been steadily expanding to include cribriform neuroepithelial tumor of the ventricle, renal medullary carcinoma and a subset of collecting duct carcinoma, epithelioid sarcoma, subsets of miscellaneous benign and malignant soft tissue tumors, and rare rhabdoid carcinoma variants of gastroenteropancreatic, sinonasal, and genitourinary tract origin. Although a majority of SMARCB1-deficient neoplasms arise de novo, the origin of SMARCB1-deficient neoplasia in the background of a phenotypically or genetically definable differentiated SMARCB1-intact "parent neoplasm" has been convincingly demonstrated, highlighting the rare occurrence of rhabdoid tumors as "double-hit neoplasia." As a group, SMARCB1-deficient neoplasms occur over a wide age range (0 to 80 y), may be devoid of rhabdoid cells or display uniform rhabdoid morphology, and follow a clinical course that varies from benign to highly aggressive causing death within a few months irrespective of aggressive multimodality therapy. Generally applicable criteria that would permit easy recognition of these uncommon neoplasms do not exist. Diagnosis is based on site-specific and entity-specific sets of clinicopathologic, immunophenotypic, and/or molecular criteria. SMARCB1 immunohistochemistry has emerged as a valuable tool in confirming or screening for SMARCB1-deficient neoplasms. This review summarizes the different phenotypic and topographic subgroups of SMARCB1-deficient neoplasms including sporadic and familial, benign and malignant, and rhabdoid and nonrhabdoid variants, highlighting their phenotypic heterogeneity and molecular complexity.

Jeong JY, Suh YL, Hong SW
Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor arising in pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma: a case report.
Neuropathology. 2014; 34(4):398-405 [PubMed] Related Publications
Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is a rare, highly malignant, true rhabdoid tumor in the central nervous system predominantly presenting in young children.AT/RT typically shows rhabdoid cells which can also be seen in other tumors, but it is differentiated from other tumors by the specific genetic alteration involving the SMARCB1 gene. Only a few cases of AT/RT arising in low-grade glioma have been reported. A 13-year-old girl presented with headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.A 4.7 cm cerebellar mass was found on MRI.The mass was totally removed. Histologically, the tumor revealed two distinct morphologic appearances: central areas of AT/RT containing rhabdoid cells and sarcomatous component in the background of pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma(PXA). Immunohistochemically, PXA areas retained nuclear expression of INI-1 and low Ki-67 proliferation index, whereas AT/RT component showed loss of INI-1 nuclear expression and markedly elevated Ki-67 proliferation index. Epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), smooth muscle actin (SMA), and p53 protein were positive only in AT/RT. BRAF V600E mutation was identified in PXA by real-time polymerase chain reaction.We report a rare case of AT/RT arising in PXA which is supposed to progress by inactivation of INI-1 in a pre-existing PXA.

Seeringer A, Reinhard H, Hasselblatt M, et al.
Synchronous congenital malignant rhabdoid tumor of the orbit and atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor--feasibility and efficacy of multimodal therapy in a long-term survivor.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):429-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Among infant malignancies, congenital tumors, especially those of the central nervous system (CNS), constitute a rather unique subgroup. Poor survival rates (28% in CNS tumors) may be attributed to the aggressive biology as well as specific therapeutic limitations innate to the young age of affected patients. Our patient developed synchronous congenital tumors: an atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) localized in the right lateral ventricle of the brain and a malignant rhabdoid tumor (MRT) in the soft tissue of the right orbit. A de novo germline chromosomal deletion in 22q encompassing the SMARCB1 gene was detected, prompting the diagnosis of a de novo rhabdoid tumor predisposition syndrome 1 (RTPS1). The patient was reported to the European Rhabdoid Registry (EU-RHAB) and treated according to the Rhabdoid 2007 recommendation. Despite the very young age of the patient, the initially desperate situation of RTPS1, and the synchronous localization of congenital rhabdoid tumors, intensive chemotherapy was well tolerated; the child is still in complete remission 5 years following diagnosis. In conclusion, RTPS1 with congenital synchronous MRTs is not necessarily associated with a detrimental outcome. Intensive multidrug chemotherapy, including high dose chemotherapy, may be feasible and justified.

