Gene Summary

Gene:FAT1; FAT atypical cadherin 1
Aliases: FAT, ME5, CDHF7, CDHR8, hFat1
Summary:This gene is an ortholog of the Drosophila fat gene, which encodes a tumor suppressor essential for controlling cell proliferation during Drosophila development. The gene product is a member of the cadherin superfamily, a group of integral membrane proteins characterized by the presence of cadherin-type repeats. In addition to containing 34 tandem cadherin-type repeats, the gene product has five epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats and one laminin A-G domain. This gene is expressed at high levels in a number of fetal epithelia. Its product probably functions as an adhesion molecule and/or signaling receptor, and is likely to be important in developmental processes and cell communication. Transcript variants derived from alternative splicing and/or alternative promoter usage exist, but they have not been fully described. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protocadherin Fat 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (19)

Cancer Overview

Morris et al, 2013 found that the FAT1 gene is deleted and mutated at a high prevalence across multiple types of cancers, and FAT1 suppresses cancer cell growth and proliferation, contributing to aberrant Wnt activation. They suggest that FAT1 is a tumour suppressor gene driving loss of chromosome 4q35, a prevalent region of deletion in cancer - though other tumour suppressors in 4q35 can't be ruled out.

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 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.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Head and Neck CancersFAT1 and Head and Neck Cancers
Morris, et al(2013) identified FAT1 mutations in 4 of 60 (7%) head and neck cancers, after filtering out known SNPs.
View Publications11
Oral Cavity CancerFAT1 and Oral Cavity Cancer View Publications5
Brain and CNS TumoursFAT1 and Glioblastoma
As part of a study of FAT1 Morris, et al(2013) assayed copy number in 42 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumor samples using quantitative PCR, and found a 24 (57%) had homozygous deletion of FAT1.
View Publications5
Esophageal CancerFAT1 mutation in Esophogeal Cancer
Lin DC, et al (2014) reported mutation of FAT1 as part of sequenced whole exomes (WES) study of genomic and molecular characterization of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. 20 tumours were analysed in an initial 'discovery' cohort, and then a further 119 samples to validate. The They found that FAT1 protein expression was downregulated in ESCC and that homozygous deletions of FAT1 occurred in 3.4% of ESCCs.
View Publications3
Colorectal CancerFAT1 and Colorectal Cancer
Morris, et al(2013) identified FAT1 mutations in 3 of 39 (8%) colon cancers, after filtering out known SNPs.
View Publications2

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

Latest Publications: FAT1 (cancer-related)

Yu J, Li H
The expression of FAT1 is associated with overall survival in children with medulloblastoma.
Tumori. 2017; 103(1):44-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The FAT1 gene is involved in some cancers; however, its role in medulloblastoma is less clear. This study investigated the effects of FAT1 expression on the prognosis of medulloblastoma patients.
METHODS: Whole exome sequencing was undertaken in 40 medulloblastoma patient samples. FAT1 mRNA and protein expression levels in normal and brain tumor tissues were determined by fluorescence quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The association of FAT1 expression with overall survival (OS) was examined by Kaplan-Meier curve analysis with a log-rank test. Following lentiviral-mediated FAT1 knockdown using shRNA in Daoy cells, proliferation, Wnt signaling, and β-catenin protein expression were determined.
RESULTS: Eight FAT1 missense mutations were detected in 7 patients. FAT1 mRNA expression in tumors was significantly lower than in adjacent normal tissue (p = 0.043). The OS of patients with high FAT1 protein expression was significantly longer than that of patients with low FAT1 protein expression (median survival time: 24.3 vs 4.8 months, respectively; p = 0.002). shFAT1 cells had significantly higher proliferation rates than shControl cells (p≤0.028). Furthermore, the mRNA expression of LEF1, β-catenin, and cyclin D1 was significantly upregulated in shFAT1-Daoy cells (p≤0.018).
CONCLUSIONS: Low FAT1 expression was associated with poor prognosis in children with medulloblastoma. Furthermore, FAT1 may act on Wnt signaling pathway to exert its antitumor effect.

Cha S, Lee J, Shin JY, et al.
Clinical application of genomic profiling to find druggable targets for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients with metastasis.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:170 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancers are characterized by biological features and clinical outcomes distinct from those of other age groups, the molecular profile of AYA cancers has not been well defined. In this study, we analyzed cancer genomes from rare types of metastatic AYA cancers to identify driving and/or druggable genetic alterations.
METHODS: Prospectively collected AYA tumor samples from seven different patients were analyzed using three different genomics platforms (whole-exome sequencing, whole-transcriptome sequencing or OncoScan™). Using well-known bioinformatics tools (bwa, Picard, GATK, MuTect, and Somatic Indel Detector) and our annotation approach with open access databases (DAVID and DGIdb), we processed sequencing data and identified driving genetic alterations and their druggability.
RESULTS: The mutation frequencies of AYA cancers were lower than those of other adult cancers (median = 0.56), except for a germ cell tumor with hypermutation. We identified patient-specific genetic alterations in candidate driving genes: RASA2 and NF1 (prostate cancer), TP53 and CDKN2C (olfactory neuroblastoma), FAT1, NOTCH1, and SMAD4 (head and neck cancer), KRAS (urachal carcinoma), EML4-ALK (lung cancer), and MDM2 and PTEN (liposarcoma). We then suggested potential drugs for each patient according to his or her altered genes and related pathways. By comparing candidate driving genes between AYA cancers and those from all age groups for the same type of cancer, we identified different driving genes in prostate cancer and a germ cell tumor in AYAs compared with all age groups, whereas three common alterations (TP53, FAT1, and NOTCH1) in head and neck cancer were identified in both groups.
CONCLUSION: We identified the patient-specific genetic alterations and druggability of seven rare types of AYA cancers using three genomics platforms. Additionally, genetic alterations in cancers from AYA and those from all age groups varied by cancer type.

