Gene Summary

Gene:PTPN11; protein tyrosine phosphatase, non-receptor type 11
Aliases: CFC, NS1, SHP2, BPTP3, PTP2C, PTP-1D, SH-PTP2, SH-PTP3
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) family. PTPs are known to be signaling molecules that regulate a variety of cellular processes including cell growth, differentiation, mitotic cycle, and oncogenic transformation. This PTP contains two tandem Src homology-2 domains, which function as phospho-tyrosine binding domains and mediate the interaction of this PTP with its substrates. This PTP is widely expressed in most tissues and plays a regulatory role in various cell signaling events that are important for a diversity of cell functions, such as mitogenic activation, metabolic control, transcription regulation, and cell migration. Mutations in this gene are a cause of Noonan syndrome as well as acute myeloid leukemia. Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, May 2012]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:tyrosine-protein phosphatase non-receptor type 11
Source:NCBIAccessed: 26 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (45)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (10)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 26 August 2015 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.

  • Signal Transduction
  • SOS1 Protein
  • Myeloid Leukemia
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Autologous Transplantat
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • src Homology Domains
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Missense Mutation
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • RAS Genes
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Transfection
  • SH2 Domain-Containing Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Cohort Studies
  • Adolescents
  • Chromosome 12
  • Mutation
  • Uniparental Disomy
  • ras Proteins
  • Neurofibromatosis 1
  • Translocation
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Infant
  • Spain
  • Noonan Syndrome
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Threonine
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Leukemia, Myelomonocytic, Juvenile
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • PTPN11
  • Leukaemia
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 11
  • Phosphorylation
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
Tag cloud generated 26 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
LeukaemiaPTPN11 and Myeloid Leukemia View Publications94
Noonan SyndromePTPN11 and Noonan Syndrome
Noonan Syndrome is an autosamal dominant multi-system disorder, characterised by facial anomalies, short stature, developmental delay, cardiac abnormalities and other symptoms. The syndrome pre-disposes to myeloproliferative disorders ( mainly chronic myeolomonocytic leukemia / juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia), with reports of neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and a wide range of other tumors.
View Publications59
-PTPN11 and Noonan Syndrome View Publications59
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)PTPN11 and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia View Publications29
Stomach CancerPTPN11 and Stomach Cancer View Publications11

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

Latest Publications: PTPN11 (cancer-related)

Lan L, Holland JD, Qi J, et al.
Shp2 signaling suppresses senescence in PyMT-induced mammary gland cancer in mice.
EMBO J. 2015; 34(11):1493-508 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/06/2016 Related Publications
In this study, we have used techniques from cell biology, biochemistry, and genetics to investigate the role of the tyrosine phosphatase Shp2 in tumor cells of MMTV-PyMT mouse mammary glands. Genetic ablation or pharmacological inhibition of Shp2 induces senescence, as determined by the activation of senescence-associated β-gal (SA-β-gal), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (p27), p53, and histone 3 trimethylated lysine 9 (H3K9me3). Senescence induction leads to the inhibition of self-renewal of tumor cells and blockage of tumor formation and growth. A signaling cascade was identified that acts downstream of Shp2 to counter senescence: Src, focal adhesion kinase, and Map kinase inhibit senescence by activating the expression of S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2), Aurora kinase A (Aurka), and the Notch ligand Delta-like 1 (Dll1), which block p27 and p53. Remarkably, the expression of Shp2 and of selected target genes predicts human breast cancer outcome. We conclude that therapies, which rely on senescence induction by inhibiting Shp2 or controlling its target gene products, may be useful in blocking breast cancer.

Chen L, Chen W, Mysliwski M, et al.
Mutated Ptpn11 alters leukemic stem cell frequency and reduces the sensitivity of acute myeloid leukemia cells to Mcl1 inhibition.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(6):1290-300 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
PTPN11 encodes the Shp2 non-receptor protein-tyrosine phosphatase implicated in several signaling pathways. Activating mutations in Shp2 are commonly associated with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia but are not as well defined in other neoplasms. Here we report that Shp2 mutations occur in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) at a rate of 6.6% (6/91) in the ECOG E1900 data set. We examined the role of mutated Shp2 in leukemias harboring MLL translocations, which co-occur in human AML. The hyperactive Shp2E76K mutant, commonly observed in leukemia patients, significantly accelerated MLL-AF9-mediated leukemogenesis in vivo. Shp2E76K increased leukemic stem cell frequency and affords MLL-AF9 leukemic cells IL3 cytokine hypersensitivity. As Shp2 is reported to regulate anti-apoptotic genes, we investigated Bcl2, Bcl-xL and Mcl1 expression in MLL-AF9 leukemic cells with and without Shp2E76K. Although the Bcl2 family of genes was upregulated in Shp2E76K cells, Mcl1 showed the highest upregulation in MLL-AF9 cells in response to Shp2E76K. Indeed, expression of Mcl1 in MLL-AF9 cells phenocopies expression of Shp2E76K, suggesting Shp2 mutations cooperate through activation of anti-apoptotic genes. Finally, we show Shp2E76K mutations reduce sensitivity of AML cells to small-molecule-mediated Mcl1 inhibition, suggesting reduced efficacy of drugs targeting MCL1 in patients with hyperactive Shp2.

