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1.  Molecular Damage in the Bronchial Epithelium of Current and Former Smokers 
Most lung cancers are attributed to smoking. These cancers have been associated with multiple genetic alterations and with the presence of preneoplastic bronchial lesions. In view of such associations, we evaluated the status of specific chromosomal loci in histologically normal and abnormal bronchial biopsy specimens from current and former smokers and specimens from nonsmokers.
Multiple biopsy specimens were obtained from 18 current smokers, 24 former smokers, and 21 nonsmokers. Polymerase chain reaction-based assays involving 15 polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers were used to examine eight chromosomal regions for genetic changes (loss of heterozygosity [LOH] and microsatellite alterations).
LOH and microsatellite alterations were observed in biopsy specimens from both current and former smokers, but no statistically significant differences were observed between the two groups. Among individuals with a history of smoking, 86% demonstrated LOH in one or more biopsy specimens, and 24% showed LOH in all biopsy specimens. About half of the histologically normal specimens from smokers showed LOH, but the frequency of LOH and the severity of histologic change did not correspond until the carcinoma in situ stage. A subset of biopsy specimens from smokers that exhibited either normal or preneoplastic histology showed LOH at multiple chromosomal sites, a phenomenon frequently observed in carcinoma in situ and invasive cancer. LOH on chromosomes 3p and 9p was more frequent than LOH on chromosomes 5q, 17p (17p13; TP53 gene), and 13q (13q14; retinoblastoma gene). Microsatellite alterations were detected in 64% of the smokers. No genetic alterations were detected in nonsmokers.
Genetic changes similar to those found in lung cancers can be detected in the nonmalignant bronchial epithelium of current and former smokers and may persist for many years after smoking cessation.
PMCID: PMC5193483  PMID: 9308707
2.  Molecular Changes in the Bronchial Epithelium of Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer 
To better understand the pathways involved in the pathogenesis of small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC), we compared the patterns of molecular changes present in these tumors and their accompanying bronchial epithelium with those present in the other two major types of lung cancer [squamous cell carcinoma (SQC) and adenocarcinoma (ADC)]. We obtained DNA from 68 microdissected invasive lung tumors (22 SCLCs, 21 ADCs, and, 25 SQCs) and 119 noncontiguous foci of histologically normal or hyperplastic epithelia from 10 tumors of each histological type. We determined loss of heterozygosity and microsatellite alterations at 12 chromosomal regions frequently deleted in lung cancers using 19 polymorphic microsatellite markers. Our major findings are as follows: (a) the mean index of allelic loss in SCLC (0.85) and SQC (0.71) tumors was higher than that in ADC (0.39) tumors; (b) although there was considerable overlap, each tumor type had a characteristic pattern of allelic loss; (c) most samples of bronchial epithelium accompanying SCLC (90%) had allelic loss at one or more loci compared with samples accompanying SQC (54%) or ADC (10%); (d) the mean index of allelic loss was much higher in bronchial epithelial samples from SCLC (0.27) than in those from SQC (0.08) or ADC (0.01); and (e) although the mean indices of microsatellite alterations in the tumor types were similar, the bronchial epithelial samples accompanying SCLC had a 10-fold higher mean index (0.063) than those accompanying SQC (0.006) or ADC (0.006). Our findings indicate that extensive genetic damage in the accompanying normal and hyperplastic bronchial epithelium is characteristic of SCLC tumors and suggest major differences in the pathogenesis of the three major lung cancer types.
PMCID: PMC5164924  PMID: 10914700
3.  ZEB1 drives epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in lung cancer 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  null;126(9):3219-3235.