Sasaki Y, Tamura M, Koyama R, et al.
Genomic characterization of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: Insights from next-generation sequencing.
World J Gastroenterol. 2016; 22(7):2284-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Two major types of cancer occur in the esophagus: squamous cell carcinoma, which is associated with chronic smoking and alcohol consumption, and adenocarcinoma, which typically arises in gastric reflux-associated Barrett's esophagus. Although there is increasing incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma in Western counties, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) accounts for most esophageal malignancies in East Asia, including China and Japan. Technological advances allowing for massively parallel, high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) of DNA have enabled comprehensive characterization of somatic mutations in large numbers of tumor samples. Recently, several studies were published in which whole exome or whole genome sequencing was performed in ESCC tumors and compared with matched normal DNA. Mutations were validated in several genes, including in TP53, CDKN2A, FAT1, NOTCH1, PIK3CA, KMT2D and NFE2L2, which had been previously implicated in ESCC. Several new recurrent alterations have also been identified in ESCC. Combining the clinicopathological characteristics of patients with information obtained from NGS studies may lead to the development of effective diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for ESCC. As this research becomes more prominent, it is important that gastroenterologist become familiar with the various NGS technologies and the results generated using these methods. In the present study, we describe recent research approaches using NGS in ESCC.

Wong SQ, Waldeck K, Vergara IA, et al.
UV-Associated Mutations Underlie the Etiology of MCV-Negative Merkel Cell Carcinomas.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(24):5228-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an uncommon, but highly malignant, cutaneous tumor. Merkel cell polyoma virus (MCV) has been implicated in a majority of MCC tumors; however, viral-negative tumors have been reported to be more prevalent in some geographic regions subject to high sun exposure. While the impact of MCV and viral T-antigens on MCC development has been extensively investigated, little is known about the etiology of viral-negative tumors. We performed targeted capture and massively parallel DNA sequencing of 619 cancer genes to compare the gene mutations and copy number alterations in MCV-positive (n = 13) and -negative (n = 21) MCC tumors and cell lines. We found that MCV-positive tumors displayed very low mutation rates, but MCV-negative tumors exhibited a high mutation burden associated with a UV-induced DNA damage signature. All viral-negative tumors harbored mutations in RB1, TP53, and a high frequency of mutations in NOTCH1 and FAT1. Additional mutated or amplified cancer genes of potential clinical importance included PI3K (PIK3CA, AKT1, PIK3CG) and MAPK (HRAS, NF1) pathway members and the receptor tyrosine kinase FGFR2. Furthermore, looking ahead to potential therapeutic strategies encompassing immune checkpoint inhibitors such as anti-PD-L1, we also assessed the status of T-cell-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and PD-L1 in MCC tumors. A subset of viral-negative tumors exhibited high TILs and PD-L1 expression, corresponding with the higher mutation load within these cancers. Taken together, this study provides new insights into the underlying biology of viral-negative MCC and paves the road for further investigation into new treatment opportunities.

Garg M, Nagata Y, Kanojia D, et al.
Profiling of somatic mutations in acute myeloid leukemia with FLT3-ITD at diagnosis and relapse.
Blood. 2015; 126(22):2491-501 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with an FLT3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) mutation is an aggressive hematologic malignancy with a grave prognosis. To identify the mutational spectrum associated with relapse, whole-exome sequencing was performed on 13 matched diagnosis, relapse, and remission trios followed by targeted sequencing of 299 genes in 67 FLT3-ITD patients. The FLT3-ITD genome has an average of 13 mutations per sample, similar to other AML subtypes, which is a low mutation rate compared with that in solid tumors. Recurrent mutations occur in genes related to DNA methylation, chromatin, histone methylation, myeloid transcription factors, signaling, adhesion, cohesin complex, and the spliceosome. Their pattern of mutual exclusivity and cooperation among mutated genes suggests that these genes have a strong biological relationship. In addition, we identified mutations in previously unappreciated genes such as MLL3, NSD1, FAT1, FAT4, and IDH3B. Mutations in 9 genes were observed in the relapse-specific phase. DNMT3A mutations are the most stable mutations, and this DNMT3A-transformed clone can be present even in morphologic complete remissions. Of note, all AML matched trio samples shared at least 1 genomic alteration at diagnosis and relapse, suggesting common ancestral clones. Two types of clonal evolution occur at relapse: either the founder clone recurs or a subclone of the founder clone escapes from induction chemotherapy and expands at relapse by acquiring new mutations. Relapse-specific mutations displayed an increase in transversions. Functional assays demonstrated that both MLL3 and FAT1 exert tumor-suppressor activity in the FLT3-ITD subtype. An inhibitor of XPO1 synergized with standard AML induction chemotherapy to inhibit FLT3-ITD growth. This study clearly shows that FLT3-ITD AML requires additional driver genetic alterations in addition to FLT3-ITD alone.

