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1.  Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type, displays frequent inactivating germline and somatic mutations in SMARCA4 
Nature genetics  2014;46(5):427-429.
Small cell carcinoma of the ovary of hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is an extremely rare, aggressive cancer affecting children and young women. We identified germline and somatic inactivating mutations in the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling gene SMARCA4 in 69% (9/13) of SCCOHT cases in addition to SMARCA4 protein loss in 82% (14/17) of SCCOHT tumors but in only 0.4% (2/485) of other primary ovarian tumors. These data implicate SMARCA4 in SCCOHT oncogenesis.
doi:10.1038/ng.2928
PMCID: PMC4332808  PMID: 24658001
2.  The clonal and mutational evolution spectrum of primary triple negative breast cancers 
Nature  2012;486(7403):10.1038/nature10933.
Primary triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) represent approximately 16% of all breast cancers1 and are a tumour type defined by exclusion, for which comprehensive landscapes of somatic mutation have not been determined. Here we show in 104 early TNBC cases, that at the time of diagnosis these cancers exhibit a wide and continuous spectrum of genomic evolution, with some exhibiting only a handful of somatic aberrations in a few pathways, whereas others contain hundreds of somatic events and multiple pathways implicated. Integration with matched whole transcriptome sequence data revealed that only ~36% of mutations are expressed. By examining single nucleotide variant (SNV) allelic abundance derived from deep re-sequencing (median >20,000 fold) measurements in 2414 somatic mutations, we determine for the first time in an epithelial tumour, the relative abundance of clonal genotypes among cases in the population. We show that TNBC vary widely and continuously in their clonal frequencies at the time of diagnosis, with basal subtype TNBC2,3 exhibiting more variation than non-basal TNBC. Although p53 and PIK3CA/PTEN somatic mutations appear clonally dominant compared with other pathways, in some tumours their clonal frequencies are incompatible with founder status. Mutations in cytoskeletal and cell shape/motility proteins occurred at lower clonal frequencies, suggesting they occurred later during tumour progression. Taken together our results show that future attempts to dissect the biology and therapeutic responses of TNBC will require the determination of individual tumour clonal genotypes.
doi:10.1038/nature10933
PMCID: PMC3863681  PMID: 22495314
4.  Correction: Type-Specific Cell Line Models for Type-Specific Ovarian Cancer Research 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):10.1371/annotation/ffcaf179-872f-470b-8bb6-f06d8ba6d03a.
doi:10.1371/annotation/ffcaf179-872f-470b-8bb6-f06d8ba6d03a
PMCID: PMC3792146  PMID: 24116245
5.  Type-Specific Cell Line Models for Type-Specific Ovarian Cancer Research 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e72162.
Background
Ovarian carcinomas consist of at least five distinct diseases: high-grade serous, low-grade serous, clear cell, endometrioid, and mucinous. Biomarker and molecular characterization may represent a more biologically relevant basis for grouping and treating this family of tumors, rather than site of origin. Molecular characteristics have become the new standard for clinical pathology, however development of tailored type-specific therapies is hampered by a failure of basic research to recognize that model systems used to study these diseases must also be stratified. Unrelated model systems do offer value for study of biochemical processes but specific cellular context needs to be applied to assess relevant therapeutic strategies.
Methods
We have focused on the identification of clear cell carcinoma cell line models. A panel of 32 “ovarian cancer” cell lines has been classified into histotypes using a combination of mutation profiles, IHC mutation-surrogates, and a validated immunohistochemical model. All cell lines were identity verified using STR analysis.
Results
Many described ovarian clear cell lines have characteristic mutations (including ARID1A and PIK3CA) and an overall molecular/immuno-profile typical of primary tumors. Mutations in TP53 were present in the majority of high-grade serous cell lines. Advanced genomic analysis of bona-fide clear cell carcinoma cell lines also support copy number changes in typical biomarkers such at MET and HNF1B and a lack of any recurrent expressed re-arrangements.
Conclusions: As with primary ovarian tumors, mutation status of cancer genes like ARID1A and TP53 and a general immuno-profile serve well for establishing histotype of ovarian cancer cell We describe specific biomarkers and molecular features to re-classify generic “ovarian carcinoma” cell lines into type specific categories. Our data supports the use of prototype clear cell lines, such as TOV21G and JHOC-5, and questions the use of SKOV3 and A2780 as models of high-grade serous carcinoma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072162
PMCID: PMC3762837  PMID: 24023729
6.  Effect of heme oxygenase-1 polymorphisms on lung function and gene expression 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:117.
Background
Oxidative stress induced by smoking is considered to be important in the pathogenesis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1) is an essential enzyme in heme catabolism that is induced by oxidative stress and may play a protective role as an antioxidant in the lung. We determined whether HMOX1 polymorphisms were associated with lung function in COPD patients and whether the variants had functional effects.
