(2016). Defining a New Prognostic Index for Stage I Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumors Using CXCL12 Expression and Proportion of Embryonal Carcinoma. Clinical cancer research,
(2015). Less Can Be More for Gene Dose and Drug Sensitivity. Clinical cancer research,
(2015). Clinical Application of Prognostic Gene Expression Signature in Fusion Gene–Negative Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Report from the Children's Oncology Group. Clinical cancer research,
(2015). Whole-exome sequencing reveals the mutational spectrum of testicular germ cell tumours. Nat commun,
Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) are the most common cancer in young men. Here we perform whole-exome sequencing (WES) of 42 TGCTs to comprehensively study the cancer's mutational profile. The mutation rate is uniformly low in all of the tumours (mean 0.5 mutations per Mb) as compared with common cancers, consistent with the embryological origin of TGCT. In addition to expected copy number gain of chromosome 12p and mutation of KIT, we identify recurrent mutations in the tumour suppressor gene CDC27 (11.9%). Copy number analysis reveals recurring amplification of the spermatocyte development gene FSIP2 (15.3%) and a 0.4 Mb region at Xq28 (15.3%). Two treatment-refractory patients are shown to harbour XRCC2 mutations, a gene strongly implicated in defining cisplatin resistance. Our findings provide further insights into genes involved in the development and progression of TGCT..
(2014). Rhabdomyosarcoma: Current Challenges and Their Implications for Developing Therapies. Cold spring harbor perspectives in medicine,
De Bari, C.
(2014). The Hippo transducer YAP1 transforms activated satellite cells and is a potent effector of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma formation. Cancer cell,
The role of the Hippo pathway effector YAP1 in soft tissue sarcomas is poorly defined. Here we report that YAP1 activity is elevated in human embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS). In mice, sustained YAP1 hyperactivity in activated, but not quiescent, satellite cells induces ERMS with high penetrance and short latency. Via its transcriptional program with TEAD1, YAP1 directly regulates several major hallmarks of ERMS. YAP1-TEAD1 upregulate pro-proliferative and oncogenic genes and maintain the ERMS differentiation block by interfering with MYOD1 and MEF2 pro-differentiation activities. Normalization of YAP1 expression reduces tumor burden in human ERMS xenografts and allows YAP1-driven ERMS to differentiate in situ. Collectively, our results identify YAP1 as a potent ERMS oncogenic driver and a promising target for differentiation therapy. .
(2014). JARID2 is a direct target of the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein and inhibits myogenic differentiation of rhabdomyosarcoma cells. Oncogene,
Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS) are the most frequent soft-tissue sarcoma in children and characteristically show features of developing skeletal muscle. The alveolar subtype is frequently associated with a PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein that is known to contribute to the undifferentiated myogenic phenotype of RMS cells. Histone methylation of lysine residues controls developmental processes in both normal and malignant cell contexts. Here we show that JARID2, which encodes a protein known to recruit various complexes with histone-methylating activity to their target genes, is significantly overexpressed in RMS with PAX3-FOXO1 compared with the fusion gene-negative RMS (t-test; P < 0.0001). Multivariate analyses showed that higher JARID2 levels are also associated with metastases at diagnosis, independent of fusion gene status and RMS subtype (n = 120; P = 0.039). JARID2 levels were altered by silencing or overexpressing PAX3-FOXO1 in RMS cell lines with and without the fusion gene, respectively. Consistent with this, we demonstrated that JARID2 is a direct transcriptional target of the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein. Silencing JARID2 resulted in reduced cell proliferation coupled with myogenic differentiation, including increased expression of Myogenin (MYOG) and Myosin Light Chain (MYL1) in RMS cell lines representative of both the alveolar and embryonal subtypes. Induced myogenic differentiation was associated with a decrease in JARID2 levels and this phenotype could be rescued by overexpressing JARID2. Furthermore, we that showed JARID2 binds to and alters the methylation status of histone H3 lysine 27 in the promoter regions of MYOG and MYL1 and that the interaction of JARID2 at these promoters is dependent on EED, a core component of the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2). Therefore, JARID2 is a downstream effector of PAX3-FOXO1 that maintains an undifferentiated myogenic phenotype that is characteristic of RMS. JARID2 and other components of PRC2 may represent novel therapeutic targets for treating RMS patients..
