MKL1

Gene Summary

Gene:MKL1; megakaryoblastic leukemia (translocation) 1
Aliases: MAL, BSAC, MRTF-A
Location:22q13.1-q13.2
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene interacts with the transcription factor myocardin, a key regulator of smooth muscle cell differentiation. The encoded protein is predominantly nuclear and may help transduce signals from the cytoskeleton to the nucleus. This gene is involved in a specific translocation event that creates a fusion of this gene and the RNA-binding motif protein-15 gene. This translocation has been associated with acute megakaryocytic leukemia. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2013]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:MKL/myocardin-like protein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 13 March, 2017

Ontology:

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

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 13 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Transcription Factors
  • MicroRNAs
  • Chromosome 1
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Liver Cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • RBM15
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator
  • Translocation
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Breast Cancer
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Trans-Activators
  • Myeloid Leukemia
  • Karyotyping
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Leukemia, Megakaryoblastic, Acute
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Cell Proliferation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Infant
  • World Health Organization
  • Chromosome 22
  • RTPCR
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Base Sequence
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • RHOA
  • Residual Disease
Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
LeukaemiaMKL1 and Myeloid Leukemia View Publications14
Breast CancerMKL1 and Breast Cancer View Publications9
Liver CancerMKL1 and Liver Cancer View Publications2
-MKL1 and Residual Disease View Publications2
Leukaemiat(1;22)(p13;q13) in Acute Megakaryocytic Leukemia
The t(1;22)(p13;q13) translocation is specifically associated with infant acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (M7). Mercher et al (2003) characterised the translocation as a fusion of the OTT (RBM15) and MAL (MKL1) genes on chromosomes 22 and 1 respectively.

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

Latest Publications: MKL1 (cancer-related)

Leekha A, Gurjar BS, Tyagi A, et al.
Vitamin C in synergism with cisplatin induces cell death in cervical cancer cells through altered redox cycling and p53 upregulation.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(12):2503-2514 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in women worldwide. Survival of patients has been improved by cisplatin-based chemotherapy, but its effectiveness is limited due to its adverse effects on many tissues, especially nephrotoxicity. To optimize the efficacy of CDDP, we propose a combination therapy using natural products with minimal side effects. Vitamin C being a natural antioxidant is capable of selectively targeting cancer cells at pharmacological concentrations. Vitamin C synergistically enhances the activity of chemotherapeutic agents without increasing toxicity to normal cells. Therefore, we exploited co-therapy with cisplatin and vitamin C to kill cervical cancer cells.
METHODS: We elucidated the role of CDDP and VC on cervical cancer cell line (SiHa) by using cell growth assays, DNA fragmentation analysis, comet assay, in vitro morphological assessment of apoptosis (AO/EB and DAPI staining), ROS analysis by DCFDA, flow cytometry, biochemical assays (GST, GSH, NO, catalase, TPA) and Western blotting.
RESULTS: Our results clearly demonstrated that CDDP and VC treatment exhibited ameliorative effect on induction of cell death by p53 overexpression and generation of hydrogen peroxide in SiHa cells, thereby reducing the dosage of CDDP required to induce cell death in cancer cells.
CONCLUSIONS: These studies provide novel approaches to combat cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer.

Lorincz AT
Virtues and Weaknesses of DNA Methylation as a Test for Cervical Cancer Prevention.
Acta Cytol. 2016; 60(6):501-512 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epigenetics is the study of heritable and non-heritable genetic coding that is additive to information contained within classical DNA base pair sequences. Differential methylation has a fundamental role in the development and outcome of malignancies, chronic and degenerative diseases and aging. DNA methylation can be measured accurately and easily via various molecular methods and has become a key technology for research and healthcare delivery, with immediate roles in the elucidation of disease natural history, diagnostics and drug discovery. This review focuses on cancers of the lower genital tract, for which the most epigenetic information exists. DNA methylation has been proposed as a triage for women infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) and may eventually directly complement or replace HPV screening as a one-step molecular diagnostic and prognostic test. Methylation of human genes is strongly associated with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cancer. Of the more than 100 human methylation biomarker genes tested so far in cervical tissue, close to 20 have been reported in different studies, and approximately 10 have been repeatedly shown to have elevated methylation in cervical cancers and high-grade CIN (CIN2 and CIN3), most prominently CADM1, EPB41L3, FAM19A4, MAL, miR-124, PAX1 and SOX1. Obtaining consistent performance data from the literature is quite difficult because most methylation studies used a variety of different assay methodologies and had incomplete and/or biased clinical specimen sets, varying assay thresholds and disparate target gene regions. There have been relatively few validation studies of DNA methylation biomarkers in large population-based screening studies, but an encouraging development more recently is the execution of well-designed studies to test the true performance of the markers in real-world settings. Methylation of HPV genes, especially HPV16, HPV18, HPV31, HPV33 and HPV45, in disease progression has been a major focus of research. Elevated methylation of the HPV16 L1 and L2 open reading frames, in particular, is associated with CIN2, CIN3 and invasive cancer. Essentially all cancers have high levels of methylation for human genes and for driver HPV types, which suggests that quantitative methylation tests may have utility in predicting CIN2 and CIN3 that are likely to progress. It is still early in the process of development of methylation biomarkers, but already they are showing strong promise as a universal and systematic approach to molecular triage, applicable to all cancers, not just cancer of the cervix. DNA methylation testing is better than HPV genotyping triage and is competitive with or complementary to other approaches such as cytology and p16 staining. Genome-wide studies are underway to systematically expand methylation classifier panels and find the best combinations of biomarkers. Methylation testing is likely to show big improvements in performance in the next 5 years.

Choi B, Han TS, Min J, et al.
MAL and TMEM220 are novel DNA methylation markers in human gastric cancer.
Biomarkers. 2017; 22(1):35-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Gastric cancer (GC) is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the mRNA-expression of the MAL, TMEM220, MMP28, IL-19 and HOPX genes and analyse the methylation statuses of MAL and TMEM220.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Gene-expression levels were analysed in 10 GC cell lines and 30 matched pairs of GC and normal mucosa (NM) gastric tissue specimens in real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reactions. Gene methylation was evaluated by bisulphite sequencing. Detailed gene-methylation patterns were confirmed by pyrosequencing analysis.
RESULTS: MAL, TMEM220, MMP28 and IL-19 were significantly down-regulated in GC cell lines and GC tissues compared to NM tissues. MAL and TMEM220 were highly methylated in GC tissues, and methylation inversely correlated with expression. MAL and TMEM220 expression were restored by treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. MAL and TMEM220 were specifically methylated and were down-regulated in human GC.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: These loci may serve as novel methylation markers for patients with GC.

