Many pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutations are heteroplasmic, with a mixture of mutated and wild-type mtDNA present within individual cells. The severity and extent of the clinical phenotype is largely due to the distribution of mutated molecules between cells in different tissues, but mechanisms underpinning segregation are not fully understood. To facilitate mtDNA segregation studies we developed assays that measure m.3243A>G point mutation loads directly in hundreds of individual cells to determine the mechanisms of segregation over time. In the first study of this size, we observed a number of discrete shifts in cellular heteroplasmy between periods of stable heteroplasmy. The observed patterns could not be parsimoniously explained by random mitotic drift of individual mtDNAs. Instead, a genetically metastable, heteroplasmic mtDNA segregation unit provides the likely explanation, where stable heteroplasmy is maintained through the faithful replication of segregating units with a fixed wild-type/m.3243A>G mutant ratio, and shifts occur through the temporary disruption and re-organization of the segregation units. While the nature of the physical equivalent of the segregation unit remains uncertain, the factors regulating its organization are of major importance for the pathogenesis of mtDNA diseases.
We report on a 17-year-old patient with midline defects, ocular hypertelorism, neuropsychomotor development delay, neonatal macrosomy, and dental anomalies. DNA copy number investigations using a Whole Genome TilePath array consisting, of 30K BAC/PAC clones showed a 6.36 Mb deletion in the 9p24.1–p24.3 region and a 14.83 Mb duplication in the 20p12.1–p13 region, which derived from a maternal balanced t(9;20)(p24.1;p12.1) as shown by FISH studies. Monosomy 9p is a well-delineated chromosomal syndrome with characteristic clinical features, while chromosome 20p duplication is a rare genetic condition. Only a handful of cases of monosomy 9/trisomy 20 have been previously described. In this report, we compare the phenotype of our patient with those already reported in the literature, and discuss the role of DMRT, DOCK8, FOXD4, VLDLR, RSPO4, AVP, RASSF2, PROKR2, BMP2, MKKS, and JAG1, all genes mapping to the deleted and duplicated regions.
multiple congenital anomalies; midline; chromosomal aberration; array-CGH; monosomy 9p; trisomy 20p
Chondrosarcoma is the second most common primary sarcoma of bone. High-grade conventional chondrosarcoma and dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma have a poor outcome. In pre-clinical research aiming at the identification of novel treatment targets, the need for representative cell lines and model systems is high, but availability is scarce.
We developed and characterized three cell lines, derived from conventional grade III chondrosarcoma (L835), and dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma (L2975 and L3252) of bone. Proliferation and migration were studied and we used COBRA-FISH and array-CGH for karyotyping and genotyping. Immunohistochemistry for p16 and p53 was performed as well as TP53 and IDH mutation analysis. Cells were injected into nude mice to establish their tumorigenic potential.
We show that the three cell lines have distinct migrative properties, L2975 had the highest migration rate and showed tumorigenic potential in mice. All cell lines showed chromosomal rearrangements with complex karyotypes and genotypic aberrations were conserved throughout late passaging of the cell lines. All cell lines showed loss of CDKN2A, while TP53 was wild type for exons 5–8. L835 has an IDH1 R132C mutation, L2975 an IDH2 R172W mutation and L3252 is IDH wild type.
Based on the stable culturing properties of these cell lines and their genotypic profile resembling the original tumors, these cell lines should provide useful functional models to further characterize chondrosarcoma and to evaluate new treatment strategies.
