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author:("stawski, Eric")
1.  Recurrent R-spondin fusions in colon cancer 
Nature  2012;488(7413):660-664.
Identifying and understanding changes in cancer genomes is essential for the development of targeted therapeutics1. Here we analyse systematically more than 70 pairs of primary human colon tumours by applying next-generation sequencing to characterize their exomes, transcriptomes and copy-number alterations. We have identified 36,303 protein-altering somatic changes that include several new recurrent mutations in the Wnt pathway gene TCF7L2, chromatin-remodelling genes such as TET2 and TET3 and receptor tyrosine kinases including ERBB3. Our analysis for significantly mutated cancer genes identified 23 candidates, including the cell cycle checkpoint kinase ATM. Copy-number and RNA-seq data analysis identified amplifications and corresponding overexpression of IGF2 in a subset of colon tumours. Furthermore, using RNA-seq data we identified multiple fusion transcripts including recurrent gene fusions involving R-spondin family members RSPO2 and RSPO3 that together occur in 10% of colon tumours. The RSPO fusions were mutually exclusive with APC mutations, indicating that they probably have a role in the activation of Wnt signalling and tumorigenesis. Consistent with this we show that the RSPO fusion proteins were capable of potentiating Wnt signalling. The R-spondin gene fusions and several other gene mutations identified in this study provide new potential opportunities for therapeutic intervention in colon cancer.
doi:10.1038/nature11282
PMCID: PMC3690621  PMID: 22895193
2.  Comprehensive genomic analysis identifies SOX2 as a frequently amplified gene in small-cell lung cancer 
Nature genetics  2012;44(10):1111-1116.
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an exceptionally aggressive disease with poor prognosis. Here, we obtained exome, transcriptome and copy-number alteration data from approximately 53 samples consisting of 36 primary human SCLC and normal tissue pairs and 17 matched SCLC and lymphoblastoid cell lines. We also obtained data for 4 primary tumors and 23 SCLC cell lines. We identified 22 significantly mutated genes in SCLC, including genes encoding kinases, G protein–coupled receptors and chromatin-modifying proteins. We found that several members of the SOX family of genes were mutated in SCLC. We also found SOX2 amplification in ~27% of the samples. Suppression of SOX2 using shRNAs blocked proliferation of SOX2-amplified SCLC lines. RNA sequencing identified multiple fusion transcripts and a recurrent RLF-MYCL1 fusion. Silencing of MYCL1 in SCLC cell lines that had the RLF-MYCL1 fusion decreased cell proliferation. These data provide an in-depth view of the spectrum of genomic alterations in SCLC and identify several potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
doi:10.1038/ng.2405
PMCID: PMC3557461  PMID: 22941189
3.  Mutational Pathways and Genetic Barriers to CXCR4-Mediated Entry by Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 
Virology  2010;409(2):308-318.
To examine mutational pathways that lead to CXCR4 use of HIV-1, we analyzed the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of envelope sequences from a large panel of patient virus populations and individual clones containing different V3 mutations. Basic amino acid substitutions at position 11 were strong determinants of CXCR4-mediated entry, but required multiple compensatory mutations to overcome associated reductions in infectivity. In contrast, basic amino acid substitutions at position 25, or substitutions at position 6–8 resulting in the loss of a potential N-linked glycosylation site, contributed to CXCR4-mediated entry, but required additional substitutions acting cooperatively to confer efficient CXCR4 use. Our assumptions, based upon examination of patient viruses, were largely confirmed by characterizing the coreceptor utilization of five distinct panels of isogenic envelope sequences containing V3 amino acid substitutions introduced by site-directed mutagenesis. These results further define the mutational pathways leading to CXCR4 use and their associated genetic barriers.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2010.09.026
PMCID: PMC3428208  PMID: 21071054
HIV-1; V3; coreceptor; tropism; X4; R5; dual; CXCR4; CCR5; CCR5 antagonist
4.  Loss of Asparagine-Linked Glycosylation Sites in Variable Region 5 of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Envelope Is Associated with Resistance to CD4 Antibody Ibalizumab ▿  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(8):3872-3880.
