Gene Summary

Gene:GRB7; growth factor receptor bound protein 7
Summary:The product of this gene belongs to a small family of adapter proteins that are known to interact with a number of receptor tyrosine kinases and signaling molecules. This gene encodes a growth factor receptor-binding protein that interacts with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and ephrin receptors. The protein plays a role in the integrin signaling pathway and cell migration by binding with focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Several transcript variants encoding two different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jun 2011]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:growth factor receptor-bound protein 7
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


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

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 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.

  • Trastuzumab
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Tamoxifen
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Up-Regulation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Messenger RNA
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Receptor, erbB-2
  • Phosphorylation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Base Sequence
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Testis
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Somatostatin
  • Genome, Human
  • Transfection
  • Gene Dosage
  • Breast Cancer
  • GRB7 Adaptor Protein
  • GRB7
  • Gene Amplification
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Recurrence
  • ERBB2
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Chromosome 17
  • Genomics
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • RNA Interference
  • Survival Rate
  • Gene Expression
  • Staging
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Proteins
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

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: GRB7 (cancer-related)

Hechtman JF, Zehir A, Yaeger R, et al.
Identification of Targetable Kinase Alterations in Patients with Colorectal Carcinoma That are Preferentially Associated with Wild-Type RAS/RAF.
Mol Cancer Res. 2016; 14(3):296-301 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Targeted therapy for metastatic colorectal carcinoma consists of anti-EGFR therapy for patients with RAS/RAF wild-type tumors. However, the response rate remains low, suggesting the presence of alternative drivers possibly also representing potential therapeutic targets. We investigated receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) alterations and MAP2K1 (MEK1) mutations in a large cohort of colorectal carcinoma patients studied by Memorial Sloan Kettering-Integrated Mutation Profiling of Actionable Cancer Targets and The Cancer Genome Atlas, focusing on amplifications, fusions, and hotspot mutations in RTK genes and MAP2K1. RTK gene amplifications were confirmed with FISH and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. Among 751 colorectal carcinoma cases with next-generation sequencing data, 7% and 1% of colorectal carcinoma harbored RTK alterations and MAP2K1 hotspot mutations (n = 7), respectively. RTK-altered cases had fewer concurrent RAS/RAF mutations (P = 0.003) than RTK/MAP2K1 wild-type colorectal carcinoma. MAP2K1-mutated colorectal carcinoma showed no RAS/RAF mutations. ERBB2 (n = 32) and EGFR (n = 13) were the most frequently altered RTKs, both activated by amplification and/or hotspot mutations. Three RTK fusions were identified: NCOA4-RET, ERBB2-GRB7, and ETV6-NTRK3. Only 1 of 6 patients with an RTK or MAP2K1 alteration who received anti-EGFR and/or anti-ERBB2 therapy demonstrated stable disease; the rest progressed immediately. Overall, RTK alterations and MAP2K1 mutations occur in approximately 8% of colorectal carcinoma. In spite of the usual absence of RAS/RAF mutations, response to anti-EGFR and/or anti-ERBB2 therapy was poor in this limited group. Larger studies are warranted to further define these kinase alterations as novel therapeutic targets in colorectal carcinoma and as negative predictors of response to anti-EGFR therapy.
IMPLICATIONS: Targetable kinase alterations were identified in a subset of advanced colorectal carcinoma patients, preferentially associated with wild-type RAS/RAF, and may predict poor response to standard anti-EGFR therapy.

Zeng M, Yang Z, Hu X, et al.
Grb7 gene amplification and protein expression by FISH and IHC in ovarian cancer.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(9):11296-304 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Overexpression of growth factor receptor-bound protein 7 (Grb7) has been found in numerous human cancers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between Grb7 gene amplification and protein expression in ovarian cancer (OC).
METHODS: We use Tissue Microarray (TMA) respectively to detect the gene amplification and protein expression of Grb7 in 90 cases OC and 10 control specimens of normal ovarian tissues by IHC and FISH.
RESULTS: The Grb7 protein expression by IHC analysis was observed in 52/90 (57.8%) OC with 3 cases (3.3%) scored 3(+) and 9 cases (10%) scored 2(+) Grb7 gene amplification by FISH analysis was successfully detectable in 6 specimens with a positive rate of 6.8% (6/88) in which immunostaining 3(+), 2(+) and negative (1(+)/0) expressions of Grb7 were 100.0% (3/3), 11.1% (1/9) and 2.6% (2/76), respectively. Our data exhibited that the IHC and FISH results had a good consistency between Grb7 gene amplification and Grb7 protein expression (Kappa = 0.651, P < 0.001). Both the results of IHC and FISH revealed that Grb7 did not seem to have a role in OC clinicopathology.
CONCLUSION: There is a close relationship between Grb7 gene amplification and GRB7 protein overexpression in human OC. IHC might have limited diagnostic value especially in these tumors and especially in characterizing genetically diverse borderline cases, FISH could be superior to IHC.

Sawada G, Niida A, Hirata H, et al.
An Integrative Analysis to Identify Driver Genes in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0139808 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Few driver genes have been well established in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Identification of the genomic aberrations that contribute to changes in gene expression profiles can be used to predict driver genes.
METHODS: We searched for driver genes in ESCC by integrative analysis of gene expression microarray profiles and copy number data. To narrow down candidate genes, we performed survival analysis on expression data and tested the genetic vulnerability of each genes using public RNAi screening data. We confirmed the results by performing RNAi experiments and evaluating the clinical relevance of candidate genes in an independent ESCC cohort.
RESULTS: We found 10 significantly recurrent copy number alterations accompanying gene expression changes, including loci 11q13.2, 7p11.2, 3q26.33, and 17q12, which harbored CCND1, EGFR, SOX2, and ERBB2, respectively. Analysis of survival data and RNAi screening data suggested that GRB7, located on 17q12, was a driver gene in ESCC. In ESCC cell lines harboring 17q12 amplification, knockdown of GRB7 reduced the proliferation, migration, and invasion capacities of cells. Moreover, siRNA targeting GRB7 had a synergistic inhibitory effect when combined with trastuzumab, an anti-ERBB2 antibody. Survival analysis of the independent cohort also showed that high GRB7 expression was associated with poor prognosis in ESCC.
CONCLUSION: Our integrative analysis provided important insights into ESCC pathogenesis. We identified GRB7 as a novel ESCC driver gene and potential new therapeutic target.

