Research IndicatorsGraph generated 17 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (2)
Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.
Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
Search the Epigenomics database and view relevant gene tracks of samples.
Latest Publications: THRA (cancer-related)
We studied the impact of driver mutations of JAK2, CALR, (calreticulin gene) or MPL on clinical course, leukemic transformation, and survival of patients with primary myelofibrosis (PMF). Of the 617 subjects studied, 399 (64.7%) carried JAK2 (V617F), 140 (22.7%) had a CALR exon 9 indel, 25 (4.0%) carried an MPL (W515) mutation, and 53 (8.6%) had nonmutated JAK2, CALR, and MPL (so-called triple-negative PMF). Patients with CALR mutation had a lower risk of developing anemia, thrombocytopenia, and marked leukocytosis compared with other subtypes. They also had a lower risk of thrombosis compared with patients carrying JAK2 (V617F). At the opposite, triple-negative patients had higher incidence of leukemic transformation compared with either CALR-mutant or JAK2-mutant patients. Median overall survival was 17.7 years in CALR-mutant, 9.2 years in JAK2-mutant, 9.1 years in MPL-mutant, and 3.2 years in triple-negative patients. In multivariate analysis corrected for age, CALR-mutant patients had better overall survival than either JAK2-mutant or triple-negative patients. The impact of genetic lesions on survival was independent of current prognostic scoring systems. These observations indicate that driver mutations define distinct disease entities within PMF. Accounting for them is not only relevant to clinical decision-making, but should also be considered in designing clinical trials.
Di Maro G, Orlandella FM, Bencivenga TC, et al.Identification of targets of Twist1 transcription factor in thyroid cancer cells.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(9):E1617-26 [PubMed
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CONTEXT: Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is one of the most aggressive human tumors. Twist1 is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor involved in cancer development and progression. We showed that Twist1 affects thyroid cancer cell survival and motility.
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to identify Twist1 targets in thyroid cancer cells.
DESIGN: Transcriptional targets of Twist1 were identified by gene expression profiling the TPC-Twist1 cells in comparison with control cells. Functional studies were performed by silencing in TPC-Twist1 and in CAL62 cells the top 10 upregulated genes and by evaluating cell proliferation, survival, migration, and invasion. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was performed to verify direct binding of Twist1 to target genes. Quantitative RT-PCR was applied to study the expression level of Twist1 target genes in human thyroid carcinoma samples.
RESULTS: According to the gene expression profile, the top functions enriched in TPC-Twist1 cells were cellular movement, cellular growth and proliferation, and cell death and survival. Silencing of the top 10 upregulated genes reduced viability of TPC-Twist1 and of CAL62 cells. Silencing of COL1A1, KRT7, and PDZK1 also induced cell death. Silencing of HS6ST2, THRB, ID4, RHOB, and PDZK1IP also impaired migration and invasion of TPC-Twist1 and of CAL62 cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that Twist1 directly binds the promoter of the top 10 upregulated genes. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that HS6ST2, COL1A1, F2RL1, LEPREL1, PDZK1, and PDZK1IP1 are overexpressed in thyroid carcinoma samples compared with normal thyroids.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified a set of genes that mediates Twist1 biological effects in thyroid cancer cells.
Zhu G, Mische SE, Seigneres BNovel treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia: As₂O₃, retinoic acid and retinoid pharmacology.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2013; 14(9):849-58 [PubMed
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Acute promyelocytic leukemia(APL), a specific characteristic of t(15;17) chromosome translocation, represents 5% to 15% of cases of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. An alternative approach is to consider retinoic acid(all-trans RA, ATRA or 13-cis RA or 9-cis RA) plus chemotherapy or RA plus As₂O₃ regimens as now novel therapy. Molecular gene analyses are conclusive in vivo evidence that oncogenic PML/RARa plays a crucial role in APL leukemogenesis. As a novel approach to APL treatment, one possible the action of RA, A consense sequence (5'-TCAGGTCATGACCTGA-3') has been postulated for the thyroid hormone (TRE) and retinoic acid responsive element (RARE) containing half palindromes, which located in the promoter region of target genes. High dose (100-fold) of RA-RARE-PML/RARa complex in intracellular localization appears to relieve repressor from DNA binding, including corepressors N-CoR, SMRT and HDACs, release PML/RARa- mediated transcriptional repression, and release histone deacetylase activity from PMLRARa. The resulting PML/RARa oncoprotein proteolytic degradation through the autophagy-lysosome pathway and the ubiquitin SUMO-proteasome system (UPS), as well as caspase 3 (cleavage site Asp522 within a-helics region of PML component of the fusion protein) or neutrophil elastase, or lysosomal protease enzyme induction. PML protein relocalizes into the wild-type nuclear body (PML-NB) configuration or/and wild-type RARa upregulated. An effect to relieve the blockade (inhibition) of PML/RARA-mediated RA dependent promyelocytic differentiation, and retinoic acid in APL therapy (see Figure in the full text, George Zhu, 1991). Here, like v-erbA, PML/RARa is a (strong) transcriptional repressor of the RA receptor (RAR) complex, and PML/RARa fusion receptor gene act as conditional oncogenic receptor (translocated chimeric retinoic acid a signaling) or oncogenic PML/RARa may participate in leukemogenesis of APL through blocking RA-mediated promyelocytic differentiation. This is first described in eukaryotes.
