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1.  Functional multiplex reporter assay using tagged Gaussia luciferase 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1046.
We have developed a multiplex reporter system to monitor multiple biological variables in real-time. The secreted Gaussia luciferase was fused to ten different epitope tags (Gluctag), each expressed in different tumor cells. By immunobinding of the tags followed by Gluctag detection, this system allowed the independent and real-time monitoring of mixed cell cultures in vitro and of mixed subcutaneous and intracranial tumor subpopulations in vivo.
doi:10.1038/srep01046
PMCID: PMC3541509  PMID: 23308339
2.  Cost-effectiveness of dronedarone and standard of care compared with standard of care alone: US results of an ATHENA lifetime model 
Background
The first antiarrhythmic drug to demonstrate a reduced rate of cardiovascular hospitalization in atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF/AFL) patients was dronedarone in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel arm Trial to assess the efficacy of dronedarone 400 mg bid for the prevention of cardiovascular Hospitalization or death from any cause in patiENts with Atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter (ATHENA trial). The potential cost-effectiveness of dronedarone in this patient population has not been reported in a US context. This study assesses the cost-effectiveness of dronedarone from a US health care payers’ perspective.
Methods and results
ATHENA patient data were applied to a patient-level health state transition model. Probabilities of health state transitions were derived from ATHENA and published data. Associated costs used in the model (2010 values) were obtained from published sources when trial data were not available. The base-case model assumed that patients were treated with dronedarone for the duration of ATHENA (mean 21 months) and were followed over a lifetime. Cost-effectiveness, from the payers’ perspective, was determined using a Monte Carlo microsimulation (1 million fictitious patients). Dronedarone plus standard care provided 0.13 life years gained (LYG), and 0.11 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), over standard care alone; cost/QALY was $19,520 and cost/LYG was $16,930. Compared to lower risk patients, patients at higher risk of stroke (Congestive heart failure, history of Hypertension, Age ≥ 75 years, Diabetes mellitus, and past history of Stroke or transient ischemic attack (CHADS2) scores 3–6 versus 0) had a lower cost/QALY ($9580–$16,000 versus $26,450). Cost/QALY was highest in scenarios assuming lifetime dronedarone therapy, no cardiovascular mortality benefit, no cost associated with AF/AFL recurrence on standard care, and when discounting of 5% was compared with 0%.
Conclusions
By extrapolating the results of a large, multicenter, randomized clinical trial (ATHENA), this model suggests that dronedarone is a cost-effective treatment option for approved indications (paroxysmal/persistent AF/AFL) in the US.
doi:10.2147/CEOR.S36019
PMCID: PMC3544268  PMID: 23326201
cost-effectiveness; dronedarone; ATHENA
3.  Lanatoside C sensitizes glioblastoma cells to tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand and induces an alternative cell death pathway 
Neuro-Oncology  2011;13(11):1213-1224.
Human glioblastoma (GBM) cells are notorious for their resistance to apoptosis-inducing therapeutics. We have identified lanatoside C as a sensitizer of GBM cells to tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)–induced cell death partly by upregulation of the death receptor 5. We show that lanatoside C sensitizes GBM cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis in a GBM xenograft model in vivo. Lanatoside C on its own serves as a therapeutic agent against GBM by activating a caspase-independent cell death pathway. Cells treated with lanatoside C showed necrotic cell morphology with absence of caspase activation, low mitochondrial membrane potential, and early intracellular ATP depletion. In conclusion, lanatoside C sensitizes GBM cells to TRAIL-induced cell death and mitigates apoptosis resistance of glioblastoma cells by inducing an alternative cell death pathway. To our knowledge, this is one of the first examples of use of caspase-independent cell death inducers to trigger tumor regression in vivo. Activation of such mechanism may be a useful strategy to counter resistance of cancer cells to apoptosis.
doi:10.1093/neuonc/nor067
PMCID: PMC3199161  PMID: 21757445
cardiac glycoside; glioblastoma; lanatoside C; non-apoptotic cell death; TRAIL
4.  Targeting the glycoproteome 
Glycoconjugate Journal  2012;30(2):119-136.