Arnold A, Bahra M, Lenze D, et al.
Genome wide DNA copy number analysis in cholangiocarcinoma using high resolution molecular inversion probe single nucleotide polymorphism assay.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2015; 99(2):344-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
In order to study molecular similarities and differences of intrahepatic (IH-CCA) and extrahepatic (EH-CCA) cholangiocarcinoma, 24 FFPE tumor samples (13 IH-CCA, 11 EH-CCA) were analyzed for whole genome copy number variations (CNVs) using a new high-density Molecular Inversion Probe Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (MIP SNP) assay. Common in both tumor subtypes the most frequent losses were detected on chromosome 1p, 3p, 6q and 9 while gains were mostly seen in 1q, 8q as well as complete chromosome 17 and 20. Applying the statistical GISTIC (Genomic Identification of Significant Targets in Cancer) tool we identified potential novel candidate tumor suppressor- (DBC1, FHIT, PPP2R2A) and oncogenes (LYN, FGF19, GRB7, PTPN1) within these regions of chromosomal instability. Next to common aberrations in IH-CCA and EH-CCA, we additionally found significant differences in copy number variations on chromosome 3 and 14. Moreover, due to the fact that mutations in the Isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH-1 and IDH-2) genes are more frequent in our IH-CCA than in our EH-CCA samples, we suggest that the tumor subtypes have a different molecular profile. In conclusion, new possible target genes within regions of high significant copy number aberrations were detected using a high-density Molecular Inversion Probe Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (MIP SNP) assay, which opens a future perspective of fast routine copy number and marker gene identification for gene targeted therapy.

Lacle MM, Moelans CB, Kornegoor R, et al.
Chromosome 17 copy number changes in male breast cancer.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2015; 38(3):237-45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Overall, HER2-amplified female breast cancer (FBC) is associated with a high grade, an aggressive phenotype and a poor prognosis. In male breast cancer (MBC) amplification of HER2, located on chromosome 17, occurs at a lower frequency than in FBC, where it is part of complex rearrangements. So far, only few studies have addressed the occurrence of chromosome 17 alterations in small MBC cohorts.
METHODS: Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were used to detect and characterize copy number changes on chromosome 17 in a cohort of 139 MBC. The results obtained were compared to those in FBC, and were correlated with clinicopathological features and patient outcome data.
RESULTS: We observed a lower frequency of chromosome 17 copy number changes with less complex rearrangement patterns in MBC compared to FBC. Chromosome 17 changes in MBC included gains of 17q and losses of 17p. Whole chromosome 17 polyploidies were not encountered. Two recurrent chromosome 17 amplicons were detected: on 17q12 (encompassing the NEUROD2, HER2, GRB7 and IKZF3 gens) and on 17q23.1 (encompassing the MIR21 and RPS6KB1 genes). Whole arm copy number gains of 17q were associated with decreased 5 year survival rates (p = 0.010). Amplification of HER2 was associated with a high tumor grade, but did not predict patient survival. Although copy number gains of HER2 and NEUROD2 were associated with a high tumor grade, a high mitotic count and a decreased 5 year survival rate (p = 0.015), only tumor size and NEUROD2 copy number gains emerged as independent prognostic factors.
CONCLUSIONS: In MBC chromosome 17 shows less complex rearrangements and fewer copy number changes compared to FBC. Frequent gains of 17q, encompassing two distinct amplicons, and losses of 17p were observed, but no whole chromosome 17 polyploidies. Only NEUROD2 gains seem to have an independent prognostic impact. These results suggest different roles of chromosome 17 aberrations in male versus female breast carcinogenesis.

Murray JC, Aldeghaither D, Wang S, et al.
c-Abl modulates tumor cell sensitivity to antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2014; 2(12):1186-98 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) can modulate cancer cell signal transduction and recruit antitumor immune effector mechanisms-including antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Although several clinically effective antibodies can promote ADCC, therapeutic resistance is common. We hypothesized that oncogenic signaling networks within tumor cells affect their sensitivity to ADCC. We developed a screening platform and targeted 60 genes derived from an EGFR gene network using RNAi in an in vitro ADCC model system. Knockdown of GRB7, PRKCE, and ABL1 enhanced ADCC by primary and secondary screens. ABL1 knockdown also reduced cell proliferation, independent of its ADCC enhancement effects. c-Abl overexpression decreased ADCC sensitivity and rescued the effects of ABL1 knockdown. Imatinib inhibition of c-Abl kinase activity also enhanced ADCC-phenocopying ABL1 knockdown-against several EGFR-expressing head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines by ex vivo primary natural killer cells. Our findings suggest that combining c-Abl inhibition with ADCC-promoting antibodies, such as cetuximab, could translate into increased therapeutic efficacy of mAbs.

Darweesh AS, Louka ML, Hana M, et al.
Validation of analytical breast cancer microarray analysis in medical laboratory.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(10):201 [PubMed] Related Publications
A previously reported microarray data analysis by RISS algorithm on breast cancer showed over-expression of the growth factor receptor (Grb7) and it also highlighted Tweety (TTYH1) gene to be under expressed in breast cancer for the first time. Our aim was to validate the results obtained from the microarray analysis with respect to these genes. Also, the relationship between their expression and the different prognostic indicators was addressed. RNA was extracted from the breast tissue of 30 patients with primary malignant breast cancer. Control samples from the same patients were harvested at a distance of ≥5 cm from the tumour. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis was done on all samples. There was a significant difference between the malignant and control tissues as regards Grb7 expression. It was significantly related to the presence of lymph node metastasis, stage and histological grade of the malignant tumours. There was a significant inverse relation between expression of Grb7 and expression of both oestrogen and progesterone receptors. Grb7 was found to be significantly related to the biological classification of breast cancer. TTYH1 was not expressed in either the malignant or the control samples. The RISS by our group algorithm developed was laboratory validated for Grb7, but not for TTYH1. The newly developed software tool needs to be improved.