The nuclear orphan receptors for which endogenous ligands have not been identified include nuclear receptor (NR)0B1 (adrenal hypoplasia congenita critical region on chromosome X gene), NR0B2 (small heterodimer partner), NR1D1/2 (Rev-Erbα/β), NR2C1 (testicular receptor 2), NR2C2 (testicular receptor 4), NR2E1 (tailless), NR2E3 (photoreceptor-specific NR [PNR]), NR2F1 chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor 1 (COUP-TFI), NR2F2 (COUP-TFII), NR2F6 (v-erbA-related protein), NR4A1 (Nur77), NR4A2 (Nurr1), NR4A3 (Nor1), and NR6A1 (GCNF). These receptors play essential roles in development, cellular homeostasis, and disease including cancer where over- or underexpression of some receptors has prognostic significance for patient survival. Results of receptor knockdown or overexpression in vivo and in cancer cell lines demonstrate that orphan receptors exhibit tumor-specific pro-oncogenic or tumor suppressor-like activity. For example, COUP-TFII expression is both a positive (ovarian) and negative (prostate and breast) prognostic factor for cancer patients; in contrast, the prognostic activity of adrenal hypoplasia congenita critical region on chromosome X gene for the same tumors is the inverse of COUP-TFII. Functional studies show that Nur77 is tumor suppressor like in acute leukemia, whereas silencing Nur77 in pancreatic, colon, lung, lymphoma, melanoma, cervical, ovarian, gastric, and some breast cancer cell lines induces one or more of several responses including growth inhibition and decreased survival, migration, and invasion. Although endogenous ligands for the orphan receptors have not been identified, there is increasing evidence that different structural classes of compounds activate, inactivate, and directly bind several orphan receptors. Thus, the screening and development of selective orphan receptor modulators will have important clinical applications as novel mechanism-based agents for treating cancer patients overexpressing one or more orphan receptors and also for combined drug therapies.
Jain N, Curran E, Iyengar NM, et al.Phase II study of the oral MEK inhibitor selumetinib in advanced acute myelogenous leukemia: a University of Chicago phase II consortium trial.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(2):490-8 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The clinical relevance of targeting the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway, activated in 70% to 80% of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), is unknown.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Selumetinib is an oral small-molecule inhibitor of MAP-ERK kinase (MEK)-1/2. Forty-seven patients with relapsed/refractory AML or 60 years old or more with untreated AML were enrolled on a phase II study. Patients were stratified by FLT3 ITD mutation status. The primary endpoint was response rate (complete, partial, and minor). Leukemia cells were analyzed for extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and mTOR phosphorylation.
RESULTS: Common drug-related toxicities were grade 1-2 diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and skin rash. In the FLT3 wild-type cohort, six of 36 (17%) patients had a response [one partial response, three minor responses, two unconfirmed minor responses (uMR)]. No patient with FLT3 ITD responded. NRAS and KRAS mutations were detected in 7% and 2% of patients, respectively. The sole patient with KRAS mutation had uMR with hematologic improvement in platelets. Baseline p-ERK activation was observed in 85% of patients analyzed but did not correlate with a response. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs3733542 in exon 18 of the KIT gene was detected in significantly higher number of patients with response/stable disease compared with nonresponders (60% vs. 23%; P = 0.027).
CONCLUSIONS: Selumetinib is associated with modest single-agent antileukemic activity in advanced AML. However, given its favorable toxicity profile, combination with drugs that target other signaling pathways in AML should be considered. The potential association of SNP rs3733542 in exon 18 of the KIT gene with antileukemic activity of selumetinib is intriguing, but will require validation in larger trials.
Alyusuf RH, Matouq JA, Taha S, Wazir JFThe pattern of expression and role of triiodothyronine (T3) receptors and type I 5'-deiodinase in breast carcinomas, benign breast diseases, lactational change, and normal breast epithelium.
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2014; 22(7):518-23 [PubMed
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AIM: : To study the pattern of expression of triiodothyronine (T3) receptors and type I 5'-deiodinase in various breast pathologies comparing malignant and nonmalignant epithelia that include lactational change.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A retrospective study was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archival material from 146 cases of carcinomas, normal breast tissue, breast tissue showing lactational change, and benign breast lesions. Archive tissue blocks were selected and sections were cut for immunohistochemistry to study the expression of thyroid hormone receptor α-1 (THR-α1) in the cytoplasm and nuclei of cells in tissues under study. Thick sections were cut for type I 5'-deiodinase evaluation using reverse transcriptional PCR.THR-α1 showed no nuclear expression in the carcinoma group. Combined nuclear and cytoplasmic expression was seen in 47.6%, 63.4%, 64.3%, and 58.3% in the benign, fibrocystic, fibroadenoma, and lactational change groups, respectively, compared with only 17.4% of cases in the carcinoma group. This suggests deregulation of the thyroid hormone in breast cancer. Theories for the possible role of thyroid hormone in the pathogenesis of breast cancer are discussed.Type I 5'-deiodinase was not shown to be differentially expressed in malignant versus nonmalignant groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed substantial reduction in the protein expression profile of THRs in malignant versus nonmalignant mammary epithelium suggesting a possible role in breast cancer development. The presence of THRs in mammary epithelium seems to be protective against the development of breast cancer. This could serve as a potential prognostic and therapeutic target for breast cancer.
