Single base substitutions constitute the most frequent type of human gene mutation and are a leading cause of cancer and inherited disease. These alterations occur non-randomly in DNA, being strongly influenced by the local nucleotide sequence context. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such sequence context-dependent mutagenesis are not fully understood. Using bioinformatics, computational and molecular modeling analyses, we have determined the frequencies of mutation at G•C bp in the context of all 64 5′-NGNN-3′ motifs that contain the mutation at the second position. Twenty-four datasets were employed, comprising >530,000 somatic single base substitutions from 21 cancer genomes, >77,000 germline single-base substitutions causing or associated with human inherited disease and 16.7 million benign germline single-nucleotide variants. In several cancer types, the number of mutated motifs correlated both with the free energies of base stacking and the energies required for abstracting an electron from the target guanines (ionization potentials). Similar correlations were also evident for the pathological missense and nonsense germline mutations, but only when the target guanines were located on the non-transcribed DNA strand. Likewise, pathogenic splicing mutations predominantly affected positions in which a purine was located on the non-transcribed DNA strand. Novel candidate driver mutations and tissue-specific mutational patterns were also identified in the cancer datasets. We conclude that electron transfer reactions within the DNA molecule contribute to sequence context-dependent mutagenesis, involving both somatic driver and passenger mutations in cancer, as well as germline alterations causing or associated with inherited disease.
A large number of DNA mutations identified in cells from patients with cancer or human inherited disease were analyzed to address a fundamental issue in human pathology, viz, the mutational mechanisms that cause irreversible changes to DNA. By using bioinformatics and computational methods, we found that mutations do not occur randomly, but instead affect specific bases, most often guanines flanked by other guanines or adenines. We attribute this effect to electron transfer, a chemical reaction known to underlie basic biological processes such as cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Certain types of carcinogens, oxidants or radiation can interact with DNA and abstract an electron. Our results imply that the ensuing sites of electron loss can migrate from their original position in the DNA to neighboring guanines where they become trapped, leading to further chemical modifications that may eventually result in mutations. Many of the mutations known to be important for tumor growth (driver mutations), as well as passenger mutations and mutations associated with inherited disease, appear to be caused by electron transfer. Beyond pathological mutations, electron transfer may represent a universal mechanism by which genetic changes occur in all life forms to drive population fitness over evolutionary time.
Clinical studies indicate that patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently share comorbidity with numerous chronic pain conditions. However, the sustained effects of PTSD-like stress over time on visceral nociception and hyperalgesia have been rarely studied, and the underlying mechanisms of stress-induced modulation of visceral hyperalgesia remain elusive. The purpose of this study was to investigate the characterization of visceral nociception and hyperalgesia over time in rats exposed to PTSD-like stress, and to explore the potential role of protein kinase C gamma (PKCγ) in mediating visceral hyperalgesia following exposure to PTSD-like stress.
On day 1, the rats exposed to single-prolonged stress (SPS, an established animal model for PTSD) exhibited an analgesic response and its visceromotor response (VMR) to graded colorectal distention (CRD) at 40 and 60 mmHg was reduced compared with the control group (all P < 0.05). On day 6, the VMR returned to the baseline value. However, as early as 7 days after SPS, VMR dramatically increased compared with its baseline value and that in the controls (all P < 0.001) and this increase persisted for 28 days, with the peak on day 9. Abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) scores were higher in SPS rats than in controls on days 7, 9, 14, 21 and 28 (all P < 0.001). Intrathecal administration of GF109203X (an inhibitor of PKC gamma), attenuated the SPS-induced increase in both VMR and AWR scores on days 7, 14, 21 and 28 (all P < 0.05). PKCγ protein expression determined by immunofluorescence was reduced in the spinal cord within 3 days after the exposure to SPS (P < 0.01), which returned to normal levels between days 4 and 6, and significantly increased from day 7, and this increase was maintained on days 14, 21, and 28 (all P < 0.001), with the peak on day 9. In addition, Western blotting showed a consistent trend in the changes of PKCγ protein expression.
The modified SPS alters visceral sensitivity to CRD, and contributes to the maintenance of visceral hyperalgesia, which is associated with enhanced PKCγ expression in the spinal cord. Functional blockade of the PKCγ receptors attenuates SPS-induced visceral hyperalgesia. Thus, the present study identifies a specific molecular mechanism for visceral hyperalgesia which may pave the way for novel therapeutic strategies for PTSD-like conditions.