Chen Y, McGee J, Chen X, et al.
Identification of druggable cancer driver genes amplified across TCGA datasets.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e98293 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) projects have advanced our understanding of the driver mutations, genetic backgrounds, and key pathways activated across cancer types. Analysis of TCGA datasets have mostly focused on somatic mutations and translocations, with less emphasis placed on gene amplifications. Here we describe a bioinformatics screening strategy to identify putative cancer driver genes amplified across TCGA datasets. We carried out GISTIC2 analysis of TCGA datasets spanning 16 cancer subtypes and identified 486 genes that were amplified in two or more datasets. The list was narrowed to 75 cancer-associated genes with potential "druggable" properties. The majority of the genes were localized to 14 amplicons spread across the genome. To identify potential cancer driver genes, we analyzed gene copy number and mRNA expression data from individual patient samples and identified 42 putative cancer driver genes linked to diverse oncogenic processes. Oncogenic activity was further validated by siRNA/shRNA knockdown and by referencing the Project Achilles datasets. The amplified genes represented a number of gene families, including epigenetic regulators, cell cycle-associated genes, DNA damage response/repair genes, metabolic regulators, and genes linked to the Wnt, Notch, Hedgehog, JAK/STAT, NF-KB and MAPK signaling pathways. Among the 42 putative driver genes were known driver genes, such as EGFR, ERBB2 and PIK3CA. Wild-type KRAS was amplified in several cancer types, and KRAS-amplified cancer cell lines were most sensitive to KRAS shRNA, suggesting that KRAS amplification was an independent oncogenic event. A number of MAP kinase adapters were co-amplified with their receptor tyrosine kinases, such as the FGFR adapter FRS2 and the EGFR family adapters GRB2 and GRB7. The ubiquitin-like ligase DCUN1D1 and the histone methyltransferase NSD3 were also identified as novel putative cancer driver genes. We discuss the patient tailoring implications for existing cancer drug targets and we further discuss potential novel opportunities for drug discovery efforts.

Lim RC, Price JT, Wilce JA
Context-dependent role of Grb7 in HER2+ve and triple-negative breast cancer cell lines.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 143(3):593-603 [PubMed] Related Publications
Grb7 is an adapter protein, aberrantly co-overexpressed with HER2 and identified as an independent prognostic marker in breast cancer. It has been established that Grb7 exacerbates the cellular growth and migratory behaviour of HER2+ve breast cancer cells. Less is known about Grb7's role in the context of HER2-ve cells. Here we directly compare the effect of stable Grb7 knockdown in oestrogen sensitive (T47D), HER2+ve (SKBR3) and triple-negative (MDA-MB-468 and MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cell lines on anchorage dependent and independent cell growth, wound healing and chemotaxis. All cell lines showed reduced ability to migrate upon Grb7 knockdown, despite their greatly varied endogenous levels of Grb7. Decreased cell proliferation was not observed in any of the cell lines upon Grb7 knockdown; however, decreased ability to form colonies was observed for all but the oestrogen sensitive cell line, depending upon the stringency of the growth conditions. The data reveal that Grb7 plays an important role in breast cancer progression, beyond the context of HER2+ve cell types.

Qiu Y, Zhang ZY, Du WD, et al.
Association analysis of ERBB2 amplicon genetic polymorphisms and STARD3 expression with risk of gastric cancer in the Chinese population.
Gene. 2014; 535(2):225-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether risk of gastric cancer (GC) was associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a gene cluster on the chromosome 17q12-q21 (ERBB2 amplicon) in the Chinese Han population. We detected twenty-six SNPs in this gene cluster containing steroidogenic acute regulatory-related lipid transfer domain containing 3 (STARD3), protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 1B (PPP1R1B/DARPP32), titin-cap (TCAP), per1-like domain containing 1(PERLD1/CAB2), human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (ERBB2/HER2), zinc-finger protein subfamily 1A 3 (ZNFN1A3/IKZF3) and DNA topoisomerase 2-alpha (TOP2A) genes in 311 patients with GC and in 425 controls by Sequenom. We found no associations between genetic variations and GC risk. However, haplotype analysis implied that the haplotype CCCT of STARD3 (rs9972882, rs881844, rs11869286 and rs1877031) conferred a protective effect on the susceptibility to GC (P=0.043, odds ratio [OR]=0.805, 95% confidence intervals [95% CI]=0.643-0.992). The STARD3 rs1877031 TC genotype endued histogenesis of gastric mucinous adenocarcinoma and signet-ring cell carcinoma (P=0.021, OR=2.882, 95% CI=1.173-7.084). We examined the expression of STARD3 in 243 tumor tissues out of the 311 GC patients and 20 adjacent normal gastric tissues using immumohistochemical (IHC) analysis and tissue microarrays (TMA). The expression of STARD3 was observed in the gastric parietal cells and in gastric tumor tissues and significantly correlated with gender (P=0.004), alcohol drinking (P<0.001), tumor location (P=0.007), histological type (P=0.005) and differentiation (P=0.023) in GC. We concluded that the combined effect of haplotype CCCT of STARD3 might affect GC susceptibility. STARD3 expression might be related to the tumorigenesis of GC in the Chinese population.

