Gene Summary

Gene:RAP2A; RAP2A, member of RAS oncogene family
Aliases: KREV, RAP2, K-REV, RbBP-30
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:ras-related protein Rap-2a
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: RAP2A (cancer-related)

Wang Y, Li Y, Zou J, et al.
The cerebral cavernous malformation disease causing gene KRIT1 participates in intestinal epithelial barrier maintenance and regulation.
FASEB J. 2019; 33(2):2132-2143 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epithelial barrier maintenance and regulation requires an intact perijunctional actomyosin ring underneath the cell-cell junctions. By searching for known factors affecting the actin cytoskeleton, we identified Krev interaction trapped protein 1 (KRIT1) as a major regulator for epithelial barrier function through multiple mechanisms. KRIT1 is expressed in both small intestinal and colonic epithelium, and KRIT1 knockdown in differentiated Caco-2 intestinal epithelium decreases epithelial barrier function and increases cation selectivity. KRIT1 knockdown abolished Rho-associated protein kinase-induced and myosin II motor inhibitor-induced barrier loss by limiting both small and large molecule permeability but did not affect myosin light chain kinase-induced increases in epithelial barrier function. These data suggest that KRIT1 participates in Rho-associated protein kinase- and myosin II motor-dependent (but not myosin light chain kinase-dependent) epithelial barrier regulation. KRIT1 knockdown exacerbated low-dose TNF-induced barrier loss, along with increased cleaved caspase-3 production. Both events are blocked by pan-caspase inhibition, indicating that KRIT1 regulates TNF-induced barrier loss through limiting epithelial apoptosis. These data indicate that KRIT1 controls epithelial barrier maintenance and regulation through multiple pathways, suggesting that KRIT1 mutation in cerebral cavernous malformation disease may alter epithelial function and affect human health.-Wang, Y., Li, Y., Zou, J., Polster, S. P., Lightle, R., Moore, T., Dimaano, M., He, T.-C., Weber, C. R., Awad, I. A., Shen, L. The cerebral cavernous malformation disease causing gene KRIT1 participates in intestinal epithelial barrier maintenance and regulation.

He Y, Lu J, Ye Z, et al.
Androgen receptor splice variants bind to constitutively open chromatin and promote abiraterone-resistant growth of prostate cancer.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2018; 46(4):1895-1911 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Androgen receptor (AR) splice variants (ARVs) are implicated in development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Upregulation of ARVs often correlates with persistent AR activity after androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). However, the genomic and epigenomic characteristics of ARV-dependent cistrome and the disease relevance of ARV-mediated transcriptome remain elusive. Through integrated chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled sequencing (ChIP-seq) and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis, we identified ARV-preferential-binding sites (ARV-PBS) and a set of genes preferentially transactivated by ARVs in CRPC cells. ARVs preferentially bind to enhancers located in nucleosome-depleted regions harboring the full AR-response element (AREfull), while full-length AR (ARFL)-PBS are enhancers resided in closed chromatin regions containing the composite FOXA1-nnnn-AREhalf motif. ARV-PBS exclusively overlapped with AR binding sites in castration-resistant (CR) tumors in patients and ARV-preferentially activated genes were up-regulated in abiraterone-resistant patient specimens. Expression of ARV-PBS target genes, such as oncogene RAP2A and cell cycle gene E2F7, were significantly associated with castration resistance, poor survival and tumor progression. We uncover distinct genomic and epigenomic features of ARV-PBS, highlighting that ARVs are useful tools to depict AR-regulated oncogenic genome and epigenome landscapes in prostate cancer. Our data also suggest that the ARV-preferentially activated transcriptional program could be targeted for effective treatment of CRPC.

Shen Z, Zhou R, Liu C, et al.
MicroRNA-105 is involved in TNF-α-related tumor microenvironment enhanced colorectal cancer progression.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(12):3213 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TNF-α is a central proinflammatory cytokine contributing to malignant tumor progression in tumor microenvironment. In this study, we found the upregulation of miR-105 in colorectal cancer was associated with aggressive phenotype, and the enhanced expression of miR-105 was required for TNF-α-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The expression of miR-105 was remarkably stimulated by TNF-α in a time-dependent manner using real-time qPCR analysis. Inhibition of miR-105 remarkably weakened the aggressive effects of TNF-α through preventing the activation of NF-κB signaling and the initiation of EMT. Furthermore, miR-105 was demonstrated directly targeted on the 3'-UTRs of RAP2C, a Rap2 subfamily of small GTP-binding protein. Consistently, suppression of RAP2C stimulated the role of miR-105, which dramatically promoted the invasion and metastasis of CRC cells. Thalidomide, a TNF-α and NF-κB inhibitor, significantly weakened the metastasis and homing capacity of miR-105-overexpressed CRC cells in nude mice. Our investigation initiatively illustrated the modulatory role of miR-105 in TNF-α-induced EMT and further CRC metastasis. We also offer a better understanding of TNFα-induced metastasis and suggest an effective therapeutic strategy against CRC metastasis.

Yang C, Wu B, Zhong H, et al.
A novel CCM1/KRIT1 heterozygous deletion mutation (c.1919delT) in a Chinese family with familial cerebral cavernous malformation.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2018; 164:44-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a relatively rare congenital vascular anomaly in the central venous system. Its inherited form, familial cerebral cavernous malformation (FCCM), is an autosomal-dominant disease with incomplete penetrance. The pathogenic genes of FCCM have been mapped into three loci: CCM1/KRIT1, CCM2/MGC4607, and CCM3/PDCD10. Till now, the genetic basis of FCCM in the Chinese population has yet to be well understood. Herein, we investigated the genetic mutation in a Chinese family with FCCM.
CASE REPORT: The proband is a 29-year-old female presenting with a 1-month history of headache. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed multiple intracranial lesions, the largest one showing a popcorn-like appearance. After a 4-year conservative observation, there was no significant clinical or radiological progression. Family investigation found five of her relatives had multiple CCM lesions. DNA sequencing analysis in the proband disclosed a novel heterozygous deletion mutation (c.1919delT; p.Phe640SerfsX21) in exon 17 of the CCM1/KRIT1 gene. This mutation leads to a frameshift and is predicted to cause a premature termination codon to generate a truncated Krev interaction trapped-1 (Krit1) protein of 659 amino acids. The mutation segregated with the disease in the family.
CONCLUSION: The current study identified a novel CCM1/KRIT1 heterozygous deletion mutation (c.1919delT) associated with FCCM. Our findings expand the CCM gene mutation profiles in the Chinese population, which will be beneficial for genetic counseling.

