Gene Summary

Gene:NSD1; nuclear receptor binding SET domain protein 1
Aliases: STO, KMT3B, SOTOS, ARA267, SOTOS1
Summary:This gene encodes a protein containing a SET domain, 2 LXXLL motifs, 3 nuclear translocation signals (NLSs), 4 plant homeodomain (PHD) finger regions, and a proline-rich region. The encoded protein enhances androgen receptor (AR) transactivation, and this enhancement can be increased further in the presence of other androgen receptor associated coregulators. This protein may act as a nucleus-localized, basic transcriptional factor and also as a bifunctional transcriptional regulator. Mutations of this gene have been associated with Sotos syndrome and Weaver syndrome. One version of childhood acute myeloid leukemia is the result of a cryptic translocation with the breakpoints occurring within nuclear receptor-binding Su-var, enhancer of zeste, and trithorax domain protein 1 on chromosome 5 and nucleoporin, 98-kd on chromosome 11. Two transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:histone-lysine N-methyltransferase, H3 lysine-36 and H4 lysine-20 specific
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (22)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • FISH
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Breast Cancer
  • Methylation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Base Sequence
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Urogenital Abnormalities
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Skin Cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • Karyotyping
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Multiple Abnormalities
  • Ultrasonography
  • Genome, Human
  • Zinc Fingers
  • Chromosome 11
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Infant
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • DNA Methylation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Myeloid Leukemia
  • Chromosome 5
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Growth Disorders
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Histones
  • Adolescents
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Epigenetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
Tag cloud generated 16 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.

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

Latest Publications: NSD1 (cancer-related)

Lai J, Zhou Z, Tang XJ, et al.
A Tumor-Specific Neo-Antigen Caused by a Frameshift Mutation in BAP1 Is a Potential Personalized Biomarker in Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(5) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive rare malignancy associated with asbestos exposure. A better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of MPM will help develop a targeted therapy strategy. Oncogene targeted depth sequencing was performed on a tumor sample and paired peripheral blood DNA from a patient with malignant mesothelioma of the peritoneum. Four somatic base-substitutions in NOTCH2, NSD1, PDE4DIP, and ATP10B and 1 insert frameshift mutation in BAP1 were validated by the Sanger method at the transcriptional level. A 13-amino acids neo-peptide of the truncated Bap1 protein, which was produced as a result of this novel frameshift mutation, was predicted to be presented by this patient's HLA-B protein. The polyclonal antibody of the synthesized 13-mer neo-peptide was produced in rabbits. Western blotting results showed a good antibody-neoantigen specificity, and Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining with the antibody of the neo-peptide clearly differentiated neoplastic cells from normal cells. A search of the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) database also revealed that 53.2% of mutations in BAP1 were frameshift indels with neo-peptide formation. An identified tumor-specific neo-antigen could be the potential molecular biomarker for personalized diagnosis to precisely subtype rare malignancies such as MPM.

Shiba N, Ohki K, Kobayashi T, et al.
High PRDM16 expression identifies a prognostic subgroup of pediatric acute myeloid leukaemia correlated to FLT3-ITD, KMT2A-PTD, and NUP98-NSD1: the results of the Japanese Paediatric Leukaemia/Lymphoma Study Group AML-05 trial.
Br J Haematol. 2016; 172(4):581-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent reports described the NUP98-NSD1 fusion as an adverse prognostic marker for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and PRDM16 (also known as MEL1) as the representative overexpressed gene in patients harbouring NUP98-NSD1 fusion. PRDM16 gene expression levels were measured via real-time polymerase chain reaction in 369 paediatric patients with de novo AML, of whom 84 (23%) exhibited PRDM16 overexpression (PRDM16/ABL1 ratio ≥0·010). The frequencies of patients with high or low PRDM16 expression differed widely with respect to each genetic alteration, as follows: t(8;21), 4% vs. 96%, P < 0·001; inv(16), 0% vs. 100%, P < 0·001; KMT2A (also termed MLL)- partial tandem duplication, 100% vs. 0%, P < 0·001; NUP98-NSD1, 100% vs. 0%, P < 0·001. The overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) among PRDM16-overexpressing patients were significantly worse than in patients with low PRDM16 expression (3-year OS: 51% vs. 81%, P < 0·001, 3-year EFS: 32% vs. 64%, P < 0·001) irrespective of other cytogenetic alterations except for NPM1. PRDM16 gene expression was particularly useful for stratifying FLT3-internal tandem duplication-positive AML patients (3-year OS: high = 30% vs. low = 70%, P < 0·001). PRDM16 overexpression was highly recurrent in de novo paediatric AML patients with high/intermediate-risk cytogenetic profiles and was independently associated with an adverse outcome.

Lee ST, Wiemels JL
Genome-wide CpG island methylation and intergenic demethylation propensities vary among different tumor sites.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2016; 44(3):1105-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The epigenetic landscape of cancer includes both focal hypermethylation and broader hypomethylation in a genome-wide manner. By means of a comprehensive genomic analysis on 6637 tissues of 21 tumor types, we here show that the degrees of overall methylation in CpG island (CGI) and demethylation in intergenic regions, defined as 'backbone', largely vary among different tumors. Depending on tumor type, both CGI methylation and backbone demethylation are often associated with clinical, epidemiological and biological features such as age, sex, smoking history, anatomic location, histological type and grade, stage, molecular subtype and biological pathways. We found connections between CGI methylation and hypermutability, microsatellite instability, IDH1 mutation, 19p gain and polycomb features, and backbone demethylation with chromosomal instability, NSD1 and TP53 mutations, 5q and 19p loss and long repressive domains. These broad epigenetic patterns add a new dimension to our understanding of tumor biology and its clinical implications.

