Gene Summary

Gene:CDKN2C; cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2C (p18, inhibits CDK4)
Aliases: p18, INK4C, p18-INK4C
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the INK4 family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. This protein has been shown to interact with CDK4 or CDK6, and prevent the activation of the CDK kinases, thus function as a cell growth regulator that controls cell cycle G1 progression. Ectopic expression of this gene was shown to suppress the growth of human cells in a manner that appears to correlate with the presence of a wild-type RB1 function. Studies in the knockout mice suggested the roles of this gene in regulating spermatogenesis, as well as in suppressing tumorigenesis. Two alternatively spliced transcript variants of this gene, which encode an identical protein, have been reported. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:cyclin-dependent kinase 4 inhibitor C
Source:NCBIAccessed: 06 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (15)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 06 August 2015 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.

  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Single-Stranded Conformational Polymorphism
  • Carrier Proteins
  • RB1
  • Chromosome 1
  • Organ Specificity
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases
  • Gene Deletion
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • DNA Methylation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Wilms Tumour
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • CDKN2A Protein
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p18
  • Sequence Homology
  • Point Mutation
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Translocation
  • Mutation
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p15
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • p53 Protein
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Base Sequence
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Homozygote
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Messenger RNA
  • CDK4
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • CDKN2C
Tag cloud generated 06 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

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

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

Latest Publications: CDKN2C (cancer-related)

Savitri E, Haryana MS
Expression of interleukin-8, interleukin-10 and Epstein-Barr viral-load as prognostic indicator in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Glob J Health Sci. 2015; 7(3):364-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is angiogeneic chemokine that plays a potential role in both development and progression of many human malignancies including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Epstein- Barr virus (EBV) is recognized to be an important etiologic agent of NPC as the viral gene products are frequently detected in NPC tissue along with the elevation of antibody titre to the viral protein (VCA-p18+ EBNA1) of IgA in the majority of patients. Elevated plasma of Viral Load is regarded as an important marker for the presence of the disease and for the monitoring of disease progression. However, other serum /plasma parameters such as the level of certain interleukins (IL-8 and IL-10) has also been implicated in NPC progression. The study aimed to investigate the correlations between plasma Viral Load and the level of interleukin (IL-8) and Interleukin (IL-10) in relating these parameters to the stages of NPC. In addition of Viral Load (VCA-p18+EBNA1) IgA, Interleukin-8 and Interleukin-10 before and after therapy will be investigated to seek the possible marker for disease progression. A total of 39 NPC patients and 29 healthy control individuals enrolled in this study. Plasma Viral Load was quantified using real-time quantitative PCR. The Level of plasma interleukins both IL-8 and IL-10 were analyzed using ELISA methods. Results indicated there was a significant decrease in viral load was detected in plasma of NPC patients following therapy. Plasma of viral load was shown to be a good prognosticator for disease progression. There were positive correlation between plasma of viral load and IL-8. These non invasive parameters expressed in blood, could be substitutes of viral load using brushing method, which is invasive. In conclusion that: Viral Load, (VCA-p18+EBNA1) IgA and IL-8 levels are promising markers for the presence of NPC and progression of the disease.

Barbieri RB, Bufalo NE, Secolin R, et al.
Polymorphisms of cell cycle control genes influence the development of sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2014; 171(6):761-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The role of key cell cycle regulation genes such as, CDKN1B, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, and CDKN2C in sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma (s-MTC) is still largely unknown.
METHODS: In order to evaluate the influence of inherited polymorphisms of these genes on the pathogenesis of s-MTC, we used TaqMan SNP genotyping to examine 45 s-MTC patients carefully matched with 98 controls.
RESULTS: A multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that CDKN1B and CDKN2A genes were related to s-MTC susceptibility. The rs2066827*GT+GG CDKN1B genotype was more frequent in s-MTC patients (62.22%) than in controls (40.21%), increasing the susceptibility to s-MTC (OR=2.47; 95% CI=1.048-5.833; P=0.038). By contrast, the rs11515*CG+GG of CDKN2A gene was more frequent in the controls (32.65%) than in patients (15.56%), reducing the risk for s-MTC (OR=0.174; 95% CI=0.048-0.627; P=0.0075). A stepwise regression analysis indicated that two genotypes together could explain 11% of the total s-MTC risk. In addition, a relationship was found between disease progression and the presence of alterations in the CDKN1A (rs1801270), CDKN2C (rs12885), and CDKN2B (rs1063192) genes. WT rs1801270 CDKN1A patients presented extrathyroidal tumor extension more frequently (92%) than polymorphic CDKN1A rs1801270 patients (50%; P=0.0376). Patients with the WT CDKN2C gene (rs12885) presented larger tumors (2.9±1.8 cm) than polymorphic patients (1.5±0.7 cm; P=0.0324). On the other hand, patients with the polymorphic CDKN2B gene (rs1063192) presented distant metastases (36.3%; P=0.0261).
CONCLUSION: In summary, we demonstrated that CDKN1B and CDKN2A genes are associated with susceptibility, whereas the inherited genetic profile of CDKN1A, CDKN2B, and CDKN2C is associated with aggressive features of tumors. This study suggests that profiling cell cycle genes may help define the risk and characterize s-MTC aggressiveness.

Smetana J, Frohlich J, Zaoralova R, et al.
Genome-wide screening of cytogenetic abnormalities in multiple myeloma patients using array-CGH technique: a Czech multicenter experience.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:209670 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Characteristic recurrent copy number aberrations (CNAs) play a key role in multiple myeloma (MM) pathogenesis and have important prognostic significance for MM patients. Array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) provides a powerful tool for genome-wide classification of CNAs and thus should be implemented into MM routine diagnostics. We demonstrate the possibility of effective utilization of oligonucleotide-based aCGH in 91 MM patients. Chromosomal aberrations associated with effect on the prognosis of MM were initially evaluated by I-FISH and were found in 93.4% (85/91). Incidence of hyperdiploidy was 49.5% (45/91); del(13)(q14) was detected in 57.1% (52/91); gain(1)(q21) occurred in 58.2% (53/91); del(17)(p13) was observed in 15.4% (14/91); and t(4;14)(p16;q32) was found in 18.6% (16/86). Genome-wide screening using Agilent 44K aCGH microarrays revealed copy number alterations in 100% (91/91). Most common deletions were found at 13q (58.9%), 1p (39.6%), and 8p (31.1%), whereas gain of whole 1q was the most often duplicated region (50.6%). Furthermore, frequent homozygous deletions of genes playing important role in myeloma biology such as TRAF3, BIRC1/BIRC2, RB1, or CDKN2C were observed. Taken together, we demonstrated the utilization of aCGH technique in clinical diagnostics as powerful tool for identification of unbalanced genomic abnormalities with prognostic significance for MM patients.

