Gene Summary

Gene:HMGA2; high mobility group AT-hook 2
Summary:This gene encodes a protein that belongs to the non-histone chromosomal high mobility group (HMG) protein family. HMG proteins function as architectural factors and are essential components of the enhancesome. This protein contains structural DNA-binding domains and may act as a transcriptional regulating factor. Identification of the deletion, amplification, and rearrangement of this gene that are associated with myxoid liposarcoma suggests a role in adipogenesis and mesenchymal differentiation. A gene knock out study of the mouse counterpart demonstrated that this gene is involved in diet-induced obesity. Alternate transcriptional splice variants, encoding different isoforms, have been characterized. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:high mobility group protein HMGI-C
Source:NCBIAccessed: 10 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 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.

  • Ultrasonography
  • Leiomyoma
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Nervous System Neoplasms
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Lipoma
  • Karyotyping
  • Cell Proliferation
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Biological Models
  • MicroRNAs
  • Phenotype
  • Odontogenic Tumors
  • Pelvic Pain
  • TFAP2A
  • Myxoma
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA Interference
  • Wound Healing
  • Sex Factors
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle
  • Seizures
  • Chromosome 12
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Smooth Muscle Tumor
  • Transfection
  • siRNA
  • Mesenchymoma
  • FISH
  • HMGA2
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Salivary Glands
  • Mutation
Tag cloud generated 10 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: HMGA2 (cancer-related)

Wang Y
Identifying key stage-specific genes and transcription factors for gastric cancer based on RNA-sequencing data.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(4):e5691 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To identify gastric cancer (GC)-associated genes and transcription factors (TFs) using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data of Asians.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The RNA-seq data (GSE36968) were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including 6 noncancerous gastric tissue samples, 5 stage I GC samples, 5 stage II GC samples, 8 stage III GC samples, and 6 stage IV GC samples. The gene expression values in each sample were calculated using Cuffdiff. Following, stage-specific genes were identified by 1-way analysis of variance and hierarchical clustering analysis. Upstream TFs were identified using Seqpos. Besides, functional enrichment analysis of stage-specific genes was performed by DAVID. In addition, the underlying protein-protein interactions (PPIs) information among stage IV-specific genes were extracted from STRING database and PPI network was constructed using Cytoscape software.
RESULTS: A total of 3576 stage-specific genes were identified, including 813 specifically up-regulated genes in the normal gastric tissues, 2224 stage I and II-specific genes, and 539 stage IV-specific genes. Also, a total of 9 and 11 up-regulated TFs were identified for the stage I and II-specific genes and stage IV-specific genes, respectively. Functional enrichment showed SPARC, MMP17, and COL6A3 were related to extracellular matrix. Notably, 2 regulatory pathways HOXA4-GLI3-RUNX2-FGF2 and HMGA2-PRKCA were obtained from the PPI network for stage IV-specific genes. In the PPI network, TFs HOXA4 and HMGA2 might function via mediating other genes.
CONCLUSION: These stage-specific genes and TFs might act in the pathogenesis of GC in Asians.

Seifi-Najmi M, Hajivalili M, Safaralizadeh R, et al.
SiRNA/DOX lodeded chitosan based nanoparticles: Development, Characterization and in vitro evaluation on A549 lung cancer cell line.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2016; 62(11):87-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
High-mobility group AT-hook2 (HMGA2), involved in epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) process, has a pivotal role in lung cancer metastasis. Lung cancer therapy with HMGA2 suppressing small interfering RNA (siRNA) has been introduced recently while doxorubicin (DOX) has been used as a frequent cancer chemotherapy agent. Both reagents have been faced with obstacles in clinic which make them ineffective. NanoParticles (NPs) provided a platform for efficient co delivery of the anticancer drugs. The aim of this study was production and in vitro characterization of different pharmacological groups (siRNA, DOX or siRNA-DOX) of carboxymethyl dextran thrimethyl chitosan nanoparticles (CMDTMChiNPs) on cytotoxicity, gene expression, apoptosis and migration of metastatic lung cancer cell line (A-549). CMDTMChiNPs were synthesized and encapsulated with siRNA, DOX or siRNA-DOX. Then the effects of HMGA2 siRNA and DOX co delivery was assessed in A549 viability and target genes (HMGA2, Ecadherin, vimentin and MMP9) by MTT and real time PCR, respectively. In addition capability of apoptosis induction and anti-migratory features of formulated NPs were analyzed by flowcytometry and wound healing assays. SiRNA-DOX-CMDTM ChiNPs approximate size were 207±5 with poly dispersity index (PDI) and zeta potential of 0.4 and 16.3±0.3, respectively. NPs loaded with DOX and siRNA were the most efficient drug formulations in A549 cell cytotoxicity, altering of EMT markers, apoptosis induction and migration inhibition. Generally our results showed that co delivery of HMGA2 siRNA and DOX by novel designed CMDTMChiNPs is a new therapeutic approach with great potential efficiency for lung cancer treatment.

Davudian S, Shajari N, Kazemi T, et al.
BACH1 silencing by siRNA inhibits migration of HT-29 colon cancer cells through reduction of metastasis-related genes.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 84:191-198 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metastasis to distant organs is a hallmark of many tumor cells. BACH1 (BTB and CNC homology 1) is a transcriptional factor which promotes the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. BACH1 expression and its target genes are intimately associated with the metastasis possibility of clinical samples, and BACH1 reduction leads to meaningful depletion in metastasis. The evaluation of BACH1 role in colon cancer remains elusive. This study seeks to further investigate the role of BACH1 in colon cancer cells.
METHODS: Quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to detect BACH1 expression and other related metastatic genes following siRNA knockdown in colon cancer HT-29 cells. And the protein level assessed by Western blot. MTT assay was to measure the changed cell viability after BACH1 siRNA transfection. Scratch-wound motility assays measured capacity of tumor cell migration of HT-29 cells after BACH1 silencing.
RESULTS: The inhibitory effect of BACH1 was performed by siRNA knockdown using highly metastatic HT-29 colon cell lines. Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analysis revealed that the expression levels of BACH1 mRNA and protein in HT29 cells were significantly suppressed after transfection. Conversely, the BACH1 expression increased migration. Also the CXCR4 and MMP1 expression levels decreased following BACH1 knockdown in HT-29 cells.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicated that BACH1 down-regulation in HT29 CRC cells had no effect on cell growth but did inhibit cell migration by decreasing metastasis-related genes expression. Collectively, these results suggest that BACH1 may function as an oncogenic driver in colon cancer and may represent as a potential target of gene therapy for CRC treatment.

