Gene Summary

Gene:LIFR; LIF receptor alpha
Aliases: SWS, SJS2, STWS, CD118, LIF-R
Summary:This gene encodes a protein that belongs to the type I cytokine receptor family. This protein combines with a high-affinity converter subunit, gp130, to form a receptor complex that mediates the action of the leukemia inhibitory factor, a polyfunctional cytokine that is involved in cellular differentiation, proliferation and survival in the adult and the embryo. Mutations in this gene cause Schwartz-Jampel syndrome type 2, a disease belonging to the group of the bent-bone dysplasias. A translocation that involves the promoter of this gene, t(5;8)(p13;q12) with the pleiomorphic adenoma gene 1, is associated with salivary gland pleiomorphic adenoma, a common type of benign epithelial tumor of the salivary gland. Multiple splice variants encoding the same protein have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:leukemia inhibitory factor receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (17)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 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.

  • Transcription
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Exostoses, Multiple Hereditary
  • Cytokines
  • Cell Division
  • Base Sequence
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Promoter Regions
  • Oncostatin M
  • MicroRNAs
  • Receptors, Cytokine
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Lymphokines
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Receptor alpha Subunit
  • Western Blotting
  • Receptors, OSM-LIF
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Messenger RNA
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Breast Cancer
  • Genotype
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Up-Regulation
  • Risk Factors
  • Chromosome 5
  • Interleukin-6
  • Cell Movement
  • Transcription Factors
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • Radiography
  • Signal Transduction
  • Mutation
  • Osteochondrodysplasias
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Gene Expression Profiling
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: LIFR (cancer-related)

Ma D, Jing X, Shen B, et al.
Leukemia inhibitory factor receptor negatively regulates the metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(2):827-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Frequent metastasis and recurrence are the main reasons for the poor prognosis of PC patients. Thus, the discovery of new biomarkers and wider insights into the mechanisms involved in pancreatic tumorigenesis and metastasis is crucial. In the present study, we report that leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) suppresses tumorigenesis and metastasis of PC cells both in vitro and in vivo. LIFR expression was significantly lower in PC tissues and was associated with local invasion (P=0.047), lymph node metastasis (P=0.014) and tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage (P=0.002). Overexpression of LIFR significantly suppressed PC cell colony formation (P=0.005), migration (P=0.003), invasion (P=0.010) and wound healing ability (P=0.013) in vitro, while opposing results were observed after LIFR was silenced. Furthermore, animal xenograft and metastasis models confirm that the in vivo results were consistent with the outcomes in vitro. Meanwhile, LIFR inhibited the expression of β-catenin, vimentin and slug and induced the expression of E-cadherin, suggesting that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition regulation pathway may underlie the mechanism. These results indicate that LIFR negatively regulates the metastasis of PC cells.

Uchiyama Y, Nakashima M, Watanabe S, et al.
Ultra-sensitive droplet digital PCR for detecting a low-prevalence somatic GNAQ mutation in Sturge-Weber syndrome.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:22985 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), a method for measuring target nucleic acid sequence quantity, is useful for determining somatic mutation rates using TaqMan probes. In this study, the detection limit of copy numbers of test DNA by ddPCR was determined based on Poisson distribution. Peptide nucleic acid (PNA), which strongly hybridises to target lesions, can inhibit target amplification by PCR. Therefore, by combination of PCR with PNA and ddPCR (PNA-ddPCR), the detection limit could be lowered. We reanalysed a somatic GNAQ mutation (c.548G > A) in patients with Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) using ddPCR and PNA-ddPCR. Importantly, among three patients previously found to be mutation negative by next-generation sequencing, two patients had the GNAQ mutation with a mutant allele frequency of less than 1%. Furthermore, we were able to find the same mutation in blood leukocyte or saliva DNA derived from four out of 40 SWS patients. Vascular anomalies and blood leukocytes originate from endothelial cells and haemangioblasts, respectively, which are both of mesodermal origin. Therefore, blood leukocytes may harbour the GNAQ mutation, depending on the time when the somatic mutation is acquired. These data suggest the possibility of diagnosis using blood DNA in some patients with SWS.

Ghosh A, Ghosh A, Datta S, et al.
Hepatic miR-126 is a potential plasma biomarker for detection of hepatitis B virus infected hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(11):2732-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Controversies about the origin of circulating miRNAs have encouraged us to identify organ specific circulating miRNAs as disease biomarkers. To identify liver-specific miRNAs for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), global expression profiling of miRNAs in liver tissue of HBV-HCC and HBV-control with no or mild fibrosis was evaluated. A total of 40 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified in HCC. Among ten highly altered miRNAs, six miRNAs were successfully validated in tissues, whereas only two miRNAs, miR-126 and miR-142-3p showed increased expression in plasma of HBV-HCC compared to HBV-non-HCC patients. Subsequently, ROC curve analysis revealed that neither miR-126 nor miR-142-3p performed better than AFP in discriminating HCC from non-HCC while combination of each with AFP showed significantly higher efficiency rather than AFP alone (AUC: 0.922, 0.908 vs. 0.88; sensitivity: 0.84, 0.86 vs. 0.82 and specificity: 0.92, 0.94 vs. 0.86 respectively). Interestingly, triple combination of markers (miR-126 + miR-142-3p + AFP) showed no additive effect on efficiency (AUC: 0.925) over the dual combination. Again, the expression of only miR-126 was noticed significantly higher in HBV-HCC patients with low-AFP [<250 ng/ml] compared to either non-HCC or liver cirrhosis (AUC: 0.77, 0.64, respectively). Furthermore, no alteration in expression of mir-126 in HCV-HCC or non-viral-HCC revealed that miR-126 + AFP might be specific to HBV-HCC. To understand the physiological role of these two miRNAs in hepato-carcinogenesis, target genes related to cancer pathways (APAF1, APC2, CDKN2A, IRS1, CRKL, LIFR, EGR2) were verified. Thus, combination of circulating miR-126 + AFP is a promising noninvasive diagnostic biomarker for HBV-HCC and may be useful in the management of HCC patients.

