PPP1R3A

Gene Summary

Gene:PPP1R3A; protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 3A
Aliases: GM, PP1G, PPP1R3
Location:7q31.1
Summary:The glycogen-associated form of protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) derived from skeletal muscle is a heterodimer composed of a 37-kD catalytic subunit and a 124-kD targeting and regulatory subunit. This gene encodes the regulatory subunit which binds to muscle glycogen with high affinity, thereby enhancing dephosphorylation of glycogen-bound substrates for PP1 such as glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase kinase. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 3A
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 March, 2017

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 15 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Latest Publications: PPP1R3A (cancer-related)

Chikara S, Lindsey K, Borowicz P, et al.
Enterolactone alters FAK-Src signaling and suppresses migration and invasion of lung cancer cell lines.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017; 17(1):30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Systemic toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents and the challenges associated with targeting metastatic tumors are limiting factors for current lung cancer therapeutic approaches. To address these issues, plant-derived bioactive components have been investigated for their anti-cancer properties because many of these agents are non-toxic to healthy tissues. Enterolactone (EL) is a flaxseed-derived mammalian lignan that has demonstrated anti-migratory properties for various cancers, but EL has not been investigated in the context of lung cancer, and its anticancer mechanisms are ill-defined. We hypothesized that EL could inhibit lung cancer cell motility by affecting the FAK-Src signaling pathway.
METHODS: Non-toxic concentrations of EL were identified for A549 and H460 human lung cancer cells by conducting 3-(4, 5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-Dephenyltetrazolium Bromide (MTT) assays. The anti-migratory and anti-invasive potential of EL for lung cancer cell lines was determined by scratch wound healing and Matrigel® invasion assays. Changes in filamentous actin (F-actin) fiber density and length in EL-treated cells were determined using phalloidin-conjugated rhodamine dye and fluorescent microscopy. Vinculin expression in focal adhesions upon EL treatment was determined by immunocytochemistry. Gene and protein expression levels of FAK-Src signaling molecules in EL-treated lung cancer cells were determined using PCR arrays, qRT-PCR, and western blotting.
RESULTS: Non-toxic concentrations of EL inhibited lung cancer cell migration and invasion in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. EL treatment reduced the density and number of F-actin fibers in lung cancer cell lines, and reduced the number and size of focal adhesions. EL decreased phosphorylation of FAK and its downstream targets, Src, paxillin, and decreased mRNA expression of cell motility-related genes, RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42 in lung cancer cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that EL suppresses lung cancer cell motility and invasion by altering FAK activity and subsequent activation of downstream proteins needed for focal adhesion formation and cytoskeletal rearrangement. Therefore, administration of EL may serve as a safe and complementary approach for inhibiting lung tumor cell motility, invasion, and metastasis.

Kumar R, Sanawar R, Li X, Li F
Structure, biochemistry, and biology of PAK kinases.
Gene. 2017; 605:20-31 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/03/2018 Related Publications
PAKs, p21-activated kinases, play central roles and act as converging junctions for discrete signals elicited on the cell surface and for a number of intracellular signaling cascades. PAKs phosphorylate a vast number of substrates and act by remodeling cytoskeleton, employing scaffolding, and relocating to distinct subcellular compartments. PAKs affect wide range of processes that are crucial to the cell from regulation of cell motility, survival, redox, metabolism, cell cycle, proliferation, transformation, stress, inflammation, to gene expression. Understandably, their dysregulation disrupts cellular homeostasis and severely impacts key cell functions, and many of those are implicated in a number of human diseases including cancers, neurological disorders, and cardiac disorders. Here we provide an overview of the members of the PAK family and their current status. We give special emphasis to PAK1 and PAK4, the prototypes of groups I and II, for their profound roles in cancer, the nervous system, and the heart. We also highlight other family members. We provide our perspective on the current advancements, their growing importance as strategic therapeutic targets, and our vision on the future of PAKs.

Bommareddy PK, Patel A, Hossain S, Kaufman HL
Talimogene Laherparepvec (T-VEC) and Other Oncolytic Viruses for the Treatment of Melanoma.
Am J Clin Dermatol. 2017; 18(1):1-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many mammalian viruses have properties that can be commandeered for the treatment of cancer. These characteristics include preferential infection and replication in tumor cells, the initiation of tumor cell lysis, and the induction of innate and adaptive anti-tumor immunity. Furthermore, viruses can be genetically engineered to reduce pathogenicity and increase immunogenicity resulting in minimally toxic therapeutic agents. Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC; Imlygic™), is a genetically modified herpes simplex virus, type 1, and is the first oncolytic virus therapy to be approved for the treatment of advanced melanoma by the US FDA. T-VEC is attenuated by the deletion of the herpes neurovirulence viral genes and enhanced for immunogenicity by the deletion of the viral ICP47 gene. Immunogenicity is further supported by expression of the human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) gene, which helps promote the priming of T cell responses. T-VEC demonstrated significant improvement in durable response rate, objective response rate, and progression-free survival in a randomized phase III clinical trial for patients with advanced melanoma. This review will discuss the optimal selection of patients for such treatment and describe how therapy is optimally delivered. We will also discuss future directions for oncolytic virus immunotherapy, which will likely include combination T-VEC clinical trials, expansion of T-VEC to other types of non-melanoma skin cancers, and renewed efforts at oncolytic virus drug development with other viruses.

