Gene Summary

Gene:CD74; CD74 molecule
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene associates with class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and is an important chaperone that regulates antigen presentation for immune response. It also serves as cell surface receptor for the cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) which, when bound to the encoded protein, initiates survival pathways and cell proliferation. This protein also interacts with amyloid precursor protein (APP) and suppresses the production of amyloid beta (Abeta). Multiple alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2011]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:HLA class II histocompatibility antigen gamma chain
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


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 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Mutation
  • Gene Expression
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • CD Antigens
  • CD74
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • ROS1
  • ras Proteins
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Cancer DNA
  • Mycosis Fungoides
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Western Blotting
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors
  • Breast Cancer
  • NTRK1
  • FISH
  • RT-PCR
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Survival
  • Tumor Antigens
  • Staging
  • Chromosome 5
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Immunohistochemistry
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (9)

Latest Publications: CD74 (cancer-related)

Inoue M, Toki H, Matsui J, et al.
Mouse models for ROS1-fusion-positive lung cancers and their application to the analysis of multikinase inhibitor efficiency.
Carcinogenesis. 2016; 37(5):452-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
ROS1-fusion genes, resulting from chromosomal rearrangement, have been reported in 1-2% of human non-small cell lung cancer cases. More than 10 distinct ROS1-fusion genes, including break-point variants, have been identified to date. In this study, to investigate the in vivo oncogenic activities of one of the most frequently detected fusions, CD74-ROS1, as well as another SDC4-ROS1 fusion that has also been reported in several studies, we generated transgenic (TG) mouse strains that express either of the two ROS1-fusion genes specifically in lung alveolar type II cells. Mice in all TG lines developed tumorigenic nodules in the lung, and a few strains of both TG mouse lines demonstrated early-onset nodule development (multiple tumor lesions present in the lung at 2-4 weeks after birth); therefore, these two strains were selected for further investigation. Tumors developed progressively in the untreated TG mice of both lines, whereas those receiving oral administration of an ALK/MET/ROS1 inhibitor, crizotinib, and an ALK/ROS1 inhibitor, ASP3026, showed marked reduction in the tumor burden. Collectively, these data suggest that each of these two ROS1-fusion genes acts as a driver for the pathogenesis of lung adenocarcinoma in vivo The TG mice developed in this study are expected to serve as valuable tools for exploring novel therapeutic agents against ROS1-fusion-positive lung cancer.

Murayama T, Nakaoku T, Enari M, et al.
Oncogenic Fusion Gene CD74-NRG1 Confers Cancer Stem Cell-like Properties in Lung Cancer through a IGF2 Autocrine/Paracrine Circuit.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(4):974-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
The CD74-Neuregulin1 (NRG1) fusion gene was recently identified as novel driver of invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma, a malignant form of lung cancer. However, the function of the CD74-NRG1 fusion gene in adenocarcinoma pathogenesis and the mechanisms by which it may impart protumorigenic characteristics to cancer stem cells (CSC) is still unclear. In this study, we found that the expression of the CD74-NRG1 fusion gene increased the population of lung cancer cells with CSC-like properties. CD74-NRG1 expression facilitated sphere formation not only of cancer cells, but also of nonmalignant lung epithelial cells. Using a limiting dilution assay in a xenograft model, we further show that the CD74-NRG1 fusion gene enhanced tumor initiation. Mechanistically, we found that CD74-NRG1 expression promoted the phosphorylation of ErbB2/3 and activated the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB signaling pathway. Furthermore, the expression of the secreted insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and phosphorylation of its receptor, IGF1R, were enhanced in an NF-κB-dependent manner in cells expressing CD74-NRG1. These findings suggest that CD74-NRG1-induced NF-κB activity promotes the IGF2 autocrine/paracrine circuit. Moreover, inhibition of ErbB2, PI3K, NF-κB, or IGF2 suppressed CD74-NRG1-induced tumor sphere formation. Therefore, our study provides a preclinical rationale for developing treatment approaches based on these identified pathways to suppress CSC properties that promote tumor progression and recurrence.

Clavé S, Gimeno J, Muñoz-Mármol AM, et al.
ROS1 copy number alterations are frequent in non-small cell lung cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(7):8019-28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine the prevalence and partners of ROS1 rearrangements, to explore the correlation between FISH and IHC assays, and to investigate clinical implications of ROS1 copy number alterations (CNAs).
METHODS: A total of 314 NSCLC patients were screened using ROS1 FISH break-apart probes. Of these, 47 surgical tumors were included in TMAs to analyze ROS1 heterogeneity assessed either by FISH and IHC, and chromosome 6 aneusomy. To characterize ROS1 partners, probes for CD74, EZR, SLC34A2 and SDC3 genes were developed. ROS1 positive FISH cases were screened also by IHC.
RESULTS: Five patients were ROS1 positive (1.8%). We identified two known fusion partners in three patients: CD74 and SLC34A2. Four out of five ROS1 rearranged patients were female, never smokers and with adenocarcinoma histology. Rearranged cases were also positive by IHC as well. According to ROS1 CNAs, we found a prevalence of 37.8% gains/amplifications and 25.1% deletions.
CONCLUSIONS: This study point out the high prevalence of ROS1 CNAs in a large series of NSCLC. ROS1 gains, amplifications and deletions, most of them due to chromosome 6 polysomy or monosomy, were heterogeneous within a tumor and had no impact on overall survival.

