Gene Summary

Gene:KMT2D; lysine methyltransferase 2D
Aliases: ALR, KMS, MLL2, MLL4, AAD10, KABUK1, TNRC21, CAGL114
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a histone methyltransferase that methylates the Lys-4 position of histone H3. The encoded protein is part of a large protein complex called ASCOM, which has been shown to be a transcriptional regulator of the beta-globin and estrogen receptor genes. Mutations in this gene have been shown to be a cause of Kabuki syndrome. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:histone-lysine N-methyltransferase 2D
Source:NCBIAccessed: 10 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (18)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 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.

  • Base Sequence
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Breast Cancer
  • Mantle-Cell Lymphoma
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Epigenetics
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • V(D)J Recombination
  • Cell Proliferation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MLL2
  • Genomics
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Phenotype
  • Histone Demethylases
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Adolescents
  • Methylation
  • Genome, Human
  • Chromosome 12
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Transfection
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Cell Cycle
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Transcription
  • Exome
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Mutation
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha-Induced Protein 3
  • Histones
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Follicular Lymphoma
Tag cloud generated 10 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.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
MedulloblastomaMLL2 (KMT2D) and Medulloblastoma
In an ICGC deep sequencing study of 125 medulloblastoma tumour-normal pairs, (Jones DTW et al, 2012) reported MLL2 mutations in 6 (5%) of cases. In an exome sequencing study (Pugh et al, 2012) reported MLL2 as one of 12 genes mutated at significant levels: with MLL2 mutations in 8/92 patients (9%). Notably six of the twelve most significantly mutated genes, including MLL2, are involved in histone modification and/or related chromatin remodeling complexes.
View Publications7
Esophageal CancerKMT2D and Esophageal Cancer View Publications4
Lymphoma, Mantle-CellMLL2 mutations in Mantle cell lymphoma
In a GWAS study Bea et al (2013) reported MLL2 (KMT2D) mutations in 14% (4/29) of MTC cases.
View Publications2
Breast CancerKMT2D and Breast Cancer View Publications2
-KMT2D and Follicular Lymphoma View Publications2

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

Latest Publications: KMT2D (cancer-related)

Marouf C, Göhler S, Filho MI, et al.
Analysis of functional germline variants in APOBEC3 and driver genes on breast cancer risk in Moroccan study population.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:165 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) is the most prevalent cancer in women and a major public health problem in Morocco. Several Moroccan studies have focused on studying this disease, but more are needed, especially at the genetic and molecular levels. Therefore, we investigated the potential association of several functional germline variants in the genes commonly mutated in sporadic breast cancer.
METHODS: In this case-control study, we examined 36 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 13 genes (APOBEC3A, APOBEC3B, ARID1B, ATR, MAP3K1, MLL2, MLL3, NCOR1, RUNX1, SF3B1, SMAD4, TBX3, TTN), which were located in the core promoter, 5'-and 3'UTR or which were nonsynonymous SNPs to assess their potential association with inherited predisposition to breast cancer development. Additionally, we identified a ~29.5-kb deletion polymorphism between APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B and explored possible associations with BC. A total of 226 Moroccan breast cancer cases and 200 matched healthy controls were included in this study.
RESULTS: The analysis showed that12 SNPs in 8 driver genes, 4 SNPs in APOBEC3B gene and 1 SNP in APOBEC3A gene were associated with BC risk and/or clinical outcome at P ≤ 0.05 level. RUNX1_rs8130963 (odds ratio (OR) = 2.25; 95 % CI 1.42-3.56; P = 0.0005; dominant model), TBX3_rs8853 (OR = 2.04; 95 % CI 1.38-3.01; P = 0.0003; dominant model), TBX3_rs1061651 (OR= 2.14; 95 % CI1.43-3.18; P = 0.0002; dominant model), TTN_rs12465459 (OR = 2.02; 95 % confidence interval 1.33-3.07; P = 0.0009; dominant model), were the most significantly associated SNPs with BC risk. A strong association with clinical outcome were detected for the genes SMAD4 _rs3819122 with tumor size (OR = 0.45; 95 % CI 0.25-0.82; P = 0.009) and TTN_rs2244492 with estrogen receptor (OR = 0.45; 95 % CI 0.25-0.82; P = 0.009).
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that genetic variations in driver and APOBEC3 genes were associated with the risk of BC and may have impact on clinical outcome. However, the reported association between the deletion polymorphism and BC risk was not confirmed in the Moroccan population. These preliminary findings require replication in larger studies.

Zhou C, Zhang Y, Dai J, et al.
Pygo2 functions as a prognostic factor for glioma due to its up-regulation of H3K4me3 and promotion of MLL1/MLL2 complex recruitment.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:22066 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pygo2 has been discovered as an important Wnt signaling component contributing to the activation of Wnt-target gene transcription. In the present study, we discovered that Pygo2 mRNA and protein levels were up-regulated in the majority of (152/209) human brain glioma tissues and five glioma cell lines, and significantly correlated with the age, the WHO tumor classification and poor patient survival. The histone methyltransferase complex components (WDR5, Ash2, and menin, but not CXCC1 or NCOA6) were down-regulated at the promoter loci of Wnt target genes after Pygo2 knockdown, and this was accompanied by the down-regulation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway activity. Further, we demonstrated that the involvement of Pygo2 in the activation of the Wnt pathway in human glioma progression is through up-regulation of the H3K4me3 (but not H3K4me2) by promoting the recruitment of the histone methyltransferase MLL1/MLL2 complex to Wnt target gene promoters. Thus, our study provided evidence that Pygo2 functions as a novel prognostic marker and represents a potential therapeutic target.

