Research IndicatorsGraph generated 13 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (5)
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).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: MED12 (cancer-related)
Jo DS, Shin DW, Park SJ, et al.Attenuation of Aβ toxicity by promotion of mitochondrial fusion in neuroblastoma cells by liquiritigenin.
Arch Pharm Res. 2016; 39(8):1137-43 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Mitochondrial dynamics control mitochondrial morphology and function, and aberrations in these are associated with various neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. To identify novel regulators of mitochondrial dynamics, we screened a phytochemical library and identified liquiritigenin as a potent inducer of mitochondrial fusion. Treatment with liquiritigenin induced an elongated mitochondrial morphology in SK-N-MC cells. In addition, liquiritigenin rescued mitochondrial fragmentation induced by knockout of mitochondrial fusion mediators such as Mfn1, Mfn2, and Opa1. Furthermore, we found that treatment with liquiritigenin notably inhibited mitochondrial fragmentation and cytotoxicity induced by Aβ in SK-N-MC cells.
Uterine leiomyosarcomas (ULMSs) are aggressive smooth muscle tumors associated with poor clinical outcome. Despite previous cytogenetic and molecular studies, their molecular background has remained elusive. To examine somatic variation in ULMS, we performed exome sequencing on 19 tumors. Altogether, 43 genes were mutated in at least two ULMSs. Most frequently mutated genes included tumor protein P53 (TP53; 6/19; 33%), alpha thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX; 5/19; 26%), and mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12; 4/19; 21%). Unlike ATRX mutations, both TP53 and MED12 alterations have repeatedly been associated with ULMSs. All the observed ATRX alterations were either nonsense or frameshift mutations. ATRX protein levels were reliably analyzed by immunohistochemistry in altogether 44 ULMSs, and the majority of tumors (23/44; 52%) showed clearly reduced expression. Loss of ATRX expression has been associated with alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), and thus the telomere length was analyzed with telomere-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization. The ALT phenotype was confirmed in all ULMSs showing diminished ATRX expression. Exome data also revealed one nonsense mutation in death-domain associated protein (DAXX), another gene previously associated with ALT, and the tumor showed ALT positivity. In conclusion, exome sequencing revealed that TP53, ATRX, and MED12 are frequently mutated in ULMSs. ALT phenotype was commonly seen in tumors, indicating that ATR inhibitors, which were recently suggested as possible new drugs for ATRX-deficient tumors, could provide a potential novel therapeutic option for ULMS.
Lien HC, Huang CS, Yang YW, Jeng YMMED12 exon 2 mutation as a highly sensitive and specific marker in distinguishing phyllodes tumours from other spindle neoplasms of the breast.
APMIS. 2016; 124(5):356-64 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Spindle neoplasms of the breast (SNB) primarily include metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC), phyllodes tumour (PT), fibromatosis and primary nonspecific sarcoma (PNS). Mutations in MED12 exon 2 have been reported in PTs. Because spindle tumour components are shared by SNB, we assessed the diagnostic use of MED12 exon 2 mutation in SNB. We investigated MED12 exon 2 mutations in a total of 91 samples of SNB, including 49 PT cases that have been previously analysed. Mutations were identified using direct sequencing. MED12 exon 2 mutation was absent in all cases of MBC, fibromatosis and PNS, in contrast to the 71.4% positivity in PTs. MED12 mutations were identified in four of six previously diagnosed monophasic sarcomatous MCB cases, however, these four cases were revised as malignant PT based on additional bcl-2 staining, albeit very focal. Consistence in the MED12 mutational status between a paired core biopsy and a surgical specimen was observed in all 20 tested PT cases. In conclusion, we demonstrated the restriction of MED12 exon 2 mutation to PTs (73.6%, 39/53) and its absence in other SNB. MED12 exon 2 mutational analysis can be included in the differential diagnosis between PT and other SNB, especially with limited specimen where diagnostic clues are not evident.
Yoon N, Bae GE, Kang SY, et al.Frequency of MED12 mutations in phyllodes tumors: Inverse correlation with histologic grade.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; 55(6):495-504 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Phyllodes tumor (PT) is a rare breast biphasic tumor with a potential risk of recurrence and metastasis. In this study, the frequency of MED12 mutations in 176 PTs (49 benign, 49 borderline, and 78 malignant) was determined and the prognostic effect of these mutations in malignant type PT was evaluated. Analysis of MED12 mutations was performed by Sanger sequencing targeting the hotspot mutation region (exon 2) of MED12. Immunohistochemistry was also applied for evaluation of MED12 protein expression on tissue microarray blocks for 133 PTs including 50 benign, 50 borderline, and 33 malignant cases. A notable difference in the frequency of MED12 mutations was found according to histologic grade (71.4% of benign PTs, 51% of borderline PTs, 26.9% of malignant PTs; P < 0.001). MED12 protein expression was not correlated with MED12 mutation status. Patients with malignant PTs that harbored MED12 mutations demonstrated improved disease-free survival (DFS) compared with those without MED12 mutation (P = 0.07). MED12 mutation was a common molecular alteration in PT and the frequency of MED12 mutation decreased with increasing histologic grade. In malignant PT, MED12 exon 2 mutations showed improved DFS but without significance. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Piscuoglio S, Ng CK, Murray M, et al.Massively parallel sequencing of phyllodes tumours of the breast reveals actionable mutations, and TERT promoter hotspot mutations and TERT gene amplification as likely drivers of progression.
