Amplification of the MYCN oncogene in childhood neuroblastoma is often accompanied by mutational activation of ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase), suggesting their pathogenic cooperation. We generated a transgenic zebrafish model of neuroblastoma in which MYCN-induced tumors arise from a subpopulation of neuroblasts that migrate into the adrenal medulla analogue following organogenesis. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN in this model triples the disease penetrance and markedly accelerates tumor onset. MYCN overexpression induces adrenal sympathetic neuroblast hyperplasia, blocks chromaffin cell differentiation, and ultimately triggers a developmentally-timed apoptotic response in the hyperplastic sympathoadrenal cells. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN provides prosurvival signals that block this apoptotic response and allow continued expansion and oncogenic transformation of hyperplastic neuroblasts, thus promoting progression to neuroblastoma.
B cells infected by Epstein-Barr-Virus (EBV), a transforming virus endemic in humans, are rapidly cleared by the immune system, but some cells harboring the virus persist for life. Under conditions of immunosuppression EBV can spread from these cells and cause life threatening pathologies. We have generated mice expressing the transforming EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), mimicking a constitutively active CD40 coreceptor, specifically in B cells. Like human EBV infected cells, LMP1+ B cells were efficiently eliminated by T cells, and breaking immune surveillance resulted in rapid, fatal lymphoproliferation and lymphomagenesis. The lymphoma cells expressed ligands for a natural killer (NK) cell receptor, NKG2D, and could be targeted by an NKG2D-Fc fusion protein. These experiments indicate a central role for LMP1 in the surveillance and transformation of EBV infected B cells in vivo, establish a pre-clinical model for B cell lymphomagenesis in immunosuppressed patients, and validate a novel therapeutic approach.
Although the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has improved significantly, more than half of all patients develop disease that is refractory to intensive chemotherapy1,2. Functional genomics approaches offer a means to discover specific molecules mediating aberrant growth and survival of cancer cells3–8. Thus, using a loss-of-function RNA interference genomic screen, we identified aberrant expression of the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) as a critical factor in AML pathogenesis. We found HGF expression leading to autocrine activation of its receptor tyrosine kinase, MET, in nearly half of the AML cell lines and clinical samples studied. Genetic depletion of HGF or MET potently inhibited the growth and survival of HGF-expressing AML cells. However, leukemic cells treated with the specific MET kinase inhibitor crizotinib developed resistance due to compensatory upregulation of HGF expression, leading to restoration of MET signaling. In cases of AML where MET is coactivated with other tyrosine kinases, such as fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1)9, concomitant inhibition of FGFR1 and MET blocked compensatory HGF upregulation, resulting in sustained logarithmic cell kill both in vitro and in xenograft models in vivo. Our results demonstrate widespread dependence of AML cells on autocrine activation of MET, as well as the importance of compensatory upregulation of HGF expression in maintaining leukemogenic signaling by this receptor. We anticipate that these findings will lead to the design of additional strategies to block adaptive cellular responses that drive compensatory ligand expression as an essential component of the targeted inhibition of oncogenic receptors in human cancers.
A human polyomavirus was recently discovered in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) specimens. The Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) genome undergoes clonal integration into the host cell chromosomes of MCC tumors and expresses small T antigen and truncated large T antigen. Previous studies have consistently reported that MCPyV can be detected in approximately 80% of all MCC tumors. We sought to increase the sensitivity of detection of MCPyV in MCC by developing antibodies capable of detecting large T antigen by immunohistochemistry. In addition, we expanded the repertoire of quantitative PCR primers specific for MCPyV to improve the detection of viral DNA in MCC. Here we report that a novel monoclonal antibody detected MCPyV large T antigen expression in 56 of 58 (97%) unique MCC tumors. PCR analysis specifically detected viral DNA in all 60 unique MCC tumors tested. We also detected inactivating point substitution mutations of TP53 in the two MCC specimens that lacked large T antigen expression and in only 1 of 56 tumors positive for large T antigen. These results indicate that MCPyV is present in MCC tumors more frequently than previously reported and that mutations in TP53 tend to occur in MCC tumors that fail to express MCPyV large T antigen.