Ibalizumab (formerly TNX-355) is a first-in-class, monoclonal antibody inhibitor of CD4-mediated human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1) entry. Multiple clinical trials with HIV-infected patients have demonstrated the antiviral activity, safety, and tolerability of ibalizumab treatment. A 9-week phase Ib study adding ibalizumab monotherapy to failing drug regimens led to transient reductions in HIV viral loads and the evolution of HIV-1 variants with reduced susceptibility to ibalizumab. This report characterizes these variants by comparing the phenotypic susceptibilities and envelope (env) sequences of (i) paired baseline and on-treatment virus populations, (ii) individual env clones from selected paired samples, and (iii) env clones containing site-directed mutations. Viruses with reduced susceptibility to ibalizumab were found to exhibit reduced susceptibility to the anti-CD4 antibody RPA-T4. Conversely, susceptibility to soluble CD4, which targets the HIV-1 gp120 envelope protein, was enhanced. No changes in susceptibility to the fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide or the CCR5 antagonist maraviroc were observed. Functionally, viruses with reduced ibalizumab susceptibility also displayed high levels of infectivity relative to those of paired baseline viruses. Individual env clones exhibiting reduced ibalizumab susceptibility contained multiple amino acid changes in different regions relative to the paired baseline clones. In particular, clones with reduced susceptibility to ibalizumab contained fewer potential asparagine-linked glycosylation sites (PNGSs) in variable region 5 (V5) than did paired ibalizumab-susceptible clones. The reduction in ibalizumab susceptibility due to the loss of V5 PNGSs was confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. Taken together, these findings provide important insights into resistance to this new class of antiretroviral drug.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02237-10
PMCID: PMC3126132  PMID: 21289125
5.  Prevalence, Mutation Patterns, and Effects on Protease Inhibitor Susceptibility of the L76V Mutation in HIV-1 Protease▿ †  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(11):4903-4906.
Patterns of HIV-1 protease inhibitor (PI) resistance-associated mutations (RAMs) and effects on PI susceptibility associated with the L76V mutation were studied in a large database. Of 20,501 sequences with ≥1 PI RAM, 3.2% contained L76V; L76V was alone in 0.04%. Common partner mutations included M46I, I54V, V82A, I84V, and L90M. L76V was associated with a 2- to 6-fold decrease in susceptibility to lopinavir, darunavir, amprenavir, and indinavir and a 7- to 8-fold increase in susceptibility to atazanavir and saquinavir.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00906-10
PMCID: PMC2976162  PMID: 20805393
6.  Combinations of Mutations in the Connection Domain of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Reverse Transcriptase: Assessing the Impact on Nucleoside and Nonnucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor Resistance▿  
Recent reports have described the effect of mutations in the connection and RNase H domains of reverse transcriptase (RT) on nucleoside and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI and NNRTI, respectively) resistance in the presence of thymidine analog resistance mutations (TAMs) and NNRTI mutations (J. H. Brehm, D. Koontz, J. D. Meteer, V. Pathak, N. Sluis-Cremer, and J. W. Mellors, J. Virol. 81:7852-7859, 2007; K. A. Delviks-Frankenberry, G. N. Nikolenko, R. Barr, and V. K. Pathak, J. Virol. 81:6837-6845, 2007; G. N. Nikolenko, K. A. Delviks-Frankenberry, S. Palmer, F. Maldarelli, M. J. Fivash, Jr., J. M. Coffin, and V. K. Pathak, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 104:317-322, 2007; G. N. Nikolenko, S. Palmer, F. Maldarelli, J. W. Mellors, J. M. Coffin, and V. K. Pathak, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 102:2093-2098, 2005; and S. H. Yap, C. W. Sheen, J. Fahey, M. Zanin, D. Tyssen, V. D. Lima, B. Wynhoven, M. Kuiper, N. Sluis-Cremer, P. R. Harrigan, and G. Tachedjian, PLoS Med. 4:e335, 2007). In the present study, novel mutations in the connection domain of RT (T369I/V), first identified in patient-derived viruses, were characterized, and their effects on NNRTI and NNRTI susceptibility were determined. Furthermore, the effect of N348I on NRTI and NNRTI resistance was confirmed. HIV-1 with either N348I or T369I/V demonstrated reduced susceptibility to nevirapine (NVP), efavirenz (EFV), delaviridine (DLV), and zidovudine (ZDV) compared to wild-type HIV-1. However, HIV-1 with T369I and N348I demonstrated 10- to 60-fold resistance to these same drugs. In clinical samples, these two connection domain RT mutations were predominantly observed in viruses containing TAMs and NNRTI mutations and did not alter the susceptible-resistant classifications of these samples. Introduction of T369I, N348I, or T369I/N348I also reduced replication capacity (RC). These observations suggest that it may be of scientific interest to test these mutations against new NNRTI candidates.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00870-09
PMCID: PMC2863632  PMID: 20194692
