HMGA1

Gene Summary

Gene:HMGA1; high mobility group AT-hook 1
Aliases: HMG-R, HMGIY, HMGA1A
Location:6p21.31
Summary:This gene encodes a chromatin-associated protein involved in the regulation of gene transcription, integration of retroviruses into chromosomes, and the metastatic progression of cancer cells. The encoded protein preferentially binds to the minor groove of AT-rich regions in double-stranded DNA. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. Pseudogenes of this gene have been identified on multiple chromosomes. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:high mobility group protein HMG-I/HMG-Y
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: HMGA1 (cancer-related)

Han X, Cao Y, Wang K, Zhu G
HMGA1 facilitates tumor progression through regulating Wnt/β-catenin pathway in endometrial cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 82:312-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent studies have identified a unique role for high mobility group protein A1 (HMGA1) as a major regulator of tumor progression and in diverse tumor models. Emerging evidences indicate that overexpressed HMGA1 facilitates multiple malignant phenotypes of cancer cells, however, the oncogenic activities of HMGA1 in endometrial cancer (EC) remains elusive. Here we showed that HMGA1 was more frequently expressed in human EC tissues compared to non-tumor tissues. Elevated HMGA1 was significantly associated with advanced clinical stage. Wound-healing assay and transwell assay showed that HMGA1 can positively regulate cell migration and invasion. Mechanistically, luciferase reporter assay and Western blotting assay demonstrated that activation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway contributed to the oncogenic activity of HMGA1. Taken together, our data reveal that HMGA1 may function as an oncogene and modulate EC cell migration and invasion by activating Wnt/β-catenin pathway, implying that suppression of HMGA1 might be a potential therapeutic strategy for EC.

Zhang X, Tao T, Liu C, et al.
Downregulation of miR-195 promotes prostate cancer progression by targeting HMGA1.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(1):376-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant deregulation of microRNA-195 (miR‑195) is associated with tumorigenesis and the development of cancer. However, its expression and function in prostate cancer (PCa) remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we found that miR-195 expression levels were decreased in human PCa samples and were correlated with patient prognosis. miR-195 overexpression inhibited cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and tumorigenesis via directly targeting HMGA1. Downregulation of HMGA1 expression had an effect similar to miR-195 in the PCa cells. In clinical specimens, HMGA1 was overexpressed in castration-resistant prostate cancer when compared with its levels in benign prostate hyperplasia and androgen-dependent prostate cancer, and its expression levels were inversely correlated with overall survival and biochemical relapse-free survival. In summary, our study suggests that miR-195 functions as a tumor-suppressor gene by downregulating HMGA1 and can be used as a potential target in the treatment of PCa.

Zhong J, Liu C, Chen YJ, et al.
The association between S100A13 and HMGA1 in the modulation of thyroid cancer proliferation and invasion.
J Transl Med. 2016; 14:80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: S100A13 and high mobility group A (HMGA1) are known to play essential roles in the carcinogenesis and progression of cancer. However, the correlation between S100A13 and HMGA1 during cancer progression is not yet well understood. In this study, we determined the effects of S100A13 on HMGA1 expression in thyroid cancer cells and examined the role of HMGA1 in thyroid cancer progression.
METHODS: Stable ectopic S100A13 expression TT cellular proliferation was evaluated by nude mice xenografts assays. The effect of lentivirus-mediated S100A13 knockdown on thyroid cancer cellular oncogenic properties were evaluated by MTT, colony formation assays and transwell assays in TPC1 and SW579 cells. The effect of siRNA-mediated HMGA1 knockdown on thyroid cancer cellular proliferation and invasion were evaluated by MTT, colony formation assays and transwell assays. The tissue microarray was performed to investigate the correlation between S100A13 and HMGA1 expression in tumor tissues.
RESULTS: The ectopic expression of S100A13 could increase tumor growth in a TT cell xenograft mouse model. Moreover, lentivirus-mediated S100A13 knockdown led to the inhibition of cellular oncogenic properties in thyroid cancer cells, and HMGA1 was found to be involved in the effect of S100A13 on thyroid cancer growth and invasion. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated HMGA1 knockdown was proved to inhibit the growth of TPC1 cells and invasive abilities of SW579 cells. Clinically, it was revealed that both S100A13 and HMGA1 showed a higher expression levels in thyroid cancer cases compared with those in matched normal thyroid cases (P = 0.007 and P = 0.000); S100A13 and HMGA1 expressions were identified to be positively correlated (P = 0.004, R = 0.316) when analyzed regardless of thyroid cancer types.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report for the association between HMGA1 and S100A13 expression in the modulation of thyroid cancer growth and invasion. Those results would provide an essential insight into the effect of S100A13 on carcinogenesis of thyroid tumor, rending S100A13 to be potential biological marker for the diagnosis of thyroid cancer.