Ichikawa H, Itsumi M, Kajioka S, et al.
Overexpression of exchange protein directly activated by cAMP-1 (EPAC1) attenuates bladder cancer cell migration.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 495(1):64-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (EPAC) is a mediator of a cAMP signaling pathway that is independent of protein kinase A. EPAC has two isoforms (EPAC1 and EPAC2) and is a cAMP-dependent guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the small GTPases, Rap1 and Rap2. Recent studies suggest that EPAC1 has both positive and negative influences on cancer and is involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and metastasis. We report that EPAC1 and EPAC2 expression levels were significantly lower in bladder cancer tissue than in normal bladder tissue. In addition, bladder cancer cell lines showed reduced EPAC1 mRNA expression. Furthermore, EPAC1 overexpression in bladder cancer cell lines induced morphologic changes and markedly suppressed cell migration without affecting cell viability. The overexpressed EPAC1 preferentially localized at cell-cell interfaces. In conclusion, reduced EPAC1 expression in bladder tumors and poor migration of EPAC1-overexpressing cells implicate EPAC1 as an inhibitor of bladder cancer cell migration.

Yang C, Nicholas VH, Zhao J, et al.
A Novel CCM1/KRIT1 Heterozygous Nonsense Mutation (c.1864C>T) Associated with Familial Cerebral Cavernous Malformation: a Genetic Insight from an 8-Year Continuous Observational Study.
J Mol Neurosci. 2017; 61(4):511-523 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a congenital vascular abnormality that predominantly affects the central nervous system, but that sometimes encroaches other vital tissues, including the retina, skin, and even liver. The familial form of CCM (FCCM) is considered to be an autosomal dominant disease with incomplete penetrance and variable expression, which is often attributed to mutations in three genes: CCM1, CCM2, and CCM3. We screened a Chinese family diagnosed with FCCM by using Sanger sequencing. A 29-year-old male proband with cutaneous angiomas was pathologically diagnosed but presented with an atypical form of CCM as revealed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, prompting further clinical evaluation and genetic analyses of him and his immediate family. We performed continuous observation over an 8-year period using MRI gradient echo imaging and susceptibility-weighted imaging of these individuals. Sanger sequencing of the CCM1, CCM2, and CCM3 genes identified a novel heterozygous nonsense nucleotide transition (c.1864C>T; p.Gln622X) in exon 17 of the CCM1/KRIT1 gene; this mutation was predicted to cause a premature stop codon (TAG) at nucleotides 1864 to 1866 to generate a truncated Krev interaction trapped 1 (Krit1) protein of 621 amino acids. During this long-term observational study, one of the enrolled family members with neurological deficits progressed to a stage indicative of brain surgery. This study provides a new CCM gene mutation profile, which highlights the significance of genetic counseling for individuals suspected of having this condition.

Choquet H, Trapani E, Goitre L, et al.
Cytochrome P450 and matrix metalloproteinase genetic modifiers of disease severity in Cerebral Cavernous Malformation type 1.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2016; 92:100-109 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Familial Cerebral Cavernous Malformation type 1 (CCM1) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the Krev Interaction Trapped 1 (KRIT1/CCM1) gene, and characterized by multiple brain lesions. CCM lesions manifest across a range of different phenotypes, including wide differences in lesion number, size and susceptibility to intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Oxidative stress plays an important role in cerebrovascular disease pathogenesis, raising the possibility that inter-individual variability in genes related to oxidative stress may contribute to the phenotypic differences observed in CCM1 disease. Here, we investigated whether candidate oxidative stress-related cytochrome P450 (CYP) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) genetic markers grouped by superfamilies, families or genes, or analyzed individually influence the severity of CCM1 disease.
METHODS: Clinical assessment and cerebral susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (SWI) were performed to determine total and large (≥5mm in diameter) lesion counts as well as ICH in 188 Hispanic CCM1 patients harboring the founder KRIT1/CCM1 'common Hispanic mutation' (CCM1-CHM). Samples were genotyped on the Affymetrix Axiom Genome-Wide LAT1 Human Array. We analyzed 1,122 genetic markers (both single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion/deletions) grouped by CYP and MMP superfamily, family or gene for association with total or large lesion count and ICH adjusted for age at enrollment and gender. Genetic markers bearing the associations were then analyzed individually.
RESULTS: The CYP superfamily showed a trend toward association with total lesion count (P=0.057) and large lesion count (P=0.088) in contrast to the MMP superfamily. The CYP4 and CYP8 families were associated with either large lesion count or total lesion count (P=0.014), and two other families (CYP46 and the MMP Stromelysins) were associated with ICH (P=0.011 and 0.007, respectively). CYP4F12 rs11085971, CYP8A1 rs5628, CYP46A1 rs10151332, and MMP3 rs117153070 single SNPs, mainly bearing the above-mentioned associations, were also individually associated with CCM1 disease severity.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our candidate oxidative stress-related genetic markers set approach outlined CYP and MMP families and identified suggestive SNPs that may impact the severity of CCM1 disease, including the development of numerous and large CCM lesions and ICH. These novel genetic risk factors of prognostic value could serve as early objective predictors of disease outcome and might ultimately provide better options for disease prevention and treatment.

