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  • General Chemistry  (12)
  • MUTATIONS  (10)
  • GENES  (9)
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  • 1
    Keywords: PATHWAY ; ACTIVATION ; MUTATIONS ; BRAF ; IDH1 ; Diffuse astrocytoma ; IDH2 ; Pilocytic astrocytoma
    Abstract: Separation of pilocytic astrocytoma from diffuse astrocytomas frequently poses problems mostly related to small sample size. Precise classification and grading are essential due to different therapeutic strategies prompted by diagnoses of pilocytic astrocytoma WHO grade I, diffuse astrocytomas WHO grade II or anaplastic astrocytoma WHO grade III. Recently, genomic aberrations with a high specificity for distinct glioma entities have been described. Pilocytic astrocytomas carry a duplication at chromosome band 7q34 containing a BRAF-KIAA1549 gene fusion in the majority of cases. IDH1 mutations are observed very frequently in adult astrocytomas and IDH2 mutations have been reported in some astrocytomas. We examined a series of 120 astrocytomas including 70 pilocytic astrocytomas WHO grade I and 50 diffuse astrocytomas WHO grade II for both, BRAF-KIAA1549 fusion with a newly developed FISH assay and mutations in IDH1 and IDH2 by direct sequencing. Pilocytic astrocytomas contained the BRAF fusion in 49 cases (70%) but neither IDH1 nor IDH2 mutations. Astrocytomas WHO grade II exhibited IDH1 mutations in 38 cases (76%) but neither IDH2 mutations nor BRAF fusions. Thus, combined molecular analysis of BRAF and IDH1 is a sensitive and highly specific approach to separate pilocytic astrocytoma from diffuse astrocytoma.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19543740
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  • 2
    Keywords: CANCER ; EXPRESSION ; SURVIVAL ; GENES ; PROTEIN ; transcription ; TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR ; IDENTIFICATION ; PROMOTER ; chemotherapy ; MUTATIONS ; LOCALIZATION ; METHYLATION ; BRAIN-TUMORS ; ACUTE MYELOID-LEUKEMIA ; INTRACRANIAL EPENDYMOMAS ; MDS1/EVI1
    Abstract: Purpose: Ependymomas are glial tumors of presumably radial glial origin that share morphologic similarities with ependymal cells. The molecular genetics of ependymomas of supratentorial, infratentorial, and spinal location is heterogeneous. We aimed at identifying pathways operative in the development of infratentorial ependymomas. Experimental Design: To do so, gene expression profiles of tumor cells laser microdissected from infratentorial ependymomas (n = 15) were compared with that of nonneoplastic ependymal cells laser microdissected from autopsy tissue (n = 7). Results: Among 31 genes significantly overexpressed (〉5-fold) in ependymomas, transcription factor EVI1 (ecotropic viral integration site 1) showed the highest overexpression (35-fold). Evi-1 protein expression could be confirmed in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples of 26 of 28 infratentorial ependymomas but only in 7 of 47 nonependymal glial tumors (P 〈 0.001). Furthermore, MDS1/EVI1 fusion transcripts were detectable in 17 of 28 infratentorial ependymomas and significantly correlated with MGMT (O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase) promoter hypermethylation (P 〈 0.05). In primary infratentorial ependymoma cells, transfection with EVI1-specific siRNAs resulted in significant growth inhibition [48 hours: 87% +/- 2% and 74% +/- 10% as compared with control (mean +/- SD; P 〈 0.001)]. The prognostic role of EVI1 could further be validated in an independent cohort of 39 infratentorial and 26 supratentorial ependymomas on the basis of mRNA expression profiling. Although in supratentorial ependymomas EVI1 expression status had no prognostic impact, in infratentorial ependymomas, high EVI1 expression was associated with shorter overall survival and progression-free survival. Conclusions: To conclude, the transcription factor Evi-1 is overexpressed in infratentorial ependymomas, promotes proliferation of ependymal tumor cells, and is prognostically unfavorable.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21493867
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  • 3
    Keywords: CANCER ; PATHWAY ; GENES ; ACTIVATION ; MUTATIONS ; SUBGROUPS ; LANDSCAPE ; TETRAPLOID TUMOR-CELLS ; TBR1
    Abstract: Medulloblastoma is an aggressively growing tumour, arising in the cerebellum or medulla/brain stem. It is the most common malignant brain tumour in children, and shows tremendous biological and clinical heterogeneity. Despite recent treatment advances, approximately 40% of children experience tumour recurrence, and 30% will die from their disease. Those who survive often have a significantly reduced quality of life. Four tumour subgroups with distinct clinical, biological and genetic profiles are currently identified. WNT tumours, showing activated wingless pathway signalling, carry a favourable prognosis under current treatment regimens. SHH tumours show hedgehog pathway activation, and have an intermediate prognosis. Group 3 and 4 tumours are molecularly less well characterized, and also present the greatest clinical challenges. The full repertoire of genetic events driving this distinction, however, remains