Gene Summary

Gene:SMPD1; sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 1
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a lysosomal acid sphingomyelinase that converts sphingomyelin to ceramide. The encoded protein also has phospholipase C activity. Defects in this gene are a cause of Niemann-Pick disease type A (NPA) and Niemann-Pick disease type B (NPB). Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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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

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

Specific Cancers (4)

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: SMPD1 (cancer-related)

Lin M, Liao W, Dong M, et al.
Exosomal neutral sphingomyelinase 1 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma via decreasing the ratio of sphingomyelin/ceramide.
FEBS J. 2018; 285(20):3835-3848 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neutral sphingomyelinase 1 (NSMase1) mediates caspase-3 activation and apoptosis. However, the role of NSMase1, especially exosome-borne NSMase1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), remains unclear. We report that NSMase1, which converts sphingomyelin (SM) to ceramide, was significantly downregulated in HCC tissues. Low NSMase1 expression predicted poor long-term survival of HCC patients. NSMase1 downregulation in HCC resulted in increased SM and reduced ceramide (Cer) that led to an increased SM/Cer ratio. Interestingly, NSMase1 and NSMase activity were also decreased in exosomes isolated from HCC tissues and cell lines. Furthermore, NSMase activity increased in exosomes isolated from the culture medium of L02 cells transfected with pEGFP-C3-NSMase1 (NSMase1-Exo). NSMase1-Exo suppressed HCC cell growth and induced apoptosis via reduction of the SM/Cer ratio. Thus, NSMase1 in exosomes inhibits HCC growth by decreasing the SM/Cer ratio.

Ibrahim T, Saer-Ghorra C, Trak-Smayra V, et al.
Molecular characteristics of colorectal cancer in a Middle Eastern population in a single institution.
Ann Saudi Med. 2018 Jul-Aug; 38(4):251-259 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The few studies of the molecular biology of colorectal cancer (CRC) in Middle Eastern populations have included only small samples of patients.
OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the frequency and prognostic effect of RAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, PTEN, and EGFR somatic mutations as well as mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency in Lebanese Middle Eastern patients.
DESIGN: Retrospective single-center descriptive study.
SETTING: Lebanese Middle Eastern patients in a tertiary medical cen.ter.
METHODS: We included all patients diagnosed with CRC between January 2010 and December 2015, in whom RAS mutational status and the expression of MLH1 and MSH2 proteins were available.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Genetic mutations detected by direct sequencing while MMR protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry.
SAMPLE SIZE: 645 patients.
RESULTS: RAS, BRAF, EGFR, PI3KCA, and PTEN mutation rates were 38.5%,12.9%, 0%, 11.1% and 0% respectively. The MMR deficiency rate was 20.6%. No factor was associated with RAS mutation whereas MMR-deficient tumors were less likely to be metastatic at diagnosis. Among patients with wild-type RAS females fared better than males (median overall survival [OS]=1734 vs 1079 days respectively, P=.015) even after adjustment for confounding factors by Cox regression analy.sis. This finding was not reproduced in the RAS-mutated group. The median OS of patients with MMR-deficient tumors was not reached, while the median OS was 2475 days in patients who had maintained expression of both MLH1 and MSH2.
CONCLUSION: The RAS mutation rate was similar to Western and East Asian countries, but not for the BRAF mutation and MMR deficiency. We also found a prognostic effect for sex in the RAS wild-type group, a finding worthy of further exploration.
LIMITATIONS: Retrospective, single center and small sample size. Expression of MSH6 and PMS2 not analyzed.

Huang Z, Yang Q, Huang Z
Identification of Critical Genes and Five Prognostic Biomarkers Associated with Colorectal Cancer.
Med Sci Monit. 2018; 24:4625-4633 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignant tumor with high incidence and mortality worldwide. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between differentially expressed genes (DEGs), which may function as biomarkers for CRC prognosis and therapies, and the clinical outcome in patients with CRC. MATERIAL AND METHODS A total of 116 normal mucous tissue and 930 CRC tissue datasets were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database (GEO) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). After screening DEGs based on limma package in R. Gene Ontology (GO) and KEGG enrichment analysis as well as the protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks were performed to predict the function of these DEGs. Meanwhile, Cox proportional hazards regression was used to build a prognostic model of these DEGs. Then, Kaplan-Meier risk analysis was used to test the model in TCGA datasets and validation datasets. RESULTS In the present study, 300 DEGs with 100 upregulated genes and 200 downregulated genes were identified. The PPI networks including 162 DEGs and 256 nodes were constructed and 2 modules with high degree were selected. Moreover, 5 genes (MMP1, ACSL6, SMPD1, PPARGC1A, and HEPACAM2) were identified using the Cox proportional hazards stepwise regression. Kaplan-Meier risk curve in the TCGA and validation cohorts showed that high-risk group had significantly poor overall survival than the low-risk group. CONCLUSIONS Our study provided insights into the mechanisms of CRC formation and found 5 prognostic genes, which could potentially inform further studies and clinical therapies.

Wegner MS, Schömel N, Gruber L, et al.
UDP-glucose ceramide glucosyltransferase activates AKT, promoted proliferation, and doxorubicin resistance in breast cancer cells.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2018; 75(18):3393-3410 [PubMed] Related Publications
The UDP-glucose ceramide glucosyltransferase (UGCG) is a key enzyme in the synthesis of glycosylated sphingolipids, since this enzyme generates the precursor for all complex glycosphingolipids (GSL), the GlcCer. The UGCG has been associated with several cancer-related processes such as maintaining cancer stem cell properties or multidrug resistance induction. The precise mechanisms underlying these processes are unknown. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanisms occurring after UGCG overexpression in breast cancer cells. We observed alterations of several cellular properties such as morphological changes, which enhanced proliferation and doxorubicin resistance in UGCG overexpressing MCF-7 cells. These cellular effects seem to be mediated by an altered composition of glycosphingolipid-enriched microdomains (GEMs), especially an accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) and glucosylceramide (GlcCer), which leads to an activation of Akt and ERK1/2. The induction of the Akt and ERK1/2 signaling pathway results in an increased gene expression of multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) and anti-apoptotic genes and a decrease of pro-apoptotic gene expression. Inhibition of the protein kinase C (PKC) and phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K) reduced MDR1 gene expression. This study discloses how changes in UGCG expression impact several cellular signaling pathways in breast cancer cells resulting in enhanced proliferation and multidrug resistance.

