SSX1

Gene Summary

Gene:SSX1; SSX family member 1
Aliases: SSRC, CT5.1
Location:Xp11.23
Summary:The product of this gene belongs to the family of highly homologous synovial sarcoma X (SSX) breakpoint proteins. These proteins may function as transcriptional repressors. They are also capable of eliciting spontaneous humoral and cellular immune responses in cancer patients, and are potentially useful targets in cancer vaccine-based immunotherapy. This gene, and also the SSX2 and SSX4 family members, have been involved in t(X;18)(p11.2;q11.2) translocations that are characteristically found in all synovial sarcomas. This translocation results in the fusion of the synovial sarcoma translocation gene on chromosome 18 to one of the SSX genes on chromosome X. The encoded hybrid proteins are likely responsible for transforming activity. Alternative splicing of this gene results in multiple transcript variants. A related pseudogene has been identified on chromosome X. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2013]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein SSX1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 13 March, 2017

Ontology:

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.

  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Adolescents
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Lung Cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • SSX1
  • X Chromosome
  • Chromosome 18
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Synovial Sarcoma
  • Testis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Karyotyping
  • Messenger RNA
  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • FISH
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • SS18
  • BCL2 protein
  • Tumor Antigens
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Base Sequence
  • RTPCR
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Cancer RNA
  • Cancer DNA
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Stromal Cells
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Chromosome X
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

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

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Synovial Sarcomat(X;18)(p11.2;q11.2) SS18-SSX1 in Synovial Sarcoma
A SYT-SSX fusion gene resulting from the chromosomal translocation t(X;18)(p11;q11) is characteristic nearly all synovial sarcomas. This translocation fuses the SS18 (SYT) gene from chromosome 18 to one of three homologous genes at Xp11: SSX1, SSX2 or SSX4.

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

Latest Publications: SSX1 (cancer-related)

Olofson AM, Linos K
Primary Intraprostatic Synovial Sarcoma.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2017; 141(2):301-304 [PubMed] Related Publications
Primary intraprostatic synovial sarcoma is a rare presentation of an otherwise well-studied disease, and it is one of the few primary sarcomas to occur in the prostate. Ancillary diagnostic techniques including immunohistochemistry and molecular genetics are useful to establish a definitive diagnosis. Despite its unorthodox location, it shares histologic and molecular genetic characteristics with tumors found elsewhere in the body. Most notably, the chromosomal translocation t(X;18)(p11;q11) encodes a chimeric transcription-activating protein, SS18-SSX, which has been identified as the primary driver mutation. The SS18-SSX fusion gene provides a consistent and dependable means of establishing a definitive diagnosis via reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or fluorescence in situ hybridization. Recent studies have continued to provide insight into the oncogenesis of this disease. The goal of this review is to elaborate on the clinicopathologic characteristics and underline those techniques that best facilitate the diagnosis of primary intraprostatic synovial sarcoma.

Cironi L, Petricevic T, Fernandes Vieira V, et al.
The fusion protein SS18-SSX1 employs core Wnt pathway transcription factors to induce a partial Wnt signature in synovial sarcoma.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:22113 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Expression of the SS18/SYT-SSX fusion protein is believed to underlie the pathogenesis of synovial sarcoma (SS). Recent evidence suggests that deregulation of the Wnt pathway may play an important role in SS but the mechanisms whereby SS18-SSX might affect Wnt signaling remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that SS18/SSX tightly regulates the elevated expression of the key Wnt target AXIN2 in primary SS. SS18-SSX is shown to interact with TCF/LEF, TLE and HDAC but not β-catenin in vivo and to induce Wnt target gene expression by forming a complex containing promoter-bound TCF/LEF and HDAC but lacking β-catenin. Our observations provide a tumor-specific mechanistic basis for Wnt target gene induction in SS that can occur in the absence of Wnt ligand stimulation.

Ogino H, Hanibuchi M, Takizawa H, et al.
Primary Pulmonary Synovial Sarcoma Showing a Prolonged Survival with Multimodality Therapy.
Intern Med. 2016; 55(4):381-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 54-year-old man was referred to our hospital due to a mass shadow noted on a chest X-ray. Thoracoscopic lobectomy yielded a diagnosis of primary pulmonary synovial sarcoma according to the histology and SYT-SSX1 gene analyses. Five months after the thoracic surgery, he developed brain metastasis; therefore, we performed resection of the brain metastatic focus followed by radiotherapy. As a local recurrence in the thoracic cavity concurrently emerged, systemic chemotherapy was also administered. These observations indicated that a multidisciplinary approach may be useful against primary pulmonary synovial sarcoma, although there is presently no established therapeutic strategy due to its rarity and highly aggressive nature.

Tamaki S, Fukuta M, Sekiguchi K, et al.
SS18-SSX, the Oncogenic Fusion Protein in Synovial Sarcoma, Is a Cellular Context-Dependent Epigenetic Modifier.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(11):e0142991 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The prevalence and specificity of unique fusion oncogenes are high in a number of soft tissue sarcomas (STSs). The close relationship between fusion genes and clinicopathological features suggests that a correlation may exist between the function of fusion proteins and cellular context of the cell-of-origin of each tumor. However, most STSs are origin-unknown tumors and this issue has not yet been investigated in detail. In the present study, we examined the effects of the cellular context on the function of the synovial sarcoma (SS)-specific fusion protein, SS18-SSX, using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) containing the drug-inducible SS18-SSX gene. We selected the neural crest cell (NCC) lineage for the first trial of this system, induced SS18-SSX at various differentiation stages from PSCs to NCC-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), and compared its biological effects on each cell type. We found that the expression of FZD10, identified as an SS-specific gene, was induced by SS18-SSX at the PSC and NCC stages, but not at the MSC stage. This stage-specific induction of FZD10 correlated with stage-specific changes in histone marks associated with the FZD10 locus and also with the loss of the BAF47 protein, a member of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex. Furthermore, the global gene expression profile of hPSC-derived NCCs was the closest to that of SS cell lines after the induction of SS18-SSX. These results clearly demonstrated that the cellular context is an important factor in the function of SS18-SSX as an epigenetic modifier.

