HOXB13

Gene Summary

Gene:HOXB13; homeobox B13
Aliases: PSGD
Location:17q21.32
Summary:This gene encodes a transcription factor that belongs to the homeobox gene family. Genes of this family are highly conserved among vertebrates and essential for vertebrate embryonic development. This gene has been implicated to play a role in fetal skin development and cutaneous regeneration. In mice, a similar gene was shown to exhibit temporal and spatial colinearity in the main body axis of the embryo, but was not expressed in the secondary axes, which suggests functions in body patterning along the axis. This gene and other HOXB genes form a gene cluster at chromosome the 17q21-22 region. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:homeobox protein Hox-B13
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (11)

Cancer Overview

The G84E variant of HOXB13 is associated with a significantly increased risk of hereditary prostate cancer, though this accounts for only a small fraction of all prostate cancers. Huang et al (2014) reported that HOXB13 is preferentially recruited to the T allele at rs339331 allele (a prostate cancer-associated SNP), and this upregulates the expression of RFX6, a driver of prostate cancer cell migration and predictor of disease progression.

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Promoter Regions
  • Breast Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • RFX6
  • Washington
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Tamoxifen
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Cohort Studies
  • Chromosome 17
  • Prevalence
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Transfection
  • Young Adult
  • CpG Islands
  • Transcription Factors
  • RTPCR
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • HOXB13
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Rate
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Sweden
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • DNA Methylation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Mutation
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Prostate
  • Genotype
  • Genetic Predisposition
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Prostate Cancerrs339331 Polymorphism and Prostate Cancer susceptibility
Huang et al (2014) found that a rs339331 polymorphism is located within a functional binding site of the HOXB13 gene and causes an up regulation of RFX6, a protein which is associated with prostate cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Their analysis of prostate tumors found a significant association between the T allele at rs339331 and higher levels of RFX6 mRNA.
View Publications9
Prostate CancerGermline mutations of HOXB13 in Familiar Prostate Cancer?
Ewing et al (2012) screened >200 genes in the 17q21-22 region implicated in prostate cancer by sequencing germline DNA from 94 unrelated prostate patients from families selected for linkage to the candidate region. They found a rare but recurrent mutation (G84E) of HOXB13 in 18 men from 4 families. They concluded that Although the G84E variant of HOXB13 accounts for a small fraction of all prostate cancers it is associated with a significantly increased risk of hereditary prostate cancer. The finding has been confirmed in a number of other studies.

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

Latest Publications: HOXB13 (cancer-related)

Tong H, Ke JQ, Jiang FZ, et al.
Tumor-associated macrophage-derived CXCL8 could induce ERα suppression via HOXB13 in endometrial cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 376(1):127-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To elucidate the role of tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) in the loss of ERα in endometrial cancer (EC) and the underlying mechanism.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tissue microarrays and immunohistochemistry assays were performed using endometrial cancer tissue along with coculture, immunofluorescence, invasion assays and ChIP-qPCR using a human endometrial cancer cell line.
RESULTS: Compared with normal tissue, an increased number of TAM was found in EC tissue (34.0 ± 2.6 vs. 8.3 ± 1.1, respectively; p < 0.001), which may downregulate ERα (27.4%, p < 0.05 for HEC-1A and 16.9%, p < 0.05 for Ishikawa) and promote EC cell invasion (1.8-fold, p < 0.001 for HEC-1A and 2.0-fold, p < 0.001 for Ishikawa). Furthermore, we found that TAM-derived CXCL8 mediated the loss of ERα and cancer invasion via HOXB13. HOXB13 was highly expressed in the ERα-negative subtype (r = -0.204, p = 0.002) and low expression of ESR1 was associated with a poor prognosis for EC patients (log-rank p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: TAM-secreted CXCL8 downregulated the ERα expression of EC cells via HOXB13, which may be associated with cancer invasion, metastasis and poor prognosis.

Whitington T, Gao P, Song W, et al.
Gene regulatory mechanisms underpinning prostate cancer susceptibility.
Nat Genet. 2016; 48(4):387-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Molecular characterization of genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci can uncover key genes and biological mechanisms underpinning complex traits and diseases. Here we present deep, high-throughput characterization of gene regulatory mechanisms underlying prostate cancer risk loci. Our methodology integrates data from 295 prostate cancer chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequencing experiments with genotype and gene expression data from 602 prostate tumor samples. The analysis identifies new gene regulatory mechanisms affected by risk locus SNPs, including widespread disruption of ternary androgen receptor (AR)-FOXA1 and AR-HOXB13 complexes and competitive binding mechanisms. We identify 57 expression quantitative trait loci at 35 risk loci, which we validate through analysis of allele-specific expression. We further validate predicted regulatory SNPs and target genes in prostate cancer cell line models. Finally, our integrated analysis can be accessed through an interactive visualization tool. This analysis elucidates how genome sequence variation affects disease predisposition via gene regulatory mechanisms and identifies relevant genes for downstream biomarker and drug development.

Varinot J, Furudoï A, Drouin S, et al.
HOXB13 protein expression in metastatic lesions is a promising marker for prostate origin.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 468(5):619-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
The HOXB13 gene is a member of the homeobox gene family, and prostate development depends on HOXB13 function. HOXB13 is a very sensitive and specific marker of prostate tissue and prostate cancer. When the origin of a tumor in a resection specimen or in biopsy material is unclear, it allows determining the prostate as the primary. Our aim was to determine whether HOXB13 has similar sensitivity for determining prostate origin of lymph node and bone metastases. We retrieved cases of lymph node and bone metastases of histologically confirmed prostate cancer (PCa) and selected lymph node metastases of urothelial carcinoma (UCa). A panel of antibodies against HOXB13, PSA, ERG, Androgen receptors, p504S, p63, GATA-3, CK7, and Uroplakin 2 and 3 was tested on these tissue samples. Two pathologists analysed and scored staining as either 0 (negative) or + (positive). The selected cohort consisted of 74 cases of lymph node and 15 of bone metastases of PCa and 15 of lymph node metastases of UCa. HOXB13 was expressed in 93 % of lymph node and in 33 % of bone metastases of PCa. All lymph node metastases of UCa were negative. Sensitivity of HOXB13 as a marker for prostate origin in lymph node metastases was 93 % and for bone metastases 33 %. Inter-observer variability in assessment of staining was good, as only two (1.9 %) of lymph node metastasis of PCa were discordant. HOXB13 is a useful marker for prostate origin when doubt exists regarding the site of the primary of a metastatic lesion. On bone metastases, HOXB13 immunohistochemistry performed less well, probably due to the use of tissue decalcification.

