Gene Summary

Gene:MAT1A; methionine adenosyltransferase 1A
Aliases: MAT, SAMS, MATA1, SAMS1
Summary:This gene catalyzes a two-step reaction that involves the transfer of the adenosyl moiety of ATP to methionine to form S-adenosylmethionine and tripolyphosphate, which is subsequently cleaved to PPi and Pi. S-adenosylmethionine is the source of methyl groups for most biological methylations. The encoded protein is found as a homotetramer (MAT I) or a homodimer (MAT III) whereas a third form, MAT II (gamma), is encoded by the MAT2A gene. Mutations in this gene are associated with methionine adenosyltransferase deficiency. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:S-adenosylmethionine synthase isoform type-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (13)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 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 Movement
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Enzymologic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Promoter Regions
  • DNA Methylation
  • Genomic Instability
  • TNF
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cell Division
  • Methionine Adenosyltransferase
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Liver
  • Xenograft Models
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Trans-Activators
  • Gene Silencing
  • Messenger RNA
  • Knockout Mice
  • Hepatocytes
  • Base Sequence
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Up-Regulation
  • Cultured Cells
  • Cancer RNA
  • Chromosome 10
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Liver Cancer
  • MicroRNAs
  • Apoptosis
  • siRNA
  • Skin
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Transfection
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

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: MAT1A (cancer-related)

Yuan Y, Wang Y, Liu Z, et al.
MAT2B promotes proliferation and inhibits apoptosis in osteosarcoma by targeting epidermal growth factor receptor and proliferating cell nuclear antigen.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(6):2019-2029 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most commonly diagnosed bone tumor in young people with poor prognosis. At present, the mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis in OS are not well understood. The methionine adnosyltransferase 2B (MAT2B) gene encodes the regulatory subunit of methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT). Recent studies demonstrated that it is highly expressed in a number of human malignancies; however, is undefined in OS. In the present study, MAT2B expression was investigated in tumor samples and cell lines. In vivo and in vitro, lentivirus‑mediated small hairpin RNA was constructed to target the MAT2B gene and examine the role of MAT2B in OS proliferation. Microarray analysis was performed to examine the possible downstream molecular target of MAT2B in OS. MAT2B was markedly increased in OS specimens compared with the normal bone tissues, and it was additionally abundantly expressed in OS cell lines. Inhibition of MAT2B expression caused a marked decrease in proliferation and significant increase in apoptosis. In vivo, MAT2B silencing significantly inhibited OS cell growth. Microarray analysis suggested that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) may function as downstream targets of MAT2B in OS, as confirmed by reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays and western blotting. Collectively, these results suggested that MAT2B serves a critical role in the proliferation of OS by regulating EGFR and PCNA and that it may be a potential therapeutic target and prognostic factor of OS.

Hu T, Kumar Y, Shazia I, et al.
Forward and reverse mutations in stages of cancer development.
Hum Genomics. 2018; 12(1):40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Massive occurrences of interstitial loss of heterozygosity (LOH) likely resulting from gene conversions were found by us in different cancers as a type of single-nucleotide variations (SNVs), comparable in abundance to the commonly investigated gain of heterozygosity (GOH) type of SNVs, raising the question of the relationships between these two opposing types of cancer mutations.
METHODS: In the present study, SNVs in 12 tetra sample and 17 trio sample sets from four cancer types along with copy number variations (CNVs) were analyzed by AluScan sequencing, comparing tumor with white blood cells as well as tissues vicinal to the tumor. Four published "nontumor"-tumor metastasis trios and 246 pan-cancer pairs analyzed by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and 67 trios by whole-exome sequencing (WES) were also examined.
RESULTS: Widespread GOHs enriched with CG-to-TG changes and associated with nearby CNVs and LOHs enriched with TG-to-CG changes were observed. Occurrences of GOH were 1.9-fold higher than LOH in "nontumor" tissues more than 2 cm away from the tumors, and a majority of these GOHs and LOHs were reversed in "paratumor" tissues within 2 cm of the tumors, forming forward-reverse mutation cycles where the revertant LOHs displayed strong lineage effects that pointed to a sequential instead of parallel development from "nontumor" to "paratumor" and onto tumor cells, which was also supported by the relative frequencies of 26 distinct classes of CNVs between these three types of cell populations.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that developing cancer cells undergo sequential changes that enable the "nontumor" cells to acquire a wide range of forward mutations including ones that are essential for oncogenicity, followed by revertant mutations in the "paratumor" cells to avoid growth retardation by excessive mutation load. Such utilization of forward-reverse mutation cycles as an adaptive mechanism was also observed in cultured HeLa cells upon successive replatings. An understanding of forward-reverse mutation cycles in cancer development could provide a genomic basis for improved early diagnosis, staging, and treatment of cancers.

Gumushan Aktas H, Akgun T
Naringenin inhibits prostate cancer metastasis by blocking voltage-gated sodium channels.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 106:770-775 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we investigated the potential effects of naringenin on the motility of MAT-LyLu cells, which overexpress voltage-gated sodium channels and whose metastatic behaviours are associated with these channels. We first determined the concentration of naringenin that did not show toxic effects or block cell growth. Then, the effects of naringenin on cell motility in the lateral and vertical directions were tested by wound healing assays and transwell invasion assays, respectively. Finally, to determine the suppressive effects of naringenin on cell movement in both directions, the expression of the SCN9A gene, which encodes Nav1.7 voltage-gated sodium channel, was determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The data revealed that high concentrations of naringenin (75 μM) inhibited cell proliferation, whereas low concentrations (5 and 10 μM) decreased the movement of MAT-LyLu cells. Moreover, 10 μM naringenin displayed inhibitory effects on cell movement by reducing the expression of the SCN9A gene at the mRNA level. In conclusion, naringenin was found to have direct or indirect blocking activity on voltage-gated sodium channels encoded by the SCN9A gene.