Styring E, Seinen J, Dominguez-Valentin M, et al.
Key roles for MYC, KIT and RET signaling in secondary angiosarcomas.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 111(2):407-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Angiosarcomas may develop as primary tumours of unknown cause or as secondary tumours, most commonly following radiotherapy to the involved field. The different causative agents may be linked to alternate tumorigenesis, which led us to investigate the genetic profiles of morphologically indistinguishable primary and secondary angiosarcomas.
METHODS: Whole-genome (18k) c-DNA-mediated annealing, selection, extension and ligation analysis was used to genetically profile 26 primary and 29 secondary angiosarcomas. Key findings were thereafter validated using RT-qPCR, immunohistochemistry and validation of the gene signature to an external data set.
RESULTS: In total, 103 genes were significantly deregulated between primary and secondary angiosarcomas. Secondary angiosarcomas showed upregulation of MYC, KIT and RET and downregulation of CDKN2C. Functional annotation analysis identified multiple target genes in the receptor protein tyrosine kinase pathway. The results were validated using RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry. Further, the gene signature was applied to an external data set and, herein, distinguished primary from secondary angiosarcomas.
CONCLUSIONS: Upregulation of MYC, KIT and RET and downregulation of CDKN2C characterise secondary angiosarcoma, which implies possibilities for diagnostic application and a mechanistic basis for therapeutic evaluation of RET-kinase-inhibitors in these highly aggressive tumours.

Demeure MJ, Aziz M, Rosenberg R, et al.
Whole-genome sequencing of an aggressive BRAF wild-type papillary thyroid cancer identified EML4-ALK translocation as a therapeutic target.
World J Surg. 2014; 38(6):1296-305 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent advances in the treatment of cancer have focused on targeting genomic aberrations with selective therapeutic agents. In radioiodine resistant aggressive papillary thyroid cancers, there remain few effective therapeutic options. A 62-year-old man who underwent multiple operations for papillary thyroid cancer and whose metastases progressed despite standard treatments provided tumor tissue.
METHODS: We analyzed tumor and whole blood DNA by whole genome sequencing, achieving 80× or greater coverage over 94 % of the exome and 90 % of the genome. We determined somatic mutations and structural alterations.
RESULTS: We found a total of 57 somatic mutations in 55 genes of the cancer genome. There was notably a lack of mutations in NRAS and BRAF, and no RET/PTC rearrangement. There was a mutation in the TRAPP oncogene and a loss of heterozygosity of the p16, p18, and RB1 tumor suppressor genes. The oncogenic driver for this tumor is a translocation involving the genes for anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase (ALK) and echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4 (EML4). The EML4-ALK translocation has been reported in approximately 5 % of lung cancers, as well as in pediatric neuroblastoma, and is a therapeutic target for crizotinib.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of the whole genomic sequencing of a papillary thyroid cancer in which we identified an EML4-ALK translocation of a TRAPP oncogene mutation. These findings suggest that this tumor has a more distinct oncogenesis than BRAF mutant papillary thyroid cancer. Whole genome sequencing can elucidate an oncogenic context and expose potential therapeutic vulnerabilities in rare cancers.

Pang X, Shu Y, Niu Z, et al.
PPARγ1 phosphorylation enhances proliferation and drug resistance in human fibrosarcoma cells.
Exp Cell Res. 2014; 322(1):30-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Post-translational regulation plays a critical role in the control of cell growth and proliferation. The phosphorylation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is the most important post-translational modification. The function of PPARγ phosphorylation has been studied extensively in the past. However, the relationship between phosphorylated PPARγ1 and tumors remains unclear. Here we investigated the role of PPARγ1 phosphorylation in human fibrosarcoma HT1080 cell line. Using the nonphosphorylation (Ser84 to alanine, S84A) and phosphorylation (Ser84 to aspartic acid, S84D) mutant of PPARγ1, the results suggested that phosphorylation attenuated PPARγ1 transcriptional activity. Meanwhile, we demonstrated that phosphorylated PPARγ1 promoted HT1080 cell proliferation and this effect was dependent on the regulation of cell cycle arrest. The mRNA levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI) p21(Waf1/Cip1) and p27(Kip1) descended in PPARγ1(S84D) stable HT1080 cell, whereas the expression of p18(INK4C) was not changed. Moreover, compared to the PPARγ1(S84A), PPARγ1(S84D) up-regulated the expression levels of cyclin D1 and cyclin A. Finally, PPARγ1 phosphorylation reduced sensitivity to agonist rosiglitazone and increased resistance to anticancer drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in HT1080 cell. Our findings establish PPARγ1 phosphorylation as a critical event in human fibrosarcoma growth. These findings raise the possibility that chemical compounds that prevent the phosphorylation of PPARγ1 could act as anticancer drugs.

Pita JM, Figueiredo IF, Moura MM, et al.
Cell cycle deregulation and TP53 and RAS mutations are major events in poorly differentiated and undifferentiated thyroid carcinomas.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(3):E497-507 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATCs) are among the most lethal malignancies, for which there is no effective treatment.
OBJECTIVE: In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the molecular alterations contributing to ATC development and to identify novel therapeutic targets.
DESIGN: We profiled the global gene expression of five ATCs and validated differentially expressed genes by quantitative RT-PCR in an independent set of tumors. In a series of 26 ATCs, we searched for pathogenic alterations in genes involved in the most deregulated cellular processes, including the hot spot regions of RAS, BRAF, TP53, CTNNB1 (β-catenin), and PIK3CA genes, and, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of components involved in the cell cycle [cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CDKI): CDKN1A (p21(CIP1)); CDKN1B (p27(KIP1)); CDKN2A (p14(ARF), p16(INK4A)); CDKN2B (p15(INK4B)); CDKN2C (p18(INK4C))], cell adhesion (AXIN1), and proliferation (PTEN). Mutational analysis was also performed in 22 poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas (PDTCs).
RESULTS: Expression profiling revealed that ATCs were characterized by the underexpression of epithelial components and the up regulation of mesenchymal markers and genes from TGF-β pathway, as well as, the overexpression of cell cycle-related genes. In accordance, the up regulation of the SNAI2 gene, a TGF-β-responsive mesenchymal factor, was validated. CDKN3, which prevents the G1/S transition, was significantly up regulated in ATCs and PDTCs and aberrantly spliced in ATCs. Mutational analysis showed that most mutations were present in TP53 (42% of ATCs; 27% of PDTCs) or RAS (31% of ATCs; 18% of PDTCs). TP53 and RAS alterations showed evidence of mutual exclusivity (P = .0354). PIK3CA, PTEN, and CDKI mutations were present in 14%-20% of PDTCs, and in 10%-14% of ATCs. BRAF, CTNNB1, and AXIN1 mutations were rarely detected.
CONCLUSION: Overall, this study identified crucial roles for TP53, RAS, CDKI, and TGF-β pathway, which may represent feasible therapeutic targets for ATC and PDTC treatment.

