Epithelial junctions between tumor cells inhibit the penetration of anti-cancer drugs into tumors. We previously reported on recombinant adenovirus serotype 3 derived protein (JO-1), which triggers transient opening of intercellular junctions in epithelial tumors through binding to desmoglein 2 (DSG2), and enhances the anti-tumor effects of several therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether JO-1 co-therapy can also improve the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs.
The effect of intravenous application of JO-1 in combination with several chemotherapy drugs including paclitaxel/Taxol™, nanoparticle albumin bound paclitaxel/Abraxane™, liposomal doxorubicin/Doxil™ and irinotecan/Camptosar™, was tested in xenograft models for breast, colon, ovarian, gastric and lung cancer. Because JO-1 does not bind to mouse cells, for safety studies with JO-1, we also used human DSG2 (hDSG2) transgenic mice with tumors that overexpressed human DSG2.
JO-1 increased the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs, and in several models overcame drug resistance. JO-1 treatment also allowed for the reduction of drug doses required to achieve anti-tumor effects. Importantly, JO-1 co-admininstration protected normal tissues, including bone marrow and intestinal epithelium, against toxic effects that are normally associated with chemotherapeutic agents. Using the hDSG2 transgenic mouse model, we demonstrated that JO-1 predominantly accumulates in tumors. Except for a mild, transient diarrhea, intravenous injection of JO-1 (2mg/kg) had no critical side effects on other tissues or hematological parameters in hDSG2-transgenic mice.
Our preliminary data suggest that JO-1 co-therapy has the potential to improve the therapeutic outcome of cancer chemotherapy.
The efficacy of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) used to treat solid tumors is limited by intercellular junctions which tightly link epithelial tumor cells to each another. In this study, we define a small, recombinant adenovirus serotype 3-derived protein, termed junction opener 1 (JO-1), which binds to the epithelial junction protein desmoglein 2 (DSG2). In mouse xenograft models employing Her2/neu- and EGFR-positive human cancer cell lines, JO-1 mediated cleavage of DSG2 dimers and activated intracellular signaling pathways which reduced E-cadherin expression in tight junctions. Notably, JO-1-triggered changes allowed for increased intratumoral penetration of the anti-Her2/neu mAb trastuzumab (Herceptin) as well as improved access to its target receptor, Her2/neu, which is partly trapped in tight junctions. This effect translated directly into increased therapeutic efficacy of trastuzumab in mouse xenograft models using breast, gastric, and ovarian cancer cells that were Her2/neu-positive. Furthermore, combining JO-1 with the EGFR-targeting mAb cetuximab (Erbitux) greatly improved therapeutic outcomes in a metastatic model of EGFR-positive lung cancer. Taken together, our findings offer preclinical proof of concept to employ JO-1 in combination treatments which enhance the efficacy of trastuzumab treatment, by generating a transient degradation of tumor stroma proteins that can elicit eradication of tumors.
The role of circumcision in male HPV acquisition is not clear.
Male university students (18–20 years of age) were recruited from 2003–2009 and followed tri-annually. Shaft/scrotum, glans, and urine samples were tested for 37 alpha HPV genotypes. Cox proportional hazards methods were used to evaluate the association between circumcision and HPV acquisition. Logistic regression was used to assess whether number of genital sites infected at incident HPV detection or site of incident detection varied by circumcision status.
In 477 men, rates of acquiring clinically-relevant HPV types (high-risk types plus types 6 and 11) did not differ significantly by circumcision status (hazard ratio [HR] for uncircumcised relative to circumcised subjects: 0.9[95%CI:0.7–1.2]). However, compared to circumcised men, uncircumcised men were 10.1 (95%CI:2.9–35.6) times more likely to have the same HPV type detected in all 3 genital specimens than in a single genital specimen and were 2.7 (95%CI:1.6–4.5) times more likely to have an HPV-positive urine or glans specimen at first detection.
While the likelihood of HPV acquisition did not differ by circumcision status, uncircumcised men were more likely than circumcised men to have infections detected at multiple genital sites, which may have implications for HPV transmission.
