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1.  Functional analysis and identification of cis-regulatory elements of human chromosome 21 gene promoters 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(18):6112-6123.
Given the inherent limitations of in silico studies relying solely on DNA sequence analysis, the functional characterization of mammalian promoters and associated cis-regulatory elements requires experimental support, which demands cloning and analysis of putative promoter regions. Focusing on human chromosome 21, we cloned 182 gene promoters of 2500 bp in length and conducted reporter gene assays on transfected-cell arrays. We found 56 promoters that were active in HEK293 cells, while another 49 promoters could be activated by treatment of cells with Trichostatin A or depletion of serum. We observed high correlations between promoter activities and endogenous transcript levels, RNA polymerase II occupancy, CpG islands and core promoter elements. Truncation of a subset of 62 promoters to ∼500 bp revealed that truncation rarely resulted in loss of activity, but rather in loss of responses to external stimuli, suggesting the presence of cis-regulatory response elements within distal promoter regions. In these regions, we found a strong enrichment of transcription factor binding sites that could potentially activate gene expression in the presence of stimuli. This study illustrates the modular functional architecture of chromosome 21 promoters and helps to reveal the complex mechanisms governing transcriptional regulation.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkq402
PMCID: PMC2952857  PMID: 20494980
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.  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
5.  Cell array-based intracellular localization screening reveals novel functional features of human chromosome 21 proteins 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:155.
Background
Trisomy of human chromosome 21 (Chr21) results in Down's syndrome, a complex developmental and neurodegenerative disease. Molecular analysis of Down's syndrome, however, poses a particular challenge, because the aneuploid region of Chr21 contains many genes of unknown function. Subcellular localization of human Chr21 proteins may contribute to further understanding of the functions and regulatory mechanisms of the genes that code for these proteins. Following this idea, we used a transfected-cell array technique to perform a rapid and cost-effective analysis of the intracellular distribution of Chr 21 proteins.
Results
We chose 89 genes that were distributed over the majority of 21q, ranging from RBM11 (14.5 Mb) to MCM3AP (46.6 Mb), with part of them expressed aberrantly in the Down's syndrome mouse model. Open reading frames of these genes were cloned into a mammalian expression vector with an amino-terminal His6 tag. All of the constructs were arrayed on glass slides and reverse transfected into HEK293T cells for protein expression. Co-localization detection using a set of organelle markers was carried out for each Chr21 protein. Here, we report the subcellular localization properties of 52 proteins. For 34 of these proteins, their localization is described for the first time. Furthermore, the alteration in cell morphology and growth as a result of protein over-expression for claudin-8 and claudin-14 genes has been characterized.
Conclusion
The cell array-based protein expression and detection approach is a cost-effective platform for large-scale functional analyses, including protein subcellular localization and cell phenotype screening. The results from this study reveal novel functional features of human Chr21 proteins, which should contribute to further understanding of the molecular pathology of Down's syndrome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-155
PMCID: PMC1526728  PMID: 16780588
6.  High-Resolution Dissection of Phagosome Maturation Reveals Distinct Membrane Trafficking Phases 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2002;13(10):3508-3520.
Molecular mechanisms of endocytosis in the genetically and biochemically tractable professional phagocyte Dictyostelium discoideum reveal a striking degree of similarity to higher eukaryotic cells. Pulse-chase feeding with latex beads allowed purification of phagosomes at different stages of maturation. Gentle ATP stripping of an actin meshwork entrapping contaminating organelles resulted in a 10-fold increase in yield and purity, as confirmed by electron microscopy. Temporal profiling of signaling, cytoskeletal, and trafficking proteins resulted in a complex molecular fingerprint of phagosome biogenesis and maturation. First, nascent phagosomes were associated with coronin and rapidly received a lysosomal glycoprotein, LmpB. Second, at least two phases of delivery of lysosomal hydrolases (cathepsin D [CatD] and cysteine protease [CPp34]) were accompanied by removal of plasma membrane components (PM4C4 and biotinylated surface proteins). Third, a phase of late maturation, preparing for final exocytosis of undigested material, included quantitative recycling of hydrolases and association with vacuolin. Also, lysosomal glycoproteins of the Lmp family showed distinct trafficking kinetics. The delivery and recycling of CatD was directly visualized by confocal microscopy. This heavy membrane traffic of cargos was precisely accompanied by regulatory proteins such as the Rab7 GTPases and the endosomal SNAREs Vti1 and VAMP7. This initial molecular description of phagocytosis demonstrates the feasibility of a comprehensive analysis of phagosomal lipids and proteins in genetically modified strains.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E02-04-0206
PMCID: PMC129962  PMID: 12388753

Results 1-6 (6)