Kar S, Baisantry A, Nabavi A, Bertalanffy H
Role of Delta-Notch signaling in cerebral cavernous malformations.
Neurosurg Rev. 2016; 39(4):581-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) commonly known as cavernous hemangioma are associated with abnormally enlarged thin-walled blood vessels. As a result, these dilated capillaries are prone to leakage and result in hemorrhages. Clinically, such hemorrhages lead to severe headaches, focal neurological deficits, and epileptic seizures. CCM is caused by loss of function mutations in one of the three well-known CCM genes: Krev interaction trapped 1 (KRIT1), OSM, and programmed cell death 10 (PDCD10). Loss of CCM genes have been shown to be synergistically related to decreased Notch signaling and excessive angiogenesis. Despite recent evidences indicating that Notch signaling plays a pivotal role in regulating angiogenesis, the role of Notch in CCM development and progression is still not clear. Here, we provide an update literature review on the current knowledge of the structure of Notch receptor and its ligands, its relevance to angiogenesis and more precisely to CCM pathogenesis. In addition to reviewing the current literatures, this review will also focus on the cross talk between Delta-Notch and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling in angiogenesis and in CCM pathogenesis. Understanding the role of Notch signaling in CCM development and progression might help provide a better insight for novel anti-angiogenic therapies.

Zhang R, Li X, Boggon TJ
Structural analysis of the KRIT1 ankyrin repeat and FERM domains reveals a conformationally stable ARD-FERM interface.
J Struct Biol. 2015; 192(3):449-456 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are vascular dysplasias that usually occur in the brain and are associated with mutations in the KRIT1/CCM1, CCM2/MGC4607/OSM/Malcavernin, and PDCD10/CCM3/TFAR15 genes. Here we report the 2.9 Å crystal structure of the ankyrin repeat domain (ARD) and FERM domain of the protein product of KRIT1 (KRIT1; Krev interaction trapped 1). The crystal structure reveals that the KRIT1 ARD contains 4 ankyrin repeats. There is an unusual conformation in the ANK4 repeat that is stabilized by Trp-404, and the structure reveals a solvent exposed ankyrin groove. Domain orientations of the three copies within the asymmetric unit suggest a stable interaction between KRIT1 ARD and FERM domains, indicating a globular ARD-FERM module. This resembles the additional F0 domain found N-terminal to the FERM domain of talin. Structural analysis of KRIT1 ARD-FERM highlights surface regions of high evolutionary conservation, and suggests potential sites that could mediate interaction with binding partners. The structure therefore provides a better understanding of KRIT1 at the molecular level.

Burmeister DW, Smith EH, Cristel RT, et al.
The expression of RUNDC3B is associated with promoter methylation in lymphoid malignancies.
Hematol Oncol. 2017; 35(1):25-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression. The function of RUNDC3B has yet to be determined, although its dysregulated expression has been associated with malignant potential of both breast and lung carcinoma. To elucidate the potential of using DNA methylation in RUNDC3B as a biomarker in lymphoid malignancies, the methylation status of six regions spanning the CpG island in the promoter region of RUNDC3B was determined in cancer cell lines. Lymphoid malignancies were found to have more prominent methylation and did not express RUNDC3B compared with myeloid malignancies and solid tumours, supporting the potential use of DNA methylation in this region as a biomarker for lymphoid malignancies. RUNDC3B contains a RUN domain in its N-terminal region that mediates interaction with Rap2, an important component of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade, which regulates cellular proliferation and differentiation. The protein sequence of RUNDC3B also contains characteristic binding sites for MAPK intermediates. Therefore, it is possible that RUNDC3B serves as a mediator between Rap2 and the MAPK signalling cascade. Three genes with MAPK-inducible expression were downregulated in a methylated leukaemia cell line (HSPA5, Jun and Fos). Jun and Fos combine to form the activating protein 1 transcription factor, and loss of this factor is associated with the dysregulation of genes involved in differentiation and proliferation. We hypothesize that the loss of RUNDC3B secondary to aberrant hypermethylation of the early growth response 3 transcription factor binding site results in dysregulated MAPK signalling and carcinogenesis in lymphoid malignancies. © 2015 The Authors. Hematological Oncology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Wang G, Zhang Q, Song Y, et al.
PAK1 regulates RUFY3-mediated gastric cancer cell migration and invasion.
Cell Death Dis. 2015; 6:e1682 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Actin protrusion at the cell periphery is central to the formation of invadopodia during tumor cell migration and invasion. Although RUFY3 (RUN and FYVE domain containing 3)/SINGAR1 (single axon-related1)/RIPX (Rap2 interacting protein X) has an important role in neuronal development, its pathophysiologic role and relevance to cancer are still largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which RUFY3 involves in gastric cancer cell migration and invasion. Here, our data show that overexpression of RUFY3 leads to the formation of F-actin-enriched protrusive structures at the cell periphery and induces gastric cancer cell migration. Furthermore, P21-activated kinase-1 (PAK1) interacts with RUFY3, and promotes RUFY3 expression and RUFY3-induced gastric cancer cell migration; inhibition of PAK1 attenuates RUFY3-induced SGC-7901 cell migration and invasion. Importantly, we found that the inhibitory effect of cell migration and invasion is significantly enhanced by knockdown of both PAK1 and RUFY3 compared with knockdown of RUFY3 alone or PAK1 alone. Strikingly, we found significant upregulation of RUFY3 in gastric cancer samples with invasive carcinoma at pathologic TNM III and TNM IV stages, compared with their non-tumor counterparts. Moreover, an obvious positive correlation was observed between the protein expression of RUFY3 and PAK1 in 40 pairs of gastric cancer samples. Therefore, these findings provide important evidence that PAK1 can positively regulate RUFY3 expression, which contribute to the metastatic potential of gastric cancer cells, maybe blocking PAK1-RUFY3 signaling would become a potential metastasis therapeutic strategy for gastric cancer.

