Neuroblastoma is a malignant neoplasm of the developing sympathetic nervous system that is notable for its phenotypic diversity. High-risk patients typically have widely disseminated disease at diagnosis and a poor survival probability, but low-risk patients frequently have localized tumors that are almost always cured with little or no chemotherapy. Our genome-wide association study (GWAS) has identified common variants within FLJ22536, BARD1, and LMO1 as significantly associated with neuroblastoma and more robustly associated with high-risk disease. Here we show that a GWAS focused on low-risk cases identified SNPs within DUSP12 at 1q23.3 (P = 2.07×10−6), DDX4 and IL31RA both at 5q11.2 (P = 2.94×10−6 and 6.54×10−7 respectively), and HSD17B12 at 11p11.2 (P = 4.20×10−7) as being associated with the less aggressive form of the disease. These data demonstrate the importance of robust phenotypic data in GWAS analyses and identify additional susceptibility variants for neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor outside the central nervous system and is accountable for 10% of the mortality rate of all children's cancers. It has distinctive clinical behaviors and is categorized into different risk groups: high-risk, intermediate-risk, and low-risk. Genome-wide association studies have reported a number of genetic variations predisposing to high-risk neuroblastoma. This study focuses on the low-risk neuroblastoma group and identifies four novel genes (DUSP12, DDX4, IL31RA, and HSD17B12) at three distinct genomic positions that harbor disease-causing variants. This study also reports several gene sets that are enriched in overall neuroblastoma as well as in both high-risk and low-risk groups. Also of importance is that this study adopts a new computational method that identifies genes, instead of only one single nucleotide polymorphism, as disease-causing variants. Shown to have superior power of detection genome-wide association signals for neuroblastoma, the methodology presented in this study has great potential applications in case-control association studies in other diseases.
Expression of Mash1 is dysregulated in human neuroblastoma. We have also reported that LMO3 (LIM-only protein 3) has an oncogenic potential in collaboration with neuronal transcription factor HEN2 in neuroblastoma. However, the precise molecular mechanisms of its transcriptional regulation remain elusive. Here we found that LMO3 forms a complex with HEN2 and acts as an upstream mediator for transcription of Mash1 in neuroblastoma. The high levels of LMO3 or Mash1 mRNA expression were significantly associated with poor prognosis in 100 primary neuroblastomas. The up-regulation of Mash1 remarkably accelerated the proliferation of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, while siRNA-mediated knockdown of LMO3 induced inhibition of growth of SH-SY5Y cells in association with a significant down-regulation of Mash1. Additionally, overexpression of both LMO3 and HEN2 induced expression of Mash1, suggesting that they might function as a transcriptional activator for Mash1. Luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that the co-expression of LMO3 and HEN2 attenuates HES1 (a negative regulator for Mash1)-dependent reduction of luciferase activity driven by the Mash1 promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that LMO3 and HEN2 reduce the amount of HES1 recruited onto putative HES1-binding sites and E-box within the Mash1 promoter. Furthermore, both LMO3 and HEN2 are physically associated with HES1 by immunoprecipitation assay. Thus, our present results suggest that a transcriptional complex of LMO3 and HEN2 may contribute to the genesis and malignant phenotype of neuroblastoma by inhibiting HES1 which suppresses the transactivation of Mash1.
The most common translocation in childhood T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) involves the LMO2 locus, resulting in ectopic expression of the LMO2 gene in human thymocytes. The LMO2 gene was also activated in patients with X-linked Severe Combined Immune Deficiency treated with gene therapy because of retroviral insertion in the LMO2 locus. The LMO2 insertions predisposed these children to T-ALL, yet how LMO2 contributes to T cell transformation remains unclear. The LIM (Lin 11, Isl-1, Mec-3) domain containing LMO2 protein regulates erythropoiesis as part of a large transcriptional complex consisting of LMO2, TAL1, E47, GATA1 and LDB1 that recognizes bipartite E-box-GATA1 sites on target genes. Similarly, a TAL1/E47/LMO2/LDB1 complex is observed in human T-ALL and Tal1 and Lmo2 expression in mice results in disease acceleration. To address the mechanism(s) of Tal1/Lmo2 synergy in leukemia, we generated Lmo2 transgenic mice and mated them with mice that express wild-type Tal1 or a DNA-binding mutant of TAL1. Tal1/Lmo2 and MutTAL1/Lmo2 bitransgenic mice exhibit perturbations in thymocyte development due to reduced E47/HEB transcriptional activity and develop leukemia with identical kinetics. These data demonstrate that the DNA-binding activity of Tal1 is not required to cooperate with Lmo2 to cause leukemia in mice and suggest that Lmo2 may cooperate with Tal1 to interfere with E47/HEB function(s).
