Gene Summary

Gene:SUFU; SUFU negative regulator of hedgehog signaling
Aliases: SUFUH, JBTS32, SUFUXL, PRO1280
Summary:The Hedgehog signaling pathway plays an important role in early human development. The pathway is a signaling cascade that plays a role in pattern formation and cellular proliferation during development. This gene encodes a negative regulator of the hedgehog signaling pathway. Defects in this gene are a cause of medulloblastoma. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants.[provided by RefSeq, May 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:suppressor of fused homolog
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


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

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 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: SUFU (cancer-related)

Skaro M, Nanda N, Gauthier C, et al.
Prevalence of Germline Mutations Associated With Cancer Risk in Patients With Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms.
Gastroenterology. 2019; 156(6):1905-1913 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Many patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma carry germline mutations associated with increased risk of cancer. It is not clear whether patients with intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), which are precursors to some pancreatic cancers, also carry these mutations. We assessed the prevalence of germline mutations associated with cancer risk in patients with histologically confirmed IPMN.
METHODS: We obtained nontumor tissue samples from 315 patients with surgically resected IPMNs from 1997 through 2017, and we sequenced 94 genes with variants associated with cancer risk. Mutations associated with increased risk of cancer were identified and compared with individuals from the Exome Aggregation Consortium.
RESULTS: We identified 23 patients with a germline mutation associated with cancer risk (7.3%; 95% confidence interval, 4.9-10.8). Nine patients had a germline mutation associated with pancreatic cancer susceptibility (2.9%; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-5.4). More patients with IPMNs carried germline mutations in ATM (P < .0001), PTCH1 (P < .0001), and SUFU (P < .0001) compared with controls. Patients with IPMNs and germline mutations associated with pancreatic cancer were more like to have concurrent invasive pancreatic carcinoma compared with patients with IPMNs without these mutations (P < .0320).
CONCLUSIONS: In sequence analyses of 315 patients with surgically resected IPMNs, we found that almost 3% to carry mutations associated with pancreatic cancer risk. More patients with IPMNs and germline mutations associated with pancreatic cancer had concurrent invasive pancreatic carcinoma compared with patients with IPMNs without these mutations. Genetic analysis of patients with IPMNs might identify those at greatest risk for cancer.

Kim LJY, Bhargava S, Gimple RC, Rich JN
SUFU: The Jekyll and Hyde of the Cerebellum.
Dev Cell. 2019; 48(2):131-132 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pediatric tumors have enriched the understanding of germline genotype contribution to tumorigenesis. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Yin et al. (2018) describe genetic models of Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) subgroup of medulloblastoma with SUFU alterations, painting more nuanced roles for SUFU in tumorigenesis and maintenance of Gli2 transcription factor circuitries.

Yin WC, Satkunendran T, Mo R, et al.
Dual Regulatory Functions of SUFU and Targetome of GLI2 in SHH Subgroup Medulloblastoma.
Dev Cell. 2019; 48(2):167-183.e5 [PubMed] Related Publications
SUFU alterations are common in human Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) subgroup medulloblastoma (MB). However, its tumorigenic mechanisms have remained elusive. Here, we report that loss of Sufu alone is unable to induce MB formation in mice, due to insufficient Gli2 activation. Simultaneous loss of Spop, an E3 ubiquitin ligase targeting Gli2, restores robust Gli2 activation and induces rapid MB formation in Sufu knockout background. We also demonstrated a tumor-promoting role of Sufu in Smo-activated MB (∼60% of human SHH MB) by maintaining robust Gli activity. Having established Gli2 activation as a key driver of SHH MB, we report a comprehensive analysis of its targetome. Furthermore, we identified Atoh1 as a target and molecular accomplice of Gli2 that activates core SHH MB signature genes in a synergistic manner. Overall, our work establishes the dual role of SUFU in SHH MB and provides mechanistic insights into transcriptional regulation underlying Gli2-mediated SHH MB tumorigenesis.

Peng Y, Zhang X, Lin H, et al.
Inhibition of miR‑194 suppresses the Wnt/β‑catenin signalling pathway in gastric cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(6):3323-3334 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
A mounting body of evidence has revealed that microRNAs (miRs) serve pivotal roles in various developmental processes, and in tumourigenesis, by binding to target genes and subsequently regulating gene expression. Continued activation of the Wnt/β‑catenin signalling is positively associated with human malignancy. In addition, miR‑194 dysregulation has been implicated in gastric cancer (GC); however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of miR‑194 on GC carcinogenesis remain to be elucidated. The present study demonstrated that miR‑194 was upregulated in GC tissues and SUFU negative regulator of Ηedgehog signaling (SUFU) was downregulated in GC cell lines. Subsequently, inhibition of miR‑194 attenuated nuclear accumulation of β‑catenin, which consequently blocked Wnt/β‑catenin signalling. In addition, the cytoplasmic translocation of β‑catenin induced by miR‑194 inhibition was mediated by SUFU. Furthermore, genes associated with the Wnt/β‑catenin signalling pathway were revealed to be downregulated following inhibition of the Wnt signalling pathway by miR‑194 suppression. Finally, the results indicated that cell apoptosis was markedly increased in response to miR‑194 inhibition, strongly suggesting the carcinogenic effects of miR‑194 in GC. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that miR‑194 may promote gastric carcinogenesis through activation of the Wnt/β‑catenin signalling pathway, making it a potential therapeutic target for GC.

