PPP2R1A

Gene Summary

Gene:PPP2R1A; protein phosphatase 2 scaffold subunit Aalpha
Aliases: MRD36, PP2AA, PR65A, PP2AAALPHA, PP2A-Aalpha
Location:19q13.41
Summary:This gene encodes a constant regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2. Protein phosphatase 2 is one of the four major Ser/Thr phosphatases, and it is implicated in the negative control of cell growth and division. It consists of a common heteromeric core enzyme, which is composed of a catalytic subunit and a constant regulatory subunit, that associates with a variety of regulatory subunits. The constant regulatory subunit A serves as a scaffolding molecule to coordinate the assembly of the catalytic subunit and a variable regulatory B subunit. This gene encodes an alpha isoform of the constant regulatory subunit A. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been described. [provided by RefSeq, Apr 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 2A 65 kDa regulatory subunit A alpha isoform
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (37)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (3)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • PTEN
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous
  • Carcinoma
  • Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Transcription Factors
  • p53 Protein
  • cdc25 Phosphatases
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Endometrioid Carcinoma
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • ras Proteins
  • Protein Phosphatase 2
  • Transcription
  • Young Adult
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Risk Assessment
  • Cancer DNA
  • Breast Cancer
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Mutation
  • Melanoma
  • src-Family Kinases
  • Wilms Tumour
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Chromosome 19
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • RTPCR
  • Signal Transduction
  • Risk Factors
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

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: PPP2R1A (cancer-related)

Lu YW, Zhang HF, Liang R, et al.
Colorectal Cancer Genetic Heterogeneity Delineated by Multi-Region Sequencing.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(3):e0152673 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) leads to an underestimation of the mutational landscape portrayed by a single needle biopsy and consequently affects treatment precision. The extent of colorectal cancer (CRC) genetic ITH is not well understood in Chinese patients. Thus, we conducted deep sequencing by using the OncoGxOne™ Plus panel, targeting 333 cancer-specific genes in multi-region biopsies of primary and liver metastatic tumors from three Chinese CRC patients. We determined that the extent of ITH varied among the three cases. On average, 65% of all the mutations detected were common within individual tumors. KMT2C aberrations and the NCOR1 mutation were the only ubiquitous events. Subsequent phylogenetic analysis showed that the tumors evolved in a branched manner. Comparison of the primary and metastatic tumors revealed that PPP2R1A (E370X), SETD2 (I1608V), SMAD4 (G382T), and AR splicing site mutations may be specific to liver metastatic cancer. These mutations might contribute to the initiation and progression of distant metastasis. Collectively, our analysis identified a substantial level of genetic ITH in CRC, which should be considered for personalized therapeutic strategies.

Chang YS, Huang HD, Yeh KT, Chang JG
Genetic alterations in endometrial cancer by targeted next-generation sequencing.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2016; 100(1):8-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many genetic factors play important roles in the development of endometrial cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate genetic alterations in the Taiwanese population with endometrial cancer. DNA was extracted from 10 cases of fresh-frozen endometrial cancer tissue. The exomes of cancer-related genes were captured using the NimbleGen Comprehensive Cancer Panel (578 cancer-related genes) and sequenced using the Illumina Genomic Sequencing Platform. Our results revealed 120 variants in 99 genes, 21 of which were included in the Oncomine Cancer Research Panel used in the National Cancer Institute Match Trial. The 21 genes comprised 8 tumor suppressor candidates (ATM, MSH2, PIK3R1, PTCH1, PTEN, TET2, TP53, and TSC1) and 13 oncogene candidates (ALK, BCL9, CTNNB1, ERBB2, FGFR2, FLT3, HNF1A, KIT, MTOR, PDGFRA, PPP2R1A, PTPN11, and SF3B1). We identified a high frequency of mutations in PTEN (50%) and genes involved in the endometrial cancer-related molecular pathway, which involves the IL-7 signaling pathway (PIK3R1, n=1; AKT2, n=1; FOXO1, n=1). We report the mutational landscape of endometrial cancer in the Taiwanese population. We believe that this study will shed new light on fundamental aspects for understanding the molecular pathogenesis of endometrial cancer and may aid in the development of new targeted therapies.

Zou Y, Deng W, Wang F, et al.
A novel somatic MAPK1 mutation in primary ovarian mixed germ cell tumors.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(2):725-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
A recent exome-sequencing study revealed prevalent mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1) p.E322K mutation in cervical carcinoma. It remains largely unknown whether ovarian carcinomas also harbor MAPK1 mutations. As paralogous gene mutations co‑occur frequently in human malignancies, we analyzed here a total of 263 ovarian carcinomas for the presence of MAPK1 and paralogous MAPK3 mutations by DNA sequencing. A previously unreported MAPK1 p.D321N somatic mutation was identified in 2 out of 18 (11.1%) ovarian mixed germ cell tumors, while no other MAPK1 or MAPK3 mutation was detected in our samples. Of note, OCC‑115, the MAPK1‑mutated sample with bilateral cancerous ovaries affected, harbored MAPK1 mutation in the right ovary while retained the left ovary intact, implicating that the genetic alterations underlying ovarian mixed germ cell tumor may be different, even in patients with similar genetic backgrounds and tumor microenvironments. The results of evolutionary conservation and protein structure modeling analysis implicated that MAPK1 p.D321N mutation may be pathogenic. Additionally, mutations in protein phosphatase 2 regulatory subunit α (PPP2R1A), ring finger protein 43 (RNF43), DNA directed polymerase ε (POLE1), ribonuclease type III (DICER1), CCCTC‑binding factor (CTCF), ribosomal protein L22 (RPL22), DNA methyltransferase 3α (DNMT3A), transformation/transcription domain‑associated protein (TRRAP), isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)1 and IDH2 were not detected in ovarian mixed germ cell tumors, implicating these genetic alterations may be not associated with MAPK1 mutation in the development of this malignancy. The present study identified a previously unreported MAPK1 mutation in ovarian mixed germ cell tumors for the first time, and this mutation may be actively involved in the tumorigenesis of this disease.