Sasaki Y, Tamura M, Koyama R, et al.
Genomic characterization of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: Insights from next-generation sequencing.
World J Gastroenterol. 2016; 22(7):2284-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Two major types of cancer occur in the esophagus: squamous cell carcinoma, which is associated with chronic smoking and alcohol consumption, and adenocarcinoma, which typically arises in gastric reflux-associated Barrett's esophagus. Although there is increasing incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma in Western counties, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) accounts for most esophageal malignancies in East Asia, including China and Japan. Technological advances allowing for massively parallel, high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) of DNA have enabled comprehensive characterization of somatic mutations in large numbers of tumor samples. Recently, several studies were published in which whole exome or whole genome sequencing was performed in ESCC tumors and compared with matched normal DNA. Mutations were validated in several genes, including in TP53, CDKN2A, FAT1, NOTCH1, PIK3CA, KMT2D and NFE2L2, which had been previously implicated in ESCC. Several new recurrent alterations have also been identified in ESCC. Combining the clinicopathological characteristics of patients with information obtained from NGS studies may lead to the development of effective diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for ESCC. As this research becomes more prominent, it is important that gastroenterologist become familiar with the various NGS technologies and the results generated using these methods. In the present study, we describe recent research approaches using NGS in ESCC.

Karagianni P, Lambropoulos V, Stergidou D, et al.
Recurrent giant cell fibroblastoma: Malignancy predisposition in Kabuki syndrome revisited.
Am J Med Genet A. 2016; 170A(5):1333-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Kabuki syndrome is a genetic condition characterized by distinctive facial phenotype, mental retardation, and internal organ malformations. Mutations of the epigenetic genes KMT2D and KDM6A cause dysregulation of certain developmental genes and account for the multiple congenital anomalies of the syndrome. Eight cases of malignancies have been reported in young patients with Kabuki syndrome although a causative association to the syndrome has not been established. We report a case of a 12-year-old girl with Kabuki syndrome who developed a tumor on the right side of her neck. A relapsing tumor 19 months after initial excision, proved to be giant cell fibroblastoma. Τhis is the first report of giant cell fibroblastoma -a rare tumor of childhood- in a patient with Kabuki syndrome.

Menditti D, Laino L, Cicciù M, et al.
Kissing molars: report of three cases and new prospective on aetiopathogenetic theories.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(12):15708-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Kissing molars (KMs) is an extremely rare condition of impacted third molars, pointed in the opposite direction in a single follicular space; it consists exactly in a full impacted of permanent molars which occurs only in the lower jaw. Actually, about less than thirty cases have been reported in scientific literatures. The aetiology and pathogenesis of this pathological double dental inclusion remain unknown; above all events that lead two molars to appear, as KMs remain mysterious. The association to metabolic connective diseases such as mucopolysaccharidosis was emphasized. KMs considered as an isolated event, may be associated to an abnormal position of the tooth-bud from lower permanent molars, or fourth supernumerary tooth (distomolar). Recently, hyperplastic dental follicle (HDF), with a down regulation of matrix metal-proteinases and up regulation of several genes of collagens, has been mentioned in association with KMs. In this paper, after having analyzed three new cases of KMs that have been treated, we report a new hypothesis. This last is based on the failure in the dental follicle's ability to initiate or continue properly resorption of the overlying alveolar bone, by many exogenous factors which may act on eruptive phase that would lead to its rotation with its contents coming out a pathological situation of KMs. The therapy of choice is related to the surgical removal of KMs through a double odontectomy with transalveolar method. Other treatments can be, eventually, orthodontic therapy of the impacted teeth and a radiological follow-up without surgery.

Yeh CH, Bai XT, Moles R, et al.
Mutation of epigenetic regulators TET2 and MLL3 in patients with HTLV-I-induced acute adult T-cell leukemia.
Mol Cancer. 2016; 15:15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epigenetic regulators play a critical role in the maintenance of specific chromatin domains in an active or repressed state. Disruption of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms is widespread in cancer cells and largely contributes to the transformation process through active repression of tumor suppressor genes. While mutations of epigenetic regulators have been reported in various lymphoid malignancies and solid cancers, mutation of these genes in HTLV-I-associated T-cell leukemia has not been investigated.
METHOD: Here we used whole genome next generation sequencing (NGS) of uncultured freshly isolated ATL samples and identified the presence of mutations in SUZ12, DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B, TET1, TET2, IDH1, IDH2, MLL, MLL2, MLL3 and MLL4.
RESULTS: TET2 was the most frequently mutated gene, occurring in 32 % (10/31) of ATL samples analyzed. Interestingly, NGS revealed nonsense mutations accompanied by loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in TET2 and MLL3, which was further confirmed by cloning and direct sequencing of DNA from uncultured cells. Finally, direct sequencing of matched control and tumor samples revealed that TET2 mutation was present only in ATL tumor cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that inactivation of MLL3 and TET2 may play an important role in the tumorigenesis process of HTLV-I-induced ATL.

