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1.  Expanding the computational toolbox for mining cancer genomes 
Nature reviews. Genetics  2014;15(8):556-570.
High-throughput DNA sequencing has revolutionized cancer genomics with numerous discoveries relevant to cancer diagnosis and treatment. The latest sequencing and analysis methods have successfully identified somatic alterations including single nucleotide variants (SNVs), insertions and deletions (indels), structural aberrations, and gene fusions. Additional computational techniques have proved useful to define those mutations, genes, and molecular networks that drive diverse cancer phenotypes as well as determine clonal architectures in tumour samples. Collectively, these tools have advanced the study of genomic, transcriptomic, epigenomic alterations and their association to clinical properties. Here, we review cancer genomics software and the insights that have been gained from their application.
PMCID: PMC4168012  PMID: 25001846
2.  High frequency strand slippage mutations in CTCF in MSI-positive endometrial cancers 
Human mutation  2014;35(1):63-65.
Tumors with defective mismatch repair acquire large numbers of strand slippage mutations including frameshifts in coding sequence repeats. We identified a mutational hotspot, p.T204fs, in the insulator-binding protein (CTCF) in MSI-positive endometrial cancers. Although CTCF was described as a significantly mutated gene by the endometrial cancer TCGA, the A7 track variants leading to T204 frameshifts were not reported. Reanalysis of TCGA data using Pindel revealed frequent T204fs mutations, confirming CTCF is an MSI target gene and revealed the same frameshifts in tumors with intact mismatch repair. We show that T204fs transcripts are subject to nonsense-mediated decay and as such, T204fs mutations are unlikely to act as dominant negatives. The spectrum and pattern of mutations observed is consistent with CTCF acting as a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor.
PMCID: PMC3946358  PMID: 24130125
endometrial cancer; MSI; CTCF; strand slippage mutation; tumor suppressor
3.  Small Sized EGFR1 and HER2 Specific Bifunctional Antibody for Targeted Cancer Therapy 
Theranostics  2015;5(4):378-398.
Targeting tumors using miniature antibodies is a novel and attractive therapeutic approach, as these biomolecules exhibit low immunogenicity, rapid clearance, and high targeting specificity. However, most of the small-sized antibodies in existence do not exhibit marked anti-tumor effects, which limit their use in targeted cancer immunotherapy. To overcome this difficulty in targeting multiple biomarkers by combination therapies, we designed a new bifunctional antibody, named MaAbNA (multivalent antibody comprised of nanobody and affibody moieties), capable of targeting EGFR1 and HER2, which are widely overexpressed in a variety of tumor types. The small-sized (29 kDa) MaAbNA, which was expressed in E.coli, consists of one anti-EGFR1 nanobody and two anti-HER2 affibodies, and possesses high affinity (KD) for EGFR1 (~4.1 nM) and HER2 (~4.7 nM). In order to enhance its anti-tumor activity, MaAbNA was conjugated with adriamycin (ADM) using a PEG2000 linker, forming a new complex anticancer drug, MaAbNA-PEG2000-ADM. MaAbNA exhibited high inhibitory effects on tumor cells over-expressing both EGFR1 and HER2, but displayed minimal cytotoxicity in cells expressing low levels of EGFR1 and HER2. Moreover, MaAbNA-PEG2000-ADM displayed increased tumoricidal effects than ADM or MaAbNA alone, as well exhibited greater antitumor efficacy than EGFR1 (Cetuximab) and HER2 (Herceptin) antibody drugs. The ability of MaAbNA to regulate expression of downstream oncogenes c-jun, c-fos, c-myc, as well as AEG-1 for therapeutic potential was evaluated by qPCR and western-blot analyses. The antitumor efficacy of MaAbNA and its derivative MaAbNA-PEG2000-ADM were validated in vivo, highlighting the potential for use of MaAbNA as a highly tumor-specific dual molecular imaging probe and targeted cancer therapeutic.
PMCID: PMC4329502
4.  Targeting Oxidative Stress in Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma 
Cancer cell  2013;24(6):710-724.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a soft-tissue sarcoma with molecular and cellular features of developing skeletal muscle. Rhabdomyosarcoma has two major histological subtypes, embryonal and alveolar, each with distinct clinical, molecular, and genetic features. Genomic analysis show that embryonal tumors have more structural and copy number variations than alveolar tumors. Mutations in the RAS/NF1 pathway are significantly associated with intermediate- and high-risk embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas (ERMS). In contrast, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) have fewer genetic lesions overall and no known recurrently mutated cancer consensus genes. To identify therapeutics for ERMS, we developed and characterized orthotopic xenografts of tumors that were sequenced in our study. High throughput screening of primary cultures derived from those xenografts identified oxidative stress as a pathway of therapeutic relevance for ERMS.
PMCID: PMC3904731  PMID: 24332040
5.  A New Species of Muscicapa Flycatcher from Sulawesi, Indonesia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112657.