Pogue-Geile KL, Kim C, Jeong JH, et al.
Predicting degree of benefit from adjuvant trastuzumab in NSABP trial B-31.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013; 105(23):1782-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) trial B-31 suggested the efficacy of adjuvant trastuzumab, even in HER2-negative breast cancer. This finding prompted us to develop a predictive model for degree of benefit from trastuzumab using archived tumor blocks from B-31.
METHODS: Case subjects with tumor blocks were randomly divided into discovery (n = 588) and confirmation cohorts (n = 991). A predictive model was built from the discovery cohort through gene expression profiling of 462 genes with nCounter assay. A predefined cut point for the predictive model was tested in the confirmation cohort. Gene-by-treatment interaction was tested with Cox models, and correlations between variables were assessed with Spearman correlation. Principal component analysis was performed on the final set of selected genes. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: Eight predictive genes associated with HER2 (ERBB2, c17orf37, GRB7) or ER (ESR1, NAT1, GATA3, CA12, IGF1R) were selected for model building. Three-dimensional subset treatment effect pattern plot using two principal components of these genes was used to identify a subset with no benefit from trastuzumab, characterized by intermediate-level ERBB2 and high-level ESR1 mRNA expression. In the confirmation set, the predefined cut points for this model classified patients into three subsets with differential benefit from trastuzumab with hazard ratios of 1.58 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.67 to 3.69; P = .29; n = 100), 0.60 (95% CI = 0.41 to 0.89; P = .01; n = 449), and 0.28 (95% CI = 0.20 to 0.41; P < .001; n = 442; P(interaction) between the model and trastuzumab < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: We developed a gene expression-based predictive model for degree of benefit from trastuzumab and demonstrated that HER2-negative tumors belong to the moderate benefit group, thus providing justification for testing trastuzumab in HER2-negative patients (NSABP B-47).

Johansson I, Ringnér M, Hedenfalk I
The landscape of candidate driver genes differs between male and female breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e78299 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The rapidly growing collection of diverse genome-scale data from multiple tumor types sheds light on various aspects of the underlying tumor biology. With the objective to identify genes of importance for breast tumorigenesis in men and to enable comparisons with genes important for breast cancer development in women, we applied the computational framework COpy Number and EXpression In Cancer (CONEXIC) to detect candidate driver genes among all altered passenger genes. Unique to this approach is that each driver gene is associated with several gene modules that are believed to be altered by the driver. Thirty candidate drivers were found in the male breast cancers and 67 in the female breast cancers. We identified many known drivers of breast cancer and other types of cancer, in the female dataset (e.g. GATA3, CCNE1, GRB7, CDK4). In contrast, only three known cancer genes were found among male breast cancers; MAP2K4, LHP, and ZNF217. Many of the candidate drivers identified are known to be involved in processes associated with tumorigenesis, including proliferation, invasion and differentiation. One of the modules identified in male breast cancer was regulated by THY1, a gene involved in invasion and related to epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, men with THY1 positive breast cancers had significantly inferior survival. THY1 may thus be a promising novel prognostic marker for male breast cancer. Another module identified among male breast cancers, regulated by SPAG5, was closely associated with proliferation. Our data indicate that male and female breast cancers display highly different landscapes of candidate driver genes, as only a few genes were found in common between the two. Consequently, the pathobiology of male breast cancer may differ from that of female breast cancer and can be associated with differences in prognosis; men diagnosed with breast cancer may consequently require different management and treatment strategies than women.

Mahmood SF, Gruel N, Chapeaublanc E, et al.
A siRNA screen identifies RAD21, EIF3H, CHRAC1 and TANC2 as driver genes within the 8q23, 8q24.3 and 17q23 amplicons in breast cancer with effects on cell growth, survival and transformation.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(3):670-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
RNA interference has boosted the field of functional genomics, by making it possible to carry out 'loss-of-function' screens in cultured cells. Here, we performed a small interfering RNA screening, in three breast cancer cell lines, for 101 candidate driver genes overexpressed in amplified breast tumors and belonging to eight amplicons on chromosomes 8q and 17q, investigating their role in cell survival/proliferation. This screening identified eight driver genes that were amplified, overexpressed and critical for breast tumor cell proliferation or survival. They included the well-described oncogenic driver genes for the 17q12 amplicon, ERBB2 and GRB7. Four of six other candidate driver genes-RAD21 and EIF3H, both on chromosome 8q23, CHRAC1 on chromosome 8q24.3 and TANC2 on chromosome 17q23-were confirmed to be driver genes regulating the proliferation/survival of clonogenic breast cancer cells presenting an amplification of the corresponding region. Indeed, knockdown of the expression of these genes decreased cell viability, through both cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction, and inhibited the formation of colonies in anchorage-independent conditions, in soft agar. Strategies for inhibiting the expression of these genes or the function of the proteins they encode are therefore of potential value for the treatment of breast cancers presenting amplifications of the corresponding genomic region.

Montemurro F, Prat A, Rossi V, et al.
Potential biomarkers of long-term benefit from single-agent trastuzumab or lapatinib in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.
Mol Oncol. 2014; 8(1):20-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
In 2009 a prospective, randomized Phase II trial (NCT00842998) was initiated to evaluate the activity of HER2-targeting agents without chemotherapy (CT) in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. The primary tumors of the patients enrolled in this study offered a unique opportunity to identify biomarkers that could predict durable clinical benefit from CT-free anti-HER2 therapy. Patients with HER2-positive MBC were randomized to trastuzumab or lapatinib as first-line therapy. CT was added to anti-HER2 therapy in patients failing to achieve tumor regression at the 8-week evaluation and in those progressing at any time. Expression analysis of 105 selected genes was performed from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary tumor samples. The research-based PAM50 intrinsic subtypes were also identified. Additionally, quantitative HER2 (H2T) and p95HER2 (p95) protein expression were evaluated by HERmark® and VeraTag® assay, respectively. Predictors of persistence on protocol (PP) were studied by Cox univariate and multivariate analysis. Nineteen patients were enrolled. Median overall survival was 43 months and median PP was 3.8 months (0.8-38.8+), with 4 patients (21.1%) persisting on single agent trastuzumab or lapatinib for longer than 12 mo (14.9-38.8 + mo). Seventeen patients were evaluable for PP. Gene expression analysis revealed that high expression of the 17q12-21 amplicon genes HER2 and GRB7, and the PAM50 HER2-enriched intrinsic profile, were significantly associated with longer PP. Conversely, high expression of luminal-related genes such as PGR, MDM2 or PIK3CA, or the PAM50 luminal intrinsic profile correlated with reduced PP. Moreover, increasing H2T/p95 ratio was found to be significantly associated with longer PP (HR 0.56 per 2-fold increase in H2T/p95, P = 0.0015). Our data suggest that patients belonging to the "HER2-enriched" subtype and/or having high H2T/p95 protein expression ratio are exquisitely sensitive to anti-HER2 agents. MBC patients with these tumors could be candidates for studies aimed at establishing chemotherapy-free regimens.

