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1.  Polytherapy with a combination of three repurposed drugs (PXT3003) down-regulates Pmp22 over-expression and improves myelination, axonal and functional parameters in models of CMT1A neuropathy 
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A) is the most common inherited sensory and motor peripheral neuropathy. It is caused by PMP22 overexpression which leads to defects of peripheral myelination, loss of long axons, and progressive impairment then disability. There is no treatment available despite observations that monotherapeutic interventions slow progression in rodent models. We thus hypothesized that a polytherapeutic approach using several drugs, previously approved for other diseases, could be beneficial by simultaneously targeting PMP22 and pathways important for myelination and axonal integrity. A combination of drugs for CMT1A polytherapy was chosen from a group of authorised drugs for unrelated diseases using a systems biology approach, followed by pharmacological safety considerations. Testing and proof of synergism of these drugs were performed in a co-culture model of DRG neurons and Schwann cells derived from a Pmp22 transgenic rat model of CMT1A. Their ability to lower Pmp22 mRNA in Schwann cells relative to house-keeping genes or to a second myelin transcript (Mpz) was assessed in a clonal cell line expressing these genes. Finally in vivo efficacy of the combination was tested in two models: CMT1A transgenic rats, and mice that recover from a nerve crush injury, a model to assess neuroprotection and regeneration. Combination of (RS)-baclofen, naltrexone hydrochloride and D-sorbitol, termed PXT3003, improved myelination in the Pmp22 transgenic co-culture cellular model, and moderately down-regulated Pmp22 mRNA expression in Schwannoma cells. In both in vitro systems, the combination of drugs was revealed to possess synergistic effects, which provided the rationale for in vivo clinical testing of rodent models. In Pmp22 transgenic CMT1A rats, PXT3003 down-regulated the Pmp22 to Mpz mRNA ratio, improved myelination of small fibres, increased nerve conduction and ameliorated the clinical phenotype. PXT3003 also improved axonal regeneration and remyelination in the murine nerve crush model. Based on these observations in preclinical models, a clinical trial of PTX3003 in CMT1A, a neglected orphan disease, is warranted. If the efficacy of PTX3003 is confirmed, rational polytherapy based on novel combinations of existing non-toxic drugs with pleiotropic effects may represent a promising approach for rapid drug development.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13023-014-0201-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13023-014-0201-x
PMCID: PMC4279797  PMID: 25491744
Systems Biology; Repurposing; Combination therapy; Baclofen; Naltrexone; Sorbitol; Synergy; CMT1A; Low dose
2.  An ANOCEF Genomic and Transcriptomic Microarray Study of the Response to Irinotecan and Bevacizumab in Recurrent Glioblastomas 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:282815.
Background. We performed a retrospective study to assess whether the initial molecular characteristics of glioblastomas (GBMs) were associated with the response to the bevacizumab/irinotecan chemotherapy regimen given at recurrence. Results. Comparison of the genomic and gene expression profiles of the responders (n = 12) and nonresponders (n = 13) demonstrated only slight differences and could not identify any robust biomarkers associated with the response. In contrast, a significant association was observed between GBMs molecular subtypes and response rates. GBMs assigned to molecular subtype IGS-18 and to classical subtype had a lower response rate than those assigned to other subtypes. In an independent series of 33 patients, neither EGFR amplification nor CDKN2A deletion (which are frequent in IGS-18 and classical GBMs) was significantly associated with the response rate, suggesting that these two alterations are unlikely to explain the lower response rate of these GBMs molecular subtypes. Conclusion. Despite its limited sample size, the present study suggests that comparing the initial molecular profiles of responders and nonresponders might not be an effective strategy to identify biomarkers of the response to bevacizumab given at recurrence. Yet it suggests that the response rate might differ among GBMs molecular subtypes.
doi:10.1155/2014/282815
PMCID: PMC3996912  PMID: 24804210
3.  Methylation profiling identifies 2 groups of gliomas according to their tumorigenesis 
Neuro-Oncology  2010;13(1):84-98.