Garg M, Nagata Y, Kanojia D, et al.
Profiling of somatic mutations in acute myeloid leukemia with FLT3-ITD at diagnosis and relapse.
Blood. 2015; 126(22):2491-501 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with an FLT3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) mutation is an aggressive hematologic malignancy with a grave prognosis. To identify the mutational spectrum associated with relapse, whole-exome sequencing was performed on 13 matched diagnosis, relapse, and remission trios followed by targeted sequencing of 299 genes in 67 FLT3-ITD patients. The FLT3-ITD genome has an average of 13 mutations per sample, similar to other AML subtypes, which is a low mutation rate compared with that in solid tumors. Recurrent mutations occur in genes related to DNA methylation, chromatin, histone methylation, myeloid transcription factors, signaling, adhesion, cohesin complex, and the spliceosome. Their pattern of mutual exclusivity and cooperation among mutated genes suggests that these genes have a strong biological relationship. In addition, we identified mutations in previously unappreciated genes such as MLL3, NSD1, FAT1, FAT4, and IDH3B. Mutations in 9 genes were observed in the relapse-specific phase. DNMT3A mutations are the most stable mutations, and this DNMT3A-transformed clone can be present even in morphologic complete remissions. Of note, all AML matched trio samples shared at least 1 genomic alteration at diagnosis and relapse, suggesting common ancestral clones. Two types of clonal evolution occur at relapse: either the founder clone recurs or a subclone of the founder clone escapes from induction chemotherapy and expands at relapse by acquiring new mutations. Relapse-specific mutations displayed an increase in transversions. Functional assays demonstrated that both MLL3 and FAT1 exert tumor-suppressor activity in the FLT3-ITD subtype. An inhibitor of XPO1 synergized with standard AML induction chemotherapy to inhibit FLT3-ITD growth. This study clearly shows that FLT3-ITD AML requires additional driver genetic alterations in addition to FLT3-ITD alone.

Katoh M
Mutation spectra of histone methyltransferases with canonical SET domains and EZH2-targeted therapy.
Epigenomics. 2016; 8(2):285-305 [PubMed] Related Publications
Germline mutations in canonical SET-methyltransferases have been identified in autism and intellectual disability syndromes and gain-of-function somatic alterations in EZH2, MLL3, NSD1, WHSC1 (NSD2) and WHSC1L1 (NSD3) in cancer. EZH2 interacts with AR, ERα, β-catenin, FOXP3, NF-κB, PRC2, REST and SNAI2, resulting in context-dependent transcriptional activation and repression. Pharmacological EZH2 inhibitors are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and solid tumors. EZH2 inhibitors might also be applicable in the treatment of SWI/SNF-mutant cancers, reflecting the reciprocal expression of and functional overlap between EZH2 and SMARCA4. Because of the risks for autoimmune diseases, cognitive impairment, cardiomyopathy and myelodysplastic syndrome, EZH2 inhibitors should be utilized for cancer treatment in patients receiving long-term surveillance but not for cancer chemoprevention.

Whang YM, Park SI, Trenary IA, et al.
LKB1 deficiency enhances sensitivity to energetic stress induced by erlotinib treatment in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(7):856-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The tumor suppressor serine/threonine kinase 11 (STK11 or LKB1) is mutated in 20-30% of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Loss of LKB1-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling confers sensitivity to metabolic inhibition or stress-induced mitochondrial insults. We tested the hypothesis that loss of LKB1 sensitizes NSCLC cells to energetic stress induced by treatment with erlotinib. LKB1-deficient cells exhibited enhanced sensitivity to erlotinib in vitro and in vivo that was associated with alterations in energy metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction. Loss of LKB1 expression altered the cellular response to erlotinib treatment, resulting in impaired ATP homeostasis and an increase in reactive oxygen species. Furthermore, erlotinib selectively blocked mammalian target of rapamycin signaling, inhibited cell growth and activated apoptosis in LKB1-deficient cells. Erlotinib treatment also induced AMPK activation despite loss of LKB1 expression, which was partially reduced by the application of a calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase 2 inhibitor (STO-609) or calcium chelator (BAPTA-AM). These findings may have significant implications for the design of novel NSCLC treatments that target dysregulated metabolic and signaling pathways in LKB1-deficient tumors.

Lin F, Marcelo KL, Rajapakshe K, et al.
The camKK2/camKIV relay is an essential regulator of hepatic cancer.
Hepatology. 2015; 62(2):505-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Hepatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers worldwide. Here, we report that the expression of Ca(2+) /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase 2 (CaMKK2) is significantly up-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and negatively correlated with HCC patient survival. The CaMKK2 protein is highly expressed in all eight hepatic cancer cell lines evaluated and is markedly up-regulated relative to normal primary hepatocytes. Loss of CaMKK2 function is sufficient to inhibit liver cancer cell growth, and the growth defect resulting from loss of CaMKK2 can be rescued by ectopic expression of wild-type CaMKK2 but not by kinase-inactive mutants. Cellular ablation of CaMKK2 using RNA interference yields a gene signature that correlates with improvement in HCC patient survival, and ablation or pharmacological inhibition of CaMKK2 with STO-609 impairs tumorigenicity of liver cancer cells in vivo. Moreover, CaMKK2 expression is up-regulated in a time-dependent manner in a carcinogen-induced HCC mouse model, and STO-609 treatment regresses hepatic tumor burden in this model. Mechanistically, CaMKK2 signals through Ca(2+) /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase 4 (CaMKIV) to control liver cancer cell growth. Further analysis revealed that CaMKK2 serves as a scaffold to assemble CaMKIV with key components of the mammalian target of rapamycin/ribosomal protein S6 kinase, 70 kDa, pathway and thereby stimulate protein synthesis through protein phosphorylation.
CONCLUSION: The CaMKK2/CaMKIV relay is an upstream regulator of the oncogenic mammalian target of rapamycin/ribosomal protein S6 kinase, 70 kDa, pathway, and the importance of this CaMKK2/CaMKIV axis in HCC growth is confirmed by the potent growth inhibitory effects of genetically or pharmacologically decreasing CaMKK2 activity; collectively, these findings suggest that CaMKK2 and CaMKIV may represent potential targets for hepatic cancer.