Margol AS, Judkins AR
Pathology and diagnosis of SMARCB1-deficient tumors.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):358-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant rhabdoid tumor (MRT) can occur in the kidney, central nervous system, or extracranial/extrarenal locations and is characterized by alterations in the SMARCB1 gene. The tumors occur in infants and young children and confer a poor prognosis requiring aggressive therapeutic interventions to improve the chances for survival. MRTs pose a diagnostic challenge, as they display heterogeneous histopathologic features and differentiate along multiple lineages. The identification of alterations in the SMARCB1 gene in MRT using immunohistochemical (IHC) staining has lead to improved diagnosis of MRT as well as the discovery of the loss of SMARCB1 expression in some non-MRTs. Whether loss of SMARCB1 plays a pathogenic role in nonrhabdoid tumors remains to be determined; however, most of these tumors lack the clinical and other molecular features of MRT. We review the histopathologic features of MRT and the importance and significance of loss of expression of SMARCB1 in both MRT and nonrhabdoid tumors.

Kosho T, Miyake N, Carey JC
Coffin-Siris syndrome and related disorders involving components of the BAF (mSWI/SNF) complex: historical review and recent advances using next generation sequencing.
Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2014; 166C(3):241-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
This issue of Seminars in Medical Genetics, American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C investigates the human diseases caused by mutations in the BAF complex (also known as the mammalian SWI/SNF complex) genes, particularly focusing on Coffin-Siris syndrome (CSS). CSS is a rare congenital malformation syndrome characterized by developmental delay or intellectual disability (ID), coarse facial appearance, feeding difficulties, frequent infections, and hypoplasia/aplasia of the fifth fingernails and fifth distal phalanges. In 2012, 42 years after the first description of CSS in 1970, five causative genes (SMARCB1, SMARCE1, SMARCA4, ARID1A, ARID1B), all encoding components of the BAF complex, were identified as being responsible for CSS through whole exome sequencing and pathway-based genetic screening. The identification of two additional causative genes (PHF6, SOX11) followed. Mutations in another BAF complex gene (SMARCA2) and (TBC1D24) were found to cause clinically similar conditions with ID, Nicolaides-Baraitser syndrome and DOORS syndrome, respectively. Also, ADNP was found to be mutated in an autism/ID syndrome. Furthermore, there is growing evidences for germline or somatic mutations in the BAF complex genes to be causal for cancer/cancer predisposition syndromes. These discoveries have highlighted the role of the BAF complex in the human development and cancer formation. The biology of BAF is very complicated and much remains unknown. Ongoing research is required to reveal the whole picture of the BAF complex in human development, and will lead to the development of new targeted therapies for related disorders in the future.

Chakravadhanula M, Ozols VV, Hampton CN, et al.
Expression of the HOX genes and HOTAIR in atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors and other pediatric brain tumors.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):425-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pediatric brain tumors such as atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) are highly aggressive and predominantly occur in young children. A characteristic feature of ATRT is aberrations of the SMARCB1 (hSNF5/INI1) gene. Developmental gene defects may play an important role in the biology of pediatric brain tumors. HOX genes are transcription factors that play a pivotal role in anterior-posterior body axis patterning and are misexpressed in tumors such as lung carcinoma, neuroblastoma, and glioma. HOX genes are also known to be associated with long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) such as HOTAIR, which induces transcriptional silencing of the HOXD locus by recruiting polycomb repressive complex 2 to the HOXD locus. In this study, transcriptome analysis using the nanoString platform was performed, and expression of the HOX and HOTAIR genes was studied in pediatric tumors: 20 ATRTs, 10 ependymomas, 10 medulloblastomas, six glioblastoma multiforme, and nine juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas (JPAs). Results indicate that in ATRTs, medulloblastomas, and JPAs, the HOTAIR and HOXC genes are highly expressed; however, HOXD8-10 genes are not silenced. In ependymomas, there is low expression of the HOXC, HOTAIR, and HOXD8-10 genes. These interesting results need to be elucidated further so that the functions of these genes in pediatric tumors is understood.

