Gene Summary

Gene:SOX10; SRY-box 10
Aliases: DOM, WS4, PCWH, WS2E, WS4C
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the SOX (SRY-related HMG-box) family of transcription factors involved in the regulation of embryonic development and in the determination of the cell fate. The encoded protein may act as a transcriptional activator after forming a protein complex with other proteins. This protein acts as a nucleocytoplasmic shuttle protein and is important for neural crest and peripheral nervous system development. Mutations in this gene are associated with Waardenburg-Shah and Waardenburg-Hirschsprung disease. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transcription factor SOX-10
Source:NCBIAccessed: 13 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 13 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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

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

Latest Publications: SOX10 (cancer-related)

Panaccione A, Chang MT, Carbone BE, et al.
NOTCH1 and SOX10 are Essential for Proliferation and Radiation Resistance of Cancer Stem-Like Cells in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(8):2083-95 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/04/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although the existence of cancer stem cells (CSC) in adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) has been proposed, lack of assays for their propagation and uncertainty about molecular markers prevented their characterization. Our objective was to isolate CSC from ACC and provide insight into signaling pathways that support their propagation.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: To isolate CSC from ACC and characterize them, we used ROCK inhibitor-supplemented cell culture, immunomagnetic cell sorting, andin vitro/in vivoassays for CSC viability and tumorigenicity.
RESULTS: We identified in ACC CD133-positive CSC that expressed NOTCH1 and SOX10, formed spheroids, and initiated tumors in nude mice. CD133(+)ACC cells produced activated NOTCH1 (N1ICD) and generated CD133(-)cells that expressed JAG1 as well as neural differentiation factors NR2F1, NR2F2, and p27Kip1. Knockdowns ofNOTCH1, SOX10, and their common effectorFABP7had negative effects on each other, inhibited spheroidogenesis, and induced cell death pointing at their essential roles in CSC maintenance. Downstream effects ofFABP7knockdown included suppression of a broad spectrum of genes involved in proliferation, ribosome biogenesis, and metabolism. Among proliferation-linked NOTCH1/FABP7 targets, we identified SKP2 and its substrate p27Kip1. A γ-secretase inhibitor, DAPT, selectively depleted CD133(+)cells, suppressed N1ICD and SKP2, induced p27Kip1, inhibited ACC growthin vivo, and sensitized CD133(+)cells to radiation.
CONCLUSIONS: These results establish in the majority of ACC the presence of a previously uncharacterized population of CD133(+)cells with neural stem properties, which are driven by SOX10, NOTCH1, and FABP7. Sensitivity of these cells to Notch inhibition and their dependence on SKP2 offer new opportunities for targeted ACC therapies.

Leucci E, Vendramin R, Spinazzi M, et al.
Melanoma addiction to the long non-coding RNA SAMMSON.
Nature. 2016; 531(7595):518-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Focal amplifications of chromosome 3p13-3p14 occur in about 10% of melanomas and are associated with a poor prognosis. The melanoma-specific oncogene MITF resides at the epicentre of this amplicon. However, whether other loci present in this amplicon also contribute to melanomagenesis is unknown. Here we show that the recently annotated long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) gene SAMMSON is consistently co-gained with MITF. In addition, SAMMSON is a target of the lineage-specific transcription factor SOX10 and its expression is detectable in more than 90% of human melanomas. Whereas exogenous SAMMSON increases the clonogenic potential in trans, SAMMSON knockdown drastically decreases the viability of melanoma cells irrespective of their transcriptional cell state and BRAF, NRAS or TP53 mutational status. Moreover, SAMMSON targeting sensitizes melanoma to MAPK-targeting therapeutics both in vitro and in patient-derived xenograft models. Mechanistically, SAMMSON interacts with p32, a master regulator of mitochondrial homeostasis and metabolism, to increase its mitochondrial targeting and pro-oncogenic function. Our results indicate that silencing of the lineage addiction oncogene SAMMSON disrupts vital mitochondrial functions in a cancer-cell-specific manner; this silencing is therefore expected to deliver highly effective and tissue-restricted anti-melanoma therapeutic responses.

Long E, Ilie M, Bence C, et al.
High expression of TRF2, SOX10, and CD10 in circulating tumor microemboli detected in metastatic melanoma patients. A potential impact for the assessment of disease aggressiveness.
Cancer Med. 2016; 5(6):1022-30 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/04/2017 Related Publications
Circulating tumors cells (CTCs) can be detected in the blood of metastatic melanoma patients (MMPs) both as isolated circulating tumor cells (iCTCs) and circulating tumor microemboli (CTMs), but their clinical significance remains unknown. The aim of this work was to evaluate the prognostic impact in metastatic cutaneous melanoma of CTMs and iCTCs identified by a cytomorphological approach using the isolation by size of tumor cell (ISET) method. We characterized the phenotype of CTCs using anti-PS100, anti-SOX10, anti-CD10, and anti-TRF2 antibodies. 128 MMPs and 37 control healthy individuals with benign nevi were included in this study. Results were compared to the follow-up of patients. 109/128 (85%) MMPs showed CTCs, 44/128 (34%) with 2 to 6 CTMs and 65/128 (51%) with 4 to 9 iCTCs. PS100 expression was homogeneous in iCTCs and heterogeneous in CTMs. SOX10, CD10, and TRF2 were mainly expressed in CTMs. None of the control subjects demonstrated circulating malignant tumor cells. Overall survival was significantly decreased in patients with CTMs, independently of the therapeutic strategies. In conclusion, the presence of CTMs is an independent predictor of shorter survival from the time of diagnosis of MMPs.