Comprehensive genomic characterization of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
Nature. 2015; 517(7536):576-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Cancer Genome Atlas profiled 279 head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) to provide a comprehensive landscape of somatic genomic alterations. Here we show that human-papillomavirus-associated tumours are dominated by helical domain mutations of the oncogene PIK3CA, novel alterations involving loss of TRAF3, and amplification of the cell cycle gene E2F1. Smoking-related HNSCCs demonstrate near universal loss-of-function TP53 mutations and CDKN2A inactivation with frequent copy number alterations including amplification of 3q26/28 and 11q13/22. A subgroup of oral cavity tumours with favourable clinical outcomes displayed infrequent copy number alterations in conjunction with activating mutations of HRAS or PIK3CA, coupled with inactivating mutations of CASP8, NOTCH1 and TP53. Other distinct subgroups contained loss-of-function alterations of the chromatin modifier NSD1, WNT pathway genes AJUBA and FAT1, and activation of oxidative stress factor NFE2L2, mainly in laryngeal tumours. Therapeutic candidate alterations were identified in most HNSCCs.

Nakshatri H, Appaiah HN, Anjanappa M, et al.
NF-κB-dependent and -independent epigenetic modulation using the novel anti-cancer agent DMAPT.
Cell Death Dis. 2015; 6:e1608 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) is constitutively active in several cancers and is a target of therapeutic development. We recently developed dimethylaminoparthenolide (DMAPT), a clinical grade water-soluble analog of parthenolide, as a potent inhibitor of NF-κB and demonstrated in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor activities in multiple cancers. In this study, we show DMAPT is an epigenetic modulator functioning in an NF-κB-dependent and -independent manner. DMAPT-mediated NF-κB inhibition resulted in elevated histone H3K36 trimethylation (H3K36me3), which could be recapitulated through genetic ablation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB or inhibitor-of-kappaB alpha super-repressor overexpression. DMAPT treatment and p65 ablation increased the levels of H3K36 trimethylases NSD1 (KMT3B) and SETD2 (KMT3A), suggesting that NF-κB directly represses their expression and that lower H3K36me3 is an epigenetic marker of constitutive NF-κB activity. Overexpression of a constitutively active p65 subunit of NF-κB reduced NSD1 and H3K36me3 levels. NSD1 is essential for DMAPT-induced expression of pro-apoptotic BIM, indicating a functional link between epigenetic modification and gene expression. Interestingly, we observed enhanced H4K20 trimethylation and induction of H4K20 trimethylase KMT5C in DMAPT-treated cells independent of NF-κB inhibition. These results add KMT5C to the list NF-κB-independent epigenetic targets of parthenolide, which include previously described histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC-1) and DNA methyltransferase 1. As NSD1 and SETD2 are known tumor suppressors and loss of H4K20 trimethylation is an early event in cancer progression, which contributes to genomic instability, we propose DMAPT as a potent pharmacologic agent that can reverse NF-κB-dependent and -independent cancer-specific epigenetic abnormalities.

Deshpande AJ, Deshpande A, Sinha AU, et al.
AF10 regulates progressive H3K79 methylation and HOX gene expression in diverse AML subtypes.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(6):896-908 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Homeotic (HOX) genes are dysregulated in multiple malignancies, including several AML subtypes. We demonstrate that H3K79 dimethylation (H3K79me2) is converted to monomethylation (H3K79me1) at HOX loci as hematopoietic cells mature, thus coinciding with a decrease in HOX gene expression. We show that H3K79 methyltransferase activity as well as H3K79me1-to-H3K79me2 conversion is regulated by the DOT1L cofactor AF10. AF10 inactivation reverses leukemia-associated epigenetic profiles, precludes abnormal HOXA gene expression, and impairs the transforming ability of MLL-AF9, MLL-AF6, and NUP98-NSD1 fusions-mechanistically distinct HOX-activating oncogenes. Furthermore, NUP98-NSD1-transformed cells are sensitive to small-molecule inhibition of DOT1L. Our findings demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of the DOT1L/AF10 complex may provide therapeutic benefits in an array of malignancies with abnormal HOXA gene expression.

Seiwert TY, Zuo Z, Keck MK, et al.
Integrative and comparative genomic analysis of HPV-positive and HPV-negative head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(3):632-41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The genetic differences between human papilloma virus (HPV)-positive and -negative head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) remain largely unknown. To identify differential biology and novel therapeutic targets for both entities, we determined mutations and copy-number aberrations in a large cohort of locoregionally advanced HNSCC.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We performed massively parallel sequencing of 617 cancer-associated genes in 120 matched tumor/normal samples (42.5% HPV-positive). Mutations and copy-number aberrations were determined and results validated with a secondary method.
RESULTS: The overall mutational burden in HPV-negative and HPV-positive HNSCC was similar with an average of 15.2 versus 14.4 somatic exonic mutations in the targeted cancer-associated genes. HPV-negative tumors showed a mutational spectrum concordant with published lung squamous cell carcinoma analyses with enrichment for mutations in TP53, CDKN2A, MLL2, CUL3, NSD1, PIK3CA, and NOTCH genes. HPV-positive tumors showed unique mutations in DDX3X, FGFR2/3 and aberrations in PIK3CA, KRAS, MLL2/3, and NOTCH1 were enriched in HPV-positive tumors. Currently targetable genomic alterations were identified in FGFR1, DDR2, EGFR, FGFR2/3, EPHA2, and PIK3CA. EGFR, CCND1, and FGFR1 amplifications occurred in HPV-negative tumors, whereas 17.6% of HPV-positive tumors harbored mutations in fibroblast growth factor receptor genes (FGFR2/3), including six recurrent FGFR3 S249C mutations. HPV-positive tumors showed a 5.8% incidence of KRAS mutations, and DNA-repair gene aberrations, including 7.8% BRCA1/2 mutations, were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: The mutational makeup of HPV-positive and HPV-negative HNSCC differs significantly, including targetable genes. HNSCC harbors multiple therapeutically important genetic aberrations, including frequent aberrations in the FGFR and PI3K pathway genes. See related commentary by Krigsfeld and Chung, p. 495.