Knower KC, Chand AL, Eriksson N, et al.Distinct nuclear receptor expression in stroma adjacent to breast tumors.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 142(1):211-23 [PubMed
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The interaction between breast tumor epithelial and stromal cells is vital for initial and recurrent tumor growth. While breast cancer-associated stromal cells provide a favorable environment for proliferation and metastasis, the molecular mechanisms contributing to this process are not fully understood. Nuclear receptors (NRs) are intracellular transcription factors that directly regulate gene expression. Little is known about the status of NRs in cancer-associated stroma. Nuclear Receptor Low-Density Taqman Arrays were used to compare the gene expression profiles of all 48 NR family members in a collection of primary cultured cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) obtained from estrogen receptor (ER)α positive breast cancers (n = 9) and normal breast adipose fibroblasts (NAFs) (n = 7). Thirty-three of 48 NRs were expressed in both the groups, while 11 NRs were not detected in either. Three NRs (dosage-sensitive sex reversal, adrenal hypoplasia critical region, on chromosome X, gene 1 (DAX-1); estrogen-related receptor beta (ERR-β); and RAR-related orphan receptor beta (ROR-β)) were only detected in NAFs, while one NR (liver receptor homolog-1 (LRH-1)) was unique to CAFs. Of the NRs co-expressed, four were significantly down-regulated in CAFs compared with NAFs (RAR-related orphan receptor-α (ROR-α); Thyroid hormone receptor-β (TR-β); vitamin D receptor (VDR); and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ)). Quantitative immunohistochemistry for LRH-1, TR-β, and PPAR-γ proteins in stromal fibroblasts from an independent panel of breast cancers (ER-positive (n = 15), ER-negative (n = 15), normal (n = 14)) positively correlated with mRNA expression profiles. The differentially expressed NRs identified in tumor stroma are key mediators in aromatase regulation and subsequent estrogen production. Our findings reveal a distinct pattern of NR expression that therefore fits with a sustained and increased local estrogen microenvironment in ER-positive tumors. NRs in CAFs may provide a new avenue for the development of intratumoral-targeted therapies in breast cancer.
Lin YH, Liao CJ, Huang YH, et al.Thyroid hormone receptor represses miR-17 expression to enhance tumor metastasis in human hepatoma cells.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(38):4509-18 [PubMed
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are thought to control tumor metastasis through direct interactions with target genes. Thyroid hormone (T3) and its receptor (TR) are involved in cell growth and cancer progression. However, the issue of whether miRNAs participate in T3/TR-mediated tumor migration is yet to be established. In the current study, we demonstrated that T3/TR negatively regulates mature miR-17 transcript expression, both in vitro and in vivo. Luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays localized the regions responding to TR-mediated repression to positions -2234/-2000 of the miR-17 promoter sequence. Overexpression of miR-17 markedly inhibited cell migration and invasion in vitro and in vivo, mediated via suppression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-3. Moreover, p-AKT expression was increased in miR-17-knockdown cells that led to enhanced cell invasion, which was blocked by LY294002. Notably, low miR-17 expression was evident in highly metastatic cells. The cell migration ability was increased by T3, but partially reduced upon miR-17 overexpression. Notably, TRα1 was frequently upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) samples and associated with low overall survival (P=0.023). miR-17 expression was significantly negatively associated with TRα1 (P=0.033) and MMP3 (P=0.043) in HCC specimens. Data from our study suggest that T3/TR, miR-17, p-AKT and MMP3 activities are interlinked in the regulation of cancer cell metastasis.
Li L, Lee KJ, Choi BC, Baek KHRelationship between leptin receptor and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Gene. 2013; 527(1):71-4 [PubMed
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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders, which is involved in the multi-system disease, and its etiology is still not clearly understood. It is currently considered that not only the genetic factors but also the environment factors play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of PCOS. Obesity plays an important role through the insulin, leptin and endocannabinoid system in the pathological process of PCOS, leading to more severe clinical manifestations. The aim of our present study is to investigate whether there is association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of Gln223Arg and Pro1019Pro in the leptin receptor gene (LEPR) and PCOS in a Korean population. Interestingly, a significant association was found between the Pro1019Pro in LEPR gene and PCOS, and a highly significant association was found between the Gln223Arg in LEPR gene and PCOS (P=0.033, OR=1.523, 95% confidence interval and P<0.0001, OR=0.446, 95% confidence interval). Moreover, genotype combination and haplotype analyses indicate that Gln223Arg and Pro1019Pro polymorphisms of LEPR are significantly associated with the risk of PCOS.
Jacot W, Fiche M, Zaman K, et al.The HER2 amplicon in breast cancer: Topoisomerase IIA and beyond.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1836(1):146-57 [PubMed
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HER2 gene amplification is observed in about 15% of breast cancers. The subgroup of HER2-positive breast cancers appears to be heterogeneous and presents complex patterns of gene amplification at the locus on chromosome 17q12-21. The molecular variations within the chromosome 17q amplicon and their clinical implications remain largely unknown. Besides the well-known TOP2A gene encoding Topoisomerase IIA, other genes might also be amplified and could play functional roles in breast cancer development and progression. This review will focus on the current knowledge concerning the HER2 amplicon heterogeneity, its clinical and biological impact and the pitfalls associated with the evaluation of gene amplifications at this locus, with particular attention to TOP2A and the link between TOP2A and anthracycline benefit. In addition it will discuss the clinical and biological implications of the amplification of ten other genes at this locus (MED1, STARD3, GRB7, THRA, RARA, IGFPB4, CCR7, KRT20, KRT19 and GAST) in breast cancer.
Nguyen-Lefebvre AT, Leprun G, Morin V, et al.V-erbA generates ribosomes devoid of RPL11 and regulates translational activity in avian erythroid progenitors.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(12):1581-9 [PubMed
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The v-erbA oncogene transforms chicken erythrocytic progenitors (T2EC) by blocking their differentiation and freezing them in a state of self-renewal. Transcriptomes of T2EC, expressing either v-erbA or a non-transforming form of v-erbA (S61G), were compared using serial analysis of gene expression and some, but not all, mRNA-encoding ribosomal proteins were seen to be affected by v-erbA. These results suggest that this oncogene could modulate the composition of ribosomes. In the present study, we demonstrate, using two-dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis, that v-erbA-expressing cells have a lower amount of RPL11 associated with the ribosomes. The presence of ribosomes devoid of RPL11 in v-erbA-expressing cells was further confirmed by immunoprecipitation. In order to assess the possible impact of these specialized ribosomes on the translational activity, we analyzed proteomes of either v-erbA or S61G-expressing cells using 2D/mass spectrometry, and identified nine proteins present in differing amounts within these cells. Among these proteins, we focused on HSP70 because of its involvement in erythroid differentiation. Our results indicate that, in v-erbA-expressing cells, hsp70 is not only transcribed but also translated more efficiently, as shown by polyribosome fractionation experiments. We demonstrate here, for the first time, the existence of ribosomes with different protein components, notably ribosomes devoid of RPL11, and a regulation of mRNA translation depending on v-erbA oncogene expression.