Mikami T, Kurose A, Javed F, Takeda Y
Detection of Rare Variant of SS18-SSX1 Fusion Gene and Mutations of Important Cancer-Related Genes in Synovial Sarcoma of the Lip: Gene Analyses of a Case and Literature Review.
J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2015; 73(8):1505-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma (SS) accounts for 5 to 10% of soft tissue sarcomas; however, intraoral SS is rare. Histopathologically, SS shows a biphasic pattern with epithelial and spindle cell components or a monophasic pattern with only spindle cells. The precise diagnosis of SS, especially at an unusual site, is often a challenge to pathologists and clinical oncologists, because the differential diagnosis of SS includes a broad range of tumors, such as soft tissue sarcomas and carcinomas. In the present case, the patient was a 50-year-old woman who presented with the chief complaint of swelling and a slowly enlarging mass of the lower lip in the mucolabial fold region. The mass was covered with intact mucosa and intraoral examination showed no malignant findings. The clinical diagnosis was a benign tumor and a probable salivary gland tumor. Macroscopically, the excised mass also indicated a benign tumor; however, histopathologic findings suggested the diagnosis of SS. For definitive diagnosis, genetic analyses were performed with conventional polymerase chain reaction and next-generation sequencing. As a result, a rare variant of the SS18-SSX1 fusion transcript, which could not be identified by routine procedures for genetic diagnosis, was detected. In addition, 8 missense mutations of cancer-related genes were confirmed. Detection of the fusion transcript is widely used in the diagnosis of SS; however, reported cases of transcript variants of each fusion gene type are limited. Reports of mutational analysis of cancer-related genes on SS also are rare. The accumulation of rare transcript variants and the cytogenetic characters of SS are suggested to be necessary for assuming a genetic diagnosis of SS.

Nielsen TO, Poulin NM, Ladanyi M
Synovial sarcoma: recent discoveries as a roadmap to new avenues for therapy.
Cancer Discov. 2015; 5(2):124-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Oncogenesis in synovial sarcoma is driven by the chromosomal translocation t(X,18; p11,q11), which generates an in-frame fusion of the SWI/SNF subunit SS18 to the C-terminal repression domains of SSX1 or SSX2. Proteomic studies have identified an integral role of SS18-SSX in the SWI/SNF complex, and provide new evidence for mistargeting of polycomb repression in synovial sarcoma. Two recent in vivo studies are highlighted, providing additional support for the importance of WNT signaling in synovial sarcoma: One used a conditional mouse model in which knockout of β-catenin prevents tumor formation, and the other used a small-molecule inhibitor of β-catenin in xenograft models.
SIGNIFICANCE: Synovial sarcoma appears to arise from still poorly characterized immature mesenchymal progenitor cells through the action of its primary oncogenic driver, the SS18-SSX fusion gene, which encodes a multifaceted disruptor of epigenetic control. The effects of SS18-SSX on polycomb-mediated gene repression and SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling have recently come into focus and may offer new insights into the basic function of these processes. A central role for deregulation of WNT-β-catenin signaling in synovial sarcoma has also been strengthened by recent in vivo studies. These new insights into the the biology of synovial sarcoma are guiding novel preclinical and clinical studies in this aggressive cancer.

Yang J, Annala M, Ji P, et al.
Recurrent LRP1-SNRNP25 and KCNMB4-CCND3 fusion genes promote tumor cell motility in human osteosarcoma.
J Hematol Oncol. 2014; 7:76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The identification of fusion genes such as SYT-SSX1/SSX2, PAX3-FOXO1, TPM3/TPM4-ALK and EWS-FLI1 in human sarcomas has provided important insight into the diagnosis and targeted therapy of sarcomas. No recurrent fusion has been reported in human osteosarcoma.
METHODS: Transcriptome sequencing was used to characterize the gene fusions and mutations in 11 human osteosarcomas.
RESULTS: Nine of 11 samples were found to harbor genetic inactivating alterations in the TP53 pathway. Two recurrent fusion genes associated with the 12q locus, LRP1-SNRNP25 and KCNMB4-CCND3, were identified and validated by RT-PCR, Sanger sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization, and were found to be osteosarcoma specific in a validation cohort of 240 other sarcomas. Expression of LRP1-SNRNP25 fusion gene promoted SAOS-2 osteosarcoma cell migration and invasion. Expression of KCNMB4-CCND3 fusion gene promoted SAOS-2 cell migration.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study represents the first whole transcriptome analysis of untreated human osteosarcoma. Our discovery of two osteosarcoma specific fusion genes associated with osteosarcoma cellular motility highlights the heterogeneity of osteosarcoma and provides opportunities for new treatment modalities.

