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1.  Genome-Wide Microarray Expression and Genomic Alterations by Array-CGH Analysis in Neuroblastoma Stem-Like Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113105.
Neuroblastoma has a very diverse clinical behaviour: from spontaneous regression to a very aggressive malignant progression and resistance to chemotherapy. This heterogeneous clinical behaviour might be due to the existence of Cancer Stem Cells (CSC), a subpopulation within the tumor with stem-like cell properties: a significant proliferation capacity, a unique self-renewal capacity, and therefore, a higher ability to form new tumors. We enriched the CSC-like cell population content of two commercial neuroblastoma cell lines by the use of conditioned cell culture media for neurospheres, and compared genomic gains and losses and genome expression by array-CGH and microarray analysis, respectively (in CSC-like versus standard tumor cells culture). Despite the array-CGH did not show significant differences between standard and CSC-like in both analyzed cell lines, the microarray expression analysis highlighted some of the most relevant biological processes and molecular functions that might be responsible for the CSC-like phenotype. Some signalling pathways detected seem to be involved in self-renewal of normal tissues (Wnt, Notch, Hh and TGF-β) and contribute to CSC phenotype. We focused on the aberrant activation of TGF-β and Hh signalling pathways, confirming the inhibition of repressors of TGF-β pathway, as SMAD6 and SMAD7 by RT-qPCR. The analysis of the Sonic Hedgehog pathway showed overexpression of PTCH1, GLI1 and SMO. We found overexpression of CD133 and CD15 in SIMA neurospheres, confirming that this cell line was particularly enriched in stem-like cells. This work shows a cross-talk among different pathways in neuroblastoma and its importance in CSC-like cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113105
PMCID: PMC4231109  PMID: 25392930
2.  Global expression profile in low grade meningiomas and schwannomas shows upregulation of PDGFD, CDH1 and SLIT2 compared to their healthy tissue 
Oncology Reports  2014;32(6):2327-2334.
Schwannomas and grade I meningiomas are non-metastatic neoplasms that share the common mutation of gene NF2. They usually appear in neurofibromatosis type 2 patients. Currently, there is no drug treatment available for both tumors, thus the use of wide expression technologies is crucial to identify therapeutic targets. Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST was used to test global gene expression in 22 meningiomas, 31 schwannomas and, as non-tumoral controls, 3 healthy meningeal tissues, 8 non-tumoral nerves and 1 primary Schwann cell culture. A non-stringent P-value cut-off and fold change were used to establish deregulated genes. We identified a subset of genes that were upregulated in meningiomas and schwannomas when compared to their respectively healthy tissues, including PDGFD, CDH1 and SLIT2. Thus, these genes should be thoroughly studied as targets in a possible combined treatment.
doi:10.3892/or.2014.3526
PMCID: PMC4240498  PMID: 25333347
schwannoma; meningioma; microarray; comparative gene expression; NF2; neurofibromatosis 2
3.  Homozygous deletion of TNFRSF4, TP73, PPAP2B and DPYD at 1p and PDCD5 at 19q identified by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis in pediatric anaplastic glioma with questionable oligodendroglial component 
Background
Pediatric oligodendrogliomas are rare and appear to show a different molecular profile from adult tumors. Some gliomas display allelic losses at 1p/19q in pediatric patients, although less frequently than in adult patients, but this is rare in tumors with an oligodendroglial component. The molecular basis of this genomic abnormality is unknown in pediatric gliomas, but it represents a relatively common finding in pediatric oligodendroglioma-like neoplasms with leptomeningeal dissemination.
Results
Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis using SALSA P088-B1 for the analysis of the 1p/19q allelic constitution in a pediatric anaplastic (oligodendro)-glioma showed homozygous co-deletion for markers: TNFRSF4 (located at 1p36.33), TP73 (1p36.32), PPAP2B (1pter-p22.1), DPYD (1p21.3), and PDCD5 (19q13.12), and hemizygous deletion of BAX (19q13.3-q13.4). No sequence changes for R132 and R172 of the IDH1/2 genes were identified.