Vacca M, Murzilli S, Salvatore L, et al.Neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 promotes proliferation of quiescent hepatocytes.
Gastroenterology. 2013; 144(7):1518-1529.e3 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND & AIMS: Studies of the transcriptional networks that regulate nuclear receptor-mediated proliferation of quiescent hepatocytes could lead to new information about liver growth and hepatoprotective strategies.
METHODS: We used quantitative real-time PCR to analyze expression of neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 (Nor-1) and its target genes during liver regeneration after hepatectomy in mice, and in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) samples from patients. We used adenoviral vectors to express Nor-1 in normal liver (Ad/CMV/V5-Nor-1), or reduce its level with small hairpin RNAs (Ad/BLOCK-iT/Nor-1(small hairpin RNA)) after partial hepatectomy.
RESULTS: Levels of Nor-1 messenger RNA and protein, and transcription of Nor-1 target genes (Ccnd1 and Vcam-1), increased during the late priming and proliferative phases of liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. Levels of NOR-1 messenger RNA and transcription of its target gene CCND1 and of the NOR-1 subfamily member NUR-77 also increased in human HCC samples compared with paired HCC-free tissue. Ad-Nor-1(small hairpin RNA) reduced the hepatocyte proliferation after hepatectomy. Overexpression of Nor-1 in normal livers of mice induced proliferation of quiescent hepatocytes independently of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α signaling. In gene expression profile analysis, Nor-1 altered expression of genes involved in the cell cycle, proliferation, and tumorigenesis.
CONCLUSIONS: In mice, the orphan nuclear receptor Nor-1 activates proliferation of quiescent hepatocytes and is required for hepatocyte proliferation after partial hepatectomy. Nor-1 and its gene targets are also up-regulated in human HCC samples. Nor-1 activates a transcriptional program that induces hepatocyte proliferation independently of inflammatory signaling pathways.
Jiao B, Ren ZH, Liu P, et al.8-CPT-cAMP/all-trans retinoic acid targets t(11;17) acute promyelocytic leukemia through enhanced cell differentiation and PLZF/RARα degradation.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(9):3495-500 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The refractoriness of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) with t(11;17)(q23;q21) to all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-based therapy concerns clinicians and intrigues basic researchers. By using a murine leukemic model carrying both promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger/retinoic acid receptor-α (PLZF/RARα) and RARα/PLZF fusion genes, we discovered that 8-chlorophenylthio adenosine-3', 5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-CPT-cAMP) enhances cellular differentiation and improves gene trans-activation by ATRA in leukemic blasts. Mechanistically, in combination with ATRA, 8-CPT-cAMP activates PKA, causing phosphorylation of PLZF/RARα at Ser765 and resulting in increased dissociation of the silencing mediator for retinoic acid and thyroid hormone receptors/nuclear receptor corepressor from PLZF/RARα. This process results in changes of local chromatin and transcriptional reactivation of the retinoic acid pathway in leukemic cells. Meanwhile, 8-CPT-cAMP also potentiated ATRA-induced degradation of PLZF/RARα through its Ser765 phosphorylation. In vivo treatment of the t(11;17) APL mouse model demonstrated that 8-CPT-cAMP could significantly improve the therapeutic effect of ATRA by targeting a leukemia-initiating cell activity. This combined therapy, which induces enhanced differentiation and oncoprotein degradation, may benefit t(11;17) APL patients.
Muscat GE, Eriksson NA, Byth K, et al.Research resource: nuclear receptors as transcriptome: discriminant and prognostic value in breast cancer.
Mol Endocrinol. 2013; 27(2):350-65 [PubMed
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To identify biologically relevant groupings or clusters of nuclear receptors (NR) that are associated with breast neoplasia, with potentially diagnostic, discriminant or prognostic value, we quantitated mRNA expression levels of all 48 members of the human NR superfamily by TaqMan low-density array analysis in 116 curated breast tissue samples, including pre- and postmenopausal normal breast and both ERα(+) and ERα(-) tumor tissue. In addition, we have determined NR levels in independent cohorts of tamoxifen-treated ERα(+) and ERα(-) tissue samples. There were differences in relative NR mRNA expression between neoplastic and normal breast, and between ER(+) and ER(-) tumors. First, there is overexpression of the NUR77 subgroup and EAR2 in neoplastic breast. Second, we identify a signature of five NR (ERα, EAR2, NUR77, TRα, and RARγ) that classifies breast samples with more than 97% cross-validated accuracy into normal or cancer classes. Third, we find a novel negative association between five NR (TRβ, NUR77, RORγ, COUP-TFII, and LRH1) and histological grade. Finally, four NR (COUP-TFII, TRβ, PPARγ, and MR) are significant predictors of metastasis-free survival in tamoxifen-treated breast cancers, independent of ER expression. The present study highlights the discriminant and prognostic value of NR in breast cancer; identifies novel, clinically relevant, NR signatures; and highlights NR signaling pathways with potential roles in breast cancer pathophysiology and as new therapeutic targets.
Thyroid hormone receptors (TR) are prototypes of nuclear transcription factors that regulate the expression of target genes. These receptors play an important role in many physiological processes. Moreover, a dysfunction of these proteins is often implicated in several human diseases and malignancies. Here we report genetic variations and alterations of the TRs that have been described in the literature as well as their potential role in the development of some human diseases including cancers. The functional effects of some mutations and polymorphisms in TRs on disease susceptibility, especially on cancer risk, are now established. Therefore, further investigations are needed in order to use these receptors as therapeutic targets or as biological markers to decide on appropriate forms of treatment.
