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1.  Prognostic significance of clinical, histopathological, and molecular characteristics of medulloblastomas in the prospective HIT2000 multicenter clinical trial cohort 
Acta Neuropathologica  2014;128(1):137-149.
This study aimed to prospectively evaluate clinical, histopathological and molecular variables for outcome prediction in medulloblastoma patients. Patients from the HIT2000 cooperative clinical trial were prospectively enrolled based on the availability of sufficient tumor material and complete clinical information. This revealed a cohort of 184 patients (median age 7.6 years), which was randomly split at a 2:1 ratio into a training (n = 127), and a test (n = 57) dataset in order to build and test a risk score for this population. Independent validation was performed in a non-overlapping cohort (n = 83). All samples were subjected to thorough histopathological investigation, CTNNB1 mutation analysis, quantitative PCR, MLPA and FISH analyses for cytogenetic variables, and methylome analysis. By univariable analysis, clinical factors (M-stage), histopathological variables (large cell component, endothelial proliferation, synaptophysin pattern), and molecular features (chromosome 6q status, MYC amplification, subgrouping) were found to be prognostic. Molecular consensus subgrouping (WNT, SHH, Group 3, Group 4) was validated as an independent feature to stratify patients into different risk groups. When comparing methods for the identification of WNT-driven medulloblastoma, this study identified CTNNB1 sequencing and methylation profiling to most reliably identify these patients. After removing patients with particularly favorable (CTNNB1 mutation, extensive nodularity) or unfavorable (MYC amplification) markers, a risk score for the remaining “intermediate molecular risk” population dependent on age, M-stage, pattern of synaptophysin expression, and MYCN copy-number status was identified, with speckled synaptophysin expression indicating worse outcome. Test and independent validation of the score confirmed significant discrimination of patients by risk profile. Methylation subgrouping and CTNNB1 mutation status represent robust tools for the risk stratification of medulloblastoma. A simple clinico-pathological risk score was identified, which was confirmed in a test set and by independent clinical validation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00401-014-1276-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00401-014-1276-0
PMCID: PMC4059991  PMID: 24791927
Medulloblastoma; Biomarker; Risk stratification; Prospective; Clinical trial cohort; Methylation profiling
2.  Recurrent somatic alterations of FGFR1 and NTRK2 in pilocytic astrocytoma 
Jones, David T.W. | Hutter, Barbara | Jäger, Natalie | Korshunov, Andrey | Kool, Marcel | Warnatz, Hans-Jörg | Zichner, Thomas | Lambert, Sally R. | Ryzhova, Marina | Quang, Dong Anh Khuong | Fontebasso, Adam M. | Stütz, Adrian M. | Hutter, Sonja | Zuckermann, Marc | Sturm, Dominik | Gronych, Jan | Lasitschka, Bärbel | Schmidt, Sabine | Şeker-Cin, Huriye | Witt, Hendrik | Sultan, Marc | Ralser, Meryem | Northcott, Paul A. | Hovestadt, Volker | Bender, Sebastian | Pfaff, Elke | Stark, Sebastian | Faury, Damien | Schwartzentruber, Jeremy | Majewski, Jacek | Weber, Ursula D. | Zapatka, Marc | Raeder, Benjamin | Schlesner, Matthias | Worth, Catherine L. | Bartholomae, Cynthia C. | von Kalle, Christof | Imbusch, Charles D. | Radomski, Sylwester | Lawerenz, Chris | van Sluis, Peter | Koster, Jan | Volckmann, Richard | Versteeg, Rogier | Lehrach, Hans | Monoranu, Camelia | Winkler, Beate | Unterberg, Andreas | Herold-Mende, Christel | Milde, Till | Kulozik, Andreas E. | Ebinger, Martin | Schuhmann, Martin U. | Cho, Yoon-Jae | Pomeroy, Scott L. | von Deimling, Andreas | Witt, Olaf | Taylor, Michael D. | Wolf, Stephan | Karajannis, Matthias A. | Eberhart, Charles G. | Scheurlen, Wolfram | Hasselblatt, Martin | Ligon, Keith L. | Kieran, Mark W. | Korbel, Jan O. | Yaspo, Marie-Laure | Brors, Benedikt | Felsberg, Jörg | Reifenberger, Guido | Collins, V. Peter | Jabado, Nada | Eils, Roland | Lichter, Peter | Pfister, Stefan M.
Nature genetics  2013;45(8):927-932.