The Indonesian island of Sulawesi, a globally important hotspot of avian endemism, has been relatively poorly studied ornithologically, to the extent that several new bird species from the region have been described to science only recently, and others have been observed and photographed, but never before collected or named to science. One of these is a new species of Muscicapa flycatcher that has been observed on several occasions since 1997. We collected two specimens in Central Sulawesi in 2012, and based on a combination of morphological, vocal and genetic characters, we describe the new species herein, more than 15 years after the first observations. The new species is superficially similar to the highly migratory, boreal-breeding Gray-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta, which winters in Sulawesi; however, the new species differs strongly from M. griseisticta in several morphological characters, song, and mtDNA. Based on mtDNA, the new species is only distantly related to M. griseisticta, instead being a member of the M. dauurica clade. The new species is evidently widely distributed in lowland and submontane forest throughout Sulawesi. This wide distribution coupled with the species' apparent tolerance of disturbed habitats suggests it is not currently threatened with extinction.
PMCID: PMC4242539  PMID: 25419968
6.  Neurogenin 3–Directed Cre Deletion of Tsc1 Gene Causes Pancreatic Acinar Carcinoma12 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2014;16(11):909-917.
The role of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancers remains largely unknown. The present study shows that neurogenin 3 directed Cre deletion of Tsc1 gene induces the development of pancreatic acinar carcinoma. By cross-breeding the Neurog3-cre mice with Tsc1loxp/loxp mice, we generated the Neurog3-Tsc1−/− transgenic mice in which Tsc1 gene is deleted and mTOR signaling activated in the pancreatic progenitor cells. All Neurog3-Tsc1−/− mice developed notable adenocarcinoma-like lesions in pancreas starting from the age of 100 days old. The tumor lesions are composed of cells with morphological and molecular resemblance to acinar cells. Metastasis of neoplasm to liver and lung was detected in 5% of animals. Inhibition of mTOR signaling by rapamycin significantly attenuated the growth of the neoplasm. Relapse of the neoplasm occurred within 14 days upon cessation of rapamycin treatment. Our studies indicate that activation of mTOR signaling in the pancreatic progenitor cells may trigger the development of acinar carcinoma. Thus, mTOR may serve as a potential target for treatment of pancreatic acinar carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC4240920  PMID: 25425965
ACC, acinar cell carcinoma; 4EBP-1, 4E binding protein 1; mTOR, mammlian target of rapamycin; Neurog3, neurogenin 3; PDA, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; S6, ribosomal protein S6; TSC, tuberous sclerosis complex
7.  Clonal Architectures and Driver Mutations in Metastatic Melanomas 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111153.
To reveal the clonal architecture of melanoma and associated driver mutations, whole genome sequencing (WGS) and targeted extension sequencing were used to characterize 124 melanoma cases. Significantly mutated gene analysis using 13 WGS cases and 15 additional paired extension cases identified known melanoma genes such as BRAF, NRAS, and CDKN2A, as well as a novel gene EPHA3, previously implicated in other cancer types. Extension studies using tumors from another 96 patients discovered a large number of truncation mutations in tumor suppressors (TP53 and RB1), protein phosphatases (e.g., PTEN, PTPRB, PTPRD, and PTPRT), as well as chromatin remodeling genes (e.g., ASXL3, MLL2, and ARID2). Deep sequencing of mutations revealed subclones in the majority of metastatic tumors from 13 WGS cases. Validated mutations from 12 out of 13 WGS patients exhibited a predominant UV signature characterized by a high frequency of C->T transitions occurring at the 3′ base of dipyrimidine sequences while one patient (MEL9) with a hypermutator phenotype lacked this signature. Strikingly, a subclonal mutation signature analysis revealed that the founding clone in MEL9 exhibited UV signature but the secondary clone did not, suggesting different mutational mechanisms for two clonal populations from the same tumor. Further analysis of four metastases from different geographic locations in 2 melanoma cases revealed phylogenetic relationships and highlighted the genetic alterations responsible for differential drug resistance among metastatic tumors. Our study suggests that clonal evaluation is crucial for understanding tumor etiology and drug resistance in melanoma.
PMCID: PMC4230926  PMID: 25393105
8.  Tailor design and synthesis of heparan sulfate (HS) oligosaccharide analogs using sequential one-pot multienzyme (OPME) systems** 
PMCID: PMC3943747  PMID: 24038939
carbohydrate; chemoenzymatic; glycosyltransferase; heparan sulfate; heparin; synthesis
9.  Advances for Studying Clonal Evolution in Cancer 
Cancer letters  2013;340(2):10.1016/j.canlet.2012.12.028.
The “clonal evolution” model of cancer emerged and “evolved” amid ongoing advances in technology, especially in recent years during which next generation sequencing instruments have provided ever higher resolution pictures of the genetic changes in cancer cells and heterogeneity in tumors. It has become increasingly clear that clonal evolution is not a single sequential process, but instead frequently involves simultaneous evolution of multiple subclones that co-exist because they are of similar fitness or are spatially separated. Co-evolution of subclones also occurs when they complement each other’s survival advantages. Recent studies have also shown that clonal evolution is highly heterogeneous: different individual tumors of the same type may undergo very different paths of clonal evolution. New methodological advancements, including deep digital sequencing of a mixed tumor population, single cell sequencing, and the development of more sophisticated computational tools, will continue to shape and reshape the models of clonal evolution. In turn, these will provide both an improved framework for the understanding of cancer progression and a guide for treatment strategies aimed at the elimination of all, rather than just some, of the cancer cells within a patient.