BACKGROUND: The genetic pathways of aggressive changes of bone tumors are still poorly understood. It is very important to analyze DNA copy number alterations (DCNAs), to identify the molecular events in the step of progression to the aggressive change of bone tissue.
METHODS: Genome-wide array-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) was used to investigate DCNAs of 14 samples from 13 aggressive bone tumors, such as giant cell tumors (GCTs) and osteosarcoma (OS), etc.
RESULTS: Primary aggressive bone tumors had copy number gains of 17.8±12.7% in the genome, and losses of 17.3±11.4% in 287 target clones (threshold for each DCNA: ≦085, 1.15≦). Genetic unstable cases, which were defined by the total DCNAs aberration ≧30%, were identified in 9 of 13 patients (3 of 7 GCTs and all malignant tumors). High-level amplification of TGFβ2, CCND3, WI-6509, SHGC-5557, TCL1A, CREBBP, HIC1, THRA, AFM217YD10, LAMA3, RUNX1 and D22S543, were commonly observed in aggressive bone tumors. On the other hand, NRAS, D2S447, RAF1, ROBO1, MYB, MOS, FGFR2, HRAS, D13S319, D13S327, D18S552, YES1 and DCC, were commonly low. We compared genetic instability between a primary OS and its metastatic site in Case #13. Metastatic lesion showed increased 9 DCNAs of remarkable change (m/p ratio ≧1.3 folds), compared to a primary lesion. D1S214, D1S1635, EXT1, AFM137XA11, 8 M16/SP6, CCND2, IGH, 282 M15/SP6, HIC1 and LAMA3, were overexpressed. We gave attention to HIC1 (17p13.3), which was common high amplification in this series.
CONCLUSION: Our results may provide several entry points for the identification of candidate genes associated with aggressive change of bone tumors. Especially, the locus 17p11-13 including HIC1 close to p53 was common high amplification in this series and review of the literature.
In spite of recent advances in molecular diagnostic techniques and expanded indications for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains a major challenge. In the last decade, several recurrent genetic abnormalities and gene mutations with prognostic implications have been identified. This has led to improved informed treatment decisions. However, there has been limited change in the use of nonspecific cytotoxic chemotherapy and mortality rates continue to be unacceptably high, with 5 year overall survival rates of older AML patients at 30% or less. Whole-genome sequencing offers hope for greater diagnostic accuracy and is likely to lead to further characterization of disease subsets with differential outcome and response to treatment. The holy grail of personalized targeted therapy for the individual AML patient, while minimizing toxicity and prolonging survival, appears closer than ever.
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) and ARS-interacting multifunctional proteins (AIMPs) exhibit remarkable functional versatility beyond their catalytic activities in protein synthesis. Their non-canonical functions have been pathologically linked to cancers. Here we described our integrative genome-wide analysis of ARSs to show cancer-associated activities in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor. We first selected 23 ARS/AIMPs (together referred to as ARSN), 124 cancer-associated druggable target genes (DTGs) and 404 protein-protein interactors (PPIs) of ARSs using NCI's cancer gene index. 254 GBM affymetrix microarray data in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used to identify the probe sets whose expression were most strongly correlated with survival (Kaplan-Meier plots versus survival times, log-rank t-test <0.05). The analysis identified 122 probe sets as survival signatures, including 5 of ARSN (VARS, QARS, CARS, NARS, FARS), and 115 of DTGs and PPIs (PARD3, RXRB, ATP5C1, HSP90AA1, CD44, THRA, TRAF2, KRT10, MED12, etc). Of note, 61 survival-related probes were differentially expressed in three different prognosis subgroups in GBM patients and showed correlation with established prognosis markers such as age and phenotypic molecular signatures. CARS and FARS also showed significantly higher association with different molecular networks in GBM patients. Taken together, our findings demonstrate evidence for an ARSN biology-dominant contribution in the biology of GBM.
Marchini S, Poynor E, Barakat RR, et al.The zinc finger gene ZIC2 has features of an oncogene and its overexpression correlates strongly with the clinical course of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 18(16):4313-24 [PubMed
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PURPOSE: Epithelial ovarian tumors (EOT) are among the most lethal of malignancies in women. We have previously identified ZIC2 as expressed at a higher level in samples of a malignant form (MAL) of EOT than in samples of a form with low malignant potential (LMP). We have now investigated the role of ZIC2 in driving tumor growth and its association with clinical outcomes.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: ZIC2 expression levels were analyzed in two independent tumor tissue collections of LMP and MAL. In vitro experiments aimed to test the role of ZIC2 as a transforming gene. Cox models were used to correlate ZIC2 expression with clinical endpoints.
RESULTS: ZIC2 expression was about 40-fold in terms of mRNA and about 17-fold in terms of protein in MAL (n = 193) versus LMP (n = 39) tumors. ZIC2 mRNA levels were high in MAL cell lines but undetectable in LMP cell lines. Overexpression of ZIC2 was localized to the nucleus. ZIC2 overexpression increases the growth rate and foci formation of NIH3T3 cells and stimulates anchorage-independent colony formation; downregulation of ZIC2 decreases the growth rate of MAL cell lines. Zinc finger domains 1 and 2 are required for transforming activity. In stage I MAL, ZIC2 expression was significantly associated with overall survival in both univariate (P = 0.046) and multivariate model (P = 0.049).
CONCLUSIONS: ZIC2, a transcription factor related to the sonic hedgehog pathway, is a strong discriminant between MAL and LMP tumors: it may be a major determinant of outcome of EOTs.
Flucke U, Tops BB, Verdijk MA, et al.NR4A3 rearrangement reliably distinguishes between the clinicopathologically overlapping entities myoepithelial carcinoma of soft tissue and cellular extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma.
