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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Development of a robust classifier for quality control of reverse-phase protein arrays.
Bioinformatics
PUBLISHED: 11-09-2014
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High-throughput reverse-phase protein array (RPPA) technology allows for the parallel measurement of protein expression levels in ~1000 samples. However, the many steps required in the complex protocol (sample lysate preparation, slide printing, hybridization, washing, and amplified detection) may create substantial variability in data quality. We are not aware of any other quality control algorithm that is tuned to the special characteristics of RPPAs.
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Cupid: simultaneous reconstruction of microRNA-target and ceRNA networks.
Genome Res.
PUBLISHED: 11-08-2014
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We introduce a method for simultaneous prediction of microRNA-target interactions and their mediated competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) interactions. Using high-throughput validation assays in breast cancer cell lines, we show that our integrative approach significantly improves on microRNA-target prediction accuracy as assessed by both mRNA and protein level measurements. Our biochemical assays support nearly 500 microRNA-target interactions with evidence for regulation in breast-cancer tumors. Moreover, these assays constitute the most extensive validation platform for computationally inferred networks of microRNA-target interactions in breast-cancer tumors, providing a useful benchmark to ascertain future improvements.
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Mig-6 suppresses endometrial cancer associated with Pten deficiency and ERK activation.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 11-08-2014
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PTEN mutations are the most common genetic alterations in endometrial cancer. Loss of PTEN and subsequent AKT activation stimulate ER?-dependent pathways that play an important role in endometrial tumorigenesis. The major pathologic phenomenon of endometrial cancer is the loss of ovarian steroid hormone control over uterine epithelial cell proliferation and apoptosis. However, the precise mechanism of PTEN/AKT signaling in endometrial cancer remains poorly understood. The progesterone signaling mediator MIG-6 suppresses estrogen signaling and it has been implicated previously as a tumor suppressor in endometrial cancer. In this study, we show that MIG-6 also acts as a tumor suppressor in endometrial cancers associated with PTEN deficiency. Transgenic mice where Mig-6 was overexpressed in PR-expressing cells exhibited a relative reduction in uterine tumorigenesis caused by Pten deficiency. ERK1/2 was phosphorylated in uterine tumors and administration of an ERK1/2 inhibitor suppressed cancer progression in PRcre/+Ptenf/f mice. In clinical specimens of endometrial cancer, MIG-6 expression correlated inversely with ERK1/2 phosphorylation during progression. Taken together, our findings suggest that Mig-6 regulates ERK1/2 phosphorylation and that it is crucial for progression of PTEN-mutant endometrial cancers, providing a mechanistic rationale for the evaluation of ERK1/2 inhibitors as a therapeutic treatment in human endometrial cancer.
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LYN-activating mutations mediate antiestrogen resistance in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
J. Clin. Invest.
PUBLISHED: 10-16-2014
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Estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers adapt to hormone deprivation and become resistant to antiestrogen therapy. Here, we performed deep sequencing on ER+ tumors that remained highly proliferative after treatment with the aromatase inhibitor letrozole and identified a D189Y mutation in the inhibitory SH2 domain of the SRC family kinase (SFK) LYN. Evaluation of 463 breast tumors in The Cancer Genome Atlas revealed four LYN mutations, two of which affected the SH2 domain. In addition, LYN was upregulated in multiple ER+ breast cancer lines resistant to long-term estrogen deprivation (LTED). An RNAi-based kinome screen revealed that LYN is required for growth of ER+ LTED breast cancer cells. Kinase assays and immunoblot analyses of SRC substrates in transfected cells indicated that LYND189Y has higher catalytic activity than WT protein. Further, LYND189Y exhibited reduced phosphorylation at the inhibitory Y507 site compared with LYNWT. Other SH2 domain LYN mutants, E159K and K209N, also exhibited higher catalytic activity and reduced inhibitory site phosphorylation. LYND189Y overexpression abrogated growth inhibition by fulvestrant and/or the PI3K inhibitor BKM120 in 3 ER+ breast cancer cell lines. The SFK inhibitor dasatinib enhanced the antitumor effect of BKM120 and fulvestrant against estrogen-deprived ER+ xenografts but not LYND189Y-expressing xenografts. These results suggest that LYN mutations mediate escape from antiestrogens in a subset of ER+ breast cancers.