Kleinschmidt-DeMasters BK, Donson AM, Richmond AM, et al.
SOX10 Distinguishes Pilocytic and Pilomyxoid Astrocytomas From Ependymomas but Shows No Differences in Expression Level in Ependymomas From Infants Versus Older Children or Among Molecular Subgroups.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2016; 75(4):295-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
SOX10 is important in nonneoplastic oligodendroglial development, but mRNA transcripts and protein expression are identified in a wider variety of CNS glial neoplasms than oligodendrogliomas. We previously demonstrated high levels of SOX10 mRNA and protein in pilocytic astrocytomas (PAs) but not ependymomas (EPNs). We now extend these studies to investigate subsets of these 2 tumors that affect infants, pilomyxoid astrocytomas (PMAs) and infant (<1 year) ependymomas (iEPNs). By gene expression microarray analysis, we found that iEPNs and all EPNs in older children showed very low SOX10 expression levels, on average 7.1-fold below normal control tissues. EPN groups showed no significant difference in SOX10 expression between iEPN and EPN. PAs/PMAs had 24.1/29.4-fold higher transcript levels, respectively, than those in normal tissues. Using immunohistochemical analysis of adult, pediatric, and infantile EPNs and of PAs/PMAs, we found that EPNs from multiple anatomical locations and both age groups (n = 228) never showed 3+ diffuse nuclear immunostaining for SOX10; the majority were scored at 0 or 1+. Conversely, almost all pediatric and adult PAs and PMAs (n = 47) were scored as 3+. These results suggest that in select settings, SOX10 immunohistochemistry can supplement the diagnosis of PMA and PA and aid in distinguishing them from EPNs.

Leslie M
Fish Reveal Origins of Melanoma.
Cancer Discov. 2016; 6(4):335-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
A new study of zebrafish may explain why only certain skin cells grow into tumors. Besides melanoma-promoting mutations, these cells express key neural crest genes, such as crestin and sox10, that induce regression to an embryonic state. They also bear epigenetic changes that might amplify expression of these genes.

Kordaß T, Weber CE, Oswald M, et al.
SOX5 is involved in balanced MITF regulation in human melanoma cells.
BMC Med Genomics. 2016; 9:10 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Melanoma is a cancer with rising incidence and new therapeutics are needed. For this, it is necessary to understand the molecular mechanisms of melanoma development and progression. Melanoma differs from other cancers by its ability to produce the pigment melanin via melanogenesis; this biosynthesis is essentially regulated by microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). MITF regulates various processes such as cell cycling and differentiation. MITF shows an ambivalent role, since high levels inhibit cell proliferation and low levels promote invasion. Hence, well-balanced MITF homeostasis is important for the progression and spread of melanoma. Therefore, it is difficult to use MITF itself for targeted therapy, but elucidating its complex regulation may lead to a promising melanoma-cell specific therapy.
METHOD: We systematically analyzed the regulation of MITF with a novel established transcription factor based gene regulatory network model. Starting from comparative transcriptomics analysis using data from cells originating from nine different tumors and a melanoma cell dataset, we predicted the transcriptional regulators of MITF employing ChIP binding information from a comprehensive set of databases. The most striking regulators were experimentally validated by functional assays and an MITF-promoter reporter assay. Finally, we analyzed the impact of the expression of the identified regulators on clinically relevant parameters of melanoma, i.e. the thickness of primary tumors and patient overall survival.
RESULTS: Our model predictions identified SOX10 and SOX5 as regulators of MITF. We experimentally confirmed the role of the already well-known regulator SOX10. Additionally, we found that SOX5 knockdown led to MITF up-regulation in melanoma cells, while double knockdown with SOX10 showed a rescue effect; both effects were validated by reporter assays. Regarding clinical samples, SOX5 expression was distinctively up-regulated in metastatic compared to primary melanoma. In contrast, survival analysis of melanoma patients with predominantly metastatic disease revealed that low SOX5 levels were associated with a poor prognosis.
CONCLUSION: MITF regulation by SOX5 has been shown only in murine cells, but not yet in human melanoma cells. SOX5 has a strong inhibitory effect on MITF expression and seems to have a decisive clinical impact on melanoma during tumor progression.

Lima G, Santos E, Angelo H, et al.
Association between p21 Ser31Arg polymorphism and the development of cervical lesion in women infected with high risk HPV.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):10935-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in genes involved in cell cycle control, as p21 and p27, are important factors in the development of different types of human cancers. This study aims at investigating whether both the p21 Ser31Arg and p27 V109G polymorphisms are associated with susceptibility to the development of cervical lesions in women HR-HPV positive. We analyzed 132 women HPV positive and with cervical lesions or CC and 154 healthy control (HPV negative and without cervical lesions). p21 Ser31Arg and p27 V109G polymorphisms were analyzed using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method and sequencing. The p21 31Arg allele was associated with susceptibility for the development of cervical lesions (P* = 0.0009), while p27 V109G polymorphism showed no significant differences for this association (P* = 0.89). However, the combined effect of the polymorphisms showed that the presence of the CC genotype (SNP p21 Ser31Arg) conferred protection for the development of cervical lesions (OR = 0.39). p21 Ser31Arg and p27 V109G polymorphisms were not associated with the grade of cervical lesions (CINI, CINII, and CINIII) or CC (P* > 0.05). The HR-HPV more frequent in this study were of 16 (57.6 %) and 18 (37.1 %) types; however, no association was observed when both polymorphisms and risk factors analyzed were compared (P* > 0.05). Our findings suggest a possible association between p21 Ser31tabArg polymorphism and susceptibility to the development of cervical lesions in women from Pernambuco. Brazil.

