NUMA1

Gene Summary

Gene:NUMA1; nuclear mitotic apparatus protein 1
Aliases: NUMA, NMP-22
Location:11q13.4
Summary:This gene encodes a large protein that forms a structural component of the nuclear matrix. The encoded protein interacts with microtubules and plays a role in the formation and organization of the mitotic spindle during cell division. Chromosomal translocation of this gene with the RARA (retinoic acid receptor, alpha) gene on chromosome 17 have been detected in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2013]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:nuclear mitotic apparatus protein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 09 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 09 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.

  • Breast Cancer
  • Exons
  • Zinc Fingers
  • Mutation
  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • Retinoic Acid
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Translocation
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Base Sequence
  • RARA
  • Transcription Factors
  • HeLa Cells
  • Phenotype
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Genotype
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Spindle Apparatus
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Alleles
  • Chromosome 11
  • Haplotypes
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Pedigree
  • Chromosome 15
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Genetic Variation
  • Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute
  • Leukaemia
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Infant
  • Myeloid Leukemia
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition
Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: NUMA1 (cancer-related)

Metodieva G, Adoki S, Lausen B, Metodiev MV
Decreased Usage of Specific Scrib Exons Defines a More Malignant Phenotype of Breast Cancer With Worsened Survival.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 8:150-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
SCRIB is a polarity regulator known to be abnormally expressed in cancer at the protein level. Here we report that, in breast cancer, an additional and hidden dimension of deregulations exists: an unexpected SCRIB exon usage pattern appears to mark a more malignant tumor phenotype and significantly correlates with survival. Conserved exons encoding the leucine-rich repeats tend to be overexpressed while others are underused. Mechanistic studies revealed that the underused exons encode part of the protein necessary for interaction with Vimentin and Numa1, a protein which is required for proper positioning of the mitotic spindle. Thus, the inclusion/exclusion of specific SCRIB exons is a mechanistic hallmark of breast cancer, which could potentially be exploited to develop more efficient diagnostics and therapies.

Panagopoulos I, Gorunova L, Bjerkehagen B, et al.
LAMTOR1-PRKCD and NUMA1-SFMBT1 fusion genes identified by RNA sequencing in aneurysmal benign fibrous histiocytoma with t(3;11)(p21;q13).
Cancer Genet. 2015; 208(11):545-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
RNA sequencing of an aneurysmal benign fibrous histiocytoma with the karyotype 46,XY,t(3;11)(p21;q13),del(6)(p23)[17]/46,XY[2] showed that the t(3;11) generated two fusion genes: LAMTOR1-PRKCD and NUMA1-SFMBT1. RT-PCR together with Sanger sequencing verified the presence of fusion transcripts from both fusion genes. In the LAMTOR1-PRKCD fusion, the part of the PRKCD gene coding for the catalytic domain of the serine/threonine kinase is under control of the LAMTOR1 promoter. In the NUMA1-SFMBT1 fusion, the part of the SFMBT1 gene coding for two of four malignant brain tumor domains and the sterile alpha motif domain is controlled by the NUMA1 promoter. The data support a neoplastic genesis of aneurysmal benign fibrous histiocytoma and indicate a pathogenetic role for LAMTOR1-PRKCD and NUMA1-SFMBT1.

Sandgren J, Holm S, Marino AM, et al.
Whole Exome- and mRNA-Sequencing of an AT/RT Case Reveals Few Somatic Mutations and Several Deregulated Signalling Pathways in the Context of SMARCB1 Deficiency.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:862039 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: AT/RTs are rare aggressive brain tumours, mainly affecting young children. Most cases present with genetic inactivation of SMARCB1, a core member of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex. We have performed whole exome- and mRNA-sequencing on an early onset AT/RT case for detection of genetic events potentially contributing to the disease.
RESULTS: A de novo germline variant in SMARCB1, c.601C>T p.Arg201∗, in combination with somatic deletion of the healthy allele is likely the major tumour causing event. Only seven somatic small scale mutations were discovered (hitting SEPT03, H2BFM, ZIC4, HIST2H2AB, ZIK1, KRTAP6-3, and IFNA8). All were found with subclonal allele frequencies (range 5.7-17%) and none were expressed. However, besides SMARCB1, candidate genes affected by predicted damaging germline variants that were expressed were detected (KDM5C, NUMA1, and PCM1). Analysis of differently expressed genes revealed many dysregulated pathways in the tumour, such as cell cycle, CXCR4 pathway, GPCR-signalling, and neuronal system. FGFR1, CXCR4, and MDK were upregulated and may represent possible drug targets.
CONCLUSION: The loss of SMARCB1 function leads to AT/RT development and deregulated genes and pathways. Additional predisposing events may however contribute. Studies utilizing NGS technologies in larger cohorts will probably identify recurrent genetic and epigenetic alterations and molecular subgroups with implications for clinical practice and development of targeted therapies.

