Human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) show great potential for clinical and experimental use due to their capacity to self-renew and differentiate into multiple mesenchymal lineages. However, disadvantages of primary cultures of hMSCs are the limited in vitro lifespan, and the variable properties of cells from different donors and over time in culture. In this article, we describe the generation of a telomerase-immortalized nontumorigenic human bone marrow-derived stromal mesenchymal cell line, and its detailed characterization after long-term culturing (up to 155 population doublings). The resulting cell line, iMSC#3, maintained a fibroblast-like phenotype comparable to early passages of primary hMSCs, and showed no major differences from hMSCs regarding surface marker expression. Furthermore, iMSC#3 had a normal karyotype, and high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization confirmed normal copy numbers. The gene expression profiles of immortalized and primary hMSCs were also similar, whereas the corresponding DNA methylation profiles were more diverse. The cells also had proliferation characteristics comparable to primary hMSCs and maintained the capacity to differentiate into osteoblasts and adipocytes. A detailed characterization of the mRNA and microRNA transcriptomes during adipocyte differentiation also showed that the iMSC#3 recapitulates this process at the molecular level. In summary, the immortalized mesenchymal cells represent a valuable model system that can be used for studies of candidate genes and their role in differentiation or oncogenic transformation, and basic studies of mesenchymal biology.
The pathogenesis of sporadic pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (PNENs) is poorly understood. To gain insight into the genetic mechanisms underlying this tumor entity, we performed genome-wide screening of 16 surgical specimens from 15 patients with sporadic PNEN, combining G-band karyotyping and high resolution comparative genomic hybridization (HR-CGH). G-banding revealed abnormal karyotypes in 2 of 10 tumor samples analyzed. DNA copy number changes were detected in 13 samples, whereas three tumors showed a balanced genome. Gains were more frequent than losses in the nonfunctioning tumors (n=13). Common gains were scored at 5p12-13, 4q13-24, 5p15, 5q11-31, and 9q21-22. Common losses were scored at 11p11, 11p14-15, 11q23, 11p12-13, and 11q22. The average number of copy aberrations (ANCA index) was 12 for 13 nonfunctioning primary tumors, 4.8 for the nonfunctioning tumors with low Ki-67 (?5%), 21.2 for the tumors with high Ki-67 (<5%), 2.5 for small tumors (<3.5 cm), and 17.8 for large tumors (?3.5 cm). There was a statistically significant difference in the ANCA index between the groups defined by Ki-67 and tumor size. Nonfunctioning tumors with low Ki-67, no distant metastasis and small size had few aberrations detected by HR-CGH, but frequent loss of material from chromosomal band 11p11. The present study indicates the existence of distinct cytogenetic patterns in sporadic nonfunctioning PNEN. Loss of chromosomal band 11p11 might indicate a primary pathogenetic event in these tumors.
Ependymomas are rare tumors of the central nervous system (CNS). They are classified based on tumor histology and grade, but the prognostic value of the WHO grading system remains controversial. Treatment is mainly surgical and by radiation. An improved knowledge of ependymoma biology is important to elucidate the pathogenesis, to improve classification schemes, and to identify novel potential treatment targets. Only 113 ependymoma karyotypes with chromosome aberrations are registered in the Mitelman database. We present the first study of ependymoma genomes combining karyotyping and high resolution comparative genomic hybridization (HR-CGH). Nineteen tumor samples were collected from three pediatric and 15 adult patients treated at Oslo University Hospital between 2005 and 2012. Histological diagnoses included subependymoma and myxopapillary ependymoma (WHO grade I), ependymoma (WHO grade II) and anaplastic ependymoma (WHO grade III). Four tumors were intraspinal and 15 were intracranial. Seventeen samples were successfully karyotyped, HR-CGH analysis was undertaken on 17 samples, and 15 of 19 tumors were analyzed using both methods. Twelve tumors had karyotypic abnormalities, mostly gains or losses of whole chromosomes. Structural rearrangements were found in four tumors, in two of which 2p23 was identified as a breakpoint region. Twelve tumors displayed genomic imbalances by HR-CGH analysis with loss of material at 6q as the most common. 6q loss, which was detected by one or both methods in seven of 12 (58%) abnormal tumors, and 5p gain (observed in five tumors; 42%) were the most common genomic aberrations in this series.
