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1.  Altered expression of estrogen receptor-α variant messenger RNAs between adjacent normal breast and breast tumor tissues 
Breast Cancer Research  1999;2(1):64-72.
Using semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assays, we investigated the expression of variant messenger RNAs relative to wild-type estrogen receptor (ER)-α messenger RNA in normal breast tissues and their adjacent matched breast tumor tissues. Higher ER variant truncated after sequences encoding exon 2 of the wild-type ER-α (ERC4) messenger RNA and a lower exon 3 deleted ER-α variant (ERD3) messenger RNA relative expression in the tumor compartment were observed in the ER-positive/PR-positive and the ER-positive subsets, respectively. A significantly higher relative expression of exon 5 deleted ER-α varient (ERD5) messenger RNA was observed in tumor components overall. These data demonstrate that changes in the relative expression of ER-α variant messenger RNAs occur between adjacent normal and neoplastic breast tissues. We suggest that these changes might be involved in the mechanisms that underlie breast tumorigenesis.
Estrogen receptor (ER)-α and ER-β are believed to mediate the action of estradiol in target tissues. Several ER-α and ER-β variant messenger RNAs have been identified in both normal and neoplastic human tissues. Most of these variants contain a deletion of one or more exons of the wild-type (WT) ER messenger RNAs. The putative proteins that are encoded by these variant messenger RNAs would therefore be missing some functional domains of the WT receptors, and might interfere with WT-ER signaling pathways. The detection of ER-α variants in both normal and neoplastic human breast tissues raised the question of their possible role in breast tumorigenesis.
We have previously reported an increased relative expression of exon 5 deleted ER-α variant (ERD5) messenger RNA and of another ER-α variant truncated of all sequences following the exon 2 of the WT ER-α (ERC4) messenger RNA in breast tumor samples versus independent normal breast tissues. In contrast, a decreased relative expression of exon 3 deleted ER-α variant (ERD3) messenger RNA in tumor tissues and cancer cell lines versus independent normal reduction mammoplasty samples has recently been reported. These data were obtained in tissues from different individuals and possible interindividual differences cannot be excluded.
The goal of this study was to investigate the expressions of ERC4, ERD5 and ERD3 variant messenger RNAs in normal breast tissues and their matched adjacent primary breast tumor tissues.
Materials and methods:
Eighteen cases were selected from the Manitoba Breast Tumor Bank, which had well separated and histopathologically characterized normal and adjacent neoplastic components. All tumors were classified as primary invasive ductal carcinomas. Six tumors were ER-negative/progesterone receptor (PR)-negative, nine were ER-positive/PR-positive, two were ER-positive/PR-negative, and one was ER-negative/PR-positive, as measured by ligand-binding assay. For each specimen, total RNA was extracted from frozen normal and tumor tissue sections and was reverse transcribed. The expressions of ERC4, ERD3 and ERD5 messenger RNAs relative to WT ER-α messenger RNA were investigated by previously validated semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays performed using three different sets of primers.
As shown Figure 1a, two PCR products were obtained that corresponded to WT ER and ERC4 messenger RNAs. For each case, the mean of the ratios obtained in at least three independent PCR experiments is shown for both normal and tumor compartments (Fig 1b). A statistically higher ERC4 messenger RNA relative expression was found in the neoplastic components of ER-positive/PR-positive tumors, as compared with matched adjacent normal tissues (n = 9; P = 0.019, Wilcoxon signed-rank test).
Two PCR products were obtained that corresponded to WT ER and ERD3 messenger RNAs (Fig 2a). A significantly higher expression of ERD3 messenger RNA was observed in the normal compared with the adjacent neoplastic components of ER-positive subset (n =8; P =0.023, Wilcoxon signed-rank test; Fig 2b).
Two PCR products were obtained that corresponded to WT ER and ERD5 complementary DNAs (Fig 3a). As shown in Figure 3b, a statistically significant higher relative expression of ERD5 messenger RNA was observed in tumor components when this expression was measurable in both normal and adjacent tumor tissues (n =15; P =0.035, Wilcoxon signed-rank test).
A statistically significant higher ERC4 messenger RNA expression was found in ER-positive/PR-positive tumors as compared with matched normal breast tissues. ERC4 variant messenger RNA has previously been demonstrated to be more highly expressed in ER-positive tumors that showed poor as opposed to tumors that showed good prognostic characteristics. Interestingly, we also have reported similar levels of expression of ERC4 messenger RNA in primary breast tumors and their concurrent axillary lymph node metastases. Taken together, these data suggest that the putative role of the ERC4 variant might be important at different phases of breast tumorigenesis and tumor progression; alteration of ERC4 messenger RNA expression and resulting modifications in ER signaling pathway probably occur before breast cancer cells acquire the ability to metastasize. Transient expression assays revealed that the protein encoded by ERC4 messenger RNA was unable to activate the transcription of an estrogen-responsive element-reporter gene or to modulate the wild-type ER protein activity. The biologic significance of the changes observed in ERC4 messenger RNA expression during breast tumorigenesis remains to be determined.
A higher relative expression of ERD3 messenger RNA in the normal breast tissue components compared with adjacent neoplastic tissue was found in the ER-positive subgroup. These data are in agreement with the recently published report of Erenburg et al, who showed a decreased relative expression of ERD3 messenger RNA in neoplastic breast tissues compared with independent reduction mammoplasty and breast tumor. Transfection experiments showed that the activation of the transcription of the pS2 gene by estrogen was drastically reduced in the presence of increased ERD3 expression. The authors hypothesized that the reduction in ERD3 expression could be a prerequisite for breast carcinogenesis to proceed.
We observed a significantly higher relative expression of ERD5 messenger RNA in breast tumor components compared with matched adjacent normal breast tissue. These data confirm our previous observations performed on unmatched normal and neoplastic human breast tissues. Upregulated expression of this variant has already been reported in ER-negative/PR-positive tumors, as compared with ER-positive/PR-positive tumors, suggesting a possible correlation between ERD5 messenger RNA expression and breast tumor progression. Even though it has been suggested that ERD5 could be related to the acquisition of insensitivity to antiestrogen treatment (ie tamoxifen), accumulating data refute a general role for ERD5 in hormone-resistant tumors. Only ER-positive pS2-positive tamoxifen-resistant tumors have been shown to express significantly higher levels of ERD5 messenger RNA, as compared with control tumors. Taken together, these data suggest that the exact biologic significance of ERD5 variant expression during breast tumorigenesis and breast cancer progression, if any, remains unclear.
