Gene Summary

Gene:RBM15; RNA binding motif protein 15
Aliases: OTT, OTT1, SPEN
Summary:Members of the SPEN (Split-end) family of proteins, including RBM15, have repressor function in several signaling pathways and may bind to RNA through interaction with spliceosome components (Hiriart et al., 2005 [PubMed 16129689]).[supplied by OMIM, Feb 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:putative RNA-binding protein 15
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (13)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 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.

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Cell Cycle
  • Newborns
  • FISH
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Base Sequence
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Infant
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Myeloid Leukemia
  • Leukaemia
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • MSX2 protein
  • Residual Disease
  • Leukemia, Megakaryoblastic, Acute
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • YY1 Transcription Factor
  • World Health Organization
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Chromosome 1
  • CD Antigens
  • Chromosome 22
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Translocation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • RBM15
  • Apoptosis
  • Chromosome 5
  • Proteins
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Chromosome 11
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)RBM15 and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia View Publications11
-RBM15 and Residual Disease View Publications2
Leukaemiat(1;22)(p13;q13) in Acute Megakaryocytic Leukemia
The t(1;22)(p13;q13) translocation is specifically associated with infant acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (M7). Mercher et al (2003) characterised the translocation as a fusion of the OTT (RBM15) and MAL (MKL1) genes on chromosomes 22 and 1 respectively.

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

Latest Publications: RBM15 (cancer-related)

Kortüm KM, Langer C, Monge J, et al.
Longitudinal analysis of 25 sequential sample-pairs using a custom multiple myeloma mutation sequencing panel (M(3)P).
Ann Hematol. 2015; 94(7):1205-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent advances in genomic sequencing technologies now allow results from deep next-generation sequencing to be obtained within clinically meaningful timeframes, making this an attractive approach to better guide personalized treatment strategies. No multiple myeloma-specific gene panel has been established so far; we therefore designed a 47-gene-targeting gene panel, containing 39 genes known to be mutated in ≥3 % of multiple myeloma cases and eight genes in pathways therapeutically targeted in multiple myeloma (MM). We performed targeted sequencing on tumor/germline DNA of 25 MM patients in which we also had a sequential sample post treatment. Mutation analysis revealed KRAS as the most commonly mutated gene (36 % in each time point), followed by NRAS (20 and 16 %), TP53 (16 and 16 %), DIS3 (16 and 16 %), FAM46C (12 and 16 %), and SP140 (12 and 12 %). We successfully tracked clonal evolution and identified mutation acquisition and/or loss in FAM46C, FAT1, KRAS, NRAS, SPEN, PRDM1, NEB, and TP53 as well as two mutations in XBP1, a gene associated with bortezomib resistance. Thus, we present the first longitudinal analysis of a MM-specific targeted sequencing gene panel that can be used for individual tumor characterization and for tracking clonal evolution over time.

Iqbal J, Shen Y, Huang X, et al.
Global microRNA expression profiling uncovers molecular markers for classification and prognosis in aggressive B-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2015; 125(7):1137-45 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/02/2016 Related Publications
We studied the global microRNA (miRNA) expression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL; n = 79), Burkitt lymphoma (BL; n = 36), primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBL; n = 12), B-cell lines (n = 11), and normal subsets of naïve B cells, centroblasts (CBs), and peripheral blood B cells along with their corresponding gene expression profiles (GEPs). The normal B-cell subsets have well-defined miRNA signatures. The CB miRNA signature was significantly associated with germinal center B-cell (GCB)-DLBCL compared with activated B-cell (ABC)-DLBCL (P = .002). We identified a 27-miRNA signature that included v-myc avian myelomatosis viral oncogene homolog (MYC) targets and enabled the differentiation of BL from DLBCL, a distinction comparable with the "gold standard" GEP-defined diagnosis. Distinct miRNA signatures were identified for DLBCL subgroups, including GCB-DLBCL, activated B-cell (ABC)-DLBCL, and PMBL. Interestingly, most of the unclassifiable-DLBCL by GEP showed a strong similarity to the ABC-DLBCL by miRNA expression profiling. Consistent results for BL and DLBCL subgroup classification were observed in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, making such tests practical for clinical use. We also identified predictive miRNA biomarker signatures in DLBCL, including high expression of miR-155, which is significantly associated with rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) treatment failure. This finding was further supported by the observation that high expression of miR-155 sensitizes cells to v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog-1 inhibitors in vitro, suggesting a novel treatment option for resistant DLBCL.

Horn H, Allmanritter J, Doglioni C, et al.
Fluorescence in situ analysis of soft tissue tumor associated genetic alterations in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue.
Pathol Res Pract. 2014; 210(12):804-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
No prospective studies are available to date evaluating the combined analysis of chromosomal alterations via interphase FISH in different soft tissue sarcoma (STS) subtypes. We tested 64 consecutive sarcoma specimens with FISH probes to detect aberrations specific for a given STS subtype. We first determined the translocation frequency in the specific STS subtypes in 48 tumors, with the primary pathological diagnosis as the gold standard. Subsequently, to evaluate sensitivity and specificity, all FISH probes were hybridized to 16 STS of hitherto unknown diagnosis. DDIT3 translocations occurred in 8/10 (80%) of myxoid liposarcomas. FOXO1 translocations were noted in 4/4 (100%) of alveolar but in none of 7 embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas. All 15 (100%) Ewing sarcomas/PNET and 4 clear cell sarcomas (4/4) harbored EWSR1 translocations. SS18 rearrangements were demonstrated in 8/9 (89%) synovial sarcomas. MDM2 amplification was noted in 7/8 (88%) atypical lipomatous tumors/well-differentiated and 3/3 (100%) dedifferentiated liposarcomas, respectively, but not in four pleomorphic liposarcomas. Sensitivities and specificities ranged from 80% to 100% and from 93% to 100%, respectively, with the highest values observed for FOXO1 (100% each). We conclude, therefore, that is possible to accurately predict the STS subtype using a panel of different subtype-specific FISH probes, thereby greatly facilitating the differential diagnosis of these tumors.

