Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 08 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Mutated Genes and Abnormal Protein Expression (4)

How to use this data tableClicking on the Gene or Topic will take you to a separate more detailed page. Sort this list by clicking on a column heading e.g. 'Gene' or 'Topic'.

CTNNB1 3p21 CTNNB, MRD19, armadillo -CTNNB1 and Hepatoblastoma
IGF2 11p15.5 IGF-II, PP9974, C11orf43 -IGF2 and Hepatoblastoma
SLC22A18 11p15.5 HET, ITM, BWR1A, IMPT1, TSSC5, ORCTL2, BWSCR1A, SLC22A1L, p45-BWR1A -SLC22A18 and Hepatoblastoma
ETV3 1q21-q23 PE1, METS, PE-1, bA110J1.4 -ETV3 and Hepatoblastoma

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications

Jia D, Dong R, Jing Y, et al.
Exome sequencing of hepatoblastoma reveals novel mutations and cancer genes in the Wnt pathway and ubiquitin ligase complex.
Hepatology. 2014; 60(5):1686-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Hepatoblastoma (HB) is the most common primary liver tumor in children. Mutations in the β-catenin gene that lead to constitutive activation of the Wnt pathway have been detected in a large proportion of HB tumors. To identify novel mutations in HB, we performed whole-exome sequencing of six paired HB tumors and their corresponding lymphocytes. This identified 24 somatic nonsynonymous mutations in 21 genes, many of which were novel, including three novel mutations targeting the CTNNB1 (G512V) and CAPRIN2 (R968H/S969C) genes in the Wnt pathway, and genes previously shown to be involved in the ubiquitin ligase complex (SPOP, KLHL22, TRPC4AP, and RNF169). Functionally, both the CTNNB1 (G512V) and CAPRIN2 (R968H/S969C) were observed to be gain-of-functional mutations, and the CAPRIN2 (R968H/S969C) was also shown to activate the Wnt pathway in HB cells. These findings suggested the activation of the Wnt pathway in HB, which was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining of the β-catenin in 42 HB tumors. We further used short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated interference to assess the effect of 21 mutated genes on HB cell survival. The results suggested that one novel oncogene (CAPRIN2) and three tumor suppressors (SPOP, OR5I1, and CDC20B) influence HB cell growth. Moreover, we found that SPOP S119N is a loss-of-function mutation in HB cells. We finally demonstrated that one of the mechanisms by which SPOP inhibits HB cell proliferation is through regulating CDKN2B expression.
CONCLUSION: These results extend the landscape of genetic alterations in HB and highlight the dysregulation of Wnt and ubiquitin pathways in HB tumorigenesis.

Rahmutulla B, Matsushita K, Satoh M, et al.
Alternative splicing of FBP-interacting repressor coordinates c-Myc, P27Kip1/cyclinE and Ku86/XRCC5 expression as a molecular sensor for bleomycin-induced DNA damage pathway.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(9):2404-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The far-upstream element-binding protein-interacting repressor (FIR) is a c-myc transcriptional suppressor. FIR is alternatively spliced to lack the transcriptional repression domain within exon 2 (FIRΔexon2) in colorectal cancers. FIR and FIRΔexon2 form homo- or heterodimers that complex with SAP155. SAP155, a subunit of the essential splicing factor 3b subcomplex in the spliceosome, is required for proper P27Kip1 pre-mRNA splicing, and P27Kip1 arrests cells at G1. In contrast, FIR was co-immunoprecipitated with Ku86 and DNA-PKcs. siRNA against Ku86/Ku70 decreased FIR and P27Kip1 expression, whereas siRNA against FIR decreased Ku86/XRCC5 and P27Kip1 expression. Thus the mechanical interaction of FIR/FIRΔexon2/SAP155 bridges c-myc and P27Kip1 expression, potentially integrates cell-cycle progression and c-myc transcription in cell. Bleomycin(BLM) is an anticancer agent that introduces DNA breaks. Because DNA breaks generate the recruitment of Ku86/Ku70 to bind to the broken DNA ends, the possible involvement of FIR and Ku86/Ku70 interaction in the BLM-induced DNA damage repair response was investigated in this study. First, BLM treatment reduced SAP155 expression and increased FIR and FIRΔexon2 mRNA expression as well as the ratio of FIRΔexon2:FIR in hepatoblastoma cells (HLE and HLF). Second, FIR or FIRΔexon2 adenovirus vectors (Ad-FIR or Ad-FIRΔexon2) increased Ku86/Ku70 and P27Kip1 expression in vitro. Third, BLM decreased P27Kip1 protein expression, whereas increased P27Kip1 and γH2AX expression with Ad-FIRΔexon2. Together, the interaction of FIR/SAP155 modulates FIR splicing and involves in cell-cycle control or cell fate via P27Kip1 and c-myc in BLM-induced DNA damage pathway. This novel function of FIR splicing will contribute to clinical studies of cancer management through elucidating the mechanical interaction of FIR/FIRΔexon2/SAP155 as a potential target for cancer treatment.