The identification of recurrent gene fusions in common epithelial cancers--for example, TMPRSS2/ERG in prostate cancer and EML4/ALK in nonsmall cell lung carcinomas--has raised the question of whether fusion genes are pathogenetically important also in ovarian carcinomas. The first recurrent fusion transcript in serous ovarian carcinomas was reported by Salzman et al. in 2011, who used deep paired-end sequencing to detect the fusion gene ESRRA-C11orf20 in 10 out of 67 (15%) serous ovarian carcinomas examined, a finding that holds great promise for our understanding of ovarian tumorigenesis as well as, potentially, for new treatment strategies. We wanted to test how frequent the ESRRA/C11orf20 fusion is in ovarian carcinomas of all subtypes, and therefore examined a series of 230 ovarian carcinomas of which 197 were of the serous subtype and 163 of the 197 were of stages III and IV--that is, the very same carcinoma subset where the fusion transcript had been found. We performed PCR and high-throughput sequencing analyses in search of the fusion transcript. We used the same primers described previously for the detection of the fusion and the same primer combination, but found no ESRRA/C11orf20 fusion in our series. A synthetic DNA plasmid containing the reported ESRRA/C11orf20 fusion was included as a positive control for our PCR experiments. Data from high-throughput sequencing of 23 ovarian carcinomas were screened in search of alternative partner(s) for the ESRRA and/or C11orf20 gene, but none was found. We conclude that the frequency of the ESRRA/C11orf20 gene fusion in serous ovarian carcinomas of stages III and IV must be considerable less than that reported previously (0/163 in our experience compared with 10/67 in the previous study). At the very least, it seems clear that the said fusion cannot be a common pathogenetic event in this tumor type.
The chimeric transcripts described in endometrial stromal sarcomas (ESS) are JAZF1/SUZ12, YWHAE/FAM22, ZC3H7/BCOR, MBTD1/CXorf67, and recombinations of PHF1 with JAZF1, EPC1, and MEAF6. The MEAF6/PHF1 fusion had hitherto been identified in only one tumor. We present two more ESS with MEAF6/PHF1 detected by transcriptome sequencing (case 1) and RT-PCR (case 2), proving that this fusion is recurrent in ESS. The transcript of both cases was an in-frame fusion between exon 5 of MEAF6 and exon 2 of PHF1. Both genes are involved in epigenetic modification, and this may well be their main pathogenetic theme also in ESS tumorigenesis.
Aberrations of chromosome arm 19p in ovarian cancer were first described decades ago and have been confirmed in recent publications, which have focused on chromosome 11 as a translocation partner. Recently, genetic analysis of the ovarian cancer cell line SKOV3 revealed a rearrangement described as der(19)t(11;19)(q13.2;p13.2), which lead to a fusion protein containing parts of HOOK2 and frame shifted ACTN3 that had unknown functionality. To evaluate the frequency of these breakpoints, we used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes flanking these genes for interphase analysis of ovarian cancer cells. We analyzed 49 primary cell cultures of ovarian cancers using FISH probes next to these breakpoints on chromosomes 11 and 19 defined in SKOV3. Co-localizations of the signals in interphase nuclei were considered to be positive fusions when the frequency was over the experimentally calculated cutoff of 24.3% (mean average value for normal ovary cells plus three times the standard deviation). Fusions between 11q13.2 and 19p13.2 were confirmed in 22 (45%) primary cell cultures of ovarian cancers. However, by PCR, the fusion originally described in SKOV3 was not detected in any of the primary cell cultures. Our results confirm other reports and show that these regions are very frequently involved in chromosomal rearrangements in ovarian cancer. Furthermore, they reveal a significant correlation (P = 0.023) of co-localized signals of 11q13.2 and 19p13.2 with low and intermediate grades in ovarian cancer.
