EPHA7

Gene Summary

Gene:EPHA7; EPH receptor A7
Aliases: EHK3, EK11, EHK-3, HEK11
Location:6q16.1
Summary:This gene belongs to the ephrin receptor subfamily of the protein-tyrosine kinase family. EPH and EPH-related receptors have been implicated in mediating developmental events, particularly in the nervous system. Receptors in the EPH subfamily typically have a single kinase domain and an extracellular region containing a Cys-rich domain and 2 fibronectin type III repeats. The ephrin receptors are divided into 2 groups based on the similarity of their extracellular domain sequences and their affinities for binding ephrin-A and ephrin-B ligands. Increased expression of this gene is associated with multiple forms of carcinoma. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Dec 2013]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:ephrin type-A receptor 7
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 August, 2015

Ontology:

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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 11 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.

  • Receptor, EphA7
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • KMT2A
  • Transcription
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • DNA Methylation
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Phosphorylation
  • Skin Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Chromosome 6
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Eph Family Receptors
  • Sequence Deletion
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Apoptosis
  • Young Adult
  • Tubercidin
  • X-Ray Computed Tomography
  • Down-Regulation
  • Follicular Lymphoma
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Mutation
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Risk Factors
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Messenger RNA
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Genome, Human
  • RTPCR
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Ephrins
Tag cloud generated 11 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: EPHA7 (cancer-related)

Kishimoto W, Nishikori M
Molecular pathogenesis of follicular lymphoma.
J Clin Exp Hematop. 2014; 54(1):23-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
t(14;18) translocation has been recognized as a genetic hallmark of follicular lymphoma (FL), but it is now known that additional genetic aberrations are required for the development of FL. With recent advances in the technology for DNA analysis, recurrent gene aberrations such as TNFRSF14, EPHA7, EZH2, CREBBP, EP300, MLL2 and MEF2B have been identified. A few t(14;18)-positive B cells can be detected in healthy individuals, and these B cells are reported to have their own biological features that are closely associated with the pathogenesis of FL. On the other hand, FL is characterized by a unique microenvironment. Further understanding of the pathogenesis of FL is expected to contribute to the development of novel treatment approaches for this disease.

Xia J, Jia P, Hutchinson KE, et al.
A meta-analysis of somatic mutations from next generation sequencing of 241 melanomas: a road map for the study of genes with potential clinical relevance.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(7):1918-28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Next generation sequencing (NGS) has been used to characterize the overall genomic landscape of melanomas. Here, we systematically examined mutations from recently published melanoma NGS data involving 241 paired tumor-normal samples to identify potentially clinically relevant mutations. Melanomas were characterized according to an in-house clinical assay that identifies well-known specific recurrent mutations in five driver genes: BRAF (affecting V600), NRAS (G12, G13, and Q61), KIT (W557, V559, L576, K642, and D816), GNAQ (Q209), and GNA11 (Q209). Tumors with none of these mutations are termed "pan negative." We then mined the driver mutation-positive and pan-negative melanoma NGS data for mutations in 632 cancer genes that could influence existing or emerging targeted therapies. First, we uncovered several genes whose mutations were more likely associated with BRAF- or NRAS-driven melanomas, including TP53 and COL1A1 with BRAF, and PPP6C, KALRN, PIK3R4, TRPM6, GUCY2C, and PRKAA2 with NRAS. Second, we found that the 69 "pan-negative" melanoma genomes harbored alternate infrequent mutations in the five known driver genes along with many mutations in genes encoding guanine nucleotide binding protein α-subunits. Third, we identified 12 significantly mutated genes in "pan-negative" samples (ALK, STK31, DGKI, RAC1, EPHA4, ADAMTS18, EPHA7, ERBB4, TAF1L, NF1, SYK, and KDR), including five genes (RAC1, ADAMTS18, EPHA7, TAF1L, and NF1) with a recurrent mutation in at least two "pan-negative" tumor samples. This meta-analysis provides a road map for the study of additional potentially actionable genes in both driver mutation-positive and pan-negative melanomas.

Andersson E, Eldfors S, Edgren H, et al.
Novel TBL1XR1, EPHA7 and SLFN12 mutations in a Sezary syndrome patient discovered by whole exome sequencing.
Exp Dermatol. 2014; 23(5):366-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sezary syndrome (SS) is an aggressive leukaemic variant of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Recurrent chromosomal aberrations have been found in SS, but the whole genetic mutation spectrum is unknown. To better understand the molecular pathogenesis of SS, we performed exome sequencing, copy number variation (CNV) and gene expression analysis of primary SS cells. In our index patient with typical SS, we found novel somatic missense mutations in TBL1XR1, EPHA7 and SLFN12 genes in addition to larger chromosomal changes. The mutations are located in biologically relevant genes affecting apoptosis and T-cell maturation. They may play a role in the pathobiology of the disease, but no recurrent mutations were discovered in nine additional patients with SS studied. Thus, screening of larger patient cohorts is needed to confirm their prevalence and biological significance in SS.