Gyugos M, Lendvai G, Kenessey I, et al.
MicroRNA expression might predict prognosis of epithelial hepatoblastoma.
Virchows Arch. 2014; 464(4):419-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatoblastoma (HB) is the most common primary liver cancer in childhood. The fetal and mixed embryonal/fetal epithelial subtypes of HB differ not only in grade of differentiation but probably also in prognosis. We aimed to determine microRNA (miRNA) expression patterns of the main subtypes of epithelial HBs to reveal differences and relate them to survival. We studied 20 cases of epithelial HB, subtyped as pure fetal (n = 12) or embryonal/fetal (n = 8). Tissues were sampled according to subtype to arrive at 15 purely fetal and eight purely embryonal samples (n = 8) and 15 samples of non-tumorous surrounding liver (SL). Relative expression of miR-17-5p, miR-18a, miR-21, miR-34a, miR-96, miR-122, miR-181a, miR-195, miR-210, miR-214, miR-221, miR-222, miR-223, and miR-224 was determined by TaqMan MicroRNA Assays applying miR-140 as reference. A higher level of miR-18a (p < 0.01) was found in embryonal samples than in fetal samples. Lower miR-17-5p, miR-195, miR-210, miR-214, and higher miR-221 levels were detected in fetal samples (p < 0.02) in comparison with SL samples, whereas a lower miR-122 level was observed in embryonal samples (p < 0.003). Histological subtype did not correlate with survival; however, high miR-21, low miR-222, and low miR-224 levels proved to be independently prognostic for HB with significantly increased overall survival (p < 0.03). The fetal and embryonal components of epithelial HB, as well as SL, revealed different miRNA expression patterns. Furthermore, miR-21, miR-222, and miR-224 levels predict overall survival of HB patients regardless of epithelial subtype.

Dong R, Jia D, Xue P, et al.
Genome-wide analysis of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) expression in hepatoblastoma tissues.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e85599 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have crucial roles in cancer biology. We performed a genome-wide analysis of lncRNA expression in hepatoblastoma tissues to identify novel targets for further study of hepatoblastoma. Hepatoblastoma and normal liver tissue samples were obtained from hepatoblastoma patients. The genome-wide analysis of lncRNA expression in these tissues was performed using a 4×180 K lncRNA microarray and Sureprint G3 Human lncRNA Chips. Quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) was performed to confirm these results. The differential expressions of lncRNAs and mRNAs were identified through fold-change filtering. Gene Ontology (GO) and pathway analyses were performed using the standard enrichment computation method. Associations between lncRNAs and adjacent protein-coding genes were determined through complex transcriptional loci analysis. We found that 2736 lncRNAs were differentially expressed in hepatoblastoma tissues. Among these, 1757 lncRNAs were upregulated more than two-fold relative to normal tissues and 979 lncRNAs were downregulated. Moreover, in hepatoblastoma there were 420 matched lncRNA-mRNA pairs for 120 differentially expressed lncRNAs, and 167 differentially expressed mRNAs. The co-expression network analysis predicted 252 network nodes and 420 connections between 120 lncRNAs and 132 coding genes. Within this co-expression network, 369 pairs were positive, and 51 pairs were negative. Lastly, qRT-PCR data verified six upregulated and downregulated lncRNAs in hepatoblastoma, plus endothelial cell-specific molecule 1 (ESM1) mRNA. Our results demonstrated that expression of these aberrant lncRNAs could respond to hepatoblastoma development. Further study of these lncRNAs could provide useful insight into hepatoblastoma biology.

Fujita A, Ochi N, Fujimaki H, et al.
A novel WTX mutation in a female patient with osteopathia striata with cranial sclerosis and hepatoblastoma.
Am J Med Genet A. 2014; 164A(4):998-1002 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteopathia striata with cranial sclerosis (OSCS) is an X-linked dominant sclerosing bone dysplasia. Typically affected females show macrocephaly, characteristic facial appearance, cleft palate, mild learning difficulties, hearing loss, sclerosis of the long bones and skull, and longitudinal striations visible on radiographs of the long bones, pelvis and scapulae. Typically affected males usually die at the fetal or early neonatal stage. Because of its variable expressivity, which ranges from asymptomatic to fetal death, clinical diagnosis of OSCS can be difficult. Here, we identify a unique female patient presenting with severe macrocephaly, characteristic facial appearance, developmental delay, and hepatoblastoma. Exome sequencing identified a novel de novo nonsense mutation (c.1045C>T, p.Glu349*) in the WTX gene associated with OSCS. The OSCS diagnosis was confirmed in this patient based on the hallmark appearance of longitudinal striations in long bones when viewed by X-ray. WTX is also known as a tumor suppressor gene, and somatic mutations in that gene have been identified in Wilms tumors. In addition to this patient, although two patients with OSCS have been reported to have colorectal cancer or ovarian cancer, Wilms tumor has never been reported in association with this disorder. Tumor susceptibility in patients with OSCS is discussed.