Wu HC, Do C, Andrulis IL, et al.
Breast cancer family history and allele-specific DNA methylation in the legacy girls study.
Epigenetics. 2018; 13(3):240-250 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Family history, a well-established risk factor for breast cancer, can have both genetic and environmental contributions. Shared environment in families as well as epigenetic changes that also may be influenced by shared genetics and environment may also explain familial clustering of cancers. Epigenetic regulation, such as DNA methylation, can change the activity of a DNA segment without a change in the sequence; environmental exposures experienced across the life course can induce such changes. However, genetic-epigenetic interactions, detected as methylation quantitative trait loci (mQTLs; a.k.a. meQTLs) and haplotype-dependent allele-specific methylation (hap-ASM), can also contribute to inter-individual differences in DNA methylation patterns. To identify differentially methylated regions (DMRs) associated with breast cancer susceptibility, we examined differences in white blood cell DNA methylation in 29 candidate genes in 426 girls (ages 6-13 years) from the LEGACY Girls Study, 239 with and 187 without a breast cancer family history (BCFH). We measured methylation by targeted massively parallel bisulfite sequencing (bis-seq) and observed BCFH DMRs in two genes: ESR1 (Δ4.9%, P = 0.003) and SEC16B (Δ3.6%, P = 0.026), each of which has been previously implicated in breast cancer susceptibility and pubertal development. These DMRs showed high inter-individual variability in methylation, suggesting the presence of mQTLs/hap-ASM. Using single nucleotide polymorphisms data in the bis-seq amplicon, we found strong hap-ASM in SEC16B (with allele specific-differences ranging from 42% to 74%). These findings suggest that differential methylation in genes relevant to breast cancer susceptibility may be present early in life, and that inherited genetic factors underlie some of these epigenetic differences.

Albi E, Cataldi S, Ferri I, et al.
VDR independent induction of acid-sphingomyelinase by 1,23(OH)
Biochimie. 2018; 146:35-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D

Antanavičiūtė I, Mikalayeva V, Ceslevičienė I, et al.
Transcriptional hallmarks of cancer cell lines reveal an emerging role of branched chain amino acid catabolism.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):7820 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A comparative analysis between cancer cell lines and healthy dividing cells was performed using data (289 microarrays and 50 RNA-seq samples) from 100 different cancer cell lines and 6 types of healthy stem cells. The analysis revealed two large-scale transcriptional events that characterize cancer cell lines. The first event was a large-scale up-regulation pattern associated to epithelial-mesenchymal transition, putatively driven by the interplay of the SP1 transcription factor and the canonical Wnt signaling pathway; the second event was the failure to overexpress a diverse set of genes coding membrane and extracellular proteins. This failure is putatively caused by a lack of activity of the AP-1 complex. It was also shown that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition was associated with the up-regulation of 5 enzymes involved in the degradation of branched chain amino acids. The suitability of silencing one of this enzymes (branched chain amino acid transaminase 2; BCAT2) with therapeutic effects was tested experimentally on the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 and primary cell culture of breast tumor (BCC), leading to lower cell proliferation. The silencing of BCAT2 did not have any significant effect on ASM and MCF10A cells, which were used as models of healthy dividing cells.

Komi DEA, Rambasek T, Wöhrl S
Mastocytosis: from a Molecular Point of View.
Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2018; 54(3):397-411 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mast cells (MCs) are physiologically activated by binding of stem cell factor (SCF) to the extracellular domains of the Kit receptor. This binding increases the proliferation and prolongs the survival of normal mature MCs, as well as intensifies the release of mediators. In mastocytosis, somatic mutations of the coding Kit gene cause autocrine dysregulation and lead to constitutive KIT activation even in the absence of its ligand SCF. Clinical symptoms are caused by MC-mediator release and/or infiltration of MCs into tissues. Aberrant KIT activation may result in increased production of MCs in the skin and extracutaneous organs. Depending on the affected organ(s), the disease can be divided into cutaneous mastocytosis (CM), systemic mastocytosis (SM), and localized MC tumors. The updated classification of WHO discriminates between several distinct subvariants of CM and SM. While the prognosis in CM and indolent SM (ISM) is excellent with (almost) normal life expectancy, the prognosis in aggressive SM (ASM) and MC leukemia (MCL) is dismal. The symptoms may comprise urticaria, angioedema, flush, pruritus, abdominal pain, diarrhea, hypotension, syncope, and musculoskeletal pain and are the results of MC infiltration and mediator release into target organs, i.e., the skin, gastrointestinal tract, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow. Mastocytosis differs from a lot of other hematological disorders because its pathology is not only based on the lack of normal function of a specific pathway or of a specific cell type but additionally is a proliferative disease. Currently available treatments of mastocytosis include symptomatic, antimediator and cytoreductive targeted therapies.

