FLNA

Gene Summary

Gene:FLNA; filamin A
Aliases: FLN, FMD, MNS, OPD, ABPX, CSBS, CVD1, FLN1, NHBP, OPD1, OPD2, XLVD, XMVD, FLN-A, ABP-280
Location:Xq28
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is an actin-binding protein that crosslinks actin filaments and links actin filaments to membrane glycoproteins. The encoded protein is involved in remodeling the cytoskeleton to effect changes in cell shape and migration. This protein interacts with integrins, transmembrane receptor complexes, and second messengers. Defects in this gene are a cause of several syndromes, including periventricular nodular heterotopias (PVNH1, PVNH4), otopalatodigital syndromes (OPD1, OPD2), frontometaphyseal dysplasia (FMD), Melnick-Needles syndrome (MNS), and X-linked congenital idiopathic intestinal pseudoobstruction (CIIPX). Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene.[provided by RefSeq, Mar 2009]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:filamin-A
Source:NCBIAccessed: 13 March, 2017

Ontology:

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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 13 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.

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Infant
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Base Sequence
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Protein Binding
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Young Adult
  • Cell Movement
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • RTPCR
  • Apoptosis
  • Breast Cancer
  • Tumor Burden
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Mutation
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • X Chromosome
  • Signal Transduction
  • X Chromosome Inactivation
  • Western Blotting
  • Melanoma
  • Transfection
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Skin Pigmentation
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Bladder Cancer
  • siRNA
  • KMT2A
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Filamins
  • Androgen Receptors
  • Contractile Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
Tag cloud generated 13 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.

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

Latest Publications: FLNA (cancer-related)

Saikia S, Barooah P, Bhattacharyya M, et al.
Polymorphisms in Heat Shock Proteins A1B and A1L (HOM) as Risk Factors for Oesophageal Carcinoma in Northeast India.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(18):8227-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To investigate polymorphisms in heat shock proteins A1B and A1L (HOM) and associated risk of oesophageal carcinoma in Northeast India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study includes oesophageal cancer (ECA) patients attending general outpatient department (OPD) and endoscopic unit of Gauhati Medical College. Patients were diagnosed based on endoscopic and histopathological findings. Genomic DNA was typed for HSPA1B1267 and HSPA1L2437 SNPs using the polymerase chain reaction with restriction fragment length polymorphisms.
RESULTS: A total of 78 cases and 100 age-sex matched healthy controls were included in the study with a male: female ratio of 5:3 and a mean age of 61.4±8.5 years. Clinico-pathological evaluation showed 84% had squamous cell carcinoma and 16% were adenocarcinoma. Dysphagia grades 4 (43.5%) and 5 (37.1%) were observed by endoscopic and hispathological evaluation. The frequency of genomic variation of A1B from wild type A/A to heterozygous A/G and mutant G/G showed a positive association [chi sq=19.9, p= <0.05] and the allelic frequency also showed a significant correlation [chi sq=10.3, with cases vs. controls, OR=0.32, p≤0.05]. The genomic variation of A1L from wild T/T to heterozygous T/C and mutant C/C were found positively associated [chi sq= 7.02, p<0.05] with development of ECA. While analyzing the allelic frequency, there was no significant association [chi sq= 3.19, OR=0.49, p=0.07]. Among all the risk factors, betel quid [OR =9.79, Chi square= 35.0, p<0.05], tobacco [OR = 2.95, chi square=10.6, p<0.05], smoking [OR=3.23, chi square=10.1, p<0.05] demonstrated significant differences between consumers vs. non consumers regarding EC development. Alcohol did not show any significant association [OR= 1.34, chi square=0.69, p=0.4] independently.
CONCLUSIONS: It can be concluded that the present study provides marked evidence that polymorphisms of HSP70 A1B and HSP70 A1L genes are associated with the development of ECA in a population in Northeast India, A1B having a stronger influence. Betel quid consumption was found to be a highly significant risk factor, followed by smoking and tobacco chewing. Although alcohol was not a potent risk factor independently, alcohol consumption along with tobacco, smoking and betel nut was found to contribute to development of ECA.

Vitali E, Cambiaghi V, Zerbi A, et al.
Filamin-A is required to mediate SST2 effects in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2016; 23(3):181-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Somatostatin receptor type 2 (SST2) is the main pharmacological target of somatostatin (SS) analogues widely used in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (P-NETs), this treatment being ineffective in a subset of patients. Since it has been demonstrated that Filamin A (FLNA) is involved in mediating GPCR expression, membrane anchoring and signalling, we investigated the role of this cytoskeleton protein in SST2 expression and signalling, angiogenesis, cell adhesion and cell migration in human P-NETs and in QGP1 cell line. We demonstrated that FLNA silencing was not able to affect SST2 expression in P-NET cells in basal conditions. Conversely, a significant reduction in SST2 expression (-43 ± 21%, P < 0.05 vs untreated cells) was observed in FLNA silenced QGP1 cells after long term SST2 activation with BIM23120. Moreover, the inhibitory effect of BIM23120 on cyclin D1 expression (-46 ± 18%, P < 0.05 vs untreated cells), P-ERK1/2 levels (-42 ± 14%; P < 0.05 vs untreated cells), cAMP accumulation (-24 ± 3%, P < 0.05 vs untreated cells), VEGF expression (-31 ± 5%, P < 0.01 vs untreated cells) and in vitro release (-40 ± 24%, P < 0.05 vs untreated cells) was completely lost after FLNA silencing. Interestingly, BIM23120 promoted cell adhesion (+86 ± 45%, P < 0.05 vs untreated cells) and inhibited cell migration (-24 ± 2%, P < 0.00001 vs untreated cells) in P-NETs cells and these effects were abolished in FLNA silenced cells. In conclusion, we demonstrated that FLNA plays a crucial role in SST2 expression and signalling, angiogenesis, cell adhesion and cell migration in P-NETs and in QGP1 cell line, suggesting a possible role of FLNA in determining the different responsiveness to SS analogues observed in P-NET patients.