Guo T, Wang H, Liu P, et al.
SNHG6 Acts as a Genome-Wide Hypomethylation Trigger via Coupling of miR-1297-Mediated S-Adenosylmethionine-Dependent Positive Feedback Loops.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(14):3849-3864 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant genome-wide hypomethylation and long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) dysregulation are associated with hepatocarcinogenesis. However, whether a relationship between the two exists remains largely unknown. S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)-dependent methylation is a critical factor in genomic methylation. We previously found that SNHG6 lncRNA acted as an oncogene in hepatocarcinogenesis and could be considered a potential prognostic indicator for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here we verify that SNHG6 leads to genome-wide hypomethylation in hepatoma cells and that SNHG6 negatively correlates with the steady-state SAMe concentration

Wang R, Jin Y, Yao XH, et al.
A novel mechanism of the M1-M2 methionine adenosyltransferase switch-mediated hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis.
Mol Carcinog. 2018; 57(9):1201-1212 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) manifests as a highly metastatic cancer with extremely poor prognosis. However, mechanisms underlying metastasis of HCC are not fully understood. Here, we showed that switching gene expression from MAT1A to MAT2A (M1-M2 switch) promoted cancer invasion and metastasis. Reversion of the M1-M2 switch repressed, whereas enhancing the M1-M2 switch promoted the ability of HCC cells to metastasize. Moreover, we provided clinical data showing that tipping the balance between MAT1A and MAT2A expression correlated with increased metastasis and inferior recurrence-free survival in HCC patients. Molecular pathways analysis showed that downregulation of MAT1A, which augmented osteopontin (OPN) expression through decreasing methylation of the OPN promoter, and MAT2A upregulation, which induced integrin β3 (ITGB3) expression by binding to ITGB3 promoter, collaboratively triggered ERK signaling and thereby promoted metastasis. Thus, the simultaneous downregulation of MAT1A and upregulation of MAT2A are necessary and sufficient for HCC metastasis in the process of M1-M2 switch. Our findings provide novel mechanistic insights into cancer metastasis. Inhibition and prevention of the M1-M2 switch would offer a novel therapeutic option for treatment of HCC.

Liu T, Yang H, Fan W, et al.
Mechanisms of MAFG Dysregulation in Cholestatic Liver Injury and Development of Liver Cancer.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 155(2):557-571.e14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: MAF bZIP transcription factor G (MAFG) is activated by the farnesoid X receptor to repress bile acid synthesis. However, expression of MAFG increases during cholestatic liver injury in mice and in cholangiocarcinomas. MAFG interacts directly with methionine adenosyltransferase α1 (MATα1) and other transcription factors at the E-box element to repress transcription. We studied mechanisms of MAFG up-regulation in cholestatic tissues and the pathways by which S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) prevent the increase in MAFG expression. We also investigated whether obeticholic acid (OCA), an farnesoid X receptor agonist, affects MAFG expression and how it contributes to tumor growth in mice.
METHODS: We obtained 7 human cholangiocarcinoma specimens and adjacent non-tumor tissues from patients that underwent surgical resection in California and 113 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) specimens and adjacent non-tumor tissues from China, along with clinical data from patients. Tissues were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. MAT1A, MAT2A, c-MYC, and MAFG were overexpressed or knocked down with small interfering RNAs in MzChA-1, KMCH, Hep3B, and HepG2 cells; some cells were incubated with lithocholic acid (LCA, which causes the same changes in gene expression observed during chronic cholestatic liver injury in mice), SAMe, UDCA (100 μM), or farnesoid X receptor agonists. MAFG expression and promoter activity were measured using real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunoblot, and transient transfection. We performed electrophoretic mobility shift, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays to study proteins that occupy promoter regions. We studied mice with bile-duct ligation, orthotopic cholangiocarcinomas, cholestasis-induced cholangiocarcinoma, diethylnitrosamine-induced liver tumors, and xenograft tumors.
RESULTS: LCA activated expression of MAFG in HepG2 and MzChA-1 cells, which required the activator protein-1, nuclear factor-κB, and E-box sites in the MAFG promoter. LCA reduced expression of MAT1A but increased expression of MAT2A in cells. Overexpression of MAT2A increased activity of the MAFG promoter, whereas knockdown of MAT2A reduced it. MAT1A and MAT2A had opposite effects on the activator protein-1, nuclear factor-κB, and E-box-mediated promoter activity. Expression of MAFG and MAT2A increased, and expression of MAT1A decreased, in diethylnitrosamine-induced liver tumors in mice. SAMe and UDCA had shared and distinct mechanisms of preventing LCA-mediated increased expression of MAFG. OCA increased expression of MAFG, MAT2A, and c-MYC, but reduced expression of MAT1A. Incubation of human liver and biliary cancer cells lines with OCA promoted their proliferation; in nude mice given OCA, xenograft tumors were larger than in mice given vehicle. Levels of MAFG were increased in human HCC and cholangiocarcinoma tissues compared with non-tumor tissues. High levels of MAFG in HCC samples correlated with hepatitis B, vascular invasion, and shorter survival times of patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Expression of MAFG increases in cells and tissues with cholestasis, as well as in human cholangiocarcinoma and HCC specimens; high expression levels correlate with tumor progression and reduced survival time. SAMe and UDCA reduce expression of MAFG in response to cholestasis, by shared and distinct mechanisms. OCA induces MAFG expression, cancer cell proliferation, and growth of xenograft tumors in mice.

An J, Na SK, Shim JH, et al.
Histological expression of methionine adenosyl transferase (MAT) 2A as a post-surgical prognostic surrogate in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Surg Oncol. 2018; 117(5):892-901 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Deregulation of methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT) is involved in hepatocarcinogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the prognostic implications of the level of histological MAT1A and MAT2A in patients with resected hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: A total of 210 patients with HCC who underwent curative resection between 2004 and 2011 were included. The levels of MAT proteins were immunohistochemically measured.
RESULTS: MAT1A and MAT2A were over-expressed in 134 (63.8%) and 124 (59.1%) of the 210 tumor tissues, respectively. Up-regulation of tumoral MAT1A was independently associated with male gender, and inversely related to tumors >5 cm (adjusted odds ratios [OR] 2.59, P = 0.008, and OR 0.44, P = 0.012, respectively). Enhanced MAT2A expression was significantly related to age ≥60 years and serum AFP >200 ng/mL (OR 0.51, P = 0.030; and OR 2.65, P = 0.003; respectively). Tumoral MAT2A over-expression independently predicted an increased rate of recurrence within 1 year after hepatectomy (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2.45, P = 0.012), but that was not the case for MAT1A expression (HR 0.90, P = 0.744). High MAT2A was also an independent predictor of early recurrence (HR 2.54, P = 0.034) in the subset of patients without microvascular invasion (n = 155).
CONCLUSIONS: Over-expression of MAT2A in HCC may be a useful biomarker for predicting and monitoring tumor recurrence, especially early after hepatic resection.