Andonova S, Robeva R, Sirakov M, et al.
A Novel SRY Gene Mutation p.F109L in a 46,XY Female with Complete Gonadal Dysgenesis.
Sex Dev. 2015; 9(6):333-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
46,XY complete gonadal dysgenesis (CGD) is a disorder of sexual development that can result from different mutations in genes associated with sex determination. Patients are phenotypically females, and the disease is often diagnosed in late adolescence because of delayed puberty. Here, we present the clinical and molecular data of a 46,XY female CGD patient with gonadoblastoma with dysgerminoma and incidentally found inherited thrombophilia. The clinical significance of the described de novo SRY gene mutation c.325T>C (p.F109L) is discussed. This case report supports the critical role of the HGM domain in the SRY gene and the need of a multidisciplinary approach for CGD patients.

Powell E, Shao J, Yuan Y, et al.
p53 deficiency linked to B cell translocation gene 2 (BTG2) loss enhances metastatic potential by promoting tumor growth in primary and metastatic sites in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of triple-negative breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2016; 18(1):13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite advances in early diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients, metastasis remains the major cause of mortality. TP53 is one of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancer, and these alterations can occur during the early stages of oncogenesis or as later events as tumors progress to more aggressive forms. Previous studies have suggested that p53 plays a role in cellular pathways that govern metastasis. To investigate how p53 deficiency contributes to late-stage tumor growth and metastasis, we developed paired isogenic patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) differing only in p53 status for longitudinal analysis.
METHODS: Patient-derived isogenic human tumor lines differing only in p53 status were implanted into mouse mammary glands. Tumor growth and metastasis were monitored with bioluminescence imaging, and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were quantified by flow cytometry. RNA-Seq was performed on p53-deficient and p53 wild-type tumors, and functional validation of a lead candidate gene was performed in vivo.
RESULTS: Isogenic p53 wild-type and p53-deficient tumors metastasized out of mammary glands and colonized distant sites with similar frequency. However, p53-deficient tumors metastasized earlier than p53 wild-type tumors and grew faster in both primary and metastatic sites as a result of increased proliferation and decreased apoptosis. In addition, greater numbers of CTCs were detected in the blood of mice engrafted with p53-deficient tumors. However, when normalized to tumor mass, the number of CTCs isolated from mice bearing parental and p53-deficient tumors was not significantly different. Gene expression profiling followed by functional validation identified B cell translocation gene 2 (BTG2), a downstream effector of p53, as a negative regulator of tumor growth both at primary and metastatic sites. BTG2 expression status correlated with survival of TNBC patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Using paired isogenic PDX-derived metastatic TNBC cells, loss of p53 promoted tumor growth and consequently increased tumor cell shedding into the blood, thus enhancing metastasis. Loss of BTG2 expression in p53-deficient tumors contributed to this metastatic potential by enhancing tumor growth in primary and metastatic sites. Furthermore, clinical data support conclusions generated from PDX models and indicate that BTG2 expression is a candidate prognostic biomarker for TNBC.

Handkiewicz-Junak D, Swierniak M, Rusinek D, et al.
Gene signature of the post-Chernobyl papillary thyroid cancer.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016; 43(7):1267-77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Following the nuclear accidents in Chernobyl and later in Fukushima, the nuclear community has been faced with important issues concerning how to search for and diagnose biological consequences of low-dose internal radiation contamination. Although after the Chernobyl accident an increase in childhood papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) was observed, it is still not clear whether the molecular biology of PTCs associated with low-dose radiation exposure differs from that of sporadic PTC.
METHODS: We investigated tissue samples from 65 children/young adults with PTC using DNA microarray (Affymetrix, Human Genome U133 2.0 Plus) with the aim of identifying molecular differences between radiation-induced (exposed to Chernobyl radiation, ECR) and sporadic PTC. All participants were resident in the same region so that confounding factors related to genetics or environment were minimized.
RESULTS: There were small but significant differences in the gene expression profiles between ECR and non-ECR PTC (global test, p < 0.01), with 300 differently expressed probe sets (p < 0.001) corresponding to 239 genes. Multifactorial analysis of variance showed that besides radiation exposure history, the BRAF mutation exhibited independent effects on the PTC expression profile; the histological subset and patient age at diagnosis had negligible effects. Ten genes (PPME1, HDAC11, SOCS7, CIC, THRA, ERBB2, PPP1R9A, HDGF, RAD51AP1, and CDK1) from the 19 investigated with quantitative RT-PCR were confirmed as being associated with radiation exposure in an independent, validation set of samples.
CONCLUSION: Significant, but subtle, differences in gene expression in the post-Chernobyl PTC are associated with previous low-dose radiation exposure.

Govindan R, Mandrekar SJ, Gerber DE, et al.
ALCHEMIST Trials: A Golden Opportunity to Transform Outcomes in Early-Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(24):5439-44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is slowly evolving from empirical cytotoxic chemotherapy to personalized treatment based on specific molecular alterations. Despite this 10-year evolution, targeted therapies have not been studied adequately in patients with resected NSCLC who have clearly defined actionable mutations. The advent of next-generation sequencing has now made it possible to characterize genomic alterations in unprecedented detail. The efforts begun by The Cancer Genome Atlas project to understand the complexities of the genomic landscape of lung cancer will be supplemented further by studying a large number of tumor specimens. The Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trial (ALCHEMIST) is an NCI-sponsored national clinical trials network (NCTN) initiative to address the needs to refine therapy for early-stage NSCLC. This program will screen several thousand patients with operable lung adenocarcinoma to determine whether their tumors contain specific molecular alterations [epidermal growth factor receptor mutation (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangement (ALK)], making them eligible for treatment trials that target these alterations. Patients with EGFR mutation or ALK gene rearrangement in their tumor will be randomized to placebo versus erlotinib or crizotinib, respectively, after completion of their standard adjuvant therapy. ALCHEMIST will also contain a large discovery component that will provide an opportunity to incorporate genomic studies to fully understand the clonal architecture, clonal evolution, and mechanisms of resistance to therapy. In this review, we describe the concept, rationale, and outline of ALCHEMIST and the plan for genomic studies in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. Clin Cancer Res; 21(24); 5439-44. ©2015 AACR.

