Gene Summary

Gene:ETV3; ets variant 3
Aliases: PE1, METS, PE-1, bA110J1.4
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:ETS translocation variant 3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (8)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 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, erbB-2
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Cancer DNA
  • Hepatoblastoma
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • IGF2
  • ETV3
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Tumor Markers
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Infant
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Chromosome 1
  • Follicular Lymphoma
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Phylogeny
  • Markov Chains
  • Cohort Studies
  • CGH
  • Transcription Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Gene Expression
  • ELF3
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Staging
Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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

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

Latest Publications: ETV3 (cancer-related)

Jeon YJ, Kim JW, Park HM, et al.
Interplay between 3'-UTR polymorphisms in the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene and metabolic syndrome in determining the risk of colorectal cancer in Koreans.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:881 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Polymorphisms in angiogenesis-related genes and metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors play important roles in cancer development. Moreover, recent studies have reported associations between a number of 3'-UTR polymorphisms and a variety of cancers. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations of three VEGF 3'-UTR polymorphisms (1451C > T [rs3025040], 1612G > A [rs10434], and 1725G > A [rs3025053]) and MetS with colorectal cancer (CRC) susceptibility in Koreans.
METHODS: A total of 850 participants (450 CRC patients and 400 controls) were enrolled in the study. The genotyping of VEGF polymorphisms was performed by TaqMan allelic discrimination assays. Cancer risks of genetic variations and gene-environment interactions were assessed by adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of multivariate logistic regression analyses.
RESULTS: VEGF 1451C > T was significantly associated with rectal cancer risk (Dominant model; AOR =1.58; 95% CI = 1.09 - 2.28; p = 0.015) whereas VEGF 1725G > A correlated with MetS risk (Dominant model; AOR =1.61; 95% CI =1.06 - 2.46; p = 0.026). Of the gene-environment combined effects, the interaction of VEGF 1451C > T and MetS contributed to increased rectal cancer risk (AOR = 3.15; 95% CI = 1.74 - 5.70; p < .001) whereas the combination of VEGF 1725G > A and MetS was involved with elevated colon cancer risk (AOR = 2.68; 95% CI = 1.30 - 1.55; p =0.008).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results implicate that VEGF 1451C > T and 1725G > A may predispose to CRC susceptibility and the genetic contributions may be varied with the presence of MetS.

Mets E, Van der Meulen J, Van Peer G, et al.
MicroRNA-193b-3p acts as a tumor suppressor by targeting the MYB oncogene in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(4):798-806 [PubMed] Related Publications
The MYB oncogene is a leucine zipper transcription factor essential for normal and malignant hematopoiesis. In T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), elevated MYB levels can arise directly through T-cell receptor-mediated MYB translocations, genomic MYB duplications or enhanced TAL1 complex binding at the MYB locus or indirectly through the TAL1/miR-223/FBXW7 regulatory axis. In this study, we used an unbiased MYB 3'untranslated region-microRNA (miRNA) library screen and identified 33 putative MYB-targeting miRNAs. Subsequently, transcriptome data from two independent T-ALL cohorts and different subsets of normal T-cells were used to select miRNAs with relevance in the context of normal and malignant T-cell transformation. Hereby, miR-193b-3p was identified as a novel bona fide tumor-suppressor miRNA that targets MYB during malignant T-cell transformation thereby offering an entry point for efficient MYB targeting-oriented therapies for human T-ALL.

Mets E, Van Peer G, Van der Meulen J, et al.
MicroRNA-128-3p is a novel oncomiR targeting PHF6 in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Haematologica. 2014; 99(8):1326-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia arises from the leukemic transformation of developing thymocytes and results from cooperative genetic lesions. Inactivation of the PHF6 gene is frequently observed in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, suggesting an important tumor suppressive role for PHF6 in the pathobiology of this leukemia. Although the precise function of PHF6 is still unknown, this gene is most likely involved in chromatin regulation, a strongly emerging theme in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In this context, our previous description of a cooperative microRNA regulatory network controlling several well-known T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia tumor suppressor genes, including PHF6, is of great importance. Given the high frequency of PHF6 lesions in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the integration of PHF6 in this microRNA regulatory network, we aimed to identify novel oncogenic microRNAs in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia which suppress PHF6. To this end, we performed an unbiased PHF6 3'UTR-microRNA library screen and combined the results with microRNA profiling data of samples from patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and normal thymocyte subsets. We selected miR-128-3p as a candidate PHF6-targeting, oncogenic microRNA and demonstrated regulation of PHF6 expression upon modulation of this microRNA in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell lines. In vivo evidence of an oncogenic role of this microRNA in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia was obtained through accelerated leukemia onset in a NOTCH1-induced T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia mouse model upon miR-128-3p over-expression. We conclude that miR-128-3p is a strong novel candidate oncogenic microRNA in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia which targets the PHF6 tumor suppressor gene.

Yu DC, Liu J, Chen J, et al.
GGPPS1 predicts the biological character of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with cirrhosis.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:248 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been associated with diabetes and obesity, but a possible connection with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its potential interaction with hepatitis and cirrhosis are open to discussion. Our previous investigations have shown that GGPPS1 plays a critical role during hyperinsulinism. In this report, the expression and distribution of GGPPS1 in liver cancer, and its clinical significance were investigated.
METHODS: 70 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were included in this study. Three different types of tissues from each HCC patient were assembled immediately after surgical resection: tumor-free tissue >5 cm far from tumor edge (TF), adjacent nonmalignant tissue within 2 cm (AT), and tissue from the tumor (TT). Normal liver tissues from 10 liver transplant donors served as healthy control (HC) while 10 patients with liver cirrhosis as cirrhosis control (CC). The expression and distribution of GGPPS1 were detected by immunohistochemistry, western blots, or real-time PCR. The relationship between the expression of GGPPS1 and clinic pathologic index were analyzed.
RESULTS: We found that GGPPS1 was intensified mainly in the cytoplasm of liver tumor cells. Both the expression of GGPPS1 mRNA and protein were upregulated in TT comparing to AT or TF. Meanwhile, HCC patients with cirrhosis had relative higher expression of GGPPS1. In addition, many pathologic characters show close correlation with GGPPS1, such as tumor stage, vessel invasion, and early recurrence.
CONCLUSION: GGPPS1 may play a critical role during the development of HCC from cirrhosis and is of clinical significance for predicting biological character of HCC.