Maldonado LY, Arsene D, Mato JM, Lu SC
Methionine adenosyltransferases in cancers: Mechanisms of dysregulation and implications for therapy.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2018; 243(2):107-117 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Methionine adenosyltransferase genes encode enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of S-adenosylmethionine, the principal biological methyl donor and precursor of polyamines and glutathione. Mammalian cells express three genes - MAT1A, MAT2A, and MAT2B - with distinct expression and functions. MAT1A is mainly expressed in the liver and maintains the differentiated states of both hepatocytes and bile duct epithelial cells. Conversely, MAT2A and MAT2B are widely distributed in non-parenchymal cells of the liver and extrahepatic tissues. Increasing evidence suggests that methionine adenosyltransferases play significant roles in the development of cancers. Liver cancers, namely hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma, involve dysregulation of all three methionine adenosyltransferase genes. MAT1A reduction is associated with increased oxidative stress, progenitor cell expansion, genomic instability, and other mechanisms implicated in tumorigenesis. MAT2A/MAT2B induction confers growth and survival advantage to cancerous cells, enhancing tumor migration. Highlighted examples from colon, gastric, breast, pancreas and prostate cancer studies further underscore methionine adenosyltransferase genes' role beyond the liver in cancer development. In this subset of extra-hepatic cancers, MAT2A and MAT2B are induced via different regulatory mechanisms. Understanding the role of methionine adenosyltransferase genes in tumorigenesis helps identify attributes of these genes that may serve as valuable targets for therapy. While S-adenosylmethionine, and its metabolite, methylthioadenosine, have been largely explored as therapeutic interventions, targets aimed at regulation of MAT gene expression and methionine adenosyltransferase protein-protein interactions are now surfacing as potential effective strategies for treatment and chemoprevention of cancers. Impact statement This review examines the role of methionine adenosyltransferases (MATs) in human cancer development, with a particular focus on liver cancers in which all three MAT genes are implicated in tumorigenesis. An overview of MAT genes, isoenzymes and their regulation provide context for understanding consequences of dysregulation. Highlighting examples from liver, colon, gastric, breast, pancreas and prostate cancers underscore the importance of understanding MAT's tumorigenic role in identifying future targets for cancer therapy.

Huang Y, Tong L, Yi L, et al.
Three-dimensional hydrogel is suitable for targeted investigation of amoeboid migration of glioma cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 17(1):250-256 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) invasion and migration are key biological behaviors leading to refractoriness to current therapies and infiltration into the non‑tumor brain parenchyma. GBM cell migration is strongly dependent on tumor architecture in vivo, which is absent in traditional two‑dimensional (2D) monolayer culture. The present study applied a three‑dimensional (3D) hydrogel model to rebuild the tumor architecture in vitro. Treatment with NSC23766, a specific inhibitor of Ras‑related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1), inhibited the mesenchymal invasiveness however triggered the amoeboid motility called mesenchymal‑amoeboid transition (MAT). Notably, NSC23766 stimulated U87 GBM cell migration in the 3D hydrogel. However, this compound inhibited cell motility in 2D monolayer culture without tumor architecture for MAT, suggesting the advantage of 3D hydrogel to investigate tumor cell invasion. Due to the inverse interaction of Rac1 and Ras homolog family member A (RhoA) signaling in the transition between mesenchymal and amoeboid morphology, simultaneous treatment of NSC23766 and Y27632 (selective Rho associated coiled‑coil containing protein kinase 1 inhibitor), abolished U87 GBM cell migration through inhibiting MAT and amoeboid‑mesenchymal transition. In addition, Y27632 induced integrin expression which gave rise to the focal adhesion to facilitate the mesenchymal invasion. The results of the present study demonstrated that the 3D hydrogel was a preferable model in vitro to study tumor cell invasion and migration. The combined inhibition of Rac1 and RhoA signaling would be a promising strategy to suppress GBM invasion.

Kerr-Phillips TE, Aydemir N, Chan EWC, et al.
Conducting electrospun fibres with polyanionic grafts as highly selective, label-free, electrochemical biosensor with a low detection limit for non-Hodgkin lymphoma gene.
Biosens Bioelectron. 2018; 100:549-555 [PubMed] Related Publications
A highly selective, label-free sensor for the non-Hodgkin lymphoma gene, with an aM detection limit, utilizing electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is presented. The sensor consists of a conducting electrospun fibre mat, surface-grafted with poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) brushes and a conducting polymer sensing element with covalently attached oligonucleotide probes. The sensor was fabricated from electrospun NBR rubber, embedded with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT), followed by grafting poly(acrylic acid) brushes and then electrochemically polymerizing a conducting polymer monomer with ssDNA probe sequence pre-attached. The resulting non-Hodgkin lymphoma gene sensor showed a detection limit of 1aM (1 × 10

Nowicki M, Wierzbowska A, Małachowski R, et al.
VEGF, ANGPT1, ANGPT2, and MMP-9 expression in the autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and its impact on the time to engraftment.
Ann Hematol. 2017; 96(12):2103-2112 [PubMed] Related Publications
As a site of complicated interactions among cytokines, bone marrow niche has been the subject of many scientific studies, mainly in the context of the proteins influencing damage or recovery of endothelium after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). In this study, we aimed at exploring mutual correlations of bone marrow niche cytokines involved in the homing and mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells, as well as in angiogenesis. The aim of our study was to evaluate levels of cytokines: VEGF, angiopoietin-1 (ANGPT1), angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2), and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) during autologous HSCT and to examine their influence on hematological recovery. Forty-three patients with hematological malignancies (33 multiple myeloma, 10 lymphoma) were enrolled in the study. Plasma samples were taken at five time points: before conditioning treatment (BC), on transplantation day (0) and 7 (+7), 14 (+14), and 21 (+21) days after HSCT. The cytokine levels were evaluated by ELISA method. Our study revealed decreased levels of VEGF, ANGPT1, and MMP-9 in the early post-transplant period as compared to the baseline (BC). ANGPT2 was decreased after conditioning treatment, but tended to increase from day +7. On day +7, positive correlations between ANGPT1 level as well as MMP-9 and the time to engraftment were observed. As opposite to ANGPT1, negative correlation between ANGPT2 level on day +7 after HSCT and the time to hematological recovery was noticed. Our study suggests that investigated cytokines are an important part of bone marrow environment and significantly influence the time to engraftment after HSCT.