HPV; human papilloma virus; circumcision; epidemiology; risk factors
MicroRNA (miRNA) expression is known to be deregulated in ovarian carcinomas. However, limited data is available about the miRNA expression pattern for the benign or borderline ovarian tumors as well as differential miRNA expression pattern associated with histological types, grades or clinical stages in ovarian carcinomas. We defined patterns of microRNA expression in tissues from normal, benign, borderline, and malignant ovarian tumors and explored the relationship between frequently deregulated miRNAs and clinicopathologic findings, response to therapy, survival, and association with Her-2/neu status in ovarian carcinomas.
We measured the expression of nine miRNAs (miR-181d, miR-30a-3p, miR-30c, miR-30d, miR-30e-3p, miR-368, miR-370, miR-493-5p, miR-532-5p) in 171 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded ovarian tissue blocks as well as six normal human ovarian surface epithelial (HOSE) cell lines using Taqman-based real-time PCR assays. Her-2/neu overexpression was assessed in ovarian carcinomas (n = 109 cases) by immunohistochemistry analysis.
Expression of four miRNAs (miR-30c, miR-30d, miR-30e-3p, miR-370) was significantly different between carcinomas and benign ovarian tissues as well as between carcinoma and borderline tissues. An additional three miRNAs (miR-181d, miR-30a-3p, miR-532-5p) were significantly different between borderline and carcinoma tissues. Expression of miR-532-5p was significantly lower in borderline than in benign tissues. Among ovarian carcinomas, expression of four miRNAs (miR-30a-3p, miR-30c, miR-30d, miR-30e-3p) was lowest in mucinous and highest in clear cell samples. Expression of miR-30a-3p was higher in well-differentiated compared to poorly differentiated tumors (P = 0.02), and expression of miR-370 was higher in stage I/II compared to stage III/IV samples (P = 0.03). In multivariate analyses, higher expression of miR-181d, miR-30c, miR-30d, and miR-30e-3p was associated with significantly better disease-free or overall survival. Finally, lower expression of miR-30c, miR-30d, miR-30e-3p and miR-532-5p was significantly associated with overexpression of Her-2/neu.
Aberrant expression of miRNAs is common in ovarian tumor suggesting involvement of miRNA in ovarian tumorigenesis. They are associated with histology, clinical stage, survival and oncogene expression in ovarian carcinoma.
miRNA; Ovarian tumor; Her2/neu; Survival
Background. Although the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) genital infection is similarly high in males and females, seroprevalence is lower in males. This study assessed rates and determinants of seroconversion after detection of genital HPV infection in young men.
Methods. We investigated HPV type-specific seroconversion in a cohort of heterosexual male university students who had an α9 HPV type (HPV-16, -31, -33, -35, -52, -58, or -67) detected in the genital tract (n = 156). HPV DNA and antibodies were detected and typed using liquid bead-based multiplex assays. We calculated seroconversion using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Cox proportional hazards models with generalized estimating equations were used to examine associations with seroconversion.
Results. Within 24 months of detecting genital HPV infection, type-specific seroconversion ranged from 4% for HPV–52 to 36% for HPV-31. HPV-16 seroconversion at 24 months was 13% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7%–25%). Among incident HPV infections, ever cigarette smoking and infection site(s) (shaft/scrotum and glans/urine vs shaft/scrotum or glans/urine only) were positively associated with type-specific seroconversion.
Conclusions. For each of the α9 HPV types, type-specific seroconversion within 24 months was observed in 36% or less of infected men. Seroconversion might be related to cigarette smoking and genital site(s) infected.
Non-melanoma skin cancers are one of the most common human malignancies accounting for 2–3% of tumors in the US and represent a significant health burden. Epidemiology studies have implicated Tp53 mutations triggered by UV exposure, and human papilloma virus (HPV) infection to be significant causes of non-melanoma skin cancer. However, the relationship between Tp53 and cutaneous HPV infection is not well understood in skin cancers. In this study we assessed the association of HPV infection and Tp53 polymorphisms and mutations in lesional specimens with squamous cell carcinomas.
We studied 55 cases of histologically confirmed cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and 41 controls for the presence of HPV infection and Tp53 genotype (mutations and polymorphism).
