Transferrin (Tf) conjugated lipopolyplexes (LPs) carrying G3139, an antisense oligonucleotide for Bcl-2, were synthesized and evaluated in Tf receptor positive K562 erythroleukemia cells and then in a murine K562 xenograft model.
Materials and Methods
Particle size and Zeta potentials of transferrin conjugated lipopolyplexs containing G3139 (Tf-LP-G3139) were measured by Dynamic Light Scattering and ZetaPALS. In vitro and in vivo sample’s Bcl-2 downregulation was analyzed using Western blot and tumor tissue samples also exhibited by immunohistochemistry method. For athymic mice bearing with K562 xenograft tumors, tumor growth inhibition and survival rate were investigated. Nanoparticle distribution in 3-D cell cluster was observed by Laser scan confocal microscopy. IL-12 production in the plasma was measured by ELISA kit.
In vitro, Tf-LP-G3139 was more effective in inducing down regulation of Bcl-2 in K562 cells than non-targeted LP-G3139, free G3139 and mismatched control ODN-G4126 in the same formulation. In vivo Tf-LP-G3139 was less effective than free G3139 in Bcl-2 down regulation. 3-D cell cluster model diffusion results indeed indicated limited penetration of the LPs into the cell cluster. Finally, the therapeutic efficacies of Tf-LP-G3139 and free G3139 were determined in the K562 xenograft model. Tf-LP-G3139 showed slower plasma clearance, higher AUC, and greater accumulation in the tumor compared to free G3139. In addition, Tf-LP-G3139 was found to be more effective in tumor growth inhibition and prolonging mouse survival than free G3139. This was associated with increased spleen weight and IL-12 production in the plasma.
The role of the immune system in the therapeutic response obtained with the Tf-LPs is necessary and in vitro 3-D cell cluster model can be a potential tool to evaluate the nanoparticle distribution.
Bcl-2; leukemia; lipopolyplexs; targeted drug delivery; transferrin receptor
Disulfide-linked oligodeoxyribonucleotide (ODN) liposomes were formulated and evaluated for the delivery of antisense ODN G3139 in KB human oral carcinoma cells.
Materials and Methods
Liposomes composed of 1,2-di-(9Z-octadecenoyl)-3-trimethylammo-nium-propane (DOTAP)/egg phosphatidylcholine/α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate were incorporated with hydrophobized disulfide-linked ODN. Disulfide-linked ODN liposomes were characterized for their size, ODN intracellular delivery, Bcl-2 mRNA and protein expression, growth inhibition, and chemosensitization.
Intracellular delivery of ODN with disulfide-linked ODN liposomes was more efficient than that with non-liposomal hydrophobized disulfide-linked ODN. Treatment of the cells with disulfide-linked ODN liposomes resulted in efficient Bcl-2 down-regulation greater than that with hydrophobized disulfide-linked ODN and consistent with that of cellular growth inhibition and the sensitization to daunorubicin in KB cells. Disulfide-linked ODN liposomes exhibited superior colloidal stability during 5-week storage.
Disulfide-linked liposomes are effective delivery vehicles for antisense ODN.
Liposomes; disulfide; antisense oligonucleotide; G3139; Bcl-2; drug delivery
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors either alone or in combination with hypomethylating agents have limited clinical effect in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Previously we demonstrated that AML patients with higher miR-29b expression had better response to the hypomethylating agent decitabine. Therefore, an increase in miR-29b expression preceding decitabine treatment may provide a therapeutic advantage. We previously showed that miR-29b expression is suppressed by a repressor complex that includes HDACs. Thus, HDAC inhibition may increase miR-29b expression. We hypothesized that priming AML cells with the novel HDAC inhibitor (HDACI) AR-42 would result in increased response to decitabine treatment via upregulation of miR-29b. Here we show that AR-42 is a potent HDACI in AML, increasing miR-29b levels and leading to downregulation of known miR-29b targets (i.e., SP1, DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B). We then demonstrated that the sequential administration of AR-42 followed by decitabine resulted in a stronger anti-leukemic activity in vitro and in vivo than decitabine followed by AR-42 or either drug alone. These preclinical results with AR-42 priming before decitabine administration represents a promising, novel treatment approach and a paradigm shift with regard to the combination of epigenetic-targeting compounds in AML, where decitabine has been traditionally given before HDAC inhibitors.