PMCID: PMC3783624  PMID: 23353056
10.  The genomic landscape of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and pediatric non-brainstem high-grade glioma 
Nature genetics  2014;46(5):444-450.
Pediatric high-grade glioma (HGG) is a devastating disease with a two-year survival of less than 20%1. We analyzed 127 pediatric HGGs, including diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) and non-brainstem HGGs (NBS-HGGs) by whole genome, whole exome, and/or transcriptome sequencing. We identified recurrent somatic mutations in ACVR1 exclusively in DIPG (32%), in addition to the previously reported frequent somatic mutations in histone H3, TP53 and ATRX in both DIPG and NBS-HGGs2-5. Structural variants generating fusion genes were found in 47% of DIPGs and NBS-HGGs, with recurrent fusions involving the neurotrophin receptor genes NTRK1, 2, or 3 in 40% of NBS-HGGs in infants. Mutations targeting receptor tyrosine kinase/RAS/PI3K signaling, histone modification or chromatin remodeling, and cell cycle regulation were found in 68%, 73% and 59%, respectively, of pediatric HGGs, including DIPGs and NBS-HGGs. This comprehensive analysis provides insights into the unique and shared pathways driving pediatric HGG within and outside the brainstem.
PMCID: PMC4056452  PMID: 24705251
12.  Simultaneous targeting of PI3Kδ and a PI3Kδ-dependent MEK1/2-Erk1/2 pathway for therapy in pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia 
Oncotarget  2014;5(21):10732-10744.
B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) is the most common hematological malignancy diagnosed in children, and blockade of the abnormally activated PI3Kδ displayed promising outcomes in B cell acute or chronic leukemias, but the mechanisms are not well understood. Here we report a novel PI3Kδ selective inhibitor X-370, which displays distinct binding mode with p110δ and blocks constitutively active or stimulus-induced PI3Kδ signaling. X-370 significantly inhibited survival of human B cell leukemia cells in vitro, with associated induction of G1 phase arrest and apoptosis. X-370 abrogated both Akt and Erk1/2 signaling via blockade of PDK1 binding to and/or phosphorylation of MEK1/2. Forced expression of a constitutively active MEK1 attenuated the antiproliferative activity of X-370. X-370 preferentially inhibited the survival of primary pediatric B-ALL cells displaying PI3Kδ-dependent Erk1/2 phosphorylation, while combined inhibition of PI3Kδ and MEK1/2 displayed enhanced activity. We conclude that PI3Kδ inhibition led to abrogation of both Akt and Erk1/2 signaling via a novel PI3K-PDK1/MEK1/2-Erk1/2 signaling cascade, which contributed to its efficacy against B-ALL. These findings support the rationale for clinical testing of PI3Kδ inhibitors in pediatric B-ALL and provide insights needed to optimize the therapeutic strategy.
PMCID: PMC4279406  PMID: 25313141
PI-3Kdelta inhibitor; MAPK; B cell acute lymphocytic leukemia; target therapy
13.  Adult-onset immunodeficiency in Thailand and Taiwan 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(8):725-734.
Autoantibodies against interferon-γ are associated with severe disseminated opportunistic infection, but their importance and prevalence are unknown.
We enrolled 203 persons from sites in Thailand and Taiwan in five groups: 52 patients with disseminated, rapidly or slowly growing, nontuberculous mycobacterial infection (group 1); 45 patients with another opportunistic infection, with or without nontuberculous mycobacterial infection (group 2); 9 patients with disseminated tuberculosis (group 3); 49 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (group 4); and 48 healthy controls (group 5). Clinical histories were recorded, and blood specimens were obtained.
Patients in groups 1 and 2 had CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts that were similar to those in patients in groups 4 and 5, and they were not infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Washed cells obtained from patients in groups 1 and 2 had intact cytokine production and a response to cytokine stimulation. In contrast, plasma obtained from these patients inhibited the activity of interferon-γ in normal cells. High-titer anti–interferon-γ autoantibodies were detected in 81% of patients in group 1, 96% of patients in group 2, 11% of patients in group 3, 2% of patients in group 4, and 2% of controls (group 5). Forty other anti-cytokine autoantibodies were assayed. One patient with cryptococcal meningitis had autoantibodies only against granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor. No other anti-cytokine autoantibodies or genetic defects correlated with infections. There was no familial clustering.
Neutralizing anti–interferon-γ autoantibodies were detected in 88% of Asian adults with multiple opportunistic infections and were associated with an adult-onset immunodeficiency akin to that of advanced HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC4190026  PMID: 22913682
14.  Activation of NFAT signaling establishes a tumorigenic microenvironment through cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms 
Oncogene  2013;33(14):1840-1849.
