Gene Summary

Gene:HOXD13; homeobox D13
Aliases: BDE, SPD, BDSD, HOX4I
Summary:This gene belongs to the homeobox family of genes. The homeobox genes encode a highly conserved family of transcription factors that play an important role in morphogenesis in all multicellular organisms. Mammals possess four similar homeobox gene clusters, HOXA, HOXB, HOXC and HOXD, located on different chromosomes, consisting of 9 to 11 genes arranged in tandem. This gene is one of several homeobox HOXD genes located in a cluster on chromosome 2. Deletions that remove the entire HOXD gene cluster or the 5' end of this cluster have been associated with severe limb and genital abnormalities. Mutations in this particular gene cause synpolydactyly. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:homeobox protein Hox-D13
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015


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

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 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.

  • Cell Proliferation
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Chromosome 11
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Homeobox Genes
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-cbl
  • Infant
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Survival Rate
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Chromosome 2
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Myeloid Leukemia
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Western Blotting
  • Cancer DNA
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • DNA Methylation
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • Mutation
  • Transcription
  • Leukaemia
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • HOXD13
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Transcription Factors
  • Base Sequence
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Amino Acid Sequence
Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 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: HOXD13 (cancer-related)

Svoboda LK, Harris A, Bailey NJ, et al.
Overexpression of HOX genes is prevalent in Ewing sarcoma and is associated with altered epigenetic regulation of developmental transcription programs.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(12):1613-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
The polycomb proteins BMI-1 and EZH2 are highly overexpressed by Ewing sarcoma (ES), a tumor of stem cell origin that is driven by EWS-ETS fusion oncogenes, most commonly EWS-FLI1. In the current study we analyzed expression of transcription programs that are controlled by polycomb proteins during embryonic development to determine if they are abnormal in ES. Our results show that polycomb target gene expression in ES deviates from normal tissues and stem cells and that, as expected, most targets are relatively repressed. However, we also discovered a paradoxical up regulation of numerous polycomb targets and these were highly enriched for homeobox (HOX) genes. Comparison of HOX profiles between malignant and non-malignant tissues revealed a distinctive HOX profile in ES, which was characterized by overexpression of posterior HOXD genes. In addition, ectopic expression of EWS-FLI1 during stem cell differentiation led to aberrant up regulation of posterior HOXD genes. Mechanistically, this up regulation was associated with altered epigenetic regulation. Specifically, ES and EWS-FLI1+ stem cells displayed a relative loss of polycomb-dependent H3K27me3 and gain of trithorax-dependent H3K4me3 at the promoters of posterior HOXD genes and also at the HOXD11.12 polycomb response element. In addition, a striking correlation was evident between HOXD13 and other genes whose regulation is coordinately regulated during embryonic development by distal enhancer elements. Together, these studies demonstrate that epigenetic regulation of polycomb target genes, in particular HOXD genes, is altered in ES and that these changes are mediated downstream of EWS-FLI1.

Toropainen S, Malinen M, Kaikkonen S, et al.
SUMO ligase PIAS1 functions as a target gene selective androgen receptor coregulator on prostate cancer cell chromatin.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2015; 43(2):848-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that plays a central role in the development and growth of prostate carcinoma. PIAS1 is an AR- and SUMO-interacting protein and a putative transcriptional coregulator overexpressed in prostate cancer. To study the importance of PIAS1 for the androgen-regulated transcriptome of VCaP prostate cancer cells, we silenced its expression by RNAi. Transcriptome analyses revealed that a subset of the AR-regulated genes is significantly influenced, either activated or repressed, by PIAS1 depletion. Interestingly, PIAS1 depletion also exposed a new set of genes to androgen regulation, suggesting that PIAS1 can mask distinct genomic loci from AR access. In keeping with gene expression data, silencing of PIAS1 attenuated VCaP cell proliferation. ChIP-seq analyses showed that PIAS1 interacts with AR at chromatin sites harboring also SUMO2/3 and surrounded by H3K4me2; androgen exposure increased the number of PIAS1-occupying sites, resulting in nearly complete overlap with AR chromatin binding events. PIAS1 interacted also with the pioneer factor FOXA1. Of note, PIAS1 depletion affected AR chromatin occupancy at binding sites enriched for HOXD13 and GATA motifs. Taken together, PIAS1 is a genuine chromatin-bound AR coregulator that functions in a target gene selective fashion to regulate prostate cancer cell growth.

Imren S, Heuser M, Gasparetto M, et al.
Modeling de novo leukemogenesis from human cord blood with MN1 and NUP98HOXD13.
Blood. 2014; 124(24):3608-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leukemic transformation of human cells is a complex process. Here we show that forced expression of MN1 in primitive human cord blood cells maintained on stromal cells in vitro induces a transient, but not serially transplantable, myeloproliferation in engrafted mice. However, cotransduction of an activated HOX gene (NUP98HOXD13) with MN1 induces a serially transplantable acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Further characterization of the leukemic cells generated from the dually transduced cells showed the activation of stem cell gene expression signatures also found in primary human AML. These findings show a new forward genetic model of human leukemogenesis and further highlight the relevance of homeobox transcription factors in the transformation process.

