Aberrant DNA methylation is a feature of human cancer affecting gene expression and tumor phenotype. Here, we quantified promoter methylation of candidate genes and global methylation in 44 small intestinal-neuroendocrine tumors (SI-NETs) from 33 patients by pyrosequencing. Findings were compared with gene expression, patient outcome and known tumor copy number alterations. Promoter methylation was observed for WIF1, RASSF1A, CTNNB1, CXCL14, NKX2–3, P16, LAMA1, and CDH1. By contrast APC, CDH3, HIC1, P14, SMAD2, and SMAD4 only had low levels of methylation. WIF1 methylation was significantly increased (P = 0.001) and WIF1 expression was reduced in SI-NETs vs. normal references (P = 0.003). WIF1, NKX2–3, and CXCL14 expression was reduced in metastases vs. primary tumors (P < 0.02). Low expression of RASSF1A and P16 were associated with poor overall survival (P = 0.045 and P = 0.011, respectively). Global methylation determined by pyrosequencing of LINE1 repeats was reduced in tumors vs. normal references, and was associated with loss in chromosome 18. The tumors fell into three clusters with enrichment of WIF1 methylation and LINE1 hypomethylation in Cluster I and RASSF1A and CTNNB1 methylation and loss in 16q in Cluster II. In Cluster III, these alterations were low-abundant and NKX2-3 methylation was low. Similar analyses in the SI-NET cell lines HC45 and CNDT2 showed methylation for CDH1 and WIF1 and/or P16, CXCL14, NKX2-3, LAMA1, and CTNNB1. Treatment with the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine reduced DNA methylation and increased expression of these genes in vitro. In conclusion, promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes is associated with suppressed gene expression and DNA copy number alterations in SI-NETs, and may be restored in vitro.
neuroendocrine; carcinoid; SI-NET; DNA methylation; pyrosequencing
Cystic papillary thyroid carcinoma (cPTC) is a subgroup of PTC presenting a diagnostic challenge at fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB). To further investigate this entity we aimed to characterize protein profiles of cyst fluids from cPTC and benign thyroid cystic lesions. In total, 20 cPTCs and 56 benign thyroid cystic lesions were studied. Profiling by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was performed on cyst fluids from a subset of cases after depletion, and selected proteins were further analyzed by Western blot (WB), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A total of 1,581 proteins were detected in cyst fluids, of which 841 were quantified in all samples using LC-MS/MS. Proteins with different expression levels between cPTCs and benign lesions were identified by univariate analysis (41 proteins) and multivariate analysis (59 proteins in an orthogonal partial least squares model). WB analyses of cyst fluid and IHC on corresponding tissue samples confirmed a significant up-regulation of cytokeratin 19 (CK-19/CYFRA 21-1) and S100A13 in cPTC vs. benign lesions. These findings were further confirmed by ELISA in an extended material of non-depleted cyst fluids from cPTCs (n = 17) and benign lesions (n = 55) (p<0.05). Applying a cut-off at >55 ng/ml for CK-19 resulted in 82% specificity and sensitivity. For S100A13 a cut-off at >230 pg/ml revealed a 94% sensitivity, but only 35% specificity. This is the first comprehensive catalogue of the protein content in fluid from thyroid cysts. The up-regulations of CK-19 and S100A13 suggest their possible use in FNAB based preoperative diagnostics of cystic thyroid lesions.
To outline further genetic mechanisms of transformation from follicular lymphoma (FL) to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), we have performed whole genome array-CGH in 81 tumors from 60 patients [29 de novo DLBCL (dnDLBCL), 31 transformed DLBCL (tDLBCL), and 21 antecedent FL]. In 15 patients, paired tumor samples (primary FL and a subsequent tDLBCL) were available, among which three possessed more than two subsequent tumors, allowing us to follow specific genetic alterations acquired before, during, and after the transformation. Gain of 2p15–16.1 encompassing, among others, the REL, BCL11A, USP34, COMMD1, and OTX1 genes was found to be more common in the tDLBCL compared with dnDLBCL (P < 0.001). Furthermore, a high-level amplification of 2p15–16.1 was also detected in the FL stage prior to transformation, indicating its importance during the transformation event. Quantitative real-time PCR showed a higher level of amplification of REL, USP34, and COMMD1 (all involved in the NFκΒ-pathway) compared with BCL11A, which indicates that the altered genes disrupting the NFκΒ pathway may be the driver genes of transformation rather than the previously suggested BCL11A. Moreover, a 17q21.33 amplification was exclusively found in tDLBCL, never in FL (P < 0.04) or dnDLBCL, indicating an upregulation of genes of importance during the later phase of transformation. Taken together, our study demonstrates potential genomic markers for disease progression to clinically more aggressive forms. We also confirm the importance of the TP53-, CDKN2A-, and NFκΒ-pathways for the transformation from FL to DLBCL. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common endocrinopathy, frequently caused by a parathyroid adenoma, rarely by a parathyroid carcinoma that lacks effective oncological treatment. As the majority of cases are present in postmenopausal women, oestrogen signalling has been implicated in the tumourigenesis. Oestrogen receptor beta 1 (ERB1) and ERB2 have been recently identified in parathyroid adenomas, the former inducing genes coupled to tumour apoptosis. We applied immunohistochemistry and slide digitalisation to quantify nuclear ERB1 and ERB2 in 172 parathyroid adenomas, atypical adenomas and carcinomas, and ten normal parathyroid glands. All the normal parathyroid glands expressed ERB1 and ERB2. The majority of tumours expressed ERB1 (70.6%) at varying intensities, and ERB2 (96.5%) at strong intensities. Parathyroid carcinomas expressed ERB1 in three out of six cases and ERB2 in five out of six cases. The intensity of tumour nuclear ERB1 staining significantly correlated inversely with tumour weight (P=0.011), and patients whose tumours were classified as ERB1-negative had significantly greater tumour weight as well as higher serum calcium (P=0.002) and parathyroid hormone levels (P=0.003). Additionally, tumour nuclear ERB1 was not expressed differentially with respect to sex or age of the patient. Levels of tumour nuclear ERB2 did not correlate with clinical characteristics. In conclusion, decreased ERB1 immunoreactivity is associated with increased tumour weight in parathyroid adenomas. Given the previously reported correlation with tumour-suppressive signalling, selective oestrogen receptor modulation (SERMs) may play a role in the treatment of parathyroid carcinomas. Future studies of SERMs and oestrogen treatment in PHPT should consider tumour weight as a potential factor in pharmacological responsiveness.
parathyroid adenoma; parathyroid carcinoma; primary hyperparathyroidism; oestrogen receptor beta; oestrogen; selective oestrogen receptor modulators; Visiopharm
The p53 target gene WIG-1 (ZMAT3) is located in chromosomal region 3q26, that is frequently amplified in human tumors, including cervical cancer. We have examined the status of WIG-1 and the encoded Wig-1 protein in cervical carcinoma cell lines and tumor tissue samples. Our analysis of eight cervical cancer lines (Ca Ski, ME-180, MS751, SiHa, SW756, C-4I, C-33A, and HT-3) by spectral karyotype, comparative genomic hybridization and Southern blotting revealed WIG-1 is not the primary target for chromosome 3 gains. However, WIG-1/Wig-1 were readily expressed and WIG-1 mRNA expression was higher in the two HPV-negative cervical cell lines (C33-A, HT-3) than in HPV-positive lines. We then assessed Wig-1 expression by immunohistochemistry in 38 cervical tumor samples. We found higher nuclear Wig-1 expression levels in HPV-negative compared to HPV positive cases (p = 0.002) and in adenocarcinomas as compared to squamous cell lesions (p<0.0001). Cases with moderate nuclear Wig-1 staining and positive cytoplasmic Wig-1 staining showed longer survival than patients with strong nuclear and negative cytoplasmic staining (p = 0.042). Nuclear Wig-1 expression levels were positively associated with age at diagnosis (p = 0.023) and histologic grade (p = 0.034). These results are consistent with a growth-promoting and/or anti-cell death function of nuclear Wig-1 and suggest that Wig-1 expression can serve as a prognostic marker in cervical carcinoma.
Telomerase activation through the induction of its catalytic component TERT is essential in carcinogenesis. The regulatory mechanism and clinical significance underlying cancer-specific TERT expression have been extensively investigated in various human malignancies, but little is known about these in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), an aggressive neuroendocrine skin tumor. Here we addressed these issues by determining TERT promoter mutations, gene amplification, mRNA expression and association with clinical variables in MCC. TERT mRNA was expressed in 6/6 MCC cell lines and 41 of 43 tumors derived from 35 MCC patients. Telomerase activity was detectable in all 6 cell lines and 11 tumors analyzed. TERT promoter mutations were identified in 1/6 cell lines and 4/35 (11.4%) MCC cases. The mutation exhibited UV signature and occurred in sun-exposed areas. Increased TERT gene copy numbers were observed in 1/6 cell lines and 11/14 (79%) tumors, and highly correlated with its mRNA expression (r = 0.7419, P = 0.0024). Shorter overall survival was significantly associated with higher TERT mRNA levels in MCC patients (P = 0.032). Collectively, TERT expression and telomerase activity is widespread in MCC, and may be attributable to TERT promoter mutations and gene amplification. Higher TERT expression predicts poor patient outcomes.