Sahm F, Jakobiec FA, Meyer J, et al.
Somatic mutations of DICER1 and KMT2D are frequent in intraocular medulloepitheliomas.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; 55(5):418-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Intraocular medulloepithelioma (IO-MEPL) is an uncommon embryonal neuroepithelial neoplasm of the eye. Little is known about the cytogenetics, molecular biology, and pathogenesis of this tumor. In the present study we investigated the mutational landscape of 19 IO-MEPL using targeted next-generation sequencing. Routinely prepared paraffin-embedded samples were assessed with high-coverage genome sequencing on the Illumina NextSeq 500 platform using a customized gene panel set covering the coding region of 130 genes. This revealed several notable genomic alterations, including mutations of DICER1 (6 tumors) and KMT2D (also known as MLL2; 5 tumors)-which are frequently recurrent and mutually exclusive molecular events for IO-MEPL. Non-recurrent mutations in the cancer-associated genes BRCA2, BRCA1, NOTCH2, CDH1, and GSE1 were also identified. IO-MEPL samples harboring a DICER1 mutation disclosed few chromosomal alterations and formed a separate DNA methylation cluster, indicating potential differences in genetic and epigenetic events arising perhaps from the presence of this aberration in the tumor genome. The high proportion of recurrent somatic DICER1 and KMT2D mutations in this series of sporadic IO-MEPL points to their likely important roles in the molecular pathogenesis of these rare embryonal tumors, and perhaps suggests the existence of distinct molecular variants of IO-MEPL. Although the precise role of these recurrent mutations in the development of IO-MEPL, and their relationship to pro-oncogenic molecular mechanisms, have yet to be determined, unraveling their roles could eventually be exploited for nonsurgical therapies of these neoplasms.

Pillai S, Gopalan V, Smith RA, Lam AK
Updates on the genetics and the clinical impacts on phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma in the new era.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016; 100:190-208 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genetic mutations of phaeochromocytoma (PCC) and paraganglioma (PGL) are mainly classified into two major clusters. Cluster 1 mutations are involved with the pseudo hypoxic pathway and comprised of PHD2, VHL, SDHx, IDH, HIF2A, MDH2 and FH mutated PCC/PGL. Cluster 2 mutations are associated with abnormal activation of kinase signalling pathways and included mutations of RET, NF1, KIF1Bβ, MAX and TMEM127. In addition, VHL, SDHx (cluster 1 genes) and RET, NF1 (cluster 2 genes) germline mutations are involved in the neuronal precursor cell pathway in the pathogeneses of PCC/PGL. Also, GDNF, H-ras, K-ras, GNAS, CDKN2A (p16), p53, BAP1, BRCA1&2, ATRX and KMT2D mutations have roles in the development of PCC/PGLs. Overall, known genetic mutations account for the pathogenesis of approximately 60% of PCC/PGLs. Genetic mutations, pathological parameters and biochemical markers are used for better prediction of the outcome of patients with this group of tumours. Immunohistochemistry and gene sequencing can ensure a more effective detection, prediction of malignant potential and treatment of PCC/PCLs.

Ye H, Lu L, Ge B, et al.
MLL2 protein is a prognostic marker for gastrointestinal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(10):13043-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mixed linage leukemia gene 2 (MLL2) is identified as a novel mutation gene in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). However, the significance of MLL2 protein expression for the prognosis of DLBCL is unclear. In this study, we detected MLL2 protein expression in primary gastrointestinal diffuse large B cell lymphoma (PGI-DLBCL) samples by using tissue microarray immunohistochemistry, and analyzed the correlation between MLL2 protein expression and tumor proliferation activity. In addition, we investigated clinical significance of MLL2 protein expression for PGI-DLBCL prognosis. We found that there was significant difference in MLL2 protein expression between PGI-DLBCL and reactive hyperplasia of lymph node. High expression of MLL2 protein indicated higher clinical stage. In older patients (>60 years) with PGI-DLBCL, MLL2 protein expression was positively correlated with Ki-67 expression and negatively correlated with patient survival. Our data suggest that MLL2 protein is overexpressed in PGI-DLBCL and appears as a prognostic factor for patients of PGI-DLBCL, especially for those older than 60 years old.

Araf S, Okosun J, Koniali L, et al.
Epigenetic dysregulation in follicular lymphoma.
Epigenomics. 2016; 8(1):77-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The adoption of next-generation sequencing technologies has led to a remarkable shift in our understanding of the genetic landscape of follicular lymphoma. While the disease has been synonymous with the t(14;18), the prevalence of alterations in genes that regulate the epigenome has been established as a pivotal hallmark of these lymphomas. Giant strides are being made in unraveling the biological consequences of these alterations in tumorigenesis opening up new opportunities for directed therapies.

Ye K, Wang J, Jayasinghe R, et al.
Systematic discovery of complex insertions and deletions in human cancers.
Nat Med. 2016; 22(1):97-104 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Complex insertions and deletions (indels) are formed by simultaneously deleting and inserting DNA fragments of different sizes at a common genomic location. Here we present a systematic analysis of somatic complex indels in the coding sequences of samples from over 8,000 cancer cases using Pindel-C. We discovered 285 complex indels in cancer-associated genes (such as PIK3R1, TP53, ARID1A, GATA3 and KMT2D) in approximately 3.5% of cases analyzed; nearly all instances of complex indels were overlooked (81.1%) or misannotated (17.6%) in previous reports of 2,199 samples. In-frame complex indels are enriched in PIK3R1 and EGFR, whereas frameshifts are prevalent in VHL, GATA3, TP53, ARID1A, PTEN and ATRX. Furthermore, complex indels display strong tissue specificity (such as VHL in kidney cancer samples and GATA3 in breast cancer samples). Finally, structural analyses support findings of previously missed, but potentially druggable, mutations in the EGFR, MET and KIT oncogenes. This study indicates the critical importance of improving complex indel discovery and interpretation in medical research.