Nanta R, Shrivastava A, Sharma J, et al.
Inhibition of sonic hedgehog and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways cooperate in suppressing survival, self-renewal and tumorigenic potential of glioblastoma-initiating cells.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2019; 454(1-2):11-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Since PI3K/Akt/mTOR and sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling pathways are highly activated in glioblastoma-initiating cells (GICs), we examined the effects of inhibiting these pathways on GIC characteristics and tumor growth in mice. NVP-LDE-225 (inhibitor of Smoothened) inhibited the expression of Gli1, Gli2, Smoothened, Patched1, and Patched2, and induced the expression of SuFu, whereas NVP-BEZ-235 (dual inhibitor of PI3K and mTOR) inhibited the expression of p-PI3K, p-Akt, p-mTOR, and p-p70S6K. NVP-LDE-225 co-operated with NVP-BEZ-235 in inhibiting the self-renewal capacity of GICs, expression of pluripotency maintaining factors (Nanog, c-Myc, Oct4, and Sox2), Musashi1, cyclin D1, and Bcl-2, and transcription and expression of Gli, and in inducing the expression of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved PARP and Bim. Additionally, NVP-LDE-225 co-operated with NVP-BEZ-235 in inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Finally, the combination of NVP-LDE-225 and NVP-BEZ-235 was superior in inhibiting tumor growth, regulating the expression of pluripotency promoting factors, stem cell markers, cell cycle, and cell proliferation, and modulating EMT compared to single agent alone. In conclusion, the combined inhibition of PI3K/Akt/mTOR and SHH pathways was superior to single pathway inhibition in suppressing glioblastoma growth by targeting GICs.

Haug V, Schilling B
Programmed death-1 blockade for multiple basal cell carcinomas: clearing the field systemically?
Br J Dermatol. 2018; 179(3):566-567 [PubMed] Related Publications

Goyal A, Cajigas I, Ibrahim GM, et al.
Surgical Treatment of Intramedullary Spinal Metastasis in Medulloblastoma: Case Report and Review of the Literature.
World Neurosurg. 2018; 118:42-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Medulloblastomas are common childhood central nervous system tumors that are prone to leptomeningeal spread. Intramedullary dissemination is rare with very few case reports existing in the available literature.
CASE DESCRIPTION: The authors here present a case of a 14-year-old boy with Li-Fraumeni syndrome and medulloblastoma who underwent surgical resection of spinal intramedullary spread. Histopathology revealed the tumor to be anaplastic medulloblastoma, same as the intracranial lesions. Genetic testing of the metastatic deposit revealed loss of functions mutations in SUFU, NOTCH3, and TP53 and TERC amplification. An improvement in ambulatory function at short-term follow-up was noted before the patient died of disseminated disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Intramedullary metastasis of medulloblastoma remains a rare disease. Surgical resection might play a possible role in management in addition to radiation and chemotherapy.

Chamcheu JC, Rady I, Chamcheu RN, et al.
Graviola (Annona muricata) Exerts Anti-Proliferative, Anti-Clonogenic and Pro-Apoptotic Effects in Human Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer UW-BCC1 and A431 Cells In Vitro: Involvement of Hedgehog Signaling.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(6) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) are the leading cause of skin cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Effective strategies are needed to control NMSC occurrence and progression. Non-toxic, plant-derived extracts have been shown to exert multiple anti-cancer effects. Graviola (

Kumar MS, Adki KM
Marine natural products for multi-targeted cancer treatment: A future insight.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 105:233-245 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer is world's second largest alarming disease, which involves abnormal cell growth and have potential to spread to other parts of the body. Most of the available anticancer drugs are designed to act on specific targets by altering the activity of involved transporters and genes. As cancer cells exhibit complex cellular machinery, the regeneration of cancer tissues and chemo resistance towards the therapy has been the main obstacle in cancer treatment. This fact encourages the researchers to explore the multitargeted use of existing medicines to overcome the shortcomings of chemotherapy for alternative and safer treatment strategies. Recent developments in genomics-proteomics and an understanding of the molecular pharmacology of cancer have also challenged researchers to come up with target-based drugs. The literature supports the evidence of natural compounds exhibiting antioxidant, antimitotic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic as well as anticancer activity. In this review, we have selected marine sponges as a prolific source of bioactive compounds which can be explored for their possible use in cancer and have tried to link their role in cancer pathway. To prove this, we revisited the literature for the selection of cancer genes for the multitargeted use of existing drugs and natural products. We used Cytoscape network analysis and Search tool for retrieval of interacting genes/ proteins (STRING) to study the possible interactions to show the links between the antioxidants, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and antimitotic agents and their targets for their possible use in cancer. We included total 78 pathways, their genes and natural compounds from the above four pharmacological classes used in cancer treatment for multitargeted approach. Based on the Cytoscape network analysis results, we shortlist 22 genes based on their average shortest path length connecting one node to all other nodes in a network. These selected genes are CDKN2A, FH, VHL, STK11, SUFU, RB1, MEN1, HRPT2, EXT1, 2, CDK4, p14, p16, TSC1, 2, AXIN2, SDBH C, D, NF1, 2, BHD, PTCH, GPC3, CYLD and WT1. The selected genes were analysed using STRING for their protein-protein interactions. Based on the above findings, we propose the selected genes to be considered as major targets and are suggested to be studied for discovering marine natural products as drug lead in cancer treatment.