Despite numerous original publications describing the structural complexity of N- and O-linked glycans on glycoproteins, only very few answer the basic question of which particular glycans are linked to which amino acid residues along the polypeptide chain. Such structural information is of fundamental importance for understanding the biological roles of complex glycosylations as well as deciphering their non-template driven biosynthesis. This review focuses on presenting and commenting on recent strategies, specifically aimed at identifying the glycoproteome of cultured cells and biological samples, using targeted and global enrichment procedures and utilizing the high resolution power, high through-put capacity and complementary fragmentation techniques of tandem mass spectrometry. The goal is to give an update of this emerging field of protein and glyco-sciences and suggest routes to bridge the data gap between the two aspects of glycoprotein characteristics, i.e. glycan structures and their attachment sites.
doi:10.1007/s10719-012-9438-6
PMCID: PMC3552370  PMID: 22886069
Glycoproteomics; Glycopeptide; Attachment sites; Liquid chromatography; Tandem mass spectrometry; Enrichment; Lectin affinity; Hydrazide chemistry
5.  Cks1 Is Required for Tumor Cell Proliferation but Not Sufficient to Induce Hematopoietic Malignancies 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37433.
The Cks1 component of the SCFSkp2 complex is necessary for p27Kip1 ubiquitylation and degradation. Cks1 expression is elevated in various B cell malignancies including Burkitt lymphoma and multiple myeloma. We have previously shown that loss of Cks1 results in elevated p27Kip1 levels and delayed tumor development in a mouse model of Myc-induced B cell lymphoma. Surprisingly, loss of Skp2 in the same mouse model also resulted in elevated p27Kip1 levels but exhibited no impact on tumor onset. This raises the possibility that Cks1 could have other oncogenic activities than suppressing p27Kip1. To challenge this notion we have targeted overexpression of Cks1 to B cells using a conditional retroviral bone marrow transduction-transplantation system. Despite potent ectopic overexpression, Cks1 was unable to promote B cell hyperproliferation or B cell malignancies, indicating that Cks1 is not oncogenic when overexpressed in B cells. Since Skp2 overexpression can drive T-cell tumorigenesis or other cancers we also widened the quest for oncogenic activity of Cks1 by ubiquitously expressing Cks1 in hematopoetic progenitors. At variance with c-Myc overexpression, which caused acute myeloid leukemia, Cks1 overexpression did not induce myeloproliferation or leukemia. Therefore, despite being associated with a poor prognosis in various malignancies, sole Cks1 expression is insufficient to induce lymphoma or a myeloproliferative disease in vivo.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037433
PMCID: PMC3356264  PMID: 22624029
6.  Mouse Genetics Suggests Cell-Context Dependency for Myc-Regulated Metabolic Enzymes during Tumorigenesis 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(3):e1002573.
c-Myc (hereafter called Myc) belongs to a family of transcription factors that regulates cell growth, cell proliferation, and differentiation. Myc initiates the transcription of a large cast of genes involved in cell growth by stimulating metabolism and protein synthesis. Some of these, like those involved in glycolysis, may be part of the Warburg effect, which is defined as increased glucose uptake and lactate production in the presence of adequate oxygen supply. In this study, we have taken a mouse-genetics approach to challenge the role of select Myc-regulated metabolic enzymes in tumorigenesis in vivo. By breeding λ-Myc transgenic mice, ApcMin mice, and p53 knockout mice with mouse models carrying inactivating alleles of Lactate dehydrogenase A (Ldha), 3-Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (Phgdh) and Serine hydroxymethyltransferase 1 (Shmt1), we obtained offspring that were monitored for tumor development. Very surprisingly, we found that these genes are dispensable for tumorigenesis in these genetic settings. However, experiments in fibroblasts and colon carcinoma cells expressing oncogenic Ras show that these cells are sensitive to Ldha knockdown. Our genetic models reveal cell context dependency and a remarkable ability of tumor cells to adapt to alterations in critical metabolic pathways. Thus, to achieve clinical success, it will be of importance to correctly stratify patients and to find synthetic lethal combinations of inhibitors targeting metabolic enzymes.
Author Summary
Cancer occurs when cells change their behavior and start to divide in an uncontrolled manner. To achieve this altered behavior, cells need to change their metabolism to be able to grow even when nutrient and oxygen supplies are limiting. Therefore, targeting metabolic pathways could be used to treat patients suffering from cancer. Here we studied a gene called MYC, which can regulate many metabolic pathways. By using genetically modified mice we can show that tumors have a remarkable ability to change their metabolism, even if key enzymes are removed. Taken together, our data suggest that metabolic disturbance by drugs in the clinic may present a future challenge.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002573
PMCID: PMC3305401  PMID: 22438825
7.  Chk2 deficiency in Myc-overexpressing lymphoma cells elicits a synergistic lethal response in combination with PARP inhibition 
Cell Cycle  2011;10(20):3598-3607.