He QY, Wang GC, Zhang H, et al.
miR-106a-5p Suppresses the Proliferation, Migration, and Invasion of Osteosarcoma Cells by Targeting HMGA2.
DNA Cell Biol. 2016; 35(9):506-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
We aim to investigate the effect of miR-106a-5p on the proliferation, migration, and invasion of osteosarcoma (OS) cells by targeting high-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2). Real-time fluorescent quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was used for detecting the expressions of miR-106-5p and HMGA2 in 137 OS and adjacent normal bone tissues. Immunohistochemistry was applied for the HMGA2 protein expression detection. Luciferase reporter gene assay was conducted for verifying whether miR-106-5p targeted HMGA2. MG63 and U2SO cells were respectively divided into five groups: Blank, miR-106a-5p, scramble, HMGA2-siRNA, and miR-106a-5p+HMGA2 groups. RT-qPCR and western blot were applied for detecting the expressions of miR-106a-5p and HMGA2 in five groups. Proliferation rate, cell cycle, invasion, and migration ability of OS cells were detected using methyl thiazolyl-tetrazolium, 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (Edu) assay, flow cytometry, and Transwell.  Compared with adjacent normal tissues, OS tissues presented with decreased miR-106a-5p expressions, elevated HMGA2 mRNA, and positive expressions (all p < 0.05). The sensitivity and specificity of miR-106a-5p were 97.8%, 93.43%, and HMGA2 mRNA were 97.8%, 99.27%, separately. miR-106a-5p and HMGA2 expressions were associated with tumor size, Enneking stage, distant metastasis, and lung metastasis. Expressions of HMGA2 in OS cells in miR-106a-5p and HMGA2 siRNA groups were both significantly decreased with the same downregulation level, and the proliferation rates in both groups were obviously slowed down after 48 h (both p < 0.001). Edu positive cells, S phase cells (majority of cells blocked at G0/G1 phase), migratory and invasive cells were obviously decreased (all p < 0.05). Downregulation of miR-106a-5p was found in OS tissues, and upregulation of miR-106a-5p can inhibit the proliferation, migration, and invasion by targeting HMGA2 in OS cells.

Huang W, Li J, Guo X, et al.
miR-663a inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation and invasion by targeting HMGA2.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 81:431-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a highly aggressive solid malignancy throughout the world. Dysregulation of miRNAs play essential roles in HCC progression via aberrant regulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis, as well as metastasis. miR-663a is a poorly investigated miRNA. Whether miR-663a regulates HCC development remains unknown. The aim of the study was to explore the role of miR-663a in HCC development. To determine the expression level of miR-663a in HCC, we analyzed the data from GSE21362 and TCGA. The results showed that miR-663a was significantly down-regulated in HCC tissue compared with adjacent non-tumor tissue. Gain of function and loss of function assays revealed that miR-663a distinctly inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Mechanistic investigations demonstrated that miR-663a modulated cell functions through targeting and suppressing high mobility group A2 (HMGA2). In addition, overexpression of HMGA2 remarkably attenuated the tumor repressive effect of miR-663a. Taken together, miR-663a inhibits HCC cell proliferation and motility by targeting HMGA2.

Kugel S, Sebastián C, Fitamant J, et al.
SIRT6 Suppresses Pancreatic Cancer through Control of Lin28b.
Cell. 2016; 165(6):1401-15 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
Chromatin remodeling proteins are frequently dysregulated in human cancer, yet little is known about how they control tumorigenesis. Here, we uncover an epigenetic program mediated by the NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylase Sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) that is critical for suppression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), one of the most lethal malignancies. SIRT6 inactivation accelerates PDAC progression and metastasis via upregulation of Lin28b, a negative regulator of the let-7 microRNA. SIRT6 loss results in histone hyperacetylation at the Lin28b promoter, Myc recruitment, and pronounced induction of Lin28b and downstream let-7 target genes, HMGA2, IGF2BP1, and IGF2BP3. This epigenetic program defines a distinct subset with a poor prognosis, representing 30%-40% of human PDAC, characterized by reduced SIRT6 expression and an exquisite dependence on Lin28b for tumor growth. Thus, we identify SIRT6 as an important PDAC tumor suppressor and uncover the Lin28b pathway as a potential therapeutic target in a molecularly defined PDAC subset. PAPERCLIP.

Rajamani D, Bhasin MK
Identification of key regulators of pancreatic cancer progression through multidimensional systems-level analysis.
Genome Med. 2016; 8(1):38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive cancer with dismal prognosis, urgently necessitating better biomarkers to improve therapeutic options and early diagnosis. Traditional approaches of biomarker detection that consider only one aspect of the biological continuum like gene expression alone are limited in their scope and lack robustness in identifying the key regulators of the disease. We have adopted a multidimensional approach involving the cross-talk between the omics spaces to identify key regulators of disease progression.
METHODS: Multidimensional domain-specific disease signatures were obtained using rank-based meta-analysis of individual omics profiles (mRNA, miRNA, DNA methylation) related to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). These domain-specific PDAC signatures were integrated to identify genes that were affected across multiple dimensions of omics space in PDAC (genes under multiple regulatory controls, GMCs). To further pin down the regulators of PDAC pathophysiology, a systems-level network was generated from knowledge-based interaction information applied to the above identified GMCs. Key regulators were identified from the GMC network based on network statistics and their functional importance was validated using gene set enrichment analysis and survival analysis.
RESULTS: Rank-based meta-analysis identified 5391 genes, 109 miRNAs and 2081 methylation-sites significantly differentially expressed in PDAC (false discovery rate ≤ 0.05). Bimodal integration of meta-analysis signatures revealed 1150 and 715 genes regulated by miRNAs and methylation, respectively. Further analysis identified 189 altered genes that are commonly regulated by miRNA and methylation, hence considered GMCs. Systems-level analysis of the scale-free GMCs network identified eight potential key regulator hubs, namely E2F3, HMGA2, RASA1, IRS1, NUAK1, ACTN1, SKI and DLL1, associated with important pathways driving cancer progression. Survival analysis on individual key regulators revealed that higher expression of IRS1 and DLL1 and lower expression of HMGA2, ACTN1 and SKI were associated with better survival probabilities.
CONCLUSIONS: It is evident from the results that our hierarchical systems-level multidimensional analysis approach has been successful in isolating the converging regulatory modules and associated key regulatory molecules that are potential biomarkers for pancreatic cancer progression.