Ruggiero D, Nappo S, Nutile T, et al.
Genetic variants modulating CRIPTO serum levels identified by genome-wide association study in Cilento isolates.
PLoS Genet. 2015; 11(1):e1004976 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Cripto, the founding member of the EGF-CFC genes, plays an essential role in embryo development and is involved in cancer progression. Cripto is a GPI-anchored protein that can interact with various components of multiple signaling pathways, such as TGF-β, Wnt and MAPK, driving different processes, among them epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cell proliferation, and stem cell renewal. Cripto protein can also be cleaved and released outside the cell in a soluble and still active form. Cripto is not significantly expressed in adult somatic tissues and its re-expression has been observed associated to pathological conditions, mainly cancer. Accordingly, CRIPTO has been detected at very low levels in the plasma of healthy volunteers, whereas its levels are significantly higher in patients with breast, colon or glioblastoma tumors. These data suggest that CRIPTO levels in human plasma or serum may have clinical significance. However, very little is known about the variability of serum levels of CRIPTO at a population level and the genetic contribution underlying this variability remains unknown. Here, we report the first genome-wide association study of CRIPTO serum levels in isolated populations (n = 1,054) from Cilento area in South Italy. The most associated SNPs (p-value<5*10-8) were all located on chromosome 3p22.1-3p21.3, in the CRIPTO gene region. Overall six CRIPTO associated loci were replicated in an independent sample (n = 535). Pathway analysis identified a main network including two other genes, besides CRIPTO, in the associated regions, involved in cell movement and proliferation. The replicated loci explain more than 87% of the CRIPTO variance, with 85% explained by the most associated SNP. Moreover, the functional analysis of the main associated locus identified a causal variant in the 5'UTR of CRIPTO gene which is able to strongly modulate CRIPTO expression through an AP-1-mediate transcriptional regulation.

Nair S, Fort JA, Yachnis AT, Williams CA
Optic nerve pilomyxoid astrocytoma in a patient with Noonan syndrome.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015; 62(6):1084-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Noonan syndrome (NS; MIM 163950) is an autosomal dominant syndrome which is clinically diagnosed by the distinct facial features, short stature, cardiac anomalies and developmental delay. About 50% of cases are associated with gain of function mutations in PTPN11 gene which leads to activation of the RAS/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. This is known to have a role in tumorigenesis. Despite this, only limited reports of solid tumors (Fryssira H, Leventopoulos G, Psoni S, et al. Tumor development in three patients with Noonan syndrome. Eur J Pediatr 2008;167:1025-1031; Schuettpelz LG, McDonald S, Whitesell K et al. Pilocytic astrocytoma in a child with Noonan syndrome. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2009;53:1147-1149; Sherman CB, Ali-Nazir A, Gonzales-Gomez I, et al. Primary mixed glioneuronal tumor of the central nervous system in a patient with Noonan syndrome. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2009;31:61-64; Sanford RA, Bowman R, Tomita T, et al. A 16 year old male with Noonan's syndrome develops progressive scoliosis and deteriorating gait. Pediatr Neurosurg 1999;30:47-52) and no prior reports of optic gliomas have been described in patients with NS. We present here a patient with NS with a PTPN11 mutation and an optic pathway pilomyxoid astrocytoma.

Ok CY, Patel KP, Garcia-Manero G, et al.
Mutational profiling of therapy-related myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia by next generation sequencing, a comparison with de novo diseases.
Leuk Res. 2015; 39(3):348-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study we used a next generation sequencing-based approach to profile gene mutations in therapy-related myelodysplastic syndromes (t-MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML); and compared these findings with de novo MDS/AML. Consecutive bone marrow samples of 498 patients, including 70 therapy-related (28 MDS and 42 AML) and 428 de novo (147 MDS and 281 AML) were analyzed using a modified-TruSeq Amplicon Cancer Panel (Illumina) covering mutation hotspots of 53 genes. Overall, mutation(s) were detected in 58.6% of t-MDS/AML and 56.8% of de novo MDS/AML. Of therapy-related cases, mutations were detected in 71.4% of t-AML versus 39.3% t-MDS (p=0.0127). TP53 was the most common mutated gene in t-MDS (35.7%) as well as t-AML (33.3%), significantly higher than de novo MDS (17.7%) (p=0.0410) and de novo AML (12.8%) (p=0.0020). t-AML showed more frequent PTPN11 but less NPM1 and FLT3 mutations than de novo AML. In summary, t-MDS/AML shows a mutation profile different from their de novo counterparts. TP53 mutations are highly and similarly prevalent in t-MDS and t-AML but mutations in genes other than TP53 were more frequent in t-AML than t-MDS. The molecular genetic profiling further expands our understanding in this group of clinically aggressive yet heterogeneous myeloid neoplasms.

Alshaker H, Krell J, Frampton AE, et al.
Leptin induces upregulation of sphingosine kinase 1 in oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer via Src family kinase-mediated, janus kinase 2-independent pathway.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(5):426 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Obesity is a known risk factor for breast cancer. Sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1) is an oncogenic lipid kinase that is overexpressed in breast tumours and linked with poor prognosis, however, its role in obesity-driven breast cancer was never elucidated.
METHODS: Human primary and secondary breast cancer tissues were analysed for SK1 and leptin receptor expression using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay. Leptin-induced signalling was analysed in human oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive and negative breast cancer cells using Western blotting, qRT-PCR and radiolabelling assays.
RESULTS: Our findings show for the first time that human primary breast tumours and associated lymph node metastases exhibit a strong correlation between SK1 and leptin receptor expression (Pearson R = 0.78 and R = 0.77, respectively, P <0.001). Both these genes are elevated in metastases of ER-negative patients and show a significant increase in patients with higher body mass index (BMI). Leptin induces SK1 expression and activation in ER-negative breast cancer cell lines MDAMB-231 and BT-549, but not in ER-positive cell lines. Pharmacological inhibition and gene knockdown showed that leptin-induced SK1 activity and expression are mediated by activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) and Src family kinase (SFK) pathways, but not by the major pathways downstream of leptin receptor (LEPR) - janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Src-homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase 2 (SHP2) appeared to be key to SK1 activation, and may function as an adaptor protein between SFKs and LEPR. Importantly, leptin-induced breast cancer cell proliferation was abrogated by SK1-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our findings demonstrate a novel SFK/ERK1/2-mediated pathway that links leptin signalling and expression of oncogenic enzyme SK1 in breast tumours and suggest the potential significance of this pathway in ER-negative breast cancer.