Ahn JS, Kim HJ, Kim YK, et al.
DNMT3A R882 Mutation with FLT3-ITD Positivity Is an Extremely Poor Prognostic Factor in Patients with Normal-Karyotype Acute Myeloid Leukemia after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016; 22(1):61-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
The prognostic relevance of epigenetic modifying genes (DNMT3A, TET2, and IDH1/2) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has been investigated extensively. However, the prognostic implications of these mutations after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) have not been evaluated comprehensively in patients with normal-karyotype (NK)-AML. A total of 115 patients who received allogeneic HCT for NK-AML were retrospectively evaluated for the FLT3-ITD, NPM1, CEBPA, DNMT3A, TET2, IDH1/2, WT1, NRAS, ASXL2, FAT1, DNAH11, and GATA2 mutations in diagnostic samples and analyzed for long-term outcomes after allogeneic HCT. The prevalence rates for the mutations were as follows: FLT3-ITD positivity (FLT3-ITD(pos)) (32.2%), NPM1 mutation (43.5%), CEBPA mutation (double) (24.6%), DNMT3A mutation (DNMT3A(mut)) (31.3%), DNMT3A R882(mut) (18.3%), TET2 mutation (8.7%), and IDH1/2 mutation (16.5%). The 5-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) rates were 57.3% and 58.1%, respectively. A multivariate analysis revealed that FLT3-ITD(pos) (hazard ratio, [HR], 2.23; P = .006) and DNMT3A R882(mut) (HR, 2.74; P = .002) were unfavorable prognostic factors for OS. In addition, both mutations were significant risk factors for EFS and relapse. People with DNMT3A R882(mut) accompanied by FLT3-ITD(pos) had worse OS and EFS, and higher relapse rates than those with the other mutations, which were confirmed in a propensity score 1:2 matching analysis. These results suggest that DNMT3A R882(mut), particularly when accompanied by FLT3-ITD(pos), is a significant prognostic factor for inferior transplantation survival outcome by increasing relapse risk, even after allogeneic HCT.

Samman M, Wood HM, Conway C, et al.
A novel genomic signature reclassifies an oral cancer subtype.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(10):2364-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Verrucous carcinoma of the oral cavity (OVC) is considered a subtype of classical oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Diagnosis is problematic, and additional biomarkers are needed to better stratify patients. To investigate their molecular signature, we performed low-coverage copy number (CN) sequencing on 57 OVC and exome and RNA sequencing on a subset of these and compared the data to the same OSCC parameters. CN results showed that OVC lacked any of the classical OSCC patterns such as gain of 3q and loss of 3p and demonstrated considerably fewer genomic rearrangements compared to the OSCC cohort. OVC and OSCC samples could be clearly differentiated. Exome sequencing showed that OVC samples lacked mutations in genes commonly associated with OSCC (TP53, NOTCH1, NOTCH2, CDKN2A and FAT1). RNA sequencing identified genes that were differentially expressed between the groups. In silico functional analysis showed that the mutated and differentially expressed genes in OVC samples were involved in cell adhesion and keratinocyte proliferation, while those in the OSCC cohort were enriched for cell death and apoptosis pathways. This is the largest and most detailed genomic and transcriptomic analysis yet performed on this tumour type, which, as an example of non-metastatic cancer, may shed light on the nature of metastases. These three independent investigations consistently show substantial differences between the cohorts. Taken together, they lead to the conclusion that OVC is not a subtype of OSCC, but should be classified as a distinct entity.

Miyanaga A, Masuda M, Tsuta K, et al.
Hippo pathway gene mutations in malignant mesothelioma: revealed by RNA and targeted exon sequencing.
J Thorac Oncol. 2015; 10(5):844-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive neoplasm causatively associated with exposure to asbestos. MM is rarely responsive to conventional cytotoxic drugs, and the outcome remains dismal. It is, therefore, necessary to identify the signaling pathways that drive MM and to develop new therapeutics specifically targeting the molecules involved.
METHODS: We performed comprehensive RNA sequencing of 12 MM cell lines and four clinical samples using so-called next-generation sequencers.
RESULTS: We found 15 novel fusion transcripts including one derived from chromosomal translocation between the large tumor suppressor 1 (LATS1) and presenilin-1 (PSEN1) genes. LATS1 is one of the central players of the emerging Hippo signaling pathway. The LATS1-PSEN1 fusion gene product lacked the ability to phosphorylate yes-associated protein and to suppress the growth of a MM cell line. The wild-type LATS1 allele was undetectable in this cell line, indicating two-hit genetic inactivation of its tumor suppressor function. Using pathway-targeted exon sequencing, we further identified a total of 11 somatic mutations in four Hippo pathway genes (neurofibromatosis type 2 [NF2], LATS2, RASSF1, and SAV1) in 35% (8 of 23) of clinical samples. Nuclear staining of yes-associated protein was detected in 55% (24 of 44) of the clinical samples. Expression and/or phosphorylation of the Hippo signaling proteins, RASSF1, Merlin (NF2), LATS1, and LATS2, was frequently absent.
CONCLUSIONS: The frequent alterations of Hippo pathway molecules found in this study indicate the therapeutic feasibility of targeting this pathway in patients with MM.

Kortüm KM, Langer C, Monge J, et al.
Longitudinal analysis of 25 sequential sample-pairs using a custom multiple myeloma mutation sequencing panel (M(3)P).
Ann Hematol. 2015; 94(7):1205-11 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent advances in genomic sequencing technologies now allow results from deep next-generation sequencing to be obtained within clinically meaningful timeframes, making this an attractive approach to better guide personalized treatment strategies. No multiple myeloma-specific gene panel has been established so far; we therefore designed a 47-gene-targeting gene panel, containing 39 genes known to be mutated in ≥3 % of multiple myeloma cases and eight genes in pathways therapeutically targeted in multiple myeloma (MM). We performed targeted sequencing on tumor/germline DNA of 25 MM patients in which we also had a sequential sample post treatment. Mutation analysis revealed KRAS as the most commonly mutated gene (36 % in each time point), followed by NRAS (20 and 16 %), TP53 (16 and 16 %), DIS3 (16 and 16 %), FAM46C (12 and 16 %), and SP140 (12 and 12 %). We successfully tracked clonal evolution and identified mutation acquisition and/or loss in FAM46C, FAT1, KRAS, NRAS, SPEN, PRDM1, NEB, and TP53 as well as two mutations in XBP1, a gene associated with bortezomib resistance. Thus, we present the first longitudinal analysis of a MM-specific targeted sequencing gene panel that can be used for individual tumor characterization and for tracking clonal evolution over time.