Wang L, Song G, Zhang X, et al.
PADI2-Mediated Citrullination Promotes Prostate Cancer Progression.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(21):5755-5768 [PubMed] Related Publications
Onset of castration-resistance prostate cancer (CRPC) after long-term androgen deprivation therapy remains a major obstacle in the treatment of prostate cancer. The peptidylarginine deiminase PADI2 has been implicated in chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. Here we show that

Mohanan S, Horibata S, Anguish LJ, et al.
PAD2 overexpression in transgenic mice augments malignancy and tumor-associated inflammation in chemically initiated skin tumors.
Cell Tissue Res. 2017; 370(2):275-283 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously found that transgenic mice overexpressing MMTV-FLAG-hPAD2 (PAD2OE) developed spontaneous skin lesions, with a subset of these lesions progressing to invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The goal of this report was to better understand the potential mechanisms by which PAD2 overexpression promotes skin cancer. Here, PAD2OE mice were treated with the carcinogen, 9,10-dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene and with O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate and then scored for papilloma formation. Additionally, tumor sections were evaluated for evidence of tumor cell invasion and inflammation. We found that the total number of papillomas was significantly increased in PAD2OE mice compared to controls. Histopathologic analysis of the lesions found that in PAD2OE skin tumors progressed to invasive SCC more frequently than controls. Additionally, we found that PAD2OE lesions were highly inflamed, with a dense inflammatory cell infiltrate and an associated increase in nuclear phospho-STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) in the transgenic tumors. These data suggest that overexpression of the hPAD2 transgene in the epidermis increases the malignant conversion rate of benign tumors by promoting an inflammatory microenvironment.

Fan W, Yang H, Liu T, et al.
Prohibitin 1 suppresses liver cancer tumorigenesis in mice and human hepatocellular and cholangiocarcinoma cells.
Hepatology. 2017; 65(4):1249-1266 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prohibitin 1 (PHB1) is best known as a mitochondrial chaperone, and its role in cancer is conflicting. Mice lacking methionine adenosyltransferase α1 (MATα1) have lower PHB1 expression, and we reported that c-MYC interacts directly with both proteins. Furthermore, c-MYC and MATα1 exert opposing effects on liver cancer growth, prompting us to examine the interplay between PHB1, MATα1, and c-MYC and PHB1's role in liver tumorigenesis. We found that PHB1 is highly expressed in normal hepatocytes and bile duct epithelial cells and down-regulated in most human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). In HCC and CCA cells, PHB1 expression correlates inversely with growth. PHB1 and MAT1A positively regulate each other's expression, whereas PHB1 negatively regulates the expression of c-MYC, MAFG, and c-MAF. Both PHB1 and MATα1 heterodimerize with MAX, bind to the E-box element, and repress E-box promoter activity. PHB1 promoter contains a repressive E-box element and is occupied mainly by MAX, MNT, and MATα1 in nonmalignant cholangiocytes and noncancerous tissues that switched to c-MYC, c-MAF, and MAFG in cancer cells and human HCC/CCA. All 8-month-old liver-specific Phb1 knockout mice developed HCC, and one developed CCA. Five-month-old Phb1 heterozygotes, but not Phb1 flox mice, developed aberrant bile duct proliferation; and one developed CCA 3.5 months after left and median bile duct ligation. Phb1 heterozygotes had a more profound fall in the expression of glutathione synthetic enzymes and higher hepatic oxidative stress following left and median bile duct ligation.
CONCLUSION: We have identified that PHB1, down-regulated in most human HCC and CCA, heterodimerizes with MAX to repress the E-box and positively regulates MAT1A while suppressing c-MYC, MAFG, and c-MAF expression; in mice, reduced PHB1 expression predisposes to the development of cholestasis-induced CCA. (Hepatology 2017;65:1249-1266).

Mumbrekar KD, Bola Sadashiva SR, Kabekkodu SP, et al.
Genetic Variants in CD44 and MAT1A Confer Susceptibility to Acute Skin Reaction in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017; 97(1):118-127 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Heterogeneity in radiation therapy (RT)-induced normal tissue toxicity is observed in 10% of cancer patients, limiting the therapeutic outcomes. In addition to treatment-related factors, normal tissue adverse reactions also manifest from genetic alterations in distinct pathways majorly involving DNA damage-repair genes, inflammatory cytokine genes, cell cycle regulation, and antioxidant response. Therefore, the common sequence variants in these radioresponsive genes might modify the severity of normal tissue toxicity, and the identification of the same could have clinical relevance as a predictive biomarker.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: The present study was conducted in a cohort of patients with breast cancer to evaluate the possible associations between genetic variants in radioresponsive genes described previously and the risk of developing RT-induced acute skin adverse reactions. We tested 22 genetic variants reported in 18 genes (ie, NFE2L2, OGG1, NEIL3, RAD17, PTTG1, REV3L, ALAD, CD44, RAD9A, TGFβR3, MAD2L2, MAP3K7, MAT1A, RPS6KB2, ZNF830, SH3GL1, BAX, and XRCC1) using TaqMan assay-based real-time polymerase chain reaction. At the end of RT, the severity of skin damage was scored, and the subjects were dichotomized as nonoverresponders (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade <2) and overresponders (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade ≥2) for analysis.
RESULTS: Of the 22 single nucleotide polymorphisms studied, the rs8193 polymorphism lying in the micro-RNA binding site of 3'-UTR of CD44 was significantly (P=.0270) associated with RT-induced adverse skin reactions. Generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction analysis showed significant (P=.0107) gene-gene interactions between MAT1A and CD44. Furthermore, an increase in the total number of risk alleles was associated with increasing occurrence of overresponses (P=.0302).
CONCLUSIONS: The genetic polymorphisms in radioresponsive genes act as genetic modifiers of acute normal tissue toxicity outcomes after RT by acting individually (rs8193), by gene-gene interactions (MAT1A and CD44), and/or by the additive effects of risk alleles.