Wang L, Li J, Zhao H, et al.
Identifying the crosstalk of dysfunctional pathways mediated by lncRNAs in breast cancer subtypes.
Mol Biosyst. 2016; 12(3):711-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Crosstalk among abnormal pathways widely occurs in human cancer and generally leads to insensitivity to cancer treatment. How long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) participate in the regulation of an abnormal pathway crosstalk in human cancer is largely unknown. Here, we proposed a strategy that integrates mRNA and lncRNA expression profiles for systematic identification of lncRNA-mediated crosstalk among risk pathways in different breast cancer subtypes. We identified 12 to 44 crosstalking pathway pairs mediated by 28 to 49 lncRNAs in four breast cancer subtypes. An LncRNA-mediated crosstalking pathway network in each breast cancer subtype was then constructed. We observed a number of breast cancer subtype-specific crosstalks of risk pathways. These subtype-specific lncRNA-mediated pathway crosstalks largely determined subtype-selective functions. Notably, we observed that lncRNAs mediated the crosstalk of pathways by cooperating with known important protein-coding genes, which play core roles in the deterioration of breast cancer. And we also identified key lncRNAs contributing to the crosstalk network in each subtype. As an example, the low expression of LIFR-AS1 was associated with poor survival in LumB subtype, and its cooperated genes IL1R and TGFBR located at the most upstream of the MAPK signaling pathway shared a common cascade path (p38 MAPKs-MEF2C) that can result in proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. In summary, we offer an effective way to characterize complex crosstalks mediated by lncRNAs in breast cancer subtypes, which can be applied to other diseases and provide useful information for understanding the pathogenesis of human cancer.

Zhao JH, Sun JX, Song YX, et al.
A novel long noncoding RNA-LOWEG is low expressed in gastric cancer and acts as a tumor suppressor by inhibiting cell invasion.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(3):601-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) have been reported to be involved in the development of multiple cancers. The aim of this study was to report the identification of lncRNA-CTD-2108O9.1, which we have named lncRNA low expressed in gastric cancer (lncRNA-LOWEG), and investigate its role in cancer development.
METHODS: Total RNA was extracted from the tissues of 94 patients with GC, one normal gastric epithelial cell line and four GC cell lines. Expression levels of lncRNA-LOWEG were determined by real-time PCR. Moreover, CCK-8 proliferation assay, transwell cell invasion assay and flow cytometry were performed to study the effects of lncRNA-LOWEG on SGC-7901 cell proliferation, cell invasion and cell cycle progression. Lastly, western blot and real-time PCR were used to verify the potential target genes of lncRNA-LOWEG.
RESULTS: Significantly reduced expression of lncRNA-LOWEG was found in gastric cancer tissues and cell lines (SGC-7901, AGS, BGC-823 and HG-27) compared with patient-matched nontumorous adjacent tissues (P < 0.01) or the normal gastric cell line GES-1 (P < 0.05). Moreover, the transwell assay showed that the number of cells capable of passing through the Matrigel was significantly reduced after lncRNA-LOWEG transfection (P < 0.05). However, lncRNA-LOWEG overexpression did not significantly influence cell proliferation (P > 0.05) and cell cycle progression (P > 0.05). Lastly, western blot and real-time PCR analysis suggested that lncRNA-LOWEG is positively correlated with the expression of leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) gene at the translational level.
CONCLUSIONS: LncRNA-LOWEG is a tumor suppressor that inhibits GC cell invasion. And LIFR gene is up-regulated by lncRNA-LOWEG.

Forsberg LA, Rasi C, Pekar G, et al.
Signatures of post-zygotic structural genetic aberrations in the cells of histologically normal breast tissue that can predispose to sporadic breast cancer.
Genome Res. 2015; 25(10):1521-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Sporadic breast cancer (SBC) is a common disease without robust means of early risk prediction in the population. We studied 282 females with SBC, focusing on copy number aberrations in cancer-free breast tissue (uninvolved margin, UM) outside the primary tumor (PT). In total, 1162 UMs (1-14 per breast) were studied. Comparative analysis between UM(s), PT(s), and blood/skin from the same patient as a control is the core of the study design. We identified 108 patients with at least one aberrant UM, representing 38.3% of cases. Gains in gene copy number were the principal type of mutations in microscopically normal breast cells, suggesting that oncogenic activation of genes via increased gene copy number is a predominant mechanism for initiation of SBC pathogenesis. The gain of ERBB2, with overexpression of HER2 protein, was the most common aberration in normal cells. Five additional growth factor receptor genes (EGFR, FGFR1, IGF1R, LIFR, and NGFR) also showed recurrent gains, and these were occasionally present in combination with the gain of ERBB2. All the aberrations found in the normal breast cells were previously described in cancer literature, suggesting their causative, driving role in pathogenesis of SBC. We demonstrate that analysis of normal cells from cancer patients leads to identification of signatures that may increase risk of SBC and our results could influence the choice of surgical intervention to remove all predisposing cells. Early detection of copy number gains suggesting a predisposition toward cancer development, long before detectable tumors are formed, is a key to the anticipated shift into a preventive paradigm of personalized medicine for breast cancer.

Guo H, Cheng Y, Martinka M, McElwee K
High LIFr expression stimulates melanoma cell migration and is associated with unfavorable prognosis in melanoma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(28):25484-98 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increased or decreased expression of LIF receptor (LIFr) has been reported in several human cancers, including skin cancer, but its role in melanoma is unknown. In this study, we investigated the expression pattern of LIFr in melanoma and assessed its prognostic value. Using tissue microarrays consisting of 441 melanomas and 96 nevi, we found that no normal nevi showed high LIFr expression. LIFr staining was significantly increased in primary melanoma compared to dysplastic nevi (P = 0.0003) and further increased in metastatic melanoma (P = 0.0000). Kaplan-Meier survival curve and univariate Cox regression analyses showed that increased expression of LIFr was correlated with poorer 5-year patient survival (overall survival, P = 0.0000; disease-specific survival, P = 0.0000). Multivariate Cox regression analyses indicated that increased LIFr expression was an independent prognostic marker for primary melanoma (P = 0.036). LIFr knockdown inhibited melanoma cell migration in wound healing assays and reduced stress fiber formation. LIFr knockdown correlated with STAT3 suppression, but not YAP, suggesting that LIFr activation might stimulate melanoma cell migration through the STAT3 pathway. Our data indicate that strong LIFr expression identifies potentially highly malignant melanocytic lesions at an early stage and LIFr may be a potential target for the development of early intervention therapeutics.