De Haven Brandon, A.
(2013). Dual blockade of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR (AZD8055) and RAS/MEK/ERK (AZD6244) pathways synergistically inhibits rhabdomyosarcoma cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Clin cancer res,
To provide rationale for using PI3K and/or MAPK pathway inhibitors to treat rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS), a major cause of pediatric/adolescent cancer deaths.
The prevalence of PI3K/MAPK pathway activation in RMS clinical samples was assessed using immunohistochemistry. Compensatory signaling and crosstalk between PI3K/MAPK pathways was determined in RMS cell lines following p110α shRNA-mediated depletion. Pharmacological inhibition of reprogrammed signaling in stable p110α knockdown lines was used to determine the target-inhibition profile inducing maximal growth inhibition. The in vitro and in vivo efficacy of inhibitors of TORC1/2(AZD8055), MEK(AZD6244) and P13K/mTOR(NVP-BEZ235) were evaluated alone and in pair-wise combinations.
PI3K pathway activation was seen in 82.5% rhabdomyosarcomas with co-activated MAPK in 36% and 46% of alveolar and embryonal sub-types respectively. p110α knockdown in cell lines over the short and long term was associated with compensatory expression of other p110 isoforms, activation of the MAPK pathway and cross-talk to reactivate the PI3K pathway. Combinations of PI3K pathway and MEK inhibitors synergistically inhibited cell growth in vitro. Treatment of RD cells with AZD8055 plus AZD6244 blocked reciprocal pathway activation, as evidenced by reduced AKT/ERK/S6 phosphorylation. In vivo, the synergistic effect on growth and changes in pharmacodynamic biomarkers was recapitulated using the AZD8055/AZD6244 combination but not NVP-BEZ235/AZD6244. Pharmacokinetic analysis provided evidence of drug-drug interaction with both combinations.
Dual PI3K/MAPK pathway activation and compensatory signaling in both rhabdomyosarcoma subtypes predicts a lack of clinical efficacy for single agents targeting either pathway, supporting a therapeutic strategy combining a TORC1/2 with a MEK inhibitor..
Di Leo, K.
(2012). Antitumor activity of sustained N-myc reduction in rhabdomyosarcomas and transcriptional block by antigene therapy. Clin cancer res,
PURPOSE: Rhabdomyosarcomas are a major cause of cancer death in children, described with MYCN amplification and, in the alveolar subtype, transcription driven by the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of N-Myc protein expression and the potential therapeutic effects of reducing expression in rhabdomyosarcomas, including use of an antigene strategy that inhibits transcription. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry. MYCN expression was reduced in representative cell lines by RNA interference and an antigene peptide nucleic acid (PNA) oligonucleotide conjugated to a nuclear localization signal peptide. Associated gene expression changes, cell viability, and apoptosis were analyzed in vitro. As a paradigm for antigene therapy, the effects of systemic treatment of mice with rhabdomyosarcoma cell line xenografts were determined. RESULTS: High N-Myc levels were significantly associated with genomic amplification, presence of the PAX3/7-FOXO1 fusion genes, and proliferative capacity. Sustained reduction of N-Myc levels in all rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines that express the protein decreased cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. Positive feedback was shown to regulate PAX3-FOXO1 and N-Myc levels in the alveolar subtype that critically decrease PAX3-FOXO1 levels on reducing N-Myc. Pharmacologic systemic administration of the antigene PNA can eliminate alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma xenografts in mice, without relapse or toxicity. CONCLUSION: N-Myc, with its restricted expression in non-fetal tissues, is a therapeutic target to treat rhabdomyosarcomas, and blocking gene transcription using antigene oligonucleotide strategies has therapeutic potential in the treatment of cancer and other diseases that has not been previously realized in vivo..