Bone neoplasm; Chondrosarcoma; Cell line; IDH1; IDH2; p16
Ollier disease and Maffucci syndrome are non-hereditary skeletal disorders characterized by multiple enchondromas (Ollier disease) combined with spindle cell hemangiomas (Maffucci syndrome). We report somatic heterozygous IDH1 (R132C and R132H) or IDH2 (R172S) mutations in 87% of enchondromas, benign cartilage tumors, and in 70% of spindle cell hemangiomas, benign vascular lesions. In total, 35 of 43 (81%) patients with Ollier disease and 10 of 13 (77%) patients with Maffucci syndrome carried IDH1 (98%) or IDH2 (2%) mutations in their tumors. Fourteen of sixteen patients displayed identical mutations in separate lesions. Immunohistochemistry for mutant R132H IDH1 protein suggested intraneoplastic and somatic mosaicism. IDH1 mutations in cartilage tumors are associated with hypermethylation and downregulation of expression of several genes. Mutations were also found in 40% of solitary central cartilaginous tumors and in four chondrosarcoma cell lines, enabling functional studies to assess the role of IDH1 and IDH2 mutations in tumor formation.
In around 50% of all human cancers the tumor suppressor p53 is mutated. It is generally assumed that in the remaining tumors the wild-type p53 protein is functionally impaired. The two main inhibitors of p53, hMDM2 (MDM2) and hMDMX (MDMX/MDM4) are frequently overexpressed in wild-type p53 tumors. Whereas the main activity of hMDM2 is to degrade p53 protein, its close homolog hMDMX does not degrade p53, but it represses its transcriptional activity. Here we study the role of hMDMX in the neoplastic transformation of human fibroblasts and embryonic retinoblasts, since a high number of retinoblastomas contain elevated hMDMX levels.
We made use of an in vitro transformation model using a retroviral system of RNA interference and gene overexpression in primary human fibroblasts and embryonic retinoblasts. Consecutive knockdown of RB and p53, overexpression of SV40-small t, oncogenic HRasV12 and HA-hMDMX resulted in a number of stable cell lines representing different stages of the transformation process, enabling a comparison between loss of p53 and hMDMX overexpression. The cell lines were tested in various assays to assess their oncogenic potential.
Both p53-knockdown and hMDMX overexpression accelerated proliferation and prevented growth suppression induced by introduction of oncogenic Ras, which was required for anchorage-independent growth and the ability to form tumors in vivo. Furthermore, we found that hMDMX overexpression represses basal p53 activity to some extent. Transformed fibroblasts with very high levels of hMDMX became largely resistant to the p53 reactivating drug Nutlin-3. The Nutlin-3 response of hMDMX transformed retinoblasts was intact and resembled that of retinoblastoma cell lines.
Our studies show that hMDMX has the essential properties of an oncogene. Its constitutive expression contributes to the oncogenic phenotype of transformed human cells. Its main function appears to be p53 inactivation. Therefore, developing new drugs targeting hMDMX is a valid approach to obtain new treatments for a subset of human tumors expressing wild-type p53.
Transformation model; p53 pathway; tumorigenesis; hMDMX; hMDM2; retinoblastoma; Nutlin-3
Desmoid tumours (also called deep or aggressive fibromatoses) are potentially life-threatening fibromatous lesions. Hereditary desmoid tumours arise in individuals affected by either familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary desmoid disease (HDD) carrying germline mutations in APC. Most sporadic desmoids carry somatic mutations in CTNNB1. Previous studies identified losses on 5q and 6q, and gains on 8q and 20q as recurrent genetic changes in desmoids. However, virtually all genetic changes were derived from sporadic tumours. To investigate the somatic alterations in FAP-associated desmoids and to compare them with changes occurring in sporadic tumours, we analysed 17 FAP-associated and 38 sporadic desmoids by array comparative genomic hybridisation and multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification. Overall, the desmoids displayed only a limited number of genetic changes, occurring in 44% of cases. Recurrent gains at 8q (7%) and 20q (5%) were almost exclusively found in sporadic tumours. Recurrent losses were observed for a 700 kb region at 5q22.2, comprising the APC gene (11%), a 2 Mb region at 6p21.2-p21.1 (15%), and a relatively large region at 6q15-q23.3 (20%). The FAP-associated desmoids displayed a significantly higher frequency of copy number abnormalities (59%) than the sporadic tumours (37%). As predicted by the APC germline mutations among these patients, a high percentage (29%) of FAP-associated desmoids showed loss of the APC region at 5q22.2, which was infrequently (3%) seen among sporadic tumours. Our data suggest that loss of region 6q15-q16.2 is an important event in FAP-associated as well as sporadic desmoids, most likely of relevance for desmoid tumour progression.