Li J, Jie HB, Lei Y, et al.
PD-1/SHP-2 inhibits Tc1/Th1 phenotypic responses and the activation of T cells in the tumor microenvironment.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(3):508-18 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2016 Related Publications
Immune rejection of tumors is mediated by IFNγ production and T-cell cytolytic activity. These processes are impeded by PD-1, a coinhibitory molecule expressed on T cells that is elevated in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). PD-1 elevation may reflect T-cell exhaustion marked by decreased proliferation, production of type I cytokines, and poor cytolytic activity. Although anti-PD-1 antibodies enhance IFNγ secretion after stimulation of the T-cell receptor (TCR), the mechanistic link between PD-1 and its effects on T-cell help (Tc1/Th1 skewing) remains unclear. In prospectively collected cancer tissues, we found that TIL exhibited dampened Tc1/Th1 skewing and activation compared with peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL). When PD-1 bound its ligand PD-L1, we observed a marked suppression of critical TCR target genes and Th1 cytokines. Conversely, PD-1 blockade reversed these suppressive effects of PD-1:PD-L1 ligation. We also found that the TCR-regulated phosphatase SHP-2 was expressed higher in TIL than in PBL, tightly correlating with PD-1 expression and negative regulation of TCR target genes. Overall, these results defined a PD-1/SHP-2/STAT1/T-bet signaling axis mediating the suppressive effects of PD-1 on Th1 immunity at tumor sites. Our findings argue that PD-1 or SHP-2 blockade will be sufficient to restore robust Th1 immunity and T-cell activation and thereby reverse immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment.

Niemeyer CM
RAS diseases in children.
Haematologica. 2014; 99(11):1653-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2016 Related Publications
RAS genes encode a family of 21 kDa proteins that are an essential hub for a number of survival, proliferation, differentiation and senescence pathways. Signaling of the RAS-GTPases through the RAF-MEK-ERK pathway, the first identified mitogen-associated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is essential in development. A group of genetic syndromes, named "RASopathies", had been identified which are caused by heterozygosity for germline mutations in genes that encode protein components of the RAS/MAPK pathway. Several of these clinically overlapping disorders, including Noonan syndrome, Noonan-like CBL syndrome, Costello syndrome, cardio-facio-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome, neurofibromatosis type I, and Legius syndrome, predispose to cancer and abnormal myelopoiesis in infancy. This review focuses on juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), a malignancy of early childhood characterized by initiating germline and/or somatic mutations in five genes of the RAS/MAPK pathway: PTPN11, CBL, NF-1, KRAS and NRAS. Natural courses of these five subtypes differ, although hematopoietic stem cell transplantation remains the only curative therapy option for most children with JMML. With whole-exome sequencing studies revealing few secondary lesions it will be crucial to better understand the RAS/MAPK signaling network with its crosstalks and feed-back loops to carefully design early clinical trials with novel pharmacological agents in this still puzzling leukemia.

Durgan J, Tao G, Walters MS, et al.
SOS1 and Ras regulate epithelial tight junction formation in the human airway through EMP1.
EMBO Rep. 2015; 16(1):87-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
The human airway is lined with respiratory epithelial cells, which create a critical barrier through the formation of apical tight junctions. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying this process, an RNAi screen for guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) was performed in human bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE). We report that SOS1, acting through the Ras/MEK/ERK pathway, is essential for tight junction formation. Global microarray analysis identifies epithelial membrane protein 1 (EMP1), an integral tetraspan membrane protein, as a major transcriptional target. EMP1 is indispensable for tight junction formation and function in 16HBE cells and in a human airway basal progenitor-like cell line (BCi-NS1.1). Furthermore, EMP1 is significantly downregulated in human lung cancers. Together, these data identify important roles for SOS1/Ras and EMP1 in tight junction assembly during airway morphogenesis.

Toso A, Revandkar A, Di Mitri D, et al.
Enhancing chemotherapy efficacy in Pten-deficient prostate tumors by activating the senescence-associated antitumor immunity.
Cell Rep. 2014; 9(1):75-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prosenescence therapy has recently emerged as a novel therapeutic approach for treating cancer. However, this concept is challenged by conflicting evidence showing that the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) of senescent tumor cells can have pro- as well as antitumorigenic effects. Herein, we report that, in Pten-null senescent tumors, activation of the Jak2/Stat3 pathway establishes an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that contributes to tumor growth and chemoresistance. Activation of the Jak2/Stat3 pathway in Pten-null tumors is sustained by the downregulation of the protein tyrosine phosphatase PTPN11/SHP2, providing evidence for the existence of a novel PTEN/SHP2 axis. Importantly, treatment with docetaxel in combination with a JAK2 inhibitor reprograms the SASP and improves the efficacy of docetaxel-induced senescence by triggering a strong antitumor immune response in Pten-null tumors. Altogether, these data demonstrate that immune surveillance of senescent tumor cells can be suppressed in specific genetic backgrounds but also evoked by pharmacological treatments.

Irving J, Matheson E, Minto L, et al.
Ras pathway mutations are prevalent in relapsed childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and confer sensitivity to MEK inhibition.
Blood. 2014; 124(23):3420-30 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
For most children who relapse with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the prognosis is poor, and there is a need for novel therapies to improve outcome. We screened samples from children with B-lineage ALL entered into the ALL-REZ BFM 2002 clinical trial (, #NCT00114348) for somatic mutations activating the Ras pathway (KRAS, NRAS, FLT3, and PTPN11) and showed mutation to be highly prevalent (76 from 206). Clinically, they were associated with high-risk features including early relapse, central nervous system (CNS) involvement, and specifically for NRAS/KRAS mutations, chemoresistance. KRAS mutations were associated with a reduced overall survival. Mutation screening of the matched diagnostic samples found many to be wild type (WT); however, by using more sensitive allelic-specific assays, low-level mutated subpopulations were found in many cases, suggesting that they survived up-front therapy and subsequently emerged at relapse. Preclinical evaluation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244, ARRY-142886) showed significant differential sensitivity in Ras pathway-mutated ALL compared with WT cells both in vitro and in an orthotopic xenograft model engrafted with primary ALL; in the latter, reduced RAS-mutated CNS leukemia. Given these data, clinical evaluation of selumetinib may be warranted for Ras pathway-mutated relapsed ALL.