acute myeloid leukemia; HDACI; AR-42; decitabine; miR-29b
The impact of mutation of the ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated) gene in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) treatment outcome has not been examined. We studied ATM mutations in 73 patients treated with fludarabine and rituximab. ATM gene mutation analysis was performed using temperature gradient capillary electrophoresis. The impact of detected variants on overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) was tested with proportional hazards models. None of the 73 patients demonstrated truncating ATM mutations; 17 (23%, 95% confidence interval 14 – 35%) had non-silent variants (ATM-NSVs), including 13 known ATM polymorphisms and four missense variants. ATM-NSVs were not significantly associated with any baseline characteristics including immunoglobulin heavy chain variable gene (IGVH) status. In multivariable models, no significant differences in complete response (p = 0.70), PFS (p = 0.59) or OS (p = 0.13) were observed. Our data indicate that truncating ATM mutations are rare in patients with CLL. Furthermore, in this dataset, these non-silent variants had limited impact on PFS and OS.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia; ATM mutation; prognosis; chemoimmunotherapy
To determine the association of RUNX1 mutations with therapeutic outcome in younger and older patients with primary cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (CN-AML) and with gene/microRNA expression signatures.
Patients and Methods
Younger (< 60 years; n = 175) and older (≥ 60 years; n = 225) patients with CN-AML treated with intensive cytarabine/anthracycline-based first-line therapy on Cancer and Leukemia Group B protocols were centrally analyzed for RUNX1 mutations by polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing and for established prognostic gene mutations. Gene/microRNA expression profiles were derived using microarrays.
RUNX1 mutations were found in 8% and 16% of younger and older patients, respectively (P = .02). They were associated with ASXL1 mutations (P < .001) and inversely associated with NPM1 (P < .001) and CEBPA (P = .06) mutations. RUNX1-mutated patients had lower complete remission rates (P = .005 in younger; P = .006 in older) and shorter disease-free survival (P = .058 in younger; P < .001 in older), overall survival (P = .003 in younger; P < .001 in older), and event-free survival (P < .001 for younger and older) than RUNX1 wild-type patients. Because RUNX1 mutations were more common in older patients and almost never coexisted with NPM1 mutations, RUNX1 mutation–associated expression signatures were derived in older, NPM1 wild-type patients and featured upregulation of genes normally expressed in primitive hematopoietic cells and B-cell progenitors, including DNTT, BAALC, BLNK, CD109, RBPMS, and FLT3, and downregulation of promoters of myelopoiesis, including CEBPA and miR-223.
RUNX1 mutations are twice as common in older than younger patients with CN-AML and negatively impact outcome in both age groups. RUNX1-mutated blasts have molecular features of primitive hematopoietic and lymphoid progenitors, potentially leading to novel therapeutic approaches.
Chromosomal abnormalities are detected in 50–60% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and are important predictors of prognosis and risk of relapse. The remaining patients, those with cytogenetically normal AML, are a seemingly homogeneous group that in fact consists of subsets of patients with distinct clinical outcomes. This heterogeneity is likely related to acquired gene mutations, as well as altered miRNA and gene-expression profiles, which occur within the group. The identification of recurrent molecular abnormalities has improved prognostication and provided insight into mechanisms of leukemogenesis for patients with cytogenetically normal AML, as well as led to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets. As the number of mutations continues to expand, bioinformatic algorithms that allow for integration of multiple markers will be necessary to provide optimal care for patients with this disease.
acute myeloid leukemia; mutational analysis; normal karyotype; prognostic markers
Increased ZAP-70 expression predicts poor prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Current methods for accurately measuring ZAP-70 expression are problematic, preventing widespread application of these tests in clinical decision making. We therefore used comprehensive DNA methylation profiling of the ZAP-70 regulatory region to identify sites important for transcriptional control.
Patients and Methods
High-resolution quantitative DNA methylation analysis of the entire ZAP-70 gene regulatory regions was conducted on 247 samples from patients with CLL from four independent clinical studies.