Maegawa S, Gough SM, Watanabe-Okochi N, et al.
Age-related epigenetic drift in the pathogenesis of MDS and AML.
Genome Res. 2014; 24(4):580-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a clonal hematologic disorder that frequently evolves to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Its pathogenesis remains unclear, but mutations in epigenetic modifiers are common and the disease often responds to DNA methylation inhibitors. We analyzed DNA methylation in the bone marrow and spleen in two mouse models of MDS/AML, the NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) mouse and the RUNX1 mutant mouse model. Methylation array analysis showed an average of 512/3445 (14.9%) genes hypermethylated in NHD13 MDS, and 331 (9.6%) genes hypermethylated in RUNX1 MDS. Thirty-two percent of genes in common between the two models (2/3 NHD13 mice and 2/3 RUNX1 mice) were also hypermethylated in at least two of 19 human MDS samples. Detailed analysis of 41 genes in mice showed progressive drift in DNA methylation from young to old normal bone marrow and spleen; to MDS, where we detected accelerated age-related methylation; and finally to AML, which markedly extends DNA methylation abnormalities. Most of these genes showed similar patterns in human MDS and AML. Repeat element hypomethylation was rare in MDS but marked the transition to AML in some cases. Our data show consistency in patterns of aberrant DNA methylation in human and mouse MDS and suggest that epigenetically, MDS displays an accelerated aging phenotype.

Salsi V, Ferrari S, Gorello P, et al.
NUP98 fusion oncoproteins promote aneuploidy by attenuating the mitotic spindle checkpoint.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(4):1079-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
NUP98 is a recurrent fusion partner in chromosome translocations that cause acute myelogenous leukemia. NUP98, a nucleoporin, and its interaction partner Rae1, have been implicated in the control of chromosome segregation, but their mechanistic contributions to tumorigenesis have been unclear. Here, we show that expression of NUP98 fusion oncoproteins causes mitotic spindle defects and chromosome missegregation, correlating with the capability of NUP98 fusions to cause premature securin degradation and slippage from an unsatisfied spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). NUP98 fusions, unlike wild-type NUP98, were found to physically interact with the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C)(Cdc20) and to displace the BubR1 SAC component, suggesting a possible mechanistic basis for their interference with SAC function. In addition, NUP98 oncoproteins displayed a prolonged half-life in cells. We found that NUP98 stability is controlled by a PEST sequence, absent in NUP98 oncoproteins, whose deletion reproduced the aberrant SAC-interfering activity of NUP98 oncoproteins. Together, our findings suggest that NUP98 oncoproteins predispose myeloid cells to oncogenic transformation or malignant progression by promoting whole chromosome instability.

Oh JJ, Byun SS, Lee SE, et al.
Genetic variations in VDR associated with prostate cancer risk and progression in a Korean population.
Gene. 2014; 533(1):86-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Low levels of vitamin D are implicated as a potential risk factor for prostate cancer, and the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene may be important in the onset and progression of prostate cancer. In this study, sequence variants in the VDR gene were investigated in a Korean study cohort to determine whether they are associated with prostate cancer risk. We evaluated the association between 47 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the VDR gene and prostate cancer risk as well as clinical characteristics (prostate-specific antigen level, clinical stage, pathological stage and Gleason score) in Korean men (272 prostate cancer patients and 173 benign prostatic hyperplasia patient who underwent a prostate biopsy, which was negative for malignancy) using unconditional logistic regression. The statistical analysis suggested that two VDR sequence variants (rs2408876 and rs2239182) had a significant association with prostate cancer risk (odds ratio [OR]. 1.41; p=0.03; OR, 0.73; p=0.05, respectively). Logistic analyses of the VDR polymorphisms with several prostate cancer related factors showed that several SNPs were significant; nine SNPs to PSA level, three to clinical stage, two to pathological stage, and three SNPs to the Gleason score. The results suggest that some VDR gene polymorphisms in Korean men might not only be associated with prostate cancer risk but also significantly related to prostate cancer-related risk factors such as PSA level, tumor stage, and Gleason score. However, current limitation for small cohort with not-healthy control group might have false positive effects; therefore it should be overcome via further large-scale validating studies.

Shinawi T, Hill VK, Krex D, et al.
DNA methylation profiles of long- and short-term glioblastoma survivors.
Epigenetics. 2013; 8(2):149-56 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and malignant type of primary brain tumor in adults and prognosis of most GBM patients is poor. However, a small percentage of patients show a long term survival of 36 mo or longer after diagnosis. Epigenetic profiles can provide molecular markers for patient prognosis: recently, a G-CIMP positive phenotype associated with IDH1 mutations has been described for GBMs with good prognosis. In the present analysis we performed genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of short-term survivors (STS; overall survival < 1 y) and long-term survivors (LTS; overall survival > 3 y) by utilizing the HumanMethylation450K BeadChips to assess quantitative methylation at > 480,000 CpG sites. Cluster analysis has shown that a subset of LTS showed a G-CIMP positive phenotype that was tightly associated with IDH1 mutation status and was confirmed by analysis of the G-CIMP signature genes. Using high stringency criteria for differential hypermethylation between non-cancer brain and tumor samples, we identified 2,638 hypermethylated CpG loci (890 genes) in STS GBMs, 3,101 hypermethylated CpG loci (1,062 genes) in LTS (wild type IDH1) and 11,293 hypermethylated CpG loci in LTS (mutated for IDH1), reflecting the CIMP positive phenotype. The location of differentially hypermethylated CpG loci with respect to CpG content, neighborhood context and functional genomic distribution was similar in our sample set, with the majority of CpG loci residing in CpG islands and in gene promoters. Our preliminary study also identified a set of CpG loci differentially hypermethylated between STS and LTS cases, including members of the homeobox gene family (HOXD8, HOXD13 and HOXC4), the transcription factors NR2F2 and TFAP2A, and Dickkopf 2, a negative regulator of the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