Kamburov A, Lawrence MS, Polak P, et al.
Comprehensive assessment of cancer missense mutation clustering in protein structures.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(40):E5486-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Large-scale tumor sequencing projects enabled the identification of many new cancer gene candidates through computational approaches. Here, we describe a general method to detect cancer genes based on significant 3D clustering of mutations relative to the structure of the encoded protein products. The approach can also be used to search for proteins with an enrichment of mutations at binding interfaces with a protein, nucleic acid, or small molecule partner. We applied this approach to systematically analyze the PanCancer compendium of somatic mutations from 4,742 tumors relative to all known 3D structures of human proteins in the Protein Data Bank. We detected significant 3D clustering of missense mutations in several previously known oncoproteins including HRAS, EGFR, and PIK3CA. Although clustering of missense mutations is often regarded as a hallmark of oncoproteins, we observed that a number of tumor suppressors, including FBXW7, VHL, and STK11, also showed such clustering. Beside these known cases, we also identified significant 3D clustering of missense mutations in NUF2, which encodes a component of the kinetochore, that could affect chromosome segregation and lead to aneuploidy. Analysis of interaction interfaces revealed enrichment of mutations in the interfaces between FBXW7-CCNE1, HRAS-RASA1, CUL4B-CAND1, OGT-HCFC1, PPP2R1A-PPP2R5C/PPP2R2A, DICER1-Mg2+, MAX-DNA, SRSF2-RNA, and others. Together, our results indicate that systematic consideration of 3D structure can assist in the identification of cancer genes and in the understanding of the functional role of their mutations.

Lee SY, Saito T, Mitomi H, et al.
Mutation spectrum in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in gastric fundic gland-associated neoplasms/polyps.
Virchows Arch. 2015; 467(1):27-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Frequent activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway has recently been demonstrated in gastric adenocarcinoma/neoplasia of chief cell predominant type (GA-CCP/GN-CCP) with submucosal involvement. In this study, we examined the activation status of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in GN-CCP without submucosal involvement, which is referred to as gastric dysplasia-CCP (GD-CCP). We also examined β-catenin expression and the mutation spectrum of PPP2R1A and Wnt pathway genes in 11 cases of GD-CCP, 25 cases of gastric polyps of fundic gland type (GPs-FG), and 21 cases of GPs-FG with dysplasia (GP-FGD). β-catenin nuclear staining was observed in 3 cases of GD-CCP, none of GPs-FG, and 6 cases of GPs-FGD. Mutations in Wnt pathway genes, including PPP2R1A, were observed in 4 cases of GDs-CCP, 10 cases of GPs-FG, and 7 cases of GPs-FGD. Two of these seven GPs-FGD cases showed β-catenin nuclear staining. However, none of the 4 GD-CCP cases with mutations or the 10 GPs-FG cases with mutations showed β-catenin nuclear staining. PPP2R1A mutations were observed in 1 GD-CCP case and 1 GPs-FGD case. Although the mutation spectra of the Wnt pathway genes in GD-CCP and GP-FG differed, based on the absence of β-catenin nuclear staining despite the genetic alterations, GD-CCP is more similar to GP-FG than to GN-CCP, which shows β-catenin nuclear staining and submucosal involvement. Activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling by the β-catenin nuclear transition may be required during progression from GD-CCP to GN-CCP. Furthermore, this is the first report describing PPP2R1A mutations in gastric fundic gland-associated neoplasms.

Stelloo E, Bosse T, Nout RA, et al.
Refining prognosis and identifying targetable pathways for high-risk endometrial cancer; a TransPORTEC initiative.
Mod Pathol. 2015; 28(6):836-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to investigate whether molecular analysis can be used to refine risk assessment, direct adjuvant therapy, and identify actionable alterations in high-risk endometrial cancer. TransPORTEC, an international consortium related to the PORTEC3 trial, was established for translational research in high-risk endometrial cancer. In this explorative study, routine molecular analyses were used to detect prognostic subgroups: p53 immunohistochemistry, microsatellite instability and POLE proofreading mutation. Furthermore, DNA was analyzed for hotspot mutations in 13 additional genes (BRAF, CDKNA2, CTNNB1, FBXW7, FGFR2, FGFR3, FOXL2, HRAS, KRAS, NRAS, PIK3CA, PPP2R1A, and PTEN) and protein expression of ER, PR, PTEN, and ARID1a was analyzed. Rates of distant metastasis, recurrence-free, and overall survival were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test. In total, samples of 116 high-risk endometrial cancer patients were included: 86 endometrioid; 12 serous; and 18 clear cell. For endometrioid, serous, and clear cell cancers, 5-year recurrence-free survival rates were 68%, 27%, and 50% (P=0.014) and distant metastasis rates 23%, 64%, and 50% (P=0.001), respectively. Four prognostic subgroups were identified: (1) a group of p53-mutant tumors; (2) microsatellite instable tumors; (3) POLE proofreading-mutant tumors; and (4) a group with no specific molecular profile (NSMP). In group 3 (POLE-mutant; n=14) and group 2 (microsatellite instable; n=19) patients, no distant metastasis occurred, compared with 50% distant metastasis rate in group 1 (p53-mutant; n=36) and 39% in group 4 (NSMP; P<0.001). Five-year recurrence-free survival was 93% and 95% for group 3 (POLE-mutant) and group 2 (microsatellite instable) vs 42% (group 1, p53-mutant) and 52% (group 4, NSMP; P<0.001). Targetable FBXW7 and FGFR2 mutations (6%), alterations in the PI3K-AKT pathway (60%) and hormone receptor positivity (45%) were frequently found. In conclusion, molecular analysis of high-risk endometrial cancer identifies four distinct prognostic subgroups, with potential therapeutic implications. High frequencies of targetable alterations were identified and may serve as targets for individualized treatment.

Hoang LN, McConechy MK, Meng B, et al.
Targeted mutation analysis of endometrial clear cell carcinoma.
Histopathology. 2015; 66(5):664-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Endometrial clear cell carcinomas (CCC) constitute fewer than 5% of all carcinomas of the endometrium. Currently, little is known regarding the genetic basis of endometrial CCC.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed genomic and immunohistochemical analyses on 14 rigorously reviewed pure endometrial CCC. The genomic analysis consisted of sequencing the coding regions of 26 genes implicated previously in endometrial carcinoma. Twelve of 14 tumours displayed a prototypical CCC immunophenotype [napsin A+, hepatocyte nuclear factor-1β (HNF1β(+) ) and oestrogen receptor(-) ] and all showed intact mismatch repair protein expression. We detected mutations in 11 of 14 tumours, and there was a predominance of mutations involving genes that are mutated more frequently in endometrial serous carcinomas than in endometrioid carcinomas. Two tumours displayed a prototypical serous carcinoma mutation profile (concurrent TP53 and PPP2R1A mutations, without PTEN, CTNNB1 or ARID1A mutation). No mutations in PTEN, CTNNB1 or POLE were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: The overall mutation profile of this cohort of endometrial CCC appears to be more serous-like than endometrioid-like, with a minor subset in the TP53-mutated CCC showing serous carcinoma profile. These findings provide new insights into the molecular features of morphologically prototypical endometrial CCC, and underscore the need for further investigations into the oncogenesis of endometrial CCC.