(2012). PAX3/FOXO1 fusion gene status is the key prognostic molecular marker in rhabdomyosarcoma and significantly improves current risk stratification. J clin oncol,
PURPOSE: To improve the risk stratification of patients with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) through the use of clinical and molecular biologic data. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two independent data sets of gene-expression profiling for 124 and 101 patients with RMS were used to derive prognostic gene signatures by using a meta-analysis. These and a previously published metagene signature were evaluated by using cross validation analyses. A combined clinical and molecular risk-stratification scheme that incorporated the PAX3/FOXO1 fusion gene status was derived from 287 patients with RMS and evaluated. RESULTS: We showed that our prognostic gene-expression signature and the one previously published performed well with reproducible and significant effects. However, their effect was reduced when cross validated or tested in independent data and did not add new prognostic information over the fusion gene status, which is simpler to assay. Among nonmetastatic patients, patients who were PAX3/FOXO1 positive had a significantly poorer outcome compared with both alveolar-negative and PAX7/FOXO1-positive patients. Furthermore, a new clinicomolecular risk score that incorporated fusion gene status (negative and PAX3/FOXO1 and PAX7/FOXO1 positive), Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study TNM stage, and age showed a significant increase in performance over the current risk-stratification scheme. CONCLUSION: Gene signatures can improve current stratification of patients with RMS but will require complex assays to be developed and extensive validation before clinical application. A significant majority of their prognostic value was encapsulated by the fusion gene status. A continuous risk score derived from the combination of clinical parameters with the presence or absence of PAX3/FOXO1 represents a robust approach to improving current risk-adapted therapy for RMS..
(2011). Testicular germ cell tumours: predisposition genes and the male germ cell niche. Nat rev cancer,
Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) of adults and adolescents are putatively derived from primordial germ cells or gonocytes. Recently reported genome-wide association studies implicate six gene loci that predispose to TGCT development. Remarkably, the functions of proteins encoded by genes within these regions bridge our understanding between the pathways involved in primordial germ cell physiology, male germ cell development and the molecular pathology of TGCTs. Furthermore, this improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying TGCT development and dissemination has clinical relevance for the management of patients with these tumours..
de Reyniès, A.
(2010). Fusion gene-negative alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is clinically and molecularly indistinguishable from embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. J clin oncol,
PURPOSE: To determine whether the clinical and molecular biologic characteristics of the alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) subtypes have relevance independent of the presence or absence of the PAX/FOXO1 fusion gene. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The fusion gene status of 210 histopathologically reviewed, clinically annotated rhabdomyosarcoma samples was determined by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to assess event-free survival and overall survival in fusion gene-negative ARMS (ARMSn; n = 39), fusion gene-positive ARMS (ARMSp; n = 94), and ERMS (n = 77). A total of 101 RMS samples were also profiled for whole-genome expression, and 128 were profiled for genomic copy number imbalances. Profiling data were analyzed by supervised and unsupervised methods to compare features related to histopathology and fusion gene status. Results were also projected by meta-analysis techniques across three separate publically available data sets. RESULTS: Overall and event-free survival, frequency of metastases, and distribution of site at initial presentation were not significantly different between ARMSn and ERMS. Consistent with this, analysis of gene expression signatures could not reproducibly distinguish ARMSn from ERMS whereas fusion gene-positive cases were distinct. ARMSn and ERMS frequently show whole-chromosome copy number changes, notably gain of chromosome 8 with associated high levels of expression of genes from this chromosome. CONCLUSION: The clinical behavior and molecular characteristics of alveolar cases without a fusion gene are indistinguishable from embryonal cases and significantly different from fusion-positive alveolar cases. This implies that fusion gene status irrespective of histology is a critical factor in risk stratification of RMS..