In conclusion, we have shown that the relative expressions of ERC4 and ERD5 variant messenger RNAs were increased in human breast tumor tissue, as compared with normal adjacent tissue, whereas the expression of ERD3 variant messenger RNA was decreased in breast tumor tissues. These results suggest that the expressions of several ER-α variant messenger RNAs are deregulated during human breast tumorigenesis. Further studies are needed to determine whether these changes are transposed at the protein level. Furthermore, the putative role of ER-α variants in the mechanisms that underlie breast tumorigenesis remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC13912  PMID: 11400682
breast cancer; estrogen receptor; tumorigenesis; variant messenger RNA
2.  Serum DNA can define tumor-specific genetic and epigenetic markers in gliomas of various grades 
Neuro-Oncology  2010;12(2):173-180.
We evaluated whether cell-free circulating DNA can be used as a noninvasive approach for detection of genetic/epigenetic alterations in brain tumors during the course of the disease. Paired tumor-serum samples from 70 patients with either high-grade astrocytomas (n = 41) or oligodendrogliomas of various grades were analyzed. The median interval between surgery and serum sampling was 1 month (range 0.5–168 months). DNA was extracted from whole blood, serum, and paraffin-embedded tumor sections. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in chromosomes 1p, 19q, and 10q was assessed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based microsatellite analysis. The methylation status of O6-methyl guanine methyltransferase (MGMT) and phosphatase and tensin homolog promoters was studied by methylation-specific PCR. LOH and/or methylation that could identify DNA as tumor-specific was found in 80.5% of astrocytic tumors and in all oligodendrogliomas. The rate of serum detection of these biomarkers was 51% and 55%, respectively, with specificity around 100%. The rate of serum detection did not differ between low- and high-grade oligodendrogliomas. Statistically significant tumor-serum concordance was found for MGMT methylation in both astrocytic tumors (83%; P < .001) and oligodendroglial tumors (72%; P < .003) and for LOH of 10q (79%; P < .002) and 1p (62%; P < .03) in oligodendrogliomas. We conclude that serum DNA in glial tumors is informative for both LOH and aberrant gene promoter methylation analysis during the course of the disease. The sensitivity is moderate and specificity is high for both low- and high-grade tumors. Future studies should identify a panel of biomarkers that bear the highest potential for clinical application.
PMCID: PMC2940579  PMID: 20150384
allelic loss; astrocytoma; chromosomal deletion; circulating DNA; glioblastoma multiforme; glioma; MGMT; promoter methylation; PTEN
3.  The Importance of 10q Status in an Outcomes-Based Comparison Between 1p/19q Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization and PCR-Based Microsatellite Loss of Heterozygosity Analysis of Oligodendrogliomas 
1p/19q codeletion is a favorable prognostic marker of oligodendrogliomas. While fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and microsatellite-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) are common methods to test for 1p/19q codeletion, it is unclear which test is better at prognostic stratification. This study analyzed outcomes of 111 oligodendrogliomas with both 1p/19q FISH and LOH done at the time of diagnosis. Overall concordance between the 2 assays was 81.1%. In grade III oligodendrogliomas, LOH was better than FISH at survival stratification (p < 0.0001 for LOH vs. p = 0.02 for FISH), although increasing the stringency of FISH interpretation criteria improved concordance and prognostic power. Oligodendrogliomas that were 1p/19q-codeleted by FISH but also had 10q LOH were negative for 1p/19q codeletion by PCR analysis in over 70% of cases, with very poor survival in the grade III subset. Thus, although PCR-based LOH is a better stratifier of 1p/19q status, FISH still has clinical and prognostic utility, especially if 10q data can be incorporated.
PMCID: PMC3246063  PMID: 22157622
1p/19q; 10q; Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH); Loss of heterozygosity (LOH); Microsatellite; Oligodendroglioma
4.  Two distinct pathways of p16 gene inactivation in gallbladder cancer 
AIM: To examine the mechanism of inactivation of the p16 gene in gallbladder cancer, and to investigate p16 alterations and their correlation with clinicopathological features.
METHODS: Specimens were collected surgically from 51 patients with gallbladder cancer. We evaluated the status of protein expression, loss of heterozygosity (LOH), homozygous deletion and promoter hypermethylation using immunohistochemistry, microsatellite analysis, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and methylation-specific PCR, respectively. In addition, mutations were examined by direct DNA sequencing.
RESULTS: Homozygous deletions of the p16 gene exon2, LOH at 9p21-22, p16 promoter hypermethylation, and loss of p16 protein expression were detected in 26.0% (13/50), 56.9% (29/51), 72.5% (37/51) and 62.7% (32/51), respectively. No mutations were found. LOH at 9p21 correlated with the loss of p16 protein expression (P < 0.05). Homozygous deletion of the p16 gene, a combination LOH and promoter hypermethylation, and multiple LOH at 9p21 were significantly correlated with the loss of p16 protein expression (P < 0.05). LOH at 9p21 and promoter hypermethylation of the p16 gene were detected in 15.4% (2/13) and 92.3% (12/13) of the tumors with homozygous deletion of the p16 gene, respectively. P16 alterations were not associated with clinicopathological features.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that LOH and homozygous deletion may be two distinct pathways in the inactivation of the p16 gene. Homozygous deletion, a combination of LOH and promoter hypermethylation, and multiple LOH are major mechanisms of p16 inactivation in gallbladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC4205459  PMID: 18081229
Gallbladder cancer; Homozygous deletion; Loss of heterozygosity; p16; Quantitative real time PCR
5.  Polysomy for chromosomes 1 and 19 predicts earlier recurrence in anaplastic oligodendrogliomas with concurrent 1p/19q loss 
Loss of chromosome arms 1p and 19q is a molecular feature of oligodendroglial tumors characterized by responsiveness to chemotherapy and a favorable prognosis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of polysomy of chromosomes 1 and 19 in the setting of 1p/19q co-deletion.
Experimental Design
We analyzed 64 anaplastic oligodendrogliomas with 1p/19q loss or maintenance diagnosed at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital from 1996 to 2005; fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for 1p/19q and Ki-67 immunohistochemistry was performed. Polysomy was defined as >2 1q and 19p signals in >30% of the cells with concurrent 1p/19q deletion. Tumors were divided into groups based on their 1p/19q status and compared for progression free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and 5-year survival probabilities.
Forty-six tumors (72%) in our cohort had 1p/19q loss and eighteen (28%) had 1p/19q maintenance. Of those with loss, 19 (41%) had concurrent polysomy and 27 (59%) lacked polysomy. In agreement with prior studies, the group of anaplastic oligodendrogliomas with 1p/19q loss had significantly better PFS and OS than anaplastic oligodendrogliomas with 1p/19q maintenance (p=0.0009 and p<0.0003, respectively). Among anaplastic oligodendrogliomas with 1p/19q loss, those with polysomy showed shorter PFS than those with 1p/19q loss without polysomy (p=0.0048). Overall survival was similar in tumors with and without polysomy. The Ki-67 labeling index was not associated with polysomy and did not have prognostic significance.