J Pathol. 2016; 238(4):508-18 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Phyllodes tumours (PTs) are breast fibroepithelial lesions that are graded based on histological criteria as benign, borderline or malignant. PTs may recur locally. Borderline PTs and malignant PTs may metastasize to distant sites. Breast fibroepithelial lesions, including PTs and fibroadenomas, are characterized by recurrent MED12 exon 2 somatic mutations. We sought to define the repertoire of somatic genetic alterations in PTs and whether these may assist in the differential diagnosis of these lesions. We collected 100 fibroadenomas, 40 benign PTs, 14 borderline PTs and 22 malignant PTs; six, six and 13 benign, borderline and malignant PTs, respectively, and their matched normal tissue, were subjected to targeted massively parallel sequencing (MPS) using the MSK-IMPACT sequencing assay. Recurrent MED12 mutations were found in 56% of PTs; in addition, mutations affecting cancer genes (eg TP53, RB1, SETD2 and EGFR) were exclusively detected in borderline and malignant PTs. We found a novel recurrent clonal hotspot mutation in the TERT promoter (-124 C>T) in 52% and TERT gene amplification in 4% of PTs. Laser capture microdissection revealed that these mutations were restricted to the mesenchymal component of PTs. Sequencing analysis of the entire cohort revealed that the frequency of TERT alterations increased from benign (18%) to borderline (57%) and to malignant PTs (68%; p < 0.01), and TERT alterations were associated with increased levels of TERT mRNA (p < 0.001). No TERT alterations were observed in fibroadenomas. An analysis of TERT promoter sequencing and gene amplification distinguished PTs from fibroadenomas with a sensitivity and a positive predictive value of 100% (CI 95.38-100%) and 100% (CI 85.86-100%), respectively, and a sensitivity and a negative predictive value of 39% (CI 28.65-51.36%) and 68% (CI 60.21-75.78%), respectively. Our results suggest that TERT alterations may drive the progression of PTs, and may assist in the differential diagnosis between PTs and fibroadenomas. Copyright © 2015 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Uterine leiomyomas are common benign smooth muscle tumors that impose a major burden on women's health. Recent sequencing studies have revealed recurrent and mutually exclusive mutations in leiomyomas, suggesting the involvement of molecularly distinct pathways. In this study, we explored transcriptional differences among leiomyomas harboring different genetic drivers, including high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) rearrangements, mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12) mutations, biallelic inactivation of fumarate hydratase (FH), and collagen, type IV, alpha 5 and collagen, type IV, alpha 6 (COL4A5-COL4A6) deletions. We also explored the transcriptional consequences of 7q22, 22q, and 1p deletions, aiming to identify possible target genes. We investigated 94 leiomyomas and 60 corresponding myometrial tissues using exon arrays, whole genome sequencing, and SNP arrays. This integrative approach revealed subtype-specific expression changes in key driver pathways, including Wnt/β-catenin, Prolactin, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)1 signaling. Leiomyomas with HMGA2 aberrations displayed highly significant up-regulation of the proto-oncogene pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1), suggesting that HMGA2 promotes tumorigenesis through PLAG1 activation. This was supported by the identification of genetic PLAG1 alterations resulting in expression signatures as seen in leiomyomas with HMGA2 aberrations. RAD51 paralog B (RAD51B), the preferential translocation partner of HMGA2, was up-regulated in MED12 mutant lesions, suggesting a role for this gene in the genesis of leiomyomas. FH-deficient leiomyomas were uniquely characterized by activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) target genes, supporting the hypothesis that accumulation of fumarate leads to activation of the oncogenic transcription factor NRF2. This study emphasizes the need for molecular stratification in leiomyoma research and possibly in clinical practice as well. Further research is needed to determine whether the candidate biomarkers presented herein can provide guidance for managing the millions of patients affected by these lesions.
Fibroids represent a major public health care problem as the most prevalent pelvic tumors in women of reproductive age and as the leading cause of gynecologic surgeries in the United States. The recent advances in the genomic technologies including genome-wide association studies and high-throughput sequencing provide insight into their pathogenesis and molecular classification. Understanding the molecular basis of fibroids may facilitate development of effective targeted treatment options of this very common disease.
Mishima C, Kagara N, Tanei T, et al.Loss of imprinting of IGF2 in fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors of the breast.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(3):1511-8 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Loss of imprinting (LOI) of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) is thought to be implicated in the pathogenesis of some tumors by upregulating IGF2 mRNA but its role in the pathogenesis of fibroadenomas (FAs) and phyllodes tumors (PTs) of the breast is yet to be studied. LOI of IGF2 was investigated in 25 FAs and 17 PTs which were heterozygous for Apa I polymorphism, and was found to be present in 13 FAs and 12 PTs. IGF2 mRNA expression was more upregulated in FAs and PTs than in paired surrounding normal tissues and laser microdissection showed that IGF2 mRNA expression was significantly higher in the stromal than the epithelial cells. LOI was not associated with upregulation of IGF2 mRNA, nor were MED12 mutations and methylation status of the differentially methylated region 0 (DMR0) of IGF2. These results demonstrate that IGF2 mRNA expression is more upregulated in FAs and PTs than in normal tissues, especially in their stromal cells, but such an upregulation is not related to LOI of IGF2, and that hypomethylation of DMR0 is unlikely to be involved in induction of LOI.