Thanasopoulou A, Tzankov A, Schwaller J
Potent co-operation between the NUP98-NSD1 fusion and the FLT3-ITD mutation in acute myeloid leukemia induction.
Haematologica. 2014; 99(9):1465-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The NUP98-NSD1 fusion, product of the t(5;11)(q35;p15.5) chromosomal translocation, is one of the most prevalent genetic alterations in cytogenetically normal pediatric acute myeloid leukemias and is associated with poor prognosis. Co-existence of an FLT3-ITD activating mutation has been found in more than 70% of NUP98-NSD1-positive patients. To address functional synergism, we determined the transforming potential of retrovirally expressed NUP98-NSD1 and FLT3-ITD in the mouse. Expression of NUP98-NSD1 provided mouse strain-dependent, aberrant self-renewal potential to bone marrow progenitor cells. Co-expression of FLT3-ITD increased proliferation and maintained self-renewal in vitro. Transplantation of immortalized progenitors co-expressing NUP98-NSD1 and FLT3-ITD into mice resulted in acute myeloid leukemia after a short latency. In contrast, neither NUP98-NSD1 nor FLT3-ITD single transduced cells were able to initiate leukemia. Interestingly, as reported for patients carrying NUP98-NSD1, an increased Flt3-ITD to wild-type Flt3 mRNA expression ratio with increased FLT3-signaling was associated with rapidly induced disease. In contrast, there was no difference in the expression levels of the NUP98-NSD1 fusion or its proposed targets HoxA5, HoxA7, HoxA9 or HoxA10 between animals with different latencies to develop disease. Finally, leukemic cells co-expressing NUP98-NSD1 and FLT3-ITD were very sensitive to a small molecule FLT3 inhibitor, which underlines the significance of aberrant FLT3 signaling for NUP98-NSD1-positive leukemias and suggests new therapeutic approaches that could potentially improve patient outcome.

Aquea G, Bresky G, Lancellotti D, et al.
Increased expression of P2RY2, CD248 and EphB1 in gastric cancers from Chilean patients.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(5):1931-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer (GC) ranks as one of the major causes of mortality due to cancer worldwide. In Chile, it is currently the leading cause of cancer death. Identification of novel molecular markers that may help to improve disease diagnosis at early stages is imperative.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using whole-genome DNA microarrays we determined differential mRNA levels in fresh human GC samples compared to adjacent healthy mucosa from the same patients. Genes significantly overexpressed in GC were validated by RT-PCR in a group of 14 GC cases.
RESULTS: The genes CD248, NSD1, RAB17, ABCG8, Ephb1 and P2RY2 were detected as the top overexpressed in GC biopsies. P2RY2, Ephb1 and CD248 showed the best sensitivity for GC detection with values of 92.9%, 85.7% and 64.3% (p<0.05), respectively. Specificity was 85.7%, 71.4% and 71.4% (p<0.05), for each respectively.

Fraga A, Ribeiro R, Príncipe P, et al.
The HIF1A functional genetic polymorphism at locus +1772 associates with progression to metastatic prostate cancer and refractoriness to hormonal castration.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(2):359-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
The hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF1a) is a key regulator of tumour cell response to hypoxia, orchestrating mechanisms known to be involved in cancer aggressiveness and metastatic behaviour. In this study we sought to evaluate the association of a functional genetic polymorphism in HIF1A with overall and metastatic prostate cancer (PCa) risk and with response to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). The HIF1A +1772 C>T (rs11549465) polymorphism was genotyped, using DNA isolated from peripheral blood, in 1490 male subjects (754 with prostate cancer and 736 controls cancer-free) through Real-Time PCR. A nested group of cancer patients who were eligible for androgen deprivation therapy was followed up. Univariate and multivariate models were used to analyse the response to hormonal treatment and the risk for developing distant metastasis. Age-adjusted odds ratios were calculated to evaluate prostate cancer risk. Our results showed that patients under ADT carrying the HIF1A +1772 T-allele have increased risk for developing distant metastasis (OR, 2.0; 95%CI, 1.1-3.9) and an independent 6-fold increased risk for resistance to ADT after multivariate analysis (OR, 6.0; 95%CI, 2.2-16.8). This polymorphism was not associated with increased risk for being diagnosed with prostate cancer (OR, 0.9; 95%CI, 0.7-1.2). The HIF1A +1772 genetic polymorphism predicts a more aggressive prostate cancer behaviour, supporting the involvement of HIF1a in prostate cancer biological progression and ADT resistance. Molecular profiles using hypoxia markers may help predict clinically relevant prostate cancer and response to ADT.