The PDL1: PD1 costimulatory pathway plays an important role in the inhibition of alloimmune responses as well as in the induction and maintenance of peripheral tolerance. It has recently been demonstrated that PDL1 can also bind B7.1 to inhibit T cell responses in vitro. Using the bm12 into B6 heart transplant model, we investigated the functional significance of this interaction in alloimmune responses in vivo. PD1 blockade unlike PDL1 blockade failed to accelerate bm12 allograft rejection suggesting a role for an additional binding partner for PDL1 other than PD1 in transplant rejection. PDL1 blockade was able to accelerate allograft rejection in B7.2-deficient recipients but not B7.1-deficient recipients, indicating that PDL1 interaction with B7.1 was important in inhibiting rejection. Administration of the novel 2H11 anti-PDL1 mAb, which only blocks PDL1: B7.1 interaction, aggravated chronic injury of bm12 allografts in B6 recipients. Aggravated chronic injury was associated with an increased frequency of alloreactive IFN-γ-, IL-4-, and IL-6-producing splenocytes and a decreased percentage of regulatory T cells in the recipients. Using an in vitro cell culture assay, blockade of the interaction of PDL1 on dendritic cells with B7.1 on T cells increased IFN-γ production from alloreactive CD4+ T cells, whereas blockade of dendritic cell B7.1 interaction with T cell PDL1 did not. These data indicate that PDL1 interaction with B7.1 plays an important role in the inhibition of alloimmune responses in vivo and suggests a dominant direction for PDL1 and B7.1 interaction.
Costimulation; Transplantation; MHC; Knockout mice
TET-family enzymes convert 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) in DNA. Here we show that Tet1 and Tet2 are Oct4-regulated enzymes that together sustain 5hmC in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, and are induced concomitantly with 5hmC during reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells. ES cells depleted of Tet1 by RNAi show diminished expression of the Nodal antagonist Lefty1, and display hyperactive Nodal signalling and skewed differentiation into the endoderm-mesoderm lineage in embryoid bodies in vitro. In Fgf4- and heparin-supplemented culture conditions, Tet1-depleted ES cells activate the trophoblast stem cell lineage determinant Elf5 and can colonize the placenta in mid-gestation embryo chimeras. Consistent with these findings, Tet1-depleted ES cells form aggressive hemorrhagic teratomas with increased endoderm, reduced neuroectoderm and ectopic appearance of trophoblastic giant cells. Thus 5hmC is a novel epigenetic modification associated with the pluripotent state, and Tet1 functions to regulate the lineage differentiation potential of ES cells.
Homologous recombination (HR)-defective cells, such as those lacking BRCA1/2, are hypersensitive to poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibition. However, BRCA-deficient tumors represent only a small fraction of adult cancers, potentially restricting the therapeutic utility of PARP inhibitor monotherapy. We previously showed that cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk)1 phosphorylates BRCA1, an event essential for efficient BRCA1 focus formation. Here, we show that cdk1 depletion or inhibition compromises the cellular capacity to repair DNA by HR. Combined cdk1 and PARP inhibition in BRCA wild-type cancer cells results in reduced colony formation, delayed human tumor xenograft growth and tumor regression with prolonged survival in a mouse lung adenocarcinoma model. Cdk1 inhibition did not sensitize non-transformed cells or tissues to PARP inhibition. Because reduced cdk1 activity impairs BRCA1 function and HR repair, cdk1 inhibition represents a plausible strategy for expanding the utility of PARP inhibitors to the BRCA-proficient cancer population.
In the central nervous system of patients with multiple sclerosis, B cell aggregates populate the meninges, raising the central question as to whether these structures relate to the B cell infiltrates found in parenchymal lesions or instead, represent a separate central nervous system immune compartment. We characterized the repertoires derived from meningeal B cell aggregates and the corresponding parenchymal infiltrates from brain tissue derived primarily from patients with progressive multiple sclerosis. The majority of expanded antigen-experienced B cell clones derived from meningeal aggregates were also present in the parenchyma. We extended this investigation to include 20 grey matter specimens containing meninges, 26 inflammatory plaques, 19 areas of normal appearing white matter and cerebral spinal fluid. Analysis of 1833 B cell receptor heavy chain variable region sequences demonstrated that antigen-experienced clones were consistently shared among these distinct compartments. This study establishes a relationship between extraparenchymal lymphoid tissue and parenchymal infiltrates and defines the arrangement of B cell clones that populate the central nervous system of patients with multiple sclerosis.