Sumter TF, Xian L, Huso T, et al.
The High Mobility Group A1 (HMGA1) Transcriptome in Cancer and Development.
Curr Mol Med. 2016; 16(4):353-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Chromatin structure is the single most important feature that distinguishes a cancer cell from a normal cell histologically. Chromatin remodeling proteins regulate chromatin structure and high mobility group A (HMGA1) proteins are among the most abundant, nonhistone chromatin remodeling proteins found in cancer cells. These proteins include HMGA1a/HMGA1b isoforms, which result from alternatively spliced mRNA. The HMGA1 gene is overexpressed in cancer and high levels portend a poor prognosis in diverse tumors. HMGA1 is also highly expressed during embryogenesis and postnatally in adult stem cells. Overexpression of HMGA1 drives neoplastic transformation in cultured cells, while inhibiting HMGA1 blocks oncogenic and cancer stem cell properties. Hmga1 transgenic mice succumb to aggressive tumors, demonstrating that dysregulated expression of HMGA1 causes cancer in vivo. HMGA1 is also required for reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. HMGA1 proteins function as ancillary transcription factors that bend chromatin and recruit other transcription factors to DNA. They induce oncogenic transformation by activating or repressing specific genes involved in this process and an HMGA1 "transcriptome" is emerging. Although prior studies reveal potent oncogenic properties of HMGA1, we are only beginning to understand the molecular mechanisms through which HMGA1 functions. In this review, we summarize the list of putative downstream transcriptional targets regulated by HMGA1. We also briefly discuss studies linking HMGA1 to Alzheimer's disease and type-2 diabetes.
CONCLUSION: Further elucidation of HMGA1 function should lead to novel therapeutic strategies for cancer and possibly for other diseases associated with aberrant HMGA1 expression.

Panagopoulos I, Gorunova L, Bjerkehagen B, et al.
Fusion of the TBL1XR1 and HMGA1 genes in splenic hemangioma with t(3;6)(q26;p21).
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(3):1242-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNA-sequencing of a splenic hemangioma with the karyotype 45~47,XX,t(3;6)(q26;p21) showed that this translocation generated a chimeric TBL1XR1-HMGA1 gene. This is the first time that this tumor has been subjected to genetic analysis, but the finding of an acquired clonal chromosome abnormality in cells cultured from the lesion and the presence of the TBL1XR1-HMGA1 fusion in them strongly favor the conclusion that splenic hemangiomas are of a neoplastic nature. Genomic PCR confirmed the presence of the TBL1XR1-HMGA1 fusion gene, and RT-PCR together with Sanger sequencing verified the presence of the fusion transcripts. The molecular consequences of the t(3;6) would be substantial. The cells carrying the translocation would retain only one functional copy of the wild-type TBL1XR1 gene while the other, rearranged allele could produce a putative truncated form of TBL1XR1 protein containing the LiSH and F-box-like domains. In the TBL1XR1-HMGA1 fusion transcript, furthermore, untranslated exons of HMGA1 are replaced by the first 5 exons of the TBL1XR1 gene. The result is that the entire coding region of HMGA1 comes under the control of the TBL1XR1 promoter, bringing about dysregulation of HMGA1. This is reminiscent of similar pathogenetic mechanisms involving high mobility genes in benign connective tissue tumors such as lipomas and leiomyomas.

Maurizio E, Wiśniewski JR, Ciani Y, et al.
Translating Proteomic Into Functional Data: An High Mobility Group A1 (HMGA1) Proteomic Signature Has Prognostic Value in Breast Cancer.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2016; 15(1):109-23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer is a very heterogeneous disease, and biological variability adds a further level of complexity, thus limiting the ability to identify new genes involved in cancer development. Oncogenes whose expression levels control cell aggressiveness are very useful for developing cellular models that permit differential expression screenings in isogenic contexts. HMGA1 protein has this unique property because it is a master regulator in breast cancer cells that control the transition from a nontumorigenic epithelial-like phenotype toward a highly aggressive mesenchymal-like one. The proteins extracted from HMGA1-silenced and control MDA-MB-231 cells were analyzed using label-free shotgun mass spectrometry. The differentially expressed proteins were cross-referenced with DNA microarray data obtained using the same cellular model and the overlapping genes were filtered for factors linked to poor prognosis in breast cancer gene expression meta-data sets, resulting in an HMGA1 protein signature composed of 21 members (HRS, HMGA1 reduced signature). This signature had a prognostic value (overall survival, relapse-free survival, and distant metastasis-free survival) in breast cancer. qRT-PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry analyses validated the link of three members of this signature (KIFC1, LRRC59, and TRIP13) with HMGA1 expression levels both in vitro and in vivo and wound healing assays demonstrated that these three proteins are involved in modulating tumor cell motility. Combining proteomic and genomic data with the aid of bioinformatic tools, our results highlight the potential involvement in neoplastic transformation of a restricted list of factors with an as-yet-unexplored role in cancer. These factors are druggable targets that could be exploited for the development of new, targeted therapeutic approaches in triple-negative breast cancer.

de Graaff MA, de Jong D, Briaire-de Bruijn IH, et al.
A translocation t(6;14) in two cases of leiomyosarcoma: Molecular cytogenetic and array-based comparative genomic hybridization characterization.
Cancer Genet. 2015; 208(11):537-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Leiomyosarcomas are malignant mesenchymal tumors that recapitulate smooth muscle cell differentiation. Tumors are characterized by a genetic heterogeneity with complex karyotypes without a tumor-specific genetic aberration. Their pathobiology is still poorly understood and no specific targeted treatment is currently available for these aggressive tumors. For six leiomyosarcomas, cells were cultured and analyzed by combined binary ratio labeling fluorescence in situ hybridization (COBRA-FISH) karyotyping. A t(6;14) was identified in two cases. FISH breakpoint mapping of case L1339 reveals a breakpoint at chromosome 6p21.31 close to HMGA1, and a small deletion was observed on the distal side of the gene. A small homozygous deletion was also found in the breakpoint region of chromosome 14q24.1 involving ACTN1. The second case revealed a der(6)t(6;14)(p21.1;q21.3), with a duplication adjacent to the breakpoint at chromosome 6. Confirmatory FISH revealed a second leiomyosarcoma with an aberration at 14q24.1. Alterations at this locus were found in 5% (2 of 39) of the leiomyosarcomas in this study. The other identified breakpoints appeared to be non-recurrent, because they were not detected in other leiomyosarcomas, uterine leiomyomas, undifferentiated spindle cell sarcomas, or undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas.