Brechbuhl HM, Finlay-Schultz J, Yamamoto TM, et al.
Fibroblast Subtypes Regulate Responsiveness of Luminal Breast Cancer to Estrogen.
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(7):1710-1721 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Chen CP, Wang LK, Chern SR, et al.
Prenatal diagnosis of partial monosomy 5p (5p15.1→pter) and partial trisomy 7p (7p15.2→pter) associated with cystic hygroma, abnormal skull development, and ventriculomegaly.
Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2016; 55(4):591-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Prenatal diagnosis of concomitant chromosome 5p deletion syndrome and chromosome 7p duplication syndrome in a fetus with abnormal prenatal ultrasound is presented.
CASE REPORT: A 34-year-old woman was referred for amniocentesis at 22 weeks of gestation because of an irregular-shaped skull, bilateral ventriculomegaly, and nuchal cystic hygroma. Amniocentesis revealed a derivative chromosome 5 with a distal 5p deletion and an addendum of an extra unknown chromosomal segment at the breakpoint of 5p. Cytogenetic analysis of parental bloods revealed a karyotype of 46, XX, t(5;7)(p15.1;p15.2) in the mother and a karyotype of 46,XY in the father. The karyotype of the fetus was 46, XX, der(5) t(5;7)(p15.1;p15.2)mat consistent with partial monosomy 5p (5p15.1→pter) and partial trisomy 7p (7p15.2→pter). A malformed fetus was subsequently delivered with an irregular-shaped skull, a large anterior fontanelle, brachycephaly, hypertelorism, a high and prominent forehead, a large nuchal cystic hygroma, large low-set ears, a short and flattened nose, and micrognathia. Array comparative genomic hybridization analysis of the placenta revealed the result of arr 5p15.33p15.1 (22,179-18,133,327)×1.0, 7p22.3p15.2 (54,215-25,551,540)×3.0, indicating an 18.11-Mb deletion of 5p (5p15.33-p15.1) and a 22.5-Mb duplication of 7p (7p22.3-p15.2). Cord blood sampling revealed a karyotype of 46, XX, der(5)t(5;7) (p15.1;p15.2)mat.
CONCLUSION: Fetuses with 5p deletion syndrome and 7p duplication syndrome may present ventriculomegaly, abnormal skull development, and cystic hygroma on prenatal ultrasound.

Lei Y, Zhang B, Zhang Y, et al.
Lentivirus-mediated downregulation of MAT2B inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in melanoma.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 49(3):981-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant melanoma is the most lethal of skin cancers and its pathogenesis is complex and heterogeneous. The efficacy of conventional therapeutic regimens for melanoma remains limited. Thus, it is important to explore novel effective therapeutic targets in the treatment of melanoma. The MAT2B gene encodes for the regulatory subunit of methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT). Recent studies have suggested that MAT2B may have functional roles other than modulating catalytic activity of MAT. In order to identify the roles of MAT2B in the tumorigenesis of malignant melanoma, we compared MAT2B expression profile in melanoma tissues with that in benign nevus samples. We employed lentivirus-mediated RNAi to downregulate the expression of MAT2B in malignant melanoma cell lines (A375 and Mel-RM), and investigated the effects of MAT2B on cell growth, colony-formation ability and apoptosis in vitro, as well as tumor growth of a xenograft model in vivo. The expression levels of BCL2 and XAF1 proteins, which were closely related to tumor cell apoptosis, were analyzed by western blot analysis. Our data showed that MAT2B was elevated in both primary and metastatic melanoma tissues compared with benign nevus samples. Lentivirus-mediated downregulation of MAT2B suppressed cell growth, colony formation and induced apoptosis in A375 and Mel-RM cell lines in vitro, affected protein expression of BCL2 and XAF1, extended the transplanted tumor growth in vivo. These results indicated that MAT2B was critical in the proliferation of melanoma cells and tumorigenicity. It may be considered as a potential anti-melanoma therapeutic target.

Mishra A, La Perle K, Kwiatkowski S, et al.
Mechanism, Consequences, and Therapeutic Targeting of Abnormal IL15 Signaling in Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma.
Cancer Discov. 2016; 6(9):986-1005 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is the most common type of primary cutaneous lymphoma. Here, we report that patients with CTCL show increased IL15 in a clinical stage-dependent manner. Mechanistically, we show that ZEB1 is a transcriptional repressor of IL15 in T cells and that hypermethylation of the ZEB1 binding region within the IL15 promoter, as seen in patients with CTCL, prevents ZEB1 binding and causes increased transcription of IL15 Using a transgenic mouse model of IL15, we provide evidence that overexpression of IL15 induces a spontaneous CTCL that mimics the human neoplasm. Excessive autocrine production of IL15 in T cells inhibits an HDAC1-mediated negative autoregulatory loop, resulting in the upregulation of HDAC1 and HDAC6 and transcriptional induction of the onco-miR-21. Interruption of IL15 downstream signaling with isotype-specific HDAC inhibitors halts (HDAC1) or significantly delays (HDAC6) the progression of CTCL in vivo and provides preclinical evidence supporting a hierarchical model of oncogenic signaling in CTCL.
SIGNIFICANCE: To date, CTCL pathogenesis remains unknown, and there are no curative therapies. Our findings not only demonstrate a critical role for IL15-mediated inflammation in cutaneous T-cell lymphomagenesis, but also uncover a new oncogenic regulatory loop in CTCL involving IL15, HDAC1, HDAC6, and miR-21 that shows differential sensitivity to isotype-specific HDAC inhibitors. Cancer Discov; 6(9); 986-1005. ©2016 AACR.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 932.

Rugo HS, Olopade OI, DeMichele A, et al.
Adaptive Randomization of Veliparib-Carboplatin Treatment in Breast Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(1):23-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The genetic and clinical heterogeneity of breast cancer makes the identification of effective therapies challenging. We designed I-SPY 2, a phase 2, multicenter, adaptively randomized trial to screen multiple experimental regimens in combination with standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. The goal is to match experimental regimens with responding cancer subtypes. We report results for veliparib, a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, combined with carboplatin.
METHODS: In this ongoing trial, women are eligible for participation if they have stage II or III breast cancer with a tumor 2.5 cm or larger in diameter; cancers are categorized into eight biomarker subtypes on the basis of status with regard to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), hormone receptors, and a 70-gene assay. Patients undergo adaptive randomization within each biomarker subtype to receive regimens that have better performance than the standard therapy. Regimens are evaluated within 10 biomarker signatures (i.e., prospectively defined combinations of biomarker subtypes). Veliparib-carboplatin plus standard therapy was considered for HER2-negative tumors and was therefore evaluated in 3 signatures. The primary end point is pathological complete response. Tumor volume changes measured by magnetic resonance imaging during treatment are used to predict whether a patient will have a pathological complete response. Regimens move on from phase 2 if and when they have a high Bayesian predictive probability of success in a subsequent phase 3 neoadjuvant trial within the biomarker signature in which they performed well.
RESULTS: With regard to triple-negative breast cancer, veliparib-carboplatin had an 88% predicted probability of success in a phase 3 trial. A total of 72 patients were randomly assigned to receive veliparib-carboplatin, and 44 patients were concurrently assigned to receive control therapy; at the completion of chemotherapy, the estimated rates of pathological complete response in the triple-negative population were 51% (95% Bayesian probability interval [PI], 36 to 66%) in the veliparib-carboplatin group versus 26% (95% PI, 9 to 43%) in the control group. The toxicity of veliparib-carboplatin was greater than that of the control.
CONCLUSIONS: The process used in our trial showed that veliparib-carboplatin added to standard therapy resulted in higher rates of pathological complete response than standard therapy alone specifically in triple-negative breast cancer. (Funded by the QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative and others; I-SPY 2 TRIAL number, NCT01042379.).