Visceral hyperalgesia; Protein kinase C gamma; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Single-prolonged stress; Colorectal distention; Visceromotor response; Spinal cord
As US demographic trends shift toward more diversity, it becomes increasingly necessary to address differential needs of diverse groups of youth in mental health service systems. Cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) is essential to providing the most appropriate mental health services to youth and their families. The successful implementation of CLC often begins at the system level. Though various factors may affect change and system-level factors set the tone for broad acceptance of CLC within systems, there is limited empirical evidence linking culturally competent practices to outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to examine system-level CLC changes over time within systems of care and their associations with service experiences among youth and their families. Participants were 4,512 youth and their families enrolled in the national evaluation of the Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI). Results suggest that implementation of CLC at the system level improves over time in funded systems of care. Further, variation exists in specific system-level components of CLC. In addition, the changes in CLC at the system level are related to family/caregiver participation in treatment. Implications for supporting positive changes in CLC among systems of care communities, and specific strategies for community psychologists, are discussed.
Cultural and linguistic competence; Children’s mental health; Mental health services; System of care
It is essential that outcome research permit clear conclusions to be drawn about the efficacy of interventions. The common practice of nesting therapists within conditions can pose important methodological challenges that affect interpretation, particularly if the study is not powered to account for the nested design. An obstacle to the optimal design of these studies is lack of data about the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), which measures the statistical dependencies introduced by nesting. To begin the development of a public database of ICC estimates, the authors report ICCs for a variety outcomes reported in 20 psychotherapy outcome studies. The magnitude of the N = 495 ICC estimates varied widely across measures and studies. The authors provide recommendations regarding how to select and aggregate ICC estimates for power calculations and show how researchers can use ICC estimates to choose the number of patients and therapists that will optimize power. Attention to these recommendations will strengthen the validity of inferences drawn from psychotherapy studies that nest therapists within conditions.
Statistical dependence; therapists effects; intraclass correlation; power; psychotherapy research
Keratinocyte MyD88 is a component of an IL-1α–IL-1R autocrine loop that drives Ras-mediated transformation in vitro and contributes to skin tumor formation in vivo.
Constitutively active RAS plays a central role in the development of human cancer and is sufficient to induce tumors in two-stage skin carcinogenesis. RAS-mediated tumor formation is commonly associated with up-regulation of cytokines and chemokines that mediate an inflammatory response considered relevant to oncogenesis. In this study, we report that mice lacking IL-1R or MyD88 are less sensitive to topical skin carcinogenesis than their respective wild-type (WT) controls. MyD88−/− or IL-1R−/− keratinocytes expressing oncogenic RAS are hyperproliferative and fail to up-regulate proinflammatory genes or down-regulate differentiation markers characteristic of RAS-expressing WT keratinocytes. Although RAS-expressing MyD88−/− keratinocytes form only a few small tumors in orthotopic grafts, IL-1R–deficient RAS-expressing keratinocytes retain the ability to form tumors in orthotopic grafts. Using both genetic and pharmacological approaches, we find that the differentiation and proinflammatory effects of oncogenic RAS in keratinocytes require the establishment of an autocrine loop through IL-1α, IL-1R, and MyD88 leading to phosphorylation of IκBα and NF-κB activation. Blocking IL-1α–mediated NF-κB activation in RAS-expressing WT keratinocytes reverses the differentiation defect and inhibits proinflammatory gene expression. Collectively, these results demonstrate that MyD88 exerts a cell-intrinsic function in RAS-mediated transformation of keratinocytes.
Ultraconserved regions (UCR) are genomic segments of more than 200 base pairs that are evolutionarily conserved among mammalian species. They are thought to have functions as transcriptional enhancers and regulators of alternative splicing. Recently, it was shown that numerous RNAs are transcribed from these regions. These UCR-encoded transcripts (ucRNAs) were found to be expressed in a tissue- and disease-specific manner and may interfere with the function of other RNAs through RNA: RNA interactions. We hypothesized that ucRNAs have unidentified roles in the pathogenesis of human prostate cancer. In a pilot study, we examined ucRNA expression profiles in human prostate tumors.