Lee HS, Chen M, Kim JH, et al.
Analysis of 320 gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors identifies TS expression as independent biomarker for survival.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(1):128-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thymidylate synthase (TS), a critical enzyme for DNA synthesis and repair, is both a potential tumor prognostic biomarker as well as a tumorigenic oncogene in animal models. We have now studied the clinical implications of TS expression in gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and compared these results to other cell cycle biomarker genes. Protein tissue arrays were used to study TS, Ki-67, Rb, pRb, E2F1, p18, p21, p27 and menin expression in 320 human GEP-NETs samples. Immunohistochemical expression was correlated with univariate and multivariate predictors of survival utilizing Kaplan Meier and Cox proportional hazards models. Real time RT-PCR was used to validate these findings. We found that 78 of 320 GEP-NETs (24.4%) expressed TS. NETs arising in the colon, stomach and pancreas showed the highest expression of TS (47.4%, 42.6% and 37.3%, respectively), whereas NETs of the appendix, rectum and duodenum displayed low TS expression (3.3%, 12.9% and 15.4%, respectively). TS expression in GEP-NETs was associated with poorly differentiated endocrine carcinoma, angiolymphatic invasion, lymph node metastasis and distant metastasis (p < 0.05). Patients with TS-positive NETs had markedly worse outcomes than TS-negative NETs as shown by univariate (p < 0.001) and multivariate (p = 0.01) survival analyses. Expression of p18 predicted survival in TS-positive patients that received chemotherapy (p = 0.015). In conclusion, TS protein expression was an independent prognostic biomarker for GEP-NETs. The strong association of increased TS expression with aggressive disease and early death supports the role of TS as a cancer promoting agent in these tumors.

Zhang JC, Gao B, Yu ZT, et al.
Promoter hypermethylation of p14 (ARF) , RB, and INK4 gene family in hepatocellular carcinoma with hepatitis B virus infection.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(3):2795-802 [PubMed] Related Publications
Both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and gene methylation play important roles in hepatocarcinogenesis. However, their association between HBV infection and gene methylation is not fully understood. Cell cycle control involving RB1 gene-related cell inhibitors is one of the main regulatory pathways were reported to be altered in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The purpose of this research is to assess the methylation status of p14 (ARF) and INK4 gene family (p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , p16 (INK4A) , and p18 (INK4C) ) in HCC with HBV infection and HCC without it, and discuss possible role of HBV-induced hypermethylation in the mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis. Methylation status of RB, p14 (ARF) , and INK4 gene family in 64 case of HCC with HBV infection and 24 cases without it were detected by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction, and HBV-DNA of the plasma were detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , p16 (INK4A) , and RB hypermethylation were observed in 30 (34.1%), 50 (56.8%), 62 (70.5%), and 24(27.3%) of 88 hepatocellular carcinomas, respectively. Methylation frequencies of them between HCC with HBV infection and HCC without it were 43.8% versus 8.3 % (p14 (ARF) ), 68.9% versus 25% (p15 (INK4B) ), 90.6% versus 16.7% ( p16 (INK4A) ), and 28.1 % versus 25% (RB), respectively. In HBV-associated HCC, the numbers of methylated genes were also more than HCC without virus infection, more than two methylated genes were seen in 48 of 64 (75 %) cases; more than three methylated genes were found in 32 of 64 (50%); correspondently, no one case has more than two genes methylated. p18 (INK4C) methylation product was not found in cancerous or non-cancerous tissues of 88 HCC. HBV infection is associated with p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , p16 (INK4A) , and RB gene methylation (P = 0.048, 0.035, 0.02); HBV-DNA replication is associated with p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , p16 (INK4A) , and RB gene methylation (P = 0.048, 0.035, 0.02); high rate of p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , and p16 (INK4A) in HCC with HBV infection suggests that HBV-induced hypermethylation may be one of the mechanisms of HBV involved in hepatocellular carcinogenesis.

Zhou Y, Zhang X, Klibanski A
Genetic and epigenetic mutations of tumor suppressive genes in sporadic pituitary adenoma.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2014; 386(1-2):16-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human pituitary adenomas are the most common intracranial neoplasms. Approximately 5% of them are familial adenomas. Patients with familial tumors carry germline mutations in predisposition genes, including AIP, MEN1 and PRKAR1A. These mutations are extremely rare in sporadic pituitary adenomas, which therefore are caused by different mechanisms. Multiple tumor suppressive genes linked to sporadic tumors have been identified. Their inactivation is caused by epigenetic mechanisms, mainly promoter hypermethylation, and can be placed into two groups based on their functional interaction with tumor suppressors RB or p53. The RB group includes CDKN2A, CDKN2B, CDKN2C, RB1, BMP4, CDH1, CDH13, GADD45B and GADD45G; AIP and MEN1 genes also belong to this group. The p53 group includes MEG3, MGMT, PLAGL1, RASSF1, RASSF3 and SOCS1. We propose that the tumor suppression function of these genes is mainly mediated by the RB and p53 pathways. We also discuss possible tumor suppression mechanisms for individual genes.