We found an increased number of Tp53 mutations in the squamous cell carcinoma samples compared with perilesional or control samples. There was increased frequency of homozygous Tp53-72R polymorphism in cases with squamous cell carcinomas, while the Tp53-72P allele (Tp53-72R/P and Tp53-72P/P) was more frequent in normal control samples. Carcinoma samples positive for HPV showed a decreased frequency of Tp53 mutations compared to those without HPV infection. In addition, carcinoma samples with a Tp53-72P allele showed an increased incidence of Tp53 mutations in comparison carcinomas samples homozygous for Tp53-72R.
These studies suggest there are two separate pathways (HPV infection and Tp53 mutation) leading to cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas stratified by the Tp53 codon-72 polymorphism. The presence of a Tp53-72P allele is protective against cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and carcinoma specimens with Tp53-72P are more likely to have Tp53 mutations. In contrast Tp53-72R is a significant risk factor for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and is frequently associated with HPV infection instead of Tp53 mutations. Heterozygosity for Tp53-72R/P is protective against squamous cell carcinomas, possibly reflecting a requirement for both HPV infection and Tp53 mutations.
Characterizing short-term detection patterns of young women’s incident alpha-genus human papillomavirus (HPV) infections may further understanding of HPV transmission.
Between 2000–2007, we followed 18–22 year old female university students with triannual HPV DNA and Papanicolau testing. Using Kaplan-Meier methods, we estimated: duration of detectable, type-specific incident infections; time to re-detection (among infections that became undetectable); and time to cervical lesion development after incident infection. We evaluated risk factors for short-term persistent versus transient infection with logistic regression.
303 incident type-specific infections were detected in 85 sexually active women. Median time to first negative test after incident infection was 9.4 (95%CI:7.8–11.2) months; 90.6% of infections became undetectable within two years. 19.4% of infections that became undetectable were re-detected within one year. Cervical lesions were common, and 60% were positive for multiple HPV types in concurrent cervical swabs. Incident HPV detection in the cervix only (versus the vulva/vagina only or both sites) was associated with short-term transience.
While most incident infections became undetectable within two years, re-detection was not uncommon. Cervical lesions were a common early manifestation of HPV infection.
It remains unclear whether potentially modifiable risk factors can be identified to reduce infection duration (and transmission likelihood).
human papillomavirus; incidence; duration; persistence; women; epidemiology
MicroRNA expression is severely disrupted in carcinogenesis, however limited evidence is available validating results from cell-line models in human clinical cancer specimens. MicroRNA-21 (mir-21) and microRNA-143 (mir-143) have previously been identified as significantly deregulated in a range of cancers including cervical cancer. Our goal was to investigate the expression patterns of several well-studied microRNA species in cervical samples and compare the results to cell line samples.
We measured the expression of mir-21 and mir-143 in 142 formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) cervical biopsy tissue blocks, collected from Dantec Oncology Clinic, Dakar, Senegal. MicroRNA expression analysis was performed using Taqman-based real-time PCR assays. Protein immunohistochemical staining was also performed to investigate target protein expression on 72 samples. We found that mir-21 expression increased with worsening clinical diagnosis but that mir-143 was not correlated with histology. These observations were in stark contrast to previous reports involving cervical cancer cell lines in which mir-143 was consistently down-regulated but mir-21 largely unaffected. We also identified, for the first time, that cytoplasmic expression of Programmed Cell Death Protein 4 PDCD4; a known target of mir-21) was significantly lower in women with invasive cervical carcinoma (ICC) in comparison to those with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (2–3) or carcinoma in situ (CIN2-3/CIS), although there was no significant correlation between mir-21 and PDCD4 expression, despite previous studies identifying PDCD4 transcript as a known mir-21 target.
Whilst microRNA biomarkers have a number of promising features, more studies on expression levels in histologically defined clinical specimens are required to investigate clinical relevance of discovery-based studies. Mir-21 may be of some utility in predictive screening, given that we observed a significant correlation between mir-21 expression level and worsening histological diagnosis of cervical cancer.