7.  Characterization of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Populations Containing CXCR4-Using Variants from Recently Infected Individuals 
Abstract
We screened 150 individuals from two recent seroconverter cohorts and found that six (4%) had CXCR4-using viruses. Clonal analysis of these six individuals, along with a seventh individual identified during clinical care as a recent seroconverter, revealed the presence of both X4- and dual-tropic variants in these recently infected adults. The ability of individual CXCR4-using variants to infect cells expressing CD4/CXCR4 or CD4/CCR5 varied dramatically. These data demonstrate that virus populations in some newly infected individuals can consist of either heterogeneous populations containing both CXCR4-using and CCR5-tropic viruses, or homogeneous populations containing only CXCR4-using viruses. The presence of CXCR4-using viruses at early stages of infection suggests that testing for viral tropism before using CCR5 antagonists may be important even in persons with known recent infection. The presence of CXCR4-using viruses in a subset of newly infected individuals could impact the efficacies of vaccine and microbicide strategies that target CCR5-tropic viruses.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0252
PMCID: PMC2827835  PMID: 19678765
8.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Protease-Correlated Cleavage Site Mutations Enhance Inhibitor Resistance▿ § 
Journal of Virology  2009;83(21):11027-11042.
Drug resistance is an important cause of antiretroviral therapy failure in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. Mutations in the protease render the virus resistant to protease inhibitors (PIs). Gag cleavage sites also mutate, sometimes correlating with resistance mutations in the protease, but their contribution to resistance has not been systematically analyzed. The present study examines mutations in Gag cleavage sites that associate with protease mutations and the impact of these associations on drug susceptibilities. Significant associations were observed between mutations in the nucleocapsid-p1 (NC-p1) and p1-p6 cleavage sites and various PI resistance-associated mutations in the protease. Several patterns were frequently observed, including mutations in the NC-p1 cleavage site in combination with I50L, V82A, and I84V within the protease and mutations within the p1-p6 cleavage site in combination with D30N, I50V, and I84V within the protease. For most patterns, viruses with mutations both in the protease and in either cleavage site were significantly less susceptible to specific PIs than viruses with mutations in the protease alone. Altered PI resistance in HIV-1 was found to be associated with the presence of Gag cleavage site mutations. These studies suggest that associated cleavage site mutations may contribute to PI susceptibility in highly specific ways depending on the particular combinations of mutations and inhibitors. Thus, cleavage site mutations should be considered when assessing the level of PI resistance.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00628-09
PMCID: PMC2772784  PMID: 19706699
9.  An Evolutionary Model-Based Algorithm for Accurate Phylogenetic Breakpoint Mapping and Subtype Prediction in HIV-1 
PLoS Computational Biology  2009;5(11):e1000581.
Genetically diverse pathogens (such as Human Immunodeficiency virus type 1, HIV-1) are frequently stratified into phylogenetically or immunologically defined subtypes for classification purposes. Computational identification of such subtypes is helpful in surveillance, epidemiological analysis and detection of novel variants, e.g., circulating recombinant forms in HIV-1. A number of conceptually and technically different techniques have been proposed for determining the subtype of a query sequence, but there is not a universally optimal approach. We present a model-based phylogenetic method for automatically subtyping an HIV-1 (or other viral or bacterial) sequence, mapping the location of breakpoints and assigning parental sequences in recombinant strains as well as computing confidence levels for the inferred quantities. Our Subtype Classification Using Evolutionary ALgorithms (SCUEAL) procedure is shown to perform very well in a variety of simulation scenarios, runs in parallel when multiple sequences are being screened, and matches or exceeds the performance of existing approaches on typical empirical cases. We applied SCUEAL to all available polymerase (pol) sequences from two large databases, the Stanford Drug Resistance database and the UK HIV Drug Resistance Database. Comparing with subtypes which had previously been assigned revealed that a minor but substantial (≈5%) fraction of pure subtype sequences may in fact be within- or inter-subtype recombinants. A free implementation of SCUEAL is provided as a module for the HyPhy package and the Datamonkey web server. Our method is especially useful when an accurate automatic classification of an unknown strain is desired, and is positioned to complement and extend faster but less accurate methods. Given the increasingly frequent use of HIV subtype information in studies focusing on the effect of subtype on treatment, clinical outcome, pathogenicity and vaccine design, the importance of accurate, robust and extensible subtyping procedures is clear.
