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Publication
Journal: PLoS Medicine
February/12/2009
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Although it has long been appreciated that ovarian carcinoma subtypes (serous, clear cell, endometrioid, and mucinous) are associated with different natural histories, most ovarian carcinoma biomarker studies and current treatment protocols for women with this disease are not subtype specific. With the emergence of high-throughput molecular techniques, distinct pathogenetic pathways have been identified in these subtypes. We examined variation in biomarker expression rates between subtypes, and how this influences correlations between biomarker expression and stage at diagnosis or prognosis.
RESULTS
In this retrospective study we assessed the protein expression of 21 candidate tissue-based biomarkers (CA125, CRABP-II, EpCam, ER, F-Spondin, HE4, IGF2, K-Cadherin, Ki-67, KISS1, Matriptase, Mesothelin, MIF, MMP7, p21, p53, PAX8, PR, SLPI, TROP2, WT1) in a population-based cohort of 500 ovarian carcinomas that was collected over the period from 1984 to 2000. The expression of 20 of the 21 biomarkers differs significantly between subtypes, but does not vary across stage within each subtype. Survival analyses show that nine of the 21 biomarkers are prognostic indicators in the entire cohort but when analyzed by subtype only three remain prognostic indicators in the high-grade serous and none in the clear cell subtype. For example, tumor proliferation, as assessed by Ki-67 staining, varies markedly between different subtypes and is an unfavourable prognostic marker in the entire cohort (risk ratio [RR] 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2%-2.4%) but is not of prognostic significance within any subtype. Prognostic associations can even show an inverse correlation within the entire cohort, when compared to a specific subtype. For example, WT1 is more frequently expressed in high-grade serous carcinomas, an aggressive subtype, and is an unfavourable prognostic marker within the entire cohort of ovarian carcinomas (RR 1.7, 95% CI 1.2%-2.3%), but is a favourable prognostic marker within the high-grade serous subtype (RR 0.5, 95% CI 0.3%-0.8%).
CONCLUSIONS
The association of biomarker expression with survival varies substantially between subtypes, and can easily be overlooked in whole cohort analyses. To avoid this effect, each subtype within a cohort should be analyzed discretely. Ovarian carcinoma subtypes are different diseases, and these differences should be reflected in clinical research study design and ultimately in the management of ovarian carcinoma.
Publication
Journal: Nature Reviews Endocrinology
January/24/2012
Abstract
Thyroid cancer is a common type of endocrine malignancy, and its incidence has been steadily increasing in many regions of the world. Initiation and progression of thyroid cancer involves multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations, of which mutations leading to the activation of the MAPK and PI3K-AKT signaling pathways are crucial. Common mutations found in thyroid cancer are point mutation of the BRAF and RAS genes as well as RET/PTC and PAX8/PPARγ chromosomal rearrangements. The mutational mechanisms seem to be linked to specific etiologic factors. Chromosomal rearrangements have a strong association with exposure to ionizing radiation and possibly with DNA fragility, whereas point mutations probably arise as a result of chemical mutagenesis. A potential role of dietary iodine excess in the generation of BRAF point mutations has also been proposed. Somatic mutations and other molecular alterations have been recognized as helpful diagnostic and prognostic markers for thyroid cancer and are beginning to be introduced into clinical practice, to offer a valuable tool for the management of patients with thyroid nodules.
Publication
Journal: Science
September/7/2000
Abstract
Chromosomal translocations that encode fusion oncoproteins have been observed consistently in leukemias/lymphomas and sarcomas but not in carcinomas, the most common human cancers. Here, we report that t(2;3)(q13;p25), a translocation identified in a subset of human thyroid follicular carcinomas, results in fusion of the DNA binding domains of the thyroid transcription factor PAX8 to domains A to F of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) gamma1. PAX8-PPARgamma1 mRNA and protein were detected in 5 of 8 thyroid follicular carcinomas but not in 20 follicular adenomas, 10 papillary carcinomas, or 10 multinodular hyperplasias. PAX8-PPARgamma1 inhibited thiazolidinedione-induced transactivation by PPARgamma1 in a dominant negative manner. The experiments demonstrate an oncogenic role for PPARgamma and suggest that PAX8-PPARgamma1 may be useful in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid carcinoma.