Wang YC, Chen CL, Sheu BS, et al.
Helicobacter pylori infection activates Src homology-2 domain-containing phosphatase 2 to suppress IFN-γ signaling.
J Immunol. 2014; 193(8):4149-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Helicobacter pylori infection not only induces gastric inflammation but also increases the risk of gastric tumorigenesis. IFN-γ has antimicrobial effects; however, H. pylori infection elevates IFN-γ-mediated gastric inflammation and may suppress IFN-γ signaling as a strategy to avoid immune destruction through an as-yet-unknown mechanism. This study was aimed at investigating the mechanism of H. pylori-induced IFN-γ resistance. Postinfection of viable H. pylori decreased IFN-γ-activated signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 and IFN regulatory factor 1 not only in human gastric epithelial MKN45 and AZ-521 but also in human monocytic U937 cells. H. pylori caused an increase in the C-terminal tyrosine phosphorylation of Src homology-2 domain-containing phosphatase (SHP) 2. Pharmacologically and genetically inhibiting SHP2 reversed H. pylori-induced IFN-γ resistance. In contrast to a clinically isolated H. pylori strain HP238, the cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) isogenic mutant strain HP238(CagAm) failed to induce IFN-γ resistance, indicating that CagA regulates this effect. Notably, HP238 and HP238(CagAm) differently caused SHP2 phosphorylation; however, imaging and biochemical analyses demonstrated CagA-mediated membrane-associated binding with phosphorylated SHP2. CagA-independent generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributed to H. pylori-induced SHP2 phosphorylation; however, ROS/SHP2 mediated IFN-γ resistance in a CagA-regulated manner. This finding not only provides an alternative mechanism for how CagA and ROS coregulate SHP2 activation but may also explain their roles in H. pylori-induced IFN-γ resistance.

Zhao X, Hu S, Wang L, et al.
Functional short tandem repeat polymorphism of PTPN11 and susceptibility to hepatocellular carcinoma in Chinese populations.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e106841 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: PTPN11, which encodes tyrosine phosphatase Shp2, is a critical gene mediating cellular responses to hormones and cytokines. Loss of Shp2 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), suggesting that PTPN11 functions as a tumor suppressor in HCC tumorgenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphism (rs199618935) within 3'UTR of PTPN11 on HCC susceptibility in Chinese populations.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed the associations in 400 patients from Jiangsu province of China, validating the findings in an additional 305 patients from Shanghai of China. Unconditional logistic regression was used to analyze the association between rs199618935 and HCC risk. Additional biochemical investigations and in-silico studies were used to evaluate the possible functional significance of this polymorphism. Logistic regression analysis showed that compared with individuals carrying shorter alleles (11 and 12 repeats), those subjects who carry longer alleles (13 and 14 repeats) had a significantly decreased risk of HCC [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.63, 95% confidence interval (CI)  = 0.53-0.76, P = 2.00 × 10(-7)], with the risk decreased even further in those carrying allele 15 and 16 (adjusted OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.34-0.62, P = 1.00 × 10(-7)). Biochemical investigations showed that longer alleles of rs199618935 conferred higher PTPN11 expression in vivo and in vitro. The altered luciferase activities in reporter gene system suggested that STR regulation of PTPN11 expression could be a transcriptional event. Finally, in-silico prediction revealed that different alleles of rs199618935 could alter the local structure of PTPN11 mRNA.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, our findings suggested that the STR polymorphism within PTPN11 contributes to hepatocarcinogenesis, possibly by affecting PTPN11 expression through a structure-dependent mechanism. The replication of our studies and further functional studies are needed to validate our findings.

Bezniakow N, Gos M, Obersztyn E
The RASopathies as an example of RAS/MAPK pathway disturbances - clinical presentation and molecular pathogenesis of selected syndromes.
Dev Period Med. 2014 Jul-Sep; 18(3):285-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
The RASopathies are a class of developmental syndromes. Each of them exhibits distinctive phenotypic features, although there are numerous overlapping clinical manifestations that include: dysmorphic craniofacial features, congenital cardiac defects, skin abnormalities, varying degrees of intellectual disability and increased risk of malignancies. These disorders include: Noonan syndrome, Costello syndrome, LEOPARD syndrome, cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome (CFC), capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation syndrome (CM-AVM), Legius syndrome and neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The RASopathies are associated with the presence of germline mutation in genes encoding specific proteins of the RAS/mitogen - activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway that plays a crucial role in embryonic and postnatal development. In this review, we present the clinical and molecular features of selected syndromes from the RASopathies group.

Klauzinska M, Castro NP, Rangel MC, et al.
The multifaceted role of the embryonic gene Cripto-1 in cancer, stem cells and epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Semin Cancer Biol. 2014; 29:51-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Cripto-1 (CR-1)/Teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor1 (TDGF-1) is a cell surface glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked glycoprotein that can function either in cis (autocrine) or in trans (paracrine). The cell membrane cis form is found in lipid rafts and endosomes while the trans acting form lacking the GPI anchor is soluble. As a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF)/Cripto-1-FRL-1-Cryptic (CFC) family, CR-1 functions as an obligatory co-receptor for the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family members, Nodal and growth and differentiation factors 1 and 3 (GDF1/3) by activating Alk4/Alk7 signaling pathways that involve Smads 2, 3 and 4. In addition, CR-1 can activate non-Smad-dependent signaling elements such as PI3K, Akt and MAPK. Both of these pathways depend upon the 78kDa glucose regulated protein (GRP78). Finally, CR-1 can facilitate signaling through the canonical Wnt/β-catenin and Notch/Cbf-1 pathways by functioning as a chaperone protein for LRP5/6 and Notch, respectively. CR-1 is essential for early embryonic development and maintains embryonic stem cell pluripotentiality. CR-1 performs an essential role in the etiology and progression of several types of human tumors where it is expressed in a population of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and facilitates epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this context, CR-1 can significantly enhance tumor cell migration, invasion and angiogenesis. Collectively, these facts suggest that CR-1 may be an attractive target in the diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of several types of human cancer.