Dadone B, Refae S, Lemarié-Delaunay C, et al.
Molecular cytogenetics of pediatric adipocytic tumors.
Cancer Genet. 2015; 208(10):469-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Both epidemiologic and cytogenetic data on pediatric adipose tissue tumors are scarce. Pediatric adipose tumors are mainly represented by lipomas, though only 28 cytogenetic descriptions of pediatric lipoma have been reported to date. Similar to adult cases, most of these pediatric lipomas harbored rearrangements of the chromosomal regions 12q14-q15 and 6p21, involving the HMGA2 and HMGA1 genes. Further cytogenetic studies of pediatric lipoma would be useful to determinate whether some partner genes of HMGA2, such as NFIB, may have a specific role in the early onset of these tumors. Cytogenetically, the best documented pediatric adipose tumor is lipoblastoma, which is the second most frequent adipose tumor in children. Chromosomal alterations in lipoblastoma, observed in 61% of cases studied by conventional cytogenetics, typically involve the 8q11-q12 region. The target gene of this rearrangement is PLAG1. Anomalies of PLAG1 have been observed in 70% of cases of pediatric adipose tumors studied by molecular cytogenetics methods, such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) or comparative genomic hybridization on array (array-CGH). The rare described cases of malignant pediatric adipose tumors in children are mostly myxoid liposarcomas. In the 27 cases explored at the genetic level, all pediatric myxoid liposarcomas showed the classical rearrangement of the DDIT3 gene at 12q13. In conclusion, the epidemiology and the prevalence of histological types of adipose tissue tumors differ in the pediatric population compared with adults, whereas chromosomal and genic rearrangements are similar to those of adult cases in each histological type.

Sepe R, Piscuoglio S, Quintavalle C, et al.
HMGA1 overexpression is associated with a particular subset of human breast carcinomas.
J Clin Pathol. 2016; 69(2):117-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Breast cancer represents the second leading cause of cancer mortality among American women and accounts for more than 40 000 deaths annually. High-mobility group A1 (HMGA1) expression has been implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of human malignant tumours, including breast carcinomas. The aim of this study was to evaluate HMGA1 detection as an indicator for the diagnosis and prognosis of human breast carcinoma.
METHODS: HMGA1 expression has been analysed by immunohistochemistry in a large series of breast carcinoma resections (1338) combined on a tissue microarray mainly including the ductal carcinoma variant. The results were then correlated with clinicopathological parameters of patients.
RESULTS: HMGA1 overexpression was found in the large majority of breast carcinoma samples and its overexpression positively correlated with HER-2/neu amplification and progesterone receptor, while a negative correlation was found with oestrogen receptor. Conversely, no HMGA1 expression was found in normal breast tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: The data reported here indicate that HMGA1 is overexpressed in human breast carcinomas and its levels are associated with a particular endocrine status.

Madison BB, Jeganathan AN, Mizuno R, et al.
Let-7 Represses Carcinogenesis and a Stem Cell Phenotype in the Intestine via Regulation of Hmga2.
PLoS Genet. 2015; 11(8):e1005408 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Let-7 miRNAs comprise one of the largest and most highly expressed family of miRNAs among vertebrates, and is critical for promoting differentiation, regulating metabolism, inhibiting cellular proliferation, and repressing carcinogenesis in a variety of tissues. The large size of the Let-7 family of miRNAs has complicated the development of mutant animal models. Here we describe the comprehensive repression of all Let-7 miRNAs in the intestinal epithelium via low-level tissue-specific expression of the Lin28b RNA-binding protein and a conditional knockout of the MirLet7c-2/Mirlet7b locus. This ablation of Let-7 triggers the development of intestinal adenocarcinomas concomitant with reduced survival. Analysis of both mouse and human intestinal cancer specimens reveals that stem cell markers were significantly associated with loss of Let-7 miRNA expression, and that a number of Let-7 targets were elevated, including Hmga1 and Hmga2. Functional studies in 3-D enteroids revealed that Hmga2 is necessary and sufficient to mediate many characteristics of Let-7 depletion, namely accelerating cell cycle progression and enhancing a stem cell phenotype. In addition, inactivation of a single Hmga2 allele in the mouse intestine epithelium significantly represses tumorigenesis driven by Lin28b. In aggregate, we conclude that Let-7 depletion drives a stem cell phenotype and the development of intestinal cancer, primarily via Hmga2.

Akhter MZ, Luthra K, Rajeswari MR
Molecular aspects on adriamycin interaction with hmga1 regulatory region and its inhibitory effect on HMGA1 expression in human cervical cancer.
J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2016; 34(4):877-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
High mobility group A1 (HMGA1), a non-histone chromosomal protein, is highly expressed in a wide range of human cancers including cervical, breast, and prostate cancers. Therefore, hmga1 gene is considered as an attractive potential target for anticancer drugs. We have chosen 27 bp DNA sequence from a regulatory region of hmga1 promoter and studied its interaction with adriamycin (ADM) and in vitro expression of HMGA1 in the presence of ADM in HeLa cell line. A variety of biophysical techniques were employed to understand the characteristics of [DNA-ADM] complex. Spectrophotometric titration data, DNA denaturation profiles, and quenching of fluorescence of ADM in the presence of DNA demonstrated a strong complexation between DNA and ADM with a high binding affinity (Ka) of 1.3 × 10(6) M(-1) and a stoichiometry of 1:3 (drug:nucleotide). The energetics of binding obtained from isothermal titration calorimetry and differential scanning calorimetry suggest the binding to be exothermic and enthalpy (∆H, -6.7 ± 2.4 kcal M(-1)) and entropy (TΔS, 18.5 ± 6.4 kcal M(-1)) driven (20°C), which is typical of intercalative mode of binding. Further, results on decreased expression (by ~70%) of HMGA1 both at mRNA and protein levels in association with the observed cell death (by ~75%) in HeLa cell line, clearly confirm that ADM does target hmga1; however, the effect of ADM on genes other than hmga1 either directly or via hmga1-mediated pathways cannot be ruled out in the observed cytotoxicity. Therefore, hmga1 in general and particularly the regulatory region is a promising target for therapeutic strategy in combating cancer.