Elhag OA, Hu XJ, Wen-Ying Z, et al.
Reconstructed adeno-associated virus with the extracellular domain of murine PD-1 induces antitumor immunity.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012; 13(8):4031-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The negative signaling provided by interactions of the co-inhibitory molecule, programmed death-1 (PD-1), and its ligands, B7-H1 (PD-L1) and B7-DC (PD-L2), is a critical mechanism contributing to tumor evasion; blockade of this pathway has been proven to enhance cytotoxic activity and mediate antitumor therapy. Here we evaluated the anti-tumor efficacy of AAV-mediated delivery of the extracellular domain of murine PD-1 (sPD-1) to a tumor site.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: An rAAV vector was constructed in which the expression of sPD-1, a known negative regulator of TCR signals, is driven by human cytomegalovirus immediate early promoter (CMV-P), using a triple plasmid transfection system. Tumor-bearing mice were then treated with the AAV/sPD1 construct and expression of sPD-1 in tumor tissues was determined by semi quantitative RT-PCR, and tumor weights and cytotoxic activity of splenocytes were measured.
RESULTS: Analysis of tumor homogenates revealed sPD-1 mRNA to be significantly overexpressed in rAAV/sPD-1 treated mice as compared with control levels. Its use for local gene therapy at the inoculation site of H22 hepatoma cells could inhibit tumor growth, also enhancing lysis of tumor cells by lymphocytes stimulated specifically with an antigen. In addition, PD-1 was also found expressed on the surfaces of activated CD8+ T cells.
CONCLUSION: This study confirmed that expression of the soluble extracellular domain of PD-1 molecule could reduce tumor microenvironment inhibitory effects on T cells and enhance cytotoxicity. This suggests that it might be a potential target for development of therapies to augment T-cell responses in patients with malignancies.

Xu H, Menendez S, Schlegelberger B, et al.
Loss of p53 accelerates the complications of myelodysplastic syndrome in a NUP98-HOXD13-driven mouse model.
Blood. 2012; 120(15):3089-97 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The nucleoporin gene NUP98 is fused to several genes including HOXD13 in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia, blast crisis. Genetically engineered mice that express a NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) transgene (Tg) display the phenotypic features of MDS, including cytopenias, bone marrow dysplasia, and transformation to acute leukemia. Here we show that short-term treatment with the p53 inhibitor Pifithrin-α partially and transiently rescued the myeloid and lymphoid abnormalities found in NHD13(+) Tg mice, with no improvement in the anemia, while the genetic deletion of 2 alleles of p53 rescued both the myeloid progenitor cell and long-term hematopoietic stem cell compartments. Nonetheless, loss of one or both alleles of p53 did not rescue the MDS phenotype, but instead exacerbated the MDS phenotype and accelerated the development of acute myeloid leukemia. Our studies suggest that while targeting p53 may transiently improve hematopoiesis in MDS, over the long-term, it has detrimental effects, raising caution about abrogating its function to treat the cytopenias that accompany this disease.

Novak RL, Harper DP, Caudell D, et al.
Gene expression profiling and candidate gene resequencing identifies pathways and mutations important for malignant transformation caused by leukemogenic fusion genes.
Exp Hematol. 2012; 40(12):1016-27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) and CALM-AF10 (CA10) are oncogenic fusion proteins produced by recurrent chromosomal translocations in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Transgenic mice that express these fusions develop AML with a long latency and incomplete penetrance, suggesting that collaborating genetic events are required for leukemic transformation. We employed genetic techniques to identify both preleukemic abnormalities in healthy transgenic mice as well as collaborating events leading to leukemic transformation. Candidate gene resequencing revealed that 6 of 27 (22%) CA10 AMLs spontaneously acquired a Ras pathway mutation and 8 of 27 (30%) acquired an Flt3 mutation. Two CA10 AMLs acquired an Flt3 internal-tandem duplication, demonstrating that these mutations can be acquired in murine as well as human AML. Gene expression profiles revealed a marked upregulation of Hox genes, particularly Hoxa5, Hoxa9, and Hoxa10 in both NHD13 and CA10 mice. Furthermore, mir196b, which is embedded within the Hoxa locus, was overexpressed in both CA10 and NHD13 samples. In contrast, the Hox cofactors Meis1 and Pbx3 were differentially expressed; Meis1 was increased in CA10 AMLs but not NHD13 AMLs, whereas Pbx3 was consistently increased in NHD13 but not CA10 AMLs. Silencing of Pbx3 in NHD13 cells led to decreased proliferation, increased apoptosis, and decreased colony formation in vitro, suggesting a previously unexpected role for Pbx3 in leukemic transformation.

Zha Y, Ding E, Yang L, et al.
Functional dissection of HOXD cluster genes in regulation of neuroblastoma cell proliferation and differentiation.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e40728 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Retinoic acid (RA) can induce growth arrest and neuronal differentiation of neuroblastoma cells and has been used in clinic for treatment of neuroblastoma. It has been reported that RA induces the expression of several HOXD genes in human neuroblastoma cell lines, but their roles in RA action are largely unknown. The HOXD cluster contains nine genes (HOXD1, HOXD3, HOXD4, and HOXD8-13) that are positioned sequentially from 3' to 5', with HOXD1 at the 3' end and HOXD13 the 5' end. Here we show that all HOXD genes are induced by RA in the human neuroblastoma BE(2)-C cells, with the genes located at the 3' end being activated generally earlier than those positioned more 5' within the cluster. Individual induction of HOXD8, HOXD9, HOXD10 or HOXD12 is sufficient to induce both growth arrest and neuronal differentiation, which is associated with downregulation of cell cycle-promoting genes and upregulation of neuronal differentiation genes. However, induction of other HOXD genes either has no effect (HOXD1) or has partial effects (HOXD3, HOXD4, HOXD11 and HOXD13) on BE(2)-C cell proliferation or differentiation. We further show that knockdown of HOXD8 expression, but not that of HOXD9 expression, significantly inhibits the differentiation-inducing activity of RA. HOXD8 directly activates the transcription of HOXC9, a key effector of RA action in neuroblastoma cells. These findings highlight the distinct functions of HOXD genes in RA induction of neuroblastoma cell differentiation.