unclear. Here we describe an integrative deep-sequencing analysis of 125 tumour-normal pairs, conducted as part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) PedBrain Tumor Project. Tetraploidy was identified as a frequent early event in Group 3 and 4 tumours, and a positive correlation between patient age and mutation rate was observed. Several recurrent mutations were identified, both in known medulloblastoma-related genes (CTNNB1, PTCH1, MLL2, SMARCA4) and in genes not previously linked to this tumour (DDX3X, CTDNEP1, KDM6A, TBR1), often in subgroup-specific patterns. RNA sequencing confirmed these alterations, and revealed the expression of what are, to our knowledge, the first medulloblastoma fusion genes identified. Chromatin modifiers were frequently altered across all subgroups. These findings enhance our understanding of the genomic complexity and heterogeneity underlying medulloblastoma, and provide several potential targets for new therapeutics, especially for Group 3 and 4 patients.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22832583
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  • 4
    Keywords: GENE ; NF-KAPPA-B ; MUTATIONS ; CENTRAL-NERVOUS-SYSTEM ; medulloblastoma ; SUBGROUPS ; GLIOBLASTOMA ; CHILDHOOD EPENDYMOMAS ; PEDIATRIC INTRACRANIAL EPENDYMOMAS ; POSTERIOR-FOSSA EPENDYMOMAS
    Abstract: 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.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25965575
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  • 5
    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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  • 6
    Keywords: INHIBITOR ; Germany ; DISEASE ; RISK ; SITE ; GENE ; GENES ; PROTEIN ; ACTIVATION ; CLEAVAGE ; MUTATION ; genetics ; MUTATIONS ; Jun ; INDIVIDUALS ; heredity ; chronic pancreatitis ; RECOMBINANT ; pancreas ; VARIANT ; ENZYME ; pancreatic ; LOSSES ; odds ratio ; PROTECTS ; HEREDITARY PANCREATITIS ; HUMAN CATIONIC TRYPSINOGEN
    Abstract: Chronic pancreatitis is a common inflammatory disease of the pancreas. Mutations in the genes encoding cationic trypsinogen (PRSS1) 1 and the pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor (SPINK1) 2 are associated with chronic pancreatitis. Because increased proteolytic activity owing to mutated PRSS1 enhances the risk for chronic pancreatitis, mutations in the gene encoding anionic trypsinogen (PRSS2) may also predispose to disease. Here we analyzed PRSS2 in individuals with chronic pancreatitis and controls and found, to our surprise, that a variant of codon 191 (G191R) is overrepresented in control subjects: G191R was present in 220/6,459 (3.4%) controls but in only 32/2,466 (1.3%) affected individuals (odds ratio 0.37; P = 1.1 x 10(-8)). Upon activation by enterokinase or trypsin, purified recombinant G191R protein showed a complete loss of trypsin activity owing to the introduction of a new tryptic cleavage site that renders the enzyme hypersensitive to autocatalytic proteolysis. In conclusion, the G191R variant of PRSS2 mitigates intrapancreatic trypsin activity and thereby protects against chronic pancreatitis
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 16699518
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  • 7
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; COHORT ; DISEASE ; TISSUE ; IDENTIFICATION ; COMPARATIVE GENOMIC HYBRIDIZATION ; chemotherapy ; MUTATIONS ; ABNORMALITIES ; CHILDREN ; IMBALANCES ; PEDIATRIC EPENDYMOMA ; INTRACRANIAL EPENDYMOMA ; CLASS DISCOVERY
    Abstract: Despite the histological similarity of ependymomas from throughout the neuroaxis, the disease likely comprises multiple independent entities, each with a distinct molecular pathogenesis. Transcriptional profiling of two large independent cohorts of ependymoma reveals the existence of two demographically, transcriptionally, genetically, and clinically distinct groups of posterior fossa (PF) ependymomas. Group A patients are younger, have laterally located tumors with a balanced genome, and are much more likely to exhibit recurrence, metastasis at recurrence, and death compared with Group B patients. Identification and optimization of immunohistochennical (IHC) markers for PF ependymoma subgroups allowed validation of our findings on a third independent cohort, using a human ependymonna tissue microarray, and provides a tool for prospective prognostication and stratification of PF ependymoma patients
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21840481
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  • 8
    Keywords: CELLS ; GENES ; INFECTION ; INDUCTION ; REPLICATION ; NEURONAL DIFFERENTIATION ; MYC ; MEASLES-VIRUS ; RAT MODELS ; SIGNALING CASCADES
