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1.  Alternative Processing of the U2 Small Nuclear RNA Produces a 19–22nt Fragment with Relevance for the Detection of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in Human Serum 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e60134.
RNU2 exists in two functional forms (RNU2-1 and RNU2-2) distinguishable by the presence of a unique 4-bases motif. Detailed investigation of datasets obtained from deep sequencing of five human lung primary tumors revealed that both forms express at a high rate a 19–22nt fragment (miR-U2-1 and -2) from its 3′ region and contains the 4-bases motif. Deep sequencing of independent pools of serum samples from healthy donors and lung cancer patients revealed that miR-U2-1 and -2 are pervasively processed in lung tissue by means of endonucleolytic cleavages and stably exported to the blood. Then, microarrays hybridization experiments of matched normal/tumor samples revealed a significant over-expression of miR-U2-1 in 14 of 18 lung primary tumors. Subsequently, qRT-PCR of miR-U2-1 using serum from 62 lung cancer patients and 96 various controls demonstrated that its expression levels identify lung cancer patients with 79% sensitivity and 80% specificity. miR-U2-1 expression correlated with the presence or absence of lung cancer in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), other diseases of the lung – not cancer, and in healthy controls. These data suggest that RNU2-1 is a new bi-functional ncRNA that produces a 19–22nt fragment which may be useful in detecting lung cancer non-invasively in high risk patients.
PMCID: PMC3603938  PMID: 23527303
2.  Genomic Aberrations in Lung Adenocarcinoma in Never Smokers 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e15145.
Lung cancer in never smokers would rank as the seventh most common cause of cancer death worldwide.
Methods and Findings
We performed high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization analysis of lung adenocarcinoma in sixty never smokers and identified fourteen new minimal common regions (MCR) of gain or loss, of which five contained a single gene (MOCS2, NSUN3, KHDRBS2, SNTG1 and ST18). One larger MCR of gain contained NSD1. One focal amplification and nine gains contained FUS. NSD1 and FUS are oncogenes hitherto not known to be associated with lung cancer. FISH showed that the amplicon containing FUS was joined to the next telomeric amplicon at 16p11.2. FUS was over-expressed in 10 tumors with gain of 16p11.2 compared to 30 tumors without that gain. Other cancer genes present in aberrations included ARNT, BCL9, CDK4, CDKN2B, EGFR, ERBB2, MDM2, MDM4, MET, MYC and KRAS. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering with adjustment for false-discovery rate revealed clusters differing by the level and pattern of aberrations and displaying particular tumor characteristics. One cluster was strongly associated with gain of MYC. Another cluster was characterized by extensive losses containing tumor suppressor genes of which RB1 and WRN. Tumors in that cluster frequently harbored a central scar-like fibrosis. A third cluster was associated with gains on 7p and 7q, containing ETV1 and BRAF, and displayed the highest rate of EGFR mutations. SNP array analysis validated copy-number aberrations and revealed that RB1 and WRN were altered by recurrent copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity.
The present study has uncovered new aberrations containing cancer genes. The oncogene FUS is a candidate gene in the 16p region that is frequently gained in never smokers. Multiple genetic pathways defined by gains of MYC, deletions of RB1 and WRN or gains on 7p and 7q are involved in lung adenocarcinoma in never smokers.
PMCID: PMC2997777  PMID: 21151896
3.  Epigenetic regulation of RhoB loss of expression in lung cancer 
BMC Cancer  2007;7:220.
RhoB is down-regulated in most lung cancer cell lines and tumor tissues when compared with their normal counterparts. The mechanism of this loss of expression is not yet deciphered.
Since no mutation has been reported in the RhoB sequence, we investigated the epigenetic regulation of RhoB expression by analyzing the effect of HDAC inhibitors and methyltransferase inhibitors, by direct sequencing after bisulfite treatment and by methylation specific PCR.
We first showed that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors induce a significant RhoB re-expression in lung cancer cell lines whereas only a slight effect was observed with methyl transferase inhibitors. As promoter methylation is the most common epigenetic process in lung cancer, we performed methylation specific PCR and sequence analysis after bisulfite treatment and demonstrated that RhoB was methylated neither in lung cancer cell lines nor in tumor tissues. We also showed that a variable number of tandem repeats sequences in the 5' region of the RhoB gene was involved in HDAC response.
We thus propose that RhoB regulation of expression occurs mainly by histone deacetylation rather than by promoter hypermethylation and that this process can be modulated by specific 5' sequences within the promoter.
PMCID: PMC2222678  PMID: 18047684

Results 1-3 (3)