Gene Summary

Gene:CNBP; CCHC-type zinc finger nucleic acid binding protein
Aliases: DM2, ZNF9, CNBP1, PROMM, RNF163, ZCCHC22
Summary:This gene encodes a nucleic-acid binding protein with seven zinc-finger domains. The protein has a preference for binding single stranded DNA and RNA. The protein functions in cap-independent translation of ornithine decarboxylase mRNA, and may also function in sterol-mediated transcriptional regulation. A CCTG expansion from <30 repeats to 75-11000 repeats in the first intron of this gene results in myotonic dystrophy type 2. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2016]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:cellular nucleic acid-binding protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (15)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 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.

  • Up-Regulation
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neurons
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Enzymologic Gene Expression Regulation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Adolescents
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Western Blotting
  • Chromosome 3
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Biopsy
  • Polyamines
  • USP6 protein, human
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Disease Progression
  • Proteoglycans
  • Glycolysis
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Fibrosarcoma
  • Xenograft Models
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Bone Cysts, Aneurysmal
  • collagen type I, alpha 1 chain
  • Cultured Cells
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Promoter Regions
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Down-Regulation
  • Glucose
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Transcription
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

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: CNBP (cancer-related)

Ben Hamou A, Espiard S, Do Cao C, et al.
Systematic thyroid screening in myotonic dystrophy: link between thyroid volume and insulin resistance.
Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2019; 14(1):42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Myotonic dystrophy (DM1), a neuromuscular disease related to DMPK gene mutations, is associated to endocrine disorders and cancer. A routine endocrine work-up, including thyroid ultrasound (US), was conducted in 115 genetically-proven DM1 patients in a neuromuscular reference center. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and the causes of US thyroid abnormalities in DM1.
RESULTS: In the whole population (age 45.1 ± 12.2 years, 61.7% female), palpable nodules or goiters were present in 29.2%. The percentage of US goiter (thyroid volume > 18 mL) and US nodules were, respectively, 38.3 and 60.9%. Sixteen of the 115 patients had a thyroidectomy, after 22 fine-needle aspiration cytology guided by thyroid imaging reporting and data system (TIRADS) classification. Six micro- (1/6 pT3) and 3 macro-papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTCs) (2/3 intermediate risk) were diagnosed (7.9% of 115). Thyroid US led to the diagnosis of 4 multifocal and 2 unifocal (including 1 macro-PTC) non-palpable PTCs. Ultrasound thyroid volume was positively correlated to body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.015) and parity (p = 0.036), and was inversely correlated to TSH (p < 0.001) and vitamin D levels (p = 0.023). The BMI, the frequencies of glucose intolerance and PTC were significantly higher in UsGoiter versus non-UsGoiter groups.
CONCLUSION: In this systematically screened DM1 cohort, the frequency of UsGoiter, mainly associated to BMI, was about 40%, US nodules 60%, thyroidectomies 13-14%, and PTCs 8%, two-thirds of them being micro-PTCs with good prognosis. Therefore, a systematic screening remains debatable. A targeted US screening in case of clinical abnormality or high BMI seems more appropriate.

Šekoranja D, Boštjančič E, Salapura V, et al.
Primary aneurysmal bone cyst with a novel SPARC-USP6 translocation identified by next-generation sequencing.
Cancer Genet. 2018; 228-229:12-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) is a benign but locally aggressive, mostly pediatric neoplasm, with characteristic USP6 gene rearrangement that distinguishes it from a secondary ABC and other primary bone tumors. With the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, several hitherto unknown USP6 fusion partners have been identified in ABC. Accordingly, we present a case of an 18-year-old male with a solid sub-periosteal primary ABC in the diaphysis of the left femur. Using an NGS-based assay, we identified SPARC-USP6 fusion, which has not previously been described in ABC. Including our case, the list of currently known USP6 fusion partners in primary ABC include: CDH11, CNBP, COL1A1, CTNNB1, EIF1, FOSL2, OMD, PAFAH1B1, RUNX2, SEC31A, SPARC, STAT3 and THRAP3.

Portaro S, Naro A, Guarneri C, et al.
Hemangiomas of the tongue and the oral cavity in a myotonic dystrophy type 1 patient: A case report.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2018; 97(48):e13448 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RATIONALE: Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by a cytosine, guanine, thymine (CTG) trinucleotide repeat expansion in the non-coding region of dystrophia myotonica protein kinase gene, causing a multisystem involvement. To date, few studies have been performed to evaluate skin features in DM1 patients, but none reported on the possible association between the disease and tongue hemangiomas.
PATIENTS CONCERNS: We report a case of a 63-year-old woman affected by DM1 and presenting, at the intraoral examination, several swelling and buish lesions occurring on buccal and palatal mucosa, and in the anterior two-thirds and margins of the tongue.
DIAGNOSIS: Multiple tongue hemangiomas in DM1 patient.
INTERVENTIONS: Color Doppler ultrasound revealed hypoechoic lesions with intermittent color picking suggestive of vascular lesion. Surgical excision was performed under general anesthesia. Histopathological examination was compatible with the diagnosis of cavernous hemangiomas.
OUTCOMES: At 6 months follow-up, a part from the cosmetic deformity, patient's hemangiomas did not bleed, but caused functional problems with speaking, mastication, and deglutition, in addition to the same symptoms induced by DM1.
LESSONS: This case may add new details to better characterize the DM1 phenotype, suggesting that even tongue hemangiomas may be part of the DM1 multisystem involvement.