Liu YZ, Zhang L, Roy-Engel AM, et al.
Carcinogenic effects of oil dispersants: A KEGG pathway-based RNA-seq study of human airway epithelial cells.
Gene. 2017; 602:16-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/02/2018 Related Publications
The health impacts of the BP oil spill are yet to be further revealed as the toxicological effects of oil products and dispersants on human respiratory system may be latent and complex, and hence difficult to study and follow up. Here we performed RNA-seq analyses of a system of human airway epithelial cells treated with the BP crude oil and/or dispersants Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 that were used to help break up the oil spill. Based on the RNA-seq data, we then systemically analyzed the transcriptomic perturbations of the cells at the KEGG pathway level using two pathway-based analysis tools, GAGE (generally applicable gene set enrichment) and GSNCA (Gene Sets Net Correlations Analysis). Our results suggested a pattern of change towards carcinogenesis for the treated cells marked by upregulation of ribosomal biosynthesis (hsa03008) (p=1.97E-13), protein processing (hsa04141) (p=4.09E-7), Wnt signaling (hsa04310) (p=6.76E-3), neurotrophin signaling (hsa04722) (p=7.73E-3) and insulin signaling (hsa04910) (p=1.16E-2) pathways under the dispersant Corexit 9527 treatment, as identified by GAGE analysis. Furthermore, through GSNCA analysis, we identified gene co-expression changes for several KEGG cancer pathways, including small cell lung cancer pathway (hsa05222, p=9.99E-5), under various treatments of oil/dispersant, especially the mixture of oil and Corexit 9527. Overall, our results suggested carcinogenic effects of dispersants (in particular Corexit 9527) and their mixtures with the BP crude oil, and provided further support for more stringent safety precautions and regulations for operations involving long-term respiratory exposure to oil and dispersants.

Morris BA, Burkel B, Ponik SM, et al.
Collagen Matrix Density Drives the Metabolic Shift in Breast Cancer Cells.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 13:146-156 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/02/2018 Related Publications
Increased breast density attributed to collagen I deposition is associated with a 4-6 fold increased risk of developing breast cancer. Here, we assessed cellular metabolic reprogramming of mammary carcinoma cells in response to increased collagen matrix density using an in vitro 3D model. Our initial observations demonstrated changes in functional metabolism in both normal mammary epithelial cells and mammary carcinoma cells in response to changes in matrix density. Further, mammary carcinoma cells grown in high density collagen matrices displayed decreased oxygen consumption and glucose metabolism via the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle compared to cells cultured in low density matrices. Despite decreased glucose entry into the TCA cycle, levels of glucose uptake, cell viability, and ROS were not different between high and low density matrices. Interestingly, under high density conditions the contribution of glutamine as a fuel source to drive the TCA cycle was significantly enhanced. These alterations in functional metabolism mirrored significant changes in the expression of metabolic genes involved in glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, and the serine synthesis pathway. This study highlights the broad importance of the collagen microenvironment to cellular expression profiles, and shows that changes in density of the collagen microenvironment can modulate metabolic shifts of cancer cells.

Kim J, McMillan E, Kim HS, et al.
XPO1-dependent nuclear export is a druggable vulnerability in KRAS-mutant lung cancer.
Nature. 2016; 538(7623):114-117 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
The common participation of oncogenic KRAS proteins in many of the most lethal human cancers, together with the ease of detecting somatic KRAS mutant alleles in patient samples, has spurred persistent and intensive efforts to develop drugs that inhibit KRAS activity. However, advances have been hindered by the pervasive inter- and intra-lineage diversity in the targetable mechanisms that underlie KRAS-driven cancers, limited pharmacological accessibility of many candidate synthetic-lethal interactions and the swift emergence of unanticipated resistance mechanisms to otherwise effective targeted therapies. Here we demonstrate the acute and specific cell-autonomous addiction of KRAS-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer cells to receptor-dependent nuclear export. A multi-genomic, data-driven approach, utilizing 106 human non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines, was used to interrogate 4,725 biological processes with 39,760 short interfering RNA pools for those selectively required for the survival of KRAS-mutant cells that harbour a broad spectrum of phenotypic variation. Nuclear transport machinery was the sole process-level discriminator of statistical significance. Chemical perturbation of the nuclear export receptor XPO1 (also known as CRM1), with a clinically available drug, revealed a robust synthetic-lethal interaction with native or engineered oncogenic KRAS both in vitro and in vivo. The primary mechanism underpinning XPO1 inhibitor sensitivity was intolerance to the accumulation of nuclear IκBα (also known as NFKBIA), with consequent inhibition of NFκB transcription factor activity. Intrinsic resistance associated with concurrent FSTL5 mutations was detected and determined to be a consequence of YAP1 activation via a previously unappreciated FSTL5-Hippo pathway regulatory axis. This occurs in approximately 17% of KRAS-mutant lung cancers, and can be overcome with the co-administration of a YAP1-TEAD inhibitor. These findings indicate that clinically available XPO1 inhibitors are a promising therapeutic strategy for a considerable cohort of patients with lung cancer when coupled to genomics-guided patient selection and observation.

Harper JW, Bennett EJ
Proteome complexity and the forces that drive proteome imbalance.
Nature. 2016; 537(7620):328-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2017 Related Publications
The cellular proteome is a complex microcosm of structural and regulatory networks that requires continuous surveillance and modification to meet the dynamic needs of the cell. It is therefore crucial that the protein flux of the cell remains in balance to ensure proper cell function. Genetic alterations that range from chromosome imbalance to oncogene activation can affect the speed, fidelity and capacity of protein biogenesis and degradation systems, which often results in proteome imbalance. An improved understanding of the causes and consequences of proteome imbalance is helping to reveal how these systems can be targeted to treat diseases such as cancer.