Hermann MR, Jakobson M, Colo GP, et al.
Integrins synergise to induce expression of the MRTF-A-SRF target gene ISG15 for promoting cancer cell invasion.
J Cell Sci. 2016; 129(7):1391-403 [PubMed] Related Publications
Integrin-mediated activation of small GTPases induces the polymerisation of G-actin into various actin structures and the release of the transcriptional co-activator MRTF from G-actin. Here we report that pan-integrin-null fibroblasts seeded on fibronectin and expressing β1- and/or αV-class integrin contained different G-actin pools, nuclear MRTF-A (also known as MKL1 or MAL) levels and MRTF-A-SRF activities. The nuclear MRTF-A levels and activities were highest in cells expressing both integrin classes, lower in cells expressing β1 integrins and lowest in cells expressing the αV integrins. Quantitative proteomics and transcriptomics analyses linked the differential MRTF-A activities to the expression of the ubiquitin-like modifier interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15), which is known to modify focal adhesion and cytoskeletal proteins. The malignant breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 expressed high levels of β1 integrins, ISG15 and ISGylated proteins, which promoted invasive properties, whereas non-invasive MDA-MB-468 and MCF-7 cell lines expressed low levels of β1 integrins, ISG15 and ISGylated proteins. Our findings suggest that integrin-adhesion-induced MRTF-A-SRF activation and ISG15 expression constitute a newly discovered signalling circuit that promotes cell migration and invasion.

Kim MK, Lee IH, Lee KH, et al.
DNA methylation in human papillomavirus-infected cervical cells is elevated in high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions and cancer.
J Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 27(2):e14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: DNA methylation has been shown to be a potential biomarker for early cancer detection. The aim of this study was to evaluate DNA methylation profiles according to liquid-based Pap (LBP) test results and to assess their diagnostic value in a Korean population.
METHODS: A total of 205 patients with various Papanicolaou test results were enrolled to this study (negative, 26; atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance, 39; low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, 44; high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), 48; and cancer, 48). DNA methylation analysis of four genes, ADCYAP1, PAX1, MAL, and CADM1, was performed on residual cervical cells from LBP samples using a quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing method. To evaluate the diagnostic performance of the four methylated genes for cancer detection, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were drawn. Sensitivities and specificities were also tested at cutoffs determined from the ROC curves.
RESULTS: Cervical cancer cells showed dramatically increased methylation levels for the four genes analyzed. ADCYAP1 and PAX1 also trended toward elevated methylation levels in HSIL samples, although the levels were much lower than those in cancer cells. The sensitivities of methylated ADCYAP1, PAX1, MAL, and CADM1 for the detection of cancer were 79.2%, 75.0%, 70.8%, and 52.1%, and the specificities were 92.0%, 94.0%, 94.7%, and 94.0%, respectively. Methylated ADCYAP1 and PAX1 demonstrated relatively better discriminatory ability than did methylated MAL and CADM1 (area under the curves 0.911 and 0.916 vs. 0.854 and 0.756, respectively).
CONCLUSION: DNA methylation status, especially in the ADCYAP1 and PAX1 genes, showed relatively good specificity, ranging from 90% to 94%. The possible additive and complementary roles of DNA methylation testing with respect to conventional cervical cancer screening programs will need to be validated in prospective population-based studies.

Mehrian-Shai R, Yalon M, Moshe I, et al.
Identification of genomic aberrations in hemangioblastoma by droplet digital PCR and SNP microarray highlights novel candidate genes and pathways for pathogenesis.
BMC Genomics. 2016; 17:56 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The genetic mechanisms underlying hemangioblastoma development are still largely unknown. We used high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism microarrays and droplet digital PCR analysis to detect copy number variations (CNVs) in total of 45 hemangioblastoma tumors.
RESULTS: We identified 94 CNVs with a median of 18 CNVs per sample. The most frequently gained regions were on chromosomes 1 (p36.32) and 7 (p11.2). These regions contain the EGFR and PRDM16 genes. Recurrent losses were located at chromosome 12 (q24.13), which includes the gene PTPN11.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide the first high-resolution genome-wide view of chromosomal changes in hemangioblastoma and identify 23 candidate genes: EGFR, PRDM16, PTPN11, HOXD11, HOXD13, FLT3, PTCH, FGFR1, FOXP1, GPC3, HOXC13, HOXC11, MKL1, CHEK2, IRF4, GPHN, IKZF1, RB1, HOXA9, and micro RNA, such as hsa-mir-196a-2 for hemangioblastoma pathogenesis. Furthermore, our data implicate that cell proliferation and angiogenesis promoting pathways may be involved in the molecular pathogenesis of hemangioblastoma.

Kircher P, Hermanns C, Nossek M, et al.
Filamin A interacts with the coactivator MKL1 to promote the activity of the transcription factor SRF and cell migration.
Sci Signal. 2015; 8(402):ra112 [PubMed] Related Publications
Megakaryoblastic leukemia 1 (MKL1) is a coactivator of serum response factor (SRF) that promotes the expression of genes associated with cell proliferation, motility, adhesion, and differentiation-processes that also involve dynamic cytoskeletal changes in the cell. MKL1 is inactive when bound to monomeric globular actin (G-actin), but signals that activate the small guanosine triphosphatase RhoA cause actin polymerization and MKL1 dissociation from G-actin. We found a new mechanism of MKL1 activation that is mediated through its binding to filamin A (FLNA), a protein that binds filamentous actin (F-actin). The interaction of FLNA and MKL1 was required for the expression of MKL1 target genes in primary fibroblasts, melanoma, mammary and hepatocellular carcinoma cells. We identified the regions of interaction between MKL1 and FLNA, and cells expressing an MKL1 mutant that was unable to bind FLNA exhibited impaired cell migration and reduced expression of MKL1-SRF target genes. Induction and repression of MKL1-SRF target genes correlated with increased or decreased MKL1-FLNA interaction, respectively. Lysophosphatidic acid-induced RhoA activation in primary human fibroblasts promoted the association of endogenous MKL1 with FLNA, whereas exposure to an actin polymerization inhibitor dissociated MKL1 from FLNA and decreased MKL1-SRF target gene expression in melanoma cells. Thus, FLNA functions as a positive cellular transducer linking actin polymerization to MKL1-SRF activity, counteracting the known repressive complex of MKL1 and monomeric G-actin.