Jin GZ, Zhang Y, Cong WM, et al.
Phosphoglucomutase 1 inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma progression by regulating glucose trafficking.
PLoS Biol. 2018; 16(10):e2006483 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glycogen metabolism commonly altered in cancer is just beginning to be understood. Phosphoglucomutase 1 (PGM1), the first enzyme in glycogenesis that catalyzes the reversible conversion between glucose 1-phosphate (G-1-P) and glucose 6-phosphate (G-6-P), participates in both the breakdown and synthesis of glycogen. Here, we show that PGM1 is down-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is associated with the malignancy and poor prognosis of HCC. Decreased PGM1 expression obstructed glycogenesis pathway, which leads to the increased flow of glucose into glycolysis, thereby promoting tumor cell proliferation and HCC development. The loss of forkhead box protein J2 (FOXJ2), at least partly due to low genomic copy number in HCC, releases cellular nucleic acid-binding protein (CNBP), a nucleic acid chaperon, to bind to and promote G-quadruplex formation in PGM1 promoter and therefore decreases PGM1 expression. In addition, integrated analyses of PGM1 and FOXJ2 expression provide a better prediction for the malignance and prognosis of HCC. This study establishes a tumor-suppressive role of PGM1 by regulating glucose trafficking and uncovers a novel regulatory mechanism of PGM1 expression.

Wang Y, Pfeiffer RM, Alsaggaf R, et al.
Risk of skin cancer among patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 based on primary care physician data from the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink.
Int J Cancer. 2018; 142(6):1174-1181 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is an inherited multisystem neuromuscular disorder caused by a CTG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the DMPK gene. Recent evidence documents that DM1 patients have an increased risk of certain cancers, but whether skin cancer risks are elevated is unclear. Using the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), we identified 1,061 DM1 patients and 15,119 DM1-free individuals matched on gender, birth year (±2 years), attending practice and registration year (±1 year). We calculated the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of DM1 diagnosis with skin cancer risk using Cox proportional hazards models, for all skin cancers combined and by histological subtype. Follow-up started at the latest of the age at practice registration, DM1 diagnosis/control selection or January 1st 1988, and ended at the earliest of the age at first skin cancer diagnosis, death, transfer out of the practice, last date of data collection or the end of the CPRD record (October 31, 2016). During a median follow-up of 3.6 years, 35 DM1 patients and 108 matched DM1-free individuals developed a skin cancer. DM1 patients had an increased risk of skin cancer overall (HR = 5.44, 95% CI = 3.33-8.89, p < 0.0001), and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) (HR = 5.78, 95% CI = 3.36-9.92, p < 0.0001). Risks did not differ by gender, or age at DM1 diagnosis (p-heterogeneity > 0.5). Our data confirm suggested associations between DM1 and skin neoplasms with the highest risk seen for BCC. Patients are advised to minimize ultraviolet light exposure and seek medical advice for suspicious lesions.

Narasimhan A, Ghosh S, Stretch C, et al.
Small RNAome profiling from human skeletal muscle: novel miRNAs and their targets associated with cancer cachexia.
J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2017; 8(3):405-416 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene (mRNA) expression. Although the pathological role of miRs have been studied in muscle wasting conditions such as myotonic and muscular dystrophy, their roles in cancer cachexia (CC) are still emerging.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives are (i) to profile human skeletal muscle expressed miRs; (ii) to identify differentially expressed (DE) miRs between cachectic and non-cachectic cancer patients; (iii) to identify mRNA targets for the DE miRs to gain mechanistic insights; and (iv) to investigate if miRs show potential prognostic and predictive value.
METHODS: Study subjects were classified based on the international consensus diagnostic criteria for CC. Forty-two cancer patients were included, of which 22 were cachectic cases and 20 were non-cachectic cancer controls. Total RNA isolated from muscle biopsies were subjected to next-generation sequencing.
RESULTS: A total of 777 miRs were profiled, and 82 miRs with read counts of ≥5 in 80% of samples were retained for analysis. We identified eight DE miRs (up-regulated, fold change of ≥1.4 at P < 0.05). A total of 191 potential mRNA targets were identified for the DE miRs using previously described human skeletal muscle mRNA expression data (n = 90), and a majority of them were also confirmed in an independent mRNA transcriptome dataset. Ingenuity pathway analysis identified pathways related to myogenesis and inflammation. qRT-PCR analysis of representative miRs showed similar direction of effect (P < 0.05), as observed in next-generation sequencing. The identified miRs also showed prognostic and predictive value.
CONCLUSIONS: In all, we identified eight novel miRs associated with CC.