Increased expression of zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) is associated with tumor grade and metastasis in lung cancer, likely due to its role as a transcription factor in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here, we modeled malignant transformation in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) and determined that EMT and ZEB1 expression are early, critical events in lung cancer pathogenesis. Specific oncogenic mutations in TP53 and KRAS were required for HBECs to engage EMT machinery in response to microenvironmental (serum/TGF-β) or oncogenetic (MYC) factors. Both TGF-β– and MYC-induced EMT required ZEB1, but engaged distinct TGF-β–dependent and vitamin D receptor–dependent (VDR-dependent) pathways, respectively. Functionally, we found that ZEB1 causally promotes malignant progression of HBECs and tumorigenicity, invasion, and metastases in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) lines. Mechanistically, ZEB1 expression in HBECs directly repressed epithelial splicing regulatory protein 1 (ESRP1), leading to increased expression of a mesenchymal splice variant of CD44 and a more invasive phenotype. In addition, ZEB1 expression in early stage IB primary NSCLC correlated with tumor-node-metastasis stage. These findings indicate that ZEB1-induced EMT and associated molecular changes in ESRP1 and CD44 contribute to early pathogenesis and metastatic potential in established lung cancer. Moreover, TGF-β and VDR signaling and CD44 splicing pathways associated with ZEB1 are potential EMT chemoprevention and therapeutic targets in NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC5004933  PMID: 27500490
4.  Microtubule Affinity-Regulating Kinase 2 is associated with DNA damage response and cisplatin resistance in non-small cell lung cancer 
Microtubule affinity-regulating kinases (MARKs) are involved in several cellular functions but few studies have correlated MARK kinase expression with cancer, and none have explored their role in lung cancer. In this study, we identified MARK2 as frequently disrupted by DNA hypomethylation and copy gain, resulting in concordant overexpression in independent lung tumor cohorts and we demonstrate a role for MARK2 in lung tumor biology. Manipulation of MARK2 in lung cell lines revealed its involvement in cell viability and anchorage-independent growth. Analyses of both manipulated cell lines and clinical tumor specimens identified a potential role for MARK2 in cell cycle activation and DNA repair. Associations between MARK2 and the E2F, Myc/Max, and NF-κB pathways were identified by luciferase assays and in-depth assessment of the NF-κB pathway suggests a negative association between MARK2 expression and NF-κB due to activation of non-canonical NF-κB signaling. Finally, we show that high MARK2 expression levels correlate with resistance to cisplatin, a standard first line chemotherapy for lung cancer. Collectively, our work supports a role for MARK2 in promoting malignant phenotypes of lung cancer and potentially modulating response to the DNA damaging chemotherapeutic, cisplatin.
PMCID: PMC4537683  PMID: 25907283
MARK2; Lung cancer; DNA damage repair; NFκB; Cisplatin resistance
5.  Methylation Profiling of Lung Cancer: A Decade of Progress 
Molecular cancer therapeutics  2011;10(11):2020.
PMCID: PMC4522280  PMID: 22072805
6.  Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Mutations in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Medicine  2011;90(3):168-170.
PMCID: PMC4513359  PMID: 21512415
7.  Telomerase inhibitor imetelstat has preclinical activity across the spectrum of non-small cell lung cancer oncogenotypes in a telomere length dependent manner 
Oncotarget  2016;7(22):31639-31651.
Telomerase was evaluated as a therapeutic oncotarget by studying the efficacy of the telomerase inhibitor imetelstat in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines to determine the range of response phenotypes and identify potential biomarkers of response. A panel of 63 NSCLC cell lines was studied for telomere length and imetelstat efficacy in inhibiting colony formation and no correlation was found with patient characteristics, tumor histology, and oncogenotypes. While there was no overall correlation between imetelstat efficacy with initial telomere length (ranging from 1.5 to 20 kb), the quartile of NSCLC lines with the shortest telomeres was more sensitive than the quartile with the longest telomeres. Continuous long-term treatment with imetelstat resulted in sustained telomerase inhibition, progressive telomere shortening and eventual growth inhibition in a telomere-length dependent manner. Cessation of imetelstat therapy before growth inhibition was followed by telomere regrowth. Likewise, in vivo imetelstat treatment caused tumor xenograft growth inhibition in a telomere-length dependent manner. We conclude from these preclinical studies of telomerase as an oncotarget tested by imetelstat response that imetelstat has efficacy across the entire oncogenotype spectrum of NSCLC, continuous therapy is necessary to prevent telomere regrowth, and short telomeres appears to be the best treatment biomarker.
PMCID: PMC5077965  PMID: 27192120
imetelstat; telomerase; telomeres; lung cancer; telomerase inhibition
9.  Molecular portraits of epithelial, mesenchymal and hybrid states in lung adenocarcinoma and their relevance to survival 
Cancer research  2015;75(9):1789-1800.
