Gene Summary

Gene:BCL11B; BAF chromatin remodeling complex subunit BCL11B
Aliases: ATL1, RIT1, CTIP2, IMD49, CTIP-2, IDDFSTA, ZNF856B, ATL1-beta, ATL1-alpha, ATL1-delta, ATL1-gamma, hRIT1-alpha
Summary:This gene encodes a C2H2-type zinc finger protein and is closely related to BCL11A, a gene whose translocation may be associated with B-cell malignancies. Although the specific function of this gene has not been determined, the encoded protein is known to be a transcriptional repressor, and is regulated by the NURD nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylase complex. Four alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2013]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:B-cell lymphoma/leukemia 11B
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

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

Latest Publications: BCL11B (cancer-related)

Mohanta S, Sekhar Khora S, Suresh A
Cancer Stem Cell based molecular predictors of tumor recurrence in Oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Arch Oral Biol. 2019; 99:92-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to identify the cancer stem cell specific biomarkers that can be effective candidate prognosticators of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
DESIGN: Microarray-based meta-analysis derived transcriptional profile of head and neck cancers was compared with the Cancer Stem Cell database to arrive at a subset of markers. This subset was further co-related with clinico-pathological parameters, recurrence and survival of oral cancer patients (n = 313) in The Cancer Genome Atlas database and in oral cancer (n = 28) patients.
RESULTS: Meta-analysis in combination with database comparison identified a panel of 221 genes specific to head and neck cancers. Correlation of expression levels of these markers in the oral cancer cohort of The Cancer Genome Atlas (n = 313) with treatment outcome identified 54 genes (p < 0.05 or fold change >2) associated with disease recurrence, 8 genes (NQO1, UBE2C, EDNRB, FKBP4, STAT3, HOXA1, RIT1, AURKA) being significant with high fold change. Assessment of the efficacy of the subset (n = 54) as survival predictors identified an additional 4 genes (CDK1, GINS2, PHF5 A, ERBB2) that co-related with poor disease-free survival (p < 0.05). CDK1 showed a significant association with the clinical stage, margin status and with advanced pathological parameters. Initial patient validation indicated that CDK1 and NQO1 significantly co-related with the poor disease-free and overall survival (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: This panel of oral cancer specific, cancer stem cell associated markers identified in this study, a subset of which was validated, will be of clinical benefit subject to large scale validation studies.

He Y, Jiang Z, Chen C, Wang X
Classification of triple-negative breast cancers based on Immunogenomic profiling.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):327 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Abundant evidence shows that triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is heterogeneous, and many efforts have been devoted to identifying TNBC subtypes on the basis of genomic profiling. However, few studies have explored the classification of TNBC specifically based on immune signatures that may facilitate the optimal stratification of TNBC patients responsive to immunotherapy.
METHODS: Using four publicly available TNBC genomics datasets, we classified TNBC on the basis of the immunogenomic profiling of 29 immune signatures. Unsupervised and supervised machine learning methods were used to perform the classification.
RESULTS: We identified three TNBC subtypes that we named Immunity High (Immunity_H), Immunity Medium (Immunity_M), and Immunity Low (Immunity_L) and demonstrated that this classification was reliable and predictable by analyzing multiple different datasets. Immunity_H was characterized by greater immune cell infiltration and anti-tumor immune activities, as well as better survival prognosis compared to the other subtypes. Besides the immune signatures, some cancer-associated pathways were hyperactivated in Immunity_H, including apoptosis, calcium signaling, MAPK signaling, PI3K-Akt signaling, and RAS signaling. In contrast, Immunity_L presented depressed immune signatures and increased activation of cell cycle, Hippo signaling, DNA replication, mismatch repair, cell adhesion molecule binding, spliceosome, adherens junction function, pyrimidine metabolism, glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor biosynthesis, and RNA polymerase pathways. Furthermore, we identified a gene co-expression subnetwork centered around five transcription factor (TF) genes (CORO1A, STAT4, BCL11B, ZNF831, and EOMES) specifically significant in the Immunity_H subtype and a subnetwork centered around two TF genes (IRF8 and SPI1) characteristic of the Immunity_L subtype.
CONCLUSIONS: The identification of TNBC subtypes based on immune signatures has potential clinical implications for TNBC treatment.

He Z, Liao Z, Chen S, et al.
Downregulated miR-17, miR-29c, miR-92a and miR-214 may be related to BCL11B overexpression in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2018; 14(5):e259-e265 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: BCL11B overexpression is a characteristic of most T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cases, and downregulated BCL11B in leukemic T cells inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis. The purpose of this study was to analyze the miRNA expression pattern that may be related to BCL11B regulation in T-ALL.
METHODS: Quantitative real-time PCR was used to detect the miRNAs miR-17-3p, miR-17-5p, miR-29c-3p, miR-92a-3p, miR-214-3p and miR-214-5p, the BCL11B expression level in peripheral blood mononuclear cells which was obtained from 17 de novo and untreated T-ALL patients, and 15 healthy individuals (HIs) served as control. Correlations between the relative miRNA expression levels and BCL11B were analyzed.
RESULTS: Based on the computational prediction that certain miRNAs bind the BCL11B 3'-UTR, miR-17-3p, miR-17-5p, miR-29c-3p, miR-92a-3p, miR-214-3p and miR-214-5p were found to be candidates for regulating BCL11B. The expression levels of the six miRNAs were decreased compared with HIs, and with the exception of miR-17-5p, statistically significant differences in expression levels were found in the T-ALL group. Moreover, while significantly higher BCL11B expression was found in the T-ALL group, a negative trend in the correlation level for all six miRNAs could be found in all groups; however, statistical significance was only found for miR-214-3p in the T-ALL group.
CONCLUSION: miRNA downregulation together with BCL11B upregulation suggests that miR-17, miR-29c, miR-92a and miR-214 might be involved in BCL11B regulation. The therapeutic promise of regulating the expression of these miRNAs for T-ALL therapy may be considered in the future.