Agwa E, Ma PC
Overview of various techniques/platforms with critical evaluation of each.
Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2013; 14(4):623-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
OPINION STATEMENT: Patients with cancer of unknown primary are common and can present in a variety of ways with different histological features. Despite best clinical effort in pretreatment diagnostic workup, many patients classified as having cancer of unknown primary (CUP) often are still left with no definitive diagnosis of the primary organ or tissue of origin to account for the metastatic disease. Whereas advances in immunohistochemical techniques have improved the diagnostic yield to some extent, the challenges remain substantial for most patients with CUP in whom initial therapy is typically chosen empirically. In recent years, development of molecular gene profiling of tumor offers new possibilities to better characterize, diagnose, and classify the tissue of origin of various metastatic CUP to better inform optimal therapy. The premise behind the development of improved diagnostic tools to better diagnose the organ or tissue of origin for metastatic disease of unknown primary is that an organ/tissue-specific tailored therapy of choice would favorably impact the treatment outcome. There are now three commercially available molecular profiling platforms for the purpose of diagnosing the tissue of origin in the otherwise CUP patients: 1) bioTheranostics: Cancer TYPE ID® (qRT-PCR for mRNA); 2) Pathworks®: Tissue of origin test (microarray for mRNA expression); and 3) Rosetta Genomics-Prometheus: miRview™ mets (ProOnc Tumor SourceDxT) (qRT-PCR for microRNA). Whereas these are new technologic platforms that offer new promise for better diagnostics and perhaps better therapeutic strategies in cancer therapy, each of the platforms has its own strengths and limitations due to their test of choice and assay source materials and technical platform itself. However, a fundamental question that needs be further addressed regarding the utility of these novel molecular profiling assays is whether they represent more superior approaches than genomic profiling assays using rapidly emerging cancer genomics next-generation sequencing (NSG) platforms. Because cancer is nowadays understood as genomic disease, the genomic alterations (e.g., mutations, copy number variations, chromosomal translocations, splicing variants) may offer more important insights into the cancer pathogenesis. More importantly, these genomic information may be more relevant in guiding personalized/precision cancer therapy than merely empiric chemotherapy based on tissue/organ-of-origin information. Ideally, further comparative studies and demonstration of utilities would be needed and eagerly anticipated to determine which diagnostic approach ultimately could impact the clinical outcome of patients with CUP.

Kawakami M, Ishikawa R, Amano Y, et al.
Detection of novel paraja ring finger 2-fer tyrosine kinase mRNA chimeras is associated with poor postoperative prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(11):1447-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previously, we reported that the overexpression of fer tyrosine kinase (FER), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, is correlated with poor postoperative prognosis and cancer-cell survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the present study, we further analyzed FER-overexpressed NSCLC cases and identified various patterns of chimeric mRNAs, composed of paraja ring finger 2 (PJA2) and FER. We detected no genomic rearrangements between PJA2 and FER and attributed these chimeric mRNAs to alterations at the transcriptome level: i.e., trans-splicing. Several chimeric patterns were detected concurrently in each patient, and the pattern sets varied among patients, although the pattern in which PJA2 exon 1 was fused to FER exon 3 (designated as Pe1-Fe3 mRNA) was detected constantly. Therefore, in a wide screening for PJA2-FER mRNAs in NSCLC, we focused on this chimeric pattern as a representative chimera. In analyses of 167 NSCLC samples, Pe1-Fe3 mRNA was identified in about 10% of the patients, and the presence of chimeric mRNA was significantly correlated with a high expression level of parental FER mRNA. Furthermore, we found that the detection of Pe1-Fe3 mRNA was correlated with poor postoperative survival periods in NSCLC, consistent with a previous finding in which FER overexpression was correlated with poor postoperative prognosis in NSCLC. This report is the first to suggest a correlation between chimeric mRNA and the expression level of parental mRNA. Furthermore, our findings may be clinically beneficial, suggesting that PJA2-FER mRNAs might serve as a novel prognostic biomarker in NSCLC.

Zhang Y, Kent JW, Olivier M, et al.
A comprehensive analysis of adiponectin QTLs using SNP association, SNP cis-effects on peripheral blood gene expression and gene expression correlation identified novel metabolic syndrome (MetS) genes with potential role in carcinogenesis and systemic inflammation.
BMC Med Genomics. 2013; 6:14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is an aberration associated with increased risk for cancer and inflammation. Adiponectin, an adipocyte-produced abundant protein hormone, has countering effect on the diabetogenic and atherogenic components of MetS. Plasma levels of adiponectin are negatively correlated with onset of cancer and cancer patient mortality. We previously performed microsatellite linkage analyses using adiponectin as a surrogate marker and revealed two QTLs on chr5 (5p14) and chr14 (14q13).
METHODS: Using individuals from 85 extended families that contributed to the linkage and who were measured for 42 clinical and biologic MetS phenotypes, we tested QTL-based SNP associations, peripheral white blood cell (PWBC) gene expression, and the effects of cis-acting SNPs on gene expression to discover genomic elements that could affect the pathophysiology and complications of MetS.
RESULTS: Adiponectin levels were found to be highly intercorrelated phenotypically with the majority of MetS traits. QTL-specific haplotype-tagging SNPs associated with MetS phenotypes were annotated to 14 genes whose function could influence MetS biology as well as oncogenesis or inflammation. These were mechanistically categorized into four groups: cell-cell adhesion and mobility, signal transduction, transcription and protein sorting. Four genes were highly prioritized: cadherin 18 (CDH18), myosin X (MYO10), anchor protein 6 of AMPK (AKAP6), and neuronal PAS domain protein 3 (NPAS3). PWBC expression was detectable only for the following genes with multi-organ or with multi-function properties: NPAS3, MARCH6, MYO10 and FBXL7. Strong evidence of cis-effects on the expression of MYO10 in PWBC was found with SNPs clustered near the gene's transcription start site. MYO10 expression in PWBC was marginally correlated with body composition (p = 0.065) and adipokine levels in the periphery (p = 0.064). Variants of genes AKAP6, NPAS3, MARCH6 and FBXL7 have been previously reported to be associated with insulin resistance, inflammatory markers or adiposity studies using genome-wide approaches whereas associations of CDH18 and MYO10 with MetS traits have not been reported before.
CONCLUSIONS: Adiponectin QTLs-based SNP association and mRNA expression identified genes that could mediate the association between MetS and cancer or inflammation.