Odenthal M, Hee J, Gockel I, et al.
Serum microRNA profiles as prognostic/predictive markers in the multimodality therapy of locally advanced adenocarcinomas of the gastroesophageal junction.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(1):230-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neoadjuvant multimodality treatment is frequently applied to improve the poor prognosis of locally advanced adenocarcinomas of the gastroesophageal junction. This study aimed to asses if serum microRNA profiles are useable as response indicators in this therapeutic setting. Fifty patients with locally advanced adenocarcinomas of the gastroesophageal junction were included in the study. All patients received neoadjuvant therapy and subsequently underwent surgical resection. Histomorphologic regression was defined as major histopathological response when resected specimens contained less than 10% vital residual tumor cells. Circulating RNA was isolated from pretherapeutic/post-neoadjuvant blood serum samples. RNA from nine patients was applied to PCR microarray analyses Based on these findings possible predictive miRNA markers were validated by quantitative RT-PCR analyses. Depending on the histomorphologic regression, a differential serum microRNA profile was identified by microarray analyses. Based on the divergent miRNA pattern, miR-21, miR-192, miR-222, miR-302c, miR-381 and miR-549 were selected for further validation. During neoadjuvant therapy, there was a significant increase of miR 222 and miR-549. Although on an expanded patient cohort, the six microRNAs could not be validated as markers for therapy response, there was a significant correlation between a high miR-192 and miR-222 expression with a high T-category as well as miR-302c and miR-222 expression significantly correlated with overall survival. Comprehensive miRNA profiling showed a differential microRNA expression pattern depending on the histomorphologic regression in the multimodality therapy of locally advanced adenocarcinomas of the gastroesophageal junction. Moreover, using single RT-PCR analyses a prognostic impact of miR-222 and miR-302c was detected.

Weilemann A, Grau M, Erdmann T, et al.
Essential role of IRF4 and MYC signaling for survival of anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2015; 125(1):124-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a distinct entity of T-cell lymphoma that can be divided into 2 subtypes based on the presence of translocations involving the ALK gene (ALK(+) and ALK(-) ALCL). The interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) is known to be highly expressed in both ALK(+) and ALK(-) ALCLs. However, the role of IRF4 in the pathogenesis of these lymphomas remains unclear. Here we show that ALCLs of both subtypes are addicted to IRF4 signaling, as knockdown of IRF4 by RNA interference was toxic to ALCL cell lines in vitro and in ALCL xenograft mouse models in vivo. Gene expression profiling after IRF4 knockdown demonstrated a significant downregulation of a variety of known MYC target genes. Furthermore, our analyses revealed that MYC is a primary target of IRF4, identifying a novel regulatory mechanism of MYC expression and its target gene network in ALCL. MYC, itself, is essential for ALCL survival, as both knockdown of MYC and pharmacologic inhibition of MYC signaling were toxic to ALCL cell lines. Collectively, our results demonstrate that ALCLs are dependent on IRF4 and MYC signaling and that MYC may represent a promising target for future therapies.

Muppidi JR, Schmitz R, Green JA, et al.
Loss of signalling via Gα13 in germinal centre B-cell-derived lymphoma.
Nature. 2014; 516(7530):254-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/02/2016 Related Publications
Germinal centre B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (GCB-DLBCL) is a common malignancy, yet the signalling pathways that are deregulated and the factors leading to its systemic dissemination are poorly defined. Work in mice showed that sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-2 (S1PR2), a Gα12 and Gα13 coupled receptor, promotes growth regulation and local confinement of germinal centre B cells. Recent deep sequencing studies of GCB-DLBCL have revealed mutations in many genes in this cancer, including in GNA13 (encoding Gα13) and S1PR2 (refs 5,6, 7). Here we show, using in vitro and in vivo assays, that GCB-DLBCL-associated mutations occurring in S1PR2 frequently disrupt the receptor's Akt and migration inhibitory functions. Gα13-deficient mouse germinal centre B cells and human GCB-DLBCL cells were unable to suppress pAkt and migration in response to S1P, and Gα13-deficient mice developed germinal centre B-cell-derived lymphoma. Germinal centre B cells, unlike most lymphocytes, are tightly confined in lymphoid organs and do not recirculate. Remarkably, deficiency in Gα13, but not S1PR2, led to germinal centre B-cell dissemination into lymph and blood. GCB-DLBCL cell lines frequently carried mutations in the Gα13 effector ARHGEF1, and Arhgef1 deficiency also led to germinal centre B-cell dissemination. The incomplete phenocopy of Gα13- and S1PR2 deficiency led us to discover that P2RY8, an orphan receptor that is mutated in GCB-DLBCL and another germinal centre B-cell-derived malignancy, Burkitt's lymphoma, also represses germinal centre B-cell growth and promotes confinement via Gα13. These findings identify a Gα13-dependent pathway that exerts dual actions in suppressing growth and blocking dissemination of germinal centre B cells that is frequently disrupted in germinal centre B-cell-derived lymphoma.

Ott HM, Graves AP, Pappalardi MB, et al.
A687V EZH2 is a driver of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27) hypertrimethylation.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(12):3062-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The EZH2 methyltransferase silences gene expression through methylation of histone H3 on lysine 27 (H3K27). Recently, EZH2 mutations have been reported at Y641, A677, and A687 in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Although the Y641F/N/S/H/C and A677G mutations exhibit clearly increased activity with substrates dimethylated at lysine 27 (H3K27me2), the A687V mutant has been shown to prefer a monomethylated lysine 27 (H3K27me1) with little gain of activity toward H3K27me2. Herein, we demonstrate that despite this unique substrate preference, A687V EZH2 still drives increased H3K27me3 when transiently expressed in cells. However, unlike the previously described mutants that dramatically deplete global H3K27me2 levels, A687V EZH2 retains normal levels of H3K27me2. Sequencing of B-cell-derived cancer cell lines identified an acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line harboring this mutation. Similar to exogenous expression of A687V EZH2, this cell line exhibited elevated H3K27me3 while possessing H3K27me2 levels higher than Y641- or A677-mutant lines. Treatment of A687V EZH2-mutant cells with GSK126, a selective EZH2 inhibitor, was associated with a global decrease in H3K27me3, robust gene activation, caspase activation, and decreased proliferation. Structural modeling of the A687V EZH2 active site suggests that the increased catalytic activity with H3K27me1 may be due to a weakened interaction with an active site water molecule that must be displaced for dimethylation to occur. These findings suggest that A687V EZH2 likely increases global H3K27me3 indirectly through increased catalytic activity with H3K27me1 and cells harboring this mutation are highly dependent on EZH2 activity for their survival.