The presence of polysomy in anaplastic oligodendrogliomas with deletion of 1p/19q is a marker of earlier recurrence.
PMCID: PMC2818514  PMID: 19808867
anaplastic oligodendroglioma; polysomy; 1p/19q
6.  Establishment of Prognostic Models for Astrocytic and Oligodendroglial Brain Tumors with Standardized Quantification of Marker Gene Expression and Clinical Variables 
Biomarker Insights  2010;5:153-168.
Prognosis models established using multiple molecular markers in cancer along with clinical variables should enable prediction of natural disease progression and residual risk faced by patients. In this study, multivariate Cox proportional hazards analyses were done based on overall survival (OS) of 100 glioblastoma multiformes (GBMs, 92 events), 49 anaplastic astrocytomas (AAs, 33 events), 45 gliomas with oligodendroglial features, including anaplastic oligodendroglioma (AO, 13 events) and oligodendraglioma (O, 9 events). The modeling included two clinical variables (patient age and recurrence at the time of sample collection) and the expression variables of 13 genes selected based on their proven biological and/or prognosis functions in gliomas (ABCG2, BMI1, MELK, MSI1, PROM1, CDK4, EGFR, MMP2, VEGFA, PAX6, PTEN, RPS9, and IGFBP2). Gene expression data was a log-transformed ratio of marker and reference (ACTB) mRNA levels quantified using absolute real-time qRT-PCR.
Age is positively associated with overall grade (4 for GBM, 3 for AA, 2_1 for AO_O), but lacks significant prognostic value in each grade. Recurrence is an unfavorable prognostic factor for AA, but lacks significant prognostic values for GBM and AO_O. Univariate models revealed opposing prognostic effects of ABCG2, MELK, BMI1, PROM1, IGFBP2, PAX6, RPS9, and MSI1 expressions for astrocytic (GBM and AA) and oligodendroglial tumors (AO_O). Multivariate models revealed independent prognostic values for the expressions of MSI1 (unfavorable) in GBM, CDK4 (unfavorable) and MMP2 (favorable) in AA, while IGFBP2 and MELK (unfavorable) in AO_O. With all 13 genes and 2 clinical variables, the model R2 was 14.2% (P = 0.358) for GBM, 45.2% (P = 0.029) for AA, and 62.2% (P = 0.008) for AO_O.
The study signifies the challenge in establishing a significant prognosis model for GBM. Our success in establishing prognosis models for AA and AO_O was largely based on identification of a set of genes with independent prognostic values and application of standardized gene expression quantification to allow formation of a large cohort in analysis.
PMCID: PMC3018892  PMID: 21234290
glioma; prognosis; model; gene expression markers
7.  Methylation Status of the O6-Methylguanine-Deoxyribonucleic Acid Methyltransferase Gene Promoter in World Health Organization Grade III Gliomas 
We analyzed the methylation status of the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene promoter in World Health Organization (WHO) grade III gliomas in association with other molecular markers to evaluate their prevalence.
The samples of a total of 36 newly WHO grade III glioma patients including 19 anaplastic oligodendrogliomas (AO), 7 anaplastic oligoastrocytomas (AOA), and 10 anaplastic astrocytomas (AA) were analyzed. The methylation status of the MGMT gene promoter was confirmed by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. The 1p/19q chromosomal deletion status and EGFR amplification were assessed by Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization. MGMT, EGFR, EGFRvIII, and p53 expression were analyzed by immunohistochemical staining.
The MGMT gene promoter was methylated in 32 (88.9%) and unmethylated in 4 (11.2%). Among them, all of the AO and AOA had methylated MGMT gene promoter without exception. Significant associations between MGMT gene promoter hypermethylation and 1p/19q deletion was observed (p = 0.003). Other molecular markers failed to show significant associations between MGMT gene promoter statuses.
There was extensive epigenetic silencing of MGMT gene in high grade gliomas with oligodendroglial component. Together with frequent 1p/19q co-deletion in oligodendroglial tumors, this may add plausible explanations supporting the relative favorable prognosis in oligodendroglial tumors compared with pure astrocytic tumors.
PMCID: PMC2773399  PMID: 19893731
MGMT gene promoter; Methylation; 1p/19q; Oligodendroglioma; Methylation-specific PCR
8.  18q loss of heterozygosity in microsatellite stable colorectal cancer is correlated with CpG island methylator phenotype-negative (CIMP-0) and inversely with CIMP-low and CIMP-high 
BMC Cancer  2007;7:72.
The CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) with widespread promoter methylation is a distinct epigenetic phenotype in colorectal cancer, associated with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-high) and BRAF mutations. 18q loss of heterozygosity (LOH) commonly present in colorectal cancer with chromosomal instability (CIN) is associated with global hypomethylation in tumor cell. A recent study has shown an inverse correlation between CIN and CIMP (determined by MINTs, p16, p14 and MLH1 methylation) in colorectal cancer. However, no study has examined 18q LOH in relation to CIMP-high, CIMP-low (less extensive promoter methylation) and CIMP-0 (CIMP-negative), determined by quantitative DNA methylation analysis.
Utilizing MethyLight technology (real-time PCR), we quantified DNA methylation in 8 CIMP-specific promoters {CACNA1G, CDKN2A (p16), CRABP1, IGF2, MLH1, NEUROG1, RUNX3 and SOCS1} in 758 non-MSI-high colorectal cancers obtained from two large prospective cohorts. Using four 18q microsatellite markers (D18S55, D18S56, D18S67 and D18S487) and stringent criteria for 18q LOH, we selected 374 tumors (236 LOH-positive tumors with ≥ 2 markers showing LOH; and 138 LOH-negative tumors with ≥ 3 informative markers and no LOH).
CIMP-0 (0/8 methylated promoters) was significantly more common in 18q LOH-positive tumors (59% = 139/236, p = 0.002) than 18q LOH-negative tumors (44% = 61/138), while CIMP-low/high (1/8–8/8 methylated promoters) was significantly more common (56%) in 18q LOH-negative tumors than 18q LOH-positive tumors (41%). These relations persisted after stratification by sex, location, or the status of MSI, p53 expression (by immunohistochemistry), or KRAS/BRAF mutation.