Crisi G, Orsingher L, Filice S
Lipid and macromolecules quantitation in differentiating glioblastoma from solitary metastasis: a short-echo time single-voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy study at 3 T.
J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2013 Mar-Apr; 37(2):265-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The differentiation between solitary metastasis (MET) and glioblastoma (GBM) is difficult using only magnetic resonance imaging techniques. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) lipid signal indicates cellular necrosis both in GBMs and METs. The purpose of this prospective study was to determine whether a class of lipids and/or macromolecules (MMs), able to efficiently discriminate between these two types of lesions, exists.
METHODS: Forty-one patients with solitary brain tumor (23 GBMs and 18 METs) underwent magnetic resonance imaging and single-voxel MRS. Short-echo time point resolved spectroscopy sequence acquisition with water suppression technique was used. Spectra were analyzed using LCModel. Absolute quantification was performed with "water-scaling" procedure. The analysis was focused on sums of lipid and macromolecular (LM) components at 0.9 and 1.3 ppm.
RESULTS: The LM13 absolute concentration was statistically different (P < 0.0001) between GBMs and METs. With a cutoff of 81 mM in LM13 absolute concentration, METs and GBMs can be distinguished with a 78% of specificity and an 81% of sensitivity. The presence of the MM12 peak, related to the fucose II complex, in tumors harboring a K-ras gene mutation has been investigated.
CONCLUSIONS: We exploited the performance of a clinically easily implementable method, such as short-echo time single-voxel MRS, for the differentiation between brain metastasis and primary brain tumors. The study showed that MRS absolute lipid and macromolecular signals could be helpful in differentiating GBM from metastasis. LM13 class was found to be a discriminant parameter with an accuracy of 85%. Detection of the MM12-fucose peak may also have a role in understanding molecular biology of brain metastasis and should be further investigated to address specific metabolic phenotypes.

Cascione L, Gasparini P, Lovat F, et al.
Integrated microRNA and mRNA signatures associated with survival in triple negative breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e55910 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease at the molecular, pathologic and clinical levels. To stratify TNBCs, we determined microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles, as well as expression profiles of a cancer-focused mRNA panel, in tumor, adjacent non-tumor (normal) and lymph node metastatic lesion (mets) tissues, from 173 women with TNBCs; we linked specific miRNA signatures to patient survival and used miRNA/mRNA anti-correlations to identify clinically and genetically different TNBC subclasses. We also assessed miRNA signatures as potential regulators of TNBC subclass-specific gene expression networks defined by expression of canonical signal pathways.Tissue specific miRNAs and mRNAs were identified for normal vs tumor vs mets comparisons. miRNA signatures correlated with prognosis were identified and predicted anti-correlated targets within the mRNA profile were defined. Two miRNA signatures (miR-16, 155, 125b, 374a and miR-16, 125b, 374a, 374b, 421, 655, 497) predictive of overall survival (P = 0.05) and distant-disease free survival (P = 0.009), respectively, were identified for patients 50 yrs of age or younger. By multivariate analysis the risk signatures were independent predictors for overall survival and distant-disease free survival. mRNA expression profiling, using the cancer-focused mRNA panel, resulted in clustering of TNBCs into 4 molecular subclasses with different expression signatures anti-correlated with the prognostic miRNAs. Our findings suggest that miRNAs play a key role in triple negative breast cancer through their ability to regulate fundamental pathways such as: cellular growth and proliferation, cellular movement and migration, Extra Cellular Matrix degradation. The results define miRNA expression signatures that characterize and contribute to the phenotypic diversity of TNBC and its metastasis.

Mesquita B, Lopes P, Rodrigues A, et al.
Frequent copy number gains at 1q21 and 1q32 are associated with overexpression of the ETS transcription factors ETV3 and ELF3 in breast cancer irrespective of molecular subtypes.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 138(1):37-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several ETS transcription factors are involved in the pathogenesis of human cancers by different mechanisms. As gene copy number gain/amplification is an alternative mechanism of oncogenic activation and 1q gain is the most common copy number change in breast carcinoma, we investigated how that genomic change impacts in the expression of the three 1q ETS family members ETV3, ELK4, and ELF3. We have first evaluated 141 breast carcinomas for genome-wide copy number changes by chromosomal CGH and showed that 1q21 and 1q32 were the two chromosome bands with most frequent genomic copy number gains. Second, we confirmed by FISH with locus-specific BAC clones that cases showing 1q gain/amplification by CGH showed copy number increase of the ETS genes ETV3 (located in 1q21~23), ELF3, and ELK4 (both in 1q32). Third, gene expression levels of the three 1q ETS genes, as well as their potential targets MYC and CRISP3, were evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. We here show for the first time that the most common genomic copy number gains in breast cancer, 1q21 and 1q32, are associated with overexpression of the ETS transcription factors ETV3 and ELF3 (but not ELK4) at these loci irrespective of molecular subtypes. Among the three 1q ETS genes, ELF3 has a relevant role in breast carcinogenesis and is also the most likely target of the 1q copy number increase. The basal-like molecular subtype presented the worst prognosis regarding disease-specific survival, but no additional prognostic value was found for 1q copy number status or ELF3 expression. In addition, we show that there is a correlation between the expression of the oncogene MYC, irrespectively of copy number gain at its loci in 8q24, and the expression of both the transcriptional repressor ETV3 and the androgen respondent ELK4.