Trietsch MD, Spaans VM, ter Haar NT, et al.
CDKN2A(p16) and HRAS are frequently mutated in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 135(1):149-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Two etiologic pathways of vulvar cancer are known, a human papillomavirus (HPV)- and a TP53-associated route, respectively, but other genetic changes may also play a role. Studies on somatic mutations in vulvar cancer other than TP53 are limited in number and size. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of genetic mutations in 107 vulvar squamous cell carcinomas (VSCCs).
METHODS: A total of 107 paraffin-embedded tissue samples of primarily surgically treated VSCCs were tested for HPV infection and screened for mutations in 14 genes (BRAF, CDKN2A(p16), CTNNB1, FBXW7, FGFR2, FGFR3, FOXL2, HRAS, KRAS, NRAS, PIK3CA, PPP2R1A, PTEN, and TP53) using Sanger sequencing and mass spectrometry.
RESULTS: Mutations were detected in 7 genes. Of 107 VSCCs, 66 tumors (62%) contained at least one mutation (TP53=58, CDKN2A(p16)=14, HRAS=10, PIK3CA=7, PPP2R1A=3, KRAS=1, PTEN=1). Mutations occurred most frequently in HPV-negative samples. Five-year survival was significantly worse for patients with a mutation (47% vs 59%, P=.035), with a large effect from patients carrying HRAS-mutations.
CONCLUSION: Somatic mutations were detected in 62% of VSCCs. As expected, HPV infection and TP53-mutations play a key role in the development of VSCC, but CDKN2A(p16), HRAS, and PIK3CA-mutations were also frequently seen in HPV-negative patients. Patients with somatic mutations, especially HRAS-mutations, have a significantly worse prognosis than patients lacking these changes, which could be of importance for the development of targeted therapy.

Nifoussi SK, Ratcliffe NR, Ornstein DL, et al.
Inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) prevents Mcl-1 protein dephosphorylation at the Thr-163/Ser-159 phosphodegron, dramatically reducing expression in Mcl-1-amplified lymphoma cells.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(32):21950-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Abundant, sustained expression of prosurvival Mcl-1 is an important determinant of viability and drug resistance in cancer cells. The Mcl-1 protein contains PEST sequences (enriched in proline, glutamic acid, serine, and threonine) and is normally subject to rapid turnover via multiple different pathways. One of these pathways involves a phosphodegron in the PEST region, where Thr-163 phosphorylation primes for Ser-159 phosphorylation by glycogen synthase kinase-3. Turnover via this phosphodegron-targeted pathway is reduced in Mcl-1-overexpressing BL41-3 Burkitt lymphoma and other cancer cells; turnover is further slowed in the presence of phorbol ester-induced ERK activation, resulting in Mcl-1 stabilization and an exacerbation of chemoresistance. The present studies focused on Mcl-1 dephosphorylation, which was also found to profoundly influence turnover. Exposure of BL41-3 cells to an inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), okadaic acid, resulted in a rapid increase in phosphorylation at Thr-163 and Ser-159, along with a precipitous decrease in Mcl-1 expression. The decline in Mcl-1 expression preceded the appearance of cell death markers and was not slowed in the presence of phorbol ester. Upon exposure to calyculin A, which also potently inhibits PP2A, versus tautomycin, which does not, only the former increased Thr-163/Ser-159 phosphorylation and decreased Mcl-1 expression. Mcl-1 co-immunoprecipitated with PP2A upon transfection into CHO cells, and PP2A/Aα knockdown recapitulated the increase in Mcl-1 phosphorylation and decrease in expression. In sum, inhibition of PP2A prevents Mcl-1 dephosphorylation and results in rapid loss of this prosurvival protein in chemoresistant cancer cells.

Spaans VM, Trietsch MD, Crobach S, et al.
Designing a high-throughput somatic mutation profiling panel specifically for gynaecological cancers.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e93451 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Somatic mutations play a major role in tumour initiation and progression. The mutation status of a tumour may predict prognosis and guide targeted therapies. The majority of techniques to study oncogenic mutations require high quality and quantity DNA or are analytically challenging. Mass-spectrometry based mutation analysis however is a relatively simple and high-throughput method suitable for formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumour material. Targeted gene panels using this technique have been developed for several types of cancer. These current cancer hotspot panels are not focussed on the genes that are most relevant in gynaecological cancers. In this study, we report the design and validation of a novel, mass-spectrometry based panel specifically for gynaecological malignancies and present the frequencies of detected mutations. Using frequency data from the online Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer, we selected 171 somatic hotspot mutations in the 13 most important genes for gynaecological cancers, being BRAF, CDKN2A, CTNNB1, FBXW7, FGFR2, FGFR3, FOXL2, HRAS, KRAS, NRAS, PIK3CA, PPP2R1A and PTEN. A total of 546 tumours (205 cervical, 227 endometrial, 89 ovarian, and 25 vulvar carcinomas) were used to test and validate our panel, and to study the prevalence and spectrum of somatic mutations in these types of cancer. The results were validated by testing duplicate samples and by allele-specific qPCR. The panel presented here using mass-spectrometry shows to be reproducible and high-throughput, and is usefull in FFPE material of low quality and quantity. It provides new possibilities for studying large numbers of gynaecological tumour samples in daily practice, and could be useful in guided therapy selection.

Zou Y, Liu FY, Liu H, et al.
Frequent POLE1 p.S297F mutation in Chinese patients with ovarian endometrioid carcinoma.
Mutat Res. 2014; 761:49-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
The catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase epsilon (POLE1) functions primarily in nuclear DNA replication and repair. Recently, POLE1 mutations were detected frequently in colorectal and endometrial carcinomas while with lower frequency in several other types of cancer, and the p.P286R and p.V411L mutations were the potential mutation hotspots in human cancers. Nevertheless, the mutation frequency of POLE1 in ovarian cancer still remains largely unknown. Here, we screened a total of 251 Chinese samples with distinct subtypes of ovarian carcinoma for the presence of POLE1 hotspot mutations by direct sequencing. A heterozygous somatic POLE1 mutation, p.S297F (c.890C>T), but not p.P286R and p.V411L hotspot mutations observed in other cancer types, was identified in 3 out of 37 (8.1%) patients with ovarian endometrioid carcinoma; this mutation was evolutionarily highly conserved from Homo sapiens to Schizosaccharomyces. Of note, the POLE1 mutation coexisted with mutation in the ovarian cancer-associated PPP2R1A (protein phosphatase 2, regulatory subunit A, α) gene in a 46-year-old patient, who was also diagnosed with ectopic endometriosis in the benign ovary. In addition, a 45-year-old POLE1-mutated ovarian endometrioid carcinoma patient was also diagnosed with uterine leiomyoma while the remaining 52-year-old POLE1-mutated patient showed no additional distinctive clinical manifestation. In contrast to high frequency of POLE1 mutations in ovarian endometrioid carcinoma, no POLE1 mutations were identified in patients with other subtypes of ovarian carcinoma. Our results showed for the first time that the POLE1 p.S297F mutation, but not p.P286R and p.V411L hotspot mutations observed in other cancer types, was frequent in Chinese ovarian endometrioid carcinoma, but absent in other subtypes of ovarian carcinoma. These results implicated that POLE1 p.S297F mutation might be actively involved in the pathogenesis of ovarian endometrioid carcinoma, but might not be actively involved in other subtypes of ovarian carcinoma.