Ptasinska A, Assi SA, Martinez-Soria N, et al.
Identification of a dynamic core transcriptional network in t(8;21) AML that regulates differentiation block and self-renewal.
Cell Rep. 2014; 8(6):1974-88 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/02/2016 Related Publications
Oncogenic transcription factors such as RUNX1/ETO, which is generated by the chromosomal translocation t(8;21), subvert normal blood cell development by impairing differentiation and driving malignant self-renewal. Here, we use digital footprinting and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) to identify the core RUNX1/ETO-responsive transcriptional network of t(8;21) cells. We show that the transcriptional program underlying leukemic propagation is regulated by a dynamic equilibrium between RUNX1/ETO and RUNX1 complexes, which bind to identical DNA sites in a mutually exclusive fashion. Perturbation of this equilibrium in t(8;21) cells by RUNX1/ETO depletion leads to a global redistribution of transcription factor complexes within preexisting open chromatin, resulting in the formation of a transcriptional network that drives myeloid differentiation. Our work demonstrates on a genome-wide level that the extent of impaired myeloid differentiation in t(8;21) is controlled by the dynamic balance between RUNX1/ETO and RUNX1 activities through the repression of transcription factors that drive differentiation.

Horn H, Staiger AM, Vöhringer M, et al.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphomas of immunoblastic type are a major reservoir for MYC-IGH translocations.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2015; 39(1):61-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The immunoblastic variant of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (IB-DLBCL) has recently been recognized as an aggressive lymphoma type with inferior prognosis as compared with other DLBCL variants. At the same time, the presence of MYC rearrangements in DLBCL has been shown to indicate shorter survival in R-CHOP-treated patients. In this study, we investigated the occurrence of MYC gene rearrangements in IB-DLBCL versus non-IB-DLBCL in a large series. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization with an MYC break-apart and MYC-IGH fusion probe, we found that 13/39 evaluable IB-DLBCLs (33%) harbor translocations involving MYC, in contrast with only 5/68 (7%) in the non-IB-DLBCL group (P<0.01). The immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IGH) was the translocation partner in all rearrangements (100%) involving MYC in IB-DLBCL, which is in contrast to what has been reported for DLBCL in the literature (50% to 70%). Moreover, MYC rearrangements occurred as the sole translocation in the majority of cases (77%), whereas across all DLBCLs the majority of MYC-rearranged cases carry additional rearrangements of either BCL2 and/or BCL6 genes (between 58% and 83% of cases). Finally, MYC-rearranged IB-DLBCLs were CD10 positive in 62% (8/13), whereas this was an uncommon feature in MYC germline IB-DLBCLs (15%). In conclusion, IB-DLBCLs are genetically characterized by frequent MYC-IGH translocations that often occur without additional BCL2 and/or BCL6 translocations. The activation of MYC, therefore, may be an important pathogenetic feature in IB-DLBCL.

Aichler M, Motschmann M, Jütting U, et al.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is an independent adverse prognostic factor in esophageal adenocarcinoma patients treated with cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(16):6620-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/02/2016 Related Publications
Neoadjuvant platin-based therapy is accepted as a standard therapy for advanced esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Patients who respond have a better survival prognosis, but still a significant number of responder patients die from tumor recurrence. Molecular markers for prognosis in neoadjuvantly treated EAC patients have not been identified yet. We investigated the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in prognosis and chemotherapy resistance in these patients. Two EAC patient cohorts, either treated by neoadjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy followed by surgery (n=86) or by surgical resection (n=46) were analyzed for EGFR protein expression and gene copy number. Data were correlated with clinical and histopathological response, disease-free and overall survival. In case of EGFR overexpression, the prognosis for neoadjuvant chemotherapy responders was poor as in non-responders. Responders had a significantly better disease-free survival than non-responders only if EGFR expression level (p=0.0152) or copy number (p=0.0050) was low. Comparing neoadjuvantly treated patients and primary resection patients, tumors of non-responder patients more frequently exhibited EGFR overexpression, providing evidence that EGFR is a factor for indicating chemotherapy resistance. EGFR overexpression and gene copy number are independent adverse prognostic factors for neoadjuvant chemotherapy-treated EAC patients, particularly for responders. Furthermore, EGFR overexpression is involved in resistance to cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Karube K, Martínez D, Royo C, et al.
Recurrent mutations of NOTCH genes in follicular lymphoma identify a distinctive subset of tumours.
J Pathol. 2014; 234(3):423-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Follicular lymphoma (FL) is one of the most common malignant lymphomas. The t(14;18)(q32;q21) translocation is found in about 80% of cases and plays an important role in lymphomagenesis. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the development and transformation of this lymphoma are not fully understood. Gain-of-function mutations of NOTCH1 or NOTCH2 have recently been reported in several B cell lymphoid neoplasms but the role of these mutations in FL is not known. In this study we investigated the mutational status of these genes in 112 FLs. NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 mutations were identified in five and two cases, respectively (total 7/112, 6.3%). All mutations predicted for truncated protein in the PEST domain and were identical to those identified in other B cell lymphoid neoplasms. NOTCH-mutated FL cases were characterized by lower frequency of t(14;18) (14% versus 69%, p = 0.01), higher incidence of splenic involvement (71% versus 25%, p = 0.02) and female predominance (100% versus 55%, p = 0.04). A diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) component was more frequently identified in NOTCH-mutated FL than in wild-type cases (57% versus 18%, p = 0.03). These results indicate that NOTCH mutations are uncommon in FL but may occur in a subset of cases with distinctive, characteristic, clinicopathological features.