Gene amplification; Merkel cell carcinoma; MCV; Promoter mutations; Telomerase; TERT
Epigenetic mechanisms involved in primary hyperparathyroidism are poorly understood as studies are limited. In order to understand the role of aberrant DNA promoter methylation in the pathogenesis of parathyroid tumors, we have quantified the CpG island promoter methylation density of several candidate genes including APC (promoter 1A and 1B), ?-catenin (CTNNB1), CASR, CDC73/HRPT2, MEN1, P16 (CDKN2A), PAX1, RASSF1A, SFRP1 and
VDR in 72 parathyroid tumors and 3 normal parathyroid references using bisulfite pyrosequencing. Global methylation levels were assessed for LINE-1. We also compared methylation levels with gene expression levels measured by qRT-PCR for genes showing frequent hypermethylation. The adenomas displayed frequent hypermethylation of APC 1A (37/66; 56%), RASSF1A (34/66; 52%) and ?-catenin (19/66; 29%). One of the three atypical adenomas was hypermethylated for APC 1A. The three carcinomas were hypermethylated for RASSF1A and SFRP1, and the latter was only observed in this subtype. The global methylation density was similar in tumors (mean 70%) and parathyroid reference samples (mean 70%). In general, hypermethylated genes had reduced expression in the parathyroid adenomas using qRT-PCR. Among the adenomas, methylation of APC 1A correlated with adenoma weight (r = 0.306, p < 0.05). Furthermore, the methylation status of RASSF1A correlated with each of APC 1A (r = 0.289, p < 0.05) and ?-catenin (r = 0.315, p < 0.01). Our findings suggest a role for aberrant DNA promoter methylation of APC 1A, ?-catenin and RASSF1A in a subset of parathyroid tumors.
APC; CpG islands; DNA promoter methylation; RASSF1A; SFRP1; Wnt signaling; parathyroid tumors; pyrosequencin; ?-catenin
The telomerase reverse transcriptase gene (TERT) encodes the reverse transcriptase component of the telomerase complex, which is essential for telomere stabilization and cell immortalization. Recent studies have demonstrated a transcriptional activation role for the TERT promoter mutations C228T and C250T in many human cancers, as well as a role in aggressive disease with potential clinical applications. Although telomerase activation is known in adrenal tumors, the underlying mechanisms are not established. We assessed C228T and C250T TERT mutations by direct Sanger sequencing in tumors of the adrenal gland, and further evaluated potential associations with clinical parameters and telomerase activation. A total of 199 tumors were evaluated, including 34 adrenocortical carcinomas (ACC), 47 adrenocortical adenomas (ACA), 105 pheochromocytomas (PCC; ten malignant and 95 benign), and 13 abdominal paragangliomas (PGL; nine malignant and four benign). TERT expression levels were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. The C228T mutation was detected in 4/34 ACCs (12%), but not in any ACA (P=0.028). C228T was also observed in one benign PCC and in one metastatic PGL. The C250T mutation was not observed in any case. In the ACC and PGL groups, TERT mutation-positive cases exhibited TERT expression, indicating telomerase activation; however, since expression was also revealed in TERT WT cases, this could denote additional mechanisms of TERT activation. To conclude, the TERT promoter mutation C228T is a recurrent event associated with TERT expression in ACCs, but rarely occurs in PGL and PCC. The involvement of the TERT gene in ACC represents a novel mutated gene in this entity.
TERT; telomerase; mutation; endocrine; pheochromocytoma; adrenocortical tumor
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are thought to originate from the electrically active pacemaker cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Despite the presence of synaptic-like vesicles and proteins involved in cell secretion it remains unclear whether GIST cells possess regulated release mechanisms. The GIST tumor cell line GIST882 was used as a model cell system, and stimulus-release coupling was investigated by confocal microscopy of cytoplasmic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), flow cytometry, and luminometric measurements of extracellular ATP. We demonstrate that GIST cells have an intact intracellular Ca2+-signaling pathway that regulates ATP release. Cell viability and cell membrane integrity was preserved, excluding ATP leakage due to cell death and suggesting active ATP release. The stimulus-secretion signal transduction is at least partly dependent on Ca2+ influx since exclusion of extracellular Ca2+ diminishes the ATP release. We conclude that measurements of ATP release in GISTs may be a useful tool for dissecting the signal transduction pathway, mapping exocytotic components, and possibly for the development and evaluation of drugs. Additionally, release of ATP from GISTs may have importance for tumor tissue homeostasis and immune surveillance escape.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; GIST; ATP release; Ca2+; flow cytometry; confocal microscopy
Telomere maintenance via telomerase activation and the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism was assessed in medullary thyroid carcinoma.
Setting and Design:
In total, 42 medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTC) were studied including 24 rearranged during transfection (RET)- mutated cases. Relative telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) expression, splice forms, and telomere length were determined by PCR-based methods, and telomerase activity by ELISA. The ALT mechanism was detected by Southern blot analysis and immunofluorescence.
TERT expression and telomerase activity were detected in 21/42 tumors (50%), and was independent of the common somatic M918T RET mutation. Mean telomere length was shorter in MTCs compared with thyroids. Telomerase activation was associated with large tumor size (P = .027), advanced clinical stage (P = .0001), and short survival (P = .0001). Full-length TERT and the α− and β−-deletion forms were revealed, and the full-length form was associated with short survival (P = .04). A subset of cases without telomerase activation showed involvement of the ALT mechanism, which was associated with a low MIB-1 proliferation index (P = .024).