Han X, Tang R, Chen X, et al.
2,2',4,4'-Tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) decreases progesterone synthesis through cAMP-PKA pathway and P450scc downregulation in mouse Leydig tumor cells.
Toxicology. 2012; 302(1):44-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are commonly used as flame retardants in textiles, plastics and electronics and represent a group of persistent environmental contaminants. They have been found to accumulate in human and marine mammals. Previous studies have shown that PBDEs have endocrine-disrupting properties and reproductive toxicity. However, the mechanisms under the reproductive disruptions are still not well understood. In this study, we explored the effects of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) on progesterone biosynthesis and possible mechanisms in mouse Leydig tumor cells (mLTC-1). Our results showed that BDE-47 could reduce progesterone production and decrease the intracellular cAMP level induced by hCG or forskolin. These suggested that BDE-47 decreasing progesterone production in mLTC-1 cells may be associated with the decline of intracellular cAMP level. Moreover, our data also indicated that the site G protein in cAMP-PKA pathway may be involved in this process. Furthermore, the addition of cAMP analog, 8-Br-cAMP, could not reverse the decrease of progesterone biosynthesis, indicating that a post-cAMP site (or sites) might be involved into the BDE-47-decreased progesterone production. In addition, we found BDE-47 reduced the activity of P450 side chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), which was companied with the decline of P450scc mRNA and protein level in mLTC-1 cells. Put all together, these results suggested that progesterone synthesis decrease induced by BDE-47 may be associated with attenuation of cAMP generation and reduction of P450scc activity.

Slape CI, Saw J, Jowett JB, et al.
Inhibition of apoptosis by BCL2 prevents leukemic transformation of a murine myelodysplastic syndrome.
Blood. 2012; 120(12):2475-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Programmed cell death or apoptosis is a prominent feature of low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), although the underlying mechanism remains controversial. High-risk MDS have less apoptosis associated with increased expression of the prosurvival BCL2-related proteins. To address the mechanism and pathogenic role of apoptosis and BCL2 expression in MDS, we used a mouse model resembling human MDS, in which the fusion protein NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) of the chromosomal translocation t(2;11)(q31;p15) is expressed in hematopoietic cells. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from 3-month-old mice had increased rates of apoptosis associated with increased cell cycling and DNA damage. Gene expression profiling of these MDS progenitors revealed a specific reduction in Bcl2. Restoration of Bcl2 expression by a BCL2 transgene blocked apoptosis of the MDS progenitors, which corrected the macrocytic anemia. Blocking apoptosis also restored cell-cycle quiescence and reduced DNA damage in the MDS progenitors. We expected that preventing apoptosis would accelerate malignant transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, contrary to expectations, preventing apoptosis of premalignant cells abrogated transformation to AML. In contrast to the current dogma that overcoming apoptosis is an important step toward cancer, this work demonstrates that gaining a survival advantage of premalignant cells may delay or prevent leukemic progression.

Gough SM, Chung YJ, Aplan PD
Depletion of cytotoxic T-cells does not protect NUP98-HOXD13 mice from myelodysplastic syndrome but reveals a modest tumor immunosurveillance effect.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(5):e36876 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and aplastic anemia (AA) patients both present with symptoms of bone marrow failure. In many AA patients, these features are thought to result from an oligoclonal expansion of cytotoxic T-cells that destroy haematopoietic stem or progenitor cells. This notion is supported by the observation that AA patients respond to immunosuppressive therapy. A fraction of MDS patients also respond well to immunosuppressive therapy suggesting a similar role for cytotoxic T-cells in the etiology of MDS, however the role of cytotoxic T-cells in MDS remains unclear. Mice that express a NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) transgene develop a MDS that closely mimics the human condition in terms of dysplasia, ineffective hematopoiesis, and transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We followed a cohort of NHD13 mice lacking the Rag1 protein (NHD13/Rag1KO) to determine if the absence of lymphocytes might 1) delay the onset and/or diminish the severity of the MDS, or 2) effect malignant transformation and survival of the NHD13 mice. No difference was seen in the onset or severity of MDS between the NHD13 and NHD13/Rag1KO mice. However, NHD13/Rag1KO mice had decreased survival and showed a trend toward increased incidence of transformation to AML compared to the NHD13 mice, suggesting protection from AML transformation by a modest immuno-surveillance effect. In the absence of functional Tcrb signaling in the NHD13/Rag1KO T-cell tumors, Pak7 was identified as a potential Tcrb surrogate survival signal.

Greenblatt S, Li L, Slape C, et al.
Knock-in of a FLT3/ITD mutation cooperates with a NUP98-HOXD13 fusion to generate acute myeloid leukemia in a mouse model.
Blood. 2012; 119(12):2883-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Constitutive activation of FLT3 by internal tandem duplication (ITD) is one of the most common molecular alterations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). FLT3/ITD mutations have also been observed in myelodysplastic syndrome patients both before and during progression to AML. Previous work has shown that insertion of an FLT3/ITD mutation into the murine Flt3 gene induces a myeloproliferative neoplasm, but not progression to acute leukemia, suggesting that additional cooperating events are required. We therefore combined the FLT3/ITD mutation with a model of myelodysplastic syndrome involving transgenic expression of the Nup98-HoxD13 (NHD13) fusion gene. Mice expressing both the FLT3/ITD and NHD13 transgene developed AML with 100% penetrance and short latency. These leukemias were driven by mutant FLT3 expression and were susceptible to treatment with FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibitors. We also observed a spontaneous loss of the wild-type Flt3 allele in these AMLs, further modeling the loss of the heterozygosity phenomenon that is seen in human AML with FLT3-activating mutations. Because resistance to FLT3 inhibitors remains an important clinical issue, this model may help identify new molecular targets in collaborative signaling pathways.