NFAT upregulation has been linked to cellular transformation intrinsically, but it is unclear whether and how tissue cells with NFAT activation change the local environment for tumor initiation and progression. Direct evidence showing NFAT activation initiates primary tumor formation in vivo is also lacking. Using inducible transgenic mouse systems, we show that tumors form in a subset of, but not all, tissues with NFATc1 activation, indicating that NFAT oncogenic effects depend on cell types and tissue contexts. In NFATc1-induced skin and ovarian tumors, both cells with NFATc1 activation and neighboring cells without NFATc1 activation have significant upregulation of c-Myc and activation of Stat3. Besides known and suspected NFATc1 targets, such as Spp1 and Osm, we have revealed the early upregulation of a number of cytokines and cytokine receptors, as key molecular components of an inflammatory microenvironment that promotes both NFATc1+ and NFATc1− cells to participate in tumor formation. Cultured cells derived from NFATc1-induced tumors were able to establish a tumorigenic microenvironment, similar to that of the primary tumors, in an NFATc1-dependent manner in nude mice with T cell deficiency, revealing an addiction of these tumors to NFATc1 activation and downplaying a role for T cells in the NFATc1-induced tumorigenic microenvironment. These findings collectively suggest that beyond the cell autonomous effects on the upregulation of oncogenic proteins, NFATc1 activation has non-cell autonomous effects through the establishment of a promitogenic microenvironment for tumor growth. This study provides direct evidence for the ability of NFATc1 in inducing primary tumor formation in vivo and supports targeting NFAT signaling in anti-tumor therapy.
PMCID: PMC3770739  PMID: 23624921
NFAT; oncogene; tumorigenesis; tumor; microenvironment
15.  Enalapril inhibits tubulointerstitial inflammation and NLRP3 inflammasome expression in BSA-overload nephropathy of rats 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(10):1293-1301.
Proteinuria is not only a common marker of renal disease, but also involved in renal tubulointerstitial inflammation and fibrosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of enalapril, an ACEI, against nephropathy in rats.
Wistar rats underwent unilateral right nephrectomy, and then were treated with BSA (5 g·kg−1·d−1, ip), or BSA plus enalapril (0.5 g·kg−1·d−1, po) for 9 weeks. The renal lesions were evaluated using histology and immunohistochemistry. The expression of NLRP3, caspase-1, IL-1β and IL-18 was analyzed using immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and Western blot.
BSA-overload resulted in severe proteinuria, which peaked at week 7, and interstitial inflammation with prominent infiltration of CD68+ cells (macrophages) and CD3+ cells (T lymphocytes), particularly of CD20+ cells (B lymphocytes). BSA-overload markedly increased the expression of NLRP3, caspase-1, IL-1β and IL-18 in the proximal tubular epithelial cells, and in inflammatory cells as well. Furthermore, the expression of IL-1β or IL-18 was significantly correlated with proteinuria (IL-1β: r=0.757; IL-18: r=0.834). These abnormalities in BSA-overload rats were significantly attenuated by concurrent administration of enalapril.
Enalapril exerts protective effects against BSA-overload nephropathy in rats via suppressing NLRP3 inflammasome expression and tubulointerstitial inflammation.
PMCID: PMC4186985  PMID: 25152022
proteinuria; tubulointerstitial inflammation; NLRP3 inflammasome; enalapril
16.  Comprehensive molecular characterization of gastric adenocarcinoma 
Bass, Adam J. | Thorsson, Vesteinn | Shmulevich, Ilya | Reynolds, Sheila M. | Miller, Michael | Bernard, Brady | Hinoue, Toshinori | Laird, Peter W. | Curtis, Christina | Shen, Hui | Weisenberger, Daniel J. | Schultz, Nikolaus | Shen, Ronglai | Weinhold, Nils | Kelsen, David P. | Bowlby, Reanne | Chu, Andy | Kasaian, Katayoon | Mungall, Andrew J. | Robertson, A. Gordon | Sipahimalani, Payal | Cherniack, Andrew | Getz, Gad | Liu, Yingchun | Noble, Michael S. | Pedamallu, Chandra | Sougnez, Carrie | Taylor-Weiner, Amaro | Akbani, Rehan | Lee, Ju-Seog | Liu, Wenbin | Mills, Gordon B. | Yang, Da | Zhang, Wei | Pantazi, Angeliki | Parfenov, Michael | Gulley, Margaret | Piazuelo, M. Blanca | Schneider, Barbara G. | Kim, Jihun | Boussioutas, Alex | Sheth, Margi | Demchok, John A. | Rabkin, Charles S. | Willis, Joseph E. | Ng, Sam | Garman, Katherine | Beer, David G. | Pennathur, Arjun | Raphael, Benjamin J. | Wu, Hsin-Ta | Odze, Robert | Kim, Hark K. | Bowen, Jay | Leraas, Kristen M. | Lichtenberg, Tara M. | Weaver, Stephanie | McLellan, Michael | Wiznerowicz, Maciej | Sakai, Ryo | Getz, Gad | Sougnez, Carrie | Lawrence, Michael S. | Cibulskis, Kristian | Lichtenstein, Lee | Fisher, Sheila | Gabriel, Stacey B. | Lander, Eric S. | Ding, Li | Niu, Beifang | Ally, Adrian | Balasundaram, Miruna | Birol, Inanc | Bowlby, Reanne | Brooks, Denise | Butterfield, Yaron S. N. | Carlsen, Rebecca | Chu, Andy | Chu, Justin | Chuah, Eric | Chun, Hye-Jung E. | Clarke, Amanda | Dhalla, Noreen | Guin, Ranabir | Holt, Robert A. | Jones, Steven J.M. | Kasaian, Katayoon | Lee, Darlene | Li, Haiyan A. | Lim, Emilia | Ma, Yussanne | Marra, Marco A. | Mayo, Michael | Moore, Richard A. | Mungall, Andrew J. | Mungall, Karen L. | Nip, Ka Ming | Robertson, A. Gordon | Schein, Jacqueline E. | Sipahimalani, Payal | Tam, Angela | Thiessen, Nina | Beroukhim, Rameen | Carter, Scott L. | Cherniack, Andrew D. | Cho, Juok | Cibulskis, Kristian | DiCara, Daniel | Frazer, Scott | Fisher, Sheila | Gabriel, Stacey B. | Gehlenborg, Nils | Heiman, David I. | Jung, Joonil | Kim, Jaegil | Lander, Eric S. | Lawrence, Michael S. | Lichtenstein, Lee | Lin, Pei | Meyerson, Matthew | Ojesina, Akinyemi I. | Pedamallu, Chandra Sekhar | Saksena, Gordon | Schumacher, Steven E. | Sougnez, Carrie | Stojanov, Petar | Tabak, Barbara | Taylor-Weiner, Amaro | Voet, Doug | Rosenberg, Mara | Zack, Travis I. | Zhang, Hailei | Zou, Lihua | Protopopov, Alexei | Santoso, Netty | Parfenov, Michael | Lee, Semin | Zhang, Jianhua | Mahadeshwar, Harshad S. | Tang, Jiabin | Ren, Xiaojia | Seth, Sahil | Yang, Lixing | Xu, Andrew W. | Song, Xingzhi | Pantazi, Angeliki | Xi, Ruibin | Bristow, Christopher A. | Hadjipanayis, Angela | Seidman, Jonathan | Chin, Lynda | Park, Peter J. | Kucherlapati, Raju | Akbani, Rehan | Ling, Shiyun | Liu, Wenbin | Rao, Arvind | Weinstein, John N. | Kim, Sang-Bae | Lee, Ju-Seog | Lu, Yiling | Mills, Gordon | Laird, Peter W. | Hinoue, Toshinori | Weisenberger, Daniel J. | Bootwalla, Moiz S. | Lai, Phillip H. | Shen, Hui | Triche, Timothy | Van Den Berg, David J. | Baylin, Stephen B. | Herman, James G. | Getz, Gad | Chin, Lynda | Liu, Yingchun | Murray, Bradley A. | Noble, Michael S. | Askoy, B. Arman | Ciriello, Giovanni | Dresdner, Gideon | Gao, Jianjiong | Gross, Benjamin | Jacobsen, Anders | Lee, William | Ramirez, Ricardo | Sander, Chris | Schultz, Nikolaus | Senbabaoglu, Yasin | Sinha, Rileen | Sumer, S. Onur | Sun, Yichao | Weinhold, Nils | Thorsson, Vésteinn | Bernard, Brady | Iype, Lisa | Kramer, Roger W. | Kreisberg, Richard | Miller, Michael | Reynolds, Sheila M. | Rovira, Hector | Tasman, Natalie | Shmulevich, Ilya | Ng, Santa Cruz Sam | Haussler, David | Stuart, Josh M. | Akbani, Rehan | Ling, Shiyun | Liu, Wenbin | Rao, Arvind | Weinstein, John N. | Verhaak, Roeland G.W. | Mills, Gordon B. | Leiserson, Mark D. M. | Raphael, Benjamin J. | Wu, Hsin-Ta | Taylor, Barry S. | Black, Aaron D. | Bowen, Jay | Carney, Julie Ann | Gastier-Foster, Julie M. | Helsel, Carmen | Leraas, Kristen M. | Lichtenberg, Tara M. | McAllister, Cynthia | Ramirez, Nilsa C. | Tabler, Teresa R. | Wise, Lisa | Zmuda, Erik | Penny, Robert | Crain, Daniel | Gardner, Johanna | Lau, Kevin | Curely, Erin | Mallery, David | Morris, Scott | Paulauskis, Joseph | Shelton, Troy | Shelton, Candace | Sherman, Mark | Benz, Christopher | Lee, Jae-Hyuk | Fedosenko, Konstantin | Manikhas, Georgy | Potapova, Olga | Voronina, Olga | Belyaev, Smitry | Dolzhansky, Oleg | Rathmell, W. Kimryn | Brzezinski, Jakub | Ibbs, Matthew | Korski, Konstanty | Kycler, Witold | ŁaŸniak, Radoslaw | Leporowska, Ewa | Mackiewicz, Andrzej | Murawa, Dawid | Murawa, Pawel | Spychała, Arkadiusz | Suchorska, Wiktoria M. | Tatka, Honorata | Teresiak, Marek | Wiznerowicz, Maciej | Abdel-Misih, Raafat | Bennett, Joseph | Brown, Jennifer | Iacocca, Mary | Rabeno, Brenda | Kwon, Sun-Young | Penny, Robert | Gardner, Johanna | Kemkes, Ariane | Mallery, David | Morris, Scott | Shelton, Troy | Shelton, Candace | Curley, Erin | Alexopoulou, Iakovina | Engel, Jay | Bartlett, John | Albert, Monique | Park, Do-Youn | Dhir, Rajiv | Luketich, James | Landreneau, Rodney | Janjigian, Yelena Y. | Kelsen, David P. | Cho, Eunjung | Ladanyi, Marc | Tang, Laura | McCall, Shannon J. | Park, Young S. | Cheong, Jae-Ho | Ajani, Jaffer | Camargo, M. Constanza | Alonso, Shelley | Ayala, Brenda | Jensen, Mark A. | Pihl, Todd | Raman, Rohini | Walton, Jessica | Wan, Yunhu | Demchok, John A. | Eley, Greg | Mills Shaw, Kenna R. | Sheth, Margi | Tarnuzzer, Roy | Wang, Zhining | Yang, Liming | Zenklusen, Jean Claude | Davidsen, Tanja | Hutter, Carolyn M. | Sofia, Heidi J. | Burton, Robert | Chudamani, Sudha | Liu, Jia