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Inhibition of mTORC1/2 Overcomes Resistance to MAPK Pathway Inhibitors Mediated by PGC1? and Oxidative Phosphorylation in Melanoma.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 10-08-2014
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Metabolic heterogeneity is a key factor in cancer pathogenesis. We found that a subset of BRAF- and NRAS-mutant human melanomas resistant to the MEK inhibitor selumetinib displayed increased oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) mediated by the transcriptional coactivator PGC1?. Notably, all selumetinib-resistant cells with elevated OxPhos could be resensitized by cotreatment with the mTORC1/2 inhibitor AZD8055, whereas this combination was ineffective in resistant cell lines with low OxPhos. In both BRAF- and NRAS-mutant melanoma cells, MEK inhibition increased MITF expression, which in turn elevated levels of PGC1?. In contrast, mTORC1/2 inhibition triggered cytoplasmic localization of MITF, decreasing PGC1? expression and inhibiting OxPhos. Analysis of tumor biopsies from patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma progressing on BRAF inhibitor ± MEK inhibitor revealed that PGC1? levels were elevated in approximately half of the resistant tumors. Overall, our findings highlight the significance of OxPhos in melanoma and suggest that combined targeting of the MAPK and mTORC pathways may offer an effective therapeutic strategy to treat melanomas with this metabolic phenotype. Cancer Res; 74(23); 1-11. ©2014 AACR.
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Catalytic mTOR inhibitors can overcome intrinsic and acquired resistance to allosteric mTOR inhibitors.
Oncotarget
PUBLISHED: 09-28-2014
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We tested the antitumor efficacy of mTOR catalytic site inhibitor MLN0128 in models with intrinsic or acquired rapamycin-resistance. Cell lines that were intrinsically rapamycin-resistant as well as those that were intrinsically rapamycin-sensitive were sensitive to MLN0128 in vitro. MLN0128 inhibited both mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling, with more robust inhibition of downstream 4E-BP1 phosphorylation and cap-dependent translation compared to rapamycin in vitro. Rapamycin-sensitive BT474 cell line acquired rapamycin resistance (BT474 RR) with prolonged rapamycin treatment in vitro. This cell line acquired an mTOR mutation (S2035F) in the FKBP12-rapamycin binding domain; mTORC1 signaling was not inhibited by rapalogs but was inhibited by MLN0128. In BT474 RR cells, MLN0128 had significantly higher growth inhibition compared to rapamycin in vitro and in vivo. Our results demonstrate that MLN0128 may be effective in tumors with intrinsic as well as acquired rapalog resistance. mTOR mutations are a mechanism of acquired resistance in vitro; the clinical relevance of this observation needs to be further evaluated.
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Comprehensive Genomic Analysis Identifies Novel Subtypes and Targets of Triple-negative Breast Cancer.
Clin. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 09-12-2014
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Purpose: Genomic profiling studies suggest triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease. In this study we sought to define TNBC subtypes and identify subtype-specific markers and targets. Experimental Design: RNA and DNA profiling analyses were conducted on 198 TNBC tumors (ER-negativity defined as Allred Scale value ?2) with >50% cellularity (discovery set: n=84; validation set: n=114) collected at Baylor College of Medicine. An external data set of 7 publically-accessible TNBC studies was used to confirm results. DNA copy number, disease-free survival (DFS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) were analyzed independently using these datasets. Results: We identified and confirmed four distinct TNBC subtypes: (1) Luminal-AR (LAR); 2) Mesenchymal (MES); 3) Basal-Like Immune-Suppressed (BLIS), and 4) Basal-Like Immune-Activated (BLIA). Of these, prognosis is worst for BLIS tumors and best for BLIA tumors for both DFS (logrank test p=0.042 and 0.041, respectively) and DSS (logrank test p=0.039 and 0.029, respectively). DNA copy number analysis produced two major groups (LAR and MES/BLIS/BLIA), and suggested gene amplification drives gene expression in some cases (FGFR2 (BLIS)). Putative subtype-specific targets were identified: 1) LAR: androgen receptor and the cell surface mucin MUC1; 2) MES: growth factor receptors (PDGF receptor A; c-Kit); 3) BLIS: an immune suppressing molecule (VTCN1); and 4) BLIA: Stat signal transduction molecules and cytokines. Conclusions: There are four stable TNBC subtypes characterized by the expression of distinct molecular profiles that have distinct prognoses. These studies identify novel subtype-specific targets that can be targeted in the future for effective treatment of TNBCs.
