ARID1A (BAF250A) promotes the formation of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes containing BRG1 or BRM. ARID1A has emerged as a candidate tumor suppressor based on its frequent mutations in ovarian clear cell and endometrioid cancers and in uterine endometrioid carcinomas. Here we report that restoring wild-type ARID1A expression in ovarian cancer cells that harbor ARID1A mutations is sufficient to suppress cell proliferation and tumor growth in mice, whereas RNAi-mediated silencing of ARID1A in non-transformed epithelial cells is sufficient to enhance cellular proliferation and tumorigenicity. Gene expression analysis identified several downstream targets of ARID1A including CDKN1A and SMAD3, which are well known p53 target genes. In support of the likelihood that p53 mediates the effects of ARID1A on these genes, we demonstrated that p53 was required and sufficient for their regulation by ARID1A. Further, we showed that CDKN1A (encoding p21) acted in part to mediate growth suppression by ARID1A. Lastly, we obtained evidence that the ARID1A/BRG1 complex interacts directly with p53 and that mutations in the ARID1A and TP53 genes were mutually exclusive in tumor specimens. Our results provide functional evidence in support of the hypothesis that ARID1A is a bona fide tumor suppressor that collaborates with p53 to regulate CDKN1A and SMAD3 transcription and tumor growth in gynecological cancers.
AT-rich interactive domain 1A (ARID1A) has emerged as a new tumor suppressor in which frequent somatic mutations have been identified in several types of human cancers. Although most ARID1A somatic mutations are frame-shift or nonsense mutations that contribute to mRNA decay and loss of protein expression, 5% of ARID1A mutations are in-frame insertions or deletions (indels) that involve only a small stretch of peptides. Naturally occurring in-frame indel mutations provide unique and useful models to explore the biology and regulatory role of ARID1A. In this study, we analyzed indel mutations identified in gynecological cancers to determine how these mutations affect the tumor suppressor function of ARID1A. Our results demonstrate that all in-frame mutants analyzed lost their ability to inhibit cellular proliferation or activate transcription of CDKN1A, which encodes p21, a downstream effector of ARID1A. We also showed that ARID1A is a nucleocytoplasmic protein whose stability depends on its subcellular localization. Nuclear ARID1A is less stable than cytoplasmic ARID1A because ARID1A is rapidly degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome system in the nucleus. In-frame deletions affecting the consensus nuclear export signal reduce steady-state protein levels of ARID1A. This defect in nuclear exportation leads to nuclear retention and subsequent degradation. Our findings delineate a mechanism underlying the regulation of ARID1A subcellular distribution and protein stability and suggest that targeting the nuclear ubiquitin-proteasome system can increase the amount of the ARID1A protein in the nucleus and restore its tumor suppressor functions.
ARID1A is a recently identified tumor suppressor gene that is mutated in approximately 50% of ovarian clear cell and 30% of ovarian endometrioid carcinomas. The mutation is associated with loss of protein expression as assessed by immunohistochemistry. In this study, we evaluated ARID1A immunoreactivity in a wide variety of carcinomas in order to determine the prevalence of ARID1A inactivation in carcinomas; mutational analysis of ARID1A was performed in selected cases. Immunoreactivity was not detected (corresponding to inactivation or mutation of ARID1A) in 36 (3.6%) of 995 tumors. Uterine low-grade endometrioid carcinomas demonstrated a relatively high frequency of loss of ARID1A expression, as 15 (26%) of 58 cases were negative. The other tumor that had a relatively high frequency loss of ARID1A expression was gastric carcinoma (11%). Mutational analysis showed 10 (40%) of 25 uterine endometrioid carcinoma, none of 12 uterine serous carcinomas and none of 56 ovarian serous and mucinous carcinomas harbored somatic ARID1A mutations. All mutations in endometrioid carcinomas were nonsense or insertion/deletion mutations and tumors with ARID1A mutations demonstrated complete loss or clonal loss of ARID1A expression. In conclusion, this study is the first large-scale analysis of a wide variety of carcinomas showing that uterine low-grade endometrioid carcinoma is the predominant tumor type harboring ARID1A mutations and frequent loss of ARID1A expression. These findings suggest that the molecular pathogenesis of low-grade uterine endometrioid carcinoma is similar to that of ovarian low-grade endometrioid and clear cell carcinoma, tumors that have previously been shown to have a high frequency of loss of expression and mutation of ARID1A.