Christoph S, Deryckere D, Schlegel J, et al.
UNC569, a novel small-molecule mer inhibitor with efficacy against acute lymphoblastic leukemia in vitro and in vivo.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2013; 12(11):2367-77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy in children. Although survival rates have improved, patients with certain biologic subtypes still have suboptimal outcomes. Current chemotherapeutic regimens are associated with short- and long-term toxicities and novel, less toxic therapeutic strategies are needed. Mer receptor tyrosine kinase is ectopically expressed in ALL patient samples and cell lines. Inhibition of Mer expression reduces prosurvival signaling, increases chemosensitivity, and delays development of leukemia in vivo, suggesting that Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitors are excellent candidates for targeted therapies. Brain and spinal tumors are the second most common malignancies in childhood. Multiple chemotherapy approaches and radiotherapies have been attempted, yet overall survival remains dismal. Mer is also abnormally expressed in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT), providing a rationale for targeting Mer as a therapeutic strategy. We have previously described UNC569, the first small-molecule Mer inhibitor. This article describes the biochemical and biologic effects of UNC569 in ALL and AT/RT. UNC569 inhibited Mer activation and downstream signaling through ERK1/2 and AKT, determined by Western blot analysis. Treatment with UNC569 reduced proliferation/survival in liquid culture, decreased colony formation in methylcellulose/soft agar, and increased sensitivity to cytotoxic chemotherapies. MYC transgenic zebrafish with T-ALL were treated with UNC569 (4 μmol/L for two weeks). Fluorescence was quantified as indicator of the distribution of lymphoblasts, which express Mer and enhanced GFP. UNC569 induced more than 50% reduction in tumor burden compared with vehicle- and mock-treated fish. These data support further development of Mer inhibitors as effective therapies in ALL and AT/RT.

Zhang YQ, Xiao CX, Lin BY, et al.
Silencing of Pokemon enhances caspase-dependent apoptosis via fas- and mitochondria-mediated pathways in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e68981 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of Pokemon (POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic actor), a recently identified POK transcription factor with proto-oncogenic activity, in hepatocellular carcinogenesis has only been assessed by a few studies. Our previous study revealed that Pokemon is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) and promotes HCC cell proliferation and migration via an AKT- and ERK- dependent manner. In the present study, we used the TUNEL assay and FACS analysis to demonstrate that oxaliplatin induced apoptosis was significantly increased in cells with silenced Pokemon. Western blots showed that p53 expression and phosphorylation were significantly increased in Pokemon defective cells, thereby initiating the mitochondria-mediated and death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathways. In the mitochondria-mediated pathway, expression of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members (including Bad, Bid, Bim and Puma) as well as AIF was increased and decreasing the mitochondrial membrane potential resulted in cytochrome C released from mitochondrial in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells. In addition, upon oxaliplatin treatment of Pokemon-silenced cells, the FAS receptor, FADD and their downstream targets caspase-10 and caspase-8 were activated, causing increased release of caspase-8 active fragments p18 and p10. Increased activated caspase-8-mediated cleavage and activation of downstream effector caspases such as caspase-9 and caspase-3 was observed in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells as compared to control. Therefore, Pokemon might serve as an important mediator of crosstalk between intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways in HCC cells. Moreover, our findings suggest that Pokemon could be an attractive therapeutic target gene for human cancer therapy.

Zhang J, Francois R, Iyer R, et al.
Current understanding of the molecular biology of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013; 105(14):1005-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) are complicated and often deadly neoplasms. A recent increased understanding of their molecular biology has contributed to expanded treatment options. DNA sequencing of samples derived from patients with PanNETs and rare genetic syndromes such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome reveals the involvement of MEN1, DAXX/ATRX, and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways in PanNET tumorigenesis. Gene knock-out/knock-in studies indicate that inactivation of factors including MEN1 and abnormal PI3K/mTOR signaling uncouples endocrine cell cycle progression from the control of environmental cues such as glucose, leading to islet cell overgrowth. In addition, accumulating evidence suggests that further impairment of endothelial-endocrine cell interactions contributes to tumor invasion and metastasis. Recent phase III clinical trials have shown that therapeutic interventions, such as sunitinib and everolimus, targeting those signal transduction pathways improve disease-free survival rates. Yet, cure in the setting of advanced disease remains elusive. Further advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of PanNETs and improved preclinical models will assist in developing personalized therapy utilizing novel drugs to provide prolonged control or even cure the disease.

Costa-Guda J, Soong CP, Parekh VI, et al.
Germline and somatic mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor genes CDKN1A, CDKN2B, and CDKN2C in sporadic parathyroid adenomas.
Horm Cancer. 2013; 4(5):301-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The molecular pathogenesis of sporadic parathyroid adenomas is incompletely understood. The possible role of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKI) genes was raised by recognition of cyclin D1 as a parathyroid oncogene, identification of rare germline mutations in CDKI genes in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1; that in rodents, mutation in Cdkn1b caused parathyroid tumors; and subsequently through identification of rare predisposing germline sequence variants and somatic mutation of CDKN1B, encoding p27(kip1), in sporadic human parathyroid adenoma. We therefore sought to determine whether mutations/variants in the other six CDKI genes CDKN1A, CDKN1C, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, CDKN2C, and CDKN2D, encoding p21, p57, p14(ARF)/p16, p15, p18, and p19, respectively, contribute to the development of typical parathyroid adenomas. In a series of 85 sporadic parathyroid adenomas, direct DNA sequencing identified alterations in five adenomas (6 %): Two contained distinct heterozygous changes in CDKN1A, one germline and one of undetermined germline status; one had a CDKN2B germline alteration, accompanied by loss of the normal allele in the tumor (LOH); two had variants of CDKN2C, one somatic and one germline with LOH. Abnormalities of three of the mutant proteins were readily demonstrable in vitro. Thus, germline mutations/rare variants in CDKN1A, CDKN2B, and CDKN2C likely contribute to the development of a significant subgroup of common sporadic parathyroid adenomas, and somatic mutation in CDKN2C further suggests a direct role for CDKI alteration in conferring a selective growth advantage to parathyroid cells, providing novel support for the concept that multiple CDKIs can play primary roles in human neoplasia.