Amin M, Minton SE, LoRusso PM, et al.
A phase I study of MK-5108, an oral aurora a kinase inhibitor, administered both as monotherapy and in combination with docetaxel, in patients with advanced or refractory solid tumors.
Invest New Drugs. 2016; 34(1):84-95 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MK-5108 is a potent/highly selective Aurora A kinase inhibitor.
METHODS: A randomized Phase I study of MK-5108, administered p.o. BID Q12h on days 1-2 in 14-21 day cycles either alone (MT; Panel1/n = 18; 200 to 1800 mg) or in combination (CT; Panel2/n = 17; 100 to 225 mg) with IV docetaxel 60 mg/m(2), determined the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (Panel1, only) and tumor response in patients with advanced solid tumors. This study was terminated early due to toxicities in Panel2 at MK-5108 doses below the anticipated PK exposure target.
RESULTS: 35 patients enrolled (33 evaluable for tumor response). No dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were observed in Panel1; three patients had 3 DLTs in Panel2 (G3 and G4 febrile neutropenia at 200 and 450 mg/day, respectively; G3 infection at 450 mg/day). In Panel1, AUC0-12hr and Cmax increased less than dose proportionally following the first MT dose but increased roughly dose proportionally across 200 to 3600 mg/day after 4th dose. The t1/2 ranged from 6.6 to 13.5 h across both panels. No clear effects on immunohistochemistry markers were observed; however, significant dose-related increases in gene expression were seen pre-/post-treatment. Best responses were 9/17 stable disease (SD) (Panel1) as well as 1/16 PR and 7/16 SD (Panel2) (450 mg/day).
CONCLUSIONS: MK-5108 MT was well tolerated at doses up to 3600 mg/day with plasma levels exceeding the minimum daily exposure target (83 μM*hr). The MTD for MK-5108 + docetaxel (CT) was established at 300 mg/day, below the exposure target. Use of pharmacodynamic gene expression assays to determine target engagement was validated.

Laboissiere RS, Buzelin MA, Balabram D, et al.
Association between HER2 status in gastric cancer and clinicopathological features: a retrospective study using whole-tissue sections.
BMC Gastroenterol. 2015; 15:157 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer is usually diagnosed in an advanced stage of disease and treatment options are sparse. Trastuzumab was recently approved for metastatic or locally advanced carcinomas arising in the stomach or in the gastroesophageal junction in patients with HER2-positive tumors. However, data on the frequency of HER2-positive cases among Brazilian patients are limited. Our aim was to characterize HER2 protein and gene status in a series of Brazilian patients with gastric cancer and to evaluate its association with clinicopathological data.
METHODS: Histological slides from 124 primary gastrectomies were reviewed and their pathological reports were retrieved from the files at a Brazilian university hospital. Automated immunohistochemistry for HER2 was performed on whole-tissue sections from each tumor. HER2-equivocal cases by immunohistochemistry were submitted to automated dual in situ hybridization for gene amplification evaluation. HER2 status was confronted with clinicopathological parameters in order to assess statistically significant associations.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that 13/124 cases (10.5 %) were HER2 positive (3+), 10/124 cases (8.1 %) were equivocal (2+) and 101/124 cases (81.4 %) were negative, being 7 cases 1+. None of the equivocal cases showed gene amplification. The overall HER2 positivity rate was 10.5 %. There was an association between HER2 expression and Laurén's intestinal histological subtype (P = 0.048), well to moderately differentiated tumors (P = 0.004) and presence of lymphovascular invasion (P = 0.031). No association was found between HER2 status and tumor topography.
CONCLUSIONS: Confronted with data published by other authors, the lower percentage of HER2-positive cases found in our series might be partially explained by the lower frequency of tumors arising at the gastroesophageal junction in comparison with distal gastric carcinomas in Brazilian patients. This could also account for the lack of statistically significant association between HER2 status and tumor topography in our study.

Kenkre VP, Hong F, Cerhan JR, et al.
Fc Gamma Receptor 3A and 2A Polymorphisms Do Not Predict Response to Rituximab in Follicular Lymphoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(4):821-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Preclinical studies suggest that SNPs in the Fc gamma receptor (FCGR) genes influence response to rituximab, but the clinical relevance of this is uncertain.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We prospectively obtained specimens for genotyping in the rituximab extended schedule or re-treatment trial (RESORT) study, in which 408 previously untreated, low tumor burden follicular lymphoma (FL) patients were treated with single agent rituximab. Patients received rituximab in 4 weekly doses and responders were randomized to rituximab re-treatment (RR) upon progression versus maintenance rituximab (MR). SNP genotyping was performed in 321 consenting patients.
RESULTS: Response rates to initial therapy and response duration were correlated with the FCGR3A SNP at position 158 (rs396991) and the FCGR2A SNP at position 131 (rs1801274). The response rate to initial rituximab was 71%. No FCGR genotypes or grouping of genotypes were predictive of initial response. A total of 289 patients were randomized to RR (n = 143) or to MR (n = 146). With a median follow-up of 5.5 years, the 3-year response duration in the RR arm and the MR arm was 50% and 78%, respectively. Genotyping was available in 235 of 289 randomized patients. In patients receiving RR (n = 115) or MR (n = 120), response duration was not associated with any FCGR genotypes or genotype combinations.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on this analysis of treatment-naïve, low tumor burden FL, we conclude that the FCGR3A and FCGR2A SNPs do not confer differential responsiveness to rituximab.