Holzmann C, Markowski DN, VON Leffern I, et al.Patterns of Chromosomal Abnormalities that Can Improve Diagnosis of Uterine Smooth Muscle Tumors.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(12):6445-56 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND/AIM: Compared to leiomyomas, smooth muscle tumors of uncertain malignant potential (STUMP), and leiomyosarcomas (LMS) originating from the Muellerian duct are very rare. Their molecular pathogenesis remains poorly understood. The present article aims at performing genetic analyses of these tumors that may help assist histopathological examination.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten tumors (four STUMP and six LMS) were investigated by copy number arrays.
RESULTS: Two tumors, both classified as STUMP were shown to carry MED12 mutations with one of them presenting with a detectable copy number alteration. All other tumors had multiple copy number changes with a clear predominance of losses. Five chromosomal arms (1p, 13q, 14q, 16q, 22q) were affected by overlapping lost segments in at least four tumors including two cases with biallelic losses of the retinoblastoma gene locus.
CONCLUSION: Besides the general presence of copy number alterations and particular genetic alterations, heterogeneity and ongoing karyotypic evolution indicate malignancy or approaching malignancy.
Rubenstein M, Hollowell CM, Guinan PSuppression of BCL2 by Antisense Oligonucleotides and Compensation by Non-Targeted Genes May Enhance Tumor Proliferation.
In Vivo. 2015 Nov-Dec; 29(6):687-93 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Antisense oligonucleotides have been used to target regulatory proteins in both in vivo and in vitro models of prostate cancer. Our previous studies showed that oligonucleotide-treated LNCaP prostate cancer cells compensate for diminished expression of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/lymphoma 2 (BCL2), an apoptosis inhibitor, by suppressing the expression of caspase-3 (an apoptosis promoter) while enhancing that of serine/threonine protein kinase (AKT1) (another apoptosis inhibitor). In addition, we found an enhanced expression of the androgen receptor (AR), its p300 and interleukin-6 (IL6) co-activators, polymerase transcription mediator (MED12), and growth-regulating signal transducer (STAT3). The net result was an altered pattern of gene expression often associated with more aggressive and proliferative tumors. To further evaluate adaptive compensatory mechanisms related to tumor resistance, aggression and proliferation, herein we evaluated the level of expression of a proliferation antigen (KI-67) and mitosis-regulating cyclins (B1 and D1). Compared to the relative levels of compensation detailed above, we found the expression of KI-67 to be statistically the most enhanced non-targeted protein yet identified in compensation for suppression of BCL2. Expression of cyclin D1 was also significantly enhanced, although to a much lesser extent. As a result, we propose that oligonucleotide-mediated treatment could be more effective when directed towards KI-67 and BCL2. This could be accomplished by dual monospecific targeting KI-67 and BCL2, or with a bispecific (or proposed multispecific) oligonucleotide simultaneously targeting both.
CDK8 and its paralog CDK19, in complex with CCNC, MED12 and MED13, are transcriptional regulators that mediate several carcinogenic pathways and the chemotherapy-induced tumor-supporting paracrine network. Following up on our previous observation that CDK8, CDK19 and CCNC RNA expression is associated with shorter relapse-free survival (RFS) in breast cancer, we now found by immunohistochemical analysis that CDK8/19 protein is overexpressed in invasive ductal carcinomas relative to non-malignant mammary tissues. Meta-analysis of transcriptomic data revealed that higher CDK8 expression is associated with shorter RFS in all molecular subtypes of breast cancer. These correlations were much stronger in patients who underwent systemic adjuvant therapy, suggesting that CDK8 impacts the failure of systemic therapy. The same associations were found for CDK19, CCNC and MED13. In contrast, MED12 showed the opposite association with a longer RFS. The expression levels of CDK8 in breast cancer samples were directly correlated with the expression of MYC, as well as CDK19, CCNC and MED13 but inversely correlated with MED12. CDK8, CDK19 and CCNC expression was strongly increased and MED12 expression was decreased in tumors with mutant p53. Gene amplification is the most frequent type of genetic alterations of CDK8, CDK19, CCNC and MED13 in breast cancers (9.7% of which have amplified MED13), whereas point mutations are more common in MED12. These results suggest that the expression of CDK8 and its interactive genes has a profound impact on the response to adjuvant therapy in breast cancer in accordance with the role of CDK8 in chemotherapy-induced tumor-supporting paracrine activities.
Tan J, Ong CK, Lim WK, et al.Genomic landscapes of breast fibroepithelial tumors.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(11):1341-5 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Breast fibroepithelial tumors comprise a heterogeneous spectrum of pathological entities, from benign fibroadenomas to malignant phyllodes tumors. Although MED12 mutations have been frequently found in fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors, the landscapes of genetic alterations across the fibroepithelial tumor spectrum remain unclear. Here, by performing exome sequencing of 22 phyllodes tumors followed by targeted sequencing of 100 breast fibroepithelial tumors, we observed three distinct somatic mutation patterns. First, we frequently observed MED12 and RARA mutations in both fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors, emphasizing the importance of these mutations in fibroepithelial tumorigenesis. Second, phyllodes tumors exhibited mutations in FLNA, SETD2 and KMT2D, suggesting a role in driving phyllodes tumor development. Third, borderline and malignant phyllodes tumors harbored additional mutations in cancer-associated genes. RARA mutations exhibited clustering in the portion of the gene encoding the ligand-binding domain, functionally suppressed RARA-mediated transcriptional activation and enhanced RARA interactions with transcriptional co-repressors. This study provides insights into the molecular pathogenesis of breast fibroepithelial tumors, with potential clinical implications.
