Gene Summary

Gene:PLAG1; PLAG1 zinc finger
Aliases: PSA, SGPA, ZNF912
Summary:Pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 encodes a zinc finger protein with 2 putative nuclear localization signals. PLAG1, which is developmentally regulated, has been shown to be consistently rearranged in pleomorphic adenomas of the salivary glands. PLAG1 is activated by the reciprocal chromosomal translocations involving 8q12 in a subset of salivary gland pleomorphic adenomas. Three transcript variants encoding two different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:zinc finger protein PLAG1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 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
  • Adenoma
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Oncogenes
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Lipoblastoma
  • Cytogenetic Analysis
  • Salivary Glands
  • Salivary Gland Cancer
  • HMGA2
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Gene Amplification
  • Mutation
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Lipoma
  • Myoepithelioma
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic
  • Chromosome 8
  • Karyotyping
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Translocation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma
  • Adolescents
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • PLAG1
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Fusion
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Infant
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Carcinoma
  • Transcription Factors
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 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: PLAG1 (cancer-related)

Putra J, Al-Ibraheemi A
Adipocytic tumors in Children: A contemporary review.
Semin Diagn Pathol. 2019; 36(2):95-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adipocytic neoplasms in the pediatric population demonstrate a different histologic spectrum and frequency than in adults. The vast majority of these tumors are benign, with lipoma being the most common entity. The identification of signature cytogenetic and molecular alterations for certain lesions, such as PLAG1 gene rearrangement in lipoblastoma and FUS-DDIT3 fusion in myxoid liposarcoma, has been helpful in approaching these neoplasms and aiding in confirming the diagnosis. Furthermore, it is important for pathologists to recognize that adipocytic neoplasms may be associated with different syndromes with potential impact in managing such patients. This review provides a summary of the clinical pictures, histologic characteristics, molecular alterations, differential diagnoses, and syndromic associations of the commonly encountered fatty tumors in children.

Asahina M, Saito T, Hayashi T, et al.
Clinicopathological effect of PLAG1 fusion genes in pleomorphic adenoma and carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma with special emphasis on histological features.
Histopathology. 2019; 74(3):514-525 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) rearrangement is well known in pleomorphic adenoma (PA), which is histologically characterised by admixed epithelial and mesenchymal components. Multiple fusion variants of PLAG1 and HMGA2 have been reported; currently, however, little is known regarding the clinicopathological impacts of these fusion types METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined the PLAG1- and HMGA2-related fusion status in 105 PAs and 11 cases of carcinoma ex PAs (CXPA) arising from salivary glands and lacrimal glands to elucidate their correlation to the clinicopathological factors. Forty cases harboured PLAG1 fusion genes: CTNNB1-PLAG1 in 22 cases, CHCHD7-PLAG1 in 14 cases and LIFR-PLAG1 in four cases. Only two cases possessed HMGA2 fusion genes. The mean age of LIFR-PLAG1-positive cases was significantly higher than that of CTNNB1-PLAG1- and CHCHD7-PLAG1-positive cases (P = 0.0358). PAs located in the submandibular gland demonstrated CTNNB1-PLAG1 fusion at a significantly higher rate than other fusions (P = 0.0109). Histologically, PLAG1 fusion-positive cases exhibited chondroid formation and plasmacytoid features more commonly (P = 0.043, P = 0.015, respectively) and myxoid abundant feature less frequently (P = 0.031) than PLAG1 fusion-negative cases. For CXPAs, four CTNNB1-PLAG1 fusions were detected in two salivary duct carcinomas and two myoepithelial carcinomas. Ductal formation was observed frequently (90.9%) in residual PA.
CONCLUSIONS: The presence of PLAG1 fusion was associated with specific histological features in PA. Detecting the PLAG1 fusion gene and searching residual ductal formation in salivary gland malignant tumours with extensive hyalinisation could be useful for diagnosis.

Mok Y, Agaimy A, Wang S, et al.
High-grade myoepithelial carcinoma can show histologically undifferentiated/anaplastic features.
Ann Diagn Pathol. 2018; 37:20-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
High grade malignant tumors with a poorly-/un-differentiated morphology pose significant diagnostic challenges. Increasingly, the use of adjunct immunohistochemical and molecular tests to characterize and delineate the histopathologic phenotype of these tumors has become necessary, particularly in head and neck tumors. Recently, several entities with a poorly-/un-differentiated light microscopic morphology have been defined based on specific immunohistochemical and genetic characteristics. We herein describe two cases of high-grade myoepithelial carcinoma, one occurring in the submandibular gland and the other occurring in the left nasal cavity, both showing undifferentiated histological and anaplastic cytomorphological features. This led to very broad differential diagnostic considerations and the diagnosis was only established after extensive immunohistochemical studies. Molecular testing for HPV was negative in both cases. Gene fusion analysis using a targeted sequencing assay (Archer® FusionPlex® system) did not identify fusions involving PLAG1, HMGA2, EWSR1 or ALK genes in either case. The submandibular tumor showed an aggressive clinical course, with diffuse pulmonary metastases at presentation, whilst the nasal cavity tumor showed only localized disease. Awareness of a subcategory of high-grade myoepithelial carcinomas with undifferentiated light microscopical features is of significant importance in antibody selection for immunohistochemical investigation of poorly-/undifferentiated malignant tumors in the head and neck region. This histological variant of myoepithelial carcinoma adds to the growing list of differential diagnoses in this diagnostically complex and multifaceted field.