Kim YR, Kang TW, To PK, et al.
HOXB13-mediated suppression of p21WAF1/CIP1 regulates JNK/c-Jun signaling in prostate cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):2011-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many prostate cancer (PCa) patients die of recurrent disease due to the emergence of hormone-independent cancer cells of which the mechanism is not fully understood. Our previous studies demonstrated that most castration- resistant prostate cancers (CRPC) overexpress the HOXB13 transcription factor to confer positive growth signals. Since HOXB13 also suppresses p21WAF1/CIP1 (p21) expression, we studied the correlation between HOXB13 and p21 in selected samples of PCa. While there was no statistically significant correlation between expression of HOXB13 and p21, HOXB13-deficient tumors had three times higher odds for expressing p21 than HOXB13-positive tumors. Moreover, CRPC showed more negative correlation than hormone-dependent PCa (HDPC). Further in vitro proliferation assay demonstrated that androgen did not affect the growth-suppressive function of p21 in androgen-dependent PCa cells, suggesting that p21 seems to override the growth-promoting function of androgen and suppression of p21 expression by HOXB13 is an important step in PCa cell survival under no androgen influence. HOXB13 also inhibited AP-1 signals via suppressed expression of JNK/c-Jun. While HOXB13 suppressed p21 expression via regulation of JNK signals, alteration of p21 expression also affected c-Jun and AP-1 activity. Taken together, overexpression of HOXB13 in CRPC is an important step in avoiding the growth-suppressive effect of p21 in a harsh condition such as an androgen-deprived environment.

Sgroi DC, Chapman JA, Badovinac-Crnjevic T, et al.
Assessment of the prognostic and predictive utility of the Breast Cancer Index (BCI): an NCIC CTG MA.14 study.
Breast Cancer Res. 2016; 18(1):1 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Biomarkers that can be used to accurately assess the residual risk of disease recurrence in women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer are clinically valuable. We evaluated the prognostic value of the Breast Cancer Index (BCI), a continuous risk index based on a combination of HOXB13:IL17BR and molecular grade index, in women with early breast cancer treated with either tamoxifen alone or tamoxifen plus octreotide in the NCIC MA.14 phase III clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT00002864; registered 1 November 1999).
METHODS: Gene expression analysis of BCI by real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed blinded to outcome on RNA extracted from archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples of 299 patients with both lymph node-negative (LN-) and lymph node-positive (LN+) disease enrolled in the MA.14 trial. Our primary objective was to determine the prognostic performance of BCI based on relapse-free survival (RFS). MA.14 patients experienced similar RFS on both treatment arms. Association of gene expression data with RFS was evaluated in univariate analysis with a stratified log-rank test statistic, depicted with a Kaplan-Meier plot and an adjusted Cox survivor plot. In the multivariate assessment, we used stratified Cox regression. The prognostic performance of an emerging, optimized linear BCI model was also assessed in a post hoc analysis.
RESULTS: Of 299 samples, 292 were assessed successfully for BCI for 146 patients accrued in each MA.14 treatment arm. BCI risk groups had a significant univariate association with RFS (stratified log-rank p = 0.005, unstratified log-rank p = 0.007). Adjusted 10-year RFS in BCI low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups was 87.5 %, 83.9 %, and 74.7 %, respectively. BCI had a significant prognostic effect [hazard ratio (HR) 2.34, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.33-4.11; p = 0.004], although not a predictive effect, on RFS in stratified multivariate analysis, adjusted for pathological tumor stage (HR 2.22, 95 % CI 1.22-4.07; p = 0.01). In the post hoc multivariate analysis, higher linear BCI was associated with shorter RFS (p = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS: BCI had a strong prognostic effect on RFS in patients with early-stage breast cancer treated with tamoxifen alone or with tamoxifen and octreotide. BCI was prognostic in both LN- and LN+ patients. This retrospective study is an independent validation of the prognostic performance of BCI in a prospective trial.

Lynch HT, Kosoko-Lasaki O, Leslie SW, et al.
Screening for familial and hereditary prostate cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(11):2579-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PC) has the highest degree of genetic transmission of any form of malignancy. In some families, the hereditary pattern is so strong as to mimic an autosomal dominance trait. We reviewed the known predisposing genetic markers to assess possible strategies for screening of families at risk. We carried out a systematic literature search using the Pubmed service of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and several gene libraries, including the NCBI SNP Library, the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man® Catalog of Human Genes and Genetic Disorders (OMIM) and SNPedia to obtain known gene loci, SNPs and satellite markers associated with PC. We further cross referenced information on identified loci comparing data from different articles and gene reference sites. Whenever possible, we recorded the odds ratio (OR) for the allele associated with PC. In multiple different linkage studies, many independent PC associated loci have been identified on separate chromosomes. Genome-wide association studies have added many more markers to the set derived from linkage investigations. A subset of the alleles is associated with early onset and aggressive cancer. Due to the great heterogeneity, the OR for any one allele predicting future development of this malignancy is low. The strongest predictors are the BRCA2 mutations, and the highly penetrant G84E mutation in HOXB13. The presence of multiple risk alleles is more highly predictive than a single allele. Technical limitations on screening large panels of alleles are being overcome. It is appropriate to begin supplementing prostate specific antigen testing with alleles, such as BRCA2 and HOXB13, disclosed by targeted genomic analysis in families with an unfavorable family cancer history. Future population studies of PC should include genomic sequencing protocols, particularly in families with a history of PC and other malignancies.