Kämpjärvi K, Kim NH, Keskitalo S, et al.Somatic MED12 mutations in prostate cancer and uterine leiomyomas promote tumorigenesis through distinct mechanisms.
Prostate. 2016; 76(1):22-31 [PubMed
] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mediator is a multiprotein interface between eukaryotic gene-specific transcription factors and RNA polymerase II. Mutations in exon 2 of the gene encoding MED12, a key subunit of the regulatory kinase module in Mediator, are extremely frequent in uterine leiomyomas, breast fibroadenomas, and phyllodes tumors. These mutations disrupt kinase module interactions and lead to diminished Mediator-associated kinase activity. MED12 mutations in exon 26, resulting in a substitution of leucine 1224 to phenylalanine (L1224F), have been recurrently observed in prostate cancer.
METHODS: To elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to tumorigenesis in prostate cancer, we analyzed global interaction profiles of wild-type and L1224F mutant MED12 with quantitative affinity purification-mass spectrometry (AP-MS). Immunoprecipitation and kinase activity assay were used to further assess the interactions between Mediator complex subunits and kinase activity. The presence of L1224F mutation was analyzed in altogether 877 samples representing prostate hyperplasia, prostate cancer, and various tumor types in which somatic MED12 mutations have previously been observed.
RESULTS: In contrast to N-terminal MED12 mutations observed in uterine leiomyomas, the L1224F mutation compromises neither the interaction of MED12 with kinase module subunits Cyclin C and CDK8/19 nor Mediator-associated CDK activity. Instead, the L1224F mutation was shown to affect interactions between MED12 and other Mediator components (MED1, MED13, MED13L, MED14, MED15, MED17, and MED24). Mutation screening revealed one mutation in a Finnish (Caucasian) prostate cancer patient, whereas no mutations in any other tumor type were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Specific somatic MED12 mutations in prostate cancer and uterine leiomyomas accumulate in two separate regions of the gene and promote tumorigenesis through clearly distinct mechanisms.
BACKGROUND: Phyllodes tumors are rare fibroepithelial neoplasms of the breast, which carry the potential risk of local recurrence and metastasis. Phyllodes tumors share several histological features with fibroadenomas, and no widely accepted markers for distinguishing these lesions have been identified.
METHODS: We analyzed molecular abnormalities related to telomere elongation in tumors, including TERT promoter mutations, as well as loss of expression of ATRX and DAXX, in a total of 104 phyllodes tumors and fibroadenomas.
RESULTS: Sequencing analyses showed that TERT promoter mutations were frequent in phyllodes tumors (30/46, 65%), but rare in fibroadenomas (4/58, 7%). Among phyllodes tumors, the mutations were more frequent in borderline tumors (13/15, 87%), but were also common in benign (9/18, 50%) and malignant tumors (8/13, 62%). Remarkably, all but one TERT promoter-mutated tumor also contained MED12 mutations, indicating that these mutations are strongly associated (P=8.4 × 10(-6)). Expression of ATRX and DAXX, as evaluated by immunohistochemistry, was retained in all tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: Our observations suggest a critical role of TERT promoter mutations, in cooperation with MED12 mutations, in the development of phyllodes tumors. Because TERT promoter mutations are rare among fibroadenomas, their detection may be of potential use in discriminating between phyllodes tumors and fibroadenomas.
Activating mutations of oncogenic RAS genes are frequently detected in human cancers. The studies in genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) reveal that Kras-activating mutations predispose mice to early onset tumors in the lung, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract. Nevertheless, most of these tumors do not have metastatic phenotypes. Metastasis occurs when tumors acquire additional genetic changes in other cancer driver genes. Studies on clinical specimens also demonstrated that KRAS mutations are present in premalignant tissues and that most of KRAS mutant human cancers have co-mutations in other cancer driver genes, including TP53, STK11, CDKN2A, and KMT2C in lung cancer; APC, TP53, and PIK3CA in colon cancer; and TP53, CDKN2A, SMAD4, and MED12 in pancreatic cancer. Extensive efforts have been devoted to develop therapeutic agents that target enzymes involved in RAS posttranslational modifications, that inhibit downstream effectors of RAS signaling pathways, and that kill RAS mutant cancer cells through synthetic lethality. Recent clinical studies have revealed that sorafenib, a pan-RAF and VEGFR inhibitor, has impressive benefits for KRAS mutant lung cancer patients. Combination therapy of MEK inhibitors with either docetaxel, AKT inhibitors, or PI3K inhibitors also led to improved clinical responses in some KRAS mutant cancer patients. This review discusses knowledge gained from GEMMs, human cancer cells, and patient-related studies on RAS-mediated tumorigenesis and anti-RAS therapy. Emerging evidence demonstrates that RAS mutant cancers are heterogeneous because of the presence of different mutant alleles and/or co-mutations in other cancer driver genes. Effective subclassifications of RAS mutant cancers may be necessary to improve patients' outcomes through personalized precision medicine.
Guièze R, Robbe P, Clifford R, et al.Presence of multiple recurrent mutations confers poor trial outcome of relapsed/refractory CLL.