Renard C, Pissaloux D, Decouvelaere AV, et al.
Non-rhabdoid pediatric SMARCB1-deficient tumors: overlap between chordomas and malignant rhabdoid tumors?
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):384-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Somatic alterations in the tumor suppressor gene SMARCB1 were first described in the malignant rhabdoid tumor (MRT) of infancy. Since then, SMARCB1 alterations have been found in other tumors, forming a varied group of SMARCB1-deficient tumors, which sometimes shares overlapping immunohistochemical and histological findings. Thus, the diagnosis is challenging. We report two cases of pediatric SMARCB1-deficient tumors from the clivus that illustrate the diagnostic difficulties. Both cases were strongly positive for epithelial markers associated with loss of BAF47 (INI1) expression, and were negative for S100 and CD34. Molecular analyses of the SMARCB1 gene found a deletion of all nine exons in both cases. In the first case, a 5-year-old girl presented with a thoracic metastasis of a clival tumor, which was diagnosed as MRT and treated accordingly. The morphological findings and the expression of brachyury would favor the diagnosis of a poorly differentiated chordoma. The second case was a quickly fatal clival tumor in a 2-year-old boy: This tumor was morphologically undifferentiated and raises the problem of differential diagnosis between an MRT, a malignant myoepithelial tumor, or an undifferentiated chordoma due to the location and the expression of brachyury. Studies of biological signatures, such as transcriptome profiling, could help to understand the apparent overlap between these tumors.

Bosse KR, Shukla AR, Pawel B, et al.
Malignant rhabdoid tumor of the bladder and ganglioglioma in a 14 year-old male with a germline 22q11.2 deletion.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):415-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant rhabdoid tumors (MRTs) are rare pediatric malignancies characterized by clinically aggressive lesions that typically show loss of SMARCB1 expression. We herein describe a case of a malignant rhabdoid tumor of the bladder in a 14-year-old male with an autism spectrum disorder and a de novo 3 Mb germline deletion in chromosome band 22q11.2 that included the SMARCB1 gene. The malignancy developed in the setting of chronic hematuria (>2 years) following the occurrence of two other lesions: a central nervous system ganglioglioma and an intraoral dermoid cyst. MRTs of the bladder are exceedingly rare, and this patient is the oldest child reported with this tumor to date. This case adds to the growing body of literature regarding the recently described, phenotypically diverse, distal 22q11.2 syndrome. Furthermore, this is the first reported case in which an MRT of the bladder appears to have developed from a pre-existing bladder lesion. Finally, this case further supports a rhabdoid tumorigenesis model in which heterozygous loss of SMARCB1 predisposes to initial tumor formation with intact SMARCB1 expression, with subsequent inactivation of the other SMARCB1 allele, which results in transformation into more malignant lesions.

Vu-Han TL, Frühwald MC, Hasselblatt M, et al.
Identifying molecular markers for the sensitive detection of residual atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor cells.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):390-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), a rare and highly malignant tumor entity of the central nervous system that presents in early childhood, has a poor prognosis. AT/RTs are characterized by biallelic inactivating mutations of the gene SMARCB1 in 98% of patients; these mutations may serve as molecular markers for residual tumor cell detection in liquid biopsies. We developed a marker-specific method to detect residual AT/RT cells. Seven of 150 patient samples were selected, each with a histological and genetically ascertained diagnosis of AT/RT. Tumor tissue was either formalin fixed or fresh frozen. DNA was extracted from the patients' peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, DNA sequencing, and fluorescence in situ hybridization were used to characterize the tumors' mutations. Residual tumor cell detection used mutation-specific primers and real-time PCR. The detection limit for the residual tumor cell search was 1-18%, depending on the quality of the template provided. The residual tumor cell search in PBL and CSF was negative for all seven patients. The SMARCB1 region of chromosome 22 is prone to DNA double-strand breaks. The individual breakpoints and breakpoint-specific PCR offer the option to detect minimal residual tumor cells in CSF or blood. Even if we did not detect minimal residual tumor cells in the investigated material, proof of principle for this method was confirmed.