Bharathavikru R, Hastie ND
Overgrowth syndromes and pediatric cancers: how many roads lead to
Genes Dev. 2018; 32(15-16):993-995 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Overgrowth syndromes such as Perlman syndrome and associated pediatric cancers, including Wilms tumor, arise through genetic and, in certain instances, also epigenetic changes. In the case of the Beckwith-Wiedemann overgrowth syndrome and in Wilms tumor, increased levels of

Chen KS, Stroup EK, Budhipramono A, et al.
Mutations in microRNA processing genes in Wilms tumors derepress the
Genes Dev. 2018; 32(15-16):996-1007 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Many childhood Wilms tumors are driven by mutations in the microRNA biogenesis machinery, but the mechanism by which these mutations drive tumorigenesis is unknown. Here we show that the transcription factor

Truschnegg A, Acham S, Kqiku L, et al.
Ectomesenchymal chondromyxoid tumor: a comprehensive updated review of the literature and case report.
Int J Oral Sci. 2018; 10(1):4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prompted by a unique case of an ectomesenchymal chondromyxoid tumor (ECT) of the palate in a 54-year-old female, we reviewed the English and German literature on this entity until the end of 2016 using PubMed. The search produced 74 lingual cases with a nearly equal sex distribution and a mean age of 39.3 years, and two extra-lingual cases sharing histological and immunohistological features including nodular growth, round, fusiform or spindle-shaped cellular architecture, and chondromyxoid stroma. Immunophenotyping showed the majority of cases to be positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), S-100 protein, glycoprotein CD57, pancytokeratin (AE1/AE3), and smooth muscle actin (SMA); in isolated cases there was molecular-genetic rearrangement or gain of Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1 (EWSR1) but no rearrangement of pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1). At present, ectomesenchymal cells that migrate from the neural crest are considered to play a pivotal role in tumor origin. All cases had a benign course, although there were three recurrences. Because of the rarity of this tumor and the need for differential diagnostic differentiation from myoepithelioma and pleomorphic adenoma, both oral surgeons and pathologists should be aware of this entity.

Andreasen S, von Holstein SL, Homøe P, Heegaard S
Recurrent rearrangements of the PLAG1 and HMGA2 genes in lacrimal gland pleomorphic adenoma and carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma.
Acta Ophthalmol. 2018; 96(7):e768-e771 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Lacrimal gland tumours constitute a wide spectrum of neoplastic lesions that are histologically similar to tumours of the salivary gland. In the salivary gland, pleomorphic adenoma (PA) is frequently characterized by recurrent chromosomal rearrangements of the PLAG1 and HMGA2 genes, a genetic feature retained in carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (ca-ex-PA) that makes it possible to distinguish ca-ex-PA from de novo carcinomas. However, whether PLAG1 and HMGA2 gene rearrangements are found in lacrimal gland PA and ca-ex-PA is not known.
METHODS: Twenty-one lacrimal gland PAs and four ca-ex-PAs were retrospectively reviewed and subjected to break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for rearrangements of the PLAG1 gene. Cases without PLAG1 abnormalities were subjected to HMGA2 break-apart FISH. Immunohistochemical staining for PLAG1 and HMGA2 protein was performed and correlated with gene status.
RESULTS: Sixteen of 21 PAs showed rearrangement of PLAG1 and were all positive for PLAG1 protein. Two of the remaining five PAs showed rearrangement of HMGA2 and were the only cases positive for HMGA2 with immunohistochemistry. The three FISH-negative PAs expressed PLAG1 protein. All four ca-ex-PAs showed rearrangement of PLAG1 and expressed PLAG1 protein. None of the de novo carcinomas showed rearrangement of either of the two genes or expression of the two proteins.
CONCLUSION: Rearrangement of PLAG1 and HMGA2 and expression of the corresponding proteins are frequent and specific findings in lacrimal gland PA and ca-ex-PA. The mechanism for PLAG1 overexpression in FISH-negative PAs is yet to be clarified.

Franco HL, Nagari A, Malladi VS, et al.
Enhancer transcription reveals subtype-specific gene expression programs controlling breast cancer pathogenesis.
Genome Res. 2018; 28(2):159-170 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Noncoding transcription is a defining feature of active enhancers, linking transcription factor (TF) binding to the molecular mechanisms controlling gene expression. To determine the relationship between enhancer activity and biological outcomes in breast cancers, we profiled the transcriptomes (using GRO-seq and RNA-seq) and epigenomes (using ChIP-seq) of 11 different human breast cancer cell lines representing five major molecular subtypes of breast cancer, as well as two immortalized ("normal") human breast cell lines. In addition, we developed a robust and unbiased computational pipeline that simultaneously identifies putative subtype-specific enhancers and their cognate TFs by integrating the magnitude of enhancer transcription, TF mRNA expression levels, TF motif

Jin L, Chun J, Pan C, et al.
The PLAG1-GDH1 Axis Promotes Anoikis Resistance and Tumor Metastasis through CamKK2-AMPK Signaling in LKB1-Deficient Lung Cancer.
Mol Cell. 2018; 69(1):87-99.e7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Loss of LKB1 is associated with increased metastasis and poor prognosis in lung cancer, but the development of targeted agents is in its infancy. Here we report that a glutaminolytic enzyme, glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (GDH1), upregulated upon detachment via pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1), provides anti-anoikis and pro-metastatic signals in LKB1-deficient lung cancer. Mechanistically, the GDH1 product α-KG activates CamKK2 by enhancing its substrate AMPK binding, which contributes to energy production that confers anoikis resistance. The effect of GDH1 on AMPK is evident in LKB1-deficient lung cancer, where AMPK activation predominantly depends on CamKK2. Targeting GDH1 with R162 attenuated tumor metastasis in patient-derived xenograft model and correlation studies in lung cancer patients further validated the clinical relevance of our finding. Our study provides insight into the molecular mechanism by which GDH1-mediated metabolic reprogramming of glutaminolysis mediates lung cancer metastasis and offers a therapeutic strategy for patients with LKB1-deficient lung cancer.