Blood. 2015; 126(18):2110-7 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Although TP53, NOTCH1, and SF3B1 mutations may impair prognosis of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) receiving frontline therapy, the impact of these mutations or any other, alone or in combination, remains unclear at relapse. The genome of 114 relapsed/refractory patients included in prospective trials was screened using targeted next-generation sequencing of the TP53, SF3B1, ATM, NOTCH1, XPO1, SAMHD1, MED12, BIRC3, and MYD88 genes. We performed clustering according to both number and combinations of recurrent gene mutations. The number of genes affected by mutation was ≥ 2, 1, and 0 in 43 (38%), 49 (43%), and 22 (19%) respectively. Recurrent combinations of ≥ 2 mutations of TP53, SF3B1, and ATM were found in 22 (19%) patients. This multiple-hit profile was associated with a median progression-free survival of 12 months compared with 22.5 months in the remaining patients (P = .003). Concurrent gene mutations are frequent in patients with relapsed/refractory CLL and are associated with worse outcome.
Sadeghi S, Khorrami M, Amin-Beidokhti M, et al.The study of MED12 gene mutations in uterine leiomyomas from Iranian patients.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(2):1567-71 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Uterine leiomyomas are the most common gynecologic benign tumors of the female genital tract that cause a variety of health problems including, abnormal menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, placenta displacement, premature labor, and miscarriages. Recently, studies showed that recurrent somatic mutations in MED12 exon 2 are the major cause of uterine leiomyomas in different ethnic groups. In order to validate these results in Iranian population, we performed mutational analysis of exon 2 and the flanking intronic regions by using single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) and sequencing analyses in a series of 103 uterine leiomyomas samples. MED12 gene was mutated in 31.07 % of the uterine leiomyomas. Mutations were consisted of 20 missense (62.5 %) and 12 in-frame deletion (37.5 %) mutations and were not detected in normal myometrial tissue. Although this is the lowest mutation frequency reported so far, MED12 mutations are associated with fibroid pathogenesis in the studied population. Understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyoma will play an important role in designing new therapeutic strategies.
Mediator is a conserved multi-subunit signal processor through which regulatory informatiosn conveyed by gene-specific transcription factors is transduced to RNA Polymerase II (Pol II). In humans, MED13, MED12, CDK8 and Cyclin C (CycC) comprise a four-subunit "kinase" module that exists in variable association with a 26-subunit Mediator core. Genetic and biochemical studies have established the Mediator kinase module as a major ingress of developmental and oncogenic signaling through Mediator, and much of its function in signal-dependent gene regulation derives from its resident CDK8 kinase activity. For example, CDK8-targeted substrate phosphorylation impacts transcription factor half-life, Pol II activity and chromatin chemistry and functional status. Recent structural and biochemical studies have revealed a precise network of physical and functional subunit interactions required for proper kinase module activity. Accordingly, pathologic change in this activity through altered expression or mutation of constituent kinase module subunits can have profound consequences for altered signaling and tumor formation. Herein, we review the structural organization, biological function and oncogenic potential of the Mediator kinase module. We focus principally on tumor-associated alterations in kinase module subunits for which mechanistic relationships as opposed to strictly correlative associations are established. These considerations point to an emerging picture of the Mediator kinase module as an oncogenic unit, one in which pathogenic activation/deactivation through component change drives tumor formation through perturbation of signal-dependent gene regulation. It follows that therapeutic strategies to combat CDK8-driven tumors will involve targeted modulation of CDK8 activity or pharmacologic manipulation of dysregulated CDK8-dependent signaling pathways.
BACKGROUND: Uterine leiomyomas (fibroids) are highly prevalent benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. In the USA, the lifetime risk for women developing uterine leiomyomas is estimated as up to 75%. Except for hysterectomy, most therapies or treatments often provide only partial or temporary relief and are not successful in every patient. There is a clear racial disparity in the disease; African-American women are estimated to be three times more likely to develop uterine leiomyomas and generally develop more severe symptoms. There is also familial clustering between first-degree relatives and twins, and multiple inherited syndromes in which fibroid development occurs. Leiomyomas have been described as clonal and hormonally regulated, but despite the healthcare burden imposed by the disease, the etiology of uterine leiomyomas remains largely unknown. The mechanisms involved in their growth are also essentially unknown, which has contributed to the slow progress in development of effective treatment options.
METHODS: A comprehensive PubMed search for and critical assessment of articles related to the epidemiological, biological and genetic clues for uterine leiomyoma development was performed. The individual functions of some of the best candidate genes are explained to provide more insight into their biological function and to interconnect and organize genes and pathways in one overarching figure that represents the current state of knowledge about uterine leiomyoma development and growth.
RESULTS: In this review, the widely recognized roles of estrogen and progesterone in uterine leiomyoma pathobiology on the basis of clinical and experimental data are presented. This is followed by fundamental aspects and concepts including the possible cellular origin of uterine fibroids. The central themes in the subsequent parts are cytogenetic aberrations in leiomyomas and the racial/ethnic disparities in uterine fibroid biology. Then, the attributes of various in vitro and in vivo, human syndrome, rodent xenograft, naturally mutant, and genetically modified models used to study possible molecular mechanisms of leiomyoma development and growth are described. Particular emphasis is placed on known links to fibrosis, hypertrophy, and hyperplasia and genes that are potentially important in these processes.