Kosaki R, Takenouchi T, Takeda N, et al.
Somatic CTNNB1 mutation in hepatoblastoma from a patient with Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome and germline GPC3 mutation.
Am J Med Genet A. 2014; 164A(4):993-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome is a rare overgrowth syndrome caused by the GPC3 mutation at Xq26 and is clinically characterized by multiple congenital abnormalities, intellectual disability, pre/postnatal overgrowth, distinctive craniofacial features, macrocephaly, and organomegaly. Although this syndrome is known to be associated with a risk for embryonal tumors, similar to other overgrowth syndromes, the pathogenetic basis of this mode of tumorigenesis remains largely unknown. Here, we report a boy with Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome who had a germline loss-of function mutation in GPC3. At 9 months of age, he developed hepatoblastoma. A comparison of exome analysis results for the germline genome and for the tumor genome revealed a somatic mutation, p.Ile35Ser, within the degradation targeting box of β-catenin. The same somatic mutation in CTNNB1 has been repeatedly reported in hepatoblastoma and other cancers. This finding suggested that the CTNNB1 mutation in the tumor tissue represents a driver mutation and that both the GPC3 and the CTNNB1 mutations contributed to tumorigenesis in a clearly defined sequential manner in the propositus. The current observation of a somatic CTNNB1 mutation in a hepatoblastoma from a patient with a germline GPC3 mutation supports the notion that the mutation in GPC3 may influence one of the initial steps in tumorigenesis and the progression to hepatoblastoma.

Rumbajan JM, Maeda T, Souzaki R, et al.
Comprehensive analyses of imprinted differentially methylated regions reveal epigenetic and genetic characteristics in hepatoblastoma.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:608 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant methylation at imprinted differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in human 11p15.5 has been reported in many tumors including hepatoblastoma. However, the methylation status of imprinted DMRs in imprinted loci scattered through the human genome has not been analyzed yet in any tumors.
METHODS: The methylation statuses of 33 imprinted DMRs were analyzed in 12 hepatoblastomas and adjacent normal liver tissue by MALDI-TOF MS and pyrosequencing. Uniparental disomy (UPD) and copy number abnormalities were investigated with DNA polymorphisms.
RESULTS: Among 33 DMRs analyzed, 18 showed aberrant methylation in at least 1 tumor. There was large deviation in the incidence of aberrant methylation among the DMRs. KvDMR1 and IGF2-DMR0 were the most frequently hypomethylated DMRs. INPP5Fv2-DMR and RB1-DMR were hypermethylated with high frequencies. Hypomethylation was observed at certain DMRs not only in tumors but also in a small number of adjacent histologically normal liver tissue, whereas hypermethylation was observed only in tumor samples. The methylation levels of long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1) did not show large differences between tumor tissue and normal liver controls. Chromosomal abnormalities were also found in some tumors. 11p15.5 and 20q13.3 loci showed the frequent occurrence of both genetic and epigenetic alterations.
CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses revealed tumor-specific aberrant hypermethylation at some imprinted DMRs in 12 hepatoblastomas with additional suggestion for the possibility of hypomethylation prior to tumor development. Some loci showed both genetic and epigenetic alterations with high frequencies. These findings will aid in understanding the development of hepatoblastoma.

Akhavanfard S, Vargas SO, Han M, et al.
Inactivation of the tumor suppressor WTX in a subset of pediatric tumors.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(1):67-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
WTX is a tumor suppressor gene expressed during embryonic development and inactivated in 20-30% of cases of Wilms tumor, the most common pediatric kidney cancer. WTX has been implicated in several cellular processes including Wnt signaling, WT1 transcription, NRF2 degradation, and p53 function. Given that WTX is widely expressed during embryonic development and has been recently shown to regulate mesenchymal precursor cells in several organs, we tested for the potential involvement of WTX in a panel of pediatric tumors and adult sarcomas. A total of 353 tumors were screened for WTX deletions by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Discrete somatic WTX deletions were identified in two cases, one hepatoblastoma and one embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, and confirmed by array comparative genomic hybridization. Direct sequencing of the full WTX open reading frame in 24 hepatoblastomas and 21 embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas did not identify additional mutations in these tumor types. The presence of WTX mRNA was confirmed in hepatoblastomas and embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas without WTX deletions by RNA-in situ hybridization. Notably, tumors with evidence of WTX inactivation, Wilms tumor, hepatoblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, are primitive tumors that resemble undifferentiated precursor cells and are linked to overgrowth syndromes. These results indicate that WTX inactivation occurs in a wider variety of tumor types than previously appreciated and point to shared pathogenic mechanisms between a subset of pediatric malignancies.