Kasaian K, Wiseman SM, Thiessen N, et al.
Complete genomic landscape of a recurring sporadic parathyroid carcinoma.
J Pathol. 2013; 230(3):249-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare endocrine malignancy with an estimated incidence of less than 1 per million population. Excessive secretion of parathyroid hormone, extremely high serum calcium level, and the deleterious effects of hypercalcaemia are the clinical manifestations of the disease. Up to 60% of patients develop multiple disease recurrences and although long-term survival is possible with palliative surgery, permanent remission is rarely achieved. Molecular drivers of sporadic parathyroid carcinoma have remained largely unknown. Previous studies, mostly based on familial cases of the disease, suggested potential roles for the tumour suppressor MEN1 and proto-oncogene RET in benign parathyroid tumourigenesis, while the tumour suppressor HRPT2 and proto-oncogene CCND1 may also act as drivers in parathyroid cancer. Here, we report the complete genomic analysis of a sporadic and recurring parathyroid carcinoma. Mutational landscapes of the primary and recurrent tumour specimens were analysed using high-throughput sequencing technologies. Such molecular profiling allowed for identification of somatic mutations never previously identified in this malignancy. These included single nucleotide point mutations in well-characterized cancer genes such as mTOR, MLL2, CDKN2C, and PIK3CA. Comparison of acquired mutations in patient-matched primary and recurrent tumours revealed loss of PIK3CA activating mutation during the evolution of the tumour from the primary to the recurrence. Structural variations leading to gene fusions and regions of copy loss and gain were identified at a single-base resolution. Loss of the short arm of chromosome 1, along with somatic missense and truncating mutations in CDKN2C and THRAP3, respectively, provides new evidence for the potential role of these genes as tumour suppressors in parathyroid cancer. The key somatic mutations identified in this study can serve as novel diagnostic markers as well as therapeutic targets.

van Dyk E, Reinders MJ, Wessels LF
A scale-space method for detecting recurrent DNA copy number changes with analytical false discovery rate control.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2013; 41(9):e100 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor formation is partially driven by DNA copy number changes, which are typically measured using array comparative genomic hybridization, SNP arrays and DNA sequencing platforms. Many techniques are available for detecting recurring aberrations across multiple tumor samples, including CMAR, STAC, GISTIC and KC-SMART. GISTIC is widely used and detects both broad and focal (potentially overlapping) recurring events. However, GISTIC performs false discovery rate control on probes instead of events. Here we propose Analytical Multi-scale Identification of Recurrent Events, a multi-scale Gaussian smoothing approach, for the detection of both broad and focal (potentially overlapping) recurring copy number alterations. Importantly, false discovery rate control is performed analytically (no need for permutations) on events rather than probes. The method does not require segmentation or calling on the input dataset and therefore reduces the potential loss of information due to discretization. An important characteristic of the approach is that the error rate is controlled across all scales and that the algorithm outputs a single profile of significant events selected from the appropriate scales. We perform extensive simulations and showcase its utility on a glioblastoma SNP array dataset. Importantly, ADMIRE detects focal events that are missed by GISTIC, including two events involving known glioma tumor-suppressor genes: CDKN2C and NF1.

Erdas E, Aste N, Pilloni L, et al.
Functioning glucagonoma associated with primary hyperparathyroidism: multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 or incidental association?
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:614 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Diagnosis of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is commonly based on clinical criteria, and confirmed by genetic testing. In patients without known MEN1-related germline mutations, the possibility of a casual association between two or more endocrine tumors cannot be excluded and subsequent management may be difficult to plan. We describe a very uncommon case of functioning glucagonoma associated with primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) in which genetic testing failed to detect germline mutations of MEN-1 and other known genes responsible for MEN1.
CASE PRESENTATION: The patient, a 65-year old woman, had been suffering for more than 1 year from weakness, progressive weight loss, angular cheilitis, glossitis and, more recently, skin rashes on the perineum, perioral skin and groin folds. After multidisciplinary investigations, functioning glucagonoma and asymptomatic pHPT were diagnosed and, since family history was negative, sporadic MEN1 was suspected. However, genetic testing revealed neither MEN-1 nor other gene mutations responsible for rarer cases of MEN1 (CDKN1B/p27 and other cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor genes CDKN1A/p15, CDKN2C/p18, CDKN2B/p21). The patient underwent distal splenopancreatectomy and at the 4-month follow-up she showed complete remission of symptoms. Six months later, a thyroid nodule, suspected to be a malignant neoplasia, and two hyperfunctioning parathyroid glands were detected respectively by ultrasound with fine needle aspiration cytology and 99mTc-sestamibi scan with SPECT acquisition. Total thyroidectomy was performed, whereas selective parathyroidectomy was preferred to a more extensive procedure because the diagnosis of MEN1 was not supported by genetic analysis and intraoperative intact parathyroid hormone had revealed "adenoma-like" kinetics after the second parathyroid resection. Thirty-nine and 25 months after respectively the first and the second operation, the patient is well and shows no signs or symptoms of recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite well-defined diagnostic criteria and guidelines, diagnosis of MEN1 can still be challenging. When diagnosis is doubtful, appropriate management may be difficult to establish.

Sachdeva R, Bhardwaj N, Huhtaniemi I, et al.
Transgenesis-mediated reproductive dysfunction and tumorigenesis: effects of immunological neutralization.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e51125 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was initially thought to be made only during pregnancy, but is now known to also be synthesized by a variety of cancers and is associated with poor patient prognosis. Transgenic expression of βhCG in mice causes hyper-luteinized ovaries, a loss in estrous cyclicity and infertility, increased body weight, prolactinomas and mammary gland tumors. Strategies were devised to generate antibody responses against hCG to investigate whether reversal of the molecular processes driving tumorigenesis would follow. hCG-immunized transgenic mice did not exhibit increases in body weight or serum prolactin levels, and gross ovarian and pituitary morphology remained normal. While non-immunized transgenic animals demonstrated heightened levels of transcripts associated with pituitary tumorigenesis (HMG2A, E2F1, CCND1, PRL, GH, GAL, PTTG1, BMP4) and decreased levels of CDK inhibitors CDKN1B (p27), CDKN2A (p16) and CDKN2c (p18), immunization led to a reversal to levels found in non-transgenic animals. Serum derived from transgenic (but not non-transgenic) mice led to enhanced transcription as well as expression of VEGF, IL-8, KC (murine IL-8) and MMP-9 in tumor cells, effects not seen when sera derived from hCG-immunized transgenic mice was employed. As the definitive indication of the restoration of the reproductive axis, immunization led to the resumption of estrous cyclicity as well as fertility in transgenic mice. These results indicate that hCG may influence cancer pathogenesis and progression via several distinct mechanisms. Using a stringent in vivo system in which βhCG acts both a "self" antigen and a tumor-promoting moiety (putatively akin to the situation in humans), the data builds a case for anti-gonadotropin vaccination strategies in the treatment of gonadotropin-dependent or secreting malignancies that frequently acquire resistance to conventional therapy.