Osteochondromas (cartilage-capped bone tumors) are by far the most commonly treated of all primary benign bone tumors (50%). In 15% of cases, these tumors occur in the context of a hereditary syndrome called multiple osteochondromas (MO), an autosomal dominant skeletal disorder characterized by the formation of multiple cartilage-capped bone tumors at children's metaphyses. MO is caused by various mutations in EXT1 or EXT2, whereby large genomic deletions (single-or multi-exonic) are responsible for up to 8% of MO-cases.
Here we report on the first molecular characterization of ten large EXT1- and EXT2-deletions in MO-patients. Deletions were initially indentified using MLPA or FISH analysis and were subsequently characterized using an MO-specific tiling path array, allele-specific PCR-amplification and sequencing analysis.
Within the set of ten large deletions, the deleted regions ranged from 2.7 to 260 kb. One EXT2 exon 8 deletion was found to be recurrent. All breakpoints were located outside the coding exons of EXT1 and EXT2. Non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) mediated by Alu-sequences, microhomology mediated replication dependent recombination (MMRDR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) were hypothesized as the causal mechanisms in different deletions.
Molecular characterization of EXT1- and EXT2-deletion breakpoints in MO-patients indicates that NAHR between Alu-sequences as well as NHEJ are causal and that the majority of these deletions are nonrecurring. These observations emphasize once more the huge genetic variability which is characteristic for MO. To our knowledge, this is the first study characterizing large genomic deletions in EXT1 and EXT2.
Multiple osteochondromas; EXT1, EXT2; deletion breakpoint; arrayCGH; NAHR; NHEJ; MMRDR; bone neoplasm
High-grade osteosarcoma occurs predominantly in adolescents and young adults and has an overall survival rate of about 60%, despite chemotherapy and surgery. Therefore, novel treatment modalities are needed to prevent or treat recurrent disease. Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes with cytotoxic activity toward virus-infected or malignant cells. We explored the feasibility of autologous and allogeneic NK cell–mediated therapies for chemotherapy-resistant and chemotherapy-sensitive high-grade osteosarcoma. The expression by osteosarcoma cells of ligands for activating NK cell receptors was studied in vitro and in vivo, and their contribution to NK cell–mediated cytolysis was studied by specific antibody blockade. Chromium release cytotoxicity assays revealed chemotherapy-sensitive and chemotherapy-resistant osteosarcoma cell lines and osteosarcoma primary cultures to be sensitive to NK cell–mediated cytolysis. Cytolytic activity was strongly enhanced by IL-15 activation and was dependent on DNAM-1 and NKG2D pathways. Autologous and allogeneic activated NK cells lysed osteosarcoma primary cultures equally well. Osteosarcoma patient–derived NK cells were functionally and phenotypically unimpaired. In conclusion, osteosarcoma cells, including chemoresistant variants, are highly susceptible to lysis by IL-15-induced NK cells from both allogeneic and autologous origin. Our data support the exploitation of NK cells or NK cell–activating agents in patients with high-grade osteosarcoma.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00262-010-0965-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Osteosarcoma; Immunotherapy; NK cells; Bone sarcoma
Ollier disease is a rare, non-hereditary disorder which is characterized by the presence of multiple enchondromas (ECs), benign cartilaginous neoplasms arising within the medulla of the bone, with an asymmetric distribution. The risk of malignant transformation towards central chondrosarcoma (CS) is increased up to 35%. The aetiology of Ollier disease is unknown.