Honda S, Miyagi H, Suzuki H, et al.
RASSF1A methylation indicates a poor prognosis in hepatoblastoma patients.
Pediatr Surg Int. 2013; 29(11):1147-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The RAS association domain family protein 1 (RASSF1A) is known to be frequently inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in cancers. This study investigated the association of RASSF1A methylation with clinical outcomes in hepatoblastoma patients and whether it is correlated with the histological phenotype of hepatoblastoma tumors.
METHODS: Seventy-four hepatoblastoma tumors were obtained from patients enrolled in the Japanese study group for pediatric liver tumor protocol-2. From nine formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens, we extracted DNA by dissection under a light microscope. We examined the methylation status of the RASSF1A promoter region by bisulfite pyrosequencing.
RESULTS: Twenty-five (33.8 %) hepatoblastoma tumors were classified as having methylated RASSF1A. The RASSF1A methylation was significantly associated with metastatic tumors and a poor prognosis. Despite the complete resection, five pretreatment extent of disease II tumors showed recurrence or distant metastasis postoperatively. Among these cases, four tumors were found to show RASSF1A methylation. When compared to histologically different types of cell, RASSF1A methylation values in samples of the normal liver, fetal type, and embryonal type, were significantly elevated in ascending order.
CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed that RASSF1A methylation is a significant prognostic indicator in hepatoblastomas, and it may become a promising molecular marker to stratify patients into appropriate risk groups.

Tan ZH, Lai A, Chen CK, et al.
Association of trisomy 18 with hepatoblastoma and its implications.
Eur J Pediatr. 2014; 173(12):1595-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Hepatoblastoma is a highly malignant embryonal liver tumor that occurs almost exclusively in infants and toddlers. Trisomy 18 is the second most common autosomal trisomy after trisomy 21 and is generally considered a lethal disorder. Ten cases of hepatoblastoma in children with trisomy 18 have been published to date. Here, we report on two female patients with trisomy 18 and pretreatment extent of disease (PRETEXT) stage 1 hepatoblastoma, which support the presence of a nonrandom association between hepatoblastoma and trisomy 18. Both patients underwent primary surgical resection without any neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. The histologies returned as pure fetal epithelial type, and combined fetal and embryonal epithelial type. There was no evidence of recurrence on serial abdominal ultrasound and serum alpha-fetoprotein levels on follow-up.
CONCLUSION: Primary surgical resection is a treatment approach that can be considered in children with trisomy 18 and PRETEXT stage 1 tumor. However, in view of the overall prognosis for trisomy 18, the decision on the optimal treatment is a delicate one and has to be individualized in the context of the best interests of the child.

Zhou S, Ranganathan S, Venkatramani R, et al.
Teratoid hepatoblastoma with abundant cholangioblastic component in a child with full trisomy 13.
Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2013 Nov-Dec; 16(6):438-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Teratoid hepatoblastoma is a rare histological subtype of hepatoblastoma. A 15-month-old girl with full trisomy 13 presented with a liver mass (6 × 4.4 × 3.4 cm). Histological examination showed a teratoid hepatoblastoma with very different differentiation patterns intermixed with each other. Approximately 30% of the tumor demonstrated a primitive glandular epithelium component, which had a moderate to well-differentiated adenocarcinoma-like morphology, and features of mucinous epithelium with a biliary immunophenotype. We designated it as cholangioblastic component. The child received 4 cycles of monotherapy with doxorubicin after complete resection and showed no evidence of residual tumor 8 months after surgery. Our case is not only the 1st report of hepatoblastoma in trisomy 13 but also represents a unique example with a large glandular epithelium component with cholangioblastic features. Increased awareness of this entity and further molecular studies are needed for better understanding of the pathogenesis of teratoid hepatoblastoma.

Mateos ME, Beyer K, López-Laso E, et al.
Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome type 1 and hepatoblastoma in a patient with a novel exon 2-4 duplication of the GPC3 gene.
Am J Med Genet A. 2013; 161A(5):1091-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in the gene encoding glypican (GPC) 3 appear to be responsible for most cases of Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome type 1. Duplication of the GPC4 gene has also been associated to this syndrome; however, no duplications involving GPC3 have been related. We describe a family that harbors a novel exon 2-4 duplication event leading to a truncating germline mutation of the GPC3 gene that, to our knowledge, has not been previously reported. GPC3 transcripts that carry this duplication bear non-functional proteins making its pathogenic role highly probable. The absence of a functional GPC3 may alter the normal differentiation of embryonal mesodermal tissues predisposing to the development of embryonal tumors, as the index case studied who developed a hepatoblastoma at age 9 months.

Calton EA, Temple IK, Mackay DJ, et al.
Hepatoblastoma in a child with a paternally-inherited ABCC8 mutation and mosaic paternal uniparental disomy 11p causing focal congenital hyperinsulinism.
Eur J Med Genet. 2013; 56(2):114-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatoblastoma is a tumour of early childhood occurring in association with genetic syndromes including Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) which results from dominance of paternally-inherited genes on chromosome 11p15. We report a child without clinical BWS, neonatally diagnosed with focal congenital hyperinsulinism resulting from a paternally-inherited recessively-acting mutation of ABCC8 and pancreatic paternal uniparental disomy (UPD) for chromosome 11p15, who subsequently developed hepatoblastoma. Genetic testing showed UPD 11p15 in the pancreas and liver but not systemically, allowing the expression of mutated ABCC8 in both tissues. Infants with large or multifocal forms of focal congenital hyperinsulinism may be at risk of BWS-like tumours due to mosaic UPD despite negative whole-blood and buccal DNA testing and tumour surveillance should be considered for this minority.