Babic AM, Jang S, Nicolov E, et al.
Culture of mouse amniotic fluid-derived cells on irradiated STO feeders results in the generation of primitive endoderm cell lines capable of self-renewal in vitro.
Cells Tissues Organs. 2013; 198(2):111-26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The cells present in amniotic fluid (AF) are currently used for prenatal diagnosis of fetal anomalies but are also a potential source of cells for cell therapy. To better characterize putative progenitor cell populations present in AF, we used culture conditions that support self-renewal to determine if these promoted the generation of stable cell lines from AF-derived cells (AFC). Cells isolated from E11.5 mouse were cultured on irradiated STO fibroblast feeder layers in human embryonic germ cell derivation conditions. The cultures grew multicellular epithelial colonies that could be repropagated from single cells. Reverse transcription semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction of established cell lines revealed that they belonged to the extraembryonic endoderm (ExEn) expressing high levels of Gata6, Gata4, Sox17, Foxa2 and Sox7 mRNA. Hierarchical clustering based on the whole transcriptome expression profile of the AFC lines (AFCL) shows significant correlation between transcription profiles of AFCL and blastocyst-derived XEN, an ExEn cell line. In vitro differentiation of AFCL results in the generation of cells expressing albumin and α-fetoprotein (AFP), while intramuscular injection of AFCL into immunodeficient mice produced AFP-positive tumors with primitive endodermal appearance. Hence, E11.5 mouse AF contains cells that efficiently produce XEN lines. These AF-derived XEN lines do not spontaneously differentiate into embryonic-type cells but are phenotypically stable and have the capacity for extensive expansion. The lack of requirement for reprogramming factors to turn AF-derived progenitor cells into stable cell lines capable of massive expansion together with the known ability of ExEn to contribute to embryonic tissue suggests that this cell type may be a candidate for banking for cell therapies.

Akiki S, Dyer SA, Grimwade D, et al.
NUP98-NSD1 fusion in association with FLT3-ITD mutation identifies a prognostically relevant subgroup of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia patients suitable for monitoring by real time quantitative PCR.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(11):1053-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cytogenetically cryptic t(5;11)(q35;p15) leading to the NUP98-NSD1 fusion is a rare but recurrent gene rearrangement recently reported to identify a group of young AML patients with poor prognosis. We used reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to screen retrospectively diagnostic samples from 54 unselected pediatric AML patients and designed a real time quantitative PCR assay to track individual patient response to treatment. Four positive cases (7%) were identified; three arising de novo and one therapy related AML. All had intermediate risk cytogenetic markers and a concurrent FLT3-ITD but lacked NPM1 and CEBPA mutations. The patients had a poor response to therapy and all proceeded to hematopoietic stem cell transplant. These data lend support to the adoption of screening for NUP98-NSD1 in pediatric AML without otherwise favorable genetic markers. The role of quantitative PCR is also highlighted as a potential tool for managing NUP98-NSD1 positive patients post-treatment.

Shiba N, Ichikawa H, Taki T, et al.
NUP98-NSD1 gene fusion and its related gene expression signature are strongly associated with a poor prognosis in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(7):683-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cryptic t(5;11)(q35;p15.5) creates a fusion gene between the NUP98 and NSD1 genes. To ascertain the significance of this gene fusion, we explored its frequency, clinical impact, and gene expression pattern using DNA microarray in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. NUP98-NSD1 fusion transcripts were detected in 6 (4.8%) of 124 pediatric AML patients. Supervised hierarchical clustering analyses using probe sets that were differentially expressed in these patients detected a characteristic gene expression pattern, including 18 NUP98-NSD1-negative patients (NUP98-NSD1-like patients). In total, a NUP98-NSD1-related gene expression signature (NUP98-NSD1 signature) was found in 19% (24/124) and in 58% (15/26) of cytogenetically normal cases. Their 4-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were poor (33.3% in NUP98-NSD1-positive and 38.9% in NUP98-NSD1-like patients) compared with 100 NUP98-NSD1 signature-negative patients (4-year OS: 86.0%, 4-year EFS: 72.0%). Interestingly, t(7;11)(p15;p15)/NUP98-HOXA13, t(6;11)(q27;q23)/MLL-MLLT4 and t(6;9)(p22;q34)/DEK-NUP214, which are known as poor prognostic markers, were found in NUP98-NSD1-like patients. Furthermore, another type of NUP98-NSD1 fusion transcript was identified by additional RT-PCR analyses using other primers in a NUP98-NSD1-like patient, revealing the significance of this signature to detect NUP98-NSD1 gene fusions and to identify a new poor prognostic subgroup in AML.

de Rooij JD, Hollink IH, Arentsen-Peters ST, et al.
NUP98/JARID1A is a novel recurrent abnormality in pediatric acute megakaryoblastic leukemia with a distinct HOX gene expression pattern.
Leukemia. 2013; 27(12):2280-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cytogenetic abnormalities and early response to treatment are the main prognostic factors in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Recently, NUP98/NSD1 (t(5; 11)(q35; p15)), a cytogenetically cryptic fusion, was described as recurrent event in AML, characterized by dismal prognosis and HOXA/B gene overexpression. Using split-signal fluorescence in situ hybridization, other NUP98-rearranged pediatric AML cases were identified, including several acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL) cases with a cytogenetically cryptic fusion of NUP98 to JARID1A (t(11;15)(p15;q35)). In this study we screened 105 pediatric AMKL cases to analyze the frequency of NUP98/JARID1A and other recurrent genetic abnormalities. NUP98/JARID1A was identified in 11/105 patients (10.5%). Other abnormalities consisted of RBM15/MKL1 (n=16), CBFA2T3/GLIS2 (n=13) and MLL-rearrangements (n=13). Comparing NUP98/JARID1A-positive patients with other pediatric AMKL patients, no significant differences in sex, age and white blood cell count were found. NUP98/JARID1A was not an independent prognostic factor for 5-year overall (probability of overall survival (pOS)) or event-free survival (probability of event-free survival (pEFS)), although the 5-year pOS for the entire AMKL cohort was poor (42 ± 6%). Cases with RBM15/MLK1 fared significantly better in terms of pOS and pEFS, although this was not independent from other risk factors in multivariate analysis. NUP98/JARID1A cases were characterized by HOXA/B gene overexpression, which is a potential druggable pathway. In conclusion, NUP98/JARID1A is a novel recurrent genetic abnormality in pediatric AMKL.