El Hallani S, Udager AM, Bell D, et al.
Epithelial-Myoepithelial Carcinoma: Frequent Morphologic and Molecular Evidence of Preexisting Pleomorphic Adenoma, Common HRAS Mutations in PLAG1-intact and HMGA2-intact Cases, and Occasional TP53, FBXW7, and SMARCB1 Alterations in High-grade Cases.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2018; 42(1):18-27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We hypothesized that there is a relationship between the preexisting pleomorphic adenoma [PA]), histologic grade of epithelial-myoepithelial carcinomas (EMCAs), and genetic alterations. EMCAs (n=39) were analyzed for morphologic and molecular evidence of preexisting PA (PLAG1, HMGA2 status by fluorescence in situ hybridization, FISH, and FGFR1-PLAG1 fusion by next-generation sequencing, NGS). Twenty-three EMCAs were further analyzed by NGS for mutations and copy number variation in 50 cancer-related genes. On the basis of combined morphologic and molecular evidence of PA, the following subsets of EMCA emerged: (a) EMCAs with morphologic evidence of preexisting PA, but intact PLAG1 and HMGA2 (12/39, 31%), (b) Carcinomas with PLAG1 alterations (9/39, 23%), or (c) HMGA2 alterations (10/39, 26%), and (d) de novo carcinomas, without morphologic or molecular evidence of PA (8/39, 21%). Twelve high-grade EMCAs (12/39, 31%) occurred across all subsets. The median disease-free survival was 80 months (95% confidence interval, 77-84 mo). Disease-free survival and other clinicopathologic parameters did not differ by the above defined subsets. HRAS mutations were more common in EMCAs with intact PLAG1 and HMGA2 (7/9 vs. 1/14, P<0.001). Other genetic abnormalities (TP53 [n=2], FBXW7 [n=1], SMARCB1 deletion [n=1]) were seen only in high-grade EMCAs with intact PLAG1 and HMGA2. We conclude that most EMCAs arose ex PA (31/39, 80%) and the genetic profile of EMCA varies with the absence or presence of preexisting PA and its cytogenetic signature. Progression to higher grade EMCA with intact PLAG1 and HMGA2 correlates with the presence of TP53, FBXW7 mutations, or SMARCB1 deletion.

Dalin MG, Katabi N, Persson M, et al.
Multi-dimensional genomic analysis of myoepithelial carcinoma identifies prevalent oncogenic gene fusions.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):1197 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myoepithelial carcinoma (MECA) is an aggressive salivary gland cancer with largely unknown genetic features. Here we comprehensively analyze molecular alterations in 40 MECAs using integrated genomic analyses. We identify a low mutational load, and high prevalence (70%) of oncogenic gene fusions. Most fusions involve the PLAG1 oncogene, which is associated with PLAG1 overexpression. We find FGFR1-PLAG1 in seven (18%) cases, and the novel TGFBR3-PLAG1 fusion in six (15%) cases. TGFBR3-PLAG1 promotes a tumorigenic phenotype in vitro, and is absent in 723 other salivary gland tumors. Other novel PLAG1 fusions include ND4-PLAG1; a fusion between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. We also identify higher number of copy number alterations as a risk factor for recurrence, independent of tumor stage at diagnosis. Our findings indicate that MECA is a fusion-driven disease, nominate TGFBR3-PLAG1 as a hallmark of MECA, and provide a framework for future diagnostic and therapeutic research in this lethal cancer.

Rito M, Fonseca I
Salivary Gland Neoplasms: Does Morphological Diversity Reflect Tumor Heterogeneity.
Pathobiology. 2018; 85(1-2):85-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Salivary gland tumor classification encompasses a vast list of benign and malignant neoplasms. Their morphological diversity is recognized not only between different entities but also within individual tumors. Tumor categories as described by the World Health Organization reflect, in part, a true genetic heterogeneity (e.g., translocations involving CRTC1 and CRTC3-MAML2 genes in mucoepidermoid carcinoma and MYB-NFIB fusion in adenoid cystic carcinoma). Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma shows diversity in its histological appearance, but recurrent rearrangements on PLAG1 and HMGA2 are common to its benign precursor. More recently, new categories have been defined, like secretory carcinoma with the t(12;15) (p13;q25) ETV6-NTRK3 translocation and clear-cell carcinoma with EWSR1-ATF1 fusion. Recent studies on cribriform adenocarcinoma of minor salivary gland origin and epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma point to a correlation with their morphological features. All of these advances show that the search of a histogenetic and genetic basis for salivary gland tumors is helping to clarify morphological categories and unraveling new ones. Nevertheless, currently morphology is still the hallmark of tumor classification and the gold standard. The therapeutic options for advanced tumors remain very limited but the discovery of translocation-generated gene fusions and increased knowledge of the genomic information of salivary gland tumors is creating opportunities for the development of specific targeted therapies.