Hubbard GK, Mutton LN, Khalili M, et al.
Combined MYC Activation and Pten Loss Are Sufficient to Create Genomic Instability and Lethal Metastatic Prostate Cancer.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(2):283-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genetic instability, a hallmark feature of human cancers including prostatic adenocarcinomas, is considered a driver of metastasis. Somatic copy number alterations (CNA) are found in most aggressive primary human prostate cancers, and the overall number of such changes is increased in metastases. Chromosome 10q23 deletions, encompassing PTEN, and amplification of 8q24, harboring MYC, are frequently observed, and the presence of both together portends a high risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality. In extant genetically engineered mouse prostate cancer models (GEMM), isolated MYC overexpression or targeted Pten loss can each produce early prostate adenocarcinomas, but are not sufficient to induce genetic instability or metastases with high penetrance. Although a previous study showed that combining Pten loss with focal MYC overexpression in a small fraction of prostatic epithelial cells exhibits cooperativity in GEMMs, additional targeted Tp53 disruption was required for formation of metastases. We hypothesized that driving combined MYC overexpression and Pten loss using recently characterized Hoxb13 transcriptional control elements that are active in prostate luminal epithelial cells would induce the development of genomic instability and aggressive disease with metastatic potential. Neoplastic lesions that developed with either MYC activation alone (Hoxb13-MYC) or Pten loss alone (Hoxb13-Cre∣Pten(Fl/Fl)) failed to progress beyond prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and did not harbor genomic CNAs. By contrast, mice with both alterations (Hoxb13-MYC∣Hoxb13-Cre∣Pten(Fl/Fl), hereafter, BMPC mice) developed lethal adenocarcinoma with distant metastases and widespread genome CNAs that were independent of forced disruption of Tp53 and telomere shortening. BMPC cancers lacked neuroendocrine or sarcomatoid differentiation, features uncommon in human disease but common in other models of prostate cancer that metastasize. These data show that combined MYC activation and Pten loss driven by the Hoxb13 regulatory locus synergize to induce genomic instability and aggressive prostate cancer that phenocopies the human disease at the histologic and genomic levels.

Cai Q, Wang X, Li X, et al.
Germline HOXB13 p.Gly84Glu mutation and cancer susceptibility: a pooled analysis of 25 epidemiological studies with 145,257 participates.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(39):42312-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Numerous studies have investigated association between the germline HOXB13 p.Gly84Glu mutation and cancer risk. However, the results were inconsistent. Herein, we performed this meta-analysis to get a precise conclusion of the associations. A comprehensive literature search was conducted through Medline (mainly Pubmed), Embase, Cochrane Library databases. Crude odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by STATA 12.1 software to evaluate the association of HOXB13 p.Gly84Glu mutation and cancer susceptibility. Then, 25 studies including 51,390 cases and 93,867 controls were included, and there was significant association between HOXB13 p.Gly84Glu mutation and overall cancer risk (OR = 2.872, 95% CI = 2.121-3.888, P < 0.001), particularly in prostate cancer (OR = 3.248, 95% CI = 2.313-4.560, P < 0.001), while no association was found in breast (OR = 1.424, 95% CI = 0.776-2.613, P = 0.253) and colorectal cancers (OR = 2.070, 95% CI = 0.485-8.841, P = 0.326). When we stratified analysis by ethnicity, significant association was found in Caucasians (OR = 2.673, 95%CI = 1.920-3.720, P < 0.001). Further well-designed with large samples and other various cancers should be performed to validate our results.

Pomerantz MM, Li F, Takeda DY, et al.
The androgen receptor cistrome is extensively reprogrammed in human prostate tumorigenesis.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(11):1346-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Master transcription factors interact with DNA to establish cell type identity and to regulate gene expression in mammalian cells. The genome-wide map of these transcription factor binding sites has been termed the cistrome. Here we show that the androgen receptor (AR) cistrome undergoes extensive reprogramming during prostate epithelial transformation in man. Using human prostate tissue, we observed a core set of AR binding sites that are consistently reprogrammed in tumors. FOXA1 and HOXB13 colocalized at the reprogrammed AR binding sites in human tumor tissue. Introduction of FOXA1 and HOXB13 into an immortalized prostate cell line reprogrammed the AR cistrome to resemble that of a prostate tumor, functionally linking these specific factors to AR cistrome reprogramming. These findings offer mechanistic insights into a key set of events that drive normal prostate epithelium toward transformation and establish the centrality of epigenetic reprogramming in human prostate tumorigenesis.

Spisák S, Lawrenson K, Fu Y, et al.
CAUSEL: an epigenome- and genome-editing pipeline for establishing function of noncoding GWAS variants.
Nat Med. 2015; 21(11):1357-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The vast majority of disease-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) mapped by genome-wide association studies (GWASs) are located in the non-protein-coding genome, but establishing the functional and mechanistic roles of these sequence variants has proven challenging. Here we describe a general pipeline in which candidate functional SNPs are first evaluated by fine mapping, epigenomic profiling, and epigenome editing, and then interrogated for causal function by using genome editing to create isogenic cell lines followed by phenotypic characterization. To validate this approach, we analyzed the 6q22.1 prostate cancer risk locus and identified rs339331 as the top-scoring SNP. Epigenome editing confirmed that the rs339331 region possessed regulatory potential. By using transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN)-mediated genome editing, we created a panel of isogenic 22Rv1 prostate cancer cell lines representing all three genotypes (TT, TC, CC) at rs339331. Introduction of the 'T' risk allele increased transcription of the regulatory factor 6 (RFX6) gene, increased homeobox B13 (HOXB13) binding at the rs339331 region, and increased deposition of the enhancer-associated H3K4me2 histone mark at the rs339331 region compared to lines homozygous for the 'C' protective allele. The cell lines also differed in cellular morphology and adhesion, and pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes suggested an influence of androgens. In summary, we have developed and validated a widely accessible approach that can be used to establish functional causality for noncoding sequence variants identified by GWASs.