Horii M, Horiuchi H, Momoeda M, et al.
Hepatoblastoma in an infant with paternal uniparental disomy 14.
Congenit Anom (Kyoto). 2012; 52(4):219-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 29-year-old primigravida developed polyhydramnios at 24 weeks of gestation, requiring six serial amnioreductions. In addition, prenatal ultrasound examinations revealed a fetus with small stomach pouch, small thorax, slightly shortened limbs, and skin edema; paternal uniparental disomy 14(upd(14)pat) phenotype was suspected. At 37 weeks, the patient delivered a 2558 g female infant with characteristic facial features, webbed neck, thoracic deformity, abdominal wall defect, skin edema, overlapping fingers, placentomegaly, and small thorax with 'coat-hanger' appearance of the ribs on chest X-ray. A phenotype consistent with upd(14)pat was confirmed by DNA analysis. Although the infant's condition was initially stable, hepatoblastoma was subsequently detected and right hepatectomy was performed on day 224. On day 382, the infant was discharged with in-home respiratory management.

Moore SW, Tshifularo N, Grobbelaar J
Lessons from the hepatoblastoma-familial polyposis connection.
S Afr Med J. 2012; 102(11 Pt 2):888-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Approximately one-third of hepatoblastoma (HB) patients have associated congenital abnormalities, but familial recurrence is rare, except in association with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). This correlation may be missed if not actively sought, with implications for long-term outcome and management.
METHODS: We retrospectively investigated 3 families with an HB-familial polyposis connection, from a cohort of 113 FAP families (1989 - 2010). Data were analysed to assess clinical problem, treatment, complications and management. Long-term morbidity and functional outcome were analysed to identify management difficulties.
RESULTS: Three FAP families (2.65%) had an HB association. In one case, undiagnosed FAP at the time of HB diagnosis was only detected 5 years later, when the mother presented with advanced colorectal carcinoma. A chromosome 5 APC gene mutation (exon 15 codon 793 C→T) was then identified. In a second case, a non-related male child presented with a stage 4 multifocal HB with lung metastases. Genetic studies identified an APC gene mutation (exon 6 codon 232 C→T). Further family investigation showed >20 related FAP patients. A third HB-FAP association was identified in a known FAP family early in the study, prior to the availability of genetic testing.
CONCLUSION: Although a rare association, a family history of FAP in HB patients is an important 'hidden connection'. Germline variation may be outside the usual FAP gene site. Identifying families with unknown HB/FAP is important due to long-term management implications and follow-up.

Tomlinson GE, Kappler R
Genetics and epigenetics of hepatoblastoma.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012; 59(5):785-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
A number of unique genetic features are observed in hepatoblastoma that have provided insights into the origins of hepatoblastoma. Hallmark cytogenetic changes in hepatoblastoma include the acquisition of additional copies of whole chromosomes and a recurring unbalanced translocation involving 1q. Genetic syndromes are associated with approximately 15% of hepatoblastoma and the understanding and recognition of these syndromes will be important in determining future surveillance studies needed to prevent additional cancers in survivors as well as in some case guide the care of family members. This article will review the genetic changes, both germ line and acquired, that are recurring events in hepatoblastoma, with emphasis on how these genetic changes could work together with other developmental factors and influence cancer predisposition, tumor growth, as well as aid in prognosis. Tumor-specific signatures based on transcriptional or epigenetic alterations will be reviewed that might be used in the future to better diagnose and subtype the disease as well as predict prognosis and response to therapy.

Assmann G, Kappler R, Zeindl-Eberhart E, et al.
β-Catenin mutations in 2 nested stromal epithelial tumors of the liver--a neoplasia with defective mesenchymal-epithelial transition.
Hum Pathol. 2012; 43(11):1815-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nested stromal epithelial tumor of the liver is a rare neoplasm of early childhood and adolescence with a characteristic nested morphology of spindle and epithelioid cells. Histogenesis and pathogenesis of this neoplasm are, however, still unclear. Because the characteristic nested morphology with spindle mesenchymal and epithelioid cells is suggestive of altered mesenchymal-epithelial transition and β-catenin mutations are rather common in other liver tumors such as hepatoblastomas, we investigated the β-catenin gene in 2 nested stromal epithelial tumors of the liver and analyzed additional factors involved in mesenchymal-epithelial transition, such as E-cadherin, vimentin, c-Met, TWIST, SNAIL, and SLUG by molecular genetic and immunohistochemical methods. Mutation analysis of both cases revealed large deletions in exon 3 of the β-catenin gene (155 and 228 base pairs), resulting in an accumulation of β-catenin in the cytoplasm and nuclei of tumor cells, as evidenced by immunohistochemistry. The expression of the mesenchymal-epithelial transition factors SNAIL, SLUG, TWIST, c-Met, vimentin, and β-catenin was generally increased, whereas E-cadherin was decreased. Morphological and immunohistochemical analysis, however, showed a variable expression pattern of various epithelial and mesenchymal markers both in the spindle and epithelioid cell compartments of the tumors, thus illustrating the transitional status of the tumor cells. In conclusion, our data clearly identify protein stabilizing mutations of the β-catenin gene as a common feature of nested stromal epithelial tumors of the liver, similarly as in hepatoblastomas. Therefore, nested stromal epithelial tumors of the liver may be regarded as a variant of hepatoblastoma, despite differing from it in clinical and morphological aspects. The characteristic epithelioid-spindle morphology along with the incomplete epithelial differentiation proposes impaired mesenchymal-epithelial transition as a possible pathogenetic mechanism of this rare tumor. However, because only 2 cases were studied, this hypothesis awaits further validation.