Ferreira J, Esteves G, Fonseca R, et al.
Fine-needle aspiration of lipoblastoma: Cytological, molecular, and clinical features.
Cancer Cytopathol. 2017; 125(12):934-939 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lipoblastomas are rare, benign adipocytic tumors that present mostly during infancy. In about 70% of cases, these tumors carry abnormalities in chromosome 8, mainly leading to rearrangements of the PLAG1 gene.
METHODS: We report a series of histologically proven lipoblastomas with previous fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology from 9 patients (n = 10 samples) and describe their clinical, cytological, and molecular features.
RESULTS: Our cohort included 5 boys and 4 girls (median age, 2.5 years [range, 10 months to 13 years]) who presented with soft tissue masses in the thorax (n = 3), abdomen (n = 2), axilla (n = 2), and thigh (n = 2). In 1 patient, the FNA diagnosis was inconclusive due to hypocellularity, and in another patient a diagnosis of benign lipomatous tumor was made. In the remaining 8 samples (one of which confirmed relapse), a correct preoperative FNA diagnosis was rendered. Smears were hypo- to moderately cellular and contained fragments of mature adipose tissue with thin branching vessels admixed with some lipoblasts in a myxoid matrix. Spindle cells and naked oval nuclei with no atypia were observed in the background. Of the 4 patients tested for PLAG1 rearrangement using FISH probes, 3 harbored this alteration (1 was made on a FNA smear and 1 was made in a tumor imprint). All the patients are alive and well, except for 1 patient with a retroperitoneal tumor who, after an initial incomplete excision, died of local disease progression.
CONCLUSION: FNA, especially if used together with molecular biology techniques (eg, PLAG1 FISH analysis), is a reliable and accurate diagnostic tool. Cancer Cytopathol 2017;125:934-9. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Katabi N, Xu B, Jungbluth AA, et al.
PLAG1 immunohistochemistry is a sensitive marker for pleomorphic adenoma: a comparative study with PLAG1 genetic abnormalities.
Histopathology. 2018; 72(2):285-293 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIMS: Pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) gene rearrangement is the most common genetic abnormality in pleomorphic adenoma (PA), resulting in overexpression of PLAG1 protein. PA and carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (CA ex-PA) can mimic various benign and malignant salivary gland tumours. The aims of this study are to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of PLAG1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the differential diagnosis of PA and CA ex-PA and to compare the PLAG1 immunohistochemical results to PLAG1 gene abnormalities as detected by fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH).
METHODS AND RESULTS: PLAG1 immunostaining was performed on 83 salivary gland tumours, including 23 PA, 15 CA ex-PA and 45 other salivary gland tumours. In addition, PLAG1 FISH was performed in 44 cases for the presence of gene rearrangements/amplifications. The results showed high sensitivity of PLAG1 IHC in 96% of PA; however, discordant results between PLAG1 FISH abnormalities and IHC were noted in 15 of 44 cases (34%). Seven PA, four de-novo myoepithelial carcinomas and one basal cell adenocarcinoma had negative FISH results, but were positive for IHC; while three salivary duct carcinomas (SDC) ex-PA were positive for FISH but negative for IHC. PLAG1 IHC can differentiate CA ex-PA from de-novo SDC (P = 0.02), but not from de-novo myoepithelial carcinoma. PLAG1 IHC is a sensitive marker for PA. This could be due to PLAG1 gene abnormalities beyond FISH resolution.
CONCLUSIONS: A negative PLAG1 IHC might be helpful in excluding a PA diagnosis. Interestingly, in the context of CA ex-PA, FISH is more sensitive than IHC in detecting PLAG1 abnormalities.

Ren W, Gao L, Li F, et al.
Circulating high mobility group AT-hook 2 and pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 in blood of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2017; 46(10):998-1003 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: High mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) and pleomorphic adenoma gene 1(PLAG1) have been demonstrated to be elevated in many malignant tumors. However, the aim of this study was to evaluate HMGA2 and PLAG1 levels in blood as a non-invasive biomarker for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) diagnosis.
METHODS: qRT-PCR was performed to measure circulating HMGA2 and PLAG1 levels in OSCC patients (n=43) and matched cancer-free blood control group (n=21). Clinical data of all patients were recorded.
RESULTS: Circulating HMGA2 and PLAG1 in the 43 OSCC patients was significantly higher than in control group (P<.001, P=.038, respectively). Furthermore, HMGA2 expression in OSCC patients with poor-moderate differentiation was increased compared with well-differentiated group. However, no significant differences in PLAG1 expression were detected when differentiation was considered. In addition, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis for circulating HMGA2 revealed an area under the ROC curve of 0.876 (95% confidence interval, 0.793-0.959; P<.001) with 65.1% sensitivity and 100% specificity in discriminating OSCC from controls at a cutoff value of 14.380, demonstrating significant diagnostic value for OSCC.
CONCLUSION: Circulating HMGA2 levels are increased in OSCC patients and may potentially serve as a significant index to evaluate OSCC diagnosis.