    Abstract: Based on extensive pre-clinical studies, the oncolytic parvovirus H-1 (H-1PV) is currently applied to patients with recurrent glioblastoma in a phase I/IIa clinical trial (ParvOryx01, NCT01301430). Cure rates of about 40% in pediatric high-risk medulloblastoma (MB) patients also indicate the need of new therapeutic approaches. In order to prepare a future application of oncolytic parvovirotherapy to MB, the present study preclinically evaluates the cytotoxic efficacy of H-1PV on MB cells in vitro and characterizes cellular target genes involved in this effect. Six MB cell lines were analyzed by whole genome oligonucleotide microarrays after treatment and the results were matched to known molecular and cytogenetic risk factors. In contrast to non-transformed infant astrocytes and neurons, in five out of six MB cell lines lytic H-1PV infection and efficient viral replication could be demonstrated. The cytotoxic effects induced by H-1PV were observed at LD50s below 0.05 p. f. u. per cell indicating high susceptibility. Gene expression patterns in the responsive MB cell lines allowed the identification of candidate target genes mediating the cytotoxic effects of H-1PV. H-1PV induced down-regulation of key regulators of early neurogenesis shown to confer poor prognosis in MB such as ZIC1, FOXG1B, MYC, and NFIA. In MB cell lines with genomic amplification of MYC, expression of MYC was the single gene most significantly repressed after H-1PV infection. H-1PV virotherapy may be a promising treatment approach for MB since it targets genes of functional relevance and induces cell death at very low titers of input virus.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23852775
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  • 9
    Keywords: CANCER ; GENES ; PROTEINS ; SOMATIC MUTATIONS
    Abstract: Recent sequencing efforts have described the mutational landscape of the pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma. Although MLL2 is among the most frequent somatic single nucleotide variants (SNV), the clinical and biological significance of these mutations remains uncharacterized. Through targeted re-sequencing, we identified mutations of MLL2 in 8 % (14/175) of MBs, the majority of which were loss of function. Notably, we also report mutations affecting the MLL2-binding partner KDM6A, in 4 % (7/175) of tumors. While MLL2 mutations were independent of age, gender, histological subtype, M-stage or molecular subgroup, KDM6A mutations were most commonly identified in Group 4 MBs, and were mutually exclusive with MLL2 mutations. Immunohistochemical staining for H3K4me3 and H3K27me3, the chromatin effectors of MLL2 and KDM6A activity, respectively, demonstrated alterations of the histone code in 24 % (53/220) of MBs across all subgroups. Correlating these MLL2- and KDM6A-driven histone marks with prognosis, we identified populations of MB with improved (K4+/K27-) and dismal (K4-/K27-) outcomes, observed primarily within Group 3 and 4 MBs. Group 3 and 4 MBs demonstrate somatic copy number aberrations, and transcriptional profiles that converge on modifiers of H3K27-methylation (EZH2, KDM6A, KDM6B), leading to silencing of PRC2-target genes. As PRC2-mediated aberrant methylation of H3K27 has recently been targeted for therapy in other diseases, it represents an actionable target for a substantial percentage of medulloblastoma patients with aggressive forms of the disease.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23184418
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  • 10
    Keywords: CANCER ; SYSTEM ; DISTINCT ; GENES ; ADULT ; CHILDHOOD MEDULLOBLASTOMA ; RISK STRATIFICATION ; PREDICTS ; MYC ; DISEASE RISK
    Abstract: PURPOSE Integrated genomics approaches have revealed at least four distinct biologic variants of medulloblastoma: WNT (wingless), SHH (sonic hedgehog), group C, and group D. Because of the remarkable clinical heterogeneity of group D tumors and the dismal prognosis of group C patients, it is vital to identify molecular biomarkers that will allow early and effective treatment stratification in these non-WNT/non-SHH tumors. PATIENTS AND METHODS We combined transcriptome and DNA copy-number analyses for 64 primary medulloblastomas. Bioinformatic tools were used to discover marker genes of molecular variants. Differentially expressed transcripts were evaluated for prognostic value in the screening cohort. The prognostic power of follistatin-like 5 (FSTL5) immunopositivity was tested for 235 nonoverlapping medulloblastoma samples on two independent tissue microarrays. Results Comprehensive analyses of transcriptomic and genetic alterations delineate four distinct variants of medulloblastoma. Stable subgroup separation was achieved by using the 300 transcripts that varied the most. Distinct expression patterns of FSTL5 in each molecular subgroup were confirmed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Immunopositivity of FSTL5 identified a large cohort of patients (84 of 235 patients; 36%) at high risk for relapse and death. Importantly, more than 50% of non-WNT/non-SHH tumors displayed FSTL5 negativity, delineating a large patient cohort with a good prognosis who would otherwise be considered intermediate or high-risk on the basis of current molecular subgrouping. CONCLUSION FSTL5 expression denoted a dismal prognosis both within and across medulloblastoma subgroups. The addition of FSTL5 immunohistochemistry to existing molecular stratification schemes constitutes a reliable and cost-effective tool for prognostication in future clinical trials of medulloblastoma.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21911727
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