Gutierrez A, Kentsis A
Acute myeloid/T-lymphoblastic leukaemia (AMTL): a distinct category of acute leukaemias with common pathogenesis in need of improved therapy.
Br J Haematol. 2018; 180(6):919-924 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Advances in the classification of acute leukaemias have led to improved outcomes for a substantial fraction of patients. However, chemotherapy resistance remains a major problem for specific subsets of acute leukaemias. Here, we propose that a molecularly distinct subtype of acute leukaemia with shared myeloid and T cell lymphoblastic features, which we term acute myeloid/T-lymphoblastic leukaemia (AMTL), is divided across 3 diagnostic categories owing to variable expression of markers deemed to be defining of myeloid and T-lymphoid lineages, such as myeloperoxidase and CD3. This proposed diagnostic group is supported by (i) retained myeloid differentiation potential during early T cell lymphoid development, (ii) recognition that some cases of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) harbour hallmarks of T cell development, such as T-cell receptor gene rearrangements and (iii) common gene mutations in subsets of AML and T cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL), including WT1, PHF6, RUNX1 and BCL11B. This proposed diagnostic entity overlaps with early T cell precursor (ETP) T-ALL and T cell/myeloid mixed phenotype acute leukaemias (MPALs), and also includes a subset of leukaemias currently classified as AML with features of T-lymphoblastic development. The proposed classification of AMTL as a distinct entity would enable more precise prospective diagnosis and permit the development of improved therapies for patients whose treatment is inadequate with current approaches.

Leung GKC, Luk HM, Tang VHM, et al.
Integrating Functional Analysis in the Next-Generation Sequencing Diagnostic Pipeline of RASopathies.
Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):2421 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RASopathies are a group of heterogeneous conditions caused by germline mutations in RAS/MAPK signalling pathway genes. With next-generation sequencing (NGS), sequencing capacity is no longer a limitation to molecular diagnosis. Instead, the rising number of variants of unknown significance (VUSs) poses challenges to clinical interpretation and genetic counselling. We investigated the potential of an integrated pipeline combining NGS and the functional assessment of variants for the diagnosis of RASopathies. We included 63 Chinese patients with RASopathies that had previously tested negative for PTPN11 and HRAS mutations. In these patients, we performed a genetic analysis of genes associated with RASopathies using a multigene NGS panel and Sanger sequencing. For the VUSs, we evaluated evidence from genetic, bioinformatic and functional data. Twenty disease-causing mutations were identified in the 63 patients, providing a primary diagnostic yield of 31.7%. Four VUSs were identified in five patients. The functional assessment supported the pathogenicity of the RAF1 and RIT1 VUSs, while the significance of two VUSs in A2ML1 remained unclear. In summary, functional analysis improved the diagnostic yield from 31.7% to 36.5%. Although technically demanding and time-consuming, a functional genetic diagnostic analysis can ease the clinical translation of these findings to aid bedside interpretation.

Isoda T, Moore AJ, He Z, et al.
Non-coding Transcription Instructs Chromatin Folding and Compartmentalization to Dictate Enhancer-Promoter Communication and T Cell Fate.
Cell. 2017; 171(1):103-119.e18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
It is now established that Bcl11b specifies T cell fate. Here, we show that in developing T cells, the Bcl11b enhancer repositioned from the lamina to the nuclear interior. Our search for factors that relocalized the Bcl11b enhancer identified a non-coding RNA named ThymoD (thymocyte differentiation factor). ThymoD-deficient mice displayed a block at the onset of T cell development and developed lymphoid malignancies. We found that ThymoD transcription promoted demethylation at CTCF bound sites and activated cohesin-dependent looping to reposition the Bcl11b enhancer from the lamina to the nuclear interior and to juxtapose the Bcl11b enhancer and promoter into a single-loop domain. These large-scale changes in nuclear architecture were associated with the deposition of activating epigenetic marks across the loop domain, plausibly facilitating phase separation. These data indicate how, during developmental progression and tumor suppression, non-coding transcription orchestrates chromatin folding and compartmentalization to direct with high precision enhancer-promoter communication.

Permatasari HK, Nakahata S, Ichikawa T, Morishita K
BCL11B is frequently downregulated in HTLV-1-infected T-cells through Tax-mediated proteasomal degradation.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017; 490(3):1086-1092 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATLL). The HTLV-1-encoded protein Tax plays important roles in the proliferation of HTLV-1-infected T-cells by affecting cellular proteins. In this study, we showed that Tax transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally downregulates the expression of the tumor suppressor gene B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 11B (BCL11B), which encodes a lymphoid-related transcription factor. BCL11B expression was downregulated in HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines at the mRNA and protein levels, and forced expression of BCL11B suppressed the proliferation of these cells. The proteasomal inhibitor MG132 increased BCL11B expression in HTLV-1-infected cell lines, and colocalization of Tax with BCL11B was detected in the cytoplasm of HTLV-1-infected T-cells following MG132 treatment. shRNA knock-down of Tax expression also increased the expression of BCL11B in HTLV-1-infected cells. Moreover, we found that Tax physically binds to BCL11B protein and induces the polyubiquitination of BCL11B and proteasome-dependent degradation of BCL11B. Thus, inactivation of BCL11B by Tax protein may play an important role in the Tax-mediated leukemogenesis.