Goh G, Walradt T, Markarov V, et al.
Mutational landscape of MCPyV-positive and MCPyV-negative Merkel cell carcinomas with implications for immunotherapy.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):3403-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare but highly aggressive cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma, associated with the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) in 80% of cases. To define the genetic basis of MCCs, we performed exome sequencing of 49 MCCs. We show that MCPyV-negative MCCs have a high mutation burden (median of 1121 somatic single nucleotide variants (SSNVs) per-exome with frequent mutations in RB1 and TP53 and additional damaging mutations in genes in the chromatin modification (ASXL1, MLL2, and MLL3), JNK (MAP3K1 and TRAF7), and DNA-damage pathways (ATM, MSH2, and BRCA1). In contrast, MCPyV-positive MCCs harbor few SSNVs (median of 12.5 SSNVs/tumor) with none in the genes listed above. In both subgroups, there are rare cancer-promoting mutations predicted to activate the PI3K pathway (HRAS, KRAS, PIK3CA, PTEN, and TSC1) and to inactivate the Notch pathway (Notch1 and Notch2). TP53 mutations appear to be clinically relevant in virus-negative MCCs as 37% of these tumors harbor potentially targetable gain-of-function mutations in TP53 at p.R248 and p.P278. Moreover, TP53 mutational status predicts death in early stage MCC (5-year survival in TP53 mutant vs wild-type stage I and II MCCs is 20% vs. 92%, respectively; P = 0.0036). Lastly, we identified the tumor neoantigens in MCPyV-negative and MCPyV-positive MCCs. We found that virus-negative MCCs harbor more tumor neoantigens than melanomas or non-small cell lung cancers (median of 173, 65, and 111 neoantigens/sample, respectively), two cancers for which immune checkpoint blockade can produce durable clinical responses. Collectively, these data support the use of immunotherapies for virus-negative MCCs.

da Silva Almeida AC, Abate F, Khiabanian H, et al.
The mutational landscape of cutaneous T cell lymphoma and Sézary syndrome.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(12):1465-70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Sézary syndrome is a leukemic and aggressive form of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) resulting from the malignant transformation of skin-homing central memory CD4(+) T cells. Here we performed whole-exome sequencing of tumor-normal sample pairs from 25 patients with Sézary syndrome and 17 patients with other CTCLs. These analyses identified a distinctive pattern of somatic copy number alterations in Sézary syndrome, including highly prevalent chromosomal deletions involving the TP53, RB1, PTEN, DNMT3A and CDKN1B tumor suppressors. Mutation analysis identified a broad spectrum of somatic mutations in key genes involved in epigenetic regulation (TET2, CREBBP, KMT2D (MLL2), KMT2C (MLL3), BRD9, SMARCA4 and CHD3) and signaling, including MAPK1, BRAF, CARD11 and PRKG1 mutations driving increased MAPK, NF-κB and NFAT activity upon T cell receptor stimulation. Collectively, our findings provide new insights into the genetics of Sézary syndrome and CTCL and support the development of personalized therapies targeting key oncogenically activated signaling pathways for the treatment of these diseases.

Patil V, Pal J, Somasundaram K
Elucidating the cancer-specific genetic alteration spectrum of glioblastoma derived cell lines from whole exome and RNA sequencing.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(41):43452-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cell lines derived from tumor tissues have been used as a valuable system to study gene regulation and cancer development. Comprehensive characterization of the genetic background of cell lines could provide clues on novel genes responsible for carcinogenesis and help in choosing cell lines for particular studies. Here, we have carried out whole exome and RNA sequencing of commonly used glioblastoma (GBM) cell lines (U87, T98G, LN229, U343, U373 and LN18) to unearth single nucleotide variations (SNVs), indels, differential gene expression, gene fusions and RNA editing events. We obtained an average of 41,071 SNVs out of which 1,594 (3.88%) were potentially cancer-specific. The cell lines showed frequent SNVs and indels in some of the genes that are known to be altered in GBM- EGFR, TP53, PTEN, SPTA1 and NF1. Chromatin modifying genes- ATRX, MLL3, MLL4, SETD2 and SRCAP also showed alterations. While no cell line carried IDH1 mutations, five cell lines showed hTERT promoter activating mutations with a concomitant increase in hTERT transcript levels. Five significant gene fusions were found of which NUP93-CYB5B was validated. An average of 18,949 RNA editing events was also obtained. Thus we have generated a comprehensive catalogue of genetic alterations for six GBM cell lines.