Using a custom microarray with 962 probesets representing sense and antisense sequences for the 481 human UCRs, we examined ucRNA expression in resected, fresh-frozen human prostate tissues (57 tumors, 7 non-cancerous prostate tissues) and in cultured prostate cancer cells treated with either epigenetic drugs (the hypomethylating agent, 5-Aza 2′deoxycytidine, and the histone deacetylase inhibitor, trichostatin A) or a synthetic androgen, R1881. Expression of selected ucRNAs was also assessed by qRT-PCR and NanoString®-based assays. Because ucRNAs may function as RNAs that target protein-coding genes through direct and inhibitory RNA: RNA interactions, computational analyses were applied to identify candidate ucRNA:mRNA binding pairs.
We observed altered ucRNA expression in prostate cancer (e.g., uc.106+, uc.477+, uc.363 + A, uc.454 + A) and found that these ucRNAs were associated with cancer development, Gleason score, and extraprostatic extension after controlling for false discovery (false discovery rate < 5% for many of the transcripts). We also identified several ucRNAs that were responsive to treatment with either epigenetic drugs or androgen (R1881). For example, experiments with LNCaP human prostate cancer cells showed that uc.287+ is induced by R1881 (P < 0.05) whereas uc.283 + A was up-regulated following treatment with combined 5-Aza 2′deoxycytidine and trichostatin A (P < 0.05). Additional computational analyses predicted RNA loop-loop interactions of 302 different sense and antisense ucRNAs with 1058 different mRNAs, inferring possible functions of ucRNAs via direct interactions with mRNAs.
This first study of ucRNA expression in human prostate cancer indicates an altered transcript expression in the disease.
Ultraconserved region; Gene expression; Prostate cancer
454 sequencing technology is a promising approach for characterizing HIV-1 populations and for identifying low frequency mutations. The utility of 454 technology for determining allele frequencies and linkage associations in HIV infected individuals has not been extensively investigated. We evaluated the performance of 454 sequencing for characterizing HIV populations with defined allele frequencies.
We constructed two HIV-1 RT clones. Clone A was a wild type sequence. Clone B was identical to clone A except it contained 13 introduced drug resistant mutations. The clones were mixed at ratios ranging from 1% to 50% and were amplified by standard PCR conditions and by PCR conditions aimed at reducing PCR-based recombination. The products were sequenced using 454 pyrosequencing. Sequence analysis from standard PCR amplification revealed that 14% of all sequencing reads from a sample with a 50:50 mixture of wild type and mutant DNA were recombinants. The majority of the recombinants were the result of a single crossover event which can happen during PCR when the DNA polymerase terminates synthesis prematurely. The incompletely extended template then competes for primer sites in subsequent rounds of PCR. Although less often, a spectrum of other distinct crossover patterns was also detected. In addition, we observed point mutation errors ranging from 0.01% to 1.0% per base as well as indel (insertion and deletion) errors ranging from 0.02% to nearly 50%. The point errors (single nucleotide substitution errors) were mainly introduced during PCR while indels were the result of pyrosequencing. We then used new PCR conditions designed to reduce PCR-based recombination. Using these new conditions, the frequency of recombination was reduced 27-fold. The new conditions had no effect on point mutation errors. We found that 454 pyrosequencing was capable of identifying minority HIV-1 mutations at frequencies down to 0.1% at some nucleotide positions.
Standard PCR amplification results in a high frequency of PCR-introduced recombination precluding its use for linkage analysis of HIV populations using 454 pyrosequencing. We designed a new PCR protocol that resulted in a much lower recombination frequency and provided a powerful technique for linkage analysis and haplotype determination in HIV-1 populations. Our analyses of 454 sequencing results also demonstrated that at some specific HIV-1 drug resistant sites, mutations can reliably be detected at frequencies down to 0.1%.
454 pyrosequencing; HIV-1; Error rate; PCR induced recombination
The Sequence Read Archive (SRA) is the largest public repository of sequencing data from the next generation of sequencing platforms including Illumina (Genome Analyzer, HiSeq, MiSeq, .etc), Roche 454 GS System, Applied Biosystems SOLiD System, Helicos Heliscope, PacBio RS, and others.
SRAdb is an attempt to make queries of the metadata associated with SRA submission, study, sample, experiment and run more robust and precise, and make access to sequencing data in the SRA easier. We have parsed all the SRA metadata into a SQLite database that is routinely updated and can be easily distributed. The SRAdb R/Bioconductor package then utilizes this SQLite database for querying and accessing metadata. Full text search functionality makes querying metadata very flexible and powerful. Fastq files associated with query results can be downloaded easily for local analysis. The package also includes an interface from R to a popular genome browser, the Integrated Genomics Viewer.