De Blasio A, Di Fiore R, Morreale M, et al.
Unusual roles of caspase-8 in triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(6):2339-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a clinically aggressive form of breast cancer that is unresponsive to endocrine agents or trastuzumab. TNBC accounts for ~10-20% of all breast cancer cases and represents the form with the poorest prognosis. Patients with TNBC are at higher risk of early recurrence, mainly in the lungs, brain and soft tissue, therefore, there is an urgent need for new therapies. The present study was carried out in MDA-MB-231 cells, where we assessed the role of caspase-8 (casp-8), a critical effector of death receptors, also involved in non‑apoptotic functions. Analysis of casp-8 mRNA and protein levels indicated that they were up-regulated with respect to the normal human mammalian epithelial cells. We demonstrated that silencing of casp-8 by small interfering-RNA, strongly decreased MDA-MB-231 cell growth by delaying G0/G1- to S-phase transition and increasing p21, p27 and hypo-phosphorylated/active form of pRb levels. Surprisingly, casp-8-knockdown, also potently increased both the migratory and metastatic capacity of MDA-MB‑231 cells, as shown by both wound healing and Matrigel assay, and by the expression of a number of related-genes and/or proteins such as VEGFA, C-MYC, CTNNB1, HMGA2, CXCR4, KLF4, VERSICAN V1 and MMP2. Among these, KLF4, a transcriptional factor with a dual role (activator and repressor), seemed to play critical roles. We suggest that in MDA-MB‑231 cells, the endogenous expression of casp-8 might keep the cells perpetually cycling through downregulation of KLF4, the subsequent lowering of p21 and p27, and the inactivation by hyperphosphorylation of pRb. Simultaneously, by lowering the expression of some migratory and invasive genes, casp-8 might restrain the metastatic ability of the cells. Overall, our findings showed that, in MDA-MB-231 cells, casp-8 might play some unusual roles which should be better explored, in order to understand whether it might be identified as a molecular therapeutic target.

Wu J, Zhang S, Shan J, et al.
Elevated HMGA2 expression is associated with cancer aggressiveness and predicts poor outcome in breast cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 376(2):284-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
High mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) is involved in a wide spectrum of biological processes and is upregulated in several tumors. Here, we collected 273 breast cancer (BC) specimens as a training set and 310 specimens as a validation set to examine the expression of HMGA2 by immunohistochemical staining. It was found that HMGA2 expression was significantly positively correlated with advanced tumor grade and poor survival. Subgroup analysis indicated that high level of HMGA2 was significantly correlated with poor prognosis, especially in the subgroups of stage II-III, low pathological grade and non-triple negative breast cancer cases. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) demonstrated a significant positive correlation between HMGA2 level and the gene expression signature of metaplastic and mesenchymal phenotype. Importantly, we also observed that ectopic expression of HMGA2 promoted the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells, and protected cancer cells against genotoxic stress from agents stimulating P53 (Ser15) phosphorylation. As a conclusion, expression of HMGA2 might indicate more advanced malignancy of breast cancer. Thus we believe HMGA2 could serve as a biomarker of poor prognosis and a novel target in treating BC tumors.

Wu J, Wang Y, Xu X, et al.
Transcriptional activation of FN1 and IL11 by HMGA2 promotes the malignant behavior of colorectal cancer.
Carcinogenesis. 2016; 37(5):511-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and metastasis is the principle reason for its poor prognosis. Overexpression of high-mobility gene group A2 (HMGA2) contributes to the aggressiveness of CRC. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of its overexpression is still elusive. In this study, we showed that ectopic expression of HMGA2 significantly enhanced cell migration and invasion in vitro and promoted tumor growth and distant metastasis in vivo In contrast, the silencing of HMGA2 produced the opposite effects in vitro and in vivo Chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR and luciferase assays revealed that HMGA2 bound directly to the promoters of FN1 and IL11 and significantly induced their transcriptional activities. Moreover, as the direct downstream target of HMGA2, IL11 modulated cell migration and invasion through a pSTAT3-dependent signaling pathway. Furthermore, a strong positive correlation between HMGA2 and IL11 expression was identified in 122 CRC tissues. High IL11 expression was associated with poor differentiation, a large tumor size, lymph node metastasis and low overall survival in CRC patients. Collectively, our data reveal novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying HMGA2-mediated CRC metastasis and highlight the possibility of targeting HMGA2 and IL11 for treating CRC patients with metastasis.

Schwarm FP, Uhle F, Schänzer A, et al.
High-mobility group AT-hook protein 2 expression and its prognostic significance in MGMT methylated and unmethylated glioblastoma.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(4):1485-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
High-mobility group AT-hook protein 2 (HMGA 2) is a transcription factor associated with malignancy and poor prognosis in a variety of human cancers. We correlated HMGA 2 expression with clinical parameters, survival, and O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase methylation status (MGMT) in glioblastoma patients. HMGA 2 expression was determined by performing quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 44 glioblastoma patients and 5 non-tumorous brain specimens as controls. Gene expression levels of MGMT methylated vs. unmethylated patients, and gene expression levels between patient groups, both for qPCR and IHC data were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. The relationship between HMGA 2 expression, progression-free survival and overall survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test. P-values of <0.05 were considered statistically significant throughout the analyses. The mean age of patients at diagnosis was 57.4 ± 15.7 years, and the median survival was 16 months (SE 2.8; 95% CI, 10.6-21.4). HMGA 2 gene expression was significantly higher in glioblastoma compared to normal brain tissue on qPCR (mean, 0.35; SD, 0.27 vs. 0.03, SD, 0.05) and IHC levels (IRS mean, 17.21; SD, 7.43 vs. 3.20; SD, 1.68) (p=0.001). Survival analysis revealed that HMGA 2 overexpression was associated with a shorter progression-free and overall survival time in patients with methylation (n=24). The present study shows a tendency that HMGA 2 overexpression correlates with a poor prognosis of glioblastoma patients independent of MGMT methylation status. The results suggest that HMGA 2 could play an important role in the treatment of glioblastoma and could have a function in prognosis of this type of cancer.