Pilato B, De Summa S, Danza K, et al.
Genetic risk transmission in a family affected by familial breast cancer.
J Hum Genet. 2014; 59(1):51-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast Cancer is the most common malignancy among women. Family history is the strongest single predictor of breast cancer risk, and thus great attention has been focused on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes whose mutations lead to a high risk of developing this disease. Today, only 25% of high- and moderate-risk genes are known, suggesting the importance of the discovery of new risk modifiers. Therefore, the investigation of new polygenic alterations is of great importance, especially if considered high- and moderate-risk variants. In this study, the transmission of BRCA1-2 polymorphisms in association with the transmission of polymorphisms in the genes NUMA1, CCND1, COX11, FGFR2, TNRC9 and SLC4A7 were examined in all members of a family with the BRCA2 c.6447_6448dup mutation. This is the first study about the transmission of high-risk polygenic variants in all members of a family with a strong history of breast cancer. The results about the possible polygenic variant associations that could increase and modify the risk suggested the importance to search new variants to better manage patients and their family members.

Ohata H, Miyazaki M, Otomo R, et al.
NuMA is required for the selective induction of p53 target genes.
Mol Cell Biol. 2013; 33(12):2447-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The p53 tumor suppressor protein is a transcription factor controlling various outcomes, such as growth arrest and apoptosis, through the regulation of different sets of target genes. The nuclear mitotic apparatus protein (NuMA) plays important roles in spindle pole organization during mitosis and in chromatin regulation in the nucleus during interphase. Although NuMA has been shown to colocalize with several nuclear proteins, including high-mobility-group proteins I and Y and GAS41, the role of NuMA during interphase remains unclear. Here we report that NuMA binds to p53 to modulate p53-mediated transcription. Acute and partial ablation of NuMA attenuates the induction of the proarrested p21 gene following DNA damage, subsequently causing impaired cell cycle arrest. Interestingly, NuMA knockdown had little effect on the induction of the p53-dependent proapoptotic PUMA gene. Furthermore, NuMA is required for the recruitment of cyclin-dependent kinase 8 (Cdk8), a component of the Mediator complex and a promoter of p53-mediated p21 gene function. These data demonstrate that NuMA is critical for the target selectivity of p53-mediated transcription.

Zhang L, Mitani Y, Caulin C, et al.
Detailed genome-wide SNP analysis of major salivary carcinomas localizes subtype-specific chromosome sites and oncogenes of potential clinical significance.
Am J Pathol. 2013; 182(6):2048-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The molecular genetic alterations underlying the development and diversity of salivary gland carcinomas are largely unknown. To characterize these events, comparative genomic hybridization analysis was performed, using a single-nucleotide polymorphism microarray platform, of 60 fresh-frozen specimens that represent the main salivary carcinoma types: mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC), adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), and salivary duct carcinoma (SDC). The results were correlated with the clinicopathologic features and translocation statuses to characterize the genetic alterations. The most commonly shared copy number abnormalities (CNAs) in all types were losses at chromosomes 6q23-26 and the 9p21 region. Subtype-specific CNAs included a loss at 12q11-12 in ACC and a gain at 17q11-12 in SDC. Focal copy number losses included 1p36.33-p36-22 in ACC, 9p13.2 in MEC, and 3p12.3-q11-2, 6q21-22.1, 12q14.1, and 12q15 in SDC. Tumor-specific amplicons were identified at 11q23.3 (PVRL1) in ACC, 11q13.3 (NUMA1) in MEC, and 6p21.1 (CCND3), 9p13.2 (PAX5), 12q15 (CNOT2/RAB3IP), 12q21.1 (GLIPR1L1), and 17q12 (ERBB2/CCL4) in SDC. A comparative CNA analysis of fusion-positive and fusion-negative ACCs and MECs revealed relatively lower CNAs in fusion-positive tumors than in fusion-negative tumors in both tumor types. An association between CNAs and high grade and advanced stage was observed in MECs only. These findings support the pathogenetic segregation of these entities and define novel chromosomal sites for future identification of biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

Izumi H, Kaneko Y
Evidence of asymmetric cell division and centrosome inheritance in human neuroblastoma cells.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012; 109(44):18048-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Asymmetric cell division (ACD) is believed to be a physiological event that occurs during development and tissue homeostasis in a large variety of organisms. ACD produces two unequal daughter cells, one of which resembles a multipotent stem and/or progenitor cell, whereas the other has potential for differentiation. Although recent studies have shown that the balance between self-renewal and differentiation potentials is precisely controlled and that alterations in the balance may lead to tumorigenesis in Drosophila neuroblasts, it is largely unknown whether human cancer cells directly show ACD in an evolutionarily conserved manner. Here, we show that the conserved polarity/spindle protein NuMA is preferentially localized to one side of the cell cortex during cell division, generating unequal inheritance of fate-altering molecules in human neuroblastoma cell lines. We also show that the cells with a single copy of MYCN showed significantly higher percentages of ACD than those with MYCN amplification. Moreover, suppression of MYCN in MYCN-amplified cells caused ACD, whereas expression of MYCN in MYCN-nonamplified cells enhanced symmetric cell division. Furthermore, we demonstrate that centrosome inheritance follows a definite rule in ACD: The daughter centrosome with younger mother centriole is inherited to the daughter cell with NuMA preferentially localized to the cell cortex, whereas the mother centrosome with the older mother centriole migrates to the other daughter cell. Thus, the mechanisms of cell division of ACD or symmetric cell division and centrosome inheritance are recapitulated in human cancer cells, and these findings may facilitate studies on cancer stem cells.