ARID1A; BAF250; uterine carcinoma; ovarian carcinoma
Based on digital karyotyping, we have identified a new, discrete amplified region at ch19p13.2 in a high-grade ovarian serous carcinoma. To further characterize this region, we determined the frequency and biological significance of ch19p13.2 amplification by analyzing 341 high-grade serous carcinomas from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and found an increased DNA copy number at this locus in 18% of cases. We correlated the DNA and RNA copy number by analyzing the TCGA dataset for all amplified genes and detected 7 genes within ch19p13.2 that were significantly correlated (R ≥0.54) and were, in fact, listed as the top 100 potential “driver” genes at a genome-wide scale. Interestingly, one of the 7 genes, NACC1, encoding NAC1 was previously reported to be involved in the development of tumor recurrence in ovarian serous carcinoma and to play a causal role in the development of paclitaxel resistance. Therefore, we selected NACC1 for validation in an independent cohort. Based on fluorescence in situ hybridization, we found that 35 (20%) of 175 high-grade serous carcinomas had an increased DNA copy number at the NACC1 locus, and those amplified cases were associated with early disease recurrence within 6 months (p= 0.013). A significantly high level of NAC1 protein expression based on immunohistochemistry was detected in amplified tumors as compared to non-amplified tumors (p< 0.005). In summary, our data suggest that amplification at the ch19p13.2 NACC1 locus, leading to NAC1 overexpression, is one of the molecular genetic alterations associated with early tumor recurrence in ovarian cancer.
DNA damage commonly occurs in cancer cells as a result of endogenous and tumor microenvironmental stress. In this study, we applied
immunohistochemistry to study the expression of phosphorylated Chk2 (pChk2), a surrogate marker of the DNA damage response, in high grade and low grade of ovarian serous carcinoma. A
phospho-specific antibody specific for threonine 68 of Chk2 was used for immunohistochemistry on a total of 292 ovarian carcinoma tissues including 250 high-grade and 42 low-grade serous carcinomas. Immunostaining intensity was correlated with clinicopathological features. We found that there was a significant correlation between pChk2 immunostaining intensity and
percentage of pChk2 positive cells in tumors and demonstrated that high-grade serous
carcinomas expressed an elevated level of pChk2 as compared to low-grade serous carcinomas. Normal ovarian, fallopian tube, ovarian cyst, and serous borderline tumors did not show detectable pChk2 immunoreactivity. There was no significant difference in pChk2 immunoreactivity between
primary and recurrent high-grade serous carcinomas. In high-grade serous carcinomas, a significant correlation (P < 0.0001) in expression level (both in intensity and percentage) was found between pChk2 and Rsf-1 (HBXAP), a gene involved in chromatin remodeling that is amplified in high-grade serous carcinoma. Our results suggest that the DNA damage response is common in high-grade ovarian serous carcinomas, especially those with Rsf-1 overexpression, suggesting that Rsf-1 may be associated with DNA damage response in high-grade serous carcinomas.
Serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (STIC) has been proposed as a precursor for many pelvic high-grade serous carcinomas. Our previous analysis of the ovarian cancer genome identified several genes with oncogenic potential that are amplified and/or overexpressed in the majority of high-grade serous carcinomas. Determining whether these genes are upregulated in STICs is important in further elucidating the relationship of STICs to high-grade serous carcinomas and is fundamental in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of high-grade serous carcinomas. In this study, 37 morphologically defined STICs were obtained from 23 patients with stage IIIC/IV high-grade serous carcinomas. Both STICs and the high-grade serous carcinomas were analyzed for expression of Rsf-1, cyclin E, fatty acid synthase (FASN), and mucin-4. In addition, they were examined for expression of established markers including p53, Ki-67 and p16. We found that diffuse nuclear p53 and p16 immunoreactivity was observed in 27 (75%) of 36 and 18 (55%) of 33 STICs, respectively, while an elevated Ki-67 labeling index (≥10%) was detected in 29 (78%) of 37 STICs. Cyclin E nuclear staining was seen in 24 (77%) of 35 STICs while normal tubal epithelial cells were all negative. Increased Rsf-1 and FASN immunoreactivity occurred in 63%, and 62% of STICs, respectively, compared to adjacent normal-appearing tubal epithelium. Interestingly, only one STIC demonstrated increased mucin-4 immunoreactivity. Carcinomas, as compared to STICs, overexpressed p16, Rsf-1, cyclin E and FASN in a higher proportion of cases. In conclusion, STICs express several markers including Rsf-1, cyclin E and FASN in high-grade serous carcinomas. In contrast, mucin-4 immunoreactivity either did not change or was reduced in most STICs. These results suggest that overexpression of Rsf-1, cyclin E and FASN occurs early in tumor progression.