Pilocytic astrocytoma, the most common childhood brain tumor1, is typically associated with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway alterations2. Surgically inaccessible midline tumors are therapeutically challenging, showing sustained tendency for progression3 and often becoming a chronic disease with substantial morbidities4.
Here we describe whole-genome sequencing of 96 pilocytic astrocytomas, with matched RNA sequencing (n=73), conducted by the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) PedBrain Tumor Project. We identified recurrent activating mutations in FGFR1 and PTPN11 and novel NTRK2 fusion genes in non-cerebellar tumors. New BRAF activating changes were also observed. MAPK pathway alterations affected 100% of tumors analyzed, with no other significant mutations, indicating pilocytic astrocytoma as predominantly a single-pathway disease.
Notably, we identified the same FGFR1 mutations in a subset of H3F3A-mutated pediatric glioblastoma with additional alterations in NF15. Our findings thus identify new potential therapeutic targets in distinct subsets of pilocytic astrocytoma and childhood glioblastoma.
doi:10.1038/ng.2682
PMCID: PMC3951336  PMID: 23817572
3.  Integrative DNA methylation and gene expression analysis in high-grade soft tissue sarcomas 
Genome Biology  2013;14(12):r137.
Background
High-grade soft tissue sarcomas are a heterogeneous, complex group of aggressive malignant tumors showing mesenchymal differentiation. Recently, soft tissue sarcomas have increasingly been classified on the basis of underlying genetic alterations; however, the role of aberrant DNA methylation in these tumors is not well understood and, consequently, the usefulness of methylation-based classification is unclear.
Results
We used the Infinium HumanMethylation27 platform to profile DNA methylation in 80 primary, untreated high-grade soft tissue sarcomas, representing eight relevant subtypes, two non-neoplastic fat samples and 14 representative sarcoma cell lines. The primary samples were partitioned into seven stable clusters. A classification algorithm identified 216 CpG sites, mapping to 246 genes, showing different degrees of DNA methylation between these seven groups. The differences between the clusters were best represented by a set of eight CpG sites located in the genes SPEG, NNAT, FBLN2, PYROXD2, ZNF217, COL14A1, DMRT2 and CDKN2A. By integrating DNA methylation and mRNA expression data, we identified 27 genes showing negative and three genes showing positive correlation. Compared with non-neoplastic fat, NNAT showed DNA hypomethylation and inverse gene expression in myxoid liposarcomas, and DNA hypermethylation and inverse gene expression in dedifferentiated and pleomorphic liposarcomas. Recovery of NNAT in a hypermethylated myxoid liposarcoma cell line decreased cell migration and viability.
Conclusions
Our analysis represents the first comprehensive integration of DNA methylation and transcriptional data in primary high-grade soft tissue sarcomas. We propose novel biomarkers and genes relevant for pathogenesis, including NNAT as a potential tumor suppressor in myxoid liposarcomas.
doi:10.1186/gb-2013-14-12-r137
PMCID: PMC4054884  PMID: 24345474
4.  Embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR), ependymoblastoma, and medulloepithelioma share molecular similarity and comprise a single clinicopathological entity 
Acta Neuropathologica  2013;128(2):279-289.
Three histological variants are known within the family of embryonal rosette-forming neuroepithelial brain tumors. These include embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR), ependymoblastoma (EBL), and medulloepithelioma (MEPL). In this study, we performed a comprehensive clinical, pathological, and molecular analysis of 97 cases of these rare brain neoplasms, including genome-wide DNA methylation and copy number profiling of 41 tumors. We identified uniform molecular signatures in all tumors irrespective of histological patterns, indicating that ETANTR, EBL, and MEPL comprise a single biological entity. As such, future WHO classification schemes should consider lumping these variants into a single diagnostic category, such as embryonal tumor with multilayered rosettes (ETMR). We recommend combined LIN28A immunohistochemistry and FISH analysis of the 19q13.42 locus for molecular diagnosis of this tumor category. Recognition of this distinct pediatric brain tumor entity based on the fact that the three histological variants are molecularly and clinically uniform will help to distinguish ETMR from other embryonal CNS tumors and to better understand the biology of these highly aggressive and therapy-resistant pediatric CNS malignancies, possibly leading to alternate treatment strategies.
doi:10.1007/s00401-013-1228-0
PMCID: PMC4102829  PMID: 24337497
5.  Bioinformatic analysis of barcoded cDNA libraries for small RNA profiling by next-generation sequencing 
Methods (San Diego, Calif.)  2012;58(2):171-187.
