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1.  Detection of KRAS, NRAS and BRAF by mass spectrometry - a sensitive, reliable, fast and cost-effective technique 
Diagnostic Pathology  2015;10:132.
According to current clinical guidelines mutational analysis for KRAS and NRAS is recommended prior to EGFR-directed therapy of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the metastatic setting. Therefore, reliable, fast, sensitive and cost-effective methods for routine tissue based molecular diagnostics are required that allow the assessment of the CRC mutational status in a high throughput fashion.
We have developed a custom designed assay for routine mass-spectrometric (MS) (MassARRAY®, Agena Bioscience) analysis to test the presence/absence of 18 KRAS, 14 NRAS and 4 BRAF mutations. We have applied this assay to 93 samples from patients with CRC and have compared the results with Sanger sequencing and a chip hybridization assay (KRAS LCD-array Kit, Chipron). In cases with discordant results, next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed.
MS detected a KRAS mutation in 46/93 (49 %), a NRAS mutation in 2/93 (2 %) and a BRAF mutation in 1/93 (1 %) of the cases. MS results were in agreement with results obtained by combination of the two other methods in 92 (99 %) of 93 cases.
In 1/93 (1 %) of the cases a G12V mutation has been detected by Sanger sequencing and MS, but not by the chip assay. In this case, NGS has confirmed the G12V mutation in KRAS.
Mutational analysis by MS is a reliable method for routine diagnostic use, which can be easily extended for testing of additional mutations.
PMCID: PMC4518505  PMID: 26220423
2.  Autocrine CSF-1 and CSF-1 Receptor Co-expression Promotes Renal Cell Carcinoma Growth 
Cancer research  2011;72(1):187-200.
Renal cell carcinoma is increasing in incidence but the molecular mechanisms regulating its growth remain elusive. Co-expression of the monocytic growth factor CSF-1 and its receptor CSF-1R on renal tubular epithelial cells (TEC) will promote proliferation and anti-apoptosis during regeneration of renal tubules. Here we show that a CSF-1-dependent autocrine pathway is also responsible for the growth of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). CSF-1 and CSF-1R were co-expressed in RCC and TEC proximally adjacent to RCC. CSF-1 engagement of CSF-1R promoted RCC survival and proliferation and reduced apoptosis, in support of the likelihood that CSF-1R effector signals mediate RCC growth. In vivo CSF-1R blockade using a CSF-1R tyrosine kinase inhibitor decreased RCC proliferation and macrophage infiltration in a manner associated with a dramatic reduction in tumor mass. Further mechanistic investigations linked CSF-1 and EGF signaling in RCC. Taken together, our results suggest that budding RCC stimulates the proximal adjacent microenvironment in the kidney to release mediators of CSF-1, CSF-1R and EGF expression in RCC. Further, our findings imply that targeting CSF-1/CSF-1R signaling may be therapeutically effective in RCC.
PMCID: PMC3251714  PMID: 22052465
Tubular epithelial cells; Macrophages; Renal carcinoma; CSF-1R; CSF-1
3.  Susceptibility to collagen-induced arthritis is modulated by TGFβ responsiveness of T cells 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2004;6(2):R114-R119.
The objective of our study was to determine the regulatory effects that endogenous transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) exerts on T cells in the pathogenesis of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). CIA was induced in transgenic mice expressing a dominant negative TGFβ type II receptor in T cells under the control of the human CD2 promoter. Clinical and histological arthritis scores were determined and experiments on disease induction and the healing phase of disease were performed. The proliferation and cytokine production of draining lymph node cells in vitro were analyzed. Transgenic mice were more susceptible to induction of CIA. The overall incidence was higher in transgenic mice than in wild-type mice (57% vs 35%, P < 0.05). Affected transgenic animals displayed a significantly higher clinical (4.5 ± 0.6 vs 1.67 ± 0.19, P = 0.001) and histological arthritis score (8.01 ± 0.9 vs 4.06 ± 1.1, P < 0.05). Draining lymph node cells of transgenic mice secreted more tumor necrosis factor α and IFNγ and proliferated more vigorously in response to collagen type II and upon CD3/CD28 costimulation in vitro. Therefore, the regulation of T cells by endogenous TGFβ is important for the maintenance of joint integrity after arthritis induction. Defects in TGFβ-signalling as a susceptibility factor for rheumatoid arthritis may warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC400430  PMID: 15059274
dominant negative TGFβ type II receptor; IFNγ; transgenic mice
4.  Proteinase-3 as the major autoantigen of c-ANCA is strongly expressed in lung tissue of patients with Wegener's granulomatosis 
Arthritis Research  2002;4(3):220-225.
Proteinase-3 (PR-3) is a neutral serine proteinase present in azurophil granules of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes and serves as the major target antigen of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies with a cytoplasmic staining pattern (c-ANCA) in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG). The WG disease appears as severe vasculitis in different organs (e.g. kidney, nose and lung). Little is known about the expression and distribution of PR-3 in the lung. We found that PR-3 is expressed in normal lung tissue and is upregulated in lung tissue of patients with WG. Interestingly, the parenchymal cells (pneumocytes type I and II) and macrophages, and not the neutrophils, express PR-3 most strongly and may contribute to lung damage in patients with WG via direct interaction with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antobodies (ANCA). These findings suggest that the PR-3 expression in parenchymal cells of lung tissue could be at least one missing link in the etiopathogenesis of pulmonary pathology in ANCA-associated disease.
PMCID: PMC111026  PMID: 12010574
granuloma; in situ hybridization; pneumocytes; proteinase-3; Wegener's granulomatosis

Results 1-4 (4)