Furukawa T, Sakamoto H, Takeuchi S, et al.
Whole exome sequencing reveals recurrent mutations in BRCA2 and FAT genes in acinar cell carcinomas of the pancreas.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:8829 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas is a rare tumor with a poor prognosis. Compared to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, its molecular features are poorly known. We studied a total of 11 acinar cell carcinomas, including 3 by exome and 4 by target sequencing. Exome sequencing revealed 65 nonsynonymous mutations and 22 indels with a mutation rate of 3.4 mutations/Mb per tumor, on average. By accounting for not only somatic but also germline mutations with loss of the wild-type allele, we identified recurrent mutations of BRCA2 and FAT genes. BRCA2 showed somatic or germline premature termination mutations, with loss of the wild-type allele in 3 of 7 tumors. FAT1, FAT3, and FAT4 showed somatic or germline missense mutations in 4 of 7 tumors. The germline FAT mutations were with loss of the wild-type allele. Loss of BRCA2 expression was observed in 5 of 11 tumors. One patient with a BRCA2-mutated tumor experienced complete remission of liver metastasis following cisplatinum chemotherapy. In conclusion, acinar cell carcinomas show a distinct mutation pattern and often harbor somatic or germline mutations of BRCA2 and FAT genes. This result may warrant assessment of BRCA2 abrogation in patients with the carcinoma to determine their sensitivity to chemotherapy.

Comprehensive genomic characterization of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
Nature. 2015; 517(7536):576-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Cancer Genome Atlas profiled 279 head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) to provide a comprehensive landscape of somatic genomic alterations. Here we show that human-papillomavirus-associated tumours are dominated by helical domain mutations of the oncogene PIK3CA, novel alterations involving loss of TRAF3, and amplification of the cell cycle gene E2F1. Smoking-related HNSCCs demonstrate near universal loss-of-function TP53 mutations and CDKN2A inactivation with frequent copy number alterations including amplification of 3q26/28 and 11q13/22. A subgroup of oral cavity tumours with favourable clinical outcomes displayed infrequent copy number alterations in conjunction with activating mutations of HRAS or PIK3CA, coupled with inactivating mutations of CASP8, NOTCH1 and TP53. Other distinct subgroups contained loss-of-function alterations of the chromatin modifier NSD1, WNT pathway genes AJUBA and FAT1, and activation of oxidative stress factor NFE2L2, mainly in laryngeal tumours. Therapeutic candidate alterations were identified in most HNSCCs.

Chung TK, Van Hummelen P, Chan PK, et al.
Genomic aberrations in cervical adenocarcinomas in Hong Kong Chinese women.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(4):776-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although the rates of cervical squamous cell carcinoma have been declining, the rates of cervical adenocarcinoma are increasing in some countries. Outcomes for advanced cervical adenocarcinoma remain poor. Precision mapping of genetic alterations in cervical adenocarcinoma may enable better selection of therapies and deliver improved outcomes when combined with new sequencing diagnostics. We present whole-exome sequencing results from 15 cervical adenocarcinomas and paired normal samples from Hong Kong Chinese women. These data revealed a heterogeneous mutation spectrum and identified several frequently altered genes including FAT1, ARID1A, ERBB2 and PIK3CA. Exome sequencing identified human papillomavirus (HPV) sequences in 13 tumors in which the HPV genome might have integrated into and hence disrupted the functions of certain exons, raising the possibility that HPV integration can alter pathways other than p53 and pRb. Together, these provisionary data suggest the potential for individualized therapies for cervical adenocarcinoma based on genomic information.

Neumann M, Vosberg S, Schlee C, et al.
Mutational spectrum of adult T-ALL.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(5):2754-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Novel target discovery is warranted to improve treatment in adult T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) patients. We provide a comprehensive study on mutations to enhance the understanding of therapeutic targets and studied 81 adult T-ALL patients. NOTCH1 exhibitedthe highest mutation rate (53%). Mutation frequencies of FBXW7 (10%), WT1 (10%), JAK3 (12%), PHF6 (11%), and BCL11B (10%) were in line with previous reports. We identified recurrent alterations in transcription factors DNM2, and RELN, the WNT pathway associated cadherin FAT1, and in epigenetic regulators (MLL2, EZH2). Interestingly, we discovered novel recurrent mutations in the DNA repair complex member HERC1, in NOTCH2, and in the splicing factor ZRSR2. A frequently affected pathway was the JAK/STAT pathway (18%) and a significant proportion of T-ALL patients harboured mutations in epigenetic regulators (33%), both predominantly found in the unfavourable subgroup of early T-ALL. Importantly, adult T-ALL patients not only showed a highly heterogeneous mutational spectrum, but also variable subclonal allele frequencies implicated in therapy resistance and evolution of relapse. In conclusion, we provide novel insights in genetic alterations of signalling pathways (e.g. druggable by γ-secretase inhibitors, JAK inhibitors or EZH2 inhibitors), present in over 80% of all adult T-ALL patients, that could guide novel therapeutic approaches.