Krebs K, Ruusmann A, Simonlatser G, Velling T
Expression of FLNa in human melanoma cells regulates the function of integrin α1β1 and phosphorylation and localisation of PKB/AKT/ERK1/2 kinases.
Eur J Cell Biol. 2015; 94(12):564-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
FLNa is a ubiquitous cytoskeletal protein that links transmembrane receptors, including integrins, to F-actin and functions as a signalling intermediate. We investigated FLNa's role in the function of integrin-type collagen receptors, EGF-EGFR signalling and regulation of PKB/Akt and ERK1/2. Using FLNa-deficient M2 human melanoma cells, and same cells expressing EGFP-FLNa (M2F) or its Ig-like repeats 1-8+24, 8-15+24 and 16-24, we found that in M2F and M2 8-15+24 cells, EGF induced the increased phosphorylation of PKB/Akt and ERK1/2. In M2F cells EGF induced the localisation of these kinases to cell nucleus and lamellipodia, respectively, and the ERK1/2 phosphorylation-dependent co-immunoprecipitation of FLNa with ERK1/2. Only M2F and M2 8-15+24 cells adhered to and spread on type I collagen whereas on fibronectin all cells behaved similarly. α1β1 and α2β1 were the integrin-type collagen receptors expressed on these cells with primarily α1β1 localising to focal contacts and affecting cell adhesion and migration in a manner dependent on FLNa or its Ig-like repeats 8-15. Our results suggest a role for FLNa repeats 8-15 in the α1-subunit-dependent regulation of integrin α1β1 function, EGF-EGFR signalling to PKB/Akt and ERK1/2, identify ERK1/2 in EGF-induced FLNa-associated protein complexes, and show that the function of different integrins is subjected to differential regulation by FLNa.

Kircher P, Hermanns C, Nossek M, et al.
Filamin A interacts with the coactivator MKL1 to promote the activity of the transcription factor SRF and cell migration.
Sci Signal. 2015; 8(402):ra112 [PubMed] Related Publications
Megakaryoblastic leukemia 1 (MKL1) is a coactivator of serum response factor (SRF) that promotes the expression of genes associated with cell proliferation, motility, adhesion, and differentiation-processes that also involve dynamic cytoskeletal changes in the cell. MKL1 is inactive when bound to monomeric globular actin (G-actin), but signals that activate the small guanosine triphosphatase RhoA cause actin polymerization and MKL1 dissociation from G-actin. We found a new mechanism of MKL1 activation that is mediated through its binding to filamin A (FLNA), a protein that binds filamentous actin (F-actin). The interaction of FLNA and MKL1 was required for the expression of MKL1 target genes in primary fibroblasts, melanoma, mammary and hepatocellular carcinoma cells. We identified the regions of interaction between MKL1 and FLNA, and cells expressing an MKL1 mutant that was unable to bind FLNA exhibited impaired cell migration and reduced expression of MKL1-SRF target genes. Induction and repression of MKL1-SRF target genes correlated with increased or decreased MKL1-FLNA interaction, respectively. Lysophosphatidic acid-induced RhoA activation in primary human fibroblasts promoted the association of endogenous MKL1 with FLNA, whereas exposure to an actin polymerization inhibitor dissociated MKL1 from FLNA and decreased MKL1-SRF target gene expression in melanoma cells. Thus, FLNA functions as a positive cellular transducer linking actin polymerization to MKL1-SRF activity, counteracting the known repressive complex of MKL1 and monomeric G-actin.

Zhao P, Ma W, Hu Z, et al.
Filamin A (FLNA) modulates chemosensitivity to docetaxel in triple-negative breast cancer through the MAPK/ERK pathway.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(4):5107-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
A previous RNA interference (RNAi) screen identified filamin A (FLNA) as a potential biomarker to predict chemosensitivity in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, its ability to modulate chemosensitivity and the underlying mechanism has not been investigated. Genetic manipulation of FLNA expression has been performed in an immortalized noncancerous human mammary epithelial cell line and four TNBC cell lines to investigate its effect on chemosensitivity. Western blot analysis was performed to identify the potential signaling pathway involved. Xenograft mouse model was used to examine the in vivo role of FLNA in modulating chemosensitivity. Overexpression of FLNA conferred chemoresistance to docetaxel in noncancerous human mammary epithelial cells. Knockdown of FLNA sensitized four TNBC cell lines, MDA-MB-231, HCC38, Htb126, and HCC1937 to docetaxel which was reversed by reconstituted FLNA expression. Decreased FLNA expression correlated with decreased activation of ERK. Constitutive activation of ERK2 reversed siFLNA-induced chemosensitization. Inhibition of MEK1 recapitulates the effect of FLNA knockdown. MDA-MB-231 xenograft with FLNA knockdown showed enhanced response to docetaxel compared with control xenograft with increased apoptosis. FLNA can function as a modulator of chemosensitivity to docetaxel in TNBC cells through regulation of the MAPK/ERK pathway both in vitro and in vivo. FLNA may serve as a novel therapeutic target for improvement of chemotherapy efficacy in TNBC.

Tan J, Ong CK, Lim WK, et al.
Genomic landscapes of breast fibroepithelial tumors.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(11):1341-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast fibroepithelial tumors comprise a heterogeneous spectrum of pathological entities, from benign fibroadenomas to malignant phyllodes tumors. Although MED12 mutations have been frequently found in fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors, the landscapes of genetic alterations across the fibroepithelial tumor spectrum remain unclear. Here, by performing exome sequencing of 22 phyllodes tumors followed by targeted sequencing of 100 breast fibroepithelial tumors, we observed three distinct somatic mutation patterns. First, we frequently observed MED12 and RARA mutations in both fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors, emphasizing the importance of these mutations in fibroepithelial tumorigenesis. Second, phyllodes tumors exhibited mutations in FLNA, SETD2 and KMT2D, suggesting a role in driving phyllodes tumor development. Third, borderline and malignant phyllodes tumors harbored additional mutations in cancer-associated genes. RARA mutations exhibited clustering in the portion of the gene encoding the ligand-binding domain, functionally suppressed RARA-mediated transcriptional activation and enhanced RARA interactions with transcriptional co-repressors. This study provides insights into the molecular pathogenesis of breast fibroepithelial tumors, with potential clinical implications.

