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Publication
Journal: Nature
November/26/2012
Abstract
We analysed primary breast cancers by genomic DNA copy number arrays, DNA methylation, exome sequencing, messenger RNA arrays, microRNA sequencing and reverse-phase protein arrays. Our ability to integrate information across platforms provided key insights into previously defined gene expression subtypes and demonstrated the existence of four main breast cancer classes when combining data from five platforms, each of which shows significant molecular heterogeneity. Somatic mutations in only three genes (TP53, PIK3CA and GATA3) occurred at >10% incidence across all breast cancers; however, there were numerous subtype-associated and novel gene mutations including the enrichment of specific mutations in GATA3, PIK3CA and MAP3K1 with the luminal A subtype. We identified two novel protein-expression-defined subgroups, possibly produced by stromal/microenvironmental elements, and integrated analyses identified specific signalling pathways dominant in each molecular subtype including a HER2/phosphorylated HER2/EGFR/phosphorylated EGFR signature within the HER2-enriched expression subtype. Comparison of basal-like breast tumours with high-grade serous ovarian tumours showed many molecular commonalities, indicating a related aetiology and similar therapeutic opportunities. The biological finding of the four main breast cancer subtypes caused by different subsets of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities raises the hypothesis that much of the clinically observable plasticity and heterogeneity occurs within, and not across, these major biological subtypes of breast cancer.
Publication
Journal: Nature
February/16/2012
Abstract
Early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ETP ALL) is an aggressive malignancy of unknown genetic basis. We performed whole-genome sequencing of 12 ETP ALL cases and assessed the frequency of the identified somatic mutations in 94 T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cases. ETP ALL was characterized by activating mutations in genes regulating cytokine receptor and RAS signalling (67% of cases; NRAS, KRAS, FLT3, IL7R, JAK3, JAK1, SH2B3 and BRAF), inactivating lesions disrupting haematopoietic development (58%; GATA3, ETV6, RUNX1, IKZF1 and EP300) and histone-modifying genes (48%; EZH2, EED, SUZ12, SETD2 and EP300). We also identified new targets of recurrent mutation including DNM2, ECT2L and RELN. The mutational spectrum is similar to myeloid tumours, and moreover, the global transcriptional profile of ETP ALL was similar to that of normal and myeloid leukaemia haematopoietic stem cells. These findings suggest that addition of myeloid-directed therapies might improve the poor outcome of ETP ALL.
Publication
Journal: Nature
August/14/2012
Abstract
Breast carcinoma is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in women worldwide, with an estimated 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths in 2008 alone. This malignancy represents a heterogeneous group of tumours with characteristic molecular features, prognosis and responses to available therapy. Recurrent somatic alterations in breast cancer have been described, including mutations and copy number alterations, notably ERBB2 amplifications, the first successful therapy target defined by a genomic aberration. Previous DNA sequencing studies of breast cancer genomes have revealed additional candidate mutations and gene rearrangements. Here we report the whole-exome sequences of DNA from 103 human breast cancers of diverse subtypes from patients in Mexico and Vietnam compared to matched-normal DNA, together with whole-genome sequences of 22 breast cancer/normal pairs. Beyond confirming recurrent somatic mutations in PIK3CA, TP53, AKT1, GATA3 and MAP3K1, we discovered recurrent mutations in the CBFB transcription factor gene and deletions of its partner RUNX1. Furthermore, we have identified a recurrent MAGI3-AKT3 fusion enriched in triple-negative breast cancer lacking oestrogen and progesterone receptors and ERBB2 expression. The MAGI3-AKT3 fusion leads to constitutive activation of AKT kinase, which is abolished by treatment with an ATP-competitive AKT small-molecule inhibitor.
Publication
Journal: Nature
August/14/2012
Abstract
To correlate the variable clinical features of oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer with somatic alterations, we studied pretreatment tumour biopsies accrued from patients in two studies of neoadjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy by massively parallel sequencing and analysis. Eighteen significantly mutated genes were identified, including five genes (RUNX1, CBFB, MYH9, MLL3 and SF3B1) previously linked to haematopoietic disorders. Mutant MAP3K1 was associated with luminal A status, low-grade histology and low proliferation rates, whereas mutant TP53 was associated with the opposite pattern. Moreover, mutant GATA3 correlated with suppression of proliferation upon aromatase inhibitor treatment. Pathway analysis demonstrated that mutations in MAP2K4, a MAP3K1 substrate, produced similar perturbations as MAP3K1 loss. Distinct phenotypes in oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer are associated with specific patterns of somatic mutations that map into cellular pathways linked to tumour biology, but most recurrent mutations are relatively infrequent. Prospective clinical trials based on these findings will require comprehensive genome sequencing.