Rambow F, Job B, Petit V, et al.
New Functional Signatures for Understanding Melanoma Biology from Tumor Cell Lineage-Specific Analysis.
Cell Rep. 2015; 13(4):840-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Molecular signatures specific to particular tumor types are required to design treatments for resistant tumors. However, it remains unclear whether tumors and corresponding cell lines used for drug development share such signatures. We developed similarity core analysis (SCA), a universal and unsupervised computational framework for extracting core molecular features common to tumors and cell lines. We applied SCA to mRNA/miRNA expression data from various sources, comparing melanoma cell lines and metastases. The signature obtained was associated with phenotypic characteristics in vitro, and the core genes CAPN3 and TRIM63 were implicated in melanoma cell migration/invasion. About 90% of the melanoma signature genes belong to an intrinsic network of transcription factors governing neural development (TFAP2A, DLX2, ALX1, MITF, PAX3, SOX10, LEF1, and GAS7) and miRNAs (211-5p, 221-3p, and 10a-5p). The SCA signature effectively discriminated between two subpopulations of melanoma patients differing in overall survival, and classified MEKi/BRAFi-resistant and -sensitive melanoma cell lines.

Uy GL, Hsu YM, Schmidt AP, et al.
Targeting bone marrow lymphoid niches in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leuk Res. 2015; 39(12):1437-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
In acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) the bone marrow microenvironment provides growth and survival signals that may confer resistance to chemotherapy. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) potently inhibits lymphopoiesis by targeting stromal cells that comprise the lymphoid niche in the bone marrow. To determine whether lymphoid niche disruption by G-CSF sensitizes ALL cells to chemotherapy, we conducted a pilot study of G-CSF in combination with chemotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory ALL. Thirteen patients were treated on study; three patients achieved a complete remission (CR/CRi) for an overall response rate of 23%. In the healthy volunteers, G-CSF treatment disrupted the lymphoid niche, as evidenced by reduced expression of CXCL12, interleukin-7, and osteocalcin. However, in most patients with relapsed/refractory ALL expression of these genes was markedly suppressed at baseline. Thus, although G-CSF treatment was associated with ALL cell mobilization into the blood, and increased apoptosis of bone marrow resident ALL cells, alterations in the bone marrow microenvironment were modest and highly variable. These data suggest that disruption of lymphoid niches by G-CSF to sensitize ALL cells to chemotherapy may be best accomplished in the consolidation where the bone marrow microenvironment is more likely to be normal.

Pomp V, Leo C, Mauracher A, et al.
Differential expression of epithelial–mesenchymal transition and stem cell markers in intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015; 154(1):45-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
The transcription factors SLUG and SOX9 have been shown to define mammary stem cell state. Similarly, epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers (E-Cadherin, mTOR) have been shown to play a role in tumor-progression and metastatic potential in breast cancer. Finally, SOX10 is known to be expressed in breast cancer as well. The overexpressions of EMT and stem cell markers have been shown to correlate with poor overall survival. In this study, we examined whether the expression of these markers correlates with intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer and whether there is a prognostic difference in their expression-profile. We analyzed 617 breast cancer samples from two tissue micro arrays. Breast cancer samples were categorized into three groups according to hormone receptor expression and HER2-status as Luminal A/B, HER2-positive, and triple negative subgroup. Immunohistochemical expressions of SLUG, SOX9, SOX10, E-Cadherin, and mTOR were semi-quantitatively analyzed using a two-tiered and three-tiered scoring system in which cytoplasmic and nuclear stains were considered. Strong nuclear expression of SLUG was observed preferentially in triple negative but not in Luminal A/B or HER2-positive cases (24 vs. 3 and 0 %, p < 0.001). Loss of SOX9 in the nuclear stain was less frequent in triple negative than in Luminal A/B or HER2-positive cases (4 vs. 9 vs. 13 %, p < 0.001). Expression of nuclear SOX10 was lower in triple negative than in Luminal A/B and HER2-positive cases (67 vs.78 and 79 %, p = 0.012). E-Cadherin loss was observed only in Luminal A/B tumors (p = 0.016), no difference in the mTOR expression was seen between any of the three groups. No correlation to conventional histopathological-parameters or stage could be established in our cohort. Our study shows an inversed preferential nuclear expression of SLUG, SOX10, and SOX9 in triple negative and non-triple negative cases. This information is important in understanding the biology of triple negative breast cancer, also in terms of future studies dealing with targeted therapies based on the alterations of EMT and stem cell markers.

Lv XB, Wu W, Tang X, et al.
Regulation of SOX10 stability via ubiquitination-mediated degradation by Fbxw7α modulates melanoma cell migration.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(34):36370-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Dysregulation of SOX10 was reported to be correlated with the progression of multiple cancer types, including melanocytic tumors and tumors of the nervous system. However, the mechanisms by which SOX10 is dysregulated in these tumors are poorly understood. In this study, we report that SOX10 is a direct substrate of Fbxw7α E3 ubiquitin ligase, a tumor suppressor in multiple cancers. Fbxw7α promotes SOX10 ubiquitination-mediated turnover through CPD domain of SOX10. Besides, GSK3β phosphorylates SOX10 at CPD domain and facilitates Fbxw7α-mediated SOX10 degradation. Moreover, SOX10 protein levels were inversely correlated with Fbxw7α in melanoma cells, and modulation of Fbxw7α levels regulated the expression of SOX10 and its downstream gene MIA. More importantly, SOX10 reversed Fbxw7α-mediated suppression of melanoma cell migration. This study provides evidence that the tumor suppressor Fbxw7α is the E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for the degradation of SOX10, and suggests that reduced Fbxw7α might contribute to the upregulation of SOX10 in melanoma cells.