Virchows Arch. 2012; 460(6):621-8 [PubMed
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Myoepithelial carcinoma of soft tissue (MEC) and cellular extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (cEMC) share striking similarities. In this paper, we compare ten MECs with five cEMCs. MEC patients had an equal gender distribution. The age range was 15-76 years (mean, 42 years). Tumours were located on extremities, pelvic girdle, vulva and neck. Follow-up, available for nine patients, ranged from 4 to 85 months (mean, 35 months). Five patients were alive without evidence of disease, two were alive with disease and two died 8 months after the initial diagnosis. cEMCs were from three males and two females with an age range of 37-82 years (mean, 57 years); they presented in extremities, shoulder and paravertebral/cervical. Follow-up, available for four patients, ranged from 6 to 220 months (mean, 61 months). All patients were alive, two with recurrences and/or metastases and two without evidence of disease. Morphologically, the distinction between these two entities was difficult since all cases exhibited features typically seen in myoepithelial tumours. Immunohistochemically, MECs expressed pan-keratin (80 %), epithelial membrane antigen (EMA; 57 %), S100 (50 %), alpha-smooth muscle actin (ASMA; 75 %), calponin (67 %) and p63 (25 %). S100 and EMA were expressed in 40 % of cEMC cases respectively with additional immunoreactivity for p63, ASMA and glial fibrillary acidic protein in one case. Pan-keratin was negative in all neoplasms. NR4A3 rearrangement was present in four of four cEMCs and in none of the MECs. In contrast, three of nine (33 %) MECs and four of five (80 %) cEMCs showed an EWSR1 rearrangement. In summary, MECs and cEMCs share clinical, morphological, immunohistochemical and genetic characteristics. The pathognomic rearrangement of NR4A3 is a useful diagnostic feature in identifying cEMCs.
Uboldi S, Calura E, Beltrame L, et al.A systems biology approach to characterize the regulatory networks leading to trabectedin resistance in an in vitro model of myxoid liposarcoma.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(4):e35423 [PubMed
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Trabectedin, a new antitumor compound originally derived from a marine tunicate, is clinically effective in soft tissue sarcoma. The drug has shown a high selectivity for myxoid liposarcoma, characterized by the translocation t(12;16)(q13; p11) leading to the expression of FUS-CHOP fusion gene. Trabectedin appears to act interfering with mechanisms of transcription regulation. In particular, the transactivating activity of FUS-CHOP was found to be impaired by trabectedin treatment. Even after prolonged response resistance occurs and thus it is important to elucidate the mechanisms of resistance to trabectedin. To this end we developed and characterized a myxoid liposarcoma cell line resistant to trabectedin (402-91/ET), obtained by exposing the parental 402-91 cell line to stepwise increases in drug concentration. The aim of this study was to compare mRNAs, miRNAs and proteins profiles of 402-91 and 402-91/ET cells through a systems biology approach. We identified 3,083 genes, 47 miRNAs and 336 proteins differentially expressed between 402-91 and 402-91/ET cell lines. Interestingly three miRNAs among those differentially expressed, miR-130a, miR-21 and miR-7, harbored CHOP binding sites in their promoter region. We used computational approaches to integrate the three regulatory layers and to generate a molecular map describing the altered circuits in sensitive and resistant cell lines. By combining transcriptomic and proteomic data, we reconstructed two different networks, i.e. apoptosis and cell cycle regulation, that could play a key role in modulating trabectedin resistance. This approach highlights the central role of genes such as CCDN1, RB1, E2F4, TNF, CDKN1C and ABL1 in both pre- and post-transcriptional regulatory network. The validation of these results in in vivo models might be clinically relevant to stratify myxoid liposarcoma patients with different sensitivity to trabectedin treatment.
Park E, Gong EY, Romanelli MG, Lee KSuppression of estrogen receptor-alpha transactivation by thyroid transcription factor-2 in breast cancer cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012; 421(3):532-7 [PubMed
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Estrogen receptors (ERs), which mediate estrogen actions, regulate cell growth and differentiation of a variety of normal tissues and hormone-responsive tumors through interaction with cellular factors. In this study, we show that thyroid transcription factor-2 (TTF-2) is expressed in mammary gland and acts as ERα co-repressor. TTF-2 inhibited ERα transactivation in a dose-dependent manner in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. In addition, TTF-2 directly bound to and formed a complex with ERα, colocalizing with ERα in the nucleus. In MCF-7/TTF-2 stable cell lines, TTF-2 repressed the expression of endogenous ERα target genes such as pS2 and cyclin D1 by interrupting ERα binding to target promoters and also significantly decreased cell proliferation. Taken together, these data suggest that TTF-2 may modulate the function of ERα as a corepressor and play a role in ER-dependent proliferation of mammary cells.
Intestinal homeostasis results from complex cross-regulation of signaling pathways; their alteration induces intestinal tumorigenesis. Previously, we found that the thyroid hormone nuclear receptor TRα1 activates and synergizes with the WNT pathway, inducing crypt cell proliferation and promoting tumorigenesis. Here, we investigated the mechanisms and implications of the cross-regulation between these two pathways in gut tumorigenesis in vivo and in vitro. We analyzed TRα1 and WNT target gene expression in healthy mucosae and tumors from mice overexpressing TRα1 in the intestinal epithelium in a WNT-activated genetic background (vil-TRα1/Apc mice). Interestingly, increased levels of β-catenin/Tcf4 complex in tumors from vil-TRα1/Apc mice blocked TRα1 transcriptional activity. This observation was confirmed in Caco2 cells, in which TRα1 functionality on a luciferase reporter-assay was reduced by the overexpression of β-catenin/Tcf4. Moreover, TRα1 physically interacted with β-catenin/Tcf4 in the nuclei of these cells. Using molecular approaches, we demonstrated that the binding of TRα1 to its DNA target sequences within the tumors was impaired, while it was newly recruited to WNT target genes. In conclusion, our observations strongly suggest that increased β-catenin/Tcf4 levels i) correlated with reduced TRα1 transcriptional activity on its target genes and, ii) were likely responsible for the shift of TRα1 binding on WNT targets. Together, these data suggest a novel mechanism for the tumor-promoting activity of the TRα1 nuclear receptor.