Huang XC, Maimaiti XY, Huang CW, et al.
Synergistic effects of arsenic trioxide combined with ascorbic acid in human osteosarcoma MG-63 cells: a systems biology analysis.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014; 18(24):3877-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To further understand the synergistic mechanism of As2O3 and asscorbic acid (AA) in human osteosarcoma MG-63 cells by systems biology analysis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human osteosarcoma MG-63 cells were treated by As2O3 (1 µmol/L), AA (62.5 µmol/L) and combined drugs (1 µmol/L As2O3 plus 62.5 µmol/L AA). Dynamic morphological characteristics were recorded by Cell-IQ system, and growth rate was calculated. Illumina beadchip assay was used to analyze the differential expression genes in different groups. Synergic effects on differential expression genes (DEGs) were analyzed by mixture linear model and singular value decomposition model. KEGG pathway annotations and GO enrichment analysis were performed to figure out the pathways involved in the synergic effects.
RESULTS: We captured 1987 differential expression genes in combined therapy MG-63 cells. FAT1 gene was significantly upregulated in all three groups, which is a promising drug target as an important tumor suppressor analogue; meanwhile, HIST1H2BD gene was markedly downregulated in the As2O3 monotherapy group and the combined therapy group, which was found to be upregulated in prostatic cancer. These two genes might play critical roles in synergetic effects of AA and As2O3, although the exact mechanism needs further investigation. KEGG pathway analysis showed many DEGs were related with tight junction, and GO analysis also indicated that DEGs in the combined therapy cells gathered in occluding junction, apical junction complex, cell junction, and tight junction.
CONCLUSIONS: AA potentiates the efficacy of As2O3 in MG-63 cells. Systems biology analysis showed the synergic effect on the DEGs.

Pickering CR, Zhou JH, Lee JJ, et al.
Mutational landscape of aggressive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(24):6582-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Aggressive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is often a disfiguring and lethal disease. Very little is currently known about the mutations that drive aggressive cSCC.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Whole-exome sequencing was performed on 39 cases of aggressive cSCC to identify driver genes and novel therapeutic targets. Significantly, mutated genes were identified with MutSig or complementary methods developed to specifically identify candidate tumor suppressors based upon their inactivating mutation bias.
RESULTS: Despite the very high-mutational background caused by UV exposure, 23 candidate drivers were identified, including the well-known cancer-associated genes TP53, CDKN2A, NOTCH1, AJUBA, HRAS, CASP8, FAT1, and KMT2C (MLL3). Three novel candidate tumor suppressors with putative links to cancer or differentiation, NOTCH2, PARD3, and RASA1, were also identified as possible drivers in cSCC. KMT2C mutations were associated with poor outcome and increased bone invasion.
CONCLUSIONS: The mutational spectrum of cSCC is similar to that of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and dominated by tumor-suppressor genes. These results improve the foundation for understanding this disease and should aid in identifying and treating aggressive cSCC.

Martin D, Abba MC, Molinolo AA, et al.
The head and neck cancer cell oncogenome: a platform for the development of precision molecular therapies.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(19):8906-23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The recent elucidation of the genomic landscape of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) has provided a unique opportunity to develop selective cancer treatment options. These efforts will require the establishment of relevant HNSCC models for preclinical testing. Here, we performed full exome and transcriptome sequencing of a large panel of HNSCC-derived cells from different anatomical locations and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection status. These cells exhibit typical mutations in TP53, FAT1, CDK2NA, CASP8, and NOTCH1, and copy number variations (CNVs) and mutations in PIK3CA, HRAS, and PTEN that reflect the widespread activation of the PI3K-mTOR pathway. SMAD4 alterations were observed that may explain the decreased tumor suppressive effect of TGF-β in HNSCC. Surprisingly, we identified HPV+ HNSCC cells harboring TP53 mutations, and documented aberrant TP53 expression in a subset of HPV+ HNSCC cases. This analysis also revealed that most HNSCC cells harbor multiple mutations and CNVs in epigenetic modifiers (e.g., EP300, CREBP, MLL1, MLL2, MLL3, KDM6A, and KDM6B) that may contribute to HNSCC initiation and progression. These genetically-defined experimental HNSCC cellular systems, together with the identification of novel actionable molecular targets, may now facilitate the pre-clinical evaluation of emerging therapeutic agents in tumors exhibiting each precise genomic alteration.

Gao YB, Chen ZL, Li JG, et al.
Genetic landscape of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(10):1097-102 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the deadliest cancers. We performed exome sequencing on 113 tumor-normal pairs, yielding a mean of 82 non-silent mutations per tumor, and 8 cell lines. The mutational profile of ESCC closely resembles those of squamous cell carcinomas of other tissues but differs from that of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Genes involved in cell cycle and apoptosis regulation were mutated in 99% of cases by somatic alterations of TP53 (93%), CCND1 (33%), CDKN2A (20%), NFE2L2 (10%) and RB1 (9%). Histone modifier genes were frequently mutated, including KMT2D (also called MLL2; 19%), KMT2C (MLL3; 6%), KDM6A (7%), EP300 (10%) and CREBBP (6%). EP300 mutations were associated with poor survival. The Hippo and Notch pathways were dysregulated by mutations in FAT1, FAT2, FAT3 or FAT4 (27%) or AJUBA (JUB; 7%) and NOTCH1, NOTCH2 or NOTCH3 (22%) or FBXW7 (5%), respectively. These results define the mutational landscape of ESCC and highlight mutations in epigenetic modulators with prognostic and potentially therapeutic implications.