Publication
Journal: Cancer Research
July/8/2009
Abstract
Metaplastic breast cancers (MBC) are aggressive, chemoresistant tumors characterized by lineage plasticity. To advance understanding of their pathogenesis and relatedness to other breast cancer subtypes, 28 MBCs were compared with common breast cancers using comparative genomic hybridization, transcriptional profiling, and reverse-phase protein arrays and by sequencing for common breast cancer mutations. MBCs showed unique DNA copy number aberrations compared with common breast cancers. PIK3CA mutations were detected in 9 of 19 MBCs (47.4%) versus 80 of 232 hormone receptor-positive cancers (34.5%; P = 0.32), 17 of 75 HER-2-positive samples (22.7%; P = 0.04), 20 of 240 basal-like cancers (8.3%; P < 0.0001), and 0 of 14 claudin-low tumors (P = 0.004). Of 7 phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway phosphorylation sites, 6 were more highly phosphorylated in MBCs than in other breast tumor subtypes. The majority of MBCs displayed mRNA profiles different from those of the most common, including basal-like cancers. By transcriptional profiling, MBCs and the recently identified claudin-low breast cancer subset constitute related receptor-negative subgroups characterized by low expression of GATA3-regulated genes and of genes responsible for cell-cell adhesion with enrichment for markers linked to stem cell function and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In contrast to other breast cancers, claudin-low tumors and most MBCs showed a significant similarity to a "tumorigenic" signature defined using CD44(+)/CD24(-) breast tumor-initiating stem cell-like cells. MBCs and claudin-low tumors are thus enriched in EMT and stem cell-like features, and may arise from an earlier, more chemoresistant breast epithelial precursor than basal-like or luminal cancers. PIK3CA mutations, EMT, and stem cell-like characteristics likely contribute to the poor outcomes of MBC and suggest novel therapeutic targets.
Publication
Journal: Cell
July/6/2004
Abstract
Antigen-presenting cells (APC) tailor immune responses to microbial encounters by stimulating differentiation of CD4 T cells into the Th1 and Th2 lineages. We demonstrate that APC use the Notch pathway to instruct T cell differentiation. Strikingly, of the two Notch ligand families, Delta induces Th1, while Jagged induces the alternate Th2 fate. Expression of these different Notch ligands on APC is induced by Th1- or Th2-promoting stimuli. Th2 differentiation has been considered a default process as APC-derived instructive signals are unknown. We demonstrate that Jagged constitutes an instructive signal for Th2 differentiation, which is independent of IL4/STAT6. Th2 differentiation induced by APC is abrogated in T cells lacking the Notch effector RBPJkappa. Notch directs Th2 differentiation by inducing GATA3 and by directly regulating il4 gene transcription through RBPJkappa sites in a 3' enhancer.
Publication
Journal: Cell
January/26/2016
Abstract
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most prevalent histologic subtype of invasive breast cancer. Here, we comprehensively profiled 817 breast tumors, including 127 ILC, 490 ductal (IDC), and 88 mixed IDC/ILC. Besides E-cadherin loss, the best known ILC genetic hallmark, we identified mutations targeting PTEN, TBX3, and FOXA1 as ILC enriched features. PTEN loss associated with increased AKT phosphorylation, which was highest in ILC among all breast cancer subtypes. Spatially clustered FOXA1 mutations correlated with increased FOXA1 expression and activity. Conversely, GATA3 mutations and high expression characterized luminal A IDC, suggesting differential modulation of ER activity in ILC and IDC. Proliferation and immune-related signatures determined three ILC transcriptional subtypes associated with survival differences. Mixed IDC/ILC cases were molecularly classified as ILC-like and IDC-like revealing no true hybrid features. This multidimensional molecular atlas sheds new light on the genetic bases of ILC and provides potential clinical options.