TAL1; Lmo2; E47; HEB; T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL)
The Lim domain only 2 (Lmo2) gene encodes a transcriptional cofactor critical for the development of hematopoietic stem cells. Several distal regulatory elements have been identified upstream of the Lmo2 gene in the human and mouse genomes that are capable of enhancing reporter gene expression in erythroid cells and may be responsible for the high level transcription of Lmo2 in the erythroid lineage. In this study we investigate how these elements regulate transcription of Lmo2 and whether or not they function cooperatively in the endogenous context. Chromosome conformation capture (3C) experiments show that chromatin-chromatin interactions exist between upstream regulatory elements and the Lmo2 promoter in erythroid cells but that these interactions are absent from kidney where Lmo2 is transcribed at twelve fold lower levels. Specifically, long range chromatin-chromatin interactions occur between the Lmo2 proximal promoter and two broad regions, 3–31 and 66–105 kb upstream of Lmo2, which we term the proximal and distal control regions for Lmo2 (pCR and dCR respectively). Each of these regions is bound by several transcription factors suggesting that multiple regulatory elements cooperate in regulating high level transcription of Lmo2 in erythroid cells. Binding of CTCF and cohesin which support chromatin loops at other loci were also found within the dCR and at the Lmo2 proximal promoter. Intergenic transcription occurs throughout the dCR in erythroid cells but not in kidney suggesting a role for these intergenic transcripts in regulating Lmo2, similar to the broad domain of intergenic transcription observed at the human β-globin locus control region. Our data supports a model in which the dCR functions through a chromatin looping mechanism to contact and enhance Lmo2 transcription specifically in erythroid cells. Furthermore, these chromatin loops are supported by the cohesin complex recruited to both CTCF and transcription factor bound regions.
The LIM domain only 4 (LMO4) protein is expressed in the hypothalamus, but its function there is not known. Using mice with LMO4 ablated in postnatal glutamatergic neurons, including most neurons of the paraventricular (PVN) and ventromedial (VMH) hypothalamic nuclei where LMO4 is expressed, we asked whether LMO4 is required for metabolic homeostasis. LMO4 mutant mice exhibited early onset adiposity. These mice had reduced energy expenditure and impaired thermogenesis together with reduced sympathetic outflow to adipose tissues. The peptide hormone leptin, produced from adipocytes, activates Jak/Stat3 signaling at the hypothalamus to control food intake, energy expenditure, and fat metabolism. Intracerebroventricular infusion of leptin suppressed feeding similarly in LMO4 mutant and control mice. However, leptin-induced fat loss was impaired and activation of Stat3 in the VMH was blunted in these mice. Thus, our study identifies LMO4 as a novel modulator of leptin function in selective hypothalamic nuclei to regulate fat metabolism.
Adiposity; Obesity; Sympathetic outflow; Hypothalamus; Leptin
LIM domain only 2 (LMO2) has been identified as a novel oncogene associated with carcinogenesis and better prognosis in several malignant tumors. We investigate the involvement of LMO2 in pancreatic cancer.
We evaluated LMO2 expression in cultured cells, bulk tissues, and microdissected cells from pancreatic cancers by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry.
Of 164 pancreatic cancers, 98 (60%) were positive for LMO2 expression. LMO2 was more frequently detected in high-grade pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions (PanIN-2 and -3) than in low-grade PanIN lesions (PanIN-1A and -1B; P < .001) and was not detected in normal pancreatic ductal epithelium. The LMO2 messenger RNA levels were significantly higher in invasive ductal carcinoma cells than in normal pancreatic cells as evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses of microdissected cells (P = .036). We also found higher incidence of LMO2 expression in histologic grade G1/G2 cancers than in grade G3 cancers (P < .001). The median survival time of LMO2-positive patients was significantly longer than that of LMO2-negative patients (P < .001), and multivariate analyses revealed that high LMO2 expression was an independent predictor of longer survival (risk ratio, 0.432, P < .001). Even among patients with a positive operative margin, LMO2-positive patients had a significant survival benefit compared with LMO2-negative patients. We further performed a large cohort study (n = 113) to examine the LMO2 messenger RNA levels in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples and found similar results.
