TFRC

Gene Summary

Gene:TFRC; transferrin receptor
Aliases: T9, TR, TFR, p90, CD71, TFR1, TRFR
Location:3q29
Summary:-
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transferrin receptor protein 1
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015

Ontology:

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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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

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

Latest Publications: TFRC (cancer-related)

Yoshizato T, Dumitriu B, Hosokawa K, et al.
Somatic Mutations and Clonal Hematopoiesis in Aplastic Anemia.
N Engl J Med. 2015; 373(1):35-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In patients with acquired aplastic anemia, destruction of hematopoietic cells by the immune system leads to pancytopenia. Patients have a response to immunosuppressive therapy, but myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia develop in about 15% of the patients, usually many months to years after the diagnosis of aplastic anemia.
METHODS: We performed next-generation sequencing and array-based karyotyping using 668 blood samples obtained from 439 patients with aplastic anemia. We analyzed serial samples obtained from 82 patients.
RESULTS: Somatic mutations in myeloid cancer candidate genes were present in one third of the patients, in a limited number of genes and at low initial variant allele frequency. Clonal hematopoiesis was detected in 47% of the patients, most frequently as acquired mutations. The prevalence of the mutations increased with age, and mutations had an age-related signature. DNMT3A-mutated and ASXL1-mutated clones tended to increase in size over time; the size of BCOR- and BCORL1-mutated and PIGA-mutated clones decreased or remained stable. Mutations in PIGA and BCOR and BCORL1 correlated with a better response to immunosuppressive therapy and longer and a higher rate of overall and progression-free survival; mutations in a subgroup of genes that included DNMT3A and ASXL1 were associated with worse outcomes. However, clonal dynamics were highly variable and might not necessarily have predicted the response to therapy and long-term survival among individual patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Clonal hematopoiesis was prevalent in aplastic anemia. Some mutations were related to clinical outcomes. A highly biased set of mutations is evidence of Darwinian selection in the failed bone marrow environment. The pattern of somatic clones in individual patients over time was variable and frequently unpredictable. (Funded by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research and others.).

Liu G, Yang D, Rupaimoole R, et al.
Augmentation of response to chemotherapy by microRNA-506 through regulation of RAD51 in serous ovarian cancers.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(7) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemoresistance is a major challenge in cancer treatment. miR-506 is a potent inhibitor of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is also associated with chemoresistance. We characterized the role of miR-506 in chemotherapy response in high-grade serous ovarian cancers.
METHODS: We used Kaplan-Meier and log-rank methods to analyze the relationship between miR-506 and progression-free and overall survival in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) (n = 468) and Bagnoli (n = 130) datasets, in vitro experiments to study whether miR-506 is associated with homologous recombination, and response to chemotherapy agents. We used an orthotopic ovarian cancer mouse model (n = 10 per group) to test the effect of miR-506 on cisplatin and PARP inhibitor sensitivity. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: MiR-506 was associated with better response to therapy and longer progression-free and overall survival in two independent epithelial ovarian cancer patient cohorts (PFS: high vs low miR-506 expression; Bagnoli: hazard ratio [HR] = 3.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.90 to 4.70, P < .0001; TCGA: HR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.00 to 2.25, P = 0.04). MiR-506 sensitized cells to DNA damage through directly targeting the double-strand DNA damage repair gene RAD51. Systemic delivery of miR-506 in 8-12 week old female athymic nude mice statistically significantly augmented the cisplatin and olaparib response (mean tumor weight ± SD, control miRNA plus cisplatin vs miR-506 plus cisplatin: 0.36±0.05g vs 0.07±0.02g, P < .001; control miRNA plus olaparib vs miR-506 plus olaparib: 0.32±0.13g vs 0.05±0.02g, P = .045, respectively), thus recapitulating the clinical observation.
CONCLUSIONS: MiR-506 is a robust clinical marker for chemotherapy response and survival in serous ovarian cancers and has important therapeutic value in sensitizing cancer cells to chemotherapy.

Mitra S, Ring AM, Amarnath S, et al.
Interleukin-2 activity can be fine tuned with engineered receptor signaling clamps.
Immunity. 2015; 42(5):826-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) regulates lymphocyte function by signaling through heterodimerization of the IL-2Rβ and γc receptor subunits. IL-2 is of considerable therapeutic interest, but harnessing its actions in a controllable manner remains a challenge. Previously, we have engineered an IL-2 "superkine" with enhanced affinity for IL-2Rβ. Here, we describe next-generation IL-2 variants that function as "receptor signaling clamps." They retained high affinity for IL-2Rβ, inhibiting binding of endogenous IL-2, but their interaction with γc was weakened, attenuating IL-2Rβ-γc heterodimerization. These IL-2 analogs acted as partial agonists and differentially affected lymphocytes poised at distinct activation thresholds. Moreover, one variant, H9-RETR, antagonized IL-2 and IL-15 better than blocking antibodies against IL-2Rα or IL-2Rβ. Furthermore, this mutein prolonged survival in a model of graft-versus-host disease and blocked spontaneous proliferation of smoldering adult T cell leukemia (ATL) T cells. This receptor-clamping approach might be a general mechanism-based strategy for engineering cytokine partial agonists for therapeutic immunomodulation.