Publication
Journal: Nature Genetics
January/18/2007
Abstract
SATB1 (special AT-rich sequence binding protein 1) organizes cell type-specific nuclear architecture by anchoring specialized DNA sequences and recruiting chromatin remodeling factors to control gene transcription. We studied the role of SATB1 in regulating the coordinated expression of Il5, Il4 and Il13, located in the 200-kb T-helper 2 (T(H)2) cytokine locus on mouse chromosome 11. We show that on T(H)2 cell activation, SATB1 expression is rapidly induced to form a unique transcriptionally active chromatin structure at the cytokine locus. In this structure, chromatin is folded into numerous small loops, all anchored to SATB1 at their base. In addition, histone H3 is acetylated at Lys9 and Lys14, and the T(H)2-specific factors GATA3, STAT6 and c-Maf, the chromatin-remodeling enzyme Brg1 and RNA polymerase II are all bound across the 200-kb region. Before activation, the T(H)2 cytokine locus is already associated with GATA3 and STAT6, showing some looping, but these are insufficient to induce cytokine gene expression. Using RNA interference, we show that on cell activation, SATB1 is required not only for compacting chromatin into dense loops at the 200-kb cytokine locus but also for inducing Il4, Il5, Il13 and c-Maf expression. Thus, SATB1 is a necessary determinant for the hitherto unidentified higher-order, transcriptionally active chromatin structure that forms on T(H)2 cell activation.
Publication
Journal: Oncogene
May/9/2006
Abstract
A better molecular characterization of breast cell lines (BCL) may help discover new markers to apply to tumour samples. We performed gene and protein expression profiling of 31 BCL using whole-genome DNA microarrays and immunohistochemistry (IHC) on 'cell microarrays' (CMA), respectively. Global hierarchical clustering discriminated two groups of BCL: group I corresponded to luminal cell lines, group II to basal and mesenchymal cell lines. Correlations with centroids calculated from a published 'intrinsic 500-gene set' assigned 15 cell lines as luminal, eight as basal and four as mesenchymal. A set of 1.233 genes was differentially expressed between basal and luminal samples. Mesenchymal and basal subtypes were rather similar and discriminated by only 227 genes. The expression of 10 proteins (CAV1, CD44, EGFR, MET, ETS1, GATA3, luminal cytokeratin CK19, basal cytokeratin CK5/6, CD10, and ERM protein moesin) encoded by luminal vs basal discriminator genes confirmed the subtype classification and the validity of the identified markers. Our BCL basal/luminal signature correctly re-classified the published series of tumour samples that originally served to identify the molecular subtypes, suggesting that the identified markers should be useful for tumour classification and might represent promising targets for disease management.
Publication
Journal: Nature Immunology
November/19/2004
Abstract
Expression of the transcription factor GATA-3 is strongly associated with T helper type 2 (T(H)2) differentiation, but genetic evidence for its involvement in this process has been lacking. Here, we generated a conditional GATA-3-deficient mouse line. In vitro deletion of Gata3 diminished both interleukin 4 (IL-4)-dependent and IL-4-independent T(H)2 cell differentiation; without GATA-3, T(H)1 differentiation occurred in the absence of IL-12 and interferon-gamma. Gata3 deletion limited the growth of T(H)2 cells but not T(H)1 cells. Deletion of Gata3 from established T(H)2 cells abolished IL-5 and IL-13 but not IL-4 production. In vivo deletion of Gata3 using OX40-Cre eliminated T(H)2 responses and allowed the development of interferon-gamma-producing cells in mice infected with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. Thus, GATA-3 serves as a principal switch in determining T(H)1-T(H)2 responses.