Zhao C, Li X, Han B, et al.
Gga-miR-219b targeting BCL11B suppresses proliferation, migration and invasion of Marek's disease tumor cell MSB1.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):4247 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Marek's disease (MD), caused by Marek's disease virus (MDV), is a lymphotropic neoplastic disease. Previous miRNAome analysis showed gga-miR-219b was significantly downregulated in MDV-induced lymphoma, and one of its potential target genes, B-cell chronic lymphocytic /lymphoma 11B (BCL11B) was predicted. In this study, we further investigated the function of gga-miR-219b, and the gain/loss of function assay showed gga-miR-219b inhibited cell migration and reduced cell proliferation by promoting apoptosis not by cell cycle arrest. Gga-miR-219b also suppressed expression of two cell invasion-related genes MMP2 and MMP9. The results indicated suppressive effect of gga-miR-219b on MD tumorigenesis. The gene BCL11B was verified as a direct target gene of gga-miR-219b. RNA interference was performed to block BCL11B. As expected, the effects triggered by BCL11B downregulation were in accordance with that triggered by gga-miR-219b overexpression, suggesting that BCL11B was a stimulative regulator of MD transformation. Moreover, both gga-miR-219b and BCL11B influenced the expression of Meq gene, the most important oncogene in MDV. Additionally, gene expression level of anti-apoptotic genes BCL2 and BCL2L1 was downregulated and pro-apoptotic gene TNFSF10 was upregulated in MSB1 cells with gga-miR-219b overexpression or BCL11B knockdown, which suggested gga-miR-219b promoted cell apoptosis via regulating gene expression in the apoptosis pathways.

Geng JJ, Tang J, Yang XM, et al.
Targeting CD147 for T to NK Lineage Reprogramming and Tumor Therapy.
EBioMedicine. 2017; 20:98-108 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CD147 is highly expressed on the surface of numerous tumor cells to promote invasion and metastasis. Targeting these cells with CD147-specific antibodies has been validated as an effective approach for lung and liver cancer therapy. In the immune system, CD147 is recognized as a co-stimulatory receptor and impacts the outcome of thymic selection. Using T cell-specific deletion, we showed here that in thymus CD147 is indispensable for the stable αβ T cell lineage commitment: loss of CD147 biases both multipotent DN (double negative) and fully committed DP (double positive) cells into innate NK-like lineages. Mechanistically, CD147 deficiency results in impaired Wnt signaling and expression of BCL11b, a master transcription factor in determining T cell identity. In addition, functional blocking of CD147 by antibody phenocopies genetic deletion to enrich NK-like cells in the periphery. Furthermore, using a melanoma model and orthotopic liver cancer transplants, we showed that the augmentation of NK-like cells strongly associates with resistance against tumor growth upon CD147 suppression. Therefore, besides its original function in tumorigenesis, CD147 is also an effective surface target for immune modulation in tumor therapy.

Fu W, Yi S, Qiu L, et al.
BCL11B-Mediated Epigenetic Repression Is a Crucial Target for Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma.
J Invest Dermatol. 2017; 137(7):1523-1532 [PubMed] Related Publications
The treatment options for advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) are limited because of its unclear pathogenesis. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (HDACis) are recently developed therapeutics approved for refractory CTCL. However, the response rate is relatively low and unpredictable. Previously, we discovered that BCL11B, a key T-cell development regulator, was aberrantly overexpressed in mycosis fungoides, the most common CTCL, as compared with benign inflammatory skin. In this study, we identified a positive correlation between BCL11B expression and sensitivity to HDACi in CTCL lines. BCL11B suppression in BCL11B-high cells induced cell apoptosis by de-repressing apoptotic pathways and showed synergistic effects with suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a pan-HDACi. Next, we identified the physical interaction and shared downstream genes between BCL11B and HDAC1/2 in CTCL lines. This interaction was essential in the anti-apoptosis effect of BCL11B, and the synergism between BCL11B suppression and HDACi treatment. Further, in clinical samples from 46 mycosis fungoides patients, BCL11B showed increased but varied expression in advanced tumor stage. Analysis of four patients receiving SAHA treatment suggested a positive correlation between BCL11B expression and favorable response to SAHA treatment. In conclusion, BCL11B may serve as a therapeutic target and a useful marker for improving HDACi efficacy in advanced CTCL.

Bhattacharya S, Li S, Wheeler H, et al.
Ablation of Ctip2/Bcl11b in Adult Epidermis Enhances TPA/UV-Induced Proliferation and Increases Susceptibility to DMBA/TPA-Induced Epidermal Carcinogenesis.
J Invest Dermatol. 2017; 137(7):1594-1598 [PubMed] Related Publications

Ha VL, Luong A, Li F, et al.
The T-ALL related gene BCL11B regulates the initial stages of human T-cell differentiation.
Leukemia. 2017; 31(11):2503-2514 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The initial stages of T-cell differentiation are characterized by a progressive commitment to the T-cell lineage, a process that involves the loss of alternative (myelo-erythroid, NK, B) lineage potentials. Aberrant differentiation during these stages can result in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). However, the mechanisms regulating the initial stages of human T-cell differentiation are obscure. Through loss of function studies, we showed BCL11B, a transcription factor recurrently mutated T-ALL, is essential for T-lineage commitment, particularly the repression of NK and myeloid potentials, and the induction of T-lineage genes, during the initial stages of human T-cell differentiation. In gain of function studies, BCL11B inhibited growth of and induced a T-lineage transcriptional program in T-ALL cells. We found previously unknown differentiation stage-specific DNA binding of BCL11B at multiple T-lineage genes; target genes showed BCL11B-dependent expression, suggesting a transcriptional activator role for BCL11B at these genes. Transcriptional analyses revealed differences in the regulatory actions of BCL11B between human and murine thymopoiesis. Our studies show BCL11B is a key regulator of the initial stages of human T-cell differentiation and delineate the BCL11B transcriptional program, enabling the dissection of the underpinnings of normal T-cell differentiation and providing a resource for understanding dysregulations in T-ALL.