ovarian cancer; tubal intraepithelial carcinoma; HBXAP (Rsf-1)
A two-tier grading system based on nuclear grade divides ovarian serous carcinomas into low- (nuclear grade 1) and high-grade (nuclear grade 3). In most instances the separation is straightforward but at times, the morphologic distinction between them can be difficult. We studied eleven ovarian serous carcinomas with features that were “intermediate” (nuclear grade 2) between low and high grade. All the cases were high stage and had a poor clinical outcome. None of the tumors showed mutations in KRAS, BRAF and ERBB2 genes which characterize most low-grade serous carcinomas. In contrast, 10 (90.9%) of 11 cases contained non-synonymous TP53 mutations characteristic of high-grade serous carcinomas. In summary, the molecular genetic profile and behavior of serous carcinomas with grade 2 nuclei are virtually the same as those of serous carcinomas with grade 3 nuclei, supporting the use of the two-tier grading system for classifying ovarian serous carcinomas.
Ovarian cancer; serous carcinoma; grade; TP53; two-tier grading system
Nucleus accumbens-1 (Nac1 or NAC-1) belongs to the BTB/POZ transcription factor family and is a novel protein that potentially participates in self-renewal and pluripotency in embryonic stem cells. In human cancer, NAC-1 is upregulated in several types of neoplasms, but particularly in recurrent chemoresistant ovarian carcinomas, suggesting a biological role for NAC-1 in the development of drug resistance in ovarian cancer. We have assessed this possibility and demonstrated a correlation between NAC-1 expression and ex vivo paclitaxel resistance in ovarian serous carcinoma tissues and cell lines. We found that expression of Gadd45gamma-interacting protein 1 (Gadd45gip1), a downstream target negatively regulated by NAC-1, was reduced in paclitaxel-resistant cells. Ectopic expression of NAC-1 or knockdown of Gadd45gip1 conferred paclitaxel resistance, while NAC-1 knockdown or ectopic expression of Gadd45gip1 increased paclitaxel sensitivity. Furthermore, silencing NAC-1 expression or disrupting NAC-1 homodimerization by a dominant negative NAC-1 protein that contained only the BTB/POZ domain induced expression of Gadd45gamma which interacted with Gadd45gip1. Reducing Gadd45gamma expression by shRNAs partially enhanced paclitaxel resistance. Thus, this study provides new evidence that NAC-1 upregulation and homodimerization contribute to tumor recurrence by equipping ovarian cancer cells with the paclitaxel-resistant phenotype through negative regulation of the Gadd45 pathway.
Ovarian; NAC-1; chemoresistance; paclitaxel
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic neoplastic disease in which the molecular etiology remains largely unclear. Like other cancer types, evolution of ovarian tumor cell species is accompanied by acquisition of novel gene products and these new tumor-associated antigens elicit a host immune response that creates selection pressure upon the emerging tumor clones. One of the mechanisms that ovarian cancer cells evade immune surveillance is by up-regulating human leukocyte antigen-G (HLA-G) expression. HLA-G is a non-classical MHC class I molecule and accumulated evidence has suggested its biological role in inactivating immune response. It has been well known that HLA-G expression is frequently detected in the most aggressive type of ovarian cancer, i.e., high-grade serous carcinoma, and measurement of HLA-G protein levels has shown promise for detection and prognosis prediction in ovarian cancer. This review summarizes those recent studies on HLA-G expression in ovarian cancer with special focus on its clinical and biological significance which is fundamental to elucidate the molecular mechanisms in ovarian cancer development and paves the foundation for future HLA-G based diagnostics and therapeutics.
It has been well known that HLA-G molecules are present in a variety of human neoplastic diseases and the molecule may contribute to the escape of tumor cells from immune surveillance. Besides the studies that aim at elucidating the roles of HLA-G in immune regulation, the researches that focus on potential applications of HLA-G expression in cancer diagnosis represent another perspective in HLA-G research. This review summarizes those recent translational studies of HLA-G expression in the diagnosis of human cancer. Specifically, the promises and challenges for applying HLA-G expression to detect cancer in body fluids, to diagnose different types of human cancer and to predict clinical outcome in cancer patients will be briefly reviewed.