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key process associated with tumor progression and metastasis. To define molecular features associated with EMT states, we undertook an integrative approach combining mRNA, microRNA, DNA methylation and proteomic profiles of 38 cell populations representative of the genomic heterogeneity in lung adenocarcinoma were integrated with functional profiles consisting of cell invasiveness, adhesion and motility. A subset of cell lines that were readily defined as epithelial or mesenchymal based on their morphology and E-cadherin and vimentin expression elicited distinctive molecular signatures. However, most cell populations displayed intermediate/hybrid states of EMT, with mixed epithelial and mesenchymal characteristics. A dominant proteomic feature of aggressive hybrid cell lines was upregulation of cytoskeletal and actin binding proteins, a signature shared with mesenchymal cell lines. Cytoskeletal reorganization preceded loss of E-cadherin in epithelial cells in which EMT was induced by TGFβ. A set of transcripts corresponding to the mesenchymal protein signature enriched in cytoskeletal proteins was found to be predictive of survival in independent datasets of lung adenocarcinomas. Our findings point to an association between cytoskeletal and actin-binding proteins, a mesenchymal or hybrid EMT phenotype and invasive properties of lung adenocarcinomas.
PMCID: PMC4846295  PMID: 25744723
epithelial to mesenchymal transition; lung adenocarcinoma; proteomics; genomics; cancer survival
10.  The comparative pathology of genetically engineered mouse models for neuroendocrine carcinomas of the lung 
Because small cell lung carcinomas (SCLC) are seldom resected, human materials for study are limited. Thus, genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) for SCLC and other high-grade lung neuroendocrine (NE) carcinomas are crucial for translational research.
The pathologies of five GEMMs were studied in detail and consensus diagnoses reached by four lung cancer pathology experts. Hematoxylin and Eosin and immunostained slides of over 100 mice were obtained from the originating and other laboratories and digitalized. The GEMMs included the original Rb/p53 double knockout (Berns laboratory) and triple knockouts from the Sage, MacPherson and Jacks laboratories (double knockout model plus loss of p130 (Sage laboratory) or loss of Pten (MacPherson and Jacks laboratories). In addition, a GEMM with constitutive co-expression of SV40 large T antigen (Tag) and Ascl1 under the Scgb1a1 promoter from the Linnoila laboratory was included.
The lung tumors in all of the models had common as well as distinct pathological features. All three conditional knockout models resulted in multiple pulmonary tumors arising mainly from the central compartment (large bronchi) with foci of in situ carcinoma and NE cell hyperplasia. They consisted of inter- and intra-tumor mixtures of SCLC and large cell NE cell carcinoma (LCNEC) in varying proportions. Occasional adeno- or large cell carcinomas were also seen. Extensive vascular and lymphatic invasion and metastases to the mediastinum and liver were noted, mainly of SCLC histology. In the Rb/p53/Pten triple knockout model from the MacPherson and Jacks laboratories and in the constitutive SV40/Tag model many peripherally arising NSCLC tumors having varying degrees of NE marker expression were present (NSCLC-NE tumors). The resultant histological phenotypes were influenced by the introduction of specific genetic alterations, by inactivation of one or both alleles of specific genes, by time from Cre activation and by targeting of lung cells or NE cell subpopulations.
The five GEMM models studied are representative for the entire spectrum of human high-grade NE carcinomas and are also useful for the study of multistage pathogenesis and the metastatic properties of these tumors. They represent one of the most advanced forms of currently available GEMM models for the study of human cancer.
PMCID: PMC4523224  PMID: 25675280
11.  The circadian clock gene BMAL1 is a novel therapeutic target for malignant pleural mesothelioma 
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive neoplasm arising from the mesothelial cells lining the parietal pleura and it exhibits poor prognosis. Although there has been significant progress in MPM treatment, development of more efficient therapeutic approaches is needed. BMAL1 is a core component of the circadian clock machinery and its constitutive overexpression in MPM has been reported. Here, we demonstrate that BMAL1 may serve as a molecular target for MPM. The majority of MPM cell lines and a subset of MPM clinical specimens expressed higher levels of BMAL1 compared to a nontumorigenic mesothelial cell line (MeT-5A) and normal parietal pleural specimens, respectively. A serum shock induced a rhythmical BMAL1 expression change in MeT-5A but not in ACC-MESO-1, suggesting that the circadian rhythm pathway is deregulated in MPM cells. BMAL1 knockdown suppressed proliferation and anchorage-dependent and independent clonal growth in two MPM cell lines (ACC-MESO-1 and H290) but not in MeT-5A. Notably, BMAL1 depletion resulted in cell cycle disruption with a substantial increase in apoptotic and polyploidy cell population in association with downregulation of Wee1, cyclin B and p21WAF1/CIP1 and upregulation of cyclin E expression. BMAL1 knockdown induced mitotic catastrophe as denoted by disruption of cell cycle regulators and induction of drastic morphological changes including micronucleation and multiple nuclei in ACC-MESO-1 cells that expressed the highest level of BMAL1. Taken together, these findings indicate that BMAL1 has a critical role in MPM and could serve as an attractive therapeutic target for MPM.