The processes that compose expression of a given gene are far more complex than previously thought presenting unprecedented conceptual and mechanistic challenges that require development of new tools. Chromatin structure, which is regulated by DNA methylation and histone modification, is at the center of gene regulation. Immunoprecipitations of chromatin (ChIP) and methylated DNA (MeDIP) represent a major achievement in this area that allow researchers to probe chromatin modifications as well as specific protein-DNA interactions in vivo and to estimate the density of proteins at specific sites genome-wide. Although a critical component of chromatin structure, DNA methylation has often been studied independently of other chromatin events and transcription.
To allow simultaneous measurements of DNA methylation with other genomic processes, we developed and validated a simple and easy-to-use high throughput microplate-based platform for analysis of DNA methylation. Compared to the traditional beads-based MeDIP the microplate MeDIP was more sensitive and had lower non-specific binding. We integrated the MeDIP method with a microplate ChIP assay which allows measurements of both DNA methylation and histone marks at the same time, Matrix ChIP-MeDIP platform. We illustrated several applications of this platform to relate DNA methylation, with chromatin and transcription events at selected genes in cultured cells, human cancer and in a model of diabetic kidney disease.
The high throughput capacity of Matrix ChIP-MeDIP to profile tens and potentially hundreds of different genomic events at the same time as DNA methylation represents a powerful platform to explore complex genomic mechanism at selected genes in cultured cells and in whole tissues. In this regard, Matrix ChIP-MeDIP should be useful to complement genome-wide studies where the rich chromatin and transcription database resources provide fruitful foundation to pursue mechanistic, functional and diagnostic information at genes of interest in health and disease.
A characteristic feature of atherosclerosis is its diffuse involvement of arteries across the entire human body. Bone marrow cells (BMC) can be simultaneously transferred with therapeutic genes and magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agents prior to their transplantation. Via systemic transplantation, these dual-transferred BMCs can circulate through the entire body and thus function as vehicles to carry genes/contrast agents to multiple atherosclerosis. This study was to evaluate the feasibility of using in vivo MR imaging (MRI) to monitor BMC-mediated interleukin-10 (IL-10) gene therapy of atherosclerosis.
For in vitro confirmation, donor mouse BMCs were transduced by IL-10/lentivirus, and then labeled with a T2-MR contrast agent (Feridex). For in vivo validation, atherosclerotic apoE−/− mice were intravenously transplanted with IL-10/Feridex-BMCs (Group I, n = 5) and Feridex-BMCs (Group II, n = 5), compared to controls without BMC transplantation (Group III, n = 5). The cell migration to aortic atherosclerotic lesions was monitored in vivo using 3.0T MRI with subsequent histology correlation. To evaluate the therapeutic effect of BMC-mediated IL-10 gene therapy, we statistically compared the normalized wall indexes (NWI) of ascending aortas amongst different mouse groups with various treatments.
Of in vitro experiments, simultaneous IL-10 transduction and Feridex labeling of BMCs were successfully achieved, with high cell viability and cell labeling efficiency, as well as IL-10 expression efficiency (≥90%). Of in vivo experiments, MRI of animal groups I and II showed signal voids within the aortic walls due to Feridex-created artifacts from the migrated BMCs in the atherosclerotic plaques, which were confirmed by histology. Histological quantification showed that the mean NWI of group I was significantly lower than those of group II and group III (P<0.05).
This study has confirmed the possibility of using MRI to track, in vivo, IL-10/Feridex-BMCs recruited to atherosclerotic lesions, where IL-10 genes function to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis.
We previously identified a number of genes which were methylated significantly more frequently in the tumor compared to the non-cancerous lung tissues from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Detection of methylation profiles of genes in NSCLC could provide insight into differential pathways to malignancy and lead to strategies for better treatment of individuals with NSCLC.
We determined the DNA methylation status of 27 genes using quantitative MethyLight assays in lung tumor samples from 117 clinically well-characterized NSCLC patients.
Hypermethylation was detected in one of more of the genes in 106 (91%) of 117 cases and was detected at high levels (Percentage of Methylation Reference (PMR)≥4%) in 79% of NSCLC cases. Methylation of APC, CCND2, KCNH5 and, RUNX was significantly more frequent in adenocarcinomas compared to squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), while methylation of CDKN2A was more common in SCC. Hypermethylation of KCNH5, KCNH8, and RARB was more frequent in females compared to males. Hypermethylation of APC and CCND2 was inversely associated with proliferation score assessed by Ki-67 level.