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A Comprehensive Evaluation of Biomarkers Predictive of Response to PI3K Inhibitors and of Resistance Mechanisms in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Mol. Cancer Ther.
PUBLISHED: 09-05-2014
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The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is frequently activated in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), but pathway inhibition has variable efficacy. Identification of predictive biomarkers and mechanisms of resistance would allow selection of patients most likely to respond and novel therapeutic combinations. The purpose of this study was to extend recent discoveries regarding the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in HNSCC by more broadly examining potential biomarkers of response, by examining pathway inhibitors with a diverse range of targets, and by defining mechanisms of resistance and potential combination therapies. We used reverse-phase protein arrays (RPPA) to simultaneously evaluate expression of 195 proteins; SNP array to estimate gene copy number; and mass array to identify mutations. We examined altered signaling at baseline and after pathway inhibition. Likewise, we examined the activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in HNSCC tumors by RPPA. Cell lines with PIK3CA mutations were sensitive to pathway inhibitors, whereas amplification status did not predict sensitivity. While we identified a set of individual candidate biomarkers of response to pathway inhibitors, proteomic pathway scores did not correlate with amplification or mutation and did not predict response. Several receptor tyrosine kinases, including EGFR and ERK, were activated following PI3K inhibition in resistant cells; dual pathway inhibition of PI3K and EGFR or MEK demonstrated synergy. Combined MEK and PI3K inhibition was markedly synergistic in HRAS-mutant cell lines. Our findings indicate that clinical trials of single-agent PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitors in selected populations and of PI3K/EGFR or PI3K/MEK inhibitor combinations are warranted; we plan to conduct such trials. Mol Cancer Ther; 13(11); 2738-50. ©2014 AACR.
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RADical response puts an exceptional responder in CHKmate: a synthetic lethal curative response to DNA-damaging chemotherapy?
Cancer Discov
PUBLISHED: 09-04-2014
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In this issue of Cancer Discovery, AI-Ahmadie and colleagues identify a somatic mutation in the RAD50 gene as a likely contributing factor to an unusual curative response to systemic combination therapy employing the DNA-damaging agent irinotecan and a checkpoint kinase 1 inhibitor in a patient with recurrent, metastatic small-cell cancer. This study highlights the importance of in-depth analysis of exceptional responders to chemotherapy and targeted therapy in early-phase clinical trials and opens new avenues for developing cancer genome-based combination therapy to improve the efficacy of traditional chemotherapy through synthetically lethal interactions.
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Clinical significance of CTNNB1 mutation and Wnt pathway activation in endometrioid endometrial carcinoma.
J. Natl. Cancer Inst.
PUBLISHED: 09-01-2014
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Endometrioid endometrial carcinoma (EEC) is the most common form of endometrial carcinoma. The heterogeneous clinical course of EEC is an obstacle to individualized patient care.
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Beyond BRAF(V600): Clinical Mutation Panel Testing by Next-Generation Sequencing in Advanced Melanoma.
J. Invest. Dermatol.
PUBLISHED: 08-22-2014
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The management of melanoma has evolved owing to improved understanding of its molecular drivers. To augment the current understanding of the prevalence, patterns, and associations of mutations in this disease, the results of clinical testing of 699 advanced melanoma patients using a pan-cancer next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel of hotspot regions in 46 genes were reviewed. Mutations were identified in 43 of the 46 genes on the panel. The most common mutations were BRAF(V600) (36%), NRAS (21%), TP53 (16%), BRAF(Non-V600) (6%), and KIT (4%). Approximately one-third of melanomas had >1 mutation detected, and the number of mutations per tumor was associated with melanoma subtype. Concurrent TP53 mutations were the most frequent events in tumors with BRAF(V600)and NRAS mutations. Melanomas with BRAF(Non-V600)mutations frequently harbored concurrent NRAS mutations (18%), which were rare in tumors with BRAF(V600) mutations (1.6%). The prevalence of BRAF(V600) and KIT mutations were significantly associated with melanoma subtypes, and BRAF(V600) and TP53 mutations were significantly associated with cutaneous primary tumor location. Multiple potential therapeutic targets were identified in metastatic unknown primary and cutaneous melanomas that lacked BRAF(V600)and NRAS mutations. These results enrich our understanding of the patterns and clinical associations of oncogenic mutations in melanoma.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 25 September 2014; doi:10.1038/jid.2014.366.