Busse TM, Roth JJ, Wilmoth D, et al.
Copy number alterations determined by single nucleotide polymorphism array testing in the clinical laboratory are indicative of gene fusions in pediatric cancer patients.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2017; 56(10):730-749 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene fusions resulting from structural rearrangements are an established mechanism of tumorigenesis in pediatric cancer. In this clinical cohort, 1,350 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based chromosomal microarrays from 1,211 pediatric cancer patients were evaluated for copy number alterations (CNAs) associated with gene fusions. Karyotype or fluorescence in situ hybridization studies were performed in 42% of the patients. Ten percent of the bone marrow or solid tumor specimens had SNP array-associated CNAs suggestive of a gene fusion. Alterations involving ETV6, ABL1-NUP214, EBF1-PDGFRB, KMT2A(MLL), LMO2-RAG, MYH11-CBFB, NSD1-NUP98, PBX1, STIL-TAL1, ZNF384-TCF3, P2RY8-CRLF2, and RUNX1T1-RUNX1 fusions were detected in the bone marrow samples. The most common alteration among the low-grade gliomas was a 7q34 tandem duplication resulting in a KIAA1549-BRAF fusion. Additional fusions identified in the pediatric brain tumors included FAM131B-BRAF and RAF1-QKI. COL1A1-PDGFB, CRTC1-MAML2, EWSR1, HEY1, PAX3- and PAX7-FOXO1, and PLAG1 fusions were determined in a variety of solid tumors and a novel potential gene fusion, FGFR1-USP6, was detected in an aneurysmal bone cyst. The identification of these gene fusions was instrumental in tumor diagnosis. In contrast to hematologic and solid tumors in adults that are predominantly driven by mutations, the majority of hematologic and solid tumors in children are characterized by CNAs and gene fusions. Chromosomal microarray analysis is therefore a robust platform to identify diagnostic and prognostic markers in the clinical setting.

Panagopoulos I, Gorunova L, Brunetti M, et al.
Genetic heterogeneity in leiomyomas of deep soft tissue.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(30):48769-48781 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leiomyoma of deep soft tissue is a rare type of benign smooth muscle tumor that mostly occurs in the retroperitoneum or abdominal cavity of women, and about which very little genetic information exists. In the present study, eight leiomyomas of deep soft tissue were genetically analyzed. G-banding showed that three tumors carried rearrangements of the long arm of chromosome 12, three others had 8q rearrangements, the 7th tumor had deletion of the long arm of chromosome 7, del(7)(q22), and the 8th had aberrations of chromosome bands 3q21~23 and 11q21~22. The target genes of the 12q and 8q aberrations were HMGA2 and PLAG1, respectively. In the leiomyomas with 12q rearrangements, both HMGA2 and PLAG1 were expressed whereas in the tumors with 8q aberrations, only PLAG1 was expressed. In the cases without 12q or 8q aberrations, the expression of HMGA2 was very low and PLAG1 was expressed only in the case with del(7)(q22). All eight leiomyomas of deep soft tissue expressed MED12 but none of them had mutation in exon 2 of that gene. In two tumors with 12q rearrangements, RPSAP52 on 12q14.3 was fused with non-coding RNA (accession number XR_944195) from 14q32.2 or ZFP36L1 from14q24.1. In a tumor with inv(12), exon 3 of HMGA2 was fused to a sequence in intron 1 of the CRADD gene from 12q22. The present data together with those of our two previous studies in which the fusions KAT6B-KANSL1 and EWSR1-PBX3 were described in two retroperitoneal leiomyomas carrying a t(10;17)(q22;q21) and a t(9;22)(q33;q12) translocation, respectively, show that leiomyomas of deep soft tissue are genetically heterogenous but have marked similarities to uterine leiomyomas.

Thibodeau ML, Reisle C, Zhao E, et al.
Genomic profiling of pelvic genital type leiomyosarcoma in a woman with a germline
Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2017; 3(5) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We describe a woman with the known pathogenic germline variant

Evrard SM, Meilleroux J, Daniel G, et al.
Use of fluorescent in-situ hybridisation in salivary gland cytology: A powerful diagnostic tool.
Cytopathology. 2017; 28(4):312-320 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Salivary gland cytology is challenging because it includes a diversity of lesions and a wide spectra of tumours. Recently, it has been reported that many types of salivary gland tumours have specific molecular diagnostic signatures that could be identified by fluorescent in-situ hybridisation (FISH). The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the feasibility and efficiency of FISH on routine cytological salivary gland smears.
METHODS: FISH was conducted on 37 cytological salivary gland smears from 34 patients. According to the cytological diagnosis suspected, MECT1/MAML2 gene fusion and rearrangements of PLAG1, MYB, or ETV6 were analysed. The presence and percentages of cells that had gene rearrangements were evaluated. Results were compared with the histological surgical samples, available from 26 patients.
RESULTS: The PLAG1 rearrangement was observed in 12/20 (60%) cases of pleomorphic adenoma. MECT1/MAML2 gene fusion was observed in 1:2 mucoepidermoid carcinomas but was not observed in five other tumours (two pleomorphic adenomas, one Warthin's tumour, one mammary analogue secretory carcinoma [MASC] and one cystic tumour). MYB rearrangement was observed in 4/4 adenoid cystic carcinomas. ETV6-gene splitting identified one MASC.
CONCLUSION: Overall, FISH had a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 66.7%. When FISH and cytological analyses were combined, the overall sensitivity was increased to 93.3%. It can thus be concluded that when the FISH analysis is positive, the extent of surgery could be determined with confidence pre-operatively without needing a diagnosis from a frozen section.