Kuhn E, Ayhan A, Bahadirli-Talbott A, et al.
Molecular characterization of undifferentiated carcinoma associated with endometrioid carcinoma.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(5):660-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uterine and ovarian undifferentiated carcinomas (UCs) are often associated with low-grade endometrioid carcinomas (EMCs) and are characterized by a solid growth pattern and a lack of appreciable features of differentiation. As compared with pure EMC, UC is highly malignant, and the molecular pathogenesis that leads to disease aggressiveness remains largely unknown. This study interrogates the molecular pathogenesis of UCs by comparing the molecular alterations between the UC and the EMC components. A total of 20 UCs were studied, 12 of which contained both UC and EMC components. Mutation analysis was performed for the genes commonly mutated in EMC, and immunohistochemistry was used to determine the expression pattern of β-catenin and PTEN. Sequencing analysis revealed that UCs harbored somatic mutations in PIK3CA (50%), CTNNB1 (30%), TP53 (30%), FBXW7 (20%), and PPP2R1A (20%). All somatic mutations detected in EMCs were also present in concurrent UCs. Moreover, additional somatic mutations were detected in the UC component in 5 (42%) cases with concurrent EMC and UC. Concordance of immunostaining pattern for β-catenin and PTEN was recorded in all 12 matched EMCs and UCs, except 4 cases in which nuclear accumulation of β-catenin staining was detected in one of the components but not in the other. Our findings support a clonal relationship between EMCs and their associated UCs. Additional molecular genetics alteration, including mutations of CTNNB1, PPP2R1A, and TP53, may contribute to tumor progression from EMC to UC.

Bian Y, Kitagawa R, Bansal PK, et al.
Synthetic genetic array screen identifies PP2A as a therapeutic target in Mad2-overexpressing tumors.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(4):1628-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The spindle checkpoint is essential to ensure proper chromosome segregation and thereby maintain genomic stability. Mitotic arrest deficiency 2 (Mad2), a critical component of the spindle checkpoint, is overexpressed in many cancer cells. Thus, we hypothesized that Mad2 overexpression could specifically make cancer cells susceptible to death by inducing a synthetic dosage lethality defect. Because the spindle checkpoint pathway is highly conserved between yeast and humans, we performed a synthetic genetic array analysis in yeast, which revealed that Mad2 overexpression induced lethality in 13 gene deletions. Among the human homologs of candidate genes, knockdown of PPP2R1A, a gene encoding a constant regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2, significantly inhibited the growth of Mad2-overexpressing tumor cells. PPP2R1A inhibition induced Mad2 phosphorylation and suppressed Mad2 protein levels. Depletion of PPP2R1A inhibited colony formation of Mad2-overexpressing HeLa cells but not of unphosphorylated Mad2 mutant-overexpressing cells, suggesting that the lethality induced by PP2A depletion in Mad2-overexpressing cells is dependent on Mad2 phosphorylation. Also, the PP2A inhibitor cantharidin induced Mad2 phosphorylation and inhibited the growth of Mad2-overexpressing cancer cells. Aurora B knockdown inhibited Mad2 phosphorylation in mitosis, resulting in the blocking of PPP2R1A inhibition-induced cell death. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that PP2A is a good therapeutic target in Mad2-overexpressing tumors.

Yang R, Yang L, Qiu F, et al.
Functional genetic polymorphisms in PP2A subunit genes confer increased risks of lung cancer in southern and eastern Chinese.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e77285 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Protein phosphatase-2A (PP2A) is one of the major cellular serine-threonine phosphatases and functions as a tumor suppressor that negatively regulates the activity of some oncogenic kinases. Recent studies have reported that PP2A expression was suppressed during lung carcinogenesis, we there hypothesized that the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PP2A subunit genes may affect PP2A function and thus contribute to lung cancer susceptibility. In a two-stage case-control study with a total of 1559 lung cancer patients and 1679 controls, we genotyped eight putative functional SNPs and one identified functional SNP (i.e., rs11453459) in seven major PP2A subunits (i.e., PPP2R1A, PPP2R1B, PPP2CA, PPP2R2A, PPP2R2B, PPP2R5C, PPP2R5E) in southern and eastern Chinese. We found that rs11453459G (-G/GG) variant genotypes of PPP2R1A and the rs1255722AA variant genotype of PPP2R5E conferred increased risks of lung cancer (rs11453459, -G/GG vs. -: OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.13-1.51; rs1255722, AA vs.
AG/GG: OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.07-1.51). After combined the two variants, the number of the adverse genotypes was positively associated with lung cancer risk in a dose-response manner (P trend = 5.63 × 10(-6)). Further functional assay showed that lung cancer tissues carrying rs1255722AA variant genotype had a significantly lower mRNA level of PPP2R5E compared with tissues carrying GG/GA genotypes. However, such effect was not observed for the other SNPs and other combinations. Our findings suggested that the two functional variants in PPP2R1A and PPP2R5E and their combination are associated with lung cancer risk in Chinese, which may be valuable biomarkers to predict risk of lung cancer.

Zou Y, Wang F, Liu FY, et al.
RNF43 mutations are recurrent in Chinese patients with mucinous ovarian carcinoma but absent in other subtypes of ovarian cancer.
Gene. 2013; 531(1):112-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ring finger protein 43 (RNF43) is an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase that accepts ubiquitin from an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme and directly transfers the ubiquitin to targeted substrate proteins. Recently, large-scale sequencing efforts have identified prevalent RNF43 mutations in pancreatic and ovarian mucinous carcinomas. In the present study, we sequenced the entire coding sequences of RNF43 in 251 Chinese patients with distinct subtypes of ovarian cancers for the presence of RNF43 mutations. A total of 2 novel heterozygous nonsynonymous RNF43 mutations were identified in 2 out of 15 (13.3%) patients with mucinous ovarian carcinoma, these mutations were evolutionarily highly conserved; while no mutation was detected in other samples. In addition, none of the RNF43-mutated samples harbored DICER1 (dicer 1, ribonuclease type III), PPP2R1A (protein phosphatase 2, regulatory subunit A, alpha), TRRAP (transformation/transcription domain-associated protein) and DNMT3A (DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase 3 alpha) hot-spot mutations. Recurrent RNF43 mutations existed in mucinous ovarian carcinomas implicated that these mutations might play crucial roles in the tumorigenesis of these patients, while the absence of DICER1, PPP2R1A, TRRAP and DNMT3A hot-spot mutations suggested that these genetic alterations might not play synergistic roles with RNF43 mutations in these individuals. Additionally, the absence of RNF43 mutations in other subtypes of ovarian carcinoma implicated that RNF43 mutations might not be actively involved in the pathogenesis of these disorders.