Fernández-Torrón R, García-Puga M, Emparanza JI, et al.
Cancer risk in DM1 is sex-related and linked to miRNA-200/141 downregulation.
Neurology. 2016; 87(12):1250-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Describe the incidence of cancer in a large cohort of patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and to unravel the underlying molecular mechanisms.
METHODS: Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated in the Gipuzkoa DM1 cohort (1985-2013), dividing observed numbers by expected numbers for all cancers combined and stratified by sex. An estimation of the expected incidence was achieved by multiplying the age- and sex-specific incidence rates from the Basque population cancer registry by the person-years observed in the study cohort. Large-scale gene expression of peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples derived from 10 individuals with DM1 (5 men, 5 women) and 10 healthy matched controls was analyzed by the Human Gene 1.0 ST Affymetrix microarray.
RESULTS: During 18,796 person-years of follow-up, corresponding to 424 patients with DM1, we observed 70 cancers in 62 patients giving a 1.81-fold risk (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.37-2.36), which was stronger in women than in men. Ovary (SIR 8.33, 95% CI 1.72-24.31) and endometrium (SIR 6.86, 95% CI 2.23-16.02) in women and thyroid (SIR 23.33, 95% CI 9.38-48.08) and brain (SIR 9.80, 95% CI 3.18-22.88) in both sexes were tumor sites with significantly higher risks in DM1. There were differences in gene expression between healthy controls and patients with DM1 and between men and women with DM1; all patients with DM1 combined and female patients with DM1 displayed significant downregulation of the microRNA (miRNA)-200c/141 tumor suppressor family.
CONCLUSIONS: Oncologic risk is increased in DM1, especially in women and for gynecologic, brain, and thyroid cancer. Expression of the miRNA-200/miRNA-141 tumor suppressor family is decreased in women with DM1.

Gao Y, Guo X, Santostefano K, et al.
Genome Therapy of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 iPS Cells for Development of Autologous Stem Cell Therapy.
Mol Ther. 2016; 24(8):1378-87 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by expanded Cytosine-Thymine-Guanine (CTG) repeats in the 3'-untranslated region (3' UTR) of the Dystrophia myotonica protein kinase (DMPK) gene, for which there is no effective therapy. The objective of this study is to develop genome therapy in human DM1 induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to eliminate mutant transcripts and reverse the phenotypes for developing autologous stem cell therapy. The general approach involves targeted insertion of polyA signals (PASs) upstream of DMPK CTG repeats, which will lead to premature termination of transcription and elimination of toxic mutant transcripts. Insertion of PASs was mediated by homologous recombination triggered by site-specific transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN)-induced double-strand break. We found genome-treated DM1 iPS cells continue to maintain pluripotency. The insertion of PASs led to elimination of mutant transcripts and complete disappearance of nuclear RNA foci and reversal of aberrant splicing in linear-differentiated neural stem cells, cardiomyocytes, and teratoma tissues. In conclusion, genome therapy by insertion of PASs upstream of the expanded DMPK CTG repeats prevented the production of toxic mutant transcripts and reversal of phenotypes in DM1 iPS cells and their progeny. These genetically-treated iPS cells will have broad clinical application in developing autologous stem cell therapy for DM1.

Masamha CP, Albrecht TR, Wagner EJ
Discovery and characterization of a novel CCND1/MRCK gene fusion in mantle cell lymphoma.
J Hematol Oncol. 2016; 9:30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The t(11;14) translocation resulting in constitutive cyclin D1 expression is an early event in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) transformation. Patients with a highly proliferative phenotype produce cyclin D1 transcripts with truncated 3'UTRs that evade miRNA regulation. Here, we report the recurrence of a novel gene fusion in MCL cell lines and MCL patient isolates that consists of the full protein coding region of cyclin D1 (CCND1) and a 3'UTR consisting of sequences from both the CCND1 3'UTR and myotonic dystrophy kinase-related Cdc42-binding kinase's (MRCK) intron one. The resulting CCND1/MRCK mRNA is resistant to CCND1-targeted miRNA regulation, and targeting the MRCK region of the chimeric 3'UTR with siRNA results in decreased CCND1 levels.