The characterization of post-transcriptional gene regulation by small regulatory RNAs of 20–30 nt length, particularly miRNAs and piRNAs, has become a major focus of research in recent years. A prerequisite for the characterization of small RNAs is their identification and quantification across different developmental stages, normal and diseased tissues, as well as model cell lines. Here we present a step-by-step protocol for the bioinformatic analysis of barcoded cDNA libraries for small RNA profiling generated by Illumina sequencing, thereby facilitating miRNA and other small RNA profiling of large sample collections.
doi:10.1016/j.ymeth.2012.07.020
PMCID: PMC3597438  PMID: 22836126
Bioinformatic analysis; Small RNA; miRNA; Barcoding; Next-generation sequencing; Nucleotide variation
6.  ICGC PedBrain: Dissecting the genomic complexity underlying medulloblastoma 
Jones, David TW | Jäger, Natalie | Kool, Marcel | Zichner, Thomas | Hutter, Barbara | Sultan, Marc | Cho, Yoon-Jae | Pugh, Trevor J | Hovestadt, Volker | Stütz, Adrian M | Rausch, Tobias | Warnatz, Hans-Jörg | Ryzhova, Marina | Bender, Sebastian | Sturm, Dominik | Pleier, Sabrina | Cin, Huriye | Pfaff, Elke | Sieber, Laura | Wittmann, Andrea | Remke, Marc | Witt, Hendrik | Hutter, Sonja | Tzaridis, Theophilos | Weischenfeldt, Joachim | Raeder, Benjamin | Avci, Meryem | Amstislavskiy, Vyacheslav | Zapatka, Marc | Weber, Ursula D | Wang, Qi | Lasitschka, Bärbel | Bartholomae, Cynthia C | Schmidt, Manfred | von Kalle, Christof | Ast, Volker | Lawerenz, Chris | Eils, Jürgen | Kabbe, Rolf | Benes, Vladimir | van Sluis, Peter | Koster, Jan | Volckmann, Richard | Shih, David | Betts, Matthew J | Russell, Robert B | Coco, Simona | Tonini, Gian Paolo | Schüller, Ulrich | Hans, Volkmar | Graf, Norbert | Kim, Yoo-Jin | Monoranu, Camelia | Roggendorf, Wolfgang | Unterberg, Andreas | Herold-Mende, Christel | Milde, Till | Kulozik, Andreas E | von Deimling, Andreas | Witt, Olaf | Maass, Eberhard | Rössler, Jochen | Ebinger, Martin | Schuhmann, Martin U | Frühwald, Michael C | Hasselblatt, Martin | Jabado, Nada | Rutkowski, Stefan | von Bueren, André O | Williamson, Dan | Clifford, Steven C | McCabe, Martin G | Collins, V. Peter | Wolf, Stephan | Wiemann, Stefan | Lehrach, Hans | Brors, Benedikt | Scheurlen, Wolfram | Felsberg, Jörg | Reifenberger, Guido | Northcott, Paul A | Taylor, Michael D | Meyerson, Matthew | Pomeroy, Scott L | Yaspo, Marie-Laure | Korbel, Jan O | Korshunov, Andrey | Eils, Roland | Pfister, Stefan M | Lichter, Peter
Nature  2012;488(7409):100-105.
Summary
Medulloblastoma is an aggressively-growing tumour, arising in the cerebellum or medulla/brain stem. It is the most common malignant brain tumour in children, and displays tremendous biological and clinical heterogeneity1. Despite recent treatment advances, approximately 40% of children experience tumour recurrence, and 30% will die from their disease. Those who survive often have a significantly reduced quality of life.
Four tumour subgroups with distinct clinical, biological and genetic profiles are currently discriminated2,3. WNT tumours, displaying activated wingless pathway signalling, carry a favourable prognosis under current treatment regimens4. SHH tumours show hedgehog pathway activation, and have an intermediate prognosis2. Group 3 & 4 tumours are molecularly less well-characterised, and also present the greatest clinical challenges2,3,5. The full repertoire of genetic events driving this distinction, however, remains unclear.