Voora D, Rao AK, Jalagadugula GS, et al.
Systems Pharmacogenomics Finds RUNX1 Is an Aspirin-Responsive Transcription Factor Linked to Cardiovascular Disease and Colon Cancer.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 11:157-164 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2017 Related Publications
Aspirin prevents cardiovascular disease and colon cancer; however aspirin's inhibition of platelet COX-1 only partially explains its diverse effects. We previously identified an aspirin response signature (ARS) in blood consisting of 62 co-expressed transcripts that correlated with aspirin's effects on platelets and myocardial infarction (MI). Here we report that 60% of ARS transcripts are regulated by RUNX1 - a hematopoietic transcription factor - and 48% of ARS gene promoters contain a RUNX1 binding site. Megakaryocytic cells exposed to aspirin and its metabolite (salicylic acid, a weak COX-1 inhibitor) showed up regulation in the RUNX1 P1 isoform and MYL9, which is transcriptionally regulated by RUNX1. In human subjects, RUNX1 P1 expression in blood and RUNX1-regulated platelet proteins, including MYL9, were aspirin-responsive and associated with platelet function. In cardiovascular disease patients RUNX1 P1 expression was associated with death or MI. RUNX1 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in gastrointestinal malignancies. We show that RUNX1 P1 expression is associated with colon cancer free survival suggesting a role for RUNX1 in aspirin's protective effect in colon cancer. Our studies reveal an effect of aspirin on RUNX1 and gene expression that may additionally explain aspirin's effects in cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Chen LS, Baker T, Hung RJ, et al.
Genetic Risk Can Be Decreased: Quitting Smoking Decreases and Delays Lung Cancer for Smokers With High and Low CHRNA5 Risk Genotypes - A Meta-Analysis.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 11:219-226 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent meta-analyses show that individuals with high risk variants in CHRNA5 on chromosome 15q25 are likely to develop lung cancer earlier than those with low-risk genotypes. The same high-risk genetic variants also predict nicotine dependence and delayed smoking cessation. It is unclear whether smoking cessation confers the same benefits in terms of lung cancer risk reduction for those who possess CHRNA5 risk variants versus those who do not.
METHODS: Meta-analyses examined the association between smoking cessation and lung cancer risk in 15 studies of individuals with European ancestry who possessed varying rs16969968 genotypes (N=12,690 ever smokers, including 6988 cases of lung cancer and 5702 controls) in the International Lung Cancer Consortium.
RESULTS: Smoking cessation (former vs. current smokers) was associated with a lower likelihood of lung cancer (OR=0.48, 95%CI=0.30-0.75, p=0.0015). Among lung cancer patients, smoking cessation was associated with a 7-year delay in median age of lung cancer diagnosis (HR=0.68, 95%CI=0.61-0.77, p=4.9∗10(-10)). The CHRNA5 rs16969968 risk genotype (AA) was associated with increased risk and earlier diagnosis for lung cancer, but the beneficial effects of smoking cessation were very similar in those with and without the risk genotype.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrate that quitting smoking is highly beneficial in reducing lung cancer risks for smokers regardless of their CHRNA5 rs16969968 genetic risk status. Smokers with high-risk CHRNA5 genotypes, on average, can largely eliminate their elevated genetic risk for lung cancer by quitting smoking- cutting their risk of lung cancer in half and delaying its onset by 7years for those who develop it. These results: 1) underscore the potential value of smoking cessation for all smokers, 2) suggest that CHRNA5 rs16969968 genotype affects lung cancer diagnosis through its effects on smoking, and 3) have potential value for framing preventive interventions for those who smoke.

Lynch KR, Thorpe SB, Santos WL
Sphingosine kinase inhibitors: a review of patent literature (2006-2015).
Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2016; 26(12):1409-1416 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Sphingosine kinase (SphK1 & SphK2) is the sole source of the pleiotropic lipid mediator, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). S1P has been implicated in a variety of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, sickle cell disease and fibrosis and thus the biosynthetic route to S1P is a logical target for drug discovery. Areas covered: In this review, the authors consider the SphK inhibitor patent literature from 2006-2016 Q1 with the emphasis on composition of matter utility patents. The Espacenet database was queried with the search term 'sphingosine AND kinase' to identify relevant literature. Expert opinion: Early inhibitor discovery focused on SphK1 with a bias towards oncology indications. Structurally, the reported inhibitors occupy the sphingosine 'J-shaped' binding pocket. The lack of cytotoxicity with improved SphK1 inhibitors raises doubt about the enzyme as an oncology target. SphK2 inhibitors are featured in more recent patent applications. Interestingly, both SphK1 and SphK2 inhibition and gene 'knockout' share opposing effects on circulating S1P levels: SphK1 inhibition/gene ablation decreases, while SphK2 inhibition/gene ablation increases, blood S1P. As understanding of S1P's physiological roles increases and more drug-like SphK inhibitors emerge, inhibiting one or both SphK isotypes could provide unique strategies for treating disease.