18q LOH is correlated positively with CIMP-0 and inversely with CIMP-low and CIMP-high. Our findings provide supporting evidence for relationship between CIMP-0 and 18q LOH as well as a molecular difference between CIMP-0 and CIMP-low in colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC1876238  PMID: 17474983
9.  Molecular analysis of anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors in a prospective randomized study: A report from EORTC study 26951 
Neuro-Oncology  2009;11(6):737-746.
Recent studies have shown that the clinical outcome of anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors is variable, but also that the histological diagnosis is subject to interobserver variation. We investigated whether the assessment of 1p/19q codeletion, polysomy of chromosome 7, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene amplification (EGFRamp), and loss of chromosome 10 or 10q offers additional prognostic information to the histological diagnosis and would allow molecular subtyping. For this study, we used the clinical data and tumor samples of the patients included in multicenter prospective phase III European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) study 26951 on the effects of adjuvant procarbazine, chloroethyl cyclohexylnitrosourea (lomustine), and vincristine chemotherapy in anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was used to assess copy number aberrations of chromosome 1p, 19q, 7, 10, and 10q and EGFR. Three different analyses were performed: on all included patients based on local pathology diagnosis, on the patients with confirmed anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors on central pathology review, and on this latter group but after excluding anaplastic oligoastrocytoma (AOA) with necrosis. As a reference set for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), patients from the prospective randomized phase III study on GBM (EORTC 26981) were used as a benchmark. In 257 of 368 patients, central pathology review confirmed the presence of an anaplastic oligodendroglial tumor. Tumors with combined 1p and 19q loss (1ploss19qloss) were histopathologically diagnosed as anaplastic oligodendroglioma, were more frequently located in the frontal lobe, and had a better outcome. Anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors with EGFRamp were more frequently AOA, were more often localized outside the frontal lobe, and had a survival similar to that for GBM. Survival of patients with AOA harboring necrosis was in a similar range as for GBM, while patients with AOA with only endothelial proliferation had better overall survival. In univariate analyses, all molecular factors except loss of 10q were of prognostic significance, but on multivariate analysis a histopathological diagnosis of AOA, necrosis, and 1ploss19qloss remained independent prognostic factors. AOA tumors with necrosis are to be considered WHO grade IV tumors (GBM). Of all molecular markers analyzed in this study, especially loss of 1p/19q carried prognostic significance, while the others contributed little prognostic value to classical histology.
PMCID: PMC2802394  PMID: 19224764
1p; 19q; anaplastic oligoastrocytoma; anaplastic oligodendroglioma; EGFR; monosomy 10
10.  Molecular prognostic factors of anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors and its relationship: a single institutional review of 77 patients from China 
Neuro-Oncology  2011;14(1):109-116.
The increased chemosensitivity of oligodendroglial tumors has been associated with loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosomes 1p and 19q. Other clinical and molecular factors have also been identified as being prognostic and predictive for treatment outcome. Seventy-seven patients with anaplastic oligodendroglioma (AO) or anaplastic oligoastrocytoma (AOA), treated in Beijing Tiantan Hospital from 2006 through 2008, were reviewed. LOH 1p, LOH 19q, IDH1 mutation, O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation, and protein expression level of MGMT, P53, EGFR, and Ki-67 were evaluated. Age at diagnosis, LOH 1p and 19q, IDH1 mutation, P53 expression level, reoperation when progression, and adjuvant chemotherapy were statistically significant factors for overall survival (OS) in univariate analysis. Further multivariate analysis showed that age at diagnosis (P = .010), LOH 1p and 19q (P = .016), IDH1 mutation (P = .011), and reoperation after progression (P = .048) were independent predictors for longer survival in these patients. Nonrandom associations were found between LOH 1p and LOH 19q, MGMT promoter methylation and LOH 1p or 19q, IDH1 mutation and LOH 1p and 19q, IDH1 mutation and MGMT promoter methylation, whereas mutual exclusion was found between MGMT promoter methylation and MGMT expression level. The present study confirmed that age at diagnosis, LOH 1p and 19q, IDH1 mutation, and reoperation after progression were independent significant prognostic factors for patients with anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors. Inter-relationship between LOH 1p, LOH 19q, IDH1 mutation, MGMT promoter methylation, and MGMT expression level were also revealed. Future clinical trials for AO and AOA should consider the molecular alterations of patients.
PMCID: PMC3245998  PMID: 22039037
anaplastic oligodendroglial tumor; IDH1 mutation; LOH 1p and 19q; MGMT; prognostic factor
11.  Hsp27 (HSPB1): a possible surrogate molecular marker for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of chromosome 1p in oligodendrogliomas but not in astrocytomas 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2012;17(6):779-790.
In oligodendrogliomas, 1p loss of heterozygosity (LOH) is a predictor of good prognosis and treatment response. In contrast, in uveal melanomas, LOH of chromosome 3 has been linked to poor prognosis and downregulation of Hsp27. In the present study, we have analyzed the expression of heat-shock proteins (Hsps) to characterize subtypes of gliomas and their histopathologic features and to correlate with other molecular markers including LOH of 1p. Biopsies from patients with primary gliomas (n = 65) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, chromogenic in situ hybridization and fluorescent in situ hybridization and methylation-specific PCR (MSP). Elevated Hsp27 and total Hsp70 expression levels were associated with high-grade astrocytomas (p = 0.0001 and p = 0.01, respectively). In grade III oligodendrogliomas, the Hsp27 levels were significantly higher (p = 0.03). Low O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) expression was associated with grade II astrocytomas. Elevated β-catenin expression was associated with grade III/IV astrocytomas (p = 0.003); p53 (+) tumors were more frequently found in grade III/IV astrocytomas (p = 0,001). LOH on 1p was associated with oligodendroglial tumours. In addition, a higher Hsp27 expression correlated with LOH of 1p (p = 0.017); this was also tested in two glioma cell lines. MSP was successful in only six samples. No significant correlations were found for the other markers. In conclusion, in oligodendroglial tumors, Hsp27 appeared as a surrogate marker of LOH of 1p which could also help to predict the disease prognosis. In gliomas, p53, Hsp27, Hsp70, MGMT, and β-catenin correlated with histopathological characteristics, suggesting that these markers could predict the disease outcome and the response to treatments.
PMCID: PMC3468673  PMID: 22806482
Gliomas; Heat-shock proteins; 1p status; Molecular markers
12.  Effectiveness of Real-Time Quantitative PCR Compare to Repeat PCR for the Diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 1A and Hereditary Neuropathy with Liability to Pressure Palsies 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2005;46(3):347-352.