Zhong S, Zhang H, Bai D, et al.
[Detection of ALK, ROS1 and RET fusion genes in non-small cell lung cancer patients and its clinicopathologic correlation].
Zhonghua Bing Li Xue Za Zhi. 2015; 44(9):639-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To study the prevalence of ALK, ROS1 and RET fusion genes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and its correlation with clinicopathologic features.
METHODS: Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue sections from samples of 302 patients with NSCLC were screened for ALK, ROS1, RET fusions by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). All of the cases were validated by Sanger DNA sequencing. The relationship between ALK, ROS1, RET fusion genes and clinicopathologic features were analyzed.
RESULTS: In the cohort of 302 NSCLC samples, 3.97% (12/302) were found to contain ALK fusion genes, including 3 cases with E13; A20 gene fusion, 3 cases with E6; A20 gene fusion and 3 cases with E20; A20 gene fusion. There was no statistically significant difference in patient's gender, age, smoking history and histologic type. Moreover, in the 302 NSCLC samples studied, 3.97% (12/302) were found to contain ROS1 fusion genes, with CD74-ROS1 fusion identified in 9 cases. There was no statistically significant difference in patients' gender, age, smoking history and histologic type. One non-smoking elderly female patient with pulmonary adenocarcinoma had RET gene fusion. None of the cases studied had concurrent ALK, ROS1 and RET mutations.
CONCLUSIONS: The ALK, ROS1 and RET fusion gene mutation rates in NSCLC are low, they represent some specific molecular subtypes of NSCLC. Genetic testing has significant meaning to guide clinical targeted therapy.

Brown PJ, Wong KK, Felce SL, et al.
FOXP1 suppresses immune response signatures and MHC class II expression in activated B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.
Leukemia. 2016; 30(3):605-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The FOXP1 (forkhead box P1) transcription factor is a marker of poor prognosis in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Here microarray analysis of FOXP1-silenced DLBCL cell lines identified differential regulation of immune response signatures and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) genes as some of the most significant differences between germinal center B-cell (GCB)-like DLBCL with full-length FOXP1 protein expression versus activated B-cell (ABC)-like DLBCL expressing predominantly short FOXP1 isoforms. In an independent primary DLBCL microarray data set, multiple MHC II genes, including human leukocyte antigen DR alpha chain (HLA-DRA), were inversely correlated with FOXP1 transcript expression (P<0.05). FOXP1 knockdown in ABC-DLBCL cells led to increased cell-surface expression of HLA-DRA and CD74. In R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone)-treated DLBCL patients (n=150), reduced HLA-DRA (<90% frequency) expression correlated with inferior overall survival (P=0.0003) and progression-free survival (P=0.0012) and with non-GCB subtype stratified by the Hans, Choi or Visco-Young algorithms (all P<0.01). In non-GCB DLBCL cases with <90% HLA-DRA, there was an inverse correlation with the frequency (P=0.0456) and intensity (P=0.0349) of FOXP1 expression. We propose that FOXP1 represents a novel regulator of genes targeted by the class II MHC transactivator CIITA (MHC II and CD74) and therapeutically targeting the FOXP1 pathway may improve antigen presentation and immune surveillance in high-risk DLBCL patients.

Wu Q, Guo L, Jiang F, et al.
Analysis of the miRNA-mRNA-lncRNA networks in ER+ and ER- breast cancer cell lines.
J Cell Mol Med. 2015; 19(12):2874-87 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recently, rapid advances in bioinformatics analysis have expanded our understanding of the transcriptome to a genome-wide level. miRNA-mRNA-lncRNA interactions have been shown to play critical regulatory role in cancer biology. In this study, we discussed the use of an integrated systematic approach to explore new facets of the oestrogen receptor (ER)-regulated transcriptome. The identification of RNAs that are related to the expression status of the ER may be useful in clinical therapy and prognosis. We used a network modelling strategy. First, microarray expression profiling of mRNA, lncRNA and miRNA was performed in MCF-7 (ER-positive) and MDA-MB-231 cells (ER- negative). A co-expression network was then built using co-expression relationships of the differentially expressed mRNAs and lncRNAs. Finally, the selected miRNA-mRNA network was added to the network. The key miRNA-mRNA-lncRNA interaction can be inferred from the network. The mRNA and non-coding RNA expression profiles of the cells with different ER phenotypes were distinct. Among the aberrantly expressed miRNAs, the expression levels of miR-19a-3p, miR-19b-3p and miR-130a-3p were much lower in the MCF-7 cells, whereas that of miR-148b-3p was much higher. In a cluster of miR-17-92, the expression levels of six of seven miRNAs were lower in the MCF-7 cells, in addition to miR-20b in the miR-106a-363 cluster. However, the levels of all the miRNAs in the miR-106a-25 cluster were higher in the MCF-7 cells. In the co-expression networking, CD74 and FMNL2 gene which is involved in the immune response and metastasis, respectively, had a stronger correlation with ER. Among the aberrantly expressed lncRNAs, lncRNA-DLEU1 was highly expressed in the MCF-7 cells. A statistical analysis revealed that there was a co-expression relationship between ESR1 and lncRNA-DLEU1. In addition, miR-19a and lncRNA-DLEU1 are both located on the human chromosome 13q. We speculate that miR-19a might be co-expressed with lncRNA-DLEU1 to co-regulate the expression of ESR1, which influences the occurrence and development of breast cancer cells with different levels of ER expression. Our findings reveal that the status of ER is mainly due to the differences in the mRNA and ncRNA profile between the breast cancer cell lines, and highlight the importance of studying the miRNA-mRNA-lncRNA interactions to completely illustrate the intricate transcriptome.

Richard V, Kindt N, Saussez S
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor involvement in breast cancer (Review).
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(5):1627-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pleiotropic inflammatory cytokine involved in many cellular processes and in particular carcinogenesis. Here, we review the experimental and clinical published data on MIF and its pathways in breast cancer. Experimental data show that MIF is overexpressed in breast cancer cells (BCC) due, at least partly, to its stabilization by HSP90 and upregulation by HIF-1α. MIF interacts with its main receptor CD74 and its co-receptor CXCR-4, both overexpressed, promoting cell survival by PI3K/Akt activation, a possible link with EGFR and HER2 pathways and inhibition of autophagy. Besides these auto- and paracrine effects on BCC, MIF interacts with BCC microenvironment by several mechanisms: immunomodulation by increasing the prevalence of immune suppressive cells, neo-angiogenesis by its link to HIF-1, and finally BCC transendothelial migration. Clinical studies show higher levels of MIF in breast cancer patients serum compared to healthy volunteers but without obvious clinical significance. In breast cancer tissue, MIF and CD74 are overexpressed in the cancer cells and in the stroma but correlations with classical prognostic factors or survival are elusive. However, an inverse correlation with the tumor size for stromal MIF and a positive correlation with the triple receptor negative tumor status for stromal CD74 seem to be showed. This set of experimental and clinical data shows the involvement of MIF pathways in breast carcinogenesis. Several anti-MIF targeted strategies are being explored in therapeutic goals and should merit further investigations.