Nature  2014;513(7517):202-209.
Gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths, but analysis of its molecular and clinical characteristics has been complicated by histological and aetiological heterogeneity. Here we describe a comprehensive molecular evaluation of 295 primary gastric adenocarcinomas as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. We propose a molecular classification dividing gastric cancer into four subtypes: tumours positive for Epstein–Barr virus, which display recurrent PIK3CA mutations, extreme DNA hypermethylation, and amplification of JAK2, CD274 (also known as PD-L1) and PDCD1LG2 (also knownasPD-L2); microsatellite unstable tumours, which show elevated mutation rates, including mutations of genes encoding targetable oncogenic signalling proteins; genomically stable tumours, which are enriched for the diffuse histological variant and mutations of RHOA or fusions involving RHO-family GTPase-activating proteins; and tumours with chromosomal instability, which show marked aneuploidy and focal amplification of receptor tyrosine kinases. Identification of these subtypes provides a roadmap for patient stratification and trials of targeted therapies.
PMCID: PMC4170219  PMID: 25079317
17.  Excretion of Urinary Orosomucoid 1 Protein Is Elevated in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107550.
Easily screening markers for early detection of chronic heart failure (CHF) are lacking. We identified twenty differently expressed proteins including orosomucoid 1(ORM1) in urine between patients with CHF and normal controls by proteomic methods. Bioinformatics analyses suggested ORM1 could be used for further analysis. After verification by western blotting, the urinary levels of ORM1 were quantified with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) by correcting for creatinine expression. The ORM1-Cr was significantly elevated in CHF patients than normal controls (6498.83±4300.21 versus 2102.26±1069.24 ng/mg). Furthermore, a Spearman analysis indicated that the urinary ORM1 levels had a high positive correlation with the classification of CHF, and the multivariate analysis suggested that the urinary ORM1 content was associated with the plasma amino-terminal pro- brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) (OR: 2.106, 95% CI: 1.213–3.524, P = 0.002) and the New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification (OR: 3.019, 95% CI: 1.329–4.721, P<0.001). In addition, receiving operating curve (ROC) analyses suggested that an optimum cut-off value of 2484.98 ng/mg with 90.91% sensitivity and 85.48% specificity, respectively, could be used for the diagnosis of CHF. To sum up, our findings indicate that ORM1 could be a potential novel urinary biomarker for the early detection of CHF.
PMCID: PMC4162620  PMID: 25215505
18.  The gene expression patterns of BMPR2, EP300, TGFβ2, and TNFAIP3 in B-Lymphoma cells 
Cancer Biology & Medicine  2014;11(3):202-207.
The results of a previous study showed that a clear dysregulation was evident in the global gene expression of the BCL11A-suppressed B-lymphoma cells. In this study, the bone morphogenetic protein receptor, type II (BMPR2), E1A binding protein p300 (EP300), transforming growth factor-β2 (TGFβ2), and tumor necrosis factor, and alpha-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3) gene expression patterns in B-cell malignancies were studied.
The relative expression levels of BMPR2, EP300, TGFβ2, and TNFAIP3 mRNA in B-lymphoma cell lines, myeloid cell lines, as well as in cells from healthy volunteers, were determined by real-time quantitative reverse transcript-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) with SYBR Green Dye. Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was used as reference.