Fisher OS, Liu W, Zhang R, et al.
Structural basis for the disruption of the cerebral cavernous malformations 2 (CCM2) interaction with Krev interaction trapped 1 (KRIT1) by disease-associated mutations.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(5):2842-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Familial cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are predominantly neurovascular lesions and are associated with mutations within the KRIT1, CCM2, and PDCD10 genes. The protein products of KRIT1 and CCM2 (Krev interaction trapped 1 (KRIT1) and cerebral cavernous malformations 2 (CCM2), respectively) directly interact with each other. Disease-associated mutations in KRIT1 and CCM2 mostly result in loss of their protein products, although rare missense point mutations can also occur. From gene sequencing of patients known or suspected to have one or more CCMs, we discover a series of missense point mutations in KRIT1 and CCM2 that result in missense mutations in the CCM2 and KRIT1 proteins. To place these mutations in the context of the molecular level interactions of CCM2 and KRIT1, we map the interaction of KRIT1 and CCM2 and find that the CCM2 phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain displays a preference toward the third of the three KRIT1 NPX(Y/F) motifs. We determine the 2.75 Å co-crystal structure of the CCM2 PTB domain with a peptide corresponding to KRIT1(NPX(Y/F)3), revealing a Dab-like PTB fold for CCM2 and its interaction with KRIT1(NPX(Y/F)3). We find that several disease-associated missense mutations in CCM2 have the potential to interrupt the KRIT1-CCM2 interaction by destabilizing the CCM2 PTB domain and that a KRIT1 mutation also disrupts this interaction. We therefore provide new insights into the architecture of CCM2 and how the CCM complex is disrupted in CCM disease.

Choquet H, Pawlikowska L, Nelson J, et al.
Polymorphisms in inflammatory and immune response genes associated with cerebral cavernous malformation type 1 severity.
Cerebrovasc Dis. 2014; 38(6):433-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Familial cerebral cavernous malformation type 1 (CCM1) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the Krev Interaction Trapped 1 (KRIT1/CCM1) gene, and characterized by multiple brain lesions that often result in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), seizures, and neurological deficits. Carriers of the same genetic mutation can present with variable symptoms and severity of disease, suggesting the influence of modifier factors. Evidence is emerging that inflammation and immune response play a role in the pathogenesis of CCM. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether common variants in inflammatory and immune response genes influence the severity of familial CCM1 disease, as manifested by ICH and greater brain lesion count.
METHODS: Hispanic CCM1 patients (n=188) harboring the founder Q455X 'common Hispanic mutation' (CHM) in the KRIT1 gene were analyzed at baseline. Participants were enrolled between June 2010 and March 2014 either through the Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium (BVMC) study or through the Angioma Alliance organization. Clinical assessment and cerebral susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging were performed to determine ICH as well as total and large (≥5 mm in diameter) lesion counts. Samples were genotyped on the Affymetrix Axiom Genome-Wide LAT1 Human Array. We analyzed 830 variants in 56 inflammatory and immune response genes for association with ICH and residuals of log-transformed total or large lesion count adjusted for age at enrollment and gender. Variants were analyzed individually or grouped by sub-pathways or whole pathways.
RESULTS: At baseline, 30.3% of CCM1-CHM subjects had ICH, with a mean ± standard deviation (SD) of 60.1±115.0 (range 0-713) for total lesions and 4.9±8.7 (range 0-104) for large lesions. The heritability estimates explained by all autosomal variants were 0.20 (SE=0.31), 0.81 (SE=0.17), and 0.48 (SE=0.19), for ICH, total lesion count, and large lesion count, respectively. TGFBR2 rs9823731 was significantly associated with ICH as well as with the total and large lesion counts (p≤0.017). Further, IL-4 rs9327638, CD14 rs778588, IL-6R rs114660934 and MSR1 rs62489577 were associated with two markers of disease severity. Finally, the whole pathway was associated with total lesion count (p=0.005) with TLR-4 rs10759930, CD14 rs778588, IL-6R rs114660934 and IGH rs57767447 mainly bearing this association. Eicosanoid signaling, extracellular pattern recognition, and immune response sub-pathways were also associated with the total lesion count.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that polymorphisms in inflammatory and immune response pathways contribute to variability in CCM1 disease severity and might be used as predictors of disease severity. In particular, TGFBR2 rs9823731 was associated with all three markers of CCM1 disease severity tested, suggesting that TGFBR2 might be a key participant in the mechanism underlying CCM1 disease severity and phenotype variability. However, further longitudinal studies in larger sample sizes are needed to confirm these findings.

Choquet H, Nelson J, Pawlikowska L, et al.
Association of cardiovascular risk factors with disease severity in cerebral cavernous malformation type 1 subjects with the common Hispanic mutation.
Cerebrovasc Dis. 2014; 37(1):57-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are enlarged vascular lesions affecting 0.1-0.5% of the population worldwide and causing hemorrhagic strokes, seizures, and neurological deficits. Familial CCM type 1 (CCM1) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the Krev Interaction Trapped 1 (KRIT1/CCM1) gene, and is characterized by multiple brain lesions whose number and size increase with age. The number of lesions varies widely for unknown reasons, even among carriers of similar ages with the same mutation. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether cardiovascular (CV) risk factors influence potential markers of familial CCM1 disease severity, such as lesion count and history of intracerebral hemorrhage.
METHODS: We analyzed baseline data from 185 Hispanic subjects, enrolled in the Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium study between June 2010 and March 2013. All subjects were carriers of the founder Q455X 'Common Hispanic Mutation' (CHM) in the KRIT1 gene, and had a clinical diagnosis of CCM or had an affected first- or second-degree relative with CCM. We performed a cross-sectional study, collecting detailed clinical information of CCM1-CHM subjects and cerebral susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to assess lesion count. Linear or logistic regression analysis of log-lesion count or history of intracerebral hemorrhage and CV risk factors (age, gender, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and smoking status) and related quantitative traits (body mass index, glycosylated hemoglobin levels, blood pressure, lipids levels and pack-years of cigarette smoking) was performed accommodating familial clustering.
RESULTS: CCM1-CHM subjects were mainly female (63.8%) and symptomatic at presentation (63.2%). Lesion count was highly variable (mean ± SD: 57.7 ± 110.6; range: 0-713); 90% of CCM1-CHM subjects had multiple lesions at enrollment. Age (p < 0.001) was positively correlated with lesion count and male gender (p = 0.035) was associated with a greater number of lesions. Obesity (p = 0.001) and higher body mass index (p = 0.002) were associated with fewer lesions. No association with hypertension was detected, however, systolic blood pressure (p = 0.002) was associated with fewer lesions. No significant association with lesion count was observed for diabetes, hyperlipidemia, smoking status or for related quantitative traits. History of intracerebral hemorrhage was not significantly associated with any CV risk factors, however, we found borderline associations of hemorrhage with obesity (p = 0.062), systolic blood pressure (p = 0.083) and pack-years of cigarette smoking (p = 0.055). After correction for multiple testing, age and obesity remained significantly associated with lesion count in CCM1-CHM subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that several CV risk factors explain some of the variability in lesion count in Hispanic CCM1-CHM subjects. Although age, gender, obesity, body mass index and systolic blood pressure may influence familial CCM1 disease severity, further longitudinal studies in larger sample sizes are essential to confirm these findings.