CONCLUSIONS: Menstrual cycle-related injury and repair and coinciding hormonal cycling appears to affect myometrial stem cells that, at a certain stage of fibroid development, often obtain cytogenetic aberrations and mutations of Mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12). Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a master regulator of proliferation, is activated in many of these tumors, possibly by mechanisms that are similar to some human fibrosis syndromes and/or by mutation of upstream tumor suppressor genes. Animal models of the disease support some of these dysregulated pathways in fibroid etiology or pathogenesis, but none are definitive. All of this suggests that there are likely several key mechanisms involved in the disease that, in addition to increasing the complexity of uterine fibroid pathobiology, offer possible approaches for patient-specific therapies. A final model that incorporates many of these reported mechanisms is presented with a discussion of their implications for leiomyoma clinical practice.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Uterine fibroids are extremely common, and can cause significant morbidity, yet the exact cause of these tumors remains elusive and there are currently no long-term treatments available. In this review, we aim to provide an overview of steroid hormones, genetic abnormalities, and stem cells in the pathogenesis of uterine fibroids.
RECENT FINDINGS: A universal feature of fibroids is responsiveness to estrogen and progesterone, and most of the currently available therapies exploit this characteristic. Ulipristal acetate has recently shown particular promise for providing long-term relief from uterine fibroids. Additionally, fibroid stem cells were isolated and appear to be necessary for growth. The recent discovery of somatic mutations involving mediator subunit complex 12 (MED12) or high-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) in the majority of fibroids and the links to their pathophysiology were also significant advances.
SUMMARY: The recent shift in focus from hormones to fibroid stem cells and genetic aberrations should lead not only to a deeper understanding of the specific cause of fibroids, but also to the discovery of new therapeutic targets. Targeting the products of genetic mutations or fibroid stem cells has the potential to achieve both better control of current tumors and the prevention of new fibroids.
Mishima C, Kagara N, Tanei T, et al.Mutational analysis of MED12 in fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors of the breast by means of targeted next-generation sequencing.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015; 152(2):305-12 [PubMed
] Related Publications
We aimed to analyze MED12 mutation in fibroadenomas (FAs) and phyllodes tumors (PTs) of the breast, which are closely related and consist of epithelial and stromal components. Targeted deep-sequencing using next-generation sequencing was performed in FAs (n = 58) and PTs (n = 27). The frequency of MED12 mutant tumors was significantly higher (P = 0.016) in PTs (74.1 %) than in FAs. (46.6 %). As for FAs, this frequency was significantly higher (P = 0.001) for intracanalicular type (69.0 %) than for other histological subtypes such as pericanalicular, organoid, and mastopathic types (24.1 %). Laser microdissection study revealed that stromal cells, but not epithelial cells, harbored MED12 mutations in both FAs and PTs. MED12 mutation is implicated in the pathogenesis of both FAs and PTs. The similarly high frequency of MED12 mutation in intracanalicular type FAs suggests that they are most closely related to PTs. It is thus speculated that FAs with MED12 mutation are more likely to progress to PTs.
Acquired resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeted antibodies represents a clinical challenge in the treatment of gastrointestinal tumors such as metastatic colorectal cancer, but its molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. We scanned KRAS exon 2/3/4, NRAS exon 2/3/4 and the overlapping epitopes of the EGFR antibodies cetuximab and panitumumab for mutations in pre- and post-treatment tumor tissue of 21 patients with gastrointestinal cancer treated with chemotherapy +/- EGFR antibodies by next-generation sequencing ("tumor tissue" cohort). We describe a novel EGFR exon 12 mutation acquired in tumors of 1 out of 3 patients treated with panitumumab. The EGFR G465R mutation introduces a positive charge within the overlap of the panitumumab and cetuximab epitopes. It abrogates antibody binding and mediates cross-resistance to both antibodies in EGFR G465R-transfected Ba/F3 cells. In circulating tumor DNA from an independent "liquid biopsy" cohort of 27 patients, we found this novel mutation in 1 out of 6 panitumumab-treated cases while about one third of patients show acquired RAS mutations. We show that acquired resistance by epitope-changing mutations also emerges during panitumumab treatment, which can be easily detected by a liquid biopsy approach even before clinical resistance occurs and this may help in tailoring EGFR-targeted therapies.
Ng CC, Tan J, Ong CK, et al.MED12 is frequently mutated in breast phyllodes tumours: a study of 112 cases.
J Clin Pathol. 2015; 68(9):685-91 [PubMed
] Related Publications
AIM: To determine the frequency of MED12 mutations in a series of 112 breast phyllodes tumours, and to correlate the findings with clinicopathological parameters and survival outcomes.
METHODS: Phyllodes tumours from the Department of Pathology, Singapore General Hospital, were classified into benign, borderline and malignant categories. Genomic DNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded phyllodes tumours was extracted, purified and subjected to ultra-deep-targeted amplicon sequencing across exon 2 of the MED12 gene. Sequencing was performed on the Illumina MiSeq next-generation sequencing platform and bioinformatics analysis applied. Appropriate statistical analyses were carried out.
RESULTS: There were 66 benign, 32 borderline and 14 malignant tumours, with 43 (65.1%), 21 (65.6%) and 6 (42.8%) disclosing MED12 mutations (missense, splice site, indel), respectively. For 97 cases with available follow-up, there were 10 (10.3%) recurrences. Patients with phyllodes tumours that harboured MED12 mutations experienced improved disease-free survivals, with higher recurrence likelihood in those without MED12 mutations (HR 9.99, 95% CIs 1.55 to 64.42, p=0.015).
CONCLUSIONS: Similar to fibroadenomas, phyllodes tumours show a high frequency of MED12 mutations, affirming the close biological relationship between these fibroepithelial neoplasms.