Molina-Vila MA, Nabau-Moretó N, Tornador C, et al.
Activating mutations cluster in the "molecular brake" regions of protein kinases and do not associate with conserved or catalytic residues.
Hum Mutat. 2014; 35(3):318-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations leading to activation of proto-oncogenic protein kinases (PKs) are a type of drivers crucial for understanding tumorogenesis and as targets for antitumor drugs. However, bioinformatics tools so far developed to differentiate driver mutations, typically based on conservation considerations, systematically fail to recognize activating mutations in PKs. Here, we present the first comprehensive analysis of the 407 activating mutations described in the literature, which affect 41 PKs. Unexpectedly, we found that these mutations do not associate with conserved positions and do not directly affect ATP binding or catalytic residues. Instead, they cluster around three segments that have been demonstrated to act, in some PKs, as "molecular brakes" of the kinase activity. This finding led us to hypothesize that an auto inhibitory mechanism mediated by such "brakes" is present in all PKs and that the majority of activating mutations act by releasing it. Our results also demonstrate that activating mutations of PKs constitute a distinct group of drivers and that specific bioinformatics tools are needed to identify them in the numerous cancer sequencing projects currently underway. The clustering in three segments should represent the starting point of such tools, a hypothesis that we tested by identifying two somatic mutations in EPHA7 that might be functionally relevant.

Oricchio E, Wendel HG
Functional genomics lead to new therapies in follicular lymphoma.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013; 1293:18-24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent technological advances allow analysis of genomic changes in cancer in unprecedented detail. The next challenge is to prioritize the multitude of genetic aberrations found and identify therapeutic opportunities. We recently completed a study that illustrates the use of unbiased genetic screens and murine cancer models to find therapeutic targets among complex genomic data. We genetically dissected the common deletion of chromosome 6q and identified the ephrin receptor A7 (EPHA7) as a tumor suppressor in lymphoma. Notably, EPHA7 encodes a soluble splice variant that acts as an extrinsic tumor suppressor. Accordingly, we developed an antibody-based strategy to specifically deliver EPHA7 back to tumors that have lost this gene. Recent sequencing studies have implicated EPHA7 in lung cancer and other tumors, suggesting a broader therapeutic potential for antibody-mediated delivery of this tumor suppressor for cancer therapy. Together, our comprehensive approach provides new insights into cancer biology and may directly lead to the development of new cancer therapies.

Kridel R, Sehn LH, Gascoyne RD
Pathogenesis of follicular lymphoma.
J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(10):3424-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The hallmark t(14;18)(q32;q21) in follicular lymphoma (FL) results in constitutive overexpression of the BCL2 protein, allowing B cells to abrogate the default germinal center apoptotic program. Most tumors are characterized by recurrent secondary genetic alterations including genomic gains, losses, and mutations, some providing a growth advantage, including alterations in MLL2, EPHA7, TNFRSF14, and EZH2. The sequence in which these events occur and how they contribute to progression and ultimately to transformation is unclear. Lastly, crosstalk between neoplastic B cells and non-neoplastic immune and stromal cells in the microenvironment plays an important role in sustaining tumor cell growth, cultivating immune privilege, and promoting transformation.

Peifer M, Fernández-Cuesta L, Sos ML, et al.
Integrative genome analyses identify key somatic driver mutations of small-cell lung cancer.
Nat Genet. 2012; 44(10):1104-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive lung tumor subtype with poor prognosis. We sequenced 29 SCLC exomes, 2 genomes and 15 transcriptomes and found an extremely high mutation rate of 7.4±1 protein-changing mutations per million base pairs. Therefore, we conducted integrated analyses of the various data sets to identify pathogenetically relevant mutated genes. In all cases, we found evidence for inactivation of TP53 and RB1 and identified recurrent mutations in the CREBBP, EP300 and MLL genes that encode histone modifiers. Furthermore, we observed mutations in PTEN, SLIT2 and EPHA7, as well as focal amplifications of the FGFR1 tyrosine kinase gene. Finally, we detected many of the alterations found in humans in SCLC tumors from Tp53 and Rb1 double knockout mice. Our study implicates histone modification as a major feature of SCLC, reveals potentially therapeutically tractable genomic alterations and provides a generalizable framework for the identification of biologically relevant genes in the context of high mutational background.