Park JW, Liu MC, Yee D, et al.
Adaptive Randomization of Neratinib in Early Breast Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(1):11-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The heterogeneity of breast cancer makes identifying effective therapies challenging. The I-SPY 2 trial, a multicenter, adaptive phase 2 trial of neoadjuvant therapy for high-risk clinical stage II or III breast cancer, evaluated multiple new agents added to standard chemotherapy to assess the effects on rates of pathological complete response (i.e., absence of residual cancer in the breast or lymph nodes at the time of surgery).
METHODS: We used adaptive randomization to compare standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus the tyrosine kinase inhibitor neratinib with control. Eligible women were categorized according to eight biomarker subtypes on the basis of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status, hormone-receptor status, and risk according to a 70-gene profile. Neratinib was evaluated against control with regard to 10 biomarker signatures (prospectively defined combinations of subtypes). The primary end point was pathological complete response. Volume changes on serial magnetic resonance imaging were used to assess the likelihood of such a response in each patient. Adaptive assignment to experimental groups within each disease subtype was based on Bayesian probabilities of the superiority of the treatment over control. Enrollment in the experimental group was stopped when the 85% Bayesian predictive probability of success in a confirmatory phase 3 trial of neoadjuvant therapy reached a prespecified threshold for any biomarker signature ("graduation"). Enrollment was stopped for futility if the probability fell to below 10% for every biomarker signature.
RESULTS: Neratinib reached the prespecified efficacy threshold with regard to the HER2-positive, hormone-receptor-negative signature. Among patients with HER2-positive, hormone-receptor-negative cancer, the mean estimated rate of pathological complete response was 56% (95% Bayesian probability interval [PI], 37 to 73%) among 115 patients in the neratinib group, as compared with 33% among 78 controls (95% PI, 11 to 54%). The final predictive probability of success in phase 3 testing was 79%.
CONCLUSIONS: Neratinib added to standard therapy was highly likely to result in higher rates of pathological complete response than standard chemotherapy with trastuzumab among patients with HER2-positive, hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer. (Funded by QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative and others; I-SPY 2 TRIAL number, NCT01042379.).

Bastman JJ, Serracino HS, Zhu Y, et al.
Tumor-Infiltrating T Cells and the PD-1 Checkpoint Pathway in Advanced Differentiated and Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016; 101(7):2863-73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: Five to 10% of patients with differentiated thyroid cancers (DTC) develop invasive and/or distant metastatic disease that is marginally improved with standard therapies. Prognosis is poor for patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer, with a median survival of 3-5 months. We suggest that a paradigm shift is necessary in the treatment of advanced cases.
OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that a T-cell response is generated in advanced thyroid cancer and may be a viable therapeutic target.
DESIGN: Primary DTCs were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR (n = 92) for expression of CD3, CD8, forkhead box (Fox)-P3, programmed death (PD)-1, PD-1 ligand-1, and PD-1 ligand-2 and biopsied for cellular analysis by flow cytometry (n = 11). Advanced pT4 cases (n = 22) and metastases (n = 5) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry.
SETTING: The study was conducted at the University of Colorado Hospital.
PATIENTS: Thyroid cancer patients undergoing thyroidectomy or completion surgery for advanced disease between 2002 and 2013 participated in the study.
INTERVENTION: There were no interventions.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Immune markers were analyzed for association with disease severity.
RESULTS: Immune markers were commonly expressed at the RNA level. PD-L1 was higher (P = .0443) in patients with nodal metastases. FoxP3(+) (P < .0001), PD-1(+)CD8(+) (P = .0058), and PD-1(+)CD4(+) (P = .0104) T cells were enriched in DTC biopsies. CD8(+) and FoxP3(+) T cells were detected by immunohistochemistry in all pT4 tumors and a subset of metastases. PD-1(+) lymphocytes were found in 50% of DTCs. PD-L1 was expressed by tumor and associated leukocytes in 13 of 22 cases, and expression was more diffuse in anaplastic thyroid cancer (P = .0373). BRAF(V600E) mutation was associated with higher frequencies of tumor-associated lymphocytes (P = .0095) but not PD-L1 expression.
CONCLUSIONS: PD-1 checkpoint blockades may have therapeutic efficacy in patients with aggressive forms of thyroid cancer.