LMO2 is a promising marker for predicting a better prognosis in pancreatic cancer.
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer derived from immature cells of the sympathetic nervous system. The disease is clinically heterogeneous, ranging from neuronal differentiated benign ganglioneuromas to aggressive metastatic tumours with poor prognosis. Amplification of the MYCN oncogene is a well established poor prognostic factor found in up to 40% of high risk neuroblastomas.
Using neuroblastoma cell lines to study neuronal differentiation in vitro is now well established. Several protocols, including exposure to various agents and growth factors, will differentiate neuroblastoma cell lines into neuron-like cells. These cells are characterized by a neuronal morphology with long extensively branched neurites and expression of several neurospecific markers.
In this study we use retrovirally delivered inducible short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) modules to knock down MYCN expression in MYCN-amplified (MNA) neuroblastoma cell lines. By addition of the inducer doxycycline, we show that the Kelly and SK-N-BE(2) neuroblastoma cell lines efficiently differentiate into neuron-like cells with an extensive network of neurites. These cells are further characterized by increased expression of the neuronal differentiation markers NFL and GAP43. In addition, we show that induced expression of retrovirally delivered anti-MYCN shRNA inhibits cell proliferation by increasing the fraction of MNA neuroblastoma cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle and that the clonogenic growth potential of these cells was also dramatically reduced.
We have developed an efficient MYCN-knockdown in vitro model system to study neuronal differentiation in MNA neuroblastomas.
Neuroblastoma is one of the most common solid tumors of childhood, arising from immature sympathetic nervous system cells. The clinical course of patients with neuroblastoma is highly variable, ranging from spontaneous regression to widespread metastatic disease. Although the outcome for children with cancer has improved considerably during the past decades, the prognosis of children with aggressive neuroblastoma remains dismal. The clinical heterogeneity of neuroblastoma mirrors the biological and genetic heterogeneity of these tumors. Ploidy and MYCN amplification have been used as genetic markers for risk stratification and therapeutic decision making, and, more recently, gene expression profiling and genome-wide DNA copy number analysis have come into the picture as sensitive and specific tools for assessing prognosis. The applica tion of new genetic tools also led to the discovery of an important familial neuroblastoma cancer gene, ALK, which is mutated in approximately 8% of sporadic tumors, and genome-wide association studies have unveiled loci with risk alleles for neuroblastoma development. For some of the genomic regions that are deleted in some neuroblastomas, on 1p, 3p and 11q, candidate tumor suppressor genes have been identified. In addition, evidence has emerged for the contribution of epigenetic disturbances in neuroblastoma oncogenesis. As in other cancer entities, altered microRNA expression is also being recognized as an important player in neuroblastoma. The recent successes in unraveling the genetic basis of neuroblastoma are now opening opportunities for development of targeted therapies.
Lim domain only protein 2 (Lmo2) is a transcription factor that plays a critical role in the development of T-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). A previous report established a link between Lmo2 expression and the nuclear presence of oncogenic Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase. The oncogenic JAK2 kinase phosphorylates histone H3 on Tyr 41 that leads to the relief of Lmo2 promoter repression and subsequent gene expression. Similar to JAK2, constitutive activation of lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck) has been implicated in lymphoid malignancies. However, it is not known whether oncogenic Lck regulates Lmo2 expression through a similar mechanism. We show here that Lmo2 expression is significantly elevated in T cell leukemia LSTRA overexpressing active Lck kinase and in HEK 293 cells expressing oncogenic Y505FLck kinase. Nuclear localization of active Lck kinase was confirmed in both Lck-transformed cells by subcellular fractionation and immunofluorescence microscopy. More importantly, in contrast to oncogenic JAK2, oncogenic Lck kinase does not result in significant increase in histone H3 phosphorylation on Tyr 41. Instead, chromatin immunoprecipitation experiment shows that oncogenic Y505FLck kinase binds to the Lmo2 promoter in vivo. This result raises the possibility that oncogenic Lck may activate Lmo2 promoter through direct interaction.