The majority of cases of Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1A (CMT1A) and of hereditary neuropathy with a liability to pressure palsies (HNPP) are the result of heterozygosity for the duplication or deletion of peripheral myelin protein 22 gene (PMP22) on 17p11.2. Southern blots, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and polymorphic marker analysis are currently used diagnostic methods. But they are time-consuming, labor-intensive and have some significant limitations. We describe a rapid realtime quantitative PCR method for determining gene copy number for the identification of DNA duplication or deletion occurring in CMT1A or HNPP and compare the results obtained with REP-PCR. Six patients with CMT1A and 14 patients with HNPP [confirmed by Repeat (REP)-PCR], and 16 patients with suspicious CMT1A and 13 patients with suspicious HNPP [negative REP-PCR], and 15 normal controls were studied. We performed REP-PCR, which amplified a 3.6 Kb region (including a 1.7 Kb recombination hotspot), using specific CMT1A-REP and real-time quantitative PCR on the LightCycler system. Using a comparative threshold cycle (Ct) method and β-globin as a reference gene, the gene copy number of the PMP22 gene was quantified. The PMP22 duplication ratio ranged from 1.35 to 1.74, and the PMP22 deletion ratio from 0.41 to 0.53. The PMP22 ratio in normal controls ranged from 0.81 to 1.12. All 6 patients with CMT1A and 14 patients with HNPP confirmed by REP-PCR were positive by real-time quantitative PCR. Among the 16 suspicious CMT1A and 13 suspicious HNPP with negative REP-PCR, 2 and 4 samples, respectively, were positive by real-time quantitative PCR. Real-time quantitative PCR is a more sensitive and more accurate method than REP-PCR for the detection of PMP22 duplications or deletions, and it is also faster and easier than currently available methods. Therefore, we believe that the real-time quantitative method is useful for diagnosing CMT1A and HNPP.
PMCID: PMC2815810  PMID: 15988805
Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1A; HNPP; peripheral myelin protein 22 gene; real-time quantitative PCR
13.  Prognostic variables in oligodendroglial tumors: a single-institution study of 95 cases 
Neuro-Oncology  2011;13(11):1225-1233.
We analyzed the relationships among clinical variables, histology, 1p/19q status, and outcome in 95 patients with oligodendroglial tumors.
The study enrolled adult patients who underwent first-time surgery for a supratentorial oligodendroglial tumor at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet. Tumors were: 27 oligodendrogliomas, WHO grade II; 32 oligoastrocytomas, WHO grade II; 16 anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, WHO grade III; 14 anaplastic oligoastrocytomas, WHO grade III; and 6 glioblastomas with a major oligodendroglial component, WHO grade IV. The clinical files were reviewed. Three neuropathologists evaluated the histological slides independently. Loss-of-heterozygosity analysis for 1p and 19q was performed by PCR.
Favorable prognostic factors from univariate analyses included seizures as presenting symptom, female sex, location in the frontal lobe, low WHO grade, classic histology, absence of gemistocytic cells, and combined 1p/19q loss. Solitary 19q loss was a negative prognostic marker. 1p/19q status was of prognostic significance in both tumors with classic and nonclassic oligodendroglial histology. In the multivariate analysis, WHO grade II (P< .001), frontal tumor location (P= .002), and combined 1p/19q loss (P< .001) remained favorable prognostic variables.
Our results suggest that tumor location, WHO grade, and 1p/19q status are important independent variables associated with survival in oligodendroglial tumors. The study suggests that solitary 19q loss is a negative prognostic variable and that 1p/19q loss is associated with prolonged survival also in oligodendroglial tumors without classic histology.
PMCID: PMC3199152  PMID: 21856683
oligodendroglioma; 1p; 19q; prognostic
14.  Age-related differences in 1p and 19q deletions in oligodendrogliomas 
Recent reports indicate that anaplastic oligodendrogliomas frequently show allelic losses on chromosome arms 1p and 19q, and that these deletions are associated with better chemotherapeutic response and overall patient survival. Because of the diversified genetic makeup of the population and the centralized provincial referral system for brain tumor patients in Manitoba, the epidemiological features of such tumors sometimes differ from the published data acquired from non-community based settings. In this study, we assessed the prevalence of allelic deletions for chromosome arms 1p and 19q in anaplastic and in low-grade oligodendrogliomas in the Manitoba population.
Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis of brain tumors was carried out using 4 microsatellite markers (D1S508, D1S2734, D19S219 and D19S412) and a PCR based assay. The tumors were consecutively acquired during the period September 1999–March 2001 and a total of 63 tumors were assessed.
We found that allelic loss of chromosome 1p and 19q was higher in oligodendrogliomas than in other diffuse gliomas and that for anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, younger patients exhibited significantly more deletions than older patients (>60 years of age).
These studies suggest that age may be a factor in the genetic alterations of oligodendrogliomas. In addition, these studies demonstrate that this assay can easily be carried out in a cost-effective manner in a small tertiary center.
PMCID: PMC317335  PMID: 14670088
Microsatellite markers; loss of heterozygosity; PCR; gliomas; chromosomes 1p; 19q
15.  Involvement of TSC genes and differential expression of other members of the mTOR signaling pathway in oral squamous cell carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:163.
Despite extensive research, the five-year survival rate of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients has not improved. Effective treatment of OSCC requires the identification of molecular targets and signaling pathways to design appropriate therapeutic strategies. Several genes from the mTOR signaling pathway are known to be dysregulated in a wide spectrum of cancers. However, not much is known about the involvement of this pathway in tumorigenesis of OSCC. We therefore investigated the role of the tumor suppressor genes, TSC1 and TSC2, and other members of this pathway in tumorigenesis of OSCC.
Expression of genes at the RNA and protein levels was examined by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and western blot analyses, respectively. Loss of heterozygosity was studied using matched blood and tumor DNA samples and microsatellite markers from the TSC1, TSC2 and PTEN candidate regions. The effect of promoter methylation on TSC gene expression was studied by treating cells with methyltransferase inhibitor 5-azacytidine. Methylation status of the TSC2 promoter in tissue samples was examined by combined bisulfite restriction analysis (COBRA).
The semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed downregulation of TSC1, TSC2, EIF4EBP1 and PTEN, and upregulation of PIK3C2A, AKT1, PDPK1, RHEB, FRAP1, RPS6KB1, EIF4E and RPS6 in tumors. A similar observation was made for AKT1 and RPS6KB1 expression in tumors at the protein level. Investigation of the mechanism of downregulation of TSC genes identified LOH in 36.96% and 39.13% of the tumors at the TSC1 and TSC2 loci, respectively. No mutation was found in TSC genes. A low LOH rate of 13% was observed at the PTEN locus. Treatment of an OSCC cell line with the methyltransferase inhibitor 5-azacytidine showed a significant increase in the expression of TSC genes, suggesting methylation of their promoters. However, the 5-azacytidine treatment of non-OSCC HeLa cells showed a significant increase in the expression of the TSC2 gene only. In order to confirm the results in patient tumor samples, the methylation status of the TSC2 gene promoter was examined by COBRA. The results suggested promoter hypermethylation as an important mechanism for its downregulation. No correlation was found between the presence or absence of LOH at the TSC1 and TSC2 loci in 50 primary tumors to their clinicopathological variables such as age, sex, T classification, stage, grade, histology, tobacco habits and lymph node metastasis.
Our study suggests the involvement of TSC genes and other members of the mTOR signaling pathway in the pathogenesis of OSCC. LOH and promoter methylation are two important mechanisms for downregulation of TSC genes. We suggest that known inhibitors of this pathway could be evaluated for the treatment of OSCC.
PMCID: PMC2430211  PMID: 18538015
16.  A critical evaluation of loss of heterozygosity detected in tumor tissues, blood serum and bone marrow plasma from patients with breast cancer 
The aim of the study was to perform a comparative analysis of LOH (loss of heterozygosity) in primary tumors as well as peripheral blood and bone marrow (BM) of patients with breast cancer (BCa).
Performing PCR-based fluorescence microsatellite analysis and using a panel of seven polymorphic microsatellite markers, we compared the profiles of LOH in primary tumors, peripheral blood and BM plasma from patients with primary BCa (n = 40, stage M0) as well as tumor tissues and blood serum from metastatic BCa patients (n = 48, stage M1). During the course of systemic treatment blood samplings from 12 M0 and 16 M1 patients were at least once repeated.
The overall incidences of LOH in tumor tissues, blood and BM samples were 27.5%, 9.0% and 5.0%, respectively. The marker D3S1255 was the only one in the panel that showed similar frequencies of LOH ranging from 19.0 to 24.5% in tumor, blood and BM samples. Both M0 blood serum and BM plasma samples displayed the same rate of 19.0%, whereas tumor and M1 serum showed a rate of 24.5% and 24.0%, respectively, at this locus. This marker also showed the highest frequency of LOH in serum and BM samples, whereas in tumor samples LOHs at the markers D13S218 (38%) and D17S855 (36%) were more frequent. Statistical analysis of the tumor samples showed that occurrence of LOH at the markers D3S1255 (P < 0.04), D9S171 (P < 0.05) and D17S855 (P < 0.03) correlated with undifferentiated nuclear grade. Additionally, significant associations of the number of LOH recorded at D17S250 with estrogen receptor (P < 0.02), progesterone receptor (P < 0.03) expression and high proliferation score (Ki-67 expression, P = 0.009) were observed. In blood serum samples a relationship between positive lymph node status and LOH at the marker D3S1255 was revealed (M0 stage, P = 0.05; M0+M1 stage, P = 0.004).
Our study demonstrates heterogeneous profiles and low rates of LOH, particularly on free DNA in BM and blood samples. However, the significant associations of LOH with some risk factors and the demonstrated possibility of monitoring free DNA in patients undergoing systemic therapy suggest that LOH analysis may be developed into a useful diagnostic tool.
PMCID: PMC2242661  PMID: 17915011
17.  Loss of 1p, 19q, and 10q heterozygosity prospectively predicts prognosis of oligodendroglial tumors—towards individualized tumor treatment? 
Neuro-Oncology  2010;12(5):490-499.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether chromosome 10q loss is a predictor of tumor aggressiveness and poor clinical outcome in patients with oligodendroglial tumors alone or together with loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosomes 1p and 19q. A microsatellite analysis was performed on sections from 130 patients with grade II and grade III oligodendroglial tumors to assess the allelic status of chromosomes 1p, 19q, and 10q, plus detailed clinical and radiological information was taken prospectively. Median age at diagnosis was 45.5 years. Seventy-eight patients had disease progression after initial therapy; median progression-free survival (PFS) was 27.5 months. Age <47 years, postoperative Karnofsky performance score >65, no contrast enhancement on MRI, grade II, and complete removal on surgery were significantly correlated with a better PFS. Median overall survival (OS) was 40.5 months. Pure oligodendroglioma and temozolomide chemotherapy were correlated with better OS. 10q LOH was correlated with anaplastic grade and 1p19q LOH correlated with pure oligodendroglioma. There was a significant association between LOH status and the tumors' response to chemotherapy: 92.3% with 1p19q LOH, 83.3% without allelic losses, 50% with 1p19q10q LOH, and 14.5% with 10q LOH. Patients with 10q LOH alone had PFS of 6 months and a 3-year survival rate of 1%, when compared with 36 months and 85%, respectively, in patients with 1p19q LOH but without 10q LOH. 1p loss was correlated with better PFS (P < .005) and OS (P = .0007), whereas 10q loss was correlated with decreased PFS (P < .0001) and OS (P < .0001). 10q LOH predicted a survival disadvantage in patients with oligodendroglial tumors irrespective of 1p/19q LOH status.
PMCID: PMC2940615  PMID: 20156805
chemosensitivity; gliomas; loss of heterozygosity; prognosis; prospective study.
18.  A method for accurate detection of genomic microdeletions using real-time quantitative PCR 
BMC Genomics  2005;6:180.
Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) is a well-established method for quantifying levels of gene expression, but has not been routinely applied to the detection of constitutional copy number alterations of human genomic DNA. Microdeletions or microduplications of the human genome are associated with a variety of genetic disorders. Although, clinical laboratories routinely use fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to identify such cryptic genomic alterations, there remains a significant number of individuals in which constitutional genomic imbalance is suspected, based on clinical parameters, but cannot be readily detected using current cytogenetic techniques.
In this study, a novel application for real-time qPCR is presented that can be used to reproducibly detect chromosomal microdeletions and microduplications. This approach was applied to DNA from a series of patient samples and controls to validate genomic copy number alteration at cytoband 22q11. The study group comprised 12 patients with clinical symptoms of chromosome 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), 1 patient trisomic for 22q11 and 4 normal controls. 6 of the patients (group 1) had known hemizygous deletions, as detected by standard diagnostic FISH, whilst the remaining 6 patients (group 2) were classified as 22q11DS negative using the clinical FISH assay. Screening of the patients and controls with a set of 10 real time qPCR primers, spanning the 22q11.2-deleted region and flanking sequence, confirmed the FISH assay results for all patients with 100% concordance. Moreover, this qPCR enabled a refinement of the region of deletion at 22q11. Analysis of DNA from chromosome 22 trisomic sample demonstrated genomic duplication within 22q11.