Kunz M, Dannemann M, Kelso J
High-throughput sequencing of the melanoma genome.
Exp Dermatol. 2013; 22(1):10-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Next-generation sequencing technologies are now common for whole-genome, whole-exome and whole-transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) of tumors to identify point mutations, structural or copy number alterations and changes in gene expression. A substantial number of studies have already been performed for melanoma. One study analysed eight melanoma cell lines with RNA-Seq technology and identified 11 novel melanoma gene fusions. Whole-exome sequencing of seven melanoma cell lines identified overlapping gain of function mutations in MAP2K1 (MEK1) and MAP2K2 (MEK2) genes. Integrative sequencing of cutaneous melanoma metastases using different sequencing platforms revealed a new somatic point mutation in HRAS and a structural rearrangement affecting CDKN2C (a CDK4 inhibitor). These latter sequencing-based discoveries may be used to motivate the inclusion of the affected patients into clinical trials with specific signalling pathway inhibitors. Taken together, we are at the beginning of an era with new sequencing technologies providing a more comprehensive view of cancer mutational landscapes and hereby a better understanding of their pathogenesis. This will also open interesting perspectives for new treatment approaches and clinical trial designs.

Jalili A, Wagner C, Pashenkov M, et al.
Dual suppression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors CDKN2C and CDKN1A in human melanoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012; 104(21):1673-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Resistance to BRAF(V600E) inhibitors is associated with reactivation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling at different levels in melanoma. To identify downstream effectors of MAPK signaling that could be used as potential additional therapeutic targets for BRAF(V600E) inhibitors, we used hTERT/CDK4R24C/p53DD-immortalized primary human melanocytes genetically modified to ectopically express BRAF ( V600E ) or NRAS ( G12D ) and observed induction of the AP-1 transcription factor family member c-Jun. Using a dominant negative approach, in vitro cell proliferation assays, western blots, and flow cytometry showed that MAPK signaling via BRAF(V600E) promotes melanoma cell proliferation at G1 through AP-1-mediated negative regulation of the INK4 family member, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2C (CDKN2C), and the CIP/KIP family member, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A). These effects were antagonized by pharmacological inhibition of CDKN2C and CDKN1A targets CDK2 and CDK4 in vitro. In contrast to BRAF ( V600E ) or NRAS ( G12D )-expressing melanocytes, melanoma cells have an inherent resistance to suppression of AP-1 activity by BRAF(V600E)- or MEK-inhibitors. Here, CDK2/4 inhibition statistically significantly augmented the effects of BRAF(V600E)- or MEK-inhibitors on melanoma cell viability in vitro and growth in athymic nude Foxn1 ( nu ) mice (P = .03 when mean tumor volume at day 13 was compared for BRAF(V600E) inhibitor vs BRAF(V600E) inhibitor plus CDK2/4 inhibition; P = .02 when mean tumor volume was compared for MEK inhibitor vs MEK inhibitor plus CDK2/4 inhibition; P values were calculated by a two-sided Welch t test; n = 4-8 mice per group).

Iacobucci I, Iraci N, Messina M, et al.
IKAROS deletions dictate a unique gene expression signature in patients with adult B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e40934 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Deletions of IKAROS (IKZF1) frequently occur in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) but the mechanisms by which they influence pathogenesis are unclear. To address this issue, a cohort of 144 adult B-ALL patients (106 BCR-ABL1-positive and 38 B-ALL negative for known molecular rearrangements) was screened for IKZF1 deletions by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays; a sub-cohort of these patients (44%) was then analyzed for gene expression profiling.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Total or partial deletions of IKZF1 were more frequent in BCR-ABL1-positive than in BCR-ABL1-negative B-ALL cases (75% vs 58%, respectively, p = 0.04). Comparison of the gene expression signatures of patients carrying IKZF1 deletion vs those without showed a unique signature featured by down-regulation of B-cell lineage and DNA repair genes and up-regulation of genes involved in cell cycle, JAK-STAT signalling and stem cell self-renewal. Through chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assays we corroborated these findings both in vivo and in vitro, showing that Ikaros deleted isoforms lacked the ability to directly regulate a large group of the genes in the signature, such as IGLL1, BLK, EBF1, MSH2, BUB3, ETV6, YES1, CDKN1A (p21), CDKN2C (p18) and MCL1.
CONCLUSIONS: Here we identified and validated for the first time molecular pathways specifically controlled by IKZF1, shedding light into IKZF1 role in B-ALL pathogenesis.

Einbond LS, Wu HA, Kashiwazaki R, et al.
Carnosic acid inhibits the growth of ER-negative human breast cancer cells and synergizes with curcumin.
Fitoterapia. 2012; 83(7):1160-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Studies indicate that extracts and purified components, including carnosic acid, from the herb rosemary display significant growth inhibitory activity on a variety of cancers.
PURPOSE: This paper examines the ability of rosemary/carnosic acid to inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells and to synergize with curcumin.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To do this, we treated human breast cancer cells with rosemary/carnosic acid and assessed effects on cell proliferation, cell cycle distribution, gene expression patterns, activity of the purified Na/K ATPase and combinations with curcumin.
RESULTS: Rosemary/carnosic acid potently inhibits proliferation of ER-negative human breast cancer cells and induces G1 cell cycle arrest. Further, carnosic acid is selective for MCF7 cells transfected for Her2, indicating that Her2 may function in its action. To reveal primary effects, we treated ER-negative breast cancer cells with carnosic acid for 6h. At a low dose, 5 μg/ml (15 μM), carnosic acid activated the expression of 3 genes, induced through the presence of antioxidant response elements, including genes involved in glutathione biosynthesis (CYP4F3, GCLC) and transport (SLC7A11). At a higher dose, 20 μg/ml, carnosic acid activated the expression of antioxidant (AKR1C2, TNXRD1, HMOX1) and apoptosis (GDF15, PHLDA1, DDIT3) genes and suppressed the expression of inhibitor of transcription (ID3) and cell cycle (CDKN2C) genes. Carnosic acid exhibits synergy with turmeric/curcumin. These compounds inhibited the activity of the purified Na-K-ATPase which may contribute to this synergy.
CONCLUSION: Rosemary/carnosic acid, alone or combined with curcumin, may be useful to prevent and treat ER-negative breast cancer.