Stabilization of telomeres by telomerase activation occurs in half of the MTCs and by the ALT mechanism in a subset of cases. Telomerase activation may be used as an additional prognostic marker in medullary thyroid carcinoma.
Small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors (SI-NETs) are typically slow-growing tumors that have metastasized already at the time of diagnosis. The purpose of the present study was to further refine and define regions of recurrent copy number (CN) alterations (CNA) in SI-NETs.
Genome-wide CNAs was determined by applying array CGH (a-CGH) on SI-NETs including 18 primary tumors and 12 metastases. Quantitative PCR analysis (qPCR) was used to confirm CNAs detected by a-CGH as well as to detect CNAs in an extended panel of SI-NETs. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering was used to detect tumor groups with similar patterns of chromosomal alterations based on recurrent regions of CN loss or gain. The log rank test was used to calculate overall survival. Mann–Whitney U test or Fisher’s exact test were used to evaluate associations between tumor groups and recurrent CNAs or clinical parameters.
The most frequent abnormality was loss of chromosome 18 observed in 70% of the cases. CN losses were also frequently found of chromosomes 11 (23%), 16 (20%), and 9 (20%), with regions of recurrent CN loss identified in 11q23.1-qter, 16q12.2-qter, 9pter-p13.2 and 9p13.1-11.2. Gains were most frequently detected in chromosomes 14 (43%), 20 (37%), 4 (27%), and 5 (23%) with recurrent regions of CN gain located to 14q11.2, 14q32.2-32.31, 20pter-p11.21, 20q11.1-11.21, 20q12-qter, 4 and 5. qPCR analysis confirmed most CNAs detected by a-CGH as well as revealed CNAs in an extended panel of SI-NETs. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of recurrent regions of CNAs revealed two separate tumor groups and 5 chromosomal clusters. Loss of chromosomes 18, 16 and 11 and again of chromosome 20 were found in both tumor groups. Tumor group II was enriched for alterations in chromosome cluster-d, including gain of chromosomes 4, 5, 7, 14 and gain of 20 in chromosome cluster-b. Gain in 20pter-p11.21 was associated with short survival. Statistically significant differences were observed between primary tumors and metastases for loss of 16q and gain of 7.
Our results revealed recurrent CNAs in several candidate regions with a potential role in SI-NET development. Distinct genetic alterations and pathways are involved in tumorigenesis of SI-NETs.
Small intestine; Neuroendocrine tumor; Carcinoid; Array CGH; Chromosome 18
Pheochromocytoma (PCC) and abdominal paraganglioma (PGL) are neuroendocrine tumors that present with clinical symptoms related to increased catecholamine levels. About a third of the cases are associated with constitutional mutations in pre-disposing genes, of which some may also be somatically mutated in sporadic cases. However, little is known about inactivating epigenetic events through promoter methylation in these very genes. Using bisulphite pyrosequencing we assessed the methylation density of 11 PCC/PGL disease genes in 96 tumors (83 PCCs and 13 PGLs) and 34 normal adrenal references. Gene expression levels were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Both tumors and normal adrenal samples exhibited low methylation index (MetI) in the EGLN1 (PDH2), MAX, MEN1, NF1, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2 (SDH5), and TMEM127 promoters, not exceeding 10% in any of the samples investigated. Aberrant RET promoter methylation was observed in two cases only. For the VHL gene we found increased MetI in tumors as compared with normal adrenals (57% vs. 27%; P < 0.001), in malignant vs. benign tumors (63% vs. 55%; P < 0.05), and in PGL vs. PCC (66% vs. 55%; P < 0.0005). Decreased expression of the VHL gene was observed in all tumors compared with normal adrenals (P < 0.001). VHL MetI and gene expressions were inversely correlated (R = −0.359, P < 0.0001). Our results show that the VHL gene promoter has increased methylation compared with normal adrenals (MetI > 50%) in approximately 75% of PCCs and PGLs investigated, highlighting the role of VHL in the development of these tumors.
Pheochromocytoma; paraganglioma; VHL; DNA promoter methylation; gene expression; pyrosequencing; qRT-PCR
Deregulation of microRNA (miRNA) expression in adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs) has been documented to have diagnostic, prognostic, as well as functional implications. Here, we evaluated the mRNA expression of DROSHA, DGCR8, DICER (DICER1), TARBP2, and PRKRA, the core components in the miRNA biogenesis pathway, in a cohort of 73 adrenocortical tumors (including 43 adenomas and 30 carcinomas) and nine normal adrenal cortices using a RT-qPCR approach. Our results show a significant over-expression of TARBP2, DICER, and DROSHA in the carcinomas compared with adenomas or adrenal cortices (P<0.001 for all comparisons). Using western blot and immunohistochemistry analyses, we confirmed the higher expression of TARBP2, DICER, and DROSHA at the protein level in carcinoma cases. Furthermore, we demonstrate that mRNA expression of TARBP2, but not DICER or DROSHA, is a strong molecular predictor to discriminate between adenomas and carcinomas. Functionally, we showed that inhibition of TARBP2 expression in human NCI-H295R ACC cells resulted in a decreased cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis. TARBP2 over-expression was not related to gene mutations; however, copy number gain of the TARBP2 gene was observed in 57% of the carcinomas analyzed. In addition, we identified that miR-195 and miR-497 could directly regulate TARBP2 and DICER expression in ACC cells. This is the first study to demonstrate the deregulation of miRNA-processing factors in adrenocortical tumors and to show the clinical and biological impact of TARBP2 over-expression in this tumor type.