Myc is a transcription factor frequently found deregulated in human cancer. The Myc-mediated cellular transformation process is associated with fast proliferative cells and inherent genomic instability, giving rise to malignant, invasive neoplasms with poor prognosis for survival. Transcription-independent functions of Myc include stimulation of replication. Excessive Myc expression stimulates a replication-associated DNA damage response that signals via the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)-related protein kinases (PIKKs) ATM and ATR. These, in turn, activate the DNA damage transducers Chk1 and Chk2. Here, we show that Myc can stimulate Chek2 transcript indirectly in vitro as well as in B cells of λ-Myc transgenic mice or in the intestine of ApcMin mice. However, Chk2 is dispensable for Myc's ability to transform cells in vitro and for the survival of established lymphoma cells from λ-Myc transgenic mice. Chk2 deficiency induces polyploidy and slow growth, but the cells are viable and protected against DNA damage. Furthermore, inhibition of both Chk1/Chk2 with AZD7762 induces cell death and significantly delays disease progression of transplanted lymphoma cells in vivo. DNA damage recruits PARP family members to sites of DNA breaks that, in turn, facilitate the induction of DNA repair. Strikingly, combining Chk2 and PARP inhibition elicits a synergistic lethal response in the context of Myc overexpression. Our data indicates that only certain types of chemotherapy would give rise to a synergistic lethal response in combination with specific Chk2 inhibitors, which will be important if Chk2 inhibitors enter the clinic.
doi:10.4161/cc.10.20.17887
PMCID: PMC3266184  PMID: 22030621
lymphoma; Myc; Chk1; Chk2; PARP; DNA damage; AZD-7762; ABT-888
8.  miR-101 is down-regulated in glioblastoma resulting in EZH2-induced proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis 
Oncotarget  2010;1(8):710-720.
Background
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a malignant brain tumor with dismal prognosis. GBM patients have a median survival of less than 2 years. GBM is characterized by fast cell proliferation, infiltrative migration, and by the induction of angiogenesis. MicroRNAs and polycomb group (PcG) proteins have emerged as important regulators of gene expression.
Methods
Here we determined that miR-101 is down-regulated in GBM, resulting in overexpression of the miR-101 target PcG protein EZH2, a histone methyltransferase affecting gene expression profiles in an epigenetic manner.
Results
Inhibition of EZH2 in vitro by pre-miR-101, EZH2 siRNA, or small molecule DZNep, attenuated GBM cell growth, migration/invasion, and GBM-induced endothelial tubule formation. In addition, for each biological process we identified ontology-associated transcripts that significantly correlate with EZH2 expression. Inhibition of EZH2 in vivo by systemic DZNep administration in a U87-Fluc-mCherry GBM xenograft mouse imaging model resulted in reduced tumor growth.
Conclusion
Our results indicate that EZH2 has a versatile function in GBM progression and that its overexpression is at least partly due to decreased miR-101 expression. Inhibition of EZH2 may be a potential therapeutic strategy to target GBM proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3124376  PMID: 21321380
cancer; microRNA; Policomb group; glioblastoma; angiogenesis
9.  The direct Myc target Pim3 cooperates with other Pim kinases in supporting viability of Myc-induced B-cell lymphomas 
Oncotarget  2011;2(6):448-460.
The Pim kinases are weak oncogenes. However, when co-expressed with a strong oncogene, such as c-Myc, Pim kinases potentiate the oncogenic effect resulting in an acceleration of tumorigenesis. In this study we show that the least studied Pim kinase, Pim-3, is encoded by a gene directly regulated by c-Myc via binding to one of the conserved E-boxes within the Pim3 gene. Accordingly, lymphomas arising in Myc-transgenic mice and Burkitt lymphoma cell lines exhibit elevated levels of Pim-3. Interestingly, inhibition of Pim kinases by a novel pan-Pim kinase inhibitor, Pimi, in Myc-induced lymphoma results in cell death that appears independent of caspases. The data indicate that Pim kinase inhibition could be a viable treatment strategy in certain human lymphomas that rely on Pim-3 kinase expression.
PMCID: PMC3248204  PMID: 21646687
cancer; lymphoma; oncogenes; c-Myc; Pim-3
10.  Skp2 directs Myc-mediated suppression of p27Kip1 yet has modest effects on Myc-driven lymphomagenesis 
Molecular cancer research : MCR  2010;8(3):353-362.