BACKGROUND: Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) are ligand-dependent transcription factors that mediate the actions of the thyroid hormone (T3) in development, growth, and differentiation. The THRA and THRB genes encode several TR isoforms that express in a tissue- and development-dependent manner. In the past decades, a significant advance has been made in the understanding of TR actions in maintaining normal cellular functions. However, the roles of TRs in human cancer are less well understood. The reduced expression of TRs because of hypermethylation, or deletion of TR genes found in human cancers suggests that TRs could function as tumor suppressors. A close association of somatic mutations of TRs with human cancers further supports the notion that the loss of normal functions of TR could lead to uncontrolled growth and loss of cell differentiation.
SCOPE OF REVIEW: In line with the findings from association studies in human cancers, mice deficient in total functional TRs (Thra1(-/-)Thrb(-/-) mice) or with a targeted homozygous mutation of the Thrb gene (denoted PV; Thrb(PV/PV) mice) spontaneously develop metastatic thyroid carcinoma. This review will examine the evidence learned from these genetically engineered mice that provided strong evidence to support the critical role of TRs in human cancer.
MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: Loss of normal functions of TR by deletion or by mutations could contribute to cancer development, progression and metastasis.
GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Novel mechanistic insights are revealed in how aberrant TR activities lead to carcinogenesis. Mouse models of thyroid cancer provide opportunities to identify molecular targets as potential treatment modalities. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Thyroid hormone signalling.
Erba HP, Pham DC, Zaiden R, et al.Improving frontline treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia: emerging evidence for use of nilotinib and dasatinib.
Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2011; 9(10):734-45 [PubMed
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The approval of imatinib in 2001 changed the landscape of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) management, becoming the standard of care and improving the survival rates of patients. With the prevalent use of imatinib worldwide, it was observed that up to one-third of patients are resistant to or intolerant of imatinib therapy, fueling the search for safer and more effective agents. The newer and more potent tyrosine kinase inhibitors nilotinib and dasatinib were first indicated for the treatment of imatinib-resistant/-intolerant patients, for whom these agents are both safe and efficacious. More recent clinical studies have examined nilotinib and dasatinib in the frontline setting in newly diagnosed patients. Data reported from the phase III ENESTnd (Evaluating Nilotinib Efficacy and Safety in Clinical Trials-Newly Diagnosed Patients) study and the DASISION (Dasatinib versus Imatinib in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Chronic-phase CML) trial support the use of nilotinib and dasatinib as potential new standards for frontline care of newly diagnosed patients with CML in chronic phase. Furthermore, both agents have received regulatory approval for use as frontline agents. These agents have demonstrated significantly superior efficacy compared with imatinib, as measured by complete cytogenetic response and major molecular response rates. In addition, progression to advanced disease was significantly lower for nilotinib, and a trend toward lower progression was observed with dasatinib. Although both nilotinib and dasatinib are generally well tolerated in the frontline setting, they have different safety profiles that may affect their selection as treatment. Understanding the efficacy, safety profiles, and patterns of resistance to various BCR-ABL1 mutations of these newer agents, as well as implementing management strategies to treat adverse events, will help physicians to provide the best therapy options for their patients with CML.
Nanba K, Usui T, Minamiguchi S, et al.Two rare TSH receptor amino acid substitutions in toxic thyroid adenomas.
Endocr J. 2012; 59(1):13-9 [PubMed
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Toxic adenoma and toxic multinodular goiter (TMNG) are common causes of hyperthyroidism in iodine-deficient regions, but they are relatively rare in iodine-sufficient regions, including Japan. Constitutive activating mutations of the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) gene and adenylate cyclase-stimulating G α protein (GNAS) gene are frequent in these thyrotoxic disorders. Here we report two cases of rare TSHR gene mutations in Japanese thyrotoxicosis patients. In Case 1, we observed multiple toxic nodules with thyrotoxicosis, and in Case 2, we detected a solitary toxic nodule in an 8-year-old girl. In both cases, ultrasonography showed thyroid nodules and scintigraphy revealed increased uptake. Total thyroidectomy was performed for Case 1 and a hemi-thyroidectomy was performed for Case 2. Genetic analysis of the resected tissues revealed an I568F mutation in Case 1 and a S281I mutation in the TSHR gene in Case 2. The I568F mutation was located in the second extracellular loop, and the S281I mutation was located in the N-terminal extracellular domain of the TSH receptor. In Case 1, the mutation was restricted to the largest nodule, and was not detected in other functioning nodules or non-nodule thyroid tissue. Bi-allelic expression of the TSHR gene was confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in both tumors. Both the I568F and S281I mutations were studied previously in vitro, and were revealed to cause basal activation of the protein kinase A pathway. Case 1 represents the second reported case of an I568F mutation and Case 2 represents the third reported case of an S281I mutation.
To further our understanding of the genetic basis of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), we determined the coding exon sequences of ∼ 18 000 protein-encoding genes in 8 patients with secondary AML. Here we report the discovery of novel somatic mutations in the transcriptional corepressor gene BCORL1 that is located on the X-chromosome. Analysis of BCORL1 in an unselected cohort of 173 AML patients identified a total of 10 mutated cases (6%) with BCORL1 mutations, whereas analysis of 19 AML cell lines uncovered 4 (21%) BCORL1 mutated cell lines. The majority (87%) of the mutations in BCORL1 were predicted to inactivate the gene product as a result of nonsense mutations, splice site mutation, or out-of-frame insertions or deletions. These results indicate that BCORL1 by genetic criteria is a novel candidate tumor suppressor gene, joining the growing list of genes recurrently mutated in AML.