The cell of origin of ovarian cancer has been long debated. The current paradigm is that epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) arises from the ovarian surface epithelium (OSE). OSE is composed of flat, nondescript cells more closely resembling the mesothelium lining the peritoneal cavity, with which it is continuous, rather than the various histologic types of ovarian carcinoma (serous, endometrioid, and clear cell carcinoma), which have a Müllerian phenotype. Accordingly, it has been argued that the OSE undergoes a process termed “metaplasia” to account for this profound morphologic transformation. Recent molecular and clinicopathologic studies not only have failed to support this hypothesis but also have provided evidence that EOC stems from Müllerian-derived extraovarian cells that involve the ovary secondarily, thereby calling into question the very existence of primary EOC. This new model of ovarian carcinogenesis proposes that fallopian tube epithelium (benign or malignant) implants on the ovary to give rise to both high-grade and low-grade serous carcinomas, and that endometrial tissue implants on the ovary and produces endometriosis, which can undergo malignant transformation into endometrioid and clear cell carcinoma. Thus, ultimately EOC is not ovarian in origin but rather is secondary, and it is logical to conclude that the only true primary ovarian neoplasms are germ cell and gonadal stromal tumors analogous to tumors in the testis. If this new model is confirmed, it has profound implications for the early detection and treatment of “ovarian cancer.”
Ovarian cancer; Pathogenesis; Model; Paradigm; Fallopian tube; Endometriosis; Serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma; STIC; Serous carcinoma
Newly discovered nanoparticle properties have driven the development of novel applications and uses. We report a new observation where the electrophoretic mobility of a quantum dot-DNA nanoassembly can be precisely modulated by the degree of surface DNA conjugation. By using streptavidin-coated quantum dots (QD) as nanotethers to gather biotin-labeled DNA into electrophoretic nanoassemblies, the QD surface charge is modulated and transformed into electrophoretic mobility shifts using standard agarose gel electrophoresis. Typical fluorescent assays quantify based on relative intensity. However, this phenomenon uses a novel approach that accurately maps DNA quantity into shifts in relative band position. This property was applied in a quantum dot enabled nanoassay called Quantum Dot Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay (QEMSA) that enables accurate quantification of DNA targets down to 1.1-fold (9%) changes in quantity, beyond what is achievable in qPCR. In addition to these experimental findings, an analytical model is presented to explain this behavior. Finally, QEMSA was applied to both genetic and epigenetic analysis of cancer. First, it was used to analyze copy number variation (CNV) of the RSF1/HBXAP gene where conventional approaches for CNV analysis based on comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), microarrays, and qPCR are unable to reliably differentiate less than 2-fold changes in copy number. Then, QEMSA was used for DNA methylation analysis of the p16/CDK2A tumor suppressor gene where its ability to detect subtle changes in methylation was shown to be superior to that of qPCR.
Quantum dot; Nanother; DNA; Electrophoretic mobility; Copy number variation; methylation
It has been well established that ovarian low-grade and high-grade serous carcinomas are fundamentally different types of tumours. While the molecular genetic features of ovarian high-grade serous carcinomas are now well known, the pathogenesis of low-grade serous carcinomas, apart from the recognition of frequent somatic mutations involving KRAS and BRAF, is largely unknown. In order to comprehensively analyse somatic mutations in low-grade serous carcinomas, we applied exome sequencing to the DNA of eight samples of affinity-purified, low-grade, serous carcinomas. A remarkably small number of mutations were identified in seven of these tumours: a total of 70 somatic mutations in 64 genes. The eighth case displayed mixed serous and endometrioid features and a mutator phenotype with 783 somatic mutations, including a nonsense mutation in the mismatch repair gene, MSH2. We validated representative mutations in an additional nine low-grade serous carcinomas and 10 serous borderline tumours, the precursors of ovarian low-grade, serous carcinomas. Overall, the genes showing the most frequent mutations were BRAF and KRAS, occurring in 10 (38%) and 5 (19%) of 27 low-grade tumours, respectively. Except for a single case with a PIK3CA mutation, other mutations identified in the discovery set were not detected in the validation set of specimens. Our mutational analysis demonstrates that point mutations are much less common in low-grade serous tumours of the ovary than in other adult tumours, a finding with interesting scientific and clinical implications.