The expression level of TGFβ2 mRNA in B-lymphoma cell lines was significantly higher than those in the cells from the healthy control (P<0.05). However, the expression level of TNFAIP3 mRNA in B-malignant cells was significantly lower than that of the healthy control (P<0.05). The expression levels of BMPR2 and EP300 mRNA showed no significant difference between B-malignant cell lines and the healthy group (P>0.05). In B-lymphoma cell lines, correlation analyses revealed that the expression of BMPR2 and TNFAIP3 (r=0.882, P=0.04) had significant positive relation. The expression levels of BMPR2, EP300, and TNFAIP3 mRNA in cell lines from myeloid leukemia were significantly lower than those in the cells from the healthy control (P<0.05). The expression levels of TGFβ2 mRNA showed no significant difference between myeloid leukemia cell lines and the healthy control or B-malignant cell lines (P>0.05). The expression levels of BMPR2, EP300, and TNFAIP3 mRNA in B-lymphoma cells were significantly higher than those of the myeloid leukemia cells (P<0.05).
Different expression patterns of BMPR2, EP300, TGFβ2, and TNFAIP3 genes in B-lymphoma cells exist.
PMCID: PMC4197423  PMID: 25364581
Bone morphogenetic protein receptor, type II (BMPR2); E1A binding protein p300 (EP300); transforming growth factor-β2 (TGFβ2); tumor necrosis factor, and alpha-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3); B-lymphoma cells; myeloid leukemia cells; quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR)
19.  C11orf95-RELA fusions drive oncogenic NF-κB signaling in ependymoma 
Nature  2014;506(7489):451-455.
The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) family of transcriptional regulators are central mediators of the cellular inflammatory response. Although constitutive NF-κB signaling is present in most human tumours, mutations in pathway members are rare, complicating efforts to understand and block aberrant NF-κB activity in cancer. Here, we show that more than two thirds of supratentorial ependymomas contain oncogenic fusions between RELA, the principal effector of canonical NF-κB signalling, and an uncharacterized gene, C11orf95. In each case, C11orf95-RELA fusions resulted from chromothripsis involving chromosome 11q13.1. C11orf95-RELA fusion proteins translocated spontaneously to the nucleus to activate NF-κB target genes, and rapidly transformed neural stem cells—the cell of origin of ependymoma—to form these tumours in mice. Our data identify the first highly recurrent genetic alteration of RELA in human cancer, and the C11orf95-RELA fusion protein as a potential therapeutic target in supratentorial ependymoma.
PMCID: PMC4050669  PMID: 24553141
20.  One-pot multi-enzyme (OPME) chemoenzymatic synthesis of sialyl-Tn-MUC1 and sialyl-T-MUC1 glycopeptides containing natural or non-natural sialic acid† 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2013;21(16):4778-4785.
A series of STn-MUC1 and ST-MUC1 glycopeptides containing naturally occurring and non-natural sialic acids have been chemoenzymatically synthesized from Tn-MUC1 glycopeptide using one-pot multienzyme (OPME) approaches. In situ generation of the sialyltransferase donor cytidine 5′-monophosphate-sialic acid (CMP-Sia) using a CMP-sialic acid synthetase in the presence of an extra amount of cytidine 5′-triphosphate (CTP) and removal of CMP from the reaction mixture by flash C18 cartridge purification allow the complete consumption of Tn-MUC1 glycopeptide for quantitative synthesis of STn-MUC1. A Campylobacter jejuni β1–3GalT (CjCgtBΔ30-His6) mutant has been found to catalyze the transfer of one or more galactose residues to Tn-MUC1 for the synthesis of T-MUC1 and galactosylated T-MUC1. Sialylation of T-MUC1 using Pasteurella multocida α2–3-sialyltransferase 3 (PmST3) with Neisseria meningitidis CMP-sialic acid synthetase (NmCSS) and Escherichia coli sialic acid aldolase in one pot produced ST-MUC1 efficiently. These glycopeptides are potential cancer vaccine candidates.
PMCID: PMC3722252  PMID: 23535562
carbohydrate; chemoenzymatic synthesis; enzymatic synthesis; glycopeptide; T antigen; Tn antigen; ST antigen; STn antigen
21.  SciClone: Inferring Clonal Architecture and Tracking the Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Tumor Evolution 
PLoS Computational Biology  2014;10(8):e1003665.
The sensitivity of massively-parallel sequencing has confirmed that most cancers are oligoclonal, with subpopulations of neoplastic cells harboring distinct mutations. A fine resolution view of this clonal architecture provides insight into tumor heterogeneity, evolution, and treatment response, all of which may have clinical implications. Single tumor analysis already contributes to understanding these phenomena. However, cryptic subclones are frequently revealed by additional patient samples (e.g., collected at relapse or following treatment), indicating that accurately characterizing a tumor requires analyzing multiple samples from the same patient. To address this need, we present SciClone, a computational method that identifies the number and genetic composition of subclones by analyzing the variant allele frequencies of somatic mutations. We use it to detect subclones in acute myeloid leukemia and breast cancer samples that, though present at disease onset, are not evident from a single primary tumor sample. By doing so, we can track tumor evolution and identify the spatial origins of cells resisting therapy.