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In silico prediction of physical protein interactions and characterization of interactome orphans.
Nat. Methods
PUBLISHED: 08-14-2014
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Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are useful for understanding signaling cascades, predicting protein function, associating proteins with disease and fathoming drug mechanism of action. Currently, only ?10% of human PPIs may be known, and about one-third of human proteins have no known interactions. We introduce FpClass, a data mining-based method for proteome-wide PPI prediction. At an estimated false discovery rate of 60%, we predicted 250,498 PPIs among 10,531 human proteins; 10,647 PPIs involved 1,089 proteins without known interactions. We experimentally tested 233 high- and medium-confidence predictions and validated 137 interactions, including seven novel putative interactors of the tumor suppressor p53. Compared to previous PPI prediction methods, FpClass achieved better agreement with experimentally detected PPIs. We provide an online database of annotated PPI predictions (http://ophid.utoronto.ca/fpclass/) and the prediction software (http://www.cs.utoronto.ca/~juris/data/fpclass/).
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Integrated analysis of transcriptomes of cancer cell lines and patient samples reveals STK11/LKB1-driven regulation of cAMP phosphodiesterase-4D.
Mol. Cancer Ther.
PUBLISHED: 08-13-2014
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The recent proliferation of data on large collections of well-characterized cancer cell lines linked to therapeutic drug responses has made it possible to identify lineage- and mutation-specific transcriptional markers that can help optimize implementation of anticancer agents. Here, we leverage these resources to systematically investigate the presence of mutation-specific transcription markers in a wide variety of cancer lineages and genotypes. Sensitivity and specificity of potential transcriptional biomarkers were simultaneously analyzed in 19 cell lineages grouped into 228 categories based on the mutational genotypes of 12 cancer-related genes. Among a total of 1,455 category-specific expression patterns, the expression of cAMP phosphodiesterase-4D (PDE4D) with 11 isoforms, one of the PDE4(A-D) subfamilies, was predicted to be regulated by a mutant form of serine/threonine kinase 11 (STK11)/liver kinase B1 (LKB1) present in lung cancer. STK11/LKB1 is the primary upstream kinase of adenine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Subsequently, we found that the knockdown of PDE4D gene expression inhibited proliferation of STK11-mutated lung cancer lines. Furthermore, challenge with a panel of PDE4-specific inhibitors was shown to selectively reduce the growth of STK11-mutated lung cancer lines. Thus, we show that multidimensional analysis of a well-characterized large-scale panel of cancer cell lines provides unprecedented opportunities for the identification of unexpected oncogenic mechanisms and mutation-specific drug targets.
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Association between germline single nucleotide polymorphisms in the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway, obesity, and breast cancer disease-free survival.
Breast Cancer Res. Treat.
PUBLISHED: 08-10-2014
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Obesity-related hormones and cytokines alter PI3 K-AKT-mTOR pathway activation in breast tumors contributing to poorer disease-free survival (DFS) and decreased responsiveness to tamoxifen and trastuzumab. We hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes in the PI3 K-AKT-mTOR signaling pathway may act as genetic modifiers of breast cancer DFS. We analyzed the association of 106 tagging SNPs in 13 genes (ADIPOQ, IGF1, INS, IRS1, LEP, LEPR, LEPROT, PIK3CA, PIK3R5, PTEN, TSC1, TSC2, and AKT1) in the P13K-AKT-mTOR pathway with DFS in a sample of 1,019 women with stage I-II breast cancer. SNPs significantly associated with DFS in any genetic model (additive, dominant, or recessive) after correcting for false discovery rate (FDR = 0.10) were included in Cox proportional hazards multivariable analyses. After adjusting for race/ethnicity, age at diagnosis, tumor stage, and treatment, rs1063539 in ADIPOQ, rs11585329 in LEPR, and rs2519757 in TSC1 were associated with improved DFS, and rs1520220 in IGF1 and rs2677760 in PIK3CA were associated with worse DFS. The associations were not significantly modified by the type of systemic treatment received or body mass index. The SNPs were not associated with tumor characteristics such as tumor size, lymph node status, nuclear grade, or hormone receptor status. In this study, germline SNPs in the PI3 K-AKT-mTOR pathway were associated with breast cancer DFS and may be potential prognostic markers. Future studies are needed to replicate our results and to evaluate the relationship between these polymorphisms and activation of the PI3 K-AKT-mTOR pathway in breast tumors.
