B2M

Gene Summary

Gene:B2M; beta-2-microglobulin
Aliases: IMD43
Location:15q21.1
Summary:This gene encodes a serum protein found in association with the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I heavy chain on the surface of nearly all nucleated cells. The protein has a predominantly beta-pleated sheet structure that can form amyloid fibrils in some pathological conditions. The encoded antimicrobial protein displays antibacterial activity in amniotic fluid. A mutation in this gene has been shown to result in hypercatabolic hypoproteinemia.[provided by RefSeq, Aug 2014]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:beta-2-microglobulin
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017

Ontology:

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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: B2M (cancer-related)

Breyer J, Wirtz RM, Laible M, et al.
ESR1, ERBB2, and Ki67 mRNA expression predicts stage and grade of non-muscle-invasive bladder carcinoma (NMIBC).
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(5):547-552 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pathological staging and grading are crucial for risk assessment in non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Molecular grading might support pathological evaluation and minimize interobserver variability. In this study, the well-established breast cancer markers ESR1, PGR, ERBB2, and MKI67 were evaluated as potential molecular markers to support grading and staging in NMIBC. We retrospectively analyzed clinical data and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues (FFPE) of patients with NMIBC. Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the aforementioned markers was measured by single-step reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) using RNA-specific TaqMan assays. Relative gene expression was determined by normalization to two reference genes (CALM2 and B2M) using the 40(-ΔΔCT) method and correlated to histopathological stage and grade. Pathological assessment was performed by an experienced uropathologist. Statistical analysis was performed using the SAS software JMP 9.0.0 version and GraphPad Prism 5.04. Of 381 cases of NMIBC, samples of 100 pTa and 255 pT1 cases were included in the final study. Spearman rank correlation revealed significant correlations between grade and expression of MKI67 (r = 0.52, p < 0.0001), ESR1 (r = 0.25, p < 0.0001), and ERBB2 (r = 0.18, p = 0.0008). In Mann-Whitney tests, MKI67 was significantly different between all grades (p < 0.0001), while ESR1 (p = 0.0006) and ERBB2 (p = 0.027) were significantly different between G2 and G3. Higher expression of MKI67 (r = 0.49; p < 0.0001), ERBB2 (r = 0.22; p < 0.0001), and ESR1 (r = 0.18; p = 0.0009) mRNA was positively correlated with higher stage. MKI67 (p < 0.0001), ERBB2 (p = 0.0058), and PGR (p = 0.0007) were significantly different between pTa and pT1. In NMIBC expression of ESR1, ERBB2 and MKI67 are significantly different between stage and grade. This potentially provides objective parameters for pathological evaluation.

Filip AA, Grenda A, Popek S, et al.
Expression of circulating miRNAs associated with lymphocyte differentiation and activation in CLL-another piece in the puzzle.
Ann Hematol. 2017; 96(1):33-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Expression of microRNAs is altered in cancer. Circulating miRNA level assessed in body fluids commonly reflects their expression in tumor cells. In leukemias, however, both leukemic and nonleukemic cells compose circulating miRNA expression profile of peripheral blood. The latter contribution to extracellular miRNA pool may result in specific microenvironmental signaling, which promotes proliferation and survival. In our study, we used qT-PCR to assay peripheral blood serum of 22 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients for the expression of 84 miRNAs associated with activation and differentiation of B and T lymphocytes. Results were analyzed regarding the most important prognostic factors. We have found that the general expression of examined miRNAs in CLL patients was lower as compared to healthy volunteers. Only miR-34a-5p, miR31-5p, miR-155-5p, miR-150-5p, miR-15a-3p, and miR-29a-3p were expressed on a higher level. Alterations of expression observed in CLL patients involved miRNAs associated both with B and T lymphocyte differentiation and activation. The most important discriminating factors for all functional miRNA groups were trisomy 12, CD38 expression, B2M level, WBC, and NOTCH1 gene mutation. Correlation of expression of miRNAs related to T lymphocytes with prognostic factors proves their supportive function in a leukemic microenvironment. Further studies utilizing a larger test group of patients may warrant the identification of circulating miRNAs that are key players in intercellular interactions and should be considered in the design of microenvironment-targeted therapies.

Choi HE, Shin JS, Leem DG, et al.
6-(3,4-Dihydro-1H-isoquinoline-2-yl)-N-(6-methoxypyridine-2-yl) nicotinamide-26 (DIMN-26) decreases cell proliferation by induction of apoptosis and downregulation of androgen receptor signaling in human prostate cancer cells.
Chem Biol Interact. 2016; 260:196-207 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previously, we reported that 6-(3,4-dihydro-1H-isoquinolin-2-yl)-N-(6-methylpyridin-2-yl) nicotinamide (DIMN) analogues inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells as an anti-androgenic compound. In the present study, we evaluated cytotoxic effects of these DIMN derivatives and found that DIMN-26 most potently inhibited the proliferation of the LNCap-LN3 androgen-dependent and DU145 androgen-independent prostate cancer cells through induction of G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and subsequent apoptosis. The G2/M phase arrest was found due to increases in the activation of cdc2 (also known as cyclin-dependent kinase 1, CDK1)/cyclin B1 complex. DIMN-26 also induced apoptosis in LNCap-LN3 and DU145 prostate cancer cells through activation of caspase-3, -8, and -9, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1). In addition, DIMN-26 caused the dephosphorylation and mitochondrial accumulation of Bad protein and induced the loss of mitochondria membrane potential, consequently releasing cytochrome c into the cytosol of the cell. Furthermore, overexpression of AKT protein significantly reduced DIMN-26-induced PARP-1 cleavage and p-Bad decrease and cdc2 activation. In addition, DIMN-26 inhibited the 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-induced cell growth and proliferation and nuclear translocation and transcriptional activities of androgen receptor (AR) in LNCap-LN3 prostate cancer cells. Consistent with these findings, DIMN-26 significantly inhibited the DHT-induced expression of AR-response genes (ARGs), such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA), AR, β2-microglobulin (B2M), selenoprotein P (SEPP1), and ste20-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) in LNCap-LN3 prostate cancer cells. Taken together, these results suggest that DIMN-26 plays a therapeutic role not only in induction of G2/M arrest and apoptosis but also in suppression of androgen receptor signaling in androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells.