Gough SM, Slape CI, Aplan PD
NUP98 gene fusions and hematopoietic malignancies: common themes and new biologic insights.
Blood. 2011; 118(24):6247-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Structural chromosomal rearrangements of the Nucleoporin 98 gene (NUP98), primarily balanced translocations and inversions, are associated with a wide array of hematopoietic malignancies. NUP98 is known to be fused to at least 28 different partner genes in patients with hematopoietic malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia in blast crisis, myelodysplastic syndrome, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and bilineage/biphenotypic leukemia. NUP98 gene fusions typically encode a fusion protein that retains the amino terminus of NUP98; in this context, it is important to note that several recent studies have demonstrated that the amino-terminal portion of NUP98 exhibits transcription activation potential. Approximately half of the NUP98 fusion partners encode homeodomain proteins, and at least 5 NUP98 fusions involve known histone-modifying genes. Several of the NUP98 fusions, including NUP98-homeobox (HOX)A9, NUP98-HOXD13, and NUP98-JARID1A, have been used to generate animal models of both lymphoid and myeloid malignancy; these models typically up-regulate HOXA cluster genes, including HOXA5, HOXA7, HOXA9, and HOXA10. In addition, several of the NUP98 fusion proteins have been shown to inhibit differentiation of hematopoietic precursors and to increase self-renewal of hematopoietic stem or progenitor cells, providing a potential mechanism for malignant transformation.

Shu Y, Wang B, Wang J, et al.
Identification of methylation profile of HOX genes in extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2011; 17(29):3407-19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To identify methylation profile and novel tumor marker of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) with high throughout microarray.
METHODS: Differential methylation profile was compared between normal bile duct epithelial cell lines and CCA cell lines by methyl-DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) microarray. Bisulfite-polymerase chain reaction (BSP) was performed to identify the methylated allels of target genes. Expression of target genes was investigated before and after the treatment with DNA demethylating agent. Expression of candidate genes was also evaluated by immunofluorescence in 30 specimens of CCA tissues and 9 normal bile duct tissues.
RESULTS: Methylation profile of CCA was identified with MeDIP microarray in the respects of different gene functions and signaling pathways. Interestingly, 97 genes with hypermethylated CpG islands in the promoter region were homeobox genes. The top 5 hypermethylated homeobox genes validated by BSP were HOXA2 (94.29%), HOXA5 (95.38%), HOXA11 (91.67%), HOXB4 (90.56%) and HOXD13 (94.38%). Expression of these genes was reactivated with 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Significant expression differences were found between normal bile duct and extrahepatic CCA tissues (66.67%-100% vs 3.33%-10%).
CONCLUSION: HOXA2, HOXA5, HOXA11, HOXB4 and HOXD13 may work as differential epigenetic biomarkers between malignant and benign biliary tissues.

Qiu P, Gentles AJ, Plevritis SK
Discovering biological progression underlying microarray samples.
PLoS Comput Biol. 2011; 7(4):e1001123 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In biological systems that undergo processes such as differentiation, a clear concept of progression exists. We present a novel computational approach, called Sample Progression Discovery (SPD), to discover patterns of biological progression underlying microarray gene expression data. SPD assumes that individual samples of a microarray dataset are related by an unknown biological process (i.e., differentiation, development, cell cycle, disease progression), and that each sample represents one unknown point along the progression of that process. SPD aims to organize the samples in a manner that reveals the underlying progression and to simultaneously identify subsets of genes that are responsible for that progression. We demonstrate the performance of SPD on a variety of microarray datasets that were generated by sampling a biological process at different points along its progression, without providing SPD any information of the underlying process. When applied to a cell cycle time series microarray dataset, SPD was not provided any prior knowledge of samples' time order or of which genes are cell-cycle regulated, yet SPD recovered the correct time order and identified many genes that have been associated with the cell cycle. When applied to B-cell differentiation data, SPD recovered the correct order of stages of normal B-cell differentiation and the linkage between preB-ALL tumor cells with their cell origin preB. When applied to mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation data, SPD uncovered a landscape of ESC differentiation into various lineages and genes that represent both generic and lineage specific processes. When applied to a prostate cancer microarray dataset, SPD identified gene modules that reflect a progression consistent with disease stages. SPD may be best viewed as a novel tool for synthesizing biological hypotheses because it provides a likely biological progression underlying a microarray dataset and, perhaps more importantly, the candidate genes that regulate that progression.

Cantile M, Franco R, Tschan A, et al.
HOX D13 expression across 79 tumor tissue types.
Int J Cancer. 2009; 125(7):1532-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
HOX genes control normal development, primary cellular processes and are characterized by a unique genomic network organization. Locus D HOX genes play an important role in limb generation and mesenchymal condensation. Dysregulated HOXD13 expression has been detected in breast cancer, melanoma, cervical cancer and astrocytomas. We have investigated the epidemiology of HOXD13 expression in human tissues and its potential deregulation in the carcinogenesis of specific tumors. HOXD13 homeoprotein expression has been detected using microarray technology comprising more than 4,000 normal and neoplastic tissue samples including 79 different tumor categories. Validation of HOXD13 expression has been performed, at mRNA level, for selected tumor types. Significant differences are detectable between specific normal tissues and corresponding tumor types with the majority of cancers showing an increase in HOXD13 expression (16.1% normal vs. 57.7% cancers). In contrast, pancreas and stomach tumor subtypes display the opposite trend. Interestingly, detection of the HOXD13 homeoprotein in pancreas-tissue microarrays shows that its negative expression has a significant and adverse effect on the prognosis of patients with pancreatic cancer independent of the T or N stage at the time of diagnosis. Our study provides, for the first time, an overview of a HOX protein expression in a large series of normal and neoplastic tissue types, identifies pancreatic cancer as one of the most affected by the HOXD13 hoemoprotein and underlines the way homeoproteins can be associated to human cancerogenesis.