multiple sclerosis; B cells; clonal expansion; antigen experience; central nervous system
The ALK kinase inhibitor crizotinib (PF-02341066) is clinically effective in patients with ALK-translocated cancers, but its efficacy will ultimately be limited by acquired drug resistance. Here we report the identification of a secondary mutation in ALK, F1174L, as one cause of crizotinib resistance in a patient with an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) harbouring a RANBP2-ALK translocation who progressed while crizotinib therapy. When present in cis with an ALK translocation, this mutation (also detected in neuroblastomas) causes an increase in ALK phosphorylation, cell growth and downstream signaling. Furthermore, the F1174L mutation inhibits crizotinib mediated downregulation of ALK signaling and blocks apoptosis in RANBP2-ALK Ba/F3 cells. A chemically distinct ALK inhibitor, TAE684, or the HSP90 inhibitor 17-AAG are both effective in models harbouring the F1174L ALK mutation. Our findings highlight the importance of studying drug resistance mechanisms in order to develop effective clinical treatments for patients with ALK-translocated cancers.
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor; Anaplastic lymphoma kinase; kinase inhibitor; drug resistance
Genetic rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) kinase occur in 3% to 13% of non–small cell lung cancer patients and rarely coexist with KRAS or EGFR mutations. To evaluate potential treatment strategies for lung cancers driven by an activated EML4-ALK chimeric oncogene, we generated a genetically engineered mouse model that phenocopies the human disease where this rearranged gene arises. In this model, the ALK kinase inhibitor TAE684 produced greater tumor regression and improved overall survival compared with carboplatin and paclitaxel, representing clinical standard of care. 18F-FDG-PET-CT scans revealed almost complete inhibition of tumor metabolic activity within 24 hours of TAE684 exposure. In contrast, combined inhibition of the PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK1/2 pathways did not result in significant tumor regression. We identified EML4-ALK in complex with multiple cellular chaperones including HSP90. In support of a functional reliance, treatment with geldanamycin-based HSP90 inhibitors resulted in rapid degradation of EML4-ALK in vitro and substantial, albeit transient, tumor regression in vivo. Taken together, our findings define a murine model that offers a reliable platform for the preclinical comparison of combinatorial treatment approaches for lung cancer characterized by ALK rearrangement.
To investigate a new clinically relevant immunoregulatory strategy based on treatment with murine Thymoglobulin mATG Genzyme and CTLA4-Ig in NOD mice to prevent allo- and autoimmune activation using a stringent model of islet transplantation and diabetes reversal.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Using allogeneic islet transplantation models as well as NOD mice with recent onset type 1 diabetes, we addressed the therapeutic efficacy and immunomodulatory mechanisms associated with a new immunoregulatory protocol based on prolonged low-dose mATG plus CTLA4-Ig.
BALB/c islets transplanted into hyperglycemic NOD mice under prolonged mATG+CTLA4-Ig treatment showed a pronounced delay in allograft rejection compared with untreated mice (mean survival time: 54 vs. 8 days, P < 0.0001). Immunologic analysis of mice receiving transplants revealed a complete abrogation of autoimmune responses and severe downregulation of alloimmunity in response to treatment. The striking effect on autoimmunity was confirmed by 100% diabetes reversal in newly hyperglycemic NOD mice and 100% indefinite survival of syngeneic islet transplantation (NOD.SCID into NOD mice).
The capacity to regulate alloimmunity and to abrogate the autoimmune response in NOD mice in different settings confirmed that prolonged mATG+CTLA4-Ig treatment is a clinically relevant strategy to translate to humans with type 1 diabetes.
The fusion between echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) has recently been identified in a subset of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). EML4-ALK is most often detected in never smokers with lung cancer and has unique pathologic features. EML4-ALK is oncogenic both in vitro and in vivo and ALK kinase inhibitors are quite effective in pre-clinical model systems. More recently ALK inhibitors have entered clinical development and remarkably clinical efficacy has been observed in NSCLC patients harbouring EML4-ALK translocations. This review will focus on the biology, clinical characteristics, diagnosis and treatment of EML4-ALK NSCLC.