Gnoni GV, Rochira A, Leone A, et al.3,5,3'triiodo-L-thyronine induces SREBP-1 expression by non-genomic actions in human HEP G2 cells.
J Cell Physiol. 2012; 227(6):2388-97 [PubMed
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Liver is an important target for thyroid hormone actions. T(3) exerts its effects by two mechanisms: (i) Genomic actions consisting of T(3) link to nuclear receptors that bind responsive elements in the promoter of target genes, (ii) non-genomic actions including integrin αvb3 receptor-mediated MAPK/ERK and PI3K/Akt/mTOR-C1 activation. SREBP-1a, SREBP-1c, and SREBP-2 are transcription factors involved in the regulation of lipogenic genes. We show in Hep G2 cells that T(3) determined a dose- and time-dependent increase in the level of the precursor form of SREBP-1 without affecting SREBP-1 mRNA abundance. T(3) also induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, Akt and of mTOR-C1 target S6K-P70, and the cytosol-to-membrane translocation of PKC-α. Modulation of SREBP-1 protein level by T(3) was dependent on MAPK/ERK, PI3K/Akt/mTOR-C1 pathway activation since the MEK inhibitor PD98059 or the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 abolished the stimulatory effect of T(3) . Conversely, the effect of T(3) on SREBP-1 level was enhanced by using rapamycin, mTOR-C1 inhibitor. These data suggest a negative control of mTOR-C1 target S6K-P70 on PI3K/Akt pathway. The effect of T(3) on SREBP-1 content increased also by using PKC inhibitors. These inhibitors increased the action of T(3) on Akt phosphorylation suggesting that conventional PKCs may work as negative regulators of the T(3) -dependent SREBP-1 increase. T(3) effects were partially abrogated by tetrac, an inhibitor of the T(3) -αvβ3 receptor interaction and partially evoked by T(3) analog T(3) -agarose. These findings support a model in which T(3) activates intracellular signaling pathways which may be involved in the increment of SREBP-1 level through an IRES-mediated translation mechanism.
Uboldi S, Bernasconi S, Romano M, et al.Characterization of a new trabectedin-resistant myxoid liposarcoma cell line that shows collateral sensitivity to methylating agents.
Int J Cancer. 2012; 131(1):59-69 [PubMed
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Myxoid Liposarcomas (MLS), characterized by the expression of FUS-CHOP fusion gene are clinically very sensitive to the DNA binding antitumor agent, trabectedin. However, resistance eventually occurs, preventing disease eradication. To investigate the mechanisms of resistance, a trabectedin resistant cell line, 402-91/ET, was developed. The resistance to trabectedin was not related to the expression of MDR related proteins, uptake/efflux of trabectedin or GSH levels that were similar in parental and resistant cells. The 402-91/ET cells were hypersensitive to UV light because of a nucleotide excision repair defect: XPG complementation decreased sensitivity to UV rays, but only partially to trabectedin. 402-91/ET cells showed collateral sensitivity to temozolomide due to the lack of O(6) -methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) activity, related to the hypermethylation of MGMT promoter. In 402-91 cells chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays showed that FUS-CHOP was bound to the PTX3 and FN1 gene promoters, as previously described, and trabectedin caused FUS-CHOP detachment from DNA. Here we report that, in contrast, in 402-91/ET cells, FUS-CHOP was not bound to these promoters. Differences in the modulation of transcription of genes involved in different pathways including signal transduction, apoptosis and stress response between the two cell lines were found. Trabectedin activates the transcription of genes involved in the adipogenic-program such as c/EBPα and β, in 402-91 but not in 402-91/ET cell lines. The collateral sensitivity of 402-91/ET to temozolomide provides the rationale to investigate the potential use of methylating agents in MLS patients resistant to trabectedin.
Pyriplatin, cis-diammine(pyridine)chloroplatinum(II), a platinum-based antitumor drug candidate, is a cationic compound with anticancer properties in mice and is a substrate for organic cation transporters that facilitate oxaliplatin uptake. Unlike cisplatin and oxaliplatin, which form DNA cross-links, pyriplatin binds DNA in a monofunctional manner. The antiproliferative effects of pyriplatin, alone and in combination with known anticancer drugs (paclitaxel, gemcitabine, SN38, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil), were evaluated in a panel of epithelial cancer cell lines, with direct comparison to cisplatin and oxaliplatin. The effects of pyriplatin on gene expression and platinum-DNA adduct formation were also investigated. Pyriplatin exhibited cytotoxic effects against human cell lines after 24 hours (IC(50) = 171-443 μmol/L), with maximum cytotoxicity in HOP-62 non-small cell lung cancer cells after 72 hours (IC(50) = 24 μmol/L). Pyriplatin caused a G(2)-M cell cycle block similar to that induced by cisplatin and oxaliplatin. Induction of apoptotsis and DNA damage response was supported by Annexin-V analysis and detection of phosphorylated Chk2 and H2AX. Treatment with pyriplatin increased CDKN1/p21 and decreased ERCC1 mRNA expression. On a platinum-per-nucleotide basis, pyriplatin-DNA adducts are less cytotoxic than those of cisplatin and oxaliplatin. The mRNA levels of genes implicated in drug transport and DNA damage repair, including GSTP1 and MSH2, correlate with pyriplatin cellular activity in the panel of cell lines. Synergy occurred for combinations of pyriplatin with paclitaxel. Because its spectrum of activity differs significantly from those of cisplatin or oxaliplatin, pyriplatin is a lead compound for developing novel drug candidates with cytotoxicity profiles unlike those of drugs currently in use.