Bose R
A neu view of invasive lobular breast cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(13):3331-3 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome sequencing of relapsed, invasive lobular breast cancer identified actionable mutations in 86% of the cases. HER2 alterations occur in 27% of the cases, including 4 cases with activating HER2 mutations and 1 with a novel HER2-GRB7 gene fusion. This fusion links the HER2 tyrosine kinase domain to the GRB7 src homology 2 (SH2) domain.

Zhang EY, Cristofanilli M, Robertson F, et al.
Genome wide proteomics of ERBB2 and EGFR and other oncogenic pathways in inflammatory breast cancer.
J Proteome Res. 2013; 12(6):2805-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In this study we selected three breast cancer cell lines (SKBR3, SUM149 and SUM190) with different oncogene expression levels involved in ERBB2 and EGFR signaling pathways as a model system for the evaluation of selective integration of subsets of transcriptomic and proteomic data. We assessed the oncogene status with reads per kilobase per million mapped reads (RPKM) values for ERBB2 (14.4, 400, and 300 for SUM149, SUM190, and SKBR3, respectively) and for EGFR (60.1, not detected, and 1.4 for the same 3 cell lines). We then used RNA-Seq data to identify those oncogenes with significant transcript levels in these cell lines (total 31) and interrogated the corresponding proteomics data sets for proteins with significant interaction values with these oncogenes. The number of observed interactors for each oncogene showed a significant range, e.g., 4.2% (JAK1) to 27.3% (MYC). The percentage is measured as a fraction of the total protein interactions in a given data set vs total interactors for that oncogene in STRING (Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes/Proteins, version 9.0) and I2D (Interologous Interaction Database, version 1.95). This approach allowed us to focus on 4 main oncogenes, ERBB2, EGFR, MYC, and GRB2, for pathway analysis. We used bioinformatics sites GeneGo, PathwayCommons and NCI receptor signaling networks to identify pathways that contained the four main oncogenes and had good coverage in the transcriptomic and proteomic data sets as well as a significant number of oncogene interactors. The four pathways identified were ERBB signaling, EGFR1 signaling, integrin outside-in signaling, and validated targets of C-MYC transcriptional activation. The greater dynamic range of the RNA-Seq values allowed the use of transcript ratios to correlate observed protein values with the relative levels of the ERBB2 and EGFR transcripts in each of the four pathways. This provided us with potential proteomic signatures for the SUM149 and 190 cell lines, growth factor receptor-bound protein 7 (GRB7), Crk-like protein (CRKL) and Catenin delta-1 (CTNND1) for ERBB signaling; caveolin 1 (CAV1), plectin (PLEC) for EGFR signaling; filamin A (FLNA) and actinin alpha1 (ACTN1) (associated with high levels of EGFR transcript) for integrin signalings; branched chain amino-acid transaminase 1 (BCAT1), carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase (CAD), nucleolin (NCL) (high levels of EGFR transcript); transferrin receptor (TFRC), metadherin (MTDH) (high levels of ERBB2 transcript) for MYC signaling; S100-A2 protein (S100A2), caveolin 1 (CAV1), Serpin B5 (SERPINB5), stratifin (SFN), PYD and CARD domain containing (PYCARD), and EPH receptor A2 (EPHA2) for PI3K signaling, p53 subpathway. Future studies of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), from which the cell lines were derived, will be used to explore the significance of these observations.

Jacot W, Fiche M, Zaman K, et al.
The HER2 amplicon in breast cancer: Topoisomerase IIA and beyond.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1836(1):146-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
HER2 gene amplification is observed in about 15% of breast cancers. The subgroup of HER2-positive breast cancers appears to be heterogeneous and presents complex patterns of gene amplification at the locus on chromosome 17q12-21. The molecular variations within the chromosome 17q amplicon and their clinical implications remain largely unknown. Besides the well-known TOP2A gene encoding Topoisomerase IIA, other genes might also be amplified and could play functional roles in breast cancer development and progression. This review will focus on the current knowledge concerning the HER2 amplicon heterogeneity, its clinical and biological impact and the pitfalls associated with the evaluation of gene amplifications at this locus, with particular attention to TOP2A and the link between TOP2A and anthracycline benefit. In addition it will discuss the clinical and biological implications of the amplification of ten other genes at this locus (MED1, STARD3, GRB7, THRA, RARA, IGFPB4, CCR7, KRT20, KRT19 and GAST) in breast cancer.

Bravatà V, Cammarata FP, Forte GI, Minafra L
"Omics" of HER2-positive breast cancer.
OMICS. 2013; 17(3):119-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
HER2/neu amplification/overexpression is the only somatic mutation widely considered to be a marker of disease outcome and response to treatment in breast cancer. Pathologists have made large efforts to achieve accuracy in characterizing HER2/neu status. The introduction of transtuzumab contributed to development of additional measures to identify sensitive and resistant subclasses of HER2/neu-positive tumors. In this article, we describe the latest advances in HER2/neu status diagnostic assessment and the most relevant research emerging from "Omics" (genomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, and proteomics) studies on HER2/neu-positive breast cancer. A large quantity of biomarkers from different studies highlighted HER2/neu-positive specific proliferation, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis mechanisms, as well as immunological and metabolic behavior. Major driver genes of tumor progression have had a candidate status (GRB7, MYC, CCND1, EGFR, etc.), even though the main role for HER2/neu is largely recognized. Nonetheless, existing omics data and HER2/neu-positive molecular profiles seem to suggest that few proteogenomic alterations in HER2, EGFR, and PI3K networks could significantly affect the effectiveness of transtuzumab. The systematic search of molecular alterations in and across these pathways can help to select the most appropriate drug for a given patient based on in-depth understanding of complexity in tumor biology.