Kendrick SL, Redd L, Muranyi A, et al.
BCL2 antibodies targeted at different epitopes detect varying levels of protein expression and correlate with frequent gene amplification in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(10):2144-53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Patients with aggressive, BCL2 protein-positive (+) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) often experience rapid disease progression that is refractory to standard therapy. However, there is potential for false-negative staining of BCL2 using the standard monoclonal mouse 124 antibody that hinders the identification of these high-risk DLBCL patients. Herein, we compare 2 alternative rabbit monoclonal antibodies (E17 and SP66) to the 124 clone in staining for BCL2 in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded DLBCL tissues. Overall, in 2 independent DLBCL cohorts, E17 and SP66 detected BCL2 expression more frequently than 124. In the context of MYC expression, cases identified as BCL2 (+) with SP66 demonstrated the strongest correlation with worse overall survival. The 124 clone failed to detect BCL2 expression in the majority of translocation (+), amplification (+), and activated B-cell DLBCL cases in which high levels of BCL2 protein are expected. Using dual in situ hybridization as a new tool to detect BCL2 translocation and amplification, we observed similar results as previously reported for fluorescence in situ hybridization for translocation but a higher amplification frequency, indicating that BCL2 amplification may be underreported in DLBCL. Among the discrepant cases, phosphorylation of BCL2 at T69 and/or S70 was more common than in the concordant cases and may contribute to the 124 false negatives, in addition to previously associated mutations within the epitope region. The accurate detection of BCL2 expression is important in the prognosis and treatment of DLBCL particularly with new anti-BCL2 therapies.

Renieri A, Mencarelli MA, Cetta F, et al.
Oligogenic germline mutations identified in early non-smokers lung adenocarcinoma patients.
Lung Cancer. 2014; 85(2):168-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: A polygenic model is commonly assumed for the predisposition to common cancers. With respect to lung cancer, Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have identified three loci at 15q25, 5p15.33, and 6p21. However, the relative risks associated with alleles at these loci are low; in addition, the data are limited to smokers, and have not been quite reproducible.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to investigate genetic susceptibility we have adopted an entirely novel patient selection strategy. First, we have selected for adenocarcinoma (ADCA) histology only; second, we have selected non-smokers; third we have selected patients who developed ADCA of lung before the age of 60 and who had an older unaffected sib: we have identified 31 such sib-pairs. Among them, we selected two patients with very early age at disease onset (37- and 49-years old), and having a healthy sibling available for genome comparison older than at least 7 years.
RESULTS: On germline DNA samples of four subjects of two such pairs we have carried out whole exome sequencing. Truncating mutations were detected in 8 'cancer genes' in one affected, and in 5 cancer genes in the other affected subject: but none in the two healthy sibs (p=0.0026). Some of these mutant genes (such as BAG6, SPEN and WISP3) are recognized as major cancer players in lung tumors; others have been previously identified in other human cancers (JAK2, TCEB3C, NELFE, TAF1B, EBLN2), in mouse models (GON4L, NOP58, and RBMX) or in genome-wide association studies (KIAA2018, ZNF311).
CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies for the first time in non-smokers with lung adenocarcinoma specific sets of germline mutations that, together, may predispose to this tumor.

Martin N, Salazar-Cardozo C, Vercamer C, et al.
Identification of a gene signature of a pre-transformation process by senescence evasion in normal human epidermal keratinocytes.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:151 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epidemiological data show that the incidence of carcinomas in humans is highly dependent on age. However, the initial steps of the age-related molecular oncogenic processes by which the switch towards the neoplastic state occurs remain poorly understood, mostly due to the absence of powerful models. In a previous study, we showed that normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEKs) spontaneously and systematically escape from senescence to give rise to pre-neoplastic emerging cells.
METHODS: Here, this model was used to analyze the gene expression profile associated with the early steps of age-related cell transformation. We compared the gene expression profiles of growing or senescent NHEKs to post-senescent emerging cells. Data analyses were performed by using the linear modeling features of the limma package, resulting in a two-sided t test or F-test based on moderated statistics. The p-values were adjusted for multiple testing by controlling the false discovery rate according to Benjamini Hochberg method.The common gene set resulting of differential gene expression profiles from these two comparisons revealed a post-senescence neoplastic emergence (PSNE) gene signature of 286 genes.
RESULTS: About half of these genes were already reported as involved in cancer or premalignant skin diseases. However, bioinformatics analyses did not highlight inside this signature canonical cancer pathways but metabolic pathways, including in first line the metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450. In order to validate the relevance of this signature as a signature of pretransformation by senescence evasion, we invalidated two components of the metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450, AKR1C2 and AKR1C3. When performed at the beginning of the senescence plateau, this invalidation did not alter the senescent state itself but significantly decreased the frequency of PSNE. Conversely, overexpression of AKR1C2 but not AKR1C3 increased the frequency of PSNE.
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this study is the first to identify reprogrammation of metabolic pathways in normal keratinocytes as a potential determinant of the switch from senescence to pre-transformation.

Cheng FB, Feng JC, Ma LY, et al.
Combined occurrence of a novel TOR1A and a THAP1 mutation in primary dystonia.
Mov Disord. 2014; 29(8):1079-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The ΔGAG deletion of the TOR1A gene (DYT1) is responsible for DYT1 dystonia. However, no other TOR1A mutation has been reported in the Chinese population.
METHODS: Two hundred one dystonia patients without the ΔGAG deletion were screened for other mutations in TOR1A. Gene function changes were analyzed by subcellular distribution and luciferase reporter assay.
RESULTS: A novel TOR1A mutation (c.581A>T, p.Asp194Val) was found in a patient with early-onset segmental dystonia harboring a THAP1 mutation (c.539T>C, p.Leu180Ser). Overexpression of mutant TOR1A Asp194Val protein induces inclusion formation in SK-N-AS cell lines, and the repressive activity of the mutant THAP1 Leu180Ser protein on TOR1A gene expression is decreased compared with wild-type THAP1.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report about a dystonia patient harboring two distinct dystonia gene mutations. Functional analysis indicated a potential additive effect of these two mutations, which might provoke the occurrence of dystonic symptoms in this patient.