Zaretsky JM, Garcia-Diaz A, Shin DS, et al.
Mutations Associated with Acquired Resistance to PD-1 Blockade in Melanoma.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(9):819-29 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Approximately 75% of objective responses to anti-programmed death 1 (PD-1) therapy in patients with melanoma are durable, lasting for years, but delayed relapses have been noted long after initial objective tumor regression despite continuous therapy. Mechanisms of immune escape in this context are unknown.
METHODS: We analyzed biopsy samples from paired baseline and relapsing lesions in four patients with metastatic melanoma who had had an initial objective tumor regression in response to anti-PD-1 therapy (pembrolizumab) followed by disease progression months to years later.
RESULTS: Whole-exome sequencing detected clonal selection and outgrowth of the acquired resistant tumors and, in two of the four patients, revealed resistance-associated loss-of-function mutations in the genes encoding interferon-receptor-associated Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) or Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), concurrent with deletion of the wild-type allele. A truncating mutation in the gene encoding the antigen-presenting protein beta-2-microglobulin (B2M) was identified in a third patient. JAK1 and JAK2 truncating mutations resulted in a lack of response to interferon gamma, including insensitivity to its antiproliferative effects on cancer cells. The B2M truncating mutation led to loss of surface expression of major histocompatibility complex class I.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, acquired resistance to PD-1 blockade immunotherapy in patients with melanoma was associated with defects in the pathways involved in interferon-receptor signaling and in antigen presentation. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).

Sun W, Gui L, Zuo X, et al.
Human epithelial-type ovarian tumour marker beta-2-microglobulin is regulated by the TGF-β signaling pathway.
J Transl Med. 2016; 14:75 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Beta-2-microglobulin (B2M), a light chain subunit of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I complex, has been implicated in tumorigenesis. However, whether it is expressed in different epithelial-type ovarian tumours remains unknown. This study was performed to examine the expression of B2M in different histopathological types of ovarian tumours, to explore the function of B2M in ovarian cancer (OC) cells and to investigate the mechanisms underlying the regulation of B2M by the TGF-β signaling pathway.
METHODS: B2M expression in normal ovarian tissues and epithelia-type ovarian tumours was detected by immunohistochemistry and Western blot, followed by the analysis of association with clinical features. OC cells were transfected with B2M-siRNA and cell proliferation, migration and invasion were determined by WST-1 assay, wound healing assay and Transwell invasion assay, respectively. The regulation of B2M by the TGF-β signaling pathway in OC cells was examined by Western blot, ELISA and qRT-PCR.
RESULTS: We found that B2M was overexpressed in ovarian borderline and malignant tumours compared with benign tumours and normal controls, but was not associated with age, tumour size, lymph node metastasis and clinical stage. Knocking down of B2M led to a decrease in OC cell proliferation, migration and invasion. The expression of B2M was downregulated by TGF-β1 in OC cells, which was abolished in the presence of the inhibitor of TGF-β type I receptor.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that B2M is a potential tissue biomarker and therapeutic target of borderline and malignant ovarian tumours and the dysregulation of B2M in these tumours may be mediated by the TGF-β signaling pathway.

Wu R, Nijland M, Rutgers B, et al.
Proteomics Based Identification of Proteins with Deregulated Expression in B Cell Lymphomas.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(1):e0146624 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B cell lymphomas comprise the main entities of adult B cell malignancies. Although multiple disease driving gene aberrations have been identified by gene expression and genomic studies, only a few studies focused at the protein level. We applied 2 dimensional gel electrophoresis to compare seven GC B cell non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) cell lines with a lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL). An average of 130 spots were at least two folds different in intensity between NHL cell lines and the LCL. We selected approximately 38 protein spots per NHL cell line and linked them to 145 unique spots based on the location in the gel. 34 spots that were found altered in at least three NHL cell lines when compared to LCL, were submitted for LC-MS/MS. This resulted in 28 unique proteins, a substantial proportion of these proteins were involved in cell motility and cell metabolism. Loss of expression of B2M, and gain of expression of PRDX1 and PPIA was confirmed in the cell lines and primary lymphoma tissue. Moreover, inhibition of PPIA with cyclosporine A blocked cell growth of the cell lines, the effect size was associated with the PPIA expression levels. In conclusion, we identified multiple differentially expressed proteins by 2-D proteomics, and showed that some of these proteins might play a role in the pathogenesis of NHL.

Haworth KB, Arnold MA, Pierson CR, et al.
Characterization of MHC Class I and β-2-Microglobulin Expression in Pediatric Solid Malignancies to Guide Selection of Immune-Based Therapeutic Trials.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016; 63(4):618-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Over 10,000 US children are diagnosed with cancer yearly. Though outcomes have improved by optimizing conventional therapies, recent immunotherapeutic successes in adult cancers are emerging. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are the primary executioners of adaptive antitumor immunity and require antigenic presentation in the context of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and the associated β-2-microglobulin (B2M). Loss of MHC I expression is a common immune escape mechanism in adult malignancies, but pediatric cancers have not been thoroughly characterized. The essential nature of MHC I expression in CTL-mediated cell death may dictate the success of immunotherapies, which rely on eliciting an adaptive response.
PROCEDURE: We queried pediatric tumor microarray databases for MHC I and B2M gene expression. We detected MHC I in pediatric tumor cell lines by flow cytometry and characterized MHC I and B2M expression in patient samples by immunohistochemistry. To determine whether therapeutic approaches might enhance MHC I expression in selected models in vitro, we tested effects of exposure to IFN-γ and histone deacetylase inhibitors.
RESULTS: Pediatric tumors overall, as well as samples within select individual tumor subtypes, exhibit wide ranges of MHC I and B2M gene and protein expression. For most cell lines tested, MHC I was inducible in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: MHC I and B2M expression vary among pediatric tumor types and should be evaluated as potential biomarkers, which might identify patients most likely to benefit from MHC I dependent immunotherapies. Modulation of MHC I expression may be a promising mechanism for enhancing MHC I dependent immunotherapeutic efficacy.