Pierantoni GM, Conte A, Rinaldo C, et al.
Deregulation of HMGA1 expression induces chromosome instability through regulation of spindle assembly checkpoint genes.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(19):17342-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The mitotic spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) is an essential control system of the cell cycle that contributes to mantain the genomic stability of eukaryotic cells. SAC genes expression is often deregulated in cancer cells, leading to checkpoint impairment and chromosome instability. The mechanisms responsible for the transcriptional regulation and deregulation of these genes are still largely unknown. Herein we identify the nonhistone architectural nuclear proteins High Mobility Group A1 (HMGA1), whose overexpression is a feature of several human malignancies and has a key role in cancer progression, as transcriptional regulators of SAC genes expression. In particular, we show that HMGA1 proteins are able to increase the expression of the SAC genes Ttk, Mad2l1, Bub1 and Bub1b, binding to their promoter regions. Consistently, HMGA1-depletion induces SAC genes downregulation associated to several mitotic defects. In particular, we observed a high number of unaligned chromosomes in metaphase, a reduction of prometaphase time, a delay of anaphase, a higher cytokinesis time and a higher percentage of cytokinesis failure by using live-cell microscopy. Finally, a significant direct correlation between HMGA1 and SAC genes expression was detected in human colon carcinomas indicating a novel mechanism by which HMGA1 contributes to cancer progression.

Li KK, Qi Y, Xia T, et al.
CRMP1 Inhibits Proliferation of Medulloblastoma and Is Regulated by HMGA1.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0127910 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Many facets of the tumor biology of medulloblastoma (MB) have not been fully elucidated. Collapsin response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1) is a member of cytoplasmic family of proteins that regulate the development of central nervous system. Recent studies demonstrated that CRMP1 could function as an invasion suppressor. We reported previously that high mobility group AT-hook 1 (HMGA1) contributed to development of MB and regulated its growth and migration/invasion. Transcriptional profiling and quantitative RT-PCR revealed increased expression of CRMP1 in HMGA1-depleted cells, suggesting that CRMP1 may be a downstream target of HMGA1 in MB. In this study, we showed HMGA1 can bind CRMP1 promoter by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. Luciferase assay demonstrated a marked enhancement of CRMP1 transcription activity in HMGA1-depleted cells. Furthermore, quantitative RT-PCR revealed a negative correlation between HMGA1 and CRMP1 in 32 MB samples. To investigate the biological roles of CRMP1 in MB pathogenesis, we established MB clones stably expressing CRMP1. Functional analysis revealed that expression of CRMP1 significantly inhibited proliferation, migration, invasion and formation of filopodia and intense stress fiber of MB cells. Our data suggest that HMGA1 regulates CRMP1 expression and CRMP1 is implicated in MB pathogenesis.

Grandér D, Johnsson P
Pseudogene-Expressed RNAs: Emerging Roles in Gene Regulation and Disease.
Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2016; 394:111-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pseudogenes have for long been considered as non-functional relics littering the human genome. Only now, it is becoming apparent that many pseudogenes are transcribed into long noncoding RNAs, some with proven biological functions. Here, we review the current knowledge of pseudogenes and their widespread functional properties with an emphasis on pseudogenes that have been functionally investigated in greater detail. Pseudogenes are emerging as a novel class of long noncoding RNAs functioning, for example, through microRNA sponging and chromatin remodeling. The examples discussed herein underline that pseudogene-encoded RNAs are important regulatory molecules involved in diseases such as cancer.

Esposito F, De Martino M, D'Angelo D, et al.
HMGA1-pseudogene expression is induced in human pituitary tumors.
Cell Cycle. 2015; 14(9):1471-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Numerous studies have established that High Mobility Group A (HMGA) proteins play a pivotal role on the onset of human pituitary tumors. They are overexpressed in pituitary tumors, and, consistently, transgenic mice overexpressing either the Hmga1 or the Hmga2 gene develop pituitary tumors. In contrast with HMGA2, HMGA1 overexpression is not related to any rearrangement or amplification of the HMGA1 locus in these tumors. We have recently identified 2 HMGA1 pseudogenes, HMGA1P6 and HMGA1P7, acting as competitive endogenous RNA decoys for HMGA1 and other cancer related genes. Here, we show that HMGA1 pseudogene expression significantly correlates with HMGA1 mRNA levels in growth hormone and nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas likely inhibiting the repression of HMGA1 through microRNAs action. According to our functional studies, these HMGA1 pseudogenes enhance the proliferation and migration of the mouse pituitary tumor cell line, at least in part, through their upregulation. Our results point out that the overexpression of HMGA1P6 and HMGA1P7 could contribute to increase HMGA1 levels in human pituitary tumors, and then to pituitary tumorigenesis.