Ronchi CL, Leich E, Sbiera S, et al.
Single nucleotide polymorphism microarray analysis in cortisol-secreting adrenocortical adenomas identifies new candidate genes and pathways.
Neoplasia. 2012; 14(3):206-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The genetic mechanisms underlying adrenocortical tumor development are still largely unknown. We used high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism microarrays (Affymetrix SNP 6.0) to detect copy number alterations (CNAs) and copy-neutral losses of heterozygosity (cnLOH) in 15 cortisol-secreting adrenocortical adenomas with matched blood samples. We focused on microalterations aiming to discover new candidate genes involved in early tumorigenesis and/or autonomous cortisol secretion. We identified 962 CNAs with a median of 18 CNAs per sample. Half of them involved noncoding regions, 89% were less than 100 kb, and 28% were found in at least two samples. The most frequently gained regions were 5p15.33, 6q16.1, 7p22.3-22.2, 8q24.3, 9q34.2-34.3, 11p15.5, 11q11, 12q12, 16q24.3, 20p11.1-20q21.11, and Xq28 (≥20% of cases), most of them being identified in the same three adenomas. These regions contained among others genes like NOTCH1, CYP11B2, HRAS, and IGF2. Recurrent losses were less common and smaller than gains, being mostly localized at 1p, 6q, and 11q. Pathway analysis revealed that Notch signaling was the most frequently altered. We identified 46 recurrent CNAs that each affected a single gene (31 gains and 15 losses), including genes involved in steroidogenesis (CYP11B1) or tumorigenesis (CTNNB1, EPHA7, SGK1, STIL, FHIT). Finally, 20 small cnLOH in four cases affecting 15 known genes were found. Our findings provide the first high-resolution genome-wide view of chromosomal changes in cortisol-secreting adenomas and identify novel candidate genes, such as HRAS, EPHA7, and SGK1. Furthermore, they implicate that the Notch1 signaling pathway might be involved in the molecular pathogenesis of adrenocortical tumors.

Agesen TH, Sveen A, Merok MA, et al.
ColoGuideEx: a robust gene classifier specific for stage II colorectal cancer prognosis.
Gut. 2012; 61(11):1560-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Several clinical factors have an impact on prognosis in stage II colorectal cancer (CRC), but as yet they are inadequate for risk assessment. The present study aimed to develop a gene expression classifier for improved risk stratification of patients with stage II CRC.
METHODS: 315 CRC samples were included in the study. Gene expression measurements from 207 CRC samples (stage I-IV) from two independent Norwegian clinical series were obtained using Affymetrix exon-level microarrays. Differentially expressed genes between stage I and stage IV samples from the test series were identified and used as input for L1 (lasso) penalised Cox proportional hazards analyses of patients with stage II CRC from the same series. A second validation was performed in 108 stage II CRC samples from other populations (USA and Australia).
RESULTS: An optimal 13-gene expression classifier (PIGR, CXCL13, MMP3, TUBA1B, SESN1, AZGP1, KLK6, EPHA7, SEMA3A, DSC3, CXCL10, ENPP3, BNIP3) for prediction of relapse among patients with stage II CRC was developed using a consecutive Norwegian test series from patients treated according to current standard protocols (n=44, p<0.001, HR=18.2), and its predictive value was successfully validated for patients with stage II CRC in a second Norwegian CRC series collected two decades previously (n=52, p=0.02, HR=3.6). Further validation of the classifier was obtained in a recent external dataset of patients with stage II CRC from other populations (n=108, p=0.001, HR=6.5). Multivariate Cox regression analyses, including all three sample series and various clinicopathological variables, confirmed the independent prognostic value of the classifier (p≤0.004). The classifier was shown to be specific to stage II CRC and does not provide prognostic stratification of patients with stage III CRC.
CONCLUSION: This study presents the development and validation of a 13-gene expression classifier, ColoGuideEx, for prognosis prediction specific to patients with stage II CRC. The robustness was shown across patient series, populations and different microarray versions.

López-Nieva P, Vaquero C, Fernández-Navarro P, et al.
EPHA7, a new target gene for 6q deletion in T-cell lymphoblastic lymphomas.
Carcinogenesis. 2012; 33(2):452-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cryptic deletions at chromosome 6q are common cytogenetic abnormalities in T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-LBL), but the target genes have not been formally identified. Our results build on detection of specific chromosomal losses in a mouse model of γ-radiation-induced T-LBLs and provide interesting clues for new putative susceptibility genes in a region orthologous to human 6q15-6q16.3. Among these, Epha7 emerges as a bona fide candidate tumor suppressor gene because it is inactivated in practically all the T-LBLs analyzed (100% in mouse and 95.23% in human). We provide evidence showing that Epha7 downregulation may occur, at least in part, by loss of heterozygosity (19.35% in mouse and 12.5% in human) or promoter hypermethylation (51.61% in mouse and 43.75% in human) or a combination of both mechanisms (12.90% in mouse and 6.25% in human). These results indicate that EPHA7 might be considered a new tumor suppressor gene for 6q deletions in T-LBLs. Notably, this gene is located in 6q16.1 proximal to GRIK2 and CASP8AP2, other candidate genes identified in this region. Thus, del6q seems to be a complex region where inactivation of multiple genes may cooperatively contribute to the onset of T-cell lymphomas.

Oricchio E, Nanjangud G, Wolfe AL, et al.
The Eph-receptor A7 is a soluble tumor suppressor for follicular lymphoma.
Cell. 2011; 147(3):554-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Insights into cancer genetics can lead to therapeutic opportunities. By cross-referencing chromosomal changes with an unbiased genetic screen we identify the ephrin receptor A7 (EPHA7) as a tumor suppressor in follicular lymphoma (FL). EPHA7 is a target of 6q deletions and inactivated in 72% of FLs. Knockdown of EPHA7 drives lymphoma development in a murine FL model. In analogy to its physiological function in brain development, a soluble splice variant of EPHA7 (EPHA7(TR)) interferes with another Eph-receptor and blocks oncogenic signals in lymphoma cells. Consistent with this drug-like activity, administration of the purified EPHA7(TR) protein produces antitumor effects against xenografted human lymphomas. Further, by fusing EPHA7(TR) to the anti-CD20 antibody (rituximab) we can directly target this tumor suppressor to lymphomas in vivo. Our study attests to the power of combining descriptive tumor genomics with functional screens and reveals EPHA7(TR) as tumor suppressor with immediate therapeutic potential.