Here we describe an integrative deep-sequencing analysis of 125 tumour-normal pairs. Tetraploidy was identified as a frequent early event in Group 3 & 4 tumours, and a positive correlation between patient age and mutation rate was observed. Several recurrent mutations were identified, both in known medulloblastoma-related genes (CTNNB1, PTCH1, MLL2, SMARCA4) and in genes not previously linked to this tumour (DDX3X, CTDNEP1, KDM6A, TBR1), often in subgroup-specific patterns. RNA-sequencing confirmed these alterations, and revealed the expression of the first medulloblastoma fusion genes. Chromatin modifiers were frequently altered across all subgroups.
These findings enhance our understanding of the genomic complexity and heterogeneity underlying medulloblastoma, and provide several potential targets for new therapeutics, especially for Group 3 & 4 patients.
doi:10.1038/nature11284
PMCID: PMC3662966  PMID: 22832583
8.  Genome-wide identification of translationally inhibited and degraded miR-155 targets using RNA-interacting protein-IP 
RNA Biology  2013;10(6):1017-1029.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded, small, non-coding RNAs, which fine-tune protein expression by degrading and/or translationally inhibiting mRNAs. Manipulation of miRNA expression in animal models frequently results in severe phenotypes indicating their relevance in controlling cellular functions, most likely by interacting with multiple targets. To better understand the effect of miRNA activities, genome-wide analysis of their targets are required. MicroRNA profiling as well as transcriptome analysis upon enforced miRNA expression were frequently used to investigate their relevance. However, these approaches often fail to identify relevant miRNAs targets. Therefore, we tested the precision of RNA-interacting protein immunoprecipitation (RIP) using AGO2-specific antibodies, a core component of the “RNA-induced silencing complex” (RISC), followed by RNA sequencing (Seq) in a defined cellular system, the HEK293T cells with stable, ectopic expression of miR-155. Thereby, we identified 100 AGO2-associated mRNAs in miR-155-expressing cells, of which 67 were in silico predicted miR-155 target genes. An integrated analysis of the corresponding expression profiles indicated that these targets were either regulated by mRNA decay or by translational repression. Of the identified miR-155 targets, 17 were related to cell cycle control, suggesting their involvement in the observed increase in cell proliferation of HEK293T cells upon miR-155 expression. Additional, secondary changes within the gene expression profile were detected and might contribute to this phenotype as well. Interestingly, by analyzing RIP-Seq data of HEK-293T cells and two B-cell lines we identified a recurrent disproportional enrichment of several miRNAs, including miR-155 and miRNAs of the miR-17-92 cluster, in the AGO2-associated precipitates, suggesting discrepancies in miRNA expression and activity.
doi:10.4161/rna.24553
PMCID: PMC4111730  PMID: 23673373
RIP-Seq; AGO2-IP; miR-155; translational inhibition; miRNA target profiling; miRNA activity
10.  MicroRNA sequence and expression analysis in breast tumors by deep sequencing 
Cancer Research  2011;71(13):4443-4453.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate many genes critical for tumorigenesis. We profiled miRNAs from 11 normal breast tissues, 17 non-invasive, 151 invasive breast carcinomas, and 6 cell lines by in-house-developed barcoded Solexa-sequencing. miRNAs were organized in genomic clusters representing promoter-controlled miRNA expression and sequence families representing seed-sequence-dependent miRNA-target regulation. Unsupervised clustering of samples by miRNA sequence families best reflected the clustering based on mRNA expression available for this sample set. Clustering and comparative analysis of miRNA read frequencies showed that normal breast samples were separated from most non-invasive ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive carcinomas by increased miR-21 (the most abundant miRNA in carcinomas) and multiple decreased miRNA families (including miR-98/let-7), with most miRNA changes apparent already in the non-invasive carcinomas. In addition, patients that went on to develop metastasis demonstrated increased expression of mir-423, and triple negative breast carcinomas were most distinct from other tumor subtypes due to up-regulation of the mir-17~92 cluster. However, absolute miRNA levels between normal breast and carcinomas did not reveal any significant differences. We also discovered two polymorphic nucleotide variations among the more abundant miRNAs miR-181a (T19G) and miR-185 (T16G), but we did not identify nucleotide variations expected for classical tumor suppressor function associated with miRNAs. The differentiation of tumor subtypes and prediction of metastasis based on miRNA levels is statistically possible, but is not driven by deregulation of abundant miRNAs, implicating far fewer miRNAs in tumorigenic processes than previously suggested.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-0608
PMCID: PMC3129492  PMID: 21586611
Breast carcinomas; triple negative; HER2-positive; miRNA; deep-sequencing

Results 1-10 (10)