Wang L, Zhan W, Xie S, et al.
Over-expression of Rap2a inhibits glioma migration and invasion by down-regulating p-AKT.
Cell Biol Int. 2014; 38(3):326-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ras-oncogenic pathway contributes to the pathogenesis of various tumours in humans, in which mutations of three canonical genes including H-Ras, N-Ras and K-Ras are the most common events. Dysregulation of Ras signalling can be tumourigenic, especially gliomas of the central nervous system. Rap proteins are members of the small GTPase superfamily that involved in many biological processes. However, it remains largely unclear as to whether and how Rap proteins are involved in the development of multiple gliomas. We found that the levels of the protein Rap2a and the activity of Rap2a (GTP-Rap2a) were weakly expressed in glioma tissues. Overexpressed Rap2a significantly inhibited the migration and invasion of glioma cells with an increase of GTP-Rap2a. Overexpression of the dominant-active (DA-Rap2a), but not the dominant-negative (DN-Rap2a) form of Rap2a, also similarly inhibited the migration and invasion of glioma cells by reducing the phosphorylation level of AKT. In contrast, downregulation of Rap2a promoted glioma migration and invasion, and raised the phosphorylation level of AKT, whereas these effects were inhibited by PI3K-specific inhibitor, LY294002. Thus unlike the other family members of Ras, Rab2a probably serves as a tumour suppressor in the pathogenesis of glioma.

Fisher OS, Boggon TJ
Signaling pathways and the cerebral cavernous malformations proteins: lessons from structural biology.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014; 71(10):1881-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are neurovascular dysplasias that result in mulberry-shaped lesions predominantly located in brain and spinal tissues. Mutations in three genes are associated with CCM. These genes encode for the proteins KRIT1/CCM1 (krev interaction trapped 1/cerebral cavernous malformations 1), cerebral cavernous malformations 2, osmosensing scaffold for MEKK3 (CCM2/malcavernin/OSM), and cerebral cavernous malformations 3/programmed cell death 10 (CCM3/PDCD10). There have been many significant recent advances in our understanding of the structure and function of these proteins, as well as in their roles in cellular signaling. Here, we provide an update on the current knowledge of the structure of the CCM proteins and their functions within cellular signaling, particularly in cellular adhesion complexes and signaling cascades. We go on to discuss subcellular localization of the CCM proteins, the formation and regulation of the CCM complex signaling platform, and current progress towards targeted therapy for CCM disease. Recent structural studies have begun to shed new light on CCM protein function, and we focus here on how these studies have helped inform the current understanding of these roles and how they may aid future studies into both CCM-related biology and disease mechanisms.

Ouyang H, Gore J, Deitz S, Korc M
microRNA-10b enhances pancreatic cancer cell invasion by suppressing TIP30 expression and promoting EGF and TGF-β actions.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(38):4664-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increased microRNA-10b (miR-10b) expression in the cancer cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a marker of disease aggressiveness. In the present study, we determined that plasma miR-10b levels are significantly increased in PDAC patients by comparison with normal controls. By gene profiling, we identified potential targets downregulated by miR-10b, including Tat-interacting protein 30 (TIP30). Immunoblotting and luciferase reporter assays confirmed that TIP30 was a direct miR-10b target. Downregulation of TIP30 by miR-10b or siRNA-mediated silencing of TIP30 enhanced epidermal growth factor (EGF)-dependent invasion. The actions of miR-10b were abrogated by expressing a modified TIP30 cDNA resistant to miR-10b. EGF-induced EGF receptor (EGFR) tyrosine phosphorylation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation were enhanced by miR-10b, and these effects were mimicked by TIP30 silencing. The actions of EGF in the presence of miR-10b were blocked by EGFR kinase inhibition with erlotinib and by dual inhibition of PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase) and MEK. Moreover, miR-10b, EGF and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) combined to markedly increase cell invasion, and this effect was blocked by the combination of erlotinib and SB505124, a type I TGF-β receptor inhibitor. miR-10b also enhanced the stimulatory effects of EGF and TGF-β on cell migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and decreased the expression of RAP2A, EPHB2, KLF4 and NF1. Moreover, miR-10b overexpression accelerated pancreatic cancer cell (PCC) proliferation and tumor growth in an orthotopic model. Thus, plasma miR-10b levels may serve as a diagnostic marker in PDAC, whereas intra-tumoral miR-10b promotes PCC proliferation and invasion by suppressing TIP30, which enhances EGFR signaling, facilitates EGF-TGF-β cross-talk and enhances the expression of EMT-promoting genes, whereas decreasing the expression of several metastasis-suppressing genes. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of miR-10b in PDAC may interrupt growth-promoting deleterious EGF-TGF-β interactions and antagonize the metastatic process at various levels.

D'Angelo R, Alafaci C, Scimone C, et al.
Sporadic cerebral cavernous malformations: report of further mutations of CCM genes in 40 Italian patients.
Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013:459253 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are vascular lesions characterized by abnormally enlarged capillary cavities, affecting the central nervous system. CCMs can occur sporadically or as a familial autosomal dominant condition with incomplete penetrance and variable clinical expression attributable to mutations in three different genes: CCM1 (K-Rev interaction trapped 1 (KRIT1)), CCM2 (MGC4607), and CCM3 (PDCD10). CCMs occur as a single or multiple malformations that can lead to seizures, focal neurological deficits, hemorrhagic stroke, and headache. However, patients are frequently asymptomatic. In our previous mutation screening, performed in a cohort of 95 Italian patients, both sporadic and familial, we have identified several mutations in CCM genes, three of which in three distinct sporadic patients. In this study, representing further molecular screening of the three CCM genes, in a south Italian cohort of CCM patients enrolled by us in the last three years, we report the identification of other four new mutations in 40 sporadic patients with either single or multiple CCM.