Pang CY, Chiu SC, Harn HJ, et al.
Proteomic-based identification of multiple pathways underlying n-butylidenephthalide-induced apoptosis in LNCaP human prostate cancer cells.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013; 59:281-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although numerous studies have shown the cancer-preventive properties of butylidenephthalide (BP), there is little report of BP affecting human prostate cancer cells. In the present study, proteomic-based approaches were used to elucidate the anticancer mechanism of BP in LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. BP treatment decreased the viability of LNCaP human prostate cancer cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, which was correlated with G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest. Increased cell cycle arrest was associated with a decrease in the level of CCND1, CDK2, and PCNA proteins and an increase in the level of CDKN2A, CDKN1A, and SFN proteins. Proteomic studies revealed that among 48 differentially expressed proteins, 25 proteins were down-regulated and 23 proteins were up-regulated and these proteins fall into one large protein protein interaction network. Among these proteins, FAS, AIFM1, BIK, CYCS, SFN, PPP2R1A, CALR, HSPA5, DDIT3, and ERN1 are apoptosis and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress associated proteins. Proteomic data suggested that multiple signaling pathways including FAS-dependent pathway, mitochondrial pathway, and ER stress pathway are involved in the apoptosis induced by BP.

McConechy MK, Ding J, Senz J, et al.
Ovarian and endometrial endometrioid carcinomas have distinct CTNNB1 and PTEN mutation profiles.
Mod Pathol. 2014; 27(1):128-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ovarian endometrioid carcinomas and endometrial endometrioid carcinomas share many histological and molecular alterations. These similarities are likely due to a common endometrial epithelial precursor cell of origin, with most ovarian endometrioid carcinomas arising from endometriosis. To directly compare the mutation profiles of two morphologically similar tumor types, endometrial endometrioid carcinomas (n=307) and ovarian endometrioid carcinomas (n=33), we performed select exon capture sequencing on a panel of genes: ARID1A, PTEN, PIK3CA, KRAS, CTNNB1, PPP2R1A, TP53. We found that PTEN mutations are more frequent in low-grade endometrial endometrioid carcinomas (67%) compared with low-grade ovarian endometrioid carcinomas (17%) (P<0.0001). By contrast, CTNNB1 mutations are significantly different in low-grade ovarian endometrioid carcinomas (53%) compared with low-grade endometrial endometrioid carcinomas (28%) (P<0.0057). This difference in CTNNB1 mutation frequency may be reflective of the distinct microenvironments; the epithelial cells lining an endometriotic cyst within the ovary are exposed to a highly oxidative environment that promotes tumorigenesis. Understanding the distinct mutation patterns found in the PI3K and Wnt pathways of ovarian and endometrial endometrioid carcinomas may provide future opportunities for stratifying patients for targeted therapeutics.

Pandey P, Seshacharyulu P, Das S, et al.
Impaired expression of protein phosphatase 2A subunits enhances metastatic potential of human prostate cancer cells through activation of AKT pathway.
Br J Cancer. 2013; 108(12):2590-600 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a dephosphorylating enzyme, loss of which can contribute to prostate cancer (PCa) pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to analyse the transcriptional and translational expression patterns of individual subunits of the PP2A holoenzyme during PCa progression.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry (IHC), western blot, and real-time PCR was performed on androgen-dependent (AD) and androgen-independent (AI) PCa cells, and benign and malignant prostate tissues for all the three PP2A (scaffold, regulatory, and catalytic) subunits. Mechanistic and functional studies were performed using various biochemical and cellular techniques.
RESULTS: Through immunohistochemical analysis we observed significantly reduced levels of PP2A-A and -B'γ subunits (P<0.001 and P=0.0002) in PCa specimens compared with benign prostate. Contemporarily, there was no significant difference in PP2A-C subunit expression between benign and malignant tissues. Similar to the expression pattern observed in tissues, the endogenous levels of PP2A-A and B'γ subunits were abrogated from the low metastatic to high metastatic and AD to AI cell line models, without any change in the catalytic subunit expression. Furthermore, using in vitro studies we demonstrated that PP2A-Aα scaffold subunit has a role in dampening AKT, β-catenin, and FAK (focal adhesion kinase) signalling.
CONCLUSION: We conclude that loss of expression of scaffold and regulatory subunits of PP2A is responsible for its altered function during PCa pathogenesis.

Wang F, Zou Y, Liu FY, et al.
Infrequent mutations of the PPP2R1A and PPP2R1B genes in patients with ovarian cancer.
Mol Med Rep. 2013; 7(6):1826-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Protein phosphatase 2, regulatory subunit A, α (PPP2R1A) and β (PPP2R1B) are paralogous subunits of the heterotrimeric protein phosphatase 2 (PP2A) holoenzyme that catalyzes the dephosphorylation of target substrate proteins. Subtype‑specific PPP2R1A mutations have been frequently observed in ovarian and endometrial cancer. Mutations in the paralogous genes were frequently observed in human malignancies. Thus, the present study aimed to analyze the mutation frequencies of the paralogous PPP2R1A and PPP2R1B genes in patients with primary and secondary ovarian cancer. A total of 251 patients with primary (n=234) and secondary (n=17) ovarian cancer were analyzed for the presence of PPP2R1A and PPP2R1B mutations by direct sequencing. For PPP2R1A, a heterozygous, somatic mutation (c.771G>T, p.W257C) was identified in 1 out of 37 patients (2.7%) with primary ovarian endometrioid carcinoma. The mutant sample was that of a 46‑year‑old female, who was also diagnosed with ectopic endometriosis in the benign ovary. No PPP2R1A mutations were detected in the remaining 250 patients with ovarian cancer. For PPP2R1B, no mutations were detected in our samples. The results of this study suggested that PPP2R1A mutations are less common in Chinese patients with ovarian cancer when compared with European and American patients. Furthermore, our study also supported previous observations that PPP2R1B mutations were absent in ovarian cancer, suggesting that PPP2R1B mutations are not actively involved in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer.