Publication
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
October/3/2011
Abstract
A comprehensive understanding of the molecular vulnerabilities of every type of cancer will provide a powerful roadmap to guide therapeutic approaches. Efforts such as The Cancer Genome Atlas Project will identify genes with aberrant copy number, sequence, or expression in various cancer types, providing a survey of the genes that may have a causal role in cancer. A complementary approach is to perform systematic loss-of-function studies to identify essential genes in particular cancer cell types. We have begun a systematic effort, termed Project Achilles, aimed at identifying genetic vulnerabilities across large numbers of cancer cell lines. Here, we report the assessment of the essentiality of 11,194 genes in 102 human cancer cell lines. We show that the integration of these functional data with information derived from surveying cancer genomes pinpoints known and previously undescribed lineage-specific dependencies across a wide spectrum of cancers. In particular, we found 54 genes that are specifically essential for the proliferation and viability of ovarian cancer cells and also amplified in primary tumors or differentially overexpressed in ovarian cancer cell lines. One such gene, PAX8, is focally amplified in 16% of high-grade serous ovarian cancers and expressed at higher levels in ovarian tumors. Suppression of PAX8 selectively induces apoptotic cell death of ovarian cancer cells. These results identify PAX8 as an ovarian lineage-specific dependency. More generally, these observations demonstrate that the integration of genome-scale functional and structural studies provides an efficient path to identify dependencies of specific cancer types on particular genes and pathways.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
July/2/2009
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Thyroid nodules are common in adults, but only a small fraction of them are malignant. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) with cytological evaluation is the most reliable tool for cancer diagnosis in thyroid nodules. However, 10-40% of nodules are diagnosed as indeterminate by cytology, making it difficult to optimally manage these patients.
OBJECTIVE
The aim of this study was to establish the feasibility and role of testing for tumor-specific mutations in improving the FNA diagnosis of thyroid nodules.
METHODS
The prospective study included 470 FNA samples of thyroid nodules from 328 patients. At the time of aspiration, a small portion of the material was collected and tested for BRAF, RAS, RET/PTC, and PAX8/PPARgamma mutations. The mutational status was correlated with cytology and either surgical pathology diagnosis or follow-up (mean, 34 months).
RESULTS
A sufficient amount of nucleic acids were isolated in 98% of samples. Thirty-two mutations were found, including 18 BRAF, eight RAS, five RET/PTC, and one PAX8/PPARgamma. The presence of any mutation was a strong indicator of cancer because 31 (97%) of mutation-positive nodules had a malignant diagnosis after surgery. A combination of cytology and molecular testing showed significant improvement in the diagnostic accuracy and allowed better prediction of malignancy in the nodules with indeterminate cytology.
CONCLUSIONS
These results indicate that molecular testing of thyroid nodules for a panel of mutations can be effectively performed in a clinical setting. It enhances the accuracy of FNA cytology and is of particular value for thyroid nodules with indeterminate cytology.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
May/28/2003
Abstract
A series of 88 conventional follicular and Hürthle cell thyroid tumors were analyzed for RAS mutations and PAX8-PPAR gamma rearrangements using molecular methods and for galectin-3 and HBME-1 expression by immunohistochemistry. A novel LightCycler technology-based method was developed to detect point mutations in codons 12/13 and 61 of the H-RAS, K-RAS, and N-RAS genes. Forty-nine percent of conventional follicular carcinomas had RAS mutations, 36% had PAX8-PPAR gamma rearrangement, and only one (3%) had both. In follicular adenomas, 48% had RAS mutations, 4% had PAX8-PPAR gamma rearrangement, and 48% had neither. Follicular carcinomas with PAX8-PPAR gamma typically showed immunoreactivity for galectin-3 but not for HBME-1, tended to present at a younger patient age and be smaller size, and were almost always overtly invasive. In contrast, follicular carcinomas with RAS mutations most often displayed an HBME-1-positive/galectin-3-negative immunophenotype and were either minimally or overtly invasive. Hürthle cell tumors infrequently had PAX8-PPAR gamma rearrangement or RAS mutations. These results suggest that conventional follicular thyroid carcinomas develop through at least two distinct and virtually nonoverlapping molecular pathways initiated by either RAS point mutation or PAX8-PPAR gamma rearrangement.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
December/23/2011
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Thyroid nodules are common in adults, but only a small fraction of them is malignant. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology provides a definitive diagnosis of benign or malignant disease in many cases, whereas about 25% of nodules are indeterminate, hindering most appropriate management.