Cancer-specific fusion genes are often caused by cytogenetically visible chromosomal rearrangements such as translocations, inversions, deletions or insertions, they can be the targets of molecular therapy, they play a key role in the accurate diagnosis and classification of neoplasms, and they are of prognostic impact. The identification of novel fusion genes in various neoplasms therefore not only has obvious research importance, but is also potentially of major clinical significance. The "traditional" methodology to detect them began with cytogenetic analysis to find the chromosomal rearrangement, followed by utilization of fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques to find the probe which spans the chromosomal breakpoint, and finally molecular cloning to localize the breakpoint more precisely and identify the genes fused by the chromosomal rearrangement. Although laborious, the above-mentioned sequential approach is robust and reliable and a number of fusion genes have been cloned by such means. Next generation sequencing (NGS), mainly RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), has opened up new possibilities to detect fusion genes even when cytogenetic aberrations are cryptic or information about them is unknown. However, NGS suffers from the shortcoming of identifying as "fusion genes" also many technical, biological and, perhaps in particular, clinical "false positives," thus making the assessment of which fusions are important and which are noise extremely difficult. The best way to overcome this risk of information overflow is, whenever reliable cytogenetic information is at hand, to compare karyotyping and sequencing data and concentrate exclusively on those suggested fusion genes that are found in chromosomal breakpoints. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Rare Cancers.
It is known that all tumors studied in sufficient number to draw conclusions show characteristic/specific chromosomal rearrangements, and the identification of these chromosomes and the genes rearranged behind the aberrations may ultimately lead to a tailor-made therapy for each cancer patient. Knowledge about the acquired genomic aberrations of ovarian carcinomas is still unsatisfactory.
Mesothelioma is a rare but very aggressive tumor derived from mesothelial cells. A number of often complex but nonrandom cytogenetic abnormalities have been found in these tumors, resulting in loss of chromosome bands 14q32 and 22q12 in more than 35% of the cases. In this study, we used RNA sequencing to search for fusion transcripts in a mesothelioma carrying a t(14;22)(q32;q12) as the sole chromosomal aberration and found an EWSR1-YY1 and its reciprocal YY1-EWSR1 fusion transcript. Screening 15 additional cases of mesothelioma from which we had RNA but no cytogenetic information, we identified one more tumor carrying an EWSR1-YY1 fusion gene but not the reciprocal YY1-EWSR1 transcript. RT-polymerase chain reaction and sequencing showed that in both cases exon 8 of EWSR1 (nucleotide 1,139, accession number NM_013986 version 3, former exon 7 in sequence with accession number X66899) was fused to exon 2 of YY1 (nucleotide 1,160, accession number NM_003403 version 3). The EWSR1 breakpoint in exon 8 in the EWSR1-YY1 chimeric transcript is similar to what is found in other fusions involving EWSR1 such as EWSR1-FLI1, EWSR1-DDIT3, and EWSR1-ATF1. The EWSR1-YY1-encoded protein is an abnormal transcription factor with the transactivation domain of EWSR1 and the DNA-binding domain of YY1. This is the first study to detect a specific fusion gene in mesothelioma (the reason how frequent the EWSR1-YY1 fusion is remains uncertain) and also the first time that direct involvement of YY1 in oncogenesis has been demonstrated.
Endometrial stromal sarcomas (ESS) are genetically heterogeneous uterine tumors in which a JAZF1-SUZ12 chimeric gene resulting from the chromosomal translocation t(7;17)(p15;q21) as well as PHF1 rearrangements (in chromosomal band 6p21) with formation of JAZF1-PHF1, EPC1-PHF1, and MEAF6-PHF1 chimeras have been described. Here, we investigated two ESS characterized cytogenetically by the presence of a der(22)t(X;22)(p11;q13). Whole transcriptome sequencing one of the tumors identified a ZC3H7-BCOR chimeric transcript. Reverse transciptase-PCR with the ZC3H7B forward and BCOR reverse primer combinations confirmed the presence of a ZC3H7-BCOR chimeric transcript in both ESS carrying a der(22)t(X;22) but not in a control ESS with t(1;6) and the MEAF6-PHF1 fusion. Sequencing of the amplified cDNA fragments showed that in both cases ESS exon 10 of ZC3H7B (from 22q13; accession number NM_017590 version 4) was fused to exon 8 of BCOR (from Xp11; accession number NM_001123385 version 1). Reciprocal multiple BCOR-ZC3H7B cDNA fragments were amplified in only one case suggesting that ZC3H7B-BCOR, on the der(22)t(X;22), is the pathogenetically important fusion gene. The putative ZC3H7B-BCOR protein would contain the tetratricopeptide repeats and LD motif from ZC3H7B and the AF9 binding site (1093-1233aa), the 3 ankyrin repeats (1410-1509 aa), and the NSPC1 binding site of BCOR. Although the presence of these motifs suggests various functions of the chimeric protein, it is possible that its most important role may be in epigenetic regulation. Whether or not the (patho)genetic subsets JAZF1-SUZ12, PHF1 rearrangements, and ZC3H7B-BCOR correspond to any phenotypic, let alone clinically important, differences in ESS remain unknown.