Neumann M, Seehawer M, Schlee C, et al.
FAT1 expression and mutations in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Blood Cancer J. 2014; 4:e224 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Mountzios G, Rampias T, Psyrri A
The mutational spectrum of squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck: targetable genetic events and clinical impact.
Ann Oncol. 2014; 25(10):1889-900 [PubMed] Related Publications
Squamous-cell cancer of the head and neck (SCCHN) represents a heterogeneous disease entity, with various etiological factors implicated in the genesis of distinct molecular subsets of tumors, which exhibit different biological and clinical behavior. Treatment of SCCHN is expected to change in the next decade as targeted therapies continue to make strides. Recently, next-generation sequencing studies conducted on ∼190 SCCHN specimens shed light into the molecular pathogenesis of the disease. These studies discovered mutations in genes involved in the differentiation program of squamous epithelium and the Notch/p63 axis (such as NOTCH1, TP63 and FBXW7), and validated genetic alterations derived from previous studies (such as mutations in TP53, CDKN2A, PIK3CA, CCND1 and HRAS) as driver genetic events in SCCHN neoplastic transformation. More recently, comprehensive data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project on 306 SCCHN specimens provided further insight into SCCHN inherent molecular complexity, identifying novel significantly mutated genes, including FAT1, MLL2, TGFRBR2, HLA-A, NFE2l2 and CASP8. In this article, we provide an overview of the mutational spectrum of SCCHN, with emphasis on the clinical implementation of this knowledge. We also discuss the potential integration of new data within the framework of precision cancer medicine.

Lin DC, Hao JJ, Nagata Y, et al.
Genomic and molecular characterization of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(5):467-73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is prevalent worldwide and particularly common in certain regions of Asia. Here we report the whole-exome or targeted deep sequencing of 139 paired ESCC cases, and analysis of somatic copy number variations (SCNV) of over 180 ESCCs. We identified previously uncharacterized mutated genes such as FAT1, FAT2, ZNF750 and KMT2D, in addition to those already known (TP53, PIK3CA and NOTCH1). Further SCNV evaluation, immunohistochemistry and biological analysis suggested their functional relevance in ESCC. Notably, RTK-MAPK-PI3K pathways, cell cycle and epigenetic regulation are frequently dysregulated by multiple molecular mechanisms in this cancer. Our approaches also uncovered many druggable candidates, and XPO1 was further explored as a therapeutic target because it showed both gene mutation and protein overexpression. Our integrated study unmasks a number of novel genetic lesions in ESCC and provides an important molecular foundation for understanding esophageal tumors and developing therapeutic targets.

Onken MD, Winkler AE, Kanchi KL, et al.
A surprising cross-species conservation in the genomic landscape of mouse and human oral cancer identifies a transcriptional signature predicting metastatic disease.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(11):2873-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Improved understanding of the molecular basis underlying oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) aggressive growth has significant clinical implications. Herein, cross-species genomic comparison of carcinogen-induced murine and human OSCCs with indolent or metastatic growth yielded results with surprising translational relevance.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Murine OSCC cell lines were subjected to next-generation sequencing (NGS) to define their mutational landscape, to define novel candidate cancer genes, and to assess for parallels with known drivers in human OSCC. Expression arrays identified a mouse metastasis signature, and we assessed its representation in four independent human datasets comprising 324 patients using weighted voting and gene set enrichment analysis. Kaplan-Meier analysis and multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to stratify outcomes. A quantitative real-time PCR assay based on the mouse signature coupled to a machine-learning algorithm was developed and used to stratify an independent set of 31 patients with respect to metastatic lymphadenopathy.
RESULTS: NGS revealed conservation of human driver pathway mutations in mouse OSCC, including in Trp53, mitogen-activated protein kinase, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, NOTCH, JAK/STAT, and Fat1-4. Moreover, comparative analysis between The Cancer Genome Atlas and mouse samples defined AKAP9, MED12L, and MYH6 as novel putative cancer genes. Expression analysis identified a transcriptional signature predicting aggressiveness and clinical outcomes, which were validated in four independent human OSCC datasets. Finally, we harnessed the translational potential of this signature by creating a clinically feasible assay that stratified patients with OSCC with a 93.5% accuracy.
CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate surprising cross-species genomic conservation that has translational relevance for human oral squamous cell cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 20(11); 2873-84. ©2014 AACR.

Wojtalewicz N, Sadeqzadeh E, Weiß JV, et al.
A soluble form of the giant cadherin Fat1 is released from pancreatic cancer cells by ADAM10 mediated ectodomain shedding.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e90461 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In pancreatic cancer, there is a clear unmet need to identify new serum markers for either early diagnosis, therapeutic stratification or patient monitoring. Proteomic analysis of tumor cell secretomes is a promising approach to indicate proteins released from tumor cells in vitro. Ectodomain shedding of transmembrane proteins has previously been shown to contribute significant fractions the tumor cell secretomes and to generate valuable serum biomarkers. Here we introduce a soluble form of the giant cadherin Fat1 as a novel biomarker candidate. Fat1 expression and proteolytic processing was analyzed by mass spectrometry and Western blotting using pancreatic cancer cell lines as compared to human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells. RNA expression in cancer tissues was assessed by in silico analysis of publically available microarray data. Involvement of ADAM10 (A Disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain-containing protein 10) in Fat1 ectodomain shedding was analyzed by chemical inhibition and knockdown experiments. A sandwich ELISA was developed to determine levels of soluble Fat1 in serum samples. In the present report we describe the release of high levels of the ectodomain of Fat1 cadherin into the secretomes of human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro, a process that is mediated by ADAM10. We confirm the full-length and processed heterodimeric form of Fat1 expressed on the plasma membrane and also show the p60 C-terminal transmembrane remnant fragment corresponding to the shed ectodomain. Fat1 and its sheddase ADAM10 are overexpressed in pancreatic adenocarcinomas and ectodomain shedding is also recapitulated in vivo leading to increased Fat1 serum levels in some pancreatic cancer patients. We suggest that soluble Fat1 may find an application as a marker for patient monitoring complementing carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9). In addition, detailed analysis of the diverse processed protein isoforms of the candidate tumor suppressor Fat1 can also contribute to our understanding of cell biology and tumor behavior.