Halliwill KD, Quigley DA, Kang HC, et al.
Panx3 links body mass index and tumorigenesis in a genetically heterogeneous mouse model of carcinogen-induced cancer.
Genome Med. 2016; 8(1):83 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Body mass index (BMI) has been implicated as a primary factor influencing cancer development. However, understanding the relationship between these two complex traits has been confounded by both environmental and genetic heterogeneity.
METHODS: In order to gain insight into the genetic factors linking BMI and cancer, we performed chemical carcinogenesis on a genetically heterogeneous cohort of interspecific backcross mice ((Mus Spretus × FVB/N) F1 × FVB/N). Using this cohort, we performed quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis to identify regions linked to BMI. We then performed an integrated analysis incorporating gene expression, sequence comparison between strains, and gene expression network analysis to identify candidate genes influencing both tumor development and BMI.
RESULTS: Analysis of QTL linked to tumorigenesis and BMI identified several loci associated with both phenotypes. Exploring these loci in greater detail revealed a novel relationship between the Pannexin 3 gene (Panx3) and both BMI and tumorigenesis. Panx3 is positively associated with BMI and is strongly tied to a lipid metabolism gene expression network. Pre-treatment Panx3 gene expression levels in normal skin are associated with tumor susceptibility and inhibition of Panx function strongly influences inflammation.
CONCLUSIONS: These studies have identified several genetic loci that influence both BMI and carcinogenesis and implicate Panx3 as a candidate gene that links these phenotypes through its effects on inflammation and lipid metabolism.

Drake JM, Paull EO, Graham NA, et al.
Phosphoproteome Integration Reveals Patient-Specific Networks in Prostate Cancer.
Cell. 2016; 166(4):1041-54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2017 Related Publications
We used clinical tissue from lethal metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients obtained at rapid autopsy to evaluate diverse genomic, transcriptomic, and phosphoproteomic datasets for pathway analysis. Using Tied Diffusion through Interacting Events (TieDIE), we integrated differentially expressed master transcriptional regulators, functionally mutated genes, and differentially activated kinases in CRPC tissues to synthesize a robust signaling network consisting of druggable kinase pathways. Using MSigDB hallmark gene sets, six major signaling pathways with phosphorylation of several key residues were significantly enriched in CRPC tumors after incorporation of phosphoproteomic data. Individual autopsy profiles developed using these hallmarks revealed clinically relevant pathway information potentially suitable for patient stratification and targeted therapies in late stage prostate cancer. Here, we describe phosphorylation-based cancer hallmarks using integrated personalized signatures (pCHIPS) that shed light on the diversity of activated signaling pathways in metastatic CRPC while providing an integrative, pathway-based reference for drug prioritization in individual patients.

Fecteau RE, Kong J, Kresak A, et al.
Association Between Germline Mutation in VSIG10L and Familial Barrett Neoplasia.
JAMA Oncol. 2016; 2(10):1333-1339 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2017 Related Publications
Importance: Esophageal adenocarcinoma and its precursor lesion Barrett esophagus have seen a dramatic increase in incidence over the past 4 decades yet marked genetic heterogeneity of this disease has precluded advances in understanding its pathogenesis and improving treatment.
Objective: To identify novel disease susceptibility variants in a familial syndrome of esophageal adenocarcinoma and Barrett esophagus, termed familial Barrett esophagus, by using high-throughput sequencing in affected individuals from a large, multigenerational family.
Design, Setting, and Participants: We performed whole exome sequencing (WES) from peripheral lymphocyte DNA on 4 distant relatives from our multiplex, multigenerational familial Barrett esophagus family to identify candidate disease susceptibility variants. Gene variants were filtered, verified, and segregation analysis performed to identify a single candidate variant. Gene expression analysis was done with both quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and in situ RNA hybridization. A 3-dimensional organotypic cell culture model of esophageal maturation was utilized to determine the phenotypic effects of our gene variant. We used electron microscopy on esophageal mucosa from an affected family member carrying the gene variant to assess ultrastructural changes.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Identification of a novel, germline disease susceptibility variant in a previously uncharacterized gene.
Results: A multiplex, multigenerational family with 14 members affected (3 members with esophageal adenocarcinoma and 11 with Barrett esophagus) was identified, and whole-exome sequencing identified a germline mutation (S631G) at a highly conserved serine residue in the uncharacterized gene VSIG10L that segregated in affected members. Transfection of S631G variant into a 3-dimensional organotypic culture model of normal esophageal squamous cells dramatically inhibited epithelial maturation compared with the wild-type. VSIG10L exhibited high expression in normal squamous esophagus with marked loss of expression in Barrett-associated lesions. Electron microscopy of squamous esophageal mucosa harboring the S631G variant revealed dilated intercellular spaces and reduced desmosomes.
Conclusions and Relevance: This study presents VSIG10L as a candidate familial Barrett esophagus susceptibility gene, with a putative role in maintaining normal esophageal homeostasis. Further research assessing VSIG10L function may reveal pathways important for esophageal maturation and the pathogenesis of Barrett esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Dorand RD, Nthale J, Myers JT, et al.
Cdk5 disruption attenuates tumor PD-L1 expression and promotes antitumor immunity.
Science. 2016; 353(6297):399-403 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2017 Related Publications
Cancers often evade immune surveillance by adopting peripheral tissue- tolerance mechanisms, such as the expression of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1), the inhibition of which results in potent antitumor immunity. Here, we show that cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5), a serine-threonine kinase that is highly active in postmitotic neurons and in many cancers, allows medulloblastoma (MB) to evade immune elimination. Interferon-γ (IFN-γ)-induced PD-L1 up-regulation on MB requires Cdk5, and disruption of Cdk5 expression in a mouse model of MB results in potent CD4(+) T cell-mediated tumor rejection. Loss of Cdk5 results in persistent expression of the PD-L1 transcriptional repressors, the interferon regulatory factors IRF2 and IRF2BP2, which likely leads to reduced PD-L1 expression on tumors. Our finding highlights a central role for Cdk5 in immune checkpoint regulation by tumor cells.