Horn H, Bausinger J, Staiger AM, et al.
Numerical and structural genomic aberrations are reliably detectable in tissue microarrays of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples by fluorescence in-situ hybridization.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e95047 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Few data are available regarding the reliability of fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH), especially for chromosomal deletions, in high-throughput settings using tissue microarrays (TMAs). We performed a comprehensive FISH study for the detection of chromosomal translocations and deletions in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor specimens arranged in TMA format. We analyzed 46 B-cell lymphoma (B-NHL) specimens with known karyotypes for translocations of IGH-, BCL2-, BCL6- and MYC-genes. Locus-specific DNA probes were used for the detection of deletions in chromosome bands 6q21 and 9p21 in 62 follicular lymphomas (FL) and six malignant mesothelioma (MM) samples, respectively. To test for aberrant signals generated by truncation of nuclei following sectioning of FFPE tissue samples, cell line dilutions with 9p21-deletions were embedded into paraffin blocks. The overall TMA hybridization efficiency was 94%. FISH results regarding translocations matched karyotyping data in 93%. As for chromosomal deletions, sectioning artefacts occurred in 17% to 25% of cells, suggesting that the proportion of cells showing deletions should exceed 25% to be reliably detectable. In conclusion, FISH represents a robust tool for the detection of structural as well as numerical aberrations in FFPE tissue samples in a TMA-based high-throughput setting, when rigorous cut-off values and appropriate controls are maintained, and, of note, was superior to quantitative PCR approaches.

Litzenburger UM, Opitz CA, Sahm F, et al.
Constitutive IDO expression in human cancer is sustained by an autocrine signaling loop involving IL-6, STAT3 and the AHR.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(4):1038-51 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) inhibitors have entered clinical trials based on their ability to restore anti-tumor immunity in preclinical studies. However, the mechanisms leading to constitutive expression of IDO in human tumors are largely unknown. Here we analyzed the pathways mediating constitutive IDO expression in human cancer. IDO-positive tumor cells and tissues showed basal phosphorylation and acetylation of STAT3 as evidenced by western blotting and immunoprecipitation. Inhibition of IL-6 or STAT3 using siRNA and/or pharmacological inhibitors reduced IDO mRNA and protein expression as well as kynurenine formation. In turn, IDO enzymatic activity activated the AHR as shown by the induction of AHR target genes. IDO-mediated AHR activation induced IL-6 expression, while inhibition or knockdown of the AHR reduced IL-6 expression. IDO activity thus sustains its own expression via an autocrine AHR-IL-6-STAT3 signaling loop. Inhibition of the AHR-IL-6-STAT3 signaling loop restored T-cell proliferation in mixed leukocyte reactions performed in the presence of IDO-expressing human cancer cells. Identification of the IDO-AHR-IL-6-STAT3 signaling loop maintaining IDO expression in human cancers reveals novel therapeutic targets for the inhibition of this core pathway promoting immunosuppression of human cancers. The relevance of the IDO-AHR-IL-6-STAT3 transcriptional circuit is underscored by the finding that high expression of its members IDO, STAT3 and the AHR target gene CYP1B1 is associated with reduced relapse-free survival in lung cancer patients.

Iqbal J, Wright G, Wang C, et al.
Gene expression signatures delineate biological and prognostic subgroups in peripheral T-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2014; 123(19):2915-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) encompasses a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with generally poor clinical outcome. Currently 50% of PTCL cases are not classifiable: PTCL-not otherwise specified (NOS). Gene-expression profiles on 372 PTCL cases were analyzed and robust molecular classifiers and oncogenic pathways that reflect the pathobiology of tumor cells and their microenvironment were identified for major PTCL-entities, including 114 angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), 31 anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive and 48 ALK-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma, 14 adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and 44 extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma that were further separated into NK-cell and gdT-cell lymphomas. Thirty-seven percent of morphologically diagnosed PTCL-NOS cases were reclassified into other specific subtypes by molecular signatures. Reexamination, immunohistochemistry, and IDH2 mutation analysis in reclassified cases supported the validity of the reclassification. Two major molecular subgroups can be identified in the remaining PTCL-NOS cases characterized by high expression of either GATA3 (33%; 40/121) or TBX21 (49%; 59/121). The GATA3 subgroup was significantly associated with poor overall survival (P = .01). High expression of cytotoxic gene-signature within the TBX21 subgroup also showed poor clinical outcome (P = .05). In AITL, high expression of several signatures associated with the tumor microenvironment was significantly associated with outcome. A combined prognostic score was predictive of survival in an independent cohort (P = .004).

Knoechel B, Roderick JE, Williamson KE, et al.
An epigenetic mechanism of resistance to targeted therapy in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(4):364-70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The identification of activating NOTCH1 mutations in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) led to clinical testing of γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) that prevent NOTCH1 activation. However, responses to these inhibitors have been transient, suggesting that resistance limits their clinical efficacy. Here we modeled T-ALL resistance, identifying GSI-tolerant 'persister' cells that expand in the absence of NOTCH1 signaling. Rare persisters are already present in naive T-ALL populations, and the reversibility of their phenotype suggests an epigenetic mechanism. Relative to GSI-sensitive cells, persister cells activate distinct signaling and transcriptional programs and exhibit chromatin compaction. A knockdown screen identified chromatin regulators essential for persister viability, including BRD4. BRD4 binds enhancers near critical T-ALL genes, including MYC and BCL2. The BRD4 inhibitor JQ1 downregulates expression of these targets and induces growth arrest and apoptosis in persister cells, at doses well tolerated by GSI-sensitive cells. Consistently, the GSI-JQ1 combination was found to be effective against primary human leukemias in vivo. Our findings establish a role for epigenetic heterogeneity in leukemia resistance that may be addressed by incorporating epigenetic modulators in combination therapy.