Brantley-Sieders DM, Jiang A, Sarma K, et al.
Eph/ephrin profiling in human breast cancer reveals significant associations between expression level and clinical outcome.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(9):e24426 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pre-clinical studies provide compelling evidence that Eph family receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and ligands promote cancer growth, neovascularization, invasion, and metastasis. Tumor suppressive roles have also been reported for the receptors, however, creating a potential barrier for clinical application. Determining how these observations relate to clinical outcome is a crucial step for translating the biological and mechanistic data into new molecularly targeted therapies. We investigated eph and ephrin expression in human breast cancer relative to endpoints of overall and/or recurrence-free survival in large microarray datasets. We also investigated protein expression in commercial human breast tissue microarrays (TMA) and Stage I prognostic TMAs linked to recurrence outcome data. We found significant correlations between ephA2, ephA4, ephA7, ephB4, and ephB6 and overall and/or recurrence-free survival in large microarray datasets. Protein expression in TMAs supported these trends. While observed no correlation between ephrin ligand expression and clinical outcome in microarray datasets, ephrin-A1 and EphA2 protein co-expression was significantly associated with recurrence in Stage I prognostic breast cancer TMAs. Our data suggest that several Eph family members are clinically relevant and tractable targets for intervention in human breast cancer. Moreover, profiling Eph receptor expression patterns in the context of relevant ligands and in the context of stage may be valuable in terms of diagnostics and treatment.

Herath NI, Spanevello MD, Doecke JD, et al.
Complex expression patterns of Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and their ephrin ligands in colorectal carcinogenesis.
Eur J Cancer. 2012; 48(5):753-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant expression of Eph and ephrin proteins in human cancers is extensively documented. However, data are frequently limited to one gene and therefore incomplete and in some instances conflicting. We analysed expression of all Eph and ephrin genes in colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines and 153 clinical specimens, providing for the first time a comprehensive analysis of this system in CRC. Eph/ephrin mRNA expression was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR and correlated with protein expression (flow cytometry, Western blotting and immunocytochemistry). These data show that EphA1, EphA2, EphB2 and EphB4 were significantly over expressed in CRC. In all cases, at least one Eph gene was found in normal colon (EphA1, EphA2, EphB2, EphB4), where expression was observed at high levels in most CRCs. However, other Eph gene expression was lost in individual CRCs compared to the corresponding normal, EphA7 being a striking example. Loss of expression was more common in advanced disease and thus correlated with poor survival. This is consistent with the redundant functionality of Eph receptors, such that expression of a single Eph gene is sufficient for effector function. Overall, the data suggest a progressive loss of expression of individual Eph genes suggesting that individual CRCs need to be phenotyped to determine which Eph genes are highly expressed. Targeted therapies could then be selected from a group of specific antibodies, such as those developed for EphA1.

Eberle FC, Rodriguez-Canales J, Wei L, et al.
Methylation profiling of mediastinal gray zone lymphoma reveals a distinctive signature with elements shared by classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma.
Haematologica. 2011; 96(4):558-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mediastinal gray zone lymphoma is a newly recognized entity with transitional morphological and immunophenotypic features between the nodular sclerosis subtype of Hodgkin's lymphoma and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma. Diagnostic criteria for mediastinal gray zone lymphoma are still challenging, and the optimal therapy is as yet undetermined. Epigenetic changes have been implicated in the loss of the B-cell program in classical Hodgkin's lymphoma, and might provide a basis for the immunophenotypic alterations seen in mediastinal gray zone lymphoma.
DESIGN AND METHODS: We performed a large-scale DNA methylation analysis of microdissected tumor cells to investigate the biological underpinnings of mediastinal gray zone lymphoma and its association with the related entities classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, making comparisons with the presumptively less related diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
RESULTS: Principal component analysis demonstrated that mediastinal gray zone lymphoma has a distinct epigenetic profile intermediate between classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma but remarkably different from that of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Analysis of common hypo- and hypermethylated CpG targets in mediastinal gray zone lymphoma, classical Hodgkin's lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma was performed and confirmed the findings of the principal component analysis. Based on the epigenetic profiles we were able to establish class prediction models utilizing genes such as HOXA5, MMP9, EPHA7 and DAPK1 which could distinguish between mediastinal gray zone lymphoma, classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma with a final combined prediction of 100%.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data confirm a close relationship between mediastinal gray zone lymphoma and both classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma. However, important differences were observed as well, allowing a clear distinction from both parent entities. Thus, mediastinal gray zone lymphoma cannot be assigned to either classical Hodgkin's lymphoma or primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, validating the decision to create an intermediate category in the World Health Organization classification.