Stengel A, Kern W, Zenger M, et al.
Genetic characterization of T-PLL reveals two major biologic subgroups and JAK3 mutations as prognostic marker.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; 55(1):82-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a rare post-thymic T-cell neoplasm with aggressive clinical course and short overall survival. So far, due to the rareness of this disease, genetic data are available only from individual cases or small cohorts. In our study, we aimed at performing a comprehensive cytogenetic and molecular genetic characterization of T-PLL comprising the largest cohort of patients with T-PLL analyzed so far, including correlations between the respective markers and their impact on prognosis. Genetic abnormalities were found in all 51 cases with T-PLL, most frequently involving the TCRA/D locus (86%). Deletions were detected for ATM (69%) and TP53 (31%), whereas i(8)(q10) was observed in 61% of cases. Mutations in ATM, TP53, JAK1, and JAK3 were detected in 73, 14, 6, and 21% of patients, respectively. Additionally, BCOR mutations were observed for the first time in a lymphoid malignancy (8%). Two distinct genetic subgroups of T-PLL were identified: A large subset (86% of patients) showed abnormalities involving the TCRA/D locus activating the proto-oncogenes TCL1 or MTCP1, while the second group was characterized by a high frequency of TP53 mutations (4/7 cases). Further, analyses of overall survival identified JAK3 mutations as important prognostic marker, showing a significant negative impact.

Matkar S, Sharma P, Gao S, et al.
An Epigenetic Pathway Regulates Sensitivity of Breast Cancer Cells to HER2 Inhibition via FOXO/c-Myc Axis.
Cancer Cell. 2015; 28(4):472-85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is upregulated in a subset of human breast cancers. However, the cancer cells often quickly develop an adaptive response to HER2 kinase inhibitors. We found that an epigenetic pathway involving MLL2 is crucial for growth of HER2(+) cells and MLL2 reduces sensitivity of the cancer cells to a HER2 inhibitor, lapatinib. Lapatinib-induced FOXO transcription factors, normally tumor-suppressing, paradoxically upregulate c-Myc epigenetically in concert with a cascade of MLL2-associating epigenetic regulators to dampen sensitivity of the cancer cells to lapatinib. An epigenetic inhibitor suppressing c-Myc synergizes with lapatinib to suppress cancer growth in vivo, partly by repressing the FOXO/c-Myc axis, unraveling an epigenetically regulated FOXO/c-Myc axis as a potential target to improve therapy.

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.

Jiang Y, Malouf GG, Zhang J, et al.
Long non-coding RNA profiling links subgroup classification of endometrioid endometrial carcinomas with trithorax and polycomb complex aberrations.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(37):39865-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Integrative analysis of endometrioid endometrial carcinoma (EEC) using multiple platforms has distinguished four molecular subgroups. However, the landscape of expressed long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) and their role in charting EEC subgroups and determining clinical aggressiveness remain largely unknown.
RESULTS: Using stringent criteria, we identified 1,931 expressed lncRNAs and predicted potential drivers through integrative analysis. Unsupervised clustering of lncRNA expression revealed three robust categories: basal-like, luminal-like and CTNNB1-enriched subgroups. Basal-like subgroup was enriched for aggressive tumors with higher pathological grade (p < 0.0001), TNM stage (p = 0.01), and somatic mutations in trithorax-group genes (MLL, MLL2 and MLL3); and it overexpressed polycomb genes EZH2 and CBX2. In contrast to the luminal-like subgroup, progesterone (PGR) and estrogen receptor (ESR1) genes were highly down-regulated in the EEC basal-like subgroup. Consistent with its enrichment for CTNNB1 mutations (69%), lncRNA profile of the CTNNB1-enriched EEC subgroup was highly similar to that of the CTNNB1-enriched liver cancer subgroup.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed integrative analysis of lncRNAs in EEC using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) molecular RNAseq profiles of 191 primary tumors for which genomic data were also available. We established lncRNA subgroup classification, correlated it with chromatin modifying gene expression, and described correlations between our lncRNA classification and clinico-genomic tumor features.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results reveal the utility of systematic characterization of clinically annotated EEC in three clinically relevant subgroups. They also highlight the convergence of aberrations in polycomb- and trithorax-group genes in aggressive basal EEC subtypes, providing a rationale for further investigation of epigenetic therapy in this setting.

Kiel MJ, Sahasrabuddhe AA, Rolland DC, et al.
Genomic analyses reveal recurrent mutations in epigenetic modifiers and the JAK-STAT pathway in Sézary syndrome.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:8470 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Sézary syndrome (SS) is an aggressive leukaemia of mature T cells with poor prognosis and limited options for targeted therapies. The comprehensive genetic alterations underlying the pathogenesis of SS are unknown. Here we integrate whole-genome sequencing (n=6), whole-exome sequencing (n=66) and array comparative genomic hybridization-based copy-number analysis (n=80) of primary SS samples. We identify previously unknown recurrent loss-of-function aberrations targeting members of the chromatin remodelling/histone modification and trithorax families, including ARID1A in which functional loss from nonsense and frameshift mutations and/or targeted deletions is observed in 40.3% of SS genomes. We also identify recurrent gain-of-function mutations targeting PLCG1 (9%) and JAK1, JAK3, STAT3 and STAT5B (JAK/STAT total ∼11%). Functional studies reveal sensitivity of JAK1-mutated primary SS cells to JAK inhibitor treatment. These results highlight the complex genomic landscape of SS and a role for inhibition of JAK/STAT pathways for the treatment of SS.