Conclusions
The molecular findings in this pediatric anaplastic glioma do not allow for a clearly definitive pathological diagnosis. However, the findings provide data on a number of 1p/19q genomic regions that, because of homozygotic deletion, might be the location of genes that are important for the development and clinical evolution of some malignant gliomas in children.
doi:10.1186/1755-8166-7-1
PMCID: PMC3905963  PMID: 24387276
Pediatric anaplastic glioma; Oligodendroglioma; Homozygous deletion 1p/19q; MLPA
4.  On habit and the mind-body problem. The view of Felix Ravaisson 
doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00684
PMCID: PMC4158773  PMID: 25249959
habit; mind-body problem; metaphysics; anthropology; consciousness
5.  Global Profiling in Vestibular Schwannomas Shows Critical Deregulation of MicroRNAs and Upregulation in Those Included in Chromosomal Region 14q32 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65868.
Background
Vestibular schwannomas are benign tumors that arise from Schwann cells in the VIII cranial pair and usually present NF2 gene mutations and/or loss of heterozygosity on chromosome 22q. Deregulation has also been found in several genes, such as ERBB2 and NRG1. MicroRNAs are non-coding RNAs approximately 21 to 23 nucleotides in length that regulate mRNAs, usually by degradation at the post-transcriptional level.
Methods
We used microarray technology to test the deregulation of miRNAs and other non-coding RNAs present in GeneChip miRNA 1.0 (Affymetrix) over 16 vestibular schwannomas and 3 control-nerves, validating 10 of them by qRT-PCR.
Findings
Our results showed the deregulation of 174 miRNAs, including miR-10b, miR-206, miR-183 and miR-204, and the upregulation of miR-431, miR-221, miR-21 and miR-720, among others. The results also showed an aberrant expression of other non-coding RNAs. We also found a general upregulation of the miRNA cluster located at chromosome 14q32.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that several miRNAs are involved in tumor formation and/or maintenance and that global upregulation of the 14q32 chromosomal site contains miRNAs that may represent a therapeutic target for this neoplasm.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065868
PMCID: PMC3679163  PMID: 23776562
6.  Gene expression analysis of aberrant signaling pathways in meningiomas 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(1):275-279.
Examining aberrant pathway alterations is one method for understanding the abnormal signals that are involved in tumorigenesis and tumor progression. In the present study, expression arrays were performed on tumor-related genes in meningiomas. The GE Array Q Series HS-006 was used to determine the expression levels of 96 genes that corresponded to six primary biological regulatory pathways in a series of 42 meningiomas, including 32 grade I, four recurrent grade I and six grade II tumors, in addition to three normal tissue controls. Results showed that 25 genes that were primarily associated with apoptosis and angiogenesis functions were downregulated and 13 genes frequently involving DNA damage repair functions were upregulated. In addition to the inactivation of the neurofibromin gene, NF2, which is considered to be an early step in tumorigenesis, variations of other biological regulatory pathways may play a significant role in the development of meningioma.
doi:10.3892/ol.2013.1363
PMCID: PMC3742750  PMID: 23946817
meningioma; schwannoma; neurofibromin gene; gene expression arrays; signaling pathways
7.  Microarray analysis of gene expression in vestibular schwannomas reveals SPP1/MET signaling pathway and androgen receptor deregulation 
International Journal of Oncology  2013;42(3):848-862.
Vestibular schwannomas are benign neoplasms that arise from the vestibular nerve. The hallmark of these tumors is the biallelic inactivation of neurofibromin 2 (NF2). Transcriptomic alterations, such as the neuregulin 1 (NRG1)/ErbB2 pathway, have been described in schwannomas. In this study, we performed a whole transcriptome analysis in 31 vestibular schwannomas and 9 control nerves in the Affymetrix Gene 1.0 ST platform, validated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) using TaqMan Low Density arrays. We performed a mutational analysis of NF2 by PCR/denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (dHPLC) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), as well as a microsatellite marker analysis of the loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of chromosome 22q. The microarray analysis demonstrated that 1,516 genes were deregulated and 48 of the genes were validated by qRT-PCR. At least 2 genetic hits (allelic loss and/or gene mutation) in NF2 were found in 16 tumors, seven cases showed 1 hit and 8 tumors showed no NF2 alteration. MET and associated genes, such as integrin, alpha 4 (ITGA4)/B6, PLEXNB3/SEMA5 and caveolin-1 (CAV1) showed a clear deregulation in vestibular schwannomas. In addition, androgen receptor (AR) downregulation may denote a hormonal effect or cause in this tumor. Furthermore, the osteopontin gene (SPP1), which is involved in merlin protein degradation, was upregulated, which suggests that this mechanism may also exert a pivotal role in schwannoma merlin depletion. Finally, no major differences were observed among tumors of different size, histological type or NF2 status, which suggests that, at the mRNA level, all schwannomas, regardless of their molecular and clinical characteristics, may share common features that can be used in their treatment.