Evers C, Gaspar H, Kloor M, et al.
Hepatoblastoma in two siblings and familial adenomatous polyposis: causal nexus or coincidence?
Fam Cancer. 2012; 11(3):529-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Infantile and childhood hepatoblastoma (HB) occurs more frequently in children with hereditary predisposition to familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) than in the general population. The occurrence of HB in two infant siblings is reported. The sister died of the disease. The brother survived the HB and was later diagnosed with familial adenomatous polyposis and advanced rectal cancer. He was found to carry a germline mutation of the APC gene. Presuming that the HB in the two siblings was the first manifestation of FAP we performed APC mutation analysis in DNA from archived tumour tissue of his sister and in blood samples of both parents. Surprisingly, the mutation was neither found in both parents, nor in the tissue samples of the sister. We outline the impact of this finding for genetic counselling and review the literature on FAP and HB.

López-Terrada D, Zimmermann A
Current issues and controversies in the classification of pediatric hepatocellular tumors.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012; 59(5):780-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Systematic histopathologic examination of hepatoblastoma specimens from patients enrolled in therapeutic protocols has allowed the identification of clinically relevant histologic subtypes that are being incorporated into risk stratification systems. Genetic and molecular studies have documented recurrent chromosomal abnormalities and aberrant activation of developmental, and oncogenic signaling pathways in hepatoblastoma. Molecular profiling has also identified molecular subclasses and gene signatures that could be used to stratify hepatoblastoma patients. Future international collaboration is needed to develop consensus pathology classifications, and to progressively incorporate genetic and molecular biomarkers into therapeutic pediatric liver tumors protocols.

Pereira EM, Marion R, Ramesh KH, et al.
Hepatoblastoma in a mosaic trisomy 18 patient.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2012; 34(4):e145-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report a case of hepatoblastoma in a 10-year-old girl with mosaic-type trisomy 18. A comprehensive literature review reveals only 2 cases involving mosaic trisomy 18 patients. Our patient underwent an abbreviated chemotherapy course before complete surgical resection. Her hepatoblastoma did not contain cells with trisomy 18. The conservative management approach resulted in a successful outcome; she remains disease free >2 years after surgery. Along with presenting a literature review, this report demonstrates a favorable outcome in a mosaic trisomy 18 child with hepatoblastoma where tumor cells lacked a trisomy 18 karyotype.

Tomlinson GE
Cytogenetics of hepatoblastoma.
Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2012; 4:1287-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cytogenetics of hepatoblastoma demonstrate recurring events which include whole chromosome trisomies, most commonly trisomy of chromosome 2, 8, or 10. In addition, unbalanced translocations involving a breakpoint on the proximal short arm of chromosome 1 are observed which result in a duplication of the long arm of chromosome 1q. The most commonly involved reciprocal chromosomal arm is 4q, although the reciprocal chromosome is highly variable and always results in a loss of chromosomal material. The full significance of these chromosomal changes has yet to be confirmed in large studies, however a suggestion of an association of duplication of regions of 2q with a poor prognosis. A rare sub-type of hepatoblastoma, known as the small cell undifferentiated variant, is associated with deletion or translocation of 22q, the locus of the rhabdoid tumor gene, SMARCB1.

Shin E, Lee KB, Park SY, et al.
Gene expression profiling of human hepatoblastoma using archived formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues.
Virchows Arch. 2011; 458(4):453-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
We elucidated the genetic profile of hepatoblastomas (HBLs) to identify diagnostic and prognostic markers. RNA was extracted from 32 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded HBLs and corresponding nonneoplastic liver (NNL) tissues, and cDNA-mediated annealing, selection, extension, and ligation (DASL) chip assays were performed. Immunohistochemistry was performed to confirm the expression of Yin Yang 1 (YY1) protein in HBL. Twenty-four genes that were associated with signal transduction, cell-cell adhesion, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis were differentially expressed in HBL and NNL tissues. Two apoptosis-associated genes, MYCN and BIRC5, were highly upregulated in HBL. Eight genes, including YY1 and IGF1, were upregulated in HBL cases that had a poor prognosis. Thirty-eight genes, including YY1, were differentially expressed according to histologic differentiation of HBL, and the immunohistochemical expression of YY1 was correlated with poor HBL differentiation. Thus, using DASL chip assays, we report the gene expression profiles of HBL, which suggest new candidate prognostic and diagnostic genetic markers and putative therapeutic targets for HBL.