OBJECTIVE
The objective of the investigation was to study the clinical utility of molecular testing of thyroid FNA samples with indeterminate cytology.
METHODS
Residual material from 1056 consecutive thyroid FNA samples with indeterminate cytology was used for prospective molecular analysis that included the assessment of cell adequacy by a newly developed PCR assay and testing for a panel of mutations consisted of BRAF V600E, NRAS codon 61, HRAS codon 61, and KRAS codons 12/13 point mutations and RET/PTC1, RET/PTC3, and PAX8/PPARγ rearrangements.
RESULTS
The collected material was adequate for molecular analysis in 967 samples (92%), which yielded 87 mutations including 19 BRAF, 62 RAS, 1 RET/PTC, and five PAX8/PPARγ. Four hundred seventy-nine patients who contributed 513 samples underwent surgery. In specific categories of indeterminate cytology, i.e. atypia of undetermined significance/follicular lesion of undetermined significance, follicular neoplasm/suspicious for a follicular neoplasm, and suspicious for malignant cells, the detection of any mutation conferred the risk of histologic malignancy of 88, 87, and 95%, respectively. The risk of cancer in mutation-negative nodules was 6, 14, and 28%, respectively. Of 6% of cancers in mutation-negative nodules with atypia of undetermined significance/follicular lesion of undetermined significance cytology, only 2.3% were invasive and 0.5% had extrathyroidal extension.
CONCLUSIONS
Molecular analysis for a panel of mutations has significant diagnostic value for all categories of indeterminate cytology and can be helpful for more effective clinical management of these patients.
Publication
Journal: Nature Genetics
May/29/1998
Abstract
The thyroid gland develops from two distinct embryonic lineages: follicular cells (which produce thyroxine) and parafollicular C-cells (which produce calcitonin) are of endodermal and neural crest origin, respectively. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms governing the generation of these different cell types. Mice lacking the transcription factor Ttf1 lack both cell types and thus are unable to develop a thyroid gland. By analysis of Pax8-/- mice, we demonstrate that Pax8 is required for the formation of the follicular cells in the thyroid. We present evidence that Pax8 is necessary for providing cues for the differentiation of competent endoderm primordia into thyroxin-producing follicular cells.
Publication
Journal: Genes and Development
December/13/2002
Abstract
The mammalian kidney develops in three successive steps from the initial pronephros via the mesonephros to the adult metanephros. Although the nephric lineage is specified during pronephros induction, no single regulator, including the transcription factor Pax2 or Pax8, has yet been identified to control this initial phase of kidney development. In this paper, we demonstrate that mouse embryos lacking both Pax2 and Pax8 are unable to form the pronephros or any later nephric structures. In these double-mutant embryos, the intermediate mesoderm does not undergo the mesenchymal-epithelial transitions required for nephric duct formation, fails to initiate the kidney-specific expression of Lim1 and c-Ret, and is lost by apoptosis 1 d after failed pronephric induction. Conversely, retroviral misexpression of Pax2 was sufficient to induce ectopic nephric structures in the intermediate mesoderm and genital ridge of chick embryos. Together, these data identify Pax2 and Pax8 as critical regulators that specify the nephric lineage.