Our findings of differential gene hypermethylation frequencies in tumor tissues from patients with adenocarcinoma or squamous cell cancers and in females compared to males suggests that further investigation is warranted in order to more fully understand the potential disparate pathways and/or risk factors for NSCLC associated with histologic type and gender.
hypermethylation; lung cancer; gender; histology
Little is known about detection of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) types in women’s fingertips. The study objectives were to determine the presence of genital HPV types in fingertip samples and agreement between fingertip and genital samples for detecting HPV.
At tri-annual visits, genital and fingertip samples were collected from female university students and tested for 37 HPV genotypes by PCR-based assay. Type-specific concordance between paired fingertip and genital samples was evaluated using a kappa statistic for percent positive agreement (“kappa +”). Paired samples with type-specific concordant fingertip and genital results were selected for variant characterization.
A total of 357 fingertip samples were collected from 128 women. HPV prevalence in fingertip samples was 14.3%. Although percent positive agreement between fingertips and genitals for detecting type-specific HPV was low (17.8%; kappa+=0.17, 95%CI:0.10–0.25), 60.4% of type-specific HPV detected in the fingertips was detected in a concurrent genital sample. All but one of 28 paired concordant samples were positive for the same type-specific variant in the fingertip and genital sample. Re-detection of HPV types at the subsequent visit was more common in genital samples (73.3%) than in fingertip samples (14.5%) (p<.001).
Detection of genital HPV types in the fingertips was not uncommon. While impossible to distinguish between deposition of DNA from the genitals to the fingertips and true fingertip infection, the rarity of repeat detection in the fingertips suggests that deposition is more common.
Finger-genital transmission is plausible, but unlikely to be a significant source of genital HPV infection.
human papillomavirus; fingertip; genital; women; epidemiology
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is known to be associated with both HBV and HCV and HVC. While epigenetic changes have been previously reported to be associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), whether the epigenetic profile of HBC associated HCC differs from that of HCV associated HCC is unclear. We analyzed DNA methylation of ten genes (APC, CCND2, CDKN2A, GSTP1, HOXA9, RARB, RASSF1, RUNX, SFRP1, and TWIST1) using MethyLight assays on 65 archived liver tissue blocks. Three genes (APC, CCND2, and GSTP1) were frequently methylated in normal liver tissues. Five genes (APC, CDKN2A, HOXA9, RASSF1, and RUNX) were significantly more frequently methylated in malignant liver tissues than normal liver tissues. Among HCC cases, HOXA9, RASSF1 and SFRP1 were methylated more frequently in HBV positive HCC cases, while CDKN2A were significantly more frequently methylated in HCV positive HCC cases. Our data support the hypothesis that HCC resulting from different viral etiologies are associated with different epigenetic changes.
hypermethylation; HBV; HCV; hepatocellular carcinoma
It remains unknown whether tobacco smoke induces DNA hypermethylation as an early event in carcinogenesis or as a late event, specific to overt cancer tissue. Using MethyLight assays, we analyzed 316 lung tissue samples from 151 cancer-free subjects (121 ever-smokers and 30 never-smokers) for hypermethylation of 19 genes previously observed to be hypermethylated in nonsmall cell lung cancers. Only APC (39%), CCND2 (21%), CDH1 (7%), and RARB (4%) were hypermethylated in >2% of these cancer-free subjects. CCND2 was hypermethylated more frequently in ever-smokers (26%) than in never-smokers (3%). CCND2 hypermethylation was also associated with increased age and upper lobe sample location. APC was frequently hypermethylated in both ever-smokers (41%) and never-smokers (30%). BVES, CDH13, CDKN2A (p16), CDKN2B, DAPK1, IGFBP3, IGSF4, KCNH5, KCNH8, MGMT, OPCML, PCSK6, RASSF1, RUNX, and TMS1 were rarely hypermethylated (<2%) in all subjects. Hypermethylation of CCND2 may reflect a smoking-induced precancerous change in the lung.