Wang F, Li S, Wang L, et al.
DATS suppresses growth of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma by regulation of ERK1/2.
Clin Lab. 2015; 61(3-4):315-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: It is well known that garlics contain a large number of organosulfur compounds including diallyl trisulfide (DATS), which possess anticancer properties. However, the effects of DATS on esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) growth are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of DATS on ESCC cell growth in vivo and in vitro, as well as the associated signaling pathways.
METHODS: Cell proliferation was measured using the crystal violet assay. The transwell method was used to evaluate the effect of DATS on ESCC cell migration. Also, Western blot was performed to detect the activation of ERK1/2 and AKT1 responds to DATS. Finally, the effect of DATS on ESCC xenografts in nude mice was also investigated.
RESULTS: Our results showed that DATS significantly inhibited ESCC cell proliferation in a time- and dose-dependent manner. DATS time-dependently (p < 0.05) increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2, but not AKT1. Suppression of ERK1/2 activation with PD9805 also completely blocked DATS-inhibited ESCC cell proliferation. Meanwhile, DATS also robustly suppressed ESCC xenograft growth and increased ERK1/2 activation in nude mice.
CONCLUSIONS: Our finding demonstrated that DATS inhibits the proliferation of ESCC cells by activation of ERK1/2 in vitro and in vivo. These findings revealed that DATS could be used for therapeutic intervention for human ESCC.

Challagundla KB, Wise PM, Neviani P, et al.
Exosome-mediated transfer of microRNAs within the tumor microenvironment and neuroblastoma resistance to chemotherapy.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(7) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: How exosomic microRNAs (miRNAs) contribute to the development of drug resistance in the context of the tumor microenvironment has not been previously described in neuroblastoma (NBL).
METHODS: Coculture experiments were performed to assess exosomic transfer of miR-21 from NBL cells to human monocytes and miR-155 from human monocytes to NBL cells. Luciferase reporter assays were performed to assess miR-155 targeting of TERF1 in NBL cells. Tumor growth was measured in NBL xenografts treated with Cisplatin and peritumoral exosomic miR-155 (n = 6 mice per group) CD163, miR-155, and TERF1 levels were assessed in 20 NBL primary tissues by Human Exon Arrays and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Student's t test was used to evaluate the differences between treatment groups. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: miR-21 mean fold change (f.c.) was 12.08±0.30 (P < .001) in human monocytes treated with NBL derived exosomes for 48 hours, and miR-155 mean f.c. was 4.51±0.25 (P < .001) in NBL cells cocultured with human monocytes for 48 hours. TERF1 mean luciferase activity in miR-155 transfected NBL cells normalized to scrambled was 0.36 ± 0.05 (P <.001). Mean tumor volumes in Dotap-miR-155 compared with Dotap-scrambled were 322.80±120mm(3) and 76.00±39.3mm(3), P = .002 at day 24, respectively. Patients with high CD163 infiltrating NBLs had statistically significantly higher intratumoral levels of miR-155 (P = .04) and lower levels of TERF1 mRNA (P = .02).
CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate a unique role of exosomic miR-21 and miR-155 in the cross-talk between NBL cells and human monocytes in the resistance to chemotherapy, through a novel exosomic miR-21/TLR8-NF-кB/exosomic miR-155/TERF1 signaling pathway.

Pajtler KW, Witt H, Sill M, et al.
Molecular Classification of Ependymal Tumors across All CNS Compartments, Histopathological Grades, and Age Groups.
Cancer Cell. 2015; 27(5):728-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ependymal tumors across age groups are currently classified and graded solely by histopathology. It is, however, commonly accepted that this classification scheme has limited clinical utility based on its lack of reproducibility in predicting patients' outcome. We aimed at establishing a uniform molecular classification using DNA methylation profiling. Nine molecular subgroups were identified in a large cohort of 500 tumors, 3 in each anatomical compartment of the CNS, spine, posterior fossa, supratentorial. Two supratentorial subgroups are characterized by prototypic fusion genes involving RELA and YAP1, respectively. Regarding clinical associations, the molecular classification proposed herein outperforms the current histopathological classification and thus might serve as a basis for the next World Health Organization classification of CNS tumors.

Shirai CL, Ley JN, White BS, et al.
Mutant U2AF1 Expression Alters Hematopoiesis and Pre-mRNA Splicing In Vivo.
Cancer Cell. 2015; 27(5):631-43 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/05/2016 Related Publications
Heterozygous somatic mutations in the spliceosome gene U2AF1 occur in ∼ 11% of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), the most common adult myeloid malignancy. It is unclear how these mutations contribute to disease. We examined in vivo hematopoietic consequences of the most common U2AF1 mutation using a doxycycline-inducible transgenic mouse model. Mice expressing mutant U2AF1(S34F) display altered hematopoiesis and changes in pre-mRNA splicing in hematopoietic progenitor cells by whole transcriptome analysis (RNA-seq). Integration with human RNA-seq datasets determined that common mutant U2AF1-induced splicing alterations are enriched in RNA processing genes, ribosomal genes, and recurrently mutated MDS and acute myeloid leukemia-associated genes. These findings support the hypothesis that mutant U2AF1 alters downstream gene isoform expression, thereby contributing to abnormal hematopoiesis in patients with MDS.