Valletta D, Czech B, Spruss T, et al.
Regulation and function of the atypical cadherin FAT1 in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(6):1407-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
In human cancers, giant cadherin FAT1 may function both, as an oncogene and a tumor suppressor. Here, we investigated the expression and function of FAT1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). FAT1 expression was increased in human HCC cell lines and tissues compared with primary human hepatocytes and non-tumorous liver tissue as assessed by quantitative PCR and western blot analysis. Combined immunohistochemical and tissue microarray analysis showed a significant correlation of FAT1 expression with tumor stage and proliferation. Suppression of FAT1 expression by short hairpin RNA impaired proliferation and migration as well as apoptosis resistance of HCC cells in vitro. In nude mice, tumors formed by FAT1-suppressed HCC cells showed a delayed onset and more apoptosis compared with tumors of control cells. Both hepatocyte growth factor and hypoxia-mediated hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha activation were identified as strong inducers of FAT1 in HCC. Moreover, demethylating agents induced FAT1 expression in HCC cells. Hypoxia lead to reduced levels of the methyl group donor S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) and hypoxia-induced FAT1 expression was inhibited by SAM supplementation in HCC cells. Together, these findings indicate that FAT1 expression in HCC is regulated via promotor methylation. FAT1 appears as relevant mediator of hypoxia and growth receptor signaling to critical tumorigenic pathways in HCC. This knowledge may facilitate the rational design of novel therapeutics against this highly aggressive malignancy.

Messina M, Del Giudice I, Khiabanian H, et al.
Genetic lesions associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia chemo-refractoriness.
Blood. 2014; 123(15):2378-88 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fludarabine refractoriness (FR) represents an unsolved clinical problem of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) management. Although next-generation sequencing studies have led to the identification of a number of genes frequently mutated in FR-CLL, a comprehensive evaluation of the FR-CLL genome has not been reported. Toward this end, we studied 10 FR-CLLs by combining whole-exome sequencing and copy number aberration (CNA) analysis, which showed an average of 16.3 somatic mutations and 4 CNAs per sample. Screening of recurrently mutated genes in 48 additional FR-CLLs revealed that ~70% of FR-CLLs carry ≥1 mutation in genes previously associated with CLL clinical course, including TP53 (27.5%), NOTCH1 (24.1%), SF3B1 (18.9%), and BIRC3 (15.5%). In addition, this analysis showed that 10.3% of FR-CLL cases display mutations of the FAT1 gene, which encodes for a cadherin-like protein that negatively regulates Wnt signaling, consistent with a tumor suppressor role. The frequency of FAT1-mutated cases was significantly higher in FR-CLL than in unselected CLLs at diagnosis (10.3% vs 1.1%, P = .004), suggesting a role in the development of a high-risk phenotype. These findings have general implications for the mechanisms leading to FR and point to Wnt signaling as a potential therapeutic target in FR-CLL.

Bowles DW, Diamond JR, Lam ET, et al.
Phase I study of oral rigosertib (ON 01910.Na), a dual inhibitor of the PI3K and Plk1 pathways, in adult patients with advanced solid malignancies.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(6):1656-65 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To determine the pharmacokinetics (PK), maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety, and antitumor activity of an oral formulation of rigosertib, a dual phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) pathway inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid malignancies.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Patients with advanced solid malignancies received rigosertib twice daily continuously in 21-day cycles. Doses were escalated until intolerable grade ≥2 toxicities, at which point the previous dose level was expanded to define the MTD. All patients were assessed for safety, PK, and response. Urinary PK were performed at the MTD. Archival tumors were assessed for potential molecular biomarkers with multiplex mutation testing. A subset of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) underwent exome sequencing.
RESULTS: Forty-eight patients received a median of 2 cycles of therapy at 5 dose levels. Rigosertib exposure increased with escalating doses. Dose-limiting toxicities were hematuria and dysuria. The most common grade ≥2 drug-related toxicities involved urothelial irritation. The MTD is 560 mg twice daily. Activity was seen in head and neck SCCs (1 complete response, 1 partial response) and stable disease for ≥12 weeks was observed in 8 additional patients. Tumors experiencing ≥partial response had PI3K pathway activation, inactivated p53, and unique variants in ROBO3 and FAT1, two genes interacting with the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: The recommended phase II dose of oral rigosertib is 560 mg twice daily given continuously. Urinary toxicity is the dose-limiting and most common toxicity. Alterations in PI3K, p53, and Wnt/β-catenin pathway signaling should be investigated as potential biomarkers of response in future trials.

