To explore the appropriateness of using the interval-scale version of the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66) in paediatric acquired brain injury (ABI), and to characterize GMFM-66 recovery trajectories and factors that affect them.
The transcriptional regulator c-MYC is abnormally overexpressed in many human cancers. Evasion from apoptosis is critical for cancer development, particularly c-MYC-driven cancers. We explored which anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family member (expressed under endogenous regulation) is essential to sustain c-MYC-driven lymphoma growth to reveal which should be targeted for cancer therapy. Remarkably, inducible Cre-mediated deletion of even a single Mcl-1 allele substantially impaired the growth of c-MYC-driven mouse lymphomas. Mutations in p53 could diminish but not obviate the dependency of c-MYC-driven mouse lymphomas on MCL-1. Importantly, targeting of MCL-1 killed c-MYC-driven human Burkitt lymphoma cells, even those bearing mutations in p53. Given that loss of one allele of Mcl-1 is well tolerated in healthy tissues, our results suggest that therapeutic targeting of MCL-1 would be an attractive therapeutic strategy for MYC-driven cancers.
The link between evasion of apoptosis and the development of cellular hyperplasia and ultimately cancer is implicitly clear if one considers how many cells are produced each day and, hence, how many cells must die to make room for the new ones (reviewed in Raff, 1996). Furthermore, cells are frequently experiencing noxious stimuli that can cause lesions in their DNA and faults in DNA replication can occur during cellular proliferation. Such DNA damage needs to be repaired efficiently or cells with irreparable damage must be killed to prevent subsequent division of aberrant cells that may fuel tumorigenesis (reviewed in Weinberg, 2007). The detection of genetic lesions in human cancers that activate prosurvival genes or disable proapoptotic genes have provided the first evidence that defects in programmed cell death can cause cancer (Tagawa et al., 2005; Tsujimoto et al., 1984; Vaux, Cory, and Adams, 1988) and this concept was proven by studies with genetically modified mice (Egle et al., 2004b; Strasser et al., 1990a). It is therefore now widely accepted that evasion of apoptosis is a requirement for both neoplastic transformation and sustained growth of cancer cells (reviewed in Cory and Adams, 2002; Hanahan and Weinberg, 2000; Weinberg, 2007). Importantly, apoptosis is also a major contributor to anticancer therapy-induced killing of tumor cells (reviewed in Cory and Adams, 2002; Cragg et al., 2009). Consequently, a detailed understanding of apoptotic cell death will help to better comprehend the complexities of tumorigenesis and should assist with the development of improved targeted therapies for cancer based on the direct activation of the apoptotic machinery (reviewed in Lessene, Czabotar, and Colman, 2008).
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been shown to encode at least 40 microRNAs (miRNAs), an important class of molecules that negatively regulate the expression of many genes through posttranscriptional mechanisms. Here, we have used real-time PCR assays to quantify the levels of EBV-encoded BHRF1 and BART miRNAs in latently infected cells and in cells induced into the lytic cycle. During latency, BHRF1 miRNAs were seen only in cells with detectable Cp- and/or Wp-initiated EBNA transcripts, while the BART miRNAs were expressed in all forms of latent infection. Surprisingly, levels of different BART miRNAs were found to vary up to 50-fold within a cell line. However, this variation could not be explained by differential miRNA turnover, as all EBV miRNAs appeared to be remarkably stable. Following entry into the virus lytic cycle, miR-BHRF1-2 and -1-3 were rapidly induced, coincident with the onset of lytic BHRF1 transcripts, while miR-BHRF1-1 expression was delayed until 48 h and correlated with the appearance of Cp/Wp-initiated EBNA transcripts. In contrast, levels of BART miRNAs were relatively unchanged during virus replication, despite dramatic increases in BART transcription. Finally, we show that BHRF1 and BART miRNAs were delayed relative to the induction of BHRF1 and BART transcripts in freshly infected primary B cell cultures. In summary, our data show that changes in BHRF1 and BART transcription are not necessarily reflected in altered miRNA levels, suggesting that miRNA maturation is a key step in regulating steady-state levels of EBV miRNAs.