Cizmeci D, Dempster EL, Champion OL, et al.
Mapping epigenetic changes to the host cell genome induced by Burkholderia pseudomallei reveals pathogen-specific and pathogen-generic signatures of infection.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:30861 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The potential for epigenetic changes in host cells following microbial infection has been widely suggested, but few examples have been reported. We assessed genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation in human macrophage-like U937 cells following infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei, an intracellular bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of human melioidosis. Our analyses revealed significant changes in host cell DNA methylation, at multiple CpG sites in the host cell genome, following infection. Infection induced differentially methylated probes (iDMPs) showing the greatest changes in DNA methylation were found to be in the vicinity of genes involved in inflammatory responses, intracellular signalling, apoptosis and pathogen-induced signalling. A comparison of our data with reported methylome changes in cells infected with M. tuberculosis revealed commonality of differentially methylated genes, including genes involved in T cell responses (BCL11B, FOXO1, KIF13B, PAWR, SOX4, SYK), actin cytoskeleton organisation (ACTR3, CDC42BPA, DTNBP1, FERMT2, PRKCZ, RAC1), and cytokine production (FOXP1, IRF8, MR1). Overall our findings show that pathogenic-specific and pathogen-common changes in the methylome occur following infection.

Rokutan H, Hosoda F, Hama N, et al.
Comprehensive mutation profiling of mucinous gastric carcinoma.
J Pathol. 2016; 240(2):137-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mucinous gastric carcinoma (MGC) is a unique subtype of gastric cancer with a poor survival outcome. Comprehensive molecular profiles and putative therapeutic targets of MGC remain undetermined. We subjected 16 tumour-normal tissue pairs to whole-exome sequencing (WES) and an expanded set of 52 tumour-normal tissue pairs to subsequent targeted sequencing. The latter focused on 114 genes identified by WES. Twenty-two histologically differentiated MGCs (D-MGCs) and 46 undifferentiated MGCs (U-MGCs) were analysed. Chromatin modifier genes, including ARID1A (21%), MLL2 (19%), MLL3 (15%), and KDM6A (7%), were frequently mutated (47%) in MGC. We also identified mutations in potential therapeutic target genes, including MTOR (9%), BRCA2 (9%), BRCA1 (7%), and ERBB3 (6%). RHOA mutation was detected only in 4% of U-MGCs and in no D-MGCs. MYH9 was recurrently (13%) mutated in MGC, with all these being of the U-MGC subtype (p = 0.023). Three U-MGCs harboured MYH9 nonsense mutations. MYH9 knockdown enhanced cell migration and induced intracytoplasmic mucin and cellular elongation. BCOR mutation was associated with improved survival. In U-MGCs, the MLH1 expression status and combined mutation status (TP53/BCL11B or TP53/MLL2) were prognostic factors. A comparative analysis of driver genes revealed that the mutation profile of D-MGC was similar to that of intestinal-type gastric cancer, whereas U-MGC was a distinct entity, harbouring a different mutational profile to intestinal- and diffuse-type gastric cancers. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ali D, Mohammad DK, Mujahed H, et al.
Anti-leukaemic effects induced by APR-246 are dependent on induction of oxidative stress and the NFE2L2/HMOX1 axis that can be targeted by PI3K and mTOR inhibitors in acute myeloid leukaemia cells.
Br J Haematol. 2016; 174(1):117-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
The small molecule APR-246 (PRIMA-1(MET) ) is a novel drug that restores the activity of mutated and unfolded TP53 protein. However, the mechanisms of action and potential off-target effects are not fully understood. Gene expression profiling in TP53 mutant KMB3 acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells showed that genes which protected cells from oxidative stress to be the most up-regulated. APR-246 exposure also induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and depleted glutathione in AML cells. The genes most up-regulated by APR-246, confirmed by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction, were heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1, also termed HO-1), SLC7A11 and RIT1. Up-regulation of HMOX1, a key regulator of cellular response to ROS, was independent of TP53 mutational status. NFE2L2 (also termed Nrf2), a master regulator of HMOX1 expression, showed transcriptional up-regulation and nuclear translocation by APR-246. Down-regulation of NFE2L2 by siRNA in AML cells significantly increased the antitumoural effects of APR-246. The PI3K inhibitor wortmannin and the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin inhibited APR-246-induced nuclear translocation of NFE2L2 and counteracted the protective cellular responses to APR-246, resulting in synergistic cell killing together with APR-246. In conclusion, ROS induction is important for antileukaemic activities of APR-246 and inhibiting the protective response of the Nrf-2/HMOX1 axis using PI3K inhibitors, enhances the antileukaemic effects.