Bidinotto LT, Scapulatempo-Neto C, Mackay A, et al.
Molecular Profiling of a Rare Rosette-Forming Glioneuronal Tumor Arising in the Spinal Cord.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(9):e0137690 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Rosette-forming glioneuronal tumor (RGNT) of the IV ventricle is a rare and recently recognized brain tumor entity. It is histologically composed by two distinct features: a glial component, resembling pilocytic astrocytoma, and a component forming neurocytic rosettes and/or perivascular rosettes. Herein, we describe a 33-year-old man with RGNT arising in the spinal cord. Following an immunohistochemistry validation, we further performed an extensive genomic analysis, using array-CGH (aCGH), whole exome and cancer-related hotspot sequencing, in order to better understand its underlying biology. We observed the loss of 1p and gain of 1q, as well as gain of the whole chromosomes 7, 9 and 16. Local amplifications in 9q34.2 and 19p13.3 (encompassing the gene SBNO2) were identified. Moreover, we observed focal gains/losses in several chromosomes. Additionally, on chromosome 7, we identified the presence of the KIAA1549:BRAF gene fusion, which was further validated by RT-PCR and FISH. Across all mutational analyses, we detected and validated the somatic mutations of the genes MLL2, CNNM3, PCDHGC4 and SCN1A. Our comprehensive molecular profiling of this RGNT suggests that MAPK pathway and methylome changes, driven by KIAA1549:BRAF fusion and MLL2 mutation, respectively, could be associated with the development of this rare tumor entity.

Zhang J, Dominguez-Sola D, Hussein S, et al.
Disruption of KMT2D perturbs germinal center B cell development and promotes lymphomagenesis.
Nat Med. 2015; 21(10):1190-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutations in the gene encoding the KMT2D (or MLL2) methyltransferase are highly recurrent and occur early during tumorigenesis in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL). However, the functional consequences of these mutations and their role in lymphomagenesis are unknown. Here we show that FL- and DLBCL-associated KMT2D mutations impair KMT2D enzymatic activity, leading to diminished global H3K4 methylation in germinal-center (GC) B cells and DLBCL cells. Conditional deletion of Kmt2d early during B cell development, but not after initiation of the GC reaction, results in an increase in GC B cells and enhances B cell proliferation in mice. Moreover, genetic ablation of Kmt2d in mice overexpressing Bcl2 increases the incidence of GC-derived lymphomas resembling human tumors. These findings suggest that KMT2D acts as a tumor suppressor gene whose early loss facilitates lymphomagenesis by remodeling the epigenetic landscape of the cancer precursor cells. Eradication of KMT2D-deficient cells may thus represent a rational therapeutic approach for targeting early tumorigenic events.

Ortega-Molina A, Boss IW, Canela A, et al.
The histone lysine methyltransferase KMT2D sustains a gene expression program that represses B cell lymphoma development.
Nat Med. 2015; 21(10):1199-208 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The gene encoding the lysine-specific histone methyltransferase KMT2D has emerged as one of the most frequently mutated genes in follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B cell lymphoma; however, the biological consequences of KMT2D mutations on lymphoma development are not known. Here we show that KMT2D functions as a bona fide tumor suppressor and that its genetic ablation in B cells promotes lymphoma development in mice. KMT2D deficiency also delays germinal center involution and impedes B cell differentiation and class switch recombination. Integrative genomic analyses indicate that KMT2D affects methylation of lysine 4 on histone H3 (H3K4) and expression of a set of genes, including those in the CD40, JAK-STAT, Toll-like receptor and B cell receptor signaling pathways. Notably, other KMT2D target genes include frequently mutated tumor suppressor genes such as TNFAIP3, SOCS3 and TNFRSF14. Therefore, KMT2D mutations may promote malignant outgrowth by perturbing the expression of tumor suppressor genes that control B cell-activating pathways.

Lee YS, Hwang SG, Kim JK, et al.
Identification of novel therapeutic target genes in acquired lapatinib-resistant breast cancer by integrative meta-analysis.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(2):2285-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acquired resistance to lapatinib is a highly problematic clinical barrier that has to be overcome for a successful cancer treatment. Despite efforts to determine the mechanisms underlying acquired lapatinib resistance (ALR), no definitive genetic factors have been reported to be solely responsible for the acquired resistance in breast cancer. Therefore, we performed a cross-platform meta-analysis of three publically available microarray datasets related to breast cancer with ALR, using the R-based RankProd package. From the meta-analysis, we were able to identify a total of 990 differentially expressed genes (DEGs, 406 upregulated, 584 downregulated) that are potentially associated with ALR. Gene ontology (GO) function and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis of the DEGs showed that "response to organic substance" and "p53 signaling pathway" may be largely involved in ALR process. Of these, many of the top 50 upregulated and downregulated DEGs were found in oncogenesis of various tumors and cancers. For the top 50 DEGs, we constructed the gene coexpression and protein-protein interaction networks from a huge database of well-known molecular interactions. By integrative analysis of two systemic networks, we condensed the total number of DEGs to six common genes (LGALS1, PRSS23, PTRF, FHL2, TOB1, and SOCS2). Furthermore, these genes were confirmed in functional module eigens obtained from the weighted gene correlation network analysis of total DEGs in the microarray datasets ("GSE16179" and "GSE52707"). Our integrative meta-analysis could provide a comprehensive perspective into complex mechanisms underlying ALR in breast cancer and a theoretical support for further chemotherapeutic studies.