Through this comprehensive analysis, we identified a small area in the 5′ regulatory region of ZAP-70 that showed large variability in methylation in CLL samples but was universally methylated in normal B cells. High correlation with mRNA and protein expression, as well as activity in promoter reporter assays, revealed that within this differentially methylated region, a single CpG dinucleotide and neighboring nucleotides are particularly important in ZAP-70 transcriptional regulation. Furthermore, by using clustering approaches, we identified a prognostic role for this site in four independent data sets of patients with CLL using time to treatment, progression-free survival, and overall survival as clinical end points.
Comprehensive quantitative DNA methylation analysis of the ZAP-70 gene in CLL identified important regions responsible for transcriptional regulation. In addition, loss of methylation at a specific single CpG dinucleotide in the ZAP-70 5′ regulatory sequence is a highly predictive and reproducible biomarker of poor prognosis in this disease. This work demonstrates the feasibility of using quantitative specific ZAP-70 methylation analysis as a relevant clinically applicable prognostic test in CLL.
Purpose of review Core-binding factor (CBF) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is among the most common cytogenetic subtypes of AML, being detected in approximately 13% of adults with primary disease. Although CBF-AML is associated with a relatively favorable prognosis, only one-half of the patients are cured. Herein we review recent discoveries of genetic and epigenetic alterations in CBF-AML that may represent novel prognostic markers and therapeutic targets and lead to improvement of the still disappointing clinical outcome of these patients.
Recent findings Several acquired gene mutations and gene-expression and microRNA-expression changes that occur in addition to t(8;21)(q22;q22) and inv(16)(p13q22)/t(16;16)(p13;q22), the cytogenetic hallmarks of CBF-AML, have been recently reported. Alterations that may represent cooperative events in CBF-AML leukemogenesis include mutations in the KIT, FLT3, JAK2 and RAS genes, haploinsufficiency of the putative tumor suppressor genes TLE1 and TLE4 in t(8;21)-positive patients with del(9q), MN1 overexpression in inv(16) patients, and epigenetic and posttranscriptional silencing of CEBPA. Genome-wide gene-expression and microRNA-expression profiling identifying subgroups of CBF-AML patients with distinct molecular signatures, different clinical outcomes, or both, have also been reported.
Summary Progress has been made in delineating the genetic basis of CBF-AML that will likely result in improved prognostication and development of novel, risk-adapted therapeutic approaches.
acute myeloid leukemia; core-binding factor; gene-expression profiling; JAK2; KIT; MN1
How inflammation causes cancer is unclear. IL-15 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine elevated in human large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia. Mice overexpressing IL-15 develop LGL leukemia. Here we show that prolonged in vitro exposure of wild type (WT) LGL to IL-15 results in Myc-mediated up regulation of aurora kinases, centrosome aberrancies, and aneuploidy. Simultaneously, IL-15 represses miR-29b via induction of Myc/NF-κBp65/Hdac-1, resulting in Dnmt3b overexpression and DNA hypermethylation. All this is validated in human LGL leukemia. Strikingly, adoptive transfer of WT LGL cultured with IL-15 led to malignant transformation in vivo. Drug targeting which reverses miR-29b repression, cures otherwise fatal LGL leukemia. We show how excessive IL-15 initiates cancer and demonstrate effective drug targeting for potential therapy of human LGL leukemia.
Antisense oligonucleotide G3139-mediated down-regulation of Bcl-2 is a potential strategy for overcoming chemoresistance in leukemia. However, the limited efficacy shown in recent clinical trials calls attention to the need for further development of novel and more efficient delivery systems. In order to address this issue, transferrin receptor (TfR)-targeted, protamine-containing lipid nanoparticles (Tf-LNs) were synthesized as delivery vehicles for G3139. The LNs were produced by an ethanol dilution method and lipid-conjugated Tf ligand was then incorporated by a post-insertion method. The resulting Tf-LNs had a mean particle diameter of ~ 90 nm and G3139 loading efficiency of 90.4%. Antisense delivery efficiency of Tf-LNs was evaluated in K562, MV4-11 and Raji leukemia cell lines. The results showed that Tf-LNs were more effective than non-targeted LNs and free G3139 (p <0.05) in decreasing Bcl-2 expression (by up to 62% at the mRNA level in K562 cells) and in inducing caspase-dependent apoptosis. In addition, Bcl-2 down-regulation and apoptosis induced by Tf-LN G3139 were shown to be blocked by excess free Tf and thus were TfR-dependent. Cell lines with higher TfR expression also showed greater Bcl-2 down-regulation. Furthermore, upregulation of TfR expression in leukemia cells by iron chelator deferoxamine resulted in a further increase in antisense effect (up to 79% Bcl-2 reduction in K562 at the mRNA level) and in caspase-dependent apoptosis (by ~ 3-fold) by Tf-LN. Tf-LN mediated delivery combined with TfR up-regulation by deferoxamine appears to be a potentially promising strategy for enhancing the delivery efficiency and therapeutic efficacy of antisense oligonucleotides.