Author Summary
There are nine different subtypes of the main group of HIV-1, each originating as a distinct subepidemic of HIV-1. The distribution of subtypes is often unique to a given geographic region of the world and constitutes a useful epidemiological and surveillance resource. The effects of viral subtype on disease progression, treatment outcome and vaccine design are being actively researched, and the importance of accurate subtyping procedures is clear. In HIV-1, subtype assignment is complicated by frequent recombination among co-circulating strains, creating new genetic mosaics or recombinant forms: 43 have been characterized to date, and many more likely exist. We present an automated phylogenetic method (SCUEAL) to accurately characterize both simple and complex HIV-1 mosaics. Using computer simulations and biological data we demonstrate that SCUEAL performs very well under various conditions, especially when some of the existing classification procedures fail. Furthermore, we show that a small, but noticeable proportion of subtype characterization stored in public databases may be incomplete or incorrect. The computational technique introduced here should provide a much more accurate characterization of HIV-1 strains, especially novel recombinants, and lead to new insights into molecular history, epidemiology and geographical distribution of the virus.
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000581
PMCID: PMC2776870  PMID: 19956739
10.  Vertical transmission of X4-tropic and dual-tropic HIV-1 in five Ugandan mother–infant pairs 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(14):1903-1908.
Background
We previously reported the existence of CXCR4-using HIV-1 in 6–14 week-old Ugandan infants. Whether these viruses were transmitted from the mother perinatally or evolved after transmission is not known. In the current study, we investigated the origin of the CXCR4-using viruses in these infants by comparing HIV-1 envelope clones from the infants to those from their mothers at or near the time of delivery.
Methods
Envelope clones were isolated from five Ugandan infant plasma samples that harbored CXCR4-using viruses, collected at the time of HIV diagnosis (four at birth, one at week 6), and from their mothers at delivery. Coreceptor usage and phylogenetic relatedness of HIV-1 populations in mother–infant pairs were analyzed in detail using the Trofile assay and sequence analysis of envelope clones, respectively.
Results
X4-tropic clones were identified in two mother–infant pairs and dual-tropic clones were found in three pairs, either alone or in combination with R5-tropic viruses. Dual-tropic clones varied in their ability to infect CXCR4-expressing cells. In each mother–infant pair, X4-tropic or dual-tropic clones shared similar phenotypic profiles and V3 sequence patterns; gp160 sequences of X4-tropic and dual-tropic clones from infants were phylogenetically indistinguishable from those of their mothers. The virus populations were phylogenetically homogenous in three infants and segregated according to coreceptor tropism in the remaining two infants.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that X4-tropic and dual-tropic HIV-1 can be transmitted from mother to infant, before, during or shortly after delivery, and establishes vertical transmission as an important source of CXCR4-using viruses in infants.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32832f1802
PMCID: PMC2764460  PMID: 19593079
coreceptor tropism; CXCR4; HIV; mother-to-child; transmission; X4
11.  Suppression of Dualtropic Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 by the CXCR4 Antagonist AMD3100 Is Associated with Efficiency of CXCR4 Use and Baseline Virus Composition▿  
In a phase I/II evaluation of the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100, human immunodeficiency virus RNA levels were significantly reduced in a single study subject who harbored CXCR4 (X4)-tropic virus, but not in subjects who harbored either dual/mixed (DM)-tropic or CCR5 (R5)-tropic virus (C. W. Hendrix et al., J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr. 37:1253-1262, 2004). In this study, we analyzed the envelope clones of DM-tropic virus in baseline and treated virus populations from 14 subjects. Ten subjects exhibited significant reductions in CXCR4-mediated infectivity after 10 days of AMD3100 therapy relative to baseline (X4 suppressor group), while four subjects had no reduction of CXCR4-mediated infectivity (X4 nonsuppressor group). The baseline viruses of the X4 suppressor group infected CXCR4-expressing cells less efficiently than those of the X4 nonsuppressor group. Clonal analysis indicated that the baseline viruses from the X4 suppressor group contained a higher proportion of R5-tropic variants mixed with CXCR4-using variants, while the X4 nonsuppressor group was enriched for CXCR4-using variants. AMD3100 suppressed X4-tropic variants in all subjects studied, but not all dualtropic variants. Furthermore, dualtropic variants that used CXCR4 efficiently were suppressed by AMD3100, while dualtropic variants that used CXCR4 poorly were not. This study demonstrated that AMD3100 has the ability to suppress both X4-tropic and certain dualtropic variants in vivo. The suppression of CXCR4-using variants by AMD3100 is dependent on both the tropism composition of the virus population and the efficiency of CXCR4 usage of individual variants.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01226-07
PMCID: PMC2443920  PMID: 18443125
12.  Coreceptor Tropism Can Be Influenced by Amino Acid Substitutions in the gp41 Transmembrane Subunit of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Envelope Protein▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(11):5584-5593.