Sharma A, Gupta S, Sodhani P, et al.
Glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 Polymorphisms, Cigarette Smoking and HPV Infection in Precancerous and Cancerous Lesions of the Uterine Cervix.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(15):6429-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) play an important role in detoxification of carcinogenic electrophiles. The null genotypes in GSTM1 and GSTT1 have been implicated in carcinogenesis. Present study was planned to evaluate the influence of genetic polymorphisms of GSTM1 and GSTT1 gene loci in cervical carcinogenesis. The study was conducted in Lok Nayak hospital, New Delhi. DNA from clinical scrapes of 482 women with minor gynaecologic complaints attending Gynaecology OPD and tumor biopsies of 135 cervical cancer cases attending the cancer clinic was extracted. HPV DNA was detected by standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using L1 consensus primer pair. Polymorphisms of GSTM1 and GSTT1 were analysed by multiplex PCR procedures. Differences in proportions were tested using Pearson's Chi-square test with Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). The risk of cervical cancer was almost three times in women with GSTM1 homozygous null genotype (OR-2.62, 95%CI, 1.77-3.88; p<0.0001). No association of GSTM1 or GSTT1 homozygous null genotypes was observed in women with normal, precancerous and cervical cancerous lesions among ≤35 or >35 years of age groups. Smokers with null GSTT1 genotype had a higher risk of cervical cancer as compared to non-smokers (OR-3.01, 95% CI, 1.10-8.23; p=0.03). The results further showed that a significant increased risk of cervical cancer was observed in HPV positive smoker women with GSTT1 (OR-4.36, 95% CI, 1.27-15.03; p=0.02) and GSTM1T1 (OR-3.87, 95% CI, 1.05-14.23; p=0.04) homozygous null genotypes as compared to HPV positive non smokers. The results demonstrate that the GST null genotypes were alone not associated with the development of cervical cancer, but interacted with smoking and HPV to exert effects in our Delhi population.

Brandhorst S, Choi IY, Wei M, et al.
A Periodic Diet that Mimics Fasting Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan.
Cell Metab. 2015; 22(1):86-99 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prolonged fasting (PF) promotes stress resistance, but its effects on longevity are poorly understood. We show that alternating PF and nutrient-rich medium extended yeast lifespan independently of established pro-longevity genes. In mice, 4 days of a diet that mimics fasting (FMD), developed to minimize the burden of PF, decreased the size of multiple organs/systems, an effect followed upon re-feeding by an elevated number of progenitor and stem cells and regeneration. Bi-monthly FMD cycles started at middle age extended longevity, lowered visceral fat, reduced cancer incidence and skin lesions, rejuvenated the immune system, and retarded bone mineral density loss. In old mice, FMD cycles promoted hippocampal neurogenesis, lowered IGF-1 levels and PKA activity, elevated NeuroD1, and improved cognitive performance. In a pilot clinical trial, three FMD cycles decreased risk factors/biomarkers for aging, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer without major adverse effects, providing support for the use of FMDs to promote healthspan.

Tang G, Goswami RS, Liang CS, et al.
Isolated del(5q) in Patients Following Therapies for Various Malignancies May Not All Be Clinically Significant.
Am J Clin Pathol. 2015; 144(1):78-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Deletion 5q is a common chromosomal abnormality in both de novo and therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (t-MNs). The detection of isolated del(5q) in patients following therapies for various malignancies raises serious concern for an emerging t-MN.
METHODS: We identified 25 patients who developed isolated del(5q) following cytotoxic therapy (n = 21) or tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI; n = 4) therapy. Twenty-four patients had an interstitial and one had a terminal 5q deletion. The 5q31/EGR1 gene was deleted in 20 patients and intact in five patients. The clone size as assessed by metaphase analysis was minor (10%-30%) in 12 patients and large (45%-100%) in 13 patients. After a median follow-up of 17 months, none of the 12 patients with a minor del(5q) clone developed t-MN; del(5q) disappeared in four patients and persisted in eight patients. By contrast, 12 of 13 patients with a large del(5q) clone developed t-MN, and del(5q) was persistent in all patients who had follow-up cytogenetic testing.
CONCLUSIONS: Development of del(5q) in patients following cytotoxic therapies or TKI may not always be associated with t-MN. A close follow-up seems an appropriate approach for patients who had a minor del(5q) clone.

Connor CJ, Shchelochkov OA, Ciliberto H
Anetoderma in a patient with terminal osseous dysplasia with pigmentary defects.
Am J Med Genet A. 2015; 167A(10):2459-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Terminal osseous dysplasia with pigmentary defects (TODPD) is a rare, X-linked syndrome classically characterized by distal limb anomalies, pigmented skin defects of the face, and recurrent digital fibromas. X-inactivation plays a major role in determining the range of phenotypic expression. Thus, patients can demonstrate a wide spectrum of disease severity, making accurate diagnosis more challenging. Recent studies have identified a FLNA c.5217G>A mutation as the cause of TODPD, allowing for diagnostic genetic testing. We present a case of molecularly confirmed TODPD in a girl with the 47,XXX chromosomal complement and deformities of the hands and feet, craniofacial abnormalities, and discolored, linear facial lesions. Skin biopsy of the patient's facial lesion revealed absent papillary dermal elastic fibers, consistent with anetoderma, which contrasts with the dermal hypoplasia described in the only other such facial biopsy reported in the literature. The finding of absent elastic fibers in the skin lesions suggests that mutated filamin A, in part, exerts its effects through dysregulated elastin biology, which may explain the nature of many connective tissue pleotropic effects in FLNA-related disorders.