Jin SG, Xiong W, Wu X, et al.
The DNA methylation landscape of human melanoma.
Genomics. 2015; 106(6):322-30 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Using MIRA-seq, we have characterized the DNA methylome of metastatic melanoma and normal melanocytes. Individual tumors contained several thousand hypermethylated regions. We discovered 179 tumor-specific methylation peaks present in all (27/27) melanomas that may be effective disease biomarkers, and 3113 methylation peaks were seen in >40% of the tumors. We found that 150 of the approximately 1200 tumor-associated methylation peaks near transcription start sites (TSSs) were marked by H3K27me3 in melanocytes. DNA methylation in melanoma was specific for distinct H3K27me3 peaks rather than for broadly covered regions. However, numerous H3K27me3 peak-associated TSS regions remained devoid of DNA methylation in tumors. There was no relationship between BRAF mutations and the number of methylation peaks. Gene expression analysis showed upregulated immune response genes in melanomas presumably as a result of lymphocyte infiltration. Down-regulated genes were enriched for melanocyte differentiation factors; e.g., KIT, PAX3 and SOX10 became methylated and downregulated in melanoma.

Huang SC, Ghossein RA, Bishop JA, et al.
Novel PAX3-NCOA1 Fusions in Biphenotypic Sinonasal Sarcoma With Focal Rhabdomyoblastic Differentiation.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2016; 40(1):51-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Sarcomas arising in the sinonasal region are uncommon and encompass a wide variety of tumor types, including the newly described biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma (BSNS), which is characterized by a monomorphic spindle cell proliferation with dual neural and myogenic phenotypes. Most BSNSs harbor a pathognomonic PAX3-MAML3 fusion driven by t(2;4)(q35;q31.1), whereas the alternative fusion partner gene remains unidentified in a subset of PAX3-rearranged cases. As NCOA1 on 2p23 is a known partner in PAX3-related fusions in other tumor types (ie, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma), we investigated its status by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays in 2 BSNS cases showing only PAX3 gene rearrangements. Novel PAX3-NCOA1 fusions were identified in these 2 index cases showing an inv(2)(q35p23) by FISH and confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Five additional BSNS cases with typical morphology were studied by FISH, revealing a PAX3-MAML3 fusion in 4 cases and only PAX3 rearrangement in the remaining case without abnormalities in MAML3 or NCOA1 gene. Except for 1 case with surface ulceration, all other tumors lacked increased mitotic activity or necrosis, and all cases immunohistochemically coexpressed S100 protein and actin, but lacked SOX10 reactivity. Interestingly, the 2 PAX3-NCOA1-positive cases showed desmin reactivity and displayed a small component of rhabdomyoblastic cells, which were not seen in the more common PAX3-MAML3 fusion cases. In conclusion, we report a novel PAX3-NCOA1 fusion in BSNS, which appears to be associated with focal rhabdomyoblastic differentiation and should be distinguished from PAX3-NCOA1-positive alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma or malignant Triton tumor. SOX10 immunohistochemistry is a useful marker in distinguishing BSNS from peripheral nerve sheath tumors.

Dravis C, Spike BT, Harrell JC, et al.
Sox10 Regulates Stem/Progenitor and Mesenchymal Cell States in Mammary Epithelial Cells.
Cell Rep. 2015; 12(12):2035-48 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
To discover mechanisms that mediate plasticity in mammary cells, we characterized signaling networks that are present in the mammary stem cells responsible for fetal and adult mammary development. These analyses identified a signaling axis between FGF signaling and the transcription factor Sox10. Here, we show that Sox10 is specifically expressed in mammary cells exhibiting the highest levels of stem/progenitor activity. This includes fetal and adult mammary cells in vivo and mammary organoids in vitro. Sox10 is functionally relevant, as its deletion reduces stem/progenitor competence whereas its overexpression increases stem/progenitor activity. Intriguingly, we also show that Sox10 overexpression causes mammary cells to undergo a mesenchymal transition. Consistent with these findings, Sox10 is preferentially expressed in stem- and mesenchymal-like breast cancers. These results demonstrate a signaling mechanism through which stem and mesenchymal states are acquired in mammary cells and suggest therapeutic avenues in breast cancers for which targeted therapies are currently unavailable.

Chen J, Zhao J, Chen L, et al.
STAT1 modification improves therapeutic effects of interferons on lung cancer cells.
J Transl Med. 2015; 13:293 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Interferons (IFNs) have potent anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, and immunomodulatory activities against cancer. However, the clinical utility of IFNs is limited by toxicity and pharmacokinetics making it difficult to achieve sustained therapeutic levels especially in solid tumors.
METHODS: Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) or a modified STAT1 (designated STAT1-CC) that is hyper-responsive to IFN were overexpressed in lung cancer SPC-A-1 and H1299 cells using lentiviral vectors. Transduction efficiency was monitored using enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression. After transduction, cells were treated with interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) or interferon-beta (IFN-β) and monitored for cell proliferation, migration, and invasiveness using Cell Counting Kit-8 and transwell chamber assays and for apoptosis using Annexin V detection by flow cytometry. In addition, levels of STAT1, STAT1 Tyr-701 phosphorylation (pSTAT1), fibronectin, and β-catenin were determined using western blotting. In the case of IFN-γ stimulation, levels of S100A4, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and c-fos expression were also determined.
RESULTS: We found that expression of STAT1 or STAT1-CC enhanced the effect of IFN-γ and, IFN-β on inhibition of human lung cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasiveness. Moreover, STAT1 and STAT1-CC expression caused increases in pSTAT1 and decreases in fibronectin and β-catenin levels. STAT1-CC showed increased effects compared to STAT1 on IFN-γ induced pSTAT1 and down-regulation of S100A4, PCNA, and c-fos levels.
CONCLUSION: The results show that STAT1-CC exhibited more strength in improving the antitumor response of IFNs in lung cancer cells. Results from this study suggest that combined treatment of IFNs and STAT1-CC might be a feasible approach for the clinical management of lung cancer in the future.