Lck; Lmo2; protein tyrosine kinase; nuclear localization; gene regulation
The LIM-only protein, LMO4, is a transcriptional modulator overexpressed in breast cancer. It is oncogenic in murine mammary epithelium and required for G2/M progression of ErbB2-dependent cells as well as growth and invasion of other breast cancer cell types. However, the mechanisms underlying the oncogenic activity of LMO4 remain unclear. Herein, we show that LMO4 is expressed in all breast cancer subtypes examined and its expression level correlates with the degree of proliferation of such tumors. In addition, we have determined that LMO4 silencing induces G2/M arrest in cells from various breast cancer subtypes, suggesting LMO4 action in the cell cycle is not restricted to a single breast cancer subtype. This arrest was accompanied by increased cell death, amplification of centrosomes and formation of abnormal mitotic spindles. Consistent with its ability to positively and negatively regulate the formation of active transcription complexes, overexpression of LMO4 also resulted in an increase in centrosome number. Centrosome amplification has been shown to prolong the G2/M phase of the cell cycle and induce apoptosis, thus we conclude that supernumerary centrosomes mediate the G2/M arrest and cell death in LMO4-deficient cells. Furthermore, the correlation of centrosome amplification with genomic instability suggests that the impact of dysregulated LMO4 on the centrosome cycle may promote LMO4-induced tumor formation.
Breast Cancer; LMO4; centrosome; cell cycle; proliferation
Increased visceral fat is associated with a high risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome and is in part caused by excessive glucocorticoids (GCs). However, the molecular mechanisms remain undefined. We now identify the GC-dependent gene LIM domain only 3 (LMO3) as being selectively upregulated in a depot-specific manner in human obese visceral adipose tissue, localizing primarily in the adipocyte fraction. Visceral LMO3 levels were tightly correlated with expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type-1 (HSD11B1), the enzyme responsible for local activation of GCs. In early human adipose stromal cell differentiation, GCs induced LMO3 via the GC receptor and a positive feedback mechanism involving 11βHSD1. No such induction was observed in murine adipogenesis. LMO3 overexpression promoted, while silencing of LMO3 suppressed, adipogenesis via regulation of the proadipogenic PPARγ axis. These results establish LMO3 as a regulator of human adipogenesis and could contribute a mechanism resulting in visceral-fat accumulation in obesity due to excess glucocorticoids.
•LMO3 is a target and amplifier of glucocorticoid action in human fat cells•LMO3 levels are selectively elevated in visceral adipose tissue of obese humans•LMO3 is required for human but not mouse adipocyte differentiation•LMO3 promotes adipogenesis by boosting a proadipogenic PPARγ program
LIM-only 4 (LMO4), a member of the LIM-only (LMO) subfamily of LIM domain-containing transcription factors, was initially reported to have an oncogenic role in breast cancer. We hypothesized that LMO4 may be related to pancreatic carcinogenesis as it is in breast carcinogenesis. If so, this could result in a better understanding of tumorigenesis in pancreatic cancer.
We measured LMO4 mRNA levels in cultured cells, pancreatic bulk tissues and microdissected target cells (normal ductal cells; pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia-1B [PanIN-1B] cells; PanIN-2 cells; invasive ductal carcinoma [IDC] cells; intraductal papillary-mucinous adenoma [IPMA] cells; IPM borderline [IPMB] cells; and invasive and non-invasive IPM carcinoma [IPMC]) by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
9 of 14 pancreatic cancer cell lines expressed higher levels of LMO4 mRNA than did the human pancreatic ductal epithelial cell line (HPDE). In bulk tissue samples, expression of LMO4 was higher in pancreatic carcinoma than in intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) or non-neoplastic pancreas (p < 0.0001 for both). We carried out microdissection-based analyses. IDC cells expressed significantly higher levels of LMO4 than did normal ductal epithelia or PanIN-1B cells (p < 0.001 for both) or PanIN-2 cells (p = 0.014). IPMC cells expressed significantly higher levels of LMO4 than did normal ductal epithelia (p < 0.001), IPMA (p < 0.001) and IPMB cells (p = 0.003).
Pancreatic carcinomas (both IDC and IPMC) expressed significantly higher levels of LMO4 mRNA than did normal ductal epithelia, PanIN-1B, PanIN-2, IPMA and IPMB. These results suggested that LMO4 is overexpressed at late stages in carcinogenesis of pancreatic cancer.