Ki EY, Lee KH, Hur SY, et al.
Methylation of Cervical Neoplastic Cells Infected With Human Papillomavirus 16.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2016; 26(1):176-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to evaluate the role of methylation of adenylate cyclase activating peptide 1 (ADCYAP1), paired box gene 1 (PAX1), cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1), and T-lymphocyte maturation-associated protein (MAL) during carcinogenesis.
METHODS: We evaluated the methylation of 4 genes by using the cervical carcinoma cell lines (CaSki, SiHa, HeLa, and C33A) and cervical neoplastic cells from 56 subjects with human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16)-infected low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSILs), 50 subjects with HPV16-infected high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs), and 24 subjects with HPV16-infected invasive cervical cancer who attended Seoul St. Mary's Hospital. Methylation of the 4 genes was evaluated using quantitative bisulfate pyrosequencing.
RESULTS: The ADCYAP1 promoter was hypermethylated in the 4 cell lines (CaSki, 97.40 ± 1.39; SiHa, 82.04 ± 17.02; HeLa, 96.14 ± 2.08; and C33A, 78 ± 10.18). PAX1 and CADM1 were hypermethylated in the HPV16/18-infected cell lines CaSki (PAX1, 91.18 ± 9.91; CADM1, 93.5 ± 7.33), SiHa (PAX1, 96.14 ± 2.08; CADM1, 93.15 ± 8.81), and HeLa (PAX1, 82.04 ± 17.02; CADM1, 92.43 ± 9.95). MAL was hypermethylated in the CaSki cell line (96.04 ± 4.74). Among human cervical neoplastic cells, the methylation indices of ADCYAP1 were 7.8 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 7.0-8.6) in subjects with LSILs and 39.8 (95% CI, 29.0-54.7) in those with cervical cancer (P < 0.001); for PAX1, 7.2 (95% CI, 6.1-8.5) and 37.8 (95% CI, 27.1-52.7), respectively; for CADM1, 3.5 (95% CI, 3.0-4.0) and 17.7 (95% CI, 10.8-29.1), respectively; for MAL, 2.7 (95% CI, 2.5-3.0) and 13.0 (95% CI, 7.6-22.0), respectively (P < 0.001 for each). Immunohistochemical staining results were positive in the cytoplasm of subjects with low methylation of the 4 gene promoters; however, they were negative in the cytoplasm of those with hypermethylation of the 4 gene promoters.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that the methylation of ADCYAP1, PAX1, CADM1, and MAL may be highly associated with the development of cervical cancer, and that gene expression can be suppressed by gene promoter hypermethylation.

Song Z, Liu Z, Sun J, et al.
The MRTF-A/B function as oncogenes in pancreatic cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(1):127-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite evidence that MRTF-A/B, co-activators of serum response factor (SRF), promotes tumor cell invasion and metastasis in cancer, there are no studies describing MRTF-A/B in pancreatic cancer. To clarify involvement of MRTF-A/B expression in pancreatic cancer, we used quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis to detect MRTF-A/B in pancreatic cancer, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) and non-neoplastic pancreata. MRTF-A/B expression differs significantly between cancer and non-neoplastic tissues as well as between non-neoplastic tissues and IPMN bulk tissues. Next, we studied the roles of MRTF-A/B in vitro. Overexpression of MRTF-A/B promoted epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and generated stem cell-like cells in normal pancreatic cells. We performed quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to detect the level of MRTF-A/B in 19 pancreatic cancer cell lines. We found that their expression was associated with gemcitabine resistance. Like in normal pancreatic cells, MRTF-A/B also promoted EMT and promoted formation of stem cell-like cells in pancreatic cancer and they could regulate microRNA expression associated with EMT and CICs. Finally, to further demonstrate the roles of MRTF-A/B in vivo, we performed nude mouse model of s.c. xenograft and found that overexpression of MRTF-A and MRTF-B promoted pancreatic cancer growth. Elucidating the roles of MRTF-A/B will help us to further understand molecular basis of the disease and offer new gene targets for effective therapies.

Kalmár A, Péterfia B, Hollósi P, et al.
DNA hypermethylation and decreased mRNA expression of MAL, PRIMA1, PTGDR and SFRP1 in colorectal adenoma and cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:736 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) development is accompanied by changes in expression for several genes; but the details of the underlying regulatory procesess remain unknown. Our aims were to assess the role of epigenetic processes in tumour formation and to identify characteristic DNA methylation and miRNA alterations in the colorectal adenoma-carcinoma sequence.
METHODS: Whole genome expression profiling was performed on colonic biopsy samples (49 healthy normal, 49 colorectal adenoma (AD), 49 CRC); on laser capture microdissected (LCM) epithelial and stromal cells from 6 CRC-normal adjacent tissue (NAT) samples pairs, and on demethylated human CRC cell lines using HGU133 Plus 2.0 microarrays (Affymetrix). Methylation status of genes with gradually altering expression along the AD-CRC sequence was further analysed on 10-10 macrodissected and 5-5 LCM samples from healthy colon, from adenoma and from CRC biopsy samples using bisulfite-sequencing PCR (BS-PCR) followed by pyrosequencing. In silico miRNA prediction for the selected genes was performed with miRWALK algorithm, miRNA expression was analysed on 3 CRC-NAT sample pairs and 3 adenoma tissue samples using the Human Panel I + II (Exiqon). SFRP1 immunohistochemistry experiments were performed.
RESULTS: A set of transcripts (18 genes including MAL, SFRP1, SULT1A1, PRIMA1, PTGDR) showed decreasing expression (p < 0.01) in the biopsy samples along the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. Three of those (COL1A2, SFRP2, SOCS3) showed hypermethylation and THBS2 showed hypomethylation both in AD and in CRC samples compared to NAT, while BCL2, PRIMA1 and PTGDR showed hypermethylation only in the CRC group. miR-21 was found to be significantly (p < 0.01) upregulated in adenoma and tumour samples compared to the healthy colonic tissue controls and could explain the altered expression of genes for which DNA methylation changes do not appear to play role (e.g. BCL2, MAL, PTGS2). Demethylation treatment could upregulate gene expression of genes that were found to be hypermethylated in human CRC tissue samples. Decreasing protein levels of SFRP1 was also observed along the adenoma-carcinoma sequence.
CONCLUSION: Hypermethylation of the selected markers (MAL, PRIMA1, PTGDR and SFRP1) can result in reduced gene expression and may contribute to the formation of colorectal cancer.