Soulières D, Hirsch FR, Shepherd FA, et al.
PTPRF Expression as a Potential Prognostic/Predictive Marker for Treatment with Erlotinib in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.
J Thorac Oncol. 2015; 10(9):1364-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: EGFR mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangements are, to date, the only approved biomarkers to select treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, there is considerable interest in identifying other predictive markers. The PTPRF gene has been suggested as a marker of interest in NSCLC and other tumor types.
METHODS: This hypothesis-generating retrospective analysis examined data from two studies of erlotinib in NSCLC, Marker Identification Trial (MERIT; n = 102) and Sequential Tarceva in Unresectable NSCLC (SATURN; n = 262), to determine whether PTPRF expression was prognostic and/or predictive of patient outcomes. Exploratory analyses were conducted using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction on existing formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples, to assess gene expression levels, including PTPRF. High versus low levels of expression were dichotomized using the median with B2M as a control comparator. Progression-free survival and overall survival were then compared for patients with high versus low levels of PTPRF in the two studies.
RESULTS: PTPRF expression was found to be prognostic for shorter overall survival but was also significantly predictive of improved survival with erlotinib versus placebo in SATURN (hazard ratio, 0.45 [95% confidence interval, CI, 0.30-0.69] in PTPRF high versus 0.96 [95% CI, 0.62-1.48] in PTPRF low; interaction p = 0.02), even in the EGFR wild-type subpopulation (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.44 [95% CI, 0.29-0.68] versus 0.96 [95% CI, 0.62-1.48]; interaction p = 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: PTPRF may have value as a predictive marker to identify which patients can obtain the greatest benefit from erlotinib in the post-first-line setting. Further research is warranted to determine the potential value of this marker in clinical decision-making.

Wang D, Quan Y, Yan Q, et al.
Targeted Disruption of the β2-Microglobulin Gene Minimizes the Immunogenicity of Human Embryonic Stem Cells.
Stem Cells Transl Med. 2015; 4(10):1234-45 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are a promising source of cells for tissue regeneration, yet histoincompatibility remains a major challenge to their clinical application. Because the human leukocyte antigen class I (HLA-I) molecules are the primary mediators of immune rejection, we hypothesized that cells derived from a hESC line lacking HLA-I expression could be transplanted without evoking a robust immune response from allogeneic recipients. In the present study, we used the replacement targeting strategy to delete exons 2 and 3 of β2-microglobulin on both gene alleles in hESCs. Because β2-microglobulin serves as the HLA-I light chain, disruption of the β2-microglobulin gene led to complete HLA-I deficiency on the cell surface of hESCs and their derivatives. Therefore, these cells were resistant to CD8+ T-cell-mediated destruction. Although interferon-γ (IFN-γ) treatment significantly induced β2-microglobulin expression, promoting CD8+ T cell-mediated killing of control hESCs and their derivatives, CD8+ T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity was barely observed with β2-microglobulin-null hESCs and their derivatives treated with IFN-γ. This genetic manipulation to disrupt HLA-I expression did not affect the self-renewal capacity, genomic stability, or pluripotency of hESCs. Despite being relatively sensitive to natural killer (NK) cell-mediated killing due to the lack of HLA-I expression, when transplanted into NK cell-depleted immunocompetent mice, β2-microglobulin-null hESCs developed into tumors resembling those derived from control hESCs in severe combined immunodeficiency mice. These results demonstrate that β2-microglobulin-null hESCs significantly reduce immunogenicity to CD8+ T cells and might provide a renewable source of cells for tissue regeneration without the need for HLA matching in the future.
SIGNIFICANCE: This study reports the generation of a novel β2-microglobulin (B2M)-/- human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line. Differentiated mature cells from this line do not express cell surface human leukocyte antigen molecules even after interferon-γ stimulation and are resistant to alloreactive CD8+ T cells. Moreover, this B2M-/- hESC line contains no off-target integration or cleavage events, is devoid of stable B2M mRNA, exhibits a normal karyotype, and retains its self-renewal capacity, genomic stability, and pluripotency. Although B2M-/- hESC-derived cells are more susceptible to natural killer (NK) cells, murine transplantation studies have indicated that they are, overall, much less immunogenic than normal hESCs. Thus, these data show for the first time that, in vivo, the advantages provided by B2M-/- hESC-derived cells in avoiding CD8+ T-cell killing appear significantly greater than any disadvantage caused by increased susceptibility to NK cells.

Nepomuceno AI, Shao H, Jing K, et al.
In-depth LC-MS/MS analysis of the chicken ovarian cancer proteome reveals conserved and novel differentially regulated proteins in humans.
Anal Bioanal Chem. 2015; 407(22):6851-63 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Ovarian cancer (OVC) remains the most lethal gynecological malignancy in the world due to the combined lack of early-stage diagnostics and effective therapeutic strategies. The development and application of advanced proteomics technology and new experimental models has created unique opportunities for translational studies. In this study, we investigated the ovarian cancer proteome of the chicken, an emerging experimental model of OVC that develops ovarian tumors spontaneously. Matched plasma, ovary, and oviduct tissue biospecimens derived from healthy, early-stage OVC, and late-stage OVC birds were quantitatively characterized by label-free proteomics. Over 2600 proteins were identified in this study, 348 of which were differentially expressed by more than twofold (p ≤ 0.05) in early- and late-stage ovarian tumor tissue specimens relative to healthy ovarian tissues. Several of the 348 proteins are known to be differentially regulated in human cancers including B2M, CLDN3, EPCAM, PIGR, S100A6, S100A9, S100A11, and TPD52. Of particular interest was ovostatin 2 (OVOS2), a novel 165-kDa protease inhibitor found to be strongly upregulated in chicken ovarian tumors (p = 0.0005) and matched plasma (p = 0.003). Indeed, RT-quantitative PCR and Western blot analysis demonstrated that OVOS2 mRNA and protein were also upregulated in multiple human OVC cell lines compared to normal ovarian epithelia (NOE) cells and immunohistochemical staining confirmed overexpression of OVOS2 in primary human ovarian cancers relative to non-cancerous tissues. Collectively, these data provide the first evidence for involvement of OVOS2 in the pathogenesis of both chicken and human ovarian cancer.