Wei D, Goldfarb D, Song S, et al.
SNF5/INI1 deficiency redefines chromatin remodeling complex composition during tumor development.
Mol Cancer Res. 2014; 12(11):1574-85 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Malignant rhabdoid tumors (MRT), a pediatric cancer that most frequently appears in the kidney and brain, generally lack SNF5 (SMARCB1/INI1), a subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex. Recent studies have established that multiple SWI/SNF complexes exist due to the presence or absence of different complex members. Therefore, the effect of SNF5 loss upon SWI/SNF complex formation was investigated in human MRT cells. MRT cells and primary human tumors exhibited reduced levels of many complex proteins. Furthermore, reexpression of SNF5 increased SWI/SNF complex protein levels without concomitant increases in mRNA. Proteomic analysis, using mass spectrometry, of MRT cells before and after SNF5 reexpression indicated the recruitment of different components into the complex along with the expulsion of others. IP-Western blotting confirmed these results and demonstrated similar changes in other MRT cell lines. Finally, reduced expression of SNF5 in normal human fibroblasts led to altered levels of these same complex members. These data establish that SNF5 loss during MRT development alters the repertoire of available SWI/SNF complexes, generally disrupting those associated with cellular differentiation. These findings support a model where SNF5 inactivation blocks the conversion of growth-promoting SWI/SNF complexes to differentiation-inducing ones. Therefore, restoration of these complexes in tumors cells provides an attractive approach for the treatment of MRTs.
IMPLICATIONS: SNF5 loss dramatically alters SWI/SNF complex composition and prevents formation of complexes required for cellular differentiation.

Bishop JA, Antonescu CR, Westra WH
SMARCB1 (INI-1)-deficient carcinomas of the sinonasal tract.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(9):1282-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
SMARCB1 (INI-1) is a tumor-suppressor gene located on chromosome 22q11.2. Its gene product is ubiquitously expressed in nuclei of all normal tissues. SMARCB1 gene inactivation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a diverse group of malignant neoplasms that tend to share "rhabdoid" cytomorphology. This group of SMARCB1-deficient tumors is now further expanded by a subset of carcinomas arising in the sinonasal tract. SMARCB1 immunostaining was performed on 142 sinonasal carcinomas. Tumors that showed loss of expression were further characterized for SMARCB1 deletions by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Nine of 142 (6%) primary sinonasal carcinomas showed loss of SMARCB1 expression by immunohistochemistry. Five patients were women, and patients ranged in age from 33 to 78 years (mean 59 y). The SMARCB1-deficient tumors were characterized by nests, sheets, and cords of cells without any histologic evidence of specific (eg, squamous or glandular) differentiation. The tumors comprised varying proportions of basaloid and rhabdoid cells. The SMARCB1-deficient carcinomas had been diagnosed as nonkeratinizing squamous cell carcinomas (n=3), sinonasal undifferentiated carcinomas (n=2), myoepithelial carcinoma (n=2), nonintestinal adenocarcinoma (n=1), and carcinoma, not otherwise specified (n=1). Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis revealed SMARCB1 deletions in 6 of 8 (75%) carcinomas. The SMARCB1-deficient carcinomas did not harbor human papillomavirus or NUT-1 alterations. Six patients presented with T4 disease, 5 patients developed local recurrences and/or distant metastases, and 4 died of their disease. Inactivation of the SMARCB1 tumor-suppressor gene appears to be involved in the pathogenesis of a subset of sinonasal carcinomas, further expanding the family of SMARCB1-deficient neoplasms and further delineating a bewildering group of poorly/undifferentiated, aggressive carcinomas arising at this site. The ability to detect SMARCB1 loss by immunohistochemistry, particularly when dealing with poorly differentiated carcinomas with basaloid or rhabdoid features, should facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of these sinonasal carcinomas including clinical behavior and response to targeted therapies.