Karim S, Mirza Z, Chaudhary AG, et al.
Assessment of Radiation Induced Therapeutic Effect and Cytotoxicity in Cancer Patients Based on Transcriptomic Profiling.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(2):250 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Toxicity induced by radiation therapy is a curse for cancer patients undergoing treatment. It is imperative to understand and define an ideal condition where the positive effects notably outweigh the negative. We used a microarray meta-analysis approach to measure global gene-expression before and after radiation exposure. Bioinformatic tools were used for pathways, network, gene ontology and toxicity related studies. We found 429 differentially expressed genes at fold change >2 and p-value <0.05. The most significantly upregulated genes were synuclein alpha (SNCA), carbonic anhydrase I (CA1), X-linked Kx blood group (XK), glycophorin A and B (GYPA and GYPB), and hemogen (HEMGN), while downregulated ones were membrane-spanning 4-domains, subfamily A member 1 (MS4A1), immunoglobulin heavy constant mu (IGHM), chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 7 (CCR7), BTB and CNC homology 1 transcription factor 2 (BACH2), and B-cell CLL/lymphoma 11B (BCL11B). Pathway analysis revealed calcium-induced T lymphocyte apoptosis and the role of nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) in regulation of the immune response as the most inhibited pathways, while apoptosis signaling was significantly activated. Most of the normal biofunctions were significantly decreased while cell death and survival process were activated. Gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed the immune system process as the most overrepresented group under the biological process category. Toxicity function analysis identified liver, kidney and heart to be the most affected organs during and after radiation therapy. The identified biomarkers and alterations in molecular pathways induced by radiation therapy should be further investigated to reduce the cytotoxicity and development of fatigue.

Zhou HM, Fang YY, Weinberger PM, et al.
Transgelin increases metastatic potential of colorectal cancer cells in vivo and alters expression of genes involved in cell motility.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:55 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Transgelin is an actin-binding protein that promotes motility in normal cells. Although the role of transgelin in cancer is controversial, a number of studies have shown that elevated levels correlate with aggressive tumor behavior, advanced stage, and poor prognosis. Here we sought to determine the role of transgelin more directly by determining whether experimental manipulation of transgelin levels in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells led to changes in metastatic potential in vivo.
METHODS: Isogenic CRC cell lines that differ in transgelin expression were characterized using in vitro assays of growth and invasiveness and a mouse tail vein assay of experimental metastasis. Downstream effects of transgelin overexpression were investigated by gene expression profiling and quantitative PCR.
RESULTS: Stable overexpression of transgelin in RKO cells, which have low endogenous levels, led to increased invasiveness, growth at low density, and growth in soft agar. Overexpression also led to an increase in the number and size of lung metastases in the mouse tail vein injection model. Similarly, attenuation of transgelin expression in HCT116 cells, which have high endogenous levels, decreased metastases in the same model. Investigation of mRNA expression patterns showed that transgelin overexpression altered the levels of approximately 250 other transcripts, with over-representation of genes that affect function of actin or other cytoskeletal proteins. Changes included increases in HOOK1, SDCCAG8, ENAH/Mena, and TNS1 and decreases in EMB, BCL11B, and PTPRD.
CONCLUSIONS: Increases or decreases in transgelin levels have reciprocal effects on tumor cell behavior, with higher expression promoting metastasis. Chronic overexpression influences steady-state levels of mRNAs for metastasis-related genes.

Cavé H, Caye A, Ghedira N, et al.
Mutations in RIT1 cause Noonan syndrome with possible juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia but are not involved in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2016; 24(8):1124-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Noonan syndrome is a heterogeneous autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations in at least eight genes involved in the RAS/MAPK signaling pathway. Recently, RIT1 (Ras-like without CAAX 1) has been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of some patients. We report a series of 44 patients from 30 pedigrees (including nine multiplex families) with mutations in RIT1. These patients display a typical Noonan gestalt and facial phenotype. Among the probands, 8.7% showed postnatal growth retardation, 90% had congenital heart defects, 36% had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a lower incidence compared with previous report), 50% displayed speech delay and 52% had learning difficulties, but only 22% required special education. None had major skin anomalies. One child died perinatally of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Compared with the canonical Noonan phenotype linked to PTPN11 mutations, patients with RIT1 mutations appear to be less severely growth retarded and more frequently affected by cardiomyopathy. Based on our experience, we estimate that RIT1 could be the cause of 5% of Noonan syndrome patients. Because mutations found constitutionally in Noonan syndrome are also found in several tumors in adulthood, we evaluated the potential contribution of RIT1 to leukemogenesis in Noonan syndrome. We screened 192 pediatric cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemias (96 B-ALL and 96 T-ALL) and 110 cases of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemias (JMML), but detected no variation in these tumoral samples, suggesting that Noonan patients with germline RIT1 mutations are not at high risk to developing JMML or ALL, and that RIT1 has at most a marginal role in these sporadic malignancies.

Pinkney KA, Jiang W, Lee BJ, et al.
Haploinsufficiency of Bcl11b suppresses the progression of ATM-deficient T cell lymphomas.
J Hematol Oncol. 2015; 8:94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bcl11b is a transcription factor important for T cell development and also a tumor-suppressor gene that is hemizygously inactivated in ~10% human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and several murine T-ALL models, including ATM(-/-) thymic lymphomas. Here we report that heterozygous loss of Bcl11b (Bcl11b(+/-)) unexpectedly reduced lethal thymic lymphoma in ATM(-/-) mice by suppressing lymphoma progression, but not initiation. The suppression was associated with a T cell-mediated immune response in ATM(-/-)Bcl11b(+/-) mice, revealing a haploid insufficient function of Bcl11b in immune modulation against lymphoma and offering an explanation for the complex relationship between Bcl11b status with T-ALL prognosis.