Extensive genomic and gene expression studies have been performed in gliomas, but the epigenetic alterations that characterize different subtypes of gliomas remain largely unknown. Here, we analyzed the methylation patterns of 807 genes (1536 CpGs) in a series of 33 low-grade gliomas (LGGs), 36 glioblastomas (GBMs), 8 paired initial and recurrent gliomas, and 9 controls. This analysis was performed with Illumina's Golden Gate Bead methylation arrays and was correlated with clinical, histological, genomic, gene expression, and genotyping data, including IDH1 mutations. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering resulted in 2 groups of gliomas: a group corresponding to de novo GBMs and a group consisting of LGGs, recurrent anaplastic gliomas, and secondary GBMs. When compared with de novo GBMs and controls, this latter group was characterized by a very high frequency of IDH1 mutations and by a hypermethylated profile similar to the recently described glioma CpG island methylator phenotype. MGMT methylation was more frequent in this group. Among the LGG cluster, 1p19q codeleted LGG displayed a distinct methylation profile. A study of paired initial and recurrent gliomas demonstrated that methylation profiles were remarkably stable across glioma evolution, even during anaplastic transformation, suggesting that epigenetic alterations occur early during gliomagenesis. Using the Cancer Genome Atlas data set, we demonstrated that GBM samples that had an LGG-like hypermethylated profile had a high rate of IDH1 mutations and a better outcome. Finally, we identified several hypermethylated and downregulated genes that may be associated with LGG and GBM oncogenesis, LGG oncogenesis, 1p19q codeleted LGG oncogenesis, and GBM oncogenesis.
doi:10.1093/neuonc/noq110
PMCID: PMC3018904  PMID: 20926426
glioblastoma; low-grade glioma; methylation profile
4.  Chromosome 9p and 10q losses predict unfavorable outcome in low-grade gliomas 
Neuro-Oncology  2009;12(1):2-6.
The loss of chromosomes 1p–19q is the only prognostic molecular alteration identified in low-grade gliomas (LGGs) to date. Search for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosomes 1p, 9p, 10q, and 19q was performed in a series of 231 LGGs. Loss of chromosomes 1p–19q was strongly correlated with prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in univariate and multivariate analyses. LOH on 9p and 10q were associated with shortened PFS (P = .01 and .03, respectively) on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis, LOH on 9p remained significant for PFS (P = .05), whereas LOH on 10q had a significant effect on OS (P = .02). Search for LOH 9p and 10q appears to be a useful complement to analysis of chromosomes 1p–19q in LGGs.
doi:10.1093/neuonc/nop002
PMCID: PMC2940555  PMID: 20150361
chromosomes 9p and 10q; low-grade gliomas; prognosis
5.  Genomic Aberrations in Lung Adenocarcinoma in Never Smokers 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e15145.
Background
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015145
PMCID: PMC2997777  PMID: 21151896
6.  Gene expression signature of cerebellar hypoplasia in a mouse model of Down syndrome during postnatal development 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:138.
Background
Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of three copies of chromosome 21. The mechanisms by which this aneuploidy produces the complex and variable phenotype observed in people with Down syndrome are still under discussion. Recent studies have demonstrated an increased transcript level of the three-copy genes with some dosage compensation or amplification for a subset of them. The impact of this gene dosage effect on the whole transcriptome is still debated and longitudinal studies assessing the variability among samples, tissues and developmental stages are needed.
Results
We thus designed a large scale gene expression study in mice (the Ts1Cje Down syndrome mouse model) in which we could measure the effects of trisomy 21 on a large number of samples (74 in total) in a tissue that is affected in Down syndrome (the cerebellum) and where we could quantify the defect during postnatal development in order to correlate gene expression changes to the phenotype observed. Statistical analysis of microarray data revealed a major gene dosage effect: for the three-copy genes as well as for a 2 Mb segment from mouse chromosome 12 that we show for the first time as being deleted in the Ts1Cje mice. This gene dosage effect impacts moderately on the expression of euploid genes (2.4 to 7.5% differentially expressed). Only 13 genes were significantly dysregulated in Ts1Cje mice at all four postnatal development stages studied from birth to 10 days after birth, and among them are 6 three-copy genes. The decrease in granule cell proliferation demonstrated in newborn Ts1Cje cerebellum was correlated with a major gene dosage effect on the transcriptome in dissected cerebellar external granule cell layer.
Conclusion
High throughput gene expression analysis in the cerebellum of a large number of samples of Ts1Cje and euploid mice has revealed a prevailing gene dosage effect on triplicated genes. Moreover using an enriched cell population that is thought responsible for the cerebellar hypoplasia in Down syndrome, a global destabilization of gene expression was not detected. Altogether these results strongly suggest that the three-copy genes are directly responsible for the phenotype present in cerebellum. We provide here a short list of candidate genes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-138
PMCID: PMC2678156  PMID: 19331679

Results 1-6 (6)