Maia S, Cardoso M, Pinto P, et al.
Identification of Two Novel HOXB13 Germline Mutations in Portuguese Prostate Cancer Patients.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0132728 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The HOXB13 germline variant G84E (rs138213197) was recently described in men of European descent, with the highest prevalence in Northern Europe. The G84E mutation has not been found in patients of African or Asian ancestry, which may carry other HOXB13 variants, indicating allelic heterogeneity depending on the population. In order to gain insight into the full scope of coding HOXB13 mutations in Portuguese prostate cancer patients, we decided to sequence the entire coding region of the HOXB13 gene in 462 early-onset or familial/hereditary cases. Additionally, we searched for somatic HOXB13 mutations in 178 prostate carcinomas to evaluate their prevalence in prostate carcinogenesis. Three different patients were found to carry in their germline DNA two novel missense variants, which were not identified in 132 control subjects. Both variants are predicted to be deleterious by different in silico tools. No somatic mutations were found. These findings further support the hypothesis that different rare HOXB13 mutations may be found in different ethnic groups. Detection of mutations predisposing to prostate cancer may require re-sequencing rather than genotyping, as appropriate to the population under investigation.

Beebe-Dimmer JL, Hathcock M, Yee C, et al.
The HOXB13 G84E Mutation Is Associated with an Increased Risk for Prostate Cancer and Other Malignancies.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015; 24(9):1366-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A rare nonconservative substitution (G84E) in the HOXB13 gene has been shown to be associated with risk of prostate cancer. DNA samples from male patients included in the Mayo Clinic Biobank (MCB) were genotyped to determine the frequency of the G84E mutation and its association with various cancers.
METHODS: Subjects were genotyped using a custom TaqMan (Applied Biosystems) assay for G84E (rs138213197). In addition to donating a blood specimen, all MCB participants completed a baseline questionnaire to collect information on medical history and family history of cancer.
RESULTS: Forty-nine of 9,012 male patients were carriers of G84E (0.5%). Thirty-one percent (n = 2,595) of participants had been diagnosed with cancer, including 51.1% of G84E carriers compared with just 30.6% of noncarriers (P = 0.004). G84E was most frequently observed among men with prostate cancer compared with men without cancer (P < 0.0001). However, the mutation was also more commonly observed in men with bladder cancer (P = 0.06) and leukemia (P = 0.01). G84E carriers were more likely to have a positive family history of prostate cancer in a first-degree relative compared to noncarriers (36.2% vs. 16.0%, P = 0.0003).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirms the association between the HOXB13 G84E variant and prostate cancer and suggests a novel association between G84E and leukemia and a suggestive association with bladder cancer. Future investigation is warranted to confirm these associations in order to improve our understanding of the role of germline HOXB13 mutations in human cancer.
IMPACT: The associations between HOXB13 and prostate, leukemia, and bladder suggest that this gene is important in carcinogenesis.

Attard G, Parker C, Eeles RA, et al.
Prostate cancer.
Lancet. 2016; 387(10013):70-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Much progress has been made in research for prostate cancer in the past decade. There is now greater understanding for the genetic basis of familial prostate cancer with identification of rare but high-risk mutations (eg, BRCA2, HOXB13) and low-risk but common alleles (77 identified so far by genome-wide association studies) that could lead to targeted screening of patients at risk. This is especially important because screening for prostate cancer based on prostate-specific antigen remains controversial due to the high rate of overdiagnosis and unnecessary prostate biopsies, despite evidence that it reduces mortality. Classification of prostate cancer into distinct molecular subtypes, including mutually exclusive ETS-gene-fusion-positive and SPINK1-overexpressing, CHD1-loss cancers, could allow stratification of patients for different management strategies. Presently, men with localised disease can have very different prognoses and treatment options, ranging from observation alone through to radical surgery, with few good-quality randomised trials to inform on the best approach for an individual patient. The survival of patients with metastatic prostate cancer progressing on androgen-deprivation therapy (castration-resistant prostate cancer) has improved substantially. In addition to docetaxel, which has been used for more than a decade, in the past 4 years five new drugs have shown efficacy with improvements in overall survival leading to licensing for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Because of this rapid change in the therapeutic landscape, no robust data exist to inform on the selection of patients for a specific treatment for castration-resistant prostate cancer or the best sequence of administration. Moreover, the high cost of the newer drugs limits their widespread use in several countries. Data from continuing clinical and translational research are urgently needed to improve, and, crucially, to personalise management.

Yuan H, Kajiyama H, Ito S, et al.
HOXB13 and ALX4 induce SLUG expression for the promotion of EMT and cell invasion in ovarian cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(15):13359-70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Homeoproteins, a family of transcription factors that have conserved homeobox domains, play critical roles in embryonic development in a wide range of species. Accumulating studies have revealed that homeoproteins are aberrantly expressed in multiple tumors and function as either tumor promoters or suppressors. In this study, we show that two homeoproteins, HOXB13 and ALX4, are associated with epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion of ovarian cancer cells. HOXB13 and ALX4 formed a complex in cells, and exogenous expression of either protein promoted EMT and invasion. Conversely, depletion of either protein suppressed invasion and induced reversion of EMT. SLUG is a C2H2-type zinc-finger transcription factor that promotes EMT in various cell lines. Knockdown of HOXB13 or ALX4 suppressed SLUG expression, and exogenous expression of either protein promoted SLUG expression. Finally, we showed that SLUG expression was essential for the HOXB13- or ALX4-mediated EMT and invasion. Our results show that HOXB13/SLUG and ALX4/SLUG axes are novel pathways that promote EMT and invasion of ovarian cancer cells.

Hussein S, Satturwar S, Van der Kwast T
Young-age prostate cancer.
J Clin Pathol. 2015; 68(7):511-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although prostate cancer is a disease of the elderly, its diagnosis is not uncommonly made in men younger than 55 years. Both ethnic, familial and genetic factors play a role in the early onset of prostate cancer, but the biology, particularly of low-grade prostate cancers detected at young age is not well understood. Autopsy studies have shown a high prevalence of Gleason score 6 prostate cancers in men under 55 years, but mortality of prostate cancer at this young age is almost negligible. Recently, a number of susceptibility genes such as BRCA2 and HOXB13 were reported, each with their own specific biological and histopathology features. In this review, we provide an update on the most recent findings in young-age prostate cancer.