Martin J, Bryar P, Mets M, et al.
Differentially expressed miRNAs in retinoblastoma.
Gene. 2013; 512(2):294-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA transcripts that have the ability to regulate the expression of target genes, and have been shown to influence the development of various tumors. The purpose of our study is to identify aberrantly expressed miRNAs in retinoblastoma for the discovery of potential therapeutic targets for this disease, and to gain a greater understanding of the mechanisms driving retinoblastoma progression. We report 41 differentially expressed miRNAs (p<0.05) in 12 retinoblastomas as compared to three normal human retinae. Of these miRNAs, many are newly identified as being differentially expressed in retinoblastoma. Further, we report the validations of five of the most downregulated miRNAs in primary human retinoblastomas (p<0.05), human retinoblastoma cell lines, and mouse retinoblastoma cell lines. This serves as the largest and most comprehensive retinoblastoma miRNA analysis to date with corresponding clinical and pathological characteristics. This is an essential step in the discovery of miRNAs associated with retinoblastoma progression, and in the identification of potential therapeutic targets for this disease.

Rekhi B, Sable M, Jambhekar NA
Histopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular spectrum of myoepithelial tumours of soft tissues.
Virchows Arch. 2012; 461(6):687-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Primary soft tissue myoepithelial tumours (METs) are rare. Recent studies have shown EWSR1 rearrangement in certain METs. We present clinicopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular features of 14 primary soft tissue METs. Fourteen tumours, five benign and nine malignant, occurred in 12 men and two women, with an age range of 18-60 years (mean, 39.2); in upper extremities, four (29 %); chest wall, three (21 %); paraspinal region, three (21 %); pelvis, two (14 %) and lower extremities, two (14 %). Tumour size varied from 2 to 21.6 cm (mean, 8.7). Microscopically, most tumours were at least focally circumscribed. Morphological heterogeneity was noted, commonest patterns being cord-like and diffuse arrangement of polygonal cells in a myxoid stroma. By immunohistochemistry, tumours were positive for epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) (10/12, 83 %), cytokeratin (CK)/MNF116 (3/12, 25 %), p63 (7/10, 70 %), CD10 (4/6, 67 %), calponin (6/6, 100 %), S-100P (11/13, 85 %), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (6/12, 50 %), smooth muscle actin (SMA) (3/9, 33 %), INI1/SMARCB1 (6/10, 60 %), brachyury (0/11), CD34 (0/5) and vimentin (4/4, 100 %), implying 93 % positivity for at least one epithelial marker. EWSR1 gene rearrangement was detected in 3/6 (50 %) METs (one benign and two malignant) and in an eccrine porocarcinoma which was included for reasons of comparison. Outcome details were available for six patients all surgically treated; three tumours (two malignant and one benign) resected with unknown marginal status recurred; two patients died and a single patient with myoepithelial carcinoma, who underwent a wide excision, is disease-free. This study illustrates the wide morphological spectrum of soft tissue METs, including benign and malignant subtypes. EMA and S-100P are optimal markers that should be supplemented with broad spectrum keratins, such as AE1/AE3, along with p63, GFAP and calponin in case of need but the results must be correlated with morphological features. Brachyury is useful in separating parachordoma/myoepithelioma from chordoma. EWSR1 rearrangement mostly occurs in METs that are deep-seated, irrespective of benign or malignant behaviour. Most malignant METs are INI1 negative.

Wang DS, Wang ZQ, Zhang L, et al.
Are risk factors associated with outcomes in pancreatic cancer?
PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e41984 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The development of pancreatic cancer is a process in which genes interact with environmental factors. We performed this study to determine the effects of the ABO blood group, obesity, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome (MetS), smoking, alcohol consumption and hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection on patient survival.
METHODS: A total of 488 patients with pancreatic cancer were evaluated.
RESULT: Patients who presented as chronic carriers of HBV infection were younger at disease onset (p = 0.001) and more predominantly male (p = 0.020) than those never exposed to HBV. Patients with MetS had later disease staging (p = 0.000) and a lower degree of pathological differentiation (p = 0.008) than those without MetS. In a univariate analysis, the ABO blood group, smoking and alcohol consumption were not associated with overall survival. HBsAg-positivity and elevated fasting plasma glucose were significantly associated with unfavorable survival though not in the multivariate analysis. The presence of MetS (HR: 1.541, 95% CI: 1.095-2.169, p = 0.013), age ≥65, an elevated CA19-9 baseline level, TNM staging, the type of surgery, the degree of differentiation and chemotherapy were independently associated with overall survival.
CONCLUSION: We report, for the first time, that patients with chronic HBV infection may represent a special subtype of pancreatic cancer, who have a younger age of disease onset and male dominancy. Patients with MetS had later disease staging and a poorer histological grade. Patients with MetS demonstrated significantly poorer survival.

Andrews JL, Kim AC, Hens JR
The role and function of cadherins in the mammary gland.
Breast Cancer Res. 2012; 14(1):203 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cadherins are transmembrane receptors that function through calcium-dependent homophilic and heterophilic interactions that provide cell-cell contact and communication in many different organ systems. In the mammary gland only a few of the cadherins that make up this large superfamily of proteins have been characterized. Frequently in metastatic breast cancer, the genes for cadherins are epigenetically silenced, mutated, or regulated differently. During epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cadherins that are expressed normally in the epithelial cells are down-regulated, while cadherins expressed in the mesenchyme are up-regulated. This process is known as cadherin switching, and its regulation can sometimes facilitate the increased motility, invasiveness and proliferation that occurs in metastatic cancer cells. Depending on the context, however, cell motility, invasiveness, proliferation and expression of mesenchymal markers can be independently modulated from cadherin expression, leading to partial epithelial-mesenchymal transitions and even mesenchymal-epithelial transitions (METs). This review will summarize the current understanding of cadherins found in the mammary gland and what is known about their mechanism of regulation in the mammary gland during normal physiological conditions and in breast cancer.