SRAdb Bioconductor package provides a convenient and integrated framework to query and access SRA metadata quickly and powerfully from within R.
This article describes the results of the Interventions to Safeguard Safety breakout session of the 2011 Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) consensus conference entitled “Interventions to Assure Quality in the Crowded Emergency Department.” Using a multistep nominal group technique, experts in emergency department (ED) crowding, patient safety, and systems engineering defined knowledge gaps and priority research questions related to the maintenance of safety in the crowded ED. Consensus was reached for seven research priorities related to interventions to maintain safety in the setting of a crowded ED. Included among these are: 1) How do routine corrective processes and compensating mechanism change during crowding? 2) What metrics should be used to determine ED safety? 3) How can checklists ensure safer care and what factors contribute to their success or failure? 4) What constitutes safe staffing levels / ratios? 5) How can we align emergency medicine (EM)-specific patient safety issues with national patient safety issues? 6) How can we develop metrics and skills to recognize when an ED is getting close to catastrophic overload conditions? and 7) What can EM learn from experts and modeling from fields outside of medicine to develop innovative solutions? These priorities have the potential to inform future clinical and human factors research and extramural funding decisions related to this important topic.
Adolescence is a time in which individuals are particularly likely to engage in health-risk behaviors, with marijuana being the most prevalent illicit drug used. Perceptions of others’ use (i.e., norms) have previously been found to be related to increased marijuana use. Additionally, low refusal self-efficacy has been associated with increased marijuana consumption. This cross-sectional study examined the effects of normative perceptions and self-efficacy on negative marijuana outcomes for a heavy using adolescent population. A structural equation model was tested and supported such that significant indirect paths were present from descriptive norms to marijuana outcomes through self-efficacy. Implications for prevention and intervention with heavy using adolescent marijuana users are discussed.
marijuana; adolescent substance abuse; social norms; social learning theory
The non-B DB, available at http://nonb.abcc.ncifcrf.gov, catalogs predicted non-B DNA-forming sequence motifs, including Z-DNA, G-quadruplex, A-phased repeats, inverted repeats, mirror repeats, direct repeats and their corresponding subsets: cruciforms, triplexes and slipped structures, in several genomes. Version 2.0 of the database revises and re-implements the motif discovery algorithms to better align with accepted definitions and thresholds for motifs, expands the non-B DNA-forming motifs coverage by including short tandem repeats and adds key visualization tools to compare motif locations relative to other genomic annotations. Non-B DB v2.0 extends the ability for comparative genomics by including re-annotation of the five organisms reported in non-B DB v1.0, human, chimpanzee, dog, macaque and mouse, and adds seven additional organisms: orangutan, rat, cow, pig, horse, platypus and Arabidopsis thaliana. Additionally, the non-B DB v2.0 provides an overall improved graphical user interface and faster query performance.
The accumulation of mutations is a contributing factor in the initiation of premalignant mammary lesions and their progression to malignancy and metastasis. We have used a mouse model in which the carcinogen is the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) which induces clonal premalignant mammary lesions and malignant mammary tumors by insertional mutagenesis. Identification of the genes and signaling pathways affected in MMTV-induced mouse mammary lesions provides a rationale for determining whether genetic alteration of the human orthologues of these genes/pathways may contribute to human breast carcinogenesis. A high-throughput platform for inverse PCR to identify MMTV-host junction fragments and their nucleotide sequences in a large panel of MMTV-induced lesions was developed. Validation of the genes affected by MMTV-insertion was carried out by microarray analysis. Common integration site (CIS) means that the gene was altered by an MMTV proviral insertion in at least two independent lesions arising in different hosts. Three of the new genes identified as CIS for MMTV were assayed for their capability to confer on HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells the ability for invasion, anchorage independent growth and tumor development in nude mice. Analysis of MMTV induced mammary premalignant hyperplastic outgrowth (HOG) lines and mammary tumors led to the identification of CIS restricted to 35 loci. Within these loci members of the Wnt, Fgf and Rspo gene families plus two linked genes (Npm3 and Ddn) were frequently activated in tumors induced by MMTV. A second group of 15 CIS occur at a low frequency (2-5 observations) in mammary HOGs or tumors. In this latter group the expression of either Phf19 or Sdc2 was shown to increase HC11 cells invasion capability. Foxl1 expression conferred on HC11 cells the capability for anchorage-independent colony formation in soft agar and tumor development in nude mice. The published transcriptome and nucleotide sequence analysis of gene expression in primary human breast tumors was interrogated. Twenty of the human orthologues of MMTV CIS associated genes are deregulated and/or mutated in human breast tumors.
