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1.  Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing at Copy-Number Breakpoints for Personalized Analysis of Rearranged Ends in Solid Tumors 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100089.
The concept of the utilization of rearranged ends for development of personalized biomarkers has attracted much attention owing to its clinical applicability. Although targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) for recurrent rearrangements has been successful in hematologic malignancies, its application to solid tumors is problematic due to the paucity of recurrent translocations. However, copy-number breakpoints (CNBs), which are abundant in solid tumors, can be utilized for identification of rearranged ends.
As a proof of concept, we performed targeted next-generation sequencing at copy-number breakpoints (TNGS-CNB) in nine colon cancer cases including seven primary cancers and two cell lines, COLO205 and SW620. For deduction of CNBs, we developed a novel competitive single-nucleotide polymorphism (cSNP) microarray method entailing CNB-region refinement by competitor DNA.
Using TNGS-CNB, 19 specific rearrangements out of 91 CNBs (20.9%) were identified, and two polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplifiable rearrangements were obtained in six cases (66.7%). And significantly, TNGS-CNB, with its high positive identification rate (82.6%) of PCR-amplifiable rearrangements at candidate sites (19/23), just from filtering of aligned sequences, requires little effort for validation.
Our results indicate that TNGS-CNB, with its utility for identification of rearrangements in solid tumors, can be successfully applied in the clinical laboratory for cancer-relapse and therapy-response monitoring.
PMCID: PMC4061055  PMID: 24937453
2.  Chromatin CKAP2, a New Proliferation Marker, as Independent Prognostic Indicator in Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98160.
The level of proliferation activity is a strong prognostic or predictive indicator in breast cancer, but its optimal measurement is still in debate, necessitating new proliferation markers. In the present study, the prognostic significance of the CKAP2-positive cell count (CPCC), a new proliferation marker, was evaluated, and the results were compared with those for the mitotic activity index (MAI).
This study included 375 early-stage breast cancer samples collected from two institutions between 2000 and 2006. Immunohistochemical staining was performed using a CKAP2 monoclonal antibody. Cox proportional hazard regression models were fitted to determine the association between the CPCC and relapse-free survival (RFS) amongst three groups formed on the basis of the CPCC or MAI value: groups 2 and 3 showing the middle and highest values, respectively, and group 1 the lowest.
After adjustment for age, T stage, N stage, HER2 status, estrogen receptor status, progesterone receptor status, institution, and year of surgical resection, the CPCC was associated with a significantly worse RFS {hazard ratio [HR]  = 4.10 (95% CI: 1.64–10.29) for group 2; HR  = 4.35 (95% CI: 2.04–10.35) for group 3}. Moreover, its prognostic significance was similar to or higher than that based on the MAI {HR  = 2.05 (95% CI: 0.94–4.65) for group 2; HR  = 2.35 (95% CI: 1.09–5.10) for group 3}. In subgroup analyses, the CPCC showed a prognostic significance in the luminal A and triple-negative subgroups, but not in the HER2-positive subgroup.
Chromatin CKAP2 is an independent prognostic marker for RFS in early-stage breast cancer, and could potentially replace the MAI in clinical evaluation of proliferation activity. Additionally, our study results suggest that the prognostic significance of proliferation activity differs among the various subgroups of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4041571  PMID: 24887265
3.  Chemotherapeutic Potential of 2-[Piperidinoethoxyphenyl]-3-Phenyl-2H-Benzo(b)pyran in Estrogen Receptor- Negative Breast Cancer Cells: Action via Prevention of EGFR Activation and Combined Inhibition of PI-3-K/Akt/FOXO and MEK/Erk/AP-1 Pathways 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66246.
Inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is considered to be a promising treatment strategy for estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast tumors. We have investigated here the anti-breast cancer properties of a novel anti-proliferative benzopyran compound namely, 2-[piperidinoethoxyphenyl]-3-phenyl-2H-benzo(b)pyran (CDRI-85/287) in ER- negative and EGFR- overexpressing breast cancer cells. The benzopyran compound selectively inhibited the EGF-induced growth of MDA-MB 231 cells and ER-negative primary breast cancer cell culture. The compound significantly reduced tumor growth in xenograft of MDA-MB 231 cells in nude mice. The compound displayed better binding affinity for EGFR than inhibitor AG1478 as demonstrated by molecular docking studies. CDRI-85/287 significantly inhibited the activation of EGFR and downstream effectors MEK/Erk and PI-3-K/Akt. Subsequent inhibition of AP-1 promoter activity resulted in decreased transcription activation and expression of c-fos and c-jun. Dephosphorylation of downstream effectors FOXO-3a and NF-κB led to increased expression of p27 and decreased expression of cyclin D1 which was responsible for decreased phosphorylation of Rb and prevented the transcription of E2F- dependent genes involved in cell cycle progression from G1/S phase. The compound induced apoptosis via mitochondrial pathway and it also inhibited EGF-induced invasion of MDA-MB 231 cells as evidenced by decreased activity of MMP-9 and expression of CTGF. These results indicate that benzopyran compound CDRI-85/287 could constitute a powerful new chemotherapeutic agent against ER-negative and EGFR over-expressing breast tumors.
PMCID: PMC3686794  PMID: 23840429
4.  Phylogeography of mtDNA haplogroup R7 in the Indian peninsula 
Human genetic diversity observed in Indian subcontinent is second only to that of Africa. This implies an early settlement and demographic growth soon after the first 'Out-of-Africa' dispersal of anatomically modern humans in Late Pleistocene. In contrast to this perspective, linguistic diversity in India has been thought to derive from more recent population movements and episodes of contact. With the exception of Dravidian, which origin and relatedness to other language phyla is obscure, all the language families in India can be linked to language families spoken in different regions of Eurasia. Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome evidence has supported largely local evolution of the genetic lineages of the majority of Dravidian and Indo-European speaking populations, but there is no consensus yet on the question of whether the Munda (Austro-Asiatic) speaking populations originated in India or derive from a relatively recent migration from further East.
Here, we report the analysis of 35 novel complete mtDNA sequences from India which refine the structure of Indian-specific varieties of haplogroup R. Detailed analysis of haplogroup R7, coupled with a survey of ~12,000 mtDNAs from caste and tribal groups over the entire Indian subcontinent, reveals that one of its more recently derived branches (R7a1), is particularly frequent among Munda-speaking tribal groups. This branch is nested within diverse R7 lineages found among Dravidian and Indo-European speakers of India. We have inferred from this that a subset of Munda-speaking groups have acquired R7 relatively recently. Furthermore, we find that the distribution of R7a1 within the Munda-speakers is largely restricted to one of the sub-branches (Kherwari) of northern Munda languages. This evidence does not support the hypothesis that the Austro-Asiatic speakers are the primary source of the R7 variation. Statistical analyses suggest a significant correlation between genetic variation and geography, rather than between genes and languages.
Our high-resolution phylogeographic study, involving diverse linguistic groups in India, suggests that the high frequency of mtDNA haplogroup R7 among Munda speaking populations of India can be explained best by gene flow from linguistically different populations of Indian subcontinent. The conclusion is based on the observation that among Indo-Europeans, and particularly in Dravidians, the haplogroup is, despite its lower frequency, phylogenetically more divergent, while among the Munda speakers only one sub-clade of R7, i.e. R7a1, can be observed. It is noteworthy that though R7 is autochthonous to India, and arises from the root of hg R, its distribution and phylogeography in India is not uniform. This suggests the more ancient establishment of an autochthonous matrilineal genetic structure, and that isolation in the Pleistocene, lineage loss through drift, and endogamy of prehistoric and historic groups have greatly inhibited genetic homogenization and geographical uniformity.
PMCID: PMC2529308  PMID: 18680585

Results 1-4 (4)