We undertook genome-wide copy number and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis using Affymetrix SNP 6.0 array on 37 tumours of 28 Ollier patients in combination with expression array using Illumina BeadArray v3.0 for 7 ECs of 6 patients.
Non-recurrent EC specific copy number alterations were found at FAM86D, PRKG1 and ANKS1B. LOH with copy number loss of chromosome 6 was found in two ECs from two unrelated Ollier patients. One of these patients also had LOH at chromosome 3. However, no common genomic alterations were found for all ECs. Using an integration approach of SNP and expression array we identified loss as well as down regulation of POU5F1 and gain as well as up regulation of NIPBL. None of these candidate regions were affected in more than two Ollier patients suggesting these changes to be random secondary events in EC development. An increased number of genetic alterations and LOH were found in Ollier CS which mainly involves chromosomes 9p, 6q, 5q and 3p.
We present the first genome-wide analysis of the largest international series of Ollier ECs and CS reported so far and demonstrate that copy number alterations and LOH are rare and non-recurrent in Ollier ECs while secondary CS are genetically unstable. One could predict that instead small deletions, point mutations or epigenetic mechanisms play a role in the origin of ECs of Ollier disease.
Myxoid liposarcoma is a relatively common malignant soft tissue tumor, characterized by a (12;16) translocation resulting in a FUS-DDIT3 fusion gene playing a pivotal role in its tumorigenesis. Treatment options in patients with inoperable or metastatic myxoid liposarcoma are relatively poor though being developed and new hope is growing.
Using kinome profiling and subsequent pathway analysis in two cell lines and four primary cultures of myxoid liposarcomas, all of which demonstrated a FUS-DDIT3 fusion gene including one new fusion type, we aimed at identifying new molecular targets for systemic treatment. Protein phosphorylation by activated kinases was verified by Western Blot and cell viability was measured before and after treatment of the myxoid liposarcoma cells with kinase inhibitors. We found kinases associated with the atypical nuclear factor-kappaB and Src pathways to be the most active in myxoid liposarcoma. Inhibition of Src by the small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor dasatinib showed only a mild effect on cell viability of myxoid liposarcoma cells. In contrast, inhibition of the nuclear factor-kappaB pathway, which is regulated by the FUS-DDIT3 fusion product, in myxoid liposarcoma cells using casein kinase 2 inhibitor 4,5,6,7-tetrabromobenzotriazole (TBB) showed a significant decrease in cell viability, decreased phosphorylation of nuclear factor-kappaB pathway proteins, and caspase 3 mediated apoptosis. Combination of dasatinib and TBB showed an enhanced effect.
Kinases associated with activation of the atypical nuclear factor-kappaB and the Src pathways are the most active in myxoid liposarcoma in vitro and inhibition of nuclear factor-kappaB pathway activation by inhibiting casein kinase 2 using TBB, of which the effect is enhanced by Src inhibition using dasatinib, offers new potential therapeutic strategies for myxoid liposarcoma patients with advanced disease.
Several high-density oligonucleotide microarray platforms are available for genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection and microarray-based comparative genomic hybridisation (array CGH), which may be used to detect copy number aberrations in human tumours. As part of the EuroBoNeT network of excellence for research on bone tumours (eurobonet.eu), we have evaluated four different commercial high-resolution microarray platforms in order to identify the most appropriate technology for mapping DNA copy number aberrations in such tumours.
DNA from two different cytogenetically well-characterized bone sarcoma cell lines, representing a simple and a complex karyotype, respectively, was tested in duplicate on four high-resolution microarray platforms; Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0, Agilent Human Genome CGH 244A, Illumina HumanExon510s-duo and Nimblegen HG18 CGH 385 k WG tiling v1.0. The data was analysed using the platform-specific analysis software, as well as a platform-independent analysis algorithm. DNA copy number was measured at six specific chromosomes or chromosomal regions, and compared with the expected ratio based on available cytogenetic information. All platforms performed well in terms of reproducibility and were able to delimit and score small amplifications and deletions at similar resolution, but Agilent microarrays showed better linearity and dynamic range. The platform-specific analysis software provided with each platform identified in general correct copy numbers, whereas using a platform-independent analysis algorithm, correct copy numbers were determined mainly for Agilent and Affymetrix microarrays.