ovarian cancer; exome sequencing; BRAF; KRAS; somatic mutations
Nongastrointestinal-type mucinous borderline tumors have been described as displaying endocervical and serous differentiation and hence have been termed “endocervical-type” mucinous borderline tumors, “mixed epithelial papillary cystadenoma of borderline malignancy of mullerian type” or “atypical proliferative seromucinous tumors”. A striking feature of these tumors is their frequent association with endometriosis, which has been reported in a third to a half of cases. This is an unusual finding as pure endocervical and serous tumors are not usually associated with endometriosis. ARID1A is a recently identified tumor suppressor, which frequently loses its expression and is mutated in endometrium-related carcinomas including ovarian clear cell, ovarian endometrioid and uterine endometrioid carcinomas. Although ARID1A mutations and expression have been studied in gynecological cancer, the expression pattern of ARID1A has not been investigated in ovarian atypical proliferative (borderline) tumors. In this study, we analyzed ARID1A expression in serous, gastrointestinal-type and endocervical-type (seromucinous) mucinous, and endometrioid atypical proliferative (borderline) tumors using immunohistochemistry and performed mutational analysis in selected cases. We observed loss of ARID1A staining in 8 (33%) of 24 seromucinous tumors. In contrast, ARID1A staining was retained in all the other 32 tumors except in one endometrioid tumor (p<0.01). Mutational analysis was performed on two representative seromucinous tumors, which showed complete loss of ARID1A. Both tumors harbored somatic inactivating ARID1A mutations. Previous studies have reported loss of expression and/or mutation of ARID1A in 30–57% of endometrioid and clear cell carcinomas but only rarely in serous tumors. The findings in this study, showing a significantly higher frequency of loss of ARID1A expression in endocervical-type (seromucinous) tumors, presumably due to mutation, compared to the other histologic types suggest that they are molecularly related to endometrioid and clear cell tumors.
ARID1A; ovarian borderline tumor
In contrast to the controversy regarding the terminology and behavior of ovarian noninvasive low-grade serous tumors (atypical proliferative serous tumor [APST] and serous borderline tumor [SBT]), little attention has been directed to their origin. Similarly, until recently, proliferative lesions in the fallopian tube have not been extensively studied. The recent proposal that ovarian high-grade serous carcinomas are derived from intraepithelial carcinoma in the fallopian tube prompted us to evaluate the possible role of the fallopian tube in the genesis of low-grade serous tumors. We have identified a lesion, designated “papillary tubal hyperplasia (PTH)”, characterized by small rounded clusters of tubal epithelial cells and small papillae, with or without associated psammoma bodies, that are present within the tubal lumen and which are frequently associated with APSTs. Twenty-two cases in this study were selected from a population-based study in Denmark of approximately 1000 patients with low-grade ovarian serous tumors in whom implants were identified on the fallopian tube. Seven additional cases were seen recently in consultation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH). These 7 cases were not associated with an ovarian tumor. Papillary tubal hyperplasia was found in 20 (91%) of the 22 cases in the Danish study. Based on this association of PTH with APSTs with implants and the close morphologic resemblance of PTH, not only to the primary ovarian APSTs but also to the noninvasive epithelial implants and endosalpingiosis, we speculate that the small papillae and clusters of cells from the fallopian tubes implant on ovarian and peritoneal surfaces to produce these lesions. The 7 JHH cases of PTH that were not associated with an ovarian tumor support the view that PTH is the likely precursor lesion. We propose a model for the development of ovarian and extraovarian low-grade serous proliferations (APST, noninvasive epithelial implants and endosalpingiosis) that postulates that all of these lesions are derived from PTH, which appears to be induced by chronic inflammation. If this hypothesis is confirmed, then it can be concluded that low- and high-grade ovarian tumors develop from tubal epithelium and involve the ovary secondarily.