Minami Y, Kohsaka S, Tsuda M, et al.
SS18-SSX-regulated miR-17 promotes tumor growth of synovial sarcoma by inhibiting p21WAF1/CIP1.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(9):1152-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNA (miRNA) can function as tumor suppressors or oncogenes, and also as potential specific cancer biomarkers; however, there are few published studies on miRNA in synovial sarcomas, and their function remains unclear. We transfected the OncomiR miRNA Precursor Virus Library into synovial sarcoma Fuji cells followed by a colony formation assay to identify miRNAs to confer an aggressive tumorigenicity, and identified miR-17-5p from the large colonies. MiR-17 was found to be induced by a chimeric oncoprotein SS18-SSX specific for synovial sarcoma, and all examined cases of human synovial sarcoma expressed miR-17, even at high levels in several cases. Overexpression of miR-17 in synovial sarcoma cells, Fuji and HS-SYII, increased colony forming ability in addition to cell growth, but not cell motility and invasion. Tumor volume formed in mice in vivo was significantly increased by miR-17 overexpression with a marked increase of MIB-1 index. According to PicTar and Miranda algorithms, which predicted CDKN1A (p21) as a putative target of miR-17, a luciferase assay was performed and revealed that miR-17 directly targets the 3'-UTR of p21 mRNA. Indeed, p21 protein level was remarkably decreased by miR-17 overexpression in a p53-independent manner. It is noteworthy that miR-17 succeeded in suppressing doxorubicin-evoked higher expression of p21 and conferred the drug resistance. Meanwhile, introduction of anti-miR-17 in Fuji and HS-SYII cells significantly decreased cell growth, consistent with rescued expression of p21. Taken together, miR-17 promotes the tumor growth of synovial sarcomas by post-transcriptional suppression of p21, which may be amenable to innovative therapeutic targeting in synovial sarcoma.

Wakamatsu T, Naka N, Sasagawa S, et al.
Deflection of vascular endothelial growth factor action by SS18-SSX and composite vascular endothelial growth factor- and chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4-targeted therapy in synovial sarcoma.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(9):1124-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma (SS) is a malignant soft-tissue tumor characterized by the recurrent chromosomal translocation SS18-SSX. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeting anti-angiogenic therapy has been approved for soft-tissue sarcoma, including SS; however, the mechanism underlying the VEGF signal for sarcomagenesis in SS is unclear. Here, we show that SS18-SSX directs the VEGF signal outcome to cellular growth from differentiation. Synovial sarcoma cells secrete large amounts of VEGF under spheroid culture conditions in autocrine fashion. SS18-SSX knockdown altered the VEGF signaling outcome, from proliferation to tubular differentiation, without affecting VEGF secretion, suggesting that VEGF signaling promoted cell growth in the presence of SS18-SSX. Thus, VEGF inhibitors blocked both host angiogenesis and spheroid growth. Simultaneous treatment with VEGF and chemokine (C-X-C motif) (CXC) ligand 12 and CXC receptor 4 inhibitors and/or ifosfamide effectively suppressed tumor growth both in vitro and in vivo. SS18-SSX directs the VEGF signal outcome from endothelial differentiation to spheroid growth, and VEGF and CXC receptor 4 are critical therapeutic targets for SS.

de Souza RR, Oliveira ID, del Giúdice Paniago M, et al.
Investigation of IGF2, Hedgehog and fusion gene expression profiles in pediatric sarcomas.
Growth Horm IGF Res. 2014; 24(4):130-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The childhood sarcomas are malignant tumors with high mortality rates. They are divided into two genetic categories: a category without distinct pattern karyotypic changes and the other category showing unique translocations that originate gene rearrangements. This category includes rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), Ewing's sarcoma (ES) and synovial sarcoma (SS). Diverse studies have related development genes, such as; IGF2, IHH, PTCH1 and GLI1 and sarcomatogenesis.
OBJECTIVE: To characterize the RMS, ES and SS rearrangements, we quantify the expression of IGF2 IHH, PTCH1 and GLI1 genes and correlate molecular data with clinical parameters of patients.
DESIGN: We analyzed 29 RMS, 10 SS and 60 ES tumor samples by RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction-reverse transcription) and qPCR (quantitative PCR).
RESULTS: Among the samples of ARMS, 50% had rearrangements of PAX3/7-FOXO1, 60% of ES samples were EWS-FLI1 positive and 90% of SS samples were positive for SS18-SSX1/2. In relation to the control reference samples (QPCR Human Reference Total RNA-Stratagene, Human Skeletal Muscle Total RNA-Ambion, Universal RNA Human Normal Tissues-Ambion), RMS samples showed a high IGF2 gene expression (p<0.0001). Moreover, ES samples showed a low IGF2 gene expression (p<0.0001) and high IHH (p<0.0001), PTCH1 (p=0.0173) and GLI1 (p=0.0113) gene expressions.
CONCLUSIONS: The molecular characterization of IGF and Hedgehog pathway in these pediatric sarcomas may collaborate to enable a better understanding of the biological behavior of these neoplasms.

Ding X, Yang Y, Han B, et al.
Transcriptomic characterization of hepatocellular carcinoma with CTNNB1 mutation.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e95307 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common solid tumor worldwide and the third leading cause of cancer-related death. HCC is a particularly serious threat to the Chinese population. Although many molecular alterations are known to be involved in the tumorigenesis of hepatocytes, no systemic survey has examined the somatic mutations in HCC samples from Chinese patients. Our goal was to elucidate somatic mutations in Chinese HCC patients and investigate the possible molecular mechanisms involved in tumorigenesis.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A total of 110 hepatitis B virus (HBV)-positive HCC samples and 46 HBV-negative HCC samples were genotyped for hot-spot mutations in the CSF1R, CTNNB1, KRAS, BRAF, NRAS, ERBB2, MET, PIK3CA, JAK1, and SMO genes. The transcriptomes of the CTNNB1 mutation-positive HCC samples from the HBV-positive patients (CB+ HCC) were compared to adjacent non-cancerous livers, and significantly altered genes were functionally validated in vitro.
RESULTS: CTNNB1 mutations accounted for the majority of the mutations detected in our study. A slightly higher mutation rate was found in the HBV-positive patients than in their negative counterparts. A distinct pattern of CTNNB1 mutation was detected in these two populations, and drastic changes at the transcriptomic level were detected in the CB+ tumors compared to adjacent non-cancerous livers. Potential tumor suppressors (FoxA3 and Onecut1) and oncogenes (MAFG and SSX1) were functionally validated.
CONCLUSIONS: Our work is the first systemic characterization of oncogenic mutations in HCC samples from Chinese patients. Targeting the Wnt-β-catenin pathway may represent a valid treatment option for Chinese HCC patients. Our work also suggests that targeting ONECUT1, FOXA3, SSX1, and MAFG may be a valid treatment option for CTNNB1 mutation positive HCC patients.