Bonifaci N, Górski B, Masojć B, et al.
Exploring the link between germline and somatic genetic alterations in breast carcinogenesis.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(11):e14078 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified candidate genes contributing to cancer risk through low-penetrance mutations. Many of these genes were unexpected and, intriguingly, included well-known players in carcinogenesis at the somatic level. To assess the hypothesis of a germline-somatic link in carcinogenesis, we evaluated the distribution of somatic gene labels within the ordered results of a breast cancer risk GWAS. This analysis suggested frequent influence on risk of genetic variation in loci encoding for "driver kinases" (i.e., kinases encoded by genes that showed higher somatic mutation rates than expected by chance and, therefore, whose deregulation may contribute to cancer development and/or progression). Assessment of these predictions using a population-based case-control study in Poland replicated the association for rs3732568 in EPHB1 (odds ratio (OR) = 0.79; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.63-0.98; P(trend) = 0.031). Analyses by early age at diagnosis and by estrogen receptor α (ERα) tumor status indicated potential associations for rs6852678 in CDKL2 (OR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.10-1.00; P(recessive) = 0.044) and rs10878640 in DYRK2 (OR = 2.39, 95% CI: 1.32-4.30; P(dominant) = 0.003), and for rs12765929, rs9836340, rs4707795 in BMPR1A, EPHA3 and EPHA7, respectively (ERα tumor status P(interaction)<0.05). The identification of three novel candidates as EPH receptor genes might indicate a link between perturbed compartmentalization of early neoplastic lesions and breast cancer risk and progression. Together, these data may lay the foundations for replication in additional populations and could potentially increase our knowledge of the underlying molecular mechanisms of breast carcinogenesis.

Tsuboi M, Mori H, Bunai T, et al.
Secreted form of EphA7 in lung cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2010; 36(3):635-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
EPHA7 is a member of the EPHA family of receptor kinases, among which several members are known to be involved in human lung carcinogenesis. We report here a novel spliced variant, the so-called secreted form of EPHA7, recently reported in malignant lymphoma, in human lung cancer cell lines and primary lung cancer. In contrast to the EPHA7 down-regulation in colorectal cancer by promoter hypermethylation, EPHA7 is expressed at a substantial level in most human lung cancers and the secreted form of EPHA7 mRNA was found in a fraction of primary lung cancer tissues, lung cancer cell lines, and immortalized bronchogenic epithelial cell lines. Interestingly, the secreted form of EPHA7 message was predominantly detected in non-adeno type lung carcinoma. The mechanistic role of the secreted form of EPHA7 in human lung carcinogenesis is not clear, but the presence of this form could distinctly exclude adenocarcinoma of the lung from the other categories, i.e., squamous cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma, which have strong association with smoking. This is the first study to detect the secreted form of EPHA7 in human epithelial tissues. EPHA7 warrants further investigation to determine its possible involvement in smoking related lung carcinogenesis.

Kim JC, Kim SY, Cho DH, et al.
Genome-wide identification of chemosensitive single nucleotide polymorphism markers in colorectal cancers.
Cancer Sci. 2010; 101(4):1007-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Improved methods for predicting chemoresponsiveness involving the identification of polymorphic markers is highly desirable, considering narrow therapeutic index and frequent resistance to anti-cancer regimens. The genome-wide screening of chemosensitive single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was undertaken in association with in vitro chemosensitivity assays in 104 colorectal cancer patients for the initial screening step. Allele frequency, linkage disequilibrium, potential function, and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium of the candidate SNPs were then determined for the identifying step. Finally, clinical association analysis in the other 260 evaluable patients or cell viability assays of transfected RKO cells was used to verify candidate SNPs for the validation step. In total, 12 SNPs to six regimens were initially chosen during the screening and identifying steps. In patients receiving fluoropyrimidine-based adjuvant chemotherapy, the substitution alleles of GPC5 rs553717 (AA) correlated significantly with tumor recurrence and shorter disease-free survival (P = 0.019 and 0.023, respectively). Interestingly, RKO cells expressing mutant GPC5 showed enhanced cell death in response to 5-FU in cytotoxicity assays. Patients that were homozygous for the reference alleles SSTR4 rs2567608 (AA) and EPHA7 rs2278107 (TT) showed lower disease control rates in response to irinotecan and oxaliplatin regimens, respectively, than those with substitution alleles (P = 0.022 and 0.014, respectively). Thus, we identified chemosensitive SNP markers using a novel three step process of genome-wide analysis consisting of in vitro screening, identification, and validation. The candidate chemosensitive SNP markers identified in our study, including those identified in vitro, can now be further verified in a large cohort study.

Hilman S, Sothi S, Peake D, et al.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumour with a KIT exon 11 mutation presenting as a paratesticular mass.
Br J Radiol. 2009; 82(977):e98-e101 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) are sarcomas arising in the gastrointestinal tract. They are characterised by a gain in function mutation of the KIT oncogene and the majority express the receptor tyrosine kinase KIT, which can be detected by the immunohistochemical stain CD117. Patients with a GIST present with symptoms such as abdominal pain or gastrointestinal bleeding, or may be asymptomatic. We describe the clinical history and pathological features of a patient with a GIST who presented with a paratesticular mass which, to our knowledge, has never previously been reported. With the development of new drugs to treat GISTs, the knowledge of the type of mutations may in the future prove helpful in determining optimal treatment strategies and prognosis.