Pritchard CC, Mateo J, Walsh MF, et al.
Inherited DNA-Repair Gene Mutations in Men with Metastatic Prostate Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(5):443-53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Inherited mutations in DNA-repair genes such as BRCA2 are associated with increased risks of lethal prostate cancer. Although the prevalence of germline mutations in DNA-repair genes among men with localized prostate cancer who are unselected for family predisposition is insufficient to warrant routine testing, the frequency of such mutations in patients with metastatic prostate cancer has not been established.
METHODS: We recruited 692 men with documented metastatic prostate cancer who were unselected for family history of cancer or age at diagnosis. We isolated germline DNA and used multiplex sequencing assays to assess mutations in 20 DNA-repair genes associated with autosomal dominant cancer-predisposition syndromes.
RESULTS: A total of 84 germline DNA-repair gene mutations that were presumed to be deleterious were identified in 82 men (11.8%); mutations were found in 16 genes, including BRCA2 (37 men [5.3%]), ATM (11 [1.6%]), CHEK2 (10 [1.9% of 534 men with data]), BRCA1 (6 [0.9%]), RAD51D (3 [0.4%]), and PALB2 (3 [0.4%]). Mutation frequencies did not differ according to whether a family history of prostate cancer was present or according to age at diagnosis. Overall, the frequency of germline mutations in DNA-repair genes among men with metastatic prostate cancer significantly exceeded the prevalence of 4.6% among 499 men with localized prostate cancer (P<0.001), including men with high-risk disease, and the prevalence of 2.7% in the Exome Aggregation Consortium, which includes 53,105 persons without a known cancer diagnosis (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: In our multicenter study, the incidence of germline mutations in genes mediating DNA-repair processes among men with metastatic prostate cancer was 11.8%, which was significantly higher than the incidence among men with localized prostate cancer. The frequencies of germline mutations in DNA-repair genes among men with metastatic disease did not differ significantly according to age at diagnosis or family history of prostate cancer. (Funded by Stand Up To Cancer and others.).

Zaretsky JM, Garcia-Diaz A, Shin DS, et al.
Mutations Associated with Acquired Resistance to PD-1 Blockade in Melanoma.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(9):819-29 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Approximately 75% of objective responses to anti-programmed death 1 (PD-1) therapy in patients with melanoma are durable, lasting for years, but delayed relapses have been noted long after initial objective tumor regression despite continuous therapy. Mechanisms of immune escape in this context are unknown.
METHODS: We analyzed biopsy samples from paired baseline and relapsing lesions in four patients with metastatic melanoma who had had an initial objective tumor regression in response to anti-PD-1 therapy (pembrolizumab) followed by disease progression months to years later.
RESULTS: Whole-exome sequencing detected clonal selection and outgrowth of the acquired resistant tumors and, in two of the four patients, revealed resistance-associated loss-of-function mutations in the genes encoding interferon-receptor-associated Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) or Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), concurrent with deletion of the wild-type allele. A truncating mutation in the gene encoding the antigen-presenting protein beta-2-microglobulin (B2M) was identified in a third patient. JAK1 and JAK2 truncating mutations resulted in a lack of response to interferon gamma, including insensitivity to its antiproliferative effects on cancer cells. The B2M truncating mutation led to loss of surface expression of major histocompatibility complex class I.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, acquired resistance to PD-1 blockade immunotherapy in patients with melanoma was associated with defects in the pathways involved in interferon-receptor signaling and in antigen presentation. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).

Illendula A, Gilmour J, Grembecka J, et al.
Small Molecule Inhibitor of CBFβ-RUNX Binding for RUNX Transcription Factor Driven Cancers.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 8:117-31 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Transcription factors have traditionally been viewed with skepticism as viable drug targets, but they offer the potential for completely novel mechanisms of action that could more effectively address the stem cell like properties, such as self-renewal and chemo-resistance, that lead to the failure of traditional chemotherapy approaches. Core binding factor is a heterodimeric transcription factor comprised of one of 3 RUNX proteins (RUNX1-3) and a CBFβ binding partner. CBFβ enhances DNA binding of RUNX subunits by relieving auto-inhibition. Both RUNX1 and CBFβ are frequently mutated in human leukemia. More recently, RUNX proteins have been shown to be key players in epithelial cancers, suggesting the targeting of this pathway could have broad utility. In order to test this, we developed small molecules which bind to CBFβ and inhibit its binding to RUNX. Treatment with these inhibitors reduces binding of RUNX1 to target genes, alters the expression of RUNX1 target genes, and impacts cell survival and differentiation. These inhibitors show efficacy against leukemia cells as well as basal-like (triple-negative) breast cancer cells. These inhibitors provide effective tools to probe the utility of targeting RUNX transcription factor function in other cancers.

Powers JT, Tsanov KM, Pearson DS, et al.
Multiple mechanisms disrupt the let-7 microRNA family in neuroblastoma.
Nature. 2016; 535(7611):246-51 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Poor prognosis in neuroblastoma is associated with genetic amplification of MYCN. MYCN is itself a target of let-7, a tumour suppressor family of microRNAs implicated in numerous cancers. LIN28B, an inhibitor of let-7 biogenesis, is overexpressed in neuroblastoma and has been reported to regulate MYCN. Here we show, however, that LIN28B is dispensable in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines, despite de-repression of let-7. We further demonstrate that MYCN messenger RNA levels in amplified disease are exceptionally high and sufficient to sponge let-7, which reconciles the dispensability of LIN28B. We found that genetic loss of let-7 is common in neuroblastoma, inversely associated with MYCN amplification, and independently associated with poor outcomes, providing a rationale for chromosomal loss patterns in neuroblastoma. We propose that let-7 disruption by LIN28B, MYCN sponging, or genetic loss is a unifying mechanism of neuroblastoma development with broad implications for cancer pathogenesis.