Eide HA, Halvorsen AR, Bjaanæs MM, et al.
The MYCN-HMGA2-CDKN2A pathway in non-small cell lung carcinoma--differences in histological subtypes.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:71 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Extensive research has increased our understanding of the molecular alterations needed for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) development. Deregulation of a pathway including MYCN, HMGA2 and CDKN2A, with the participation of DICER1, is of importance in several solid tumours, and may also be of significance in the pathogenesis of NSCLC.
METHODS: Gene expression of MYCN, HMGA2, CDKN2A and DICER1 were investigated with RT-qPCR in surgically resected NSCLC tumour tissue from 175 patients. Expression of the let-7 microRNA family was performed in 78 adenocarcinomas and 16 matching normal lung tissue samples using microarrays. The protein levels of HMGA2 were determined by immunohistochemistry in 156 tumour samples and the protein expression was correlated with gene expression. Associations between clinical data, including time to recurrence, and expression of mRNA, protein and microRNAs were analysed.
RESULTS: Compared to adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas had a median 5-fold increase in mRNA expression of HMGA2 (p = 0.003). A positive correlation (r = 0.513, p < 0.010) between HMGA2 mRNA expression and HMGA2 protein expression was seen. At the protein level, 90% of the squamous cell carcinomas expressed high levels of the HMGA2 protein compared to 47% of the adenocarcinomas (p < 0.0001). MYCN was positively correlated with HMGA2 (p < 0.010) and DICER1 mRNA expression (p < 0.010), and the expression of the let-7 microRNAs seemed to be correlated with the genes studied. MYCN expression was associated with time to recurrence in multivariate survival analyses (p = 0.020).
CONCLUSIONS: A significant difference in HMGA2 mRNA expression between the histological subtypes of NSCLC was seen with a higher expression in the squamous cell carcinomas. This was also found at the protein level, and we found a good correlation between the mRNA and the protein expression of HMGA2. Moreover, the expression of MYCN, HMGA2, and DICER1 seems to be correlated to each other and the expression of the let7-genes impacted by their expression. MYCN gene expression seems to be of importance in time to recurrence in this patient cohort with resected NSCLC.

Panagopoulos I, Gorunova L, Agostini A, et al.
Fusion of the HMGA2 and C9orf92 genes in myolipoma with t(9;12)(p22;q14).
Diagn Pathol. 2016; 11:22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Myolipoma of soft tissue is an extremely rare benign tumor composed of mature adipose tissue and smooth muscle cells. It is found predominantly in women. The cytogenetic and molecular genetic features of myolipomas remain largely unexplored. Here we present the first cytogenetically analyzed myolipoma.
METHODS: Cytogenetic and molecular genetic analyses were done on a myolipoma.
RESULTS: G-banding analysis of short-term cultured cells from the myolipoma yielded a karyotype with a single clonal chromosome abnormality: 46,XX,t(9;12)(p22;q14). Fluorescence in situ hybridization experiments demonstrated that HMGA2 (in 12q14) was rearranged. Molecular genetic analysis showed that the translocation resulted in fusion of HMGA2 with the C9orf92 gene (from 9p22). The HMGA2-C9orf92 fusion transcript would code for a putative protein containing amino acid residues 1-94 of HMGA2 and 6 amino acid residues from the out-of-frame fusion with exon 4 of C9orf92.
CONCLUSION: The pattern of HMGA2 rearrangement in the present case of myolipoma is similar to what is found in other benign connective tissue tumor types, including lipomas, i.e., disruption of the HMGA2 locus leaves intact exons which encode the AT-hook domains but separates them from the 3´-terminal part of the gene. Whether any genetic features differentiate myolipomas from regular lipomas with HMGA2-involvement is a question that cannot be answered until more cases of the former tumor type are subjected to genetic analysis.

D'Armiento J, Shiomi T, Marks S, et al.
Mesenchymal Tumorigenesis Driven by TSC2 Haploinsufficiency Requires HMGA2 and Is Independent of mTOR Pathway Activation.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(4):844-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tuberous sclerosis (TSC) is a tumor suppressor gene syndrome that is associated with the widespread development of mesenchymal tumor types. Genetically, TSC is said to occur through a classical biallelic inactivation of either TSC genes (TSC1, hamartin or TSC2, tuberin), an event that is implicated in the induction of the mTOR pathway and subsequent tumorigenesis. High Mobility Group A2 (HMGA2), an architectural transcription factor, is known to regulate mesenchymal differentiation and drive mesenchymal tumorigenesis in vivo. Here, we investigated the role of HMGA2 in the pathogenesis of TSC using the TSC2(+/-) mouse model that similarly mirrors human disease and human tumor samples. We show that HMGA2 expression was detected in 100% of human and mouse TSC tumors and that HMGA2 activation was required for TSC mesenchymal tumorigenesis in genetically engineered mouse models. In contrast to the current dogma, the mTOR pathway was not activated in all TSC2(+/-) tumors and was elevated in only 50% of human mesenchymal tumors. Moreover, except for a subset of kidney tumors, tuberin was expressed in both human and mouse tumors. Therefore, haploinsufficiency of one TSC tumor suppressor gene was required for tumor initiation, but further tumorigenesis did not require the second hit, as previously postulated. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that tissue-specific genetic mechanisms are employed to promote tumor pathogenesis in TSC and identify a novel, critical pathway for potential therapeutic targeting.