Little is known about the genomic abnormalities of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the vulva and how they correlate with gene expression. We determined the genomic and expression profiles of 15 such SCC using karyotyping, DNA ploidy analysis, arrayCGH, and expression arrays. Four of the five cases with clonal chromosomal aberrations found by G-banding showed highly abnormal karyotypes with multiple rearrangements. The imbalances scored by arrayCGH mapped to different chromosomes with losses being more common than gains. Frequent losses were scored from 3p and 8p whereas gains were frequent from 3q and 8q (loss of 8p with concomitant gain of 8q mostly occurred via 8q isochromosome formation). This is the first study of vulvar tumors using arrayCGH, and some frequent imbalances could be defined precisely. Of particular note were the sometimes large, sometimes small deletions of 3p and 9p which had minute areas in 3p14 and 9p23 as minimal commonly deleted regions. FHIT (3p14) and PTPRD (9p23) are the only genes here. They were both lost in seven cases, including homozygous losses of PTPRD in four tumors. Using qPCR we could demonstrate deregulation of the FHIT gene in tumor cells. Hence, this gene is likely to play a pathogenetic role in vulvar SCC tumorigenesis. Expression array analyses also identified a number of other genes whose expression profile was altered. Notable among the downregulated genes were MAL (in 2q11), KRT4 (in 12q13), and OLFM4 (in 13q14), whereas upregulated genes included SPRR2G (in 1q21.3) and S100A7A (in 1q21.3).
About 20% of ovarian carcinomas show alterations of 19p13 and/or 19q13 in the form of added extra material whose origin often is from chromosome 11. Based on earlier spectral karyotype analysis of the ovarian cancer cell line SKOV-3, which shows an unbalanced translocation der(19)t(11;19), the aim of this study was to determine the precise breakpoints of that derivative chromosome. After rough delimitation of the breakpoints of microdissected derivative chromosomes by array analysis, we designed a matrix of primers spanning 11q13.2 and 19p13.2 detecting multiple amplicons on genomic and cDNA. Sequencing the amplicons, accurate localization of both breakpoints on both chromosomes was possible and we found that exon 14 of HOOK2 from chromosome 19 and exon 2 of ACTN3 from chromosome 11 were fused in the derivative chromosome. The breakpoint in the HOOK2 gene was in an intrinsic triplet of nucleic acids leading to a shift in the ACTN3 reading frame in the derivative chromosome. This frameshift alteration should give rise to an early stop codon causing a loss of function of ACTN3. Signals in two-dimensional Western blotting exactly match to calculated molecular mass and the isoelectric point of the fusion protein.
Acute erythroid leukemia was diagnosed in a 4-month-old boy. Cytogenetic analysis of bone marrow (BM) cells showed a t(11;20)(p11;q11) translocation. RNA extracted from the BM was sequenced and analyzed for fusion transcripts using the software FusionMap. A ZMYND8-RELA fusion was ranked first. RT-PCR and direct sequencing verified the presence of an in frame ZMYND8-RELA chimeric transcript. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that the ZMYND8-RELA was located on the p12 band of der(11); therefore a cytogenetically invisible pericentric inversion in chromosome 11 must have taken place besides the translocation. The putative ZMYND8-RELA fusion protein contains the Zinc-PHD finger domain, a bromodomain, a PWWP domain, a MYND type of zinc finger of ZMYND8, and the entire RELA protein, indicating that it might act leukemogenically by influencing several cellular processes including the NF-kappa-B pathway.