Waszak SM, Northcott PA, Buchhalter I, et al.
Spectrum and prevalence of genetic predisposition in medulloblastoma: a retrospective genetic study and prospective validation in a clinical trial cohort.
Lancet Oncol. 2018; 19(6):785-798 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Medulloblastoma is associated with rare hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes; however, consensus medulloblastoma predisposition genes have not been defined and screening guidelines for genetic counselling and testing for paediatric patients are not available. We aimed to assess and define these genes to provide evidence for future screening guidelines.
METHODS: In this international, multicentre study, we analysed patients with medulloblastoma from retrospective cohorts (International Cancer Genome Consortium [ICGC] PedBrain, Medulloblastoma Advanced Genomics International Consortium [MAGIC], and the CEFALO series) and from prospective cohorts from four clinical studies (SJMB03, SJMB12, SJYC07, and I-HIT-MED). Whole-genome sequences and exome sequences from blood and tumour samples were analysed for rare damaging germline mutations in cancer predisposition genes. DNA methylation profiling was done to determine consensus molecular subgroups: WNT (MB
FINDINGS: We included a total of 1022 patients with medulloblastoma from the retrospective cohorts (n=673) and the four prospective studies (n=349), from whom blood samples (n=1022) and tumour samples (n=800) were analysed for germline mutations in 110 cancer predisposition genes. In our rare variant burden analysis, we compared these against 53 105 sequenced controls from ExAC and identified APC, BRCA2, PALB2, PTCH1, SUFU, and TP53 as consensus medulloblastoma predisposition genes according to our rare variant burden analysis and estimated that germline mutations accounted for 6% of medulloblastoma diagnoses in the retrospective cohort. The prevalence of genetic predispositions differed between molecular subgroups in the retrospective cohort and was highest for patients in the MB
INTERPRETATION: Genetic counselling and testing should be used as a standard-of-care procedure in patients with MB
FUNDING: German Cancer Aid; German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; German Childhood Cancer Foundation (Deutsche Kinderkrebsstiftung); European Research Council; National Institutes of Health; Canadian Institutes for Health Research; German Cancer Research Center; St Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center; American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities; Swiss National Science Foundation; European Molecular Biology Organization; Cancer Research UK; Hertie Foundation; Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust; V Foundation for Cancer Research; Sontag Foundation; Musicians Against Childhood Cancer; BC Cancer Foundation; Swedish Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare; Swedish Research Council; Swedish Cancer Society; the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority; Danish Strategic Research Council; Swiss Federal Office of Public Health; Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication; Masaryk University; Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic; Research Council of Norway; Genome Canada; Genome BC; Terry Fox Research Institute; Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario; The Family of Kathleen Lorette and the Clark H Smith Brain Tumour Centre; Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation; The Hospital for Sick Children: Sonia and Arthur Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre, Chief of Research Fund, Cancer Genetics Program, Garron Family Cancer Centre, MDT's Garron Family Endowment; BC Childhood Cancer Parents Association; Cure Search Foundation; Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation; Brainchild; and the Government of Ontario.

Yang H, Fu H, Wang B, et al.
Exosomal miR-423-5p targets SUFU to promote cancer growth and metastasis and serves as a novel marker for gastric cancer.
Mol Carcinog. 2018; 57(9):1223-1236 [PubMed] Related Publications
Exosomes are critically involved in tumor growth, metastasis, and therapy resistance. Exosomes have the potential to be utilized as cancer biomarkers. In this study, we aimed to explore the roles and clinical values of exosomal miRNAs in gastric cancer. We found that the concentration of exosomes was significantly higher in the serum of gastric cancer patients and the culture supernatants of gastric cancer cells than that in healthy volunteers and gastric mucosa epithelial cells. In particular, miR-423-5p was elevated in the serum exosomes of gastric cancer patients, and the level of exosomal miR-423-5p was remarkably correlated with lymph node metastasis. High level of exosomal miR-423-5p was associated with poor outcome in gastric cancer patients. MiR-423-5p enriched exosomes could be internalized into gastric cancer cells, which enhanced cell proliferation and migration both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, miR-423-5p inhibited the expression of suppressor of fused protein (SUFU) to enhance the proliferation and migration of gastric cancer cells. The expression levels of SUFU were significantly decreased in gastric cancer cells and the tumor tissues of gastric cancer patients. Taken together, our findings indicate that exosomes could deliver miR-423-5p to promote cancer growth and metastasis and serum exosomal miR-423-5p may serve as a potential marker for gastric cancer diagnosis and prognosis.