Torkildsen S, Gorunova L, Beiske K, et al.
Novel ZEB2-BCL11B Fusion Gene Identified by RNA-Sequencing in Acute Myeloid Leukemia with t(2;14)(q22;q32).
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0132736 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNA-sequencing of a case of acute myeloid leukemia with the bone marrow karyotype 46,XY,t(2;14)(q22;q32)[5]/47,XY,idem,+?4,del(6)(q13q21)[cp6]/46,XY[4] showed that the t(2;14) generated a ZEB2-BCL11B chimera in which exon 2 of ZEB2 (nucleotide 595 in the sequence with accession number NM_014795.3) was fused to exon 2 of BCL11B (nucleotide 554 in the sequence with accession number NM_022898.2). RT-PCR together with Sanger sequencing verified the presence of the above-mentioned fusion transcript. All functional domains of BCL11B are retained in the chimeric protein. Abnormal expression of BCL11B coding regions subjected to control by the ZEB2 promoter seems to be the leukemogenic mechanism behind the translocation.

Blyth BJ, Kakinuma S, Sunaoshi M, et al.
Genetic Analysis of T Cell Lymphomas in Carbon Ion-Irradiated Mice Reveals Frequent Interstitial Chromosome Deletions: Implications for Second Cancer Induction in Normal Tissues during Carbon Ion Radiotherapy.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(6):e0130666 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Monitoring mice exposed to carbon ion radiotherapy provides an indirect method to evaluate the potential for second cancer induction in normal tissues outside the radiotherapy target volume, since such estimates are not yet possible from historical patient data. Here, male and female B6C3F1 mice were given single or fractionated whole-body exposure(s) to a monoenergetic carbon ion radiotherapy beam at the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba, Japan, matching the radiation quality delivered to the normal tissue ahead of the tumour volume (average linear energy transfer = 13 keV x μm(-1)) during patient radiotherapy protocols. The mice were monitored for the remainder of their lifespan, and a large number of T cell lymphomas that arose in these mice were analysed alongside those arising following an equivalent dose of 137Cs gamma ray-irradiation. Using genome-wide DNA copy number analysis to identify genomic loci involved in radiation-induced lymphomagenesis and subsequent detailed analysis of Notch1, Ikzf1, Pten, Trp53 and Bcl11b genes, we compared the genetic profile of the carbon ion- and gamma ray-induced tumours. The canonical set of genes previously associated with radiation-induced T cell lymphoma was identified in both radiation groups. While the pattern of disruption of the various pathways was somewhat different between the radiation types, most notably Pten mutation frequency and loss of heterozygosity flanking Bcl11b, the most striking finding was the observation of large interstitial deletions at various sites across the genome in carbon ion-induced tumours, which were only seen infrequently in the gamma ray-induced tumours analysed. If such large interstitial chromosomal deletions are a characteristic lesion of carbon ion irradiation, even when using the low linear energy transfer radiation to which normal tissues are exposed in radiotherapy patients, understanding the dose-response and tissue specificity of such DNA damage could prove key to assessing second cancer risk in carbon ion radiotherapy patients.

Liao CK, Fang KM, Chai K, et al.
Depletion of B cell CLL/Lymphoma 11B Gene Expression Represses Glioma Cell Growth.
Mol Neurobiol. 2016; 53(6):3528-3539 [PubMed] Related Publications
B cell CLL/lymphoma 11B (Bcl11b), a C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor, not only serves as a critical regulator in development but also plays the controversial role in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). We previously found that the enriched expression of Bcl11b was detected in high tumorigenic C6 glioma cells. However, the role of Bcl11b in glioma malignancy and its mechanisms remains to be uncovered. In this study, using the lentivirus-mediated knockdown (KD) approach, we found that Bcl11b KD in tumorigenic C6 cells reduced the cell proliferation, colony formation, and migratory ability. The results were further verified using two human malignant glioma cell lines, U87 and U251 cells. A cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21, a known Bcl11b target, was significantly upregulated in tumorigenic C6, U87, and U251 cells after Bcl11b KD. Cellular senescence was observed by examination of the β-galactosidase activity in U87 and U251 cells with Bcl11b KD. Reduced expression of stemness gene Sox-2 and its downstream effector Bmi-1 was also observed in U87 and U251 cells with Bcl11b KD. These results suggest that the ablation of Bcl11b gene expression induced glioma cell senescence. Propidium iodide (PI) staining combined with flow cytometry analysis also showed that Bcl11b KD led to the cell cycle arrest of U87 and U251 cells at the G0/G1 or at the S phase, indicating that Bcl11b is required for glioma cell cycle progression. Together, this is the first study to show that the inhibition of Bcl11b suppresses glioma cell growth by regulating the expression of the cell cycle regulator p21 and stemness-associated genes (Sox-2/Bmi-1).