TARBP2; over-expression; adrenocortical cancer; diagnostic; function
Context and Objective:
Caffeine is a highly consumed psychoactive substance present in our daily drinks. Independent studies have reported associations between caffeine consumption, low bone mineral density, and urinary calcium loss, as well as impaired bone development in vitro and in vivo. Calcium (Ca2+), vitamin D, and PTH are critical regulators of bone remodeling. A possible association between caffeine and parathyroid gland function has been suggested in the literature.
Design, Setting, and Patients:
Effects of caffeine on PTH secretion and Ca2+ levels were determined by batch incubation and Fura-2, respectively, in pathological parathyroid cells. Protein expressions were studied by Western blot and immunohistochemistry in normal and parathyroid adenoma tissues. Alterations in gene expressions of adenosine receptor A1 (ADORA1) and A2 (ADORA2A) and PTH were quantified by PCR; intracellular cAMP levels and protein kinase A activity were analyzed by an antibody-based assay.
We studied physiological concentrations of caffeine ranging from 1 to 50 μm and found that 50 μm caffeine caused a significant decrease of PTH secretion and PTH gene expression. This decrease occurred in parallel with a decrease of the intracellular cAMP level, protein kinase A activity, and ADORA1 gene expression, indicating a possible causal relationship. The intracellular level of Ca2+ was unaffected even by high concentrations of caffeine. Protein expressions demonstrated two main targets for caffeine—ADORA1 and ADORA2A.
A physiological high dose of caffeine inhibits PTH secretion in human parathyroid cells, possibly due to a decrease of the intracellular level of cAMP. The observation demonstrates a functional link between caffeine and parathyroid cell function.
Recurrent alterations in promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) and LINE1 (L1RE1) repeat elements were previously reported in pheochromocytoma and abdominal paraganglioma. This study was undertaken to explore CpG methylation abnormalities in an extended tumor panel and assess possible relationships between metastatic disease and mutation status. CpG methylation was quantified by bisulfite pyrosequencing for selected TSG promoters and LINE1 repeats. Methylation indices above normal reference were observed for DCR2 (TNFRSF10D), CDH1, P16 (CDKN2A), RARB, and RASSF1A. Z-scores for overall TSG, and individual TSG methylation levels, but not LINE1, were significantly correlated with metastatic disease, paraganglioma, disease predisposition, or outcome. Most strikingly, P16 hypermethylation was strongly associated with SDHB mutation as opposed to RET/MEN2, VHL/VHL, or NF1-related disease. Parallel analyses of constitutional, tumor, and metastasis DNA implicate an order of events where constitutional SDHB mutations are followed by TSG hypermethylation and 1p loss in primary tumors, later transferred to metastatic tissue. In the combined material, P16 hypermethylation was prevalent in SDHB-mutated samples and was associated with short disease-related survival. The findings verify the previously reported importance of P16 and other TSG hypermethylation in an independent tumor series. Furthermore, a constitutional SDHB mutation is proposed to predispose for an epigenetic tumor phenotype occurring before the emanation of clinically recognized malignancy.
Molecular genetics; Gene regulation; Metastasis; Adrenal medulla; Endocrine therapy
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA regulators that control gene expression mainly through post-transcriptional silencing. We previously identified miR-205 in a signature for human cervical cancer using a deep sequencing approach. In this study, we confirmed that miR-205 expression was frequently higher in human cervical cancer than their matched normal tissue samples. Functionally, we demonstrate that miR-205 promotes cell proliferation and migration in human cervical cancer cells. To further understand the biological roles of miR-205, we performed in vivo crosslinking and Argonaute 2 immunoprecipitation of miRNA ribonucleoprotein complexes followed by microarray analysis (CLIP-Chip) to identify its potential mRNA targets. Applying CLIP-Chip on gain- and loss-of-function experiments, we identified a set of transcripts as potential targets of miR-205. Several targets are functionally involved in cellular proliferation and migration. Two of them, CYR61 and CTGF, were further validated by Western blot analysis and quantification of mRNA enrichment in the Ago2 immunoprecipitates using qRT-PCR. Furthermore, both CYR61 and CTGF were downregulated in cervical cancer tissues. In summary, our findings reveal novel functional roles and targets of miR-205 in human cervical cancer, which may provide new insights about its role in cervical carcinogenesis and its potential value for clinical diagnosis.