Poetsch AR, Lipka DB, Witte T, et al.
RASA4 undergoes DNA hypermethylation in resistant juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(9):1252-60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Aberrant DNA methylation at specific genetic loci is a key molecular feature of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) with poor prognosis. Using quantitative high-resolution mass spectrometry, we identified RASA4 isoform 2, which maps to chromosome 7 and encodes a member of the GAP1 family of GTPase-activating proteins for small G proteins, as a recurrent target of isoform-specific DNA hypermethylation in JMML (51% of 125 patients analyzed). RASA4 isoform 2 promoter methylation correlated with clinical parameters predicting poor prognosis (older age, elevated fetal hemoglobin), with higher risk of relapse after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and with PTPN11 mutation. The level of isoform 2 methylation increased in relapsed cases after transplantation. Interestingly, most JMML cases with monosomy 7 exhibited hypermethylation on the remaining RASA4 allele. The results corroborate the significance of epigenetic modifications in the phenotype of aggressive JMML.

Nikolaev SI, Garieri M, Santoni F, et al.
Frequent cases of RAS-mutated Down syndrome acute lymphoblastic leukaemia lack JAK2 mutations.
Nat Commun. 2014; 5:4654 [PubMed] Related Publications
Children with Down syndrome (DS) and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) have poorer survival and more relapses than non-DS children with ALL, highlighting an urgent need for deeper mechanistic understanding of DS-ALL. Here, using full-exome or cancer genes-targeted sequencing of 42 ALL samples from 39 DS patients, we uncover driver mutations in RAS, (KRAS and NRAS) recurring to a similar extent (15/42) as JAK2 (12/42) mutations or P2RY8-CRLF2 fusions (14/42). RAS mutations are almost completely mutually exclusive with JAK2 mutations (P=0.016), driving a combined total of two-thirds of analysed cases. Clonal architecture analysis reveals that both RAS and JAK2 drove sub-clonal expansions primarily initiated by CRLF2 rearrangements, and/or mutations in chromatin remodellers and lymphocyte differentiation factors. Remarkably, in 2/3 relapsed cases, there is a switch from a primary JAK2- or PTPN11-mutated sub-clone to a RAS-mutated sub-clone in relapse. These results provide important new insights informing the patient stratification strategies for targeted therapeutic approaches for DS-ALL.

Sakashita K, Kato I, Daifu T, et al.
In vitro expansion of CD34(+)CD38(-) cells under stimulation with hematopoietic growth factors on AGM-S3 cells in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(3):606-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Using serum-containing culture, we examined whether AGM-S3 stromal cells, alone or in combination with hematopoietic growth factor(s), stimulated the proliferation of CD34(+) cells from patients with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML). AGM-S3 cells in concert with stem cell factor plus thrombopoietin increased the numbers of peripheral blood CD34(+) cells to approximately 20-fold of the input value after 2 weeks in nine JMML patients with either PTPN11 mutations or RAS mutations, who received allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) also augmented the proliferation of JMML CD34(+) cells on AGM-S3 cells. The expansion potential of CD34(+) cells was markedly low in four patients who achieved spontaneous hematological improvement. A large proportion of day-14-cultured CD34(+) cells were negative for CD38 and cryopreservable. Cultured JMML CD34(+)CD38(-) cells expressed CD117, CD116, c-mpl, CD123, CD90, but not CXCR4, and formed GM and erythroid colonies. Day-7-cultured CD34(+) cells from two of three JMML patients injected intrafemorally into immunodeficient mice stimulated with human GM-CSF after transplantation displayed significant hematopoietic reconstitution. The abilities of OP9 cells and MS-5 cells were one-third and one-tenth, respectively, of the value obtained with AGM-S3 cells. Our culture system may provide a useful tool for elucidating leukemogenesis and for therapeutic approaches in JMML.

Huang WQ, Lin Q, Zhuang X, et al.
Structure, function, and pathogenesis of SHP2 in developmental disorders and tumorigenesis.
Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2014; 14(6):567-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
Src homology 2 (SH2)-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP2), encoded by the human PTPN11 gene, is a ubiquitously expressed protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) that consists of two tandem Src homology (SH2) domains (N-SH2 and C-SH2), a PTP catalytic domain, and a C-terminal tail with tyrosyl phosphorylation sites. It plays critical roles in numerous cellular processes through the regulation of various signaling pathways in PTP catalytic activity-dependent and -independent manners. Dysfunction of SHP2 resulting from pathogenic mutations and aberrant expression leads to the dysregulation of multiple signaling pathways, thus contributing to different human disorders. Germline and somatic mutations in PTPN11 are involved in Noonan syndrome (NS), LEOPARD syndrome (LS), and hematological malignancies, as well as several solid tumors. In this report, we provide an overview of the current knowledge of the structure and function of SHP2, and further discuss the molecular and pathogenic mechanism of SHP2 in human diseases, with a special focus on tumorigenesis. Furthermore, we summarize that SHP2 might itself represent a potential drug target for cancer prevention and treatment. Ongoing research and development of SHP2-specific inhibitors would enhance this potential.