Zabalza CV, Adam M, Burdelski C, et al.
HOXB13 overexpression is an independent predictor of early PSA recurrence in prostate cancer treated by radical prostatectomy.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(14):12822-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
HOXB13 is a prostate cancer susceptibility gene which shows a cancer predisposing (G84E) mutation in 0.1-0.6% of males. We analyzed the prognostic impact of HOXB13 expression by immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray containing more than 12,400 prostate cancers. Results were compared to tumor phenotype, biochemical recurrence, androgen receptor (AR) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as molecular subtypes defined by ERG status and genomic deletions of 3p, 5q, 6q, and PTEN. HOXB13 immunostaining was detectable in 51.7% of 10,216 interpretable cancers and considered strong in 9.6%, moderate in 19.7% and weak in 22.3% of cases. HOXB13 expression was linked to advanced pT stage, high Gleason grade, positive lymph node status (p < 0.0001 each), high pre-operative PSA levels (p = 0.01), TMPRSS2:ERG fusion, PTEN deletions, AR expression, cell proliferation, reduced PSA expression and early PSA recurrence (p < 0.0001 each). The prognostic value of HOXB13 was independent from established parameters including Gleason, stage, nodal stage and PSA. Co-expression analysis identified a subset of tumors with high HOXB13 and AR but low PSA expression that had a particularly poor prognosis. HOXB13 appears to be a promising candidate for clinical routine tests either alone or in combination with other markers, including AR and PSA.

Sevinc ED, Egeli U, Cecener G, et al.
Association of miR-1266 with recurrence/metastasis potential in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer patients.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(1):291-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Homeobox B13 (HOXB13):Interleukin 17 Receptor B (IL17BR) index of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer (ER (+) BC) patients may be a potential biomarker of recurrence/ metastasis. However, effects of microRNA (miRNA) binding to the 3' untranslated region (3 ?UTR) of HOXB13 and IL17BR and its function on recurrence/metastasis in ER (+) BC remains elusive. The aims of this study were to determine the expression of miRNAs that bind to 3 ?UTR of HOXB13 and IL17BR in ER (+) BC patients and asess the effects of these miRNAs on recurrence/metastasis. The expression profiles of HOXB13 and IL17BR were evaluated using RT- PCR in tumors and normal tissue samples from 40 ER (+) BC patients. The expression level of 4 miRNAs, which were predicted to bind the 3 ?UTR of HOXB13 and IL17BR using TargetScan, microRNA.org and miRDB online databases, were further evaluated with RT-PCR. Our findings demonstrated that high miR-1266 levels might be significant prognostic factor for recurrence/metastasis occurrence (3.05 fold p=0.004) and tamoxifen response (3.90 fold; p=0.2514) in ER (+) BC cases. Although we suggest that modulation of miR-1266 expression may be an important mechanism underlying the chemoresistance of ER (+) BC, advanced studies and validation are required.

Higgins J, Brogley M, Palanisamy N, et al.
Interaction of the Androgen Receptor, ETV1, and PTEN Pathways in Mouse Prostate Varies with Pathological Stage and Predicts Cancer Progression.
Horm Cancer. 2015; 6(2-3):67-86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To examine the impact of common somatic mutations in prostate cancer (PCa) on androgen receptor (AR) signaling, mouse models were designed to perturb sequentially the AR, ETV1, and PTEN pathways. Mice with "humanized" AR (hAR) alleles that modified AR transcriptional strength by varying polyglutamine tract (Q-tract) length were crossed with mice expressing a prostate-specific, AR-responsive ETV1 transgene (ETV1(Tg)). While hAR allele did not grossly affect ETV1-induced neoplasia, ETV1 strongly antagonized global AR regulation and repressed critical androgen-induced differentiation and tumor suppressor genes, such as Nkx3-1 and Hoxb13. When Pten was varied to determine its impact on disease progression, mice lacking one Pten allele (Pten(+/-) ) developed more frequent prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). Yet, only those with the ETV1 transgene progressed to invasive adenocarcinoma. Furthermore, progression was more frequent with the short Q-tract (stronger) AR, suggesting that the AR, ETV1, and PTEN pathways cooperate in aggressive disease. On the Pten(+/-) background, ETV1 had markedly less effect on AR target genes. However, a strong inflammatory gene expression signature, notably upregulation of Cxcl16, was induced by ETV1. Comparison of mouse and human patient data stratified by the presence of E26 transformation-specific ETS fusion genes highlighted additional factors, some not previously associated with prostate cancer but for which targeted therapies are in development for other diseases. In sum, concerted use of these mouse models illuminates the complex interplay of AR, ETV1, and PTEN pathways in pre-cancerous neoplasia and early tumorigenesis, disease stages difficult to analyze in man.

Hoffmann TJ, Sakoda LC, Shen L, et al.
Imputation of the rare HOXB13 G84E mutation and cancer risk in a large population-based cohort.
PLoS Genet. 2015; 11(1):e1004930 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
An efficient approach to characterizing the disease burden of rare genetic variants is to impute them into large well-phenotyped cohorts with existing genome-wide genotype data using large sequenced referenced panels. The success of this approach hinges on the accuracy of rare variant imputation, which remains controversial. For example, a recent study suggested that one cannot adequately impute the HOXB13 G84E mutation associated with prostate cancer risk (carrier frequency of 0.0034 in European ancestry participants in the 1000 Genomes Project). We show that by utilizing the 1000 Genomes Project data plus an enriched reference panel of mutation carriers we were able to accurately impute the G84E mutation into a large cohort of 83,285 non-Hispanic White participants from the Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging cohort. Imputation authenticity was confirmed via a novel classification and regression tree method, and then empirically validated analyzing a subset of these subjects plus an additional 1,789 men from Kaiser specifically genotyped for the G84E mutation (r2 = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.37–0.77). We then show the value of this approach by using the imputed data to investigate the impact of the G84E mutation on age-specific prostate cancer risk and on risk of fourteen other cancers in the cohort. The age-specific risk of prostate cancer among G84E mutation carriers was higher than among non-carriers. Risk estimates from Kaplan-Meier curves were 36.7% versus 13.6% by age 72, and 64.2% versus 24.2% by age 80, for G84E mutation carriers and non-carriers, respectively (p = 3.4x10-12). The G84E mutation was also associated with an increase in risk for the fourteen other most common cancers considered collectively (p = 5.8x10-4) and more so in cases diagnosed with multiple cancer types, both those including and not including prostate cancer, strongly suggesting pleiotropic effects. [corrected].