Mutations in the hyperparathyroidism type 2 (HRPT2/CDC73) gene and alterations in the parafibromin protein have been established in the majority of parathyroid carcinomas and in subsets of parathyroid adenomas. While it is known that CDC73-mutated parathyroid tumors display specific gene expression changes compared to CDC73 wild-type cases, the molecular cytogenetic profile in CDC73-mutated cases compared to unselected adenomas (with an expected very low frequency of CDC73 mutations) remains unknown. For this purpose, nine parathyroid tumors with established CDC73 gene inactivating mutations (three carcinomas, one atypical adenoma and five adenomas) were analyzed for copy number alterations and loss of heterozygosity using array-comparative genomic hybridization (a-CGH) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarrays, respectively. Furthermore, CDC73 gene promoter methylation levels were assessed using bisulfite Pyrosequencing. The panel included seven tumors with single mutation and three with double mutations of the CDC73 gene. The carcinomas displayed copy number alterations in agreement with previous studies, whereas the CDC73-mutated adenomas did not display the same pattern of alterations at loci frequently deleted in unselected parathyroid tumors. Furthermore, gross losses of chromosomal material at 1p and 13 were significantly (p = 0.012) associated with parathyroid carcinomas as opposed to adenomas. Quantitative PCR-based copy number loss regarding CDC73 was observed in three adenomas, while all the carcinomas were diploid or showed copy number gain for CDC73 gene. Hypermethylation of the CDC73 gene promoter was not observed. Our data could suggest that CDC73-mutated parathyroid adenomas exhibit a partly unique cytogenetic profile in addition to that of carcinomas and unselected adenomas. Furthermore, CDC73-mutated carcinomas displayed losses at 1p and 13 which are not seen in CDC73-mutated adenomas, making these regions of interest for further studies regarding malignant properties in tumors from CDC73-mutated cases. However, due to the small sample size, validation of the results in a larger cohort is warranted.
The fetal transcription factor PLAG1 is found to be overexpressed in cancers, and has been suggested to bind the insulin like growth factor 2 (IGF2) P3 promoter, and to activate the IGF2 gene. The expression of IGF2 has partly been linked to loss of CTCF-dependent chromatin insulator function at the H19 imprinting control region (ICR). We investigated the role of PLAG1 for IGF2 regulation in Hep3B and JEG-3 cell lines. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed cell type-specific binding of PLAG1 to the IGF2 P3 promoter, which was substantially insensitive to recombinant PLAG1 overexpression in the endogenous context. We hypothesized that the H19 chromatin insulator may be involved in the cell type-specific PLAG1 response. By using a GFP reporter gene/insulator assay plasmid construct with and without the H19 ICR and/or an SV40 enhancer, we confirm that the effect of the insulator is specifically associated with the activity of the IGF2 P3 promoter in the GFP reporter system, and furthermore, that the reporter insulator is functional in JEG-3 but not in Hep3B cells. FACS analysis was used to assess the function of PLAG1 in low endogenously expressing, but Zn-inducible stable PLAG1 expressing JEG-3 cell clones. Considerable increase in IGF2 expression upon PLAG1 induction with a partial insulator overriding activity was found using the reporter constructs. This is in contrast to the effect of the endogenous IGF2 gene which was insensitive to PLAG1 expression in JEG-3, while modestly induced the already highly expressed IGF2 gene in Hep3B cells. We suggest that the PLAG1 binding to the IGF2 P3 promoter and IGF2 expression is cell type-specific, and that the PLAG1 transcription factor acts as a transcriptional facilitator that partially overrides the insulation by the H19 ICR.
H19 insulator; PLAG1; IGF2; P3 promoter; chromatin immunoprecipitation; Hep3B; JEG-3
In this study we aimed to quantify tumor suppressor gene (TSG) promoter methylation densities levels in primary neuroblastoma tumors and cell lines. A subset of these TSGs is associated with a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) in other tumor types.
The study panel consisted of 38 primary tumors, 7 established cell lines and 4 healthy references. Promoter methylation was determined by bisulphate Pyrosequencing for 14 TSGs; and LINE-1 repeat element methylation was used as an indicator of global methylation levels.
Overall mean TSG Z-scores were significantly increased in cases with adverse outcome, but were unrelated to global LINE-1 methylation. CIMP with hypermethylation of three or more gene promoters was observed in 6/38 tumors and 7/7 cell lines. Hypermethylation of one or more TSG (comprising TSGs BLU, CASP8, DCR2, CDH1, RASSF1A and RASSF2) was evident in 30/38 tumors. By contrast only very low levels of promoter methylation were recorded for APC, DAPK1, NORE1A, P14, P16, TP73, PTEN and RARB. Similar involvements of methylation instability were revealed between cell line models and neuroblastoma tumors. Separate analysis of two proposed CASP8 regulatory regions revealed frequent and significant involvement of CpG sites between exon 4 and 5, but modest involvement of the exon 1 region.