Cairo S, Wang Y, de Reyniès A, et al.
Stem cell-like micro-RNA signature driven by Myc in aggressive liver cancer.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010; 107(47):20471-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myc activation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hepatoblastoma (HB), a rare embryonal neoplasm derived from liver progenitor cells. Here, microRNA (miR) expression profiling of 65 HBs evidenced differential patterns related to developmental stage and Myc activity. Undifferentiated aggressive HBs overexpressed the miR-371-3 cluster with concomitant down-regulation of the miR-100/let-7a-2/miR-125b-1 cluster, evoking an ES cell expression profile. ChIP and Myc inhibition assays in hepatoma cells demonstrated that both miR clusters are regulated by Myc in an opposite manner. We show that the two miR clusters exert antagonistic effects on cell proliferation and tumorigenicity. Moreover, their combined deregulation cooperated in modulating the hepatic tumor phenotype, implicating stem cell-like regulation of Myc-dependent miRs in poorly differentiated HBs. Importantly, a four-miR signature representative of these clusters efficiently stratified HB patients, and when applied to 241 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), it identified invasive tumors with a poor prognosis. Our data argue that Myc-driven reprogramming of miR expression patterns contributes to the aggressive phenotype of liver tumors originating from hepatic progenitor cells.

Chitragar S, Iyer VK, Agarwala S, et al.
Loss of heterozygosity on chromosome 11p15.5 and relapse in hepatoblastomas.
Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2011; 21(1):50-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: IGF2 is a tumor suppressor gene at locus 11p15. Many hepatoblastomas have loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at this locus. Earlier studies have not demonstrated any association between LOH and prognosis. Aim of the study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of LOH at 11p15.5 in hepatoblastomas.
METHODS: DNA was isolated from normal liver and tumor tissue in 20 patients with hepatoblastoma. PCR was performed and cases were classified as LOH present, absent or non-informative. Patients' follow-up data was analyzed using Fischer's exact test and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis for relapse-free survival (RFS) in relation to LOH. Ethical clearance was obtained from the institutional ethics board.
RESULTS: All cases were informative for at least one microsatellite marker used. 4 of the 20 cases (20%) had LOH at 11p15.5. One patient died in the immediate postoperative period. 5 of 19 patients relapsed (26%). Of 4 patients who had LOH, 3 (75%) relapsed, the time to relapse being 7, 7 and 9 months, respectively. Of the 15 cases without LOH, 2 (13.3%) relapsed. 4 patients had mixed epithelial and mesenchymal histology; 3 of them had LOH. The 2 groups with and without LOH were well matched. The RFS for patients with LOH (n=4) was 13% (mean survival time [MST]: 8.7 months; 95CI 6.7-10.7), while the RFS for cases without LOH (n=15) was 75% (MST: 100.7 months; 95CI 74.5-126.8).
CONCLUSION: Mixed epithelial and mesenchymal histology is more frequently associated with LOH on chromosome 11p15.5 than pure epithelial histology. LOH on chromosome 11p15.5 is associated with a significantly increased incidence of relapse and a significantly shorter relapse-free survival in patients with hepatoblastoma. The risk of relapse is higher and the RFS lower both in standard-risk and high-risk patients with hepatoblastoma if they demonstrate the presence of LOH at 11p15.5.

Baynam GS, Goldblatt J
A child with an FGFR3 mutation, a laterality disorder and an hepatoblastoma: novel associations and possible gene-environment interactions.
Twin Res Hum Genet. 2010; 13(4):297-300 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report on a 3-year-old girl, from a 3-generation family with an FGFR3 Pro250Arg mutation, who in addition to craniosynostosis, had a laterality disorder and hepatoblastoma, following a pregnancy complicated by maternal insulin-dependent diabetes. The clinical features possibly result from the combined effects of the maternal diabetes and the familial FGFR3 mutation, thus representing a unique gene-environment interaction that may have implications for the understanding of the phenotypes described in this child.