Many studies have demonstrated that the third variable region (V3) of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope protein (Env) is a major determinant of coreceptor tropism. Other regions in the surface gp120 subunit of Env can modulate coreceptor tropism in a manner that is not fully understood. In this study, we evaluated the effect of env determinants outside of V3 on coreceptor usage through the analysis of (i) patient-derived env clones that differ in coreceptor tropism, (ii) chimeric env sequences, and (iii) site-directed mutants. The introduction of distinct V3 sequences from CXCR4-using clones into an R5-tropic env backbone conferred the inefficient use of CXCR4 in some but not all cases. Conversely, in many cases, X4- and dual-tropic env backbones containing the V3 sequences of R5-tropic clones retained the ability to use CXCR4, suggesting that sequences outside of the V3 regions of these CXCR4-using clones were responsible for CXCR4 use. The determinants of CXCR4 use in a set of dual-tropic env sequences with V3 sequences identical to those of R5-tropic clones mapped to the gp41 transmembrane (TM) subunit. In one case, a single-amino-acid substitution in the fusion peptide of TM was able to confer CXCR4 use; however, TM substitutions associated with CXCR4 use varied among different env sequences. These results demonstrate that sequences in TM can modulate coreceptor specificity and that env sequences other than that of V3 may facilitate efficient CXCR4-mediated entry. We hypothesize that the latter plays an important role in the transition from CCR5 to CXCR4 coreceptor use.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02676-07
PMCID: PMC2395220  PMID: 18353956
13.  Coreceptor Tropism in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Subtype D: High Prevalence of CXCR4 Tropism and Heterogeneous Composition of Viral Populations▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(15):7885-7893.
In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype B, CXCR4 coreceptor use ranges from ∼20% in early infection to ∼50% in advanced disease. Coreceptor use by non-subtype B HIV is less well characterized. We studied coreceptor tropism of subtype A and D HIV-1 collected from 68 pregnant, antiretroviral drug-naive Ugandan women (HIVNET 012 trial). None of 33 subtype A or 10 A/D-recombinant viruses used the CXCR4 coreceptor. In contrast, nine (36%) of 25 subtype D viruses used both CXCR4 and CCR5 coreceptors. Clonal analyses of the nine subtype D samples with dual or mixed tropism revealed heterogeneous viral populations comprised of X4-, R5-, and dual-tropic HIV-1 variants. In five of the six samples with dual-tropic strains, V3 loop sequences of dual-tropic clones were identical to those of cocirculating R5-tropic clones, indicating the presence of CXCR4 tropism determinants outside of the V3 loop. These dual-tropic variants with R5-tropic-like V3 loops, which we designated “dual-R,” use CCR5 much more efficiently than CXCR4, in contrast to dual-tropic clones with X4-tropic-like V3 loops (“dual-X”). These observations have implications for pathogenesis and treatment of subtype D-infected individuals, for the association between V3 sequence and coreceptor tropism phenotype, and for understanding potential mechanisms of evolution from exclusive CCR5 use to efficient CXCR4 use by subtype D HIV-1.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00218-07
PMCID: PMC1951291  PMID: 17507467

Results 1-13 (13)