Roma D, Palma P, Capolino R, et al.
Spinal ependymoma in a patient with Kabuki syndrome: a case report.
BMC Med Genet. 2015; 16:80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Kabuki syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by the association of mental retardation and postnatal growth deficiency with distinctive facial appearance, skeletal anomalies, cardiac and renal malformation. Two causative genes have been identified in patients with Kabuki syndrome. Mutation of KMT2D (MLL2) was identified in 55-80% of patients, while 9-14% of KMT2D negative patients have mutation in KDM6A gene. So far, few tumors have been reported in patients with Kabuki syndrome. We describe the first case of a patient with spinal ependymoma and Kabuki syndrome.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 23 years old girl followed at our Center for KMT2D mutated Kabuki syndrome since she was 4 years old presented with acute lumbar pain and intermittent tactile hyposthenia of the feet. Spine magnetic resonance revealed a lumbar endocanalar mass. She underwent surgical resection of the lesion and histologic examination showed a tanycytic ependymoma (WHO grade II).
CONCLUSION: Kabuki syndrome is not considered a cancer predisposition syndrome. Nonetheless, a number of tumors have been reported in patients with Kabuki syndrome. Spinal ependymoma is a rare disease in the pediatric and young adult population. Whereas NF2 mutations are frequently associated to ependymoma such an association has never been described in Kabuki syndrome. To our knowledge this is the first case of ependymoma in a KMT2D mutated Kabuki syndrome patient. Despite KMT2D role in cancer has previously been described, no genetic data are available for previously reported Kabuki syndrome patients with tumors. Nonetheless, the association of two rare diseases raises the suspicion for a common determinant.

Zhu J, Sammons MA, Donahue G, et al.
Gain-of-function p53 mutants co-opt chromatin pathways to drive cancer growth.
Nature. 2015; 525(7568):206-11 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TP53 (which encodes p53 protein) is the most frequently mutated gene among all human cancers. Prevalent p53 missense mutations abrogate its tumour suppressive function and lead to a 'gain-of-function' (GOF) that promotes cancer. Here we show that p53 GOF mutants bind to and upregulate chromatin regulatory genes, including the methyltransferases MLL1 (also known as KMT2A), MLL2 (also known as KMT2D), and acetyltransferase MOZ (also known as KAT6A or MYST3), resulting in genome-wide increases of histone methylation and acetylation. Analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas shows specific upregulation of MLL1, MLL2, and MOZ in p53 GOF patient-derived tumours, but not in wild-type p53 or p53 null tumours. Cancer cell proliferation is markedly lowered by genetic knockdown of MLL1 or by pharmacological inhibition of the MLL1 methyltransferase complex. Our study reveals a novel chromatin mechanism underlying the progression of tumours with GOF p53, and suggests new possibilities for designing combinatorial chromatin-based therapies for treating individual cancers driven by prevalent GOF p53 mutations.

Choi HJ, Park JH, Park M, et al.
UTX inhibits EMT-induced breast CSC properties by epigenetic repression of EMT genes in cooperation with LSD1 and HDAC1.
EMBO Rep. 2015; 16(10):1288-98 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The histone H3K27 demethylase, UTX, is a known component of the H3K4 methyltransferase MLL complex, but its functional association with H3K4 methylation in human cancers remains largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that UTX loss induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-mediated breast cancer stem cell (CSC) properties by increasing the expression of the SNAIL, ZEB1 and ZEB2 EMT transcription factors (EMT-TFs) and of the transcriptional repressor CDH1. UTX facilitates the epigenetic silencing of EMT-TFs by inducing competition between MLL4 and the H3K4 demethylase LSD1. EMT-TF promoters are occupied by c-Myc and MLL4, and UTX recognizes these proteins, interrupting their transcriptional activation function. UTX decreases H3K4me2 and H3 acetylation at these promoters by forming a transcriptional repressive complex with LSD1, HDAC1 and DNMT1. Taken together, our findings indicate that UTX is a prominent tumour suppressor that functions as a negative regulator of EMT-induced CSC-like properties by epigenetically repressing EMT-TFs.

Dahlin AM, Hollegaard MV, Wibom C, et al.
CCND2, CTNNB1, DDX3X, GLI2, SMARCA4, MYC, MYCN, PTCH1, TP53, and MLL2 gene variants and risk of childhood medulloblastoma.
J Neurooncol. 2015; 125(1):75-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent studies have described a number of genes that are frequently altered in medulloblastoma tumors and that have putative key roles in the development of the disease. We hypothesized that common germline genetic variations in these genes may be associated with medulloblastoma development. Based on recent publications, we selected 10 genes that were frequently altered in medulloblastoma: CCND2, CTNNB1, DDX3X, GLI2, SMARCA4, MYC, MYCN, PTCH1, TP53, and MLL2 (now renamed as KMT2D). Common genetic variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms) annotating these genes (n = 221) were genotyped in germline DNA (neonatal dried blood spot samples) from 243 childhood medulloblastoma cases and 247 control subjects from Sweden and Denmark. Eight genetic variants annotating three genes in the sonic hedgehog signaling pathway; CCND2, PTCH1, and GLI2, were found to be associated with the risk of medulloblastoma (P(combined) < 0.05). The findings were however not statistically significant following correction for multiple testing by the very stringent Bonferroni method. The results do not support our hypothesis that common germline genetic variants in the ten studied genes are associated with the risk of developing medulloblastoma.