Braggio E, Van Wier S, Ojha J, et al.
Genome-Wide Analysis Uncovers Novel Recurrent Alterations in Primary Central Nervous System Lymphomas.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(17):3986-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma confined to the central nervous system. Whether there is a PCNSL-specific genomic signature and, if so, how it differs from systemic diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is uncertain.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We performed a comprehensive genomic study of tumor samples from 19 immunocompetent PCNSL patients. Testing comprised array-comparative genomic hybridization and whole exome sequencing.
RESULTS: Biallelic inactivation of TOX and PRKCD was recurrently found in PCNSL but not in systemic DLBCL, suggesting a specific role in PCNSL pathogenesis. In addition, we found a high prevalence of MYD88 mutations (79%) and CDKN2A biallelic loss (60%). Several genes recurrently affected in PCNSL were common with systemic DLBCL, including loss of TNFAIP3, PRDM1, GNA13, TMEM30A, TBL1XR1, B2M, CD58, activating mutations of CD79B, CARD11, and translocations IgH-BCL6. Overall, B-cell receptor/Toll-like receptor/NF-κB pathways were altered in >90% of PNCSL, highlighting its value for targeted therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, integrated analysis showed enrichment of pathways associated with immune response, proliferation, apoptosis, and lymphocyte differentiation.
CONCLUSIONS: In summary, genome-wide analysis uncovered novel recurrent alterations, including TOX and PRKCD, helping to differentiate PCNSL from systemic DLBCL and related lymphomas.

Sachnev V, Saraswathi S, Niaz R, et al.
Multi-class BCGA-ELM based classifier that identifies biomarkers associated with hallmarks of cancer.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2015; 16:166 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Traditional cancer treatments have centered on cytotoxic drugs and general purpose chemotherapy that may not be tailored to treat specific cancers. Identification of molecular markers that are related to different types of cancers might lead to discovery of drugs that are patient and disease specific. This study aims to use microarray gene expression cancer data to identify biomarkers that are indicative of different types of cancers. Our aim is to provide a multi-class cancer classifier that can simultaneously differentiate between cancers and identify type-specific biomarkers, through the application of the Binary Coded Genetic Algorithm (BCGA) and a neural network based Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) algorithm.
RESULTS: BCGA and ELM are combined and used to select a subset of genes that are present in the Global Cancer Mapping (GCM) data set. This set of candidate genes contains over 52 biomarkers that are related to multiple cancers, according to the literature. They include APOA1, VEGFC, YWHAZ, B2M, EIF2S1, CCR9 and many other genes that have been associated with the hallmarks of cancer. BCGA-ELM is tested on several cancer data sets and the results are compared to other classification methods. BCGA-ELM compares or exceeds other algorithms in terms of accuracy. We were also able to show that over 50% of genes selected by BCGA-ELM on GCM data are cancer related biomarkers.
CONCLUSIONS: We were able to simultaneously differentiate between 14 different types of cancers, using only 92 genes, to achieve a multi-class classification accuracy of 95.4% which is between 21.6% and 38% higher than other results in the literature for multi-class cancer classification. Our findings suggest that computational algorithms such as BCGA-ELM can facilitate biomarker-driven integrated cancer research that can lead to a detailed understanding of the complexities of cancer.

Rooney MS, Shukla SA, Wu CJ, et al.
Molecular and genetic properties of tumors associated with local immune cytolytic activity.
Cell. 2015; 160(1-2):48-61 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
How the genomic landscape of a tumor shapes and is shaped by anti-tumor immunity has not been systematically explored. Using large-scale genomic data sets of solid tissue tumor biopsies, we quantified the cytolytic activity of the local immune infiltrate and identified associated properties across 18 tumor types. The number of predicted MHC Class I-associated neoantigens was correlated with cytolytic activity and was lower than expected in colorectal and other tumors, suggesting immune-mediated elimination. We identified recurrently mutated genes that showed positive association with cytolytic activity, including beta-2-microglobulin (B2M), HLA-A, -B and -C and Caspase 8 (CASP8), highlighting loss of antigen presentation and blockade of extrinsic apoptosis as key strategies of resistance to cytolytic activity. Genetic amplifications were also associated with high cytolytic activity, including immunosuppressive factors such as PDL1/2 and ALOX12B/15B. Our genetic findings thus provide evidence for immunoediting in tumors and uncover mechanisms of tumor-intrinsic resistance to cytolytic activity.

Maroofi F, Amini S, Roshani D, et al.
Different frequencies and effects of ABCB1 T3435C polymorphism on clinical and laboratory features of B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia in Kurdish patients.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(4):2863-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Finding the effects of gene polymorphism on cancer pathogenesis is very desirable. The ATP-binding cassette is involved in drug metabolism, and the polymorphism of this gene may be an important risk factor in B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) or progression and/or response to chemotherapy agents. For the first time, the present study was aimed to evaluate the probable effects of ABCB1 T3435C polymorphism on clinical and laboratory features of Kurdish patients with B-CLL. This descriptive analytical case-control study was performed on 50 B-CLL patients and 100 healthy subjects. Serum levels of beta-2-microglobulin (B2M) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and blood WBC, RBC, Plt and ESR were measured. The T3435C polymorphism of the ABCB1 gene was determined by PCR-RFLP. Concentration of serum and blood markers was significantly higher in the malignant group than in the benign subjects. The CC genotype had the highest frequency (66%) in the patient groups. There are no significant differences between the genotypes and type of treatment. Our results demonstrate the high frequency of C allele of ABCB1 T3435C in B-CLL patients with Kurdish ethnicity. We also show that this polymorphism has a significant risk factor in B-CLL. However, the effect of this polymorphism on clinical and laboratory characteristics of B-CLL patients was not significant.

Ali H, Du Z, Li X, et al.
Identification of suitable reference genes for gene expression studies using quantitative polymerase chain reaction in lung cancer in vitro.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 11(5):3767-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study aimed to examine 10 housekeeping genes (HKGs), including 18s ribosomal RNA (18S), glyceraldehyde‑3‑phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), ribosomal protein large P0 (RPLP0), β‑actin (ACTB), peptidylprolyl isomerase A (PPIA), phosphoglycerate kinase‑1 (PGK1), β‑2‑microglobulin (B2M), ribosomal protein LI3a (RPL13A), hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase‑1 (HPRT1) and TATA box binding protein (TBP) in order to identify the most stable and suitable reference genes for use in expression studies in non‑small cell lung cancer. The mRNA expression encoding the panel of the 10 HKGs was determined using reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR (RT‑qPCR) in human lung cancer cell lines. Three software programs, BestKeeper, NormFinder and geNorm, were used to ascertain the most suitable reference genes to normalize the RNA input. The present study examined three lung cancer cell lines (A549, NCI‑H446 and NCI‑H460). The analysis of the experimental data using BestKeeper software revealed that all 10 HKGs were stable, with GADPH, followed by 18S being the most stable genes and PPIA and HPRT1 being the least stable genes. The NormFinder software results demonstrated that PPIA followed by ACTB were the most stable and B2M and RPLP0 were the least stable. The geNorm software results revealed that ACTB and PGK1, followed by PPIA were the most stable genes and B2M and RPLP0 were identified as the least stable genes. Due to discrepancies in the ranking orders of the reference genes obtained by different analyzing software programs, it was not possible to determine a single universal reference gene. The suitability of selected reference genes requires unconditional validation prior to each study. Based on the three analyzing programs, ACTB, PPIA and PGK1 were the most stable reference genes in lung cancer cell lines.