Mittal K, Choi DH, Klimov S, et al.
A centrosome clustering protein, KIFC1, predicts aggressive disease course in serous ovarian adenocarcinomas.
J Ovarian Res. 2016; 9:17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Amplified centrosomes are widely recognized as a hallmark of cancer. Although supernumerary centrosomes would be expected to compromise cell viability by yielding multipolar spindles that results in death-inducing aneuploidy, cancer cells suppress multipolarity by clustering their extra centrosomes. Thus, cancer cells, with the aid of clustering mechanisms, maintain pseudobipolar spindle phenotypes that are associated with low-grade aneuploidy, an edge to their survival. KIFC1, a nonessential minus end-directed motor of the kinesin-14 family, is a centrosome clustering molecule, essential for viability of extra centrosome-bearing cancer cells. Given that ovarian cancers robustly display amplified centrosomes, we examined the overexpression of KIFC1 in human ovarian tumors.
RESULTS: We found that in clinical epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) samples, an expression level of KIFC1 was significantly higher when compared to normal tissues. KIFC1 expression also increased with tumor grade. Our In silico analyses showed that higher KIFC1 expression was associated with poor overall survival (OS) in serous ovarian adenocarcinoma (SOC) patients suggesting that an aggressive disease course in ovarian adenocarcinoma patients can be attributed to high KIFC1 levels. Also, gene expression levels of KIFC1 in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) highly correlated with expression of genes driving centrosome amplification (CA), as examined in publically-available databases. The pathway analysis results indicated that the genes overexpressed in KIFC1 high group were associated with processes like regulation of the cell cycle and cell proliferation. In addition, when we performed gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) for identifying the gene ontologies associated to KIFC1 high group, we found that the first 100 genes enriched in KIFC1 high group were from centrosome components, mitotic cell cycle, and microtubule-based processes. Results from in vitro experiments on well-established in vitro models of HGSOC (OVSAHO, KURAMOCHI), OVCAR3 and SKOV3) revealed that they display robust centrosome amplification and expression levels of KIFC1 was directly associated (inversely correlated) to the status of multipolar mitosis. This association of KIFC1 and centrosome amplification with HGSOC might be able to explain the increased aggressiveness in this disease.
CONCLUSION: These findings compellingly underscore that KIFC1 can be a biomarker that predicts an aggressive disease course in ovarian adenocarcinomas.

Yang H, Liu T, Wang J, et al.
Deregulated methionine adenosyltransferase α1, c-Myc, and Maf proteins together promote cholangiocarcinoma growth in mice and humans(‡).
Hepatology. 2016; 64(2):439-55 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: c-Myc induction drives cholestatic liver injury and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in mice, and induction of Maf proteins (MafG and c-Maf) contributes to cholestatic liver injury, whereas S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) administration is protective. Here, we determined whether there is interplay between c-Myc, Maf proteins, and methionine adenosyltransferase α1 (MATα1), which is responsible for SAMe biosynthesis in the liver. We used bile duct ligation (BDL) and lithocholic acid (LCA) treatment in mice as chronic cholestasis models, a murine CCA model, human CCA cell lines KMCH and Huh-28, human liver cancer HepG2, and human CCA specimens to study gene and protein expression, protein-protein interactions, molecular mechanisms, and functional outcomes. We found that c-Myc, MATα1 (encoded by MAT1A), MafG, and c-Maf interact with one another directly. MAT1A expression fell in hepatocytes and bile duct epithelial cells during chronic cholestasis and in murine and human CCA. The opposite occurred with c-Myc, MafG, and c-Maf expression. MATα1 interacts mainly with Mnt in normal liver, but this switches to c-Maf, MafG, and c-Myc in cholestatic livers and CCA. Promoter regions of these genes have E-boxes that are bound by MATα1 and Mnt in normal liver and benign bile duct epithelial cells that switched to c-Myc, c-Maf, and MafG in cholestasis and CCA cells. E-box positively regulates c-Myc, MafG, and c-Maf, but it negatively regulates MAT1A. MATα1 represses, whereas c-Myc, MafG, and c-Maf enhance, E-box-driven promoter activity. Knocking down MAT1A or overexpressing MafG or c-Maf enhanced CCA growth and invasion in vivo.
CONCLUSION: There is a novel interplay between MATα1, c-Myc, and Maf proteins, and their deregulation during chronic cholestasis may facilitate CCA oncogenesis. (Hepatology 2016;64:439-455).

Lee M, Williams KA, Hu Y, et al.
GNL3 and SKA3 are novel prostate cancer metastasis susceptibility genes.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2015; 32(8):769-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PC) is very common in developed countries. However, the molecular determinants of PC metastasis are unclear. Previously, we reported that germline variation influences metastasis in the C57BL/6-Tg(TRAMP)8247Ng/J (TRAMP) mouse model of PC. These mice develop prostate tumors similar to a subset of poor outcome, treatment-associated human PC tumors. Here, we used TRAMP mice to nominate candidate genes and validate their role in aggressive human PC in PC datasets and cell lines. Candidate metastasis susceptibility genes were identified through quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in 201 (TRAMP × PWK/PhJ) F2 males. Two metastasis-associated QTLs were identified; one on chromosome 12 (LOD = 5.86), and one on chromosome 14 (LOD = 4.41). Correlation analysis using microarray data from (TRAMP × PWK/PhJ) F2 prostate tumors identified 35 metastasis-associated transcripts within the two loci. The role of these genes in susceptibility to aggressive human PC was determined through in silico analysis using multiple datasets. First, analysis of candidate gene expression in two human PC datasets demonstrated that five candidate genes were associated with an increased risk of aggressive disease and lower disease-free survival. Second, four of these genes (GNL3, MAT1A, SKA3, and ZMYM5) harbored SNPs associated with aggressive tumorigenesis in the PLCO/CGEMS GWAS of 1172 PC patients. Finally, over-expression of GNL3 and SKA3 in the PC-3 human PC cell line decreased in vitro cell migration and invasion. This novel approach demonstrates how mouse models can be used to identify metastasis susceptibility genes, and gives new insight into the molecular mechanisms of fatal PC.

Kumar Y, Yang J, Hu T, et al.
Massive interstitial copy-neutral loss-of-heterozygosity as evidence for cancer being a disease of the DNA-damage response.
BMC Med Genomics. 2015; 8:42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The presence of loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) mutations in cancer cell genomes is commonly encountered. Moreover, the occurrences of LOHs in tumor suppressor genes play important roles in oncogenesis. However, because the causative mechanisms underlying LOH mutations in cancer cells yet remain to be elucidated, enquiry into the nature of these mechanisms based on a comprehensive examination of the characteristics of LOHs in multiple types of cancers has become a necessity.
METHODS: We performed next-generation sequencing on inter-Alu sequences of five different types of solid tumors and acute myeloid leukemias, employing the AluScan platform which entailed amplification of such sequences using multiple PCR primers based on the consensus sequences of Alu elements; as well as the whole genome sequences of a lung-to-liver metastatic cancer and a primary liver cancer. Paired-end sequencing reads were aligned to the reference human genome to identify major and minor alleles so that the partition of LOH products between homozygous-major vs. homozygous-minor alleles could be determined at single-base resolution. Strict filtering conditions were employed to avoid false positives. Measurements of LOH occurrences in copy number variation (CNV)-neutral regions were obtained through removal of CNV-associated LOHs.
RESULTS: We found: (a) average occurrence of copy-neutral LOHs amounting to 6.9% of heterologous loci in the various cancers; (b) the mainly interstitial nature of the LOHs; and (c) preference for formation of homozygous-major over homozygous-minor, and transitional over transversional, LOHs.
CONCLUSIONS: The characteristics of the cancer LOHs, observed in both AluScan and whole genome sequencings, point to the formation of LOHs through repair of double-strand breaks by interhomolog recombination, or gene conversion, as the consequence of a defective DNA-damage response, leading to a unified mechanism for generating the mutations required for oncogenesis as well as the progression of cancer cells.