Kote-Jarai Z, Mikropoulos C, Leongamornlert DA, et al.
Prevalence of the HOXB13 G84E germline mutation in British men and correlation with prostate cancer risk, tumour characteristics and clinical outcomes.
Ann Oncol. 2015; 26(4):756-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A rare recurrent missense variant in HOXB13 (rs138213197/G84E) was recently reported to be associated with hereditary prostate cancer. Population-based studies have established that, since the frequency of this single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) varies between geographic regions, the associated proportion of prostate cancer (PrCa) risk contribution is also highly variable by country.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This is the largest comprehensive case-control study assessing the prevalence of the HOXB13 G84E variant to date and is the first in the UK population. We genotyped 8652 men diagnosed with PrCa within the UK Genetic Prostate Cancer Study (UKGPCS) and 5252 healthy men from the UK ProtecT study.
RESULTS: HOXB13 G84E was identified in 0.5% of the healthy controls and 1.5% of the PrCa cases, and it was associated with a 2.93-fold increased risk of PrCa [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.94-4.59; P = 6.27 × 10(-8)]. The risk was even higher among men with family history of PrCa [odds ratio (OR) = 4.53, 95% CI 2.86-7.34; P = 3.1 × 10(-8)] and in young-onset PrCa (diagnosed up to the age of 55 years; OR = 3.11, 95% CI 1.98-5.00; P = 6.1 × 10(-7)). There was no significant association between Gleason Score, presenting prostate specific antigen, tumour-node-metastasis (TNM) stage or NCCN risk group and carrier status. HOXB13 G84E was not associated with overall or cancer-specific survival. We found that the polygenic PrCa risk score (PR score), calculated using the 71 known single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with PrCa and the HOXB13 G84E variant act multiplicatively on PrCa risk. Based on the estimated prevalence and risk, this rare variant explains ∼1% of the familial risk of PrCa in the UK population.
CONCLUSIONS: The clinical importance of HOXB13 G84E in PrCa management has not been established. This variant was found to have no effect on prognostic implications but could be used for stratifying screening, by identifying men at high risk.
CLINICAL TRIALS NUMBERS: Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT): NCT02044172.
UK GENETIC PROSTATE CANCER STUDY: Epidemiology and Molecular Genetics Studies (UKGPCS): NCT01737242.

Laitinen VH, Rantapero T, Fischer D, et al.
Fine-mapping the 2q37 and 17q11.2-q22 loci for novel genes and sequence variants associated with a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(10):2316-27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The 2q37 and 17q12-q22 loci are linked to an increased prostate cancer (PrCa) risk. No candidate gene has been localized at 2q37 and the HOXB13 variant G84E only partially explains the linkage to 17q21-q22 observed in Finland. We screened these regions by targeted DNA sequencing to search for cancer-associated variants. Altogether, four novel susceptibility alleles were identified. Two ZNF652 (17q21.3) variants, rs116890317 and rs79670217, increased the risk of both sporadic and hereditary PrCa (rs116890317: OR = 3.3-7.8, p = 0.003-3.3 × 10(-5) ; rs79670217: OR = 1.6-1.9, p = 0.002-0.009). The HDAC4 (2q37.2) variant rs73000144 (OR = 14.6, p = 0.018) and the EFCAB13 (17q21.3) variant rs118004742 (OR = 1.8, p = 0.048) were overrepresented in patients with familial PrCa. To map the variants within 2q37 and 17q11.2-q22 that may regulate PrCa-associated genes, we combined DNA sequencing results with transcriptome data obtained by RNA sequencing. This expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analysis identified 272 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) possibly regulating six genes that were differentially expressed between cases and controls. In a modified approach, prefiltered PrCa-associated SNPs were exploited and interestingly, a novel eQTL targeting ZNF652 was identified. The novel variants identified in this study could be utilized for PrCa risk assessment, and they further validate the suggested role of ZNF652 as a PrCa candidate gene. The regulatory regions discovered by eQTL mapping increase our understanding of the relationship between regulation of gene expression and susceptibility to PrCa and provide a valuable starting point for future functional research.

Conway K, Edmiston SN, May R, et al.
DNA methylation profiling in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study defines cancer subclasses differing in clinicopathologic characteristics and survival.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(5):450 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, with several intrinsic subtypes differing by hormone receptor (HR) status, molecular profiles, and prognosis. However, the role of DNA methylation in breast cancer development and progression and its relationship with the intrinsic tumor subtypes are not fully understood.
METHODS: A microarray targeting promoters of cancer-related genes was used to evaluate DNA methylation at 935 CpG sites in 517 breast tumors from the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, a population-based study of invasive breast cancer.
RESULTS: Consensus clustering using methylation (β) values for the 167 most variant CpG loci defined four clusters differing most distinctly in HR status, intrinsic subtype (luminal versus basal-like), and p53 mutation status. Supervised analyses for HR status, subtype, and p53 status identified 266 differentially methylated CpG loci with considerable overlap. Genes relatively hypermethylated in HR+, luminal A, or p53 wild-type breast cancers included FABP3, FGF2, FZD9, GAS7, HDAC9, HOXA11, MME, PAX6, POMC, PTGS2, RASSF1, RBP1, and SCGB3A1, whereas those more highly methylated in HR-, basal-like, or p53 mutant tumors included BCR, C4B, DAB2IP, MEST, RARA, SEPT5, TFF1, THY1, and SERPINA5. Clustering also defined a hypermethylated luminal-enriched tumor cluster 3 that gene ontology analysis revealed to be enriched for homeobox and other developmental genes (ASCL2, DLK1, EYA4, GAS7, HOXA5, HOXA9, HOXB13, IHH, IPF1, ISL1, PAX6, TBX1, SOX1, and SOX17). Although basal-enriched cluster 2 showed worse short-term survival, the luminal-enriched cluster 3 showed worse long-term survival but was not independently prognostic in multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis, likely due to the mostly early stage cases in this dataset.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that epigenetic patterns are strongly associated with HR status, subtype, and p53 mutation status and may show heterogeneity within tumor subclass. Among HR+ breast tumors, a subset exhibiting a gene signature characterized by hypermethylation of developmental genes and poorer clinicopathologic features may have prognostic value and requires further study. Genes differentially methylated between clinically important tumor subsets have roles in differentiation, development, and tumor growth and may be critical to establishing and maintaining tumor phenotypes and clinical outcomes.