(2010). MicroRNA-206 expression levels correlate with clinical behaviour of rhabdomyosarcomas. Br j cancer,
BACKGROUND: Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMSs) are primarily paediatric sarcomas that resemble developing skeletal muscle. Our aim was to determine the effects of microRNAs (miRNA) that have been implicated in muscle development on the clinical behaviour of RMSs. METHODS: Expression levels of miR-1, miR-206, miR-133a and miR-133b were quantified by RT-PCR in 163 primary paediatric RMSs, plus control tissues, and correlated with clinico-pathological features. Correlations with parallel gene expression profiling data for 84 samples were used to identify pathways associated with miR-206. Synthetic miR-206 was transfected into RMS cell lines and phenotypic responses assessed. RESULTS: Muscle-specific miRNAs levels were lower in RMSs compared with skeletal muscle but generally higher than in other normal tissues. Low miR-206 expression correlated with poor overall survival and was an independent predictor of shorter survival in metastatic embryonal and alveolar cases without PAX3/7-FOXO1 fusion genes. Low miR-206 expression also significantly correlated with high SIOP stage and the presence of metastases at diagnosis. High miR-206 expression strongly correlated with genes linked to muscle differentiation and low expression was associated with genes linked to MAPkinase and NFKappaB pathway activation. Increasing miR-206 expression in cell lines inhibited cell growth and migration and induced apoptosis that was associated with myogenic differentiation in some, but not all, cell lines. CONCLUSION: miR-206 contributes to the clinical behaviour of RMSs and the pleiotropic effects of miR-206 supports therapeutic potential..
(2009). Clinical and biological significance of CXCL12 and CXCR4 expression in adult testes and germ cell tumours of adults and adolescents. J pathol,
Interaction between the chemokine CXCL12 (SDF1) and the G-protein coupled receptor CXCR4 is responsible for the maintenance of adult stem cell niches and is known to play an important role in utero in the migration of primordial germ cells. We demonstrate expression of CXCL12 by Sertoli cells and confirm CXCR4 expression by the germ cell population of the adult human testes. CXCR4 is also known to mediate organ-specific patterns of metastases in a range of common cancers. We identify consistent expression of CXCR4 mRNA and protein in testicular germ cell tumours (TGCT) that accounts for their patterns of relapse in sites of known CXCL12 expression. Extragonadal primary germ cell tumours express CXCR4 and their sites of occurrence are coincident with areas of known CXCL12 expression in utero. We show that CXCL12 stimulates the invasive migration of a TGCT cell line in vitro in a CXCR4-dependent fashion and activates ERK. Furthermore, we demonstrate that expression of CXCL12 in stage I non-seminomas is significantly associated with organ-confined disease post-orchidectomy and reduced risk of relapse (p = 0.003). This may be through the loss of CXCL12 gradients that might otherwise attract cells away from the primary tumour. We propose CXCL12 expression as a potential predictor of subsequent relapse that could lead to avoiding unnecessary treatment and associated late toxicities. Our observations support a role for CXCL12/CXCR4 in the adult germ cell population and demonstrate pathological function in germ cell tumour development and metastasis that may have clinical utility..
(2008). Fluorescence and chromogenic in situ hybridization to detect genetic aberrations in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded material, including tissue microarrays. Nat protoc,
Screening for specific genetic aberrations by fluorescence and chromogenic in situ hybridization (fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH)) can reveal associations with tumor types or subtypes, cellular morphology and clinical behavior. FISH and CISH methodologies are based on the specific annealing (hybridization) of labeled genomic sequences (probes) to complementary nucleic acids within fixed cells to allow their detection, quantification and spatial localization. Formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) material is the most widely available source of tumor samples. Increasingly, tissue microarrays (TMAs) consisting of multiple cores of FFPE material are being used to enable simultaneous analyses of many archival samples. Here we describe robust protocols for the FISH and CISH analyses of genetic aberrations in FFPE tissue, including TMAs. Protocols include probe preparation, hybridization and detection. Steps are described to reduce background fluorescence and strip probes for repeat FISH analyses to maximize the use of tissue resources. The basic protocol takes 2-3 d to complete..