Kuzu OF, Gowda R, Noory MA, Robertson GP
Modulating cancer cell survival by targeting intracellular cholesterol transport.
Br J Cancer. 2017; 117(4):513-524 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Demand for cholesterol is high in certain cancers making them potentially sensitive to therapeutic strategies targeting cellular cholesterol homoeostasis. A potential approach involves disruption of intracellular cholesterol transport, which occurs in Niemann-Pick disease as a result of acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) deficiency. Hence, a class of lysosomotropic compounds that were identified as functional ASM inhibitors (FIASMAs) might exhibit chemotherapeutic activity by disrupting cancer cell cholesterol homoeostasis.
METHODS: Here, the chemotherapeutic utility of ASM inhibition was investigated. The effect of FIASMAs on intracellular cholesterol levels, cholesterol homoeostasis, cellular endocytosis and signalling cascades were investigated. The in vivo efficacy of ASM inhibition was demonstrated using melanoma xenografts and a nanoparticle formulation was developed to overcome dose-limiting CNS-associated side effects of certain FIASMAs.
RESULTS: Functional ASM inhibitors inhibited intracellular cholesterol transport leading to disruption of autophagic flux, cellular endocytosis and receptor tyrosine kinase signalling. Consequently, major oncogenic signalling cascades on which cancer cells were reliant for survival were inhibited. Two tested ASM inhibitors, perphenazine and fluphenazine that are also clinically used as antipsychotics, were effective in inhibiting xenografted tumour growth. Nanoliposomal encapsulation of the perphenazine enhanced its chemotherapeutic efficacy while decreasing CNS-associated side effects.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that disruption of intracellular cholesterol transport by targeting ASM could be utilised as a potential chemotherapeutic approach for treating cancer.

Ouzounova M, Lee E, Piranlioglu R, et al.
Monocytic and granulocytic myeloid derived suppressor cells differentially regulate spatiotemporal tumour plasticity during metastatic cascade.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8:14979 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
It is widely accepted that dynamic and reversible tumour cell plasticity is required for metastasis, however, in vivo steps and molecular mechanisms are poorly elucidated. We demonstrate here that monocytic (mMDSC) and granulocytic (gMDSC) subsets of myeloid-derived suppressor cells infiltrate in the primary tumour and distant organs with different time kinetics and regulate spatiotemporal tumour plasticity. Using co-culture experiments and mouse transcriptome analyses in syngeneic mouse models, we provide evidence that tumour-infiltrated mMDSCs facilitate tumour cell dissemination from the primary site by inducing EMT/CSC phenotype. In contrast, pulmonary gMDSC infiltrates support the metastatic growth by reverting EMT/CSC phenotype and promoting tumour cell proliferation. Furthermore, lung-derived gMDSCs isolated from tumour-bearing animals enhance metastatic growth of already disseminated tumour cells. MDSC-induced 'metastatic gene signature' derived from murine syngeneic model predicts poor patient survival in the majority of human solid tumours. Thus spatiotemporal MDSC infiltration may have clinical implications in tumour progression.

Pardanani A, Lasho T, Elala Y, et al.
Next-generation sequencing in systemic mastocytosis: Derivation of a mutation-augmented clinical prognostic model for survival.
Am J Hematol. 2016; 91(9):888-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
In routine practice, the World Health Organization classification of systemic mastocytosis (SM) is also the de facto prognostic system; a core value is distinguishing indolent (ISM) from advanced SM (includes aggressive SM [ASM], SM with associated hematological neoplasm [SM-AHN] and mast cell leukemia [MCL]). We sequenced 27 genes in 150 SM patients to identify mutations that could be integrated into a clinical-molecular prognostic model for survival. Forty four patients (29%) had ISM, 25 (17%) ASM, 80 (53%) SM-AHN and 1 (0.7%) MCL; overall KITD816V prevalence was 75%. In 87 patients, 148 non-KIT mutations were detected; the most frequently mutated genes were TET2 (29%), ASXL1 (17%), and CBL (11%), with significantly higher mutation frequency in SM-AHN > ASM > ISM (P < 0.0001). In advanced SM, ASXL1 and RUNX1 mutations were associated with inferior survival. In multivariate analysis, age > 60 years (HR = 2.4), hemoglobin < 10 g/dL or transfusion-dependence (HR = 1.7), platelet count < 150 × 10(9) /L (HR = 3.2), serum albumin < 3.5 g/dL (HR = 2.6), and ASXL1 mutation (HR = 2.3) were associated with inferior survival. A mutation-augmented prognostic scoring system (MAPSS) based on these parameters stratified advanced SM patients into high-, intermediate-, and low-risk groups with median survival of 5, 21 and 86 months, respectively (P < 0.0001). These data should optimize risk-stratification and treatment selection for advanced SM patients. Am. J. Hematol. 91:888-893, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Corcelle-Termeau E, Vindeløv SD, Hämälistö S, et al.
Excess sphingomyelin disturbs ATG9A trafficking and autophagosome closure.
Autophagy. 2016; 12(5):833-49 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Sphingomyelin is an essential cellular lipid that traffics between plasma membrane and intracellular organelles until directed to lysosomes for SMPD1 (sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 1)-mediated degradation. Inactivating mutations in the SMPD1 gene result in Niemann-Pick diseases type A and B characterized by sphingomyelin accumulation and severely disturbed tissue homeostasis. Here, we report that sphingomyelin overload disturbs the maturation and closure of autophagic membranes. Niemann-Pick type A patient fibroblasts and SMPD1-depleted cancer cells accumulate elongated and unclosed autophagic membranes as well as abnormally swollen autophagosomes in the absence of normal autophagosomes and autolysosomes. The immature autophagic membranes are rich in WIPI2, ATG16L1 and MAP1LC3B but display reduced association with ATG9A. Contrary to its normal trafficking between plasma membrane, intracellular organelles and autophagic membranes, ATG9A concentrates in transferrin receptor-positive juxtanuclear recycling endosomes in SMPD1-deficient cells. Supporting a causative role for ATG9A mistrafficking in the autophagy defect observed in SMPD1-deficient cells, ectopic ATG9A effectively reverts this phenotype. Exogenous C12-sphingomyelin induces a similar juxtanuclear accumulation of ATG9A and subsequent defect in the maturation of autophagic membranes in healthy cells while the main sphingomyelin metabolite, ceramide, fails to revert the autophagy defective phenotype in SMPD1-deficient cells. Juxtanuclear accumulation of ATG9A and defective autophagy are also evident in tissues of smpd1-deficient mice with a subsequent inability to cope with kidney ischemia-reperfusion stress. These data reveal sphingomyelin as an important regulator of ATG9A trafficking and maturation of early autophagic membranes.