Zhang M, Yan L, Kim JA
Modulating mammary tumor growth, metastasis and immunosuppression by siRNA-induced MIF reduction in tumor microenvironment.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2015; 22(10):463-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has been identified as a major gene product upregulated in breast cancer cells-tissues upon the accumulation of macrophages. However, regulatory role of MIF in tumor microenvironment is not well understood. Previously, we have developed small interfering RNA (siRNA)-loaded nanoparticle system to effectively reduce MIF expression in both breast cancer cells and macrophages. Using this nanoparticle system, in this study we demonstrated that the siRNA-induced MIF reduction in murine mammary cancer line 4T1 and human breast cancer line MDA-MB-231 resulted in significant reduction of cell proliferation and increase of apoptosis; the siRNA-induced MIF reduction in tumor-associated macrophages resulted in a significant reduction of surface expression of CD74 and CD206 and a significant increase of surface expression of major histocompatibility complex II, as well as intracellular expression of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-2. A direct injection of the MIF-siRNA-loaded nanoparticles into 4T1 tumor in mice resulted in effective reduction of intratumoral MIF. This led to a reduction of tumor growth and metastasis. This also resulted in a reduction of circulating myeloid-derived suppressive cells both in number and in suppressive function. CD4 T-cell infiltration to tumor was increased. More importantly, this not only slowed the growth of treated 4T1 tumor, but also delayed the growth and metastasis of a contralateral untreated 4T1-luc tumor, suggesting the development of systemic antitumor responses. This study demonstrates for the first time that the siRNA-mediated intratumoral MIF reduction can induce antitumoral immune response via reducing systemic immune suppression.

Wage J, Ma L, Peluso M, et al.
Proton irradiation impacts age-driven modulations of cancer progression influenced by immune system transcriptome modifications from splenic tissue.
J Radiat Res. 2015; 56(5):792-803 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Age plays a crucial role in the interplay between tumor and host, with additional impact due to irradiation. Proton irradiation of tumors induces biological modulations including inhibition of angiogenic and immune factors critical to 'hallmark' processes impacting tumor development. Proton irradiation has also provided promising results for proton therapy in cancer due to targeting advantages. Additionally, protons may contribute to the carcinogenesis risk from space travel (due to the high proportion of high-energy protons in space radiation). Through a systems biology approach, we investigated how host tissue (i.e. splenic tissue) of tumor-bearing mice was altered with age, with or without whole-body proton exposure. Transcriptome analysis was performed on splenic tissue from adolescent (68-day) versus old (736-day) C57BL/6 male mice injected with Lewis lung carcinoma cells with or without three fractionations of 0.5 Gy (1-GeV) proton irradiation. Global transcriptome analysis indicated that proton irradiation of adolescent hosts caused significant signaling changes within splenic tissues that support carcinogenesis within the mice, as compared with older subjects. Increases in cell cycling and immunosuppression in irradiated adolescent hosts with CDK2, MCM7, CD74 and RUVBL2 indicated these were the key genes involved in the regulatory changes in the host environment response (i.e. the spleen). Collectively, these results suggest that a significant biological component of proton irradiation is modulated by host age through promotion of carcinogenesis in adolescence and resistance to immunosuppression, carcinogenesis and genetic perturbation associated with advancing age.

Khaznadar Z, Boissel N, Agaugué S, et al.
Defective NK Cells in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients at Diagnosis Are Associated with Blast Transcriptional Signatures of Immune Evasion.
J Immunol. 2015; 195(6):2580-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous group of malignancies that may be sensitive to the NK cell antitumor response. However, NK cells are frequently defective in AML. In this study, we found in an exploratory cohort (n = 46) that NK cell status at diagnosis of AML separated patients in two groups with a different clinical outcome. Patients with a deficient NK cell profile, including reduced expression of some activating NK receptors (e.g., DNAX accessory molecule-1, NKp46, and NKG2D) and decreased IFN-γ production, had a significantly higher risk of relapse (p = 0.03) independently of cytogenetic classification in multivariate analysis. Patients with defective NK cells showed a profound gene expression decrease in AML blasts for cytokine and chemokine signaling (e.g., IL15, IFNGR1, IFNGR2, and CXCR4), Ag processing (e.g., HLA-DRA, HLA-DRB1, and CD74) and adhesion molecule pathways (e.g., PVR and ICAM1). A set of 388 leukemic classifier genes defined in the exploratory cohort was independently validated in a multicentric cohort of 194 AML patients. In total, these data evidenced the interplay between NK cells and AML blasts at diagnosis allowing an immune-based stratification of AML patients independently of clinical classifications.