Gruber K, Horn H, Kalla J, et al.
Detection of rearrangements and transcriptional up-regulation of ALK in FFPE lung cancer specimens using a novel, sensitive, quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay.
J Thorac Oncol. 2014; 9(3):307-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The approved dual-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) test for the detection of anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is complex and represents a low-throughput assay difficult to use in daily diagnostic practice. We devised a sensitive and robust routine diagnostic test for the detection of rearrangements and transcriptional up-regulation of ALK.
METHODS: We developed a quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay adapted to RNA isolated from routine formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material and applied it to 652 NSCLC specimens. The reliability of this technique to detect ALK dysregulation was shown by comparison with FISH and immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: qRT-PCR analysis detected unbalanced ALK expression indicative of a gene rearrangement in 24 (4.6%) and full-length ALK transcript expression in six (1.1%) of 523 interpretable tumors. Among 182 tumors simultaneously analyzed by FISH and qRT-PCR, the latter accurately typed 97% of 19 rearranged and 158 nonrearranged tumors and identified ALK deregulation in two cases with insufficient FISH. Six tumors expressing full-length ALK transcripts did not show rearrangements of the gene. Immunohistochemistry detected ALK protein overexpression in tumors with gene fusions and transcriptional up-regulation, but did not distinguish between the two. One case with full-length ALK expression carried a heterozygous point mutation (S1220Y) within the kinase domain potentially interfering with kinase activity and/or inhibitor binding.
CONCLUSIONS: Our qRT-PCR assay reliably identifies and distinguishes ALK rearrangements and full-length transcript expression in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material. It is an easy-to-perform, cost-effective, and high-throughput tool for the diagnosis of ALK activation. The expression of full-length ALK transcripts may be relevant for ALK inhibitor therapy in NSCLC.

Blank S, Rachakonda S, Keller G, et al.
A retrospective comparative exploratory study on two methylentetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphisms in esophagogastric cancer: the A1298C MTHFR polymorphism is an independent prognostic factor only in neoadjuvantly treated gastric cancer patients.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Methylentetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) plays a major role in folate metabolism and consequently could be an important factor for the efficacy of a treatment with 5-fluorouracil. Our aim was to evaluate the prognostic and predictive value of two well characterized constitutional MTHFR gene polymorphisms for primarily resected and neoadjuvantly treated esophagogastric adenocarcinomas.
METHODS: 569 patients from two centers were analyzed (gastric cancer: 218, carcinoma of the esophagogastric junction (AEG II, III): 208 and esophagus (AEG I): 143). 369 patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery, 200 patients were resected without preoperative treatment. The MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms were determined in DNA from peripheral blood lymphozytes. Associations with prognosis, response and clinicopathological factors were analyzed retrospectively within a prospective database (chi-square, log-rank, cox regression).
RESULTS: Only the MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms had prognostic relevance in neoadjuvantly treated patients but it was not a predictor for response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The AC genotype of the MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms was significantly associated with worse outcome (p = 0.02, HR 1.47 (1.06-2.04). If neoadjuvantly treated patients were analyzed based on their tumor localization, the AC genotype of the MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms was a significant negative prognostic factor in patients with gastric cancer according to UICC 6th edition (gastric cancer including AEG type II, III: HR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3-2.0, p = 0.001) and 7th edition (gastric cancer without AEG II, III: HR 2.8, 95% CI 1.5-5.7, p = 0.003), not for AEG I. For both definitions of gastric cancer the AC genotype was confirmed as an independent negative prognostic factor in cox regression analysis. In primarily resected patients neither the MTHFR A1298C nor the MTHFR C677T polymorphisms had prognostic impact.
CONCLUSIONS: The MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms was an independent prognostic factor in patients with neoadjuvantly treated gastric adenocarcinomas (according to both UICC 6th or 7th definitions for gastric cancer) but not in AEG I nor in primarily resected patients, which confirms the impact of this enzyme on chemotherapy associated outcome.

Mesaros EF, Ott GR, Dorsey BD
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibitors as anticancer therapeutics: a patent review.
Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2014; 24(4):417-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), a receptor tyrosine kinase from the insulin receptor superfamily, is implicated in the oncogenesis of numerous cancers including anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, non-small-cell lung cancer, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors, glioblastoma, as well as neuroblastoma. The root cause for these specific cancers has been identified as aberrant ALK kinase activity, which has been shown to be associated with specific gene translocations, single-point mutations, gene amplification and/or overexpression. The direct inhibition of ALK with small-molecule inhibitors represents a viable therapeutic intervention that has achieved clinical proof of concept.
AREAS COVERED: Small-molecule ALK inhibitors covered in the patent literature from 2010 to September 2013 are described. Relevant peer-reviewed journal articles that describe discovery and development of the above-identified ALK inhibitors are also discussed. Keyword-based (e.g., ALK, anaplastic lymphoma kinase) literature searches were conducted in Scifinder®.
EXPERT OPINION: Novel ALK inhibitors continued to be discovered at a fast pace over the covered period, with many distinct chemotypes emerging. Crizotinib received FDA approval in 2011, and six additional ALK inhibitors have entered clinical trials. The focus of ALK research appears to have shifted toward inhibitors that display activity against resistant mutants unearthed in clinical studies with crizotinib.