(2007). Role for amplification and expression of glypican-5 in rhabdomyosarcoma. Cancer res,
Overexpression of genes, through genomic amplification and other mechanisms, can critically affect the behavior of tumor cells. Genomic amplification of the 13q31-32 region is reported in many tumors, including rhabdomyosarcomas that are primarily pediatric sarcomas resembling developing skeletal muscle. The minimum overlapping region of amplification at 13q31-32 in rhabdomyosarcomas was defined as containing two genes: Glypican-5 (GPC5) encoding a cell surface proteoglycan and C13orf25 encompassing the miR-17-92 micro-RNA cluster. Genomic copy number and gene expression analyses of rhabdomyosarcomas indicated that GPC5 was the only gene consistently expressed and up-regulated in all cases with amplification. Constitutive overexpression and knockdown of GPC5 expression in rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines increased and decreased cell proliferation, respectively. A correlation between expression levels of nascent pre-rRNA and GPC5 (P = 0.001), but not a C13orf25 transcript containing miR-17-92, in primary samples supports an association of GPC5 with proliferative capacity in vivo. We show that GPC5 increases proliferation through potentiating the action of the growth factors fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and Wnt1A. GPC5 enhanced the intracellular signaling of FGF2 and HGF and altered the cellular distribution of FGF2. The mesoderm-inducing effect of FGF2 and FGF4 in Xenopus blastocysts was also enhanced. Our data are consistent with a role of GPC5, in the context of sarcomagenesis, in enhancing FGF signaling that leads to mesodermal cell proliferation without induction of myogenic differentiation. Furthermore, the properties of GPC5 make it an attractive target for therapeutic intervention in rhabdomyosarcomas and other tumors that amplify and/or overexpress the gene..
(2006). Testicular germ-cell cancer. Lancet,
Testicular germ-cell tumours (TGCTs) represent the model of a curable malignancy; sensitive tumour markers, accurate prognostic classification, logical series of management trials, and high cure rates in both seminomas and non-seminomas have enabled a framework of effective cancer therapy. Understanding the molecular biology of TGCT could help improve treatment of other cancers. The typical presentation in young adults means that issues of long-term toxicity become especially important in judging appropriate management. A focus of recent developments has been to tailor aggressiveness of treatment to the severity of the prognosis. Recent changes affect the most common subtypes and include the reduction of chemotherapy for patients who have metastastic non-seminomas and a good prognosis, and alternatives to adjuvant radiotherapy in stage I seminomas. We summarise advances in the understanding and management of TGCT during the past decade..
(2005). Relationship between MYCN copy number and expression in rhabdomyosarcomas and correlation with adverse prognosis in the alveolar subtype. J clin oncol,
PURPOSE: Amplification of the transcription factor MYCN is an important molecular diagnostic tool in stratifying treatment for neuroblastoma. Increased copy number and overexpression of MYCN in the pediatric cancer rhabdomyosarcoma has been described in a number of small studies with conflicting conclusions about its association with clinicopathologic characteristics. We aimed to study the phenomenon in the largest series to date. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we measured MYCN copy number and expression levels in rhabdomyosarcoma samples from 113 and 92 individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma, respectively. RESULTS: Increased copy number of MYCN was found to be a feature of both the embryonal and alveolar subtypes. The copy number and expression levels were significantly greater in the alveolar subtype, although the range of expression in both subtypes spanned several orders of magnitude. MYCN copy number showed a significant correlation with expression in the alveolar subtype; this relationship between copy number and expression could be modeled as a logarithmic function. It is notable that relatively high expression frequently occurred in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma without high copy number and that low expression was found in some cases with high copy number. In patients with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, overexpression (greater than median) or gain of genomic copies of MYCN were significantly associated with adverse outcome. CONCLUSION: MYCN deregulation is a feature of rhabdomyosarcoma tumorigenesis, defines groups of patients with a poor prognosis, and is a potential target for novel therapies..
van Gurp, R.J.