Mutational landscape of gingivo-buccal oral squamous cell carcinoma reveals new recurrently-mutated genes and molecular subgroups.
Nat Commun. 2013; 4:2873 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gingivo-buccal oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC-GB), an anatomical and clinical subtype of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), is prevalent in regions where tobacco-chewing is common. Exome sequencing (n=50) and recurrence testing (n=60) reveals that some significantly and frequently altered genes are specific to OSCC-GB (USP9X, MLL4, ARID2, UNC13C and TRPM3), while some others are shared with HNSCC (for example, TP53, FAT1, CASP8, HRAS and NOTCH1). We also find new genes with recurrent amplifications (for example, DROSHA, YAP1) or homozygous deletions (for example, DDX3X) in OSCC-GB. We find a high proportion of C>G transversions among tobacco users with high numbers of mutations. Many pathways that are enriched for genomic alterations are specific to OSCC-GB. Our work reveals molecular subtypes with distinctive mutational profiles such as patients predominantly harbouring mutations in CASP8 with or without mutations in FAT1. Mean duration of disease-free survival is significantly elevated in some molecular subgroups. These findings open new avenues for biological characterization and exploration of therapies.

Pickering CR, Zhang J, Yoo SY, et al.
Integrative genomic characterization of oral squamous cell carcinoma identifies frequent somatic drivers.
Cancer Discov. 2013; 3(7):770-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The survival of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has not changed significantly in several decades, leading clinicians and investigators to search for promising molecular targets. To this end, we conducted comprehensive genomic analysis of gene expression, copy number, methylation, and point mutations in OSCC. Integrated analysis revealed more somatic events than previously reported, identifying four major driver pathways (mitogenic signaling, Notch, cell cycle, and TP53) and two additional key genes (FAT1, CASP8). The Notch pathway was defective in 66% of patients, and in follow-up studies of mechanism, functional NOTCH1 signaling inhibited proliferation of OSCC cell lines. Frequent mutation of caspase-8 (CASP8) defines a new molecular subtype of OSCC with few copy number changes. Although genomic alterations are dominated by loss of tumor suppressor genes, 80% of patients harbored at least one genomic alteration in a targetable gene, suggesting that novel approaches to treatment may be possible for this debilitating subset of head and neck cancers.

Neumann M, Heesch S, Schlee C, et al.
Whole-exome sequencing in adult ETP-ALL reveals a high rate of DNMT3A mutations.
Blood. 2013; 121(23):4749-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Early T-cell precursor (ETP) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a high-risk subgroup of T-lineage ALL characterized by specific stem cell and myeloid features. In adult ETP-ALL, no comprehensive studies on the genetic background have been performed to elucidate molecular lesions of this distinct subgroup. We performed whole-exome sequencing of 5 paired ETP-ALL samples. In addition to mutations in genes known to be involved in leukemogenesis (ETV6, NOTCH1, JAK1, and NF1), we identified novel recurrent mutations in FAT1 (25%), FAT3 (20%), DNM2 (35%), and genes associated with epigenetic regulation (MLL2, BMI1, and DNMT3A). Importantly, we verified the high rate of DNMT3A mutations (16%) in a larger cohort of adult patients with ETP-ALL (10/68). Mutations in epigenetic regulators support clinical trials, including epigenetic-orientated therapies, for this high-risk subgroup. Interestingly, more than 60% of adult patients with ETP-ALL harbor at least a single genetic lesion in DNMT3A, FLT3, or NOTCH1 that may allow use of targeted therapies.

Morris LG, Ramaswami D, Chan TA
The FAT epidemic: a gene family frequently mutated across multiple human cancer types.
Cell Cycle. 2013; 12(7):1011-2 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Ardjmand A, de Bock CE, Shahrokhi S, et al.
Fat1 cadherin provides a novel minimal residual disease marker in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Hematology. 2013; 18(6):315-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Measurement of minimal residual disease (MRD) maintains an important role in the clinical management of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Recently, we identified Fat1 cadherin as a unique and independent prognostic factor for relapse-free and overall survival in pediatric pre-B-ALL. Here, we analyzed Fat1 mRNA for its potential as a novel marker of MRD in cases of pre-B- and T-ALL. Analyses of microarray data from 125 matched diagnosis/relapse samples across three independent datasets indicate that Fat1 mRNA is detectable in an average of 31.3% of diagnosed pre-B-ALL, of which 67.5% of cases remained positive at relapse. Furthermore, some 20% of cases with undetectable levels of Fat1 mRNA at diagnosis became positive upon relapse. T-ALL cases were 83.3% positive for Fat1 expression at diagnosis with 77.7% remaining positive at relapse. Towards proof of concept, we developed a quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay and demonstrate detection of Fat1 mRNA in leukemic cells mixed with normal peripheral blood cells at a sensitivity of 1 in 10 000 to 100 000 cells. Fat1 may therefore provide a new marker of MRD for patients with ALL lacking known genomic aberrations or within a multiplex approach to MRD detection.

Morris LG, Kaufman AM, Gong Y, et al.
Recurrent somatic mutation of FAT1 in multiple human cancers leads to aberrant Wnt activation.
Nat Genet. 2013; 45(3):253-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aberrant Wnt signaling can drive cancer development. In many cancer types, the genetic basis of Wnt pathway activation remains incompletely understood. Here, we report recurrent somatic mutations of the Drosophila melanogaster tumor suppressor-related gene FAT1 in glioblastoma (20.5%), colorectal cancer (7.7%), and head and neck cancer (6.7%). FAT1 encodes a cadherin-like protein, which we found is able to potently suppress cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo by binding β-catenin and antagonizing its nuclear localization. Inactivation of FAT1 via mutation therefore promotes Wnt signaling and tumorigenesis and affects patient survival. Taken together, these data strongly point to FAT1 as a tumor suppressor gene driving loss of chromosome 4q35, a prevalent region of deletion in cancer. Loss of FAT1 function is a frequent event during oncogenesis. These findings address two outstanding issues in cancer biology: the basis of Wnt activation in non-colorectal tumors and the identity of a 4q35 tumor suppressor.

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