Brown NA, Rolland D, McHugh JB, et al.
Activating FGFR2-RAS-BRAF mutations in ameloblastoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(21):5517-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Ameloblastoma is an odontogenic neoplasm whose overall mutational landscape has not been well characterized. We sought to characterize pathogenic mutations in ameloblastoma and their clinical and functional significance with an emphasis on the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A total of 84 ameloblastomas and 40 non-ameloblastoma odontogenic tumors were evaluated with a combination of BRAF V600E allele-specific PCR, VE1 immunohistochemistry, the Ion AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot Panel, and Sanger sequencing. Efficacy of a BRAF inhibitor was evaluated in an ameloblastoma-derived cell line.
RESULTS: Somatic, activating, and mutually exclusive RAS-BRAF and FGFR2 mutations were identified in 88% of cases. Somatic mutations in SMO, CTNNB1, PIK3CA, and SMARCB1 were also identified. BRAF V600E was the most common mutation, found in 62% of ameloblastomas and in ameloblastic fibromas/fibrodentinomas but not in other odontogenic tumors. This mutation was associated with a younger age of onset, whereas BRAF wild-type cases arose more frequently in the maxilla and showed earlier recurrences. One hundred percent concordance was observed between VE1 immunohistochemistry and molecular detection of BRAF V600E mutations. Ameloblastoma cells demonstrated constitutive MAPK pathway activation in vitro. Proliferation and MAPK activation were potently inhibited by the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that activating FGFR2-RAS-BRAF mutations play a critical role in the pathogenesis of most cases of ameloblastoma. Somatic mutations in SMO, CTNNB1, PIK3CA, and SMARCB1 may function as secondary mutations. BRAF V600E mutations have both diagnostic and prognostic implications. In vitro response of ameloblastoma to a BRAF inhibitor suggests a potential role for targeted therapy.

Bartelheim K, Sumerauer D, Behrends U, et al.
Clinical and genetic features of rhabdoid tumors of the heart registered with the European Rhabdoid Registry (EU-RHAB).
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):379-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdoid tumors are rare but highly aggressive malignancies of infancy and early childhood with a generally unfavorable prognosis. Despite a wide variety of anatomic locations rhabdoid tumors share mutational inactivation of the SWI/SNF (SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable) core component gene SMARCB1 (also known as INI1, hSNF5 or BAF47) in chromosome 22. As this inactivation usually results in loss of SMARCB1 expression, detectable by an antibody against the SMARCB1 protein, the accurate diagnosis of a rhabdoid tumor may be more distinctly and frequently made. Several reports on rhabdoid tumors presenting in various anatomic sites outside the kidneys and CNS are on record. We report two cases of rhabdoid tumors originating in the heart (cardiac tissue), which were entered into the European Rhabdoid Registry (EU-RHAB). The first case presented with intracardial and -cranial lesions as well as malignant ascites, while the second patient demonstrated an isolated cardiac tumor. This induced a different therapeutic approach and subsequently different clinical course (death 7 weeks after diagnosis in patient 1). Patient 2 presented with a bifocal intracardial tumor without metastases and remains in complete remission for 46 months since diagnosis following multimodal therapy. The second case demonstrates that even in a potentially futile clinical situation early and accurate diagnosis followed by prompt and intensive multimodal therapy may offer prolonged survival, potential cure and improved quality of life.