Dengler MA, Weilbacher A, Gutekunst M, et al.
Discrepant NOXA (PMAIP1) transcript and NOXA protein levels: a potential Achilles' heel in mantle cell lymphoma.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1013 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive lymphoid neoplasm with transient response to conventional chemotherapy. We here investigated the role of the Bcl-2 homology domain 3-only protein NOXA for life-death decision in MCL. Surprisingly, NOXA (PMAIP1) mRNA and NOXA protein levels were extremely discrepant in MCL cells: NOXA mRNA was found to be highly expressed whereas NOXA protein levels were low. Chronic active B-cell receptor signaling and to a minor degree cyclin D1 overexpression contributed to high NOXA mRNA expression levels in MCL cells. The phoshatidyl-inositol-3 kinase/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway was identified as the major downstream signaling pathway involved in the maintenance of NOXA gene expression. Interestingly, MCL cells adapt to this constitutive pro-apoptotic signal by extensive ubiquitination and rapid proteasomal degradation of NOXA protein (T½∼15-30 min). In addition to the proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib, we identified the neddylation inhibitor MLN4924 and the fatty acid synthase inhibitor Orlistat as potent inducers of NOXA protein expression leading to apoptosis in MCL. All inhibitors targeted NOXA protein turnover. In contrast to Bortezomib, MLN4924 and Orlistat interfered with the ubiquitination process of NOXA protein thereby offering new strategies to kill Bortezomib-resistant MCL cells. Our data, therefore, highlight a critical role of NOXA in the balance between life and death in MCL. The discrepancy between NOXA transcript and protein levels is essential for sensitivity of MCL to ubiquitin-proteasome system inhibitors and could therefore provide a druggable Achilles' heel of MCL cells.

Gould PS, Dyer NP, Croft W, et al.
Cellular mRNAs access second ORFs using a novel amino acid sequence-dependent coupled translation termination-reinitiation mechanism.
RNA. 2014; 20(3):373-81 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Polycistronic transcripts are considered rare in the human genome. Initiation of translation of internal ORFs of eukaryotic genes has been shown to use either leaky scanning or highly structured IRES regions to access initiation codons. Studies on mammalian viruses identified a mechanism of coupled translation termination-reinitiation that allows translation of an additional ORF. Here, the ribosome terminating translation of ORF-1 translocates upstream to reinitiate translation of ORF-2. We have devised an algorithm to identify mRNAs in the human transcriptome in which the major ORF-1 overlaps a second ORF capable of encoding a product of at least 50 aa in length. This identified 4368 transcripts representing 2214 genes. We investigated 24 transcripts, 22 of which were shown to express a protein from ORF-2 highlighting that 3' UTRs contain protein-coding potential more frequently than previously suspected. Five transcripts accessed ORF-2 using a process of coupled translation termination-reinitiation. Analysis of one transcript, encoding the CASQ2 protein, showed that the mechanism by which the coupling process of the cellular mRNAs was achieved was novel. This process was not directed by the mRNA sequence but required an aspartate-rich repeat region at the carboxyl terminus of the terminating ORF-1 protein. Introduction of wobble mutations for the aspartate codon had no effect, whereas replacing aspartate for glutamate repeats eliminated translational coupling. This is the first description of a coordinated expression of two proteins from cellular mRNAs using a coupled translation termination-reinitiation process and is the first example of such a process being determined at the amino acid level.

Scott DW, Wright GW, Williams PM, et al.
Determining cell-of-origin subtypes of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma using gene expression in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue.
Blood. 2014; 123(8):1214-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The assignment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma into cell-of-origin (COO) groups is becoming increasingly important with the emergence of novel therapies that have selective biological activity in germinal center B cell-like or activated B cell-like groups. The Lymphoma/Leukemia Molecular Profiling Project's Lymph2Cx assay is a parsimonious digital gene expression (NanoString)-based test for COO assignment in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPET). The 20-gene assay was trained using 51 FFPET biopsies; the locked assay was then validated using an independent cohort of 68 FFPET biopsies. Comparisons were made with COO assignment using the original COO model on matched frozen tissue. In the validation cohort, the assay was accurate, with only 1 case with definitive COO being incorrectly assigned, and robust, with >95% concordance of COO assignment between 2 independent laboratories. These qualities, along with the rapid turnaround time, make Lymph2Cx attractive for implementation in clinical trials and, ultimately, patient management.

Salaverria I, Martin-Guerrero I, Wagener R, et al.
A recurrent 11q aberration pattern characterizes a subset of MYC-negative high-grade B-cell lymphomas resembling Burkitt lymphoma.
Blood. 2014; 123(8):1187-98 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The genetic hallmark of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is the t(8;14)(q24;q32) and its variants leading to activation of the MYC oncogene. It is a matter of debate whether true BL without MYC translocation exists. Here, we identified 59 lymphomas concordantly called BL by 2 gene expression classifiers among 753 B-cell lymphomas. Only 2 (3%) of these 59 molecular BL lacked a MYC translocation, which both shared a peculiar pattern of chromosome 11q aberration characterized by interstitial gains including 11q23.2-q23.3 and telomeric losses of 11q24.1-qter. We extended our analysis to 17 MYC-negative high-grade B-cell lymphomas with a similar 11q aberration and showed this aberration to be recurrently associated with morphologic and clinical features of BL. The minimal region of gain was defined by high-level amplifications in 11q23.3 and associated with overexpression of genes including PAFAH1B2 on a transcriptional and protein level. The recurrent region of loss contained a focal homozygous deletion in 11q24.2-q24.3 including the ETS1 gene, which was shown to be mutated in 4 of 16 investigated cases. These findings indicate the existence of a molecularly distinct subset of B-cell lymphomas reminiscent of BL, which is characterized by deregulation of genes in 11q.

Parry M, Rose-Zerilli MJ, Gibson J, et al.
Whole exome sequencing identifies novel recurrently mutated genes in patients with splenic marginal zone lymphoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e83244 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The pathogenesis of splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL) remains largely unknown. Recent high-throughput sequencing studies have identified recurrent mutations in key pathways, most notably NOTCH2 mutations in >25% of patients. These studies are based on small, heterogeneous discovery cohorts, and therefore only captured a fraction of the lesions present in the SMZL genome. To identify further novel pathogenic mutations within related biochemical pathways, we applied whole exome sequencing (WES) and copy number (CN) analysis to a biologically and clinically homogeneous cohort of seven SMZL patients with 7q abnormalities and IGHV1-2*04 gene usage. We identified 173 somatic non-silent variants, affecting 160 distinct genes. In additional to providing independent validation of the presence of mutation in several previously reported genes (NOTCH2, TNFAIP3, MAP3K14, MLL2 and SPEN), our study defined eight additional recurrently mutated genes in SMZL; these genes are CREBBP, CBFA2T3, AMOTL1, FAT4, FBXO11, PLA2G4D, TRRAP and USH2A. By integrating our WES and CN data we identified three mutated putative candidate genes targeted by 7q deletions (CUL1, EZH2 and FLNC), with FLNC positioned within the well-characterized 7q minimally deleted region. Taken together, this work expands the reported directory of recurrently mutated cancer genes in this disease, thereby expanding our understanding of SMZL pathogenesis. Ultimately, this work will help to establish a stratified approach to care including the possibility of targeted therapy.