Liu C, Luo J, Zhao YT, et al.
TWIST1 upregulates miR-214 to promote epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and metastasis in lung adenocarcinoma.
Int J Mol Med. 2018; 42(1):461-470 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is essential for the progression of non-invasive tumor cells into malignancy and metastasis. We found that miR-214 was increased in lung adenocarcinoma (LAD) and positively associated with metastasis, which was mediated by EMT. However, the mechanism whereby the overexpression of microRNAs (miRNAs), such as miR-214, promote EMT in LAD remains unclear. In this study, we found that TWIST1, an independent prognostic factor for overall survival, was increased in LAD and correlated positively with LAD recurrence and progression. We also found that TWIST1 contributes to the EMT process and metastasis of LAD cells. Most importantly, a positive correlation was found between the expression of miR-214 and TWIST1 in clinical LAD tissue. Additionally, miR-214 expression was decreased and its target gene suppressor of fused homolog (SUFU) was increased in LAD cells in response to the impairment of TWIST1 expression by shRNA. Overall, this study provides the first evidence to show that the high expression of TWIST1 increases the expression of miR-214 to promote the EMT process and metastasis in LAD. These findings contribute to clarify the mechanisms whereby miRNAs regulate the EMT process and implicate a new TWIST1-miR-214 pathway in the control of migration and invasion of LAD.

Lu J, Liu L, Zheng M, et al.
MEKK2 and MEKK3 suppress Hedgehog pathway-dependent medulloblastoma by inhibiting GLI1 function.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(28):3864-3878 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
Hedgehog (Hh) pathway plays a pivotal role in diverse aspects of development and postnatal physiology. Perturbation of Hh signaling and activation of GLI1 (glioma-associated oncogene 1), a dedicated transcription factor for Hh pathway, are highly associated with several cancers, such as medulloblastoma and basal cell carcinoma. Dynamic and precise control of GLI1 activity is thus important to ensure proper homeostasis and tumorigenesis. Here we show that MEKK2 (MAP3K2) and MEKK3 (MAP3K3) inhibit GLI1 transcriptional activity and oncogenic function through phosphorylation on multiple Ser/Thr sites of GLI1, which reduces GLI1 protein stability, DNA-binding ability, and increases the association of GLI1 with SUFU. Interestingly, MEKK2 and MEKK3 are responsible for FGF2-mediated inhibition on Hh signaling. Moreover, expression of MEKK2 and MEKK3 inhibits medulloblastoma cell proliferation and negatively correlates with Hh pathway activity in medulloblastoma clinical samples. Together, these findings reveal a novel noncanonical GLI1 regulation and provide a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of cancers with aberrant Hh pathway activation, such as medulloblastoma.

Burns MA, Liao ZW, Yamagata N, et al.
Hedgehog pathway mutations drive oncogenic transformation in high-risk T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(10):2126-2137 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
The role of Hedgehog signaling in normal and malignant T-cell development is controversial. Recently, Hedgehog pathway mutations have been described in T-ALL, but whether mutational activation of Hedgehog signaling drives T-cell transformation is unknown, hindering the rationale for therapeutic intervention. Here, we show that Hedgehog pathway mutations predict chemotherapy resistance in human T-ALL, and drive oncogenic transformation in a zebrafish model of the disease. We found Hedgehog pathway mutations in 16% of 109 childhood T-ALL cases, most commonly affecting its negative regulator PTCH1. Hedgehog mutations were associated with resistance to induction chemotherapy (P = 0.009). Transduction of wild-type PTCH1 into PTCH1-mutant T-ALL cells induced apoptosis (P = 0.005), a phenotype that was reversed by downstream Hedgehog pathway activation (P = 0.007). Transduction of most mutant PTCH1, SUFU, and GLI alleles into mammalian cells induced aberrant regulation of Hedgehog signaling, indicating that these mutations are pathogenic. Using a CRISPR/Cas9 system for lineage-restricted gene disruption in transgenic zebrafish, we found that ptch1 mutations accelerated the onset of notch1-induced T-ALL (P = 0.0001), and pharmacologic Hedgehog pathway inhibition had therapeutic activity. Thus, Hedgehog-activating mutations are driver oncogenic alterations in high-risk T-ALL, providing a molecular rationale for targeted therapy in this disease.

Katz LM, Hielscher T, Liechty B, et al.
Loss of histone H3K27me3 identifies a subset of meningiomas with increased risk of recurrence.
Acta Neuropathol. 2018; 135(6):955-963 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epigenetic patterns on the level of DNA methylation have already been shown to separate clinically relevant subgroups of meningiomas. We here set out to identify potential prognostic implications of epigenetic modification on the level of histones with focus on H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). H3K27me3 was assessed by immunohistochemistry on 232 meningiomas from 232 patients. In 194 cases, trimethylation was detected in tumor cells. In 25 cases, staining was limited to vessels while all tumor cells were negative. Finally, 13 cases yielded equivocal staining patterns. Reduced abundance of H3K27me3 in cases with staining limited to vessels was confirmed by mass spectrometry on a subset of cases. Lack of staining for H3K27me3 in all tumor cells was significantly associated with more rapid progression (p = 0.009). In line, H3K27me3-negative cases were associated with a DNA methylation pattern of the more aggressive types among the recently introduced DNA methylation groups. Also, NF2 and SUFU mutations were enriched among cases with complete lack of H3K27me3 staining in tumor cells (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.029, respectively). H3K27me3 staining pattern added significant prognostic insight into WHO grade II cases and in the compound subset of WHO grade I and II cases (p = 0.04 and p = 0.007, respectively). However, it did not further stratify within WHO grade III cases. Collectively, these data indicate that epigenetic modifications beyond DNA methylation are involved in the aggressiveness of meningioma. It also suggests that H3K27me3 immunohistochemistry might be a useful adjunct in meningioma diagnostics, particularly for cases with WHO grade II histology or at the borderline between WHO grade I and II.