Ainechi S, Carlson JA
Neutrophilic Dermatosis Limited to Lipo-Lymphedematous Skin in a Morbidly Obese Woman on Dasatinib Therapy.
Am J Dermatopathol. 2016; 38(2):e22-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neutrophilic dermatosis (ND) confined to postmastectomy lymphedema, localized Sweet syndrome, is a newly recognized disease. In this study, the authors describe a 44-year-old obese woman with chronic myelogenous leukemia in molecular remission on dasatinib therapy, who presented with a painful urticarial eruption limited to lipo-lymphedematous skin and accompanied by malaise, episodic fever, diarrhea, neutrophilia, and leukocytosis. Initially transient and migratory, the rash became fixed, papular, and vesicular and showed minimal response to corticosteroids. Biopsy demonstrated sparse perivascular and interstitial dermal neutrophilic infiltrates, without vasculitis or significant dermal edema. Aggregates of neutrophils were found within and surrounding lymphangiectases. Biopsy of a new onset papule 3 weeks later demonstrated papillary dermal edema, denser neutrophilic infiltrate, and vasculitis-like changes. These 2 histopathologic patterns of ND, early and late, resemble neutrophilic urticarial dermatitis (also known as neutrophilic dermatitis with systemic inflammation) and Sweet syndrome, respectively. Extensive workup did not reveal evidence of relapsed chronic myelogenous leukemia, infection, or a coexisting systemic inflammatory disease. Dasatinib was discontinued and the eruption gradually resolved over 2.5 months. Still in molecular remission (no detectable BCR-ABL gene fusion), dasatinib therapy was recommenced at 3-month follow-up. After 10 months, she complains of malaise and arthralgia, but no cutaneous symptoms. The evolution and slow resolution of this ND in lipo-lymphedematous skin implicate poor lymphatic clearance of factors, antigenic and/or toxic, involved in the pathogenesis of ND.

Lei X, Chang L, Ye W, et al.
Raf kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP) inhibits the cell migration and invasion in human glioma cell lines in vitro.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(11):14214-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects and the potential mechanisms of RKIP on cell migration, invasion and proliferation in human glioma cell lines in vitro.
METHODS: The RKIP over-expressing and RKIP knockdown human U87 glioma cells were used to reveal the effects of RKIP on human glioma cells migration, invasion and proliferation. After the recombinant plasmid pcDNA3.0-RKIP or RKIP-shRNA was transfected into the cell lines U87 by the means of liposome assay, the cells migration, invasion and proliferation were detected by wound healing, Transwell and MTT assay. Then, the levels of RKIP, MMP-3, MMP-9 and HMGA2 mRNA transcription were measured by means of RT-qPCR and levels of proteins expressions were determined using Western blot.
RESULTS: The results of MTT assay suggested that the PKIP have little inhibitive effects on glioma cells proliferation (P>0.05). The present paper showed that the migration distances in the group of RKIP-shRNA were markedly increased compared to the pcDNA3.0-RKIP and control. Similarly, the results showed that the numbers of invasion cells in RKIP-shRNA were remarkably increased than the pcDNA3.0-RKIP group and control group. Western blot and RT-qPCR suggested that over-expressions of RKIP lessened the MMP-2, MMP-9 and HMGA2 expression, however, turning down the RKIP expression showed the inverse effects.
CONCLUSION: RKIP inhibits the cells migrations and invasions. Meanwhile, RKIP might inhibit the glioma cells through inhibiting MMPs and HMAG2 expression. Therefore, we demonstrated that RKIP is an underlying target for the treatment of glioma.

Zhao XP, Zhang H, Jiao JY, et al.
Overexpression of HMGA2 promotes tongue cancer metastasis through EMT pathway.
J Transl Med. 2016; 14:26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metastasis to long distance organs is the main reason leading to morality of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC); however, the molecular mechanisms are still unknown. High mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) is highly expressed in multiple metastatic carcinomas, in which it contributes to cancer progression, metastasis and poor prognosis by upregulating Snail expression and inducing epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). This study focuses on investigating the role and mechanism of regulation of HMGA2 in the metastasis of TSCC.
METHODS: HMGA2 mRNA and protein expression were examined in TSCC specimens by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, western blotting and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Western blotting, IHC and immunofluorescence were also used to measure the expression and localization of EMT marker E-Cadherin and Vimentin both in TSCC cells and tissues. Knockdown assay was performed in vitro in TSCC cell lines using small interfering RNAs and the functional assay was carried out to determine the role of HMGA2 in TSCC cell migration and invasion.
RESULTS: TSCC mRNA and protein expression were significantly up-regulated in tumor tissues when compared to adjacent non-tumor tissues, and the overexpression of HMGA2 was closely correlated with lymph nodes metastasis. Clinicopathological analysis indicated that HMGA2 expression was associated with clinical stage (P = 0.001), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.000), histological differentiation (P = 0.002) and survival (P = 0.000). Silencing the HMGA2 expression in Cal27 and UM1 resulted in the inhibition of cell migration and invasion, meanwhile down-regulation of HMGA2 impaired the phenotype of EMT in TSCC cell lines and tissues. The Multivariate survival analysis indicates that HMGA2 can be an independent prognosis biomarker in TSCC.
CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate that HMGA2 promotes TSCC invasion and metastasis; additionally, HMGA2 is an independent prognostic factor which implied that HMGA2 can be a biomarker both for prognosis and therapeutic target of TSCC.

Mehine M, Kaasinen E, Heinonen HR, et al.
Integrated data analysis reveals uterine leiomyoma subtypes with distinct driver pathways and biomarkers.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113(5):1315-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
Uterine leiomyomas are common benign smooth muscle tumors that impose a major burden on women's health. Recent sequencing studies have revealed recurrent and mutually exclusive mutations in leiomyomas, suggesting the involvement of molecularly distinct pathways. In this study, we explored transcriptional differences among leiomyomas harboring different genetic drivers, including high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) rearrangements, mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12) mutations, biallelic inactivation of fumarate hydratase (FH), and collagen, type IV, alpha 5 and collagen, type IV, alpha 6 (COL4A5-COL4A6) deletions. We also explored the transcriptional consequences of 7q22, 22q, and 1p deletions, aiming to identify possible target genes. We investigated 94 leiomyomas and 60 corresponding myometrial tissues using exon arrays, whole genome sequencing, and SNP arrays. This integrative approach revealed subtype-specific expression changes in key driver pathways, including Wnt/β-catenin, Prolactin, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)1 signaling. Leiomyomas with HMGA2 aberrations displayed highly significant up-regulation of the proto-oncogene pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1), suggesting that HMGA2 promotes tumorigenesis through PLAG1 activation. This was supported by the identification of genetic PLAG1 alterations resulting in expression signatures as seen in leiomyomas with HMGA2 aberrations. RAD51 paralog B (RAD51B), the preferential translocation partner of HMGA2, was up-regulated in MED12 mutant lesions, suggesting a role for this gene in the genesis of leiomyomas. FH-deficient leiomyomas were uniquely characterized by activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) target genes, supporting the hypothesis that accumulation of fumarate leads to activation of the oncogenic transcription factor NRF2. This study emphasizes the need for molecular stratification in leiomyoma research and possibly in clinical practice as well. Further research is needed to determine whether the candidate biomarkers presented herein can provide guidance for managing the millions of patients affected by these lesions.