We determined the feasibility of human papillomavirus (HPV) detection in cervical exfoliated cells collected as dry swab samples. Both dry cervical swab and specimen transport medium (STM) cervical swab samples were collected from 135 patients attending either colposcopy or women's clinics in Guayaquil, Ecuador, who had a cytology diagnosis within 6 months. HPV was detected by dot blot hybridization and genotyped by the liquid bead microarray assay (LBMA). Overall, 23.1% of dry samples were positive for any high-risk HPV types, and 24.6% of STM samples were positive for any high-risk HPV types. Of 125 paired samples, the type-specific high-risk HPV proportion positive agreement was 60.7% (kappa, 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53 to 0.82). Of six women with cytological evidence of invasive cervical cancer, high-risk HPV DNA was detected in three of their STM samples and in five of their dry samples. Dry samples were more likely to be insufficient for HPV testing than STM samples. Consistent with this observation, the amount of genomic DNA quantitated with the β-actin gene was almost 20 times lower in dry samples than in STM samples when detected by the real-time TaqMan assay; however, HPV DNA viral loads in dry samples were only 1.6 times lower than those in matched STM samples. We concluded that exfoliated cervical cells could be collected as dry swab samples for HPV detection.
To quantify the risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) acquisition associated with a first male sex partner and to identify associated risk factors, we analyzed data from women who were enrolled before or within 3 months of first intercourse with a male partner and were censored at the report of a second partner. The 1-year cumulative incidence of first HPV infection was 28.5% (95% confidence interval, 20.6%–38.6%) and increased to almost 50% by 3 years. The risk was increased when the first male partner was sexually experienced. Our results indicate a high risk of HPV infection in young women who have had just 1 male sex partner.
Examine the relationship of depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and combined oral contraceptive (COC) use with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).
Two case-control studies of women who presented for gynecological care and underwent cytologic and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing were performed. The first included oncogenic HPV-positive women grouped based on histology: negative(n=152), CIN1(n=133), and ≥CIN2-3(n=173). For the second, two groups were identified: negative HPV/negative histology(n=107) and positive oncogenic HPV/negative histology(n=152).
Among oncogenic HPV-positive women, DMPA use was inversely associated with ≥CIN2-3 (adjusted odds ratio[ORadj]=0.4;95% confidence interval[CI]=0.2–1.1) and CIN1 (ORadj=0.1;95% CI=0.01–0.6); COC use was not associated with either. Among histologically negative women, DMPA use was associated with oncogenic HPV (ORadj=4.7;95% CI=1.4–15.8).
Among women with oncogenic HPV, hormonal contraceptive use was not associated with an increased risk of ≥CIN2-3. Longer-term DMPA use may attenuate the colposcopic and histologic features of CIN as women reporting such use were more likely than others to have cervical oncogenic HPV without evidence of CIN.
CIN; hormonal contraception; DMPA; Oncogenic HPV infection
We used MethyLight assays to analyze DNA methylation status of 27 genes on 49 paired cancerous and noncancerous tissue samples from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who underwent surgical resection. Seven genes (RARB, BVES, CDKN2A, KCNH5, RASSF1, CDH13, and RUNX) were found to be methylated significantly more frequently in tumor tissues than in noncancerous tissues. Only methylation of CCND2 and APC was frequently detected in both cancerous and noncancerous tissues, supporting the hypothesis that the methylation of these two genes is a preneoplastic change and may be associated with tobacco smoking exposure. Methylation of any one of eight genes (RASSF1, DAPK1, BVES, CDH13, MGMT, KCNH5, RARB, or CDH1) was present in 80% of NSCLC tissues but only in 14% of noncancerous tissues. Detection of methylation of these genes in blood might have utility in monitoring and detecting tumor recurrence in early-stage NSCLC after curative surgical resection.
To define patterns of aberrant DNA methylation, p53 mutation and Her-2/neu overexpression in tissues from benign (N=29), malignant (N=100), and border line malignant ovaries (N=10), as compared to normal (N=68) ovarian tissues. Further, to explore the relationship between the presence of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities in ovarian cancers, and assess the association between epigenetic changes and clinical stage of malignancy at presentation and response to therapy.