Epstein-Barr virus was originally identified in the tumour cells of a Burkitts lymphoma, and was the first virus to be associated with the pathogenesis of a human cancer. Studies on the relationship of EBV with Burkitts lymphoma have revealed important general principles that are relevant to other virus-associated cancers. In addition, the impact of such studies on the knowledge of EBV biology has been enormous. Here, we review some of the key historical observations arising from studies on Burkitts lymphoma that have informed our understanding of EBV, and we summarise the current hypotheses regarding the role of EBV in the pathogenesis of Burkitts lymphoma.
Two factors contribute to Burkitt lymphoma (BL) pathogenesis, a chromosomal translocation leading to c-myc oncogene deregulation and infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Although the virus has B cell growth-transforming ability, this may not relate to its role in BL since many of the transforming proteins are not expressed in the tumor. Mounting evidence supports an alternative role, whereby EBV counteracts the high apoptotic sensitivity inherent to the c-myc-driven growth program. In that regard, a subset of BLs carry virus mutants in a novel form of latent infection that provides unusually strong resistance to apoptosis. Uniquely, these virus mutants use Wp (a viral promoter normally activated early in B cell transformation) and express a broader-than-usual range of latent antigens. Here, using an inducible system to express the candidate antigens, we show that this marked apoptosis resistance is mediated not by one of the extended range of EBNAs seen in Wp-restricted latency but by Wp-driven expression of the viral bcl2 homologue, BHRF1, a protein usually associated with the virus lytic cycle. Interestingly, this Wp/BHRF1 connection is not confined to Wp-restricted BLs but appears integral to normal B cell transformation by EBV. We find that the BHRF1 gene expression recently reported in newly infected B cells is temporally linked to Wp activation and the presence of W/BHRF1-spliced transcripts. Furthermore, just as Wp activity is never completely eclipsed in in vitro-transformed lines, low-level BHRF1 transcripts remain detectable in these cells long-term. Most importantly, recognition by BHRF1-specific T cells confirms that such lines continue to express the protein independently of any lytic cycle entry. This work therefore provides the first evidence that BHRF1, the EBV bcl2 homologue, is constitutively expressed as a latent protein in growth-transformed cells in vitro and, in the context of Wp-restricted BL, may contribute to virus-associated lymphomagenesis in vivo.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is present in all cases of endemic Burkitt lymphoma (BL) but in few European/North American sporadic BLs. Gene expression arrays of sporadic tumors have defined a consensus BL profile within which tumors are classifiable as "molecular BL" (mBL). Where endemic BLs fall relative to this profile remains unclear, since they not only carry EBV but also display one of two different forms of virus latency. Here, we use early-passage BL cell lines from different tumors, and BL subclones from a single tumor, to compare EBV-negative cells with EBV-positive cells displaying either classical latency I EBV infection (where EBNA1 is the only EBV antigen expressed from the wild-type EBV genome) or Wp-restricted latency (where an EBNA2 gene-deleted virus genome broadens antigen expression to include the EBNA3A, -3B, and -3C proteins and BHRF1). Expression arrays show that both types of endemic BL fall within the mBL classification. However, while EBV-negative and latency I BLs show overlapping profiles, Wp-restricted BLs form a distinct subgroup, characterized by a detectable downregulation of the germinal center (GC)-associated marker Bcl6 and upregulation of genes marking early plasmacytoid differentiation, notably IRF4 and BLIMP1. Importantly, these same changes can be induced in EBV-negative or latency I BL cells by infection with an EBNA2-knockout virus. Thus, we infer that the distinct gene profile of Wp-restricted BLs does not reflect differences in the identity of the tumor progenitor cell per se but differences imposed on a common progenitor by broadened EBV gene expression.
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