Huidobro C, Fernandez AF, Fraga MF
The role of genetics in the establishment and maintenance of the epigenome.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013; 70(9):1543-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in gene regulation during development. DNA methylation, which is probably the most important and best-studied epigenetic mechanism, can be abnormally regulated in common pathologies, but the origin of altered DNA methylation remains unknown. Recent research suggests that these epigenetic alterations could depend, at least in part, on genetic mutations or polymorphisms in DNA methyltransferases and certain genes encoding enzymes of the one-carbon metabolism pathway. Indeed, the de novo methyltransferase 3B (DNMT3B) has been recently found to be mutated in several types of cancer and in the immunodeficiency, centromeric region instability and facial anomalies syndrome (ICF), in which these mutations could be related to the loss of global DNA methylation. In addition, mutations in glycine-N-methyltransferase (GNMT) could be associated with a higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and liver disease due to an unbalanced S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)/S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) ratio, which leads to aberrant methylation reactions. Also, genetic variants of chromatin remodeling proteins and histone tail modifiers are involved in genetic disorders like α thalassemia X-linked mental retardation syndrome, CHARGE syndrome, Cockayne syndrome, Rett syndrome, systemic lupus erythematous, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, Coffin-Lowry syndrome, Sotos syndrome, and facioescapulohumeral syndrome, among others. Here, we review the potential genetic alterations with a possible role on epigenetic factors and discuss their contribution to human disease.

Beurdeley M, Sabourin JC, Drouin-Garraud V, et al.
Ovarian fibromatosis and sotos syndrome with a new genetic mutation.
J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2013; 26(2):e39-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Sotos syndrome is one the most common overgrowth conditions, after Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. As with other overgrowth syndromes, Sotos syndrome can be associated with an increased risk of tumors.
CASE: We describe a young girl with Sotos syndrome and ovarian fibromatosis with a new mutation not reported before in the literature.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: Development of ovarian tumor in Sotos syndrome has been poorly documented. Ovarian fibromatosis is a very rare non neoplastic disease. Management is guided by the benignity of the lesion and consists of surgical excision of the fibroma.

de Souza CF, Xander P, Monteiro AC, et al.
Mining gene expression signature for the detection of pre-malignant melanocytes and early melanomas with risk for metastasis.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(9):e44800 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metastatic melanoma is a highly aggressive skin cancer and currently resistant to systemic therapy. Melanomas may involve genetic, epigenetic and metabolic abnormalities. Evidence is emerging that epigenetic changes might play a significant role in tumor cell plasticity and metastatic phenotype of melanoma cells.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we developed a systematic approach to identify genes implicated in melanoma progression. To do this, we used the Affymetrix GeneChip Arrays to screen 34,000 mouse transcripts in melan-a melanocytes, 4C pre-malignant melanocytes, 4C11- non-metastatic and 4C11+ metastatic melanoma cell lines. The genome-wide association studies revealed pathways commonly over-represented in the transition from immortalized to pre-malignant stage, and under-represented in the transition from non-metastatic to metastatic stage. Additionally, the treatment of cells with 10 µM 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5AzaCdR) for 48 hours allowed us to identify genes differentially re-expressed at specific stages of melan-a malignant transformation. Treatment of human primary melanocytes with the demethylating agent 5AzaCdR in combination to the histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A (TSA) revealed changes on melanocyte morphology and gene expression which could be an indicator of epigenetic flexibility in normal melanocytes. Moreover, changes on gene expression recognized by affecting the melanocyte biology (NDRG2 and VDR), phenotype of metastatic melanoma cells (HSPB1 and SERPINE1) and response to cancer therapy (CTCF, NSD1 and SRC) were found when Mel-2 and/or Mel-3-derived patient metastases were exposed to 5AzaCdR plus TSA treatment. Hierarchical clustering and network analyses in a panel of five patient-derived metastatic melanoma cells showed gene interactions that have never been described in melanomas.
SIGNIFICANCE: Despite the heterogeneity observed in melanomas, this study demonstrates the utility of our murine melanoma progression model to identify molecular markers commonly perturbed in metastasis. Additionally, the novel gene expression signature identified here may be useful in the future into a model more closely related to translational research.

Dolnik A, Engelmann JC, Scharfenberger-Schmeer M, et al.
Commonly altered genomic regions in acute myeloid leukemia are enriched for somatic mutations involved in chromatin remodeling and splicing.
Blood. 2012; 120(18):e83-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by molecular heterogeneity. As commonly altered genomic regions point to candidate genes involved in leukemogenesis, we used microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization and single nucleotide polymorphism profiling data of 391 AML cases to further narrow down genomic regions of interest. Targeted resequencing of 1000 genes located in the critical regions was performed in a representative cohort of 50 AML samples comprising all major cytogenetic subgroups. We identified 120 missense/nonsense mutations as well as 60 insertions/deletions affecting 73 different genes (∼ 3.6 tumor-specific aberrations/AML). While most of the newly identified alterations were nonrecurrent, we observed an enrichment of mutations affecting genes involved in epigenetic regulation including known candidates like TET2, TET1, DNMT3A, and DNMT1, as well as mutations in the histone methyltransferases NSD1, EZH2, and MLL3. Furthermore, we found mutations in the splicing factor SFPQ and in the nonclassic regulators of mRNA processing CTCF and RAD21. These splicing-related mutations affected 10% of AML patients in a mutually exclusive manner. In conclusion, we could identify a large number of alterations in genes involved in aberrant splicing and epigenetic regulation in genomic regions commonly altered in AML, highlighting their important role in the molecular pathogenesis of AML.