Shim HS, Kenudson M, Zheng Z, et al.
Unique Genetic and Survival Characteristics of Invasive Mucinous Adenocarcinoma of the Lung.
J Thorac Oncol. 2015; 10(8):1156-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma is a unique histologic subtype of lung cancer, and our knowledge of its genetic and clinical characteristics is rapidly evolving. Here, we present next- generation sequencing analysis of nucleotide variant and fusion events along with clinical follow-up in a series of lung mucinous adenocarcinoma.
METHODS: We collected 72 mucinous adenocarcinomas from the United States and Korea. All had been previously assessed for KRAS and EGFR mutations. For KRAS wild-type cases (n = 30), we performed deep targeted next-generation sequencing for gene fusions and nucleotide variants and correlated survival and other clinical features.
RESULTS: As expected, KRAS mutations were the most common alteration found (63% of cases); however, the distribution of nucleotide position alterations was more similar to that observed in gastrointestinal tumors than other lung tumors. Within the KRAS-negative cases, we found numerous potentially targetable gene fusions and mutations, including CD74-NRG1, VAMP2-NRG1, TRIM4-BRAF, TPM3-NTRK1, and EML4-ALK gene fusions and ERBB2, BRAF, and PIK3CA mutations. Unexpectedly, we found only two cases with TP53 mutation, which is much lower than observed in lung adenocarcinomas in general. The overall mutation burden was low in histologically confirmed mucinous adenocarcinomas from the public The Cancer Genome Atlas exome data set, regardless of smoking history, suggesting a link between TP53 status and mutation burden in mucinous tumors. There was no significant difference for recurrence-free survival between stage-matched mucinous and nonmucinous adenocarcinomas. It was notable that all recurrence sites were in the lungs for completely resected cases.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that mucinous adenocarcinoma is typified by (1) frequent KRAS mutations and a growing list of gene fusions, but rare TP53 mutations, (2) a low mutation burden overall, and (3) a recurrence-free survival similar to stage-matched nonmucinous tumors, with recurrences limited to the lungs.

Li SX, Li Q, Yang YQ, et al.
Immunohistochemistry of lymphocytes in benign lymphoadenosis of oral mucosa.
Genet Mol Res. 2015; 14(2):7163-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Benign lymphoadenosis of oral mucosa (BLOM) is a common oral mucosa disease and may be regarded as a precancerous lesion. However, the association between its biological behavior and lymphocyte distribution remains unclear. Therefore, to investigate the characteristics of BLOM, we studied the infiltration of lymphocytes associated with it. The expression levels of CD74, CD20, CD3, and CD45RO were evaluated by immunohistochemical staining in 14 sam-ples from BLOM, 9 samples from BLOM with atypia hyperplasia, 11 samples from BLOM with canceration, and 10 samples from normal oral mucosa tissues. The results were analyzed by two-sample t-test using SPSS 10.0 for Windows, and P < 0.05 was considered to be sig-nificant. In normal oral mucosa, positive expression levels of CD3 and CD45RO were presented in the extra-lymphoid follicle, and the expres-sion levels of CD74 and CD20 were negative. In all BLOM groups, the expression level of CD20 was positive except for one case of BLOM with canceration; the expression levels of CD74 were all positive. Posi-tive expression levels of CD3 and CD45RO could be found not only in extra-lymphoid follicles but also in inner-lymphoid follicles in the BLOM groups. The expression levels of CD74 and CD20 in extra-lym-phoid follicles, and CD3 and CD45RO in inner-lymphoid follicles in BLOM were significantly higher than in BLOM with canceration. The infiltrated lymphocytes in BLOM comprise T- and B-cells. This indi-cates that the lymphoid tissue in BLOM is mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue and BLOM is a proliferative lesion.

Wang CH, Gao XJ, Liao SY, et al.
[Transcriptome analysis of human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB- 435 by RNA-seq].
Mol Biol (Mosk). 2015 Mar-Apr; 49(2):279-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
The transcriptomic profiles of human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-435 were investigated using the next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). The DESeq package was used to screen the differentially expressed transcripts. A total of 229 genes with a significantly differential expression in MDA-MB-435 cells as compared with MCF-7 cells were obtained. Annotation of the biological functions of these genes through the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) v6.7 demonstrated that the 229 differentially expressed genes were mainly implicated in the biological functions related to cell adhesion and motion, antigen processing and presentation (via MHC class II), hormone response, extracellular structure organization, tissue remodeling, and cell proliferation regulation. Analysis of the individual genes demonstrated that MDA-MB-435 cells exhibited a higher tendency to metastasis and antigen processing and presentation, and lower ability to hormone response. Twenty most abundant transcripts in MDA-MB-435 cells, such as VIM, TNC, and CD74, represent its high potential for metastasis. Besides the genes previously reported to be involved in tumor metastasis and development, genes newly identified in this study could provide new clues for the diagnosis and prognosis of aggressive breast cancers.

Tanese K, Hashimoto Y, Berkova Z, et al.
Cell Surface CD74-MIF Interactions Drive Melanoma Survival in Response to Interferon-γ.
J Invest Dermatol. 2015; 135(11):2775-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Melanoma is believed to be a highly immunogenic tumor and recent developments in immunotherapies are promising. IFN-γ produced by immune cells has a crucial role in tumor immune surveillance; however, it has also been reported to be pro-tumorigenic. In the current study, we found that IFN-γ enhances the expression of CD74, which interacts with its ligand, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), and thereby activates the PI3K/AKT pathway in melanoma, promoting tumor survival. IFN-γ increased phosphorylation of AKT Ser473 and upregulated total cell surface expression of CD74 in human melanoma cell lines tested. CD74 was highly expressed in melanoma tissues. Moreover, the expression of CD74 on tumor cells correlated with plasma IFN-γ levels in melanoma patient samples. In our analysis of melanoma cell lines, all produced MIF constitutively. Blockade of CD74-MIF interaction reduced AKT phosphorylation and expression of pro-tumorigenic molecules, including IL-6, IL-8, and BCL-2. Inhibition of CD74-MIF interaction significantly suppressed tumor growth in the presence of IFN-γ in our xenograft mouse model. Thus, we conclude that IFN-γ promotes melanoma cell survival by regulating CD74-MIF signaling, suggesting that targeting the CD74-MIF interaction under IFN-γ-stimulatory conditions would be an effective therapeutic approach for melanoma.