DNA ploidy analysis is useful for prognostication in cancer patients, but the genomic details underlying ploidy changes are not fully understood. To improve this understanding, we compared DNA ploidy status with karyotypic and comparative genomic hybridization data on 51 endometrial adenocarcinomas. Out of 34 DNA diploid tumors evaluated by CGH, 16 (47%) showed imbalances, though only two had more than four copy number changes. Ten (29%) had aberrations involving chromosome 1, seven (21%) involving chromosome 10, while one tumor had a chromosome 8 aberration. Four of the seven DNA tetraploid tumors (57%) had imbalances detected by CGH with two (29%) having more than four. Six out of eight DNA aneuploid tumors showed imbalances by CGH, with five (63%) having more than four. The aberrations were observed on chromosomes 1 and 8 in five/eight (63%) cases while four imbalances (50%) involved chromosomes 5, 7 and X. Not surprisingly, we observed a significant correlation between increasing DNA ploidy complexity and increasing number of copy alterations. Gains of material from chromosomes 8 and 7 might be specifically correlated to DNA aneuploidy in endometrial adenocarcinomas since 63% and 50% of the aneuploid compared to 3% of the diploid tumors showed imbalances involving these chromosomes.
We describe the use of rolling circle amplification and long-distance inverse polymerase chain reaction (LD-PCR) to identify chromosomal breakpoints and fusion genes in cancer cells carrying acquired translocations. This approach produced enough template for 100 inverse PCR reaction from as little as 20 ng of patient DNA, consequently enabling the use of up to 500 times less patient DNA compared to standard inverse PCR. The method is based on identifying restriction sites in a putative breakpoint area in a cancer-specific translocation, followed by circularization and amplification of the restriction DNA products by using T4 DNA ligase and Phi29 enzyme, respectively. The amplified DNA thus obtained is used as a template in long-distance inverse PCR to amplify and detect the precise breakpoint of the chromosomal rearrangements in question by sequencing of the obtained PCR products. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by identifying fusion genes TAF15-ZNF384 (brought about by a (12;17)(p13;q21) translocation) and BCR-ABL1 (produced by a (9:22)(q34;q11.2) translocation) in five leukemia samples. The application of rolling circle amplification before inverse PCR may be particularly useful in the search for chromosomal breakpoints and fusion genes brought about by new translocations when only minute amounts of DNA are available from the sampled malignant lesion.
We report the clinical, cytogenetic, and molecular data of two patients diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia characterized by the rare translocation t(12;17)(p13;q12). This translocation has been reported in 25 cases and its putative molecular consequence, the formation of a TAF15-ZNF384 fusion gene, in only six cases. We used fluorescence in situ hybridization followed by long-range polymerase chain reaction to find the translocation breakpoints. A fusion between TAF15 and ZNF384 was identified and confirmed by nucleotide sequencing. Our results confirm that the t(12;17)(p13;q12) leading to a TAF15-ZNF384 fusion gene characterizes a specific subgroup of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and suggest that two different breakpoints in TAF15 may be involved. Whether the two variants of the TAF15-ZNF384 fusion that these correspond to are in any way hematologically or prognostically different, is unknown.
Alterations of chromosome 19 are among the most frequent cytogenetic changes in ovarian carcinomas. They usually occur as added extra material of unknown origin to 19p or, less frequently, 19q but sometimes as homogeneously staining regions. The precise nature of these markers, i.e., exactly which regions of chromosome 19 are involved and from which chromosome(s) the additional material comes, could only rarely be established. We have investigated by high resolution array-CGH a series of 29 chromosome 19 markers after previous microdissection of ovarian carcinoma metaphases followed by FISH to determine where in chromosome 19 the rearrangements took place as well as from which partner chromosomes the additional material stems, obtaining informative results on 23 markers from 18 carcinomas. Along the entire chromosome 19, a total of nine regions were found gained in 10 or more carcinomas (from 10 to 16) whereas 15 regions were gained in 6 to 10 markers. The most commonly gained region (16 markers) was observed in 19p13 between 20.80 Mbp and 20.85 Mbp from 19pter. According to the human genome 18 (hg18) NCBI 36, a total of 43 genes reside in the most commonly gained regions. Most of them (n = 31) code for zinc finger proteins. None of these genes is known to be involved in human neoplasia (the only exception is the ZNF91, which is found highly expressed in seminomas) but their frequent gain in the examined tumors makes all of them candidates for a pathogenetic role in ovarian carcinogenesis.
