(2020). Landscape of G-quadruplex DNA structural regions in breast cancer. Nat genet,
Response and resistance to anticancer therapies vary due to intertumor and intratumor heterogeneity1. Here, we map differentially enriched G-quadruplex (G4) DNA structure-forming regions (∆G4Rs) in 22 breast cancer patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDTX) models. ∆G4Rs are associated with the promoters of highly amplified genes showing high expression, and with somatic single-nucleotide variants. Differences in ΔG4R landscapes reveal seven transcription factor programs across PDTXs. ∆G4R abundance and locations stratify PDTXs into at least three G4-based subtypes. ∆G4Rs in most PDTXs (14 of 22) were found to associate with more than one breast cancer subtype, which we also call an integrative cluster (IC)2. This suggests the frequent coexistence of multiple breast cancer states within a PDTX model, the majority of which display aggressive triple-negative IC10 gene activity. Short-term cultures of PDTX models with increased ∆G4R levels are more sensitive to small molecules targeting G4 DNA. Thus, G4 landscapes reveal additional IC-related intratumor heterogeneity in PDTX biopsies, improving breast cancer stratification and potentially identifying new treatment strategies..
de Krijger, I.
(2018). Shieldin complex promotes DNA end-joining and counters homologous recombination in BRCA1-null cells. Nature cell biology,
BRCA1 deficiencies cause breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers, and render tumours hypersensitive to poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. To understand the resistance mechanisms, we conducted whole-genome CRISPR-Cas9 synthetic-viability/resistance screens in BRCA1-deficient breast cancer cells treated with PARP inhibitors. We identified two previously uncharacterized proteins, C20orf196 and FAM35A, whose inactivation confers strong PARP-inhibitor resistance. Mechanistically, we show that C20orf196 and FAM35A form a complex, 'Shieldin' (SHLD1/2), with FAM35A interacting with single-stranded DNA through its C-terminal oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold region. We establish that Shieldin acts as the downstream effector of 53BP1/RIF1/MAD2L2 to promote DNA double-strand break (DSB) end-joining by restricting DSB resection and to counteract homologous recombination by antagonizing BRCA2/RAD51 loading in BRCA1-deficient cells. Notably, Shieldin inactivation further sensitizes BRCA1-deficient cells to cisplatin, suggesting how defining the SHLD1/2 status of BRCA1-deficient tumours might aid patient stratification and yield new treatment opportunities. Highlighting this potential, we document reduced SHLD1/2 expression in human breast cancers displaying intrinsic or acquired PARP-inhibitor resistance..
Matía García, V.
(2017). BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumor suppressors protect against endogenous acetaldehyde toxicity. Embo molecular medicine,
Maintenance of genome integrity requires the functional interplay between Fanconi anemia (FA) and homologous recombination (HR) repair pathways. Endogenous acetaldehyde, a product of cellular metabolism, is a potent source of DNA damage, particularly toxic to cells and mice lacking the FA protein FANCD2. Here, we investigate whether HR-compromised cells are sensitive to acetaldehyde, similarly to FANCD2-deficient cells. We demonstrate that inactivation of HR factors BRCA1, BRCA2, or RAD51 hypersensitizes cells to acetaldehyde treatment, in spite of the FA pathway being functional. Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) play key roles in endogenous acetaldehyde detoxification, and their chemical inhibition leads to cellular acetaldehyde accumulation. We find that disulfiram (Antabuse), an ALDH2 inhibitor in widespread clinical use for the treatment of alcoholism, selectively eliminates BRCA1/2-deficient cells. Consistently, Aldh2 gene inactivation suppresses proliferation of HR-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and human fibroblasts. Hypersensitivity of cells lacking BRCA2 to acetaldehyde stems from accumulation of toxic replication-associated DNA damage, leading to checkpoint activation, G2/M arrest, and cell death. Acetaldehyde-arrested replication forks require BRCA2 and FANCD2 for protection against MRE11-dependent degradation. Importantly, acetaldehyde specifically inhibits in vivo the growth of BRCA1/2-deficient tumors and ex vivo in patient-derived tumor xenograft cells (PDTCs), including those that are resistant to poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. The work presented here therefore identifies acetaldehyde metabolism as a potential therapeutic target for the selective elimination of BRCA1/2-deficient cells and tumors..