Yu C, Li J, Sun F, et al.
Expression and Clinical Significance of miR-26a and Pleomorphic Adenoma Gene 1 (PLAG1) in Invasive Pituitary Adenoma.
Med Sci Monit. 2016; 22:5101-5108 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND Although pituitary adenoma is a malignant tumor, it can present as invasive growth in some cases. MicroRNA (miR)-26a has been found to be abnormally highly expressed in pituitary adenoma, indicating possible involvement in pathogenesis. As a known target gene of miR-26a, PLAG1 has abnormally low expression in pituitary adenoma. The correlation between miR-26a or PLAG1 expressional abnormality and occurrence of pituitary adenoma is still unknown, as is its association with invasiveness of pituitary adenoma. MATERIAL AND METHODS Pituitary adenoma tissues, including both invasive and non-invasive subtypes, were collected from our Neurosurgery Department, in parallel with normal pituitary tissues from postmortem autopsy. qRT-PCR was used to detect mRNA expression of miR-26a and PLAG1, while Western blotting was used to test PLAG1 protein expression. The correlation between miR-26a and PLAG1, and with pathological features, were analyzed. ROC analysis revealed the utility of miR-26a and PLAG1 in differential diagnosis of invasive/non-invasive pituitary tumors and in analyzing their effects on patient prognosis. RESULTS MiR-26a was remarkably upregulated in pituitary tumors, while PLAG1 was downregulated, especially in invasive pituitary tumors. miR-26a and PLAG1 had higher diagnostic values for differentiating between invasive and non-invasive pituitary tumors (AUC=0.889 and 0.818, respectively). Those patients with miR-26 overexpression and PLAG1 downregulation had unfavorable prognosis. miR-26 and PLAG1 are independent factors affecting patient diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS MiR-26a can facilitate occurrence of pituitary tumor and invasiveness, probably via inhibiting PLAG1 expression.

Biswas R, Gao S, Cultraro CM, et al.
Genomic profiling of multiple sequentially acquired tumor metastatic sites from an "exceptional responder" lung adenocarcinoma patient reveals extensive genomic heterogeneity and novel somatic variants driving treatment response.
Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2016; 2(6):a001263 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We used next-generation sequencing to identify somatic alterations in multiple metastatic sites from an "exceptional responder" lung adenocarcinoma patient during his 7-yr course of ERBB2-directed therapies. The degree of heterogeneity was unprecedented, with ∼1% similarity between somatic alterations of the lung and lymph nodes. One novel translocation,

Yang L, Feng S, Yang Y
Identification of transcription factors (TFs) and targets involved in the cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) by integrated analysis.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2016; 23(12):439-445 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study was designed to investigate the upstream transcription factors (TFs) and the signature genes in cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), providing better clues on the regulatory mechanisms and therapeutic applications. Gene expression data sets of CCA were searched in the Gene Expression Omnibus database for integrated analysis. Functional annotation of differently expressed genes (DEGs) was then conducted and the TFs were identified. Moreover, a global transcriptional regulatory network of TFs-targets was constructed. Integrated analysis of five eligible Gene Expression Omnibus data sets led to a set of 993 DEGs and 48 TFs in CCA. The constructed TFs-targets regulatory network consisted of 697 TF-target interactions between 41 TFs and 436 DEGs. The top 10 TFs covering the most downstream DEGs were NFATC2, SOX10, ARID3A, ZNF263, NR4A2, GATA3, EGR1, PLAG1, STAT3 and FOSL1, which may have important roles in the tumorigenesis of CCA. Supporting the fact that defects of cell-cycle surveillance mechanism were closely related to various cancers, we found that cell cycle was the most significantly enriched pathway. KCNN2 and ADCY6 were involved in the bile secretion. Thus, their aberrant expression may be closely related to the pathogenesis of CCA. Particularly, we found that upregulation of EZH2 in CCA is a powerful potential marker for CCA.

de Brito BS, Giovanelli N, Egal ES, et al.
Loss of expression of Plag1 in malignant transformation from pleomorphic adenoma to carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma.
Hum Pathol. 2016; 57:152-159 [PubMed] Related Publications
PLAG1 (pleomorphic adenoma gene 1) is frequently activated in pleomorphic adenoma (PA). Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (CXPA) arises in PA, and PLAG1 expression is believed to be maintained from PA to CXPA, as it can contribute to the carcinogenesis process. To evaluate if PLAG1 is a good marker of malignant transformation from PA to CXPA as well as to evaluate if PLAG1 expression is associated with progression and histopathologic subtype of CXPA. Forty PAs, 21 residual PAs (without malignant transformation), and 40 CXPAs were analyzed by immunohistochemistry with PLAG1 antibody. The proportion of positive neoplastic cells was assessed according to a 2-tiered scale: >10% to 50%, and >50% positive cells. The CXPA group was classified according to histopathologic subtype and invasiveness degree. Thirty-seven PAs (92.5%), 15 residual PAs (71%), and 14 CXPAs (35%) were positive for PLAG1. In relation to the CXPA group, among the intracapsular cases, myoepithelial carcinoma and epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma showed the highest level of PLAG1 expression. PLAG1 expression is lost when PA undergoes malignant transformation, possibly due to other pathway activation and different clone cells. In addition, PLAG1 expression seems to be present mainly in low-grade carcinomas and in cases with early phase of invasion, due to its regulation of oncogene-induced cell senescence. In CXPA, PLAG1 expression was most associated with myoepithelial differentiation. This way, loss of PLAG1 expression can be considered a hallmark of CXPA carcinogenesis, mainly when there is only epithelial differentiation.