Yamada S, Tsukamoto S, Huang Y, et al.
Epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate up-regulates microRNA-let-7b expression by activating 67-kDa laminin receptor signaling in melanoma cells.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:19225 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs involved in various biological processes by regulating their target genes. Green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) inhibits melanoma tumor growth by activating 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR) signaling. To examine the effect of EGCG on miRNA expression in melanoma cells, we performed miRNA microarray analysis. We showed that EGCG up-regulated miRNA-let-7b expression through 67LR in melanoma cells. The EGCG-induced up-regulation of let-7b led to down-regulation of high mobility group A2 (HMGA2), a target gene related to tumor progression. 67LR-dependent cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA)/protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) signaling pathway activation was involved in the up-regulation of let-7b expression induced by EGCG. These findings provide a basis for understanding the mechanism of miRNA regulation by EGCG.

Saeidi K
Myeloproliferative neoplasms: Current molecular biology and genetics.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016; 98:375-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are clonal disorders characterized by increased production of mature blood cells. Philadelphia chromosome-negative MPNs (Ph-MPNs) consist of polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF). A number of stem cell derived mutations have been identified in the past 10 years. These findings showed that JAK2V617F, as a diagnostic marker involving JAK2 exon 14 with a high frequency, is the best molecular characterization of Ph-MPNs. Somatic mutations in an endoplasmic reticulum chaperone, named calreticulin (CALR), is the second most common mutation in patients with ET and PMF after JAK2 V617F mutation. Discovery of CALR mutations led to the increased molecular diagnostic of ET and PMF up to 90%. It has been shown that JAK2V617F is not the unique event in disease pathogenesis. Some other genes' location such as TET oncogene family member 2 (TET2), additional sex combs-like 1 (ASXL1), casitas B-lineage lymphoma proto-oncogene (CBL), isocitrate dehydrogenase 1/2 (IDH1/IDH2), IKAROS family zinc finger 1 (IKZF1), DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A), suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS), enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), tumor protein p53 (TP53), runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) and high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) have also identified to be involved in MPNs phenotypes. Here, current molecular biology and genetic mechanisms involved in MNPs with a focus on the aforementioned factors is presented.

Paladino D, Yue P, Furuya H, et al.
A novel nuclear Src and p300 signaling axis controls migratory and invasive behavior in pancreatic cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(6):7253-67 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
The presence of Src in the nuclear compartment has been previously reported, although its significance has remained largely unknown. We sought to delineate the functions of the nuclear pool of Src within the context of malignant progression. Active Src is localized within the nuclei of human pancreatic cancer cells and mouse fibroblasts over-expressing c-Src where it is associated with p300. Nuclear Src additionally promotes the tyrosine phosphorylation of p300 in pancreatic cancer Panc-1 cells. Src, together with p300, is associated with the high-mobility group AT-hook (HMGA)2 and SET and MYND domain-containing protein (SMYD)3 gene promoters and regulates their expression in a Src-dependent manner. These nuclear Src-dependent events correlate with anchorage-independent soft-agar growth and the migratory properties in both pancreatic Panc-1 cells and mouse fibroblasts over-expressing Src. Moreover, analyses of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumor tissues detected the association of nuclear Src with the HMGA2 and SMYD3 gene promoters. Our findings for the first time show the critical importance of nuclear Src and p300 function in the migratory properties of pancreatic cancer cells. Further, data together identify a previously unknown role of nuclear Src in the regulation of gene expression in association with p300 within the context of cells harboring activated or over-expressing Src. This novel mechanism of nuclear Src-p300 axis in PDAC invasiveness and metastasis may provide an opportunity for developing more effective early clinical interventions for this lethal disease.Active Src is complexed with and phosphorylates p300 in the nucleus, and the complex is bound to HMGA2 and SMYD3 genes, thereby regulating their expression to promote pancreatic tumor cell migration and invasiveness.

Shi Z, Li X, Wu D, et al.
Silencing of HMGA2 suppresses cellular proliferation, migration, invasion, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in bladder cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(6):7515-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
The high-mobility group protein A2 (HMGA2) is an architectural transcription factor that plays a crucial role in the development and progression of various malignant cancers. However, the function of HMGA2 in bladder cancer remains largely unknown. Therefore, we aim to investigate the effect of HMGA2 on the proliferation, migration, invasion, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of bladder cancer cells. The expression of HMGA2 in human bladder cancer cells was downregulated by small interfering RNA (siRNA). The protein levels of HMGA2 and other related proteins were detected by Western blotting. The cell proliferation and apoptosis were examined by Cell Counting Kit-8 and flow cytometry, respectively. Transwell migration and invasion assays were performed to assess the effect of HMGA2 on the migration and invasion ability of cells. In conclusion, we found that HMGA2 knockdown markedly inhibited cell proliferation; this reduced cell growth was due to the high apoptosis rate of cells, as Bcl-xl was diminished, whereas Bax was upregulated. Moreover, our results showed that silencing of HMGA2 in cancer cells greatly inhibited the cell migration and invasion, decreased the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and affected the occurrence of EMT. We further found that decreased HMGA2 expression suppressed the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/Smad and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in bladder cancer cells. These results revealed that HMGA2 played an important role in the progression of bladder cancer and might be a novel target for therapy in human bladder cancer.