Reichel J, Chadburn A, Rubinstein PG, et al.
Flow sorting and exome sequencing reveal the oncogenome of primary Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells.
Blood. 2015; 125(7):1061-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is characterized by sparsely distributed Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells amid reactive host background, complicating the acquisition of neoplastic DNA without extensive background contamination. We overcame this limitation by using flow-sorted HRS and intratumor T cells and optimized low-input exome sequencing of 10 patient samples to reveal alterations in genes involved in antigen presentation, chromosome integrity, transcriptional regulation, and ubiquitination. β-2-microglobulin (B2M) is the most commonly altered gene in HRS cells, with 7 of 10 cases having inactivating mutations that lead to loss of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) expression. Enforced wild-type B2M expression in a cHL cell line restored MHC-I expression. In an extended cohort of 145 patients, the absence of B2M protein in the HRS cells was associated with lower stage of disease, younger age at diagnosis, and better overall and progression-free survival. B2M-deficient cases encompassed most of the nodular sclerosis subtype cases and only a minority of mixed cellularity cases, suggesting that B2M deficiency determines the tumor microenvironment and may define a major subset of cHL that has more uniform clinical and morphologic features. In addition, we report previously unknown genetic alterations that may render selected patients sensitive to specific targeted therapies.

Romani C, Calza S, Todeschini P, et al.
Identification of optimal reference genes for gene expression normalization in a wide cohort of endometrioid endometrial carcinoma tissues.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(12):e113781 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Accurate normalization is a primary component of a reliable gene expression analysis based on qRT-PCR technique. While the use of one or more reference genes as internal controls is commonly accepted as the most appropriate normalization strategy, many qPCR-based published studies still contain data poorly normalized and reference genes arbitrarily chosen irrespective of the particular tissue and the specific experimental design. To date, no validated reference genes have been identified for endometrial cancer tissues. In this study, 10 normalization genes (GAPDH, B2M, ACTB, POLR2A, UBC, PPIA, HPRT1, GUSB, TBP, H3F3A) belonging to different functional and abundance classes in various tissues and used in different studies, were analyzed to determine their applicability. In total, 100 endometrioid endometrial cancer samples, which were carefully balanced according to their tumor grade, and 29 normal endometrial tissues were examined using SYBR Green Real-Time RT-PCR. The expression stability of candidate reference genes was determined and compared by means of geNorm and NormFinder softwares. Both algorithms were in agreement in identifying GAPDH, H3F3A, PPIA, and HPRT1 as the most stably expressed genes, only differing in their ranking order. Analysis performed on the expression levels of all candidate genes confirm HPRT1 and PPIA as the most stably expressed in the study groups regardless of sample type, to be used alone or better in combination. As the stable expression of HPRT1 and PPIA between normal and tumor endometrial samples fulfill the basic requirement of a reference gene to be used for normalization purposes, HPRT1 expression showed significant differences between samples from low-grade and high-grade tumors. In conclusion, our results recommend the use of PPIA as a single reference gene to be considered for improved reliability of normalization in gene expression studies involving endometrial tumor samples at different tumor degrees.

Sucker A, Zhao F, Real B, et al.
Genetic evolution of T-cell resistance in the course of melanoma progression.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(24):6593-604 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: CD8(+) T lymphocytes can kill autologous melanoma cells, but their activity is impaired when poorly immunogenic tumor phenotypes evolve in the course of disease progression. Here, we analyzed three consecutive melanoma lesions obtained within one year of developing stage IV disease for their recognition by autologous T cells.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: One skin (Ma-Mel-48a) and two lymph node (Ma-Mel-48b, Ma-Mel-48c) metastases were analyzed for T-cell infiltration. Melanoma cell lines established from the respective lesions were characterized, determining the T-cell-stimulatory capacity, expression of surface molecules involved in T-cell activation, and specific genetic alterations affecting the tumor-T-cell interaction.
RESULTS: Metastases Ma-Mel-48a and Ma-Mel-48b, in contrast with Ma-Mel-48c, were infiltrated by T cells. The T-cell-stimulatory capacity was found to be strong for Ma-Mel-48a, lower for Ma-Mel-48b, and completely abrogated for Ma-Mel-48c cells. The latter proved to be HLA class I-negative due to an inactivating mutation in one allele of the beta-2-microglobulin (B2M) gene and concomitant loss of the other allele by a deletion on chromosome 15q. The same deletion was already present in Ma-Mel-48a and Ma-Mel-48b cells, pointing to an early acquired genetic event predisposing to development of β2m deficiency. Notably, the same chronology of genetic alterations was also observed in a second β2m-deficient melanoma model.
CONCLUSION: Our study reveals a progressive loss in melanoma immunogenicity during the course of metastatic disease. The genetic evolvement of T-cell resistance suggests screening tumors for genetic alterations affecting immunogenicity could be clinically relevant in terms of predicting patient responses to T-cell-based immunotherapy.

de Miranda NF, Georgiou K, Chen L, et al.
Exome sequencing reveals novel mutation targets in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas derived from Chinese patients.
Blood. 2014; 124(16):2544-53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Next-generation sequencing studies on diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) have revealed novel targets of genetic aberrations but also high intercohort heterogeneity. Previous studies have suggested that the prevalence of disease subgroups and cytogenetic profiles differ between Western and Asian patients. To characterize the coding genome of Chinese DLBCL, we performed whole-exome sequencing of DNA derived from 31 tumors and respective peripheral blood samples. The mutation prevalence of B2M, CD70, DTX1, LYN, TMSB4X, and UBE2A was investigated in an additional 105 tumor samples. We discovered 11 novel targets of recurrent mutations in DLBCL that included functionally relevant genes such as LYN and TMSB4X. Additional genes were found mutated at high frequency (≥10%) in the Chinese cohort including DTX1, which was the most prevalent mutation target in the Notch pathway. We furthermore demonstrated that mutations in DTX1 impair its function as a negative regulator of Notch. Novel and previous unappreciated targets of somatic mutations in DLBCL identified in this study support the existence of additional/alternative tumorigenic pathways in these tumors. The observed differences with previous reports might be explained by the genetic heterogeneity of DLBCL, the germline genetic makeup of Chinese individuals, and/or exposure to distinct etiological agents.