He L, Ji JN, Liu SQ, et al.
Expression of cancer-testis antigen in multiple myeloma.
J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2014; 34(2):181-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, the immunotherapy has been highlighted among cancer treatments. Cancer-testis antigen (CTA) has been studied in a variety of solid tumors because of its specific expression in tumors, and testis, ovary and placenta tissues, but not in other normal tissues. In order to provide a new approach for multiple myeloma (MM) immunotherapy, we examined the CTA expression in MM cell lines, and primary myeloma cells in patients with MM. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to detect the mRNA expression of MAGE-C1/CT7, SSX1, SSX2 and SSX4 in MM cell lines of RPMI-8226 and U266, and bone marrow (BM) cells of 25 MM patients and 18 healthy volunteers. The results showed that the 4 CTAs were expressed in RPMI-8226 and U266 cell lines. The positive expression rate of MAGE-C1/CT7, SSX1, SSX2 and SSX4 in the BM cells of 25 MM patients was 28% (7/25), 80% (20/25), 40% (10/25) and 68% (17/25), respectively. In contrast, the expression of any member of the CTAs was not detected in BM cells of 18 healthy volunteers. The expression of two or more CTAs was detected in 80% (20/25) MM patients, and that of at least one CTA in 88% (22/25). The mRNA expression levels of SSX1 and SSX4 were significantly higher in patients with MM at stage III than in those at stage I and II (P<0.05). No statistically significant differences were observed in the mRNA expression levels of MAGE-C1/CT7 and SSX2 in further stratified analyses by age, gender, MM types and percentage of MM cells in BM (P>0.05). In conclusion, our present study showed that MAGE-C1/CT7, SSX1, SSX2 and SSX4 were co-expressed in MM cell lines and the primary myeloma cells in MM patients, but not expressed in BM cells of healthy subjects. The mRNA levels of SSX1 and SSX4 are associated with MM clinical stage. This work may provide a new insight into MM immunotherapy in the future.

Silverstein D, Klein P
Large monophasic synovial sarcoma: a case report and review of the literature.
Cutis. 2014; 93(1):13-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcomas account for approximately 8% of all soft tissue tumors. The hallmark tumor marker is the t(X;18) translocation, which results in fusion of the SYT gene of chromosome 18 to the SSX gene of the X chromosome, creating most frequently either an SYT-SSX1 or SYT-SSX2 transfusion transcript. Clinically, synovial sarcomas most often present on the extremities and average roughly 7 cm in diameter. Metastatic spread to regional lymph nodes and/or the lungs is common. Because the incidence of this tumor is low, most studies have been retrospective; therefore, management and prognostic interpretation has remained controversial. We report a case of a patient who presented with a slowly growing, unusually large mass on the left forearm of 10 years' duration. A diagnosis of monophasic synovial sarcoma was confirmed by biopsy. We also review the literature regarding management strategies for synovial sarcomas.

Saito T
The SYT-SSX fusion protein and histological epithelial differentiation in synovial sarcoma: relationship with extracellular matrix remodeling.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013; 6(11):2272-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma (SS) tumor cells, which have the chromosomal translocation t(X;18)(p11.2;q11.2), have an inherently greater propensity for epithelial differentiation than other mesenchymal tumors, especially spindle cell sarcomas. This is caused by de-repression of the transcription of E-cadherin by SYT-SSX1 and SYT-SSX2, which dissociate Snail or Slug, respectively, from the E-cadherin promoter. However, a subset of SS with SYT-SSX1 loses E-cadherin expression despite adequate de-repression because of mutations in E-cadherin, resulting in monophasic histology. The ratio of the expression levels of SYT-SSX1 and Snail is also associated with E-cadherin expression: the lower the SYT-SSX1/Snail ratio, the lower the level of E-cadherin expression, and vice versa, thus affecting tumor histology. In addition, Wnt signal activation caused by mutation of β-catenin, APC, or Axin 1 and 2 is associated with monophasic histology. Remodeling of the extracellular matrix is also important. Only cells that survive all of these steps can finally exhibit biphasic histology. On the other hand, the SYT-SSX2 fusion has a weaker de-repression effect on the E-cadherin promoter than does SYT-SSX1, so it is difficult for SYT-SSX2-expressing tumors to achieve sufficient capacity for epithelial differentiation to form glandular structures. This review provides an interesting model for this epithelial differentiation that shows a possible mechanism for the aberrant mesenchymal to epithelial transition of SS and suggests that it might better be considered an epithelial to mesenchymal transition.