He H, Wang D, Yao H, et al.
Transcriptional factors p300 and MRTF-A synergistically enhance the expression of migration-related genes in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 467(4):813-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
The transcriptional coactivator p300 is highly expressed in breast cancer tissues. MRTF-A is a transcription factor governed by the Rho-GTPase-actin signaling pathway. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of p300 in breast cancer metastasis. Here we showed that the motility of breast cancer cells was enhanced by the overexpression of p300, meanwhile, the transcription of migration-related genes was upregulated. Depletion of p300 downregulated the migration-related genes and slowed down the migration of breast cancer cells. p300 worked synergistically with MRTF-A to activate the transcription of MYH9, MYL9 and CYR61. As identified by co-IP, p300 interacted with the C-terminal TAD domain of MRTF-A. And together with MRTF-A, p300 was associated with the target gene promoters. Furthermore, MRTF-A was found to be acetylated in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. These results demonstrated the involvement of p300 in the MRTF-A mediated gene regulation and breast cancer cell migration.

Huang KT, Mikeska T, Li J, et al.
Assessment of DNA methylation profiling and copy number variation as indications of clonal relationship in ipsilateral and contralateral breast cancers to distinguish recurrent breast cancer from a second primary tumour.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:669 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with breast cancer have an increased risk of developing subsequent breast cancers. It is important to distinguish whether these tumours are de novo or recurrences of the primary tumour in order to guide the appropriate therapy. Our aim was to investigate the use of DNA methylation profiling and array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to determine whether the second tumour is clonally related to the first tumour.
METHODS: Methylation-sensitive high-resolution melting was used to screen promoter methylation in a panel of 13 genes reported as methylated in breast cancer (RASSF1A, TWIST1, APC, WIF1, MGMT, MAL, CDH13, RARβ, BRCA1, CDH1, CDKN2A, TP73, and GSTP1) in 29 tumour pairs (16 ipsilateral and 13 contralateral). Using the methylation profile of these genes, we employed a Bayesian and an empirical statistical approach to estimate clonal relationship. Copy number alterations were analysed using aCGH on the same set of tumour pairs.
RESULTS: There is a higher probability of the second tumour being recurrent in ipsilateral tumours compared with contralateral tumours (38 % versus 8 %; p <0.05) based on the methylation profile. Using previously reported recurrence rates as Bayesian prior probabilities, we classified 69 % of ipsilateral and 15 % of contralateral tumours as recurrent. The inferred clonal relationship results of the tumour pairs were generally concordant between methylation profiling and aCGH.
CONCLUSION: Our results show that DNA methylation profiling as well as aCGH have potential as diagnostic tools in improving the clinical decisions to differentiate recurrences from a second de novo tumour.

Govender J, Singh M, Ariatti M
Effect of Poly(ethylene glycol) Spacer on Peptide-Decorated Hepatocellular Carcinoma-Targeted Lipoplexes In Vitro.
J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2015; 15(6):4734-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of cancer related deaths and is particularly prevalent in regions where Hepatitis B is highly endemic. Classical treatment options are largely limited to surgical measures and transcatheter chemoembolization. However biopanning of phage display libraries has identified very selective HCC-targeting peptides, which may be tethered to cationic liposomes for non-viral delivery of therapeutic DNA to affected cells thus providing a foundation for the development of new gene therapy treatment approaches. In this investigation, a cysteinylated HCC-tropic peptide has been linked directly to cationic liposomes, containing the cytofectin 3β-[N-(N',N'-dimethlaminopropylamino)-carbamoyl]-cholestero (Chol-T) and dioleolphosphatidyl ethanolamine, via a novel membrane-embedded maleimido cholesteryl derivative 3-[N-(hydrazino-y-maleimidobutyryl)-carbamoyl] cholesterol (Chol-Mal), or with an intervening poly(ethylene glycol) spacer element. The effect that inclusion of the hydrophilic polymer has on targeted lipoplex-mediated gene delivery in the human HCC cell line HepG2 has been investigated. Results show that both systems bind DNA and transfect this cell line with equal efficiency, while transgene expression levels in human embryo kidney cells HEK293 were low and comparable to those achieved in competition assays in HepG2 cells and by lipoplexes decorated with scrambled peptides. Although inclusion of poly(ethylene glycol) in formulations should be considered for in vivo studies, we show here that it offers no advantage in this application in vitro.

Peyta L, Jarnouen K, Pinault M, et al.
Regulation of hepatic cardiolipin metabolism by TNFα: Implication in cancer cachexia.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015; 1851(11):1490-500 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cardiolipin (CL) content accumulation leads to an increase in energy wasting in liver mitochondria in a rat model of cancer cachexia in which tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) is highly expressed. In this study we investigated the mechanisms involved in liver mitochondria CL accumulation in cancer cachexia and examined if TNFα was involved in this process leading to mitochondrial bioenergetics alterations. We studied gene, protein expression and activity of the main enzymes involved in CL metabolism in liver mitochondria from a rat model of cancer cachexia and in HepaRG hepatocyte-like cells exposed to 20 ng/ml of TNFα for 12 h. Phosphatidylglycerolphosphate synthase (PGPS) gene expression was increased 2.3-fold (p<0.02) and cardiolipin synthase (CLS) activity decreased 44% (p<0.03) in cachectic rat livers compared to controls. CL remodeling enzymes monolysocardiolipin acyltransferase (MLCL AT-1) activity and tafazzin (TAZ) gene expression were increased 30% (p<0.01) and 50% (p<0.02), respectively, in cachectic rat livers compared to controls. Incubation of hepatocytes with TNFα increased CL content 15% (p<0.05), mitochondrial oxygen consumption 33% (p<0.05), PGPS gene expression 44% (p<0.05) and MLCL AT-1 activity 20% (p<0.05) compared to controls. These above findings strongly suggest that in cancer cachexia, TNFα induces a higher energy wasting in liver mitochondria by increasing CL content via upregulation of PGPS expression.