Jakobiec FA, Stagner AM, Eagle RC, et al.
Unusual pleomorphic adenoma of the lacrimal Gland: Immunohistochemical demonstration of PLAG1 and HMGA2 oncoproteins.
Surv Ophthalmol. 2017 Mar - Apr; 62(2):219-226 [PubMed] Related Publications
Painless low-grade right proptosis with 20/25 visual acuity developed slowly in a 49-year-old woman with a past history of breast cancer. Imaging studies disclosed an oval-to-round superotemporal mass in the right lacrimal fossa without bone erosion. Excisional biopsy revealed a pseudoencapsulated, bosselated tumor with a spindled, hypocellular, and heavily periodic acid Schiff-positive stroma constituted of abundant basement membrane material and collagen. Scattered lumens and focal cribriform cellular clusters were present in the peripheries of several of the lobules. Immunohistochemistry showed epithelial membrane antigen+ and cytokeratin (CK) 7+ in many small luminal structures. The spindled cells were calponin+, CK5/6+, CK14+, and p63+, confirming their myoepithelial nature. The Ki67 proliferation index was 2-3%, and upregulation of nuclear p53, a tumor suppressor gene product which may be aberrantly overexpressed in malignancy, was observed in rare cells. Immunohistochemical probes for HMGA2 and PLAG1 oncoproteins, characteristic of pleomorphic adenoma, were stained intensely and less intensely, respectively. MYB and c-KIT (CD117) were negative, thereby strongly arguing against the diagnosis of adenoid cystic carcinoma. In atypical epithelial tumors of the lacrimal gland, genetic probes identifying distinctive gene translocations or their oncoprotein products complement traditional immunohistochemical biomarkers such as cytokeratins and other structural or secretory molecules. Characteristic genetic abnormalities demonstrated by immunohistochemistry for their upregulated protein products, or by in situ hybridization for translocations, are increasingly being relied on for diagnostic precision.

Avadhani V, Cohen C, Siddiqui MT
PLAG1: An Immunohistochemical Marker with Limited Utility in Separating Pleomorphic Adenoma from Other Basaloid Salivary Gland Tumors.
Acta Cytol. 2016; 60(3):240-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) diagnosis of salivary gland neoplasms is often challenging. Differentiating between pleomorphic adenomas (PA) and other basaloid neoplasms, especially basal cell adenoma (BCA) and adenoid cystic carcinoma (AdCC), can be difficult in cellular aspirates. PLAG1 (PA gene 1) is a proto-oncogene, which is frequently rearranged in PAs, leading to the aberrant expression of its protein. PLAG1 IHC expression has been reported to be positive in most PAs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of PLAG1 to differentiate PA from other basaloid neoplasms.
STUDY DESIGN: Immunohistochemical evaluation of PLAG1 was performed on 125 cases (52 FNAs and 73 surgical excisions). Nuclear staining of tumor cells was scored by the intensity and percentage of positive tumor cells. A combined score of >5 was defined as positive.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The sensitivity (55%) and specificity (75%) of PLAG1 in diagnosing PA in FNAs is relatively modest thus limiting its diagnostic utility. BCAs and AdCCs showed PLAG1 false positivity, in surgical excision specimens and less so in FNAs. This may be due to limited sampling or tumor heterogeneity. Hence, PLAG1 is a modest marker for PAs in FNAs.

de Brito BS, Gaspar NG, Egal ES, et al.
PLAG1 expression is maintained in recurrent pleomorphic adenoma.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(4):477-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
The proto-oncogene (pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1)) is immunohistochemically overexpressed in pleomorphic adenoma (PA). Its expression in recurrent pleomorphic adenoma (RPA), however, has not been investigated. Since complex mechanisms are involved in tumor recurrence, the aim of this study was to investigate whether PLAG1 overexpression occurs in RPA. We studied PLAG1 protein expression in 40 PAs and 36 RPAs by immunohistochemistry. Cases with immunopositive cells were classified into two categories, between 10 and 50 % and >50 %. In both groups, PLAG1 expression was observed in both epithelial and myoepithelial cells. Of PAs, 37 cases (93 %) were positive, while this was the case in 34 RPA cases (94 %). Our findings suggest that in addition to morphological similarity, PA and RPA express PLAG1, which might play a role in tumor recurrence. Furthermore, as for PA, expression of PLAG1 can be considered a valuable diagnostic marker for RPA.