Guan M, Xu C, Zhang F, Ye C
Aberrant methylation of EphA7 in human prostate cancer and its relation to clinicopathologic features.
Int J Cancer. 2009; 124(1):88-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
EphA7 is a member of Eph/ephrins family and play diverse roles in carcinogenesis. The aim of our study was to investigate functional and structural alterations of EphA7 in prostate cancer and determine if those findings correlate with the clinicopathologic features of prostate cancer. Forty-eight prostate carcinomas, 31 benign prostate hyperplasias, 5 normal prostate tissues and 3 prostate cell lines (LNCaP, DU145 and PC-3) were examined with quantitative RT-PCR, methylation-specific PCR and immunohistochemistry. Downregulation or loss of EphA7 mRNA expression was detected in 23 of 48 (47.9%) prostate carcinomas, and 2 of 31 (6.5%) hyperplasias. Methylation of the EphA7 promoter region was present in 20 of 48 (41.7%) of carcinomas and 6 of 31 (19.3%) hyperplasias, respectively. Immunostaining analysis showed EphA7 protein was absent in 10 of 30 (33.3%) carcinoma samples available and 8 of them (80.0%) exhibited hypermethylation. The frequency of EphA7 methylation was higher in cancer patients with higher Gleason score. Treatment of DU145 cells harboring methylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine reactivated expression of EphA7. Ectopic expression of EphA7 in DU145 cells did not suppress cell growth but inhibited colony formation. Our study provides evidence that epigenetic inactivation of EphA7 may be involved in prostate carcinogenesis.

Wang LF, Fokas E, Juricko J, et al.
Increased expression of EphA7 correlates with adverse outcome in primary and recurrent glioblastoma multiforme patients.
BMC Cancer. 2008; 8:79 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Malignant gliomas are lethal cancers, highly dependent on angiogenesis and treatment options and prognosis still remain poor for patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Ephs and ephrins have many well-defined functions during embryonic development of central nervous system such as axon mapping, neural crest cell migration, hindbrain segmentation and synapse formation as well as physiological and abnormal angiogenesis. Accumulating evidence indicates that Eph and ephrins are frequently overexpressed in different tumor types including GBM. However, their role in tumorigenesis remains controversial, as both tumor growth promoter and suppressor potential have been ascribed to Eph and ephrins while the function of EphA7 in GBM pathogenesis remains largely unknown.
METHODS: In this study, we investigated the immunohistochemical expression of EphA7 in a series of 32 primary and recurrent GBM and correlated it with clinical pathological parameters and patient outcome. In addition, intratumor microvascular density (MVD) was quantified by immunostaining for endothelial cell marker von Willebrand factor (vWF).
RESULTS: Overexpression of EphA7 protein was predictive of the adverse outcome in GBM patients, independent of MVD expression (p = 0.02). Moreover, high density of MVD as well as higher EphA7 expression predicted the disease outcome more accurately than EphA7 variable alone (p = 0.01). There was no correlation between MVD and overall survival or recurrence-free survival (p > 0.05). However, a statistically significant correlation between lower MVD and tumor recurrence was observed (p = 0.003).
CONCLUSION: The immunohistochemical assessment of tissue EphA7 provides important prognostic information in GBM and would justify its use as surrogate marker to screen patients for tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.

Nakanishi H, Nakamura T, Canaani E, Croce CM
ALL1 fusion proteins induce deregulation of EphA7 and ERK phosphorylation in human acute leukemias.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007; 104(36):14442-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Erythropoietin-producing hepatoma-amplified sequence (Eph) receptor tyrosine kinases and their cell-surface-bound ligands, the ephrins, function as a unique signaling system triggered by cell-to-cell interaction and have been shown to mediate neurodevelopmental processes. In addition, recent studies showed deregulation of some of Eph/ephrin genes in human malignancies, suggesting the involvement of this signaling pathway in tumorigenesis. The ALL1 (also termed MLL) gene on human chromosome 11q23 was isolated by virtue of its involvement in recurrent chromosome translocations associated with acute leukemias with poor prognosis. The translocations fuse ALL1 to any of >50 partner genes and result in production of chimeric proteins composed of the ALL1 N terminus and the C terminus of the partner protein. The most common translocations in ALL1-associated leukemias are t(4;11) and t(9;11), which generate ALL1/AF4 and ALL1/AF9 fusion protein, respectively. In the present study, we sought to determine whether ALL1 fusion proteins are involved in regulation of Eph/ephrin genes. Screening of K562 cells producing recombinant ALL1/AF4 or ALL1/AF9 fusion protein revealed transcriptional up-regulation of the EphA7. Consistent with this finding, siRNA-mediated suppression of ALL1/AF4 in SEMK2 cells carrying the t(4;11) chromosome translocation resulted in down-regulation of EphA7. ChIP analysis demonstrated the occupancy of tagged ALL1 fusion proteins on the EphA7 promoter, pointing to EphA7 as a direct target of the formers. Further studies demonstrate that EphA7 up-regulation is accompanied by ERK phosphorylation. Finally, we show apoptotic cell death, specific for leukemic cells carrying the t(4;11) chromosome translocation, after treatment of the cells with an ERK phosphorylation blocker.