Watanabe B, Minami S, Ishida H, et al.
Stereospecific Inhibitory Effects of CCG-1423 on the Cellular Events Mediated by Myocardin-Related Transcription Factor A.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0136242 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CCG-1423 suppresses several pathological processes including cancer cell migration, tissue fibrosis, and the development of atherosclerotic lesions. These suppressions are caused by inhibition of myocardin-related transcription factor A (MRTF-A), which is a critical factor for epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). CCG-1423 can therefore be a potent inhibitor for EMT. CCG-1423 and related compounds, CCG-100602 and CCG-203971 possess similar biological activities. Although these compounds are comprised of two stereoisomers, the differences in their biological activities remain to be assessed. To address this issue, we stereoselectively synthesized optically pure isomers of these compounds and validated their biological activities. The S-isomer of CCG-1423 rather than the R-isomer exhibited modestly but significantly higher inhibitory effects on the cellular events triggered by MRTF-A activation including serum response factor-mediated gene expression and cell migration of fibroblasts and B16F10 melanoma cells. Accordingly, the S-isomer of CCG-1423 more potently blocked the serum-induced nuclear import of MRTF-A than the R-isomer. No such difference was observed in cells treated with each of two stereoisomers of CCG-100602 or CCG-203971. We previously reported that the N-terminal basic domain (NB), which functions as a nuclear localization signal of MRTF-A, is a binding site for CCG-1423. Consistent with the biological activities of two stereoisomers of CCG-1423, docking simulation demonstrated that the S-isomer of CCG-1423 was more likely to bind to NB than the R-isomer. This is a first report demonstrating the stereospecific biological activities of CCG-1423.

Patai ÁV, Valcz G, Hollósi P, et al.
Comprehensive DNA Methylation Analysis Reveals a Common Ten-Gene Methylation Signature in Colorectal Adenomas and Carcinomas.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0133836 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Microarray analysis of promoter hypermethylation provides insight into the role and extent of DNA methylation in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC) and may be co-monitored with the appearance of driver mutations. Colonic biopsy samples were obtained endoscopically from 10 normal, 23 adenoma (17 low-grade (LGD) and 6 high-grade dysplasia (HGD)), and 8 ulcerative colitis (UC) patients (4 active and 4 inactive). CRC samples were obtained from 24 patients (17 primary, 7 metastatic (MCRC)), 7 of them with synchronous LGD. Field effects were analyzed in tissues 1 cm (n = 5) and 10 cm (n = 5) from the margin of CRC. Tissue materials were studied for DNA methylation status using a 96 gene panel and for KRAS and BRAF mutations. Expression levels were assayed using whole genomic mRNA arrays. SFRP1 was further examined by immunohistochemistry. HT29 cells were treated with 5-aza-2' deoxycytidine to analyze the reversal possibility of DNA methylation. More than 85% of tumor samples showed hypermethylation in 10 genes (SFRP1, SST, BNC1, MAL, SLIT2, SFRP2, SLIT3, ALDH1A3, TMEFF2, WIF1), whereas the frequency of examined mutations were below 25%. These genes distinguished precancerous and cancerous lesions from inflamed and healthy tissue. The mRNA alterations that might be caused by systematic methylation could be partly reversed by demethylation treatment. Systematic changes in methylation patterns were observed early in CRC carcinogenesis, occuring in precursor lesions and CRC. Thus we conclude that DNA hypermethylation is an early and systematic event in colorectal carcinogenesis, and it could be potentially reversed by systematic demethylation therapy, but it would need more in vitro and in vivo experiments to support this theory.

Sternemalm J, Geimer S, Frikstad KA, et al.
CSPP-L Associates with the Desmosome of Polarized Epithelial Cells and Is Required for Normal Spheroid Formation.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0134789 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deleterious mutations of the Centrosome/Spindle Pole associated Protein 1 gene, CSPP1, are causative for Joubert-syndrome and Joubert-related developmental disorders. These disorders are defined by a characteristic mal-development of the brain, but frequently involve renal and hepatic cyst formation. CSPP-L, the large protein isoform of CSPP1 localizes to microtubule ends of the mitotic mid-spindle and the ciliary axoneme, and is required for ciliogenesis. We here report the microtubule independent but Desmoplakin dependent localization of CSPP-L to Desmosomes in apical-basal polarized epithelial cells. Importantly, siRNA conferred depletion of CSPP-L or Desmoplakin promoted multi-lumen spheroid formation in 3D-cultures of non-ciliated human colon carcinoma Caco-2 cells. Multi-lumen spheroids of CSPP1 siRNA transfectants showed disrupted apical cell junction localization of the cytoskeleton organizing RhoGEF ECT2. Our results hence identify a novel, non-ciliary role for CSPP-L in epithelial morphogenesis.

van Baars R, van der Marel J, Snijders PJ, et al.
CADM1 and MAL methylation status in cervical scrapes is representative of the most severe underlying lesion in women with multiple cervical biopsies.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(2):463-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent studies have shown that CADM1/MAL methylation levels in cervical scrapes increase with severity and duration of the underlying cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) lesion. Multiple lesions of different histological grades and duration are frequently present on the cervix. To gain more insight into the possible epigenetic heterogeneity and its consequences for the methylation status in cervical scrapes, we performed an exploratory study of CADM1/MAL methylation in different grades of CIN lesions present in women with multiple cervical biopsies. CADM1-M18 and MAL-M1 methylation was assessed using a standardised, multiplex, quantitative methylation specific PCR on 178 biopsies with various grades of CIN in 65 women, and in their corresponding cervical scrapes. CADM1/MAL methylation positivity increased with disease severity, from 5.5% in normal biopsies to 63.3% and 100% in biopsies with CIN3 and cervical cancer, respectively. In the majority (8/9) of women where besides a CIN2/3 lesion a biopsy from normal cervical tissue was present, the CIN2/3 biopsy was CADM1/MAL methylation positive and the normal biopsy was CADM1/MAL methylation negative. A good concordance (78%) was found between CADM1/MAL methylation results on the scrapes and the biopsy with the worst diagnosis, particularly between samples of women with CIN3 and cervical cancer (92% and 100% concordance, respectively). Thus, in women with multiple cervical biopsies, CADM1/MAL methylation increases with severity of the lesion and is lesion-specific. CADM1/MAL methylation status in cervical scrapes appears to be representative of the worst underlying lesion, particularly for CIN3 and cervical cancer.