PMCID: PMC3479344  PMID: 22510946
apoptosis; BMAL1; mesothelioma; targeted therapy; mitotic catastrophe
12.  Genetic mutation of p53 and suppression of the miR-17~92 cluster are synthetic lethal in non-small cell lung cancer due to upregulation of vitamin D signaling 
Cancer research  2014;75(4):666-675.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related fatalities. Recent success developing genotypically-targeted therapies, with potency only in well-defined subpopulations of tumors, suggests a path to improving patient survival. We utilized a library of oligonucleotide inhibitors to microRNAs, a class of post-transcriptional gene regulators, to identify novel synthetic lethal interactions between miRNA inhibition and molecular mechanisms in NSCLC. Two inhibitors, those for miR-92a and miR-1226*, produced a toxicity distribution across a panel of 27 cell lines that correlated with loss of p53 protein expression. Notably, depletion of p53 was sufficient to confer sensitivity to otherwise resistant telomerase-immortalized bronchial epithelial cells. We found that both miR inhibitors cause sequence-specific down-regulation of the miR-17~92 polycistron, and this down-regulation was toxic only in the context of p53 loss. Mechanistic studies indicated the selective toxicity of miR-17~92 polycistron inactivation was the consequence of derepression of vitamin D signaling via suppression of CYP24A1; a rate limiting enzyme in the 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 metabolic pathway. Of note, high CYP24A1 expression significantly correlated with poor patient outcome in multiple lung cancer cohorts. Our results indicate that the screening approach utilized in this study can identify clinically relevant synthetic lethal interactions, and that vitamin D receptor agonists may show enhanced efficacy in p53-negative lung cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4333022  PMID: 25519225
13.  Preneoplasia of lung cancer 
As with other epithelial cancers, lung cancer develops over a period of several years or decades via a series of progressive morphological changes accompanied by molecular alterations that commence in histologically normal epithelium. However the development of lung cancer presents certain unique features that complicates this evaluation. Anatomically the respiratory tree may be divided into central and peripheral compartments having different gross and histological anatomies as well as different functions. In addition, there are three major forms of lung cancer and many minor forms. Many of these forms arise predominantly in either the central or peripheral compartments. Squamous cell and small cell carcinomas predominantly arise in the central compartment, while adenocarcinomas predominantly arise peripherally. Large cell carcinomas are not a single entity but consist of poorly differentiated forms of the other types and, possibly, some truly undifferentiated “stem cell like” tumors. The multistage origin of squamous cell carcinomas, because of their central location, can be followed more closely than the peripherally arising adenocarcinomas. Squamous cell carcinomas arise after a series of reactive, metaplastic, premalignant and preinvasive changes. However, long term observations indicate that not all tumors follow a defined histologic course, and the clinical course, especially of early lesions, is difficult to predict. Peripheral adenocarcinomas are believed to arise from precursor lesions known as atypical adenomatous hyperplasias and may have extensive in situ growth before becoming invasive. Small cell carcinomas are believed to arise from severely molecularly damaged epithelium without going through recognizable preneoplastic changes. The molecular changes that occur prior to the onset on invasive cancers are extensive. As documented in this chapter, they encompass all of the six classic Hallmarks of Cancer other than invasion and metastasis, which by definition occur beyond preneoplasia. A study of preinvasive lung cancer has yielded much valuable biologic information that impacts on clinical management.
PMCID: PMC3428013  PMID: 22112486
Lung cancer; squamous cell carcinoma; adenocarcinomas; small cell lung carcinoma; preneoplasia; carcinoma in situ; atypical adenomatous hyperplasia; tumor suppressor genes; oncogenes; apoptosis; telomerase; angiogenesis
14.  Frequent detection of infectious xenotropic murine leukemia virus (XMLV) in human cultures established from mouse xenografts 
Cancer Biology & Therapy  2011;12(7):617-628.