Liu K, Zhang C, Li T, et al.
Let-7a inhibits growth and migration of breast cancer cells by targeting HMGA1.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 46(6):2526-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Let-7 is one of the earliest discovered microRNAs (miRNAs) and has been reported to regulate self renewal and tumorigenicity of breast cancer cells. Let-7a is a member of this family and its function has not been fully characterized in breast cancer. First, total RNAs of breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231, MCF-7), breast cancer tissues and corresponding adjacent normal tissues were extracted and used to detect let-7a expression by qRT-PCR. Secondly, the effects of let-7a on proliferation, colony formation, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells were assessed by in vitro cell culture experiments. Finally, western blotting was performed to demonstrate how let-7a regulated HMGA1 expression. We found that let-7a expression was significantly lower in breast cancer cells and breast cancer tissues compared to corresponding adjacent normal tissues. Cell proliferation, colony formation, migration and invasion were decreased after overexpression of let-7a in breast cancer cells and vice versa. Furthermore, we identified the high mobility group A1 (HMGA1) as a potential target gene of let-7a. Protein expression of the target gene was significantly downregulated in let-7a mimic transfected breast cancer cells and significantly upregulated in let-7a inhibitor transfected breast cancer cells. Our data suggest that let-7a plays an important role as a tumor suppressor gene by targeting HMGA1, which may open novel perspectives for clinical treatments against breast cancer.

Agostini A, Panagopoulos I, Andersen HK, et al.
HMGA2 expression pattern and TERT mutations in tumors of the vulva.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(6):2675-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Malignant tumors of the vulva account for only 5% of cancers of the female genital tract in the USA. The most frequent cancers of the vulva are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and malignant melanoma (MM). Little is known about the genetic aberrations carried by these tumors. We report a detailed study of 25 vulva tumors [22 SCC, 2 MM, 1 atypical squamous cell hyperplasia (AH)] analyzed for expression of the high-mobility group AT-hook family member genes HMGA2 and HMGA1, for mutations in the IDH1, IDH2 and TERT genes, and for methylation of the MGMT promoter. The RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry analyses showed that HMGA2 was expressed in the great majority of analyzed samples (20 out of 24; SCC as well as MM) but not in the normal controls. HMGA1, on the other hand, was expressed in both tumors and normal tissues. Five of the 24 tumors (all SCC) showed the C228T mutation in the TERT promoter. Our results showed that HMGA2 and TERT may be of importance in the genesis and/or the progression of tumors of the vulva.

Huang R, Huang D, Dai W, Yang F
Overexpression of HMGA1 correlates with the malignant status and prognosis of breast cancer.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2015; 404(1-2):251-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
High mobility group A1 (HMGA1), as a major member of HMGA family, plays an important part in promotion of cell proliferation and motility, induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and maintenance of stemness, but little is known about the pathological role of HMGA1 in breast cancer patients. The aim of this study was to identify the pathological roles of HMGA1 in breast cancer. In our results, we found that mRNA and protein expression levels of HMGA1 were markedly higher in breast cancer tissues than in normal breast tissues. Using immunohistochemistry, high levels of HMGA1 protein were positively correlated with the status of histological grade (I-II vs. III-IV; P = 0.023), clinical stage (I-II vs. III-IV; P = 0.008), tumor size (T1-T2 vs. T3-T4; P = 0.015), lymph node metastasis (N0-N1 vs. N2-N3; P = 0.002), distant metastasis (M0 vs. M1; P < 0.001), and triple-negative breast cancer (No vs. Yes; P = 0.014) of breast cancer patients. Patients with higher HMGA1 expression had a significantly shorter overall survival time than did patients with low HMGA1 expression. Multivariate analysis indicated that the level of HMGA1 expression was an independent prognostic indicator (P < 0.001) for the survival of patients with breast cancer. In conclusion, HMGA1 plays an important role on breast cancer aggressiveness and prognosis and may act as a promising target for prognostic prediction.

Zhao XX, Yuan QZ, Mu DP, et al.
MicroRNA-26a inhibits proliferation by targeting high mobility group AT-hook 1 in breast cancer.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(1):368-73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the crucial role of miR-26a in breast cancer and to validate whether miR-26a could regulate proliferation of breast cancer cells by targeting high mobility group AT-hook 1 (HMGA1).
METHODS: Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to quantify the expression levels of miR-26a in breast cancer and adjacent non-cancerous breast tissues. MTT, cell migration and invasion assay were carried out to characterize the miR-26a function. Finally, to validate the target gene of miR-26a, luciferase reporter assay was employed, followed by RT-PCR and Western blot confirmation.
RESULTS: Compared with normal tissues, a significant down-regulation of miR-26a expression was observed in breast cancer tissues (P=0.002). miR-26a suppresses MDA-MB-231 and Mcf-7 breast cancer cell lines proliferation and motility. The luciferase activity was significantly decreased after co-transfection with psiCHECK-2/HMGA1 3'-UTR and miR-26a mimics in comparison with control cells, and qRT-PCR and Western blotting analysis found that HMGA1 expression at the mRNA and protein levels decreased in the miR-26a mimic-treatment group relative to NC. MTT assay showed that down regulation of HMGA1 by siRNA could significantly enhance the tumor-suppressive effect of miR-26a (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study indicate that miR-26a may be associated with human breast carcinogenesis, which inhibits tumor cell proliferation by targeting HMGA1.