Matos AM, Reis M, Duarte N, et al.
Epoxylathyrol Derivatives: Modulation of ABCB1-Mediated Multidrug Resistance in Human Colon Adenocarcinoma and Mouse T-Lymphoma Cells.
J Nat Prod. 2015; 78(9):2215-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epoxyboetirane A (1), a macrocyclic diterpene that was found to be inactive as an ABCB1 modulator, was submitted to several chemical transformations, aimed at generating a series of compounds with improved multidrug resistance (MDR)-modifying activity. Overall, 23 new derivatives were prepared, in addition to the already reported epoxylathyrol (2) and methoxyboetirol (3). Their anti-MDR potential was assessed through both functional and chemosensitivity assays on resistant human colon adenocarcinoma and human ABCB1-gene transfected L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells. Structure-activity relationship analysis showed that different substitution patterns led to distinct ABCB1 inhibitory activities, although intrinsic cellular characteristics seemed to influence the modulatory behavior. A considerable enhancement in MDR-modifying activity was observed for aromatic compounds in both cell lines, particularly in 3,17-disubstituted esters derived from 3, a Payne-rearranged Michael adduct of 2. All compounds tested were revealed to interact synergistically with doxorubicin, and ATPase inhibition by three representative MDR-modifying compounds was also investigated. On account of its outstanding ABCB1 inhibitory activity at 0.2 μM and overall remarkable bioactive profile, methoxyboetirane B (22) was found to be a new promising lead for MDR-reversing anticancer drug development.

Rédei D, Boros K, Forgo P, et al.
Diterpene Constituents of Euphorbia exigua L. and Multidrug Resistance Reversing Activity of the Isolated Diterpenes.
Chem Biodivers. 2015; 12(8):1214-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Phytochemical investigation of the MeOH extract obtained from the aerial parts of the annual weed Euphorbia exigua L. resulted in the isolation of two novel (1, 2) and one known (3) jatrophane diterpenes. Their structures were established by extensive 1D- and 2D-NMR spectroscopy and HR-ESI-MS. The isolated compounds were evaluated for multidrug resistance (MDR) reversing activity on human MDR gene-transfected L5178 mouse lymphoma cells; and all three compounds were found to modulate the intracellular drug accumulation.

Baydoun HH, Cherian MA, Green P, Ratner L
Inducible nitric oxide synthase mediates DNA double strand breaks in Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1-induced leukemia/lymphoma.
Retrovirology. 2015; 12:71 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is an aggressive and fatal malignancy of CD4(+) T-lymphocytes infected by the Human T-Cell Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1). The molecular mechanisms of transformation in ATLL have not been fully elucidated. However, genomic instability and cumulative DNA damage during the long period of latency is believed to be essential for HTLV-1 induced leukemogenesis. In addition, constitutive activation of the NF-κB pathway was found to be a critical determinant for transformation. Whether a connection exists between NF-κB activation and accumulation of DNA damage is not clear. We recently found that the HTLV-1 viral oncoprotein, Tax, the activator of the NF-κB pathway, induces DNA double strand breaks (DSBs).
RESULTS: Here, we investigated whether any of the NF-κB target genes are critical in inducing DSBs. Of note, we found that inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) that catalyzes the production of nitric oxide (NO) in macrophages, neutrophils and T-cells is over expressed in HTLV-1 infected and Tax-expressing cells. Interestingly, we show that in HTLV-1 infected cells, iNOS expression is Tax-dependent and specifically requires the activation of the classical NF-κB and JAK/STAT pathways. A dramatic reduction of DSBs was observed when NO production was inhibited, indicating that Tax induces DSBs through the activation of NO synthesis.
CONCLUSIONS: Determination of the impact of NO on HTLV-1-induced leukemogenesis opens a new area for treatment or prevention of ATLL and perhaps other cancers in which NO is produced.

Kavuri SM, Jain N, Galimi F, et al.
HER2 activating mutations are targets for colorectal cancer treatment.
Cancer Discov. 2015; 5(8):832-41 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The Cancer Genome Atlas project identified HER2 somatic mutations and gene amplification in 7% of patients with colorectal cancer. Introduction of the HER2 mutations S310F, L755S, V777L, V842I, and L866M into colon epithelial cells increased signaling pathways and anchorage-independent cell growth, indicating that they are activating mutations. Introduction of these HER2 activating mutations into colorectal cancer cell lines produced resistance to cetuximab and panitumumab by sustaining MAPK phosphorylation. HER2 mutants are potently inhibited by low nanomolar doses of the irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors neratinib and afatinib. HER2 gene sequencing of 48 cetuximab-resistant, quadruple (KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA) wild-type (WT) colorectal cancer patient-derived xenografts (PDX) identified 4 PDXs with HER2 mutations. HER2-targeted therapies were tested on two PDXs. Treatment with a single HER2-targeted drug (trastuzumab, neratinib, or lapatinib) delayed tumor growth, but dual HER2-targeted therapy with trastuzumab plus tyrosine kinase inhibitors produced regression of these HER2-mutated PDXs.
SIGNIFICANCE: HER2 activating mutations cause EGFR antibody resistance in colorectal cell lines, and PDXs with HER2 mutations show durable tumor regression when treated with dual HER2-targeted therapy. These data provide a strong preclinical rationale for clinical trials targeting HER2 activating mutations in metastatic colorectal cancer.