Saglar E, Unlu S, Babalioglu I, et al.
Assessment of ER Stress and autophagy induced by ionizing radiation in both radiotherapy patients and ex vivo irradiated samples.
J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2014; 28(9):413-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute radiation leads to several toxic clinical states and triggers some molecular pathways. To shed light on molecular mechanisms triggered by ionizing radiation (IR), we examined the expression profiles of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and autophagy-related genes in individuals who were exposed to IR. Blood samples were collected from 50 cancer patients before radiotherapy and on the 5th, 15th, and 25th days of the treatment. Peripheral blood samples from 10 healthy volunteers were also obtained for ex vivo irradiation, divided into five and irradiated at a rate of 373 kGy/h to 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 3Gy γ-rays using a constant gamma source. GRP78, ATG5, LC3, ATF4, XBP1, and GADD153 genes were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR) using beta 2 microglobulin (B2M) and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) as references. In both groups, expressions of the selected genes have increased. It can be concluded that IR induces ER stress and related authophagy pathway in the peripheral lymphocyte cells proportionally by dose.

Dupasquier S, Delmarcelle AS, Marbaix E, et al.
Validation of housekeeping gene and impact on normalized gene expression in clear cell renal cell carcinoma: critical reassessment of YBX3/ZONAB/CSDA expression.
BMC Mol Biol. 2014; 15:9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: YBX3/ZONAB/CSDA is an epithelial-specific transcription factor acting in the density-based switch between proliferation and differentiation. Our laboratory reported overexpression of YBX3 in clear cell renal cell arcinoma (ccRCC), as part of a wide study of YBX3 regulation in vitro and in vivo. The preliminary data was limited to 5 cases, of which only 3 could be compared to paired normal tissue, and beta-Actin was used as sole reference to normalize gene expression. We thus decided to re-evaluate YBX3 expression by real-time-PCR in a larger panel of ccRCC samples, and their paired healthy tissue, with special attention on experimental biases such as inter-individual variations, primer specificity, and reference gene for normalization.
RESULTS: Gene expression was measured by RT-qPCR in 16 ccRCC samples, each compared to corresponding healthy tissue to minimize inter-individual variations. Eight potential housekeeping genes were evaluated for expression level and stability among the 16-paired samples. Among tested housekeeping genes, PPIA and RPS13, especially in combination, proved best suitable to normalize gene expression in ccRCC tissues as compared to classical reference genes such as beta-Actin, GAPDH, 18S or B2M. Using this pair as reference, YBX3 expression level among a collection of 16 ccRCC tumors was not significantly increased as compared to normal adjacent tissues. However, stratification according to Fuhrman grade disclosed higher YBX3 expression levels in low-grade tumors and lower in high-grade tumors. Immunoperoxidase confirmed homogeneous nuclear staining for YBX3 in low-grade but revealed nuclear heterogeneity in high-grade tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: This paper underlines that special attention to reference gene products in the design of real-time PCR analysis of tumoral tissue is crucial to avoid misleading conclusions. Furthermore, we found that global YBX3/ZONAB/CSDA mRNA expression level may be considered within a "signature" of RCC grading.

Aya-Bonilla C, Camilleri E, Haupt LM, et al.
In silico analyses reveal common cellular pathways affected by loss of heterozygosity (LOH) events in the lymphomagenesis of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).
BMC Genomics. 2014; 15:390 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The analysis of cellular networks and pathways involved in oncogenesis has increased our knowledge about the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie tumour biology and has unmasked new molecular targets that may lead to the design of better anti-cancer therapies. Recently, using a high resolution loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis, we identified a number of potential tumour suppressor genes (TSGs) within common LOH regions across cases suffering from two of the most common forms of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), Follicular Lymphoma (FL) and Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL). From these studies LOH of the protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type J (PTPRJ) gene was identified as a common event in the lymphomagenesis of these B-cell lymphomas. The present study aimed to determine the cellular pathways affected by the inactivation of these TSGs including PTPRJ in FL and DLBCL tumourigenesis.
RESULTS: Pathway analytical approaches identified that candidate TSGs located within common LOH regions participate within cellular pathways, which may play a crucial role in FL and DLBCL lymphomagenesis (i.e., metabolic pathways). These analyses also identified genes within the interactome of PTPRJ (i.e. PTPN11 and B2M) that when inactivated in NHL may play an important role in tumourigenesis. We also detected genes that are differentially expressed in cases with and without LOH of PTPRJ, such as NFATC3 (nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic, calcineurin-dependent 3). Moreover, upregulation of the VEGF, MAPK and ERBB signalling pathways was also observed in NHL cases with LOH of PTPRJ, indicating that LOH-driving events causing inactivation of PTPRJ, apart from possibly inducing a constitutive activation of these pathways by reduction or abrogation of its dephosphorylation activity, may also induce upregulation of these pathways when inactivated. This finding implicates these pathways in the lymphomagenesis and progression of FL and DLBCL.
CONCLUSIONS: The evidence obtained in this research supports findings suggesting that FL and DLBCL share common pathogenic mechanisms. Also, it indicates that PTPRJ can play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of these B-cell tumours and suggests that activation of PTPRJ might be an interesting novel chemotherapeutic target for the treatment of these B-cell tumours.