Adaniel C, Jhaveri K, Heguy A, Esteva FJ
Genome-based risk prediction for early stage breast cancer.
Oncologist. 2014; 19(10):1019-27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tests to better characterize tumor genomic architecture are quickly becoming a standard of care in oncology. For breast cancer, the use of gene expression assays for early stage disease is already common practice. These tests have found a place in risk stratifying the heterogeneous group of stage I-II breast cancers for recurrence, for predicting chemotherapy response, and for predicting breast cancer-related mortality. In the last 5 years, more assays have become available to the practicing oncologist. Given the rapidity with which this field has evolved, it is prudent to review the tests, their indications, and the studies from which they have been validated. We present a comprehensive review of the available gene expression assays for early stage breast cancer. We review data for several individual tests and comparative studies looking at risk prediction and cost-effectiveness.

Dryden NH, Broome LR, Dudbridge F, et al.
Unbiased analysis of potential targets of breast cancer susceptibility loci by Capture Hi-C.
Genome Res. 2014; 24(11):1854-68 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies have identified more than 70 common variants that are associated with breast cancer risk. Most of these variants map to non-protein-coding regions and several map to gene deserts, regions of several hundred kilobases lacking protein-coding genes. We hypothesized that gene deserts harbor long-range regulatory elements that can physically interact with target genes to influence their expression. To test this, we developed Capture Hi-C (CHi-C), which, by incorporating a sequence capture step into a Hi-C protocol, allows high-resolution analysis of targeted regions of the genome. We used CHi-C to investigate long-range interactions at three breast cancer gene deserts mapping to 2q35, 8q24.21, and 9q31.2. We identified interaction peaks between putative regulatory elements ("bait fragments") within the captured regions and "targets" that included both protein-coding genes and long noncoding (lnc) RNAs over distances of 6.6 kb to 2.6 Mb. Target protein-coding genes were IGFBP5, KLF4, NSMCE2, and MYC; and target lncRNAs included DIRC3, PVT1, and CCDC26. For one gene desert, we were able to define two SNPs (rs12613955 and rs4442975) that were highly correlated with the published risk variant and that mapped within the bait end of an interaction peak. In vivo ChIP-qPCR data show that one of these, rs4442975, affects the binding of FOXA1 and implicate this SNP as a putative functional variant.

Wang F, Yang Y, Fu Z, et al.
Differential DNA methylation status between breast carcinomatous and normal tissues.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2014; 68(6):699-707 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer has been considered to be a multifactorial disease with a wide array of well-characterized gene mutations and chromosomal abnormalities. However, it is becoming evident that the onset or development of breast cancer also depends on epigenetic factors, although the mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We performed a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation of breast carcinomatous tissues and paired normal tissues to examine the differences in methylation between them. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) was used to validate the hypermethylated genes screened out by DNA methylation microarray. We found that hypomethylation and hypermethylation occurred in 2753 and 1795 genes, respectively, in breast carcinomatous tissues. Meanwhile, gene ontology analysis and ingenuity pathway analysis revealed the function and pathway of several genes whose methylation status was altered in breast carcinomatous tissues. In addition, we investigated the promoter methylation status of four genes in breast carcinomatous tissue and paired normal tissues (n=30) by MSP. Promoter hypermethylation of CRABP1, HOXB13, IFNGR2, and PIK3C3 was found in 37% (11/30), 23% (7/30), 17% (5/30), and 2% (2/30) of the carcinomas, respectively. Mutation of these four important genes was critical to many types of cancer. Our results suggest that DNA methylation mechanisms may be involved in regulating the occurrence and development of breast cancer.

Bhatlekar S, Fields JZ, Boman BM
HOX genes and their role in the development of human cancers.
J Mol Med (Berl). 2014; 92(8):811-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this review, we summarize published findings on the involvement of HOX genes in oncogenesis. HOX genes are developmental genes--they code for proteins that function as critical master regulatory transcription factors during embryogenesis. Many reports have shown that the protein products of HOX genes also play key roles in the development of cancers. Based on our review of the literature, we found that the expression of HOX genes is not only up- or downregulated in most solid tumors but also that the expression of specific HOX genes in cancers tends to differ based on tissue type and tumor site. It was also observed that HOXC family gene expression is upregulated in most solid tumor types, including colon, lung, and prostate cancer. The two HOX genes that were reported to be most commonly altered in solid tumors were HOXA9 and HOXB13. HOXA were often reported to have altered expression in breast and ovarian cancers, HOXB genes in colon cancers, HOXC genes in prostate and lung cancers, and HOXD genes in colon and breast cancers. It was found that HOX genes are also regulated at the nuclear-cytoplasmic transport level in carcinomas. Tumors arising from tissue having similar embryonic origin (endodermal), including colon, prostate, and lung, showed relatively similar HOXA and HOXB family gene expression patterns compared to breast tumors arising from mammary tissue, which originates from the ectoderm. The differential expression of HOX genes in various solid tumors thus provides an opportunity to advance our understanding of cancer development and to develop new therapeutic agents.