Schmitt J, Fischer U, Heisel S, et al.
GAS41 amplification results in overexpression of a new spindle pole protein.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2012; 51(9):868-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Amplification is a hallmark of many human tumors but the role of most amplified genes in human tumor development is not yet understood. Previously, we identified a frequently amplified gene in glioma termed glioma-amplified sequence 41 (GAS41). Using the TCGA data portal and performing experiments on HeLa and TX3868, we analyzed the role of GAS41 amplification on GAS41 overexpression and the effect on the cell cycle. Here we show that GAS41 amplification is associated with overexpression in the majority of cases. Both induced and endogenous overexpression of GAS41 leads to an increase in multipolar spindles. We showed that GAS41 is specifically associated with pericentrosome material. As result of an increased GAS41 expression we found bipolar spindles with misaligned chromosomes. This number was even increased by a combined overexpression of GAS41 and a reduced expression of NuMA. We propose that GAS41 amplification may have an effect on the highly altered karyotype of glioblastoma via its role during spindle pole formation.

Rohr SS, Pelloso LA, Borgo A, et al.
Acute promyelocytic leukemia associated with the PLZF-RARA fusion gene: two additional cases with clinical and laboratorial peculiar presentations.
Med Oncol. 2012; 29(4):2345-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by the presence of the t(15;17) and PML-RARa rearrangement, with good response to treatment with retinoids. However, few cases of variant APL involving alternative chromosomal aberrations have been reported, including t(11;17)(q23;q21) (Wells et al. in Nat Genet 17:109-113, 1; Arnould et al. in Hum Mol Genet 8:1741-1749, 2) t(5;17)(q35;q12-21), t(11;17)(q13;q21) (Grimwade et al in Blood 96:1297-1308, 3) and der(17) (Rego et al. in Blood (ASH Annual Meeting Abstracts)114:Abstract 6, 4), whereby RARa is fused to the PLZF, NPM, NuMA, and STAT5b genes, respectively, have been described. These cases are characterized by distinct morphology, clinical presentation, and in respect to PLZF, a lack of differentiation response to retinoids leading to the need of different approaches concerning diagnostic methods and therapeutics. This paper describes two cases of APL associated with the PLZF-RARA fusion gene enrolled in the IC-APL trial that is a non-randomized, multicenter study conducted in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Uruguay with the aim to improve the treatment outcome of APL patients in developing countries. These cases, although rare, offer a challenge to its early recognition and proper conduction.

Sukhai MA, Thomas M, Hamadanizadeh SA, et al.
Correlation among nuclear localization of NuMA-RARα, deregulation of gene expression and leukemic phenotype of hCG-NuMA-RARα transgenic mice.
Leuk Res. 2011; 35(5):670-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a model system of aberrant transcription in cancer. We sought to elucidate the mechanism of action of the variant fusion NuMA-RARα in APL, using the hCG-NuMA-RARα transgenic model. We report that subcellular localization of NuMA-RARα in transgenic mice is dependent upon its protein expression and transgene dosage. Subcellular localization of the fusion is inversely correlated with extent of gene deregulation at the mRNA level for Cebpα, Cebpɛ and Pu.1. Finally, we report that phenotype onset is correlated with NuMA-RARα copy number; mice with higher copy number developing disease later than those with lower copy number.

Rosa-Rosa JM, Pita G, González-Neira A, et al.
A 7 Mb region within 11q13 may contain a high penetrance gene for breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009; 118(1):151-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Familial breast cancer represents up to 5% of all breast cancer cases. Recently, our group has performed a new SNP-based linkage study in 19 non-BRCA1/2 families. We found that a single family was linked to regions in two different chromosomes (11q13 and 14q21), and observed a non-parametric LOD score of 11.5 in both regions. In the present study, we ruled out any possible translocation between the chromosomes. We also used both a panel of STRs and an indirect approach based on HapMap data to narrow down these regions from 28 to 7 Mb in chromosome 11 and from 14.5 to 8.5 Mb in chromosome 14. We performed a mutational screening on candidate genes in 11q13 (NUMA1, FGF3, CCND1, RAD9A, RNF121, FADD and hsa-mir-192), and on FOXA1 in 14q21. Although we have not found any deleterious mutations in the coding region of these genes, data from STR markers confirm 11q13 as a candidate region to contain a breast cancer susceptibility gene.

Pereira S, Massacrier A, Roll P, et al.
Nuclear localization of a novel human syntaxin 1B isoform.
Gene. 2008; 423(2):160-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
The syntaxins are proteins associated with various intracellular membrane compartments. They are major participants in a large variety of physiological processes where membrane fusion occurs, including exocytosis. We have identified a novel syntaxin isoform generated by alternative splicing of the human STX1B gene. In contrast with the canonical syntaxins, this isoform (STX1B-DeltaTMD) lacked the classical C-terminal transmembrane domain and localized to the nucleus of various tumoral and non-tumoral cell types including human brain cortical neurons in vivo. The reversible blockade of STX1B-DeltaTMD nuclear import demonstrated that nuclear import occurred via a Ran-dependent pathway. A specific and glycine-rich C-terminus of 15 amino acids served as an unconventional nuclear localization signal. STX1B-DeltaTMD colocalized with Lamin A/C and NuMA (NUclear Mitotic Apparatus protein) in interphasic nuclei, and with NuMA and gamma-tubulin in the pericentrosomal region of the mitotic spindle in dividing cells. In a series of 37 human primary brain tumors, the ratio of STX1B-DeltaTMD to Lamin A/C transcripts was a significant prognostic marker of survival, independent of tumor staging. The characterization of STX1B-DeltaTMD as the first nucleoplasmic syntaxin with no transmembrane domain, illustrates the importance of alternative splicing in the emergence of unsuspected properties of the syntaxins in human cells, in both physiological and pathological conditions.