Nasser S, Ranade AR, Sridhar S, et al.
Biomarkers associated with metastasis of lung cancer to brain predict patient survival.
Int J Data Min Bioinform. 2011; 5(3):287-307 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs influence cell physiology; alteration in miRNA regulation can be implicated in carcinogenesis and disease progression. Generally, one miRNA is predicted to regulate several hundred genes, and as a result, miRNAs could serve as a better classifier than gene expression. We combine validated miRNA expression values with imaging features to classify NSCLC brain mets from non-brain mets and identify possible biomarkers of brain mets. This research involves comprehensive miRNA expression profiling, evaluation of normalisation techniques and combination of miRNA with imaging features FDG-PET/CT and CT Scan. The biomarkers were validated on an independent data set to predict potential brain mets.

Mavrakis KJ, Van Der Meulen J, Wolfe AL, et al.
A cooperative microRNA-tumor suppressor gene network in acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL).
Nat Genet. 2011; 43(7):673-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The importance of individual microRNAs (miRNAs) has been established in specific cancers. However, a comprehensive analysis of the contribution of miRNAs to the pathogenesis of any specific cancer is lacking. Here we show that in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), a small set of miRNAs is responsible for the cooperative suppression of several tumor suppressor genes. Cross-comparison of miRNA expression profiles in human T-ALL with the results of an unbiased miRNA library screen allowed us to identify five miRNAs (miR-19b, miR-20a, miR-26a, miR-92 and miR-223) that are capable of promoting T-ALL development in a mouse model and which account for the majority of miRNA expression in human T-ALL. Moreover, these miRNAs produce overlapping and cooperative effects on tumor suppressor genes implicated in the pathogenesis of T-ALL, including IKAROS (also known as IKZF1), PTEN, BIM, PHF6, NF1 and FBXW7. Thus, a comprehensive and unbiased analysis of miRNA action in T-ALL reveals a striking pattern of miRNA-tumor suppressor gene interactions in this cancer.

Carroll PA, Healy L, Lysaght J, et al.
Influence of the metabolic syndrome on leptin and leptin receptor in breast cancer.
Mol Carcinog. 2011; 50(8):643-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Obesity and its associated metabolic syndrome (MetS) are recognized risk factors for breast cancer. The molecular basis for this association remains largely unknown. Adipokines, in particular leptin and adiponectin, are thought to form part of the mechanism linking obesity with cancer through their altered expression/production either systemically (endocrine pathway) or locally (paracrine/autocrine pathway). Using quantitative PCR, mRNA expression of adiponectin (AdipoQ) and leptin (Ob) in mammary adipose tissue (MAT), intratumoral leptin and associated ligand receptors (ObR, AdipoR1, and AdipoR2) was examined in 77 patients with complete anthropomorphic and serological data. Expression of Ob in MAT, and ObR in matched tumor tissue was significantly higher in patients with MetS compared to obese only or normal weight cancer patients (P < 0.005). There was no difference in intratumoral leptin adiponectin or its ligand receptors in the same groups. Individual features of MetS correlated with Ob and ObR expression, but not obesity markers (BMI, waist circumference). mRNA expression of leptin (Ob) and ObR, in adipose tissue and matched tumor samples, respectively, appear to be associated with obesity status in breast cancer. Increasing insulin resistance is a predominant feature of this higher Ob/ObR expression observed. These novel data indicate that the MetS may be an amenable risk factor for breast cancer.

Deves C, Renck D, Garicochea B, et al.
Analysis of select members of the E26 (ETS) transcription factors family in colorectal cancer.
Virchows Arch. 2011; 458(4):421-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The E-twenty-six (ETS) family of transcription factors is known to act as positive or negative regulators of the expression of genes that are involved in diverse biological processes, including those that control cellular proliferation, differentiation, hematopoiesis, apoptosis, metastasis, tissue remodeling, and angiogenesis. Identification of target gene promoters of normal and oncogenic transcription factors provides new insights into the regulation of genes that are involved in the control of normal cell growth and differentiation. The aim of the present investigation was to analyze the differential expression of 11 ETS (ELF-3, ESE3, ETS1, ETV3, ETV4, ETV6, NERF, PDEF, PU1, Spi-B, and Spi-C) as potential markers for prognostic of colorectal cancer. A series of paired tissue biopsies consisting of a tumor and a non-affected control sample were harvested from 28 individuals suffering from diagnosed colorectal lesions. Total RNA was isolated from the samples, and after reverse transcription, differential expression of the select ETS was carried out through real-time polymerase chain reaction. Tumor staging as determined by histopathology was carried out to correlate the degree of tumor invasiveness with the expression of the ETS genes. The results demonstrated a different quantitative profile of expression in tumors and normal tissues. ETV4 was significantly upregulated with further increase in the event of lymph node involvement. PDEF and Spi-B presented downregulation, which was more significant when lymph node involvement was present. These findings were supported by immunohistochemistry of tumoral tissues. The results suggest that select ETS may serve as potential markers of colorectal cancer invasiveness and metastasis.