Denny SK, Yang D, Chuang CH, et al.
Nfib Promotes Metastasis through a Widespread Increase in Chromatin Accessibility.
Cell. 2016; 166(2):328-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2017 Related Publications
Metastases are the main cause of cancer deaths, but the mechanisms underlying metastatic progression remain poorly understood. We isolated pure populations of cancer cells from primary tumors and metastases from a genetically engineered mouse model of human small cell lung cancer (SCLC) to investigate the mechanisms that drive the metastatic spread of this lethal cancer. Genome-wide characterization of chromatin accessibility revealed the opening of large numbers of distal regulatory elements across the genome during metastatic progression. These changes correlate with copy number amplification of the Nfib locus, and differentially accessible sites were highly enriched for Nfib transcription factor binding sites. Nfib is necessary and sufficient to increase chromatin accessibility at a large subset of the intergenic regions. Nfib promotes pro-metastatic neuronal gene expression programs and drives the metastatic ability of SCLC cells. The identification of widespread chromatin changes during SCLC progression reveals an unexpected global reprogramming during metastatic progression.

Zhang H, Liu T, Zhang Z, et al.
Integrated Proteogenomic Characterization of Human High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer.
Cell. 2016; 166(3):755-65 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/07/2017 Related Publications
To provide a detailed analysis of the molecular components and underlying mechanisms associated with ovarian cancer, we performed a comprehensive mass-spectrometry-based proteomic characterization of 174 ovarian tumors previously analyzed by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), of which 169 were high-grade serous carcinomas (HGSCs). Integrating our proteomic measurements with the genomic data yielded a number of insights into disease, such as how different copy-number alternations influence the proteome, the proteins associated with chromosomal instability, the sets of signaling pathways that diverse genome rearrangements converge on, and the ones most associated with short overall survival. Specific protein acetylations associated with homologous recombination deficiency suggest a potential means for stratifying patients for therapy. In addition to providing a valuable resource, these findings provide a view of how the somatic genome drives the cancer proteome and associations between protein and post-translational modification levels and clinical outcomes in HGSC. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Lin D, Zhang J, Li J, et al.
An integrative imputation method based on multi-omics datasets.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2016; 17:247 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/07/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Integrative analysis of multi-omics data is becoming increasingly important to unravel functional mechanisms of complex diseases. However, the currently available multi-omics datasets inevitably suffer from missing values due to technical limitations and various constrains in experiments. These missing values severely hinder integrative analysis of multi-omics data. Current imputation methods mainly focus on using single omics data while ignoring biological interconnections and information imbedded in multi-omics data sets.
RESULTS: In this study, a novel multi-omics imputation method was proposed to integrate multiple correlated omics datasets for improving the imputation accuracy. Our method was designed to: 1) combine the estimates of missing value from individual omics data itself as well as from other omics, and 2) simultaneously impute multiple missing omics datasets by an iterative algorithm. We compared our method with five imputation methods using single omics data at different noise levels, sample sizes and data missing rates. The results demonstrated the advantage and efficiency of our method, consistently in terms of the imputation error and the recovery of mRNA-miRNA network structure.
CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that our proposed imputation method can utilize more biological information to minimize the imputation error and thus can improve the performance of downstream analysis such as genetic regulatory network construction.

Muralidharan R, Babu A, Amreddy N, et al.
Folate receptor-targeted nanoparticle delivery of HuR-RNAi suppresses lung cancer cell proliferation and migration.
J Nanobiotechnology. 2016; 14(1):47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/07/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human antigen R (HuR) is an RNA binding protein that is overexpressed in many human cancers, including lung cancer, and has been shown to regulate the expression of several oncoproteins. Further, HuR overexpression in cancer cells has been associated with poor-prognosis and therapy resistance. Therefore, we hypothesized that targeted inhibition of HuR in cancer cells should suppress several HuR-regulated oncoproteins resulting in an effective anticancer efficacy. To test our hypothesis, in the present study we investigated the efficacy of folate receptor-α (FRA)-targeted DOTAP:Cholesterol lipid nanoparticles carrying HuR siRNA (HuR-FNP) against human lung cancer cells.
RESULTS: The therapeutic efficacy of HuR-FNP was tested in FRA overexpressing human H1299 lung cancer cell line and compared to normal lung fibroblast (CCD16) cells that had low to no FRA expression. Physico-chemical characterization studies showed HuR-FNP particle size was 303.3 nm in diameter and had a positive surface charge (+4.3 mV). Gel retardation and serum stability assays showed that the FNPs were efficiently protected siRNA from rapid degradation. FNP uptake was significantly higher in H1299 cells compared to CCD16 cells indicating a receptor-dose effect. The results of competitive inhibition studies in H1299 cells demonstrated that HuR-FNPs were efficiently internalized via FRA-mediated endocytosis. Biologic studies demonstrated HuR-FNP but not C-FNP (control siRNA) induced G1 phase cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in H1299 cells resulting in significant growth inhibition. Further, HuR-FNP exhibited significantly higher cytotoxicity against H1299 cells than it did against CCD16 cells. The reduction in H1299 cell viability was correlated with a marked decrease in HuR mRNA and protein expression. Further, reduced expression of HuR-regulated oncoproteins (cyclin D1, cyclin E, and Bcl-2) and increased p27 tumor suppressor protein were observed in HuR-FNP-treated H1299 cells but not in C-FNP-treated cells. Finally, cell migration was significantly inhibited in HuR-FNP-treated H1299 cells compared to C-FNP.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that HuR is a molecular target for lung cancer therapy and its suppression using HuR-FNP produced significant therapeutic efficacy in vitro.