Wang HC, Chiang WF, Huang HH, et al.
Src-homology 2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase 2 promotes oral cancer invasion and metastasis.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:442 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumor invasion and metastasis represent a major unsolved problem in cancer pathogenesis. Recent studies have indicated the involvement of Src-homology 2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP2) in multiple malignancies; however, the role of SHP2 in oral cancer progression has yet to be elucidated. We propose that SHP2 is involved in the progression of oral cancer toward metastasis.
METHODS: SHP2 expression was evaluated in paired oral cancer tissues by using immunohistochemical staining and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Isogenic highly invasive oral cancer cell lines from their respective low invasive parental lines were established using a Boyden chamber assay, and changes in the hallmarks of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were assessed to evaluate SHP2 function. SHP2 activity in oral cancer cells was reduced using si-RNA knockdown or enforced expression of a catalytically deficient mutant to analyze migratory and invasive ability in vitro and metastasis toward the lung in mice in vivo.
RESULTS: We observed the significant upregulation of SHP2 in oral cancer tissues and cell lines. Following SHP2 knockdown, the oral cancer cells markedly attenuated migratory and invasion ability. We observed similar results in phosphatase-dead SHP2 C459S mutant expressing cells. Enhanced invasiveness was associated with significant upregulation of E-cadherin, vimentin, Snail/Twist1, and matrix metalloproteinase-2 in the highly invasive clones. In addition, we determined that SHP2 activity is required for the downregulation of phosphorylated ERK1/2, which modulates the downstream effectors, Snail and Twist1 at a transcript level. In lung tissue sections of mice, we observed that HSC3 tumors with SHP2 deletion exhibited significantly reduced metastatic capacity, compared with tumors administered control si-RNA.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that SHP2 promotes the invasion and metastasis of oral cancer cells. These results provide a rationale for further investigating the effects of small-molecule SHP2 inhibitors on the progression of oral cancer, and indicate a previously unrecognized SHP2-ERK1/2-Snail/Twist1 pathway that is likely to play a crucial role in oral cancer invasion and metastasis.

Park KS, Raffeld M, Moon YW, et al.
CRIPTO1 expression in EGFR-mutant NSCLC elicits intrinsic EGFR-inhibitor resistance.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(7):3003-15 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
The majority of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harbor EGFR-activating mutations that can be therapeutically targeted by EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKI), such as erlotinib and gefitinib. Unfortunately, a subset of patients with EGFR mutations are refractory to EGFR-TKIs. Resistance to EGFR inhibitors reportedly involves SRC activation and induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here, we have demonstrated that overexpression of CRIPTO1, an EGF-CFC protein family member, renders EGFR-TKI-sensitive and EGFR-mutated NSCLC cells resistant to erlotinib in culture and in murine xenograft models. Furthermore, tumors from NSCLC patients with EGFR-activating mutations that were intrinsically resistant to EGFR-TKIs expressed higher levels of CRIPTO1 compared with tumors from patients that were sensitive to EGFR-TKIs. Primary NSCLC cells derived from a patient with EGFR-mutated NSCLC that was intrinsically erlotinib resistant were CRIPTO1 positive, but gained erlotinib sensitivity upon loss of CRIPTO1 expression during culture. CRIPTO1 activated SRC and ZEB1 to promote EMT via microRNA-205 (miR-205) downregulation. While miR-205 depletion induced erlotinib resistance, miR-205 overexpression inhibited CRIPTO1-dependent ZEB1 and SRC activation, restoring erlotinib sensitivity. CRIPTO1-induced erlotinib resistance was directly mediated through SRC but not ZEB1; therefore, cotargeting EGFR and SRC synergistically attenuated growth of erlotinib-resistant, CRIPTO1-positive, EGFR-mutated NSCLC cells in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that this combination may overcome intrinsic EGFR-inhibitor resistance in patients with CRIPTO1-positive, EGFR-mutated NSCLC.

Bateman CM, Alpar D, Ford AM, et al.
Evolutionary trajectories of hyperdiploid ALL in monozygotic twins.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(1):58-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
Identical twins have provided unique insights on timing or sequence of genetic events in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). To date, this has mainly focused on ALL with MLL or ETV6-RUNX1 fusions, with hyperdiploid ALL remaining less well characterised. We examined three pairs of monozygotic twins, two concordant and one discordant for hyperdiploid ALL, for single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-defined copy number alterations (CNAs), IGH/L plus TCR gene rearrangements and mutations in NRAS, KRAS, FLT3 and PTPN11 genes. We performed whole exome sequencing in one concordant twin pair. Potential 'driver' CNAs were low, 0-3 per case, and all were different within a pair. One patient had an NRAS mutation that was lacking from leukaemic cells of the twin sibling. By exome sequencing, there were 12 nonsynonymous mutations found in one twin and 5 in the other, one of which in SCL44A2 was shared or identical. Concordant pairs had some identical IGH/L and TCR rearrangements. In the twin pair with discordant hyperdiploid ALL, the healthy co-twin had persistent low level hyperdiploid CD19+ cells that lacked a CNA present in the ALL cells of her sibling. From these data, we propose that hyperdiploid ALL arises in a pre-B cell in utero and mutational changes necessary for clinical ALL accumulate subclonally and postnatally.

Aya-Bonilla C, Camilleri E, Haupt LM, et al.
In silico analyses reveal common cellular pathways affected by loss of heterozygosity (LOH) events in the lymphomagenesis of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).
BMC Genomics. 2014; 15:390 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The analysis of cellular networks and pathways involved in oncogenesis has increased our knowledge about the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie tumour biology and has unmasked new molecular targets that may lead to the design of better anti-cancer therapies. Recently, using a high resolution loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis, we identified a number of potential tumour suppressor genes (TSGs) within common LOH regions across cases suffering from two of the most common forms of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), Follicular Lymphoma (FL) and Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL). From these studies LOH of the protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type J (PTPRJ) gene was identified as a common event in the lymphomagenesis of these B-cell lymphomas. The present study aimed to determine the cellular pathways affected by the inactivation of these TSGs including PTPRJ in FL and DLBCL tumourigenesis.
RESULTS: Pathway analytical approaches identified that candidate TSGs located within common LOH regions participate within cellular pathways, which may play a crucial role in FL and DLBCL lymphomagenesis (i.e., metabolic pathways). These analyses also identified genes within the interactome of PTPRJ (i.e. PTPN11 and B2M) that when inactivated in NHL may play an important role in tumourigenesis. We also detected genes that are differentially expressed in cases with and without LOH of PTPRJ, such as NFATC3 (nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic, calcineurin-dependent 3). Moreover, upregulation of the VEGF, MAPK and ERBB signalling pathways was also observed in NHL cases with LOH of PTPRJ, indicating that LOH-driving events causing inactivation of PTPRJ, apart from possibly inducing a constitutive activation of these pathways by reduction or abrogation of its dephosphorylation activity, may also induce upregulation of these pathways when inactivated. This finding implicates these pathways in the lymphomagenesis and progression of FL and DLBCL.
CONCLUSIONS: The evidence obtained in this research supports findings suggesting that FL and DLBCL share common pathogenic mechanisms. Also, it indicates that PTPRJ can play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of these B-cell tumours and suggests that activation of PTPRJ might be an interesting novel chemotherapeutic target for the treatment of these B-cell tumours.