Green MR, Jardine P, Wood P, et al.
A new method to detect loss of heterozygosity using cohort heterozygosity comparisons.
BMC Cancer. 2010; 10:195 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) is an important marker for one of the 'two-hits' required for tumor suppressor gene inactivation. Traditional methods for mapping LOH regions require the comparison of both tumor and patient-matched normal DNA samples. However, for many archival samples, patient-matched normal DNA is not available leading to the under-utilization of this important resource in LOH studies. Here we describe a new method for LOH analysis that relies on the genome-wide comparison of heterozygosity of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between cohorts of cases and un-matched healthy control samples. Regions of LOH are defined by consistent decreases in heterozygosity across a genetic region in the case cohort compared to the control cohort.
METHODS: DNA was collected from 20 Follicular Lymphoma (FL) tumor samples, 20 Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) tumor samples, neoplastic B-cells of 10 B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (B-CLL) patients and Buccal cell samples matched to 4 of these B-CLL patients. The cohort heterozygosity comparison method was developed and validated using LOH derived in a small cohort of B-CLL by traditional comparisons of tumor and normal DNA samples, and compared to the only alternative method for LOH analysis without patient matched controls. LOH candidate regions were then generated for enlarged cohorts of B-CLL, FL and DLBCL samples using our cohort heterozygosity comparison method in order to evaluate potential LOH candidate regions in these non-Hodgkin's lymphoma tumor subtypes.
RESULTS: Using a small cohort of B-CLL samples with patient-matched normal DNA we have validated the utility of this method and shown that it displays more accuracy and sensitivity in detecting LOH candidate regions compared to the only alternative method, the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) method. Subsequently, using B-CLL, FL and DLBCL tumor samples we have utilised cohort heterozygosity comparisons to localise LOH candidate regions in these subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Detected LOH regions included both previously described regions of LOH as well as novel genomic candidate regions.
CONCLUSIONS: We have proven the efficacy of the use of cohort heterozygosity comparisons for genome-wide mapping of LOH and shown it to be in many ways superior to the HMM method. Additionally, the use of this method to analyse SNP microarray data from 3 common forms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma yielded interesting tumor suppressor gene candidates, including the ETV3 gene that was highlighted in both B-CLL and FL.

Riccio A
New endogenous regulators of class I histone deacetylases.
Sci Signal. 2010; 3(103):pe1 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene expression in eukaryotes depends on epigenetic changes that occur on both histones and DNA. Class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) are enzymes that remove acetyl groups from histones and other nuclear proteins, thereby inducing chromatin condensation and transcriptional repression. HDACs belong to a large family of enzymes that undergo posttranslational modifications after the activation of several intracellular pathways. However, the environmental stimuli that change nuclear HDAC functions remain largely unknown. New evidence has demonstrated that the lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) inhibits the activity of HDAC1 and HDAC2. Both S1P and sphingosine kinase 2 (SphK2), the enzyme that synthesizes S1P, are assembled in corepressor complexes containing HDAC1 and HDAC2. S1P is among the few endogenous HDAC inhibitors that is synthesized in the nucleus in response to extracellular stimulation, and the first nuclear lipid associated with an epigenetic modification. The discovery of endogenous molecules that regulate HDAC activity in vivo has implications for the development of new therapeutic approaches for a host of human diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.

Wuttig D, Baier B, Fuessel S, et al.
Gene signatures of pulmonary metastases of renal cell carcinoma reflect the disease-free interval and the number of metastases per patient.
Int J Cancer. 2009; 125(2):474-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our understanding of metastatic spread is limited and molecular mechanisms causing particular characteristics of metastasis are largely unknown. Herein, transcriptome-wide expression profiles of a unique cohort of 20 laser-resected pulmonary metastases (Mets) of 18 patients with clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) were analyzed to identify expression patterns associated with two important prognostic factors in RCC: the disease-free interval (DFI) after nephrectomy and the number of Mets per patient. Differentially expressed genes were identified by comparing early (DFI < or = 9 months) and late (DFI > or = 5 years) Mets, and Mets derived from patients with few (< or =8) and multiple (> or =16) Mets. Early and late Mets could be separated by the expression of genes involved in metastasis-associated processes, such as angiogenesis, cell migration and adhesion (e.g., PECAM1, KDR). Samples from patients with multiple Mets showed an elevated expression of genes associated with cell division and cell cycle (e.g., PBK, BIRC5, PTTG1) which indicates that a high number of Mets might result from an increased growth potential. Minimal sets of genes for the prediction of the DFI and the number of Mets per patient were identified. Microarray results were confirmed by quantitative PCR by including nine further pulmonary Mets of RCC. In summary, we showed that subgroups of Mets are distinguishable based on their expression profiles, which reflect the DFI and the number of Mets of a patient. To what extent the identified molecular factors contribute to the development of these characteristics of metastatic spread needs to be analyzed in further studies.

Sarzani R, Bordicchia M, Marcucci P, et al.
Altered pattern of cannabinoid type 1 receptor expression in adipose tissue of dysmetabolic and overweight patients.
Metabolism. 2009; 58(3):361-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
In overweight patients (OW), the increased peripheral activity of the endocannabinoid system in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) may be mediated by cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor expression. We determined whether CB1 receptor splice variants and messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in perirenal and subcutaneous adipose tissues are associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). Gene expression with multiple-primers real-time polymerase chain reaction (TaqMan; Applied Biosystem, Weiterstadt, Germany) was performed to study VAT and paired subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) mRNA from 36 consecutive patients undergoing nephrectomy. Cannabinoid type 1A and CB1E mRNAs variants with the longer version of exon 4 were expressed. The CB1 expression in perirenal VAT significantly correlated with body mass index (BMI). Paired subcutaneous/perirenal samples from normal-weight patients (BMI < 25 kg/m(2)) showed higher CB1 expression in SAT (P = .002), whereas in OW (BMI > or = 25 kg/m(2)), the higher CB1 expression was in VAT (P = .038). In unpaired samples, SAT of normal-weight patients had significantly higher CB1 mRNA levels compared with SAT of OW, whereas higher CB1 expression (P = .009) was found in VAT of OW (n = 25). Overweight patients with increased visceral CB1 expression had higher waist circumference (P < .01), insulin (P < .01), and homeostasis model assessment index (P < .01). In addition, patients with the MetS (n = 22) showed higher CB1 expression in perirenal adipose tissues (P = .007). Visceral adipose CB1 expression correlated with BMI. Overweight patients and those with MetS showed a CB1 expression pattern supporting a CB1-mediated overactivity of the endocannabinoid system in human VAT.