Knipe M, Stanbury R, Unger S, Chakraborty M
Stuve-Wiedemann syndrome with a novel mutation.
BMJ Case Rep. 2015; 2015 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe a female infant born at term to consanguineous parents, with a suspicion of skeletal dysplasia in utero. At birth, she had short limbs, camptodactyly, dysphagia leading to nasogastric tube feeds, and skeletal survey demonstrating dysplasia of long bones and spine. During infancy, she also developed episodes of respiratory failure necessitating admission to intensive care, and periods of hyperhidrosis managed at home. A basic genetic screen did not reveal any abnormalities. Contact was made with the European Skeletal Dysplasia Network, and a provisional diagnosis of Stuve-Wiedemann syndrome was suggested based on this review. Specific genetic tests showed a previously unreported homozygous mutation of leukaemia inhibitory factor receptor gene, confirming the diagnosis. This is the first case with a novel mutation, reported from the UK. For paediatricians and neonatologists, the European Skeletal Dysplasia Network is a valuable resource to reach a specific diagnosis.

Morton SD, Cadamuro M, Brivio S, et al.
Leukemia inhibitory factor protects cholangiocarcinoma cells from drug-induced apoptosis via a PI3K/AKT-dependent Mcl-1 activation.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(28):26052-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cholangiocarcinoma is an aggressive, strongly chemoresistant liver malignancy. Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), an IL-6 family cytokine, promotes progression of various carcinomas. To investigate the role of LIF in cholangiocarcinoma, we evaluated the expression of LIF and its receptor (LIFR) in human samples. LIF secretion and LIFR expression were assessed in established and primary human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines. In cholangiocarcinoma cells, we tested LIF effects on proliferation, invasion, stem cell-like phenotype, chemotherapy-induced apoptosis (gemcitabine+cisplatin), expression levels of pro-apoptotic (Bax) and anti-apoptotic (Mcl-1) proteins, with/without PI3K inhibition, and of pSTAT3, pERK1/2, pAKT. LIF effect on chemotherapy-induced apoptosis was evaluated after LIFR silencing and Mcl-1 inactivation.Results show that LIF and LIFR expression were higher in neoplastic than in control cholangiocytes; LIF was also expressed by tumor stromal cells. LIF had no effects on cholangiocarcinoma cell proliferation, invasion, and stemness signatures, whilst it counteracted drug-induced apoptosis. Upon LIF stimulation, decreased apoptosis was associated with Mcl-1 and pAKT up-regulation and abolished by PI3K inhibition. LIFR silencing and Mcl-1 blockade restored drug-induced apoptosis.In conclusion, autocrine and paracrine LIF signaling promote chemoresistance in cholangiocarcinoma by up-regulating Mcl-1 via a novel STAT3- and MAPK-independent, PI3K/AKT-dependent pathway. Targeting LIF signaling may increase CCA responsiveness to chemotherapy.

Luo Q, Wang C, Jin G, et al.
LIFR functions as a metastasis suppressor in hepatocellular carcinoma by negatively regulating phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT pathway.
Carcinogenesis. 2015; 36(10):1201-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes for cancer related mortality worldwide. Poor prognosis of HCC patients is mainly due to frequent metastasis and recurrence. Deregulation of metastasis suppressors in malignant cells plays critical roles during cancer metastasis. Thus, novel metastasis suppressors are urgently needed to be uncovered to shed new light on molecular mechanisms driving HCC metastasis. In the present study, decreased expression of leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) was demonstrated in HCC, and its expression levels were even lower in HCC with metastasis. Downregulated LIFR expression predicted poor prognosis in HCC patients. LIFR was an independent and significant risk factor for their recurrence and survival. Silencing LIFR resulted in forced metastasis of HCC cells, whereas ectopic overexpression of LIFR attenuated migration and invasion of HCC cells in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, LIFR knockdown could activate phosphoinositide 3-kinase/V-akt Murine Thymoma Viral Oncogene Homolog (PI3K/AKT) signaling through enhancing phosphorylation of Janus kinase 1 (JAK1), which successively promoted matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP13) expression and HCC metastasis. Combination of LIFR and p-AKT or MMP13 was a more powerful predictor of poor prognosis for HCC patients. Together, these findings conclude that LIFR functions as a novel metastasis suppressor in HCC and may serve as a prognostic biomarker for HCC patients.

Nandy SB, Arumugam A, Subramani R, et al.
MicroRNA-125a influences breast cancer stem cells by targeting leukemia inhibitory factor receptor which regulates the Hippo signaling pathway.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(19):17366-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer stem cells (CSC) are the main driving force behind cancer initiation and progression. The molecular mechanisms that regulate CSC properties are poorly understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a significant role in normal and cancer tissues. Here, we show that miRNA-125a indirectly regulates TAZ, an effector molecule in the Hippo pathway, through the leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR). The miR-125a→LIFR axis affected the homeostasis of nonmalignant and malignant breast epithelial stem cells through the Hippo signaling pathway. Inhibition of miR-125a in breast cancer cells led to a significant reduction in the CSC pool. In contrast, enhanced expression of miR-125a in nonmalignant breast epithelial cells resulted in significant expansion of the stem cell pool. Gain of function and loss of function of LIFR directly correlated with the inhibition and overexpression of miR-125a, respectively. Modulation of miR-125a led to a change in the activity of TAZ and its subcellular localization. We further demonstrated that miR-125a influenced stem cells by regulating Hippo signaling through LIFR in human primary breast cancer cells confirming the data obtained from established cell lines. We suggest that miR-125a could be a potential target against CSCs that maybe used along with the existing conventional therapies.