Quintana RM, Dupuy AJ, Bravo A, et al.
A transposon-based analysis of gene mutations related to skin cancer development.
J Invest Dermatol. 2013; 133(1):239-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is by far the most frequent type of cancer in humans. NMSC includes several types of malignancies with different clinical outcomes, the most frequent being basal and squamous cell carcinomas. We have used the Sleeping Beauty transposon/transposase system to identify somatic mutations associated with NMSC. Transgenic mice bearing multiple copies of a mutagenic Sleeping Beauty transposon T2Onc2 and expressing the SB11 transposase under the transcriptional control of regulatory elements from the keratin K5 promoter were treated with TPA, either in wild-type or Ha-ras mutated backgrounds. After several weeks of treatment, mice with transposition developed more malignant tumors with decreased latency compared with control mice. Transposon/transposase animals also developed basal cell carcinomas. Genetic analysis of the transposon integration sites in the tumors identified several genes recurrently mutated in different tumor samples, which may represent novel candidate cancer genes. We observed alterations in the expression levels of some of these genes in human tumors. Our results show that inactivating mutations in Notch1 and Nsd1, among others, may have an important role in skin carcinogenesis.

Robles-Ramírez Mdel C, Ramón-Gallegos E, Mora-Escobedo R, Torres-Torres N
A peptide fraction from germinated soybean protein down-regulates PTTG1 and TOP2A mRNA expression, inducing apoptosis in cervical cancer cells.
J Exp Ther Oncol. 2012; 9(4):255-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a peptide fraction, obtained from a germinated soybean protein hydrolysate, on the viability, apoptosis and cancer related gene expression in HeLa cells. Soybean was germinated for 0-6 days and proteins were isolated from the seeds. Protein isolates, without ethanol-soluble phytochemicals, were hydrolyzed with digestive enzymes and their effect on growth in HeLa cells was evaluated. The most active hydrolysate was separated by ultrafiltration into five peptide fractions. A >10 kDa fraction was the most active against cancer cells. This fraction down-regulated PTTG1 and TOP2A mRNA expression (two genes considered as therapeutic targets) and induced apoptosis in cancer cells activating the caspase cascade and causing DNA fragmentation. Germinated soy protein isolates could be a bioactive ingredient of functional food.

Fickie MR, Lapunzina P, Gentile JK, et al.
Adults with Sotos syndrome: review of 21 adults with molecularly confirmed NSD1 alterations, including a detailed case report of the oldest person.
Am J Med Genet A. 2011; 155A(9):2105-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sotos syndrome is a well-described multiple anomaly syndrome characterized by overgrowth, distinctive craniofacial appearance, and variable learning disabilities. The diagnosis of Sotos syndrome relied solely on these clinical criteria until haploinsufficiency of the NSD1 gene was identified as causative. We describe a 63-year-old woman with classic features and a pathogenic NSD1 mutation, who we believe to be the oldest reported person with Sotos syndrome. She is notable for the diagnosis of Sotos syndrome late in life, mild cognitive limitation, and chronic kidney disease attributed to fibromuscular dysplasia for which she recently received a transplant. She has basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma for which her lifetime of sun exposure and fair cutaneous phototype are viewed as risk factors. We also reviewed previous literature reports (n = 11) for adults with Sotos syndrome, and studied patients ascertained in the Spanish Overgrowth Syndrome Registry (n = 15). Analysis was limited to 21/27 (78%) total patients who had molecular confirmation of Sotos syndrome (15 with a mutation, 6 with a microdeletion). With a mean age of 26 years, the most common features were learning disabilities (90%), scoliosis (52%), eye problems (43%), psychiatric issues (30%), and brain imaging anomalies (28%). Learning disabilities were more severe in patients with a microdeletion than in those with a point mutation. From this small study with heterogeneous ascertainment we suggest modest adjustments to the general healthcare monitoring of individuals with Sotos syndrome. Although this series includes neoplasia in four cases, this should not be interpreted as incidence. Age-appropriate cancer surveillance should be maintained.

Hollink IH, van den Heuvel-Eibrink MM, Arentsen-Peters ST, et al.
NUP98/NSD1 characterizes a novel poor prognostic group in acute myeloid leukemia with a distinct HOX gene expression pattern.
Blood. 2011; 118(13):3645-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Translocations involving nucleoporin 98kD (NUP98) on chromosome 11p15 occur at relatively low frequency in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) but can be missed with routine karyotyping. In this study, high-resolution genome-wide copy number analyses revealed cryptic NUP98/NSD1 translocations in 3 of 92 cytogenetically normal (CN)-AML cases. To determine their exact frequency, we screened > 1000 well-characterized pediatric and adult AML cases using a NUP98/NSD1-specific RT-PCR. Twenty-three cases harbored the NUP98/NSD1 fusion, representing 16.1% of pediatric and 2.3% of adult CN-AML patients. NUP98/NSD1-positive AML cases had significantly higher white blood cell counts (median, 147 × 10⁹/L), more frequent FAB-M4/M5 morphology (in 63%), and more CN-AML (in 78%), FLT3/internal tandem duplication (in 91%) and WT1 mutations (in 45%) than NUP98/NSD1-negative cases. NUP98/NSD1 was mutually exclusive with all recurrent type-II aberrations. Importantly, NUP98/NSD1 was an independent predictor for poor prognosis; 4-year event-free survival was < 10% for both pediatric and adult NUP98/NSD1-positive AML patients. NUP98/NSD1-positive AML showed a characteristic HOX-gene expression pattern, distinct from, for example, MLL-rearranged AML, and the fusion protein was aberrantly localized in nuclear aggregates, providing insight into the leukemogenic pathways of these AMLs. Taken together, NUP98/NSD1 identifies a previously unrecognized group of young AML patients, with distinct characteristics and dismal prognosis, for whom new treatment strategies are urgently needed.

