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1.  SOX2 Is an Oncogene Activated by Recurrent 3q26.3 Amplifications in Human Lung Squamous Cell Carcinomas 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(1):e8960.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung is a frequent and aggressive cancer type. Gene amplifications, a known activating mechanism of oncogenes, target the 3q26-qter region as one of the most frequently gained/amplified genomic sites in SCC of various types. Here, we used array comparative genomic hybridization to delineate the consensus region of 3q26.3 amplifications in lung SCC. Recurrent amplifications occur in 20% of lung SCC (136 tumors in total) and map to a core region of 2 Mb (Megabases) that encompasses SOX2, a transcription factor gene. Intense SOX2 immunostaining is frequent in nuclei of lung SCC, indicating potential active transcriptional regulation by SOX2. Analyses of the transcriptome of lung SCC, SOX2-overexpressing lung epithelial cells and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) reveal that SOX2 contributes to activate ESC-like phenotypes and provide clues pertaining to the deregulated genes involved in the malignant phenotype. In cell culture experiments, overexpression of SOX2 stimulates cellular migration and anchorage-independent growth while SOX2 knockdown impairs cell growth. Finally, SOX2 over-expression in non-tumorigenic human lung bronchial epithelial cells is tumorigenic in immunocompromised mice. These results indicate that the SOX2 transcription factor, a major regulator of stem cell function, is also an oncogene and a driver gene for the recurrent 3q26.33 amplifications in lung SCC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008960
PMCID: PMC2813300  PMID: 20126410
2.  Signalling with retinoids in the human lung: validation of new tools for the expression study of retinoid receptors 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:423.
Background
Retinoid Receptors are involved in development and cell homeostasis. Alterations of their expressions have been observed in lung cancer. However, retinoid chemoprevention trials in populations at risk to develop such tumors have failed. Therefore, the pertinence of new clinical trials using second generation retinoid requires prior better understanding of retinoid signalling. This is our aim when validating extensively research tools, focused on Retinoic Acid Receptor beta, whose major role in lung cancer is documented.
Methods
Biocomputing was used to assess the genomic organization of RAR beta. Its putative RAR-beta1' promoter features were investigated experimentally. Specific measures realized, with qRT-PCR Syber Green assays and a triplex of Taqman probes, were extensively validated to establish Retinoid Receptors mRNAs reference values for in vivo normal human bronchial cells, lung tumors and cell lines. Finally, a pan-RAR-beta antibody was generated and extensively validated by western-blot and immunoprecipitation.
Results
No promoter-like activity was found for RAR-beta1'. RAR-beta2 mRNAs increase signs the normal differentiation of the human bronchial epithelium while a decrease is observed in most lung cancer cell lines. Accordingly, it is also, along with RXR beta, down-regulated in lung tumors. When using nuclear extracts of BEAS-2B and normal lung cells, only the RAR-beta2 long protein isoform was recognized by our antibody.
Conclusion
Rigorous samples processing and extensive biocomputing, were the key factors for this study. mRNA reference values and validated tools can now be used to advance researches on retinoid signalling in the lung.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-423
PMCID: PMC2797528  PMID: 19961602
3.  A human RNA polymerase II subunit is encoded by a recently generated multigene family 
Background
The sequences encoding the yeast RNA polymerase II (RPB) subunits are single copy genes.
Results
While those characterized so far for the human (h) RPB are also unique, we show that hRPB subunit 11 (hRPB11) is encoded by a multigene family, mapping on chromosome 7 at loci p12, q11.23 and q22. We focused on two members of this family, hRPB11a and hRPB11b: the first encodes subunit hRPB11a, which represents the major RPB11 component of the mammalian RPB complex ; the second generates polypeptides hRPB11bα and hRPB11bβ through differential splicing of its transcript and shares homologies with components of the hPMS2L multigene family related to genes involved in mismatch-repair functions (MMR). Both hRPB11a and b genes are transcribed in all human tissues tested. Using an inter-species complementation assay, we show that only hRPB11bα is functional in yeast. In marked contrast, we found that the unique murine homolog of RPB11 gene maps on chromosome 5 (band G), and encodes a single polypeptide which is identical to subunit hRPB11a.
Conclusions
The type hRPB11b gene appears to result from recent genomic recombination events in the evolution of primates, involving sequence elements related to the MMR apparatus.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-2-14
PMCID: PMC61041  PMID: 11747469

Results 1-3 (3)