Coltella N, Valsecchi R, Ponente M, et al.
Synergistic Leukemia Eradication by Combined Treatment with Retinoic Acid and HIF Inhibition by EZN-2208 (PEG-SN38) in Preclinical Models of PML-RARα and PLZF-RARα-Driven Leukemia.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(16):3685-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Retinoic acid-arsenic trioxide (ATRA-ATO) combination therapy is the current standard of care for patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) carrying the oncogenic fusion protein PML-RARα. Despite the high cure rates obtained with this drug combination, resistance to arsenic is recently emerging. Moreover, patients with APL carrying the PLZF-RARα fusion protein are partially resistant to ATRA treatment. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) activation has been recently reported in APL, and EZN-2208 (PEG-SN38) is a compound with HIF-1α inhibitory function currently tested in clinical trials. This study investigates the effect of EZN-2208 in different preclinical APL models, either alone or in combination with ATRA.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Efficacy of EZN-2208 in APL was measured in vitro by assessing expression of HIF-1α target genes, cell migration, clonogenicity, and differentiation, vis a vis the cytotoxic and cytostatic effects of this compound. In vivo, EZN-2208 was used in mouse models of APL driven by PML-RARα or PLZF-RARα, either alone or in combination with ATRA.
RESULTS: Treatment of APL cell lines with noncytotoxic doses of EZN-2208 causes dose-dependent downregulation of HIF-1α bona fide target genes and affects cell migration and clonogenicity in methylcellulose. In vivo, EZN-2208 impairs leukemia progression and prolongs mice survival in APL mouse models. More importantly, when used in combination with ATRA, EZN-2208 synergizes in debulking leukemia and eradicating leukemia-initiating cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our preclinical data suggest that the combination ATRA-EZN-2208 may be tested to treat patients with APL who develop resistance to ATO or patients carrying the PLZF-RARα fusion protein.

Salm F, Dimitrova V, von Bueren AO, et al.
The Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase p110α Isoform Regulates Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Receptor Expression via c-Myc and miR-125b to Promote Cell Proliferation in Medulloblastoma.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0123958 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in childhood and represents the main cause of cancer-related death in this age group. The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway has been shown to play an important role in the regulation of medulloblastoma cell survival and proliferation, but the molecular mechanisms and downstream effectors underlying PI3K signaling still remain elusive. The impact of RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing of PI3K isoforms p110α and p110δ on global gene expression was investigated by DNA microarray analysis in medulloblastoma cell lines. A subset of genes with selectively altered expression upon p110α silencing in comparison to silencing of the closely related p110δ isoform was revealed. Among these genes, the leukemia inhibitory factor receptor α (LIFR α) was validated as a novel p110α target in medulloblastoma. A network involving c-Myc and miR-125b was shown to be involved in the control of LIFRα expression downstream of p110α. Targeting the LIFRα by RNAi, or by using neutralizing reagents impaired medulloblastoma cell proliferation in vitro and induced a tumor volume reduction in vivo. An analysis of primary tumors revealed that LIFRα and p110α expression were elevated in the sonic hedgehog (SHH) subgroup of medulloblastoma, indicating its clinical relevance. Together, these data reveal a novel molecular signaling network, in which PI3K isoform p110α controls the expression of LIFRα via c-Myc and miR-125b to promote MB cell proliferation.

Luo Q, Zhang Y, Wang N, et al.
Leukemia inhibitory factor receptor is a novel immunomarker in distinction of well-differentiated HCC from dysplastic nodules.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(9):6989-99 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Differential diagnosis of well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (WD-HCC) and high-grade dysplastic nodules (HGDNs) represents a challenge for pathologists. Several immunohistochemistry markers have been identified to distinguish hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from HGDNs. However, sensitivity or specificity of the individual marker is still limited. In this study, we analyzed dynamic alteration of leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) and CD34 during hepatocarcinogenesis from dysplastic nodules to small HCC. The diagnostic performance of LIFR and CD34 combination in WD-HCC and HGDNs was investigated by logistic regression models and validated in an independent validation cohort. LIFR was decreased and CD34 was increased along with stepwise progression of hepatocarcinogenesis from low-grade dysplastic nodules (LGDNs) to small HCC. The sensitivity and specificity of the LIFR and CD34 combination for WD-HCC detection were 93.5% and 90.5%, respectively. In addition, colony formation assay was used to explore the role of LIFR in tumorigenesis. Silencing of LIFR could significantly promote colony formation of HCC cells, whereas ectopic overexpression of LIFR resulted in impaired ability of colony formation of HCC cells. These findings indicate that LIFR and CD34 combination may be used as an available differential diagnostic model for WD-HCC from HGDNs in clinical practice.

Natesh K, Bhosale D, Desai A, et al.
Oncostatin-M differentially regulates mesenchymal and proneural signature genes in gliomas via STAT3 signaling.
Neoplasia. 2015; 17(2):225-37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM), the most malignant of the brain tumors is classified on the basis of molecular signature genes using TCGA data into four subtypes- classical, mesenchymal, proneural and neural. The mesenchymal phenotype is associated with greater aggressiveness and low survival in contrast to GBMs enriched with proneural genes. The proinflammatory cytokines secreted in the microenvironment of gliomas play a key role in tumor progression. The study focused on the role of Oncostatin-M (OSM), an IL-6 family cytokine in inducing mesenchymal properties in GBM. Analysis of TCGA and REMBRANDT data revealed that expression of OSMR but not IL-6R or LIFR is upregulated in GBM and has negative correlation with survival. Amongst the GBM subtypes, OSMR level was in the order of mesenchymal > classical > neural > proneural. TCGA data and RT-PCR analysis in primary cultures of low and high grade gliomas showed a positive correlation between OSMR and mesenchymal signature genes-YKL40/CHI3L1, fibronectin and vimentin and a negative correlation with proneural signature genes-DLL3, Olig2 and BCAN. OSM enhanced transcript and protein level of fibronectin and YKL-40 and reduced the expression of Olig2 and DLL3 in GBM cells. OSM-regulated mesenchymal phenotype was associated with enhanced MMP-9 activity, increased cell migration and invasion. Importantly, OSM induced mesenchymal markers and reduced proneural genes even in primary cultures of grade-III glioma cells. We conclude that OSM-mediated signaling contributes to aggressive nature associated with mesenchymal features via STAT3 signaling in glioma cells. The data suggest that OSMR can be explored as potential target for therapeutic intervention.