Publication
Journal: Modern Pathology
July/15/2008
Abstract
Thyroid cancer is the most common malignant tumor of the endocrine system. The most frequent type of thyroid malignancy is papillary carcinoma. These tumors frequently have genetic alterations leading to the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Most common mutations in papillary carcinomas are point mutations of the BRAF and RAS genes and RET/PTC rearrangement. These genetic alterations are found in >70% of papillary carcinomas and they rarely overlap in the same tumor. Most frequent alterations in follicular carcinomas, the second most common type of thyroid malignancy, include RAS mutations and PAX8-PPARgamma rearrangement. RET point mutations are crucial for the development of medullary thyroid carcinomas. Many of these mutations, particularly those leading to the activation of the MAPK pathway, are being actively explored as therapeutic targets for thyroid cancer. A number of compounds have been studied and showed antitumor effects in preclinical studies and are being tested in ongoing clinical trials.
Publication
Journal: Development (Cambridge)
October/6/2003
Abstract
The homeobox Six genes, homologues to Drosophila sine oculis (so) gene, are expressed in multiple organs during mammalian development. However, their roles during auditory system development have not been studied. We report that Six1 is required for mouse auditory system development. During inner ear development, Six1 expression was first detected in the ventral region of the otic pit and later is restricted to the middle and ventral otic vesicle within which, respectively, the vestibular and auditory epithelia form. By contrast, Six1 expression is excluded from the dorsal otic vesicle within which the semicircular canals form. Six1 is also expressed in the vestibuloacoustic ganglion. At E15.5, Six1 is expressed in all sensory epithelia of the inner ear. Using recently generated Six1 mutant mice, we found that all Six1(+/-) mice showed some degree of hearing loss because of a failure of sound transmission in the middle ear. By contrast, Six1(-/-) mice displayed malformations of the auditory system involving the outer, middle and inner ears. The inner ear development in Six1(-/-) embryos arrested at the otic vesicle stage and all components of the inner ear failed to form due to increased cell death and reduced cell proliferation in the otic epithelium. Because we previously reported that Six1 expression in the otic vesicle is Eya1 dependent, we first clarified that Eya1 expression was unaffected in Six1(-/-) otic vesicle, further demonstrating that the Drosophila Eya-Six regulatory cassette is evolutionarily conserved during mammalian inner ear development. We also analyzed several other otic markers and found that the expression of Pax2 and Pax8 was unaffected in Six1(-/-) otic vesicle. By contrast, Six1 is required for the activation of Fgf3 expression and the maintenance of Fgf10 and Bmp4 expression in the otic vesicle. Furthermore, loss of Six1 function alters the expression pattern of Nkx5.1 and Gata3, indicating that Six1 is required for regional specification of the otic vesicle. Finally, our data suggest that the interaction between Eya1 and Six1 is crucial for the morphogenesis of the cochlea and the posterior ampulla during inner ear development. These analyses establish a role for Six1 in early growth and patterning of the otic vesicle.
Publication
Journal: American Journal of Clinical Pathology
July/29/2003
Abstract
The follicular variant (FV) of papillary thyroid carcinoma is characterized by a follicular growth pattern and cytologic features of papillary carcinoma. ret/PTC rearrangements are common in classic papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and PAX8-PPAR gamma and ras mutations in follicular thyroid carcinoma. Their prevalence in FV has not been established. We studied these genetic alterations and clinical-pathologic features in 30 FV cases and compared those with 46 non-FV papillary carcinomas. FV cases revealed 1 ret/PTC rearrangement (3%) and 13 ras mutations (43%). Non-FV cases harbored 13 ret/PTC (28%) (P = .006) and no ras mutations (P = .0002). No PAX8-PPAR gamma was found in either group. FV cases demonstrated a significantly higher prevalence of tumor encapsulation, angiovascular invasion, and poorly differentiated areas and a lower rate of lymph node metastases. These data indicate that the FV of papillary carcinoma has a distinct set of molecular alterations and is characterized by a high frequency of ras point mutations.
