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  • 1
    Keywords: proliferation ; TUMORS ; METHYLATION ; CELL-GROWTH ; medulloblastoma ; GLIOBLASTOMA ; MULTIPLE GENES ; DISTINCT SUBGROUPS ; INTRACRANIAL EPENDYMOMA ; DRIVER MUTATIONS
    Abstract: Ependymoma is the third most common pediatric brain tumor, yet because of the paucity of effective therapeutic interventions, 45% of patients remain incurable. Recent transcriptional and copy number profiling of the disease has identified few driver genes and in fact points to a balanced genomic profile. Candidate gene approaches looking at hypermethylated promoters and genome-wide epigenetic arrays suggest that DNA methylation may be critical to ependymoma pathogenesis. This review attempts to highlight existing and emerging evidence implicating the ependymoma epigenome as a key player and that epigenetic modifiers may offer new targeted therapeutic avenues for patients.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23432646
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  • 2
    Keywords: GROWTH ; TUMORS ; MUTATIONS ; CENTRAL-NERVOUS-SYSTEM ; PYRUVATE-KINASE
    Abstract: PURPOSE: Myxopapillary ependymoma (MPE) is a distinct histologic variant of ependymoma arising commonly in the spinal cord. Despite an overall favorable prognosis, distant metastases, subarachnoid dissemination, and late recurrences have been reported. Currently, the only effective treatment for MPE is gross-total resection. We characterized the genomic and transcriptional landscape of spinal ependymomas in an effort to delineate the genetic basis of this disease and identify new leads for therapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Gene expression profiling was performed on 35 spinal ependymomas, and copy number profiling was done on an overlapping cohort of 46 spinal ependymomas. Functional validation experiments were performed on tumor lysates consisting of assays measuring pyruvate kinase M activity (PKM), hexokinase activity (HK), and lactate production. RESULTS: At a gene expression level, we demonstrate that spinal grade II and MPE are molecularly and biologically distinct. These are supported by specific copy number alterations occurring in each histologic variant. Pathway analysis revealed that MPE are characterized by increased cellular metabolism, associated with upregulation of HIF1alpha. These findings were validated by Western blot analysis demonstrating increased protein expression of HIF1alpha, HK2, PDK1, and phosphorylation of PDHE1A. Functional assays were performed on MPE lysates, which demonstrated decreased PKM activity, increased HK activity, and elevated lactate production. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that MPE may be driven by a Warburg metabolic phenotype. The key enzymes promoting the Warburg phenotype: HK2, PKM2, and PDK are targetable by small-molecule inhibitors/activators, and should be considered for evaluation in future clinical trials for MPE. Clin Cancer Res; 21(16); 3750-8. (c)2015 AACR.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25957288
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  • 3
    Keywords: CANCER ; radiation ; leukemia ; MUTATIONS ; FREQUENT ; CHILDREN ; METHYLATION ; DECITABINE ; MULTIPLE ; PROTOCADHERIN PCDH10
    Abstract: PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms contributing to PCDH10 down-regulation in medulloblastoma. We examined the role of PCDH10 as a mediator of medulloblastoma cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, and cell migration. METHODS: We identified a focal homozygous deletion of PCDH10 in medulloblastoma by surveying a cohort of 212 tumours by Affymetrix SNP array analysis. PCDH10 expression was assessed by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR in a series of 26 tumours. The promoter methylation status of PCDH10 was determined using methylation specific PCR and Sequenom MassCLEAVE analysis. Functional studies examining the role of PCDH10 in medulloblastoma development were performed by re-expression of PCDH10 in the DAOY medulloblastoma cell line, and then, cell proliferation, cell cycle distribution, and cell migration assays were performed. RESULTS: We report a very focal homozygous deletion on chromosome 4q28.3 harbouring the PCDH10 gene. We demonstrate that PCDH10 transcription is down-regulated in 19/26 (73%) of medulloblastomas suggesting that other mechanisms also could be involved in gene repression. We found that DNA hypermethylation contributed to the deregulation of PCDH10 in 11/44 (25%) of medulloblastoma cell lines and primary tumours. Using a stable cell line (DAOY) re-expressing PCDH10, we observed that cell migration was impaired upon restoration of PCDH10 expression. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that genetic and epigenetic deregulation of PCDH10 occurs in a significant portion of medulloblastoma patients. Failure to express PCDH10 may result in loss of inhibition of cell migration, thereby contributing to medulloblastoma progression.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21597995
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  • 4
    Keywords: COLORECTAL-CANCER ; ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC-LEUKEMIA ; STEM-CELLS ; medulloblastoma ; GLIOBLASTOMA ; GENE-EXPRESSION SIGNATURE ; DISTINCT SUBGROUPS ; ISLAND METHYLATOR PHENOTYPE ; DRIVER MUTATIONS ; GENOMIC COMPLEXITY
    Abstract: Ependymomas are common childhood brain tumours that occur throughout the nervous system, but are most common in the paediatric hindbrain. Current standard therapy comprises surgery and radiation, but not cytotoxic chemotherapy as it does not further increase survival. Whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing of 47 hindbrain ependymomas reveals an extremely low mutation rate, and zero significant recurrent somatic single nucleotide variants. Although devoid of recurrent single nucleotide variants and focal copy number aberrations, poor-prognosis hindbrain ependymomas exhibit a CpG island methylator phenotype. Transcriptional silencing driven by CpG methylation converges exclusively on targets of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 which represses expression of differentiation genes through trimethylation of H3K27. CpG island methylator phenotype-positive hindbrain ependymomas are responsive to clinical drugs that target either DNA or H3K27 methylation both in vitro and in vivo. We conclude that epigenetic modifiers are the first rational therapeutic candidates for this deadly malignancy, which is epigenetically deregulated but genetically bland.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24553142
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