Suehiro Y, Okada T, Okada T, et al.
Aneuploidy predicts outcome in patients with endometrial carcinoma and is related to lack of CDH13 hypermethylation.
Clin Cancer Res. 2008; 14(11):3354-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Many investigators have reported that aneuploidy detected by flow cytometry is a useful prognostic marker in patients with endometrial cancer. Laser scanning cytometry (LSC) is a technology similar to flow cytometry but is more feasible for clinical laboratory use. We evaluated the usefulness of DNA ploidy detected by LSC as a prognostic marker in patients with endometrial cancer and investigated genetic and epigenetic factors related to aneuploidy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Endometrial cancer specimens from 106 patients were evaluated. The methylation status of CDH13, Rassf1, SFRP1, SFRP2, SFRP4, SFRP5, p16, hMLH1, MGMT, APC, ATM, and WIF1 and mutations in the p53 and CDC4 genes were investigated. LSC was carried out to determine DNA ploidy. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was done with chromosome-specific centromeric probes to assess chromosomal instability.
RESULTS: Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that p53 mutation and lack of CDH13 hypermethylation associated positively with aneuploidy. Univariate analysis showed that aneuploidy, chromosomal instability, and lack of CDH13 hypermethylation as well as surgical stage were significantly predictive of death from endometrial cancer. Furthermore, multivariate analysis revealed that stage in combination with either DNA aneuploidy or lack of CDH13 hypermethylation was an independent prognostic factor.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that analysis of DNA ploidy and methylation status of CDH13 may help predict clinical outcome in patients with endometrial cancer. Prospective randomized trials are needed to confirm the validity of an individualized approach, including determination of tumor ploidy and methylation status of CDH13, to management of endometrial cancer patients.

Sukhai MA, Thomas M, Xuan Y, et al.
Evidence of functional interaction between NuMA-RARalpha and RXRalpha in an in vivo model of acute promyelocytic leukemia.
Oncogene. 2008; 27(34):4666-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by reciprocal balanced chromosomal translocations involving retinoic acid receptor-alpha (RARalpha). RARalpha heterodimerizes with the retinoid X receptor-alpha (RXRalpha) and transcriptionally regulates myeloid differentiation in response to ATRA (all-trans retinoic acid). Several lines of evidence suggest that APL fusion proteins interact with RXRalpha. To elucidate the role of RXRalpha in APL, we conditionally knocked out RXRalpha in the hCG-NuMA-RARalpha APL mouse model. Phenotype analysis of NuMA-RARalpha+ mice demonstrated that these mice developed a myeloproliferative disease-like myeloid leukemia within 4 months of birth. While hemizygous and homozygous RXRalpha conditional knockout mice were phenotypically normal as late as 12 months of age, we observed that the leukemic phenotype in NuMA-RARalpha+ mice was dependent on the presence of functional RXRalpha. Bone marrow promyelocyte counts were significantly reduced in NuMA-RARalpha+ mice with RXRalpha knocked down. Significant differences in the accumulations of Gr-1+ and Mac-1+ cells were also seen. We further observed that genes previously identified to be cooperating events in APL were also regulated in an RXRalpha-dependent manner. We therefore propose that the APL fusion protein NuMA-RARalpha cooperates with RXRalpha in the development of leukemia in hCG-NuMA-RARalpha transgenic mice and suggest a novel role for RXRalpha in the pathogenesis of APL.

Kilpivaara O, Rantanen M, Tamminen A, et al.
Comprehensive analysis of NuMA variation in breast cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2008; 8:71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A recent genome wide case-control association study identified NuMA region on 11q13 as a candidate locus for breast cancer susceptibility. Specifically, the variant Ala794Gly was suggested to be associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
METHODS: In order to evaluate the NuMa gene for breast cancer susceptibility, we have here screened the entire coding region and exon-intron boundaries of NuMa in 92 familial breast cancer patients and constructed haplotypes of the identified variants. Five missense variants were further screened in 341 breast cancer cases with a positive family history and 368 controls. We examined the frequency of Ala794Gly in an extensive series of familial (n = 910) and unselected (n = 884) breast cancer cases and controls (n = 906), with a high power to detect the suggested breast cancer risk. We also tested if the variant is associated with histopathologic features of breast tumors.
RESULTS: Screening of NuMA resulted in identification of 11 exonic variants and 12 variants in introns or untranslated regions. Five missense variants that were further screened in breast cancer cases with a positive family history and controls, were each carried on a unique haplotype. None of the variants, or the haplotypes represented by them, was associated with breast cancer risk although due to low power in this analysis, very low risk alleles may go unrecognized. The NuMA Ala794Gly showed no difference in frequency in the unselected breast cancer case series or familial case series compared to control cases. Furthermore, Ala794Gly did not show any significant association with histopathologic characteristics of the tumors, though Ala794Gly was slightly more frequent among unselected cases with lymph node involvement.
CONCLUSION: Our results do not support the role of NuMA variants as breast cancer susceptibility alleles.