Invasive micropapillary carcinoma (IMC) is generally an aggressive morphologic variant that has been described in the bladder, lung, breast, salivary gland, gastrointestinal tract, and ovary. Given the morphologic similarities between IMCs arising from different organ systems and the high propensity of this histologic subtype for lymphatic metastasis, it may be necessary to use immunohistochemical (IHC) markers to determine the primary site of an IMC. Few studies have compared the IHC profiles of IMCs originating from different sites. We tested a panel of 11 IHC markers for their ability to distinguish urothelial, lung, breast, and ovarian IMC using a tissue microarray constructed with primary tumor tissue from 47 patients with IMC (13 bladder, 6 lung, 16 breast, and 12 ovarian). For each tumor, correct classification as IMC was verified by reverse polarity MUC1 expression. We found that immunostaining for uroplakin, CK20, TTF-1, estrogen receptor (ER), WT-1 and/or PAX8, and mammaglobin was the best panel for determining the most likely primary site of IMC. The best markers to identify urothelial IMC were uroplakin and CK20, whereas p63, high molecular weight cytokeratin, and thrombomodulin were less sensitive and specific. Lung IMC was uniformly TTF-1 positive. Breast IMC was ER positive, mammaglobin positive, and PAX8/WT-1 negative, while ovarian IMC was ER positive, mammaglobin negative, and PAX8/WT-1 positive. In the metastatic setting, or when IMC occurs without an associated in situ or conventional carcinoma component, staining for uroplakin, CK20, TTF-1, ER and WT-1, and/or PAX8, and mammaglobin is the best panel for accurately classifying the likely primary site of IMC.
micropapillary carcinoma; urothelial; bladder; breast; lung; ovary; immunohistochemistry
To examine the value of individual and combinations of ovarian cancer associated blood biomarkers for the discrimination between plasma of patients with type I or II ovarian cancer and disease-free volunteers.
Levels of 14 currently promising ovarian cancer-related biomarkers, including CA125, macrophage inhibitory factor-1 (MIF-1), leptin, prolactin, osteopontin (OPN), insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II), autoantibodies (AAbs) to eight proteins: p53, NY-ESO-1, p16, ALPP, CTSD, B23, GRP78, and SSX, were measured in the plasma of 151 ovarian cancer patients, 23 with borderline ovarian tumors, 55 with benign tumors and 75 healthy controls.
When examined individually, seven candidate biomarkers (MIF, Prolactin, CA-125, OPN, Leptin, IGF-II and p53 AAbs) had significantly different plasma levels between type II ovarian cancer patients and healthy controls. Based on the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves constructed and area under the curve (AUC) calculated, CA125 exhibited the greatest power to discriminate the plasma samples of type II cancer patients from normal volunteers (AUC 0.9310), followed by IGF-II (AUC 0.8514), OPN (AUC 0.7888), leptin (AUC 0.7571), prolactin (AUC 0.7247), p53 AAbs (AUC 0.7033), and MIF (AUC 0.6992). p53 AAbs levels exhibited the lowest correlation with CA125 levels among the six markers, suggesting the potential of p53 AAbs as a biomarker independent of CA125. Indeed, p53 AAbs increased the AUC of ROC curve to the greatest extent when combining CA125 with one of the other markers. At a fixed specificity of 100%, the addition of p53 AAbs to CA125 increased sensitivity from 73.8% to 85.7% to discriminate type II cancer patients from normal controls. Notably, seropositivity of p53 AAbs is comparable in type II ovarian cancer patients with negative and positive CA125, but has no value for type I ovarian cancer patients.
p53 AAbs might be a useful blood-based biomarker for the detection of type II ovarian cancer, especially when combined with CA125 levels.
Nucleus accumbens-1 (NAC1), a nuclear factor belonging to the BTB/POZ gene family, is known to play important roles in proliferation and growth of tumor cells and in chemotherapy resistance. Yet, the mechanisms underlying how NAC1 contributes to drug resistance remain largely unclear. We reported here that autophagy was involved in NAC1-mediated resistance to cisplatin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug in the treatment of ovarian cancer. We found that treatment with cisplatin caused an activation of autophagy in ovarian cancer cell lines, A2780, OVCAR3, and SKOV3. We further demonstrated that knockdown of NAC1 by RNAi or inactivation of NAC1 by inducing the expression of a NAC1 deletion mutant that contains only the BTB/POZ domain significantly inhibited the cisplatin-induced autophagy, resulting in increased cisplatin cytotoxicity. Moreover, inhibition of autophagy and sensitization to cisplatin by NAC1 knockdown or inactivation were accompanied by induction of apoptosis. To confirm that the sensitizing effect of NAC1 inhibition on the cytotoxicity of cisplatin was attributed to suppression of autophagy, we assessed the effects of the autophagy inhibitors, 3-MA and chloroquine, and siRNAs targeting beclin 1 or Atg5, on the cytotoxicity of cisplatin. Treatment with 3-MA, chloroquine or beclin 1 and Atg5-targeted siRNA also enhanced the sensitivity of SKOV3, A2780 and OVCAR3 cells to cisplatin, indicating that suppression of autophagy indeed renders tumor cells more sensitive to cisplatin. Regulation of autophagy by NAC1 was mediated via high mobility group box1 (HMGB1), as the functional status of NAC1 was associated with the expression, translocation and release of HMGB1. The results of our study not only revealed a new mechanism determining cisplatin sensitivity, but also identified NAC1 as a novel regulator of autophagy. Thus, the NAC1- mediated autophagy may be exploited as a new target for enhancing the efficacy of cisplatin against ovarian cancer and other types of malignancies.