Smith MJ, Wallace AJ, Bowers NL, et al.
SMARCB1 mutations in schwannomatosis and genotype correlations with rhabdoid tumors.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):373-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in the SMARCB1 gene are involved in several human tumor-predisposing syndromes. They were established as an underlying cause of the tumor suppressor syndrome schwannomatosis in 2008. There is a much higher rate of mutation detection in familial disease than in sporadic disease. We have performed extensive genetic testing on a cohort of familial and sporadic patients who fulfilled clinical diagnostic criteria for schwannomatosis. In our updated cohort, we identified novel mutations within the SMARCB1 gene as well as several recurrent mutations. Of the schwannomatosis screens reported to date, including those in our updated cohort, SMARCB1 mutations have been found in 45% of familial probands and 9% of sporadic patients. The exon 1 mutation, c.41C>A p.Pro14His (10% in our series), and the 3' untranslated region mutation, c.*82C>T (27%), are the most common changes reported in patients with schwannomatosis to date, indicating the presence of mutation hot spots at both 5' and 3' portions of the gene. Comparison with germline SMARCB1 mutations in patients with rhabdoid tumors showed that the schwannomatosis mutations were significantly more likely to occur at either end of the gene and be nontruncating mutations (P < 0.0001). SMARCB1 mutations are found in a significant proportion of schwannomatosis patients, and an even higher proportion of rhabdoid patients. Whereas SMARCB1 alone seems to account for rhabdoid disease, there is likely to be substantial heterogeneity in schwannomatosis even for familial disease. There is a clear genotype-phenotype correlation, with germline rhabdoid mutations being significantly more likely to be centrally placed, involve multiple exon deletions, and be truncating mutations.

Kahali B, Yu J, Marquez SB, et al.
The silencing of the SWI/SNF subunit and anticancer gene BRM in Rhabdoid tumors.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(10):3316-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Rhabdoid sarcomas are highly malignant tumors that usually occur in young children. A key to the genesis of this tumor is the mutational loss of the BAF47 gene as well as the widespread epigenetic suppression of other key anticancer genes. The BRM gene is one such epigenetically silenced gene in Rhabdoid tumors. This gene codes for an ATPase catalytic subunit that shifts histones and opens the chromatin. We show that BRM is an epigenetically silenced gene in 10/11 Rhabdoid cell lines and in 70% of Rhabdoid tumors. Moreover, BRM can be induced by BAF47 re-expression and by Flavopiridol. By selective shRNAi knockdown of BRM, we show that BRM re-expression is necessary for growth inhibition by BAF47 re-expression or Flavopiridol application. Similar to lung cancer cell lines, we found that HDAC3, HDAC9, MEF2D and GATA3 controlled BRM silencing and that HDAC9 was overexpressed in Rhabdoid cancer cell lines. In primary BRM-deficient Rhabdoid tumors, HDAC9 was also found to be highly overexpressed. Two insertional BRM promoter polymorphisms contribute to BRM silencing, but only the -1321 polymorphism correlated with BRM silencing in Rhabdoid cell lines. To determine how these polymorphisms were tied to BRM silencing, we conducted ChIP assays and found that both HDAC9 and MEF2D bound to the BRM promoter at or near these polymorphic sites. Using BRM promoter swap experiments, we indirectly showed that both HDAC9 and MEF2D bound to these polymorphic sites. Together, these data show that the mechanism of BRM silencing contributes to the pathogenesis of Rhabdoid tumors and appears to be conserved among tumor types.

Simbolo M, Fassan M, Ruzzenente A, et al.
Multigene mutational profiling of cholangiocarcinomas identifies actionable molecular subgroups.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(9):2839-52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
One-hundred-fifty-three biliary cancers, including 70 intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (ICC), 57 extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (ECC) and 26 gallbladder carcinomas (GBC) were assessed for mutations in 56 genes using multigene next-generation sequencing. Expression of EGFR and mTOR pathway genes was investigated by immunohistochemistry. At least one mutated gene was observed in 118/153 (77%) cancers. The genes most frequently involved were KRAS (28%), TP53 (18%), ARID1A (12%), IDH1/2 (9%), PBRM1 (9%), BAP1 (7%), and PIK3CA (7%). IDH1/2 (p=0.0005) and BAP1 (p=0.0097) mutations were characteristic of ICC, while KRAS (p=0.0019) and TP53 (p=0.0019) were more frequent in ECC and GBC. Multivariate analysis identified tumour stage and TP53 mutations as independent predictors of survival. Alterations in chromatin remodeling genes (ARID1A, BAP1, PBRM1, SMARCB1) were seen in 31% of cases. Potentially actionable mutations were seen in 104/153 (68%) cancers: i) KRAS/NRAS/BRAF mutations were found in 34% of cancers; ii) mTOR pathway activation was documented by immunohistochemistry in 51% of cases and by mutations in mTOR pathway genes in 19% of cancers; iii) TGF-ß/Smad signaling was altered in 10.5% cancers; iv) mutations in tyrosine kinase receptors were found in 9% cases. Our study identified molecular subgroups of cholangiocarcinomas that can be explored for specific drug targeting in clinical trials.