All platforms performed reasonably well, but Agilent microarrays showed better dynamic range, and like Affymetrix microarrays performed well with the platform-independent analysis software, implying more robust data. Bone tumours like osteosarcomas are heterogeneous tumours with complex karyotypes that may be difficult to interpret, and it is of importance to be able to well separate the copy number levels and detect copy number changes in subpopulations. Taking all this into consideration, the Agilent and Affymetrix microarray platforms were found to be a better choice for mapping DNA copy numbers in bone tumours, the latter having the advantage of also providing heterozygosity information.
In cytokinesis, when the cleavage furrow has been formed, the two centrioles in each daughter cell separate. It has been suggested that the centrioles facilitate and regulate cytokinesis to some extent. It has been postulated that termination of cytokinesis (abscission) depends on the migration of a centriole to the intercellular bridge and then back to the cell center. To investigate the involvement of centrioles in cytokinesis, we monitored the movements of centrioles in three mammalian epithelial cell lines, HeLa, MCF 10A, and the p53-deficient mouse mammary tumor cell line KP-7.7, by time-lapse imaging. Centrin1-EGFP and α-Tubulin-mCherry were co-expressed in the cells to visualize respectively the centrioles and microtubules.
Here we report that separated centrioles that migrate from the cell pole are very mobile during cytokinesis and their movements can be characterized as 1) along the nuclear envelope, 2) irregular, and 3) along microtubules forming the spindle axis. Centriole movement towards the intercellular bridge was only seen occasionally and was highly cell-line dependent.
These findings show that centrioles are highly mobile during cytokinesis and suggest that the repositioning of a centriole to the intercellular bridge is not essential for controlling abscission. We suggest that centriole movements are microtubule dependent and that abscission is more dependent on other mechanisms than positioning of centrioles.
Chondroblastoma is a benign cartilaginous tumour of bone that predominantly affects the epiphysis of long bones in young males. No recurrent chromosomal re-arrangements have so far been observed. Methods: We identified an index case with a balanced translocation by Combined Binary Ratio-Fluorescent in situ Hybridisation (COBRA-FISH) karyotyping followed by breakpoint FISH mapping and array-Comparative Genomic Hybridisation (aCGH). Candidate region re-arrangement and candidate gene expression were subsequently investigated by interphase FISH and immunohistochemistry in another 14 cases.
A balanced t(5;17)(p15;q22-23) was identified. In the index case, interphase FISH showed that the translocation was present only in mononucleated cells and was absent in the characteristic multinucleated giant cells. The t(5;17) translocation was not observed in the other cases studied. The breakpoint in 5p15 occurred close to the steroid reductase 5α1 (SRD5A1) gene. Expression of the protein was found in all cases tested. Similar expression was found for the sex steroid signalling-related molecules oestrogen receptor alpha and aromatase, while androgen receptors were only found in isolated cells in a few cases. The breakpoint in 17q22-23 was upstream of the carbonic anhydrase × (CA10) gene region and possibly involved gene-regulatory elements, which was indicated by the lack of CA10 protein expression in the index case. All other cases showed variable levels of CA10 expression, with low expression in three cases.
We report a novel t(5;17)(p15;q22-23) translocation in chondroblastoma without involvement of any of the two chromosomal regions in other cases studied. Our results indicate that the characteristic multinucleated giant cells in chondroblastoma do not have the same clonal origin as the mononuclear population, as they do not harbour the same translocation. We therefore hypothesise that they might be either reactive or originate from a distinct neoplastic clone, although the occurrence of two distinct clones is unlikely. Impairment of the CA10 gene might be pathogenetically relevant, as low expression was found in four cases. Diffuse expression of SRD5A1 and sex steroid signalling-related molecules confirms their role in neoplastic chondrogenesis.