Bahar M, Kordes U, Tekautz T, Wolff J
Radiation therapy for choroid plexus carcinoma patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome: advantageous or detrimental?
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(5):3013-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Choroid plexus carcinomas (CPCs) are rare pediatric tumors often associated with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), a germline mutation in the TP53 tumor-suppressor gene, predisposing to cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a systemic literature review from 1990-2013 to evaluate the hypothesis that radiation therapy should be avoided in patients with CPC and LFS. Overall survival (OS) was compared using Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank tests.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients were documented with CPC and LFS. Eleven out of 17 patients received radiation therapy. The survival of patients receiving radiation was inferior to that of those without radiation [median (±95% confidence interval) 2-year OS=0.18 ± 0.12% versus 0.58 ± 0.12%]. The log-rank tests suggested the difference to be marginally significant (p=0.056).
CONCLUSION: This finding provides evidence for pursuing treatment approaches that do not include radiation therapy for patients with LFS.

Abravanel DL, Belka GK, Pan TC, et al.
Notch promotes recurrence of dormant tumor cells following HER2/neu-targeted therapy.
J Clin Invest. 2015; 125(6):2484-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Breast cancer mortality is principally due to recurrent tumors that arise from a reservoir of residual tumor cells that survive therapy. Remarkably, breast cancers can recur after extended periods of clinical remission, implying that at least some residual tumor cells pass through a dormant phase prior to relapse. Nevertheless, the mechanisms that contribute to breast cancer recurrence are poorly understood. Using a mouse model of recurrent mammary tumorigenesis in combination with bioinformatics analyses of breast cancer patients, we have identified a role for Notch signaling in mammary tumor dormancy and recurrence. Specifically, we found that Notch signaling is acutely upregulated in tumor cells following HER2/neu pathway inhibition, that Notch signaling remains activated in a subset of dormant residual tumor cells that persist following HER2/neu downregulation, that activation of Notch signaling accelerates tumor recurrence, and that inhibition of Notch signaling by either genetic or pharmacological approaches impairs recurrence in mice. Consistent with these findings, meta-analysis of microarray data from over 4,000 breast cancer patients revealed that elevated Notch pathway activity is independently associated with an increased rate of recurrence. Together, these results implicate Notch signaling in tumor recurrence from dormant residual tumor cells and provide evidence that dormancy is a targetable stage of breast cancer progression.

Krůpa P, Řehák S, Diaz-Garcia D, Filip S
NANOTECHNOLOGY - NEW TRENDS IN THE TREATMENT OF BRAIN TUMOURS.
Acta Medica (Hradec Kralove). 2014; 57(4):142-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
High grade gliomas are some of the deadliest human tumours. Conventional treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy have only a limited effect. Nowadays, resection is the common treatment of choice and although new approaches, such as perioperative magnetic resonance imaging or fluorescent microscopy have been developed, the survival rate of diagnosed patients is still very low. The inefficacy of conventional methods has led to the development of new strategies and the significant progress of nanotechnology in recent years. These platforms can be used either as novel imaging tools or to improve anticancer drug delivery into tumours while minimizing its distribution and toxicity in healthy tissues. Amongst the new nanotechnology platforms used for delivery into the brain tissue are: polymeric nanoparticles, liposomes, dendrimers, nanoshells, carbon nanotubes, superparamagnetic nanoparticles and nucleic acid based nanoparticles (DNA, RNA interference [RNAi] and antisense oligonucleotides [ASO]). These nanoparticles have been applied in the delivery of small molecular weight drugs as well as macromolecules - proteins, peptides and genes. The unique properties of these nanoparticles, such as surface charge, particle size, composition and ability to modify their surface with tissue recognition ligands and antibodies, improve their biodistribution and pharmacokinetics. All of the above mentioned characteristics make of nanoplatforms a very suitable tool for its use in targeted, personalized medicine, where they could possibly carry large doses of therapeutic agents specifically into malignant cells while avoiding healthy cells. This review poses new possibilities in the large field of nanotechnology with special interest in the treatment of high grade brain tumours.

Geczova L, Soltysova A, Gecz J, et al.
Avascular necrosis of bone in childhood cancer patients: a possible role of genetic susceptibility.
Bratisl Lek Listy. 2015; 116(5):289-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
With the increasing number of paediatric cancer patients and with their prolonged survival, the evidence of a number of serious complications induced by anticancer therapy is rising. Osteonecrosis (ON) of bone is one of these treatment-related effects with a multifactorial pathogenesis. In the past few years, several polymorphisms of candidate genes with possible role in development of this disorder were studied.We summarized potential risk factors leading to increased susceptibility to osteonecrosis of bone development in cancer patients during childhood and to present current knowledge in the field of genetic aspects of this condition (Ref. 86).