Inaba H, Zhou Y, Abla O, et al.
Heterogeneous cytogenetic subgroups and outcomes in childhood acute megakaryoblastic leukemia: a retrospective international study.
Blood. 2015; 126(13):1575-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Comprehensive clinical studies of patients with acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL) are lacking. We performed an international retrospective study on 490 patients (age ≤18 years) with non-Down syndrome de novo AMKL diagnosed from 1989 to 2009. Patients with AMKL (median age 1.53 years) comprised 7.8% of pediatric AML. Five-year event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 43.7% ± 2.7% and 49.0% ± 2.7%, respectively. Patients diagnosed in 2000 to 2009 were treated with higher cytarabine doses and had better EFS (P = .037) and OS (P = .003) than those diagnosed in 1989 to 1999. Transplantation in first remission did not improve survival. Cytogenetic data were available for 372 (75.9%) patients: hypodiploid (n = 18, 4.8%), normal karyotype (n = 49, 13.2%), pseudodiploid (n = 119, 32.0%), 47 to 50 chromosomes (n = 142, 38.2%), and >50 chromosomes (n = 44, 11.8%). Chromosome gain occurred in 195 of 372 (52.4%) patients: +21 (n = 106, 28.5%), +19 (n = 93, 25.0%), +8 (n = 77, 20.7%). Losses occurred in 65 patients (17.5%): -7 (n = 13, 3.5%). Common structural chromosomal aberrations were t(1;22)(p13;q13) (n = 51, 13.7%) and 11q23 rearrangements (n = 38, 10.2%); t(9;11)(p22;q23) occurred in 21 patients. On the basis of frequency and prognosis, AMKL can be classified to 3 risk groups: good risk-7p abnormalities; poor risk-normal karyotypes, -7, 9p abnormalities including t(9;11)(p22;q23)/MLL-MLLT3, -13/13q-, and -15; and intermediate risk-others including t(1;22)(p13;q13)/OTT-MAL (RBM15-MKL1) and 11q23/MLL except t(9;11). Risk-based innovative therapy is needed to improve patient outcomes.

Balavarca Y, Pearce K, Norden J, et al.
Predicting survival using clinical risk scores and non-HLA immunogenetics.
Bone Marrow Transplant. 2015; 50(11):1445-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies of non-histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on subgroups of patients undergoing allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) revealed an association with transplant outcome. This study further evaluated the association of non-HLA polymorphisms with overall survival in a cohort of 762 HSCT patients using data on 26 polymorphisms in 16 non-HLA genes. When viewed in addition to an already established clinical risk score (EBMT-score), three polymorphisms: rs8177374 in the gene for MyD88-adapter-like (MAL; P=0.026), rs9340799 in the oestrogen receptor gene (ESR; P=0.003) and rs1800795 in interleukin-6 (IL-6; P=0.007) were found to be associated with reduced overall survival, whereas the haplo-genotype (ACC/ACC) in IL-10 was protective (P=0.02). The addition of these non-HLA polymorphisms in a Cox regression model alongside the EBMT-score improved discrimination between risk groups and increased the level of prediction compared with the EBMT-score alone (gain in prediction capability for EBMT-genetic-score 10.8%). Results also demonstrated how changes in clinical practice through time have altered the effects of non-HLA analysis. The study illustrates the significance of non-HLA genotyping prior to HSCT and the importance of further investigation into non-HLA gene polymorphisms in risk prediction.

Zeng CH, Guo B, Chen J, et al.
Expression profile of tumor suppressor gene RASSF1 in lacrimal gland carcinoma.
Genet Mol Res. 2015; 14(2):6993-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We examined the expression pattern of the tumor sup-pressor gene RAS association domain family gene 1 (RASSF1) in lacri-mal gland carcinoma and analyzed its relationship with the oncogenesis and progression of tumors. Sixty-two patients (30 males, 32 females, average age = 47 ± 3.5 years) admitted with lacrimal gland carcinoma to the Department of Ophthalmology of our hospital between January 2012 and January 2014 were enrolled in this study. Based on tumor ma-lignancy, patients were classified into a malignant group (N = 25) and benign group (N = 37). Healthy lacrimal gland resections from trauma surgery (N = 35) were recruited as a healthy control group. Expres-sion profiles of RASSF1 in all groups were quantified using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. Recur-rence of lacrimal gland carcinoma was surveyed through postopera-tive follow-up. Expression levels of RASSF1 in samples from the ma-lignant and benign groups were significantly lower than those in the healthy group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the malignant group showed lower RASSF1 expression than the benign group (P < 0.05). Postopera-tive follow-up identified 22 cases of recurrence in the malignant group, with a recurrence rate of 88%, while 15 cases in the benign group had a recurrence rate of 40.5%. A direct relationship exists between RASSF1 expression levels and the malignancy grade of lacrimal gland carci-noma. Patients with lower RASSF1 expression showed a higher recur-rence probability, indicating unfavorable prognosis. Therefore, measur-ing RASSF1 expression can be used as a diagnostic method for lacrimal gland carcinoma.

Caulin AF, Graham TA, Wang LS, Maley CC
Solutions to Peto's paradox revealed by mathematical modelling and cross-species cancer gene analysis.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015; 370(1673) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Whales have 1000-fold more cells than humans and mice have 1000-fold fewer; however, cancer risk across species does not increase with the number of somatic cells and the lifespan of the organism. This observation is known as Peto's paradox. How much would evolution have to change the parameters of somatic evolution in order to equalize the cancer risk between species that differ by orders of magnitude in size? Analysis of previously published models of colorectal cancer suggests that a two- to three-fold decrease in the mutation rate or stem cell division rate is enough to reduce a whale's cancer risk to that of a human. Similarly, the addition of one to two required tumour-suppressor gene mutations would also be sufficient. We surveyed mammalian genomes and did not find a positive correlation of tumour-suppressor genes with increasing body mass and longevity. However, we found evidence of the amplification of TP53 in elephants, MAL in horses and FBXO31 in microbats, which might explain Peto's paradox in those species. Exploring parameters that evolution may have fine-tuned in large, long-lived organisms will help guide future experiments to reveal the underlying biology responsible for Peto's paradox and guide cancer prevention in humans.