Transferrin receptor; lipid nanoparticles; protamine; antisense; oligonucleotide; G3139
Activating mutations [internal tandem duplication (ITD)] or overexpression of the FMS-like tyrosine kinase receptor-3 (FLT3) gene are associated with poor outcome in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, underscoring the need for novel therapeutic approaches. The natural product silvestrol has potent antitumor activity in several malignancies, but its therapeutic impact on distinct molecular high-risk AML subsets remains to be fully investigated. We examined here the preclinical activity of silvestrol in FLT3-ITD and FLT3 wild-type (wt) AML.
Silvestrol in vitro anti-leukemic activity was examined by colorimetric cell viability assay, colony-forming and flow cytometry assays assessing growth inhibition and apoptosis, respectively. Pharmacological activity of silvestrol on FLT3 mRNA translation, mRNA and protein expression was determined by RNA-immunoprecipitation, qRT-PCR and immunoblot analyses, respectively. Silvestrol in vivo efficacy was investigated using MV4-11 leukemia-engrafted mice.
Silvestrol shows antileukemia activity at nanomolar concentrations both in FLT3-wt overexpressing (THP-1) and FLT3-ITD (MV4-11) expressing AML cell lines (IC50 = 3.8 and 2.7 nM, respectively) and patients’ primary blasts [IC50 = ~12 nM (FLT3-wt) and ~5 nM (FLT3-ITD)]. Silvestrol increased apoptosis (~4fold, P = 0.0001), and inhibited colony-formation (100%, P < 0.0001) in primary blasts. Silvestrol efficiently inhibited FLT3 translation reducing FLT3 protein expression by 80–90% and decreased miR-155 levels (~60%), a frequently co-regulated onco-miR in FLT3-ITD-positive AML. The median survival of silvestrol-treated vs vehicle-treated mice was 63 vs 29 days post-engraftment, respectively (P < 0.0001).
Silvestrol exhibits significant in vivo and in vitro antileukemic activities in AML through a novel mechanism resulting in inhibition of FLT3 and miR-155 expression. These encouraging results warrant a rapid translation of silvestrol for clinical testing in AML.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), single-stranded non-coding RNAs, influence myriad biological processes that can contribute to cancer. Although tumor-suppressive and oncogenic functions have been characterized for some miRNAs, the majority of microRNAs have not been investigated for their ability to promote and modulate tumorigenesis. Here, we established that the miR-191/425 cluster is transcriptionally dependent on the host gene, DALRD3, and that the hormone 17β-estradiol (estrogen or E2) controls expression of both miR-191/425 and DALRD3. MiR-191/425 locus characterization revealed that the recruitment of estrogen receptor α (ERα) to the regulatory region of the miR-191/425-DALRD3 unit resulted in the accumulation of miR-191 and miR-425 and subsequent decrease in DALRD3 expression levels. We demonstrated that miR-191 protects ERα positive breast cancer cells from hormone starvation-induced apoptosis through the suppression of tumor-suppressor EGR1. Furthermore, enforced expression of the miR-191/425 cluster in aggressive breast cancer cells altered global gene expression profiles and enabled us to identify important tumor promoting genes, including SATB1, CCND2, and FSCN1, as targets of miR-191 and miR-425. Finally, in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that miR-191 and miR-425 reduced proliferation, impaired tumorigenesis and metastasis, and increased expression of epithelial markers in aggressive breast cancer cells. Our data provide compelling evidence for the transcriptional regulation of the miR-191/425 cluster and for its context-specific biological determinants in breast cancers. Importantly, we demonstrated that the miR-191/425 cluster, by reducing the expression of an extensive network of genes, has a fundamental impact on cancer initiation and progression of breast cancer cells.
MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that act as posttranscriptional repressors of gene expression. A pivotal role for miRNAs in all the molecular processes driving initiation and progression of various malignancies, including breast cancer, has been described. Divergent miRNA expression between normal and neoplastic breast tissues has been demonstrated, as well as differential miRNA expression among the molecular subtypes of breast cancer. Over half of all breast cancers overexpress ERα, and several studies have shown that miRNA expression is controlled by ERα. We assessed the global change in microRNA expression after estrogen starvation and stimulation in breast cancer cells and identified that miR-191/425 and the host gene DALRD3 are positively associated to ERα-positive tumors. We demonstrated that ERα regulates the miR-191/425 cluster and verified the existence of a transcriptional network that allows a dual effect of estrogen on miR-191/425 and their host gene. We show that estrogen induction of miR-191/425 supports in vitro and in vivo the estrogen-dependent proliferation of ERα positive breast cancer cells. On the contrary, miR-191/425 cluster reprograms gene expression to impair tumorigenicity and metastatic potential of highly aggressive ERα negative breast cancer cells.
To determine the frequency of DNMT3A mutations, their associations with clinical and molecular characteristics and outcome, and the associated gene- and microRNA-expression signatures in primary cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (CN-AML).
Patients and Methods
Four hundred fifteen previously untreated adults were analyzed for DNMT3A mutations and established prognostic gene mutations and expression markers. Gene- and microRNA-expression profiles were derived using microarrays.
Younger (< 60 years; n = 181) and older (≥ 60 years; n = 234) patients had similar frequencies of DNMT3A mutations (35.3% v 33.3%). Missense mutations affecting arginine codon 882 (R882-DNMT3A) were more common (n = 92; 62%) than those affecting other codons (non–R882-DNMT3A). DNMT3A-mutated patients did not differ regarding complete remission rate, but had shorter disease-free survival (DFS; P = .03) and, by trend, overall survival (OS; P = .07) than DNMT3A–wild-type patients. In multivariable analyses, DNMT3A mutations remained associated with shorter DFS (P = .01), but not with shorter OS. When analyzed separately, the two DNMT3A mutation types had different significance by age group. Younger patients with non–R882-DNMT3A mutations had shorter DFS (P = .002) and OS (P = .02), whereas older patients with R882-DNMT3A mutations had shorter DFS (P = .005) and OS (P = .002) after adjustment for other clinical and molecular prognosticators. Gene- and microRNA-expression signatures did not accurately predict DNMT3A mutational status.
DNMT3A mutations are frequent in CN-AML, and their clinical significance seems to be age dependent. DNMT3A-R882 mutations are associated with adverse prognosis in older patients, and non–R882-DNMT3A mutations are associated with adverse prognosis in younger patients. Low accuracy of gene- and microRNA-expression signatures in predicting DNMT3A mutation status suggested that the role of these mutations in AML remains to be elucidated.
DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark and dysregulation of DNA methylation is associated with many diseases including cancer. Advances in next-generation sequencing now allow unbiased methylome profiling of entire patient cohorts, greatly facilitating biomarker discovery and presenting new opportunities to understand the biological mechanisms by which changes in methylation contribute to disease. Enrichment-based sequencing assays such as MethylCap-seq are a cost effective solution for genome-wide determination of methylation status, but the technical reliability of methylation reconstruction from raw sequencing data has not been well characterized.
We analyze three MethylCap-seq data sets and perform two different analyses to assess data quality. First, we investigate how data quality is affected by excluding samples that do not meet quality control cutoff requirements. Second, we consider the effect of additional reads on enrichment score, saturation, and coverage. Lastly, we verify a method for the determination of the global amount of methylation from MethylCap-seq data by comparing to a spiked-in control DNA of known methylation status.
We show that rejection of samples based on our quality control parameters leads to a significant improvement of methylation calling. Additional reads beyond ~13 million unique aligned reads improved coverage, modestly improved saturation, and did not impact enrichment score. Lastly, we find that a global methylation indicator calculated from MethylCap-seq data correlates well with the global methylation level of a sample as obtained from a spike-in DNA of known methylation level.
We show that with appropriate quality control MethylCap-seq is a reliable tool, suitable for cohorts of hundreds of patients, that provides reproducible methylation information on a feature by feature basis as well as information about the global level of methylation.