Kim KH, Roberts CW
Mechanisms by which SMARCB1 loss drives rhabdoid tumor growth.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):365-72 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
SMARCB1 (INI1/SNF5/BAF47), a core subunit of the SWI/SNF (BAF) chromatin-remodeling complex, is inactivated in the large majority of rhabdoid tumors, and germline heterozygous SMARCB1 mutations form the basis for rhabdoid predisposition syndrome. Mouse models validated Smarcb1 as a bona fide tumor suppressor, as Smarcb1 inactivation in mice results in 100% of the animals rapidly developing cancer. SMARCB1 was the first subunit of the SWI/SNF complex found mutated in cancer. More recently, at least seven other genes encoding SWI/SNF subunits have been identified as recurrently mutated in cancer. Collectively, 20% of all human cancers contain a SWI/SNF mutation. Consequently, investigation of the mechanisms by which SMARCB1 mutation causes cancer has relevance not only for rhabdoid tumors, but also potentially for the wide variety of SWI/SNF mutant cancers. Here we discuss normal functions of SMARCB1 and the SWI/SNF complex as well as mechanistic and potentially therapeutic insights that have emerged.

Yaniv M
Chromatin remodeling: from transcription to cancer.
Cancer Genet. 2014; 207(9):352-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this short review article, I have tried to trace the path that led my laboratory from the early studies of the structure of papova minichromosomes and transcription control to the investigation of chromatin remodeling complexes of the SWI/SNF family. I discuss briefly the genetic and biochemical studies that lead to the discovery of the SWI/SNF complex in yeast and drosophila and summarize some of the studies on the developmental role of the murine complex. The discovery of the tumor suppressor function of the SNF5/INI1/SMARCB1 gene in humans and the identification of frequent mutations in other subunits of this complex in different human tumors opened a fascinating field of research on this epigenetic regulator. The hope is to better understand tumor development and to develop novel treatments.

Rao Q, Xia QY, Shen Q, et al.
Coexistent loss of INI1 and BRG1 expression in a rhabdoid renal cell carcinoma (RCC): implications for a possible role of SWI/SNF complex in the pathogenesis of RCC.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(4):1782-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
In this study, we analyzed the immunohistochemical and molecular profiles of an unusual RCC showed coexistent absence of INI1 and BRG1 expression, rhabdoid morphology, and poor prognosis. Histologically, the tumor had rhabdoid features, which were demonstrated by large round to polygonal cells with eccentric nuclei, prominent nucleoli, and eosinophilic cytoplasm varying from abundant to scanty. Immunohistochemically, the tumor were positive for BRM, PBRM1, ARID1A, CD10, CKpan, Vimentin, carbonic anhydrase IX (CA-IX), and P504S (AMACR) but negative for INI1, BRG1, HMB45, melan A, CK7, CD117, Ksp-cadherin, TFEB, TFE3, and Cathepsin K. We detected all three exons status of the VHL gene of the tumor and observed 1 somatic mutations in 1st exon. Chromosome 3p deletion, coupled with polysomy of chromosome 3 was also found. Based on these findings, it is further indicated that in some cases, rhabdoid RCC may arise from clear cell RCC. SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex may be an attractive candidate for being the "second hit" in RCCs and may play an important role during tumor progression. The role of SWI/SNF complex in rhabdoid RCC should be further studied on a larger number of cases.

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