doi:10.3892/ijo.2013.1798
PMCID: PMC3597452  PMID: 23354516
schwannoma; microarrays; androgen; MET; osteopontin SPP1; neurofibromin 2; NF2
8.  The Molecular Biology of Vestibular Schwannomas and Its Association with Hearing Loss: A Review 
Hearing loss is the most common symptom in patients with vestibular schwannoma (VS). In the past, compressive mechanisms caused by the tumoral mass and its growth have been regarded as the most likely causes of the hearing loss associated with VS. Interestingly, new evidence proposes molecular mechanisms as an explanation for such hearing loss. Among the molecular mechanisms proposed are methylation of TP73, negative expression of cyclin D1, expression of B7-H1, increased expression of the platelet-derived growth factor A, underexpression of PEX5L, RAD54B, and PSMAL, and overexpression of CEA. Many molecular mechanisms are involved in vestibular schwannoma development; we review some of these mechanisms with special emphasis on hearing loss associated with vestibular schwannoma.
doi:10.1155/2012/856157
PMCID: PMC3335540  PMID: 22567403
9.  Promoter Methylation of RASSF1A Associates to Adult Secondary Glioblastomas and Pediatric Glioblastomas 
ISRN Neurology  2012;2012:576578.
While allelic losses and mutations of tumor suppressor genes implicated in the etiology of astrocytoma have been widely assessed, the role of epigenetics is still a matter of study. We analyzed the frequency of promoter hypermethylation by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) in five tumor suppressor genes (PTEN, MGMT, RASSF1A, p14ARF, and p16INK4A), in astrocytoma samples and cell lines. RASSF1A was the most frequently hypermethylated gene in all grades of astrocytoma samples, in cell lines, and in adult secondary GBM. It was followed by MGMT. PTEN showed a slight methylation signal in only one GBM and one pilocytic astrocytoma, and in two cell lines; while p14ARF and p16INK4A did not show any evidence of methylation in primary tumors or cell lines. In pediatric GBM, RASSF1A was again the most frequently altered gene, followed by MGMT; PTEN, p14 and p16 showed no alterations. Lack or reduced expression of RASSF1A in cell lines was correlated with the presence of methylation. RASSF1A promoter hypermethylation might be used as a diagnostic marker for secondary GBM and pediatric GBM. Promoter hypermethylation might not be an important inactivation mechanism in other genes like PTEN, p14ARF and p16INK4A, in which other alterations (mutations, homozygous deletions) are prevalent.
doi:10.5402/2012/576578
PMCID: PMC3263565  PMID: 22389839
10.  Regulation of sonic hedgehog-GLI1 downstream target genes PTCH1, Cyclin D2, Plakoglobin, PAX6 and NKX2.2 and their epigenetic status in medulloblastoma and astrocytoma 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:614.
Background
The Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway is critical for cell growth and differentiation. Impairment of this pathway can result in both birth defects and cancer. Despite its importance in cancer development, the Shh pathway has not been thoroughly investigated in tumorigenesis of brain tumors. In this study, we sought to understand the regulatory roles of GLI1, the immediate downstream activator of the Shh signaling pathway on its downstream target genes PTCH1, Cyclin D2, Plakoglobin, NKX2.2 and PAX6 in medulloblastoma and astrocytic tumors.
Methods
We silenced GLI1 expression in medulloblastoma and astrocytic cell lines by transfection of siRNA against GLI1. Subsequently, we performed RT-PCR and quantitative real time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) to assay the expression of downstream target genes PTCH1, Cyclin D2, Plakoglobin, NKX2.2 and PAX6. We also attempted to correlate the pattern of expression of GLI1 and its regulated genes in 14 cell lines and 41 primary medulloblastoma and astrocytoma tumor samples. We also assessed the methylation status of the Cyclin D2 and PTCH1 promoters in these 14 cell lines and 58 primary tumor samples.