mouse mammary tumor virus; premalignant lesions; mammary tumors; genes; human breast carcinomas; metastases
The lysosomal storage pathology in Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) IIIB manifests in cells of virtually all organs. However, it is the profound role of the neurological pathology that leads to morbidity and mortality in this disease, and has been the major challenge to developing therapies. To date, MPS IIIB neuropathologic and therapeutic studies have focused predominantly on changes in the central nervous system (CNS), especially in the brain, and little is known about the disease pathology in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). This study demonstrates characteristic lysosomal storage pathology in dorsal root ganglia affecting neurons, satellite cells (glia) and Schwann cells. Lysosomal storage lesions were also observed in the myoenteric plexus and submucosal plexus, involving enteric neurons with enteric glial activation. Further, MPS IIIB mice developed progressive impairments in sensory functions, with significantly reduced response to pain stimulation that became detectable at 4–5 months of age as the disease progressed. These data demonstrate that MPS IIIB neuropathology manifests not only in the entire CNS but also the PNS, likely affecting both afferent and efferent neural signal transduction. This study also suggests that therapeutic development for MPS IIIB may benefit from targeting the entire nervous system.
Cannabis use adversely affects adolescents and interventions that are attractive to adolescents are needed. This trial compared the effects of a brief motivational intervention for cannabis use with a brief educational feedback control and a no-assessment control.
Participants were randomized into one of three treatment conditions: Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), Educational Feedback Control (EFC) or Delayed Feedback Control (DFC). Those assigned to MET and EFC were administered a computerized baseline assessment immediately following randomization and completed assessments at the 3- and 12-month follow-up periods. Participants in the DFC condition were not assessed until the 3-month follow-up. Following the completion of treatment sessions, all participants were offered up to 4 optional individual treatment sessions aimed at cessation of cannabis use.
High schools in Seattle, WA, USA.
310 self-referred adolescents who smoked cannabis regularly.
Main outcome measures included days of cannabis use, associated negative consequences, and engagement in additional treatment.
At the 3-month follow-up, participants in both the MET and EFC conditions reported significantly fewer days of cannabis use and negative consequences compared to DFC. Frequency of cannabis use was less in MET relative to EFC at 3 months, but did not translate to differences in negative consequences. Reduction in use and problems were sustained at 12-months but there were no differences between MET and EFC interventions. Engagement in additional treatment was minimal and not different by condition.
Brief interventions can attract and have positive impacts on adolescent cannabis users, but the mechanisms of the effects are yet to be identified.
The present investigation examined the relationships between motives for cannabis use and negative consequences associated with cannabis use following a brief intervention. The sample consisted of 205 adolescent cannabis users (66.3% male), who were recruited in high schools and randomly assigned to a brief two-session motivational enhancement therapy (MET) or an educational feedback control (EFC). Results supported the hypothesis that using cannabis to cope with negative affect would predict the number of problems and dependence symptoms related to cannabis use, after controlling for age, gender, years and frequency of cannabis use, and internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Significant interactions between internalizing behavior problems and the coping motive showed that using to cope was associated with a higher number of cannabis dependence symptoms among adolescents reporting lower levels internalizing behavior problems. Findings support the potential utility of conducting further research to explore the coping motive as an important indicator of problematic cannabis use.
cannabis; marijuana; adolescents; cannabis use motives; internalizing behavior problems
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding, endogenous RNAs involved in regulating gene expression and protein translation. miRNA expression profiling of human breast cancers has identified miRNAs related to the clinical diversity of the disease and potentially provides novel diagnostic and prognostic tools for breast cancer therapy. In order to further understand the associations between oncogenic drivers and miRNA expression in sub-types of breast cancer, we performed miRNA expression profiling on mammary tumors from eight well-characterized genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models of human breast cancer, including MMTV-H-Ras, -Her2/neu, -c-Myc, -PymT, -Wnt1 and C3(1)/SV40 T/t-antigen transgenic mice, BRCA1fl/fl;p53+/-;MMTV-cre knock-out mice and the p53fl/fl;MMTV-cre transplant model.
miRNA expression patterns classified mouse mammary tumors according to luminal or basal tumor subtypes. Many miRNAs found in luminal tumors are expressed during normal mammary development. miR-135b, miR-505 and miR-155 are expressed in both basal human and mouse mammary tumors and many basal-associated miRNAs have not been previously characterized. miRNAs associated with the initiating oncogenic event driving tumorigenesis were also identified. miR-10b, -148a, -150, -199a and -486 were only expressed in normal mammary epithelium and not tumors, suggesting that they may have tumor suppressor activities. Integrated miRNA and mRNA gene expression analyses greatly improved the identification of miRNA targets from potential targets identified in silico.