Xiang Y, Stine ZE, Xia J, et al.
Targeted inhibition of tumor-specific glutaminase diminishes cell-autonomous tumorigenesis.
J Clin Invest. 2015; 125(6):2293-306 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Glutaminase (GLS), which converts glutamine to glutamate, plays a key role in cancer cell metabolism, growth, and proliferation. GLS is being explored as a cancer therapeutic target, but whether GLS inhibitors affect cancer cell-autonomous growth or the host microenvironment or have off-target effects is unknown. Here, we report that loss of one copy of Gls blunted tumor progression in an immune-competent MYC-mediated mouse model of hepatocellular carcinoma. Compared with results in untreated animals with MYC-induced hepatocellular carcinoma, administration of the GLS-specific inhibitor bis-2-(5-phenylacetamido-1,3,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)ethyl sulfide (BPTES) prolonged survival without any apparent toxicities. BPTES also inhibited growth of a MYC-dependent human B cell lymphoma cell line (P493) by blocking DNA replication, leading to cell death and fragmentation. In mice harboring P493 tumor xenografts, BPTES treatment inhibited tumor cell growth; however, P493 xenografts expressing a BPTES-resistant GLS mutant (GLS-K325A) or overexpressing GLS were not affected by BPTES treatment. Moreover, a customized Vivo-Morpholino that targets human GLS mRNA markedly inhibited P493 xenograft growth without affecting mouse Gls expression. Conversely, a Vivo-Morpholino directed at mouse Gls had no antitumor activity in vivo. Collectively, our studies demonstrate that GLS is required for tumorigenesis and support small molecule and genetic inhibition of GLS as potential approaches for targeting the tumor cell-autonomous dependence on GLS for cancer therapy.

Etchegaray JP, Chavez L, Huang Y, et al.
The histone deacetylase SIRT6 controls embryonic stem cell fate via TET-mediated production of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine.
Nat Cell Biol. 2015; 17(5):545-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
How embryonic stem cells (ESCs) commit to specific cell lineages and yield all cell types of a fully formed organism remains a major question. ESC differentiation is accompanied by large-scale histone and DNA modifications, but the relations between these epigenetic categories are not understood. Here we demonstrate the interplay between the histone deacetylase sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) and the ten-eleven translocation enzymes (TETs). SIRT6 targets acetylated histone H3 at Lys 9 and 56 (H3K9ac and H3K56ac), while TETs convert 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). ESCs derived from Sirt6 knockout (S6KO) mice are skewed towards neuroectoderm development. This phenotype involves derepression of OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG, which causes an upregulation of TET-dependent production of 5hmC. Genome-wide analysis revealed neural genes marked with 5hmC in S6KO ESCs, thereby implicating TET enzymes in the neuroectoderm-skewed differentiation phenotype. We demonstrate that SIRT6 functions as a chromatin regulator safeguarding the balance between pluripotency and differentiation through Tet-mediated production of 5hmC.

Marín-Ramos NI, Alonso D, Ortega-Gutiérrez S, et al.
New inhibitors of angiogenesis with antitumor activity in vivo.
J Med Chem. 2015; 58(9):3757-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiogenesis is a requirement for the sustained growth and proliferation of solid tumors, and the development of new compounds that induce a sustained inhibition of the proangiogenic signaling generated by tumor hypoxia still remains as an important unmet need. In this work, we describe a new antiangiogenic compound (22) that inhibits proangiogenic signaling under hypoxic conditions in breast cancer cells. Compound 22 blocks the MAPK pathway, impairs cellular migration under hypoxic conditions, and regulates a set of genes related to angiogenesis. These responses are mediated by HIF-1α, since the effects of compound 22 mostly disappear when its expression is knocked-down. Furthermore, administration of compound 22 in a xenograft model of breast cancer produced tumor growth reductions ranging from 46 to 55% in 38% of the treated animals without causing any toxic side effects. Importantly, in the responding tumors, a significant reduction in the number of blood vessels was observed, further supporting the mechanism of action of the compound. These findings provide a rationale for the development of new antiangiogenic compounds that could eventually lead to new drugs suitable for the treatment of some types of tumors either alone or in combination with other agents.

Ilkow CS, Marguerie M, Batenchuk C, et al.
Reciprocal cellular cross-talk within the tumor microenvironment promotes oncolytic virus activity.
Nat Med. 2015; 21(5):530-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumors are complex ecosystems composed of networks of interacting 'normal' and malignant cells. It is well recognized that cytokine-mediated cross-talk between normal stromal cells, including cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), vascular endothelial cells, immune cells, and cancer cells, influences all aspects of tumor biology. Here we demonstrate that the cross-talk between CAFs and cancer cells leads to enhanced growth of oncolytic virus (OV)-based therapeutics. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) produced by tumor cells reprogrammed CAFs, dampened their steady-state level of antiviral transcripts and rendered them sensitive to virus infection. In turn, CAFs produced high levels of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), initiating a signaling cascade in cancer cells that reduced retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) expression and impeded the ability of malignant cells to detect and respond to virus. In xenografts derived from individuals with pancreatic cancer, the expression of FGF2 correlated with the susceptibility of the cancer cells to OV infection, and local application of FGF2 to resistant tumor samples sensitized them to virotherapy both in vitro and in vivo. An OV engineered to express FGF2 was safe in tumor-bearing mice, showed improved therapeutic efficacy compared to parental virus and merits consideration for clinical testing.