The universal cyclin-Cdk inhibitor p27Kip1 functions as a tumor suppressor and reduced levels of p27Kip1 connote poor prognosis in several human malignancies. p27Kip1 levels are predominately regulated by ubiquitin-mediated turnover of the protein, which is marked for destruction by the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFSkp2 complex following its phosphorylation by the cyclin E-Cdk2 complex. Binding of phospho-p27Kip1 is directed by the Skp2 F-box protein, and this is greatly augmented by its allosteric regulator Cks1. We have established that programmed expression of c-Myc in the B cells of Eμ-Myc transgenic mice triggers p27Kip1 destruction by inducing Cks1, that this response controls Myc-driven proliferation, and that loss of Cks1 markedly delays Myc-induced lymphomagenesis and cancels the dissemination of these tumors. Here, we report that elevated levels of Skp2 are a characteristic of Eμ-Myc lymphomas and of human Burkitt lymphoma that bear MYC/immunoglobulin chromosomal translocations. As expected, Myc-mediated suppression of p27Kip1 was abolished in Skp2-null Eμ-Myc B cells. However, the impact of Skp2 loss on Myc-driven proliferation and lymphomagenesis was surprisingly modest compared to the effects of Cks1 loss. Collectively these findings suggest that Cks1 targets in addition to p27Kip1 are critical for Myc-driven proliferation and tumorigenesis.
doi:10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-09-0232
PMCID: PMC3095030  PMID: 20197382
Myc; Skp2; p27Kip1; lymphomagenesis
11.  miR-101 is down-regulated in glioblastoma resulting in EZH2-induced proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis 
Oncotarget  2011;1(8):710-720.
Background:
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a malignant brain tumor with dismal prognosis. GBM patients have a median survival of less than 2 years. GBM is characterized by fast cell proliferation, infiltrative migration, and by the induction of angiogenesis. MicroRNAs and polycomb group (PcG) proteins have emerged as important regulators of gene expression.
Methods:
Here we determined that miR-101 is down-regulated in GBM, resulting in overexpression of the miR-101 target PcG protein EZH2, a histone methyltransferase affecting gene expression profiles in an epigenetic manner. Results: Inhibition of EZH2 in vitro by pre-miR-101, EZH2 siRNA, or small molecule DZNep, attenuated GBM cell growth, migration/invasion, and GBM-induced endothelial tubule formation. In addition, for each biological process we identified ontology-associated transcripts that significantly correlate with EZH2 expression. Inhibition of EZH2 in vivo by systemic DZNep administration in a U87-Fluc-mCherry GBM xenograft mouse imaging model resulted in reduced tumor growth.
Conclusion:
Our results indicate that EZH2 has a versatile function in GBM progression and that its overexpression is at least partly due to decreased miR-101 expression. Inhibition of EZH2 may be a potential therapeutic strategy to target GBM proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3124376  PMID: 21321380
cancer; microRNA; Policomb group; glioblastoma; angiogenesis
12.  Myc suppression of Nfkb2 accelerates lymphomagenesis 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:348.
Background
Deregulated c-Myc expression is a hallmark of several human cancers where it promotes proliferation and an aggressive tumour phenotype. Myc overexpression is associated with reduced activity of Rel/NF-κB, transcription factors that control the immune response, cell survival, and transformation, and that are frequently altered in cancer. The Rel/NF-κB family member NFKB2 is altered by chromosomal translocations or deletions in lymphoid malignancies and deletion of the C-terminal ankyrin domain of NF-κB2 augments lymphocyte proliferation.
Methods
Precancerous Eμ-Myc-transgenic B cells, Eμ-Myc lymphomas and human Burkitt lymphoma samples were assessed for Nfkb2 expression. The contribution of Nfkb2 to Myc-driven apoptosis, proliferation, and lymphomagenesis was tested genetically in vivo.
Results
Here we report that the Myc oncoprotein suppresses Nfkb2 expression in vitro in primary mouse fibroblasts and B cells, and in vivo in the Eμ-Myc transgenic mouse model of human Burkitt lymphoma (BL). NFKB2 suppression by Myc was also confirmed in primary human BL. Promoter-reporter assays indicate that Myc-mediated suppression of Nfkb2 occurs at the level of transcription. The contribution of Nfkb2 to Myc-driven lymphomagenesis was tested in vivo, where Nfkb2 loss was shown to accelerate lymphoma development in Eμ-Myc transgenic mice, by impairing Myc's apoptotic response.
Conclusions
Nfkb2 is suppressed by c-Myc and harnesses Myc-driven lymphomagenesis. These data thus link Myc-driven lymphomagenesis to the non-canonical NF-κB pathway.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-348
PMCID: PMC2902445  PMID: 20598117
13.  Selection against PUMA Gene Expression in Myc-Driven B-Cell Lymphomagenesis▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(17):5391-5402.