Okazuka K, Masuko M, Seki Y, et al.
Successful all-trans retinoic acid treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia in a patient with NPM/RAR fusion.
Int J Hematol. 2007; 86(3):246-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by a reciprocal chromosomal translocation involving the gene for retinoic acid receptor alpha(RAR). Most APL patients have a t(15;17) translocation that generates the PML-RAR fusion gene, and such patients respond well to treatment with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). Some APL cases also involve rearrangements that fuse RAR to partner genes other than PML, including nucleophosmin (NPM), promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF), nuclear mitotic apparatus (NUMA), and Stat5b, but the clinical characteristics of APL without PML-RAR have not been fully clarified. We describe a 64-year-old man with NPM-RAR-positive APL who was receiving hemodialysis therapy for chronic uremia. Complete remission was achieved with ATRA monotherapy and was maintained for 18 months with consolidation chemotherapy. These findings suggest that ATRA can be used to treat APL patients with NPM/RAR as well as APL with PML/RAR.

Chun SM, Kim YL, Choi HB, et al.
Identification of leukemia-specific fusion gene transcripts with a novel oligonucleotide array.
Mol Diagn Ther. 2007; 11(1):21-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Identification of specific chromosomal translocations is essential for the diagnosis and prognosis of leukemia. In this study, we employ DNA microarray technology to detect chromosomal aberrations in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), as well as in leukemic cell lines.
METHODS: Reverse transcription using a random 9-mer primer was performed with total RNA from patients and leukemic cells lines. Multiplex PCR reactions using four groups of primer sets were then performed for amplification of cDNA from reverse-transcribed total RNA samples. Normal and fusion sequences were distinguished by hybridization of the amplified cDNA to a selective oligonucleotide array (SOA) containing 20-30mer synthetic probes. A total of 23 sets of oligomers were fabricated on glass slides for the detection of normal and fusion genes, as follows: BCR/ABL, AML/EAP, AML/ETO, AML/MDS, PML/RARA, NUMA1/RARA, PLZF/RARA, and CBFB/MYH.
RESULTS: Gene translocation in leukemia was effectively identified with the SOA containing various leukemia-specific fusion and normal control sequences. Leukemic fusion sequences from patients and cell lines hybridized specifically to their complementary probes. The probe sets differing by approximately 50% at their 5' or 3' ends could distinguish between normal and fusion sequences. The entire process of detection was completed within 8 hours using the SOA method.
CONCLUSIONS: Probe sets on SOA can effectively discriminate between leukemia-specific fusion and normal sequences with a chip hybridization procedure. The oligonucleotide array presents several advantages in identifying leukemic gene translocations, such as multiplex screening, relatively low cost, and speed.

Kalogianni DP, Bravou V, Christopoulos TK, et al.
Dry-reagent disposable dipstick test for visual screening of seven leukemia-related chromosomal translocations.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2007; 35(4):e23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We report the first dry-reagent, disposable, dipstick test for molecular screening of seven chromosomal translocations associated with acute and chronic leukemia. The dipstick assay offers about 10 times higher detectability than agarose gel electrophoresis and, contrary to electrophoresis, allows confirmation of the sequence of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) product by hybridization within a few minutes without the need of instrumentation. Biotinylated amplified DNA is hybridized with a dA-tailed probe and applied to the strip, which contains oligo(dT)-conjugated gold nanoparticles in dry form. Upon immersion of the strip in the appropriate buffer, the solution migrates and the hybrids are captured by immobilized streptavidin at the test zone generating a characteristic red line. The excess nanoparticles are captured by oligo(dA) strands immobilized at the control zone of the strip producing a second red line. We studied the: t(9;22)(q34;q11), t(15;17)(q22;q21), t(11;17)(q23;q21), t(5;17)(q32;q21), t(11;17)(q13;q21), t(8,21)(q22;q22) and inv(16)(p13;q22) that generate the BCR-ABL, PML-RARa, PLZF-RARa, NPM-RARa, NuMA-RARa, AML1-ETO and CBFbeta-MYH11 fusion genes, respectively. A single K562 cell was detectable amidst 10(6) normal leukocytes. A dipstick test was developed for actin, as a reference gene. The dipstick assay with appropriate probes can be used for identification of the fusion transcripts involved in the translocation.

Scaglioni PP, Pandolfi PP
The theory of APL revisited.
Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2007; 313:85-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is associated with reciprocal and balanced chromosomal translocations always involving the retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARa) gene on chromosome 17 and variable partner genes (X genes) on distinct chromosomes. RARalpha fuses to the PML gene in the majority of APL cases, and in a few cases to the PLZF, NPM, NuMA and STAT5b genes. As a consequence, X-RARalpha and RARalpha-X fusion genes are generated encoding aberrant chimeric proteins that exert critical oncogenic functions. Here we will integrate some of the most recent findings in APL research in a unified model and discuss some of the outstanding questions that remain to be addressed.