Grouzmann E, Tschopp O, Triponez F, et al.
Catecholamine metabolism in paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma: similar tumors in different sites?
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0125426 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pheochromocytoma (PHEO) and paraganglioma (PGL) are catecholamine-producing neuroendocrine tumors that arise respectively inside or outside the adrenal medulla. Several reports have shown that adrenal glucocorticoids (GC) play an important regulatory role on the genes encoding the main enzymes involved in catecholamine (CAT) synthesis i.e. tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) and phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT). To assess the influence of tumor location on CAT metabolism, 66 tissue samples (53 PHEO, 13 PGL) and 73 plasma samples (50 PHEO, 23 PGL) were studied. Western blot and qPCR were performed for TH, DBH and PNMT expression. We found a significantly lower intra-tumoral concentration of CAT and metanephrines (MNs) in PGL along with a downregulation of TH and PNMT at both mRNA and protein level compared with PHEO. However, when PHEO were partitioned into noradrenergic (NorAd) and mixed tumors based on an intra-tumoral CAT ratio (NE/E >90%), PGL and NorAd PHEO sustained similar TH, DBH and PNMT gene and protein expression. CAT concentration and composition were also similar between NorAd PHEO and PGL, excluding the use of CAT or MNs to discriminate between PGL and PHEO on the basis of biochemical tests. We observed an increase of TH mRNA concentration without correlation with TH protein expression in primary cell culture of PHEO and PGL incubated with dexamethasone during 24 hours; no changes were monitored for PNMT and DBH at both mRNA and protein level in PHEO and PGL. Altogether, these results indicate that long term CAT synthesis is not driven by the close environment where the tumor develops and suggest that GC alone is not sufficient to regulate CAT synthesis pathway in PHEO/PGL.

Matveeva E, Kazakova A, Olshanskaya Y, et al.
A new variant of KMT2A(MLL)-FLNA fusion transcript in acute myeloid leukemia with ins(X;11)(q28;q23q23).
Cancer Genet. 2015; 208(4):148-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
The KMT2A gene (previously known as MLL) located at 11q23 is often involved in recurrent chromosomal translocations that lead to the development of acute leukemia, particularly in infants. Acute leukemias with KMT2A rearrangements have different prognoses, which depend on the partner gene involved in the translocation. The detection of all possible types of KMT2A gene rearrangements is of key importance for the identification of biological subgroups, which may differ in clinical outcome. In this report, we describe a case study of a 7-month-old boy who presented with AML-M4; however, no obvious 11q23 rearrangement was detected in the analyzed karyotype. Fluorescence in situ hybridization evaluation showed a nonstandard signal distribution in blast cells, corresponding to the presence of two KMT2A copies and one additional copy of 5'-KMT2A inserted into the long arm of the X chromosome (ins(X;11)(q28;q23q23)). Subsequent molecular analysis showed a novel variant form of the previously described KMT2A-FLNA fusion gene, in which the KMT2A intron 9 is fused to the FLNA exon 16.

Savoy RM, Chen L, Siddiqui S, et al.
Transcription of Nrdp1 by the androgen receptor is regulated by nuclear filamin A in prostate cancer.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2015; 22(3):369-86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PCa) progression is regulated by the androgen receptor (AR); however, patients undergoing androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for disseminated PCa eventually develop castration-resistant PCa (CRPC). Results of previous studies indicated that AR, a transcription factor, occupies distinct genomic loci in CRPC compared with hormone-naïve PCa; however, the cause of this distinction was unknown. The E3 ubiquitin ligase Nrdp1 is a model AR target modulated by androgens in hormone-naïve PCa but not in CRPC. Using Nrdp1, we investigated how AR switches transcription programs during CRPC progression. The proximal Nrdp1 promoter contains an androgen response element (ARE); we demonstrated AR binding to this ARE in androgen-sensitive PCa. Analysis of hormone-naive human prostatectomy specimens revealed correlation between Nrdp1 and AR expression, supporting AR regulation of NRDP1 levels in androgen-sensitive tissue. However, despite sustained AR levels, AR binding to the Nrdp1 promoter and Nrdp1 expression were suppressed in CRPC. Elucidation of the suppression mechanism demonstrated correlation of NRDP1 levels with nuclear localization of the scaffolding protein filamin A (FLNA) which, as we previously showed, is itself repressed following ADT in many CRPC tumors. Restoration of nuclear FLNA in CRPC stimulated AR binding to Nrdp1 ARE, increased its transcription, and augmented NRDP1 protein expression and responsiveness to ADT, indicating that nuclear FLNA controls AR-mediated androgen-sensitive Nrdp1 transcription. Expression of other AR-regulated genes lost in CRPC was also re-established by nuclear FLNA. Thus, our results indicate that nuclear FLNA promotes androgen-dependent AR-regulated transcription in PCa, while loss of nuclear FLNA in CRPC alters the AR-regulated transcription program.

Tian ZQ, Shi JW, Wang XR, et al.
New cancer suppressor gene for colorectal adenocarcinoma: filamin A.
World J Gastroenterol. 2015; 21(7):2199-205 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To determine the expression and significance of filamin A (FLNa) in colorectal adenocarcinoma tissue.
METHODS: The expression of FLNa in 46 colorectal cancer tissues and normal tissues was detected by immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting, and its relationship with clinical parameters and prognosis was analyzed.
RESULTS: The positive expression of FLNa in cancer tissues was lower than that in normal mucosa, and the difference was statistically significant. The expression of FLNa correlated with liver metastasis, lymph node metastasis and rectal invasion depth, regardless of sex, age, tumor location, tumor size, gross shape and histological type of colorectal carcinoma. Multivariate analysis showed that FLNa was an independent risk factor for postoperative survival of patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma. Moreover, survival analysis showed that the expression level of FLNa was closely related with survival of patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma. The results of RT-PCR and Western blotting were consistent with those of immunohistochemistry.
CONCLUSION: FLNa showed low expression in colorectal adenocarcinoma, high correlation with the incidence and development of colorectal cancer, and was considered an indicator of prognosis.