Mizutani N, Omori Y, Kawamoto Y, et al.
Resveratrol-induced transcriptional up-regulation of ASMase (SMPD1) of human leukemia and cancer cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016; 470(4):851-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Resveratrol (RSV) is a plant-derived phytoalexin present in plants, whose pleiotropic effects for health benefits have been previously reported. Its anti-cancer activity is among the current topics for novel cancer treatment. Here, effects of RSV on cell proliferation and the sphingolipid metabolism of K562, a human leukemia cell line, were analyzed. Some experiments were also performed in HCT116, a human colon cancer cell line. RSV inhibited cell proliferation of both cell lines. Increased cellular ceramide and decreased sphingomyelin and S1P by RSV were observed in RSV-treated K562 cells. Further analysis revealed that acid sphingomyelinase mRNA and enzyme activity levels were increased by RSV. Desipramine, a functional ASMase inhibitor, prevented RSV-induced ceramide increase. RSV increased ATF3, EGR1, EGR3 proteins and phosphorylated c-Jun and FOXO3. However, co-transfection using these transcription factor expression vectors and ASMase promoter reporter vector revealed positive effects of EGR1 and EGR3 but not others. Electrophoresis mobility shift assay (EMSA) and Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay demonstrated the direct binding of EGR1/3 transcription factors with ASMase 5'-promoter. These results indicate that increased EGR1/3 and ASMase expression play an important role in cellular ceramide increase by RSV treatment.

Codini M, Cataldi S, Lazzarini A, et al.
Why high cholesterol levels help hematological malignancies: role of nuclear lipid microdomains.
Lipids Health Dis. 2016; 15:4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Diet and obesity are recognized in the scientific literature as important risk factors for cancer development and progression. Hypercholesterolemia facilitates lymphoma lymphoblastic cell growth and in time turns in hypocholesterolemia that is a sign of tumour progression. The present study examined how and where the cholesterol acts in cancer cells when you reproduce in vitro an in vivo hypercholesterolemia condition.
METHODS: We used non-Hodgkin's T cell human lymphoblastic lymphoma (SUP-T1 cell line) and we studied cell morphology, aggressiveness, gene expression for antioxidant proteins, polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase and actin, cholesterol and sphingomyelin content and finally sphingomyelinase activity in whole cells, nuclei and nuclear lipid microdomains.
RESULTS: We found that cholesterol changes cancer cell morphology with the appearance of protrusions together to the down expression of β-actin gene and reduction of β-actin protein. The lipid influences SUP-T1 cell aggressiveness since stimulates DNA and RNA synthesis for cell proliferation and increases raf1 and E-cadherin, molecules involved in invasion and migration of cancer cells. Cholesterol does not change GRX2 expression but it overexpresses SOD1, SOD2, CCS, PRDX1, GSR, GSS, CAT and PNKP. We suggest that cholesterol reaches the nucleus and increases the nuclear lipid microdomains known to act as platform for chromatin anchoring and gene expression.
CONCLUSION: The results imply that, in hypercholesterolemia conditions, cholesterol reaches the nuclear lipid microdomains where activates gene expression coding for antioxidant proteins. We propose the cholesterolemia as useful parameter to monitor in patients with cancer.

Valent P
Diagnosis and management of mastocytosis: an emerging challenge in applied hematology.
Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2015; 2015:98-105 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mastocytosis is a unique and rare neoplasm defined by abnormal expansion and accumulation of clonal mast cells (MCs) in one or multiple organ systems. Most adult patients are diagnosed to have systemic mastocytosis (SM). Based on histological findings and disease-related organ damage, SM is classified into indolent SM (ISM), smoldering SM (SSM), SM with an associated hematologic non-MC-lineage disease (SM-AHNMD), aggressive SM (ASM), and MC leukemia (MCL). The clinical picture, course, and prognosis vary profoundly among these patients. Nonetheless, independent of the category of SM, neoplastic cells usually exhibit the KIT point-mutation D816V. However, in advanced SM, additional molecular defects are often detected and are considered to contribute to disease progression and drug resistance. These lesions include, among others, somatic mutations in TET2, SRSF2, ASXL1, CBL, RUNX1, and RAS. In SM-AHNMD, such mutations are often found in the "AHNMD component" of the disease. Clinical symptoms in mastocytosis result from (1) the release of proinflammatory and vasoactive mediators from MCs, and (2) SM-induced organ damage. Therapy of SM has to be adjusted to the individual patient and the SM category: in those with ISM and SSM, the goal is to control mediator secretion and/or mediator effects, to keep concomitant allergies under control, and to counteract osteoporosis, whereas in advanced SM (ASM, MCL, and SM-AHNMD) anti-neoplastic drugs are prescribed to suppress MC expansion and/or to keep AHNMD cells under control. Novel drugs directed against mutated KIT and/or other oncogenic kinase targets are tested currently in these patients. In rapidly progressing and drug-resistant cases, high-dose polychemotherapy and stem cell transplantation have to be considered.