The LIM-only family of proteins comprises four members; two of these (LMO1 and LMO2) are involved in human T-cell leukemia via chromosomal translocations, and LMO2 is a master regulator of hematopoiesis. We have carried out gene targeting of the other members of the LIM-only family, viz., genes Lmo1, Lmo3 and Lmo4, to investigate their role in mouse development. None of these genes has an obligatory role in lymphopoiesis. In addition, while null mutations of Lmo1 or Lmo3 have no discernible phenotype, null mutation of Lmo4 alone causes perinatal lethality due to a severe neural tube defect which occurs in the form of anencephaly or exencephaly. Since the Lmo1 and Lmo3 gene sequences are highly related and have partly overlapping expression domains, we assessed the effect of compound Lmo1/Lmo3 null mutations. Although no anatomical defects were apparent in compound null pups, these animals also die within 24 h of birth, suggesting that a compensation between the related Lmo1 and 3 proteins can occur during embryogenesis to negate the individual loss of these genes. Our results complete the gene targeting of the LIM-only family in mice and suggest that all four members of this family are important in regulators of distinct developmental pathways.
Ectopic expression of LIM-only protein 2 (LMO2) in T-cells, as a result of chromosomal translocations or retroviral insertion, plays an important role in the onset of T-cell leukemias. Two transcripts of LMO2 gene (LMO2-a and LMO2-b) have been reported to encode a same 158-amino-acid protein. We have previously reported a novel transcript of human LMO2 gene (LMO2-c) encoding a 151-amino-acid protein, and defined its promoter region. In the present study, we investigated the regulation of the LMO2-c expression and the functions of LMO2-c. We found that LMO2-c expression is regulated by the cooperation of two essential hematopoietic transcription factors GATA-1 and PU.1 in various hematopoietic cell lines, suggesting an important functional role for LMO2-c in the hematopoietic system. More importantly, we demonstrated that LMO2-c acts as an antagonist of LMO2-a/b binding to its partners, therefore blocking the transactivation of LMO2-a/b on its target genes. These findings provide novel evidence to the functions of LMO2 gene in the hematopoietic system and leukemia.
leukemia; LIM-only protein 2 (LMO2); GATA-1; PU.1; antagonist
Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system that accounts for approximately 10% of all pediatric oncology deaths1. Here we report on a genome-wide association study of 2,817 neuroblastoma cases and 7,473 controls. We identified two new associations at 6q16, the first within HACE1 (rs4336470; combined P = 2.7 × 10−11, odds ratio 1.26, 95% CI: 1.18–1.35) and the second within LIN28B (rs17065417; combined P = 1.2 × 10−8, odds ratio 1.38, 95% CI: 1.23–1.54). Expression of LIN28B and let-7 miRNA correlated with rs17065417 genotype in neuroblastoma cell lines, and we observed significant growth inhibition upon depletion of LIN28B specifically in neuroblastoma cells homozygous for the risk allele. Low HACE1 and high LIN28B expression in diagnostic primary neuroblastomas were associated with worse overall survival (P = 0.008 and 0.014, respectively). Taken together, we show that common variants in HACE1 and LIN28B influence neuroblastoma susceptibility and that both genes likely play a role in disease progression.
The LMO2 gene encodes a LIM-only protein and is a target of chromosomal translocations in human T-cell leukemia. Recently, two X-SCID patients treated by gene therapy to rescue T-cell lymphopoiesis developed T-cell leukemias with retroviral insertion into the LMO2 gene causing clonal T-cell proliferation. In view of the specificity of LMO2 in T-cell tumorigenesis, we investigated a possible role for Lmo2 in T-lymphopoiesis, using conditional knockout of mouse Lmo2 with loxP-flanked Lmo2 and Cre recombinase alleles driven by the promoters of the lymphoid-specific genes Rag1, CD19, and Lck. While efficient deletion of Lmo2 was observed, even in the earliest detectable lymphoid cell progenitors of the bone marrow, there was no disturbance of lymphopoiesis in either T- or B-cell lineages, and in contrast to Lmo2 transgenic mice, there were normal distributions of CD4− CD8− thymocytes. We conclude that there is no mandatory role for LMO2 in lymphoid development, implying that its specific role in T-cell tumorigenesis results from a reprogramming of gene expression after enforced expression in T-cell precursors.