Ching T, Peplowska K, Huang S, et al.
Pan-Cancer Analyses Reveal Long Intergenic Non-Coding RNAs Relevant to Tumor Diagnosis, Subtyping and Prognosis.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 7:62-72 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/07/2017 Related Publications
Long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) are a relatively new class of non-coding RNAs that have the potential as cancer biomarkers. To seek a panel of lincRNAs as pan-cancer biomarkers, we have analyzed transcriptomes from over 3300 cancer samples with clinical information. Compared to mRNA, lincRNAs exhibit significantly higher tissue specificities that are then diminished in cancer tissues. Moreover, lincRNA clustering results accurately classify tumor subtypes. Using RNA-Seq data from thousands of paired tumor and adjacent normal samples in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we identify six lincRNAs as potential pan-cancer diagnostic biomarkers (PCAN-1 to PCAN-6). These lincRNAs are robustly validated using cancer samples from four independent RNA-Seq data sets, and are verified by qPCR in both primary breast cancers and MCF-7 cell line. Interestingly, the expression levels of these six lincRNAs are also associated with prognosis in various cancers. We further experimentally explored the growth and migration dependence of breast and colon cancer cell lines on two of the identified lncRNAs. In summary, our study highlights the emerging role of lincRNAs as potentially powerful and biologically functional pan-cancer biomarkers and represents a significant leap forward in understanding the biological and clinical functions of lincRNAs in cancers.

Nicolas E, Golemis EA, Arora S
POLD1: Central mediator of DNA replication and repair, and implication in cancer and other pathologies.
Gene. 2016; 590(1):128-41 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2017 Related Publications
The evolutionarily conserved human polymerase delta (POLD1) gene encodes the large p125 subunit which provides the essential catalytic activities of polymerase δ (Polδ), mediated by 5'-3' DNA polymerase and 3'-5' exonuclease moieties. POLD1 associates with three smaller subunits (POLD2, POLD3, POLD4), which together with Replication Factor C and Proliferating Nuclear Cell Antigen constitute the polymerase holoenzyme. Polδ function is essential for replication, with a primary role as the replicase for the lagging strand. Polδ also has an important proofreading ability conferred by the exonuclease activity, which is critical for ensuring replicative fidelity, but also serves to repair DNA lesions arising as a result of exposure to mutagens. Polδ has been shown to be important for multiple forms of DNA repair, including nucleotide excision repair, double strand break repair, base excision repair, and mismatch repair. A growing number of studies in the past decade have linked germline and sporadic mutations in POLD1 and the other subunits of Polδ with human pathologies. Mutations in Polδ in mice and humans lead to genomic instability, mutator phenotype and tumorigenesis. The advent of genome sequencing techniques has identified damaging mutations in the proofreading domain of POLD1 as the underlying cause of some inherited cancers, and suggested that mutations in POLD1 may influence therapeutic management. In addition, mutations in POLD1 have been identified in the developmental disorders of mandibular hypoplasia, deafness, progeroid features and lipodystrophy and atypical Werner syndrome, while changes in expression or activity of POLD1 have been linked to senescence and aging. Intriguingly, some recent evidence suggests that POLD1 function may also be altered in diabetes. We provide an overview of critical Polδ activities in the context of these pathologic conditions.

Fox RG, Lytle NK, Jaquish DV, et al.
Image-based detection and targeting of therapy resistance in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Nature. 2016; 534(7607):407-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2017 Related Publications
Pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia is a pre-malignant lesion that can progress to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, a highly lethal malignancy marked by its late stage at clinical presentation and profound drug resistance. The genomic alterations that commonly occur in pancreatic cancer include activation of KRAS2 and inactivation of p53 and SMAD4 (refs 2-4). So far, however, it has been challenging to target these pathways therapeutically; thus the search for other key mediators of pancreatic cancer growth remains an important endeavour. Here we show that the stem cell determinant Musashi (Msi) is a critical element of pancreatic cancer progression both in genetic models and in patient-derived xenografts. Specifically, we developed Msi reporter mice that allowed image-based tracking of stem cell signals within cancers, revealing that Msi expression rises as pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia progresses to adenocarcinoma, and that Msi-expressing cells are key drivers of pancreatic cancer: they preferentially harbour the capacity to propagate adenocarcinoma, are enriched in circulating tumour cells, and are markedly drug resistant. This population could be effectively targeted by deletion of either Msi1 or Msi2, which led to a striking defect in the progression of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia to adenocarcinoma and an improvement in overall survival. Msi inhibition also blocked the growth of primary patient-derived tumours, suggesting that this signal is required for human disease. To define the translational potential of this work we developed antisense oligonucleotides against Msi; these showed reliable tumour penetration, uptake and target inhibition, and effectively blocked pancreatic cancer growth. Collectively, these studies highlight Msi reporters as a unique tool to identify therapy resistance, and define Msi signalling as a central regulator of pancreatic cancer.

Goodarzi H, Nguyen HC, Zhang S, et al.
Modulated Expression of Specific tRNAs Drives Gene Expression and Cancer Progression.
Cell. 2016; 165(6):1416-27 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are primarily viewed as static contributors to gene expression. By developing a high-throughput tRNA profiling method, we find that specific tRNAs are upregulated in human breast cancer cells as they gain metastatic activity. Through loss-of-function, gain-of-function, and clinical-association studies, we implicate tRNAGluUUC and tRNAArgCCG as promoters of breast cancer metastasis. Upregulation of these tRNAs enhances stability and ribosome occupancy of transcripts enriched for their cognate codons. Specifically, tRNAGluUUC promotes metastatic progression by directly enhancing EXOSC2 expression and enhancing GRIPAP1-constituting an "inducible" pathway driven by a tRNA. The cellular proteomic shift toward a pro-metastatic state mirrors global tRNA shifts, allowing for cell-state and cell-type transgene expression optimization through codon content quantification. TRNA modulation represents a mechanism by which cells achieve altered expression of specific transcripts and proteins. TRNAs are thus dynamic regulators of gene expression and the tRNA codon landscape can causally and specifically impact disease progression.