Rego EM, Ruggero D, Tribioli C, et al.
Leukemia with distinct phenotypes in transgenic mice expressing PML/RAR alpha, PLZF/RAR alpha or NPM/RAR alpha.
Oncogene. 2006; 25(13):1974-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recurrent chromosomal translocations involving the RAR alpha locus on chromosome 17 are the hallmark of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). The RAR alpha gene fuses to variable partners (PML, PLZF, NPM, NuMA and STAT5B: X genes) leading to the expression of APL-specific fusion proteins with identical RAR alpha moieties. To analyse whether the variable X moiety could affect the activity of the fusion protein in vivo, we generated and characterized, on a comparative basis, NPM/RAR alpha transgenic mice (TM) in which the fusion gene is expressed under the control of a human Cathepsin G (hCG) minigene. We compared the features of the leukemia observed in these TM with those in hCG-PML/RAR alpha and hCG-PLZF/RAR alpha TM. In all three transgenic models, leukemia developed after a variably long latency, with variable penetrance. However, the three leukemias displayed distinct cytomorphological features. hCG-NPM/RAR alpha leukemic cells resembled monoblasts. This phenotype contrasts with what was observed in the hCG-PML/RAR alpha TM model in which the leukemic phase was characterized by the proliferation of promyelocytic blasts. Similarly, hCG-PLZF/RAR alpha TM displayed a different phenotype where terminally differentiated myeloid cells predominated. Importantly, the NPM/RAR alpha oncoprotein was found to localize in the nucleolus, unlike PML/RAR alpha and PLZF/RAR alpha, thus possibly interfering with the normal function of NPM. Similarly to what was observed in human APL patients, we found that NPM/RAR alpha and PML/RAR alpha, but not PLZF/RAR alpha leukemia, was responsive to all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) or As2O3 treatments. Taken together, our results underscore the critical relevance of the X moiety in dictating the biology of the disease and the activity of the APL fusion oncoprotein.

Kivinen K, Kallajoki M, Taimen P
Caspase-3 is required in the apoptotic disintegration of the nuclear matrix.
Exp Cell Res. 2005; 311(1):62-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Apoptotic breakdown of cellular structures is largely mediated by caspases. One target of degradation is a proteinaceous framework of the nucleus termed the nuclear matrix. We compared the apoptotic changes of the nuclear matrix in staurosporine-treated caspase-3-deficient MCF-7 cells transfected with intact CASP-3 gene (MCF-7c3) or an empty vector (MCF-7v) as a control. Nuclear Mitotic Apparatus protein (NuMA), lamin A/C and lamin B were used as markers for internal nuclear matrix and peripheral nuclear lamina, respectively. In both cell lines, staurosporine induced rapid cytoplasmic shrinkage and partial chromatin condensation. MCF-7c3 cells formed apoptotic bodies, whereas MCF-7v cells did not. NuMA and lamins were actively cleaved in MCF-7c3 cells following caspase-3 activation, but only minimal or no cleavage was detected in MCF-7v cells. Interestingly, lamin B but not lamin A/C was relocated into cytoplasmic granules in apoptotic MCF-7v cells. Pancaspase inhibitor, z-VAD-fmk, prevented the apoptotic changes, while caspase-3 inhibitor, z-DEVD-fmk, induced lamin B granules in both cell lines. These results show that caspase-3 is involved in the cleavage of NuMA and lamins either directly or by activating other proteases. This may be essential for disintegration of the nuclear structure during apoptosis.

Suminami Y, Kishi F, Nawata S, et al.
Promoter analyses of SCC antigen genes.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005; 1727(3):208-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
SCC antigen (SCCA) has been used as a tumor marker for squamous cell carcinoma. Analyses of the SCCA1 and SCCA2 genes, which are almost identical, and their promoters have been reported. Recently it was found that both SCCAs were stimulated by interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13. Here we analyzed the promoter activity of both SCCAs in the 5'-flanking region, exon 1, and intron 1 to evaluate a putative STAT6 binding site. The addition of intron 1 to the luciferase assay constructs including the 5'-flanking region significantly augmented the promoter activity of both SCCA1 and SCCA2. Furthermore, deletion analyses of intron 1 revealed that a 50-bp fragment of intron 1 that includes putative STAT6 binding site was responsible for the increased promoter activity. Although the sequences of SCCA1 and SCCA2 are very similar in the 5'-flanking region, the analysis of the -337 single nucleotide polymorphism of SCCA2 indicated that this polymorphism may underlie the difference in promoter activity between SCCA1 and SCCA2.

Kammerer S, Roth RB, Hoyal CR, et al.
Association of the NuMA region on chromosome 11q13 with breast cancer susceptibility.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005; 102(6):2004-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The development of breast cancer is a complex process that involves multiple genes at many stages, from initial cell cycle dysregulation to disease progression. To identify genetic variations that influence this process, we conducted a large-scale association study using a collection of German cases and controls and >25,000 SNPs located within 16,000 genes. One of the loci identified was located on chromosome 11q13 [odds ratio (OR)=1.85, P=0.017]. The initial association was subsequently tested in two independent breast cancer collections. In both sample sets, the frequency of the susceptibility allele was increased in the cases (OR=1.6, P=0.01). The susceptibility allele was also associated with an increase in cancer family history (P=0.1). Fine mapping showed that the region of association extends approximately 300 kb and spans several genes, including the gene encoding the nuclear mitotic apparatus protein (NuMA). A nonsynonymous SNP (A794G) in NuMA was identified that showed a stronger association with breast cancer risk than the initial marker SNP (OR=2.8, P=0.005 initial sample; OR=2.1, P=0.002 combined). NuMA is a cell cycle-related protein essential for normal mitosis that is degraded in early apoptosis. NuMA-retinoic acid receptor alpha fusion proteins have been described in acute promyelocytic leukemia. Although the potential functional relevance of the A794G variation requires further biological validation, we conclude that variations in the NuMA gene are likely responsible for the observed increased breast cancer risk.