Slape C, Liu LY, Beachy S, Aplan PD
Leukemic transformation in mice expressing a NUP98-HOXD13 transgene is accompanied by spontaneous mutations in Nras, Kras, and Cbl.
Blood. 2008; 112(5):2017-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) fusion gene occurs in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL). We reported that transgenic mice expressing NHD13 develop MDS, and that more than half of these mice eventually progress to acute leukemia. The latency period suggests a requirement for at least 1 complementary event before leukemic transformation. We conducted a candidate gene search for complementary events focused on genes that are frequently mutated in human myeloid leukemia. We investigated 22 ANLL samples and found a high frequency of Nras and Kras mutations, an absence of Npm1, p53, Runx1, Kit and Flt3 mutations, and a single Cbl mutation. Our findings support a working hypothesis that predicts that ANLL cases have one mutation which inhibits differentiation, and a complementary mutation which enhances proliferation or inhibit apoptosis. In addition, we provide the first evidence for spontaneous collaborating mutations in a genetically engineered mouse model of ANLL.

Palmqvist L, Pineault N, Wasslavik C, Humphries RK
Candidate genes for expansion and transformation of hematopoietic stem cells by NUP98-HOX fusion genes.
PLoS One. 2007; 2(8):e768 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hox genes are implicated in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) regulation as well as in leukemia development through translocation with the nucleoporin gene NUP98. Interestingly, an engineered NUP98-HOXA10 (NA10) fusion can induce a several hundred-fold expansion of HSCs in vitro and NA10 and the AML-associated fusion gene NUP98-HOXD13 (ND13) have a virtually indistinguishable ability to transform myeloid progenitor cells in vitro and to induce leukemia in collaboration with MEIS1 in vivo.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: These findings provided a potentially powerful approach to identify key pathways mediating Hox-induced expansion and transformation of HSCs by identifying gene expression changes commonly induced by ND13 and NA10 but not by a NUP98-Hox fusion with a non-DNA binding homedomain mutation (N51S). The gene expression repertoire of purified murine bone marrow Sca-1+Lin- cells transduced with retroviral vectors encoding for these genes was established using the Affymetrix GeneChip MOE430A. Approximately seventy genes were differentially expressed in ND13 and NA10 cells that were significantly changed by both compared to the ND13(N51S) mutant. Intriguingly, several of these potential Hox target genes have been implicated in HSC expansion and self-renewal, including the tyrosine kinase receptor Flt3, the prion protein, Prnp, hepatic leukemia factor, Hlf and Jagged-2, Jag2. Consistent with these results, FLT3, HLF and JAG2 expression correlated with HOX A cluster gene expression in human leukemia samples.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion this study has identified several novel Hox downstream target genes and provides important new leads to key regulators of the expansion and transformation of hematopoietic stem cells by Hox.

Hidaka E, Tanaka M, Matsuda K, et al.
A complex karyotype, including a three-way translocation generating a NUP98-HOXD13 transcript, in an infant with acute myeloid leukemia.
Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2007; 176(2):137-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report the case of an infant with acute myeloblastic leukemia who had the abnormal karyotype 46,XX,t(2;11;9)(q31;p15;q22),t(6;11;15)(q21;q23;q22),t(8;10)(q13;q22). At relapse, a different three-way translocation emerged. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay detected the NUP98-HOXD13 fusion gene in bone marrow cells of the patient at diagnosis and at relapse. Sequence analysis showed that exon 12 of NUP98 was fused in-frame with exon 2 of HOXD13. The patient had neither a rearrangement of the MLL gene nor aberrations for FLT3, KIT, NRAS, KRAS, or PTPN11. The NUP98-HOXD13 fusion transcript created by t(2;11;9)(q31;p15;q22) may play an important role in the leukemogenesis in this case.

Lin YW, Aplan PD
Gene expression profiling of precursor T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma identifies oncogenic pathways that are potential therapeutic targets.
Leukemia. 2007; 21(6):1276-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We compared the gene expression pattern of thymic tumors from precursor T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia (pre-T LBL) that arose in transgenic mice that overexpressed SCL, LMO1 or NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) with that of thymocytes from normal littermates. Only two genes, Ccl8 and Mrpl38, were consistently more than fourfold overexpressed in pre-T LBL from all three genotypes analyzed, and a single gene, Prss16 was consistently underexpressed. However, we identified a number of genes, such as Cfl1, Tcra, Tcrb, Pbx3, Eif4a, Eif4b and Cox8b that were over or under-expressed in pre-T LBL that arose in specific transgenic lines. Similar to the situation seen with human pre-T LBL, the SCL/LMO1 leukemias displayed an expression profile consistent with mature, late cortical thymocytes, whereas the NHD13 leukemias displayed an expression profile more consistent with immature thymocytes. We evaluated two of the most differentially regulated genes as potential therapeutic targets. Cfl1 was specifically overexpressed in SCL-LMO1 tumors; inactivation of Cfl1 using okadaic acid resulted in suppression of leukemic cell growth. Overexpression of Ccl8 was a consistent finding in all three transgenic lines, and an antagonist for the Ccl8 receptor-induced death of leukemic cell lines, suggesting a novel therapeutic approach.