Sakamaki A, Katsuragi Y, Otsuka K, et al.
Bcl11b SWI/SNF-complex subunit modulates intestinal adenoma and regeneration after γ-irradiation through Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Carcinogenesis. 2015; 36(6):622-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes constitute a highly related family of multi-subunit complexes to modulate transcription, and SWI/SNF subunit genes are collectively mutated in 20% of all human cancers. Bcl11b is a SWI/SNF subunit and acts as a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor in leukemia/lymphomas. Here, we show expression of Bcl11b in intestinal crypt cells and promotion of intestinal tumorigenesis by Bcl11b attenuation in Apc (min/+) mice. Of importance, mutations or allelic loss of BCL11B was detected in one-third of human colon cancers. We also show that attenuated Bcl11b activity in the crypt base columnar (CBC) cells expressing the Lgr5 stem cell marker enhanced regeneration of intestinal epithelial cells after the radiation-induced injury. Interestingly, BCL11B introduction in human cell lines downregulated transcription of β-catenin target genes, whereas Bcl11b attenuation in Lgr5(+) CBCs increased expression of β-catenin targets including c-Myc and cyclin D1. Together, our results argue that Bcl11b impairment promotes tumor development in mouse and human intestine at least in part through deregulation of β-catenin pathway.

Li W, Jiang Z, Li T, et al.
Genome-wide analyses identify KLF4 as an important negative regulator in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia through directly inhibiting T-cell associated genes.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) induces tumorigenesis or suppresses tumor growth in a tissue-dependent manner. However, the roles of KLF4 in hematological malignancies and the mechanisms of action are not fully understood.
METHODS: Inducible KLF4-overexpression Jurkat cell line combined with mouse models bearing cell-derived xenografts and primary T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cells from four patients were used to assess the functional role of KLF4 in T-ALL cells in vitro and in vivo. A genome-wide RNA-seq analysis was conducted to identify genes regulated by KLF4 in T-ALL cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) PCR was used to determine direct binding sites of KLF4 in T-ALL cells.
RESULTS: Here we reveal that KLF4 induced apoptosis through the BCL2/BCLXL pathway in human T-ALL cell lines and primary T-ALL specimens. In consistence, mice engrafted with KLF4-overexpressing T-ALL cells exhibited prolonged survival. Interestingly, the KLF4-induced apoptosis in T-ALL cells was compromised in xenografts but the invasion capacity of KLF4-expressing T-ALL cells to hosts was dramatically dampened. We found that KLF4 overexpression inhibited T cell-associated genes including NOTCH1, BCL11B, GATA3, and TCF7. Further mechanistic studies revealed that KLF4 directly bound to the promoters of NOTCH1, BCL2, and CXCR4 and suppressed their expression. Additionally, KLF4 induced SUMOylation and degradation of BCL11B.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that KLF4 as a major transcription factor that suppresses the expression of T-cell associated genes, thus inhibiting T-ALL progression.

Takachi T, Takahashi M, Takahashi-Yoshita M, et al.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 Tax oncoprotein represses the expression of the BCL11B tumor suppressor in T-cells.
Cancer Sci. 2015; 106(4):461-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of adult T cell leukemia (ATL), which is an aggressive form of T-cell malignancy. HTLV-1 oncoproteins, Tax and HBZ, play crucial roles in the immortalization of T-cells and/or leukemogenesis by dysregulating the cellular functions in the host. Recent studies show that HTLV-1-infected T-cells have reduced expression of the BCL11B tumor suppressor protein. In the present study, we explored whether Tax and/or HBZ play a role in downregulating BCL11B in HTLV-1-infected T-cells. Lentiviral transduction of Tax in a human T-cell line repressed the expression of BCL11B at both the protein and mRNA levels, whereas the transduction of HBZ had little effect on the expression. Tax mutants with a decreased activity for the NF-κB, CREB or PDZ protein pathways still showed a reduced expression of the BCL11B protein, thereby implicating a different function of Tax in BCL11B downregulation. In addition, the HTLV-2 Tax2 protein reduced the BCL11B protein expression in T-cells. Seven HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines, including three ATL-derived cell lines, showed reduced BCL11B mRNA and protein expression relative to an uninfected T-cell line, and the greatest reductions were in the cells expressing Tax. Collectively, these results indicate that Tax is responsible for suppressing BCL11B protein expression in HTLV-1-infected T-cells; Tax-mediated repression of BCL11B is another mechanism that Tax uses to promote oncogenesis of HTLV-1-infected T-cells.

Neumann M, Vosberg S, Schlee C, et al.
Mutational spectrum of adult T-ALL.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(5):2754-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Novel target discovery is warranted to improve treatment in adult T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) patients. We provide a comprehensive study on mutations to enhance the understanding of therapeutic targets and studied 81 adult T-ALL patients. NOTCH1 exhibitedthe highest mutation rate (53%). Mutation frequencies of FBXW7 (10%), WT1 (10%), JAK3 (12%), PHF6 (11%), and BCL11B (10%) were in line with previous reports. We identified recurrent alterations in transcription factors DNM2, and RELN, the WNT pathway associated cadherin FAT1, and in epigenetic regulators (MLL2, EZH2). Interestingly, we discovered novel recurrent mutations in the DNA repair complex member HERC1, in NOTCH2, and in the splicing factor ZRSR2. A frequently affected pathway was the JAK/STAT pathway (18%) and a significant proportion of T-ALL patients harboured mutations in epigenetic regulators (33%), both predominantly found in the unfavourable subgroup of early T-ALL. Importantly, adult T-ALL patients not only showed a highly heterogeneous mutational spectrum, but also variable subclonal allele frequencies implicated in therapy resistance and evolution of relapse. In conclusion, we provide novel insights in genetic alterations of signalling pathways (e.g. druggable by γ-secretase inhibitors, JAK inhibitors or EZH2 inhibitors), present in over 80% of all adult T-ALL patients, that could guide novel therapeutic approaches.