Cervical carcinoma develops as a result of multiple genetic alterations. Different studies investigated genomic alterations in cervical cancer mainly by means of metaphase comparative genomic hybridization (mCGH) and microsatellite marker analysis for the detection of loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Currently, high throughput methods such as array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH), single nucleotide polymorphism array (SNP array) and gene expression arrays are available to study genome-wide alterations. Integration of these 3 platforms allows detection of genomic alterations at high resolution and investigation of an association between copy number changes and expression.
Genome-wide copy number and genotype analysis of 10 cervical cancer cell lines by array CGH and SNP array showed highly complex large-scale alterations. A comparison between array CGH and SNP array revealed that the overall concordance in detection of the same areas with copy number alterations (CNA) was above 90%. The use of SNP arrays demonstrated that about 75% of LOH events would not have been found by methods which screen for copy number changes, such as array CGH, since these were LOH events without CNA. Regions frequently targeted by CNA, as determined by array CGH, such as amplification of 5p and 20q, and loss of 8p were confirmed by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Genome-wide, we did not find a correlation between copy-number and gene expression. At chromosome arm 5p however, 22% of the genes were significantly upregulated in cell lines with amplifications as compared to cell lines without amplifications, as measured by gene expression arrays. For 3 genes, SKP2, ANKH and TRIO, expression differences were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR).
This study showed that copy number data retrieved from either array CGH or SNP array are comparable and that the integration of genome-wide LOH, copy number and gene expression is useful for the identification of gene specific targets that could be relevant for the development and progression in cervical cancer.
Chromosome arm 16q is the second most frequent target of loss of heterozygosity in breast cancer and is, therefore, a candidate to contain one or more classic tumour suppressor genes (TSGs). E-cadherin at 16q22 was identified as a TSG in lobular breast cancer, but TSGs in ductal breast cancer remain elusive. Several genes have been suggested as potential candidates (e.g. CBFA2T3, CTCF and WWOX) but no inactivating mutations could be identified in these genes and they thus fail to fit the classic two-hit model for a TSG. With the completion of the human transcriptome, new candidate genes can be distinguished. Besides mutational inactivation, a TSG could, at least in a subset of the tumours, be transcriptionally suppressed or even inactivated. Studying candidate genes for expression and somatic mutations could thus identify the TSGs.
Possible candidates CBFA2T3, TERF2 and TERF2IP, FBXL8 and LRRC29 and FANCA were studied for insertion and deletion mutations and for expression differences using quantitative RT-PCR in a panel of tumour cell lines and primary tumours with and without loss of 16q.
None of the genes showed mutations or obvious expression differences. FANCA expression increased with tumour grade.
Apparently, the underlying genetics at chromosome 16q are complex or the TSGs remain to be identified. Multiple mechanisms, such as mutations, promoter hypermethylation or haploinsufficiency, might lead to the inactivation of a TSG.
We describe a method to monitor rolling-circle replication of circular oligonucleotides in dual-color and in real-time using molecular beacons. The method can be used to study the kinetics of the polymerization reaction and to amplify and quantify circularized oligonucleotide probes in a rolling-circle amplification (RCA) reaction. Modified molecular beacons were made of 2′-O-Me-RNA to prevent 3′ exonucleolytic degradation by the polymerase used. Moreover, the complement of one of the stem sequences of the molecular beacon was included in the RCA products to avoid fluorescence quenching due to inter-molecular hybridization of neighboring molecular beacons hybridizing to the concatemeric polymerization product. The method allows highly accurate quantification of circularized DNA over a broad concentration range by relating the signal from the test DNA circle to an internal reference DNA circle reporting in a distinct fluorescence color.