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system and many patients present with high risk disease. Risk stratification, based on pathology and tumor-derived biomarkers, has improved prediction of clinical outcomes, but overall survival rates remain unfavorable and new therapeutic targets are needed. Some studies suggest a link between interleukin-6 and more aggressive behavior in neuroblastoma tumor cells. Therefore, we examined the impact of two IL-6 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on neuroblastoma disease progression.
DNA samples from 96 high risk neuroblastoma patients were screened for two SNP that are known to regulate the serum levels of IL-6 and the soluble IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), rs1800795 and rs8192284 respectively. The genotype for each SNP was determined in a blinded fashion and independent statistical analysis was performed to determine SNP-related event free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) rates.
The rs1800795 IL-6 promoter SNP is an independent prognostic factor for EFS and OS in -high risk neuroblastoma patients. In contrast, the rs8192284 IL-6 receptor SNP revealed no prognostic value.
The rs1800795 SNP (-174 IL-6 (G>C) represents a novel and independent prognostic marker for both EFS and OS in high risk neuroblastoma. Since the rs1800795 SNP (-174 IL-6 (G>C) has been shown to correlate with production of IL-6, this cytokine may represent a target for development of new therapies in neuroblastoma.
LIM-domain only protein 7 (LMO7) has been suggested to act as a tumor suppressor for murine lung adenocarcinoma, while its splice variant p100 LMO7/#16 is associated with invasion and metastasis of rat AH130W1 cells. However, the importance of LMO7 in human lung cancer is unknown. We investigated LMO7 protein expression by immunohistochemistry in tumor tissues obtained from 57 patients with adenocarcinoma of the lung using a rabbit anti-LMO7 antibody. Signals for LMO7 were localized to the apical surface of the bronchial epithelium and to the cell membranes of pneumocytes in non-cancerous pulmonary tissues, but were noted circumferentially around the plasma membrane of cancer cells in all 57 patients with adenocarcinoma. The LMO7-positive group (24 patients, 42%) showed equivocal to strong expression of LMO7 in more than 50% cancer cells, while the remaining 33 patients (58%) showed LMO7 expression in less than 50% of their cancer cells. The latter group had significantly more advanced disease than the LMO7-positive group with regard to T factor (p=0.011), nodal involvement (p=0.026) and p-stage (p=0.010; χ2 test). Multivariate analysis using a logistic regression model showed that LMO7 expression was independently associated with the T factor (p=0.041). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that a poor prognosis was associated with low expression of LMO7 (p=0.036; log-rank test). Our findings are consistent with earlier observations and demonstrate that LMO7 is inversely correlated with the development and prognosis of human lung adenocarcinoma.
LIM-domain only protein 7; immunohistochemistry; human lung adenocarcinoma
Previously, we have shown that TAL1 and the LIM-only protein gene (LMO) are regularly coactivated in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). This observation is likely to relate to the findings that TAL1 and LMO are highly synergistic in T-cell tumorigenesis in double-transgenic mice. To understand the molecular mechanisms of functional synergy between TAL1 and LMO in tumorigenesis and transcriptional regulation, we tried to identify downstream target genes regulated by TAL1 and LMO by a subtractive PCR method. One of the isolated genes, that for retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (RALDH2), was regularly expressed in most of the T-ALL cell lines that coexpressed TAL1 and LMO. Exogenously transfected TAL1 and LMO, but not either alone, induced RALDH2 expression in a T-ALL cell line, HPB-ALL, not expressing endogeneous TAL1 or LMO. The RALDH2 transcripts in T-ALL were, however, mostly initiated within the second intron. Promoter analysis revealed that a GATA site in a cryptic promoter in the second intron was essential and sufficient for the TAL1- and LMO-dependent transcriptional activation, and GATA3 binds to this site. In addition, forced expression of GATA3 potentiated the induction of RALDH2 by TAL1 and LMO, and these three factors formed a complex in vivo. Furthermore, a TAL1 mutant not binding to DNA also activated the transcription of RALDH2 in the presence of LMO and GATA3. Collectively, we have identified the RALDH2 gene as a first example of direct transcriptional target genes regulated by TAL1 and LMO in T-ALL. In this case, TAL1 and LMO act as cofactors for GATA3 to activate the transcription of RALDH2.