Sahlberg KK, Hongisto V, Edgren H, et al.
The HER2 amplicon includes several genes required for the growth and survival of HER2 positive breast cancer cells.
Mol Oncol. 2013; 7(3):392-401 [PubMed] Related Publications
About 20% of breast cancers are characterized by amplification and overexpression of the HER2 oncogene. Although significant progress has been achieved for treating such patients with HER2 inhibitor trastuzumab, more than half of the patients respond poorly or become resistant to the treatment. Since the HER2 amplicon at 17q12 contains multiple genes, we have systematically explored the role of the HER2 co-amplified genes in breast cancer cell growth and their relation to trastuzumab resistance. We integrated aCGH data of the HER2 amplicon from 71 HER2 positive breast tumors and 10 cell lines with systematic functional RNA interference analysis of 23 core amplicon genes with several phenotypic endpoints in a panel of trastuzumab responding and non-responding HER2 positive breast cancer cells. Silencing of HER2 caused a greater growth arrest and apoptosis in the responding compared to the non-responding cell lines, indicating that the resistant cells are inherently less dependent on the HER2 pathway. Several other genes in the amplicon also showed a more pronounced effect when silenced; indicating that expression of HER2 co-amplified genes may be needed to sustain the growth of breast cancer cells. Importantly, co-silencing of STARD3, GRB7, PSMD3 and PERLD1 together with HER2 led to an additive inhibition of cell viability as well as induced apoptosis. These studies indicate that breast cancer cells may become addicted to the amplification of several genes that reside in the HER2 amplicon. The simultaneous targeting of these genes may increase the efficacy of the anti-HER2 therapies and possibly also counteract trastuzumab resistance. The observed additive effects seem to culminate to both apoptosis and cell proliferation pathways indicating that these pathways may be interesting targets for combinatorial treatment of HER2+ breast cancers.

Saito M, Kato Y, Ito E, et al.
Expression screening of 17q12-21 amplicon reveals GRB7 as an ERBB2-dependent oncogene.
FEBS Lett. 2012; 586(12):1708-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene amplification is a major genetic alteration in human cancers. Amplicons, amplified genomic regions, are believed to contain "driver" genes responsible for tumorigenesis. However, the significance of co-amplified genes has not been extensively studied. We have established an integrated analysis system of amplicons using retrovirus-mediated gene transfer coupled with a human full-length cDNA set. Applying this system to 17q12-21 amplicon observed in breast cancer, we identified GRB7 as a context-dependent oncogene, which modulates the ERBB2 signaling pathway through enhanced phosphorylation of ERBB2 and Akt. Our work provides an insight into the biological significance of gene amplification in human cancers.

Glynn RW, Miller N, Mahon S, Kerin MJ
Expression levels of HER2/neu and those of collocated genes at 17q12-21, in breast cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2012; 28(1):365-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
HER2/neu is associated with poorer clinical outcome in breast cancer. Expression patterns of co-localised cancer-associated genes at 17q12-21 were examined using RT-PCR. The study group consisted of a 96-patient cohort. Relative quantity of mRNA expression was calculated using the comparative cycle threshold method and Qbase software. Results were analysed to detect expression patterns among the genes, and to identify associations between expression levels and clinical data. Levels of HER2/neu correlated with those of GRB7 (r=0.551, p<0.001), RARA (r=0.391, p<0.001), RPL19 (r=0.549, p<0.001) and LASP1 (r=0.399, p<0.001). GRB7 was significantly inversely associated with improved DFS at 60 months (p=0.036). RARA levels were greater in HER2/neu-positive as opposed to HER2/neu-negative patients (p=0.021); levels were significantly higher in ER-positive patients, relative to those who were ER-negative (p=0.003). Levels of RPL19 were significantly higher in the HER2/neu-overexpressing (p=0.010) and luminal B subtypes (p=0.007). LASP1 levels were higher in those patients who had been classified clinically as HER2/neu-positive (p=0.004). This study reaffirms the correlation between HER2/neu and the co-localised LASP1 and GRB7; the latter target may hold additional significance in addition to being a surrogate marker for HER2/neu expression. The relationship identified between RARA and ER-positivity may herald an avenue for targeted therapy of these tumours.

van Agthoven T, Godinho MF, Wulfkuhle JD, et al.
Protein pathway activation mapping reveals molecular networks associated with antiestrogen resistance in breast cancer cell lines.
Int J Cancer. 2012; 131(9):1998-2007 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previously, we have identified a panel of breast cancer antiestrogen resistance (BCAR) genes. Several of these genes have clinical relevance because mRNA or protein levels associate with tamoxifen resistance or tumor aggressiveness. We postulated that changes in activation status of protein signaling networks induced by BCAR genes may provide better insight into the mechanisms underlying antiestrogen resistance. Key signal transduction pathways were analyzed for changes in activation or expression using reverse-phase protein microarrays probed with 78 antibodies against signaling proteins with known roles in tumorigenesis. We used ZR-75-1-derived cell lines transduced with AKT1, AKT2, BCAR1, BCAR3, BCAR4, EGFR, GRB7, HRAS, HRAS(v12) or HEF1 and MCF7-derived cell lines transduced with BCAR3, BCAR4 or EGFR. In the antiestrogen-resistant cell lines, we observed increased phosphorylation of several pathways involved in cell proliferation and survival. All tamoxifen-resistant cell lines contained high levels of phosphorylated AKT and its biochemically linked substrates Forkhead box O1/3. The activation of ERBB2, ERBB3 and the downstream modulators focal adhesion kinase and SHC were activated in cells with overexpression of BCAR4. Remarkable differences were observed for the levels of activated AMPK alpha1, cyclins, STAT5, STAT6, ERK1/2 and BCL2. The comparison of the cell signaling networks in estrogen-dependent and -independent cell lines revealed biochemically linked kinase-substrate markers that comprised systemically activated signaling pathways involved in tamoxifen resistance. Our results show that this model provides insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of breast cancer progression and antiestrogen resistance. This knowledge may help the development of novel targeted treatments.