Publication
Journal: Nature
May/30/2014
Abstract
Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) specialize in the rapid secretion of polarized sets of cytokines and chemokines to combat infection and promote tissue repair at mucosal barriers. Their diversity and similarities with previously characterized natural killer (NK) cells and lymphoid tissue inducers (LTi) have prompted a provisional classification of all innate lymphocytes into groups 1, 2 and 3 solely on the basis of cytokine properties, but their developmental pathways and lineage relationships remain elusive. Here we identify and characterize a novel subset of lymphoid precursors in mouse fetal liver and adult bone marrow that transiently express high amounts of PLZF, a transcription factor previously associated with NK T cell development, by using lineage tracing and transfer studies. PLZF(high) cells were committed ILC progenitors with multiple ILC1, ILC2 and ILC3 potential at the clonal level. They excluded classical LTi and NK cells, but included a peculiar subset of NK1.1(+)DX5(-) 'NK-like' cells residing in the liver. Deletion of PLZF markedly altered the development of several ILC subsets, but not LTi or NK cells. PLZF(high) precursors also expressed high amounts of ID2 and GATA3, as well as TOX, a known regulator of PLZF-independent NK and LTi lineages. These findings establish novel lineage relationships between ILC, NK and LTi cells, and identify the common precursor to ILCs, termed ILCP. They also reveal the broad, defining role of PLZF in the differentiation of innate lymphocytes.
Publication
Journal: BMC Medical Genomics
July/23/2009
Abstract
BACKGROUND
The process of malignant transformation, progression and metastasis of melanoma is poorly understood. Gene expression profiling of human cancer has allowed for a unique insight into the genes that are involved in these processes. Thus, we have attempted to utilize this approach through the analysis of a series of primary, non-metastatic cutaneous tumors and metastatic melanoma samples.
METHODS
We have utilized gene microarray analysis and a variety of molecular techniques to compare 40 metastatic melanoma (MM) samples, composed of 22 bulky, macroscopic (replaced) lymph node metastases, 16 subcutaneous and 2 distant metastases (adrenal and brain), to 42 primary cutaneous cancers, comprised of 16 melanoma, 11 squamous cell, 15 basal cell skin cancers. A Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 array from Affymetrix, Inc. was utilized for each sample. A variety of statistical software, including the Affymetrix MAS 5.0 analysis software, was utilized to compare primary cancers to metastatic melanomas. Separate analyses were performed to directly compare only primary melanoma to metastatic melanoma samples. The expression levels of putative oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes were analyzed by semi- and real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR) and Western blot analysis was performed on select genes.
RESULTS
We find that primary basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and thin melanomas express dramatically higher levels of many genes, including SPRR1A/B, KRT16/17, CD24, LOR, GATA3, MUC15, and TMPRSS4, than metastatic melanoma. In contrast, the metastatic melanomas express higher levels of genes such as MAGE, GPR19, BCL2A1, MMP14, SOX5, BUB1, RGS20, and more. The transition from non-metastatic expression levels to metastatic expression levels occurs as melanoma tumors thicken. We further evaluated primary melanomas of varying Breslow's tumor thickness to determine that the transition in expression occurs at different thicknesses for different genes suggesting that the "transition zone" represents a critical time for the emergence of the metastatic phenotype. Several putative tumor oncogenes (SPP-1, MITF, CITED-1, GDF-15, c-Met, HOX loci) and suppressor genes (PITX-1, CST-6, PDGFRL, DSC-3, POU2F3, CLCA2, ST7L), were identified and validated by quantitative PCR as changing expression during this transition period. These are strong candidates for genes involved in the progression or suppression of the metastatic phenotype.
CONCLUSIONS
The gene expression profiling of primary, non-metastatic cutaneous tumors and metastatic melanoma has resulted in the identification of several genes that may be centrally involved in the progression and metastatic potential of melanoma. This has very important implications as we continue to develop an improved understanding of the metastatic process, allowing us to identify specific genes for prognostic markers and possibly for targeted therapeutic approaches.
Publication
Journal: Immunity
August/12/2010
Abstract
Many functions of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (mTORC1) have been defined, but relatively little is known about the biology of an alternative mTOR complex, mTORC2. We showed that conditional deletion of rictor, an essential subunit of mTORC2, impaired differentiation into T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 cells without diversion into FoxP3(+) status or substantial effect on Th17 cell differentiation. mTORC2 promoted phosphorylation of protein kinase B (PKB, or Akt) and PKC, Akt activity, and nuclear NF-kappaB transcription factors in response to T cell activation. Complementation with active Akt restored only T-bet transcription factor expression and Th1 cell differentiation, whereas activated PKC-theta reverted only GATA3 transcription factor and the Th2 cell defect of mTORC2 mutant cells. Collectively, the data uncover vital mTOR-PKC and mTOR-Akt connections in T cell differentiation and reveal distinct pathways by which mTORC2 regulates development of Th1 and Th2 cell subsets.