Thandapani P, Song J, Gandin V, et al.
Aven recognition of RNA G-quadruplexes regulates translation of the mixed lineage leukemia protooncogenes.
Elife. 2015; 4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
G-quadruplexes (G4) are extremely stable secondary structures forming stacks of guanine tetrads. DNA G4 structures have been extensively studied, however, less is known about G4 motifs in mRNAs, especially in their coding sequences. Herein, we show that Aven stimulates the mRNA translation of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) proto-oncogene in an arginine methylation-dependent manner. The Aven RGG/RG motif bound G4 structures within the coding regions of the MLL1 and MLL4 mRNAs increasing their polysomal association and translation, resulting in the induction of transcription of leukemic genes. The DHX36 RNA helicase associated with the Aven complex and was required for optimal translation of G4 mRNAs. Depletion of Aven led to a decrease in synthesis of MLL1 and MLL4 proteins resulting in reduced proliferation of leukemic cells. These findings identify an Aven-centered complex that stimulates the translation of G4 harboring mRNAs, thereby promoting survival of leukemic cells.

Tokunaga Y, Liu D, Nakano J, et al.
Potent effect of adenoviral vector expressing short hairpin RNA targeting ribonucleotide reductase large subunit M1 on cell viability and chemotherapeutic sensitivity to gemcitabine in non-small cell lung cancer cells.
Eur J Cancer. 2015; 51(16):2480-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ribonucleotide reductase large subunit (RRM1) is the main enzyme responsible for synthesis of the deoxyribonucleotides used during DNA synthesis. It is also a cellular target for gemcitabine (GEM). Overexpression of RRM1 is reportedly associated with resistance to GEM and the poor prognosis for many types of malignant tumours. Aim of the present study is to establish gene therapy against RRM1-overexpressing tumours.
METHOD: An adenoviral vector that encoded a short hairpin siRNA targeting the RRM1 gene (Ad-shRRM1) was constructed. Two RRM1-overexpressing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) lines, MAC10 and RERF-LC-MA, were used. Finally, a human tumour xenograft model in nude mice was prepared by subcutaneously implanting tumours derived from RERF-LC-MA cells.
RESULTS: Ad-shRRM1 effectively downregulated RRM1 mRNA and protein in both types of NSCLC cells and significantly reduced the percentage of viable cells as detected by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay (p<0.005). Caspase 3/7 analysis revealed that transfection with Ad-RRM1 increased the percentage of apoptotic cells in culture containing either type of RRM1-overexpressing cell (p<0.001). Treatment with Ad-shRRM1 exerted a potent antitumour effect against the RRM1-overexpressing RERF-LC-MA xenografts (p<0.05). Furthermore, Ad-shRRM1-mediated inhibition of RRM1 specifically increased sensitivity to gemcitabine of each type of RRM1-overexpressing tumour cell. Combination treatment with Ad-shRRM1 and GEM exerted significantly greater inhibition on cell proliferation than Ad-shRRM1 or GEM treatment alone.
CONCLUSION: RRM1 appeared to be a promising target for gene therapy, and Ad-shRRM1 had strong antitumour effects, specifically anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects, against NSCLC cells that overexpressed RRM1. Combination therapy with Ad-shRRM1 and GEM may become a new treatment option for patients with NSCLC.

Lee SH, Lee EH, Lee SH, et al.
Epigenetic Role of Histone 3 Lysine Methyltransferase and Demethylase in Regulating Apoptosis Predicting the Recurrence of Atypical Meningioma.
J Korean Med Sci. 2015; 30(8):1157-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alteration of apoptosis is related with progression and recurrence of atypical meningiomas (AMs). However, no comprehensive study has been conducted regarding histone modification regulating apoptosis in AMs. This study aimed to determine the prognostic values of certain apoptosis-associated factors, and examine the role of histone modification on apoptosis in AMs. The medical records of 67 patients with AMs, as diagnosed during recent 13 yr, were reviewed retrospectively. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on archived paraffin-embedded tissues for pro-apoptotic factors (CASP3, IGFBP, TRAIL-R1, BAX, and XAF1), anti-apoptotic factors (survivin, ERK, RAF1, MDM2, and BCL2), and the histone modifying enzymes (MLL2, RIZ, EZH1, NSD2, KDM5c, JMJD2a, UTX, and JMJD5). Twenty-six (38.8%) patients recurred during the follow-up period (mean duration 47.7 months). In terms of time-to-recurrence (TTR), overexpression of CASP3, TRAIL-R1, and BAX had a longer TTR than low expression, and overexpression of survivin, MDM2, and BCL2 had a shorter TTR than low expression (P<0.05). Additionally, overexpression of MLL2, UTX, and JMJ5 had shorter TTRs than low expression, and overexpression of KDM5c had a longer TTR than low expression. However, in the multi-variate analysis of predicting factors for recurrence, low expression of CASP3 (P<0.001), and BAX (P<0.001), and overexpression of survivin (P=0.007), and MDM2 (P=0.037) were associated with recurrence independently, but any enzymes modifying histone were not associated with recurrence. Conclusively, this study suggests certain apoptosis-associated factors should be associated with recurrence of AMs, which may be regulated epigenetically by histone modifying enzymes.

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