Non-small cell lung carcinoma; translocation; kinase inhibitor; clinical trial
Collagen XXIII is a transmembrane collagen previously shown to be upregulated in metastatic prostate cancer. This study’s purpose was to determine the protein expression of collagen XXIII in tumor tissues from a variety of cancers and to assess collagen XXIII’s utility as a biomarker for non small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
A multi-cancer tissue microarray (TMA) was used for immunohistochemical examination of collagen XXIII protein expression in a variety of cancers. Subsequently, collagen XXIII expression was analyzed in three separate cohorts using TMAs with representative tumor and control lung tissues from NSCLC patients. In addition, NSCLC patient urine samples were analyzed for the presence of collagen XXIII via Western blot.
Collagen XXIII was present in tissue samples from a variety of cancers. Within lung cancer tissues, collagen XXIII staining was enriched in NSCLC subtypes. Collagen XXIII was present in 294 of 333 (88%) lung adenocarcinomas and 97 of 133 (73%) squamous cell carcinomas (SqCC). In urine, collagen XXIII was present in 23 of 29 (79%) NSCLC patient samples but only in 15 of 54 (28%) control samples. High collagen XXIII staining intensity correlated with shorter recurrence-free survival in NSCLC patients.
We demonstrate the capability of collagen XXIII as a tissue and urinary biomarker for NSCLC, where positivity in tissue or urine significantly correlates with presence of NSCLC and high staining intensity is a significant recurrence predictor.
Inclusion of collagen XXIII in a tissue or urine-based cancer biomarker panel could inform NSCLC patient treatment decisions.
tissue microarray; fluid biomarker; cancer surveillance and screening
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is a distinctive mesenchymal neoplasm characterized by a spindle-cell proliferation with an inflammatory infiltrate. Approximately half of IMTs carry rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) locus on chromosome 2p23, causing aberrant ALK expression. We report a sustained partial response to the ALK inhibitor crizotinib (PF-02341066, Pfizer) in a patient with ALK-translocated IMT, as compared with no observed activity in another patient without the ALK translocation. These results support the dependence of ALK-rearranged tumors on ALK-mediated signaling and suggest a therapeutic strategy for genomically identified patients with the aggressive form of this soft-tissue tumor.
Patients with mixed lineage leukemia (MLL)–rearranged B-lymphoblastic leukemias (B-ALL) have an unfavorable prognosis and require intensified treatment. Multiple MLL fusion partners have been identified, complicating the diagnostic evaluation of MLL rearrangements. We analyzed molecular markers of MLL rearrangement for use in rapid diagnostic assays and found the immunomodulatory protein, Galectin-1 (Gal-1), to be selectively expressed in MLL-rearranged B-ALL.
Transcriptional profiling of ALL subtypes revealed selective overexpression of Gal-1 in MLL-rearranged ALLs. For this reason, we analyzed Gal-1 protein expression in MLL-germline and MLL-rearranged adult and infant pediatric B-ALLs and cell lines by immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and intracellular flow cytometry of viable tumor cell suspensions. Because deregulated gene expression in MLL-rearranged leukemias may be related to the altered histone methyltransferase activity of the MLL fusion protein complex, we also analyzed histone H3 lysine 79 (H3K79) dimethylation in the LGALS1 promoter region using chromatin immunoprecipitation.
Gal-1 transcripts were significantly more abundant in MLL-rearranged B-ALLs. All 32 primary MLL-rearranged B-ALLs exhibited abundant Gal-1 immunostaining, regardless of the translocation partner, whereas only 2 of 81 germline-MLL B-ALLs expressed Gal-1. In addition, Gal-1 was selectively detected in newly diagnosed MLL-rearranged B-ALLs by intracellular flow cytometry. The LGALS1 promoter H3K79 was significantly hypermethylated in MLL-rearranged B-ALLs compared with MLL-germline B-ALLs and normal pre-B cells.
In B-ALL, Gal-1 is a highly sensitive and specific biomarker of MLL rearrangement that is likely induced by a MLL-dependent epigenetic modification.
Approximately 5% of lung adenocarcinomas harbor an EML4-ALK gene fusion and define a unique tumor group that may be responsive to targeted therapy. However ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas are difficult to detect by either standard fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) or immunohistochemical (IHC) assays. In the present study we used novel antibodies to compare ALK protein expression in genetically defined lung cancers and anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCL).
We analyzed 174 tumors with one standard, and two novel monoclonal antibodies recognizing the ALK protein. Immunostained tissue sections were assessed for the level of tumor-specific ALK expression by objective quantitative image analysis and independently by three pathologists.