Dasgupta S, Dutta J, Annamaneni S, et al.
Association of vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms with polycystic ovary syndrome among Indian women.
Indian J Med Res. 2015; 142(3):276-85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: The Vitamin-D receptor (VDR) regulates vitamin D levels and calcium metabolism in the body and these are known to be associated with endocrine dysfunctions, insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Studies on VDR polymorphisms among PCOS women are sparse. We undertook this study to investigate the association pattern of VDR polymorphisms (Cdx2, Fok1, Apa1 and Taq1) with PCOS among Indian women.
METHODS: For the present study, 250 women with PCOS and 250 normal healthy control women were selected from Hyderabad city, Telangana, India. The four VDR polymorphisms were genotyped and analysed using ASM-PCR (allele specific multiple PCR) and PCR-RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism).
RESULTS: The genotype and allele frequency distributions of only Cdx2 showed significant difference between the PCOS cases and control women, indicating protective role of this SNP against PCOS phenotype. However, significant association was observed between VDR genotypes and some of the PCOS specific clinical/biochemical traits. For example, Fok1 showed a significant genotypic difference for the presence of infertility and Cdx2 genotpes showed association with testosterone levels. Further, the two haplotypes, ACCA and ACTA, were found to be significantly associated with PCOS indicating haplotype specific risk.
INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: Although VDR polymorphisms have not shown significant association with PCOS, in view of functional significance of the SNPs considered, one cannot yet rule out the possibility of their association with PCOS. Further, specifically designed studies on large cohorts are required to conclusively establish the role of VDR polymorphisms in PCOS, particularly including data on vitamin D levels.

Bose RN, Moghaddas S, Belkacemi L, et al.
Absence of Activation of DNA Repair Genes and Excellent Efficacy of Phosphaplatins against Human Ovarian Cancers: Implications To Treat Resistant Cancers.
J Med Chem. 2015; 58(21):8387-401 [PubMed] Related Publications
Phosphaplatins, platinum(II) and platinum(IV) complexes coordinated to a pyrophosphate moiety, exhibit excellent antitumor activities against a variety of cancers. To determine whether phosphaplatins trigger resistance to treatment by engaging DNA damage repair genes, a yeast genome-wide fitness assay was used. Treatment of yeast cells with pyrodach-2 (D2) or pyrodach-4 (D4) revealed no particular sensitivity to nucleotide excision repair, homologous recombination repair, or postreplication repair when compared with platin control compounds. Also, TNF receptor superfamily member 6 (FAS) protein was overexpressed in phosphaplatin-treated ovarian tumor cells, and platinum colocalized with FAS protein in lipid rafts. An overactivation of sphingomyelinase (ASMase) was noted in the treated cells, indicating participation of an extrinsic apoptotic mechanism due to increased ceramide release. Our results indicate that DNA is not the target of phosphaplatins and accordingly, that phosphaplatins might not cause resistance to treatment. Activation of ASMase and FAS along with the colocalization of platinum with FAS in lipid rafts support an extrinsic apoptotic signaling mechanism that is mediated by phosphaplatins.

Trino S, De Luca L, Simeon V, et al.
Inverse regulation of bridging integrator 1 and BCR-ABL1 in chronic myeloid leukemia.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(1):217-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endocytosis is the major regulator process of tyrosine kinase receptor (RTK) functional activities. Bridging integrator 1 (BIN1) is a key protein involved in RTK intracellular trafficking. Here, we report, by studying 34 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) at diagnosis, that BIN1 gene is downregulated in CML as compared to healthy controls, suggesting an altered endocytosis of RTKs. Rab interactor 1 (RIN1), an activator of BIN1, displayed a similar behavior. Treatment of 57 patients by tyrosine kinase inhibitors caused, along with BCR-ABL1 inactivation, an increase of BIN1 and RIN1 expression, potentially restoring endocytosis. There was a significant inverse correlation between BIN1-RIN1 and BCR-ABL1 expression. In vitro experiments on both CML and nontumorigenic cell lines treated with Imatinib confirmed these results. In order to provide another proof in favor of BIN1 and RIN1 endocytosis function in CML, we demonstrated that Imatinib induced, in K562 cell line, BIN1-RIN1 upregulation accompanied by a parallel AXL receptor internalization into cytoplasmic compartment. This study shows a novel deregulated mechanism in CML patients, indicating BIN1 and RIN1 as players in the maintenance of the abnormal RTK signaling in this hematological disease.

Dai SY, Liu JJ, Sun XF, Wang N
Acid sphingomyelinase, a novel negative biomarker of ovarian cancer.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015; 19(11):2076-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer and the main cause of death in women. However, the molecular mechanism for the cause of the ovarian cancer has not been fully elucidated. Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), a lipid hydrolase, has been suggested for treating cancer and may affect the development of ovarian cancer. We want to find the function of ASM in the development of ovarian cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Human ovarian cancer cells HO 8910 (HOCC) and human primary ovarian cells (HPOC) were transfected with ASM gene and ASM RNAi. Real-time qPCR and western blot analysis was carried out to examine the level of ASM. The growth rate of transfected and non-transfected cells was measured. Ovarian biopsies were collected from 80 ovarian cancer patients and 20 healthy subjects.
RESULTS: The growth rate of HOCC and HPOC was decreased by 22% and 19% in the ASM-transfected group compared with non-transfected group. Inversely, the growth rate of HOCC and HPOC was increased by 16% and 35% in the ASM-RNAi-transfected group compared with non-transfected group. In the transfected and non-transfected cells, the change level of SAM was approved by Real-time qPCR and western blot analysis. The levels of SAM were reducing with the development of ovarian cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: SAM is higher expressed in normal cell than that in ovarian cancer, and can be a negative biomarker for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. SAM can be developed a new drug for the ovarian cancer therapy.