Asparuhova MB, Secondini C, Rüegg C, Chiquet-Ehrismann R
Mechanism of irradiation-induced mammary cancer metastasis: A role for SAP-dependent Mkl1 signaling.
Mol Oncol. 2015; 9(8):1510-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Radiotherapy is a standard treatment after conservative breast cancer surgery. However, cancers relapsing within a previously irradiated area have an increased probability to metastasize. The mechanisms responsible for this aggressiveness remain unclear. Here, we used the clinically relevant 4T1 breast cancer model mimicking aggressive local relapse after radiotherapy to identify differences between tumors grown in untreated versus preirradiated mammary glands. Tumors grown within preirradiated beds were highly enriched in transcripts encoding collagens and other proteins building or modifying the extracellular matrix, such as laminin-332, tenascins, lysyl oxidases and matrix metalloproteinases. Type I collagen, known to directly contribute to tissue stiffening, and the pro-metastatic megakaryoblastic leukemia-1 (Mkl1) target gene tenascin-C were further investigated. Mammary tissue preirradiation induced Mkl1 nuclear translocation in the tumor cells in vivo, indicating activation of Mkl1 signaling. Transcript profiling of cultured 4T1 cells revealed that the majority of the Mkl1 target genes, including tenascin-C, required serum response factor (SRF) for their expression. However, application of dynamic strain or matrix stiffness to 4T1 cells converted the predominant SRF/Mkl1 action into SAP domain-dependent Mkl1 signaling independent of SRF, accompanied by a switch to SAP-dependent tumor cell migration. 4T1 tumors overexpressing intact Mkl1 became more metastatic within preirradiated beds, while tumors expressing Mkl1 lacking the SAP domain exhibited impaired growth and metastatic spread, and decreased Mkl1 target gene expression. Thus, we identified SAP-dependent Mkl1 signaling as a previously unrecognized mediator of aggressive progression of mammary tumors locally relapsing after radiotherapy, and provide a novel signaling pathway for therapeutic intervention.

Kalmár A, Péterfia B, Hollósi P, et al.
Bisulfite-Based DNA Methylation Analysis from Recent and Archived Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin Embedded Colorectal Tissue Samples.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2015; 21(4):1149-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
We aimed to test the applicability of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples for gene specific DNA methylation analysis after using two commercially available DNA isolation kits. Genomic DNA was isolated from 5 colorectal adenocarcinomas and 5 normal adjacent tissues from "recent", collected within 6 months, and "archived", collected more than 5 years ago, FFPE tissues using either High Pure FFPET DNA Isolation kit or QIAamp DNA FFPE Tissue kit. DNA methylation analysis of MAL, SFRP1 and SFRP2 genes, known to be hypermethylated in CRC, was performed using methylation-sensitive high resolution melting (MS-HRM) analysis and sequencing. QIAamp (Q) method resulted in slightly higher recovery in archived (HP: 1.22 ± 3.18 μg DNA; Q: 3.00 ± 4.04 μg DNA) and significantly (p < 0.05) higher recovery in recent samples compared to High Pure method (HP) (HP: 4.10 ± 2.91 μg DNA; Q: 11.51 ± 7.50 μg DNA). Both OD260/280 and OD260/230 ratios were lower, but still high in the High Pure isolated archived and recent samples compared to those isolated with QIAamp. Identical DNA methylation patterns were detected for all 3 genes tested by MS-HRM with both isolation kits in the recent group. However, despite of higher DNA recovery in QIAamp slightly more reproducible methylation results were obtained from High Pure isolated archived samples. Sequencing confirmed DNA hypermethylation in CRCs. In conclusion, reproducible DNA methylation patterns were obtained from recent samples using both isolation kits. However, long term storage may affect the reliability of the results leading to moderate differences between the efficiency of isolation kits.

Zhang WL, Lv W, Sun SZ, et al.
miR-206 inhibits metastasis-relevant traits by degrading MRTF-A in anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(1):133-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thyroid cancer develops from follicular or parafollicular thyroid cells. A higher proportion of anaplastic thyroid cancer has an adverse prognosis. New drugs are being used in clinical treatment. However, for advanced thyroid malignant neoplasm such as anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, the major impediment to successful control of the disease is the absence of effective therapies. Elucidating molecular mechanism of the disease will help us to further understand the pathogenesis and progression of the disease and offer new targets for effective therapies. In this study, we found that MRTF-A expression was upregulated in metastatic anaplastic thyroid cancer tissues, compared with primary cancer tissues and it promoted metastasis-relevant traits in vitro. miR-206 was negatively associated with metastasis in anaplastic cancer and it degraded MRTF-A by targeting its 3'-UTR in ARO anaplastic thyroid cancer cells. In addition, miR-206 overexpression inhibited invasion and migration and silencing miR-206-promoted migration and invasion in the cells. Important, restoration of MRTF-A could abrogate miR-206-mediated migration and invasion regulation. Thus, we concluded that miR-206 inhibited invasion and metastasis by degrading MRTF-A in anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Handorf AM, Zhou Y, Halanski MA, Li WJ
Tissue stiffness dictates development, homeostasis, and disease progression.
Organogenesis. 2015; 11(1):1-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tissue development is orchestrated by the coordinated activities of both chemical and physical regulators. While much attention has been given to the role that chemical regulators play in driving development, researchers have recently begun to elucidate the important role that the mechanical properties of the extracellular environment play. For instance, the stiffness of the extracellular environment has a role in orienting cell division, maintaining tissue boundaries, directing cell migration, and driving differentiation. In addition, extracellular matrix stiffness is important for maintaining normal tissue homeostasis, and when matrix mechanics become imbalanced, disease progression may ensue. In this article, we will review the important role that matrix stiffness plays in dictating cell behavior during development, tissue homeostasis, and disease progression.