Jamshidi N, Diehn M, Bredel M, Kuo MD
Illuminating radiogenomic characteristics of glioblastoma multiforme through integration of MR imaging, messenger RNA expression, and DNA copy number variation.
Radiology. 2014; 270(1):1-2 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To perform a multilevel radiogenomics study to elucidate the glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging radiogenomic signatures resulting from changes in messenger RNA (mRNA) expression and DNA copy number variation (CNV).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Radiogenomic analysis was performed at MR imaging in 23 patients with GBM in this retrospective institutional review board-approved HIPAA-compliant study. Six MR imaging features-contrast enhancement, necrosis, contrast-to-necrosis ratio, infiltrative versus edematous T2 abnormality, mass effect, and subventricular zone (SVZ) involvement-were independently evaluated and correlated with matched genomic profiles (global mRNA expression and DNA copy number profiles) in a significant manner that also accounted for multiple hypothesis testing by using gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), resampling statistics, and analysis of variance to gain further insight into the radiogenomic signatures in patients with GBM.
RESULTS: GSEA was used to identify various oncogenic pathways with MR imaging features. Correlations between 34 gene loci were identified that showed concordant variations in gene dose and mRNA expression, resulting in an MR imaging, mRNA, and CNV radiogenomic association map for GBM. A few of the identified gene-to-trait associations include association of the contrast-to-necrosis ratio with KLK3 and RUNX3; association of SVZ involvement with Ras oncogene family members, such as RAP2A, and the metabolic enzyme TYMS; and association of vasogenic edema with the oncogene FOXP1 and PIK3IP1, which is a member of the PI3K signaling network.
CONCLUSION: Construction of an MR imaging, mRNA, and CNV radiogenomic association map has led to identification of MR traits that are associated with some known high-grade glioma biomarkers and association with genomic biomarkers that have been identified for other malignancies but not GBM. Thus, the traits and genes identified on this map highlight new candidate radiogenomic biomarkers for further evaluation in future studies.

Zhang HH, Zhang ZY, Che CL, et al.
Array analysis for potential biomarker of gemcitabine identification in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013; 6(9):1734-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gemcitabine is one of the most widely used drugs for the treatment of advanced Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but modest objective response rate of patients to gemcitabine makes it necessary to identify novel biomarkers for patients who can benefit from gemcitabine-based therapy and to improve the effect of clinical therapy. In this work, 3 NSCLC cell lines displaying different sensitivities to gemcitabine were applied for mRNA and microRNA (miR) expression chips to figure out the biomarkers for gemcitabine sensitivity. Genes whose expression increased dramatically in sensitive cell lines were mainly enriched in cell adhesion (NRP2, CXCR3, CDK5R1, IL32 and CDH2) and secretory granule (SLC11A1, GP5, CD36 and IGF1), while genes with significantly upregulated expression in resistant cell line were mainly clustered in methylation modification (HIST1H2BF, RAB23 and TP53) and oxidoreductase (TP53I3, CYP27B1 and SOD3). The most intriguing is the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in gemcitabine resistant NSCLC cell lines. The miR-155, miR-10a, miR-30a, miR-24-2* and miR-30c-2* were upregulated in sensitive cell lines, while expression of miR-200c, miR-203, miR-885-5p, miR-195 and miR-25* was increased in resistant cell line. Genes with significantly altered expression and putatively mediated by the expression-changed miRs were mainly enriched in chromatin assembly (MAF, HLF, BCL2, and IGSF3), anti-apoptosis (BCL2, IGF1 and IKBKB), protein kinase (NRP2, PAK7 and CDK5R1) (all the above genes were upregulated in sensitive cells) and small GTPase mediated signal transduction (GNA13, RAP2A, ARHGAP5 and RAB23, down-regulated in sensitive cells). Our results might provide potential biomarkers for gemcitabine sensitivity prediction and putative targets to overcome gemcitabine resistance in NSCLC patients.

Grippaudo FR, Piane M, Amoroso M, et al.
Cutaneous venous malformations related to KRIT1 mutation: case report and literature review.
J Mol Neurosci. 2013; 51(2):442-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cavernous malformations (CMs) are vascular anomalies of the nervous system mostly located in the brain. Cerebral cavernous malformations can present sporadically or familial, as a consequence of an autosomal dominant condition, with incomplete penetrance and variable clinical expression. Occasionally, extraneural manifestations of CMs involving the skin have been described. We report the case of two siblings presenting in adulthood diffuse cutaneous vascular lesions associated with cerebral CMs that, after surgical excision and histopathologic analysis, resulted to cavernous haemangiomas. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood, and molecular evaluation of KRIT1 gene was performed. Although no signs of neurological impairment were reported, cerebral MRI revealed multiple images in both patients, suggestive of cavernous haemangiomas. The genetic study demonstrated a nonsense mutation (c.535C>T) in the KRIT1 (Krev-1/rap1 interaction trapped 1) gene. Few reports describe extraneural manifestations of Cavernous malformation syndrome (CMs) related to a KRIT1 mutation; these involve the skin and are associated with hyperkeratotic cutaneous capillary-venous malformation. CMs should be suspected in patients developing multiple nodular cutaneous venous lesions in adulthood.