Huang F, Xu LA, Khambata-Ford S
Correlation between gene expression of IGF-1R pathway markers and cetuximab benefit in metastatic colorectal cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 18(4):1156-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study examined potential correlations between markers related to the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) pathway and clinical benefit from the anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody cetuximab in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Gene expression profiles for 70 pretreatment specimens from metastatic lesions of patients with chemorefractory mCRC receiving cetuximab monotherapy were analyzed using 74 predefined Gene-Chip probesets representing 33 unique IGF-1R pathway markers to determine correlations with progression-free survival (PFS) and disease control rate.
RESULTS: Higher IGF-1R, higher GRB(7), and lower INSIG(2) expression were associated with longer PFS with cetuximab in univariate analyses, particularly in patients with wild-type K-Ras tumors: median, 122 versus 60 days (P = 0.01), 122 versus 57 days (P = 0.011), and 57 versus 156 days (P < 0.0001), favoring higher IGF-1R, higher GRB(7), and lower INSIG(2) expression, respectively. Lower IGF-1 expression was associated with a PFS benefit with cetuximab, whereas lower IGFBP(3) and INSR expression levels showed trends for a PFS benefit. Lower INSIG(2) expression (vs. higher expression) was associated with greater PFS in the high epiregulin-expressing group (P = 0.001), but not in the low-expressing cohort suggesting an effect independent from the previously reported effect of epiregulin expression. Lower INSIG(2) expression was also associated with higher disease control rate in the overall population (51.4% vs. 11.4%; P = 0.001) and wild-type K-Ras subset (76.2% vs. 18.2%; P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that markers of the IGF-1R pathway may play a role in predicting benefit from cetuximab therapy in mCRC. Additional clinical studies are warranted to validate these findings.

Balogh K, Asa SL, Zheng L, et al.
The insulin resistance Grb14 adaptor protein promotes thyroid cancer ret signaling and progression.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(36):4012-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The growth factor receptor-bound protein (Grb) 14 is an adaptor molecule of the Grb7/10/14 family with characteristic Between Plekstrin and SH2 (BPS) domains serving to avidly bind tyrosine kinases. Grb14 inhibits insulin receptor (IR) catalytic activity through interaction with the BPS domain and impedes peptide substrate binding. Members of this Grb family have also been shown to interact with other kinases through their SH2 domain. Here we examined the functional role of Grb14 in thyroid cancer using loss- and gain-of-function approaches. Stable knockdown of Grb14 in thyroid cancer cells facilitated IR signaling. In contrast, RET phosphorylation was diminished in concert with reduced activation of Akt and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Loss of Grb14 also resulted in diminished cell proliferation and invasion both in vitro and in mouse flank xenografts. In complementary studies, forced expression of Grb14 interrupted IR signaling but facilitated RET activation, STAT3 and Akt phosphorylation. Consistent with these findings Grb14 overexpression enhanced cell invasion and resulted in striking metastases in an orthotopic thyroid cancer mouse xenograft model. Primary human thyroid cancer microarrays revealed a positive correlation between Grb14 expression and invasive behavior. Our findings uncover a new role for Grb14 in finely tuning receptor signaling and modulating thyroid cancer progression.

Chen LH, Kuo WH, Tsai MH, et al.
Identification of prognostic genes for recurrent risk prediction in triple negative breast cancer patients in Taiwan.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(11):e28222 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Discrepancies in the prognosis of triple negative breast cancer exist between Caucasian and Asian populations. Yet, the gene signature of triple negative breast cancer specifically for Asians has not become available. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to construct a prediction model for recurrence of triple negative breast cancer in Taiwanese patients. Whole genome expression profiling of breast cancers from 185 patients in Taiwan from 1995 to 2008 was performed, and the results were compared to the previously published literature to detect differences between Asian and Western patients. Pathway analysis and Cox proportional hazard models were applied to construct a prediction model for the recurrence of triple negative breast cancer. Hierarchical cluster analysis showed that triple negative breast cancers from different races were in separate sub-clusters but grouped in a bigger cluster. Two pathways, cAMP-mediated signaling and ephrin receptor signaling, were significantly associated with the recurrence of triple negative breast cancer. After using stepwise model selection from the combination of the initial filtered genes, we developed a prediction model based on the genes SLC22A23, PRKAG3, DPEP3, MORC2, GRB7, and FAM43A. The model had 91.7% accuracy, 81.8% sensitivity, and 94.6% specificity under leave-one-out support vector regression. In this study, we identified pathways related to triple negative breast cancer and developed a model to predict its recurrence. These results could be used for assisting with clinical prognosis and warrant further investigation into the possibility of targeted therapy of triple negative breast cancer in Taiwanese patients.

Giricz O, Calvo V, Pero SC, et al.
GRB7 is required for triple-negative breast cancer cell invasion and survival.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012; 133(2):607-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease that is usually associated with poor prognosis, and frequently associated with the basal-like breast cancer gene expression profile. There are no targeted therapeutic modalities for this disease, and no useful biomarkers. High GRB7 RNA expression levels are associated with an elevated risk of recurrence in patients with operable TNBC treated with standard adjuvant anthracycline and taxane therapy. To determine whether GRB7 is involved in the pathobiology of TNBC, we evaluated the biological effects of GRB7 inhibition in a panel of triple-negative cell lines-MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-231, HCC70, and T4-2. We found GRB7 inhibition reduced cell motility and invasion of these cell lines and promoted cell death by apoptosis in 3D culture. These data suggest that GRB7 itself, or GRB7-dependent pathways, may prove to be important therapeutic targets in this disease.

Sparano JA, Goldstein LJ, Childs BH, et al.
Relationship between quantitative GRB7 RNA expression and recurrence after adjuvant anthracycline chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(22):7194-203 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To conduct an exploratory analysis of the relationship between gene expression and recurrence in patients with operable triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) treated with adjuvant doxorubicin-containing chemotherapy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: RNA was extracted from archived tumor samples derived from 246 patients with stage I-III TNBC treated with adjuvant doxorubicin-containing chemotherapy, and was analyzed by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR for a panel of 374 genes. The relationship between gene expression and recurrence was evaluated using weighted Cox proportional hazards model score tests.
RESULTS: Growth factor receptor bound protein 7 (GRB7) was the only gene for which higher expression was significantly associated with increased recurrence in TNBC (Korn's adjusted P value = 0.04). In a Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for clinicopathologic features, higher GRB7 expression was associated with an increased recurrence risk (HR = 2.31; P = 0.04 using the median as the split). The 5-year recurrence rates were 10.5% [95% confidence intervals (CI), 7.8-14.1] in the low and 20.4% (95% CI, 16.5-25.0) in the high GRB7 groups. External validation in other datasets indicated that GRB7 expression was not prognostic in two adjuvant trials including variable systemic therapy, but in two other trials showed that high GBR7 expression was associated with resistance to neoadjuvant doxorubicin and taxane therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: GRB7 was associated with an increased risk of recurrence in TNBC, suggesting that GRB7 or GRB7-dependent pathways may serve as potential biomarkers for therapeutic targets. Therapeutic targeting of one or more factors identified which function as interaction nodes or effectors should also be considered.