Di Fiore R, Drago-Ferrante R, Pentimalli F, et al.
Let-7d miRNA Shows Both Antioncogenic and Oncogenic Functions in Osteosarcoma-Derived 3AB-OS Cancer Stem Cells.
J Cell Physiol. 2016; 231(8):1832-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteosarcoma (OS), an aggressive highly invasive and metastatic bone-malignancy, shows therapy resistance and recurrence, two features that likely depend on cancer stem cells (CSCs), which hold both self-renewing and malignant potential. So, effective anticancer therapies against OS should specifically target and destroy CSCs. We previously found that the let-7d microRNA was downregulated in the 3AB-OS-CSCs, derived from the human OS-MG63 cells. Here, we aimed to assess whether let-7d modulation affected tumorigenic and stemness properties of these OS-CSCs. We found that let-7d-overexpression reduced cell proliferation by decreasing CCND2 and E2F2 cell-cycle-activators and increasing p21 and p27 CDK-inhibitors. Let-7d also decreased sarcosphere-and-colony forming ability, two features associated with self-renewing, and it reduced the expression of stemness genes, including Oct3/4, Sox2, Nanog, Lin28B, and HMGA2. Moreover, let-7d induced mesenchymal-to-epithelial-transition, as shown by both N-Cadherin-E-cadherin-switch and decrease in vimentin. Surprisingly, such switch was accompanied by enhanced migratory/invasive capacities, with a strong increase in MMP9, CXCR4 and VersicanV1. Let-7d- overexpression also reduced cell sensitivity to apoptosis induced by both serum-starvation and various chemotherapy drugs, concomitant with decrease in caspase-3 and increase in BCL2 expression. Our data suggest that let-7d in 3AB-OS-CSCs could induce plastic-transitions from CSCs-to-non-CSCs and vice-versa. To our knowledge this is the first study to comprehensively examine the expression and functions of let-7d in OS-CSCs. By showing that let-7d has both tumor suppressor and oncogenic functions in this context, our findings suggest that, before prospecting new therapeutic strategies based on let-7d modulation, it is urgent to better define its multiple functions. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 1832-1841, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Leduc C, Zhang L, Öz B, et al.
Thoracic Myoepithelial Tumors: A Pathologic and Molecular Study of 8 Cases With Review of the Literature.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2016; 40(2):212-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
Thoracic myoepithelial tumors (MTs) are a rare group of tumors showing predominant or exclusive myoepithelial differentiation. They are poorly characterized from both a morphologic and genetic standpoint, in particular features that separate benign from malignant behavior. We examined the histologic and immunohistochemical features of 8 primary thoracic MTs and performed fluorescence in situ hybridization for EWSR1, FUS, PLAG1, and HMGA2, as well as several partner genes. Half (4/8) of the MTs occurred in large airways, and 3 had infiltrative borders. All cases showed immunoreactivity for epithelial markers, in conjunction with S100 protein or myogenic markers. MTs showed morphologic characteristics analogous to MTs at other sites, with no tumors having ductal differentiation. Necrosis and/or lymphovascular invasion was present in 5 cases, with mitotic activity ranging from 0 to 6 mitoses/2 mm² (mean 1). Metastases occurred in 2 cases, and no patients died of disease. Gene rearrangements were identified in half of the cases, with EWSR1-PBX1, EWSR1-ZNF444, and FUS-KLF17 fusions identified in 1 case each and 1 case having EWSR1 rearrangement with no partner identified. No cases were found to have HMGA2 or PLAG1 abnormalities. Compared with fusion-negative tumors, fusion-positive tumors tended to occur in patients who were younger (50 vs. 58 y), female (1:3 vs. 3:1 male:female ratio), and demonstrated predominantly spindle and clear cell morphology. Using a combined data set of our case series with 16 cases from the literature, poor prognosis was significantly correlated with metastases (P=0.003), necrosis (P=0.027), and ≥5 mitoses/2 mm²/10 high-power field (P=0.005). In summary, we identify a subset of thoracic MTs harboring rearrangements in EWSR1 or FUS, and our data suggest that necrosis and increased mitotic activity correlate with aggressive clinical behavior.

Kanojia D, Nagata Y, Garg M, et al.
Genomic landscape of liposarcoma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(40):42429-44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
Liposarcoma (LPS) is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma accounting for 20% of all adult sarcomas. Due to absence of clinically effective treatment options in inoperable situations and resistance to chemotherapeutics, a critical need exists to identify novel therapeutic targets. We analyzed LPS genomic landscape using SNP arrays, whole exome sequencing and targeted exome sequencing to uncover the genomic information for development of specific anti-cancer targets. SNP array analysis indicated known amplified genes (MDM2, CDK4, HMGA2) and important novel genes (UAP1, MIR557, LAMA4, CPM, IGF2, ERBB3, IGF1R). Carboxypeptidase M (CPM), recurrently amplified gene in well-differentiated/de-differentiated LPS was noted as a putative oncogene involved in the EGFR pathway. Notable deletions were found at chromosome 1p (RUNX3, ARID1A), chromosome 11q (ATM, CHEK1) and chromosome 13q14.2 (MIR15A, MIR16-1). Significantly and recurrently mutated genes (false discovery rate < 0.05) included PLEC (27%), MXRA5 (21%), FAT3 (24%), NF1 (20%), MDC1 (10%), TP53 (7%) and CHEK2 (6%). Further, in vitro and in vivo functional studies provided evidence for the tumor suppressor role for Neurofibromin 1 (NF1) gene in different subtypes of LPS. Pathway analysis of recurrent mutations demonstrated signaling through MAPK, JAK-STAT, Wnt, ErbB, axon guidance, apoptosis, DNA damage repair and cell cycle pathways were involved in liposarcomagenesis. Interestingly, we also found mutational and copy number heterogeneity within a primary LPS tumor signifying the importance of multi-region sequencing for cancer-genome guided therapy. In summary, these findings provide insight into the genomic complexity of LPS and highlight potential druggable pathways for targeted therapeutic approach.

Pradhan B, Sarvilinna N, Matilainen J, et al.
Detection and screening of chromosomal rearrangements in uterine leiomyomas by long-distance inverse PCR.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; 55(3):215-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genome instability is a hallmark of many tumors and recently, next-generation sequencing methods have enabled analyses of tumor genomes at an unprecedented level. Studying rearrangement-prone chromosomal regions (putative "breakpoint hotspots") in detail, however, necessitates molecular assays that can detect de novo DNA fusions arising from these hotspots. Here we demonstrate the utility of a long-distance inverse PCR-based method for the detection and screening of de novo DNA rearrangements in uterine leiomyomas, one of the most common types of human neoplasm. This assay allows in principle any genomic region suspected of instability to be queried for DNA rearrangements originating there. No prior knowledge of the identity of the fusion partner chromosome is needed. We used this method to screen uterine leiomyomas for rearrangements at genomic locations known to be rearrangement-prone in this tumor type: upstream HMGA2 and within RAD51B. We identified a novel DNA rearrangement upstream of HMGA2 that had gone undetected in an earlier whole-genome sequencing study. In more than 30 additional uterine leiomyoma samples, not analyzed by whole-genome sequencing previously, no rearrangements were observed within the 1,107 bp and 1,996 bp assayed in the RAD51B and HMGA2 rearrangement hotspots. Our findings show that long-distance inverse PCR is a robust, sensitive, and cost-effective method for the detection and screening of DNA rearrangements from solid tumors that should be useful for many diagnostic applications.