Hu YL, Zhong D, Pang F, et al.
HNF1b is involved in prostate cancer risk via modulating androgenic hormone effects and coordination with other genes.
Genet Mol Res. 2013; 12(2):1327-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed male malignancies. Genome wide association studies have revealed HNF1b to be a major risk gene for prostate cancer susceptibility. We examined the mechanisms of involvement of HNF1b in prostate cancer development. We integrated data from Gene Expression Omnibus prostate cancer genes from the Dragon Database of Genes Implicated in Prostate Cancer, and used meta-analysis data to generate a panel of HNF1b-associated prostate cancer risk genes. An RT-PCR was used to assess expression levels in DU145, PC3, LNCaP, and RWEP-1 cells. Twelve genes (BAG1, DDR1, ERBB4, ESR1, HSPD1, IGFBP2, IGFBP5, NR4A1, PAWR, PIK3CG, RAP2A, and TPD52) were found to be associated with both HNF1b and prostate cancer risk. Six of them (BAG1, ERBB4, ESR1, HSPD1, NR4A1, and PIK3CG) were mapped to the KEGG pathway, and submitted to further gene expression assessment. HNF1b, NR4A1, and HSPD1 were found to be highly expressed in the LNCaP androgenic hormone-dependent cell line. Compared to expression levels in wild-type prostate cancer cells, NR4A1, HSPD1, ERBB4, and ESR1 expression levels were also found to be significantly increased in the HNF1b-transfected cells. We conclude that the mechanism of action of HNF1b in prostate cancer involves modulation of the association between androgenic hormone and prostate cancer cells. Gene-gene interaction and coordination should be taken into account to determine relationships between specific loci and diseases.

Minato N
Rap G protein signal in normal and disordered lymphohematopoiesis.
Exp Cell Res. 2013; 319(15):2323-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rap proteins (Rap1, Rap2a, b, c) are small molecular weight GTPases of the Ras family. Rap G proteins mediate diverse cellular events such as cell adhesion, proliferation, and gene activation through various signaling pathways. Activation of Rap signal is regulated tightly by several specific regulatory proteins including guanine nucleotide exchange factors and GTPase-activating proteins. Beyond cell biological studies, increasing attempts have been made in the past decade to define the roles of Rap signal in specific functions of normal tissue systems as well as in cancer. In the immune and hematopoietic systems, Rap signal plays crucial roles in the development and function of essentially all lineages of lymphocytes and hematopoietic cells, and importantly, deregulated Rap signal may lead to unique pathological conditions depending on the affected cell types, including various types of leukemia and autoimmunity. The phenotypical studies have unveiled novel, even unexpected functional aspects of Rap signal in cells from a variety of tissues, providing potentially important clues for controlling human diseases, including malignancy.

Choudhury Y, Tay FC, Lam DH, et al.
Attenuated adenosine-to-inosine editing of microRNA-376a* promotes invasiveness of glioblastoma cells.
J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(11):4059-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the human brain, microRNAs (miRNAs) from the microRNA-376 (miR-376) cluster undergo programmed "seed" sequence modifications by adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) editing. Emerging evidence suggests a link between impaired A-to-I editing and cancer, particularly in high-grade gliomas. We hypothesized that disruption of A-to-I editing alters expression of genes regulating glioma tumor phenotypes. By sequencing the miR-376 cluster, we show that the overall miRNA editing frequencies were reduced in human gliomas. Specifically in high-grade gliomas, miR-376a* accumulated entirely in an unedited form. Clinically, a significant correlation was found between accumulation of unedited miR-376a* and the extent of invasive tumor spread as measured by magnetic resonance imaging of patient brains. Using both in vitro and orthotopic xenograft mouse models, we demonstrated that the unedited miR-376a* promoted glioma cell migration and invasion, while the edited miR-376a* suppressed these features. The effects of the unedited miR-376a* were mediated by its sequence-dependent ability to target RAP2A and concomitant inability to target AMFR. Thus, the tumor-dependent introduction of a single base difference in the miR-376a* sequence dramatically alters the selection of its target genes and redirects its function from inhibiting to promoting glioma cell invasion. These findings uncover a new mechanism of miRNA deregulation and identify unedited miR-376a* as a potential therapeutic target in glioblastoma cells.

D'Angelo R, Scimone C, Calabrò M, et al.
Identification of a novel CCM2 gene mutation in an Italian family with multiple cerebral cavernous malformations and epilepsy: a causative mutation?
Gene. 2013; 519(1):202-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs; OMIM 116860) are vascular anomalies mostly located in the central nervous system (CNS) and occasionally within the skin and retina. Main clinical manifestations are seizure, hemorrhage, recurrent headaches, focal neurological deficits and epileptic attacks. The CCMs can occur as sporadic or autosomal dominant conditions, although with incomplete penetrance and variable clinical expression. Familial CCMs were associated with causative mutations in the CCM1 [K-Rev interaction trapped 1 (KRIT1)], CCM2 (MGC4607) and CCM3 (PDCD10) genes. This study reports the identification of a previously undescribed deletion mutation in CCM2 gene exon 5, in an Italian family with multiple cerebral cavernous malformations and epilepsy. Mutation c.502_503delAG results in a frame shift causing a TGA stop codon. This truncates the mutant CCM2 gene protein, the malcavernin, to 233 amino acids, respect to 444 amino acids of the wild-type malcavernin. By using real-time RT-PCR, we have found that the mRNA resulting from two nucleotides deletion showed a 70% reduction relative to the wild-type transcript, indicating that it may be subject to a degradation mechanism such as nonsense-mediated decay (NMD).

Dong X, Tang W, Stopenski S, et al.
RAP1GAP inhibits cytoskeletal remodeling and motility in thyroid cancer cells.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2012; 19(4):575-88 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The functional significance of decreased RAP1GAP protein expression in human tumors is unclear. To identify targets of RAP1GAP downregulation in the thyroid gland, RAP1 and RAP2 protein expression in human thyroid cells and in primary thyroid tumors were analyzed. RAP1GAP and RAP2 were co-expressed in normal thyroid follicular cells. Intriguingly, RAP1 was not detected in normal thyroid cells, although it was detected in papillary thyroid carcinomas, which also expressed RAP2. Both RAP proteins were detected at the membrane in papillary thyroid tumors, suggesting that they are activated when RAP1GAP is downregulated. To explore the functional significance of RAP1GAP depletion, RAP1GAP was transiently expressed at the lowest level that is sufficient to block endogenous RAP2 activity in papillary and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cell lines. RAP1GAP impaired the ability of cells to spread and migrate on collagen. Although RAP1GAP had no effect on protein tyrosine phosphorylation in growing cells, RAP1GAP impaired phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase and paxillin at sites phosphorylated by SRC in cells acutely plated on collagen. SRC activity was increased in suspended cells, where it was inhibited by RAP1GAP. Inhibition of SRC kinase activity impaired cell spreading and motility. These findings identify SRC as a target of RAP1GAP depletion and suggest that the downregulation of RAP1GAP in thyroid tumors enhances SRC-dependent signals that regulate cellular architecture and motility.