Both LMO2 mRNA and protein expression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) have been associated with superior survival; however, a role for germline genetic variation in LMO2 has not been previously reported. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for LMO2 was conducted on tumor tissue from diagnostic biopsies, and 20 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from LMO2 were genotyped from germline DNA. LMO2 IHC positivity was associated with superior survival (HR=0.55; 95% CI 0.31–0.97). Four LMO2 SNPs (rs10836127, rs941940, rs750781, rs1885524) were associated with survival after adjusting for LMO2 IHC and clinical factors (p<0.05), and one of these SNPs (rs941940) was also associated with IHC positivity (p=0.02). Compared to a model with clinical factors only (c-statistic=0.676), adding the 4 SNPs (c-statistic=0.751) or LMO2 IHC (c-statistic=0.691) increased the predictive ability of the model, while inclusion of all 3 factors (c-statistic=0.754) did not meaningfully add predictive ability above a model with clinical factors and the 4 SNPs. In conclusion, germline genetic variation in LMO2 was associated with DLBCL prognosis and provided slightly stronger predictive ability relative to LMO2 IHC status.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; LMO2; prognosis; single nucleotide polymorphisms
LMO2 is a transcription regulator involved in human T cell leukemia, including some occurring in X-SCID gene therapy trials, and in B cell lymphomas and prostate cancer. LMO2 functions in transcription complexes via protein-protein interactions involving two LIM domains and causes a pre-leukaemic T cell development blockade followed by clonal tumors. Therefore, LMO2 is necessary but not sufficient for overt neoplasias which must undergo additional mutations prior to frank malignancy. An open question is the importance of LMO2 in tumor development as opposed to sustaining cancer. We have addressed this using a peptide aptamer that binds to the second LIM domain of the LMO2 protein and disrupts its function. This specificity is mediated by a conserved Cys-Cys motif, which is similar to the zinc binding LIM domains. The peptide inhibits Lmo2 function in a mouse T cell tumor transplantation assay by preventing Lmo2-dependent T-cell neoplasia. Lmo2 is therefore required for sustained T-cell tumor growth, in addition to its pre-leukaemic effect. Interference with LMO2 complexes is a strategy for controlling LMO2-mediated cancers and the finger structure of LMO2 is an explicit focus for drug development.
LMO2; LIM domain; leukemia; chromosomal translocations; cancer; therapy; peptide aptamers
Drosophila has been developed recently as a model system to investigate the molecular and neural mechanisms underlying responses to drugs of abuse. Genetic screens for mutants with altered drug-induced behaviors thus provide an unbiased approach to define novel molecules involved in the process. We identified mutations in the Drosophila LIM-only (LMO) gene, encoding a regulator of LIM-homeodomain proteins, in a genetic screen for mutants with altered cocaine sensitivity. Reduced Lmo function increases behavioral responses to cocaine, while Lmo overexpression causes the opposite effect, reduced cocaine responsiveness. Expression of Lmo in the principal Drosophila circadian pacemaker cells, the PDF-expressing ventral lateral neurons (LNvs), is sufficient to confer normal cocaine sensitivity. Consistent with a role for Lmo in LNv function, Lmo mutants also show defects in circadian rhythms of behavior. However, the role for LNvs in modulating cocaine responses is separable from their role as pacemaker neurons: ablation or functional silencing of the LNvs reduces cocaine sensitivity, while loss of the principal circadian neurotransmitter PDF has no effect. Together, these results reveal a novel role for Lmo in modulating acute cocaine sensitivity and circadian locomotor rhythmicity, and add to growing evidence that these behaviors are regulated by shared molecular mechanisms. The finding that the degree of cocaine responsiveness is controlled by the Drosophila pacemaker neurons provides a neuroanatomical basis for this overlap. We propose that Lmo controls the responsiveness of LNvs to cocaine, which in turn regulate the flies' behavioral sensitivity to the drug.