(2016). Patient-derived tumour xenografts for breast cancer drug discovery. Endocrine-related cancer,
Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of the drivers of human malignancies, new targeted therapies often fail to show sufficient efficacy in clinical trials. Indeed, the cost of bringing a new agent to market has risen substantially in the last several decades, in part fuelled by extensive reliance on preclinical models that fail to accurately reflect tumour heterogeneity. To halt unsustainable rates of attrition in the drug discovery process, we must develop a new generation of preclinical models capable of reflecting the heterogeneity of varying degrees of complexity found in human cancers. Patient-derived tumour xenograft (PDTX) models prevail as arguably the most powerful in this regard because they capture cancer's heterogeneous nature. Herein, we review current breast cancer models and their use in the drug discovery process, before discussing best practices for developing a highly annotated cohort of PDTX models. We describe the importance of extensive multidimensional molecular and functional characterisation of models and combination drug-drug screens to identify complex biomarkers of drug resistance and response. We reflect on our own experiences and propose the use of a cost-effective intermediate pharmacogenomic platform (the PDTX-PDTC platform) for breast cancer drug and biomarker discovery. We discuss the limitations and unanswered questions of PDTX models; yet, still strongly envision that their use in basic and translational research will dramatically change our understanding of breast cancer biology and how to more effectively treat it..
(2016). A Biobank of Breast Cancer Explants with Preserved Intra-tumor Heterogeneity to Screen Anticancer Compounds. Cell,
The inter- and intra-tumor heterogeneity of breast cancer needs to be adequately captured in pre-clinical models. We have created a large collection of breast cancer patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDTXs), in which the morphological and molecular characteristics of the originating tumor are preserved through passaging in the mouse. An integrated platform combining in vivo maintenance of these PDTXs along with short-term cultures of PDTX-derived tumor cells (PDTCs) was optimized. Remarkably, the intra-tumor genomic clonal architecture present in the originating breast cancers was mostly preserved upon serial passaging in xenografts and in short-term cultured PDTCs. We assessed drug responses in PDTCs on a high-throughput platform and validated several ex vivo responses in vivo. The biobank represents a powerful resource for pre-clinical breast cancer pharmacogenomic studies (http://caldaslab.cruk.cam.ac.uk/bcape), including identification of biomarkers of response or resistance..
(2016). Modeling Breast Cancer Intertumor and Intratumor Heterogeneity Using Xenografts. Cold spring harbor symposia on quantitative biology,
(2015). Maintaining Tumor Heterogeneity in Patient-Derived Tumor Xenografts. Cancer research,
Preclinical models often fail to capture the diverse heterogeneity of human malignancies and as such lack clinical predictive power. Patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDX) have emerged as a powerful technology: capable of retaining the molecular heterogeneity of their originating sample. However, heterogeneity within a tumor is governed by both cell-autonomous (e.g., genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity) and non–cell-autonomous (e.g., stromal heterogeneity) drivers. Although PDXs can largely recapitulate the polygenomic architecture of human tumors, they do not fully account for heterogeneity in the tumor microenvironment. Hence, these models have substantial utility in basic and translational research in cancer biology; however, study of stromal or immune drivers of malignant progression may be limited. Similarly, PDX models offer the ability to conduct patient-specific in vivo and ex vivo drug screens, but stromal contributions to treatment responses may be under-represented. This review discusses the sources and consequences of intratumor heterogeneity and how these are recapitulated in the PDX model. Limitations of the current generation of PDXs are discussed and strategies to improve several aspects of the model with respect to preserving heterogeneity are proposed. Cancer Res; 75(15); 2963–68. ©2015 AACR..
de Souza, C.
(2015). Dynamics of genomic clones in breast cancer patient xenografts at single-cell resolution. Nature,
Tufegdzic Vidakovic, A.
Sati Batra, A.
(2015). Context-Specific Effects of TGF-β/SMAD3 in Cancer Are Modulated by the Epigenome. Cell reports,
Le Quesne, J.
(2012). TGFβ induces the formation of tumour-initiating cells in claudinlow breast cancer. Nature communications,
(2007). High TGFβ-Smad Activity Confers Poor Prognosis in Glioma Patients and Promotes Cell Proliferation Depending on the Methylation of the PDGF-B Gene. Cancer cell,