Shibasaki Y, Seki Y, Tanaka T, et al.
The association of level of reduction of Wilms' tumor gene 1 mRNA transcript in bone marrow and outcome in acute myeloid leukemia patients.
Leuk Res. 2015; 39(6):667-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
We focused on the level of reduction of Wilms' tumor gene 1 (WT1) mRNA in bone marrow as minimal residual disease during chemotherapies in adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. Forty-eight patients were enrolled in this study. Log levels of reduction of WT1 mRNA transcript after induction therapy compared with those at diagnosis were associated with disease-free survival (DFS) (P=0.0066) and overall survival (OS) (P=0.0074) in patients who achieved complete remission. Also log levels of reduction of WT1 mRNA transcript after final consolidation therapy compared with those at diagnosis were associated with DFS (P=0.015) and OS (P=0.012). By multivariate analysis, log levels of reduction of WT1 mRNA transcript after induction therapy and after final consolidation therapy compared with those at diagnosis were extracted as risk factors for outcome. Our results suggest that early and deep reduction of tumor burden may be important for the outcome of AML patients. In addition, it may be useful for the decision to proceed with allogeneic SCT as post-remission therapy.

Torchia J, Picard D, Lafay-Cousin L, et al.
Molecular subgroups of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours in children: an integrated genomic and clinicopathological analysis.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(5):569-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Rhabdoid brain tumours, also called atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours, are lethal childhood cancers with characteristic genetic alterations of SMARCB1/hSNF5. Lack of biological understanding of the substantial clinical heterogeneity of these tumours restricts therapeutic advances. We integrated genomic and clinicopathological analyses of a cohort of patients with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours to find out the molecular basis for clinical heterogeneity in these tumours.
METHODS: We obtained 259 rhabdoid tumours from 37 international institutions and assessed transcriptional profiles in 43 primary tumours and copy number profiles in 38 primary tumours to discover molecular subgroups of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours. We used gene and pathway enrichment analyses to discover group-specific molecular markers and did immunohistochemical analyses on 125 primary tumours to evaluate clinicopathological significance of molecular subgroup and ASCL1-NOTCH signalling.
FINDINGS: Transcriptional analyses identified two atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour subgroups with differential enrichment of genetic pathways, and distinct clinicopathological and survival features. Expression of ASCL1, a regulator of NOTCH signalling, correlated with supratentorial location (p=0·004) and superior 5-year overall survival (35%, 95% CI 13-57, and 20%, 6-34, for ASCL1-positive and ASCL1-negative tumours, respectively; p=0·033) in 70 patients who received multimodal treatment. ASCL1 expression also correlated with superior 5-year overall survival (34%, 7-61, and 9%, 0-21, for ASCL1-positive and ASCL1-negative tumours, respectively; p=0·001) in 39 patients who received only chemotherapy without radiation. Cox hazard ratios for overall survival in patients with differential ASCL1 enrichment treated with chemotherapy with or without radiation were 2·02 (95% CI 1·04-3·85; p=0·038) and 3·98 (1·71-9·26; p=0·001). Integrated analyses of molecular subgroupings with clinical prognostic factors showed three distinct clinical risk groups of tumours with different therapeutic outcomes.
INTERPRETATION: An integration of clinical risk factors and tumour molecular groups can be used to identify patients who are likely to have improved long-term radiation-free survival and might help therapeutic stratification of patients with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours.
FUNDING: C17 Research Network, Genome Canada, b.r.a.i.n.child, Mitchell Duckman, Tal Doron and Suri Boon foundations.

Zhu Z, Xu Y, Zhao J, et al.
miR-367 promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and invasion of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells by targeting the Smad7-TGF-β signalling pathway.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(8):1367-75 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/04/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant Smad7 expression contributes to the invasion and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells. However, the potential mechanism underlying aberrant Smad7 expression in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains largely unknown.
METHODS: Bioinformatic prediction programmes and luciferase reporter assay were used to identify microRNAs regulating Smad7. The association between miR-367 expression and the overall survival of PDAC patients was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. The effects of miR-367 and Smad7 on the invasion and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells were investigated both in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: We found that miR-367 downregulated Smad7 expression by directly targeting its 3'-UTR in human pancreatic cancer cells. High level of miR-367 expression correlated with poor prognosis of PDAC patients. Functional studies showed that miR-367 promoted pancreatic cancer invasion in vitro and metastasis in vivo through downregulating Smad7. In addition, we showed that miR-367 promoted epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by increasing transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-induced transcriptional activity.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study identified and characterised a signalling pathway, the miR-367/Smad7-TGF-β pathway, which is involved in the invasion and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells. Our results suggest that miR-367 may be a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of human pancreatic cancer.