Expression of the Drosophila LIM-only (LMO) gene in circadian pacemaker cells is required for the normal behavioral sensitivity of these animals to cocaine
LMO4 belongs to a family of transcriptional regulators that comprises two zinc-binding LIM domains. LIM-only (LMO) proteins appear to function as docking sites for other factors, leading to the assembly of multiprotein complexes. The transcription factor Deaf-1/NUDR has been identified as one partner protein of LMO4. We have disrupted the Lmo4 and Deaf-1 genes in mice to define their biological function in vivo. All Lmo4 mutants died shortly after birth and showed defects within the presphenoid bone, with 50% of mice also exhibiting exencephaly. Homeotic transformations were observed in Lmo4-null embryos and newborn mice, but with incomplete penetrance. These included skeletal defects in cervical vertebrae and the rib cage. Furthermore, fusions of cranial nerves IX and X and defects in cranial nerve V were apparent in some Lmo4−/− and Lmo4+/− mice. Remarkably, Deaf-1 mutants displayed phenotypic abnormalities similar to those observed in Lmo4 mutants. These included exencephaly, transformation of cervical segments, and rib cage abnormalities. In contrast to Lmo4 nullizygous mice, nonexencephalic Deaf-1 mutants remained healthy. No defects in the sphenoid bone or cranial nerves were apparent. Thus, Lmo4 and Deaf-1 mutant mice exhibit overlapping as well as distinct phenotypes. Our data indicate an important role for these two transcriptional regulators in pathways affecting neural tube closure and skeletal patterning, most likely reflecting their presence in a functional complex in vivo.
Aggressive neuroblastoma remains a significant cause of childhood cancer death despite current intensive multimodal treatment protocols. The purpose of the present work was to characterize the genetic and clinical diversity of such tumors by high resolution arrayCGH profiling.
Based on a 32K BAC whole-genome tiling path array and using 50-250K Affymetrix SNP array platforms for verification, DNA copy number profiles were generated for 34 consecutive high-risk or lethal outcome neuroblastomas. In addition, age and MYCN amplification (MNA) status were retrieved for 112 unfavorable neuroblastomas of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Registry, representing a 25-year neuroblastoma cohort of Sweden, here used for validation of the findings. Statistical tests used were: Fisher’s exact test, Bayes moderated t-test, independent samples t-test, and correlation analysis.
MNA or segmental 11q loss (11q-) was found in 28/34 tumors. With two exceptions, these aberrations were mutually exclusive. Children with MNA tumors were diagnosed at significantly younger ages than those with 11q- tumors (mean: 27.4 vs. 69.5 months; p=0.008; n=14/12), and MNA tumors had significantly fewer segmental chromosomal aberrations (mean: 5.5 vs. 12.0; p<0.001). Furthermore, in the 11q- tumor group a positive correlation was seen between the number of segmental aberrations and the age at diagnosis (Pearson Correlation 0.606; p=0.037). Among nonMNA/non11q- tumors (n=6), one tumor displayed amplicons on 11q and 12q and three others bore evidence of progression from low-risk tumors due to retrospective evidence of disease six years before diagnosis, or due to tumor profiles with high proportions of numerical chromosomal aberrations. An early age at diagnosis of MNA neuroblastomas was verified by registry data, with an average of 29.2 months for 43 cases that were not included in the present study.
MNA and segmental 11q loss define two major genetic variants of unfavorable neuroblastoma with apparent differences in their pace of tumor evolution and in genomic integrity. Other possible, but less common, routes in the development of aggressive tumors are progression of low-risk infant-type lesions, and gene amplifications other than MYCN. Knowledge on such nosological diversity of aggressive neuroblastoma might influence future strategies for therapy.
High-risk; Unfavorable; Neuroblastoma; Arraycgh; DNA copy number; Gain; Loss; Amplification; Age
Neuroblastoma arises from precursor cells of the sympathetic nervous system and presently accounts for 15% of all childhood cancer deaths. These tumors display remarkable heterogeneity in clinical behavior, ranging from spontaneous regression to rapid progression and resistance to therapy. The clinical behavior of these tumors is associated with many factors, including patient age, histopathology and genetic abnormalities such as MYCN amplification. More recently, the dysregulation of some miRNAs, including the miR-17-5p-92 cluster and miR-34a, has been implicated in the pathobiology of neuroblastoma. MiR-17-5p-92 family members act in an oncogenic manner while miR-34a has tumor suppressor functions. The evidence for the contribution of miRNAs in the aggressive neuroblastoma phenotype is reviewed in this article, along with exciting possibilities for miRNA mediated therapeutics.
MicroRNA; Neuroblastoma; MYCN; Chromosomal Imbalance