To investigate the frequency of xenotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV) presence in human cell lines established from mouse xenografts and to search for the evidence of horizontal viral spread to other cell lines.
Six of 23 (26%) mouse DNA free xenograft cultures were strongly positive for MLV and their sequences had greater than 99% homology to known MLV strains. Four of five available supernatant fluids from these viral positive cultures were strongly positive for RT activity. Three of these supernatant fluids were studied to confirm the infectivity of the released virions for other human culture cells. Of the 78 non-xenograft derived cell lines maintained in the xenograft culture-containing facilities, 13 (17%) were positive for MLV, including XMRV, a virus strain first identified in human tissues. By contrast, all 50 cultures maintained in a xenograft culture-free facility were negative for viral sequences.
We examined xenograft tumor cell lines from seven independent laboratories and 128 non-xenografted tumor cell lines. Cell line DNA was examined for mouse DNA contamination, and by 3 Taqman qPCR assays targeting the gag, env or pol regions of MLV. Sequencing was used for viral strain identification. Supernatant fluids were tested for reverse transcriptase (RT) activity.
Human cultures derived after mouse xenografting frequently contain and release highly infectious xenotropic MLV viruses. Laboratories working with xenograft-derived human cultures should be aware of the risk of contamination with potentially biohazardous human-tropic mouse viruses and their horizontal spread to other cultures.
PMCID: PMC3218386  PMID: 21750403
xenograft cultures; xenotropic murine leukemia virus; retrovirus; XMRV virus; cell cultures; lung cancer; prostate cell line
15.  Lung Cancer Cell Lines as Tools for Biomedical Discovery and Research 
Lung cancer cell lines have made a substantial contribution to lung cancer translational research and biomedical discovery. A systematic approach to initiating and characterizing cell lines from small cell and non–small cell lung carcinomas has led to the current collection of more than 200 lung cancer cell lines, a number that exceeds those for other common epithelial cancers combined. The ready availability and widespread dissemination of the lines to investigators worldwide have resulted in more than 9000 citations, including multiple examples of important biomedical discoveries. The high (but not perfect) genomic similarities between lung cancer cell lines and the lung tumor type from which they were derived provide evidence of the relevance of their use. However, major problems including misidentification or cell line contamination remain. Ongoing studies and new approaches are expected to reveal the full potential of the lung cancer cell line panel.
PMCID: PMC2935474  PMID: 20679594
16.  PIK3CA Mutations and Copy Number Gains in Human Lung Cancers 
Cancer research  2008;68(17):6913-6921.
We investigated the frequency and function of mutations and increased copy number of the PIK3CA gene in lung cancers. PIK3CA mutations are one of the most common gene changes present in human cancers. We analyzed the mutational status of exons 9 and 20 and gene copy number of PIK3CA using 86 non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines, 43 small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines, 3 extrapulmonary small cell cancer (ExPuSC) cell lines, and 691 resected NSCLC tumors and studied the relationship between PIK3CA alterations and mutational status of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway genes (EGFR, KRAS, HER2, and BRAF). We also determined PIK3CA expression and activity and correlated the findings with effects on cell growth. We identified mutations in 4.7% of NSCLC cell lines and 1.6% of tumors of all major histologic types. Mutations in cell lines of small cell origin were limited to two ExPuSC cell lines. PIK3CA copy number gains were more frequent in squamous cell carcinoma (33.1%) than in adenocarcinoma (6.2%) or SCLC lines (4.7%). Mutational status of PIK3CA was not mutually exclusive to EGFR or KRAS. PIK3CA alterations were associated with increased phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity and phosphorylated Akt expression. RNA interference–mediated knockdown of PIK3CA inhibited colony formation of cell lines with PIK3CA mutations or gains but was not effective in PIK3CA wild-type cells. PIK3CA mutations or gains are present in a subset of lung cancers and are of functional importance.
PMCID: PMC2874836  PMID: 18757405
19.  The evolving role of the pathologist in the management of lung cancer 
Lung cancer management  2012;1(4):273-281.
Major advances in pathology, molecular biology, patient diagnosis and care, as well as the advent of personalized therapy, have resulted in a greatly increased role for the pathologist, who has emerged as a key member of the lung cancer management team. A new multidisciplinary, clinically relevant classification of pulmonary adenocarcinoma has resulted in a paradigm shift in how we view and practice lung cancer pathology. In the future, the role of the pathologist will continue to grow and become fully integrated with clinical care.