Durmaz CD, Evans G, Smith MJ, et al.
A Novel PTCH1 Frameshift Mutation Leading to Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome.
Cytogenet Genome Res. 2018; 154(2):57-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), also known as Gorlin syndrome, is a rare multisystemic autosomal dominant disorder typically presenting with cutaneous basal cell carcinomas, multiple keratocysts, and skeletal anomalies. NBCCS is caused by heterozygous mutations in the PTCH1 gene in chromosome 9q22, in the PTCH2 gene in 1p34, or the SUFU gene in 10q24.32. Here, we report on an 18-month-old boy presenting with medulloblastoma, frontal bossing, and multiple skeletal anomalies and his father who has basal cell carcinomas, palmar pits, macrocephaly, bifid ribs, calcification of falx cerebri, and a history of surgery for odontogenic keratocyst. These clinical findings were compatible with the diagnosis of NBCCS, and a novel mutation, c.1249delC; p.Gln417Lysfs*15, was found in PTCH1 causing a premature stop codon.

Infante P, Faedda R, Bernardi F, et al.
Itch/β-arrestin2-dependent non-proteolytic ubiquitylation of SuFu controls Hedgehog signalling and medulloblastoma tumorigenesis.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):976 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
Suppressor of Fused (SuFu), a tumour suppressor mutated in medulloblastoma, is a central player of Hh signalling, a pathway crucial for development and deregulated in cancer. Although the control of Gli transcription factors by SuFu is critical in Hh signalling, our understanding of the mechanism regulating this key event remains limited. Here, we show that the Itch/β-arrestin2 complex binds SuFu and induces its Lys63-linked polyubiquitylation without affecting its stability. This process increases the association of SuFu with Gli3, promoting the conversion of Gli3 into a repressor, which keeps Hh signalling off. Activation of Hh signalling antagonises the Itch-dependent polyubiquitylation of SuFu. Notably, different SuFu mutations occurring in medulloblastoma patients are insensitive to Itch activity, thus leading to deregulated Hh signalling and enhancing medulloblastoma cell growth. Our findings uncover mechanisms controlling the tumour suppressive functions of SuFu and reveal that their alterations are implicated in medulloblastoma tumorigenesis.

Akrami H, Moradi B, Borzabadi Farahani D, Mehdizadeh K
Ibuprofen reduces cell proliferation through inhibiting Wnt/β catenin signaling pathway in gastric cancer stem cells.
Cell Biol Int. 2018; 42(8):949-958 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nowadays, most studies focused on cancer stem cells (CSCs) through their abilities to cause tumorigenicity, drug resistance, and cancer recurrence. On the other side, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been taken into consideration because of cheapness and availability. For the reasons mentioned above, we have studied the effect of ibuprofen as an NSAID on CSCs derived from AGS and MKN-45 gastric cancer cell lines to perform effective cancer therapy. We evaluated cell viability, spheroid body formation, monolayer, and soft agar colony formation to express the anti-cancer effect of ibuprofen on CSCs. Also, real-time RT-PCR data of stemness markers and genes affected on, or downstream of Wnt signaling pathway were evaluated. Our findings suggest that ibuprofen at 1,000 μM for 48 h can reduce cell proliferation, stemness features in CSCs by changing the expression level of CD44, OCT3/4, SOX2, Nanog, and KLF4 as stemness markers. Furthermore, ibuprofen can have an inhibitory role in Wnt signaling pathway by changing the expression level of some genes, including CTNNB1, CTNNBIP1, SMARCD1, PYGO2, SUFU, CASK, and KREMEN1. According to our study, ibuprofen has an anti-proliferative effect on CSCs derived from AGS and MKN-45 cells.

Musani V, Ozretić P, Trnski D, et al.
Potential hot spot for de novo mutations in PTCH1 gene in Gorlin syndrome patients: a case report of twins from Croatia.
Croat Med J. 2018; 59(1):20-24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
We describe a case of twins with sporadic Gorlin syndrome. Both twins had common Gorlin syndrome features including calcification of the falx cerebri, multiple jaw keratocysts, and multiple basal cell carcinomas, but with different expressivity. One brother also had benign testicular mesothelioma. We propose this tumor type as a possible new feature of Gorlin syndrome. Gorlin syndrome is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by both developmental abnormalities and cancer predisposition, with variable expression of various developmental abnormalities and different types of tumors. The syndrome is primarily caused by mutations in the Patched 1 (PTCH1) gene, although rare mutations of Patched 2 (PTCH2) or Suppressor of Fused (SUFU) genes have also been found. Neither founder mutations nor hot spot locations have been described for PTCH1 in Gorlin syndrome patients. Although de novo mutations of the PTCH1 gene occur in almost 50% of Gorlin syndrome cases, there are a few recurrent mutations. Our twin patients were carriers of a de novo mutation in the PTCH1 gene, c.3364_3365delAT (p.Met1122ValfsX22). This is, to our knowledge, the first Gorlin syndrome-causing mutation that has been reported four independent times in distant geographical locations. Therefore, we propose the location of the described mutation as a potential hot spot for mutations in PTCH1.