Fu ZC, Wang FM, Cai JM
Gene expression changes in residual advanced cervical cancer after radiotherapy: indicators of poor prognosis and radioresistance?
Med Sci Monit. 2015; 21:1276-87 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Different sensitivity of advanced cervical cancer to irradiation can decrease effectiveness of radiotherapy in some cases. We attempted to identify the differentially expressed genes in residual cervical cancer after radiotherapy that might be associated with poor prognosis and radioresistance.
MATERIAL/METHODS: Differential genes expression was identified by an oligonucleotide microarray in cervical cancer tissues before radiation and after a 50-Gy dose of radiation. The microarray results were validated by quantitative real-time PCR. CXCL12 was validated by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded cervical cancer tissues before radiotherapy. The relationship between the differentiated gene and prognosis was validated by survival analysis.
RESULTS: Hierarchic cluster analysis identified 238 differentiated genes that exhibited ≥3.0-fold change and p<0.05. We found 111 genes that were in persistent up-regulation and 127 in persistent down-regulation after a 50-Gy dose of radiation when compared with the control group. These genes were involved in processes such as cell growth and death, cell-apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, cell signaling, DNA synthesis and repair, and cell adhesion. High differential expression of CXCL12, CD74, FGF7, COL14A1, PRC1, and RAD54L genes was validated by quantitative PCR before and after radiotherapy. Survival analysis results showed that the high expression of CXCL12 was closely related to poor prognosis.
CONCLUSIONS: The higher expression of CXCL12 might be informative regarding poor prognosis in patients undergoing radical radiotherapy. The differentially expressed genes identified in our study might provide a new method for diagnosis and treatment of radioresistance in cervical cancer.

Lourenco S, Teixeira VH, Kalber T, et al.
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor-CXCR4 is the dominant chemotactic axis in human mesenchymal stem cell recruitment to tumors.
J Immunol. 2015; 194(7):3463-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are inherently tumor homing and can be isolated, expanded, and transduced, making them viable candidates for cell therapy. This tumor tropism has been used to deliver anticancer therapies to various tumor models. In this study, we sought to discover which molecules are the key effectors of human MSC tumor homing in vitro and using an in vivo murine model. In this study, we discover a novel role for macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) as the key director of MSC migration and infiltration toward tumor cells. We have shown this major role for MIF using in vitro migration and invasion assays, in presence of different receptor inhibitors and achieving a drastic decrease in both processes using MIF inhibitor. Additionally, we demonstrate physical interaction between MIF and three receptors: CXCR2, CXCR4, and CD74. CXCR4 is the dominant receptor used by MIF in the homing tumor context, although some signaling is observed through CXCR2. We demonstrate downstream activation of the MAPK pathway necessary for tumor homing. Importantly, we show that knockdown of either CXCR4 or MIF abrogates MSC homing to tumors in an in vivo pulmonary metastasis model, confirming the in vitro two-dimensional and three-dimensional assays. This improved understanding of MSC tumor tropism will further enable development of novel cellular therapies for cancers.

Lin JH, Lin JY, Chou YC, et al.
Epstein-Barr virus LMP2A suppresses MHC class II expression by regulating the B-cell transcription factors E47 and PU.1.
Blood. 2015; 125(14):2228-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oncogenic Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) uses various approaches to escape host immune responses and persist in B cells. Such persistent infections may provide the opportunity for this virus to initiate tumor formation. Using EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) as a model, we found that the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II and CD74 in B cells is repressed after EBV infection. Class II transactivator (CIITA) is the master regulator of MHC class II-related genes. As expected, CIITA was downregulated in LCLs. We showed that downregulation of CIITA is caused by EBV latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) and driven by the CIITA-PIII promoter. Furthermore, we demonstrated that LMP2A-mediated E47 and PU.1 reduction resulted in CIITA suppression. Mechanistically, the LMP2A immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif was critical for the repression of E47 and PU.1 promoter activity via Syk, Src, and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway. Elimination of LMP2A in LCLs using a shLMP2A approach showed that the expression levels of E47, PU.1, CIITA, MHC class II, and CD74 are reversed. These data indicated that the LMP2A may reduce MHC class II expression through interference with the E47/PU.1-CIITA pathway. Finally, we demonstrated that MHC class II may be detected in tonsils and EBV-negative Hodgkin disease but not in EBV-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease and Hodgkin disease.

Cheng SP, Liu CL, Chen MJ, et al.
CD74 expression and its therapeutic potential in thyroid carcinoma.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2015; 22(2):179-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
CD74, the invariant chain of major histocompatibility complex class II, is also a receptor for macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). CD74 and MIF have been associated with tumor progression and metastasis in hematologic and solid tumors. In this study, we found that 60 and 65% of papillary thyroid cancers were positive for CD74 and MIF immunohistochemical staining respectively. Anaplastic thyroid cancer was negative for MIF, but mostly positive for CD74 expression. Normal thyroid tissue and follicular adenomas were negative for CD74 expression. CD74 expression in papillary thyroid cancer was associated with larger tumor size (P=0.043), extrathyroidal invasion (P=0.021), advanced TNM stage (P=0.006), and higher MACIS score (P=0.026). No clinicopathological parameter was associated with MIF expression. Treatment with anti-CD74 antibody in thyroid cancer cells inhibited cell growth, colony formation, cell migration and invasion, and vascular endothelial growth factor secretion. In contrast, treatment with recombinant MIF induced an increase in cell invasion. Anti-CD74 treatment reduced AKT phosphorylation and stimulated AMPK activation. Our findings suggest that CD74 overexpression in thyroid cancer is associated with advanced tumor stage and may serve as a therapeutic target.