Attaoua R, Ait El Mkadem S, Radian S, et al.
FTO gene associates to metabolic syndrome in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008; 373(2):230-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
The FTO (Fat mass and obesity associated) locus has recently been associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) in humans. To understand the role of the FTO gene in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) we genotyped single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1421085 (C/T) in women with PCOS (n=207) and controls (n=100) from a Central European population. The homozygous C/C genotype showed increased prevalence in PCOS patients either obese or with metabolic syndrome (MetS) compared to lean PCOS patients or controls (27.6%, 38.9%, 22.3%, and 16.3%, respectively). In logistic regression, this genotype strongly associated with MetS (P<0.0001, OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.8-5.7) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) with P<0.0007, OR 7.7, 95% CI 2.1-28.6, independently of BMI or age, and to AUC(gluc) during OGTT (P<0.0001, alpha=0.99), indicating an influential role of the FTO gene in the glucose intolerance component of MetS.

Faussillon M, Murakami I, Bichat M, et al.
Molecular cytogenetic anomalies and phenotype alterations in a newly established cell line from Wilms tumor with diffuse anaplasia.
Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2008; 184(1):22-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The novel continuous cell line WT-Pe.1 was established in vitro from Wilms tumor with histological features of diffuse anaplasia. The cultures grew as poorly differentiated epithelial-like cells with pleomorphic polygonal shapes and formation of typical monolayers. WT-Pe.1 cells were immunoreactive for cytokeratin, vimentin, laminin, villin, CD10, and CD24 proteins. Conventional cytogenetic analysis by RHG-banding revealed a hypotriploid karyotype with numerous abnormalities including ring chromosomes, double-minutes, homogeneous staining regions, radial structures, dicentrics, and several marker chromosomes. Comparative genomic hybridization analysis revealed DNA copy numbers losses on chromosome segments 1p, 3p, 6q, 9q34.1 approximately q34.3, 11q24 approximately q25, 14q12 approximately qter, 16q, 18q, and 22q11 approximately q13; gain of genomic material was localized on chromosome arms 1q, 4p, 6q, and 7p and the entire chromosome 12. With DNA from the original tumor, copy number losses were detected on chromosomes 1p, 14q, 16q, 17q, and 22q and gains were observed on 1q, 4p, 8q, 12p, 12q, and chromosome 14p. Copy number amplifications of distinct loci were found on 1q21.1 and 4p15.3, as well as an elevated copy number of cyclin D2 (CCND2) and cyclin D associated kinase (CDK4) genes on chromosome 12 (confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization).

Beaulieu LM, Whitley BR, Wiesner TF, et al.
Breast cancer and metabolic syndrome linked through the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 cycle.
Bioessays. 2007; 29(10):1029-38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is a physiological inhibitor of urokinase (uPA), a serine protease known to promote cell migration and invasion. Intuitively, increased levels of PAI-1 should be beneficial in downregulating uPA activity, particularly in cancer. By contrast, in vivo, increased levels of PAI-1 are associated with a poor prognosis in breast cancer. This phenomenon is termed the "PAI-1 paradox". Many factors are responsible for the upregulation of PAI-1 in the tumor microenvironment. We hypothesize that there is a breast cancer predisposition to a more aggressive stage when PAI-1 is upregulated as a consequence of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). MetS exerts a detrimental effect on the breast tumor microenvironment that supports cancer invasion. People with MetS have an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and hyperinsulinemia. Recently, MetS has also been identified as a risk factor for breast cancer. We hypothesize the existence of the "PAI-1 cycle". Sustained by MetS, adipocytokines alter PAI-1 expression to promote angiogenesis, tumor-cell migration and procoagulant microparticle formation from endothelial cells, which generates thrombin and further propagates PAI-1 synthesis. All of these factors culminate in a chemotherapy-resistant breast tumor microenvironment. The PAI-1 cycle may partly explain the PAI-1 paradox. In this hypothesis paper, we will discuss further how MetS upregulates PAI-1 and how an increased level of PAI-1 can be linked to a poor prognosis.

Montel V, Pestonjamasp K, Mose E, Tarin D
Tumor-host interactions contribute to the elevated expression level of alpha1-antichymotrypsin in metastatic breast tumor xenografts.
Differentiation. 2005; 73(2-3):88-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
We investigated alpha1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) gene expression in xenograft tumors generated by two isogenic human breast cancer cell lines derived from the same parent, MDA-MB-435, which display opposite metastatic behaviors. Microarray and real-time PCR experiments showed an overexpression of this serine protease inhibitor in the metastatic tumors (M-4A4T) and its derived metastases (M4-Mets) compared with the weakly metastatic tumors (NM-2C5T), and its release into the blood was confirmed by western-blotting. However, functional assays in vivo using genetically engineered tumor cells demonstrated that ACT up-regulation was not, by itself, responsible for the metastatic phenotype. We also made observations that ACT gene regulation was sensitive to tumor-host interactions: inoculation of these lines into the mouse mammary gland greatly increased ACT production and accentuated the intrinsic difference observed when they are cultured in vitro. Sensitivity of tumor cells to their environment was further analyzed by in vitro experiments, which demonstrated that a purified ECM environment and soluble components from normal host mammary cells were both able to significantly promote ACT expression. In addition, we took advantage of the xenogeneic nature of the model to measure ACT expression by the host cells (mouse) and the tumor cells (human) within the neoplasm using species-specific primers in real-time PCR experiments. It was found that the presence of tumor cells, irrespective of their metastatic capabilities, induced local ACT production by host cells at the primary and secondary tumor sites. Thus, this work indicates that there is a specific association of ACT overexpression with the metastatic phenotype in our breast cancer metastasis model. Moreover, because of the xenogeneic nature of our system, we were able to provide evidence of tumor-host reciprocal regulation of ACT production.