Dutkiewicz AS, Ezzedine K, Mazereeuw-Hautier J, et al.
A prospective study of risk for Sturge-Weber syndrome in children with upper facial port-wine stain.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015; 72(3):473-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Upper facial port-wine stain (PWS) is a feature of Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS). Recent studies suggest that the distribution of the PWS corresponds to genetic mosaicism rather than to trigeminal nerve impairment.
OBJECTIVES: We sought to refine the cutaneous distribution of upper facial PWS at risk for SWS.
METHODS: This was a prospective multicenter study of consecutive cases of upper facial PWS larger than 1 cm² located in the ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve distribution in infants aged less than 1 year, seen in 8 French pediatric dermatology departments between 2006 and 2012. Clinical data, magnetic resonance imaging, and photographs were systematically collected and studied. PWS were classified into 6 distinct patterns.
RESULTS: In all, 66 patients were included. Eleven presented with SWS (magnetic resonance imaging signs and seizure). Four additional infants had suspected SWS without neurologic manifestations. Hemifacial (odds ratio 7.7, P = .003) and median (odds ratio 17.08, P = .008) PWS patterns were found to be at high risk for SWS. A nonmedian linear pattern was not associated with SWS.
LIMITATIONS: Small number of patients translated to limited power of the study.
CONCLUSIONS: Specific PWS distribution patterns are associated with an increased risk of SWS. These PWS patterns conform to areas of somatic mosaicism. Terminology stipulating ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve territory involvement in SWS should be abandoned.

Nakashima M, Miyajima M, Sugano H, et al.
The somatic GNAQ mutation c.548G>A (p.R183Q) is consistently found in Sturge-Weber syndrome.
J Hum Genet. 2014; 59(12):691-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) is a neurocutaneous disorder characterized by capillary malformation (port-wine stains), and choroidal and leptomeningeal vascular malformations. Previously, the recurrent somatic mutation c.548G>A (p.R183Q) in the G-α q gene (GNAQ) was identified as causative in SWS and non-syndromic port-wine stain patients using whole-genome sequencing. In this study, we investigated somatic mutations in GNAQ by next-generation sequencing. We first performed targeted amplicon sequencing of 15 blood-brain-paired samples in sporadic SWS and identified the recurrent somatic c.548G>A mutation in 80% of patients (12 of 15). The percentage of mutant alleles in brain tissues of these 12 patients ranged from 3.6 to 8.9%. We found no other somatic mutations in any of the seven GNAQ exons in the remaining three patients without c.548G>A. These findings suggest that the recurrent somatic GNAQ mutation c.548G>A is the major determinant genetic factor for SWS and imply that other mutated candidate gene(s) may exist in SWS.

Tan X, Chen M
MYLK and MYL9 expression in non-small cell lung cancer identified by bioinformatics analysis of public expression data.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(12):12189-200 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene expression microarrays are widely used to investigate molecular targets in cancers, including lung cancer. In this study, we analyzed online non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) microarray databases, to screen the key genes and pathways related to NSCLC by bioinformatics analyses. And then, the expression levels of two selected genes in the down-regulated co-pathways, myosin light chain kinase (MYLK) and myosin regulatory light chain 9 (MYL9), were determined in tumor, paired paraneoplastic, and normal lung tissues. First, gene set enrichment analysis and meta-analysis were conducted to identify key genes and pathways that contribute to NSCLC carcinogenesis. Second, using the total RNA and protein extracted from lung cancer tissues (n = 240), adjacent non-cancer tissues (n = 240), and normal lung tissues (n = 300), we examined the MYLK and MYL9 expression levels by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot. Finally, we explored the correlations between mRNA and protein expressions of these two genes and the clinicopathological parameters of NSCLC. Fifteen up-regulated and nine down-regulated co-pathways were observed. A number of differentially expressed genes (CALM1, THBS1, CSF3, BMP2, IL6ST, MYLK, ROCK2, IL3RA, MYL9, PPP2CA, CSF2RB, CNAQ, GRIA2, IL10RA, IL10RB, IL11RA, LIFR, PLCB4, and RAC3) were identified (P < 0.01) in the down-regulated co-pathways. The expression levels of MYLK and MYL9, which act downstream of the vascular smooth muscle contraction signal pathway and focal adhesion pathway, were significantly lower in cancer tissue than those in the paraneoplastic and normal tissues (P < 0.05). Moreover, the expression levels of these two genes in stages III and IV NSCLC were significantly increased, when compared to stages I and II, and expressions levels in NSCLC with lymphatic metastasis were higher than that without lymphatic metastasis (P < 0.05). Additionally, significant lower expression levels of the two genes were found in smokers than in nonsmokers (P < 0.05). In contrast, gender, differentiated degrees, and pathohistological type appeared to have no impact on these gene expressions (P > 0.05). These findings suggested that low MYLK and MYL9 expressions might be associated with the development of NSCLC. These genes may be also relevant to NSCLC metastasis. Future investigations with large sample sizes needed to verify these findings.