Williams MD, Zhang X, Belton AS, et al.
HMGA1 drives metabolic reprogramming of intestinal epithelium during hyperproliferation, polyposis, and colorectal carcinogenesis.
J Proteome Res. 2015; 14(3):1420-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although significant progress has been made in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC), it remains a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Early identification and removal of polyps that may progress to overt CRC is the cornerstone of CRC prevention. Expression of the High Mobility Group A1 (HMGA1) gene is significantly elevated in CRCs as compared with adjacent, nonmalignant tissues. We investigated metabolic aberrations induced by HMGA1 overexpression in small intestinal and colonic epithelium using traveling wave ion mobility mass spectrometry (TWIMMS) in a transgenic model in which murine Hmga1 was misexpressed in colonic epithelium. To determine if these Hmga1-induced metabolic alterations in mice were relevant to human colorectal carcinogenesis, we also investigated tumors from patients with CRC and matched, adjacent, nonmalignant tissues. Multivariate statistical methods and manual comparisons were used to identify metabolites specific to Hmga1 and CRC. Statistical modeling of data revealed distinct metabolic patterns in Hmga1 transgenics and human CRC samples as compared with the control tissues. We discovered that 13 metabolites were specific for Hmga1 in murine intestinal epithelium and also found in human CRC. Several of these metabolites function in fatty acid metabolism and membrane composition. Although further validation is needed, our results suggest that high levels of HMGA1 protein drive metabolic alterations that contribute to CRC pathogenesis through fatty acid synthesis. These metabolites could serve as potential biomarkers or therapeutic targets.

Panagopoulos I, Gorunova L, Bjerkehagen B, Heim S
Novel KAT6B-KANSL1 fusion gene identified by RNA sequencing in retroperitoneal leiomyoma with t(10;17)(q22;q21).
PLoS One. 2015; 10(1):e0117010 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Retroperitoneal leiomyoma is a rare type of benign smooth muscle tumor almost exclusively found in women and with histopathological features similar to uterine leiomyomas. The pathogenesis of retroperitoneal leiomyoma is unclear and next to nothing is known about the cytogenetics and molecular genetics of the tumor. Here we present the first cytogenetically analyzed retroperitoneal leiomyoma. It had a t(10;17)(q22;q21) as the sole chromosomal abnormality. Using RNA-Sequencing and the 'grep' command to search the fastq files of the sequence data we found that the translocation resulted in fusion of the genes KAT6B (10q22) with KANSL1 (17q21). RT-PCR together with direct (Sanger) sequencing verified the presence of a KAT6B-KANSL1 fusion transcript. No reciprocal KANSL1-KAT6B transcript was amplified suggesting that it was either absent or unexpressed. The KAT6B-KANSL1 fusion transcript consists of exons 1 to 3 of KAT6B and exons 11 to 15 of KANSL1, is 3667 bp long, has a 1398 bp long open reading frame, and codes for a 466 amino acid residue protein. The corresponding KAT6B-KANSL1 protein contains the NEMM domain (including the linker histone H1/H5, domain H15) of KAT6B and the PEHE domain of KANSL1. The function of the fusion protein might be regulation of transcription with an affinity for chromatin (linker histone H1/H5) and interaction with the HAT domain of KAT8 (PEHE domain). The tumor expressed HMGA2 and HMGA1 even though 12q14-15 and 6p looked normal by G-banding analysis. The tumor also expressed MED12 in the absence of exon 2 mutations. Overall, the data show that the examined retroperitoneal leiomyoma resembles a subset of uterine leiomyomas in terms of histology and genetics.

Sepe R, Formisano U, Federico A, et al.
CBX7 and HMGA1b proteins act in opposite way on the regulation of the SPP1 gene expression.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(5):2680-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Several recent studies have reported the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 member CBX7 as a tumor-suppressor gene whose expression progressively decreases in different human carcinomas in relation with tumor grade, malignant stage and poor prognosis. We have previously demonstrated that CBX7 is able to inhibit the expression of the SPP1 gene, encoding the chemokine osteopontin that is over-expressed in cancer and has a critical role in cancer progression. Here, we have analyzed the mechanism by which CBX7 regulates the SPP1 gene expression. We show that the SPP1 transcriptional regulation mechanism involves the CBX7-interacting protein HMGA1b, that acts as a positive regulator of the SPP1 gene. In fact, we demonstrate that, in contrast with the transcriptional activity of CBX7, HMGA1b is able to increase the SPP1 expression by inducing the activity of its promoter. Moreover, we show that CBX7 interferes with HMGA1b on the SPP1 promoter and counteracts the positive transcriptional activity of HMGA1b on the SPP1 expression. Furthermore, since we found that also the NF-κB complex resulted involved in the modulation of the SPP1 expression in thyroid cells, we suppose that CBX7/HMGA1b/NF-κB could take part in the same transcriptional mechanism that finally leads to the regulation of the SPP1 gene expression. Taken together, our data show the important role played by CBX7 in the negative regulation of the SPP1 gene expression, thus contributing to prevent the acquisition of a malignant phenotype.

Zu X, Zhong J, Tan J, et al.
TGF-β1 induces HMGA1 expression in human breast cancer cells: implications of the involvement of HMGA1 in TGF-β signaling.
Int J Mol Med. 2015; 35(3):693-701 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) signaling and high mobility group A (HMGA1) are known to play essential roles in the progression of breast cancer by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition. However, the correlation between TGF-β1 and HMGA1 in breast cancer cell is not yet well understood. In this study, we determined the effects of TGF-β1 on HMGA1 expression in breast cancer cells and examined the role of HMGA1 in breast cancer progression. Our results demonstrated that TGF-β1 induced the expression of HMGA1 in both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, as shown by RT-qPCR and immunofluorescence staining; however, the TGF-β1-induced expression of HMGA was blocked by treatment of the cells with phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) signaling inhibitors. Moreover, the HMGA1 promoter activity was found to be activated by TGF-β1 in the MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells and we found that specificity protein 1 (Sp1) was involved in the TGF-β1-induced HMGA1 promoter activity, as shown by luciferase activity assay. Furthermore, the enforced expression of HMGA1 by transfection with a HMGA1 promoter enhanced cellular oncogenic properties, including proliferation, migration and invasion, and a tissue microarray revealed that breast tumors expressing human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) showed higher expression levels of HMGA1 (P=0.007). In addition, higher HMGA1 expression levels were also observed in the ductal breast cancer cases compared with the lobular breast cancer cases (P=0.000). These findings establish the first link between HMGA1 and TGF-β1 in breast cancer, providing further evidence of the pivotal role of HMGA1 in breast cancer progression.