Nagata T, Takahashi Y, Ishii Y, et al.
Transcriptional profiling in hepatoblastomas using high-density oligonucleotide DNA array.
Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2003; 145(2):152-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatoblastoma is a common hepatic tumor in children. Although evidence regarding cytogenetic and molecular genetic alterations in hepatoblastomas has been reported, the molecular events affecting the biologic characteristics of this tumor, including alterations of the gene expression profile, are largely unknown. To identify genes differentially expressed between nondiseased liver (NDL) and hepatoblastoma tumor (HBT), we analyzed the gene expression profile in 14 NDL and 16 HBT samples using a high-density oligonucleotide DNA array. Using Mann-Whitney U test followed by the k-nearest neighbor algorithm, we identified 26 genes (predictor genes) that were able to assign unknown samples derived from NDL and HBT to either the NDL group or HBT group with 100% accuracy. Using a cross-validation approach, we confirmed that the k-nearest neighbor algorithm assigned the particular samples derived from NDL and HBT to either the NDL or HBT group with 93.3% (28/30 samples) accuracy. In the 26 predictor genes, we found alteration of the expression of genes regulating cell division (NAP1L1, STMN1, CCNG2, and CDC7L1) and tumor cell growth (IGF2 and IGFBP4) in HBT. Four predictor genes (ETV3, TPR, CD34, and NR1I3) were also found to be mapped to the chromosomal region 1q21 approximately q32, which has been reported to be frequently involved in the development of hepatoblastoma. The findings obtained in this study suggest that alteration of the expression of some genes regulating cell division and tumor cell growth may be characteristics of the gene expression profile in HBT, and that alteration of the expression of the four predictor genes mapped to chromosomal region 1q21 approximately q32 may also contribute to the differences in gene expression profile between NDL and HBT.

Xu R, Perle MA, Inghirami G, et al.
Amplification of Her-2/neu gene in Her-2/neu-overexpressing and -nonexpressing breast carcinomas and their synchronous benign, premalignant, and metastatic lesions detected by FISH in archival material.
Mod Pathol. 2002; 15(2):116-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Amplification of Her-2/neu in breast carcinoma is associated with poor prognosis, short disease-free interval, and short survival time in both node-negative and -positive patients. Little is known about the starting point of amplification of Her-2/neu and how it progresses from benign to malignant breast lesions. We attempted to address these questions by evaluating amplification of Her-2/neu in benign, premalignant, and malignant lesions using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Twenty-six patients with Her-2/neu-overexpressing invasive ductal carcinomas (as judged by strong immunoreactivity with Her-2/neu antibody) and coexisting lesions of ductal hyperplasia (DH), atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in the vicinity of the invasive tumor (as judged by review of the hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections), as well as metastatic carcinoma in axillary lymph nodes (mets) were selected for this study. In the primary carcinomas, a close relationship was present between overexpression as detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and amplification as demonstrated by FISH (85% concordance). Among these patients, amplification of Her-2/neu in ADH was demonstrated in 7 of 13 cases with ADH, and in DCIS, in 21 of 22 cases with DCIS. There was no amplification in DH or normal ductal epithelium. Significantly, in all 12 patients with synchronous positive axillary lymph nodes, there was concordant amplification of Her-2/neu in the primary and metastatic carcinoma. Amplification was consistent in multifocal metastases, despite morphological heterogeneity in some patients. Amplification ratios increased from ADH to DCIS to invasive carcinoma (P <.01, ADH versus DCIS; P <.05, DCIS versus invasive cancer), but there was no difference in amplification ratios between primary cancers and synchronous axillary metastases (P >.05). We also evaluated Her-2/neu amplification in 21 patients without Her-2/neu overexpression in their primary carcinomas (as judged by absent immunoreactivity with Her-2/neu antibody). Three showed amplification in both primary and metastatic lesions, with a low amplification ratio (approximately 2). One patient had amplification in the primary tumor but not in an axillary metastasis. Two patients exhibited slight amplification in the metastatic carcinoma (ratios 1.6 and 2), but not in their primary cancers. This FISH study indicates that amplification of Her-2/neu can emerge de novo in any stage of the disease process, from ADH to metastatic lesions, but most often appears first in ADH or DCIS. The degree of Her-2/neu amplification increases with progression to invasive carcinoma, there being no further increase in synchronous metastasis. Our data suggest that amplification of Her-2/neu appears to be mainly involved in initiation of breast oncogenesis and that its role in progression of breast cancers is uncertain.

Hatta M, Fukamizu A
PODs in the nuclear spot: enigmas in the magician's pot.
Sci STKE. 2001; 2001(96):pe1 [PubMed] Related Publications
The promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear body, also known as the PML oncogenic domain (POD), is implicated in the pathophysiology of PML. These nuclear subcompartments are dynamic structures. The PML protein, which undergoes a fusion event in patients with promyelocytic leukemia, is normally found in PODs. The PML protein may be a major regulator of the constituents of PODs, controlling POD organization and function. Hatta and Fukamizu describe the functions of PML and discuss how the POD structure and organization may be regulated and affect apoptosis, gene expression, and cellular transformation.

Gough NR
Signal transduction pathways as targets for therapeutics.
Sci STKE. 2001; 2001(76):pe1 [PubMed] Related Publications
Meeting information: AAAS 2001 Annual Meeting and Science Innovation Exposition, San Francisco, California, February 15 through 20, 2001. Science's STKE sponsored a symposium at the AAAS Annual Meeting in February 2001. Five speakers addressed the signaling pathways that are modified in wide-ranging pathologies including inflammation, impotence, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The molecular targets of signaling pathways included cell surface molecules, such as the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and receptor tyrosine kinases, and intracellular signaling components, such as phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and components of the small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) Ras signaling pathway. Analysis of the therapeutic strategies to impinge on these various pathways provides insight into both the potential of signaling pathways as relevant drug targets and the possible pitfalls that make complex signaling networks unpredictably difficult targets for such manipulation.

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