Saunders EJ, Dadaev T, Leongamornlert DA, et al.
Fine-mapping the HOXB region detects common variants tagging a rare coding allele: evidence for synthetic association in prostate cancer.
PLoS Genet. 2014; 10(2):e1004129 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The HOXB13 gene has been implicated in prostate cancer (PrCa) susceptibility. We performed a high resolution fine-mapping analysis to comprehensively evaluate the association between common genetic variation across the HOXB genetic locus at 17q21 and PrCa risk. This involved genotyping 700 SNPs using a custom Illumina iSelect array (iCOGS) followed by imputation of 3195 SNPs in 20,440 PrCa cases and 21,469 controls in The PRACTICAL consortium. We identified a cluster of highly correlated common variants situated within or closely upstream of HOXB13 that were significantly associated with PrCa risk, described by rs117576373 (OR 1.30, P = 2.62×10(-14)). Additional genotyping, conditional regression and haplotype analyses indicated that the newly identified common variants tag a rare, partially correlated coding variant in the HOXB13 gene (G84E, rs138213197), which has been identified recently as a moderate penetrance PrCa susceptibility allele. The potential for GWAS associations detected through common SNPs to be driven by rare causal variants with higher relative risks has long been proposed; however, to our knowledge this is the first experimental evidence for this phenomenon of synthetic association contributing to cancer susceptibility.

Mills IG
HOXB13, RFX6 and prostate cancer risk.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(2):94-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
A new study shows that HOXB13 is preferentially recruited to the risk allele of a prostate cancer-associated SNP, enhancing the expression of RFX6, a driver of prostate cancer cell migration and predictor of disease progression. The work illustrates how a single risk locus contributes both to prostate cancer incidence and, through functional follow-up, to disease progression.

Huang Q, Whitington T, Gao P, et al.
A prostate cancer susceptibility allele at 6q22 increases RFX6 expression by modulating HOXB13 chromatin binding.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(2):126-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies have identified thousands of SNPs associated with predisposition to various diseases, including prostate cancer. However, the mechanistic roles of these SNPs remain poorly defined, particularly for noncoding polymorphisms. Here we find that the prostate cancer risk-associated SNP rs339331 at 6q22 lies within a functional HOXB13-binding site. The risk-associated T allele at rs339331 increases binding of HOXB13 to a transcriptional enhancer, conferring allele-specific upregulation of the rs339331-associated gene RFX6. Suppression of RFX6 diminishes prostate cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Clinical data indicate that RFX6 upregulation in human prostate cancers correlates with tumor progression, metastasis and risk of biochemical relapse. Finally, we observe a significant association between the risk-associated T allele at rs339331 and increased RFX6 mRNA levels in human prostate tumors. Together, our results suggest that rs339331 affects prostate cancer risk by altering RFX6 expression through a functional interaction with the prostate cancer susceptibility gene HOXB13.

Hamid SM, Cicek S, Karamil S, et al.
HOXB13 contributes to G1/S and G2/M checkpoint controls in prostate.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2014; 383(1-2):38-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
HOXB13 is a homeobox protein that is expressed in normal adult prostate and colon tissues; however, its deregulated expression was evidenced in various malignancies. To characterize the putative role of HOXB13 in cell cycle progression, we performed overexpression and siRNA-mediated knockdown studies in PC-3 and LNCaP cells. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) analyses were also performed using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues containing normal, H-PIN and PCa sections from 20 radical prostatectomy specimens. Furthermore, when the role of HOXB13 during cell cycle progression, association with cyclins, cell growth and colony formation using real-time cell proliferation were assessed, we observed that ectopic expression of HOXB13 accumulated cells at G1 through decreasing the cyclin D1 level by promoting its ubiquitination and degradation. This loss slowed S phase entry in both cell lines examined, with an associated decrease in pRb((S780) and (S795)) phosphorylations. Contrary, siRNA-mediated depletion of HOXB13 expression noticeably increased cyclin levels, stabilized E2F1 and CDC25C, subsequent to increased pRb phosphorylations. This increase in Cyclin B1 and CDC25C both together facilitated activation of cyclin B complex via dephosphorylating CDK1((T14Y15)), and resumed the G2/M transition after nocodazole synchronization. Despite an increase in the total expression level and cytoplasmic retention of HOXB13 in H-PIN and PCa samples that were observed via IHC evaluation of prostate tissues, HOXB13 depletion facilitated to an increase in PC-3 and LNCaP cell proliferation. Thus, we suggest that HOXB13 expression is required for cell cycle regulation, and increases by an unknown mechanism consequent to its functional loss in cancer.

Ewing CM, Ray AM, Lange EM, et al.
Germline mutations in HOXB13 and prostate-cancer risk.
N Engl J Med. 2012; 366(2):141-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Family history is a significant risk factor for prostate cancer, although the molecular basis for this association is poorly understood. Linkage studies have implicated chromosome 17q21-22 as a possible location of a prostate-cancer susceptibility gene.
METHODS: We screened more than 200 genes in the 17q21-22 region by sequencing germline DNA from 94 unrelated patients with prostate cancer from families selected for linkage to the candidate region. We tested family members, additional case subjects, and control subjects to characterize the frequency of the identified mutations.
RESULTS: Probands from four families were discovered to have a rare but recurrent mutation (G84E) in HOXB13 (rs138213197), a homeobox transcription factor gene that is important in prostate development. All 18 men with prostate cancer and available DNA in these four families carried the mutation. The carrier rate of the G84E mutation was increased by a factor of approximately 20 in 5083 unrelated subjects of European descent who had prostate cancer, with the mutation found in 72 subjects (1.4%), as compared with 1 in 1401 control subjects (0.1%) (P=8.5x10(-7)). The mutation was significantly more common in men with early-onset, familial prostate cancer (3.1%) than in those with late-onset, nonfamilial prostate cancer (0.6%) (P=2.0x10(-6)).
CONCLUSIONS: The novel HOXB13 G84E variant is associated with a significantly increased risk of hereditary prostate cancer. Although the variant accounts for a small fraction of all prostate cancers, this finding has implications for prostate-cancer risk assessment and may provide new mechanistic insights into this common cancer. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).

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