In this paper we present a qPCR approach for the detection of chromosomal microdeletions and microduplications. The strategic use of in silico modelling for qPCR primer design to avoid regions of repetitive DNA, whilst providing a level of genomic resolution greater than standard cytogenetic assays. The implementation of qPCR detection in clinical laboratories will address the need to replace complex, expensive and time consuming FISH screening to detect genomic microdeletions or duplications of clinical importance.
PMCID: PMC1327677  PMID: 16351727
19.  Mutation analysis of the p73 gene in nonastrocytic brain tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;85(2):204-208.
Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) involving the distal chromosome 1p36region occurs frequently in nonastrocytic brain tumours, but the tumour suppressor gene targeted by this deletion is unknown. p73is a novel gene that has high sequence homology and similar gene structure to thep53 gene; it has been mapped to 1p36, and may thus represent a candidate for this tumour suppressor gene. To determine whether p73is involved in nonastrocytic brain tumour development, we analysed 65 tumour samples including 26 oligodendrogliomas, 4 ependymomas, 5 medulloblastomas, 10 meningiomas, 2 meningeal haemangiopericytomas, 2 neurofibrosarcomas, 3 primary lymphomas, 8 schwannomas and 5 metastatic tumours to the brain, for p73 alterations. Characterization of allelic loss at 1p36–p35 showed LOH in about 50% of cases, primarily involving oligodendroglial tumours (22 of 26 cases analysed; 85%) and meningiomas (4 of 10; 40%). PCR-SSCP and direct DNA sequencing of exons 2 to 14 of p73 revealed a missense mutation in one primary lymphoma: a G-to-A transition, with Glu291Lys change. 8 additional cases displayed no tumour-specific alterations, as 3 distinct polymorphic changes were identified: a double polymorphic change of exon 5 was found in one ependymoma and both samples derived from an oligodendroglioma, as follows: a G-to-A transition with no change in Pro 146, and a C-to-T variation with no change in Asn 204: a delG at exon 3/+12 position was identified in 4 samples corresponding to 2 oligodendrogliomas, 1 ependymoma and 1 meningioma, and a C-to-T change at exon 2/+10 position was present in a metastatic tumour. Although both LOH at 1p36 and p73 sequence changes were evidenced in 4 cases, it is difficult to establish a causal role of the p73 variations and nonastrocytic brain tumours development. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2364057  PMID: 11461077
p73 gene; nonastrocytic tumours; LOH 1p36; primary brain lymphoma
20.  Loss of heterozygosity on chromosome XP22.2-p22.13 and Xq26.1-q27.1 in human breast carcinomas. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  1998;13(3):311-316.
In an attempt to investigate the X chromosome harboring putative tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) in sporadic breast carcinoma, we performed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) studies on 23 breast carcinomas using 15 polymorphic markers covering the whole X chromosomes. Matched DNA extracted from tumor samples and corresponding normal tissues were analyzed by polymerase chain reactions (PCR) using microsatellite markers. In 10 cases (43.5%), LOH was detected for at least 1 of the 15 polymorphic markers of the X chromosome tested. Four cases carried a LOH at Xp, and three cases LOH on Xp and Xq. Three cases carried a LOH Xq. Percentage of LOH was relatively high in DXS987 (26.7%), DXS999(30.0%), HPRT(21.4%), DXS1062(23.1%) loci. Common regions of deletions were found on Xp22.2-p22.13 (30% of LOH) measuring about 4.5Mb and Xq26.1-q27.1 (23.1% of LOH) measuring 10 Mb. The deleted allele was an active copy of the X chromosome. The results indicate the TSGs on the X chromosome are involved in breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3054497  PMID: 9681812
21.  Detection of the DCC gene product in normal and malignant colorectal tissues and its relation to a codon 201 mutation. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;77(4):588-594.
Protein expression of the putative tumour-suppressor gene DCC on chromosome 18q was evaluated in a panel of 16 matched colorectal cancer and normal colonic tissue samples together with DCC mRNA expression and allelic deletions (loss of heterozygosity, LOH). Determined by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-LOH assay, 12 of the 16 (75%) cases were informative with LOH occurring in 2 of the 12 cases. For DCC mRNA, transcripts could be detected in all analysed normal tissues (eight out of eight) by RT-PCR, whereas 6 of the 15 tumours were negative. DCC protein expression, investigated by immunohistochemistry using the monoclonal antibody 15041 A directed against the intracellular domain, was homogeneously positive in all normal tissue samples. In tumour tissues, no DCC protein was seen in 11 out of 16 samples (69%). For the DCC codon 201, we found a loss of a wild-type codon sequence caused by mutation or LOH in at least 8 out of 15 cases (53%) compared with the corresponding normal tissue. DCC protein expression was undetectable in eight of the nine tumours missing both wild-type codons. Only one of the five tumours with retained DCC protein expression had no detectable wild-type codon 201. In addition, 9 out of 15 normal tissue specimens were mutated in codon 201. In two out of three cases with homozygous wild-type codons in peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) DNA, mutations were already observed in the tumour adjacent normal colonic mucosa. We conclude that DCC immunostaining should be introduced in the clinicopathological routine because of its strong correlation with the known prognostic markers 18q LOH and mutation of codon 201.
PMCID: PMC2149930  PMID: 9484816
22.  SPOCK1 as a potential cancer prognostic marker promotes the proliferation and metastasis of gallbladder cancer cells by activating the PI3K/AKT pathway 
Molecular Cancer  2015;14(1):12.
Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and its prognosis remains poor, with 5-year survival of approximately 5%. In this study, we analyzed the involvement of a novel proteoglycan, Sparc/osteonectin, cwcv, and kazal-like domains proteoglycan 1 (SPOCK1), in the tumor progression and prognosis of human GBC.
SPOCK1 expression levels were measured in fresh samples and stored specimens of GBC and adjacent nontumor tissues. The effect of SPOCK1 on cell growth, DNA replication, migration and invasion were explored by Cell Counting Kit-8, colony formation, EdU retention assay, wound healing, and transwell migration assays, flow cytometric analysis, western blotting, and in vivo tumorigenesis and metastasis in nude mice.
SPOCK1 mRNA and protein levels were increased in human GBC tissues compared with those in nontumor tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that SPOCK1 levels were increased in tumors that became metastatic, compared with those that did not, which was significantly associated with histological differentiation and patients with shorter overall survival periods. Knockdown of SPOCK1 expression by lentivirus-mediated shRNA transduction resulted in significant inhibition of GBC cell growth, colony formation, DNA replication, and invasion in vitro. The knockdown cells also formed smaller xenografted tumors than control GBC cells in nude mice. Overexpression of SPOCK1 had the opposite effects. In addition, SPOCK1 promoted cancer cell migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition by regulating the expression of relevant genes. We found that activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway was involved in the oncogenic functions of SPOCK1 in GBC.