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PIK3CA mutations in androgen receptor-positive triple negative breast cancer confer sensitivity to the combination of PI3K and androgen receptor inhibitors.
Breast Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 08-08-2014
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Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous collection of biologically diverse cancers, which contributes to variable clinical outcomes. Previously, we identified a TNBC subtype that has a luminal phenotype and expresses the androgen receptor (AR+). TNBC cells derived from these luminal AR + tumors have high frequency phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) mutations. The purpose of this study was to determine if targeting phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) alone or in combination with an AR antagonist is effective in AR + TNBC.
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Multiplatform analysis of 12 cancer types reveals molecular classification within and across tissues of origin.
Cell
PUBLISHED: 08-07-2014
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Recent genomic analyses of pathologically defined tumor types identify "within-a-tissue" disease subtypes. However, the extent to which genomic signatures are shared across tissues is still unclear. We performed an integrative analysis using five genome-wide platforms and one proteomic platform on 3,527 specimens from 12 cancer types, revealing a unified classification into 11 major subtypes. Five subtypes were nearly identical to their tissue-of-origin counterparts, but several distinct cancer types were found to converge into common subtypes. Lung squamous, head and neck, and a subset of bladder cancers coalesced into one subtype typified by TP53 alterations, TP63 amplifications, and high expression of immune and proliferation pathway genes. Of note, bladder cancers split into three pan-cancer subtypes. The multiplatform classification, while correlated with tissue-of-origin, provides independent information for predicting clinical outcomes. All data sets are available for data-mining from a unified resource to support further biological discoveries and insights into novel therapeutic strategies.
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The RAC1 P29S hotspot mutation in melanoma confers resistance to pharmacological inhibition of RAF.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-23-2014
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Following mutations in BRAF and NRAS, the RAC1 c.85C>T single-nucleotide variant (SNV) encoding P29S amino acid change represents the next most frequently observed protein-coding hotspot mutation in melanoma. However, the biologic and clinical significance of the RAC1 P29S somatic mutation in approximately 4% to 9% of patients remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that melanoma cell lines possessing the RAC1 hotspot variant are resistant to RAF inhibitors (vemurafenib and dabrafenib). Enforced expression of RAC1 P29S in sensitive BRAF-mutant melanoma cell lines confers resistance manifested by increased viability, decreased apoptosis, and enhanced tumor growth in vivo upon treatment with RAF inhibitors. Conversely, RNAi-mediated silencing of endogenous RAC1 P29S in a melanoma cell line with a co-occurring BRAF V600 mutation increased sensitivity to vemurafenib and dabrafenib. Our results suggest RAC1 P29S status may offer a predictive biomarker for RAF inhibitor resistance in melanoma patients, where it should be evaluated clinically.
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Promising rationally derived combination therapy with PI3K and CDK4/6 inhibitors.
Cancer Cell
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2014
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In this issue of Cancer Cell, Vora and colleagues demonstrate that persistent CDK4 and pRB activation underlie acquired resistance to phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors in breast cancer cell lines, suggesting that clinical evaluation of rational combination therapy with PI3K and CDK4/6 inhibitors to mitigate resistance to PI3K inhibition is warranted.
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Peroxiredoxin-1 protects estrogen receptor ? from oxidative stress-induced suppression and is a protein biomarker of favorable prognosis in breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2014
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Peroxiredoxin-1 (PRDX1) is a multifunctional protein, acting as a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) scavenger, molecular chaperone and immune modulator. Although differential PRDX1 expression has been described in many tumors, the potential role of PRDX1 in breast cancer remains highly ambiguous. Using a comprehensive antibody-based proteomics approach, we interrogated PRDX1 protein as a putative biomarker in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer.
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Targeting tyrosine-kinases and estrogen receptor abrogates resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer.