Guran T, Guran O, Paketci C, et al.
Effects of leukemia inhibitory receptor gene mutations on human hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal function.
Pituitary. 2015; 18(4):456-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Stuve-Wiedemann syndrome (STWS) (MIM #601559) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) gene. STWS has a diverse range of clinical features involving hematopoietic, skeletal, neuronal and immune systems. STWS manifests a high mortality due to increased risk of sudden death. Heterodimerization of the LIFR mediates leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) signalling through the intracellular Janus kinase (JAK)/STAT3 signalling cascade. The LIF/LIFR system is highly expressed in and regulates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
OBJECTIVES: HPA function was investigated in three STWS patients to characterise consequences of impaired LIF/LIFR signalling on adrenal function.
DESIGN: Six genetically proven STWS patients from four unrelated Turkish families were included in the study. Sudden death occurred in three before 2 years of age. Basal adrenal function tests were performed by measurement of early morning serum cortisol and plasma ACTH concentrations on at least two different occasions. Low dose synacthen stimulation test and glucagon stimulation tests were performed to explore adrenal function in three patients who survived.
RESULTS: All patients carried the same LIFR (p.Arg692X) mutation. Our oldest patient had attenuated morning serum cortisol and plasma ACTH levels at repeated measurements. Two of three patients had attenuated cortisol response (<18 μg/dl) to glucagon, one of whom also had borderline cortisol response to low dose (1 μg) ACTH stimulation consistent with central adrenal insufficiency.
CONCLUSIONS: STWS patients may develop central adrenal insufficiency due to impaired LIF/LIFR signalling. LIF/LIFR system plays a role in human HPA axis regulation.

Xu S, Xu Z, Liu B, et al.
LIFRα-CT3 induces differentiation of a human acute myelogenous leukemia cell line HL-60 by suppressing miR-155 expression through the JAK/STAT pathway.
Leuk Res. 2014; 38(10):1237-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
The distal cytoplasmic motifs of the leukemia inhibitory factor receptor α-chain (LIFRα-CT3) and its TAT fusion protein (TAT-CT3) can independently suppress cell viability and induce myeloid differentiation in human leukemia HL-60 cells in our previous studies. But its underlying mechanism remains undefined. Herein, we show that a prokaryotic expressed TAT-CT3 induced a rapid elevation of STAT3 phosphorylation (pSTAT3), and then suppress the transcription of miR-155 and induce the elevation of SOCS-1, which further inhibited STAT3 phosphorylation for a long-term period. Our result indicated a novel mechanism of TAT-CT3 to promote HL60 cells differentiation, which provides some potential therapeutic targets for future acute myelogenous leukemia therapy.

Yeşil G, Lebre AS, Santos SD, et al.
Stuve-Wiedemann syndrome: is it underrecognized?
Am J Med Genet A. 2014; 164A(9):2200-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Stuve-Wiedemann Syndrome (SWS) (OMIM #601559) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by skeletal changes, bowing of the lower limb, severe osteoporosis and joint contractures, episodic hyperthermia, frequent respiratory infections, feeding problems and high mortality in early life. It is caused by mutation in the leukemia inhibitory factor receptor gene (LIFR; 151443) on chromosome 5p13. We provide the clinical follow-up and molecular aspects of six new patients who carried the same novel mutation in the LIFR gene (p.Arg692X) and three patients carried a common haplotype at the LIFR locus supporting a founder effect in the Turkish population. The probable pathogenesis of the features is also discussed. Osseous findings in the presence of other above-mentioned morbid conditions should raise the suspicion of SWS in neonates especially in Arabic and Eastern Mediterranean countries with high rate of consanguineous marriages like in Turkey. Severe osteoporosis, bone deformities, milias, leukocoria, inflammatory lesions on distal extremities, tongue biting behavior and oral ulcers could be more prominent features of the survivors beyond the neonatal period while respiratory and feeding problems are remitting. It is of crucial importance to diagnose such babies earlier in order to prevent extensive laboratory workup and to provide proper genetic counseling.

Alisoltani A, Fallahi H, Ebrahimi M, et al.
Prediction of potential cancer-risk regions based on transcriptome data: towards a comprehensive view.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e96320 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A novel integrative pipeline is presented for discovery of potential cancer-susceptibility regions (PCSRs) by calculating the number of altered genes at each chromosomal region, using expression microarray datasets of different human cancers (HCs). Our novel approach comprises primarily predicting PCSRs followed by identification of key genes in these regions to obtain potential regions harboring new cancer-associated variants. In addition to finding new cancer causal variants, another advantage in prediction of such risk regions is simultaneous study of different types of genomic variants in line with focusing on specific chromosomal regions. Using this pipeline we extracted numbers of regions with highly altered expression levels in cancer condition. Regulatory networks were also constructed for different types of cancers following the identification of altered mRNA and microRNAs. Interestingly, results showed that GAPDH, LIFR, ZEB2, mir-21, mir-30a, mir-141 and mir-200c, all located at PCSRs, are common altered factors in constructed networks. We found a number of clusters of altered mRNAs and miRNAs on predicted PCSRs (e.g.12p13.31) and their common regulators including KLF4 and SOX10. Large scale prediction of risk regions based on transcriptome data can open a window in comprehensive study of cancer risk factors and the other human diseases.

Mikelonis D, Jorcyk CL, Tawara K, Oxford JT
Stüve-Wiedemann syndrome: LIFR and associated cytokines in clinical course and etiology.
Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2014; 9:34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Stüve-Wiedemann syndrome (STWS; OMIM #610559) is a rare bent-bone dysplasia that includes radiologic bone anomalies, respiratory distress, feeding difficulties, and hyperthermic episodes. STWS usually results in infant mortality, yet some STWS patients survive into and, in some cases, beyond adolescence. STWS is caused by a mutation in the leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) gene, which is inherited in an autosomally recessive pattern. Most LIFR mutations resulting in STWS are null mutations which cause instability of the mRNA and prevent the formation of LIFR, impairing the signaling pathway. LIFR signaling usually follows the JAK/STAT3 pathway, and is initiated by several interleukin-6-type cytokines. STWS is managed on a symptomatic basis since there is no treatment currently available.