Fish L, Pencheva N, Goodarzi H, et al.
Muscleblind-like 1 suppresses breast cancer metastatic colonization and stabilizes metastasis suppressor transcripts.
Genes Dev. 2016; 30(4):386-98 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Post-transcriptional deregulation is a defining feature of metastatic cancer. While many microRNAs have been implicated as regulators of metastatic progression, less is known about the roles and mechanisms of RNA-binding proteins in this process. We identified muscleblind-like 1 (MBNL1), a gene implicated in myotonic dystrophy, as a robust suppressor of multiorgan breast cancer metastasis. MBNL1 binds the 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) of DBNL (drebrin-like protein) and TACC1 (transforming acidic coiled-coil containing protein 1)-two genes that we implicate as metastasis suppressors. By enhancing the stability of these genes' transcripts, MBNL1 suppresses cell invasiveness. Consistent with these findings, elevated MBNL1 expression in human breast tumors is associated with reduced metastatic relapse likelihood. Our findings delineate a post-transcriptional network that governs breast cancer metastasis through RNA-binding protein-mediated transcript stabilization.

Altinoz MA, Tunalı NE
Trinucleotide repeat expansions in human breast cancer-susceptibility genes: relevant targets for aspirin chemoprevention?
Clin Transl Oncol. 2016; 18(1):9-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Defining novel molecular mechanisms pertinent to aspirin chemoprevention of breast cancer (BC) and to explain controversial epidemiological results in this regard.
METHODS: Literature search in relevant databases with the following key words; aspirin, nucleotide repeat expansions, breast cancer. Human genome contains nucleotide repeat expansions and exon-1 of the androgen receptor gene AR contains a CAG string with an average of 20 repeats. Longer AR CAG repeats associate with lower AR protein functioning leading relatively higher estrogen receptor signals and higher risk of hormone receptor-positive BC. Nucleotide repeat expansions also exist in E2F4 and POLG genes in BC. In cell culture models, aspirin reduces CAG.CTG expansions in kidney cells and restores myogenic differentiation in cells obtained from tissues with myotonic dystrophy, a disorder caused by large CTG expansions.
CONCLUSIONS: We hypothesize that aspirin reduction of trinucleotide repeat expansions in breast cancer-susceptibility genes may be one of the relevant mechanisms of its chemopreventive effects.

Cieply B, Carstens RP
Functional roles of alternative splicing factors in human disease.
Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 2015 May-Jun; 6(3):311-26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alternative splicing (AS) is an important mechanism used to generate greater transcriptomic and proteomic diversity from a finite genome. Nearly all human gene transcripts are alternatively spliced and can produce protein isoforms with divergent and even antagonistic properties that impact cell functions. Many AS events are tightly regulated in a cell-type or tissue-specific manner, and at different developmental stages. AS is regulated by RNA-binding proteins, including cell- or tissue-specific splicing factors. In the past few years, technological advances have defined genome-wide programs of AS regulated by increasing numbers of splicing factors. These splicing regulatory networks (SRNs) consist of transcripts that encode proteins that function in coordinated and related processes that impact the development and phenotypes of different cell types. As such, it is increasingly recognized that disruption of normal programs of splicing regulated by different splicing factors can lead to human diseases. We will summarize examples of diseases in which altered expression or function of splicing regulatory proteins has been implicated in human disease pathophysiology. As the role of AS continues to be unveiled in human disease and disease risk, it is hoped that further investigations into the functions of numerous splicing factors and their regulated targets will enable the development of novel therapies that are directed at specific AS events as well as the biological pathways they impact.

King IC, Rahman KM, Henderson A, Ragbir M
Multiple familial pilomatrixomas in three generations: an unusual clinical picture.
Pediatr Dermatol. 2015 Jan-Feb; 32(1):97-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pilomatrixomas are benign cutaneous tumors derived from hair matrix cells of unclear etiology. Pilomatrixomas commonly demonstrate somatic mutations in CTNNB1, a gene coding β-catenin, a protein involved with hair follicle development. Multiple familial pilomatrixomas rarely occur and are most often associated with autosomal dominant conditions such as myotonic dystrophy and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Nine families with multiple familial pilomatrixomas and no demonstrable underlying association have been reported in the literature. We present a tenth family in which five members spanning three generations grew multiple pilomatrixomas in the absence of any previously reported associations. No evidence of myotonic dystrophy, FAP, or other known associations was found. Extreme tiredness, behavioral problems, and sensory disturbances were common features across three generations but bore no temporal relation to the pilomatrixomas. The existence of a germline mutation in CTNNB1 to explain these symptoms has yet to be shown. Pilomatrixomas are potentially cutaneous markers of significant underlying pathologies. Patients presenting with multiple or familial pilomatrixomas should be thoroughly assessed for other pathologies and offered genetic screening to ensure that important diagnoses are not overlooked.