SPOCK1 activates PI3K/Akt signaling to block apoptosis and promote proliferation and metastasis by GBC cells in vitro and in vivo. Levels of SPOCK1 increase with the progression of human GBC. SPOCK1 acts as an oncogene and may be a prognostic factor or therapeutic target for patients with GBC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12943-014-0276-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4320842  PMID: 25623055
Gallbladder cancer; SPOCK1; Tumor progression; RNA interference; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
23.  Low-frequency loss of heterozygosity in Moloney murine leukemia virus-induced tumors in BRAKF1/J mice. 
Journal of Virology  1997;71(5):3940-3952.
To identify potential involvement of tumor suppressor gene inactivation during leukemogenesis by Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV), a genome-wide scan for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in tumor DNAs was made. To assess LOH, it is best to study mice that are heterozygous at many loci across the genome. Accordingly, we generated a collection of 52 M-MULV-induced tumor DNAs from C57BR/cdJ x AKR/J F1 (BRAKF1) hybrid mice. By using direct hybridization with oligonucleotides specific for three different classes of endogenous MuLV-related proviruses, 48 markers on 16 of 19 autosomes were simultaneously examined for allelic loss. No allelic losses were detected, with the exception of a common loss of markers on chromosome 4 in two tumors. The three autosomes that lacked informative endogenous proviral markers were also analyzed for LOH by PCR with simple-sequence length polymorphisms (SSLPs); one additional tumor showed LOH on chromosome 15. Further screening with chromosome 4 SSLPs identified one additional tumor with LOH on chromosome 4. Therefore, in total, the average fractional allelic loss was quite low (0.002), but the LOH frequency of 6% on chromosome 4 was highly statistically significant (P < 0.0005). Detailed SSLP mapping of the three tumors with LOH on chromosome 4 localized the region of common LOH to the distal 45 centimorgans, a region syntenic with human chromosomes 1 and 9. Candidate tumor suppressor genes, Mts1 (p16INK4a) and Mts2 (p15INK4b), have been mapped to this region, but by Southern blot analysis, no homozygous deletions were detected in either gene. One of three tumors with LOH on chromosome 4 also showed a proviral insertion near the c-myc proto-oncogene. These results suggested that tumor suppressor inactivation is generally infrequent in M-MuLV-induced tumors but that a subset of these tumors may have lost a tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 4.
PMCID: PMC191546  PMID: 9094671
24.  Genetic and epigenetic silencing of the beclin 1 gene in sporadic breast tumors 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:98.
Beclin 1, an important autophagy-related protein in human cells, is involved in cell death and cell survival. Beclin 1 mapped to human chromosome 17q21. It is widely expressed in normal mammary epithelial cells. Although down-regulated expression with mono-allelic deletions of beclin 1 gene was frequently observed in breast tumors, whether there was other regulatory mechanism of beclin 1 was to be investigated. We studied the expression of beclin 1 and explored the possible regulatory mechanisms on its expression in breast tumors.
20 pairs of tumors and adjacent normal tissues from patients with sporadic breast invasive ductal cancer (IDCs) were collected. The mRNA expression of beclin 1 was detected by real-time quantitative RT-PCR. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was determined by real-time quantitative PCR and microsatellite methods. The protein expression of beclin 1, p53, BRCA1 and BRCA2 was assessed by immunohistochemistry. CpG islands in 5' genomic region of beclin 1 gene were identified using MethylPrimer Program. Sodium bisulfite sequencing was used in examining the methylation status of each CpG island.
Decreased beclin 1 mRNA expression was detected in 70% of the breast tumors, and the protein levels were co-related to the mRNA levels. Expression of beclin 1 mRNA was demonstrated to be much higher in the BRCA1 positive tumors than that in the BRCA1 negative ones. Loss of heterozygosity was detected in more than 45% of the breast tumors, and a dense cluster of CpG islands was found from the 5' end to the intron 2 of the beclin 1 gene. Methylation analysis showed that the promoter and the intron 2 of beclin 1 were aberrantly methylated in the tumors with decreased expression.
These data indicated that LOH and aberrant DNA methylation might be the possible reasons of the decreased expression of beclin 1 in the breast tumors. The findings here shed some new light on the regulatory mechanisms of beclin 1 in breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC2858113  PMID: 20230646
25.  Intrinsic Molecular Subtypes of Glioma Are Prognostic and Predict Benefit From Adjuvant Procarbazine, Lomustine, and Vincristine Chemotherapy in Combination With Other Prognostic Factors in Anaplastic Oligodendroglial Brain Tumors: A Report From EORTC Study 26951 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;31(3):328-336.
Intrinsic glioma subtypes (IGSs) are molecularly similar tumors that can be identified based on unsupervised gene expression analysis. Here, we have evaluated the clinical relevance of these subtypes within European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) 26951, a randomized phase III clinical trial investigating adjuvant procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine (PCV) chemotherapy in anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors. Our study includes gene expression profiles of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) clinical trial samples.
Patients and Methods
Gene expression profiling was performed in 140 samples, 47 fresh frozen samples and 93 FFPE samples, on HU133_Plus_2.0 and HuEx_1.0_st arrays, respectively.
All previously identified six IGSs are present in EORTC 26951. This confirms that different molecular subtypes are present within a well-defined histologic subtype. Intrinsic subtypes are highly prognostic for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). They are prognostic for PFS independent of clinical (age, performance status, and tumor location), molecular (1p/19q loss of heterozygosity [LOH], IDH1 mutation, and MGMT methylation), and histologic parameters. Combining known molecular (1p/19q LOH, IDH1) prognostic parameters with intrinsic subtypes improves outcome prediction (proportion of explained variation, 30% v 23% for each individual group of factors). Specific genetic changes (IDH1, 1p/19q LOH, and EGFR amplification) segregate into different subtypes. We identified one subtype, IGS-9 (characterized by a high percentage of 1p/19q LOH and IDH1 mutations), that especially benefits from PCV chemotherapy. Median OS in this subtype was 5.5 years after radiotherapy (RT) alone versus 12.8 years after RT/PCV (P = .0349; hazard ratio, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.06 to 4.50).
Intrinsic subtypes are highly prognostic in EORTC 26951 and improve outcome prediction when combined with other prognostic factors. Tumors assigned to IGS-9 benefit from adjuvant PCV.
PMCID: PMC3732011  PMID: 23269986

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