PMCID: PMC4535720  PMID: 26279685
20.  EYA4 is inactivated biallelically at a high frequency in sporadic lung cancer and is associated with familial lung cancer risk 
Oncogene  2013;33(36):4464-4473.
In an effort to identify novel biallelically inactivated tumor suppressor genes (TSG) in sporadic invasive and pre-invasive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) genomes, we applied a comprehensive integrated multi-‘omics approach to investigate patient matched, paired NSCLC tumor and non-malignant parenchymal tissues. By surveying lung tumor genomes for genes concomitantly inactivated within individual tumors by multiple mechanisms, and by the frequency of disruption in tumors across multiple cohorts, we have identified a putative lung cancer TSG, Eyes Absent 4 (EYA4). EYA4 is frequently and concomitantly deleted, hypermethylated and underexpressed in multiple independent lung tumor data sets, in both major NSCLC subtypes, and in the earliest stages of lung cancer. We find not only that decreased EYA4 expression is associated with poor survival in sporadic lung cancers, but EYA4 SNPs are associated with increased familial cancer risk, consistent with EYA4’s proximity to the previously reported lung cancer susceptibility locus on 6q. Functionally, we find that EYA4 displays TSG-like properties with a role in modulating apoptosis and DNA repair. Cross examination of EYA4 expression across multiple tumor types suggests a cell type-specific tumorigenic role for EYA4, consistent with a tumor suppressor function in cancers of epithelial origin. This work shows a clear role for EYA4 as a putative TSG in NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC4527534  PMID: 24096489
EYA4; two-hit; hypermethylation; tumor suppressor; TSG; non-small cell lung cancer
21.  DNA methylation data analysis and its application to cancer research 
Epigenomics  2013;5(3):301-316.
With the rapid development of genome-wide high-throughput technologies, including expression arrays, SNP arrays and next-generation sequencing platforms, enormous amounts of molecular data have been generated and deposited in the public domain. The application of computational approaches is required to yield biological insights from this enormous, ever-growing resource. A particularly interesting subset of these resources is related to epigenetic regulation, with DNA methylation being the most abundant data type. In this paper, we will focus on the analysis of DNA methylation data and its application to cancer studies. We first briefly review the molecular techniques that generate such data, much of which has been obtained with the use of the most recent version of Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip® technology (Illumina, CA, USA). We describe the coverage of the methylome by this technique. Several examples of data mining are provided. However, it should be understood that reliance on a single aspect of epigenetics has its limitations. In the not too distant future, these defects may be rectified, providing scientists with previously unavailable opportunities to explore in detail the role of epigenetics in cancer and other disease states.
PMCID: PMC4525706  PMID: 23750645
cancer/testis antigen; computational biology; data analysis; DNA methylation; Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Consortium; gene expression; imprinted gene; Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip®; NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Mapping Consortium; The Cancer Genome Atlas
22.  Potential application of non-small cell lung cancer-associated autoantibodies to early cancer diagnosis 
To identify a panel of tumor associated autoantibodies which can potentially be used as biomarkers for the early diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Thirty-five unique and in-frame expressed phage proteins were isolated. Based on the gene expression profiling, four proteins were selected for further study. Both receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and leave-one-out method revealed that combined measurements of four antibodies produced have better predictive accuracies than any single marker alone. Leave-one-out validation also showed significant relevance with all stages of NSCLC patients. The panel of autoantibodies has a high potential for detecting early stage NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC4512951  PMID: 22713465
NSCLC; Tumor-associated autoantibodies; SEREX; Early diagnosis
23.  Acquired Resistance to EGFR Inhibitors Is Associated with a Manifestation of Stem cell–like Properties in Cancer Cells 
Cancer research  2013;73(10):3051-3061.