Alterations of chromosome bands 19p13 and 19q13 in the form of added extra material of unknown origin are among the most frequent cytogenetic changes in ovarian carcinomas. To investigate the chromosomal composition of the 19p+ and/or 19q+ markers, we selected for examination 26 ovarian carcinomas which by G-banding had one to four 19p+ and/or 19q+, in total 37 markers. These cases were then subjected to chromosomal microdissection with subsequent reverse painting, which gave informative results on 29 markers. The breakpoints on chromosome 19 were located in both the short (p; n = 15) and the long (q; n = 10) arms, as well as in the centromeric (n = 2) and pericentromeric (n = 6) region. The analysis showed that many chromosomes added material to chromosome 19, but the chromosome arms 11q, 21q, and 22q were particularly common donors. Homogeneously staining regions (hsr) were seen in only three markers, in all of them consisting of 19p material. Eighteen markers were derived from an unbalanced translocation involving chromosome 19. In five markers, chromosome 19 was rearranged with two chromosomes. The most complex marker showed chromosome 19 rearranged with three other chromosomes, i.e., X, 13, and 16. In five markers, all of the additional material stemmed from chromosome 19 itself. This is the first large chromosome microdissection/FISH study of chromosome 19 markers in ovarian carcinomas. A detailed map of the rearrangements should provide clues to the positions of oncogenes and potential fusion genes important in ovarian carcinogenesis.
Septins are proteins associated with crucial steps in cell division and cellular integrity. In humans, 14 septin genes have been identified, of which five (SEPT2, SEPT5, SEPT6, SEPT9, and SEPT11) are known to participate in reciprocal translocations with the MLL gene in myeloid neoplasias. We have recently shown a significant down-regulation of both SEPT2 and MLL in myeloid neoplasias with the MLL-SEPT2 fusion gene. In this study, we examined the expression pattern of the other 13 known septin genes in altogether 67 cases of myeloid neoplasia, including three patients with the MLL-SEPT2 fusion gene, four with MLL-SEPT6 fusion, and three patients with the MLL-SEPT9 fusion gene. When compared with normal controls, a statistically significant down-regulation was observed for the expression of both MLL (6.4-fold; p=0.008) and SEPT6 (1.7-fold; p=0.002) in MLL-SEPT6 leukemia. Significant down-regulation of MLL was also found in MLL-MLLT3 leukemias. In addition, there was a trend for SEPT9 down-regulation in MLL-SEPT9 leukemias (4.6-fold; p=0.077). Using hierarchical clustering analysis to compare acute myeloid leukemia genetic subgroups based on their similarity of septin expression changes, we found that MLL-SEPT2 and MLL-SEPT6 neoplasias cluster together apart from the remaining subgroups and that PML-RARA leukemia presents under-expression of most septin family genes.
Cancer of the ovary is bilateral in 25%. Cytogenetic analysis could determine whether the disease in bilateral cases is metastatic or two separately occurring primary tumors, but karyotypic information comparing the two cancerous ovaries is limited to a single report with 11 informative cases. We present a series of 32 bilateral ovarian carcinoma cases, analyzed by karyotyping and high-resolution CGH. Our karyotypic findings showed that spreading to the contralateral ovary had occurred in bilateral ovarian cancer cases and that it was a late event in the clonal evolution of the tumors. This was confirmed by the large number of similar changes detected by HR-CGH in the different lesions from the same patient. The chromosomal bands most frequently involved in structural rearrangements were 19p13 (n = 12) and 19q13 (n = 11). The chromosomal bands most frequently gained by both tumorous ovaries were 5p14 (70%), 8q23-24 (65%), 1q23-24 (57%), and 12p12 (48%), whereas the most frequently lost bands were 17p11 (78%), 17p13 (74%), 17p12 (70%), 22q13 (61%), 8p21 and 19q13 (52%), and 8p22-23 (48%). This is the first time that 5p14 is seen gained at such a high frequency in cancer of the ovary; possibly oncogene(s) involved in bilateral ovarian carcinogenesis or tumor progression may reside in this band.
The analysis of a small number of patients with atypical chronic myeloid leukemia showing balanced chromosomal translocations has revealed diverse tyrosine kinase fusion genes, most commonly involving FGFR1, PDGFRA, PDGFRB, JAK2, and ABL. We present a case of aCML with a 3q22;21q22-translocation that led to truncation of the receptor-like tyrosine kinase (RYK) gene and its juxtaposition with sequences from chromosome 21 including the ATP5O gene coding for a mitochondrial ATP synthase. The resulting fusion was not in frame, however, which is why we speculate that an abrogated RYK gene product rather than a chimeric protein might be the leukemogenic result.