Drilon A, Wang L, Arcila ME, et al.
Broad, Hybrid Capture-Based Next-Generation Sequencing Identifies Actionable Genomic Alterations in Lung Adenocarcinomas Otherwise Negative for Such Alterations by Other Genomic Testing Approaches.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(16):3631-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Broad, hybrid capture-based next-generation sequencing (NGS), as a clinical test, uses less tissue to identify more clinically relevant genomic alterations compared with profiling with multiple non-NGS tests. We set out to determine the frequency of such genomic alterations via this approach in tumors in which previous extensive non-NGS testing had not yielded a targetable driver alteration.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We enrolled patients with lung adenocarcinoma with a ≤ 15 pack-year smoking history whose tumors previously tested "negative" for alterations in 11 genes (mutations in EGFR, ERBB2, KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, MAP2K1, PIK3CA, and AKT1 and fusions involving ALK, ROS1, and RET) via multiple non-NGS methods. We performed hybridization capture of the coding exons of 287 cancer-related genes and 47 introns of 19 frequently rearranged genes and sequenced these to deep, uniform coverage.
RESULTS: Actionable genomic alterations with a targeted agent based on NCCN guidelines were identified in 26% [8 of 31: EGFR G719A, BRAF V600E, SOCS5-ALK, HIP1-ALK, CD74-ROS1, KIF5B-RET (n = 2), CCDC6-RET]. Seven of these patients either received or are candidates for targeted therapy. Comprehensive genomic profiling using this method also identified a genomic alteration with a targeted agent available on a clinical trial in an additional 39% (12 of 31).
CONCLUSIONS: Broad, hybrid capture-based NGS identified actionable genomic alterations in 65% [95% confidence interval (CI), 48%-82%] of tumors from never or light smokers with lung cancers deemed without targetable genomic alterations by earlier extensive non-NGS testing. These findings support first-line profiling of lung adenocarcinomas using this approach as a more comprehensive and efficient strategy compared with non-NGS testing. See related commentary by McCutcheon and Giaccone, p. 3584.

Cheng H, Ye L, Xue L
[Detection of ROS1 gene rearrangement by FISH and analysis of its clinical features in non-small cell lung cancer patients].
Zhonghua Zhong Liu Za Zhi. 2014; 36(10):751-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To detect the frequency of ROS1 gene rearrangement in non-small cell lung cancer ( NSCLC) patients by FISH, and to analyze the relationship between ROS1 gene rearrangement and clinical features (including age, sex, stage, histology, smoking history) with NSCLC.
METHODS: The ROS1 gene rearrangement in histological sections of 1 652 NSCLC tissues was detected by FISH. The extracted RNA was amplified and the sequences were analyzed by Sanger sequencing for ROS1-positive samples.
RESULTS: ROS1 rearrangement was identified in 53 specimens (3.2%) from the 1 652 NSCLC tissues. Among these positive cases, 15 were CD74-ROS1, 13 were SLC34A2-ROS1, 13 were SDC4-ROS1 and 12 were TPM3-ROS1. The frequency of ROS1 rearrangement was significantly higher in never-smoking patients (49 cases) than in smokers (4 cases) (P < 0.05). Patients with ROS1-positive NSCLC tended to be younger and there was no significant difference in sex (P > 0.05). All of the ROS1-positive samples were adenocarcinomas, with a tendency toward higher clinical stage (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: ROS1 rearrangement has diversity, and may be defined as a new molecular subtype of NSCLC. ROS1 rearrangement tends to occur in younger, and never-smoker lung adenocarcinoma patients.

Dhanasekaran SM, Balbin OA, Chen G, et al.
Transcriptome meta-analysis of lung cancer reveals recurrent aberrations in NRG1 and Hippo pathway genes.
Nat Commun. 2014; 5:5893 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer is emerging as a paradigm for disease molecular subtyping, facilitating targeted therapy based on driving somatic alterations. Here we perform transcriptome analysis of 153 samples representing lung adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, large cell lung cancer, adenoid cystic carcinomas and cell lines. By integrating our data with The Cancer Genome Atlas and published sources, we analyse 753 lung cancer samples for gene fusions and other transcriptomic alterations. We show that higher numbers of gene fusions is an independent prognostic factor for poor survival in lung cancer. Our analysis confirms the recently reported CD74-NRG1 fusion and suggests that NRG1, NF1 and Hippo pathway fusions may play important roles in tumours without known driver mutations. In addition, we observe exon-skipping events in c-MET, which are attributable to splice site mutations. These classes of genetic aberrations may play a significant role in the genesis of lung cancers lacking known driver mutations.

Verbovšek U, Motaln H, Rotter A, et al.
Expression analysis of all protease genes reveals cathepsin K to be overexpressed in glioblastoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e111819 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cancer genome and transcriptome analyses advanced our understanding of cancer biology. We performed transcriptome analysis of all known genes of peptidases also called proteases and their endogenous inhibitors in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), which is one of the most aggressive and deadly types of brain cancers, where unbalanced proteolysis is associated with tumor progression.
METHODS: Comparisons were performed between the transcriptomics of primary GBM tumors and unmatched non-malignant brain tissue, and between GBM cell lines (U87-MG and U373) and a control human astrocyte cell line (NHA). Publicly-available data sets and our own datasets were integrated and normalized using bioinformatics tools to reveal protease and protease inhibitor genes with deregulated expression in both malignant versus non-malignant tissues and cells.
RESULTS: Of the 311 protease genes identified to be differentially expressed in both GBM tissues and cells, 5 genes were highly overexpressed, 2 genes coding for non-peptidase homologues transferrin receptor (TFRC) and G protein-coupled receptor 56 (GPR56), as well as 3 genes coding for the proteases endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 2 (ERAP2), glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate transaminase 2 (GFPT2) and cathepsin K (CTSK), whereas one gene, that of the serine protease carboxypeptidase E (CPE) was strongly reduced in expression. Seventy five protease inhibitor genes were differentially expressed, of which 3 genes were highly overexpressed, the genes coding for stefin B (CSTB), peptidase inhibitor 3 (PI3 also named elafin) and CD74. Seven out of 8 genes (except CSTB) were validated using RT-qPCR in GBM cell lines. CTSK overexpression was validated using RT-qPCR in GBM tissues as well. Cathepsin K immunohistochemical staining and western blotting showed that only proteolytically inactive proforms of cathepsin K were overexpressed in GBM tissues and cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The presence of high levels of inactive proforms of cathepsin K in GBM tissues and cells indicate that in GBM the proteolytic/collagenolytic role is not its primary function but it plays rather a different yet unknown role.