Krzystek-Korpacka M, Diakowska D, Bania J, Gamian A
Expression stability of common housekeeping genes is differently affected by bowel inflammation and cancer: implications for finding suitable normalizers for inflammatory bowel disease studies.
Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2014; 20(7):1147-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Instability of housekeeping genes (HKG), supposedly unregulated and hence used as normalizers, may dramatically change conclusions of quantitative PCR experiments. The effect of bowel inflammation on HKG remains unknown. Expression stability of 15 HKG (ACTB, B2M, GAPDH, GUSB, HPRT1, IPO8, MRPL19, PGK1, PPIA, RPLP0, RPS23, SDHA, TBP, UBC, and YWHAZ) in 166 bowel specimens (91 normal, 35 cancerous, and 40 inflamed) was ranked by coefficients of variation (CV%) or using dedicated software: geNorm and NormFinder. The RPS23, PPIA, and RPLP0 were top-ranked, whereas IPO8, UBC and TBP were the lowest-ranked HKG across inflamed/cancerous/normal colonic tissues. The pairs RPS23/RPLP0, PGK1/MRPL19, or PPIA/RPLP0 were optimal reference by CV%, NormFinder, and geNorm, respectively. Colon inflammation affected HKG more pronouncedly than cancer with ACTB significantly down- and B2M upregulated. In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), different genes were top-ranked in a large and small bowel, whereas TBP, UBC, and IPO8 were lowest-ranked in both. For patients with IBD at large, RPS23/PPIA, PGK1/MRPL19, and PPIA/RPLP0 were found optimal by CV%, NormFinder, and geNorm, respectively. ACTB and B2M expression was related to CRC stage and positively correlated with clinical activity of IBD. Although GAPDH was upregulated neither in CRC nor IBD, it tended to positively correlate with tumor depth and Crohn's disease activity index. Normalizing against GAPDH affected experimental conclusions in a small but not large bowel. Bowel inflammation significantly affects several classic HKG. The pair PPIA/RPLP0 is a common optimal reference for studies encompassing tissues sampled from colorectal cancer and IBD patients. Using ACTB or B2M is not recommended.

Cai J, Li T, Huang B, et al.
The use of laser microdissection in the identification of suitable reference genes for normalization of quantitative real-time PCR in human FFPE epithelial ovarian tissue samples.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e95974 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is a powerful and reproducible method of gene expression analysis in which expression levels are quantified by normalization against reference genes. Therefore, to investigate the potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for epithelial ovarian cancer by qPCR, it is critical to identify stable reference genes. In this study, twelve housekeeping genes (ACTB, GAPDH, 18S rRNA, GUSB, PPIA, PBGD, PUM1, TBP, HRPT1, RPLP0, RPL13A, and B2M) were analyzed in 50 ovarian samples from normal, benign, borderline, and malignant tissues. For reliable results, laser microdissection (LMD), an effective technique used to prepare homogeneous starting material, was utilized to precisely excise target tissues or cells. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and nonparametric (Kruskal-Wallis) tests were used to compare the expression differences. NormFinder and geNorm software were employed to further validate the suitability and stability of the candidate genes. Results showed that epithelial cells occupied a small percentage of the normal ovary indeed. The expression of ACTB, PPIA, RPL13A, RPLP0, and TBP were stable independent of the disease progression. In addition, NormFinder and geNorm identified the most stable combination (ACTB, PPIA, RPLP0, and TBP) and the relatively unstable reference gene GAPDH from the twelve commonly used housekeeping genes. Our results highlight the use of homogeneous ovarian tissues and multiple-reference normalization strategy, e.g. the combination of ACTB, PPIA, RPLP0, and TBP, for qPCR in epithelial ovarian tissues, whereas GAPDH, the most commonly used reference gene, is not recommended, especially as a single reference gene.

Ma W, Diep K, Fritsche HA, et al.
Diagnostic and prognostic scoring system for prostate cancer using urine and plasma biomarkers.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2014; 18(3):156-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: To avoid relying solely on serum prostate-specific antigen (sPSA) in screening for prostate cancer (PCa), we developed a scoring system for detecting PCa and the prediction of aggressiveness. We analyzed urine and plasma specimens from 121 patients with PCa or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) for the levels of UAP1, PDLIM5, IMPDH2, HSPD1, PCA3, PSA, TMPRSS2, ERG, GAPDH, and B2M genes. Patient age, sPSA level, and polymerase chain reaction data were entered through multiple algorithms to determine models most useful for the detection of cancer and predicting aggressiveness.
RESULTS: In the first algorithm, we distinguished PCa from BPH (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUROC] of 0.78). Another algorithm distinguished patients with the Gleason score (GS) of ≥7 from GS of <7 cancer or BPH (AUROC of 0.88). By incorporating the two algorithms into a scoring system, 75% of the analyzed samples showed concordance between the two models (99% specificity and 68% sensitivity for predicting GS ≥7 in this group).
CONCLUSION: A scoring system incorporating two algorithms using urine and plasma biomarkers highly predicts the presence of GS ≥7 PCa in 75% of patients. Our algorithms may assist with both biopsy indication and patient prognosis.

Zhan C, Zhang Y, Ma J, et al.
Identification of reference genes for qRT-PCR in human lung squamous-cell carcinoma by RNA-Seq.
Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2014; 46(4):330-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although the accuracy of quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) is highly dependent on the reliable reference genes, many commonly used reference genes are not stably expressed and as such are not suitable for quantification and normalization of qRT-PCR data. The aim of this study was to identify novel reliable reference genes in lung squamous-cell carcinoma. We used RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to survey the whole genome expression in 5 lung normal samples and 44 lung squamous-cell carcinoma samples. We evaluated the expression profiles of 15 commonly used reference genes and identified five additional candidate reference genes. To validate the RNA-Seq dataset, we used qRT-PCR to verify the expression levels of these 20 genes in a separate set of 100 pairs of normal lung tissue and lung squamous-cell carcinoma samples, and then analyzed these results using geNorm and NormFinder. With respect to 14 of the 15 common reference genes (B2M, GAPDH, GUSB, HMBS, HPRT1, IPO8, PGK1, POLR2A, PPIA, RPLP0, TBP, TFRC, UBC, and YWHAZ), the expression levels were either too low to be easily detected, or exhibited a high degree of variability either between lung normal and squamous-cell carcinoma samples, or even among samples of the same tissue type. In contrast, 1 of the 15 common reference genes (ACTB) and the 5 additional candidate reference genes (EEF1A1, FAU, RPS9, RPS11, and RPS14) were stably and constitutively expressed at high levels in all the samples tested. ACTB, EEF1A1, FAU, RPS9, RPS11, and RPS14 are ideal reference genes for qRT-PCR analysis of lung squamous-cell carcinoma, while 14 commonly used qRT-PCR reference genes are less appropriate in this context.