The methylation status of 23 genes that were previously reported associated with various epithelial malignancies was assessed in normal and abnormal ovarian tissues by methylation specific PCR. The presence of p53 mutation (N=82 cases) and Her-2/neu overexpression (N=51 cases) were assessed by DNA sequencing and immunohistochemistry, respectively.
Methylation of four genes (MINT31, HIC1, RASSF1, and CABIN1) was significantly associated with ovarian cancer but not other ovarian pathology. Her-2/neu overexpression was associated with aberrant methylation of three genes (MINT31, RASSF1, and CDH13), although aberrant methylation was not associated with p53 mutations. Methylation of RASSF1 and HIC1 was more frequent in early compared to late stage ovarian cancer, while methylation of CABIN1 and RASSF1 was associated with response to chemotherapy.
DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes is a frequent event in ovarian cancer, and in some cases is associated with Her-2/neu overexpression. Methylation of CABIN1 and RASSF1 may have the utility to predict response to therapy.
hypermethylation; Her-2/neu overexpression; p53; ovarian cancer
Given that the integration of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) into the host genome occurs preferentially with the disruption of the E2 gene, a ratio of E2 to E7 gene copies is often used as a marker for integration. It is largely undetermined, however, whether ratio estimates are affected by HPV intratypic variations. We assembled four plasmid constructs, each containing a DNA fragment from an HPV16 European, Asian-American, African-1, or African-2 variant. These constructs and nine cervical swab samples were assayed by real-time PCR with two primer-probe sets for each gene: a specific set, fully complementary to the HPV16 prototype, and a degenerate set, incorporating degenerate bases at positions where nucleotides differed among the variants. The ratio of E2 to E7 gene copies for the European variant construct was close to 1, no matter which sets of primers and probes were used. While the ratios for the African-1 and Asian-American variant constructs remained close to 1 with the degenerate sets of primers and probes, the ratios were 0.36 and 2.57, respectively, with the specific sets of primers and probes. In addition, a nucleotide alteration at the position immediately following the 3′ end of the E2 forward primer binding site was found to be responsible for an underestimation of E2 gene copies for the African-2 variant construct. Similar patterns were found in nine cervical samples. In conclusion, mismatches between the primers and probes and their targets due to HPV16 intratypic variations would introduce errors in testing for integration; this situation can be sufficiently ameliorated by incorporating degenerate bases into the primers and probes.
We developed a liquid bead microarray (LBMA) assay for genotyping genital human papillomaviruses (HPVs) based on the MY09-MY11-HMB01 PCR system and the reverse line blot (RLB) assay probe sequences. Using individual HPV plasmids, we were able to detect as few as 50 copies per reaction. In two separate retrospective studies, the LBMA assay was compared to the RLB assay and to the Hybrid Capture II (hc2) assay. Testing was performed without knowledge of other assay results. In the first study, 614 cervical swab samples (enriched for HPV infection) from 160 young women were tested for HPV DNA, and 360 (74.8%) type-specific HPV infections were detected by both assays, 71 (14.8%) by the LBMA assay only, and 50 (10.4%) by the RLB assay only. Type-specific agreement for the two assays was excellent (99.1%; kappa = 0.85; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.82 to 0.88). Samples with discrepant LBMA and RLB test results tended to have low viral loads by a quantitative type-specific PCR assay. In the second study, cervical swab samples from 452 women (including 54 women with histologically confirmed cervical-intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse [≥CIN2]) were tested initially by the hc2 and subsequently by the LBMA assay. The estimated sensitivities for ≥CIN2 were similar for the LBMA and hc2 assays (98.4% [95% CI, 95.0 to 100%] and 95.6% [95% CI, 89.2 to 100%], respectively). The percentages of negative results among 398 women without ≥CIN2 were similar for the LBMA and hc2 assays (45% and 50%, respectively). The repeat test reproducibility for 100 samples was 99.1% (kappa = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.90 to 0.95). We conclude that the new LBMA assay will be useful for clinical and epidemiological research.