Numata S, Nakamura Y, Imamura Y, et al.
Rapid quantitative analysis of human cytomegalovirus DNA by the real-time polymerase chain reaction method.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2005; 129(2):200-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a progressive and life-threatening complication in immunocompromised patients even now. Therefore, early and accurate treatment based on rapid and certain detection is needed to prevent fatal CMV infection diseases.
OBJECTIVE: To study a quicker, simpler, and less expensive method of quantitative analysis using real-time polymerase chain reaction based on the SYBR Green I method of CMV detection for appropriate treatment of CMV infection in immunocompromised patients.
DESIGN: We quantified 50 samples tested by direct immunoperoxidase staining of leukocytes with peroxidase-labeled monoclonal antibody (C7-HRP test), 30 samples from healthy persons, and 47 samples from 7 patients suspected of having CMV infection diseases. We used the primer set in the pp65 gene of CMV and whole blood without a preparatory process. The setting for the study was the First Department of Pathology, Kurume University School of Medicine, St Mary's Hospital, and the Gene Section of the Clinical Laboratory at St Mary's Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan.
RESULTS: The results obtained with this method corresponded well with conventional C7-HRP tests and demonstrated excellent reproduction. Additionally, the results were better correlated with the clinical course than were C7-HRP tests.
CONCLUSIONS: This method was more useful than the C7-HRP test as a rapid diagnostic test for early treatment of CMV infection. This test also demonstrated its usefulness for monitoring CMV infection during treatment using ganciclovir. Moreover, it was quicker, simpler, and cheaper than other real-time polymerase chain reaction methods.

Neben K, Tews B, Wrobel G, et al.
Gene expression patterns in acute myeloid leukemia correlate with centrosome aberrations and numerical chromosome changes.
Oncogene. 2004; 23(13):2379-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Centrosomes, which mediate accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis, undergo duplication precisely once per cell division at the G1/S boundary. Recently, we described centrosome aberrations as a possible cause of aneuploidy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and found a correlation of the percentage of cells carrying abnormal centrosomes to their cytogenetic risk profile. To elucidate the molecular events responsible for the development of centrosome aberrations in AML, tumor RNA of 29 AML samples was hybridized to cDNA microarrays. The microarrays comprised some 2800 different genes with relevance to hematopoiesis, tumorigenesis and mitosis and included a set of 359 centrosome-associated genes. We identified two gene expression signatures, which allowed an accurate classification according to the extent of centrosome aberrations and the ploidy status in 28 of 29 patients each. Specifically, 18 genes were present in both signatures, including genes that code for cell cycle regulatory proteins (cyclin A2, cyclin D3, cyclin H, CDK6, p18INK4c, p21Cip1, PAK1) and centrosome-associated proteins (pericentrin, alpha2-tubulin, NUMA1, TUBGCP2, PRKAR2A). In conclusion, the high expression of centrosome-associated genes matches the description of centrosome aberrations in several tumor types. Moreover, in AML the identification of G1/S-phase stimulatory genes suggests that one mechanism of aneuploidy induction might be the deregulation of centrosome replication at the G1/S boundary.

Sukhai MA, Wu X, Xuan Y, et al.
Myeloid leukemia with promyelocytic features in transgenic mice expressing hCG-NuMA-RARalpha.
Oncogene. 2004; 23(3):665-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by the accumulation of abnormal promyelocytes in the bone marrow (BM), and by the presence of a reciprocal chromosomal translocation involving retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARalpha). To date, five RARalpha partner genes have been identified in APL. NuMA-RARalpha was identified in a pediatric case of APL carrying a translocation t(11;17)(q13;q21). Using a construct containing the NuMA-RARalpha fusion gene driven by the human cathepsin G promoter (hCG-NuMA-RARalpha), two transgenic mouse lines were generated. Transgenic mice were observed to have a genetic myeloproliferation (increased granulopoiesis in BM) at an early age, and rapidly developed a myeloproliferative disease-like myeloid leukemia. This leukemia was morphologically and immunophenotypically indistinguishable from human APL, with a penetrance of 100%. The phenotype of transgenic mice was consistent with a blockade of neutrophil differentiation. NuMA-RARalpha is therefore sufficient for disease development in this APL model.