Publication
Journal: Molecular Biology of the Cell
April/2/2004
Abstract
We used DNA microarrays to characterize the global gene expression patterns in surface epithelial cancers of the ovary. We identified groups of genes that distinguished the clear cell subtype from other ovarian carcinomas, grade I and II from grade III serous papillary carcinomas, and ovarian from breast carcinomas. Six clear cell carcinomas were distinguished from 36 other ovarian carcinomas (predominantly serous papillary) based on their gene expression patterns. The differences may yield insights into the worse prognosis and therapeutic resistance associated with clear cell carcinomas. A comparison of the gene expression patterns in the ovarian cancers to published data of gene expression in breast cancers revealed a large number of differentially expressed genes. We identified a group of 62 genes that correctly classified all 125 breast and ovarian cancer specimens. Among the best discriminators more highly expressed in the ovarian carcinomas were PAX8 (paired box gene 8), mesothelin, and ephrin-B1 (EFNB1). Although estrogen receptor was expressed in both the ovarian and breast cancers, genes that are coregulated with the estrogen receptor in breast cancers, including GATA-3, LIV-1, and X-box binding protein 1, did not show a similar pattern of coexpression in the ovarian cancers.
Publication
Journal: Thyroid
November/16/2010
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Aberrant activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway plays a fundamental role in thyroid tumorigenesis, particularly in follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) and aggressive thyroid cancer, such as anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC). As the drivers of this process, many genetic alterations activating the PI3K/Akt pathway have been identified in thyroid cancer in recent years.
CONCLUSIONS
This review summarizes the current knowledge on major genetic alterations in the PI3K/Akt pathway. These include PIK3CA mutations and genomic amplification/copy gain, Ras mutations, PTEN mutations, RET/PTC and PPARgamma/Pax8 rearrangements, as well as amplification/copy gain of PIK3CB, PDK1, Akt, and various receptor tyrosine kinase genes. Most of these genetic alterations are particularly common in FTC and many of them are even more common in ATC; they are generally less common in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), in which the MAP kinase (MAPK) pathway activated by the BRAF mutation instead plays a major role. Methylation and, thus, epigenetic silencing of PTEN, a major negative regulator of the PI3K/Akt pathway, occurs in close association with activating genetic alterations of the PI3K/Akt pathway, constituting a unique self-enhancement mechanism for this pathway. Many of these genetic alterations are mutually exclusive in differentiated thyroid tumors, but with increasing concurrence from benign tumors to FTC to ATC. RET/PTC, Ras, and receptor tyrosine kinase could dually activate the PI3K/Akt and MAPK pathways. Most cases of ATC harbor genetic alterations in these genes or other genetic combinations that can activate both pathways. It is proposed that genetic alterations in the PI3K/Akt pathway promote thyroid cell transformation to FTC and that genetic alterations in the MAPK pathway promote cell transformation to PTC; accumulation of multiple genetic alterations that can activate both pathways promotes thyroid cancer aggressiveness and progression to ATC.
CONCLUSIONS
Genetic alterations are common in the PI3K/Akt pathway in thyroid cancer and play a fundamental role in the tumorigenesis and progression of this cancer. This provides a strong basis for the emerging development of novel genetic-based diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies for thyroid cancer.