Acquired resistance to EGF receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) is a critical problem in the treatment of lung cancer. Although several mechanisms have been shown to be responsible for acquired resistance, all mechanisms have not been uncovered. In this study, we investigated the molecular and cellular profiles of the acquired resistant cells to EGFR-TKI in EGFR-mutant lung cancers. Four EGFR-mutant cell lines were exposed to gefitinib by stepwise escalation and high-concentration exposure methods, and resistant sublines to gefitinib were established. The molecular profiles and cellular phenotypes of these resistant sublines were characterized. Although previously reported, alterations including secondary EGFR T790M mutation, MET amplification, and appearance of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) features were observed, these 2 drug-exposure methods revealed different resistance mechanisms. The resistant cells with EMT features exhibited downregulation of miRNA-200c by DNA methylation. Furthermore, the HCC827-derived subline characterized by the high-concentration exposure method exhibited not only EMT features but also stem cell–like properties, including aldehyde dehydrogenase isoform 1 (ALDH1A1) overexpression, increase of side-population, and self-renewal capability. Resistant sublines with stem cell–like properties were resistant to conventional chemotherapeutic agents but equally sensitive to histone deacetylase and proteasome inhibitors, compared with their parental cells. ALDH1A1 was upregulated in clinical samples with acquired resistance to gefitinib. In conclusion, our study indicates that the manner of EGFR-TKI exposure influences the mechanism of acquired resistance and the appearance of stem cell–like property with EGFR-TKI treatment.
PMCID: PMC4506773  PMID: 23542356
24.  Ethnicity affects EGFR and KRAS gene alterations of lung adenocarcinoma 
Oncology Letters  2015;10(3):1775-1782.
Mutations or copy number gains (CNGs) of the EGFR and KRAS genes are representative alterations in lung adenocarcinomas that are individually associated with patient characteristics such as ethnicity, smoking status and gender. However, the effects of combinations of these genetic alterations have not been statistically examined. The present study analyzed previously examined lung adenocarcinoma cases in Asian (n=166) and non-Asian (n=136) individuals in whom all four EGFR and KRAS alterations had been studied. The polynomial logistic regression models were used following adjustment for gender and smoking status, and using patients without any type of EGFR/KRAS alterations as a reference. Between the two ethnic groups, EGFR CNGs (gEGFR) occurred more frequently than EGFR mutations (mEGFR) (46 vs. 38% in Asians; 21 vs. 10% in non-Asians), whereas KRAS mutations (mKRAS) were more frequent than KRAS CNGs (gKRAS) (13 vs. 7% and 35 vs. 4%, respectively). Additionally, gEGFR and gKRAS occurred significantly more frequently in respective mutant cases, and all EGFR alterations were almost exclusive of all KRAS alterations. The polynomial logistic regression models confirmed that all types of EGFR alterations were significantly more frequent among Asian individuals than among non-Asian individuals, independent of gender and smoking status (odds ratios, 2.36–6.67). KRAS alterations occurred less frequently among Asian individuals than among non-Asian individuals, although a significant difference was not detected. The present study results indicated that the EGFR and KRAS profiles, including mutations and CNGs, differ between Asian and non-Asian individuals with lung adenocarcinoma, suggesting that ethnicity strongly affects the molecular characteristics of lung adenocarcinoma.
PMCID: PMC4533243  PMID: 26622749
lung adenocarcinoma; EGFR; KRAS; mutation; copy number gain; ethnicity
25.  Analysis of TP53 Mutation Status in Human Cancer Cell Lines: A Reassessment 
Human mutation  2014;35(6):756-765.
Tumor-derived cell lines play an important role in the investigation of tumor biology and genetics. Across a wide array of studies, they have been tools of choice for the discovery of important genes involved in cancer and for the analysis of the cellular pathways that are impaired by diverse oncogenic events. They are also invaluable for screening novel anticancer drugs. The TP53 protein is a major component of multiple pathways that regulate cellular response to various types of stress. Therefore, TP53 status affects the phenotype of tumor cell lines profoundly and must be carefully ascertained for any experimental project. In the present review, we use the 2014 release of the UMD TP53 database to show that TP53 status is still controversial for numerous cell lines, including some widely used lines from the NCI-60 panel. Our analysis clearly confirms that, despite numerous warnings, the misidentification of cell lines is still present as a silent and neglected issue, and that extreme care must be taken when determining the status of p53, because errors may lead to disastrous experimental interpretations. A novel compendium gathering the TP53 status of 2,500 cell lines has been made available ( A stand-alone application can be used to browse the database and extract pertinent information on cell lines and associated TP53 mutations. It will be updated regularly to minimize any scientific issues associated with the use of misidentified cell lines (
PMCID: PMC4451114  PMID: 24700732
TP53; cancer cell line; cross-contamination; misidentification; recommendation

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