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  • 1
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; TUMORS ; ABERRATIONS ; METHYLATION ; EMBRYONIC STEM-CELLS ; MULTIFORME ; HIGH-GRADE GLIOMAS ; TELOMERES ; INTEGRATED GENOMIC ANALYSIS ; ATRX
    Abstract: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a lethal brain tumour in adults and children. However, DNA copy number and gene expression signatures indicate differences between adult and paediatric cases(1-4). To explore the genetic events underlying this distinction, we sequenced the exomes of 48 paediatric GBM samples. Somatic mutations in the H3.3-ATRX-DAXX chromatin remodelling pathway were identified in 44% of tumours (21/48). Recurrent mutations in H3F3A, which encodes the replication-independent histone 3 variant H3.3, were observed in 31% of tumours, and led to amino acid substitutions at two critical positions within the histone tail (K27M, G34R/G34V) involved in key regulatory post-translational modifications. Mutations in ATRX (alpha-thalassaemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked)(5) and DAXX (death-domain associated protein), encoding two subunits of a chromatin remodelling complex required for H3.3 incorporation at pericentric heterochromatin and telomeres(6,7), were identified in 31% of samples overall, and in 100% of tumours harbouring a G34R or G34V H3.3 mutation. Somatic TP53 mutations were identified in 54% of all cases, and in 86% of samples with H3F3A and/or ATRX mutations. Screening of a large cohort of gliomas of various grades and histologies (n = 784) showed H3F3A mutations to be specific to GBM and highly prevalent in children and young adults. Furthermore, the presence of H3F3A/ATRX-DAXX/TP53 mutations was strongly associated with alternative lengthening of telomeres and specific gene expression profiles. This is, to our knowledge, the first report to highlight recurrent mutations in a regulatory histone in humans, and our data suggest that defects of the chromatin architecture underlie paediatric and young adult GBM pathogenesis
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22286061
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  • 2
    Keywords: CANCER ; GROWTH ; TUMORS ; NERVOUS-SYSTEM ; ADULT ; MOUSE MODELS ; PEDIATRIC MEDULLOBLASTOMA ; HEDGEHOG PATHWAY INHIBITOR ; TERT PROMOTER MUTATIONS ; ITRACONAZOLE
    Abstract: Smoothened (SMO) inhibitors recently entered clinical trials for sonic-hedgehog-driven medulloblastoma (SHH-MB). Clinical response is highly variable. To understand the mechanism(s) of primary resistance and identify pathways cooperating with aberrant SHH signaling, we sequenced and profiled a large cohort of SHH-MBs (n = 133). SHH pathway mutations involved PTCH1 (across all age groups), SUFU (infants, including germline), and SMO (adults). Children 〉3 years old harbored an excess of downstream MYCN and GLI2 amplifications and frequent TP53 mutations, often in the germline, all of which were rare in infants and adults. Functional assays in different SHH-MB xenograft models demonstrated that SHH-MBs harboring a PTCH1 mutation were responsive to SMO inhibition, whereas tumors harboring an SUFU mutation or MYCN amplification were primarily resistant.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24651015
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  • 3
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; PATHWAY ; DISEASE ; DISTINCT ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; TUMORS ; prognosis ; MARKERS ; PRECURSORS ; MYCN ; N-MYC ; medulloblastoma ; CHILDHOOD MEDULLOBLASTOMA ; RISK STRATIFICATION ; MYC ; STRATIFICATION ; PEDIATRIC MEDULLOBLASTOMAS ; SHH pathway ; 10q loss ; MATRIX FACTORIZATION ; MULTICENTER TRIAL HIT91 ; SHH
    Abstract: Focal high-level amplifications of MYC (or MYCC) define a subset of high-risk medulloblastoma patients. However, the prognostic role of MYCN oncogene amplification remains unresolved. We aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of this alteration alone and in combination with biological modifiers in 67 pediatric medulloblastomas with MYCN amplification (MYCN-MB). Twenty-one MYCN-MB were examined using gene expression profiling and array-CGH, whereas for 46 tumors immunohistochemical analysis and FISH were performed. All 67 tumors were further subjected to mutational analyses. We compared molecular, clinical, and prognostic characteristics both within biological MYCN-MB groups and with non-amplified tumors. Transcriptomic analysis revealed SHH-driven tumorigenesis in a subset of MYCN-MBs indicating a biological dichotomy of MYCN-MB. Activation of SHH was accompanied by variant-specific cytogenetic aberrations including deletion of 9q in SHH tumors. Non-SHH MB were associated with gain of 7q and isochromosome 17q/17q gain. Among clinically relevant variables, SHH subtype and 10q loss for non-SHH tumors comprised the most powerful markers of favorable prognosis in MYCN-MB. In conclusion, we demonstrate considerable heterogeneity within MYCN-MB in terms of genetics, tumor biology, and clinical outcome. Thus, assessment of disease group and 10q copy-number status may improve risk stratification of this group and may delineate MYCN-MB with the same dismal prognosis as MYC amplified tumors. Furthermore, based on the enrichment of MYCN and GLI2 amplifications in SHH-driven medulloblastoma, amplification of these downstream signaling intermediates should be taken into account before a patient is enrolled into a clinical trial using a smoothened inhibitor
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22160402
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