Trautmann M, Sievers E, Aretz S, et al.
SS18-SSX fusion protein-induced Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a therapeutic target in synovial sarcoma.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(42):5006-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma is a high-grade soft tissue malignancy characterized by a specific reciprocal translocation t(X;18), which leads to the fusion of the SS18 (SYT) gene to one of three SSX genes (SSX1, SSX2 or SSX4). The resulting chimeric SS18-SSX protein is suggested to act as an oncogenic transcriptional regulator. Despite multimodal therapeutic approaches, metastatic disease is often lethal and the development of novel targeted therapeutic strategies is required. Several expression-profiling studies identified distinct gene expression signatures, implying a consistent role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in synovial sarcoma tumorigenesis. Here we investigate the functional and therapeutic relevance of Wnt/β-catenin pathway activation in vitro and in vivo. Immunohistochemical analyses of nuclear β-catenin and Wnt downstream targets revealed activation of canonical Wnt signaling in a significant subset of 30 primary synovial sarcoma specimens. Functional aspects of Wnt signaling including dependence of Tcf/β-catenin complex activity on the SS18-SSX fusion proteins were analyzed. Efficient SS18-SSX-dependent activation of the Tcf/β-catenin transcriptional complex was confirmed by TOPflash reporter luciferase assays and immunoblotting. In five human synovial sarcoma cell lines, inhibition of the Tcf/β-catenin protein-protein interaction significantly blocked the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling cascade, accompanied by the effective downregulation of Wnt targets (AXIN2, CDC25A, c-MYC, DKK1, CyclinD1 and Survivin) and the specific suppression of cell viability associated with the induction of apoptosis. In SYO-1 synovial sarcoma xenografts, administration of small molecule Tcf/β-catenin complex inhibitors significantly reduced tumor growth, associated with diminished AXIN2 protein levels. In summary, SS18-SSX-induced Wnt/β-catenin signaling appears to be of crucial biological importance in synovial sarcoma tumorigenesis and progression, representing a potential molecular target for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

Yoneda Y, Ito S, Kunisada T, et al.
Truncated SSX protein suppresses synovial sarcoma cell proliferation by inhibiting the localization of SS18-SSX fusion protein.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e77564 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma is a relatively rare high-grade soft tissue sarcoma that often develops in the limbs of young people and induces the lung and the lymph node metastasis resulting in poor prognosis. In patients with synovial sarcoma, specific chromosomal translocation of t(X; 18) (p11.2;q11.2) is observed, and SS18-SSX fusion protein expressed by this translocation is reported to be associated with pathogenesis. However, role of the fusion protein in the pathogenesis of synovial sarcoma has not yet been completely clarified. In this study, we focused on the localization patterns of SS18-SSX fusion protein. We constructed expression plasmids coding for the full length SS18-SSX, the truncated SS18 moiety (tSS18) and the truncated SSX moiety (tSSX) of SS18-SSX, tagged with fluorescent proteins. These plasmids were transfected in synovial sarcoma SYO-1 cells and we observed the expression of these proteins using a fluorescence microscope. The SS18-SSX fusion protein showed a characteristic speckle pattern in the nucleus. However, when SS18-SSX was co-expressed with tSSX, localization of SS18-SSX changed from speckle patterns to the diffused pattern similar to the localization pattern of tSSX and SSX. Furthermore, cell proliferation and colony formation of synovial sarcoma SYO-1 and YaFuSS cells were suppressed by exogenous tSSX expression. Our results suggest that the characteristic speckle localization pattern of SS18-SSX is strongly involved in the tumorigenesis through the SSX moiety of the SS18-SSX fusion protein. These findings could be applied to further understand the pathogenic mechanisms, and towards the development of molecular targeting approach for synovial sarcoma.

Ren T, Lu Q, Guo W, et al.
The clinical implication of SS18-SSX fusion gene in synovial sarcoma.
Br J Cancer. 2013; 109(8):2279-85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study is to evaluate distribution and clinical impact of the SS18-SSX fusion gene in patients with synovial sarcoma in China.
METHODS: We collected and analysed the clinical data of 88 patients using univariate and multivariate survival analysis. HEK 293T and NIH 3T3 cell lines were transfected with the SS18-SSX1 or SS18-SSX2 gene to determine the respective involvement of these fusion genes in cell proliferation and invasion.
RESULTS: Overall survival was significantly better among SS18-SSX2 cases (P=0.001), FNCLCC grade 2 cases (P<0.001), and UICC stage 1 or 2 (P<0.001) by univariate and multivariate survival analysis. SS18-SSX1-positive cells were more proliferative and invasive than SS18-SSX2-positive cells.
CONCLUSION: SS18-SSX fusion type is a significant prognostic factor for patients with synovial sarcoma.

Sahara S, Otsuki Y, Egawa Y, et al.
Primary synovial sarcoma of the stomach--a case report and review of the literature.
Pathol Res Pract. 2013; 209(11):745-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma (SS) is a mesenchymal spindle cell tumor which displays variable epithelial differentiation. It commonly arises around the major joints or tendon sheaths in young adults, but is not commonly seen in the stomach. We experienced a case of primary gastric SS. The patient is a 22-year-old male, who presented with epigastric pain. Upper endoscopy showed an ulcer of 25 mm in diameter with marginal elevation on the posterior mid-gastric body. Biopsy of the ulcer base showed monotonous proliferation of small spindle-shaped cells on HE-stain. On immunohistochemical staining, these cells were positively stained with vimentin, cytokeratin, epithelial membrane antigen, and CD99, but were negative for KIT, CD34, desmin, and S-100 protein. These findings were compatible with SS of monophasic type. Diagnosis of primary gastric SS was made because there were no other primary lesions, nor metastatic lesions. The wedge resection was performed. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), using the RNA from frozen neoplastic tissue of the resected specimen, detected a fusion gene called SYT-SSX1, specific for SS. Though SS arising in the stomach is rare, it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of KIT-negative gastric spindle cell tumor.

Xiong B, Chen M, Ye F, et al.
Primary monophasic synovial sarcoma of the liver in a 13-year-old boy.
Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2013 Sep-Oct; 16(5):353-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma originating in the liver is extremely rare, and thus far only 3 cases have been reported in the English literature. Herein, we report a primary hepatic synovial sarcoma in a 13-year-old Chinese boy. This patient present with a 10-day right upper quadrant pain, and a heterogeneous mass was documented in the right hepatic lobe by computed tomography. Subsequently, the patient underwent right hepatectomy. Histologically, the tumor exhibited classic features of monophasic synovial sarcoma. The diagnosis was confirmed by the presence of SS18 gene rearrangement and identification of SS18-SSX1 fusion transcript. Unfortunately, a relapsing mass was detected 11 months after the surgery. To the best of our knowledge, the current case is the 1st published example in the pediatric population.