Ehrlich LA, Yang-Iott K, Bassing CH
Tcrδ translocations that delete the Bcl11b haploinsufficient tumor suppressor gene promote atm-deficient T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Cell Cycle. 2014; 13(19):3076-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
ATM is the master regulator of the cellular response to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). Deficiency of ATM predisposes humans and mice to αβ T lymphoid cancers with clonal translocations between the T cell receptor (TCR) α/δ locus and a 450 kb region of synteny on human chromosome 14 and mouse chromosome 12. While these translocations target and activate the TCL1 oncogene at 14q32 to cause T cell pro-lymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), the TCRα/δ;14q32 translocations in ATM-deficient T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) have not been characterized and their role in cancer pathogenesis remains unknown. The corresponding lesion in Atm-deficient mouse T-ALLs is a chromosome t(12;14) translocation with Tcrδ genes fused to sequences on chromosome 12; although these translocations do not activate Tcl1, they delete the Bcl11b haploinsufficient tumor suppressor gene. To assess whether Tcrδ translocations that inactivate one copy of Bcl11b promote transformation of Atm-deficient cells, we analyzed Atm(-/-) mice with mono-allelic Bcl11b deletion initiating in thymocytes concomitant with Tcrδ recombination. Inactivation of one Bcl11b copy had no effect on the predisposition of Atm(-/-) mice to clonal T-ALLs. Yet, none of these T-ALLs had a clonal chromosome t(12;14) translocation that deleted Bcl11b indicating that Tcrδ translocations that inactivate a copy of Bcl11b promote transformation of Atm-deficient thymocytes. Our data demonstrate that antigen receptor locus translocations can cause cancer by deleting a tumor suppressor gene. We discuss the implications of these findings for the etiology and therapy of T-ALLs associated with ATM deficiency and TCRα/δ translocations targeting the 14q32 cytogenetic region.

Huang HT, Chen SM, Pan LB, et al.
Loss of function of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling genes leads to genome instability of human lung cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(1):283-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes are frequently mutated in a variety of human cancers. We investigated the mutation incidence and the role of mSWI/SNF (BAF) complexes in human lung cancer. In the present study, we analyzed somatic mutations of BAF complexes and other driver mutated genes of lung carcinoma deposited in the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) database. BAF complexes were mutated in 282 of 803 (35.12%) lung carcinoma samples analyzed, ranking second to TP53. Significantly, BAF-mutated samples exhibited more genomic mutations than BAF wild-type ones. Moreover, a significant positive correlation existed between the BAF mutations and overall genomic mutations in these lung carcinoma samples (P<0.001, Pearson's correlation analysis). Specifically, the mutant-typing of 6 BAF genes, SMARCA4, ARID2, ARID1B, BCL11A, BCL11B and BRD9 was associated with more overall mutations in the lung carcinoma samples. A mutation reporter system was developed by means of the establishment of stable cell sublines with slippage-luciferase transcript in a lung adenocarcinoma cell line, Calu-3. SMARCA4, the most frequently mutated BAF gene in lung cancer, was stably knocked down by pSUPER constructs carrying short hairpin RNA (shRNA). Mutation ratios determined from the mutation reporters of Calu-3 cells were significantly increased upon stable SMARCA4 knockdown. We demonstrated that genetic mutations of BAF complexes lead to genome instability of lung carcinoma. Therefore, BAF complexes play an important role in maintaining genome stability in human lung cancer.

Le Douce V, Cherrier T, Riclet R, et al.
[CTIP2, a multifunctional protein: cellular physiopathology and therapeutic implications].
Med Sci (Paris). 2014 Aug-Sep; 30(8-9):797-802 [PubMed] Related Publications
The transcription factor CTIP2 (BCL11B) is a multifunctional protein involved in numerous cell physiological processes. To date, many molecular mechanisms underlying this process have been discovered, which highlighted the importance of the epigenetic regulation of genes and the regulation of the elongation factor P-TEFb. Furthermore studies of the deregulation of CTIP2 showed the association of CTIP2 to numerous pathologies including cancer and cardiac hypertrophy. A better comprehension of the physiopathology of these diseases might lead to the design of therapeutical strategies intending to prevent CTIP2 deregulation. Moreover, CTIP2 and its associated proteins constitute potential targets in strategies aiming to reduce and/or purge HIV-1 cell reservoirs.

Comprehensive molecular profiling of lung adenocarcinoma.
Nature. 2014; 511(7511):543-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Adenocarcinoma of the lung is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Here we report molecular profiling of 230 resected lung adenocarcinomas using messenger RNA, microRNA and DNA sequencing integrated with copy number, methylation and proteomic analyses. High rates of somatic mutation were seen (mean 8.9 mutations per megabase). Eighteen genes were statistically significantly mutated, including RIT1 activating mutations and newly described loss-of-function MGA mutations which are mutually exclusive with focal MYC amplification. EGFR mutations were more frequent in female patients, whereas mutations in RBM10 were more common in males. Aberrations in NF1, MET, ERBB2 and RIT1 occurred in 13% of cases and were enriched in samples otherwise lacking an activated oncogene, suggesting a driver role for these events in certain tumours. DNA and mRNA sequence from the same tumour highlighted splicing alterations driven by somatic genomic changes, including exon 14 skipping in MET mRNA in 4% of cases. MAPK and PI(3)K pathway activity, when measured at the protein level, was explained by known mutations in only a fraction of cases, suggesting additional, unexplained mechanisms of pathway activation. These data establish a foundation for classification and further investigations of lung adenocarcinoma molecular pathogenesis.

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