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1.  Characterization of novel genomic alterations and therapeutic approaches using acute megakaryoblastic leukemia xenograft models 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2012;209(11):2017-2031.
A CBFA2T3-GLIS2 fusion gene was identified in 31% of non–Down syndrome AMKL.
Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL) is a heterogeneous disease generally associated with poor prognosis. Gene expression profiles indicate the existence of distinct molecular subgroups, and several genetic alterations have been characterized in the past years, including the t(1;22)(p13;q13) and the trisomy 21 associated with GATA1 mutations. However, the majority of patients do not present with known mutations, and the limited access to primary patient leukemic cells impedes the efficient development of novel therapeutic strategies. In this study, using a xenotransplantation approach, we have modeled human pediatric AMKL in immunodeficient mice. Analysis of high-throughput RNA sequencing identified recurrent fusion genes defining new molecular subgroups. One subgroup of patients presented with MLL or NUP98 fusion genes leading to up-regulation of the HOX A cluster genes. A novel CBFA2T3-GLIS2 fusion gene resulting from a cryptic inversion of chromosome 16 was identified in another subgroup of 31% of non–Down syndrome AMKL and strongly associated with a gene expression signature of Hedgehog pathway activation. These molecular data provide useful markers for the diagnosis and follow up of patients. Finally, we show that AMKL xenograft models constitute a relevant in vivo preclinical screening platform to validate the efficacy of novel therapies such as Aurora A kinase inhibitors.
doi:10.1084/jem.20121343
PMCID: PMC3478932  PMID: 23045605
2.  Differences in Transcription Patterns between Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Produced from the Same Germ Layer Are Erased upon Differentiation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53033.
Little is known about differences between induced pluripotent stem cells produced from tissues originating from the same germ layer. We have generated human myoblast-derived iPS cells by retroviral transduction of human primary myoblasts with the OCT3/4, SOX2, KLF4 and MYC coding sequences and compared them to iPS produced from human primary fibroblasts. When cultivated in vitro, these iPS cells proved similar to human embryonic stem cells in terms of morphology, expression of embryonic stemness markers and gene promoter methylation patterns. Embryonic bodies were derived that expressed endodermal, mesodermal as well as ectodermal markers. A comparative analysis of transcription patterns revealed significant differences in the gene expression pattern between myoblast- and fibroblast-derived iPS cells. However, these differences were reduced in the mesenchymal stem cells derived from the two iPS cell types were compared.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053033
PMCID: PMC3541362  PMID: 23326377

Results 1-3 (3)