Katayama R, Kobayashi Y, Friboulet L, et al.
Cabozantinib overcomes crizotinib resistance in ROS1 fusion-positive cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(1):166-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: ROS1 rearrangement leads to constitutive ROS1 activation with potent transforming activity. In an ongoing phase I trial, the ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) crizotinib shows remarkable initial responses in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring ROS1 fusions; however, cancers eventually develop crizotinib resistance due to acquired mutations such as G2032R in ROS1. Thus, understanding the crizotinib-resistance mechanisms in ROS1-rearranged NSCLC and identification of therapeutic strategies to overcome the resistance are required.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The sensitivity of CD74-ROS1-transformed Ba/F3 cells to multiple ALK inhibitors was examined. Acquired ROS1 inhibitor-resistant mutations in CD74-ROS1 fusion were screened by N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis with Ba/F3 cells. To overcome the resistance mutation, we performed high-throughput drug screening with small-molecular inhibitors and anticancer drugs used in clinical practice or being currently tested in clinical trials. The effect of the identified drug was assessed in the CD74-ROS1-mutant Ba/F3 cells and crizotinib-resistant patient-derived cancer cells (MGH047) harboring G2032R-mutated CD74-ROS1.
RESULTS: We identified multiple novel crizotinib-resistance mutations in the ROS1 kinase domain, including the G2032R mutation. As the result of high-throughput drug screening, we found that the cMET/RET/VEGFR inhibitor cabozantinib (XL184) effectively inhibited the survival of CD74-ROS1 wild-type (WT) and resistant mutants harboring Ba/F3 and MGH047 cells. Furthermore, cabozantinib could overcome all the resistance by all newly identified secondary mutations.
CONCLUSIONS: We developed a comprehensive model of acquired resistance to ROS1 inhibitors in NSCLC with ROS1 rearrangement and identified cabozantinib as a therapeutic strategy to overcome the resistance.

Chen YF, Hsieh MS, Wu SG, et al.
Clinical and the prognostic characteristics of lung adenocarcinoma patients with ROS1 fusion in comparison with other driver mutations in East Asian populations.
J Thorac Oncol. 2014; 9(8):1171-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The prevalence, demographic features, and clinical outcomes of lung adenocarcinoma patients with novel ROS1 oncogenic rearrangement in East Asian populations are not clear. This study aimed to investigate the clinical and prognostic characteristics of lung adenocarcinoma in patients with ROS1 fusion compared with other driver mutations.
METHODS: Multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the ROS1 fusion gene in lung adenocarcinoma cases. Immunohistochemistry was used to confirm the expression of ROS1. The demographic data and clinical outcomes of patients with the ROS1 fusion gene were compared with those of patients without the ROS1 fusion gene, including those with the EGFR mutation, EML4-ALK fusion, KRAS mutation, and quadruple-negative patients.
RESULTS: Of 492 patients with lung adenocarcinoma, 12 (2.4%) had the ROS1 fusion gene. Their median age was 45.0 years, significantly younger than that of the ROS1 fusion-negative cohorts (p < 0.001). Acinar (including cribriform) and solid patterns were the two most common histologic subtypes in the ROS1 fusion tumors (7 of 12, 58.3%) and were predominantly seen in CD74-ROS1 fusion tumors (66.7%). There was no significant survival difference between the ROS1 fusion-positive and ROS1 fusion-negative cohorts in surgical group, but ROS1 fusion-positive patients might have worse outcomes than EGFR-mutant patients in the stage IV group.
CONCLUSIONS: The ROS1 fusion gene can be successfully detected in East Asian patients with lung adenocarcinoma using multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. These patients tend to be younger and have characteristic histologic subtypes. Due to the small number of ROS1 fusion patients, the prognostic value of ROS1 fusion need further studies to confirm.

Duruisseaux M, Wislez M
[CD74-NRG1: a new fusion gene in lung adenocarcinomas characterizing mucinous adenocarcinomas].
Bull Cancer. 2014; 101(6):529-30 [PubMed] Related Publications

Richard V, Kindt N, Decaestecker C, et al.
Involvement of macrophage migration inhibitory factor and its receptor (CD74) in human breast cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(2):523-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) and its receptor CD74 appear to be involved in tumorigenesis. We evaluated, by immunohistochemical staining, the tissue expression and distribution of MIF and CD74 in serial sections of human invasive breast cancer tumor specimens. The serum MIF level was also determined in breast cancer patients. We showed a significant increase in serum MIF average levels in breast cancer patients compared to healthy individuals. MIF tissue expression, quantified by a modified Allred score, was strongly increased in carcinoma compared to tumor-free specimens, in the cancer cells and in the peritumoral stroma, with fibroblasts the most intensely stained. We did not find any significant correlation with histoprognostic factors, except for a significant inverse correlation between tumor size and MIF stromal positivity. CD74 staining was heterogeneous and significantly decreased in cancer cells but increased in the surrounding stroma, namely in lymphocytes, macrophages and vessel endothelium. There was no significant variation according to classical histoprognostic factors, except that CD74 stromal expression was significantly correlated with triple-negative receptor (TRN) status and the absence of estrogen receptors. In conclusion, our data support the concept of a functional role of MIF in human breast cancer. In addition to auto- and paracrine effects on cancer cells, MIF could contribute to shape the tumor microenvironment leading to immunomodulation and angiogenesis. Interfering with MIF effects in breast tumors in a therapeutic perspective remains an attractive but complex challenge. Level of co-expression of MIF and CD74 could be a surrogate marker for efficacy of anti-angiogenic drugs, particularly in TRN breast cancer tumor.