Piscuoglio S, Burke KA, Ng CK, et al.
Uterine adenosarcomas are mesenchymal neoplasms.
J Pathol. 2016; 238(3):381-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
Uterine adenosarcomas (UAs) are biphasic lesions composed of a malignant mesenchymal (ie stromal) component and an epithelial component. UAs are generally low-grade and have a favourable prognosis, but may display sarcomatous overgrowth (SO), which is associated with a worse outcome. We hypothesized that, akin to breast fibroepithelial lesions, UAs are mesenchymal neoplasms in which clonal somatic genetic alterations are restricted to the mesenchymal component. To characterize the somatic genetic alterations in UAs and to test this hypothesis, we subjected 20 UAs to a combination of whole-exome (n = 6), targeted capture (n = 13) massively parallel sequencing (MPS) and/or RNA sequencing (n = 6). Only three genes, FGFR2, KMT2C and DICER1, were recurrently mutated, all in 2/19 cases; however, 26% (5/19) and 21% (4/19) of UAs harboured MDM2/CDK4/HMGA2 and TERT gene amplification, respectively, and two cases harboured fusion genes involving NCOA family members. Using a combination of laser-capture microdissection and in situ techniques, we demonstrated that the somatic genetic alterations detected by MPS were restricted to the mesenchymal component. Furthermore, mitochondrial DNA sequencing of microdissected samples revealed that epithelial and mesenchymal components of UAs were clonally unrelated. In conclusion, here we provide evidence that UAs are genetically heterogeneous lesions and mesenchymal neoplasms.

Halle B, Marcusson EG, Aaberg-Jessen C, et al.
Convection-enhanced delivery of an anti-miR is well-tolerated, preserves anti-miR stability and causes efficient target de-repression: a proof of concept.
J Neurooncol. 2016; 126(1):47-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Over-expressed microRNAs (miRs) are promising new targets in glioblastoma (GBM) therapy. Inhibition of over-expressed miRs has been shown to diminish GBM proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis, indicating a significant therapeutic potential. However, the methods utilized for miR inhibition have had low translational potential. In clinical trials convection-enhanced delivery (CED) has been applied for local delivery of compounds in the brain. The aim of this study was to determine if safe and efficient miR inhibition was possible by CED of an anti-miR. We used a highly invasive GBM orthotopic xenograft model and targeted a well-validated miR, let-7a, with a 2'-O-methoxyethyl anti-miR with a combined phosphodiester/phosphorothioate backbone to establish an initial proof of concept. In vitro, anti-let-7a was delivered unassisted to the patient-derived T87 glioblastoma spheroid culture. In vivo, anti-let-7a or saline were administered by CED into orthotopic T87-derived tumors. After 1 month of infusion, tumors were removed and tumor mRNA levels of the target-gene High-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) were determined. In vitro, 5 days inhibition was superior to 1 day at de-repressing the let-7a target HMGA2 and the inhibition was stable for 24 h. In vivo, anti-miR integrity was preserved in the pumps and no animals showed signs of severe adverse effects attributable to the anti-miR treatment. HMGA2 tumor level was significantly de-repressed in the anti-miR treated animals. The results showed-as an initial proof of concept-that miRs can be efficiently inhibited using CED delivery of anti-miR. The next step is to apply CED for anti-miR delivery focusing on key oncogenic miRs.

Wu ZY, Wang SM, Chen ZH, et al.
MiR-204 regulates HMGA2 expression and inhibits cell proliferation in human thyroid cancer.
Cancer Biomark. 2015; 15(5):535-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Analysis using publicly available algorithms has found that high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2), a key transcriptional regulatory factor, is a potential target of microRNA-204 (miR-204). Some studies have shown that both miR-204 and HMGA2 are associated with cancer development.
OBJECTIVE: We examined the possible relationship between miR-204 and HMGA2 in the development of thyroid cancer.
METHODS: We assessed miR-204 expression in thyroid cancer specimens and cell lines using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Luciferase reporter assay was used to confirm the target associations. The effect of miR-204 on cell proliferation was confirmed with tetrazolium and colony formation assays. Gene and protein expression were examined using real-time PCR and western blotting, respectively.
RESULTS: MiR-204 was downregulated in the thyroid cancer specimens and cell lines, and targeted the 3^\prime untranslated region of HMGA2 directly. MiR-204 overexpression decreased cyclin D1 and Ki67 expression and increased P21 expression, which subsequently inhibited thyroid cancer cell proliferation.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that miR-204 plays a protective role by inhibiting thyroid cancer cell proliferation, and may identify new targets for anti-cancer treatment.

Wu Z, Eguchi-Ishimae M, Yagi C, et al.
HMGA2 as a potential molecular target in KMT2A-AFF1-positive infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Br J Haematol. 2015; 171(5):818-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in infants is an intractable cancer in childhood. Although recent intensive chemotherapy progress has considerably improved ALL treatment outcome, disease cure is often accompanied by undesirable long-term side effects, and efficient, less toxic molecular targeting therapies have been anticipated. In infant ALL cells with KMT2A (MLL) fusion, the microRNA let-7b (MIRLET7B) is significantly downregulated by DNA hypermethylation of its promoter region. We show here that the expression of HMGA2, one of the oncogenes repressed by MIRLET7B, is reversely upregulated in infant ALL leukaemic cells, particularly in KMT2A-AFF1 (MLL-AF4) positive ALL. In addition to the suppression of MIRLET7B, KMT2A fusion proteins positively regulate the expression of HMGA2. HMGA2 is one of the negative regulators of CDKN2A gene, which encodes the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16(INK4A) . The HMGA2 inhibitor netropsin, when combined with demethylating agent 5-azacytidine, upregulated and sustained the expression of CDKN2A, which resulted in growth suppression of KMT2A-AFF1-expressing cell lines. This effect was more apparent compared to treatment with 5-azacytidine alone. These results indicate that the MIRLET7B-HMGA2-CDKN2A axis plays an important role in cell proliferation of leukaemic cells and could be a possible molecular target for the therapy of infant ALL with KMT2A-AFF1.

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