Qiu J, Chen S, Su L, et al.
Cellular nucleic acid binding protein suppresses tumor cell metastasis and induces tumor cell death by downregulating heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein K in fibrosarcoma cells.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1840(7):2244-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cellular nucleic acid binding protein (CNBP) has been implicated in vertebrate craniofacial development and in myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) and sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) human diseases by controlling cell proliferation and survival to mediate neural crest expansion. CNBP has been found to bind single-stranded nucleic acid and promote rearrangements of nucleic acid secondary structure in an ATP-independent manner, acting as a nucleic acid chaperone.
METHODS: A variety of methods were used, including cell viability assays, wound-scratch assays, chemotaxis assays, invasion assays, circular dichroic (CD) spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, chromatin immunoprecipitation, expression and purification of recombinant human CNBP, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analyses, luciferase reporter assay, Western blotting, and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC).
RESULTS: Up-regulation of CNBP induced human fibrosarcoma cell death and suppressed fibrosarcoma cell motility and invasiveness. It was found that CNBP transcriptionally down-regulated the expression of heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) through its conversion of a G-rich sequence into G-quadruplex in the promoter of hnRNP K. G-quadruplex stabilizing ligand tetra-(N-methyl-4-pyridyl) porphyrin (TMPyP4) could interact with and stabilize the G-quadruplex, resulting in downregulation of hnRNP K transcription.
CONCLUSIONS: CNBP overexpression caused increase of cell death and suppression of cell metastasis through its induction of G-quadruplex formation in the promoter of hnRNP K resulting in hnRNP K down-regulation.
GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: The present result provided a new solution for controlling hnRNP K expression, which should shed light on new anticancer drug design and development.

Prokic I, Cowling BS, Laporte J
Amphiphysin 2 (BIN1) in physiology and diseases.
J Mol Med (Berl). 2014; 92(5):453-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Amphiphysin 2, also named bridging integrator-1 (BIN1) or SH3P9, has been recently implicated in rare and common diseases affecting different tissues and physiological functions. BIN1 downregulation is linked to cancer progression and also correlates with ventricular cardiomyopathy and arrhythmia preceding heart failure. Increased BIN1 expression is linked to increased susceptibility for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. In addition, altered splicing may account for the muscle component of myotonic dystrophies, while recessive germinal mutations cause centronuclear myopathy. Despite undoubtedly underlining the relevance of BIN1 in human diseases, the molecular and cellular bases leading to such different diseases are unclear at present. BIN1 is a key regulator of endocytosis and membrane recycling, cytoskeleton regulation, DNA repair, cell cycle progression, and apoptosis. In light of the recent findings on the molecular, cellular, and physiological roles of BIN1, we discuss potential pathological mechanisms and highlight common disease pathways and also tissue-specific regulation. Next challenges will be to validate BIN1 both as a prognostic marker for the related diseases and as a potential therapeutic target.

Dmitriev P, Kairov U, Robert T, et al.
Cancer-related genes in the transcription signature of facioscapulohumeral dystrophy myoblasts and myotubes.
J Cell Mol Med. 2014; 18(2):208-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Muscular dystrophy is a condition potentially predisposing for cancer; however, currently, only Myotonic dystrophy patients are known to have a higher risk of cancer. Here, we have searched for a link between facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) and cancer by comparing published transcriptome signatures of FSHD and various malignant tumours and have found a significant enrichment of cancer-related genes among the genes differentially expressed in FSHD. The analysis has shown that gene expression profiles of FSHD myoblasts and myotubes resemble that of Ewing's sarcoma more than that of other cancer types tested. This is the first study demonstrating a similarity between FSHD and cancer cell expression profiles, a finding that might indicate the existence of a common step in the pathogenesis of these two diseases.

Berstein LM, Iyevleva AG, Vasilyev D, et al.
Genetic polymorphisms potentially associated with response to metformin in postmenopausal diabetics suffering and not suffering with cancer.
Cell Cycle. 2013; 12(23):3681-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metformin is a well-known antidiabetic medication, which, besides diabetes, may be involved into modulation of other age-related pathologies, including cancer. The study concerns 12 gene polymorphisms divided into 2 groups consisting of 6 genes each. The first group was composed from so-called "standard" (S) polymorphisms, for which the connection with metabolic response to metformin is already established. The second group included polymorphisms of genes encoding proteins possibly connected with diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2), impaired glucose tolerance or cancer and entitled here as "associated" (A). A total of 156 postmenopausal women (average age 60.7 ± 0.7) were included, 37 of them healthy, 64 with type DM2 and concurrent treatment-naïve cancer (mostly breast, endometrial or colorectal cancer), 32 with DM2 without cancer, and 23 with treatment-naïve cancer and normal glucose tolerance. The leading metformin response S-marker in combined group of DM2 patients was the CC variant of OCT1-R61C polymorphism of organic cation transporter protein 1 gene. In cancer patients without DM2, this position belonged to AC and AA genotypes of OCT1_rs622342 polymorphism. Among the A-polymorphisms, GA variant of sex hormone-binding globulin gene SHBG_D356N was less frequently observed in DM2 patients with or without cancer. Besides, in diabetics, the same polymorphic variant of SHBG as well as GC genotype of oxidized lipoprotein receptor OLR1_G501C and GG genotype of locus rs11065987 near BRAP gene were carried rather often in combination with "metformin-positive" variant of OCT1_R61C. In addition, carriers of OCT1_R61C and OCT1_rs622342 polymorphisms with potentially positive reaction to metformin had higher insulin resistance score (HOMA-IR) values. Received data lead to the conclusion that postmenopausal diabetics, both with and without cancer, differ in genetic stigmata of potential response to metformin less than they differ from cancer patients without DM2. As genetic polymorphisms associated with metabolic and anticancer metformin (and, possibly, phenformin) effects may be different, this subject requires further investigation.