Huo Q, Kayikci M, Odermatt P, et al.
Splicing changes in SMA mouse motoneurons and SMN-depleted neuroblastoma cells: evidence for involvement of splicing regulatory proteins.
RNA Biol. 2014; 11(11):1430-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is caused by deletions or mutations in the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The second gene copy, SMN2, produces some, but not enough, functional SMN protein. SMN is essential to assemble small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) that form the spliceosome. However, it is not clear whether SMA is caused by defects in this function that could lead to splicing changes in all tissues, or by the impairment of an additional, less well characterized, but motoneuron-specific SMN function. We addressed the first possibility by exon junction microarray analysis of motoneurons (MNs) isolated by laser capture microdissection from a severe SMA mouse model. This revealed changes in multiple U2-dependent splicing events. Moreover, splicing appeared to be more strongly affected in MNs than in other cells. By testing mutiple genes in a model of progressive SMN depletion in NB2a neuroblastoma cells, we obtained evidence that U2-dependent splicing changes occur earlier than U12-dependent ones. As several of these changes affect genes coding for splicing regulators, this may acerbate the splicing response induced by low SMN levels and induce secondary waves of splicing alterations.

Zhang SF, Wang XY, Fu ZQ, et al.
TXNDC17 promotes paclitaxel resistance via inducing autophagy in ovarian cancer.
Autophagy. 2015; 11(2):225-38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Paclitaxel is recommended as a first-line chemotherapeutic agent against ovarian cancer, but drug resistance becomes a major limitation of its success clinically. The key molecule or mechanism associated with paclitaxel resistance in ovarian cancer still remains unclear. Here, we showed that TXNDC17 screened from 356 differentially expressed proteins by LC-MS/MS label-free quantitative proteomics was more highly expressed in paclitaxel-resistant ovarian cancer cells and tissues, and the high expression of TXNDC17 was associated with poorer prognostic factors and exhibited shortened survival in 157 ovarian cancer patients. Moreover, paclitaxel exposure induced upregulation of TXNDC17 and BECN1 expression, increase of autophagosome formation, and autophagic flux that conferred cytoprotection for ovarian cancer cells from paclitaxel. TXNDC17 inhibition by siRNA or enforced overexpression by a pcDNA3.1(+)-TXNDC17 plasmid correspondingly decreased or increased the autophagy response and paclitaxel resistance. Additionally, the downregulation of BECN1 by siRNA attenuated the activation of autophagy and cytoprotection from paclitaxel induced by TXNDC17 overexpression in ovarian cancer cells. Thus, our findings suggest that TXNDC17, through participation of BECN1, induces autophagy and consequently results in paclitaxel resistance in ovarian cancer. TXNDC17 may be a potential predictor or target in ovarian cancer therapeutics.

Teixeira SR, Blondiaux E, Cassart M, et al.
Association of periventricular nodular heterotopia with posterior fossa cyst: a prenatal case series.
Prenat Diagn. 2015; 35(4):337-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The association of periventricular nodular heterotopia (PVNH) with posterior fossa cyst (PFC) is documented after birth. We report this association in a series of fetuses.
METHODS: Eleven cases (7 females) of PVNH and PFC diagnosed at prenatal imaging were collected in this retrospective multicenter study. The patients were referred to tertiary centers for targeted ultrasonography (US) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) following detection of PFC on routine US. Mutations of the filamin A gene (FLNA) were searched for (n = 6). Maternal brain MRI was performed (n = 8). Post-mortem or postnatal data were recorded.
RESULTS: Targeted US was performed at a mean gestational age of 29 (range; 23-35) weeks and identified PVNH in 4 cases. At MRI, performed at a mean gestational age of 31 (range; 29-35) weeks, PVNH and PFC were visible in all cases. Those findings were confirmed by postnatal MRI (n = 3), autopsy (n = 7) and/or post-mortem MRI (n = 2) or US (n = 1). Maternal brain MRI showed PVNH in one case. A de novo FLNA mutation was found in four cases.
CONCLUSION: We describe a series of PVNH and PFC in fetuses, which underlines the importance of searching for PVNH when PFC is identified at prenatal US. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Coumans JV, Gau D, Poljak A, et al.
Profilin-1 overexpression in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells is associated with alterations in proteomics biomarkers of cell proliferation, survival, and motility as revealed by global proteomics analyses.
OMICS. 2014; 18(12):778-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite early screening programs and new therapeutic strategies, metastatic breast cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death in women in industrialized countries and regions. There is a need for novel biomarkers of susceptibility, progression, and therapeutic response. Global analyses or systems science approaches with omics technologies offer concrete ways forward in biomarker discovery for breast cancer. Previous studies have shown that expression of profilin-1 (PFN1), a ubiquitously expressed actin-binding protein, is downregulated in invasive and metastatic breast cancer. It has also been reported that PFN1 overexpression can suppress tumorigenic ability and motility/invasiveness of breast cancer cells. To obtain insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms of how elevating PFN1 level induces these phenotypic changes in breast cancer cells, we investigated the alteration in global protein expression profiles of breast cancer cells upon stable overexpression of PFN1 by a combination of three different proteome analysis methods (2-DE, iTRAQ, label-free). Using MDA-MB-231 as a model breast cancer cell line, we provide evidence that PFN1 overexpression is associated with alterations in the expression of proteins that have been functionally linked to cell proliferation (FKPB1A, HDGF, MIF, PRDX1, TXNRD1, LGALS1, STMN1, LASP1, S100A11, S100A6), survival (HSPE1, HSPB1, HSPD1, HSPA5 and PPIA, YWHAZ, CFL1, NME1) and motility (CFL1, CORO1B, PFN2, PLS3, FLNA, FLNB, NME2, ARHGDIB). In view of the pleotropic effects of PFN1 overexpression in breast cancer cells as suggested by these new findings, we propose that PFN1-induced phenotypic changes in cancer cells involve multiple mechanisms. Our data reported here might also offer innovative strategies for identification and validation of novel therapeutic targets and companion diagnostics for persons with, or susceptibility to, breast cancer.