Li XY, Zhou LF, Gao LJ, et al.
Cynanbungeigenin C and D, a pair of novel epimers from Cynanchum bungei, suppress hedgehog pathway-dependent medulloblastoma by blocking signaling at the level of Gli.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 420:195-207 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uncontrolled excessive activation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is linked to a number of human malignant tumorigenesis. To obtain valuable Hh pathway inhibitors from natural product, in present study, a pair of novel epimers, Cynanbungeigenin C (CBC) and D (CBD) from the plant Cynanchum bungei Decne were chemically characterized by multiple spectroscopic data and chemical derivatization, and evaluated for their inhibition on Hh pathway. Mechanistically, CBC and CBD block Hh pathway signaling not through targeting Smo and Sufu, but at the level of Gli. In addition, both eipmers significantly suppress Hh pathway-dependent Ptch

Castro-Mujica MDC, Barletta-Carrillo C, Poterico JA, et al.
[Nevoid basal-cell carcinoma syndrome (Gorlin Syndrome): report of two cases and review of the literature].
Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica. 2017 Oct-Dec; 34(4):744-750 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gorlin syndrome (GS) is a genetic disorder with an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern, with complete penetrance and variable expressivity. GS is caused by germline mutations in the genes PTCH1 or SUFU, which are components of the Sonic hedgehog molecular pathway. GS is characterized by the presence of multiple nevoid basal cell carcinomas, odontogenic cysts, calcification of the brain sickle, and lesions in the palms and soles. This study is the first to report cases in Peru of patients with GS who underwent genetic evaluation and counseling. We present two GS cases that meet the clinical criteria for the syndrome and review the literature.

Huq AJ, Walsh M, Rajagopalan B, et al.
Mutations in SUFU and PTCH1 genes may cause different cutaneous cancer predisposition syndromes: similar, but not the same.
Fam Cancer. 2018; 17(4):601-606 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many cancer predisposition syndromes are preceded or accompanied by a range of typical skin signs. Gorlin syndrome is a rare multisystem inherited disorder which can predispose to basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), childhood medulloblastomas in addition to various developmental abnormalities; the majority of cases are due to mutations in the PTCH1 gene. Approximately 5% of cases have been attributed to a mutation in the SUFU gene. Certain phenotypic features have been identified as being more prevalent in individuals with a SUFU mutation such as childhood medulloblastoma, infundibulocystic BCCs and trichoepitheliomas. Recently hamartomatous skin lesions have also been noted in families with childhood medulloblastoma, a "Gorlin like" phenotype and a SUFU mutation. Here we describe a family previously diagnosed with Gorlin syndrome with a novel SUFU splice site deleterious genetic variant, who have several dermatological features including palmar sclerotic fibromas which has not been described in relation to a SUFU mutation before. We highlight the features more prominent in individuals with a SUFU mutation. It is important to note that emerging therapies for treatment of BCCs in patients with a PTCH1 mutation may not be effective in those with a SUFU mutation.

Gamazon ER, Trendowski MR, Wen Y, et al.
Gene and MicroRNA Perturbations of Cellular Response to Pemetrexed Implicate Biological Networks and Enable Imputation of Response in Lung Adenocarcinoma.
Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):733 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
Pemetrexed is indicated for non-small cell lung carcinoma and mesothelioma, but often has limited efficacy due to drug resistance. To probe the molecular mechanisms underlying chemotherapeutic response, we performed mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling of pemetrexed treated and untreated lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and applied a hierarchical Bayesian method. We identified genetic variation associated with gene expression in human lung tissue for the most significant differentially expressed genes (Benjamini-Hochberg [BH] adjusted p < 0.05) using the Genotype-Tissue Expression data and found evidence for their clinical relevance using integrated molecular profiling and lung adenocarcinoma survival data from The Cancer Genome Atlas project. We identified 39 miRNAs with significant differential expression (BH adjusted p < 0.05) in LCLs. We developed a gene expression based imputation model of drug sensitivity, quantified its prediction performance, and found a significant correlation of the imputed phenotype generated from expression data with survival time in lung adenocarcinoma patients. Differentially expressed genes (MTHFD2 and SUFU) that are putative targets of differentially expressed miRNAs also showed differential perturbation in A549 fusion lung tumor cells with further replication in A549 cells. Our study suggests pemetrexed may be used in combination with agents that target miRNAs to increase its cytotoxicity.