Meric-Bernstam F, Johnson A, Holla V, et al.
A decision support framework for genomically informed investigational cancer therapy.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(7) [PubMed] Related Publications
Rapidly improving understanding of molecular oncology, emerging novel therapeutics, and increasingly available and affordable next-generation sequencing have created an opportunity for delivering genomically informed personalized cancer therapy. However, to implement genomically informed therapy requires that a clinician interpret the patient's molecular profile, including molecular characterization of the tumor and the patient's germline DNA. In this Commentary, we review existing data and tools for precision oncology and present a framework for reviewing the available biomedical literature on therapeutic implications of genomic alterations. Genomic alterations, including mutations, insertions/deletions, fusions, and copy number changes, need to be curated in terms of the likelihood that they alter the function of a "cancer gene" at the level of a specific variant in order to discriminate so-called "drivers" from "passengers." Alterations that are targetable either directly or indirectly with approved or investigational therapies are potentially "actionable." At this time, evidence linking predictive biomarkers to therapies is strong for only a few genomic markers in the context of specific cancer types. For these genomic alterations in other diseases and for other genomic alterations, the clinical data are either absent or insufficient to support routine clinical implementation of biomarker-based therapy. However, there is great interest in optimally matching patients to early-phase clinical trials. Thus, we need accessible, comprehensive, and frequently updated knowledge bases that describe genomic changes and their clinical implications, as well as continued education of clinicians and patients.

Lee DF, Su J, Kim HS, et al.
Modeling familial cancer with induced pluripotent stem cells.
Cell. 2015; 161(2):240-54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/04/2016 Related Publications
In vitro modeling of human disease has recently become feasible with induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. Here, we established patient-derived iPSCs from a Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) family and investigated the role of mutant p53 in the development of osteosarcoma (OS). LFS iPSC-derived osteoblasts (OBs) recapitulated OS features including defective osteoblastic differentiation as well as tumorigenic ability. Systematic analyses revealed that the expression of genes enriched in LFS-derived OBs strongly correlated with decreased time to tumor recurrence and poor patient survival. Furthermore, LFS OBs exhibited impaired upregulation of the imprinted gene H19 during osteogenesis. Restoration of H19 expression in LFS OBs facilitated osteoblastic differentiation and repressed tumorigenic potential. By integrating human imprinted gene network (IGN) into functional genomic analyses, we found that H19 mediates suppression of LFS-associated OS through the IGN component DECORIN (DCN). In summary, these findings demonstrate the feasibility of studying inherited human cancer syndromes with iPSCs.

Reis GF, Pekmezci M, Hansen HM, et al.
CDKN2A loss is associated with shortened overall survival in lower-grade (World Health Organization Grades II-III) astrocytomas.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2015; 74(5):442-52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2016 Related Publications
Lower-grade (World Health Organization Grades II and III) gliomas vary widely in clinical behavior and are classified as astrocytic, oligodendroglial, or mixed. Anaplasia depends greatly on mitotic activity, with CDKN2A loss considered as the most common mechanism for cell cycle dysregulation. We investigated whether loss of the CDKN2A gene is associated with overall survival across pathologically and genetically defined glioma subtypes. After adjustment for IDH mutation, sex, and age, CDKN2A deletion was strongly associated with poorer overall survival in astrocytomas but not in oligodendrogliomas or oligoastrocytomas. Molecular classification of astrocytomas by IDH mutation, TP53 mutation, and /or ATRX loss of expression revealed that CDKN2A loss in IDH/TP53 mutated tumors was strongly associated with worse overall survival. CDKN2A loss in IDH mutated tumors with ATRX loss was only weakly associated with worse overall survival. These findings suggest that CDKN2A testing may provide further clinical aid in lower-grade glioma substratification beyond IDH mutation and 1p19q codeletion status, particularly in IDH/TP53 mutated astrocytomas.

Wei S, Kozono S, Kats L, et al.
Active Pin1 is a key target of all-trans retinoic acid in acute promyelocytic leukemia and breast cancer.
Nat Med. 2015; 21(5):457-66 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
A common key regulator of oncogenic signaling pathways in multiple tumor types is the unique isomerase Pin1. However, available Pin1 inhibitors lack the required specificity and potency for inhibiting Pin1 function in vivo. By using mechanism-based screening, here we find that all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)--a therapy for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) that is considered the first example of targeted therapy in cancer, but whose drug target remains elusive--inhibits and degrades active Pin1 selectively in cancer cells by directly binding to the substrate phosphate- and proline-binding pockets in the Pin1 active site. ATRA-induced Pin1 ablation degrades the protein encoded by the fusion oncogene PML-RARA and treats APL in APL cell and animal models as well as in human patients. ATRA-induced Pin1 ablation also potently inhibits triple-negative breast cancer cell growth in human cells and in animal models by acting on many Pin1 substrate oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Thus, ATRA simultaneously blocks multiple Pin1-regulated cancer-driving pathways, an attractive property for treating aggressive and drug-resistant tumors.