Kitchen MO, Yacqub-Usman K, Emes RD, et al.
Epidrug mediated re-expression of miRNA targeting the HMGA transcripts in pituitary cells.
Pituitary. 2015; 18(5):674-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Transgenic mice overexpressing the high mobility group A (HMGA) genes, Hmga1 or Hmga2 develop pituitary tumours and their overexpression is also a frequent finding in human pituitary adenomas. In some cases, increased expression of HMGA2 but not that of HMGA1 is consequent to genetic perturbations. However, recent studies show that down-regulation of microRNA (miRNA), that contemporaneously target the HMGA1 and HMGA2 transcripts, are associated with their overexpression.
RESULTS: In a cohort of primary pituitary adenoma we determine the impact of epigenetic modifications on the expression of HMGA-targeting miRNA. For these miRNAs, chromatin immunoprecipitations showed that transcript down-regulation is correlated with histone tail modifications associated with condensed silenced genes. The functional impact of epigenetic modification on miRNA expression was determined in the rodent pituitary cell line, GH3. In these cells, histone tail, miRNA-associated, modifications were similar to those apparent in human adenoma and likely account for their repression. Indeed, challenge of GH3 cells with the epidrugs, zebularine and TSA, led to enrichment of the histone modification, H3K9Ac, associated with active genes, and depletion of the modification, H3K27me3, associated with silent genes and re-expression of HMGA-targeting miRNA. Moreover, epidrugs challenges were also associated with a concomitant decrease in hmga1 transcript and protein levels and concurrent increase in bmp-4 expression.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that the inverse relationship between HMGA expression and targeting miRNA is reversible through epidrug interventions. In addition to showing a mechanistic link between epigenetic modifications and miRNA expression these findings underscore their potential as therapeutic targets in this and other diseases.

Esposito F, De Martino M, Forzati F, Fusco A
HMGA1-pseudogene overexpression contributes to cancer progression.
Cell Cycle. 2014; 13(23):3636-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Two pseudogenes for HMGA1, whose overexpression has a critical role in cancer progression, have been identified. They act as decoy for miRNAs that are able to target the HMGA1 gene then enhancing cell proliferation and migration. Moreover, these pseudogenes contain sequences that are potential target sites for cancer-related miRNAs. Interestingly, HMGA1 pseudogenes are highly expressed in human anaplastic thyroid carcinomas, that is one of the most aggressive tumor in mankind, but almost undetectable in well differentiated thyroid carcinomas.

Lin R, Shen W, Zhi Y, Zhou Z
Prognostic value of miR-26a and HMGA1 in urothelial bladder cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2014; 68(8):929-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNA-26a (miR-26a) functions as a tumor suppressor by regulating its direct target gene high mobility group AT-hook 1 (HMGA1). This study was aimed to investigate the associations of differential expression of miR-26a and HMGA1 with tumor progression and prognosis in urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred and twenty-six UBC patients were selected and quantitative real-time PCR was performed to detect the expression of miR-26a and HMGA1 mRNA in the respective tumors.
RESULTS: Our data showed the decreased expression of miR-26a and the increased expression of HMGA1 mRNA in UBC tissues compared with corresponding non-cancerous tissues (both P<0.001). Then, the expression levels of miR-26a in UBC tissues were negatively correlated with those of HMGA1 mRNA significantly (r=-0.72, P<0.001). In addition, UBC patients with combined miR-26a downregulation and HMGA1 upregulation (miR-26a-low/HMGA1-high) more frequently had advanced pathological stage (P<0.001) and high tumor grade (P<0.001). Moreover, miR-26a-low/HMGA1-high expression was associated with a significantly shortest disease-free survival (P<0.001) and overall survival (P<0.001) of all miR-26a/HMGA1 combined expression groups. Furthermore, multivariate analysis indicated that miR-26a/HMGA1 expression was an independent prognostic factor for both disease-free survival and overall survival (both P=0.001) in UBC patients.
CONCLUSION: Interaction between miR-26a and its target gene HMGA1 may contribute to the malignant progression of human UBC. Tumors with miR-26a downregulation in combination with high expression of HMGA1 showed a worse prognosis than the other tumors. Combined detection of their expression might be particularly helpful for surveillance of disease progression and treatment stratification.