Gow CH, Wu SG, Chang YL, Shih JY
Multidriver mutation analysis in pulmonary mucinous adenocarcinoma in Taiwan: identification of a rare CD74-NRG1 translocation case.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(7):34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several new chromosomal translocations resulting in driver fusion mutations have recently been discovered in non-small-cell lung cancer. The driver mutational patterns in pulmonary mucinous adenocarcinoma, a rare subtype of non-small-cell lung cancer, have not been well studied. A single-institute cohort study in Taiwan was performed to determine the mutations of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS), fusions of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), c-ros oncogene 1 (ROS1), and neuregulin 1 (NRG1) in patients diagnosed with pulmonary mucinous adenocarcinoma. We also examined NRG1 translocation in patients diagnosed as adenocarcinoma of other subtypes with wild-type EGFR, KRAS, ALK, and ROS1 genes. Surgical or biopsy specimens were collected from 13 patients with mucinous adenocarcinoma. Using the direct RNA sequencing method, we discovered a rare CD74-NRG1 fusion (8 %), an echinoderm microtubule-associated protein like 4 (EML4)-ALK fusion (17 %), and three KRAS mutations (25 %). No EGFR mutations or ROS1 rearrangements were detected. The rare CD74-NRG1 fusion positive patient presented with uncommon radiological features. We did not detect any CD74-NRG1 fusion in the 109 adenocarcinoma of other subtypes, which were all negative for EGFR, KRAS, ALK, and ROS1. The CD74-NRG1 fusion mutation is rare and may be exclusively present in patients with pulmonary mucinous adenocarcinoma. Patients harboring CD74-NRG1 positive tumors may present with uncommon imaging features.

Nakaoku T, Tsuta K, Ichikawa H, et al.
Druggable oncogene fusions in invasive mucinous lung adenocarcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(12):3087-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To identify druggable oncogenic fusions in invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma (IMA) of the lung, a malignant type of lung adenocarcinoma in which KRAS mutations frequently occur.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: From an IMA cohort of 90 cases, consisting of 56 cases (62%) with KRAS mutations and 34 cases without (38%), we conducted whole-transcriptome sequencing of 32 IMAs, including 27 cases without KRAS mutations. We used the sequencing data to identify gene fusions, and then performed functional analyses of the fusion gene products.
RESULTS: We identified oncogenic fusions that occurred mutually exclusively with KRAS mutations: CD74-NRG1, SLC3A2-NRG1, EZR-ERBB4, TRIM24-BRAF, and KIAA1468-RET. NRG1 fusions were present in 17.6% (6/34) of KRAS-negative IMAs. The CD74-NRG1 fusion activated HER2:HER3 signaling, whereas the EZR-ERBB4 and TRIM24-BRAF fusions constitutively activated the ERBB4 and BRAF kinases, respectively. Signaling pathway activation and fusion-induced anchorage-independent growth/tumorigenicity of NIH3T3 cells expressing these fusions were suppressed by tyrosine kinase inhibitors approved for clinical use.
CONCLUSIONS: Oncogenic fusions act as driver mutations in IMAs without KRAS mutations, and thus represent promising therapeutic targets for the treatment of such IMAs.

Otterstrom C, Soltermann A, Opitz I, et al.
CD74: a new prognostic factor for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(8):2040-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The pro-inflammatory cytokine migration inhibitory factor (MIF) and its receptor CD74 have been proposed as possible therapeutic targets in several cancers. We studied the expression of MIF and CD74 together with calretinin in specimens of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), correlating their expression levels with clinico-pathologic parameters, in particular overall survival (OS).
METHODS: Migration inhibitory factor, CD74, and calretinin immunoreactivity were investigated in a tissue microarray of 352 patients diagnosed with MPM. Protein expression intensities were semiquantitatively scored in the tumour cells and in the peritumoral stroma. Markers were matched with OS, age, gender, and histological subtype.
RESULTS: Clinical data from 135 patients were available. Tumour cell expressions of MIF and CD74 were observed in 95% and 98% of MPM specimens, respectively, with a homogenous distribution between the different histotypes. CD74 (P<0.001) but not MIF overexpression (P=0.231) emerged as an independent prognostic factor for prolonged OS. High expression of tumour cell calretinin correlated with the epithelioid histotype and was also predictive of longer OS (P<0.001). When compared with previously characterised putative epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition markers, CD74 correlated positively with tumoral PTEN and podoplanin expressions, but was inversely related with periostin expression.
CONCLUSIONS: High expression of CD74 is an independent prognostic factor for prolonged OS in mesothelioma patients.

Fernandez-Cuesta L, Plenker D, Osada H, et al.
CD74-NRG1 fusions in lung adenocarcinoma.
Cancer Discov. 2014; 4(4):415-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: We discovered a novel somatic gene fusion, CD74-NRG1, by transcriptome sequencing of 25 lung adenocarcinomas of never smokers. By screening 102 lung adenocarcinomas negative for known oncogenic alterations, we found four additional fusion-positive tumors, all of which were of the invasive mucinous subtype. Mechanistically, CD74-NRG1 leads to extracellular expression of the EGF-like domain of NRG1 III-β3, thereby providing the ligand for ERBB2-ERBB3 receptor complexes. Accordingly, ERBB2 and ERBB3 expression was high in the index case, and expression of phospho-ERBB3 was specifically found in tumors bearing the fusion (P < 0.0001). Ectopic expression of CD74-NRG1 in lung cancer cell lines expressing ERBB2 and ERBB3 activated ERBB3 and the PI3K-AKT pathway, and led to increased colony formation in soft agar. Thus, CD74-NRG1 gene fusions are activating genomic alterations in invasive mucinous adenocarcinomas and may offer a therapeutic opportunity for a lung tumor subtype with, so far, no effective treatment.
SIGNIFICANCE: CD74–NRG1 fusions may represent a therapeutic opportunity for invasive mucinous lung adenocarcinomas, a tumor with no effective treatment that frequently presents with multifocal unresectable disease.

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