Dawson DW, Hong JS, Shen RR, et al.
Global DNA methylation profiling reveals silencing of a secreted form of Epha7 in mouse and human germinal center B-cell lymphomas.
Oncogene. 2007; 26(29):4243-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Most human lymphomas originate from transformed germinal center (GC) B lymphocytes. While activating mutations and translocations of MYC, BCL2 and BCL6 promote specific GC lymphoma subtypes, other genetic and epigenetic modifications that contribute to malignant progression in the GC remain poorly defined. Recently, aberrant expression of the TCL1 proto-oncogene was identified in major GC lymphoma subtypes. TCL1 transgenic mice offer unique models of both aggressive GC and marginal zone B-cell lymphomas, further supporting a role for TCL1 in B-cell transformation. Here, restriction landmark genomic scanning was employed to discover tumor-associated epigenetic alterations in malignant GC and marginal zone B-cells in TCL1 transgenic mice. Multiple genes were identified that underwent DNA hypermethylation and decreased expression in TCL1 transgenic tumors. Further, we identified a secreted isoform of EPHA7, a member of the Eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases that are able to influence tumor invasiveness, metastasis and neovascularization. EPHA7 was hypermethylated and repressed in both mouse and human GC B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, with the potential to influence tumor progression and spread. These data provide the first set of hypermethylated genes with the potential to complement TCL1-mediated GC B-cell transformation and spread.

Foster RE, Abdulrahman M, Morris MR, et al.
Characterization of a 3;6 translocation associated with renal cell carcinoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2007; 46(4):311-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The most frequent cause of familial clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is von Hippel-Lindau disease and the VHL tumor suppressor gene (TSG) is inactivated in most sporadic clear cell RCC. Although there is relatively little information on the mechanisms of tumorigenesis of clear cell RCC without VHL inactivation, a subset of familial cases harbors a balanced constitutional chromosome 3 translocation. To date nine different chromosome 3 translocations have been associated with familial or multicentric clear cell RCC; and in three cases chromosome 6 was also involved. To identify candidate genes for renal tumorigenesis we characterized a constitutional translocation, t(3;6)(q22;q16.1) associated with multicentric RCC without evidence of VHL target gene dysregulation. Analysis of breakpoint sequences revealed a 1.3-kb deletion on chromosome 6 within the intron of a 2 exon predicted gene (NT_007299.434). However, RT-PCR analysis failed to detect the expression of this gene in lymphoblast, fibroblast, or kidney tumor cell lines. No known genes were disrupted by the translocation breakpoints but several candidate TSGs (e.g., EPHB1, EPHA7, PPP2R3A RNF184, and STAG1) map within close proximity to the breakpoints.

Shao RX, Kato N, Lin LJ, et al.
Absence of tyrosine kinase mutations in Japanese colorectal cancer patients.
Oncogene. 2007; 26(14):2133-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tyrosine kinases, which are important regulators of intracellular signal-transduction pathways, have mutated forms that are often associated with oncogenesis and are attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Recently, systematic mutational analyses of tyrosine kinases revealed that a minimum of 30% of colorectal cancer contain at least one mutation in the tyrosine kinases. To further explore these mutations, we examined all reported mutations of NTRK3, FES, KDR, EPHA3, NTRK2, JAK1, PDGFRA, EPHA7, EPHA8, ERBB4, FGFR1, MLK4 and GUCY2F genes in the 24 colorectal cancer cell lines. Unexpectedly, among 24 colorectal cancer cell lines, only two cell lines (LoVo and CaR1) harbored mutation C1408T (R470C) in MLK4 gene. The mutation rate was extremely low compared to that previously reported. Therefore, we analyzed mutations in 46 colorectal cancer samples resected from the same number of Japanese patients. Surprisingly, none of the 46 samples contained any of the mutations reported. Based on our study, we advise that a more comprehensive tyrosine kinase gene mutation assay is necessary in the future.

Oudes AJ, Roach JC, Walashek LS, et al.
Application of Affymetrix array and Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing for identification of genes involved in prostate cancer progression.
BMC Cancer. 2005; 5:86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Affymetrix GeneChip Array and Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing (MPSS) are two high throughput methodologies used to profile transcriptomes. Each method has certain strengths and weaknesses; however, no comparison has been made between the data derived from Affymetrix arrays and MPSS. In this study, two lineage-related prostate cancer cell lines, LNCaP and C4-2, were used for transcriptome analysis with the aim of identifying genes associated with prostate cancer progression.
METHODS: Affymetrix GeneChip array and MPSS analyses were performed. Data was analyzed with GeneSpring 6.2 and in-house perl scripts. Expression array results were verified with RT-PCR.
RESULTS: Comparison of the data revealed that both technologies detected genes the other did not. In LNCaP, 3,180 genes were only detected by Affymetrix and 1,169 genes were only detected by MPSS. Similarly, in C4-2, 4,121 genes were only detected by Affymetrix and 1,014 genes were only detected by MPSS. Analysis of the combined transcriptomes identified 66 genes unique to LNCaP cells and 33 genes unique to C4-2 cells. Expression analysis of these genes in prostate cancer specimens showed CA1 to be highly expressed in bone metastasis but not expressed in primary tumor and EPHA7 to be expressed in normal prostate and primary tumor but not bone metastasis.
CONCLUSION: Our data indicates that transcriptome profiling with a single methodology will not fully assess the expression of all genes in a cell line. A combination of transcription profiling technologies such as DNA array and MPSS provides a more robust means to assess the expression profile of an RNA sample. Finally, genes that were differentially expressed in cell lines were also differentially expressed in primary prostate cancer and its metastases.