Mitsumori T, Nozaki Y, Kawashima I, et al.
Hypoxia inhibits JAK2V617F activation via suppression of SHP-2 function in myeloproliferative neoplasm cells.
Exp Hematol. 2014; 42(9):783-92.e1 [PubMed] Related Publications
The hypoxic microenvironment of the bone marrow, known as the hypoxic niche, supports hematopoietic stem cell quiescence and maintains long-term repopulation activity. Hypoxia also affects the expansion of progenitor cells and enhances erythropoiesis and megakaryopoiesis. In contrast to the known effects of hypoxia on normal hematopoiesis, the effects of the hypoxic environment of the bone marrow on the pathogenesis of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) have not been well studied. In the present study, we investigated the role of the hypoxic environment in the pathophysiology of MPNs, focusing on JAK2V617F, a major driver of mutation in Philadelphia-negative MPNs. We found that the activity of JAK2V617F was suppressed in hypoxic conditions not only in JAK2V617F-positive leukemia cells, but also in primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with polycythemia vera. Concomitant with the inhibition of JAK2V617F activity, hypoxia increased the expression of p27/KIP1, the primary negative regulator of the cell cycle, and inhibited cell cycle progression in JAK2V617F-positive leukemia cell lines. The spontaneous erythroid colony formation of primary cells from polycythemia vera patients was also suppressed under hypoxic conditions. We also revealed that the hypoxia-induced overproduction of reactive oxygen species played a crucial role in the inhibition of JAK2V617F through the oxidation and inhibition of SHP-2, a protein tyrosine phosphatase that contains SH-2, which is required for JAK2 activation. In conclusion, a hypoxic environment may modulate JAK2-positive MPN cell fate and disease progression through the suppression of SHP-2 function and the subsequent suppression of JAK2V617F activity.

Santoro C, Pacileo G, Limongelli G, et al.
LEOPARD syndrome: clinical dilemmas in differential diagnosis of RASopathies.
BMC Med Genet. 2014; 15:44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Diagnosis within RASopathies still represents a challenge. Nevertheless, many efforts have been made by clinicians to identify specific clinical features which might help in differentiating one disorder from another. Here, we describe a child initially diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis-Noonan syndrome. The follow-up of the proband, the clinical evaluation of his father together with a gene-by-gene testing approach led us to the proper diagnosis.
CASE PRESENTATION: We report a 8-year-old male with multiple café-au-lait macules, several lentigines and dysmorphic features that suggest Noonan syndrome initially diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis-Noonan syndrome. However, after a few years of clinical and ophthalmological follow-up, the absence of typical features of Neurofibromatosis type 1 and the lack of NF1 mutation led us to reconsider the original diagnosis. A new examination of the patient and his similarly affected father, who was initially referred as healthy, led us to suspect LEOPARD syndrome, The diagnosis was then confirmed by the occurrence in both patients of a heterozygous mutation c.1403 C > T, p.(Thr468Met), of PTPN11. Subsequently, the proband was also found to have type-1 Arnold-Chiari malformation in association with syringomyelia.
CONCLUSION: Our experience suggests that differential clinical diagnosis among RASopathies remains ambiguous and raises doubts on the current diagnostic clinical criteria. In some cases, genetic tests represent the only conclusive proof for a correct diagnosis and, consequently, for establishing individual prognosis and providing adequate follow-up. Thus, molecular testing represents an essential tool in differential diagnosis of RASophaties. This view is further strengthened by the increasing accessibility of new sequencing techniques.Finally, to our knowledge, the described case represents the third report of the occurrence of Arnold Chiari malformation and the second description of syringomyelia with LEOPARD syndrome.

Pabalan N, Singh N, Pineda MR, Jarjanazi H
Meta-analysis of the association between PTPN11 G/A polymorphism at intron 3 with risk of gastric atrophy among East Asians.
J Gastrointest Cancer. 2014; 45(3):319-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Inconsistency of reported associations of the G/A polymorphism (rs2301756) in the PTPN11 gene and gastric atrophy prompted us to undertake a meta-analysis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched PubMed for published literature up to July 2013. Individual data from studies with case-control design were evaluated for the PTPN11 G/A polymorphism in Helicobacter pylori (-) (seronegative) and (+) (seropositive) subjects (four studies each, totaling 3,597 cases and 4,865 controls).
RESULTS: Associations of PTPN11 polymorphism with gastric atrophy in H. pylori (-) and (+) subjects are more readily interpreted in the homozygous and recessive models given that the dominant codominant effects skirted null associations. Thus, homozygous and recessive effects indicated reduced risk [odds ratio (OR) 0.92-0.96, p = 0.51-0.74], which is significant among H. pylori (+) subjects (OR 0.66-0.68, p = 0.04-0.05). Confined to the Japanese, reduced risk effects were unaltered in both groups, less protective among seronegative subjects (OR 0.85-0.86, p = 0.71-0.73) than seropositive subjects with significance in the recessive model (OR 0.67, p = 0.05). Sensitivity analysis demonstrated robustness of the seropositive findings, but probably not the seronegative results where homozygous and recessive pooled ORs were altered from protection to increased risk.
CONCLUSIONS: Evidence of overall and subgroup decreased risks, strong in seropositive subjects, demonstrates protective effects of the PTPN11 G/A polymorphism from gastric atrophy.