Mertins P, Mani DR, Ruggles KV, et al.
Proteogenomics connects somatic mutations to signalling in breast cancer.
Nature. 2016; 534(7605):55-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
Somatic mutations have been extensively characterized in breast cancer, but the effects of these genetic alterations on the proteomic landscape remain poorly understood. Here we describe quantitative mass-spectrometry-based proteomic and phosphoproteomic analyses of 105 genomically annotated breast cancers, of which 77 provided high-quality data. Integrated analyses provided insights into the somatic cancer genome including the consequences of chromosomal loss, such as the 5q deletion characteristic of basal-like breast cancer. Interrogation of the 5q trans-effects against the Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures, connected loss of CETN3 and SKP1 to elevated expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and SKP1 loss also to increased SRC tyrosine kinase. Global proteomic data confirmed a stromal-enriched group of proteins in addition to basal and luminal clusters, and pathway analysis of the phosphoproteome identified a G-protein-coupled receptor cluster that was not readily identified at the mRNA level. In addition to ERBB2, other amplicon-associated highly phosphorylated kinases were identified, including CDK12, PAK1, PTK2, RIPK2 and TLK2. We demonstrate that proteogenomic analysis of breast cancer elucidates the functional consequences of somatic mutations, narrows candidate nominations for driver genes within large deletions and amplified regions, and identifies therapeutic targets.

Fang D, Gan H, Lee JH, et al.
The histone H3.3K36M mutation reprograms the epigenome of chondroblastomas.
Science. 2016; 352(6291):1344-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
More than 90% of chondroblastomas contain a heterozygous mutation replacing lysine-36 with methionine-36 (K36M) in the histone H3 variant H3.3. Here we show that H3K36 methylation is reduced globally in human chondroblastomas and in chondrocytes harboring the same genetic mutation, due to inhibition of at least two H3K36 methyltransferases, MMSET and SETD2, by the H3.3K36M mutant proteins. Genes with altered expression as well as H3K36 di- and trimethylation in H3.3K36M cells are enriched in cancer pathways. In addition, H3.3K36M chondrocytes exhibit several hallmarks of cancer cells, including increased ability to form colonies, resistance to apoptosis, and defects in differentiation. Thus, H3.3K36M proteins reprogram the H3K36 methylation landscape and contribute to tumorigenesis, in part through altering the expression of cancer-associated genes.

Verma P, Greenberg RA
Noncanonical views of homology-directed DNA repair.
Genes Dev. 2016; 30(10):1138-54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 02/06/2017 Related Publications
DNA repair is essential to maintain genomic integrity and initiate genetic diversity. While gene conversion and classical nonhomologous end-joining are the most physiologically predominant forms of DNA repair mechanisms, emerging lines of evidence suggest the usage of several noncanonical homology-directed repair (HDR) pathways in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes in different contexts. Here we review how these alternative HDR pathways are executed, specifically focusing on the determinants that dictate competition between them and their relevance to cancers that display complex genomic rearrangements or maintain their telomeres by homology-directed DNA synthesis.

Walsh KM, Whitehead TP, de Smith AJ, et al.
Common genetic variants associated with telomere length confer risk for neuroblastoma and other childhood cancers.
Carcinogenesis. 2016; 37(6):576-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
Aberrant telomere lengthening is an important feature of cancer cells in adults and children. In addition to somatic mutations, germline polymorphisms in telomere maintenance genes impact telomere length. Whether these telomere-associated polymorphisms affect risk of childhood malignancies remains largely unexplored. We collected genome-wide data from three groups with pediatric malignancies [neuroblastoma (N = 1516), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (N = 958) and osteosarcoma (N = 660)] and three control populations (N = 6892). Using case-control comparisons, we analyzed eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes definitively associated with interindividual variation in leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in prior genome-wide association studies: ACYP2, TERC, NAF1, TERT, OBFC1, CTC1, ZNF208 and RTEL1 Six of these SNPs were associated (P < 0.05) with neuroblastoma risk, one with leukemia risk and one with osteosarcoma risk. The allele associated with longer LTL increased cancer risk for all these significantly associated SNPs. Using a weighted linear combination of the eight LTL-associated SNPs, we observed that neuroblastoma patients were predisposed to longer LTL than controls, with each standard deviation increase in genotypically estimated LTL associated with a 1.15-fold increased odds of neuroblastoma (95%CI = 1.09-1.22; P = 7.9×10(-7)). This effect was more pronounced in adolescent-onset neuroblastoma patients (OR = 1.46; 95%CI = 1.03-2.08). A one standard deviation increase in genotypically estimated LTL was more weakly associated with osteosarcoma risk (OR = 1.10; 95%CI = 1.01-1.19; P = 0.017) and leukemia risk (OR = 1.07; 95%CI = 1.00-1.14; P = 0.044), specifically for leukemia patients who relapsed (OR = 1.19; 95%CI = 1.01-1.40; P = 0.043). These results indicate that genetic predisposition to longer LTL is a newly identified risk factor for neuroblastoma and potentially for other cancers of childhood.

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