Zhang L, Bartley CM, Gong X, et al.
MEK-ERK1/2-dependent FLNA overexpression promotes abnormal dendritic patterning in tuberous sclerosis independent of mTOR.
Neuron. 2014; 84(1):78-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Abnormal dendritic complexity is a shared feature of many neurodevelopmental disorders associated with neurological defects. Here, we found that the actin-crosslinking protein filamin A (FLNA) is overexpressed in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) mice, a PI3K-mTOR model of neurodevelopmental disease that is associated with abnormal dendritic complexity. Both under- and overexpression of FLNA in wild-type neurons led to more complex dendritic arbors in vivo, suggesting that an optimal level of FLNA expression is required for normal dendritogenesis. In Tsc1(null) neurons, knocking down FLNA in vivo prevented dendritic abnormalities. Surprisingly, FLNA overexpression in Tsc1(null) neurons was dependent on MEK1/2 but not mTOR activity, despite both pathways being hyperactive. In addition, increasing MEK-ERK1/2 activity led to dendritic abnormalities via FLNA, and decreasing MEK-ERK1/2 signaling in Tsc1(null) neurons rescued dendritic defects. These data demonstrate that altered FLNA expression increases dendritic complexity and contributes to pathologic dendritic patterning in TSC in an mTOR-independent, ERK1/2-dependent manner.

Sun W, Quan C, Huang Y, et al.
Constitutive ERK1/2 activation contributes to production of double minute chromosomes in tumour cells.
J Pathol. 2015; 235(1):14-24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Double minute chromosomes (DMs) are extrachromosomal cytogenetic structures found in tumour cells. As hallmarks of gene amplification, DMs often carry oncogenes and drug-resistance genes and play important roles in malignant tumour progression and drug resistance. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathway is frequently dysregulated in human malignant tumours, which induces genomic instability, but it remains unclear whether a close relationship exists between MAPK signalling and DMs. In the present study, we focused on three major components of MAPK signalling, ERK1/2, JNK1/2/3 and p38, to investigate the relationship between MAPK and DM production in tumour cells. We found that the constitutive phosphorylation of ERK1/2, but not JNK1/2/3 and p38, was closely associated with DMs in tumour cells. Inhibition of ERK1/2 activation in DM-containing and ERK1/2 constitutively phosphorylated tumour cells was able to markedly decrease the number of DMs, as well as the degree of amplification and expression of DM-carried genes. The mechanism was found to be an increasing tendency of DM DNA to break, become enveloped into micronuclei (MNs) and excluded from the tumour cells during the S/G2 phases of the cell cycle, events that accompanied the reversion of malignant behaviour. Our study reveals a linkage between ERK1/2 activation and DM stability in tumour cells.

Sandahl JD, Kjeldsen E, Abrahamsson J, et al.
Ploidy and clinical characteristics of childhood acute myeloid leukemia: A NOPHO-AML study.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(8):667-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report the first large series (n = 596) of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) focusing on modal numbers (MN) from the population-based NOPHO-AML trials. Abnormal karyotypes were present in 452 cases (76%) and numerical aberrations were present in 40% (n = 237) of all pediatric AML. Among patients with an abnormal karyotype, the MN 46 was most common (n = 251; 56%) of which 36 (8%) were pseudodiploid with numerical aberrations, followed by MN 47 (n = 80; 18%) and MN 43-45 (n = 48; 8%). No cases had MN less than 43. Hyperdiploid AML with MN 48-65 comprised 11% of all cases and was associated with early onset (median age 2 years), female sex (57%), and a dominance of acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL) (29%). Hypodiploidy constituted 8% of all AML and was associated with older age (median age 9 years), male predominance (60%), FAB M2 (56%), and t(8;21)(q22;q22) (56%) with loss of sex chromosomes. Inferior outcome was observed for hypodiploid cases (5-year event-free survival 40% and 5-year overall survival 40%) but did not reach statistical significance. Chromosomes were gained in a nonrandom pattern, where chromosomes 8, 21, 19, and 6 were the most commonly gained. In conclusion, based on MNs, two cytogenetic subgroups with characteristic clinical features are described; hypodiploidy found in 8% and associated with high median age, male sex, t(8;21)(q22;q22), and FAB M2 and possibly associated with inferior outcome (P = 0.13), and hyperdiploidy with MN 48-65 in 11% associated with early onset, female sex, and AMKL.

Dettmer MS, Perren A, Moch H, et al.
MicroRNA profile of poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas: new diagnostic and prognostic insights.
J Mol Endocrinol. 2014; 52(2):181-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The diagnosis of conventional and oncocytic poorly differentiated (oPD) thyroid carcinomas is difficult. The aim of this study is to characterise their largely unknown miRNA expression profile and to compare it with well-differentiated thyroid tumours, as well as to identify miRNAs which could potentially serve as diagnostic and prognostic markers. A total of 14 poorly differentiated (PD), 13 oPD, 72 well-differentiated thyroid carcinomas and eight normal thyroid specimens were studied for the expression of 768 miRNAs using PCR-Microarrays. MiRNA expression was different between PD and oPD thyroid carcinomas, demonstrating individual clusters on the clustering analysis. Both tumour types showed upregulation of miR-125a-5p, -15a-3p, -182, -183-3p, -222, -222-5p, and downregulation of miR-130b, -139-5p, -150, -193a-5p, -219-5p, -23b, -451, -455-3p and of miR-886-3p as compared with normal thyroid tissue. In addition, the oPD thyroid carcinomas demonstrated upregulation of miR-221 and miR-885-5p. The difference in expression was also observed between miRNA expression in PD and well-differentiated tumours. The CHAID algorithm allowed the separation of PD from well-differentiated thyroid carcinomas with 73-79% accuracy using miR-23b and miR-150 as a separator. Kaplan-Meier and multivariate analysis showed a significant association with tumour relapses (for miR-23b) and with tumour-specific death (for miR-150) in PD and oPD thyroid carcinomas. MiRNA expression is different in conventional and oPD thyroid carcinomas in comparison with well-differentiated thyroid cancers and can be used for discrimination between these tumour types. The newly identified deregulated miRNAs (miR-150, miR-23b) bear the potential to be used in a clinical setting, delivering prognostic and diagnostic informations.