Skoda AM, Simovic D, Karin V, et al.
The role of the Hedgehog signaling pathway in cancer: A comprehensive review.
Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2018; 18(1):8-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway was first identified in the common fruit fly. It is a highly conserved evolutionary pathway of signal transmission from the cell membrane to the nucleus. The Hh signaling pathway plays an important role in the embryonic development. It exerts its biological effects through a signaling cascade that culminates in a change of balance between activator and repressor forms of glioma-associated oncogene (Gli) transcription factors. The components of the Hh signaling pathway involved in the signaling transfer to the Gli transcription factors include Hedgehog ligands (Sonic Hh [SHh], Indian Hh [IHh], and Desert Hh [DHh]), Patched receptor (Ptch1, Ptch2), Smoothened receptor (Smo), Suppressor of fused homolog (Sufu), kinesin protein Kif7, protein kinase A (PKA), and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). The activator form of Gli travels to the nucleus and stimulates the transcription of the target genes by binding to their promoters. The main target genes of the Hh signaling pathway are PTCH1, PTCH2, and GLI1. Deregulation of the Hh signaling pathway is associated with developmental anomalies and cancer, including Gorlin syndrome, and sporadic cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, medulloblastoma, pancreatic, breast, colon, ovarian, and small-cell lung carcinomas. The aberrant activation of the Hh signaling pathway is caused by mutations in the related genes (ligand-independent signaling) or by the excessive expression of the Hh signaling molecules (ligand-dependent signaling - autocrine or paracrine). Several Hh signaling pathway inhibitors, such as vismodegib and sonidegib, have been developed for cancer treatment. These drugs are regarded as promising cancer therapies, especially for patients with refractory/advanced cancers.

Lu N, Wang J, Zhu B, et al.
Whole-exome sequencing to identify novel mutations of nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome in a Chinese population.
Cancer Biomark. 2017; 21(1):161-168 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS) is a rare autosomal dominant disease with a complex genetic etiology. Although three causative genes (PTCH1, PTCH2, SUFU) have been identified through linkage analysis and Sanger sequencing, the genetic background of NBCCS hasn't been fully understood.
METHODS: We performed a whole-exome sequencing (WES) in a Han Chinese NBCCS family and two unaffected volunteers to search for its causative gene. Bioinformatic analysis was used to select candidate genes and analyze the functional networks of each candidate gene.
RESULTS: A total of 8 single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) were detected in PTCH1, PTCH2 and SUFU in all the 5 subjects, however none of them was considered the pathogenic genetic mutation in this NBCCS family. The following filtering process identified 17 novel candidate genes (GBP3, AMPD1, ASPM, UNC5C, RBM46, HSPA1L, PNPLA1, GPR126, AP5Z1, ZFHX4, KIF24, C10orf128, COX15, GPRC5A, UGGT2, RHBDF1, RPUSD1). Among them ZFHX4 had been already identified as a new basal cell carcinoma susceptibility loci through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and was considered the most likely pathogenic gene for this NBCCS family. The functional network analysis revealed that ZFHX4 may be involved in notch signaling pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study reported the identification of 17 novel candidate genes in a Han Chinese family through WES. ZFHX4 may be a susceptibility gene for NBCCS in Chinese population.

Ozretić P, Trnski D, Musani V, et al.
Non-canonical Hedgehog signaling activation in ovarian borderline tumors and ovarian carcinomas.
Int J Oncol. 2017; 51(6):1869-1877 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hedgehog signaling pathway has been implicated in the pathology of ovarian cancer, and Survivin (BIRC5) has been suggested as a novel target of this pathway. Herein we investigated the role of Hedgehog signaling pathway and Survivin in ovarian carcinoma and borderline tumor samples. We aimed to determine possible ways of pathway modulation on primary ovarian cancer cells and an established cell line. RNA was extracted from fresh tumors and control tissues and gene expression was examined using qRT-PCR. Pathway activity in cell lines was examined after treatment with cyclopamine, SHH protein, GANT-61 or lithium chloride using qRT-PCR, western blot and confocal microscopy. The difference between control tissue, borderline tumors and carcinomas can be seen in GLI1 and SUFU gene expression, which is significantly higher in borderline tumors compared to carcinomas. SUFU also shows lower expression levels in higher FIGO stages relative to lower stages. BIRC5 is expressed in all tumors and in healthy ovarian tissues compared to our control tissue, healthy fallopian tube samples. Primary cells developed from ovarian carcinoma tissue respond to cyclopamine treatment with a short-term decrease in cell proliferation, downregulation of Hedgehog pathway genes, including BIRC5, and changes in protein dynamics. Stimulation with SHH protein results in increased cell migration, while GLI1 transfection or PTCH1 silencing demonstrate pathway upregulation. The pathway activity can be modulated by LiCl at the GSK3β-SUFU-GLI level, suggesting at least partial non-canonical activation. Downregulation of the pathway with GANT-61 has proved to be more effective than cyclopamine. GLI inhibitors may be a superior treatment option in ovarian cancer compared to SMO inhibitors.

Strzyz P
Cell death: BCL-2 proteins feed their own expression.
Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2017; 18(11):652-653 [PubMed] Related Publications

Wu X, Zhang LS, Toombs J, et al.
Extra-mitochondrial prosurvival BCL-2 proteins regulate gene transcription by inhibiting the SUFU tumour suppressor.
Nat Cell Biol. 2017; 19(10):1226-1236 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
Direct interactions between pro- and anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family members form the basis of cell death decision-making at the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM). Here we report that three anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins (MCL-1, BCL-2 and BCL-XL) found untethered from the OMM function as transcriptional regulators of a prosurvival and growth program. Anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins engage a BCL-2 homology (BH) domain sequence found in SUFU (suppressor of fused), a tumour suppressor and antagonist of the GLI DNA-binding proteins. BCL-2 proteins directly promote SUFU turnover, inhibit SUFU-GLI interaction, and induce the expression of the GLI target genes BCL-2, MCL-1 and BCL-XL. Anti-apoptotic BCL-2 protein/SUFU feedforward signalling promotes cancer cell survival and growth, and can be disabled with BH3 mimetics-small molecules that target anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins. Our findings delineate a chemical strategy for countering drug resistance in GLI-associated tumours and reveal unanticipated functions for BCL-2 proteins as transcriptional regulators.