The results highlight the involvement of TSG methylation instability in neuroblastoma tumors and cell lines using quantitative methods, support the use of DNA methylation analyses as a prognostic tool for this tumor type, and underscore the relevance of developing demethylating therapies for its treatment.
Neuroblastoma; Pyrosequencing; CIMP; BLU; CASP8; DCR2; CDH1; RASSF1A; RASSF2
In this study, we genetically characterized parathyroid adenomas with large glandular weights, for which independent observations suggest pronounced clinical manifestations. Large parathyroid adenomas (LPTAs) were defined as the 5% largest sporadic parathyroid adenomas identified among the 590 cases operated in our institution during 2005–2009. The LPTA group showed a higher relative number of male cases and significantly higher levels of total plasma and ionized serum calcium (P<0.001). Further analysis of 21 LPTAs revealed low MIB1 proliferation index (0.1–1.5%), MEN1 mutations in five cases, and one HRPT2 (CDC73) mutation. Total or partial loss of parafibromin expression was observed in ten tumors, two of which also showed loss of APC expression. Using array CGH, we demonstrated recurrent copy number alterations most frequently involving loss in 1p (29%), gain in 5 (38%), and loss in 11q (33%). Totally, 21 minimal overlapping regions were defined for losses in 1p, 7q, 9p, 11, and 15q and gains in 3q, 5, 7p, 8p, 16q, 17p, and 19q. In addition, 12 tumors showed gross alterations of entire or almost entire chromosomes most frequently gain of 5 and loss of chromosome 11. While gain of 5 was the most frequent alteration observed in LPTAs, it was only detected in a small proportion (4/58 cases, 7%) of parathyroid adenomas. A significant positive correlation was observed between parathyroid hormone level and total copy number gain (r=0.48, P=0.031). These results support that LPTAs represent a group of patients with pronounced parathyroid hyperfunction and associated with specific genomic features.
Increased incidence of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is observed as a consequence of radiation exposure in connection to the Chornobyl nuclear plant accident in 1986. In this study, we report a cohort of adult Ukrainian patients diagnosed with PTC from 2004 to 2008 following exposure at the age of 18 years or younger.
In total, 70 patients were identified and clinically characterized. The common BRAF 1799T>A mutation was assessed by pyrosequencing, the RET/PTC1 and RET/PTC3 (NCOA4) rearrangements by RT-PCR, and the expression of Ki-67 (MIB-1 index), BCL2, cyclin A, and cyclin D1 by immunohistochemistry.
In total, 46/70 (66%) cases carried a BRAF mutation and/or a RET/PTC rearrangement. A BRAF mutation was detected in 26 tumors, RET/PTC1 in 20 cases, and RET/PTC3 in four cases. In four of these cases, BRAF mutation and RET/PTC rearrangement were coexisting. The BRAF mutation was underrepresented among PTCs with accompanying chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT) compared with PTCs without this feature (12 vs 44%). MIB-1 proliferation index determined by double staining with leukocyte common antigen was low (mean 0.8%; range 0.05–4.5%). Moreover, increased expression of cyclin A was observed in PTCs with a tumor size >2 cm compared with PTCs ≤2 cm (1.2 vs 0.6%). BCL2 and cyclin D1 showed frequent expression but without associations to clinical characteristics or amplification of the CCND1 locus.
Our results suggest that this cohort has frequent BRAF mutation, RET/PTC1 rearrangement, and low proliferation index. Furthermore, BRAF 1799T>A was underrepresented in PTCs with CLT, and cyclin A expression was associated with increased PTC tumor size.
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is an endocrine disorder most commonly affecting women, suggesting a role for female hormones and/or their receptors in parathyroid adenomas. We here investigated the prolactin receptor (PRLr) which is associated with tumours of the breast and other organs.
PRLr expression was investigated in a panel of 37 patients with sporadic parathyroid tumours and its functionality in cultured parathyroid tumour cells. In comparison with other tissues and breast cancer cells, high levels of prolactin receptor gene (PRLR) transcripts were demonstrated in parathyroid tissues. PRLr products of 60/70 kDa were highly expressed in all parathyroid tumours. In addition varying levels of the 80 kDa PRLr isoform, with known proliferative activity, were demonstrated. In parathyroid tumours, PRLr immunoreactivity was observed in the cytoplasm (in all cases, n = 36), cytoplasmic granulae (n = 16), the plasma membrane (n = 12) or enlarged lysosomes (n = 4). In normal parathyroid rim (n = 28), PRLr was uniformly expressed in the cytoplasm and granulae. In in vitro studies of short-term cultured human parathyroid tumour cells, prolactin stimulation was associated with significant transcriptional changes in JAK/STAT, RIG-I like receptor and type II interferon signalling pathways as documented by gene expression profiling. Moreover, PRLR gene expression in parathyroid tumours was inversely correlated with the patients’ plasma calcium levels.