ALK protein is invariably and exclusively expressed in ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas but at much lower levels than in the prototypic ALK-rearranged tumor, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and as a result, often not detected by conventional IHC. We further validate a novel IHC that shows excellent sensitivity and specificity (100% and 99%, respectively) for the detection of ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas in biopsy specimens with excellent interobserver agreement between pathologists (kappa statistic, 0.94).
Low levels of ALK protein expression is a characteristic feature of ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas. However a novel, highly sensitive IHC assay reliably detects lung adenocarcinomas with ALK rearrangements and obviates the need for FISH analysis for the majority of cases and therefore could be routinely applicable in clinical practice to detect lung cancers that may be responsive to ALK inhibitors.
Lung adenocarcinoma; ALK; immunohistochemistry
Environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) has been associated with the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
We conducted a case-control study nested within the Physicians’ Health Study, a prospective cohort established in 1982. We measured concentrations of PCBs and p,p′-DDE in baseline blood samples from 205 men later diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 409 age- and race-matched controls. Lipid-adjusted organochlorine concentrations were categorized into quintiles based on the distribution among controls. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each quintile relative to the lowest quintile. We also evaluated these associations for major histologic subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was positively associated with the sum of 51 PCB congeners assayed (ΣPCB); the group of immunotoxic congeners; the individual congeners 118, 138, 153, and 180; and the sum of these four congeners. The simple OR for the highest quintile of lipid-adjusted ΣPCB versus the lowest was 1.9 (95% CI = 1.1-3.2; test for trend P = 0.001), with similar trends for individual congeners and groups defined as above. Adjustment for height, body mass index, alcohol intake, smoking, and fish intake did not substantially change the effect estimates. No association was observed for p,p′-DDE. There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity in effects by histologic subtype of lymphoma; however, this analysis was underpowered.
These results support the hypothesis of a positive association between PCB exposure and development of NHL in men.
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. To date, considerable evidence has associated Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection with disease development. However, it remains controversial whether EBV infects multiple sclerosis brain and contributes directly to CNS immunopathology. To assess whether EBV infection is a characteristic feature of multiple sclerosis brain, a large cohort of multiple sclerosis specimens containing white matter lesions (nine adult and three paediatric cases) with a heterogeneous B cell infiltrate and a second cohort of multiple sclerosis specimens (12 cases) that included B cell infiltration within the meninges and parenchymal B cell aggregates, were examined for EBV infection using multiple methodologies including in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and two independent real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methodologies that detect genomic EBV or the abundant EBV encoded RNA (EBER) 1, respectively. We report that EBV could not be detected in any of the multiple sclerosis specimens containing white matter lesions by any of the methods employed, yet EBV was readily detectable in multiple Epstein–Barr virus-positive control tissues including several CNS lymphomas. Furthermore, EBV was not detected in our second cohort of multiple sclerosis specimens by in situ hybridization. However, our real-time PCR methodologies, which were capable of detecting very few EBV infected cells, detected EBV at low levels in only 2 of the 12 multiple sclerosis meningeal specimens examined. Our finding that CNS EBV infection was rare in multiple sclerosis brain indicates that EBV infection is unlikely to contribute directly to multiple sclerosis brain pathology in the vast majority of cases.
B cells; Epstein–Barr virus; multiple sclerosis brain
The EML4-ALK fusion oncogene represents a novel molecular target in a small subset of non–small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC). To aid in identification and treatment of these patients, we examined the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients who had NSCLC with and without EML4-ALK.
Patients and Methods
Patients with NSCLC were selected for genetic screening on the basis of two or more of the following characteristics: female sex, Asian ethnicity, never/light smoking history, and adenocarcinoma histology. EML4-ALK was identified by using fluorescent in situ hybridization for ALK rearrangements and was confirmed by immunohistochemistry for ALK expression. EGFR and KRAS mutations were determined by DNA sequencing.
Of 141 tumors screened, 19 (13%) were EML4-ALK mutant, 31 (22%) were EGFR mutant, and 91 (65%) were wild type (WT/WT) for both ALK and EGFR. Compared with the EGFR mutant and WT/WT cohorts, patients with EML4-ALK mutant tumors were significantly younger (P < .001 and P = .005) and were more likely to be men (P = .036 and P = .039). Patients with EML4-ALK–positive tumors, like patients who harbored EGFR mutations, also were more likely to be never/light smokers compared with patients in the WT/WT cohort (P < .001). Eighteen of the 19 EML4-ALK tumors were adenocarcinomas, predominantly the signet ring cell subtype. Among patients with metastatic disease, EML4-ALK positivity was associated with resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Patients in the EML4-ALK cohort and the WT/WT cohort showed similar response rates to platinum-based combination chemotherapy and no difference in overall survival.