Mehine M, Heinonen HR, Sarvilinna N, et al.Clonally related uterine leiomyomas are common and display branched tumor evolution.
Hum Mol Genet. 2015; 24(15):4407-16 [PubMed
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Uterine leiomyomas are extremely frequent benign smooth muscle tumors often presenting as multiple concurrent lesions and causing symptoms such as abnormal menstrual bleeding, abdominal pain and infertility. While most leiomyomas are believed to arise independently, a few studies have encountered separate lesions harboring identical genetic changes, suggesting a common clonal origin. To investigate the frequency of clonally related leiomyomas, genome-wide tools need to be utilized, and thus little is known about this phenomenon. Using MED12 sequencing and SNP arrays, we searched for clonally related uterine leiomyomas in a set of 103 tumors from 14 consecutive patients who entered hysterectomy owing to symptomatic lesions. Whole-genome sequencing was also utilized to study the genomic architecture of clonally related tumors. This revealed four patients to have two or more tumors that were clonally related, all of which lacked MED12 mutations. Furthermore, some tumors were composed of genetically distinct subclones, indicating a nonlinear, branched model of tumor evolution. DEPDC5 was discovered as a novel tumor suppressor gene playing a role in the progression of uterine leiomyomas. Perhaps counterintuitively—considering Knudson's two-hit hypothesis—a large shared deletion was followed by different truncating DEPDC5 mutations in four clonally related leiomyomas. This study provides insight into the intratumor heterogeneity of these tumors and suggests that a shared clonal origin is a common feature of leiomyomas that do not carry an MED12 mutation. These observations also offer one explanation to the common occurrence of multiple concurrent lesions.
Pfarr N, Kriegsmann M, Sinn P, et al.Distribution of MED12 mutations in fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors of the breast--implications for tumor biology and pathological diagnosis.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2015; 54(7):444-52 [PubMed
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Somatic mutations in exon 2 of MED12 have been described in benign and malignant smooth muscle cell tumors suggesting a functional role in these neoplasms. Recently fibroadenomas of the breast were also reported to harbor MED12 mutations. Hence, we explored MED12 mutations in fibroepithelial tumors of the breast, histological subtypes of fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors, to validate and extend previous efforts. Using conventional Sanger sequencing, we profiled 39 cases of fibroepithelial breast tumors comprising classic histological subtypes of fibroadenomas as well as benign and malignant phyllodes tumors for mutations in exon 2 of MED12. MED12 mutations were detected in 60% of all tumor samples with the majority being missense mutations affecting codon 44. Additionally, we report novel in-frame deletions that have not been described previously. Sixty-two percent of the fibroadenomas harbored mutated MED12 with intracanalicular fibroadenomas being the most frequently mutated histological subtype (82%). Of note, 8/11 of benign phyllodes tumors had MED12 mutations while only 1/5 of malignant phyllodes tumors showed mutations in exon 2 of MED12. In conclusion, we confirm the frequent occurrence of MED12 mutations in fibroadenomas, provide evidence that most intracanalicular fibroadenomas closely resembling benign phyllodes as well as benign phyllodes tumors harbor MED12 mutations, and conclude that MED12 mutations in malignant phyllodes tumors appear to be relatively rare.
Exon 2 of MED12, a subunit of the transcriptional mediator complex, has been frequently mutated in uterine leiomyomas and breast fibroadenomas; however, it has been rarely mutated in other tumors. Although the mutations were also found in uterine leiomyosarcomas, the frequency was significantly lower than in uterine leiomyomas. Here, we examined the MED12 mutation in phyllodes tumors, another biphasic tumor with epithelial and stromal components related to breast fibroadenomas. Mutations in MED12 exon 2 were analyzed in nine fibroadenomas and eleven phyllodes tumors via Sanger sequencing. A panel of cancer- and sarcoma-related genes was also analyzed using Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing. Six mutations in fibroadenomas, including those previously reported (6/9, 67%), and five mutations in phyllodes tumors (5/11, 45%) were observed. Three mutations in the phyllodes tumors were missense mutations at Gly44, which is common in uterine leiomyomas and breast fibroadenomas. In addition, two deletion mutations (in-frame c.133_144del12 and loss of splice acceptor c.100-68_137del106) were observed in the phyllodes tumors. No other recurrent mutation was observed with next-generation sequencing. Frequent mutations in MED12 exon 2 in the phyllodes tumors suggest that it may share genetic etiology with uterine leiomyoma, a subgroup of uterine leiomyosarcomas and breast fibroadenoma.
AIMS: Somatic mutations in exon 2 of the mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12) gene have been identified in 60% of breast fibroadenomas (FAs). The aim of this study was to define whether phyllodes tumours (PTs) would harbour MED12 somatic mutations in a way akin to FAs.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A collection of 73 fibroepithelial tumours (including 26 FAs, 25 benign PTs, nine borderline PTs and 13 malignant PTs) from 64 patients was retrieved from the authors' institution. Sections from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks were microdissected to ensure an enrichment in neoplastic stromal elements of >70%. DNA samples extracted from tumour and matched normal tissues were subjected to Sanger sequencing of exon 2 of the MED12 gene. MED12 exon 2 somatic mutations, including 28 somatic single nucleotide variants and 19 insertions and deletions, were found in 65%, 88%, 78% and 8% of FAs, benign PTs, borderline PTs and malignant PTs, respectively. Malignant PTs harboured MED12 exon 2 somatic mutations significantly less frequently than FAs, benign and borderline PTs.