Michalova E, Vojtesek B, Hrstka R
Impaired pre-mRNA processing and altered architecture of 3' untranslated regions contribute to the development of human disorders.
Int J Mol Sci. 2013; 14(8):15681-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The biological fate of each mRNA and consequently, the protein to be synthesised, is highly dependent on the nature of the 3' untranslated region. Despite its non-coding character, the 3' UTR may affect the final mRNA stability, the localisation, the export from the nucleus and the translation efficiency. The conserved regulatory sequences within 3' UTRs and the specific elements binding to them enable gene expression control at the posttranscriptional level and all these processes reflect the actual state of the cell including proliferation, differentiation, cellular stress or tumourigenesis. Through this article, we briefly outline how the alterations in the establishment and final architecture of 3' UTRs may contribute to the development of various disorders in humans.

Li CH, Chen Y
Targeting long non-coding RNAs in cancers: progress and prospects.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013; 45(8):1895-910 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pervasive transcription occurs in the human genome to generate thousands of RNA transcripts, and accumulating evidence suggested that the RNA molecules, without protein coding ability, have important roles in diverse biological functions. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), with size larger than 200 nt, is a new class of the non-coding RNA that contributes to cancer development and progression. Roles for several lncRNAs in cancers have been characterized and strategies targeting them have inhibitory effects to malignant cells in vitro and in vivo. These findings point to the potential of lncRNAs as prospective novel therapeutic targets in cancers. Recent advance in biological drugs, led by nucleic acid drugs (i.e. siRNAs, antisense oligonucleotides), suggest directions for the development of cancer therapies targeting lncRNAs. Here, we discuss the characteristics of lncRNAs regarding their synthesis, stability and functional role in cells, and emphasize their unique properties that determine their molecular functions. We then discuss the association of lncRNAs with cancers, and illustrate the anticancer effects induced upon modulating the level and function of lncRNAs. We also revisit established methods for targeting RNA molecules and discuss new agents and strategies to attenuate lncRNAs in cancer.

Toriello HV
Approach to the genetic evaluation of the child with autism.
Pediatr Clin North Am. 2012; 59(1):113-28, xi [PubMed] Related Publications
Autism is a heterogeneous entity that clearly has a substantial genetic component to its cause. There is likely enough evidence to suggest that there are common genetic mechanisms that predispose to various psychiatric disorders. More recent studies have attempted to identify the specific genes involved in predisposition to autism. In general, such conditions can be subdivided into metabolic, mitochondrial, chromosomal, and monogenic (ie, caused by mutation in a single gene). This article examines what conditions should be considered in the child who does not appear to have a syndromic cause as the reason for the autistic phenotype.

Yagi Y, Machida A, Toru S, et al.
Myotonic dystrophy and lipoma: a new association.
Neurol Sci. 2012; 33(6):1477-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 58-year-old man developed muscle weakness and had more than 1,000 CTG repeats in the myotonin protein kinase gene. He was diagnosed as having myotonic dystrophy. At the time of diagnosis, a large tumor was detected in his abdominal cavity on CT scan examination. He died from pneumonia 6 years later. At autopsy, the abdominal tumor was diagnosed as a lipoma. Several types of tumor have been reported to be associated with myotonic dystrophy type 1; however, this is the first detailed clinical case demonstrating the possible relationship between myotonic dystrophy and lipoma.

Trufant J, Kurz W, Frankel A, et al.
Familial multiple pilomatrixomas as a presentation of attenuated adenomatosis polyposis coli.
J Cutan Pathol. 2012; 39(4):440-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pilomatrixomas are benign follicular tumors that occur most commonly in children. Rare multiple or familial pilomatrixomas have been associated with myotonic dystrophy and other disorders. Although sporadic pilomatrixomas and hybrid cutaneous cysts with pilomatrixoma-like features have been observed in some kindreds with Gardner syndrome, an autosomal dominant form of familial adenomatous polyposis, no definitive association has been made with multiple or familial pilomatrixomas. Here we describe two siblings with multiple pilomatrixomas who were also found to have a family history of colonic adenocarcinoma. Genetic testing revealed a mutation in the 5' portion of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene, in a region associated with an attenuated APC phenotype. These findings show that multiple pilomatrixomas may be the presenting symptom of patients with APC gene mutations.