EML4-ALK defines a molecular subset of NSCLC with distinct clinical characteristics. Patients who harbor this mutation do not benefit from EGFR TKIs and should be directed to trials of ALK-targeted agents.
The anaplastic large cell kinase gene (ALK) is rearranged in approximately 5% of lung adenocarcinomas within the Asian population. We evaluated the incidence and the characteristics of ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas within the Western population and the optimal diagnostic modality to detect ALK rearrangements in routine clinical practice.
We tested 358 lung adenocarcinomas from three institutions for ALK rearrangements by fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) with and without tyramide amplification (TA). The clinicopathologic characteristics of tumors with and without ALK rearrangements were compared.
We identified 20 lung adenocarcinomas (5.6%) with ALK rearrangements within our cohort of Western patients. ALK rearrangement was associated with younger age (P = 0.0002), never smoking (P < 0.0001), advanced clinical stage (P = 0.0001), and a solid histology with signet-ring cells (P < 0.0001). ALK rearrangement was identified by FISH in 95% of cases, IHC with and without TA in 80% and 40% of cases, respectively, but neither FISH nor IHC alone detected all cases with ALK rearrangement on initial screening. None of the ALK-rearranged tumors harbored coexisting EGFR mutations.
Lung adenocarcinomas with ALK rearrangements are uncommon in the Western population and represent a distinct entity of carcinomas with unique characteristics. For suspected cases dual diagnostic testing, with FISH and IHC, should be considered to accurately identify lung adenocarcinomas with ALK rearrangement.
The RecQ family helicase BLM is critically involved in the maintenance of genomic stability and BLM mutation causes the heritable disorder, Bloom’s syndrome. Affected individuals suffer from a predisposition to a multitude of cancer types and an ill-defined immunodeficiency involving low serum antibody titers. To investigate its role in B cell biology, we inactivated murine Blm specifically in B lymphocytes in vivo. Numbers of developing B lymphoid cells in the bone marrow and mature B cells in the periphery were drastically reduced upon Blm-inactivation. Of the major peripheral B cell subsets, B1a cells were most prominently affected. In the sera of Blm-deficient naïve mice, concentrations of all Ig isotypes were low, particularly IgG3. Specific IgG antibody responses upon immunization were poor and mutant B cells exhibited a generally reduced antibody class switch-capacity in vitro. We did not find evidence for a crucial role of Blm in the mechanism of class switch recombination. However, a modest shift towards microhomology-mediated switch junction formation was observed in Blm-deficient B cells. Finally, a cohort of p53-deficient, conditional Blm knockout mice revealed an increased propensity for B cell lymphoma development. Impaired cell cycle progression and survival as well as high rates of chromosomal structural abnormalities in mutant B cell blasts was identified as the basis for the observed effects. Collectively, our data highlight the importance of BLM-dependent genome surveillance for B cell immunity by ensuring proper development and function of the various B cell subsets while counteracting lymphomagenesis.
B cells; immunodeficiency diseases; transgenic/knockout mice; cell differentiation; cell proliferation
The transient receptor potential channel 5 (TRPC5) is predominantly expressed in the brain where it can form heterotetrameric complexes with TRPC1 and TRPC4 channel subunits. These excitatory, non-selective cationic channels are regulated by G protein, phospholipase C-coupled receptors. Here, we show that TRPC5−/− mice exhibit diminished innate fear levels in response to innately aversive stimuli. Moreover, mutant mice exhibited significant reductions in responses mediated by synaptic activation of Group I metabotropic glutamate and cholecystokinin 2 receptors in neurons of the amygdala. Synaptic strength at afferent inputs to the amygdala was diminished in P10–P13 null mice. In contrast, baseline synaptic transmission, membrane excitability, and spike timing-dependent long-term potentiation at cortical and thalamic inputs to the amygdala were largely normal in older null mice. These experiments provide genetic evidence that TRPC5, activated via G protein-coupled neuronal receptors, has an essential function in innate fear.