Yuan Y, Curtis C, Caldas C, Markowetz F
A sparse regulatory network of copy-number driven gene expression reveals putative breast cancer oncogenes.
IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2012 Jul-Aug; 9(4):947-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Copy number aberrations are recognized to be important in cancer as they may localize to regions harboring oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Such genomic alterations mediate phenotypic changes through their impact on expression. Both cis- and transacting alterations are important since they may help to elucidate putative cancer genes. However, amidst numerous passenger genes, trans-effects are less well studied due to the computational difficulty in detecting weak and sparse signals in the data, and yet may influence multiple genes on a global scale. We propose an integrative approach to learn a sparse interaction network of DNA copy-number regions with their downstream transcriptional targets in breast cancer. With respect to goodness of fit on both simulated and real data, the performance of sparse network inference is no worse than other state-of-the-art models but with the advantage of simultaneous feature selection and efficiency. The DNA-RNA interaction network helps to distinguish copy-number driven expression alterations from those that are copy-number independent. Further, our approach yields a quantitative copy-number dependency score, which distinguishes cis- versus trans-effects. When applied to a breast cancer data set, numerous expression profiles were impacted by cis-acting copy-number alterations, including several known oncogenes such as GRB7, ERBB2, and LSM1. Several trans-acting alterations were also identified, impacting genes such as ADAM2 and BAGE, which warrant further investigation.
AVAILABILITY: An R package named lol is available from

Rossi E, Klersy C, Manca R, et al.
Correlation between genomic alterations assessed by array comparative genomic hybridization, prognostically informative histologic subtype, stage, and patient survival in gastric cancer.
Hum Pathol. 2011; 42(12):1937-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is difficult to evaluate the prognostic value of histologic criteria in gastric cancer because of the high variability of morphologic patterns. Recently, histologic subtypes of low, intermediate, or high malignant potential have been identified, providing the basis for a prognostically informative grading system. Because array comparative genomic hybridization systems allow systematic analysis of chromosome alterations, which may be prognostically and pathogenetically informative, we applied high-resolution genome-wide array comparative genomic hybridization to archival material from 81 gastric cancer cases followed for a median of 150 months after surgery. The DNA extracted from paraffin sections gave useful results in 49 tumors, 18 of which were of low-grade, 24 of intermediate, and 7 of high-grade histotypes. Based on the number of chromosome aberrations and the presence/absence of amplifications, 3 tumor clusters of increasing genomic lesion severity were constructed, which proved to correlate significantly with histologic grade and stage as well as with patient survival. Further investigation documented the lower number and severity of genomic alterations in tumors with microsatellite DNA instability and high CD8-rich lymphoid response; the close association of 8p23.1 amplification with cardial cancer; the frequent amplification of genes involved in cell renewal (CDC6, HER2, GRB7, IGFBP4) at 17q12-q21.1, with close histochemical correlation with HER2 membranous expression; and more sporadic amplification of chromosome regions harboring important oncogenes like MYC, KRAS, NRAS, CRKL, CCNE1, or ZNF217. We conclude that genome-wide array comparative genomic hybridization of gastric cancer contributes prognostically relevant information providing a genetic background for histologic grading.

Lamy PJ, Fina F, Bascoul-Mollevi C, et al.
Quantification and clinical relevance of gene amplification at chromosome 17q12-q21 in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-amplified breast cancers.
Breast Cancer Res. 2011; 13(1):R15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-amplified breast cancers represent a tumor subtype with chromosome 17q rearrangements that lead to frequent gene amplifications. The aim of this study was to quantify the amplification of genes located on chromosome 17q and to analyze the relations between the pattern of gene amplifications and the patients' characteristics and survival.
METHODS: Patients with HER2-positive breast tumors (HER2 score of 3+ by immunohistochemistry or positive for HER2 amplification by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)) (n = 86) and with HER2-negative breast tumors (n = 40) (negative controls) were included in this study. Using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction method and DNA extracted from frozen tumor specimens, 11 genes (MED1, STARD3, HER2, GRB7, THRA, RARA, TOP2A, IGFBP4, CCR7, KRT20, KRT19 and GAS), which are localized within Chr17q12-q21 and have a putative role in breast cancer development, were quantified. Relapse-free and overall survival rates were estimated from the date of surgery to the date of the event of interest (recurrence or death) using the Kaplan-Meier method.
RESULTS: Gene amplification was observed only in HER2-positive tumors, and the frequency of amplification decreased with the distance of the gene from HER2. HER2 presented the highest level of amplification. TOP2A was not included in the smallest region of amplification involving HER2. Amplification of RARA, KRT20 and KRT19 was significantly associated with node-positive breast cancer (P = 0.030, P = 0.002 and P = 0.033, respectively). During a median follow-up period of 55 months (range, 6 to 81 months), the subgroup of patients with hormone receptor-negative cancer and without TOP2A amplification showed the worst survival (relapse-free survival: hazard ratio (HR) = 0.29, 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.13 to 0.65, P = 0.001; and overall survival: HR = 0.28, 95% CI, 0.10 to 0.76, P = 0.008).
CONCLUSIONS: HER2 amplification seems to drive genomic instability along chromosome 17q, leading to different patterns of gene amplification. This study confirms the clinical importance of identifying, among patients with HER2-positive breast tumors, the subgroup of patients with hormone receptor-negative and nonamplified TOP2A cancers as they have the worst prognosis.

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