Wang J, Kataoka H, Suzuki M, et al.
Downregulation of EphA7 by hypermethylation in colorectal cancer.
Oncogene. 2005; 24(36):5637-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
A significant reduction of EphA7 expression in human colorectal cancers was shown using semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis in 59 colorectal cancer tissues, compared to corresponding normal mucosas (P=0.008), and five colon cancer cell lines. To investigate the mechanism of EphA7 downregulation in colorectal cancer, we examined the methylation status of the 5'CpG island around the translation start site in five colon cancer cell lines using restriction enzymes, methylation-specific PCR, and bisulfite sequencing and found evidence of aberrant methylation. The expression of EphA7 in colon cancer cell lines was restored after treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Analysis of methylation status in totally 75 tumors compared to clinicopathological parameters revealed that hypermethylation of colorectal cancers was more frequent in male than in female (P=0.0078), and in moderately differentiated than in well-differentiated adenocarcinomas (P=0.0361). There was a tendency that hypermethylation in rectal cancers was more frequent than in colon cancers (P=0.0816). Hypermethylation was also observed in colorectal adenomas. This is the first report describing the downregulation of an Eph family gene in a solid tumor via aberrant 5'CpG island methylation. It provides the evidence that EphA7 gene is involved in human colorectal carcinogenesis.

Hafner C, Schmitz G, Meyer S, et al.
Differential gene expression of Eph receptors and ephrins in benign human tissues and cancers.
Clin Chem. 2004; 50(3):490-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Eph receptors and their ligands, the ephrins, represent a large class of cell-cell communication molecules with well-defined developmental functions. Their role in healthy adult tissues and in human disease is still largely unknown, although diverse roles in carcinogenesis have been postulated.
METHODS: We established a set of fluorescent PCR probes and primers for the definition of individual gene expression profiles of 12 different Eph receptors and 8 ephrins in 13 different healthy tissues. The mRNA expression profiles were studied in human lung, colorectal, kidney, liver, and brain cancers.
RESULTS: The family of Eph receptors/ephrins was widely expressed in adult tissues with organ-site-specific patterns: EphB6 was highest in the thymus, compatible with an involvement in T-cell maturation. Brain and testis shared a unique pattern with EphA6, EphA8, and EphB1 being the most prominent. EphA7 had a high abundance in the kidney vasculature. Ephrin-A3 was up-regulated 26-fold in lung cancer, and EphB2 was up-regulated 9-fold in hepatocellular carcinoma. EphA8 was down-regulated in colon cancer, and EphA1/EphA8 was down-regulated in glioblastomas.
CONCLUSION: Eph/Ephrin genes are widely expressed in all adult organs with certain organ-site-specific patterns. Because their function in adult tissues remains unknown, further analysis of their role in disease may disclose new insights beyond their well-defined meaning in development.

Lawrenson ID, Wimmer-Kleikamp SH, Lock P, et al.
Ephrin-A5 induces rounding, blebbing and de-adhesion of EphA3-expressing 293T and melanoma cells by CrkII and Rho-mediated signalling.
J Cell Sci. 2002; 115(Pt 5):1059-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrins regulate morphogenesis in the developing embryo where they effect adhesion and motility of interacting cells. Although scarcely expressed in adult tissues, Eph receptors and ephrins are overexpressed in a range of tumours. In malignant melanoma, increased Eph and ephrin expression levels correlate with metastatic progression. We have examined cellular and biochemical responses of EphA3-expressing melanoma cell lines and human epithelial kidney 293T cells to stimulation with polymeric ephrin-A5 in solution and with surfaces of defined ephrin-A5 densities. Within minutes, rapid reorganisation of the actin and myosin cytoskeleton occurs through activation of RhoA, leading to the retraction of cellular protrusions, membrane blebbing and detachment, but not apoptosis. These responses are inhibited by monomeric ephrin-A5, showing that receptor clustering is required for this EphA3 response. Furthermore, the adapter CrkII, which associates with tyrosine-phosphorylated EphA3 in vitro, is recruited in vivo to ephrin-A5-stimulated EphA3. Expression of an SH3-domain mutated CrkII ablates cell rounding, blebbing and detachment. Our results suggest that recruitment of CrkII and activation of Rho signalling are responsible for EphA3-mediated cell rounding, blebbing and de-adhesion, and that ephrin-A5-mediated receptor clustering and EphA3 tyrosine kinase activity are essential for this response.

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