Nakamori M, Gourdon G, Thornton CA
Stabilization of expanded (CTG)•(CAG) repeats by antisense oligonucleotides.
Mol Ther. 2011; 19(12):2222-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by expansion of a CTG repeat in the gene DMPK. The expansion is highly unstable in somatic cells, a feature that may contribute to disease progression. The RNA expressed from the mutant allele exerts a toxic gain of function, due to the presence of an expanded CUG repeat (CUG(exp)). This RNA dominant mechanism is amenable to therapeutic intervention with antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs). For example, CAG-repeat ASOs that bind CUG(exp) RNA are beneficial in DM1 models by altering the protein interactions or metabolism of the toxic RNA. Because CUG(exp) RNA has been shown to aggravate instability of expanded CTG repeats, we studied whether CAG-repeat ASOs may also affect this aspect of DM1. In human cells the instability of (CTG)(800) was suppressed by addition of CAG-repeat ASOs to the culture media. In mice that carry a DMPK transgene the somatic instability of (CTG)(800) was suppressed by direct injection of CAG-repeat ASOs into muscle tissue. These results raise the possibility that early intervention with ASOs to reduce RNA or protein toxicity may have the additional benefit of stabilizing CTG:CAG repeats at subpathogenic lengths.

Livadas S, Voutetakis A, Bourhis JC, et al.
Severe hyperinsulinemia, decreased GLUT3 and GLUT4 expression, and increased retinol binding protein 4 in a patient with chronic graft-versus-host disease post bone marrow transplantation.
Pediatr Transplant. 2012; 16(6):E221-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hyperinsulinemia with or without DM2 is a frequent long-term sequela of BMT, especially following cGvHD. In this report, an extensive evaluation of a patient with cGvHD is described: glucose and insulin during OGTT, markers of inflammation, adiponectin and RBP4, body composition analysis, and the kinetics of GLUT3 and GLUT4 in circulating monocytes were evaluated. Hyperinsulinemia, associated with partial lipodystrophy, elevated RBP4, low adiponectin levels, and decreased expression of GLUT3 and GLUT4 were detected. The defects disclosed in this particular patient possibly explain, at least in part, the mechanisms underlying insulin resistance in patients undergoing BMT. It is not clear whether insulin resistance was caused by the drugs, the process itself, or the residual damage to the muscles and/or adipose tissue.

Zemtsov A
Association between basal, squamous cell carcinomas, dysplastic nevi and myotonic muscular dystrophy indicates an important role of RNA-binding proteins in development of human skin cancer.
Arch Dermatol Res. 2010; 302(3):169-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myotonic muscular dystrophy (MMD) is caused by an abnormal function of RNA-binding proteins (RBP) resulting in DNA spliceopathy. A case of a patient, with MMD multiple basal and squamous cell carcinomas and dysplastic nevi, is described. The association between MMD and non-melanoma skin cancer has been reported before; however, this association was described before the genetic defect of myotonic dystrophy has been fully elucidated. The author proposes a genetic mechanism on how abnormal function of RBP can result or contribute to the development of human skin cancer and propose an explanation for this association between MMD and cutaneous carcinogenesis.

Belfiore A, Frasca F, Pandini G, et al.
Insulin receptor isoforms and insulin receptor/insulin-like growth factor receptor hybrids in physiology and disease.
Endocr Rev. 2009; 30(6):586-623 [PubMed] Related Publications
In mammals, the insulin receptor (IR) gene has acquired an additional exon, exon 11. This exon may be skipped in a developmental and tissue-specific manner. The IR, therefore, occurs in two isoforms (exon 11 minus IR-A and exon 11 plus IR-B). The most relevant functional difference between these two isoforms is the high affinity of IR-A for IGF-II. IR-A is predominantly expressed during prenatal life. It enhances the effects of IGF-II during embryogenesis and fetal development. It is also significantly expressed in adult tissues, especially in the brain. Conversely, IR-B is predominantly expressed in adult, well-differentiated tissues, including the liver, where it enhances the metabolic effects of insulin. Dysregulation of IR splicing in insulin target tissues may occur in patients with insulin resistance; however, its role in type 2 diabetes is unclear. IR-A is often aberrantly expressed in cancer cells, thus increasing their responsiveness to IGF-II and to insulin and explaining the cancer-promoting effect of hyperinsulinemia observed in obese and type 2 diabetic patients. Aberrant IR-A expression may favor cancer resistance to both conventional and targeted therapies by a variety of mechanisms. Finally, IR isoforms form heterodimers, IR-A/IR-B, and hybrid IR/IGF-IR receptors (HR-A and HR-B). The functional characteristics of such hybrid receptors and their role in physiology, in diabetes, and in malignant cells are not yet fully understood. These receptors seem to enhance cell responsiveness to IGFs.