Wedeh G, Cerny-Reiterer S, Eisenwort G, et al.
Identification of bromodomain-containing protein-4 as a novel marker and epigenetic target in mast cell leukemia.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(11):2230-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Advanced systemic mastocytosis (SM) is a life-threatening neoplasm characterized by uncontrolled growth and accumulation of neoplastic mast cells (MCs) in various organs and a poor survival. So far, no curative treatment concept has been developed for these patients. We identified the epigenetic reader bromodomain-containing protein-4 (BRD4) as novel drug target in aggressive SM (ASM) and MC leukemia (MCL). As assessed by immunohistochemistry and PCR, neoplastic MCs expressed substantial amounts of BRD4 in ASM and MCL. The human MCL lines HMC-1 and ROSA also expressed BRD4, and their proliferation was blocked by a BRD4-specific short hairpin RNA. Correspondingly, the BRD4-targeting drug JQ1 induced dose-dependent growth inhibition and apoptosis in HMC-1 and ROSA cells, regardless of the presence or absence of KIT D816V. In addition, JQ1 suppressed the proliferation of primary neoplastic MCs obtained from patients with ASM or MCL (IC50: 100-500 nm). In drug combination experiments, midostaurin (PKC412) and all-trans retinoic acid were found to cooperate with JQ1 in producing synergistic effects on survival in HMC-1 and ROSA cells. Taken together, we have identified BRD4 as a promising drug target in advanced SM. Whether JQ1 or other BET-bromodomain inhibitors are effective in vivo in patients with advanced SM remains to be elucidated.

Ordoñez R, Fernández A, Prieto-Domínguez N, et al.
Ceramide metabolism regulates autophagy and apoptotic cell death induced by melatonin in liver cancer cells.
J Pineal Res. 2015; 59(2):178-89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Autophagy is a process that maintains homeostasis during stress, although it also contributes to cell death under specific contexts. Ceramides have emerged as important effectors in the regulation of autophagy, mediating the crosstalk with apoptosis. Melatonin induces apoptosis of cancer cells; however, its role in autophagy and ceramide metabolism has yet to be clearly elucidated. This study was aimed to evaluate the effect of melatonin administration on autophagy and ceramide metabolism and its possible link with melatonin-induced apoptotic cell death in hepatocarcinoma (HCC) cells. Melatonin (2 mm) transiently induced autophagy in HepG2 cells through JNK phosphorylation, characterized by increased Beclin-1 expression, p62 degradation, and LC3II and LAMP-2 colocalization, which translated in decreased cell viability. Moreover, ATG5 silencing sensitized HepG2 cells to melatonin-induced apoptosis, suggesting a dual role of autophagy in cell death. Melatonin enhanced ceramide levels through both de novo synthesis and acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) stimulation. Serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) inhibition with myriocin prevented melatonin-induced autophagy and ASMase inhibition with imipramine-impaired autophagy flux. However, ASMase inhibition partially protected HepG2 cells against melatonin, while SPT inhibition significantly enhanced cell death. Findings suggest a crosstalk between SPT-mediated ceramide generation and autophagy in protecting against melatonin, while specific ASMase-induced ceramide production participates in melatonin-mediated cell death. Thus, dual blocking of SPT and autophagy emerges as a potential strategy to potentiate the apoptotic effects of melatonin in liver cancer cells.

Maurmann L, Belkacemi L, Adams NR, et al.
A novel cisplatin mediated apoptosis pathway is associated with acid sphingomyelinase and FAS proapoptotic protein activation in ovarian cancer.
Apoptosis. 2015; 20(7):960-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Platinum-based anticancer drugs, including cisplatin and carboplatin, have been cornerstones in the treatment of solid tumors. We report here that these DNA-damaging agents, particularly cisplatin, induce apoptosis through plasma membrane disruption, triggering FAS death receptor via mitochondrial (intrinsic) pathways. Our objectives were to: quantify the composition of membrane metabolites; and determine the potential involvement of acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) in the FAS-mediated apoptosis in ovarian cancer after cisplatin treatment. The resulting analysis revealed enhanced apoptosis as measured by: increased phosphocholine, and glycerophosphocholine; elevated cellular energetics; and phosphocreatine and nucleoside triphosphate concentrations. The plasma membrane alterations were accompanied by increased ASMase activity, leading to the upregulation of FAS, FASL and related pro-apoptotic BAX and PUMA genes. Moreover FAS, FASL, BAX, PUMA, CASPASE-3 and -9 proteins were upregulated. Our findings implicate ASMase activity and the intrinsic pathways in cisplatin-mediated membrane demise, and contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms by which ovarian tumors may become resistant to cisplatin.

Alharithy RN
Polymorphisms in RETN gene and susceptibility to colon cancer in Saudi patients.
Ann Saudi Med. 2014 Jul-Aug; 34(4):334-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Resistin is an adipocytokine, which has been studied for its role in insulin resistance and recently in inflammation. Several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified in the human resistin gene (RETN). This study aims to investigate the association of RETN rs1862513 (C-420G) and rs3745367 (G+299A) SNPs with the colon cancer risk in Saudi patients.
DESIGN AND SETTING: This is a case-control study conducted among Saudi adult colon cancer patients recruited from King Abdulaziz Hospital and Oncology Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: In this study, 120 Saudi volunteers (60 colon cancer patients and 60 disease-free controls) were studied. The SNPs were determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and genotyping using PCR- restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.
RESULTS: In comparing the result obtained for the patient group with that of the controls, colon cancer group displayed different genotype distribution of the RETN C-420G and G+299A SNPs. The study indicated that the SNP-420 heterozygous (CG) genotype (odds ratio [OR]=2.48, 95% CI 1.07-5.74, P=.03) and the SNP +299 heterozygous (GA) genotype (OR=6.5, 95% CI 1.77-24.18, P=.002) significantly increased the risk of colon cancer. A further analysis of the genotype combination of SNPs RETN C-420G and G+299A showed a larger increase in the colon cancer risk.
CONCLUSION: These preliminary results suggested a potential role for RETN C-420G and G+299A polymorphisms in the genetic predisposition to colon cancer disease.