Cen L, Carlson BL, Schroeder MA, et al.
p16-Cdk4-Rb axis controls sensitivity to a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor PD0332991 in glioblastoma xenograft cells.
Neuro Oncol. 2012; 14(7):870-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deregulation of the p16(INK4a)-Cdk4/6-Rb pathway is commonly detected in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and is a rational therapeutic target. Here, we characterized the p16(INK4a)-Cdk4/6-Rb pathway in the Mayo panel of GBM xenografts, established from primary tissue samples from patients with GBM, and evaluated their response to PD0332991, a specific inhibitor of Cdk4/6. All GBM xenograft lines evaluated in this study had disruptions in the p16(INK4a)-Cdk4/6-Rb pathway. In vitro evaluation using short-term explant cultures from selected GBM xenograft lines showed that PD0332991 effectively arrested cell cycle in G1-phase and inhibited cell proliferation dose-dependently in lines deleted for CDKN2A/B-p16(INK4a) and either single-copy deletion of CDK4 (GBM22), high-level CDK6 amplification (GBM34), or deletion of CDKN2C/p18(INK4c) (GBM43). In contrast, 2 GBM lines with p16(INK4a) expression and either CDK4 amplification (GBM5) or RB mutation (GBM28) were completely resistant to PD0332991. Additional xenograft lines were screened, and GBM63 was identified to have p16(INK4a) expression and CDK4 amplification. Similar to the results with GBM5, GBM63 was resistant to PD0332991 treatment. In an orthotopic survival model, treatment of GBM6 xenografts (CDKN2A/B-deleted and CDK4 wild-type) with PD0332991 significantly suppressed tumor cell proliferation and prolonged survival. Collectively, these data support the concept that GBM tumors lacking p16(INK4a) expression and with nonamplified CDK4 and wild-type RB status may be more susceptible to Cdk4/6 inhibition using PD0332991.

Du Y, Kong G, You X, et al.
Elevation of highly up-regulated in liver cancer (HULC) by hepatitis B virus X protein promotes hepatoma cell proliferation via down-regulating p18.
J Biol Chem. 2012; 287(31):26302-11 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play crucial roles in human cancers. It has been reported that lncRNA highly up-regulated in liver cancer (HULC) is dramatically up-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) contributes importantly to the development of HCC. However, the function of HULC in HCC mediated by HBx remains unclear. Here, we report that HULC is involved in HBx-mediated hepatocarcinogenesis. We found that the expression levels of HULC were positively correlated with those of HBx in clinical HCC tissues. Moreover, we revealed that HBx up-regulated HULC in human immortalized normal liver L-O2 cells and hepatoma HepG2 cells. Luciferase reporter gene assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay showed that HBx activated the HULC promoter via cAMP-responsive element-binding protein. We further demonstrated that HULC promoted cell proliferation by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium, 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine, colony formation assay, and tumorigenicity assay. Next, we hypothesized that HULC might function through regulating a tumor suppressor gene p18 located near HULC in the same chromosome. We found that the mRNA levels of p18 were inversely correlated with those of HULC in the above clinical HCC specimens. Then, we validated that HULC down-regulated p18, which was involved in the HULC-enhanced cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we observed that knockdown of HULC could abolish the HBx-enhanced cell proliferation through up-regulating p18. Thus, we conclude that the up-regulated HULC by HBx promotes proliferation of hepatoma cells through suppressing p18. This finding provides new insight into the roles of lncRNAs in HBx-related hepatocarcinogenesis.

Dong B, Lv G, Wang Q, et al.
Targeting A20 enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012; 418(2):433-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
A20 was initially identified as a primary gene product following TNF α treatment in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Increased A20 expression is associated with tumorigenesis in many cancers, whereas the loss of A20 function is linked to lymphoma. It has been reported that A20 protects cells from TRAIL-induced apoptosis; however, the mechanism by which A20 is involved is still largely unknown. Our results indicate that TRAIL induces the hepatocellular carcinoma apoptosis associated with A20 knockdown in a concentration-dependent manner. TRAIL-induced apoptosis requires p18 caspase-8 activation, and, the activation of caspase-8 is at least in part, due to the direct cleavage of RIP1 by A20 knockdown. These findings suggest that A20 modulates the sensitivity to TRAIL by RIP1 ubiquitination, thereby repressing the recruitment and activation of pro-caspase-8 into the active form caspase-8. Thus, our study suggests that A20 protects against TRAIL-induced apoptosis through the regulation of RIP1 ubiquitination.

Roychowdhury S, Iyer MK, Robinson DR, et al.
Personalized oncology through integrative high-throughput sequencing: a pilot study.
Sci Transl Med. 2011; 3(111):111ra121 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Individual cancers harbor a set of genetic aberrations that can be informative for identifying rational therapies currently available or in clinical trials. We implemented a pilot study to explore the practical challenges of applying high-throughput sequencing in clinical oncology. We enrolled patients with advanced or refractory cancer who were eligible for clinical trials. For each patient, we performed whole-genome sequencing of the tumor, targeted whole-exome sequencing of tumor and normal DNA, and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) of the tumor to identify potentially informative mutations in a clinically relevant time frame of 3 to 4 weeks. With this approach, we detected several classes of cancer mutations including structural rearrangements, copy number alterations, point mutations, and gene expression alterations. A multidisciplinary Sequencing Tumor Board (STB) deliberated on the clinical interpretation of the sequencing results obtained. We tested our sequencing strategy on human prostate cancer xenografts. Next, we enrolled two patients into the clinical protocol and were able to review the results at our STB within 24 days of biopsy. The first patient had metastatic colorectal cancer in which we identified somatic point mutations in NRAS, TP53, AURKA, FAS, and MYH11, plus amplification and overexpression of cyclin-dependent kinase 8 (CDK8). The second patient had malignant melanoma, in which we identified a somatic point mutation in HRAS and a structural rearrangement affecting CDKN2C. The STB identified the CDK8 amplification and Ras mutation as providing a rationale for clinical trials with CDK inhibitors or MEK (mitogen-activated or extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase) and PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) inhibitors, respectively. Integrative high-throughput sequencing of patients with advanced cancer generates a comprehensive, individual mutational landscape to facilitate biomarker-driven clinical trials in oncology.