Barsoum IB, Smallwood CA, Siemens DR, Graham CH
A mechanism of hypoxia-mediated escape from adaptive immunity in cancer cells.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(3):665-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Immune escape is a fundamental trait of cancer in which mechanistic knowledge is incomplete. Here, we describe a novel mechanism by which hypoxia contributes to tumoral immune escape from cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). Exposure of human or murine cancer cells to hypoxia for 24 hours led to upregulation of the immune inhibitory molecule programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1; also known as B7-H1), in a manner dependent on the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). In vivo studies also demonstrated cellular colocalization of HIF-1α and PD-L1 in tumors. Hypoxia-induced expression of PD-L1 in cancer cells increased their resistance to CTL-mediated lysis. Using glyceryl trinitrate (GTN), an agonist of nitric oxide (NO) signaling known to block HIF-1α accumulation in hypoxic cells, we prevented hypoxia-induced PD-L1 expression and diminished resistance to CTL-mediated lysis. Moreover, transdermal administration of GTN attenuated tumor growth in mice. We found that higher expression of PD-L1 induced in tumor cells by exposure to hypoxia led to increased apoptosis of cocultured CTLs and Jurkat leukemia T cells. This increase in apoptosis was prevented by blocking the interaction of PD-L1 with PD-1, the PD-L1 receptor on T cells, or by addition of GTN. Our findings point to a role for hypoxia/HIF-1 in driving immune escape from CTL, and they suggest a novel cancer immunotherapy to block PD-L1 expression in hypoxic-tumor cells by administering NO mimetics.

Przybyla BD, Shafirstein G, Vishal SJ, et al.
Molecular changes in bone marrow, tumor and serum after conductive ablation of murine 4T1 breast carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(2):600-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Thermal ablation of solid tumors using conductive interstitial thermal therapy (CITT) produces coagulative necrosis in the center of ablation. Local changes in homeostasis for surviving tumor and systemic changes in circulation and distant organs must be understood and monitored in order to prevent tumor re-growth and metastasis. The purpose of this study was to use a mouse carcinoma model to evaluate molecular changes in the bone marrow and surviving tumor after CITT treatment by quantification of transcripts associated with cancer progression and hyperthermia, serum cytokines, stress proteins and the marrow/tumor cross-talk regulator stromal-derived factor 1. Analysis of 27 genes and 22 proteins with quantitative PCR, ELISA, immunoblotting and multiplex antibody assays revealed that the gene and protein expression in tissue and serum was significantly different between ablated and control mice. The transcripts of four genes (Cxcl12, Sele, Fgf2, Lifr) were significantly higher in the bone marrow of treated mice. Tumors surviving ablation showed significantly lower levels of the Lifr and Sele transcripts. Similarly, the majority of transcripts measured in tumors decreased with treatment. Surviving tumors also contained lower levels of SDF-1α and HIF-1α proteins whereas HSP27 and HSP70 were higher. Of 16 serum chemokines, IFNγ and GM-CSF levels were lower with treatment. These results indicate that CITT ablation causes molecular changes which may slow cancer cell proliferation. However, inhibition of HSP27 may be necessary to control aggressiveness of surviving cancer stem cells. The changes in bone marrow are suggestive of possible increased recruitment of circulatory cancer cells. Therefore, the possibility of heightened bone metastasis after thermal ablation needs to be further investigated and inhibition strategies developed, if warranted.

Liu SC, Tsang NM, Chiang WC, et al.
Leukemia inhibitory factor promotes nasopharyngeal carcinoma progression and radioresistance.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(12):5269-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Radioresistance of EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is associated with poor prognosis for patients with this form of cancer. Here, we found that NPC patients had increased serum levels of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and that higher LIF levels correlated with local tumor recurrence. Furthermore, in vitro studies with NPC cells and in vivo xenograft mouse studies demonstrated that LIF critically contributes to NPC tumor growth and radioresistance. Using these model systems, we found that LIF treatment activated the mTORC1/p70S6K signaling pathway, enhanced tumor growth, inhibited DNA damage responses, and enhanced radioresistance. Treatment with either soluble LIF receptor (sLIFR), a LIF antagonist, or the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin reversed LIF-mediated effects, resulting in growth arrest and increased sensitivity to γ irradiation. Immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses of human NPC biopsies revealed that LIF and LIFR were overexpressed in tumor cells and that LIF expression correlated with the presence of the activated p-p70S6K. Finally, we found that the EBV-encoded protein latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) enhances LIF production. Together, our findings indicate that LIF promotes NPC tumorigenesis and suggest that serum LIF levels may predict local recurrence and radiosensitivity in NPC patients.

Canaparo R, Varchi G, Ballestri M, et al.
Polymeric nanoparticles enhance the sonodynamic activity of meso-tetrakis (4-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrin in an in vitro neuroblastoma model.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2013; 8:4247-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Sonodynamic therapy is a developing noninvasive modality for cancer treatment, based on the selective activation of a sonosensitizer agent by acoustic cavitation. The activated sonosensitizer agent might generate reactive oxygen species leading to cancer cell death. We investigated the potential poly-methyl methacrylate core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with meso-tetrakis (4-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrin (TPPS) have to function as an innovative sonosensitizing system, ie, TPPS-NPs.
METHODS: Shockwaves (SWs) generated by a piezoelectric device were used to induce acoustic cavitation. The cytotoxic effect of the sonodynamic treatment with TPPS-NPs and SWs was investigated on the human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y. Cells were exposed for 12 hours to TPPS-NPs (100 μg/mL) and then to SWs (0.43 mJ/mm(2) for 500 impulses, 4 impulses/second). Treatment with SWs, TPPS, and NPs alone or in combination was carried out as control.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant decrease in SH-SY5Y cell proliferation after the sonodynamic treatment with TPPS-NPs and SWs. Indeed, there was a significant increase in necrotic (16.91% ± 3.89%) and apoptotic (27.45% ± 3.03%) cells at 48 hours. Moreover, a 15-fold increase in reactive oxygen species production for cells exposed to TPPS-NPs and SWs was observed at 1 hour compared with untreated cells. A statistically significant enhanced mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) expression of NRF2 (P<0.001) and a significant downregulation of TIGAR (P<0.05) and MAP3K5 (P<0.05) genes was observed in cells exposed to TPPS-NPs and SWs at 24 hours, along with a statistically significant release of cytochrome c (P<0.01) at 48 hours. Lastly, the sonosensitizing system was also investigated in an in vitro three-dimensional model, and the sonodynamic treatment significantly decreased the neuroblastoma spheroid growth.
CONCLUSION: The sonosensitizing properties of TPPS were significantly enhanced once loaded onto NPs, thus enhancing the sonodynamic treatment's efficacy in an in vitro neuroblastoma model.