Chen HF, Mai JR, Wan JX, et al.
Role of a novel functional variant in the PPP2R1A promoter on the regulation of PP2A-Aalpha and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(3):e59574 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Previously, we identified the genetic variant -241 (-/G) (rs11453459) in the PP2A-Aα gene (PPP2R1A) promoter and demonstrated that this variant influences the DNA-binding affinity of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB). In this study, we further confirmed that the transcriptional activity of PPP2R1A may be regulated by NF-κB through the functional genetic variant -241 (-/G). Moreover, we also demonstrated that the methylation status of CpG islands in the promoter of PPP2R1A influences the activity of this gene promoter. Few studies have examined the role of this -241 (-/G) variant in genetic or epigenetic regulation in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To investigate whether this functional variant in the PPP2R1A promoter is associated with the risk of HCC and confirm the function of the -241 (-/G) variant in the HCC population, we conducted a case-control study involving 251 HCC cases and 252 cancer-free controls from a Han population in southern China. Compared with the -241 (--) homozygote, the heterozygous -241 (-G) genotype (adjusted OR  = 0.32, 95% confidence interval (CI)  = 0.17-0.58, P<0.001) and the -241 (-G)/(GG) genotypes (adjusted OR  = 0.38, 95% CI  = 0.22-0.67, P  = 0.001) were both significantly associated with a reduced risk of HCC. Stratification analysis indicated that the protective role of -241 (-G) was more pronounced in individuals who were ≤ 40 years of age, female and HBV-negative. Our data suggest that the transcriptional activity of PPP2R1A is regulated by NF-κB through the -241 (-/G) variant and by the methylation of the promoter region. Moreover, the functional -241 (-/G) variant in the PPP2R1A promoter contributes to the decreased risk of HCC. These findings contribute novel information regarding the gene transcription of PPP2R1A regulated by the polymorphism and methylation in the promoter region through genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in hepatocarcinogenesis.

Bluemn EG, Spencer ES, Mecham B, et al.
PPP2R2C loss promotes castration-resistance and is associated with increased prostate cancer-specific mortality.
Mol Cancer Res. 2013; 11(6):568-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastatic prostate cancers generally rely on androgen receptor (AR) signaling for growth and survival, even following systemic androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT). However, recent evidence suggests that some advanced prostate cancers escape ADT by using signaling programs and growth factors that bypass canonical AR ligand-mediated mechanisms. We used an in vitro high-throughput RNA interference (RNAi) screen to identify pathways in androgen-dependent prostate cancer cell lines whose loss-of-function promotes androgen ligand-independent growth. We identified 40 genes where knockdown promoted proliferation of both LNCaP and VCaP prostate cancer cells in the absence of androgen. Of these, 14 were downregulated in primary and metastatic prostate cancer, including two subunits of the protein phosphatase 2 (PP2A) holoenzyme complex: PPP2R1A, a structural subunit with known tumor-suppressor properties in several tumor types; and PPP2R2C, a PP2A substrate-binding regulatory subunit that has not been previously identified as a tumor suppressor. We show that loss of PPP2R2C promotes androgen ligand depletion-resistant prostate cancer growth without altering AR expression or canonical AR-regulated gene expression. Furthermore, cell proliferation induced by PPP2R2C loss was not inhibited by the AR antagonist MDV3100, indicating that PPP2R2C loss may promote growth independently of known AR-mediated transcriptional programs. Immunohistochemical analysis of PPP2R2C protein levels in primary prostate tumors determined that low PPP2R2C expression significantly associated with an increased likelihood of cancer recurrence and cancer-specific mortality. These findings provide insights into mechanisms by which prostate cancers resist AR-pathway suppression and support inhibiting PPP2R2C complexes or the growth pathway(s) activated by PPP2R2C as a therapeutic strategy.

Zhao S, Choi M, Overton JD, et al.
Landscape of somatic single-nucleotide and copy-number mutations in uterine serous carcinoma.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(8):2916-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Uterine serous carcinoma (USC) is a biologically aggressive subtype of endometrial cancer. We analyzed the mutational landscape of USC by whole-exome sequencing of 57 cancers, most of which were matched to normal DNA from the same patients. The distribution of the number of protein-altering somatic mutations revealed that 52 USC tumors had fewer than 100 (median 36), whereas 5 had more than 3,000 somatic mutations. The mutations in these latter tumors showed hallmarks of defects in DNA mismatch repair. Among the remainder, we found a significantly increased burden of mutation in 14 genes. In addition to well-known cancer genes (i.e., TP53, PIK3CA, PPP2R1A, KRAS, FBXW7), there were frequent mutations in CHD4/Mi2b, a member of the NuRD-chromatin-remodeling complex, and TAF1, an element of the core TFIID transcriptional machinery. Additionally, somatic copy-number variation was found to play an important role in USC, with 13 copy-number gains and 12 copy-number losses that occurred more often than expected by chance. In addition to loss of TP53, we found frequent deletion of a small segment of chromosome 19 containing MBD3, also a member of the NuRD-chromatin-modification complex, and frequent amplification of chromosome segments containing PIK3CA, ERBB2 (an upstream activator of PIK3CA), and CCNE1 (a target of FBXW7-mediated ubiquitination). These findings identify frequent mutation of DNA damage, chromatin remodeling, cell cycle, and cell proliferation pathways in USC and suggest potential targets for treatment of this lethal variant of endometrial cancer.

Kuhn E, Wu RC, Guan B, et al.
Identification of molecular pathway aberrations in uterine serous carcinoma by genome-wide analyses.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012; 104(19):1503-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Uterine cancer is the fourth most common malignancy in women, and uterine serous carcinoma is the most aggressive subtype. However, the molecular pathogenesis of uterine serous carcinoma is largely unknown. We analyzed the genomes of uterine serous carcinoma samples to better understand the molecular genetic characteristics of this cancer.
METHODS: Whole-exome sequencing was performed on 10 uterine serous carcinomas and the matched normal blood or tissue samples. Somatically acquired sequence mutations were further verified by Sanger sequencing. The most frequent molecular genetic changes were further validated by Sanger sequencing in 66 additional uterine serous carcinomas and in nine serous endometrial intraepithelial carcinomas (the preinvasive precursor of uterine serous carcinoma) that were isolated by laser capture microdissection. In addition, gene copy number was characterized by single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays in 23 uterine serous carcinomas, including 10 that were subjected to whole-exome sequencing.
RESULTS: We found frequent somatic mutations in TP53 (81.6%), PIK3CA (23.7%), FBXW7 (19.7%), and PPP2R1A (18.4%) among the 76 uterine serous carcinomas examined. All nine serous carcinomas that had an associated serous endometrial intraepithelial carcinoma had concordant PIK3CA, PPP2R1A, and TP53 mutation status between uterine serous carcinoma and the concurrent serous endometrial intraepithelial carcinoma component. DNA copy number analysis revealed frequent genomic amplification of the CCNE1 locus (which encodes cyclin E, a known substrate of FBXW7) and deletion of the FBXW7 locus. Among 23 uterine serous carcinomas that were subjected to SNP array analysis, seven tumors with FBXW7 mutations (four tumors with point mutations, three tumors with hemizygous deletions) did not have CCNE1 amplification, and 13 (57%) tumors had either a molecular genetic alteration in FBXW7 or CCNE1 amplification. Nearly half of these uterine serous carcinomas (48%) harbored PIK3CA mutation and/or PIK3CA amplification.
CONCLUSION: Molecular genetic aberrations involving the p53, cyclin E-FBXW7, and PI3K pathways represent major mechanisms in the development of uterine serous carcinoma.