D'Angelo D, Mussnich P, Rosa R, et al.
High mobility group A1 protein expression reduces the sensitivity of colon and thyroid cancer cells to antineoplastic drugs.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:851 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Development of resistance to conventional drugs and novel biological agents often impair long-term chemotherapy. HMGA gene overexpression is often associated with antineoplastic drug resistance and reduced survival. Inhibition of HMGA expression in thyroid cancer cells reduces levels of ATM protein, the main cellular sensor of DNA damage, and enhances cellular sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents. HMGA1 overexpression promotes chemoresistance to gemcitabine in pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells through an Akt-dependent mechanism.
METHODS: To elucidate the role of HMGA1 proteins in chemoresistance we analyzed resistance to conventional drugs and targeted therapies of human colon carcinoma cells (GEO) that are sensitive to the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor cetuximab, and express minimal levels of HMGA1 and cetuximab-resistant (GEO CR) cells expressing high HMGA1 protein levels.
RESULTS: GEO CR cells were less sensitive than GEO cells to cetuximab and 5-fluorouracil. GEO CR cells silenced for HMGA1 expression were more susceptible than empty vector-transfected cells to the drugs' cytotoxicity. Similar results were obtained with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cells expressing or not HMGA1 proteins, treated with doxorubicin or the HDAC inhibitor LBH589. Finally, HMGA1 overexpression promoted the DNA-damage response and stimulated Akt phosphorylation and prosurvival signaling.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the blockage of HMGA1 expression is a promising approach to enhance cancer cell chemosensitivity, since it could increase the sensitivity of cancer cells to antineoplastic drugs by inhibiting the survival signal and DNA damage repair pathways.

Zhang Z, Wang Q, Chen F, Liu J
Elevated expression of HMGA1 correlates with the malignant status and prognosis of non-small cell lung cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(2):1213-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
High-mobility group A1 (HMGA1) has been suggested to play a significant role in tumor progression, but little is known about the accurate significance of HMGA1 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. The aim of this study was to identify the role of HMGA1 in NSCLC. The expression status of HMGA1 was observed initially in NSCLC by Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). The expression of HMGA1 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein was examined in NSCLC and adjacent normal lung tissues through real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Meanwhile, the relationship of HMGA1 expression levels with clinical features and prognosis of NSCLC patients was analyzed. In our results, HMGA1 was overexpressed in NSCLC tissues compared with adjacent normal lung tissues in microarray data (GSE19804). HMGA1 mRNA and protein expressions were markedly higher in NSCLC tissues than in normal lung tissues (P < 0.001 and P = 0.010, respectively). Using immunohistochemistry, high levels of HMGA1 protein were positively correlated with the status of clinical stage (I-II vs. III-IV, P < 0.001), T classification (T1-T vs. T3-T4, P = 0.003), N classification (N0N1 vs. N2-N3, P < 0.001), M classification (M0 vs. M1, P = 0.002), and differentiated degree (high or middle vs. low or undifferentiated, P = 0.003) in NSCLC. Patients with higher HMGA1 expression had a significantly shorter overall survival time than did patients with low HMGA1 expression. Multivariate analysis indicated that the level of HMGA1 expression was an independent prognostic factor (P < 0.001) for the survival of patients with NSCLC. In conclusion, HMGA1 plays an important role on NSCLC progression and prognosis and may act as a convictive biomarker for prognostic prediction.

Esposito F, De Martino M, Petti MG, et al.
HMGA1 pseudogenes as candidate proto-oncogenic competitive endogenous RNAs.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(18):8341-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The High Mobility Group A (HMGA) are nuclear proteins that participate in the organization of nucleoprotein complexes involved in chromatin structure, replication and gene transcription. HMGA overexpression is a feature of human cancer and plays a causal role in cell transformation. Since non-coding RNAs and pseudogenes are now recognized to be important in physiology and disease, we investigated HMGA1 pseudogenes in cancer settings using bioinformatics analysis. Here we report the identification and characterization of two HMGA1 non-coding pseudogenes, HMGA1P6 and HMGA1P7. We show that their overexpression increases the levels of HMGA1 and other cancer-related proteins by inhibiting the suppression of their synthesis mediated by microRNAs. Consistently, embryonic fibroblasts from HMGA1P7-overexpressing transgenic mice displayed a higher growth rate and reduced susceptibility to senescence. Moreover, HMGA1P6 and HMGA1P7 were overexpressed in human anaplastic thyroid carcinomas, which are highly aggressive, but not in differentiated papillary carcinomas, which are less aggressive. Lastly, the expression of the HMGA1 pseudogenes was significantly correlated with HMGA1 protein levels thereby implicating HMGA1P overexpression in cancer progression. In conclusion, HMGA1P6 and HMGA1P7 are potential proto-oncogenic competitive endogenous RNAs.

Sterenczak KA, Eckardt A, Kampmann A, et al.
HMGA1 and HMGA2 expression and comparative analyses of HMGA2, Lin28 and let-7 miRNAs in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:694 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Humans and dogs are affected by squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity (OSCC) in a considerably high frequency. The high mobility group A2 (HMGA2) protein was found to be highly expressed in human OSCC and its expression was suggested to act as a useful predictive and prognostic tool in clinical management of oral carcinomas. Herein the expression of HMGA2 and its sister gene HMGA1 were analysed within human and canine OSCC samples. Additionally, the HMGA negatively regulating miRNAs of the let-7 family as well as the let-7 regulating gene Lin28 were also comparatively analysed. Deregulations of either one of these members could affect the progression of human and canine OSCC.
METHODS: Expression levels of HMGA1, HMGA2, Lin28, let-7a and mir-98 were analysed via relative qPCR in primary human and canine OSCC, thereof derived cell lines and non-neoplastic samples. Additionally, comparative HMGA2 protein expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: In both species, a significant up-regulation of the HMGA2 gene was found within the neoplastic samples while HMGA1 expression did not show significant deregulations. Comparative analyses showed down-regulation of mir-98 in human samples and up-regulation of let-7a and mir-98 in canine neoplastic samples. HMGA2 immunostainings showed higher intensities within the invasive front of the tumours than in the centre of the tumour in both species.
CONCLUSIONS: HMGA2 could potentially serve as tumour marker in both species while HMGA1 might play a minor role in OSCC progression. Comparative studies indicate an inverse correlation of HMGA2 and mir-98 expression in human samples whereas in dogs no such characteristic could be found.

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