Arai Y, Honda S, Haruta M, et al.
Genome-wide analysis of allelic imbalances reveals 4q deletions as a poor prognostic factor and MDM4 amplification at 1q32.1 in hepatoblastoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2010; 49(7):596-609 [PubMed] Related Publications
In a single-nucleotide polymorphism array-based analysis of 56 hepatoblastoma (HB) tumors, allelic imbalances were detected in 37 tumors (66%). Chromosome gains were found in 1q (28 tumors), 2q (24), 6p (8), 8q (8), 17q (6), and 20pq (10), and losses in 1p (6), 4q (9), and 16q (4). Fine mapping delineated the shortest overlapping region (SOR) of gains at 1q32.1 (1.3 Mb) and 2q24.2-q24.3 (4.8 Mb), and losses at 4q34.3-q35.2 (8.7 Mb) and 4q32.3 (1.6 Mb). Uniparental disomy of 11pter-11p15.4 (IGF2) and loss of 11pter-p14.1 were found in 11 and 2 tumors, respectively. Expression of HTATIP2 (11p15.1) was absent in 9 of 20 tumors. Amplification was identified in four tumors at 1q32.1, where the candidate oncogene MDM4 is located. In the 4q32.3-SRO, ANXA10S, a variant of the candidate tumor suppressor ANXA10, showed no expression in 19 of 24 tumors. Sequence analysis of ANXA10S identified a missense mutation (E36K, c.106G>A) in a HB cell line. Multivariate analysis revealed that both 4q deletion and RASSF1A methylation (relative risks: 4.21 and 7.55, respectively) are independent prognostic factors. Our results indicate that allelic imbalances and gene expression patterns provide possible diagnostic and prognostic markers, as well as therapeutic targets in a subset of HB.

Ishimoto K, Tachibana K, Hanano I, et al.
Sterol-regulatory-element-binding protein 2 and nuclear factor Y control human farnesyl diphosphate synthase expression and affect cell proliferation in hepatoblastoma cells.
Biochem J. 2010; 429(2):347-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
FDPS (farnesyl diphosphate synthase) catalyses the formation of farnesyl diphosphate, a key intermediate in the synthesis of cholesterol and isoprenylated cellular metabolites. FDPS is also the molecular target of nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates, which are used as bone-antiresorptive drugs in various disorders. In the present study, we characterized the sterol-response element and NF-Y (nuclear factor Y)-binding site in the human FDPS promoter. Using a luciferase assay, electrophoretic mobility-shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we demonstrated that these elements are responsible for the transcription of the FDPS gene, and that its transcriptional activation is mediated by SREBP-2 (sterol-regulatory-element-binding protein 2) and NF-Y. We also investigated whether sterol-mediated FDPS expression is involved in the cell proliferation induced by zoledronic acid, an FDPS inhibitor. We show that the SREBP-2- and NF-Y-mediated regulation of FDPS gene transcription modulates cell proliferation. These results suggest that SREBP-2 and NF-Y are required to trigger cell proliferation through the induction of FDPS expression and that the pharmacological action of zoledronic acid is involved in this pathway.

Lazzareschi I, Barone G, Mastrangelo S, et al.
Could APC gene screening be useful in children with hepatoblastoma? Early onset of adenocarcinoma in a child with familial adenomatous polyposis and hepatoblastoma.
Tumori. 2009 Nov-Dec; 95(6):819-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Familial adenomatous polyposis is an inherited disorder characterized by the development of hundreds of colorectal adenomas during adolescence, which in many cases will transform into colorectal cancer by the fourth decade of life, along with the development of various malignant tumors including hepatoblastoma. We report on a female patient with a de novo interstitial deletion of 5q21.3-q23.3, encompassing the APC gene, associated with adenomatous polyposis and early colorectal cancer, hepatoblastoma, epidermoid cysts, mental retardation, several mild dysmorphic signs and lower limb venous thrombosis.

Sakamoto LH, DE Camargo B, Cajaiba M, et al.
MT1G hypermethylation: a potential prognostic marker for hepatoblastoma.
Pediatr Res. 2010; 67(4):387-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatoblastoma comprises only 1% of all cancers in childhood. Because of its low frequency, a small number of prognostic factors are described in hepatoblastoma and most of them are related to resectability. Microarray studies showed a large number of underexpressed genes in hepatoblastoma. Because aberrant DNA methylation has been recognized as an alternative mechanism for tumor suppressor gene inactivation, this could be involved with gene downregulation in these tumors. Despite the rarity of hepatoblastoma, this study evaluated the methylation pattern of 25 genes in 20 paraffin-embedded tumor specimens and five non-neoplastic liver samples (normal control) by quantitative methylation-specific PCR (QMSP). The examination of the methylation profile of hepatoblastoma samples and normal liver specimens revealed a high tumor-specific DNA hypermethylation in the promoter regions of five genes (APC, CDH1, MT1G, RASSF1A, and SOCS1). Furthermore, MT1G hypermethylation showed a significant correlation with poor prognosis of patients with hepatoblastoma. This study represents the first quantitative evaluation of promoter hypermethylation in hepatoblastoma and demonstrated that aberrant methylation is a frequent event in this malignancy. Furthermore, our data provide evidence that MT1G hypermethylation may be useful as prognostic indicator for this disease and suggest that patients with hepatoblastoma may benefit from demethylating drug treatments.

Kato M, Takita J, Takahashi K, et al.
Hepatoblastoma in a patient with sotos syndrome.
J Pediatr. 2009; 155(6):937-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report a case of hepatoblastoma that developed in a child with Sotos syndrome, an overgrowth syndrome with an increased risk of neoplasms. Genome-wide analysis of copy number alterations showed a gain of chromosome 2, uniparental disomy of 18q, and microdeletion of 5q35.

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