Klippel ZK, Chou J, Towlerton AM, et al.
Immune escape from NY-ESO-1-specific T-cell therapy via loss of heterozygosity in the MHC.
Gene Ther. 2014; 21(3):337-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Adoptive immunotherapy of tumors with T cells specific for the cancer-testis antigen NY-ESO-1 has shown great promise in preclinical models and in early stage clinical trials. Tumor persistence or recurrence after NY-ESO-1-specific therapy occurs, however, and the mechanisms of recurrence remain poorly defined. In a murine xenograft model of NY-ESO-1(+) multiple myeloma, we observed tumor recurrence after adoptive transfer of CD8(+) T cells genetically redirected to the prototypic NY-ESO-1157-165 peptide presented by HLA-A*02:01. Analysis of the myeloma cells that had escaped from T-cell control revealed intact expression of NY-ESO-1 and B2M, but selective, complete loss of HLA-A*02:01 expression from the cell surface. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) involving the HLA-A locus was identified in the tumor cells, and further analysis revealed selective loss of the allele encoding HLA-A*02:01. Although LOH involving the MHC has not been described in myeloma patients with persistent or recurrent disease after immune therapies such as allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), it has been described in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia who relapsed after allogeneic HCT. These results suggest that MHC loss should be evaluated in patients with myeloma and other cancers who relapse after adoptive NY-ESO-1-specific T-cell therapy.

Roelofs HM, Te Morsche RH, van Heumen BW, et al.
Over-expression of COX-2 mRNA in colorectal cancer.
BMC Gastroenterol. 2014; 14:1 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2, PTGS2) is an enzyme involved in the synthesis of prostaglandins and thromboxanes, which are regulators of biologic processes such as inflammation, cell proliferation and angiogenesis. COX-2 over-expression was reported in many (pre) malignant tissues, but data strongly vary and seem to depend on the methodology used.
METHODS: Normal colorectal mucosa and paired cancerous tissue from 60 patients with colorectal cancer was investigated for the levels of COX-2 mRNA by real-time quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR). COX-2 levels were expressed relative to either: tissue weight or levels of the housekeeping genes beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH).
RESULTS: COX-2 mRNA levels, normalized with respect to tissue weight or mRNA levels of the housekeeping genes B2M or GAPDH, were over-expressed in 80%, 70% and 40% of the colorectal tumor tissues, as compared to the paired adjacent normal colorectal mucosa samples, respectively. Highest mRNA COX-2 ratios tumor/normal were measured when expressed per mg tissue (mean ratio 21.6). When normalized with respect to the housekeeping genes B2M or GAPDH, mean tumor/normal ratios were 16.1 and 7.5, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Expression of COX-2 mRNA levels per mg tissue is most simple in comparison to normalization with respect to the housekeeping genes B2M or GAPDH. Levels of COX-2 mRNA are found over-expressed in almost 80% of the colorectal tumors, compared to paired adjacent normal colorectal mucosa, suggesting a role of COX-2 as a potential biomarker for cancer risk, whereas inhibitors of COX-2 could be of value in chemoprevention of colon cancer.

Wisnieski F, Calcagno DQ, Leal MF, et al.
Reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR data in gastric tissues and cell lines.
World J Gastroenterol. 2013; 19(41):7121-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
AIM: To evaluate the suitability of reference genes in gastric tissue samples and cell lines.
METHODS: The suitability of genes ACTB, B2M, GAPDH, RPL29, and 18S rRNA was assessed in 21 matched pairs of neoplastic and adjacent non-neoplastic gastric tissues from patients with gastric adenocarcinoma, 27 normal gastric tissues from patients without cancer, and 4 cell lines using reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). The ranking of the best single and combination of reference genes was determined by NormFinder, geNorm™, BestKeeper, and DataAssist™. In addition, GenEx software was used to determine the optimal number of reference genes. To validate the results, the mRNA expression of a target gene, DNMT1, was quantified using the different reference gene combinations suggested by the various software packages for normalization.
RESULTS: ACTB was the best reference gene for all gastric tissues, cell lines and all gastric tissues plus cell lines. GAPDH + B2M or ACTB + B2M was the best combination of reference genes for all the gastric tissues. On the other hand, ACTB + B2M was the best combination for all the cell lines tested and was also the best combination for analyses involving all the gastric tissues plus cell lines. According to the GenEx software, 2 or 3 genes were the optimal number of references genes for all the gastric tissues. The relative quantification of DNMT1 showed similar patterns when normalized by each combination of reference genes. The level of expression of DNMT1 in neoplastic, adjacent non-neoplastic and normal gastric tissues did not differ when these samples were normalized using GAPDH + B2M (P = 0.32), ACTB + B2M (P = 0.61), or GAPDH + B2M + ACTB (P = 0.44).
CONCLUSION: GAPDH + B2M or ACTB + B2M is the best combination of reference gene for all the gastric tissues, and ACTB + B2M is the best combination for the cell lines tested.

Seuter S, Pehkonen P, Heikkinen S, Carlberg C
Dynamics of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-dependent chromatin accessibility of early vitamin D receptor target genes.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1829(12):1266-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
The signaling cascade of the transcription factor vitamin D receptor (VDR) is triggered by its specific ligand 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25(OH)2D3). In this study we demonstrate that in THP-1 human monocytic leukemia cells 87.4% of the 1034 most prominent genome-wide VDR binding sites co-localize with loci of open chromatin. At 165 of them 1α,25(OH)2D3 strongly increases chromatin accessibility and has at further 217 sites weaker effects. Interestingly, VDR binding sites in 1α,25(OH)2D3-responsive chromatin regions are far more often composed of direct repeats with 3 intervening nucleotides (DR3s) than those in ligand insensitive regions. DR3-containing VDR sites are enriched in the neighborhood of genes that are involved in controling cellular growth, while non-DR3 VDR binding is often found close to genes related to immunity. At the example of six early VDR target genes we show that the slope of their 1α,25(OH)2D3-induced transcription correlates with the basal chromatin accessibility of their major VDR binding regions. However, the chromatin loci controlling these genes are indistinguishable in their VDR association kinetics. Taken together, ligand responsive chromatin loci represent dynamically regulated contact points of VDR with the genome, from where it controls early 1α,25(OH)2D3 target genes.

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