NAC1; autophagy; apoptosis; HMGB1; cisplatin; ovarian cancer
Somatic Copy Number Alterations (CNAs) in human genomes are present in almost all human cancers. Systematic efforts to characterize such structural variants must effectively distinguish significant consensus events from random background aberrations. Here we introduce Significant Aberration in Cancer (SAIC), a new method for characterizing and assessing the statistical significance of recurrent CNA units. Three main features of SAIC include: (1) exploiting the intrinsic correlation among consecutive probes to assign a score to each CNA unit instead of single probes; (2) performing permutations on CNA units that preserve correlations inherent in the copy number data; and (3) iteratively detecting Significant Copy Number Aberrations (SCAs) and estimating an unbiased null distribution by applying an SCA-exclusive permutation scheme.
We test and compare the performance of SAIC against four peer methods (GISTIC, STAC, KC-SMART, CMDS) on a large number of simulation datasets. Experimental results show that SAIC outperforms peer methods in terms of larger area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics curve and increased detection power. We then apply SAIC to analyze structural genomic aberrations acquired in four real cancer genome-wide copy number data sets (ovarian cancer, metastatic prostate cancer, lung adenocarcinoma, glioblastoma). When compared with previously reported results, SAIC successfully identifies most SCAs known to be of biological significance and associated with oncogenes (e.g., KRAS, CCNE1, and MYC) or tumor suppressor genes (e.g., CDKN2A/B). Furthermore, SAIC identifies a number of novel SCAs in these copy number data that encompass tumor related genes and may warrant further studies.
Supported by a well-grounded theoretical framework, SAIC has been developed and used to identify SCAs in various cancer copy number data sets, providing useful information to study the landscape of cancer genomes. Open–source and platform-independent SAIC software is implemented using C++, together with R scripts for data formatting and Perl scripts for user interfacing, and it is easy to install and efficient to use. The source code and documentation are freely available at http://www.cbil.ece.vt.edu/software.htm.
Recent morphologic, immunohistochemical and molecular genetic studies have led to the development of a new paradigm for the pathogenesis and origin of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) based on a dualistic model of carcinogenesis that divides EOC into two broad categories designated type I and type II. Type I tumors are comprised of low-grade serous, low-grade endometrioid, clear cell and mucinous carcinomas and Brenner tumors. They are generally indolent, present in stage I (tumor confined to the ovary) and are characterized by specific mutations, including KRAS, BRAF, ERBB2, CTNNB1, PTEN PIK3CA, ARID1A, and PPPR1A, which target specific cell signaling pathways. Type I tumors rarely harbor TP53 and are relatively stable genetically. Type II tumors are comprised of high-grade serous, high-grade endometrioid, malignant mixed mesodermal tumors (carcinosarcomas) and undifferentiated carcinomas. They are aggressive, present in advanced stage, and have a very high frequency of TP53 mutations but rarely harbor the mutations detected in type I tumors. In addition, type II tumors have molecular alterations that perturb expression of BRCA either by mutation of the gene or by promotor methylation. A hallmark of these tumors is that they are genetically highly unstable. Recent studies strongly suggest that fallopian tube epithelium (benign or malignant) that implants on the ovary is the source of low-grade and high-grade serous carcinoma rather than the ovarian surface epithelium as previously believed. Similarly, it is widely accepted that endometriosis is the precursor of endometrioid and clear cell carcinomas and as endometriosis is thought to develop from retrograde menstruation these tumors can also be regarded as involving the ovary secondarily. The origin of mucinous and transitional cell (Brenner) tumors is still not well established, although recent data suggest a possible origin from transitional epithelial nests located in paraovarian locations at the tubo-peritoneal junction. Thus, it now appears that type I and type II ovarian tumors develop independently along different molecular pathways, and that both types develop outside the ovary and involve it secondarily. If this concept is confirmed it leads to the conclusion that the only true primary ovarian neoplasms are gonadal stromal and germ cell tumors analogous to testicular tumors. This new paradigm of ovarian carcinogenesis has important clinical implications. By shifting the early events of ovarian carcinogenesis to the fallopian tube and endometrium instead of the ovary, prevention approaches, for example, salpingectomy with ovarian conservation, may play an important role in reducing the burden of ovarian cancer while preserving hormonal function and fertility.