Onodera S, Saito A, Hasegawa D, et al.
Multi-layered mutation in hedgehog-related genes in Gorlin syndrome may affect the phenotype.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(9):e0184702 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2020 Related Publications
Gorlin syndrome is a genetic disorder of autosomal dominant inheritance that predisposes the affected individual to a variety of disorders that are attributed largely to heterozygous germline patched1 (PTCH1) mutations. PTCH1 is a hedgehog (Hh) receptor as well as a repressor, mutation of which leads to constitutive activation of Hh pathway. Hh pathway encompasses a wide variety of cellular signaling cascades, which involve several molecules; however, no associated genotype-phenotype correlations have been reported. Recently, mutations in Suppressor of fused homolog (SUFU) or PTCH2 were reported in patients with Gorlin syndrome. These facts suggest that multi-layered mutations in Hh pathway may contribute to the development of Gorlin syndrome. We demonstrated multiple mutations of Hh-related genes in addition to PTCH1, which possibly act in an additive or multiplicative manner and lead to Gorlin syndrome. High-throughput sequencing was performed to analyze exome sequences in four unrelated Gorlin syndrome patient genomes. Mutations in PTCH1 gene were detected in all four patients. Specific nucleotide variations or frameshift variations of PTCH1 were identified along with the inferred amino acid changes in all patients. We further filtered 84 different genes which are closely related to Hh signaling. Fifty three of these had enough coverage of over ×30. The sequencing results were filtered and compared to reduce the number of sequence variants identified in each of the affected individuals. We discovered three genes, PTCH2, BOC, and WNT9b, with mutations with a predicted functional impact assessed by MutationTaster2 or PolyPhen-2 (Polymorphism Phenotyping v2) analysis. It is noticeable that PTCH2 and BOC are Hh receptor molecules. No significant mutations were observed in SUFU. Multi-layered mutations in Hh pathway may change the activation level of the Hh signals, which may explain the wide phenotypic variability of Gorlin syndrome.

Miao X, Gao H, Liu S, et al.
Down-regulation of microRNA-224 -inhibites growth and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition phenotype -via modulating SUFU expression in bladder cancer cells.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2018; 106:234-240 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant expression of miR-224 is usually found in cancer studies; however, the role of miR-224 has seldom been reported in bladder cancer (BC). We explored miR-224's function and the underlying mechanism in BC. It was found that miR-224 expression was significantly up-regulated in BC tissues and cell lines. Knockdown of miR-224 decreased BC cell growth and invasion both in vitro and in vivo. We identified the SUFU protein as a downstream target of miR-224 by using luciferase and western blot assays. We proposed that miR-224 promoted BC cell growth and invasion via sustaining the activity of Hedgehog pathway, which was negatively regulated by SUFU. Taken together, our study demonstrated that miR-224 may function as an onco-miR in BC and suggested that miR-224 may be a potential therapeutic target for BC patients.

Smith MJ, Beetz C, Williams SG, et al.
Germline mutations in SUFU cause Gorlin syndrome-associated childhood medulloblastoma and redefine the risk associated with PTCH1 mutations.
J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(36):4155-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Heterozygous germline PTCH1 mutations are causative of Gorlin syndrome (naevoid basal cell carcinoma), but detection rates > 70% have rarely been reported. We aimed to define the causative mutations in individuals with Gorlin syndrome without PTCH1 mutations.
METHODS: We undertook exome sequencing on lymphocyte DNA from four unrelated individuals from families with Gorlin syndrome with no PTCH1 mutations found by Sanger sequencing, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), or RNA analysis.
RESULTS: A germline heterozygous nonsense mutation in SUFU was identified in one of four exomes. Sanger sequencing of SUFU in 23 additional PTCH1-negative Gorlin syndrome families identified a SUFU mutation in a second family. Copy-number analysis of SUFU by MLPA revealed a large heterozygous deletion in a third family. All three SUFU-positive families fulfilled diagnostic criteria for Gorlin syndrome, although none had odontogenic jaw keratocysts. Each SUFU-positive family included a single case of medulloblastoma, whereas only two (1.7%) of 115 individuals with Gorlin syndrome and a PTCH1 mutation developed medulloblastoma.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrate convincing evidence that SUFU mutations can cause classical Gorlin syndrome. Our study redefines the risk of medulloblastoma in Gorlin syndrome, dependent on the underlying causative gene. Previous reports have found a 5% risk of medulloblastoma in Gorlin syndrome. We found a < 2% risk in PTCH1 mutation-positive individuals, with a risk up to 20× higher in SUFU mutation-positive individuals. Our data suggest childhood brain magnetic resonance imaging surveillance is justified in SUFU-related, but not PTCH1-related, Gorlin syndrome.

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