There is a pressing need for methods to define the functional relevance of genetic alterations identified by next-generation sequencing of cancer specimens. We developed new approaches to efficiently construct full-length cDNA libraries from small amounts of total RNA, screen for transforming and resistance phenotypes, and deconvolute by next-generation sequencing. Using this platform, we screened a panel of cDNA libraries from primary specimens and cell lines in cytokine-dependent murine Ba/F3 cells. We demonstrate that cDNA library-based screening can efficiently identify DNA and RNA alterations that confer either cytokine-independent proliferation or resistance to targeted inhibitors, including RNA alterations and intergenic fusions. Using barcoded next-generation sequencing, we simultaneously deconvoluted cytokine-independent clones recovered after transduction of 21 cDNA libraries. This approach identified multiple gain-of-function alleles, including KRAS G12D, NRAS Q61K and an activating splice variant of ERBB2. This approach has broad applicability for identifying transcripts that confer proliferation, resistance and other phenotypes in vitro and potentially in vivo.
TNFAIP2 is a protein upregulated in response to TNF signaling but its cellular expression and function in normal and neoplastic tissues remains largely unknown. Here we use standard immunohistochemical techniques to demonstrate that TNFAIP2 is normally expressed by follicular dendritic cells, interdigitating dendritic cells, and macrophages but not by lymphoid cells in secondary lymphoid tissues. Consistent with this expression pattern, we found strong TNFAIP2 staining of tumor cells in 4/4 cases (100%) of follicular dendritic cell sarcoma and in 3/3 cases (100%) of histiocytic sarcoma. Although TNFAIP2 is not expressed by the small and intermediate-size neoplastic B-cells comprising follicular lymphoma, small lymphocytic lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, or marginal zone lymphoma, we observed strong TNFAIP2 staining of the large, neoplastic cells, in 31/31 cases (100%) of classical Hodgkin lymphoma, 12/12 cases (100%) of nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma, and 27/31 cases (87%) of primary mediastinal (thymic) large B cell lymphoma. In contrast, TNFAIP2 was expressed by the malignant cells in only 2/45 cases (4%) of diffuse large B cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified, 2/18 cases (11%) of Burkitt lymphoma, and 1/19 cases (5%) of anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Further analysis indicates that TNFAIP2, as a single diagnostic marker, is more sensitive (sensitivity= 87%) and specific (specificity= 96%) than TRAF1, nuclear cRel, or CD23 for distinguishing the malignant B-cells of primary mediastinal (thymic) large B cell lymphoma from those of its morphologic and immunophenotypic mimic, diffuse large B cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified. Thus, TNFAIP2 may serve as a useful new marker of dendritic and histiocytic sarcomas whose aberrant expression in the malignant cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma and primary mediastinal (thymic) large B cell lymphoma serves to distinguish these tumors from other large cell lymphomas in routine clinical practice.
TNFAIP2; Hodgkin Lymphoma; primary mediastinal (thymic) large B cell lymphoma; immunohistochemistry
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), including crizotinib, are effective treatments in preclinical models and in cancer patients with ALK-translocated cancers. However, their efficacy will ultimately be limited by the development of acquired drug resistance. Here we report two mechanisms of ALK TKI resistance identified from, a crizotinib treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patient and in a cell line generated from the resistant tumor (DFCI076), and from studying a resistant version of the ALK TKI (TAE684) sensitive H3122 cell line. The crizotinib resistant DFCI076 cell line, harboured a unique L1152R ALK secondary mutation, and was also resistant to the structurally unrelated ALK TKI TAE684. Although the DFCI076 cell line was still partially dependent on ALK for survival, it also contained concurrent co-activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling. In contrast, the TAE684 resistant (TR3) H3122 cell line did not contain an ALK secondary mutation but instead harboured co-activation of EGFR signalling. Dual inhibition of both ALK and EGFR was the most effective therapeutic strategy for the DFCI076 and H3122 TR3 cell lines. We further identified a subset (3/50; 6%) of treatment naïve NSCLC patients with ALK rearrangements that also had concurrent EGFR activating mutations. Our studies identify resistance mechanisms to ALK TKIs mediated by both ALK and by a bypass signalling pathway mediated by EGFR. These mechanisms can occur independently, or in the same cancer, suggesting that the combination of both ALK and EGFR inhibitors may represent an effective therapy for these subsets of NSCLC patients.
Non-small cell lung carcinoma; translocation; kinase inhibitor; drug resistance; mutation