Kumar RD, Searleman AC, Swamidass SJ, et al.
Statistically identifying tumor suppressors and oncogenes from pan-cancer genome-sequencing data.
Bioinformatics. 2015; 31(22):3561-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
MOTIVATION: Several tools exist to identify cancer driver genes based on somatic mutation data. However, these tools do not account for subclasses of cancer genes: oncogenes, which undergo gain-of-function events, and tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) which undergo loss-of-function. A method which accounts for these subclasses could improve performance while also suggesting a mechanism of action for new putative cancer genes.
RESULTS: We develop a panel of five complementary statistical tests and assess their performance against a curated set of 99 HiConf cancer genes using a pan-cancer dataset of 1.7 million mutations. We identify patient bias as a novel signal for cancer gene discovery, and use it to significantly improve detection of oncogenes over existing methods (AUROC = 0.894). Additionally, our test of truncation event rate separates oncogenes and TSGs from one another (AUROC = 0.922). Finally, a random forest integrating the five tests further improves performance and identifies new cancer genes, including CACNG3, HDAC2, HIST1H1E, NXF1, GPS2 and HLA-DRB1.
AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: All mutation data, instructions, functions for computing the statistics and integrating them, as well as the HiConf gene panel, are available at
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Insabato L, Guadagno E, Natella V, et al.
An unusual association of malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumor (clear cell sarcoma-like) and Ewing sarcoma.
Pathol Res Pract. 2015; 211(9):688-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Very recently a new designation of "Malignant Neuroectodermal Gastrointestinal Tumor" has been proposed for an aggressive form of neuroectodermal tumor with features similar to that of Clear Cell Sarcoma of Soft Tissue, however without a melanocytic differentiation. Also known as "clear cell sarcoma-like tumors of the gastrointestinal tract", these tumors show some features strongly suggesting an origin from a gastrointestinal neuroectodermal precursor cell unable to differentiate along the melanocytic lineage. They occur mainly in young and middle-aged adults, and have a poor prognosis with a high rate of liver and lymphnode metastases. Histologically they are composed of epithelioid or oval-to spindle cells with a sheet-like or nested pattern of growth, strongly positive for neural markers (S-100, SOX10, and vimentin) and negative for the melanocytic ones. EWSR1 gene rearrangements including EWSR1-ATF1 or EWSR1-CREB1 GENE fusions are typically assessed in these tumors. Here we report a case of malignant neuroectodermal gastrointestinal tumor which immunophenotypically unusually expressed FLI-1, occurring in a 29-year-old man with a previous medical history of Ewing sarcoma. We finally suggest that this case might be a further evidence of a link between these two entities.

Devarakonda S, Morgensztern D, Govindan R
Genomic alterations in lung adenocarcinoma.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(7):e342-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer is evolving from the use of cytotoxic chemotherapy to personalised treatment based on molecular alterations. This past decade has witnessed substantial progress in the treatment of patients with EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements, and it is now possible to study complex genomic alterations in cancer using next-generation sequencing. Sequencing data from large-scale consortia, such as The Cancer Genome Atlas, as well as several independent groups, have helped identify novel drivers and potentially targetable alterations in lung adenocarcinomas. These data clearly suggest that lung adenocarcinoma is associated with distinct genomic alterations compared with other lung cancer subtypes, and highlight the widespread molecular heterogeneity that underlies the disease. In this Review, we discuss some of the key findings from genomic studies of lung adenocarcinoma.

Chaoui A, Kavo A, Baral V, et al.
Subnuclear re-localization of SOX10 and p54NRB correlates with a unique neurological phenotype associated with SOX10 missense mutations.
Hum Mol Genet. 2015; 24(17):4933-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
SOX10 is a transcription factor with well-known functions in neural crest and oligodendrocyte development. Mutations in SOX10 were first associated with Waardenburg-Hirschsprung disease (WS4; deafness, pigmentation defects and intestinal aganglionosis). However, variable phenotypes that extend beyond the WS4 definition are now reported. The neurological phenotypes associated with some truncating mutations are suggested to be the result of escape from the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway; but, to date, no mechanism has been suggested for missense mutations, of which approximately 20 have now been reported, with about half of the latter shown to be redistributed to nuclear bodies of undetermined nature and function in vitro. Here, we report that p54NRB, which plays a crucial role in the regulation of gene expression during many cellular processes including differentiation, interacts synergistically with SOX10 to regulate several target genes. Interestingly, this paraspeckle protein, as well as two other members of the Drosophila behavior human splicing (DBHS) protein family, co-localize with SOX10 mutants in nuclear bodies, suggesting the possible paraspeckle nature of these foci or re-localization of the DBHS members to other subnuclear compartments. Remarkably, the co-transfection of wild-type and mutant SOX10 constructs led to the sequestration of wild-type protein in mutant-induced foci. In contrast to mutants presenting with additional cytoplasmic re-localization, those exclusively found in the nucleus alter synergistic activity between SOX10 and p54NRB. We propose that such a dominant negative effect may contribute to or be at the origin of the unique progressive and severe neurological phenotype observed in affected patients.

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