This is the first large-scale miRNA gene expression study across a variety of relevant GEM models of human breast cancer demonstrating that miRNA expression is highly associated with mammary tumor lineage, differentiation and oncogenic pathways.
MicroRNA (miRNA) expression profiling studies revealed a number of miRNAs dysregulated in the malignant brain tumor, glioblastoma. Molecular functions of these miRNAs in gliomagenesis are mainly unknown. We show that inhibition of miR-10b, a miRNA not expressed in human brain and strongly up-regulated in both low-grade and high-grade gliomas, reduces glioma cell growth by cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. These cellular responses are mediated by augmented expression of the direct targets of miR-10b, including BCL2L11/Bim, TFAP2C/AP-2γ, CDKN1A/p21, and CDKN2A/p16, which normally protect cells from uncontrolled growth. Analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) expression dataset reveals a strong positive correlation between numerous genes sustaining cellular growth and miR-10b levels in human glioblastomas, while pro-apoptotic genes anti-correlate with the expression of miR-10b. Furthermore, survival of glioblastoma patients expressing high levels of miR-10 family members is significantly reduced in comparison to patients with low miR-10 levels, indicating that miR-10 may contribute to glioma growth in vivo. Finally, inhibition of miR-10b in a mouse model of human glioma results in significant reduction of tumor growth. Altogether, our experiments validate an important role of miR-10b in gliomagenesis, reveal a novel mechanism of miR-10b-mediated regulation, and suggest the possibility of its future use as a therapeutic target in gliomas.
microRNA; glioma; apoptosis; cell cycle; cancer
Summary: The database for annotation, visualization and integrated discovery (DAVID), which can be freely accessed at http://david.abcc.ncifcrf.gov/, is a web-based online bioinformatics resource that aims to provide tools for the functional interpretation of large lists of genes/proteins. It has been used by researchers from more than 5000 institutes worldwide, with a daily submission rate of ∼1200 gene lists from ∼400 unique researchers, and has been cited by more than 6000 scientific publications. However, the current web interface does not support programmatic access to DAVID, and the uniform resource locator (URL)-based application programming interface (API) has a limit on URL size and is stateless in nature as it uses URL request and response messages to communicate with the server, without keeping any state-related details. DAVID-WS (web service) has been developed to automate user tasks by providing stateful web services to access DAVID programmatically without the need for human interactions.
Availability: The web service and sample clients (written in Java, Perl, Python and Matlab) are made freely available under the DAVID License at http://david.abcc.ncifcrf.gov/content.jsp?file=WS.html.
Data from 18,437 children enrolled in the national evaluation of the Children's Mental Health Initiative between 1994 and 2005 were used to examine the evolution of patterns of risk among boys and girls across funding phases using multi-group latent class analysis. Consistent with previous research, this study identified four sub-groups of children with similar patterns of child risk. Membership to these risk sub-groups varied as a function of age and was associated with differences in impairment levels. Changes in the distribution of boys and girls in the risk classes suggest that, over time, an increasing proportion of boys have entered the system of care program with complex histories of risk. Information on children's exposure to child risk factors can aid policy makers, service providers and clinicians in identifying children who may need more intensive services and tailoring services to their needs.