Ott G, Rosenwald A, Campo E
Understanding MYC-driven aggressive B-cell lymphomas: pathogenesis and classification.
Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2013; 2013:575-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
MYC is a potent oncogene initially identified as the target of the t(8;14)(q24;q32) chromosome translocation in Burkitt lymphoma. MYC gene alterations have been identified in other mature B-cell neoplasms that are usually associated with an aggressive clinical behavior. Most of these tumors originate in cells that do not normally express MYC protein. The oncogenic events leading to MYC up-regulation seem to overcome the inhibitory effect of physiological repressors such as BCL6 or BLIMP1. Aggressive lymphomas frequently carry additional oncogenic alterations that cooperate with MYC dysregulation, likely counteracting its proapoptotic function. The development of FISH probes and new reliable antibodies have facilitated the study of MYC gene alterations and protein expression in large series of patients, providing new clinical and biological perspectives regarding MYC dysregulation in aggressive lymphomas. MYC gene alterations in large B-cell lymphomas are frequently associated with BCL2 or BCL6 translocations conferring a very aggressive behavior. Conversely, MYC protein up-regulation may occur in tumors without apparent gene alterations, and its association with BCL2 overexpression also confers a poor prognosis. In this review, we integrate all of this new information and discuss perspectives, challenges, and open questions for the diagnosis and management of patients with MYC-driven aggressive B-cell lymphomas.

Huang X, Meng B, Iqbal J, et al.
Activation of the STAT3 signaling pathway is associated with poor survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with R-CHOP.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(36):4520-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: We previously reported that constitutive STAT3 activation is a prominent feature of the activated B-cell subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (ABC-DLBCL). In this study, we investigated whether STAT3 activation can risk stratify patients with DLBCL.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: By an immunohistochemical method, we investigated phosphotyrosine STAT3 (PY-STAT3) expression from 185 patients with DLBCL treated with R-CHOP (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone). Cell line-based siRNA experiments were also performed to generate an 11-gene, PY-STAT3 activation signature, which was used to study a previously published cohort of 222 patients with DLBCL. The STAT3 activation status determined by these two methods and by STAT3 mRNA levels were then correlated with survival.
RESULTS: PY-STAT3 was detected in 37% of DLBCL and enriched in ABC-DLBCL cases (P = .03). PY-STAT3 positivity significantly correlated with poor overall survival (OS; P = .01) and event-free survival (EFS; P = .006). Similar observations were made for high levels of STAT3 mRNA. In multivariable analysis, PY-STAT3 status (P = .02), International Prognostic Index (P = .02), and BCL2 expression (P = .046) were independent prognosticators of OS in this cohort. Among the cell-of-origin subgroups, PY-STAT3 was associated with poor EFS among non-germinal center B-cell DLBCL cases only (P = .027). Similarly, the 11-gene STAT3 activation signature correlated with poor survival in the entire DLBCL cohort (OS, P < .001; EFS, P < .001) as well as the ABC-DLBCL subgroup (OS, P = .029; EFS, P = .025).
CONCLUSION: STAT3 activation correlated with poor survival in patients with DLBCL treated with R-CHOP, especially those with tumors of the ABC-DLBCL subtype.

Aukema SM, Kreuz M, Kohler CW, et al.
Biological characterization of adult MYC-translocation-positive mature B-cell lymphomas other than molecular Burkitt lymphoma.
Haematologica. 2014; 99(4):726-35 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Chromosomal translocations affecting the MYC oncogene are the biological hallmark of Burkitt lymphomas but also occur in a subset of other mature B-cell lymphomas. If accompanied by a chromosomal break targeting the BCL2 and/or BCL6 oncogene these MYC translocation-positive (MYC(+)) lymphomas are called double-hit lymphomas, otherwise the term single-hit lymphomas is applied. In order to characterize the biological features of these MYC(+) lymphomas other than Burkitt lymphoma we explored, after exclusion of molecular Burkitt lymphoma as defined by gene expression profiling, the molecular, pathological and clinical aspects of 80 MYC-translocation-positive lymphomas (31 single-hit, 46 double-hit and 3 MYC(+)-lymphomas with unknown BCL6 status). Comparison of single-hit and double-hit lymphomas revealed no difference in MYC partner (IG/non-IG), genomic complexity, MYC expression or gene expression profile. Double-hit lymphomas more frequently showed a germinal center B-cell-like gene expression profile and had higher IGH and MYC mutation frequencies. Gene expression profiling revealed 130 differentially expressed genes between BCL6(+)/MYC(+) and BCL2(+)/MYC(+) double-hit lymphomas. BCL2(+)/MYC(+) double-hit lymphomas more frequently showed a germinal center B-like gene expression profile. Analysis of all lymphomas according to MYC partner (IG/non-IG) revealed no substantial differences. In this series of lymphomas, in which immunochemotherapy was administered in only a minority of cases, single-hit and double-hit lymphomas had a similar poor outcome in contrast to the outcome of molecular Burkitt lymphoma and lymphomas without the MYC break. Our data suggest that, after excluding molecular Burkitt lymphoma and pediatric cases, MYC(+) lymphomas are biologically quite homogeneous with single-hit and double-hit lymphomas as well as IG-MYC and non-IG-MYC(+) lymphomas sharing various molecular characteristics.

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