Chiosea SI, Thompson LD, Weinreb I, et al.
Subsets of salivary duct carcinoma defined by morphologic evidence of pleomorphic adenoma, PLAG1 or HMGA2 rearrangements, and common genetic alterations.
Cancer. 2016; 122(20):3136-3144 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The authors hypothesized that histogenetic classification of salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) could account for de novo tumors and those with morphologic or molecular evidence (pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 [PLAG1], high-mobility group AT hook 2 [HMGA2] rearrangement, amplification) of pleomorphic adenoma (PA).
METHODS: SDCs (n = 66) were reviewed for morphologic evidence of PA. PLAG1 and HMGA2 alterations were detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). PLAG1-positive tumors were tested by FISH for fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) rearrangement. Thirty-nine tumors were analyzed using a commercial panel for mutations and copy number variations in 50 cancer-related genes.
RESULTS: On the basis of combined morphologic and molecular evidence of PA, 4 subsets of SDC emerged: 1) carcinomas with morphologic evidence of PA but intact PLAG1 and HMGA2 (n = 22); 2) carcinomas with PLAG1 alteration (n = 18) or 3) HMGA2 alteration (n = 12); and 4) de novo carcinomas, without morphologic or molecular evidence of PA (n = 14). The median disease-free survival was 37 months (95% confidence interval, 28.4-45.6 months). Disease-free survival and other clinicopathologic parameters did not differ for the subsets defined above. Combined Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog/phosphatidylinositol-4,5-biphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit α (HRAS/PIK3CA) mutations were observed predominantly in de novo carcinomas (5 of 8 vs 2 of 31 tumors; P = .035). Erb-B2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (ERBB2) copy number gain was not observed in de novo carcinomas (0 of 8 vs 12 of 31 tumors; P = .08). Tumor protein 53 (TP53) mutations were more common in SDC ex pleomorphic adenomas than in de novo carcinomas (17 of 31 vs 1 of 8 tumors; P = .033).
CONCLUSIONS: The genetic profile of SDC varies with the absence or presence of pre-existing PA and its cytogenetic signature. Most de novo SDCs harbor combined HRAS/PIK3CA mutations and no ERBB2 amplification. Cancer 2016;122:3136-44. © 2016 American Cancer Society.

Xi R, Lee S, Xia Y, et al.
Copy number analysis of whole-genome data using BIC-seq2 and its application to detection of cancer susceptibility variants.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2016; 44(13):6274-86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Whole-genome sequencing data allow detection of copy number variation (CNV) at high resolution. However, estimation based on read coverage along the genome suffers from bias due to GC content and other factors. Here, we develop an algorithm called BIC-seq2 that combines normalization of the data at the nucleotide level and Bayesian information criterion-based segmentation to detect both somatic and germline CNVs accurately. Analysis of simulation data showed that this method outperforms existing methods. We apply this algorithm to low coverage whole-genome sequencing data from peripheral blood of nearly a thousand patients across eleven cancer types in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to identify cancer-predisposing CNV regions. We confirm known regions and discover new ones including those covering KMT2C, GOLPH3, ERBB2 and PLAG1 Analysis of colorectal cancer genomes in particular reveals novel recurrent CNVs including deletions at two chromatin-remodeling genes RERE and NPM2 This method will be useful to many researchers interested in profiling CNVs from whole-genome sequencing data.

Sun YP, Lu F, Han XY, et al.
MiR-424 and miR-27a increase TRAIL sensitivity of acute myeloid leukemia by targeting PLAG1.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(18):25276-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although microRNAs have been elaborated to participate in various physiological and pathological processes, their functions in TRAIL resistance of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remain obscure. In this study, we detected relatively lower expression levels of miR-424&27a in TRAIL-resistant and semi-resistant AML cell lines as well as newly diagnosed patient samples. Overexpression of miR-424&27a, by targeting the 3'UTR of PLAG1, enhanced TRAIL sensitivity in AML cells. Correspondingly, knockdown of PLAG1 sensitized AML cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis and proliferation inhibition. We further found that PLAG1 as a transcription factor could reinforce Bcl2 promoter activity, causing its upregulation at the mRNA level. Both downregulated PLAG1 and elevated expression of miR-424&27a led to Bcl2 downregulation and augmented cleavage of Caspase8, Caspase3 and PARP in the presence of TRAIL. Restoration of Bcl2 could eliminate their effects on AML TRAIL sensitization. Overall, we propose that miR-424&27a and/or PLAG1 might serve as novel therapeutic targets in AML TRAIL therapy.

Argyris PP, Bilodeau EA, Yancoskie AE, et al.
A subset of ectomesenchymal chondromyxoid tumours of the tongue show EWSR1 rearrangements and are genetically linked to soft tissue myoepithelial neoplasms: a study of 11 cases.
Histopathology. 2016; 69(4):607-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Ectomesenchymal chondromyxoid tumour (ECT) is a rare, benign intraoral neoplasm showing a predilection for the anterior dorsum of the tongue. The World Health Organization includes ECT in the pathological spectrum of soft tissue myoepithelioma. EWS RNA-binding protein 1 gene (EWSR1) rearrangement is found in 45% of cutaneous, soft tissue and bone myoepithelial neoplasms, and pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) aberrations are found in 37% of EWSR1-negative soft tissue myoepitheliomas. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of EWSR1 and PLAG1 rearrangements in ECTs.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Eleven formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded ECTs were evaluated with fluorescence in-situ hybridization probes for EWSR1 (22q12) and PLAG1 (8q12). Among the 11 ECTs tested, three (27.3%) showed EWSR1 rearrangement in >15% of tumour cells, whereas eight (72.7%) cases did not show EWSR1 rearrangement. Eight of nine (89%) ECTs showed gain of EWSR1, probably representing gain of all or part of chromosome 22, in a varying proportion of neoplastic cells ranging between 1.4% and 27.9%. PLAG1 rearrangement was not detected in the successfully hybridized tissue sections (7/11). No correlation was observed between the molecular and histopathological findings, such as morphology of the neoplastic cells, the presence of atypia, and matrical type.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified EWSR1 rearrangement in >25% of ECTs. These results suggest that some ECTs are at least genetically related to myoepithelioma of the soft parts. Finally, PLAG1 aberrations do not appear to be critical in the pathogenesis of ECT of the tongue.

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