Mizuhashi K, Kanamoto T, Moriishi T, et al.
Filamin-interacting proteins, Cfm1 and Cfm2, are essential for the formation of cartilaginous skeletal elements.
Hum Mol Genet. 2014; 23(11):2953-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations of Filamin genes, which encode actin-binding proteins, cause a wide range of congenital developmental malformations in humans, mainly skeletal abnormalities. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying Filamin functions in skeletal system formation remain elusive. In our screen to identify skeletal development molecules, we found that Cfm (Fam101) genes, Cfm1 (Fam101b) and Cfm2 (Fam101a), are predominantly co-expressed in developing cartilage and intervertebral discs (IVDs). To investigate the functional role of Cfm genes in skeletal development, we generated single knockout mice for Cfm1 and Cfm2, as well as Cfm1/Cfm2 double-knockout (Cfm DKO) mice, by targeted gene disruption. Mice with loss of a single Cfm gene displayed no overt phenotype, whereas Cfm DKO mice showed skeletal malformations including spinal curvatures, vertebral fusions and impairment of bone growth, showing that the phenotypes of Cfm DKO mice resemble those of Filamin B (Flnb)-deficient mice. The number of cartilaginous cells in IVDs is remarkably reduced, and chondrocytes are moderately reduced in Cfm DKO mice. We observed increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation in Cfm DKO cartilaginous cells. In addition to direct interaction between Cfm and Filamin proteins in developing chondrocytes, we showed that Cfm is required for the interaction between Flnb and Smad3, which was reported to regulate Runx2 expression. Furthermore, we found that Cfm DKO primary chondrocytes showed decreased cellular size and fewer actin bundles compared with those of wild-type chondrocytes. These results suggest that Cfms are essential partner molecules of Flnb in regulating differentiation and proliferation of chondryocytes and actin dynamics.

Stoddart A, Fernald AA, Wang J, et al.
Haploinsufficiency of del(5q) genes, Egr1 and Apc, cooperate with Tp53 loss to induce acute myeloid leukemia in mice.
Blood. 2014; 123(7):1069-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
An interstitial deletion of chromosome 5, del(5q), is the most common structural abnormality in primary myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (t-MNs) after cytotoxic therapy. Loss of TP53 activity, through mutation or deletion, is highly associated with t-MNs with a del(5q). We previously demonstrated that haploinsufficiency of Egr1 and Apc, 2 genes lost in the 5q deletion, are key players in the progression of MDS with a del(5q). Using genetically engineered mice, we now show that reduction or loss of Tp53 expression, in combination with Egr1 haploinsufficiency, increased the rate of development of hematologic neoplasms and influenced the disease spectrum, but did not lead to overt myeloid leukemia, suggesting that altered function of additional gene(s) on 5q are likely required for myeloid leukemia development. Next, we demonstrated that cell intrinsic loss of Tp53 in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells haploinsufficient for both Egr1 and Apc led to the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 17% of mice. The long latency (234-299 days) and clonal chromosomal abnormalities in the AMLs suggest that additional genetic changes may be required for full transformation. Thus, loss of Tp53 activity in cooperation with Egr1 and Apc haploinsufficiency creates an environment that is permissive for malignant transformation and the development of AML.

Sun GG, Sheng SH, Jing SW, Hu WN
An antiproliferative gene FLNA regulates migration and invasion of gastric carcinoma cell in vitro and its clinical significance.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(3):2641-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to analyze the expression and clinical significance of filamin A (FLNA) in gastric carcinoma and the biological effect in its cell line by FLNA overexpression. Immunohistochemistry and western blot were used to analyze FLNA protein expression in 47 cases of gastric cancer and 47 cases of normal tissues to study the relationship between FLNA expression and clinical factors. FLNA lentiviral vector and empty vector were respectively transfected into gastric cancer SGC-7901 cell line. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot were used to detect the mRNA level and protein of FLNA. 3-[4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and migration and invasion assays were also conducted to determine the influence of the upregulated expression of FLNA that might be found on SGC-7901 cell biological effect. Immunohistochemistry: The level of FLNA protein expression was found to be significantly lower in gastric cancer tissue than normal tissues (P < 0.05). Western blot: The relative amount of FLNA protein in gastric cancer tissue was found to be significantly lower than in normal tissues (P < 0.05). The level of FLNA protein expression was not correlated with gender, age, and tumor invasion (P > 0.05), but it was correlated with lymph node metastasis, clinic stage, and histological grade (P < 0.05). Loss of FLNA expression correlated significantly with poor overall survival time by Kaplan-Meier analysis (P < 0.05). The result of biological function showed that SGC-7901 cell transfected FLNA had a lower survival fraction, significant decrease in migration and invasion, and lower matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) protein expression compared with SGC-7901 cell untransfected FLNA (P < 0.05). FLNA expression decreased in gastric cancer and correlated significantly with lymph node metastasis, clinic stage, histological grade, and poor overall survival, suggesting that FLNA may play important roles as a negative regulator to gastric cancer SGC-7901 cell by promoting degradation of MMP-9.

Hwang S, Mahadevan S, Qadir F, et al.
Identification of FOXM1-induced epigenetic markers for head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
Cancer. 2013; 119(24):4249-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epigenetic reprogramming of the methylome has been implicated in all stages of cancer evolution. It is now well accepted that cancer cells exploit epigenetic reprogramming, a mechanism that regulates stem/progenitor cell renewal and differentiation, to promote cancer initiation and progression. The oncogene FOXM1 has been implicated in all major forms of human cancer.
METHODS: We have recently shown that aberrant upregulation of FOXM1 orchestrated a DNA methylation signature that mimics the cancer methylome landscape, from which we have identified a number of FOXM1-induced epigenetic markers. Differential promoter methylation and gene expression in clinical specimens were measured using commercially available bisulfite conversion kits and absolute quantitative PCR, respectively.
RESULTS: Here, we investigated 8 FOXM1-induced differentially methylated genes, SPCS1, FLNA, CHPF, GLT8D1, C6orf136, MGAT1, NDUFA10, and PAFAH1B3, using human head and neck tissue specimens donated by 2 geographically independent patient cohorts from Norway and the United Kingdom. Two genes (GLT8D1 and C6orf136) were found to be differentially expressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs). Using methylation-specific quantitative PCR, we confirmed that the promoters of GLT8D1 and C6orf136 were hypo- and hypermethylated, respectively, in HNSCC tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: Given that epigenetic change precedes gene expression, methylation status of candidate genes identified from this study may represent a signature of premalignancy, rendering them potentially useful predictive biomarkers for precancer screening and/or therapeutic targets for cancer prevention.