McConechy MK, Ding J, Cheang MC, et al.
Use of mutation profiles to refine the classification of endometrial carcinomas.
J Pathol. 2012; 228(1):20-30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The classification of endometrial carcinomas is based on pathological assessment of tumour cell type; the different cell types (endometrioid, serous, carcinosarcoma, mixed, undifferentiated, and clear cell) are associated with distinct molecular alterations. This current classification system for high-grade subtypes, in particular the distinction between high-grade endometrioid (EEC-3) and serous carcinomas (ESC), is limited in its reproducibility and prognostic abilities. Therefore, a search for specific molecular classifiers to improve endometrial carcinoma subclassification is warranted. We performed target enrichment sequencing on 393 endometrial carcinomas from two large cohorts, sequencing exons from the following nine genes: ARID1A, PPP2R1A, PTEN, PIK3CA, KRAS, CTNNB1, TP53, BRAF, and PPP2R5C. Based on this gene panel, each endometrial carcinoma subtype shows a distinct mutation profile. EEC-3s have significantly different frequencies of PTEN and TP53 mutations when compared to low-grade endometrioid carcinomas. ESCs and EEC-3s are distinct subtypes with significantly different frequencies of mutations in PTEN, ARID1A, PPP2R1A, TP53, and CTNNB1. From the mutation profiles, we were able to identify subtype outliers, ie cases diagnosed morphologically as one subtype but with a mutation profile suggestive of a different subtype. Careful review of these diagnostically challenging cases suggested that the original morphological classification was incorrect in most instances. The molecular profile of carcinosarcomas suggests two distinct mutation profiles for these tumours: endometrioid-type (PTEN, PIK3CA, ARID1A, KRAS mutations) and serous-type (TP53 and PPP2R1A mutations). While this nine-gene panel does not allow for a purely molecularly based classification of endometrial carcinoma, it may prove useful as an adjunct to morphological classification and serve as an aid in the classification of problematic cases. If used in practice, it may lead to improved diagnostic reproducibility and may also serve to stratify patients for targeted therapeutics.

Morvan D, Steyaert JM, Schwartz L, et al.
Normal human melanocytes exposed to chronic insulin and glucose supplementation undergo oncogenic changes and methyl group metabolism cellular redistribution.
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012; 302(11):E1407-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent epidemiological studies have suggested a link between cancer and pathophysiological conditions associated with hyperinsulinemia. In this report, we address the possible role of insulin exposure in melanocyte transformation. To this aim, normal melanocytes were exposed to chronic insulin and glucose supplementation (twice the standard medium concentration) for at least 3 wk. After 3-wk treatment, melanocytes increased proliferation (doubling time: 2.7 vs. 5.6 days, P < 0.01). After 3-wk treatment or after 3-wk treatment followed by 4-wk reculture in standard medium, melanocytes were able to grow in soft agar colonies. Treated melanocytes had increased DNA content (+8%, P < 0.05), chromosomal aberrations, and modified oncoprotein profile: p-Akt expression increased (+32%, P < 0.01), Akt decreased, and c-Myc increased (+40%, P < 0.05). PP2A protein expression increased (+42, P < 0.05), while PP2A methylation decreased (-42%, P < 0.05), and PP2A activity was reduced (-27%, P < 0.05). PP2A transcription level was increased (ppp2r1a, PP2A subunit A, +44%, P < 0.05). Also, transcriptomic data revealed modifications in insr (insulin receptors, +10%, P < 0.05) and Il8 (inflammation protein, +99%, P < 0.01). Glycolysis was modified with increased transcription of Pgk1 and Hif1a (P < 0.05), decreased transcription of Pfkfb3 (P < 0.05), decreased activity of pyruvate kinase (P < 0.01), and decreased pyruvate cell content as assessed by (1)H-NMR spectroscopy. In addition, methyl group metabolism was altered with decreased global DNA methylation (-51%, P < 0.01), increased cytosolic protein methylation (+18%, P < 0.05), and consistent changes in methylated species on (1)H-NMR spectra. In conclusion, exposure to chronic insulin and glucose supplementation induces oncogenic changes and methyl group metabolism redistribution, which may be a biomarker of transformation.

Nagendra DC, Burke J, Maxwell GL, Risinger JI
PPP2R1A mutations are common in the serous type of endometrial cancer.
Mol Carcinog. 2012; 51(10):826-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently unbiased sequencing efforts identified PPP2R1A mutations in clear cell ovarian cancers (OCC). Similar mutations were also noted with high frequency in uterine serous carcinoma. Because the endometrium develops from the same developmental precursors we further examined the hypothesis that PPP2R1A mutations might also occur in diverse histologic subtypes of uterine cancer. We sequenced the PPP2R1A in 22 cell line models of uterine cancer and 10 primary cancers. We found no mutations in the cell lines originally derived from endometrioid (n = 13), undifferentiated (n = 3), clear cell (n = 1), and carcinosarcoma (n = 3) cancers. However, we found a CCC (Pro) to CGC (Arg) codon 179 mutation in the ACI-158 serous carcinoma cell line, a CCC (Pro) to CTC (Leu) in a primary serous carcinoma as well as a CGC (Arg) to CAC (His) codon 258 mutation in a poorly differentiated endometrioid cancer. We sequenced a large panel of endometrial malignancies (n = 181) and found 12 mutants. Importantly, we confirmed a high frequency of mutation in 8 of 25 (32%) serous carcinomas a subtype with well-recognized poor prognosis. Mutations were infrequent in endometrioid cancer and absent in clear cell and carcinosarcoma subtypes. The PPP2R1A mutation regions are conserved among species and known to interact with the regulatory subunits of the PP2A enzyme. PPP2R1A mutant endometrial cancers may represent good candidates for personalized drug therapies particularly for women with the lethal serous histologic variant of uterine cancer.