Slape C, Chung YJ, Soloway PD, et al.
Mouse embryonic stem cells that express a NUP98-HOXD13 fusion protein are impaired in their ability to differentiate and can be complemented by BCR-ABL.
Leukemia. 2007; 21(6):1239-48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) fusions have been identified in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, acute myelogenous leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia blast crisis. We generated 'knock-in' mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells that express a NHD13 fusion gene from the endogenous murine NUP98 promoter, and used an in vitro differentiation system to differentiate the ES cells to hematopoietic colonies. Replating assays demonstrated that the partially differentiated NHD13 ES cells were immortal, and two of these cultures were transferred to liquid culture. These cell lines are partially differentiated immature hematopoietic cells, as determined by morphology, immunophenotype and gene expression profile. Despite these characteristics, they were unable to differentiate when exposed to high concentrations of erythropoietin (Epo), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor or macrophage colony-stimulating factor. The cell lines are incompletely transformed, as evidenced by their dependence on interleukin 3 (IL-3), and their failure to initiate tumors when injected into immunodeficient mice. We attempted genetic complementation of the NHD13 gene using IL-3 independence and tumorigenicity in immunodeficient mice as markers of transformation, and found that BCR-ABL successfully transformed the cell lines. These findings support the hypothesis that expression of a NHD13 fusion gene impairs hematopoietic differentiation, and that these cell lines present a model system to study the nature of this impaired differentiation.

Chong IW, Chang MY, Chang HC, et al.
Great potential of a panel of multiple hMTH1, SPD, ITGA11 and COL11A1 markers for diagnosis of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2006; 16(5):981-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Research on molecular mechanisms underlying the carcinogenesis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may provide gene targets in critical pathways valuable for improving the efficacy of therapy and survival of patients with NSCLC. However, the molecular markers highly sensitive for the prognosis and treatment evaluation of NSCLC are not yet available. To explore candidates, we conducted an oligonucleotide microarray study with three pairs of NSCLC and normal lung tissue, and determined 8 differentially expressed genes including the Human MutT homologue (hMTH1), Surfactant protein D (SPD), Human hyaluronan binding protein 2 (HABP2), Crystalline-mu (CRYM), Ceruloplasmin (CP), Integrin alpha-11 subunit (ITGA11), Collagen type XI alpha I (COL11A1), and Lung-specific X protein (Lun X). Four lung cancer-related markers MUC-1, hTERT, hnRNP B1, and CK-19 were also incorporated for further analysis. The expression profiles of the twelve genes in seventy pairs of NSCLC tumor and normal lung tissue were then detected quantitatively by using membrane array and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The data of the membrane array and qRT-PCR were compared for consistency and the potential of these mRNA markers in clinical application. The results showed that membrane array and qRT-PCR obtained consistent data for the tested genes in both sensitivity and specificity (correlation coefficient 0.921, p<0.0001). For patients' clinicopathological characteristics, the overexpression of hMTH1, SPD, HABP 2, ITGA11, COL11A1, and CK-19 was significantly correlated with the pathological stage (p<0.05). In addition, the overexpression of hMTH1, SPD, ITGA11, and COL11A1 was correlated with lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis. This is the first report relating SPD to a prognosis marker for NSCLC. Moreover, the combined detection of these four mRNA markers by membrane array had a sensitivity of 89% and a specificity of 84% for NSCLC, significantly higher than these markers had achieved separately. In conclusion, we identified mRNA markers for NSCLC prognosis and therapy evaluation from differentially expressed genes determined by using micro-array. Further studies are needed to collect the data of the mRNA markers used in clinical practice.

Shen R, Ghosh D, Chinnaiyan A, Meng Z
Eigengene-based linear discriminant model for tumor classification using gene expression microarray data.
Bioinformatics. 2006; 22(21):2635-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
MOTIVATION: The nearest shrunken centroids classifier has become a popular algorithm in tumor classification problems using gene expression microarray data. Feature selection is an embedded part of the method to select top-ranking genes based on a univariate distance statistic calculated for each gene individually. The univariate statistics summarize gene expression profiles outside of the gene co-regulation network context, leading to redundant information being included in the selection procedure.
RESULTS: We propose an Eigengene-based Linear Discriminant Analysis (ELDA) to address gene selection in a multivariate framework. The algorithm uses a modified rotated Spectral Decomposition (SpD) technique to select 'hub' genes that associate with the most important eigenvectors. Using three benchmark cancer microarray datasets, we show that ELDA selects the most characteristic genes, leading to substantially smaller classifiers than the univariate feature selection based analogues. The resulting de-correlated expression profiles make the gene-wise independence assumption more realistic and applicable for the shrunken centroids classifier and other diagonal linear discriminant type of models. Our algorithm further incorporates a misclassification cost matrix, allowing differential penalization of one type of error over another. In the breast cancer data, we show false negative prognosis can be controlled via a cost-adjusted discriminant function.
AVAILABILITY: R code for the ELDA algorithm is available from author upon request.