The aim of this study was to analyze the utility of a mammaglobin multigene RT-PCR assay and a mammaglobin sandwich ELISA to detect peripheral blood samples of breast cancer patients.
Peripheral blood samples of 147 untreated Senegalese women with biopsy confirmed breast cancer were collected. The samples were tested for mammaglobin and 3 breast cancer associated gene transcripts using a multigene real-time RT-PCR assay and for secreted mammaglobin protein using a sandwich ELISA format. Patient information regarding demographic and clinical staging of disease was also collected.
In 77 % of the breast cancer blood samples a positive expression signal was found using the multigene RT-PCR assay detecting mammaglobin and three complementary transcribed genes. 50 samples from healthy female donors tested negative. Circulating mammaglobin protein was found in 68 % of the breast cancer sera, whereas 38 % showed significantly elevated protein levels in comparison to a mixed control population. Statistical correlations were found between the detection of mammaglobin protein in serum, presence of mammaglobin mRNA expressing cells in blood, stage of disease and tumor size.
The multigene mammaglobin RT-PCR assay and mammaglobin sandwich ELISA could be valuable tools to detect metastatic disease and to monitor therapeutic efficiency. Both assays together provided a diagnostic sensitivity of 83 %. Use of the multigene RT-PCR increased detection sensitivity from 61 to 77 % in comparison to mammaglobin expression alone.
multigene RT-PCR; circulating tumor cell detection; breast cancer
Adenovirus vectors based on human serotype 5 (Ad5) have successfully been used as gene transfer vectors in many gene therapy-based approaches to treat disease. Despite their widespread application, many potential therapeutic applications are limited by the widespread prevalence of vector-neutralizing antibodies within the human population and the inability of Ad5-based vectors to transduce important therapeutic target cell types. In an attempt to circumvent these problems, we have developed Ad vectors based on human Ad serotype 11 (Ad11), since the prevalence of neutralizing antibodies to Ad11 in humans is low. E1-deleted Ad11 vector genomes were generated by homologous recombination in 293 cells expressing the Ad11-E1B55K protein or by recombination in Escherichia coli. E1-deleted Ad11 genomes did not display transforming activity in rodent cells. Transduction of primary human CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells and immature dendritic cells was more efficient with Ad11 vectors than with Ad5 vectors. Thirty minutes after intravenous injection into mice that express one of the Ad11 receptors (CD46), we found, in a pattern and at a level comparable to what is found in humans, Ad11 vector genomes in all analyzed organs, with the highest amounts in liver, lung, kidney, and spleen. Neither Ad11 genomes nor Ad11 vector-mediated transgene expression were, however, detected at 72 h postinfusion. A large number of Ad11 particles were also found to be associated with circulating blood cells. We also discovered differences in in vitro transduction efficiencies and in vivo biodistributions between Ad11 vectors and chimeric Ad5 vectors possessing Ad11 fibers, indicating that Ad11 capsid proteins other than fibers influence viral infectivity and tropism. Overall, our study provides a basis for the application of Ad11 vectors for in vitro and in vivo gene transfer and for gaining an understanding of the factors that determine Ad tropism.
Serum induces Candida albicans to make a rapid morphological change from the yeast cell form to hyphae. Contrary to the previous reports, we found that serum albumin does not play a critical role in this morphological change. Instead, a filtrate (molecular mass, <1 kDa) devoid of serum albumin induces hyphae. To study genes controlling this response, we have isolated the RAS1 gene from C. albicans by complementation. The Candida Ras1 protein, like Ras1 and Ras2 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has a long C-terminal extension. Although RAS1 appears to be the only RAS gene present in the C. albicans genome, strains homozygous for a deletion of RAS1 (ras1-2/ras1-3) are viable. The Candida ras1-2/ras1-3 mutant fails to form germ tubes and hyphae in response to serum or to a serum filtrate but does form pseudohyphae. Moreover, strains expressing the dominant active RAS1V13 allele manifest enhanced hyphal growth, whereas those expressing a dominant negative RAS1A16 allele show reduced hyphal growth. These data show that low-molecular-weight molecules in serum induce hyphal differentiation in C. albicans through a Ras-mediated signal transduction pathway.