Lourdusamy A, Rahman R, Grundy RG
Expression alterations define unique molecular characteristics of spinal ependymomas.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(23):19780-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ependymomas are glial tumors that originate in either intracranial or spinal regions. Although tumors from different regions are histologically similar, they are biologically distinct. We therefore sought to identify molecular characteristics of spinal ependymomas (SEPN) in order to better understand the disease biology of these tumors. Using gene expression profiles of 256 tumor samples, we identified increased expression of 1,866 genes in SEPN when compared to intracranial ependymomas. These genes are mainly related to anterior/posterior pattern specification, response to oxidative stress, glial cell differentiation, DNA repair, and PPAR signalling, and also significantly enriched with cellular senescence genes (P = 5.5 × 10-03). In addition, a high number of significantly down-regulated genes in SEPN are localized to chromosome 22 (81 genes from chr22: 43,325,255 - 135,720,974; FDR = 1.77 × 10-23 and 22 genes from chr22: 324,739 - 32,822,302; FDR = 2.07 × 10-09) including BRD1, EP300, HDAC10, HIRA, HIC2, MKL1, and NF2. Evaluation of NF2 co-expressed genes further confirms the enrichment of chromosome 22 regions. Finally, systematic integration of chromosome 22 genes with interactome and NF2 co-expression data identifies key candidate genes. Our results reveal unique molecular characteristics of SEPN such as altered expression of cellular senescence and chromosome 22 genes.

Xing WJ, Liao XH, Wang N, et al.
MRTF-A and STAT3 promote MDA-MB-231 cell migration via hypermethylating BRSM1.
IUBMB Life. 2015; 67(3):202-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide which is closely related to metastasis. But the exact molecular mechanism of metastasis is still not fully understood. We now report that both MRTF-A and STAT3 play important roles in migration of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Moreover, MRTF-A and STAT3 synergistically increased MDA-MB-231 cell migration by promoting the expression of migration markers urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and osteopontin (OPN) and inhibiting the expression of breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1). Luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that MRTF-A and STAT3 do not affect transcription of the BRMS1 promoter. Instead, we identified a newly molecular mechanism by which MRTF-A and STAT3 synergistically controlled MDA-MB-231 cell migration by recruiting DNMT1 to hypermethylate the promoter of BRMS1 and thus affect the expression of BRMS1. Interestingly, physical interaction between MRTF-A and STAT3 synergistically promotes the transactivity of DNMT1 by binding to the GAS element within the DNMT1 promoter. Our data thus provide important and novel insights into the roles of MRTF-A and STAT3 in regulating MDA-MB-231 cell migration.

Cheng X, Yang Y, Fan Z, et al.
MKL1 potentiates lung cancer cell migration and invasion by epigenetically activating MMP9 transcription.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(44):5570-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant tumors are exemplified by excessive proliferation and aggressive migration/invasion contributing to increased mortality of cancer patients. Matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) expression is positively correlated with lung cancer malignancy. The mechanism underlying an elevated MMP9 expression is not clearly defined. We demonstrate here that the transcriptional modulator megakaryocytic leukemia 1 (MKL1) was activated by hypoxia and transforming growth factor (TGF-β), two prominent pro-malignancy factors, in cultured lung cancer cells. MKL1 levels were also increased in more invasive types of lung cancer in humans. Depletion of MKL1 in lung cancer cells attenuated migration and invasion both in vitro and in vivo. Overexpression of MKL1 potentiated the induction of MMP9 transcription by hypoxia and TGF-β, whereas MKL1 silencing diminished MMP9 expression. Of interest, MKL1 knockdown eliminated histone H3K4 methylation surrounding the MMP9 promoter. Further analyses revealed that MKL1 recruited ASH2, a component of the H3K4 methyltransferase complex, to activate MMP9 transcription. Depletion of ASH2 ameliorated cancer cell migration and invasion in an MMP9-dependent manner. Together our data indicate that MKL1 potentiates lung cancer cell migration and invasion by epigenetically activating MMP9 transcription.

Andresen K, Boberg KM, Vedeld HM, et al.
Four DNA methylation biomarkers in biliary brush samples accurately identify the presence of cholangiocarcinoma.
Hepatology. 2015; 61(5):1651-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Early detection of the highly aggressive malignancy cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) remains a challenge but has the potential to render the tumor curable by surgical removal. This study evaluates a biomarker panel for the diagnosis of CCA by DNA methylation analyses of biliary brush samples. The methylation status of 13 candidate genes (CDO1, CNRIP1, DCLK1, FBN1, INA, MAL, SEPT9, SFRP1, SNCA, SPG20, TMEFF2, VIM, and ZSCAN18) was investigated in 93 tissue samples (39 CCAs and 54 nonmalignant controls) using quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. The 13 genes were further analyzed in a test series of biliary brush samples (15 CCAs and 20 nonmalignant primary sclerosing cholangitis controls), and the methylation status of the four best performing markers was validated (34 CCAs and 34 primary sclerosing cholangitis controls). Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were used to evaluate the performance of individual biomarkers and the combination of biomarkers. The 13 candidate genes displayed a methylation frequency of 26%-82% in tissue samples. The four best-performing genes (CDO1, CNRIP1, SEPT9, and VIM) displayed individual methylation frequencies of 45%-77% in biliary brushes from CCA patients. Across the test and validation biliary brush series, this four-gene biomarker panel achieved a sensitivity of 85% and a specificity of 98%, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.944.
CONCLUSION: We report a straightforward biomarker assay with high sensitivity and specificity for CCA, outperforming standard brush cytology, and suggest that the biomarker panel, potentially in combination with cytological evaluation, may improve CCA detection, particularly among primary sclerosing cholangitis patients.

Further References

Mercher T, Courtois G, Berger R, Bernard OA
[Molecular basis of the t(1;22)(p13;q13) specific for human acute megakaryoblastic leukemia].
Pathol Biol (Paris). 2003; 51(1):27-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The t(1;22)(p13;q13) translocation is specifically associated with infant acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (M7). We have recently characterized the two genes involved in this translocation: OTT (One Two Two) and MAL (Megakaryoblastic Acute Leukemia) respectively located on chromosome 1 and 22. The t(1;22) translocation results in the fusion of these genes in all the cases studied to date. We summarize here present knowledge regarding this translocation.

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