Welch MD, Howlett M, Halse HM, et al.
Novel CT domain-encoding splice forms of CTGF/CCN2 are expressed in B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Leuk Res. 2015; 39(8):913-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) has been shown previously to be aberrantly expressed in a high proportion of paediatric precursor B cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (pre-B ALL), suggesting a potential oncogenic role in this tumour type. We therefore assessed CTGF mRNA transcript diversity in B-lineage ALL using primary patient specimens and cell lines.
METHODS: CTGF mRNA expression was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR and Northern blotting. We performed a structural analysis of CTGF mRNA by nested reverse-transcriptase PCR and examined CTGF protein diversity by immunoblotting.
RESULTS: Northern blot analysis of pre-B ALL cell lines revealed short CTGF transcripts that were expressed in association with the active phase of cellular growth. Structural analysis confirmed the synthesis of several novel CTGF mRNA isoforms in B-lineage ALL cell lines that were uniformly characterised by the retention of the coding sequence for the C-terminal (CT) domain. One of these novel spliceforms was expressed in a majority (70%) of primary pre-B ALL patient specimens positive for canonical CTGF mRNA. Evidence that these alternative transcripts have coding potential was provided by cryptic CTGF proteins of predicted size detected by immunoblotting.
CONCLUSION: This study identifies for the first time alternative splicing of the CTGF gene and shows that a short CTGF splice variant associated with cell proliferation is expressed in most cases of primary CTGF-positive pre-B ALL. This novel variant encoding only the CT domain may play a role in pre-B ALL tumorigenesis and/or progression.

Cheng TY, Makar KW, Neuhouser ML, et al.
Folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism genes and interactions with nutritional factors on colorectal cancer risk: Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.
Cancer. 2015; 121(20):3684-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Investigations of folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism (FOCM) genes and gene-nutrient interactions with respect to colorectal cancer (CRC) risk are limited to candidate polymorphisms and dietary folate. This study comprehensively investigated associations between genetic variants in FOCM and CRC risk and whether the FOCM nutrient status modified these associations.
METHODS: Two hundred eighty-eight candidate and tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 30 FOCM genes were genotyped for 821 incident CRC case-control matched pairs in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study cohort. FOCM biomarkers (red blood cell [RBC] folate, plasma folate, pyridoxal-5'-phosphate [PLP], vitamin B12, and homocysteine) and self-reported alcohol consumption were measured at the baseline. Conditional logistic regression was implemented; effect modification was examined on the basis of known enzyme-nutrient relations.
RESULTS: Statistically significant associations were observed between CRC risk and functionally defined candidate SNPs of methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 1 (MTHFD1; K134R), 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase reductase (MTRR; P450R), and PR domain containing 2 with ZNF domain (PRDM2; S450N) and a literature candidate SNP of thymidylate synthase (TYMS; g.676789A>T; nominal P < .05). In addition, suggestive associations were noted for tagging SNPs in cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS), dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase 3β (DNMT3B), methionine adenosyltransferase I α (MAT1A), MTHFD1, and MTRR (nominal P < .05; adjusted P, not significant). Significant interactions between nutrient biomarkers and candidate polymorphisms were observed for 1) plasma/RBC folate and folate hydrolase 1 (FOLH1), paraoxonase 1 (PON1), transcobalamin II (TCN2), DNMT1, and DNMT3B; 2) plasma PLP and TYMS TS3; 3) plasma B12 and betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase 2 (BHMT2); and 4) homocysteine and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and alanyl-transfer RNA synthetase (AARS).
CONCLUSIONS: Genetic variants in FOCM genes are associated with CRC risk among postmenopausal women. FOCM nutrients continue to emerge as effect modifiers of genetic influences on CRC risk.

Yang HB, Xu YY, Zhao XN, et al.
Acetylation of MAT IIα represses tumour cell growth and is decreased in human hepatocellular cancer.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:6973 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metabolic alteration is a hallmark of cancer. Dysregulation of methionine metabolism is implicated in human liver cancer. Methionine adenosyltransferase IIα (MAT IIα) is a key enzyme in the methionine cycle, catalysing the production of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a key methyl donor in cellular processes, and is associated with uncontrolled cell proliferation in cancer. Here we show that P300 acetylates MAT IIα at lysine residue 81 and destabilizes MAT IIα by promoting its ubiquitylation and subsequent proteasomal degradation. Conversely, histone deacetylase-3 deacetylates and stabilizes MAT IIα by preventing its proteasomal degradation. Folate deprivation upregulates K81 acetylation and destabilizes MAT IIα to moderate cell proliferation, whereas a single mutation at K81 reverses the proliferative disadvantage of cancer cells upon folate deprivation. Moreover, MAT IIα K81 acetylation is decreased in human hepatocellular cancer. Collectively, our study reveals a novel mechanism of MAT IIα regulation by acetylation and ubiquitylation, and a direct functional link of this regulation to cancer development.

McElwee JL, Mohanan S, Horibata S, et al.
PAD2 overexpression in transgenic mice promotes spontaneous skin neoplasia.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(21):6306-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Peptidylarginine deiminase 2 (PAD2/PADI2) has been implicated in various inflammatory diseases and, more recently, cancer. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that PAD2 promotes oncogenesis using a transgenic mouse model. We found that about 37% of transgenic mice overexpressing human FLAG-PAD2 downstream of the MMTV-LTR promoter develop spontaneous neoplastic skin lesions. Molecular and histopathologic analyses of the resulting lesions find that they contain increased levels of markers for invasion, inflammation, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and that a subset of the lesions progress to invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). We then stably overexpressed FLAG-PAD2 in the human SCC cell line, A431, and found that the PAD2-overexpressing cells were more tumorigenic in vitro and also contained elevated levels of markers for inflammation and EMT. Collectively, these studies provide the first genetic evidence that PAD2 functions as an oncogene and suggest that PAD2 may promote tumor progression by enhancing inflammation within the tumor microenvironment.

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