Ichihara E, Kaneda K, Saito Y, et al.
Angiopoietin1 contributes to the maintenance of cell quiescence in EVI1(high) leukemia cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011; 416(3-4):239-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ecotropic viral integration site-1 (EVI1) is an oncogenic transcription factor in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) associated with poor prognosis. Because the drug-resistance of leukemia cells is partly dependent on cell quiescence in the bone marrow niche, EVI1 may be involved in cell cycle regulation in leukemia cells. As a candidate regulator of the cell cycle in leukemia cells with high EVI1 expression (EVI1(high)), we analyzed angiopoietin1 (Ang1), which is a down-regulated gene in EVI1-deficient mice and is involved in the quiescence of hematopoietic stem cells. The results of real-time PCR analyses showed that Ang1 is highly expressed in leukemia cell lines and primary AML cells with EVI1(high) expression. Introduction of shRNA against EVI1 into EVI1(high) leukemia cells down-regulated Ang1 expression. Moreover, knockdown of Ang1 in EVI1(high) leukemia cells promoted cell cycle progression and down-regulated the CDK inhibitor p18 (INK4c). Treatment with a decoy Tie2/Fc protein also down-regulated the expression of p18. These results suggest that Ang1/Tie2 signaling may suppress cell cycle progression via maintenance of G0/G1 phase through up-regulation of p18 expression. This mechanism may help to maintain EVI1(high) leukemia cells in the bone marrow niche and promote resistance to anti-cancer drugs.

Boyd KD, Ross FM, Walker BA, et al.
Mapping of chromosome 1p deletions in myeloma identifies FAM46C at 1p12 and CDKN2C at 1p32.3 as being genes in regions associated with adverse survival.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(24):7776-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Regions on 1p with recurrent deletions in presenting myeloma patients were examined with the purpose of defining the deletions and assessing their survival impact.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Gene mapping, gene expression, FISH, and mutation analyses were conducted on patient samples from the MRC Myeloma IX trial and correlated with clinical outcome data.
RESULTS: 1p32.3 was deleted in 11% of cases, and deletion was strongly associated with impaired overall survival (OS) in patients treated with autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). In patients treated less intensively, del(1)(p32.3) was not associated with adverse progression-free survival (PFS) or OS. The target of homozygous deletions was CDKN2C, however its role in the adverse outcome of cases with hemizygous deletion was less certain. 1p22.1-21.2 was the most frequently deleted region and contained the candidate genes MTF2 and TMED5. No mutations were identified in these genes. 1p12 was deleted in 19% of cases, and deletion was associated with impaired OS in univariate analysis. The target of homozygous deletion was FAM46C, which was mutated in 3.4% of cases. When cases with FAM46C deletion or mutation were considered together, they were strongly associated with impaired OS in the intensive treatment setting.
CONCLUSION: Deletion of 1p32.3 and 1p12 was associated with impaired OS in myeloma patients receiving ASCT. FAM46C was identified as a gene with potential pathogenic and prognostic significance based on the occurrence of recurrent homozygous deletions and mutations.

Zhao Z, Liu Y, He H, et al.
Candidate genes influencing sensitivity and resistance of human glioblastoma to Semustine.
Brain Res Bull. 2011; 86(3-4):189-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The prognosis of glioblastoma (GBM) is poor. The therapeutic outcome of conventional surgical and adjuvant treatments remains unsatisfactory, and therefore individualized adjuvant chemotherapy has aroused more attention. Microarrays have been applied to study mechanism of GBM development and progression but it has difficulty in determining responsible genes from the plethora of genes on microarrays unrelated to outcome. The present study was attempted to use bioinformatics method to investigate candidate genes that may influence chemosensitivity of GBM to Semustine (Me-CCNU).
METHODS: Clinical data of 4 GBM patients in Affymetrix microarray were perfected through long-term follow-up study. Differential expression genes between the long- and short-survival groups were picked out, GO-analysis and pathway-analysis of the differential expression genes were performed. Me-CCNU-related signal transduction networks were constructed. The methods combined three steps before were used to screen core genes that influenced Me-CCNU chemosensitivity in GBM.
RESULTS: In Affymetrix microarray there were altogether 2018 differential expression genes that influenced survival duration of GBM. Of them, 934 genes were up-regulated and 1084 down-regulated. They mainly participated in 94 pathways. Me-CCNU-related signal transduction networks were constructed. The total number of genes in the networks was 466, of which 66 were also found in survival duration-related differential expression genes. Studied key genes through GO-analysis, pathway-analysis and in the Me-CCNU-related signal transduction networks, 25 core genes that influenced chemosensitivity of GBM to Me-CCNU were obtained, including TP53, MAP2K2, EP300, PRKCA, TNF, CCND1, AKT2, RBL1, CDC2, ID2, RAF1, CDKN2C, FGFR1, SP1, CDK6, IGFBP3, MDM4, PDGFD, SOCS2, CCNG2, CDK2, SDC2, STMN1, TCF7L1, TUBB.
CONCLUSION: Bioinformatics may help excavate and analyze large amounts of data in microarrays by means of rigorous experimental planning, scientific statistical analysis and collection of complete data about survival of GBM patients. In the present study, a novel differential gene expression pattern was constructed and advanced study will provide new targets for chemosensitivity of GBM.

Igawa T, Sato Y, Takata K, et al.
Cyclin D2 is overexpressed in proliferation centers of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma.
Cancer Sci. 2011; 102(11):2103-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The D cyclins are important cell cycle regulatory proteins involved in the pathogenesis of some lymphomas. Cyclin D1 overexpression is a hallmark of mantle cell lymphoma, whereas cyclins D2 and D3 have not been shown to be closely associated with any particular subtype of lymphoma. In the present study, we found that cyclin D2 was specifically overexpressed in the proliferation centers (PC) of all cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) examined (19/19). To examine the molecular mechanisms underlying this overexpression, we immunohistochemically examined the expression of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, p15, p16, p18, and p27 in the PC of six patients. Five cases showed upregulation of NF-κB expression, which is known to directly induce cyclin D2 by binding to the promoter region of CCND2. All six PC examined demonstrated downregulation of p27 expression. In contrast, upregulation of p15 expression was detected in five of six PC examined. This discrepancy suggests that unknown cell cycle regulatory mechanisms involving NF-κB-related pathways are also involved, because NF-κB upregulates cyclin D2 not only directly, but also indirectly through c-Myc, which is believed to downregulate both p27 and p15. In conclusion, cyclin D2 is overexpressed in the PC of CLL/SLL and this overexpression is due, in part, to the upregulation of NF-κB-related pathways.

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