Author Summary
Sequencing the genomic DNA of cancers has revealed that tumors are not homogeneous. As a tumor grows, new mutations accumulate in individual cells, and as these cells replicate, the mutations are passed on to their offspring, which comprise only a portion of the tumor when it is sampled. We present a method for identifying the fraction of cells containing specific mutations, clustering them into subclonal populations, and tracking the changes in these subclones. This allows us to follow the clonal evolution of cancers as they respond to chemotherapy or develop therapy resistance, processes which may radically alter the subclonal composition of a tumor. It also gives us insight into the spatial organization of tumors, and we show that multiple biopsies from a single breast cancer may harbor different subclones that respond differently to treatment. Finally, we show that sequencing multiple samples from a patient's tumor is often critical, as it reveals cryptic subclones that cannot be discerned from only one sample. This is the first tool that can efficiently leverage multiple samples to identify these as distinct subpopulations of cells, thus contributing to understanding the biology of the tumor and influencing clinical decisions about therapy.
PMCID: PMC4125065  PMID: 25102416
22.  Computational approaches to identify functional genetic variants in cancer genomes 
Nature methods  2013;10(8):723-729.
The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) aims to catalog genomic abnormalities in tumors from 50 different cancer types. Genome sequencing reveals hundreds to thousands of somatic mutations in each tumor, but only a minority drive tumor progression. We present the result of discussions within the ICGC on how to address the challenge of identifying mutations that contribute to oncogenesis, tumor maintenance or response to therapy, and recommend computational techniques to annotate somatic variants and predict their impact on cancer phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3919555  PMID: 23900255
23.  The landscape of somatic mutations in epigenetic regulators across 1000 pediatric cancer genomes 
Nature communications  2014;5:3630.
Here we sequence 633 genes, encoding the majority of known epigenetic regulatory proteins, in over 1000 pediatric tumors to define the landscape of somatic mutations in epigenetic regulators in pediatric cancer. Our results demonstrate a marked variation in the frequency of gene mutations across 21 different pediatric cancer subtypes, with the highest frequency of mutations detected in high-grade gliomas, T-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia, medulloblastoma, and a paucity of mutations in low-grade glioma, and retinoblastoma. The most frequently mutated genes are H3F3A, PHF6, ATRX, KDM6A, SMARCA4, ASXL2, CREBBP, EZH2, MLL2, USP7, ASXL1, NSD2, SETD2, SMC1A, and ZMYM3. Importantly, we identify novel loss-of-function mutations in the ubiquitin-specific-processing protease 7 (USP7) in pediatric leukemia, which result in a decrease in deubiquitination activity. Collectively, our results help to define the landscape of mutations in epigenetic regulatory genes in pediatric cancer and yield a valuable new database for investigating the role of epigenetic dysregulations in cancer.
PMCID: PMC4119022  PMID: 24710217
Journal of clinical immunology  2012;32(4):681-689.
STAT1 is a key component of Interferon (IFN)-γ and IFN-α signaling and mediates protection against mycobacteria, fungal, viral infections, and cancer. Dominant negative inhibitory as well as gain of function heterozygous STAT1 mutations demonstrate that IFN-γ driven cellular responses need to be tightly regulated to control infections. We describe an autosomal dominant mutation in the SH2 domain of STAT1 that disrupts protein phosphorylation, c.1961 T>A (M654K). The mutant allele does not permit STAT1 phosphorylation, and impairs STAT1 phosphorylation of the wild type allele. Protein dimerization is preserved but DNA binding activity, IFN-γ driven GAS-luciferase activity, and expression of IFN-γ target genes are reduced. IFN-α driven ISRE response, but not IFN-α driven GAS response, are preserved when cells are co-transfected with wild type and the mutant STAT1 constructs. M654K exerts a dominant negative effect on IFN-γ related immunity and is recessive for IFN-α induced immune function.
PMCID: PMC4112946  PMID: 22437822
STAT1; SH2 domain; mycobacterial disease; IFN-γ
25.  Integrated Analysis of Germline and Somatic Variants in Ovarian Cancer 
Nature communications  2014;5:3156.
We report the first large-scale exome-wide analysis of the combined germline-somatic landscape in ovarian cancer. Here we analyze germline and somatic alterations in 429 ovarian carcinoma cases and 557 controls. We identify 3,635 high confidence, rare truncation and 22,953 missense variants with predicted functional impact. We find germline truncation variants and large deletions across Fanconi pathway genes in 20% of cases. Enrichment of rare truncations is shown in BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2. Additionally, we observe germline truncation variants in genes not previously associated with ovarian cancer susceptibility (NF1, MAP3K4, CDKN2B, and MLL3). Evidence for loss of heterozygosity was found in 100% and 76% of cases with germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 truncations respectively. Germline-somatic interaction analysis combined with extensive bioinformatics annotation identifies 237 candidate functional germline truncation and missense variants, including 2 pathogenic BRCA1 and 1 TP53 deleterious variants. Finally, integrated analyses of germline and somatic variants identify significantly altered pathways, including the Fanconi, MAPK, and MLL pathways.
PMCID: PMC4025965  PMID: 24448499

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