Publication
Journal: Development (Cambridge)
March/20/1992
Abstract
Several mouse genes designated 'Pax genes' contain a highly conserved DNA sequence homologous to the paired box of Drosophila. Here we describe the isolation of Pax8, a novel paired box containing clone from an 8.5 day p.c. mouse embryo cDNA library. An open reading frame of 457 amino acids (aa) contains the 128 aa paired domain near the amino terminus. Another conserved region present in some other paired box genes, the octapeptide Tyr-Ser-Ile-Asn-Gly-Leu-Leu-Gly, is located 43 aa C-terminal to the paired domain. Using an interspecies backcross system, we have mapped the Pax8 gene within the proximal portion of mouse chromosome 2 in a close linkage to the surf locus. Several developmental mutations are located in this region. In situ hybridization was used to determine the pattern of Pax8 expression during mouse embryogenesis. Pax8 is expressed transiently between 11.5 and 12.5 days of gestation along the rostrocaudal axis extending from the myelencephalon throughout the length of the neural tube, predominantly in two parallel regions on either side of the basal plate. We also detected Pax8 expression in the developing thyroid gland beginning at 10.5 days of gestation, during the thyroid evagination. In the mesonephros and metanephros the expression of Pax8 was localized to the mesenchymal condensations, which are induced by the nephric duct and ureter, respectively. These condensations develop to functional units, the nephrons, of the kidney. These data are consistent with a role for Pax8 in the induction of kidney epithelium. The embryonic expression pattern of Pax8 is compared with that of Pax2, another recently described paired box gene expressed in the developing excretory system.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
August/28/2007
Abstract
BACKGROUND
BRAF mutations are common in papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs). By affecting the expression of genes critically related to the development and differentiation of thyroid cancer, they may influence the prognosis of these tumors.
OBJECTIVE
Our objective was to characterize the expression of thyroid-specific genes associated with BRAF mutation in PTCs. DESIGN/SETTING AND PATIENTS: We examined the expression of key markers of thyrocyte differentiation in 56 PTCs with BRAF mutations (BRAF-mut) and 37 with wild-type BRAF (BRAF-wt). Eight samples of normal thyroid tissue were analyzed as controls. Quantitative PCR was used to measure mRNA levels for the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS), apical iodide transporter (AIT-B), thyroglobulin (Tg), thyroperoxidase (TPO), TSH receptor (TSH-R), the transcription factor PAX8, and glucose transporter type 1 (Glut1). NIS protein expression and localization was also analyzed by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS
mRNA levels for all thyroid-specific genes were reduced in all PTCs vs. normal thyroid tissues. NIS, AIT-B, Tg, and TPO expression was significantly lower in BRAF-mut tumors than in the BRAF-wt group. Glut-1 transcript levels were increased in all PTCs, and additional increases were noted in BRAF-mut tumors. In both tumor subsets, the NIS protein that was expressed was abnormally retained in the cytoplasm.
CONCLUSIONS
BRAF V600E mutation in PTCs is associated with reduced expression of key genes involved in iodine metabolism. This effect may alter the effectiveness of diagnostic and/or therapeutic use of radioiodine in BRAF-mut PTCs.
Publication
Journal: Nature Genetics
May/29/1998
Abstract
Permanent congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is a common disease that occurs in 1 of 3,000-4,000 newborns. Except in rare cases due to hypothalamic or pituitary defects, CH is characterized by elevated levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) resulting from reduced thyroid function. When thyroid hormone therapy is not initiated within the first two months of life, CH can cause severe neurological, mental and motor damage. In 80-85% of cases, CH is associated with and presumably is a consequence of thyroid dysgenesis (TD). In these cases, the thyroid gland can be absent (agenesis, 35-40%), ectopically located (30-45%) and/or severely reduced in size (hypoplasia, 5%). Familial cases of TD are rare, even though ectopic or absent thyroid has been occasionally observed in siblings. The pathogenesis of TD is still largely unknown. Although a genetic component has been suggested, mutations in the gene encoding the receptor for the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSHR) have been identified in only two cases of TD with hypoplasia. We report mutations in the coding region of PAX8 in two sporadic patients and one familial case of TD. All three point mutations are located in the paired domain of PAX8 and result in severe reduction of the DNA-binding activity of this transcription factor. These genetic alterations implicate PAX8 in the pathogenesis of TD and in normal thyroid development.