Ovarian cancer; borderline tumors; molecular pathogenesis; origin; p53 mutations; prevention
Motivation: Identification of somatic DNA copy number alterations (CNAs) and significant consensus events (SCEs) in cancer genomes is a main task in discovering potential cancer-driving genes such as oncogenes and tumor suppressors. The recent development of SNP array technology has facilitated studies on copy number changes at a genome-wide scale with high resolution. However, existing copy number analysis methods are oblivious to normal cell contamination and cannot distinguish between contributions of cancerous and normal cells to the measured copy number signals. This contamination could significantly confound downstream analysis of CNAs and affect the power to detect SCEs in clinical samples.
Results: We report here a statistically principled in silico approach, Bayesian Analysis of COpy number Mixtures (BACOM), to accurately estimate genomic deletion type and normal tissue contamination, and accordingly recover the true copy number profile in cancer cells. We tested the proposed method on two simulated datasets, two prostate cancer datasets and The Cancer Genome Atlas high-grade ovarian dataset, and obtained very promising results supported by the ground truth and biological plausibility. Moreover, based on a large number of comparative simulation studies, the proposed method gives significantly improved power to detect SCEs after in silico correction of normal tissue contamination. We develop a cross-platform open-source Java application that implements the whole pipeline of copy number analysis of heterogeneous cancer tissues including relevant processing steps. We also provide an R interface, bacomR, for running BACOM within the R environment, making it straightforward to include in existing data pipelines.
Availability: The cross-platform, stand-alone Java application, BACOM, the R interface, bacomR, all source code and the simulation data used in this article are freely available at authors' web site: http://www.cbil.ece.vt.edu/software.htm.
Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Summary: Differential dependency network (DDN) is a caBIG® (cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid) analytical tool for detecting and visualizing statistically significant topological changes in transcriptional networks representing two biological conditions. Developed under caBIG® 's In Silico Research Centers of Excellence (ISRCE) Program, DDN enables differential network analysis and provides an alternative way for defining network biomarkers predictive of phenotypes. DDN also serves as a useful systems biology tool for users across biomedical research communities to infer how genetic, epigenetic or environment variables may affect biological networks and clinical phenotypes. Besides the standalone Java application, we have also developed a Cytoscape plug-in, CytoDDN, to integrate network analysis and visualization seamlessly.
Availability: The Java and MATLAB source code can be downloaded at the authors' web site http://www.cbil.ece.vt.edu/software.htm
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Summary: Phenotypic Up-regulated Gene Support Vector Machine (PUGSVM) is a cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG™) analytical tool for multiclass gene selection and classification. PUGSVM addresses the problem of imbalanced class separability, small sample size and high gene space dimensionality, where multiclass gene markers are defined by the union of one-versus-everyone phenotypic upregulated genes, and used by a well-matched one-versus-rest support vector machine. PUGSVM provides a simple yet more accurate strategy to identify statistically reproducible mechanistic marker genes for characterization of heterogeneous diseases.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
NAC1, a BTB/POZ family member, has been suggested to participate in maintaining stemness of embryonic stem cells and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of human cancer. In ovarian cancer, NAC1 upregulation is associated with disease aggressiveness and with the development of chemoresistance. Like other BTB/POZ proteins, NAC1 forms discrete nuclear bodies in non-dividing cells. To investigate the biologic role of NAC1 nuclear bodies, we characterized the expression dynamics of NAC1 nuclear bodies during different phases of the cell cycle. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching assays revealed that NAC1 was rapidly exchanged between the nucleoplasm and NAC1 nuclear bodies in interphase cells. The number of NAC1 bodies significantly increased and their size decreased in S-phase as compared to G0/G1 and G2 phases. NAC1 nuclear bodies disappeared and NAC1 became diffuse during mitosis. NAC1 nuclear bodies reappeared immediately after completion of mitosis. These results indicate that a cell cycle-dependent regulatory mechanism controls NAC1 body formation in the nucleus and suggest that NAC1 body dynamics are associated with mitosis or cytokinesis.
NAC1; Kinetics; cell cycle; carcinogenesis