Stenoien DL, Sen S, Mancini MA, Brinkley BR
Dynamic association of a tumor amplified kinase, Aurora-A, with the centrosome and mitotic spindle.
Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2003; 55(2):134-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aurora-A kinase, also known as STK15/BTAK kinase, is a member of a serine/threonine kinase superfamily that includes the prototypic yeast Ipl1 and Drosophila aurora kinases as well as other mammalian and non-mammalian aurora kinases involved in the regulation of centrosomes and chromosome segregation. The Aurora-A gene is amplified and overexpressed in a wide variety of human tumors. Aurora-A is centrosome-associated during interphase, and binds the poles and half-spindle during mitosis; its over-expression has been associated with centrosome amplification and multipolar spindles. GFP-Aurora-A was used to mark centrosomes and spindles, and monitor their movements in living cells. Centrosome pairs labeled with GFP-Aurora-A are motile throughout interphase undergoing oscillations and tumbling motions requiring intact microtubules and ATP. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) was used to examine the relative molecular mobility of GFP-Aurora-A, and GFP-labeled alpha-tubulin, gamma-tubulin, and NuMA. GFP-Aurora-A rapidly exchanges in and out of the centrosome and mitotic spindle (t(1/2) approximately 3 sec); in contrast, both tubulins are relatively immobile indicative of a structural role. GFP-NuMA mobility was intermediate in both interphase nuclei and at the mitotic spindle (t(1/2) approximately 23-30 sec). Deletion mapping identifies a central domain of Aurora-A as essential for its centrosomal localization that is augmented by both the amino and the carboxyl terminal ends of the protein. Interestingly, amino or carboxy terminal deletion mutants that maintained centrosomal targeting exhibited significantly slower molecular exchange. Collectively, these studies contrast the relative cellular dynamics of Aurora-A with other cytoskeletal proteins that share its micro-domains, and identify essential regions required for targeting and dynamics.

Grimwade D, Lo Coco F
Acute promyelocytic leukemia: a model for the role of molecular diagnosis and residual disease monitoring in directing treatment approach in acute myeloid leukemia.
Leukemia. 2002; 16(10):1959-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by a number of features that underpin the need for rapid and accurate diagnosis and demand a highly specific treatment approach. These include the potentially devastating coagulopathy, sensitivity to anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens, as well as unique responses to all-trans retinoic acid and arsenic trioxide that have revolutionized therapy over the last decade. The chromosomal translocation t(15;17) which generates the PML-RARalpha fusion gene has long been considered the diagnostic hallmark of APL; however, this abnormality is not detected in approximately 10% cases with successful karyotype analysis. In the majority of these cases, the PML-RARalpha fusion gene is still formed, resulting from insertion events or more complex rearrangements. These cases share the beneficial response to retinoids and favorable prognosis of those with documented t(15;17), underscoring the clinical relevance of molecular analyses in diagnostic refinement. In other cases of t(15;17) negative APL, various chromosomal rearrangements involving 17q21 have been documented leading to fusion of RARalpha to alternative partners, namely PLZF, NPM, NuMA and STAT5b. The nature of the fusion partner has a significant bearing upon disease characteristics, including sensitivity to retinoids and arsenic trioxide. APL has provided an exciting treatment model for other forms of AML whereby therapeutic approach is directed towards cytogenetically and molecularly defined subgroups and further modified according to response as determined by minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring. Recent studies suggest that rigorous MRD monitoring, coupled with pre-emptive therapy at the point of molecular relapse improves survival in the relatively small subgroup of PML-RARalpha positive patients with 'poor risk' disease. Advent of 'real-time' quantitative RT-PCR technology seems set to yield further improvements in the predictive value of MRD assessment, achieve more rapid sample throughput and facilitate inter- and intra-laboratory standardization, thereby enabling more reliable comparison of data between international trial groups.

Rego EM, Pandolfi PP
Reciprocal products of chromosomal translocations in human cancer pathogenesis: key players or innocent bystanders?
Trends Mol Med. 2002; 8(8):396-405 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chromosomal translocations are frequently involved in the pathogenesis of leukemias, lymphomas and sarcomas. They can lead to aberrant expression of oncogenes or the generation of chimeric proteins. Classically, one of the products is thought to be oncogenic. For example, in acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), reciprocal chromosomal translocations involving the retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARalpha) gene lead to the formation of two fusion genes: X-RARalpha and RARalpha-X (where X is the alternative RARalpha fusion partner: PML, PLZF, NPM, NuMA and STAT 5b). The X-RARalpha fusion protein is indeed oncogenic. However, recent data indicate that the RARalpha-X product is also critical in determining the biological features of this leukemia. Here, we review the current knowledge on the role of reciprocal products in cancer pathogenesis, and highlight how their expression might impact on the biology of their respective tumour types.

Numa F, Umayahara K, Suehiro Y, et al.
New molecular tumor markers for endometrial cancer.
Hum Cell. 2001; 14(4):272-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics officially changed the classification system of endometrial cancer from a clinically staged to a surgically staged disease in 1988, optimal management of patients with endometrial cancer is still controversial. Gynecologists happen to experience that patients with tumors that are identical in grade and stage often have significantly different clinical outcomes or responses to therapy. In order to identify an objective biological factor correlating with tumor aggressiveness, many tumor markers have been investigated. So far, CA125 is one of the most reliable tumor marker for adenocarcinoma of the uterus and frequently used in a clinical setting. Recently, with the advent of molecular biological techniques, many genes and regions of the genome related to endometrial cancer have been identified. We undertook a genome-wide screening to detect genetic changes by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) in primary endometrioid cancers, since CGH analysis provides comprehensive information concerning relative chromosomal losses and gains in tumors by a single hybridization. In this paper, the usefulness of serum tumor markers and the new promising molecular tumor markers for endometrial cancer are discussed.

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