Carmody Soni EE, Schlottman S, Erkizan HV, et al.
Loss of SS18-SSX1 inhibits viability and induces apoptosis in synovial sarcoma.
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014; 472(3):874-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Most synovial sarcomas contain a chromosomal translocation t(X;18), which results in the formation of an oncoprotein SS18-SSX critical to the viability of synovial sarcoma.
QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: We (1) established and characterized three novel synovial sarcoma cell lines and asked (2) whether inhibition of SS18-SSX1 decreases cell viability in these cell lines; and (3) whether reduction in viability after SS18-SSX1 knockdown is caused by apoptosis. After identifying a specific posttranscriptional splice variant in our cell lines, we asked (4) whether this provides a survival benefit in synovial sarcoma.
METHODS: Cells lines were characterized. SS18-SSX1 knockdown was achieved using a shRNA system. Cell viability was assessed by WST-1 analysis and apoptosis examined by caspase-3 activity.
RESULTS: We confirmed the SS18-SSX1 translocation in all cell lines and identified a consistent splicing variant. We achieved successful knockdown of SS18-SSX1 and with this saw a significant reduction in cell viability. Decreased viability was a result of increased apoptosis. Reintroduction of the exon 8 sequence into cells reduced cell viability in all cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed the presence of the SS18-SSX1 translocation in our cell lines and its importance in the survival of synovial sarcoma. We have also demonstrated that reduction in cell viability is related to an increase in apoptosis. In addition, we have identified a potential mediator of SS18-SSX function in exon 8.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: SS18-SSX represents a tumor-specific target in synovial sarcoma. Exploitation of SS18-SSX and its protein partners will allow us to develop potent tumor-specific therapeutic agents.

Yin L, Chen M, Ye F, et al.
A poorly differentiated synovial sarcoma arising from the pulmonary valve.
Cardiovasc Pathol. 2013 Nov-Dec; 22(6):501-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma originating in the pulmonary valve is extremely rare. Herein, we report a poorly differentiated synovial sarcoma arising from this peculiar location in a 17-year-old Chinese boy. Histologically, this tumor was entirely poorly differentiated with uniform small round cell morphology, and it exhibited prominent myxoid change in some areas. The diagnosis was confirmed by the presence of SS18 rearrangement and identification of the SS18-SSX1 fusion transcript. To the best of our knowledge, the present case is the first published example of synovial sarcoma occurring in the pulmonary valve. Additionally, this is the first case showing entirely uniform small round cell morphology without classic areas of synovial sarcoma.

Neumann F, Kaddu-Mulindwa D, Widmann T, et al.
EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines as vaccines against cancer testis antigen-positive tumors.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2013; 62(7):1211-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) are potent antigen-presenting cells. To investigate their potential use as cancer testis antigen (CTA) vaccines, we studied the expression of 12 cancer testis (CT) genes in 20 LCL by RT-PCR. The most frequently expressed CT genes were SSX4 (50 %), followed by GAGE (45 %), SSX1 (40 %), MAGE-A3 and SSX2 (25 %), SCP1, HOM-TES-85, MAGE-C1, and MAGE-C2 (15 %). NY-ESO-1 and MAGE-A4 were found in 1/20 LCL and BORIS was not detected at all. Fifteen of 20 LCL expressed at least one antigen, 9 LCL expressed ≥2 CT genes, and 7 of the 20 LCL expressed ≥4 CT genes. The expression of CT genes did not correlate with the length of in vitro culture, telomerase activity, aneuploidy, or proliferation state. While spontaneous expression of CT genes determined by real-time PCR and Western blot was rather weak in most LCL, treatment with DNA methyltransferase 1 inhibitor alone or in combination with histone deacetylase inhibitors increased CTA expression considerably thus enabling LCL to induce CTA-specific T cell responses. The stability of the CT gene expression over prolonged culture periods makes LCL attractive candidates for CT vaccines both in hematological neoplasias and solid tumors.

Shelekhova KV, Calonje E, Grossmann P, et al.
Superficial soft tissue biphasic synovial sarcoma with apocrine differentiation in the glandular component: a report of two cases.
Am J Dermatopathol. 2014; 36(10):847-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
: The authors present 2 cases of a subcutaneous biphasic synovial sarcoma with marked apocrine differentiation that potentially may be confused with cutaneous epithelial neoplasms, including malignant apocrine mixed tumor or metaplastic carcinoma with an apocrine glandular component. Microscopically, both neoplasms had a biphasic architecture with the epithelial and spindle cell components. The epithelial component was prominent and consisted of simple glands with round lumina and complex glandular structures with intraluminal bridges forming cribriform areas. The glands were lined by cuboidal to columnar cells with eosinophilic or clear cytoplasm manifesting apical apocrine-like and intraluminal eosinophilic secretions. The spindle cell component was less prominent and was composed of relatively uniform or slightly atypical spindle sells surrounding and merging focally with the glandular structures. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells in both components were positive for vimentin, AE1/AE3, CK7, and epithelial membrane antigen. Desmin, smooth muscle actin, muscle-specific actin, CD34, and S-100 protein were all negative. SYT-SSX1 gene fusion using fluorescence in situ hybridization and RT-PCR methods was detected in both cases.