(2005). Amplification and overexpression of the KIT gene is associated with progression in the seminoma subtype of testicular germ cell tumors of adolescents and adults. Cancer res,
We have previously identified amplification at 4q12 in testicular germ cell tumors of adolescents and adults centered around the KIT gene encoding a tyrosine kinase transmembrane receptor. Analysis of primary testicular germ cell tumors totaling 190 cases revealed 21% of the seminoma subtype with an increased copy number of KIT whereas this change was rarely found in the nonseminomas. In most cases, gain of KIT did not include the immediately flanking noncoding DNA or the flanking genes KDR and PDGFRA. Increased copy number of KIT was not found in the putative precursor lesion, carcinoma in situ (CIS), adjacent to tumor with this change. KIT overexpression was found independent of gain and KIT immunostaining was stronger in selected cases with gain of KIT compared to those without. Taken together with activating mutations of KIT in exon 17 identified in 13% of seminomas, this suggests that the KIT gene product plays a role in the progression of CIS towards seminoma, the further understanding of which may lead to novel less toxic therapeutic approaches..
van Gurp, R.J.
(2003). Expression profile of genes from 12p in testicular germ cell tumors of adolescents and adults associated with i(12p) and amplification at 12p11 2-p12 1. Oncogene,
Gain of 12p material is invariably associated with testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) of adolescents and adults, most usually as an isochromosome 12p. We analyzed TGCTs with i(12p) using a global approach to expression profiling targeting chromosomes (comparative expressed sequence hybridization, CESH). This indicated overexpression of genes from 12p11.2-p12.1 relative to testis tissue and fibroblasts. The nonseminoma subtype showed higher levels of expression than seminomas. Notably, 12p11.2-p12.1 is amplified in about 10% of TGCTs and CESH analysis of such amplicon cases showed high levels of overexpression from this region. Microarray analysis, including cDNA clones representing most UniGene clusters from 12p11.2-p12.1, was applied to DNA and RNA from 5 TGCTs with amplification of 12p11.2-p12.1 and seven TGCTs with gain of the entire short arm of chromosome 12. Expression profiles were consistent with the CESH data and overexpression of EST595078, MRPS35 and LDHB at 12p11.2-p12.1 was detected in most TGCTs. High-level overexpression of BCAT1 was specific to nonseminomas and overexpression of genes such as CMAS, EKI1, KRAS2, SURB7 and various ESTs correlated with their amplification. Genes such as CCND2, GLU3, LRP6 and HPH1 at 12p13 were also overexpressed. The overexpressed sequences identified, particularly those in the region amplified, represent candidate genes for involvement in TGCT development..
(2001). Comparative expressed sequence hybridization to chromosomes for tumor classification and identification of genomic regions of differential gene expression. Proc natl acad sci u s a,
Altered expression of genes can have phenotypic consequences in cancer development and treatment, developmental abnormalities, and differentiation processes. Here we describe a rapid approach, termed comparative expressed sequence hybridization (CESH), which gives a genome-wide view of relative expression patterns within tissues according to chromosomal location. No prior knowledge of genes or cloning is required, and minimal amounts of tissue can be used. Expression profiles are achieved in a manner similar to the identification of chromosomal imbalances by comparative genomic hybridization analysis. The approach is demonstrated to indicate a chromosomal region that harbors overexpressed genes that may be associated with a drug-resistant phenotype. In addition, known and new regions of differential gene expression in both normal tissues and tumor samples from the soft tissue sarcoma group of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) are indicated. These regions included 2p24; overexpression of MYCN at 2p24 was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR for all of the alveolar RMS cases and did not necessarily correspond to genomic amplification. Evidence including region specific microarray analysis indicated that overexpression of several genes from a region may be required for detection by CESH. This evidence is consistent with clusters of functionally related genes and mechanisms that affect the expression of a number of genes at a particular genomic location. The distinctive CESH profiles demonstrated in different subtypes of RMS show potential for tumor classification..