Jawhar M, Schwaab J, Schnittger S, et al.
Molecular profiling of myeloid progenitor cells in multi-mutated advanced systemic mastocytosis identifies KIT D816V as a distinct and late event.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(5):1115-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
To explore the molecular profile and its prognostic implication in systemic mastocytosis (SM), we analyzed the mutation status of granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming progenitor cells (CFU-GM) in patients with KIT D816V(+) indolent SM (ISM, n=4), smoldering SM (SSM, n=2), aggressive SM (ASM, n=1), SM with associated clonal hematologic non-mast cell lineage disorder (SM-AHNMD, n=5) and ASM-AHNMD (n=7). All patients with (A)SM-AHNMD (n=12) carried 1-4 (median 3) additional mutations in 11 genes tested, most frequently TET2, SRSF2, ASXL1, CBL and EZH2. In multi-mutated (A)SM-AHNMD, KIT D816V(+) single-cell-derived CFU-GM colonies were identified in 8/12 patients (median 60%, range 0-95). Additional mutations were identified in CFU-GM colonies in all patients, and logical hierarchy analysis indicated that mutations in TET2, SRSF2 and ASXL1 preceded KIT D816V. In ISM/SSM, no additional mutations were detected and CFU-GM colonies were exclusively KIT D816V(-). These data indicate that (a) (A)SM-AHNMD is a multi-mutated neoplasm, (b) mutations in TET2, SRSF2 or ASXL1 precede KIT D816V in ASM-AHNMD,

Shakor AB, Atia M, Ismail IA, et al.
Curcumin induces apoptosis of multidrug-resistant human leukemia HL60 cells by complex pathways leading to ceramide accumulation.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1841(12):1672-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Most anti-cancer agents induce apoptosis, however, a development of multidrug resistance in cancer cells and defects in apoptosis contribute often to treatment failure. Here, the mechanism of curcumin-induced apoptosis was investigated in human leukemia HL60 cells and their HL60/VCR multidrug-resistant counterparts. In both cell lines curcumin induced a bi-phasic ceramide generation with a slow phase until 6 h followed by a more rapid one. The level of the ceramide accumulation correlated inversely with the cell viability. We found that the ceramide elevation resulted from multifarious changes of the activity of sphingolipid-modifying enzymes. In both cell lines curcumin induced relatively fast activation of neutral sphingomyelinase (nSMase), which peaked at 3 h, and was followed by inhibition of sphingomyelin synthase activity. In addition, in HL60/VCR cells the glucosylceramide synthase activity was diminished by curcumin. This process was probably due to curcumin-induced down-regulation of P-gp drug transporter, since cyclosporine A, a P-gp blocker, also inhibited the glucosylceramide synthase activity. Inhibition of nSMase activity with GW4869 or silencing ofSMPD3 gene encoding nSMase2 reversed the curcumin-induced inhibition of sphingomyelin synthase without affecting the glucosylceramide synthase activity. The early ceramide generation by nSMase was indispensable for the later lipid accumulation, modulation of Bax, Bcl-2 and caspase 3 levels, and for reduction of cell viability in curcumin-treated cells, as all these events were inhibited by GW4869 or nSMase2 depletion. These data indicate that the early ceramide generation by nSMase2 induced by curcumin intensifies the later ceramide accumulation via inhibition of sphingomyelin synthase, and controls pro-apoptotic signaling.

Lee TH, Chennakrishnaiah S, Audemard E, et al.
Oncogenic ras-driven cancer cell vesiculation leads to emission of double-stranded DNA capable of interacting with target cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 451(2):295-301 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cell free DNA is often regarded as a source of genetic cancer biomarkers, but the related mechanisms of DNA release, composition and biological activity remain unclear. Here we show that rat epithelial cell transformation by the human H-ras oncogene leads to an increase in production of small, exosomal-like extracellular vesicles by viable cancer cells. These EVs contain chromatin-associated double-stranded DNA fragments covering the entire host genome, including full-length H-ras. Oncogenic N-ras and SV40LT sequences were also found in EVs emitted from spontaneous mouse brain tumor cells. Disruption of acidic sphingomyelinase and the p53/Rb pathway did not block emission of EV-related oncogenic DNA. Exposure of non-transformed RAT-1 cells to EVs containing mutant H-ras DNA led to the uptake and retention of this material for an extended (30days) but transient period of time, and stimulated cell proliferation. Thus, our study suggests that H-ras-mediated transformation stimulates vesicular emission of this histone-bound oncogene, which may interact with non-transformed cells.