Kurman RJ, Shih IeM
Molecular pathogenesis and extraovarian origin of epithelial ovarian cancer--shifting the paradigm.
Hum Pathol. 2011; 42(7):918-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent morphologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular genetic studies have led to the development of a new paradigm for the pathogenesis and origin of epithelial ovarian cancer based on a dualistic model of carcinogenesis that divides epithelial ovarian cancer into 2 broad categories designated types I and II. Type I tumors comprise low-grade serous, low-grade endometrioid, clear cell and mucinous carcinomas, and Brenner tumors. They are generally indolent, present in stage I (tumor confined to the ovary), and are characterized by specific mutations, including KRAS, BRAF, ERBB2, CTNNB1, PTEN, PIK3CA, ARID1A, and PPP2R1A, which target specific cell signaling pathways. Type I tumors rarely harbor TP53 mutations and are relatively stable genetically. Type II tumors comprise high-grade serous, high-grade endometrioid, malignant mixed mesodermal tumors (carcinosarcomas), and undifferentiated carcinomas. They are aggressive, present in advanced stage, and have a very high frequency of TP53 mutations but rarely harbor the mutations detected in type I tumors. In addition, type II tumors have molecular alterations that perturb expression of BRCA either by mutation of the gene or by promoter methylation. A hallmark of these tumors is that they are genetically highly unstable. Recent studies strongly suggest that fallopian tube epithelium (benign or malignant) that implants on the ovary is the source of low-grade and high-grade serous carcinoma rather than the ovarian surface epithelium as previously believed. Similarly, it is widely accepted that endometriosis is the precursor of endometrioid and clear cell carcinomas and, as endometriosis, is thought to develop from retrograde menstruation; these tumors can also be regarded as involving the ovary secondarily. The origin of mucinous and transitional cell (Brenner) tumors is still not well established, although recent data suggest a possible origin from transitional epithelial nests located in paraovarian locations at the tuboperitoneal junction. Thus, it now appears that type I and type II ovarian tumors develop independently along different molecular pathways and that both types develop outside the ovary and involve it secondarily. If this concept is confirmed, it leads to the conclusion that the only true primary ovarian neoplasms are gonadal stromal and germ cell tumors analogous to testicular tumors. This new paradigm of ovarian carcinogenesis has important clinical implications. By shifting the early events of ovarian carcinogenesis to the fallopian tube and endometrium instead of the ovary, prevention approaches, for example, salpingectomy with ovarian conservation, may play an important role in reducing the burden of ovarian cancer while preserving hormonal function and fertility.

Shih IeM, Panuganti PK, Kuo KT, et al.
Somatic mutations of PPP2R1A in ovarian and uterine carcinomas.
Am J Pathol. 2011; 178(4):1442-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Exome sequencing of ovarian clear-cell carcinoma has identified somatic mutations in PPP2R1A, a subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. The present study was performed to determine the frequency of PPP2R1A mutations in exon 5, which harbors previously reported mutation hot spots, and adjacent exon 6, in 209 ovarian and 56 uterine tumors of various histologic subtypes. PPP2R1A mutations were demonstrated in 10 of 110 type I ovarian tumors (9.1%) including low-grade serous, low-grade endometrioid, clear-cell, and mucinous carcinomas. In contrast, none of 71 type II ovarian (high-grade serous) carcinomas exhibited PPP2R1A mutations. Moreover, PPP2R1A mutations were observed in 2 of 30 type I uterine (endometrioid) carcinomas (6.7%) and 5 of 26 type II uterine (serous) carcinomas (19.2%). Of the 18 mutations, 13 affected the R182 or 183, and there were 5 novel mutations including 3 involving S256, 1 involving W257, and 1 involving P179. All mutations were located in the α-helix repeats near the interface between the A subunit and the regulatory B subunit of the enzyme complex. These data provide new evidence that PPP2R1A somatic mutations occur in certain types of uterine and ovarian neoplastic lesions, especially uterine serous carcinomas, and suggest that mutation of PPP2R1A may participate in the pathogenesis of ovarian type I and uterine type II carcinomas.

Jones S, Wang TL, Shih IeM, et al.
Frequent mutations of chromatin remodeling gene ARID1A in ovarian clear cell carcinoma.
Science. 2010; 330(6001):228-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) is an aggressive human cancer that is generally resistant to therapy. To explore the genetic origin of OCCC, we determined the exomic sequences of eight tumors after immunoaffinity purification of cancer cells. Through comparative analyses of normal cells from the same patients, we identified four genes that were mutated in at least two tumors. PIK3CA, which encodes a subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, and KRAS, which encodes a well-known oncoprotein, had previously been implicated in OCCC. The other two mutated genes were previously unknown to be involved in OCCC: PPP2R1A encodes a regulatory subunit of serine/threonine phosphatase 2, and ARID1A encodes adenine-thymine (AT)-rich interactive domain-containing protein 1A, which participates in chromatin remodeling. The nature and pattern of the mutations suggest that PPP2R1A functions as an oncogene and ARID1A as a tumor-suppressor gene. In a total of 42 OCCCs, 7% had mutations in PPP2R1A and 57% had mutations in ARID1A. These results suggest that aberrant chromatin remodeling contributes to the pathogenesis of OCCC.

Dupont WD, Breyer JP, Bradley KM, et al.
Protein phosphatase 2A subunit gene haplotypes and proliferative breast disease modify breast cancer risk.
Cancer. 2010; 116(1):8-19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a major cellular phosphatase and plays key regulatory roles in growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Women who are diagnosed with benign proliferative breast disease are at increased risk for the subsequent development of breast cancer.
METHODS: The authors evaluated genetic variation of PP2A holoenzyme subunits for their potential contribution to breast cancer risk. A nested case-control investigation was performed on a cohort of women who had a history of benign breast disease. The women were followed for an average of 18 years, and DNA prepared from the original archival benign breast biopsy (1954-1995) was available for 450 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer on follow-up and for 890 of 900 women in a control group who were matched on race, age, and year of entry biopsy.
RESULTS: Single allele-based and haplotype-based tests of association were conducted with assessment of significance by permutation testing. Significant risk and protective haplotypes of the PP2A structural/regulatory subunit A alpha isoform (PPP2R1A) were identified and had odds ratios of 1.63 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-2.1) and 0.55 (95% CI, 0.41-0.76), respectively. These odds ratios remained significant after the analysis was adjusted for multiple comparisons. Women who had both the PPP2R1A risk haplotype and a history of proliferative breast disease had an odds ratio of 2.44 (95% CI, 1.7-3.5) for the subsequent development of breast cancer. The effects of haplotypes for 2 PP2A regulatory subunit genes, PP2 regulatory subunit B alpha isoform (PPP2R2A) and PP2A regulatory subunit B' epsilon isoform (PPP2R5E) on breast cancer risk were nominally significant but did not remain significant after the analysis was adjusted for multiple comparisons.
CONCLUSIONS: The current findings supported the previously hypothesized role of PP2A as a tumor suppressor gene in breast cancer.

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