Bozok Cetintas V, Tezcanli Kaymaz B, Aktug H, et al.
Capsaicin induced apoptosis and gene expression dysregulation of human acute lymphoblastic leukemia CCRF-CEM cells.
J BUON. 2014 Jan-Mar; 19(1):183-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Capsaicin, an ingredient of red chili pepper, has possible tumorigenicity/genotoxicity properties. We aimed to determine the effects of capsaicin on the proliferation and gene expression profiles of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) CCRF-CEM cell line.
METHODS: Cell viability and IC50 dose was determined by WST cytotoxicity assay. qRT-PCR, immunohistochemical staining and western blot methods were used to determine target genes' expression levels. Apoptosis was evaluated by measuring the caspase-3 activity.
RESULTS: Capsaicin inhibited the proliferation of CCRFCEM cells in a dose-dependent manner. Increased mRNA expressions of caspase gene family members, activated caspase-3 and decreased mRNA and protein expression of BCL-2 gene indicated apoptotic response to capsaicin. Moreover capsaicin treatment suppressed significantly the expression of the key cell signaling pathways of KRAS, AKT, GAB2, PTPN11, BRAF, INPP5D, MAPK7.
CONCLUSION: Capsaicin induces apoptosis in CCRF-CEM cells and this response is associated with downregulation of cell signaling pathways.

Yoda Y, Takeshima H, Niwa T, et al.
Integrated analysis of cancer-related pathways affected by genetic and epigenetic alterations in gastric cancer.
Gastric Cancer. 2015; 18(1):65-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The profiles of genetic and epigenetic alterations in cancer-related pathways are considered to be useful for selection of patients likely to respond to specific drugs, including molecular-targeted and epigenetic drugs. In this study, we aimed to characterize such profiles in gastric cancers (GCs).
METHODS: Genetic alterations of 55 cancer-related genes were analyzed by a benchtop next-generation sequencer. DNA methylation statuses were analyzed by a bead array with 485,512 probes.
RESULTS: The WNT pathway was activated by mutations of CTNNB1 in 2 GCs and potentially by aberrant methylation of its negative regulators, such as DKK3, NKD1, and SFRP1, in 49 GCs. The AKT/mTOR pathway was activated by mutations of PIK3CA and PTPN11 in 4 GCs. The MAPK pathway was activated by mutations and gene amplifications of ERBB2, FLT3, and KRAS in 11 GCs. Cell-cycle regulation was affected by aberrant methylation of CDKN2A and CHFR in 13 GCs. Mismatch repair was affected by a mutation of MLH1 in 1 GC and by aberrant methylation of MLH1 in 2 GCs. The p53 pathway was inactivated by mutations of TP53 in 19 GCs and potentially by aberrant methylation of its downstream genes in 38 GCs. Cell adhesion was affected by mutations of CDH1 in 2 GCs.
CONCLUSIONS: Genes involved in cancer-related pathways were more frequently affected by epigenetic alterations than by genetic alterations. The profiles of genetic and epigenetic alterations are expected to be useful for selection of the patients who are likely to benefit from specific drugs.

Zhou H, Ge Y, Sun L, et al.
Growth arrest specific 2 is up-regulated in chronic myeloid leukemia cells and required for their growth.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e86195 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Although the generation of BCR-ABL is the molecular hallmark of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), the comprehensive molecular mechanisms of the disease remain unclear yet. Growth arrest specific 2 (GAS2) regulates multiple cellular functions including cell cycle, apoptosis and calpain activities. In the present study, we found GAS2 was up-regulated in CML cells including CD34+ progenitor cells compared to their normal counterparts. We utilized RNAi and the expression of dominant negative form of GAS2 (GAS2DN) to target GAS2, which resulted in calpain activity enhancement and growth inhibition of both K562 and MEG-01 cells. Targeting GAS2 also sensitized K562 cells to Imatinib mesylate (IM). GAS2DN suppressed the tumorigenic ability of MEG-01 cells and impaired the tumour growth as well. Moreover, the CD34+ cells from CML patients and healthy donors were transduced with control and GAS2DN lentiviral vectors, and the CD34+ transduced (YFP+) progeny cells (CD34+YFP+) were plated for colony-forming cell (CFC) assay. The results showed that GAS2DN inhibited the CFC production of CML cells by 57±3% (n = 3), while affected those of normal hematopoietic cells by 31±1% (n = 2). Next, we found the inhibition of CML cells by GAS2DN was dependent on calpain activity but not the degradation of beta-catenin. Lastly, we generated microarray data to identify the differentially expressed genes upon GAS2DN and validated that the expression of HNRPDL, PTK7 and UCHL5 was suppressed by GAS2DN. These 3 genes were up-regulated in CML cells compared to normal control cells and the growth of K562 cells was inhibited upon HNRPDL silence. Taken together, we have demonstrated that GAS2 is up-regulated in CML cells and the inhibition of GAS2 impairs the growth of CML cells, which indicates GAS2 is a novel regulator of CML cells and a potential therapeutic target of this disease.

Cai P, Guo W, Yuan H, et al.
Expression and clinical significance of tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2 in colon cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2014; 68(3):285-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Protein-tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2, encoded by gene PTPN11, has been identified as a tumor-promoting factor in several types of leukemia and is hyper-activated by other mechanisms in some solid tumors including gastric cancer, breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), etc. But few were reported on the expression and significances of SHP-2 in colon cancer. Here, we detect SHP-2 expression in colon cancer cells, colon cancer-induced by AOM+DSS in mice and 232 human colon cancer specimens, including 58 groups of self-matched adjacent peritumor tissues and normal tissues. We found that compared to the normal colon tissues, SHP-2 significantly decreased in tumor tissues (P<0.001). The same results were got in colon tumor cells as well as mice colon tumors. And in humans samples, low SHP-2 expression showed a significantly correlation with poor tumor differentiation (P<0.05), late TNM stage (P=0.1666) and lymph node metastasis (P<0.05).

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