Morishita M, di Luccio E
Cancers and the NSD family of histone lysine methyltransferases.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011; 1816(2):158-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Both genetic and epigenetic alterations are responsible for the stepwise initiation and progression of cancers. Only epigenetic aberrations can be reversible, allowing the malignant cell population to revert to a more benign phenotype. The epigenetic therapy of cancers is emerging as an effective and valuable approach to both the chemotherapy and the chemoprevention of cancer. The utilization of epigenetic targets that include histone methyltransferase (HMTase), Histone deacetylatase, and DNA methyltransferase, are emerging as key therapeutic targets. The nuclear receptor binding SET domain (NSD) protein is a family of three HMTases, NSD1, NSD2/MMSET/WHSC1, and NSD3/WHSC1L1, and plays a critical part in chromatin integrity as evidenced by a growing number of conditions linked to the alterations and/or amplification of NSD1, NSD2, and/or NSD3. NSD1, NSD2 and NSD3 are associated with multiple cancers. The amplification of either NSD1 or NSD2 triggers the cellular transformation and thus is key in the early carcinogenesis events. In most cases, reducing the levels of NSD proteins would suppress cancer growth. NSD1 and NSD2 were isolated as genes linked to developmental diseases, such as Sotos syndrome and Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, respectively, implying versatile aspects of the NSD proteins. The NSD pathways, however, are not well understood. It is noteworthy that the NSD family is phylogenetically distinct compared to other known lysine-HMTases, Here, we review the current knowledge on NSD1/NSD2/NSD3 in tumorigenesis and prospect their special value for developing novel anticancer drugs.

Mendes-Pereira AM, Sims D, Dexter T, et al.
Genome-wide functional screen identifies a compendium of genes affecting sensitivity to tamoxifen.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012; 109(8):2730-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Therapies that target estrogen signaling have made a very considerable contribution to reducing mortality from breast cancer. However, resistance to tamoxifen remains a major clinical problem. Here we have used a genome-wide functional profiling approach to identify multiple genes that confer resistance or sensitivity to tamoxifen. Combining whole-genome shRNA screening with massively parallel sequencing, we have profiled the impact of more than 56,670 RNA interference reagents targeting 16,487 genes on the cellular response to tamoxifen. This screen, along with subsequent validation experiments, identifies a compendium of genes whose silencing causes tamoxifen resistance (including BAP1, CLPP, GPRC5D, NAE1, NF1, NIPBL, NSD1, RAD21, RARG, SMC3, and UBA3) and also a set of genes whose silencing causes sensitivity to this endocrine agent (C10orf72, C15orf55/NUT, EDF1, ING5, KRAS, NOC3L, PPP1R15B, RRAS2, TMPRSS2, and TPM4). Multiple individual genes, including NF1, a regulator of RAS signaling, also correlate with clinical outcome after tamoxifen treatment.

Job B, Bernheim A, Beau-Faller M, et al.
Genomic aberrations in lung adenocarcinoma in never smokers.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(12):e15145 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer in never smokers would rank as the seventh most common cause of cancer death worldwide.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We performed high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization analysis of lung adenocarcinoma in sixty never smokers and identified fourteen new minimal common regions (MCR) of gain or loss, of which five contained a single gene (MOCS2, NSUN3, KHDRBS2, SNTG1 and ST18). One larger MCR of gain contained NSD1. One focal amplification and nine gains contained FUS. NSD1 and FUS are oncogenes hitherto not known to be associated with lung cancer. FISH showed that the amplicon containing FUS was joined to the next telomeric amplicon at 16p11.2. FUS was over-expressed in 10 tumors with gain of 16p11.2 compared to 30 tumors without that gain. Other cancer genes present in aberrations included ARNT, BCL9, CDK4, CDKN2B, EGFR, ERBB2, MDM2, MDM4, MET, MYC and KRAS. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering with adjustment for false-discovery rate revealed clusters differing by the level and pattern of aberrations and displaying particular tumor characteristics. One cluster was strongly associated with gain of MYC. Another cluster was characterized by extensive losses containing tumor suppressor genes of which RB1 and WRN. Tumors in that cluster frequently harbored a central scar-like fibrosis. A third cluster was associated with gains on 7p and 7q, containing ETV1 and BRAF, and displayed the highest rate of EGFR mutations. SNP array analysis validated copy-number aberrations and revealed that RB1 and WRN were altered by recurrent copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study has uncovered new aberrations containing cancer genes. The oncogene FUS is a candidate gene in the 16p region that is frequently gained in never smokers. Multiple genetic pathways defined by gains of MYC, deletions of RB1 and WRN or gains on 7p and 7q are involved in lung adenocarcinoma in never smokers.

Bianco-Miotto T, Chiam K, Buchanan G, et al.
Global levels of specific histone modifications and an epigenetic gene signature predict prostate cancer progression and development.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010; 19(10):2611-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epigenetic alterations are common in prostate cancer, yet how these modifications contribute to carcinogenesis is poorly understood. We investigated whether specific histone modifications are prognostic for prostate cancer relapse, and whether the expression of epigenetic genes is altered in prostate tumorigenesis.
METHODS: Global levels of histone H3 lysine-18 acetylation (H3K18Ac) and histone H3 lysine-4 dimethylation (H3K4diMe) were assessed immunohistochemically in a prostate cancer cohort of 279 cases. Epigenetic gene expression was investigated in silico by analysis of microarray data from 23 primary prostate cancers (8 with biochemical recurrence and 15 without) and 7 metastatic lesions.
RESULTS: H3K18Ac and H3K4diMe are independent predictors of relapse-free survival, with high global levels associated with a 1.71-fold (P < 0.0001) and 1.80-fold (P = 0.006) increased risk of tumor recurrence, respectively. High levels of both histone modifications were associated with a 3-fold increased risk of relapse (P < 0.0001). Epigenetic gene expression profiling identified a candidate gene signature (DNMT3A, MBD4, MLL2, MLL3, NSD1, and SRCAP), which significantly discriminated nonmalignant from prostate tumor tissue (P = 0.0063) in an independent cohort.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has established the importance of histone modifications in predicting prostate cancer relapse and has identified an epigenetic gene signature associated with prostate tumorigenesis.
IMPACT: Our findings suggest that targeting the epigenetic enzymes specifically involved in a particular solid tumor may be a more effective approach. Moreover, testing for aberrant expression of epigenetic genes such as those identified in this study may be beneficial in predicting individual patient response to epigenetic therapies.

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