Mueller CM, Hilbert JE, Martens W, et al.
Hypothesis: neoplasms in myotonic dystrophy.
Cancer Causes Control. 2009; 20(10):2009-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumorigenesis is a multi-step process due to an accumulation of genetic mutations in multiple genes in diverse pathways which ultimately lead to loss of control over cell growth. It is well known that inheritance of rare germline mutations in genes involved in tumorigenesis pathways confer high lifetime risk of neoplasia in affected individuals. Furthermore, a substantial number of multiple malformation syndromes include cancer susceptibility in their phenotype. Studies of the mechanisms underlying these inherited syndromes have added to the understanding of both normal development and the pathophysiology of carcinogenesis. Myotonic dystrophy (DM) represents a group of autosomal dominant, multisystemic diseases that share the clinical features of myotonia, muscle weakness, and early-onset cataracts. Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) result from unstable nucleotide repeat expansions in their respective genes. There have been multiple reports of tumors in individuals with DM, most commonly benign calcifying cutaneous tumors known as pilomatricomas. We provide a summary of the tumors reported in DM and a hypothesis for a possible mechanism of tumorigenesis. We hope to stimulate further study into the potential role of DM genes in tumorigenesis, and help define DM pathogenesis, and facilitate developing novel treatment modalities.

Chen HY, Kathirvel P, Yee WC, Lai PS
Correction of dystrophia myotonica type 1 pre-mRNA transcripts by artificial trans-splicing.
Gene Ther. 2009; 16(2):211-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dystrophia myotonica type 1 (DM1), the most common muscular dystrophy in adults, results from expansion of a CTG repeat in the 3'-untranslated region of the dystrophia myotonica protein kinase gene (DMPK). Correction of the mutant DMPK transcript is a potential therapeutic strategy in DM1. We investigated the efficacy of artificial trans-splicing molecules (ATMs) to target and correct DMPK transcripts. ATMs designed to target intron 14 of DMPK pre-mRNA transcripts were tested for their ability to trans-splice the transcripts of a DMPK mini-gene construct and the endogenous DMPK transcripts of human myosarcoma cells (CCL-136). On agarose gel electrophoresis analysis, six of eight ATMs showed trans-splicing efficacy when applied to DMPK mini-gene construct transcripts, of which three were able to trans-splice endogenous DMPK pre-mRNA transcripts in myosarcoma cells, with trans-splicing efficiency ranging from 1.81 to 7.41%. These findings confirm that artificial trans-splicing can repair DMPK pre-mRNA and provide proof-of-principle evidence for this approach as potential therapeutic strategy for DM1.

Sherrod QJ, Chiu MW, Gutierrez M
Multiple pilomatricomas: cutaneous marker for myotonic dystrophy.
Dermatol Online J. 2008; 14(7):22 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report an interesting case of multiple pilomatricomas (MPs) in a patient with myotonic dystrophy. Pilomatricoma (calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe) is a benign tumor of hair matrix derivation. It usually occurs as a solitary, firm, asymptomatic nodule on the face, neck, or proximal upper extremity. Most pilomatricomas have activating mutations in the ss-catenin gene (encoded by CTNNB1), leading to involvement of the WNT signaling pathway. The resulting gene product activates transcription leading to tumorigenesis [1]. Since the onset of MPs may precede the signs of myotonic dystrophy, they can serve as potential early cutaneous markers for this systemic disease.

Feyma T, Carter GT, Weiss MD
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 coexisting with myasthenia gravis and thymoma.
Muscle Nerve. 2008; 38(1):916-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is an autosomal-dominant multisystemic disorder that may rarely be associated with benign and malignant neoplasms. Cases of both thymoma and myasthenia gravis in association with DM1 are extremely rare. A literature review revealed only three prior reports. We present a 51-year-old man with a family history of DM1 and fluctuating diplopia and ptosis, who was found to have acetylcholine receptor-binding antibodies, thymoma, and a clinical presentation compatible with ocular myasthenia gravis as well as positive genetic testing for DM1. Needle electromyographic (EMG) study demonstrated diffuse runs of myotonic discharges in multiple muscles, consistent with the diagnosis of DM1. Single-fiber EMG showed both increased jitter and blocking. Due to somatic instability, which has been shown previously in DM1, the myotonin protein kinase (DMPK) gene appears to act as a tumor suppressor. Therefore, abnormal CTG repeat expansions in the gene could lead to the development of thymoma and myasthenia gravis.

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