Changchien YC, Tátrai P, Papp G, et al.
Poorly differentiated synovial sarcoma is associated with high expression of enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2).
J Transl Med. 2012; 10:216 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2) is a polycomb group (PcG) family protein. Acting as a histone methyltransferase it plays crucial roles in maintaining epigenetic stem cell signature, while its deregulation leads to tumor development. EZH2 overexpression is commonly associated with poor prognosis in a variety of tumor types including carcinomas, lymphomas and soft tissue sarcomas. However, although the synovial sarcoma fusion proteins SYT-SSX1/2/4 are known to interact with PcG members, the diagnostic and prognostic significance of EZH2 expression in synovial sarcoma has not yet been investigated. Also, literature data are equivocal on the correlation between EZH2 expression and the abundance of trimethylated histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) motifs in tumors.
METHODS: Immunohistochemical stains of EZH2, H3K27me3, and Ki-67 were performed on tissue microarrays containing cores from 6 poorly differentiated, 39 monophasic and 10 biphasic synovial sarcomas, and evaluated by pre-established scoring criteria. Results of the three immunostainings were compared, and differences were sought between the histological subtypes as well as patient groups defined by gender, age, tumor location, the presence of distant metastasis, and the type of fusion gene. The relationship between EZH2 expression and survival was plotted on a Kaplan-Meier curve.
RESULTS: High expression of EZH2 mRNA and protein was specifically detected in the poorly differentiated subtype. EZH2 scores were found to correlate with those of Ki-67 and H3K27me3. Cases with high EZH2 score were characterized by larger tumor size (≥ 5cm), distant metastasis, and poor prognosis. Even in the monophasic and biphasic subtypes, higher expression of EZH2 was associated with higher proliferation rate, larger tumor size, and the risk of developing distant metastasis. In these histological groups, EZH2 was superior to Ki-67 in predicting metastatic disease.
CONCLUSIONS: High expression of EZH2 helps to distinguish poorly differentiated synovial sarcoma from the monophasic and biphasic subtypes, and it is associated with unfavorable clinical outcome. Importantly, high EZH2 expression is predictive of developing distant metastasis even in the better-differentiated subtypes. EZH2 overexpression in synovial sarcoma is correlated with high H3K27 trimethylation. Thus, along with other epigenetic regulators, EZH2 may be a future therapeutic target.

Qin Y, Deng W, Ekmekcioglu S, Grimm EA
Identification of unique sensitizing targets for anti-inflammatory CDDO-Me in metastatic melanoma by a large-scale synthetic lethal RNAi screening.
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2013; 26(1):97-112 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CDDO-Me has been shown to exert potent anti-inflammatory activity for chronic kidney disease and antitumor activity for several tumors, including melanoma, in early clinical trials. To improve CDDO-Me response in melanoma, we utilized a large-scale synthetic lethal RNAi screen targeting 6000 human druggable genes to identify targets that would sensitize melanoma cells to CDDO-Me. Based on screening results, five unique genes (GNPAT, SUMO1, SPINT2, FLI1, and SSX1) significantly potentiated the growth inhibitory effects of CDDO-Me and induced apoptosis in A375, a BRAF mutated melanoma line (P < 0.001). These five genes were then individually validated as targets to potentiate CDDO-Me activity, and related downstream signaling pathways of these genes were analyzed. In addition, the levels of phosphorylated Erk1/2, Akt, GSK-2, and PRAS40 were dramatically decreased by downregulating each of these five genes separately, suggesting a set of common mediators. Our findings indicate that GNPAT, SUMO1, SPINT2, FLI1, and SSX1 play critical roles in synergy with inflammation pathways in modulating melanoma cell survival and could serve as sensitizing targets to enhance CDDO-Me efficacy in melanoma growth control.

Przybyl J, Sciot R, Rutkowski P, et al.
Recurrent and novel SS18-SSX fusion transcripts in synovial sarcoma: description of three new cases.
Tumour Biol. 2012; 33(6):2245-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma (SS) is an aggressive type of tumor, comprising approximately 10 % of soft tissue sarcomas. Over 90 % of SS cases are characterized by the t(X;18)(p11.2;q11.2) translocation, which results mainly in the formation of oncogenic SS18-SSX1 or SS18-SSX2 fusions. In a typical SS18-SSX fusion transcript, exon 10 of SS18 is fused to exon 6 of SSX1/2. However, several variant fusion transcripts have been already described. In the present study, we examined the fusion transcript type in a series of 40 primary untreated SS tumor specimens using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence in situ hybridization assay. We detected SS18-SSX1 transcript in 22 (55 %) patients and SS18-SSX2 transcript in 17 (42.5 %) patients, while in one patient, none of SS18-SSX1/2 fusion transcripts were identified. Among the cases under study, two tumors carried novel SS18-SSX1 and SS18-SSX2 variant translocations that were allegedly created by an alternative splicing, and in additional case, an unusual translocation variant previously described by other group was found. Our data suggest that alternative splicing may play an important role in novel fusion transcript formation, and additionally we show that it may be a recurrent event in SS. Furthermore, we describe the first case of a complex rearrangement possibly linking SS to REPS2 gene.

Zhu M, Li J, Wang KJ, Shang JB
Primary synovial sarcoma of the parapharyngeal space: a clinicopathologic study of five cases.
World J Surg Oncol. 2012; 10:158 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We report five cases of primary synovial sarcomas arising in the parapharyngeal space. The patients were all men with a median age of 35 years (range 22 to 41 years). The tumors were non-encapsulated solid masses ranging from 2.0 to 6.6 cm in size. Histologically, three cases were biphasic subtype, and the other two cases were monophasic subtype. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were strongly positive for bcl-2 and CD99, partly positive for CK and EMA, and negative for CD117, CD34, SMA and desmin in all five cases. S-100 protein was detected in one case. The presence of an SYT-SSX1 and/or SYT-SSX2 gene fusion resulting from t(X;18) was demonstrated from paraffin blocks by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in five cases. All five patients received tumor radical excision and postoperative radiotherapy, and two patients with pulmonary metastasis received additional chemotherapy. Follow-up data revealed that two patients with tumor size <5 cm were alive without disease for 54 and 57 months, one patient with tumor size <5 cm was alive with pulmonary metastasis for 78 months, and two patients with tumor size >5 cm died of disease 26 and 37 months after the diagnosis, respectively. Primary parapharyngeal synovial sarcoma is a rare variant that occurs more frequently in males than females. Accurate diagnosis depends on morphologic and immunohistochemical examination and proper molecular analysis. The prognosis is relatively good in those patients whose tumor size is less than 5 cm.