We demonstrate that the prolactin receptor is highly abundant in human parathyroid tissues and that PRLr isoforms expression and PRLr subcellular localisation are altered in parathyroid tumours. Responsiveness of PRLr to physiological levels of prolactin was observed in the form of increased PTH secretion and altered gene transcription with significant increase of RIG-I like receptor, JAK-STAT and Type II interferon signalling pathways. These data suggest a role of the prolactin receptor in parathyroid adenomas.
Thyroid proteomics is a new direction in thyroid cancer research aiming at etiological understanding and biomarker identification for improved diagnosis.
Two-dimensional electrophoresis was applied to cytosolic protein extracts from frozen thyroid samples (ten follicular adenomas, nine follicular carcinomas, ten papillary carcinomas, and ten reference thyroids). Spots with differential expression were revealed by image and multivariate statistical analyses, and identified by mass spectrometry.
A set of 25 protein spots significant for discriminating between the sample groups was identified. Proteins identified for nine of these spots were studied further including 14-3-3 protein beta/alpha, epsilon, and zeta/delta, peroxiredoxin 6, selenium-binding protein 1, protein disulfide-isomerase precursor, annexin A5 (ANXA5), tubulin alpha-1B chain, and α1-antitrypsin precursor. This subset of protein spots carried the same predictive power in differentiating between follicular carcinoma and adenoma or between follicular and papillary carcinoma, as compared with the larger set of 25 spots. Protein expression in the sample groups was demonstrated by western blot analyses. For ANXA5 and the 14-3-3 proteins, expression in tumor cell cytoplasm was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry both in the sample groups and an independent series of papillary thyroid carcinomas.
The proteins identified confirm previous findings in thyroid proteomics, and suggest additional proteins as dysregulated in thyroid tumors.
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is an aggressive tumor showing frequent metastatic spread and poor survival. Although recent genome-wide studies of ACC have contributed to our understanding of the disease, major challenges remain for both diagnostic and prognostic assessments. The aim of this study was to identify specific microRNAs (miRNAs) associated with malignancy and survival of ACC patients. miRNA expression profiles were determined in a series of ACC, adenoma, and normal cortices using microarray. A subset of miRNAs showed distinct expression patterns in the ACC compared with adrenal cortices and adenomas. Among others, miR-483-3p, miR-483-5p, miR-210, and miR-21 were found overexpressed, while miR-195, miR-497, and miR-1974 were underexpressed in ACC. Inhibition of miR-483-3p or miR-483-5p and overexpression of miR-195 or miR-497 reduced cell proliferation in human NCI-H295R ACC cells. In addition, downregulation of miR-483-3p, but not miR-483-5p, and increased expression of miR-195 or miR-497 led to significant induction of cell death. Protein expression of p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA), a potential target of miR-483-3p, was significantly decreased in ACC, and inversely correlated with miR-483-3p expression. In addition, high expression of miR-503, miR-1202, and miR-1275 were found significantly associated with shorter overall survival among patients with ACC (P values: 0.006, 0.005, and 0.042 respectively). In summary, we identified additional miRNAs associated with ACC, elucidated the functional role of four miRNAs in the pathogenesis of ACC cells, demonstrated the potential involvement of the pro-apoptotic factor PUMA (a miR-483-3p target) in adrenocortical tumors, and found novel miRNAs associated with survival in ACC.
Picropodophyllin (PPP) is a promising novel anti-neoplastic agent that efficiently kills tumor cells in vitro and causes tumor regression and increased survival in vivo. We have previously reported that PPP treatment induced moderate tolerance in two out of 10 cell lines only, and here report the acquired genomic and expression alterations associated with PPP selection over 1.5 years of treatment.
Copy number alterations monitored using metaphase and array-based comparative genomic hybridization analyses revealed largely overlapping alterations in parental and maximally tolerant cells. Gain/ amplification of the MYC and PVT1 loci in 8q24.21 were verified on the chromosome level. Abnormalities observed in connection to PPP treatment included regular gains and losses, as well as homozygous losses in 10q24.1-q24.2 and 12p12.3-p13.2 in one of the lines and amplification at 5q11.2 in the other. Abnormalities observed in both tolerant derivatives include amplification/gain of 5q11.2, gain of 11q12.1-q14.3 and gain of 13q33.3-qter. Using Nexus software analysis we combined the array-CGH data with data from gene expression profilings and identified genes that were altered in both inputs. A subset of genes identified as downregulated (ALDH1A3, ANXA1, TLR4 and RAB5A) or upregulated (COX6A1, NFIX, ME1, MAPK and TAP2) were validated by siRNA in the tolerant or parental cells to alter sensitivity to PPP and confirmed to alter sensitivity to PPP in further cell lines.
Long-term PPP selection lead to altered gene expression in PPP tolerant cells with increase as well as decrease of genes involved in cell death such as PTEN and BCL2. In addition, acquired genomic copy number alterations were observed that were often reflected by altered mRNA expression levels for genes in the same regions.