Advances in whole genome profiling have revolutionized the cancer research field, but at the same time have raised new bioinformatics challenges. For next generation sequencing (NGS), these include data storage, computational costs, sequence processing and alignment, delineating appropriate statistical measures, and data visualization. Currently there is a lack of workflows for efficient analysis of large, MethylCap-seq datasets containing multiple sample groups.
The NGS application MethylCap-seq involves the in vitro capture of methylated DNA and subsequent analysis of enriched fragments by massively parallel sequencing. The workflow we describe performs MethylCap-seq experimental Quality Control (QC), sequence file processing and alignment, differential methylation analysis of multiple biological groups, hierarchical clustering, assessment of genome-wide methylation patterns, and preparation of files for data visualization.
Here, we present a scalable, flexible workflow for MethylCap-seq QC, secondary data analysis, tertiary analysis of multiple experimental groups, and data visualization. We demonstrate the experimental QC procedure with results from a large ovarian cancer study dataset and propose parameters which can identify problematic experiments. Promoter methylation profiling and hierarchical clustering analyses are demonstrated for four groups of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. We propose a Global Methylation Indicator (GMI) function to assess genome-wide changes in methylation patterns between experimental groups. We also show how the workflow facilitates data visualization in a web browser with the application Anno-J.
This workflow and its suite of features will assist biologists in conducting methylation profiling projects and facilitate meaningful biological interpretation.
MicroRNAs expression is deregulated in acute myeloid leukemia, but the corresponding functional microRNA-controlled pathways are poorly understood. Integration of mRNA and microRNA expression profiling may allow the identification of functional links between the whole transcriptome and microRNome that are involved in myeloid leukemogenesis.
Therefore, here we integrated microRNA and mRNA expression profiles obtained from 48 newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia patients by using two different microarray platforms and performed correlation, gene ontology and network analysis. Experimental validation was also performed in acute myeloid leukemia cell lines using microRNA mimics oligonucleotides and functional assays.
Our analysis identified a strong positive correlation of HOX related genes with miR-10 and miR-20a. Furthermore, we observed a negative correlation between miR-181a and -181b, -155 and -146 expression with that of genes involved in immunity and inflammation (e.g. IRF7 and TLR4) and a positive correlation between miR-23a, miR-26a, miR-128a and miR-145 expression with that of pro-apoptotic genes (e.g., BIM and PTEN). These correlations were confirmed by gene ontology analyses, which evidenced the enrichment of members of the homeobox, immunity and inflammation and apoptosis biologic process, respectively. Furthermore, we validated experimentally the association of miR-145, miR-26a and miR-128a with apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia.
Our results indicate that by integrating the transcriptome and microRNome in acute myeloid leukemia cells is possible to identify previously unidentified putative functional microRNA-mRNA interactions in acute myeloid leukemia.
microRNA; networks; AML; microarrays
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a disease characterized by uncontrolled proliferation of clonal neoplastic hematopoietic precursor cells. This leads to the disruption of normal hematopoiesis and bone marrow failure. Major breakthroughs in the past have contributed to our understanding of the genetic failures and the changed biology in AML cells that underlie the initiation and progression of the disease. It is now recognized that not only genetic but also epigenetic alterations are similarly important in this process. Since these alterations do not change the DNA sequences and are pharmacologically reversible, they have been regarded as optimal targets for what is now known as epigenetic therapy. In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of normal epigenetic processes, outline our knowledge of epigenetic alterations in AML, and discuss how this information is being used to improve current therapy of this disease.
A sensitive and specific liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method was developed and validated for the quantification of the plant natural product silvestrol in mice, using ansamitocin P-3 as the internal standard. The method was validated in plasma with a lower limit of quantification of 1 ng/mL, accuracy ranging from 87 to 114%, and precision (coefficient of variation) below 15%. The validated method was used to characterize pharmacokinetics in C57BL/6 mice and metabolism in mouse, human and rat plasma, and liver microsomes. Mice were dosed with silvestrol formulated in hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin via intravenous, intraperitoneal, and oral routes followed by blood sampling up to 24 h. Intraperitoneal systemic availability was 100%, but oral administration resulted in only 1.7% bioavailability. Gradual degradation of silvestrol was observed in mouse and human plasma, with approximately 60% of the parent drug remaining after 6 h. In rat plasma, however, silvestrol was completely converted to silvestric acid (SA) within 10 min. Evaluation in microsomes provided further evidence that the main metabolite formed was SA, which subsequently showed no cytotoxic or cytostatic activity in a silvestrol-sensitive lymphoblastic cell line. The ability of the analytical assay to measure tissue levels of silvestrol was evaluated in liver, brain, kidney, and spleen. Results indicated the method was capable of accurately measuring tissue levels of silvestrol and suggested it has a relatively low distribution to brain. Together, these data suggest an overall favorable pharmacokinetic profile of silvestrol in mice and provide crucial information for its continued development toward potential clinical testing.
liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry; mouse plasma; pharmacokinetics; silvestrol
Advances in whole genome profiling have revolutionized the cancer research field, but at the same time have raised new bioinformatics challenges. For next generation sequencing (NGS), these include data storage, computational costs, sequence processing and alignment, delineating appropriate statistical measures, and data visualization. The NGS application MethylCap-seq involves the in vitro capture of methylated DNA and subsequent analysis of enriched fragments by massively parallel sequencing. Here, we present a scalable, flexible workflow for MethylCap-seq Quality Control, secondary data analysis, tertiary analysis of multiple experimental groups, and data visualization. This workflow and its suite of features will assist biologists in conducting methylation profiling projects and facilitate meaningful biological interpretation.
next generation sequencing; DNA methylation; epigenetics; cancer; data analysis; data visualization
To determine the frequency of TET2 mutations, their associations with clinical and molecular characteristics and outcome, and the associated gene- and microRNA-expression signatures in patients with primary cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (CN-AML).
Patients and Methods
Four-hundred twenty-seven patients with CN-AML were analyzed for TET2 mutations by polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing and for established prognostic gene mutations. Gene- and microRNA-expression profiles were derived using microarrays.
TET2 mutations, found in 23% of patients, were associated with older age (P < .001) and higher pretreatment WBC (P = .04) compared with wild-type TET2 (TET2-wt). In the European LeukemiaNet (ELN) favorable-risk group (patients with CN-AML who have mutated CEBPA and/or mutated NPM1 without FLT3 internal tandem duplication [FLT3-ITD]), TET2-mutated patients had shorter event-free survival (EFS; P < .001) because of a lower complete remission (CR) rate (P = .007), and shorter disease-free survival (DFS; P = .003), and also had shorter overall survival (P = .001) compared with TET2-wt patients. TET2 mutations were not associated with outcomes in the ELN intermediate-I–risk group (CN-AML with wild-type CEBPA and wild-type NPM1 and/or FLT3-ITD). In multivariable models, TET2 mutations were associated with shorter EFS (P = .004), lower CR rate (P = .03), and shorter DFS (P = .05) only among favorable-risk CN-AML patients. We identified a TET2 mutation-associated gene-expression signature in favorable-risk but not in intermediate-I–risk patients and found distinct mutation-associated microRNA signatures in both ELN groups.
TET2 mutations improve the ELN molecular-risk classification in primary CN-AML because of their adverse prognostic impact in an otherwise favorable-risk patient subset. Our data suggest that these patients may be candidates for alternative therapies.
Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO), an anti-CD33 immunoconjugate, was combined with high dose cytarabine (HiDAC; cytarabine 3 g/m2 over 3 hours daily for 5 days) for adults with relapsed or refractory AML. HiDAC plus GO 9 mg/m2 on day 7 and 4.5 mg/m2 on day 14 was not tolerated, but HiDAC followed by GO 9 mg/m2 on day 7 was safe: 12/37 (32%) patients with relapsed AML achieved complete remission. Median overall survival was 8.9 months. No grade 4 hepatic veno-occlusive disease was observed. This regimen merits further study, both in this setting and as a remission consolidation therapy.