CONCLUSIONS: Although MED12 exon 2 somatic mutations probably constitute the driver genetic event of most FAs, benign and borderline PTs, our results suggest that the majority of malignant PTs may be driven by other genetic/epigenetic alterations.
Pajuelo-Reguera D, Alán L, Olejár T, Ježek PDichloroacetate stimulates changes in the mitochondrial network morphology via partial mitophagy in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 46(6):2409-18 [PubMed
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Dichloroacetate (DCA) is beneficial in cancer therapy because it induces apoptosis and decreases cancer growth in vitro and in vivo without affecting non-cancer cells. DCA stimulates the activity of the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase by inhibiting pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase. Consequently, DCA promotes oxidative phosphorylation after glycolysis. Therefore, DCA produces changes in energy metabolism that could affect the mitochondrial network and mitophagy. This investigation determined the effects of DCA treatment on mitophagy in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. SH-SY5Y cells were cultured and distributed into 3 groups: control, NH4Cl and chloroquine. Each group was treated with DCA at 0, 5, 30 and 60 mM for 16 h. Samples were analyzed for cell viability, mtDNA copy number, mitochondrial network morphology and expression of key proteins involved in mitochondrial dynamics, such as LC3b, FIS1, OPA1, PARKIN and PINK1. In all groups, DCA caused a decrease in cell viability, an induction of autophagy in a dose-dependent manner and a decrease in Tim23, FIS1 and PARKIN protein expression, leading to profound morphological changes in the mitochondrial network resulting in shorter and more fragmented filaments. However, TFAM protein levels remained unchanged. Similarly, the mitochondrial copy number was not significantly different among the treatment groups. In conclusion, DCA induces mitophagy and remodeling of the mitochondrial network. In this remodeling, DCA induces a decrease in the expression of key proteins involved in protein degradation and mitochondrial dynamics but does not significantly affect the mtDNA density. Blocking late phase autophagy increases the effects of DCA, suggesting that autophagy protects the cell, at least partially, against DCA.
Oncocytic cell tumors are characterized by the accumulation of morphologically abnormal mitochondria in their cells, suggesting a role for abnormal mitochondrial biogenesis in oncocytic cell transformation. Little is known about the reason for the dysmorphology of accumulated mitochondria. The proteins regulating the morphology of mitochondria, the "mitochondria-shaping" proteins, can modulate their size and number; however, nothing is known hitherto about a possible involvement of mitochondrial dynamics in oncocytic cell transformation in tumors. Our aim was to assess the status of the mitochondria morphology and its role in oncocytic cell transformation. We therefore evaluated the expression pattern of the main mitochondrial fusion and fission proteins in a series of thyroid cell tumor samples, as well as in thyroid tumor cell lines, with and without oncocytic cell features. The expression of mitochondrial fusion (Opa1, Mfn1 and Mfn2) and fission (Drp1 and Fis1) proteins were evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in a series of 88 human thyroid tumors. In vitro studies, for comparative purposes and to deepen the study, were performed using TPC1--a papillary thyroid carcinoma derived cell line--and XTC.UC1, an oncocytic follicular thyroid carcinoma-derived cell line. Both IHC and in vitro protein analyses showed an overall increase in the levels of "mitochondrial-shaping" proteins in oncocytic thyroid tumors. Furthermore, overexpression of the pro-fission protein Drp1 was found to be associated with malignant oncocytic thyroid tumors. Interestingly, genetic and pharmacological blockage of Drp1 activity was able to influence thyroid cancer cells' migration/invasion ability, a feature of tumor malignancy. In this study we show that unbalanced mitochondrial dynamics characterize the malignant features of thyroid oncocytic cell tumors, and participate in the acquisition of the migrating phenotype.
Retroperitoneal leiomyoma is a rare type of benign smooth muscle tumor almost exclusively found in women and with histopathological features similar to uterine leiomyomas. The pathogenesis of retroperitoneal leiomyoma is unclear and next to nothing is known about the cytogenetics and molecular genetics of the tumor. Here we present the first cytogenetically analyzed retroperitoneal leiomyoma. It had a t(10;17)(q22;q21) as the sole chromosomal abnormality. Using RNA-Sequencing and the 'grep' command to search the fastq files of the sequence data we found that the translocation resulted in fusion of the genes KAT6B (10q22) with KANSL1 (17q21). RT-PCR together with direct (Sanger) sequencing verified the presence of a KAT6B-KANSL1 fusion transcript. No reciprocal KANSL1-KAT6B transcript was amplified suggesting that it was either absent or unexpressed. The KAT6B-KANSL1 fusion transcript consists of exons 1 to 3 of KAT6B and exons 11 to 15 of KANSL1, is 3667 bp long, has a 1398 bp long open reading frame, and codes for a 466 amino acid residue protein. The corresponding KAT6B-KANSL1 protein contains the NEMM domain (including the linker histone H1/H5, domain H15) of KAT6B and the PEHE domain of KANSL1. The function of the fusion protein might be regulation of transcription with an affinity for chromatin (linker histone H1/H5) and interaction with the HAT domain of KAT8 (PEHE domain). The tumor expressed HMGA2 and HMGA1 even though 12q14-15 and 6p looked normal by G-banding analysis. The tumor also expressed MED12 in the absence of exon 2 mutations. Overall, the data show that the examined retroperitoneal leiomyoma resembles a subset of uterine leiomyomas in terms of histology and genetics.