Caruana I, Savoldo B, Hoyos V, et al.
Heparanase promotes tumor infiltration and antitumor activity of CAR-redirected T lymphocytes.
Nat Med. 2015; 21(5):524-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Adoptive transfer of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-redirected T lymphocytes (CAR-T cells) has had less striking therapeutic effects in solid tumors than in lymphoid malignancies. Although active tumor-mediated immunosuppression may have a role in limiting the efficacy of CAR-T cells, functional changes in T lymphocytes after their ex vivo manipulation may also account for the reduced ability of cultured CAR-T cells to penetrate stroma-rich solid tumors compared with lymphoid tissues. We therefore studied the capacity of human in vitro-cultured CAR-T cells to degrade components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). In contrast to freshly isolated T lymphocytes, we found that in vitro-cultured T lymphocytes lack expression of the enzyme heparanase (HPSE), which degrades heparan sulfate proteoglycans, the main components of ECM. We found that HPSE mRNA is downregulated in in vitro-expanded T cells, which may be a consequence of p53 (officially known as TP53, encoding tumor protein 53) binding to the HPSE gene promoter. We therefore engineered CAR-T cells to express HPSE and showed their improved capacity to degrade the ECM, which promoted tumor T cell infiltration and antitumor activity. The use of this strategy may enhance the activity of CAR-T cells in individuals with stroma-rich solid tumors.

Mann MB, Black MA, Jones DJ, et al.
Transposon mutagenesis identifies genetic drivers of Braf(V600E) melanoma.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(5):486-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although nearly half of human melanomas harbor oncogenic BRAF(V600E) mutations, the genetic events that cooperate with these mutations to drive melanogenesis are still largely unknown. Here we show that Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon-mediated mutagenesis drives melanoma progression in Braf(V600E) mutant mice and identify 1,232 recurrently mutated candidate cancer genes (CCGs) from 70 SB-driven melanomas. CCGs are enriched in Wnt, PI3K, MAPK and netrin signaling pathway components and are more highly connected to one another than predicted by chance, indicating that SB targets cooperative genetic networks in melanoma. Human orthologs of >500 CCGs are enriched for mutations in human melanoma or showed statistically significant clinical associations between RNA abundance and survival of patients with metastatic melanoma. We also functionally validate CEP350 as a new tumor-suppressor gene in human melanoma. SB mutagenesis has thus helped to catalog the cooperative molecular mechanisms driving BRAF(V600E) melanoma and discover new genes with potential clinical importance in human melanoma.

Deyle DR, Escobar DZ, Peng KW, Babovic-Vuksanovic D
Oncolytic measles virus as a novel therapy for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors.
Gene. 2015; 565(1):140-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are devastating soft tissue sarcomas that can arise sporadically or in association with neurofibromatosis type I, have a poor prognosis, and have limited treatment options. Oncolytic measles virus therapy has been demonstrated to have significant antitumor properties in a number of different cancers, but the oncolytic potential of a MV Edmonston (MVEdm) vaccine strain engineered to express the human sodium iodide symporter (MV-NIS) on MPNST has not previously been evaluated. MPNST cell lines were found to highly express CD46, a cellular receptor required for measles viral entry, on their cell surface. After in vitro MV-NIS infection, MPNST cell lines showed significant cytopathic effect (CPE), while normal Schwann cells were less susceptible to CPE. Virus localization and distribution could be monitored by imaging of I-125 uptake. Local administration of MV-NIS into MPNST-derived tumors resulted in significant regression of tumor and improved survival. These results demonstrate feasibility of oncolytic measles virus therapy for MPNST patients and the possibility of a novel treatment for patients with NF1 tumors.

Ney Garcia DR, Liehr T, Emerenciano M, et al.
Molecular studies reveal a MLL-MLLT3 gene fusion displaced in a case of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia with complex karyotype.
Cancer Genet. 2015; 208(4):143-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rearrangement of the mixed lineage-leukemia gene (MLL-r) is common in hematological diseases and is generally associated with poor prognosis. The mixed-lineage leukemia gene translocated to, 3 (MLLT3) gene (9p22) is a frequent MLL-r partner (∼18% of leukemias with MLL rearrangement) and is characterized by the translocation t(9;11) (p22;q23), forming an MLL-MLLT3 gene fusion. MLL-r are usually simple reciprocal translocations between two different chromosomes, although karyotypes with complex MLL-r have been observed. We present a rare case of a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a complex karyotype in which the classical t(9;11) (p22;q23) was cryptically relocated into a third chromosome in a balanced three-way translocation. At the genome level, however, the MLL-MLLT3 three-way translocation still displayed both reciprocal fusion transcripts. This argues in favor for a model where a simple two-way t(9;11) (p22;q23) was likely the first step that then evolved in to a more complex karyotype. Multicolor banding techniques can be used to greatly refine complex karyotypes and its chromosomal breakpoints. Also in the presence of putative new rearrangements, Long distance inverse-PCR is an important tool to identify which gene fusion is involved.