Li X, Zhang R, Draheim KM, et al.
Structural basis for small G protein effector interaction of Ras-related protein 1 (Rap1) and adaptor protein Krev interaction trapped 1 (KRIT1).
J Biol Chem. 2012; 287(26):22317-27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) affect 0.1-0.5% of the population resulting in leaky vasculature and severe neurological defects. KRIT1 (Krev interaction trapped-1) mutations associate with ∼40% of familial CCMs. KRIT1 is an effector of Ras-related protein 1 (Rap1) GTPase. Rap1 relocalizes KRIT1 from microtubules to cell membranes to impact integrin activation, potentially important for CCM pathology. We report the 1.95 Å co-crystal structure of KRIT1 FERM domain in complex with Rap1. Rap1-KRIT1 interaction encompasses an extended surface, including Rap1 Switch I and II and KRIT1 FERM F1 and F2 lobes. Rap1 binds KRIT1-F1 lobe using a GTPase-ubiquitin-like fold interaction but binds KRIT1-F2 lobe by a novel interaction. Point mutagenesis confirms the interaction. High similarity between KRIT1-F2/F3 and talin is revealed. Additionally, the mechanism for FERM domains acting as GTPase effectors is suggested. Finally, structure-based alignment of each lobe suggests classification of FERM domains as ERM-like and TMFK-like (talin-myosin-FAK-KRIT-like) and that FERM lobes resemble domain "modules."

Vuchak LA, Tsygankova OM, Meinkoth JL
Rap1GAP impairs cell-matrix adhesion in the absence of effects on cell-cell adhesion.
Cell Adh Migr. 2011 Jul-Aug; 5(4):323-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The significance of the widespread downregulation of Rap1GAP in human tumors is unknown. In previous studies we demonstrated that silencing Rap1GAP expression in human colon cancer cells resulted in sustained increases in Rap activity, enhanced spreading on collagen and the weakening of cell-cell contacts. The latter finding was unexpected based on the role of Rap1 in strengthening cell-cell adhesion and reports that Rap1GAP impairs cell-cell adhesion. We now show that Rap1GAP is a more effective inhibitor of cell-matrix compared to cell-cell adhesion. Overexpression of Rap1GAP in human colon cancer cells impaired Rap2 activity and the ability of cells to spread and migrate on collagen IV. Under the same conditions, Rap1GAP had no effect on cell-cell adhesion. Overexpression of Rap1GAP did not enhance the dissociation of cell aggregates nor did it impair the accumulation of β-catenin and E-cadherin at cell-cell contacts. To further explore the role of Rap1GAP in the regulation of cell-cell adhesion, Rap1GAP was overexpressed in non-transformed thyroid epithelial cells. Although the formation of cell-cell contacts required Rap1, overexpression of Rap1GAP did not impair cell-cell adhesion. These data indicate that transient, modest expression of Rap1GAP is compatible with cell-cell adhesion and that the role of Rap1GAP in the regulation of cell-cell adhesion may be more complex than is currently appreciated.

Dong X, Korch C, Meinkoth JL
Histone deacetylase inhibitors upregulate Rap1GAP and inhibit Rap activity in thyroid tumor cells.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2011; 18(3):301-10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increases in Rap activity have been associated with tumor progression. Although activating mutations in Rap have not been described, downregulation of Rap1GAP is frequent in human tumors including thyroid carcinomas. In this study, we explored whether endogenous Rap1GAP expression could be restored to thyroid tumor cells. The effects of deacetylase inhibitors and a demethylating agent, individually and in combination, were examined in four differentiated and six anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) cell lines. Treatment with the structurally distinct histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, sodium butyrate and trichostatin A, increased Rap1GAP expression in all the differentiated thyroid carcinoma cell lines and in four of the six ATC cell lines. The demethylating agent, 5-aza-deoxycytidine, restored Rap1GAP expression in one anaplastic cell line and enhanced the effects of HDAC inhibitors in a second anaplastic cell line. Western blotting indicated that Rap2 was highly expressed in human thyroid cancer cells. Importantly, treatment with HDAC inhibitors impaired Rap2 activity in both differentiated and anaplastic tumor cell lines. The mechanism through which Rap activity is repressed appears to entail effects on the expression of multiple Rap regulators, including RapGEFs and RapGAPs. These results suggest that HDAC inhibitors may provide a tractable approach to impair Rap activity in human tumor cells.

Muscarella LA, Guarnieri V, Coco M, et al.
Small deletion at the 7q21.2 locus in a CCM family detected by real-time quantitative PCR.
J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010; 2010 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) represent a common autosomal dominant disorder that predisposes patients to haemorrhagic strokes and focal neurological signs. About 56% of the hereditary forms of CCMs have been so far associated with mutations in the KRIT1 (Krev Interaction Trapped 1) gene, located at 7q21.2 (CCM1 locus). We described the complete loss of 7q21.2 locus encompassing the KRIT1 gene and 4 flanking genes in a CCM family by using a dense set of 12 microsatellite markers. The complete loss of the maternal copy of KRIT1 gene region was confirmed by Real-Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-QPCR) and the same approach was used for expression analysis. Additional RT-QPCR analysis showed the extension of the deletion, for a total of 700 kb, to the adjacent downstream and upstream-located genes, MTERF, AKAP9, CYP51A1, as well as a partial loss of the ANKIB1 gene. Here we report the molecular characterization of an interstitial small genomic deletion of the 7q21.2 region in a CCMs affected family, encompassing the KRIT1 gene. Our findings confirm the loss of function mechanism for the already known CCM1 locus, without any evident involvement of the other deleted genes. Moreover, our investigations highlight the usefulness of the RT-QPCR to the molecular characterization of the breakpoints genomic deletions and to the identification of internal deleted genes involved in the human genetic diseases.

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