Methods
We genotyped five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the HMOX1 gene in Caucasians who had the fastest (n = 278) and the slowest (n = 304) decline of FEV1 % predicted, selected from smokers in the NHLBI Lung Health Study. These SNPs were also studied in Caucasians with the lowest (n = 535) or the highest (n = 533) baseline lung function. Reporter genes were constructed containing three HMOX1 promoter polymorphisms and the effect of these polymorphisms on H2O2 and hemin-stimulated gene expression was determined. The effect of the HMOX1 rs2071749 SNP on gene expression in alveolar macrophages was investigated.
Results
We found a nominal association (p = 0.015) between one intronic HMOX1 SNP (rs2071749) and lung function decline but this did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. This SNP was in perfect linkage disequilibrium with rs3761439, located in the promoter of HMOX1. We tested rs3761439 and two other putatively functional polymorphisms (rs2071746 and the (GT)n polymorphism) in reporter gene assays but no significant effects on gene expression were found. There was also no effect of rs2071749 on HMOX1 gene expression in alveolar macrophages.
Conclusions
We found no association of the five HMOX1 tag SNPs with lung function decline and no evidence that the three promoter polymorphisms affected the regulation of the HMOX1 gene.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-117
PMCID: PMC3180266  PMID: 21902835
Heme oxygenase; polymorphism; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
7.  Associations of IL6 polymorphisms with lung function decline and COPD 
Thorax  2009;64(8):698-704.
Background
Interleukin-6 (IL6) is a pleiotropic pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory cytokine which likely plays an important role in the pathogenesis of COPD. There is a functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), −174G/C, in the promoter region of IL6. We hypothesized that IL6 SNPs influence susceptibility for impaired lung function and COPD in smokers.
Methods
Seven and 5 SNPs in IL6 were genotyped in two nested case-control samples derived from the Lung Health Study (LHS) based on phenotypes of rate of decline of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) over 5 years and baseline FEV1 at the beginning of the LHS. Serum IL6 concentrations were measured for all subjects. A partially overlapping panel of 9 IL6 SNPs was genotyped in 389 COPD cases from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) and 420 controls from the Normative Aging Study (NAS).
Results
In the LHS, three IL6 SNPs were associated with FEV1 decline (0.023 ≤ P ≤ 0.041 in additive models). Among them the IL6_−174C allele was associated with rapid decline of lung function. The association was more significant in a genotype-based analysis (P = 0.006). In the NETT-NAS study, IL6_−174G/C and four other IL6 SNPs, all of which are in linkage disequilibrium with IL6_−174G/C, were associated with susceptibility to COPD (0.01 ≤ P ≤ 0.04 in additive genetic models).
Conclusion
Our results suggest that the IL6_−174G/C SNP is associated with rapid decline of FEV1 and susceptibility to COPD in smokers.
doi:10.1136/thx.2008.111278
PMCID: PMC2859187  PMID: 19359268
genetic polymorphism; IL6; forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1); lung function; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
8.  Distinct evolutionary trajectories of primary high-grade serous ovarian cancers revealed through spatial mutational profiling 
The Journal of Pathology  2013;231(1):21-34.
High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) is characterized by poor outcome, often attributed to the emergence of treatment-resistant subclones. We sought to measure the degree of genomic diversity within primary, untreated HGSCs to examine the natural state of tumour evolution prior to therapy. We performed exome sequencing, copy number analysis, targeted amplicon deep sequencing and gene expression profiling on 31 spatially and temporally separated HGSC tumour specimens (six patients), including ovarian masses, distant metastases and fallopian tube lesions. We found widespread intratumoural variation in mutation, copy number and gene expression profiles, with key driver alterations in genes present in only a subset of samples (eg PIK3CA, CTNNB1, NF1). On average, only 51.5% of mutations were present in every sample of a given case (range 10.2–91.4%), with TP53 as the only somatic mutation consistently present in all samples. Complex segmental aneuploidies, such as whole-genome doubling, were present in a subset of samples from the same individual, with divergent copy number changes segregating independently of point mutation acquisition. Reconstruction of evolutionary histories showed one patient with mixed HGSC and endometrioid histology, with common aetiologic origin in the fallopian tube and subsequent selection of different driver mutations in the histologically distinct samples. In this patient, we observed mixed cell populations in the early fallopian tube lesion, indicating that diversity arises at early stages of tumourigenesis. Our results revealed that HGSCs exhibit highly individual evolutionary trajectories and diverse genomic tapestries prior to therapy, exposing an essential biological characteristic to inform future design of personalized therapeutic solutions and investigation of drug-resistance mechanisms.
doi:10.1002/path.4230
PMCID: PMC3864404  PMID: 23780408
high-grade serous ovarian cancer; intratumoural heterogeneity; clonal evolution

Results 1-8 (8)