The ability to detect neoplasia-specific fusion genes is important not only in cancer research, but also increasingly in clinical settings to ensure that correct diagnosis is made and the optimal treatment is chosen. However, the available methodologies to detect such fusions all have their distinct short-comings.
Mesenchymal chondrosarcomas (MCs) account for 3-10% of primary chondrosarcomas. The cytogenetic literature includes only ten such tumours with karyotypic information and no specific aberrations have been identified. Using a purely molecular genetic approach a HEY1-NCOA2 fusion gene was recently detected in 10 of 15 investigated MCs. The fusion probably arises through intrachromosomal rearrangement of chromosome arm 8 q. We report a new case of MC showing a t(1;5)(q42;q32) as the sole karyotypic aberration. Through FISH and whole transcriptome sequencing analysis we found a novel fusion between the IRF2BP2 gene and the transcription factor CDX1 gene arising from the translocation. The IRF2BP2-CDX1 has not formerly been described in human neoplasia. In our hospitals archives three more cases of MC were found, and we examined them looking for the supposedly more common HEY1-NCOA2 fusion, finding it in all three tumours but not in the case showing t(1;5) and IRF2BP2-CDX1 gene fusion. This demonstrates that genetic heterogeneity exists in mesenchymal chondrosarcoma.
A 10-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital because of anemia detected after a two week history of fatigue, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and weight loss. A bone marrow investigation confirmed a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia of the B-cell precursor phenotype. Chromosome G-banding analysis yielded the karyotype 46,XY,t(17;19)(q22;p13), and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis showed rearrangement of the genes TCF3 (on 19p13; accession number NM_03200 version 3) and HLF (on 17q22; accession number NM_002126 version 4) with the generation of a TCF3-HLF chimera. Polymerase chain reaction and sequencing analyses demonstrated the presence of two in-frame chimeric TCF3-HLF transcripts. In the first one, which corresponds to a type 2 fusion, exon 15 of TCF3 is fused to exon 4 of HLF. In the second, described here for the first time and named type 3, exon 14 of TCF3 is fused to exon 4 of HLF. Whether the type 3 chimeric transcript has the same DNA binding and transcriptional regulatory effect as type 1 and type 2 TCF3-HLF chimeras remains to be seen.
The upregulation of oncogenes and the formation of fusion genes are commonly observed in hematological malignancies with recurring balanced translocations. However, in some malignancies exhibiting balanced chromosomal rearrangements, neither oncogene deregulation nor generation of fusion genes appears to be involved, suggesting that other mechanisms are at play. In the rare myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) containing a t(2;11)(p21;q23-24) translocation, breakpoints near a microRNA locus, miR-125b-1, in 11q24 have been suggested to be pathogenetically involved. Here we report the detailed mapping and sequencing of the breakpoint located only 2 kilobases from miR-125b-1 in an MDS patient with a t(2;11)(p21;q23-24).
Rearrangement of chromosome band 6p21 is recurrent in endometrial stromal sarcoma (ESS) and targets the PHF1 gene. So far, PHF1 was found to be the 3 partner in the JAZF1-PHF1 and EPC1-PHF1 chimeras but since the 6p21 rearrangements involve also other chromosomal translocation partners, other PHF1-fusions seem likely. Here, we show that PHF1 is recombined with a novel fusion partner, MEAF6 from 1p34, in an ESS carrying a t(1;6)(p34;p21) translocation as the sole karyotypic anomaly. 5-RACE, RT-PCR, and sequencing showed the presence of an MEAF6-PHF1 chimera in the tumor with exon 5 of MEAF6 being fused in-frame to exon 2 of PHF1 so that the entire PHF1 coding region becomes the 3 terminal part of the MEAF6-PHF1 fusion. The predicted fusion protein is composed of 750 amino acids and contains the histone acetyltransferase subunit NuA4 domain of MEAF6 and the tudor, PHD zinc finger, and MTF2 domains of PHF1. Although the specific functions of the MEAF6 and PHF1 proteins and why they are targeted by a neoplasia-specific gene fusion are not directly apparent, it seems that rearrangement of genes involved in acetylation (EPC1, MEAF6) and methylation (PHF1), resulting in aberrant gene expression, is a common theme in ESS pathogenesis.
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