Mathieu AL, Verronese E, Rice GI, et al.
PRKDC mutations associated with immunodeficiency, granuloma, and autoimmune regulator-dependent autoimmunity.
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015; 135(6):1578-88.e5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: PRKDC encodes for DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), a kinase that forms part of a complex (DNA-dependent protein kinase [DNA-PK]) crucial for DNA double-strand break repair and V(D)J recombination. In mice DNA-PK also interacts with the transcription factor autoimmune regulator (AIRE) to promote central T-cell tolerance.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to understand the causes of an inflammatory disease with granuloma and autoimmunity associated with decreasing T- and B-cell counts over time that had been diagnosed in 2 unrelated patients.
METHODS: Genetic, molecular, and functional analyses were performed to characterize an inflammatory disease evocative of a combined immunodeficiency.
RESULTS: We identified PRKDC mutations in both patients. These patients exhibited a defect in DNA double-strand break repair and V(D)J recombination. Whole-blood mRNA analysis revealed a strong interferon signature. On activation, memory T cells displayed a skewed cytokine response typical of TH2 and TH1 but not TH17. Moreover, mutated DNA-PKcs did not promote AIRE-dependent transcription of peripheral tissue antigens in vitro. The latter defect correlated in vivo with production of anti-calcium-sensing receptor autoantibodies, which are typically found in AIRE-deficient patients. In addition, 9 months after bone marrow transplantation, patient 1 had Hashimoto thyroiditis, suggesting that organ-specific autoimmunity might be linked to nonhematopoietic cells, such as AIRE-expressing thymic epithelial cells.
CONCLUSION: Deficiency of DNA-PKcs, a key AIRE partner, can present as an inflammatory disease with organ-specific autoimmunity, suggesting a role for DNA-PKcs in regulating autoimmune responses and maintaining AIRE-dependent tolerance in human subjects.

Boddicker RL, Kip NS, Xing X, et al.
The oncogenic transcription factor IRF4 is regulated by a novel CD30/NF-κB positive feedback loop in peripheral T-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2015; 125(20):3118-27 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/05/2016 Related Publications
Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are generally aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas with poor overall survival rates following standard therapy. One-third of PTCLs express interferon regulatory factor-4 (IRF4), a tightly regulated transcription factor involved in lymphocyte growth and differentiation. IRF4 drives tumor growth in several lymphoid malignancies and has been proposed as a candidate therapeutic target. Because direct IRF4 inhibitors are not clinically available, we sought to characterize the mechanism by which IRF4 expression is regulated in PTCLs. We demonstrated that IRF4 is constitutively expressed in PTCL cells and drives Myc expression and proliferation. Using an inhibitor screen, we identified nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) as a candidate regulator of IRF4 expression and cell proliferation. We then demonstrated that the NF-κB subunits p52 and RelB were transcriptional activators of IRF4. Further analysis showed that activation of CD30 promotes p52 and RelB activity and subsequent IRF4 expression. Finally, we showed that IRF4 transcriptionally regulates CD30 expression. Taken together, these data demonstrate a novel positive feedback loop involving CD30, NF-κB, and IRF4; further evidence for this mechanism was demonstrated in human PTCL tissue samples. Accordingly, NF-κB inhibitors may represent a clinical means to disrupt this feedback loop in IRF4-positive PTCLs.

Cheah MT, Chen JY, Sahoo D, et al.
CD14-expressing cancer cells establish the inflammatory and proliferative tumor microenvironment in bladder cancer.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(15):4725-30 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/05/2016 Related Publications
Nonresolving chronic inflammation at the neoplastic site is consistently associated with promoting tumor progression and poor patient outcomes. However, many aspects behind the mechanisms that establish this tumor-promoting inflammatory microenvironment remain undefined. Using bladder cancer (BC) as a model, we found that CD14-high cancer cells express higher levels of numerous inflammation mediators and form larger tumors compared with CD14-low cells. CD14 antigen is a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked glycoprotein and has been shown to be critically important in the signaling pathways of Toll-like receptor (TLR). CD14 expression in this BC subpopulation of cancer cells is required for increased cytokine production and increased tumor growth. Furthermore, tumors formed by CD14-high cells are more highly vascularized with higher myeloid cell infiltration. Inflammatory factors produced by CD14-high BC cells recruit and polarize monocytes and macrophages to acquire immune-suppressive characteristics. In contrast, CD14-low BC cells have a higher baseline cell division rate than CD14-high cells. Importantly, CD14-high cells produce factors that further increase the proliferation of CD14-low cells. Collectively, we demonstrate that CD14-high BC cells may orchestrate tumor-promoting inflammation and drive tumor cell proliferation to promote tumor growth.

Thomas LR, Wang Q, Grieb BC, et al.
Interaction with WDR5 promotes target gene recognition and tumorigenesis by MYC.
Mol Cell. 2015; 58(3):440-52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/05/2016 Related Publications
MYC is an oncoprotein transcription factor that is overexpressed in the majority of malignancies. The oncogenic potential of MYC stems from its ability to bind regulatory sequences in thousands of target genes, which depends on interaction of MYC with its obligate partner, MAX. Here, we show that broad association of MYC with chromatin also depends on interaction with the WD40-repeat protein WDR5. MYC binds WDR5 via an evolutionarily conserved "MYC box IIIb" motif that engages a shallow, hydrophobic cleft on the surface of WDR5. Structure-guided mutations in MYC that disrupt interaction with WDR5 attenuate binding of MYC at ∼80% of its chromosomal locations and disable its ability to promote induced pluripotent stem cell formation and drive tumorigenesis. Our data reveal WDR5 as a key determinant for MYC recruitment to chromatin and uncover a tractable target for the discovery of anticancer therapies against MYC-driven tumors.

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