The p53 tumor suppressor pathway limits oncogenesis by inducing cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. A key p53 target gene is PUMA, which encodes a BH3-only proapoptotic protein. Here we demonstrate that Puma deletion in the Eμ-Myc mouse model of Burkitt lymphoma accelerates lymphomagenesis and that ∼75% of Eμ-Myc lymphomas naturally select against Puma protein expression. Furthermore, approximately 40% of primary human Burkitt lymphomas fail to express detectable levels of PUMA and in some tumors this is associated with DNA methylation. Burkitt lymphoma cell lines phenocopy the primary tumors with respect to DNA methylation and diminished PUMA expression, which can be reactivated following inhibition of DNA methyltransferases. These findings establish that PUMA is silenced in human malignancies, and they suggest PUMA as a target for the development of novel chemotherapeutics.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00907-07
PMCID: PMC2519737  PMID: 18573879
14.  The Novel ETS Factor TEL2 Cooperates with Myc in B Lymphomagenesis†  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(6):2395-2405.
The human ETS family gene TEL2/ETV7 is highly homologous to TEL1/ETV6, a frequent target of chromosome translocations in human leukemia and specific solid tumors. Here we report that TEL2 augments the proliferation and survival of normal mouse B cells and dramatically accelerates lymphoma development in Eμ-Myc transgenic mice. Nonetheless, inactivation of the p53 pathway was a hallmark of all TEL2/Eμ-Myc lymphomas, indicating that TEL2 expression alone is insufficient to bypass this apoptotic checkpoint. Although TEL2 is infrequently up-regulated in human sporadic Burkitt's lymphoma, analysis of pediatric B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (B-ALL) samples showed increased coexpression of TEL2 and MYC and/or MYCN in over one-third of B-ALL patients. Therefore, TEL2 and MYC also appear to cooperate in provoking a cadre of human B-cell malignancies.
doi:10.1128/MCB.25.6.2395-2405.2005
PMCID: PMC1061619  PMID: 15743832
15.  Mnt Loss Triggers Myc Transcription Targets, Proliferation, Apoptosis, and Transformation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(4):1560-1569.
Myc oncoproteins are overexpressed in most cancers and are sufficient to accelerate cell proliferation and provoke transformation. However, in normal cells Myc also triggers apoptosis. All of the effects of Myc require its function as a transcription factor that dimerizes with Max. This complex induces genes containing CACGTG E-boxes, such as Ornithine decarboxylase (Odc), which harbors two of these elements. Here we report that in quiescent cells the Odc E-boxes are occupied by Max and Mnt, a putative Myc antagonist, and that this complex is displaced by Myc-Max complexes in proliferating cells. Knockdown of Mnt expression by stable retroviral RNA interference triggers many targets typical of the “Myc” response and provokes accelerated proliferation and apoptosis. Strikingly, these effects of Mnt knockdown are even manifest in cells lacking c-myc. Moreover, Mnt knockdown is sufficient to transform primary fibroblasts in conjunction with Ras. Therefore, Mnt behaves as a tumor suppressor. These findings support a model where Mnt represses Myc target genes and Myc functions as an oncogene by relieving Mnt-mediated repression.
doi:10.1128/MCB.24.4.1560-1569.2004
PMCID: PMC344188  PMID: 14749372
16.  c-Myc Augments Gamma Irradiation-Induced Apoptosis by Suppressing Bcl-XL 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(20):7256-7270.
Alterations in MYC and p53 are hallmarks of cancer. p53 coordinates the response to gamma irradiation (γ-IR) by either triggering apoptosis or cell cycle arrest. c-Myc activates the p53 apoptotic checkpoint, and thus tumors overexpressing MYC often harbor p53 mutations. Nonetheless, many of these cancers are responsive to therapy, suggesting that Myc may sensitize cells to γ-IR independent of p53. In mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) and in Eμ-myc transgenic B cells in vivo, c-Myc acts in synergy with γ-IR to trigger apoptosis, but alone, when cultured in growth medium, it does not induce a DNA damage response. Surprisingly, c-Myc also sensitizes p53-deficient MEFs to γ-IR-induced apoptosis. In normal cells, and in precancerous B cells of Eμ-myc transgenic mice, this apoptotic response is associated with the suppression of the antiapoptotic regulators Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL and with the concomitant induction of Puma, a proapoptotic BH3-only protein. However, in p53-null MEFs only Bcl-XL expression was suppressed, suggesting levels of Bcl-XL regulate the response to γ-IR. Indeed, Bcl-XL overexpression blocked this apoptotic response, whereas bcl-X-deficient MEFs were inherently and selectively sensitive to γ-IR-induced apoptosis. Therefore, MYC may sensitize tumor cells to DNA damage by suppressing Bcl-X.
doi:10.1128/MCB.23.20.7256-7270.2003
PMCID: PMC230315  PMID: 14517295

Results 1-16 (16)