gemtuzumab ozogamicin; acute myeloid leukemia; cytarabine; relapse
GTI-2040 is a potent antisense to the M2 subunit of the ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), an enzyme involved in the de novo synthesis of nucleoside triphosphates. We hypothesized that combination of GTI-2040 with the cytarabine (Ara-C) could result in an enhanced cytotoxic effect with perturbed intracellular deoxynucleotide/nucleotide (dNTP/NTP) pools including Ara-C triphosphate (Ara-CTP). This study aims to provide a direct experimental support of this hypothesis by monitoring the biochemical modulation effects, intracellular levels of Ara-CTP, dNTPs/NTPs following the combination treatment of Ara-C, and GTI-2040 in K562 human leukemia cells. GTI-2040 was introduced into cells via electroporation. A hybridization–ligation ELISA was used to quantify intracellular GTI-2040 concentrations. Real-time PCR and Western blot methods were used to measure the RNR M2 mRNA and protein levels, respectively. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt assay was used to measure the cytotoxicity following various drug treatments. A non-radioactive HPLC-UV method was used for measuring the intracellular Ara-CTP, while a LC-MS/MS method was used to quantify intracellular dNTP/NTP pools. GTI-2040 was found to downregulate M2 mRNA and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner and showed significant decrease in dNTP but not NTP pool. When combining GTI-2040 with Ara-C, a synergistic cytotoxicity was observed with no further change in dNTP/NTP pools. Importantly, pretreatment of K562 cells with GTI-2040 was found to increase Ara-CTP level for the first time, and this effect may be due to inhibition of RNR by GTI-2040. This finding provides a laboratory justification for the current phase I/II evaluation of GTI-2040 in combination with Ara-C in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
Ara-CTP; GTI-2040; HPLC-UV
To evaluate the prognostic significance of expression levels of a single microRNA, miR-181a, in the context of established molecular markers in cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (CN-AML), and to gain insight into the leukemogenic role of miR-181a.
Patients and Methods
miR-181a expression was measured in pretreatment marrow using Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center version 3.0 arrays in 187 younger (< 60 years) adults with CN-AML. Presence of other molecular prognosticators was assessed centrally. A gene-expression profile associated with miR-181a expression was derived using microarrays and evaluated by Gene-Ontology analysis.
Higher miR-181a expression associated with a higher complete remission (CR) rate (P = .04), longer overall survival (OS; P = .01) and a trend for longer disease-free survival (DFS; P = .09). The impact of miR-181a was most striking in poor molecular risk patients with FLT3-internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) and/or NPM1 wild-type, where higher miR-181a expression associated with a higher CR rate (P = .009), and longer DFS (P < .001) and OS (P < .001). In multivariable analyses, higher miR-181a expression was significantly associated with better outcome, both in the whole patient cohort and in patients with FLT3-ITD and/or NPM1 wild-type. These results were also validated in an independent set of older (≥ 60 years) patients with CN-AML. A miR-181a-associated gene-expression profile was characterized by enrichment of genes usually involved in innate immunity.
To our knowledge, we provide the first evidence that the expression of a single microRNA, miR-181a, is associated with clinical outcome of patients with CN-AML and may refine their molecular risk classification. Targeted treatments that increase endogenous levels of miR-181a might represent novel therapeutic strategies.
Our previous data demonstrated that folate receptor β (FR-β) targeted liposomal doxorubicin (FT-L-DOX) showed enhanced cytotoxicity relative to non-targeted liposomal doxorubicin (CON-L-DOX), and the effect was enhanced by selective FR-β upregulation by all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in AML blast cells. In this study, the enhanced cytotoxicity was investigated in the proliferating human AML clonogenic cells by combining FT-L-DOX with ATRA. Also, pharmacokinetic properties by pretreatment of ATRA were evaluated using FR-targeted liposomal calcein (FT-L-Calcein). Pharmacokinetic study showed that the area under the concentration curve (AUC) of FT-L-Calcein was decreased and total clearance was increased by pretreatment with ATRA. Meanwhile, the volume of distribution was significantly increased by pretreatment of ATRA. Moreover, calcein level in the liver, spleen and kidney was increased following intravenous administration of FT-L-Calcein by pretreatment of ATRA. In vitro cytotoxicity of FT-L-DOX was higher than that of CON-L-DOX and was increased by pretreatment with ATRA. Colony formation in AML cells was lower due to treatment with FT-L-DOX compared with CON-L-DOX and colony formation further decreased upon pretreatment with ATRA. Moreover, FT-L-DOX was more toxic to AML clonogenic cells than to AML blast cells. The results demonstrate that the efficiency of FR-mediated targeting of FT-L-DOX was preferentially enhanced by ATRA induced FR-β upregulation in AML clonogenic cells.
Folate receptor; liposomes; doxorubicin; all-trans retinoic acid; acute myeloid leukemia; clonogenic cell; targeted drug delivery