Jenkins NC, Kalra RR, Dubuc A, et al.
Genetic drivers of metastatic dissemination in sonic hedgehog medulloblastoma.
Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014; 2:85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leptomeningeal dissemination (LMD), the metastatic spread of tumor cells via the cerebrospinal fluid to the brain and spinal cord, is an ominous prognostic sign for patients with the pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma. The need to reduce the risk of LMD has driven the development of aggressive treatment regimens, which cause disabling neurotoxic side effects in long-term survivors. Transposon-mediated mutagenesis studies in mice have revealed numerous candidate metastasis genes. Understanding how these genes drive LMD will require functional assessment using in vivo and cell culture models of medulloblastoma. We analyzed two genes that were sites of frequent transposon insertion and highly expressed in human medulloblastomas: Arnt (aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator) and Gdi2 (GDP dissociation inhibitor 2). Here we show that ectopic expression of Arnt and Gdi2 promoted LMD in mice bearing Sonic hedgehog (Shh)-induced medulloblastomas. We overexpressed Arnt and Gdi2 in a human medulloblastoma cell line (DAOY) and an immortalized, nontransformed cell line derived from mouse granule neuron precursors (SHH-NPD) and quantified migration, invasiveness, and anchorage-independent growth, cell traits that are associated with metastatic competence in carcinomas. In SHH-NPD cells. Arnt and Gdi2 stimulated all three traits. In DAOY cells, Arnt had the same effects, but Gdi2 stimulated invasiveness only. These results support a mechanism whereby Arnt and Gdi2 cause cells to detach from the primary tumor mass by increasing cell motility and invasiveness. By conferring to tumor cells the ability to proliferate without surface attachment, Arnt and Gdi2 favor the formation of stable colonies of cells capable of seeding the leptomeninges.

Soans E, Evans SC, Cipolla C, Fernandes E
Characterizing the sphingomyelinase pathway triggered by PRIMA-1 derivatives in lung cancer cells with differing p53 status.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(7):3271-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Derivatives of PRIMA-1 compound, 8a and 8b have been shown to increase cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells through sphingomyelinase pathways in IR and 8a or 8b co-treated lung cancer cells. The goal of the present study was to further elaborate the molecular mechanism of 8a- or 8b-treated lung cancer cells in order to understand their potential as anti-cancer drugs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Biochemical assays, western blot, flow cytometry and gene array analyses were employed to distinguish these mechanisms.
RESULTS: Herein we demonstrated that 8a and 8b cause apoptosis with S-phase arrest in lung cancer cells by activating neutral sphingomyelinase with ceramide production. 8a induces expression of TNF family genes while 8b induces p53-mediated apoptosis genes. Protein analysis shows an increased expression in caspase 8, bcl-2, bax, caspase 9 and cytochrome c.
CONCLUSION: PRIMA-1 derivatives provoke cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells mainly through the neutral sphingomyelinase-dependent apoptosis pathway.

Perry DM, Newcomb B, Adada M, et al.
Defining a role for acid sphingomyelinase in the p38/interleukin-6 pathway.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(32):22401-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is one of the key enzymes involved in regulating the metabolism of the bioactive sphingolipid ceramide in the sphingolipid salvage pathway, yet defining signaling pathways by which ASM exerts its effects has proven difficult. Previous literature has implicated sphingolipids in the regulation of cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), but the specific sphingolipid pathways and mechanisms involved in inflammatory signaling need to be further elucidated. In this work, we sought to define the role of ASM in IL-6 production because our previous work showed that a parallel pathway of ceramide metabolism, acid β-glucosidase 1, negatively regulates IL-6. First, silencing ASM with siRNA abrogated IL-6 production in response to the tumor promoter, 4β-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), in MCF-7 cells, in distinction to acid β-glucosidase 1 and acid ceramidase, suggesting specialization of the pathways. Moreover, treating cells with siRNA to ASM or with the indirect pharmacologic inhibitor desipramine resulted in significant inhibition of TNFα- and PMA-induced IL-6 production in MDA-MB-231 and HeLa cells. Knockdown of ASM was found to significantly inhibit PMA-dependent IL-6 induction at the mRNA level, probably ruling out mechanisms of translation or secretion of IL-6. Further, ASM knockdown or desipramine blunted p38 MAPK activation in response to TNFα, revealing a key role for ASM in activating p38, a signaling pathway known to regulate IL-6 induction. Last, knockdown of ASM dramatically blunted invasion of HeLa and MDA-MB-231 cells through Matrigel. Taken together, these results demonstrate that ASM plays a critical role in p38 signaling and IL-6 synthesis with implications for tumor pathobiology.

Faiyaz-Ul-Haque M, Al-Sayed MD, Faqeih E, et al.
Clinical, neuroimaging, and genetic features of L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria in Arab kindreds.
Ann Saudi Med. 2014 Mar-Apr; 34(2):107-14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria is a neurometabolic disorder with autosomal recessive mode of inheritance in which patients exhibit elevated L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid in body fluids, central nervous system manifestations, and increased risk of brain tumor formation. Mutations in L2HGDH gene have been described in L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria patients of different ethnicities. The present study was conducted to perform a detailed clinical, imaging and genetic analysis.
DESIGN AND SETTINGS: A cross-sectional clinical genetic study of 16 L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria patients from 4 Arab consanguineous families examined at the metabolic clinic of the hospital.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Genomic DNA was isolated from the blood of 12 patients and 10 unaffected family members, and the L2HGDH gene was sequenced. DNA sequences were compared to the L2HGDH reference sequence from GenBank.
RESULTS: All patients exhibit characteristic clinical, biochemical, and imaging features of L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria, and 4 patients exhibited increased incidence of brain tumors. The sequencing of the L2HGDH gene revealed the c.1015delA, c.1319C > A, and c.169G > A mutations in these patients. These mutations encode for the p.Arg339AspfsX351, p.Ser440Tyr, and p.Gly57Arg changes in the L2HGDH protein, respectively. The c.169G > A mutation, which was shown to have a common origin in Italian and Portuguese patients, was also discovered in Arab patients. Finding of the homozygous c.159T SNP associated with the c.169G > A mutation in Arab patients points to an independent origin of this mutation in Arab population.
CONCLUSION: The detailed description of clinical manifestations and L2HGDH mutation in this study is useful for diagnosis of L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria in Arab patients. While reoccurrence of an L2HGDH mutation in L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria patients of different ethnicity is extremely rare, the c.169G mutation has an independent origin in Arab patients. It is likely that this mutation may also be present in patients of other ethnicities.

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