Fèvre-Montange M, Champier J, Szathmari A, et al.
Microarray analysis reveals differential gene expression patterns in tumors of the pineal region.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2006; 65(7):675-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several types of tumors are known to originate from the pineal region, among them pineal parenchymal tumors (PPTs) and papillary tumors of the pineal region (PTPRs), probably derived from the subcommissural organ. As a result of their rarity, their histologic diagnosis remains difficult. To identify molecular markers, using CodeLink oligonucleotide arrays, gene expression was studied in 3 PPTs (2 pineocytomas and one pineoblastoma), 2 PTPRs, and one chordoid glioma, another rare tumor of the third ventricle. Because PTPR and chordoid glioma may present ependymal differentiation, gene expression was also analyzed in 4 ependymomas. The gene patterns of the 3 PPTs fell in the same cluster. The pineocytomas showed high expression of TPH, HIOMT, and genes related to phototransduction in the retina (OPN4, RGS16, and CRB3), whereas the pineoblastoma showed high expression of UBEC2, SOX4, TERT, TEP1, PRAME, CD24, POU4F2, and HOXD13. Using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction on 13 PPTs, we demonstrated that PRAME, CD24, POU4F2, and HOXD13 might be candidates for grading PPT with intermediate differentiation. PTPRs, classified with chordoid glioma and separately from ependymomas, showed high expression of SPEDF, KRT18, and genes encoding proteins reported to be expressed in the subcommissural organ, namely ZFH4, RFX3, TTR, and CGRP. Our results highlight the usefulness of gene expression profiling for classify tumors of the pineal region and identify genes with potential use as diagnostic markers.

Furuta J, Nobeyama Y, Umebayashi Y, et al.
Silencing of Peroxiredoxin 2 and aberrant methylation of 33 CpG islands in putative promoter regions in human malignant melanomas.
Cancer Res. 2006; 66(12):6080-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant methylation of promoter CpG islands (CGI) is involved in silencing of tumor suppressor genes and is also a potential cancer biomarker. Here, to identify CGIs aberrantly methylated in human melanomas, we did a genome-wide search using methylation-sensitive representational difference analysis. CGIs in putative promoter regions of 34 genes (ABHD9, BARHL1, CLIC5, CNNM1, COL2A1, CPT1C, DDIT4L, DERL3, DHRS3, DPYS, EFEMP2, FAM62C, FAM78A, FLJ33790, GBX2, GPR10, GPRASP1, HOXA9, HOXD11, HOXD12, HOXD13, p14ARF, PAX6, PRDX2, PTPRG, RASD1, RAX, REC8L1, SLC27A3, TGFB2, TLX2, TMEM22, TMEM30B, and UNC5C) were found to be methylated in at least 1 of 13 melanoma cell lines but not in two cultured normal melanocytes. Among these genes, Peroxiredoxin 2 (PRDX2) was expressed in normal melanocytes, and its expression was lost in melanomas with methylation. The loss of expression was restored by treatment of melanomas with a demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. In surgical melanoma specimens, methylation of PRDX2 was detected in 3 of 36 (8%). Furthermore, immunohistochemical analysis of PRDX2 showed that disappearance of immunoreactivity tends to associate with its methylation. PRDX2 was recently reported to be a negative regulator of platelet-derived growth factor signaling, and its silencing was suggested to be involved in melanomas. On the other hand, 12 CGIs were methylated in >or=9 of the 13 melanoma cell lines and are considered as candidate melanoma biomarkers.

Abramovich C, Pineault N, Ohta H, Humphries RK
Hox genes: from leukemia to hematopoietic stem cell expansion.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005; 1044:109-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hox genes are clearly implicated in leukemia; however, neither the specificity of the leukemogenic potential among Hox genes of different paralog groups nor the role of the homeodomain is clear. We tested the leukemogenic potential of various NUP98-Hox fusion genes alone and with MEIS1. All genes tested had a significant overlapping effect in bone marrow cells in vitro. However, not all formed strong leukemogenic NUP98 fusion genes; but together with overexpression of MEIS1, all induced myeloid leukemia. This phenomenon was also seen with NUP98 fusions containing only the homeodomain of the corresponding Hox protein. We then exploited the strong transforming potential of NUP98-HOXD13 and NUP98-HOXA10 to establish preleukemic myeloid lines composed of early myeloid progenitors with extensive in vitro self-renewal capacity, short-term myeloid repopulating activity, and low propensity for spontaneous leukemic conversion. We also showed that MEIS1 can efficiently induce their conversion to leukemic stem cells, thus providing a novel model for the study of leukemic progression. In contrast to the leukemogenic effect of most of the Hox genes tested, HOXB4 has the ability to increase the self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells without disrupting normal differentiation. On the basis of the discovery that the leukemogenic gene HOXA9 can also expand hematopoietic stem cells, we compared the ability of NUP98-Hox fusions to that of HOXB4 to trigger HSC expansion in vitro. Our preliminary results indicate that the expanding potential of HOXB4 is retained and even augmented by fusion to NUP98. Moreover, even greater expansion may be possible using Abd-B-like Hox fusions genes.

Lin YW, Slape C, Zhang Z, Aplan PD
NUP98-HOXD13 transgenic mice develop a highly penetrant, severe myelodysplastic syndrome that progresses to acute leukemia.
Blood. 2005; 106(1):287-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) are a group of clonal hematopoietic stem-cell disorders characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and dysplasia. A wide spectrum of genetic aberrations has been associated with MDS, including chromosomal translocations involving the NUP98 gene. Using a NUP98-HOXD13 fusion gene, we have developed a mouse model that faithfully recapitulates all of the key features of MDS, including peripheral blood cytopenias, bone marrow dysplasia, and apoptosis, and transformation to acute leukemia. The MDS that develops in NUP98-HOXD13 transgenic mice is uniformly fatal. Within 14 months, all of the mice died of either leukemic transformation or severe anemia and leucopenia as a result of progressive MDS. The NUP98-HOXD13 fusion gene inhibits megakaryocytic differentiation and increases apoptosis in the bone marrow, suggesting a mechanism leading to ineffective hematopoiesis in the presence of a hypercellular bone marrow. These mice provide an accurate preclinical model that can be used for the evaluation of MDS therapy and biology.

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