Cheng Y, Cheung AK, Ko JM, et al.
Physiological β-catenin signaling controls self-renewal networks and generation of stem-like cells from nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
BMC Cell Biol. 2013; 14:44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A few reports suggested that low levels of Wnt signaling might drive cell reprogramming, but these studies could not establish a clear relationship between Wnt signaling and self-renewal networks. There are ongoing debates as to whether and how the Wnt/β-catenin signaling is involved in the control of pluripotency gene networks. Additionally, whether physiological β-catenin signaling generates stem-like cells through interactions with other pathways is as yet unclear. The nasopharyngeal carcinoma HONE1 cells have low expression of β-catenin and wild-type expression of p53, which provided a possibility to study regulatory mechanism of stemness networks induced by physiological levels of Wnt signaling in these cells.
RESULTS: Introduction of increased β-catenin signaling, haploid expression of β-catenin under control by its natural regulators in transferred chromosome 3, resulted in activation of Wnt/β-catenin networks and dedifferentiation in HONE1 hybrid cell lines, but not in esophageal carcinoma SLMT1 hybrid cells that had high levels of endogenous β-catenin expression. HONE1 hybrid cells displayed stem cell-like properties, including enhancement of CD24(+) and CD44(+) populations and generation of spheres that were not observed in parental HONE1 cells. Signaling cascades were detected in HONE1 hybrid cells, including activation of p53- and RB1-mediated tumor suppressor pathways, up-regulation of Nanog-, Oct4-, Sox2-, and Klf4-mediated pluripotency networks, and altered E-cadherin expression in both in vitro and in vivo assays. qPCR array analyses further revealed interactions of physiological Wnt/β-catenin signaling with other pathways such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition, TGF-β, Activin, BMPR, FGFR2, and LIFR- and IL6ST-mediated cell self-renewal networks. Using β-catenin shRNA inhibitory assays, a dominant role for β-catenin in these cellular network activities was observed. The expression of cell surface markers such as CD9, CD24, CD44, CD90, and CD133 in generated spheres was progressively up-regulated compared to HONE1 hybrid cells. Thirty-four up-regulated components of the Wnt pathway were identified in these spheres.
CONCLUSIONS: Wnt/β-catenin signaling regulates self-renewal networks and plays a central role in the control of pluripotency genes, tumor suppressive pathways and expression of cancer stem cell markers. This current study provides a novel platform to investigate the interaction of physiological Wnt/β-catenin signaling with stemness transition networks.

Antonescu CR, Zhang L, Shao SY, et al.
Frequent PLAG1 gene rearrangements in skin and soft tissue myoepithelioma with ductal differentiation.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(7):675-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A subset of cutaneous and superficial soft tissue myoepithelial (ME) tumors displays a distinct ductal component and closely resembles mixed tumors/pleomorphic adenomas of salivary gland. As PLAG1 and HMGA2 rearrangements are the most common genetic events in pleomorphic adenomas, we sought to investigate if these abnormalities are also present in the skin/soft tissue ME lesions. In contrast, half of the deep-seated soft tissue ME tumors lacking ductal differentiation are known to be genetically unrelated, showing EWSR1 rearrangements. FISH analysis to detect PLAG1 and HMGA2 abnormalities was performed in 35 ME tumors, nine skin and 26 soft tissue, lacking EWSR1 and FUS rearrangements. For the PLAG1-rearranged tumors, FISH and RACE were performed to identify potential fusion partners, including CTNNB1 (beta-catenin) on 3p21 and LIFR (leukemia inhibitory factor receptor) on 5p13. Recurrent PLAG1 rearrangement by FISH was detected in 13 (37%) lesions, including three (33%) in the skin and 10 (38%) in the soft tissue. All were classified as benign and all except one showed abundant tubulo-ductal differentiation (comprising 12/24 [50%] of all tumors with ductal structures). A LIFR-PLAG1 fusion was detected by RACE and then confirmed by FISH in one soft tissue ME tumor with tubular formation. No CTNNB1 or LIFR abnormalities were detected in any of the remaining PLAG1-rearranged tumors. No structural HMGA2 abnormalities were detected in any of the 22 ME lesions tested. A subset of cutaneous and soft tissue ME tumors appears genetically linked to their salivary gland counterparts, displaying frequent PLAG1 gene rearrangements and occasionally LIFR-PLAG1 fusion.

Hergovich A
YAP-Hippo signalling downstream of leukemia inhibitory factor receptor: implications for breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2012; 14(6):326 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The proto-oncogenes YAP and TAZ have previously gained much attention as downstream effectors of Hippo tumour suppressor signalling. While the regulation of YAP/TAZ by MST/LATS kinases is reasonably well understood, the nature of factors functioning upstream of MST/LATS is yet to be elucidated in detail. A recent paper by Ma and co-workers defines a novel role for leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) signalling upstream of the Hippo-YAP pathway in breast cancer metastasis. Moreover, a whole genome in vivo RNA interference screen by Lippmann and colleagues identified LIFR as a breast tumour suppressor. Here, we discuss the implications of these studies for breast cancer research and treatment.

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