Results
Silencing expression of GLI1 resulted up-regulation of all target genes in the medulloblastoma cell line, while only PTCH1 was up-regulated in astrocytoma. We also observed methylation of the cyclin D2 promoter in a significant number of astrocytoma cell lines (63%) and primary astrocytoma tumor samples (32%), but not at all in any medulloblastoma samples. PTCH1 promoter methylation was less frequently observed than Cyclin D2 promoter methylation in astrocytomas, and not at all in medulloblastomas.
Conclusions
Our results demonstrate different regulatory mechanisms of Shh-GLI1 signaling. These differences vary according to the downstream target gene affected, the origin of the tissue, as well as epigenetic regulation of some of these genes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-614
PMCID: PMC2989332  PMID: 21059263
11.  Detection of methylation in promoter sequences by melting curve analysis-based semiquantitative real time PCR 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:61.
Background
We present two melting curve analysis (MCA)-based semiquantitative real time PCR techniques to detect the promoter methylation status of genes. The first, MCA-MSP, follows the same principle as standard MSP but it is performed in a real time thermalcycler with results being visualized in a melting curve. The second, MCA-Meth, uses a single pair of primers designed with no CpGs in its sequence. These primers amplify both unmethylated and methylated sequences. In clinical applications the MSP technique has revolutionized methylation detection by simplifying the analysis to a PCR-based protocol. MCA-analysis based techniques may be able to further improve and simplify methylation analyses by reducing starting DNA amounts, by introducing an all-in-one tube reaction and by eliminating a final gel stage for visualization of the result. The current study aimed at investigating the feasibility of both MCA-MSP and MCA-Meth in the analysis of promoter methylation, and at defining potential advantages and shortcomings in comparison to currently implemented techniques, i.e. bisulfite sequencing and standard MSP.
Methods
The promoters of the RASSF1A (3p21.3), BLU (3p21.3) and MGMT (10q26) genes were analyzed by MCA-MSP and MCA-Meth in 13 astrocytoma samples, 6 high grade glioma cell lines and 4 neuroblastoma cell lines. The data were compared with standard MSP and validated by bisulfite sequencing.
Results
Both, MCA-MSP and MCA-Meth, successfully determined promoter methylation. MCA-MSP provided information similar to standard MSP analyses. However the analysis was possible in a single tube and avoided the gel stage. MCA-Meth proved to be useful in samples with intermediate methylation status, reflected by a melting curve position shift in dependence on methylation extent.
Conclusion
We propose MCA-MSP and MCA-Meth as alternative or supplementary techniques to MSP or bisulfite sequencing.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-61
PMCID: PMC2266933  PMID: 18298842
12.  Frequent promoter hypermethylation of RASSF1A and CASP8 in neuroblastoma 
BMC Cancer  2006;6:254.
Background
Epigenetic alterations and loss of heterozygosity are mechanisms of tumor suppressor gene inactivation. A new carcinogenic pathway, targeting the RAS effectors has recently been documented. RASSF1A, on 3p21.3, and NORE1A, on 1q32.1, are among the most important, representative RAS effectors.
Methods
We screened the 3p21 locus for the loss of heterozygosity and the hypermethylation status of RASSF1A, NORE1A and BLU (the latter located at 3p21.3) in 41 neuroblastic tumors. The statistical relationship of these data was correlated with CASP8 hypermethylation. The expression levels of these genes, in cell lines, were analyzed by RT-PCR.
Results
Loss of heterozygosity and microsatellite instability at 3p21 were detected in 14% of the analyzed tumors. Methylation was different for tumors and cell lines (tumors: 83% in RASSF1A, 3% in NORE1A, 8% in BLU and 60% in CASP8; cell lines: 100% in RASSF1A, 50% in NORE1A, 66% in BLU and 92% in CASP8). In cell lines, a correlation with lack of expression was evident for RASSF1A, but less clear for NORE1A, BLU and CASP8. We could only demonstrate a statistically significant association between hypermethylation of RASSF1A and hypermethylation of CASP8, while no association with MYCN amplification, 1p deletion, and/or aggressive histological pattern of the tumor was demonstrated.
Conclusion
1) LOH at 3p21 appears in a small percentage of neuroblastomas, indicating that a candidate tumor suppressor gene of neuroblastic tumors is not located in this region.
2) Promoter hypermethylation of RASSF1A and CASP8 occurs at a high frequency in neuroblastomas.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-254
PMCID: PMC1634754  PMID: 17064406

Results 1-12 (12)