Lai JP, Robbins PF, Raffeld M, et al.
NY-ESO-1 expression in synovial sarcoma and other mesenchymal tumors: significance for NY-ESO-1-based targeted therapy and differential diagnosis.
Mod Pathol. 2012; 25(6):854-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
A promising targeted therapy against NY-ESO-1 (CTAG 1B) using genetically modified T-cells in synovial sarcomas was recently demonstrated in a clinical trial at the NCI. To investigate the role of NY-ESO-1 immunohistochemistry in patient selection and gain better insight into the incidence of NY-ESO-1 expression in synovial sarcomas and other mesenchymal tumors, we evaluated NY-ESO-1 expression by immunohistochemistry in 417 tumors. This collection of samples included: 50 SS18/SSX1/2 fusion positive synovial sarcomas, 155 gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), 135 other spindle cell sarcomas as well as 77 other sarcomas (chondrosarcoma, osteosarcoma, dedifferentiated liposarcoma, alveolar soft part sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, angiosarcoma, malignant mesothelioma, and Ewing's sarcoma). We report that 76% of synovial sarcomas expressed NY-ESO-1 in a strong and diffuse pattern (2-3+, >50-70% of tumor cells). In contrast, only rare cases of other spindle cell mesenchymal tumor expressed NY-ESO-1 (GIST (2/155), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (1/34), and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (2/20)). Individual cases of other sarcomas (angiosarcoma, malignant mesothelioma, chondrosarcoma, osteosarcoma, dedifferentiated liposarcoma, alveolar soft part sarcoma, and Ewing's sarcoma) were positive for NY-ESO-1. However, no positive cases were identified amongst our cohort of leiomyosarcomas (0/24), hemangiopericytoma/solitary fibrous tumors (0/40), and cellular schwannomas (0/17). In summary, we find that NY-ESO-1 is strongly and diffusely expressed in a majority of synovial sarcomas, but only rarely in other mesenchymal lesions. Beyond its role in patient selection for targeted therapy, immunohistochemistry for NY-ESO-1 may be diagnostically useful for the distinction of synovial sarcoma from other spindle cell neoplasms.

Setsu N, Kohashi K, Endo M, et al.
Inhibin-α and synaptophysin immunoreactivity in synovial sarcoma with granular cell features.
Hum Pathol. 2012; 43(6):850-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
We recognized immunoreactivity for the α subset of inhibin and synaptophysin in synovial sarcomas with granular cell features. Histologic findings of 90 cases of synovial sarcoma were reviewed. Two (2.2%) of the 90 cases had granular cell features, showing sheet or nested proliferation of characteristic epithelioid cells with abundant eosinophilic and granular cytoplasm, in addition to the typical spindle cell component. The 2 cases were both female (aged 86 and 76 years). The tumors were located in the foot and the retroperitoneum and measured 3.5 and 14 cm in maximum diameter. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed SS18-SSX1 transcripts in both cases. SS18 gene rearrangement was detected in granular cells as well as spindle cells by chromogenic in situ hybridization. Immunohistochemistry found the granular cells to be positive for inhibin-α in both cases and for synaptophysin in 1 case, whereas spindle cells were not. Thirty-six cases (20 monophasic fibrous, 11 biphasic, and 5 poorly differentiated synovial sarcomas) were additionally examined for comparison; they showed no immunoreactivity for inhibin-α or synaptophysin. This is the first report of immunoreactivity for inhibin-α and synaptophysin in synovial sarcoma. These immunohistochemical findings might be characteristic of synovial sarcomas with granular cell features.

Smith HA, Cronk RJ, Lang JM, McNeel DG
Expression and immunotherapeutic targeting of the SSX family of cancer-testis antigens in prostate cancer.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(21):6785-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the first immunotherapy for prostate cancer encourages efforts to improve immune targeting of this disease. The synovial sarcoma X chromosome breakpoint (SSX) proteins comprise a set of cancer-testis antigens that are upregulated in MHC class I-deficient germline cells and in various types of advanced cancers with a poor prognosis. Humoral and cell-mediated immune responses to the SSX family member SSX2 can arise spontaneously in prostate cancer patients. Thus, SSX2 and other proteins of the SSX family may offer useful targets for tumor immunotherapy. In this study, we evaluated the expression of SSX family members in prostate cancer cell lines and tumor biopsies to identify which members might be most appropriate for immune targeting. We found that SSX2 was expressed most frequently in prostate cell lines, but that SSX1 and SSX5 were also expressed after treatment with the DNA demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Immunohistochemical analysis of microarrayed tissue biopsies confirmed a differential level of SSX protein expression in human prostate cancers. Notably, SSX expression in patient tumor samples was restricted to metastatic lesions (5/22; 23%) and no expression was detected in primary prostate tumors examined (0/73; P < 0.001). We determined that cross-reactive immune responses to a dominant HLA-A2-specific SSX epitope (p103-111) could be elicited by immunization of A2/DR1 transgenic mice with SSX vaccines. Our findings suggest that multiple SSX family members are expressed in metastatic prostate cancers which are amenable to simultaneous targeting.

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