DNA sequence variations in individual genomes within the same species give rise to different phenotypes. One mechanism in this process is alteration of chromatin structure due to sequence variation that impacts gene regulation downstream. In this study, we compose a high-confidence collection of human indels and SNPs based on the analysis of a large set of publicly available sequencing data and investigate whether the DNA loci associated with stable nucleosome positions are protected against sequence mutations. We address how the sequence variation is reflected in the occupancy profiles of nucleosomes of different types at regulatory sequences and genome-wide. We find that indels are depleted around nucleosome positions of all considered types; SNPs, on the other hand, are enriched around the positions of bulk nucleosomes but depleted around the positions preferentially occupied by epigenetically modified nucleosomes. Such a behavior indicates an increased level of conservation for the sequences associated with epigenetically modified nucleosomes and highlights complex organization of the human chromatin.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) negatively regulate protein-coding genes at the post-transcriptional level and are critical in tumorigenesis. Schwannomas develop from proliferation of dedifferentiated Schwann cells, which normally wrap nerve fibers to help support and insulate nerves. In this study, we carried out high-throughput miRNA expression profiling of human vestibular schwannomas using an array representing 407 known miRNAs in order to explore the role of miRNAs in tumor growth. Twelve miRNAs were found to be significantly deregulated in tumor samples as compared with control nerve tissue, defining a schwannoma-typical signature. Among these miRNAs, we focused on miR-7 which was one of the most downregulated in these tumors and has several known oncogene targets, including mRNAs for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and p21-activated kinase 1 (Pak1). We found that overexpression of miR-7 inhibited schwannoma cell growth both in culture and in xenograft tumor models in vivo, which correlated with downregulation of these signaling pathways. Furthermore, we identified a novel direct target of miR-7, the mRNA for associated cdc42 kinase 1 (Ack1), with the expression levels of miR-7 and Ack1 being inversely correlated in human schwannoma samples. These results represent the first miRNA profiling of schwannomas and the first report of a tumor suppressor function for miR-7 in these tumors that is mediated by targeting the EGFR, Pak1 and Ack1 oncogenes. Our findings suggest miR-7 as a potential therapeutic molecule for schwannoma treatment, and they prompt clinical evaluation of drugs that can inhibit the EGFR, Pak1, and Ack1 signaling pathways to treat this tumor type.
miRNAs; schwannomas; Ack1; EGFR; Pak1
We previously reported that miR-1 is among the most consistently down-regulated miRs in primary human prostate tumors. In this follow-up study, we further corroborated this finding in an independent data set and made the novel observation that miR-1 expression is further reduced in distant metastasis and is a candidate predictor of disease recurrence. Moreover, we performed in vitro experiments to explore the tumor suppressor function of miR-1. Cell-based assays showed that miR-1 is epigenetically silenced in human prostate cancer. Overexpression of miR-1 in these cells led to growth inhibition and down-regulation of genes in pathways regulating cell cycle progression, mitosis, DNA replication/repair and actin dynamics. This observation was further corroborated with protein expression analysis and 3′-UTR-based reporter assays, indicating that genes in these pathways are either direct or indirect targets of miR-1. A gene set enrichment analysis revealed that the miR-1-mediated tumor suppressor effects are globally similar to those of histone deacetylase inhibitors. Lastly, we obtained preliminary evidence that miR-1 alters the cellular organization of F-actin and inhibits tumor cell invasion and filipodia formation. In conclusion, our findings indicate that miR-1 acts as a tumor suppressor in prostate cancer by influencing multiple cancer-related processes and by inhibiting cell proliferation and motility.
It is well established that there is a dynamic relationship between the expanding tumor and the host surrounding tissue. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), the most common cellular population found in the tumor microenvironment, support tumor growth and dissemination. Here, we set out to determine the factors that may be involved in dramatic alteration of gene expression pattern in CAFs, focusing on microRNA and transcriptional regulators. We established matched pairs of human CAFs isolated from endometrial cancer and normal endometrial fibroblasts. MicroRNA and mRNA analyses identified differential expression of 11 microRNAs, with miR-31 being the most downregulated microRNA in CAFs (p = 0.007). We examined several putative miR-31 target genes identified by microarray analysis and demonstrated that miR-31 directly targets the homeobox gene SATB2, which is responsible for chromatin remodeling and regulation of gene expression and was significantly elevated in CAFs. The functional relevance of miR-31 and SATB2 were tested in in vitro models of endometrial cancer. Overexpression of miR-31 significantly impaired the ability of CAFs to stimulate tumor cell migration and invasion without affecting tumor cell proliferation. Genetic manipulation of SATB2 levels in normal fibroblasts or CAFs showed that, reciprocally to miR-31, SATB2 increased tumor cell migration and invasion, while knockdown of endogenous SATB2 in CAFs reversed this phenotype. Introduction of SATB2 into normal fibroblasts stimulated expression of a number of genes involved in cell invasion, migration and scattering. These findings provide new insights into tumor-stroma interaction and document that miR-31 and its target gene SATB2 are involved in regulation of tumor cell motility.
cancer-associated fibroblasts; microRNA; SATB2; endometrial cancer