Zhao H, Jin G, Cui K, et al.
Novel modeling of cancer cell signaling pathways enables systematic drug repositioning for distinct breast cancer metastases.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(20):6149-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A new type of signaling network element, called cancer signaling bridges (CSB), has been shown to have the potential for systematic and fast-tracked drug repositioning. On the basis of CSBs, we developed a computational model to derive specific downstream signaling pathways that reveal previously unknown target-disease connections and new mechanisms for specific cancer subtypes. The model enables us to reposition drugs based on available patient gene expression data. We applied this model to repurpose known or shelved drugs for brain, lung, and bone metastases of breast cancer with the hypothesis that cancer subtypes have their own specific signaling mechanisms. To test the hypothesis, we addressed specific CSBs for each metastasis that satisfy (i) CSB proteins are activated by the maximal number of enriched signaling pathways specific to a given metastasis, and (ii) CSB proteins are involved in the most differential expressed coding genes specific to each breast cancer metastasis. The identified signaling networks for the three types of breast cancer metastases contain 31, 15, and 18 proteins and are used to reposition 15, 9, and 2 drug candidates for the brain, lung, and bone metastases. We conducted both in vitro and in vivo preclinical experiments as well as analysis on patient tumor specimens to evaluate the targets and repositioned drugs. Of special note, we found that the Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, sunitinib and dasatinib, prohibit brain metastases derived from breast cancer, addressing one particularly challenging aspect of this disease.

Fabiani E, Fianchi L, Falconi G, et al.
The BCL2L10 Leu21Arg variant and risk of therapy-related myeloid neoplasms and de novo myelodysplastic syndromes.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2014; 55(7):1538-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (t-MNs) are an increasingly recognized complication in patients previously treated with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy for cancer or autoimmune disease. Single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in genes involved in the cellular pathways of detoxification, DNA repair and apoptosis may modify the individual risk of developing a t-MN. We studied the frequency of the SNVs of six genes involved in xenobiotic detoxification (CYP3A4, NQO1, GSTA1, GSTM1, GSTP1 and GSTT1), two DNA repair genes (RAD51 and XRCC3) and one key regulator of apoptosis (BCL2L10) in a case-control study including 111 cases of t-MN and 259 controls. This is the first report on the prevalence of BCL2L10 Leu21Arg polymorphism in myeloid malignancies. In this line, we also tested 146 cases of de novo myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and 109 cases of de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our results showed a significantly lower frequency of the BCL2L10-21Arg allele in patients with t-MN and de novo MDS compared to controls (Leu/Arg + Arg/Arg: 50.6% vs. 65.9%, p = 0.017 and 45.8% vs. 65.9%, p = 0.0003, respectively). Carriers of the BCL2L10-21Arg variant have a reduced risk of developing t-MN and de novo MDS.

Chen Y, Wang L, Xu H, et al.
Exome capture sequencing reveals new insights into hepatitis B virus-induced hepatocellular carcinoma at the early stage of tumorigenesis.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(4):1906-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, is the third primary cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. The molecular mechanisms underlying the initiation and formation of HCC remain obscure. In the present study, we performed exome sequencing using tumor and normal tissues from 3 hepatitis B virus (HBV)-positive BCLC stage A HCC patients. Bioinformatic analysis was performed to find candidate protein-altering somatic mutations. Eighty damaging mutations were validated and 59 genes were reported to be mutated in HBV-related HCCs for the first time here. Further analysis using whole genome sequencing (WGS) data of 88 HBV-related HCC patients from the European Genome-phenome Archive database showed that mutations in 33 of the 59 genes were also detected in other samples. Variants of two newly found genes, ZNF717 and PARP4, were detected in more than 10% of the WGS samples. Several other genes, such as FLNA and CNTN2, are also noteworthy. Thus, the exome sequencing analysis of three BCLC stage A patients provides new insights into the molecular events governing the early steps of HBV-induced HCC tumorigenesis.

Jones LW, Fels DR, West M, et al.
Modulation of circulating angiogenic factors and tumor biology by aerobic training in breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013; 6(9):925-37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aerobic exercise training (AET) is an effective adjunct therapy to attenuate the adverse side-effects of adjuvant chemotherapy in women with early breast cancer. Whether AET interacts with the antitumor efficacy of chemotherapy has received scant attention. We carried out a pilot study to explore the effects of AET in combination with neoadjuvant doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide (AC+AET), relative to AC alone, on: (i) host physiology [exercise capacity (VO2 peak), brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (BA-FMD)], (ii) host-related circulating factors [circulating endothelial progenitor cells (CEP) cytokines and angiogenic factors (CAF)], and (iii) tumor phenotype [tumor blood flow ((15)O-water PET), tissue markers (hypoxia and proliferation), and gene expression] in 20 women with operable breast cancer. AET consisted of three supervised cycle ergometry sessions/week at 60% to 100% of VO2 peak, 30 to 45 min/session, for 12 weeks. There was significant time × group interactions for VO2 peak and BA-FMD, favoring the AC+AET group (P < 0.001 and P = 0.07, respectively). These changes were accompanied by significant time × group interactions in CEPs and select CAFs [placenta growth factor, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-2], also favoring the AC+AET group (P < 0.05). (15)O-water positron emission tomography (PET) imaging revealed a 38% decrease in tumor blood flow in the AC+AET group. There were no differences in any tumor tissue markers (P > 0.05). Whole-genome microarray tumor analysis revealed significant differential modulation of 57 pathways (P < 0.01), including many that converge on NF-κB. Data from this exploratory study provide initial evidence that AET can modulate several host- and tumor-related pathways during standard chemotherapy. The biologic and clinical implications remain to be determined.

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