Oncotarget
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2014
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Despite numerous therapies that effectively inhibit estrogen signaling in breast cancer, a significant proportion of patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive malignancy will succumb to their disease. Herein we demonstrate that long-term estrogen deprivation (LTED) therapy among ER-positive breast cancer cells results in the adaptive increase in ER expression and subsequent activation of multiple tyrosine kinases. Combination therapy with the ER down-regulator fulvestrant and dasatinib, a broad kinase inhibitor, exhibits synergistic activity against LTED cells, by reduction of cell proliferation, cell survival, cell invasion and mammary acinar formation. Screening kinase phosphorylation using protein arrays and functional proteomic analysis demonstrates that the combination of fulvestrant and dasatinib inhibits multiple tyrosine kinases and cancer-related pathways that are constitutively activated in LTED cells. Because LTED cells display increased insulin receptor (InsR)/insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling, we added an ant-IGF-1 antibody to the combination with fulvestrant and dasatinib in an effort to further increase the inhibition. However, adding MK0646 only modestly increased the inhibition of cell growth in monolayer culture, but neither suppressed acinar formation nor inhibited cell migration in vitro and invasion in vivo. Therefore, combinations of fulvestrant and dasatinib, but not MK0646, may benefit patients with tyrosine-kinase-activated, endocrine therapy-resistant breast cancer.
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Definition of PKC-?, CDK6, and MET as therapeutic targets in triple-negative breast cancer.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2014
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Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a highly heterogeneous and recurrent subtype of breast cancer that lacks an effective targeted therapy. To identify candidate therapeutic targets, we profiled global gene expression in TNBC and breast tumor-initiating cells with a patient survival dataset. Eight TNBC-related kinases were found to be overexpressed in TNBC cells with stem-like properties. Among them, expression of PKC-?, MET, and CDK6 correlated with poorer survival outcomes. In cases coexpressing two of these three kinases, survival rates were lower than in cases where only one of these kinases was expressed. In functional tests, two-drug combinations targeting these three kinases inhibited TNBC cell proliferation and tumorigenic potential in a cooperative manner. A combination of PKC-?-MET inhibitors also attenuated tumor growth in a cooperative manner in vivo. Our findings define three kinases critical for TNBC growth and offer a preclinical rationale for their candidacy as effective therapeutic targets in treating TNBC.
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Next generation sequencing analysis of platinum refractory advanced germ cell tumor sensitive to Sunitinib (Sutent®) a VEGFR2/PDGFR?/c-kit/ FLT3/RET/CSF1R inhibitor in a phase II trial.
J Hematol Oncol
PUBLISHED: 06-08-2014
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Germ cell tumors (GCT) are the most common solid tumors in adolescent and young adult males (age 15 and 35 years) and remain one of the most curable of all solid malignancies. However a subset of patients will have tumors that are refractory to standard chemotherapy agents. The management of this refractory population remains challenging and approximately 400 patients continue to die every year of this refractory disease in the United States.
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Naturally Occurring Neomorphic PIK3R1 Mutations Activate the MAPK Pathway, Dictating Therapeutic Response to MAPK Pathway Inhibitors.
Cancer Cell
PUBLISHED: 06-05-2014
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PIK3R1 (p85? regulatory subunit of PI3K) is frequently mutated across cancer lineages. Herein, we demonstrate that the most common recurrent PIK3R1 mutation PIK3R1(R348?) and a nearby mutation PIK3R1(L370fs), in contrast to wild-type and mutations in other regions of PIK3R1, confers an unexpected sensitivity to MEK and JNK inhibitors in vitro and in vivo. Consistent with the response to inhibitors, PIK3R1(R348?) and PIK3R1(L370fs) unexpectedly increase JNK and ERK phosphorylation. Surprisingly, p85? R348(?) and L370fs localize to the nucleus where the mutants provide a scaffold for multiple JNK pathway components facilitating nuclear JNK pathway activation. Our findings uncover an unexpected neomorphic role for PIK3R1(R348?) and neighboring truncation mutations in cellular signaling, providing a rationale for therapeutic targeting of these mutant tumors.
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Influence of biospecimen variables on proteomic biomarkers in breast cancer.
Clin. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2014
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PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling is being actively pursued as a therapeutic target for breast cancer. We sought to determine if tumor heterogeneity and biospecimen variables affect the evaluation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway markers.
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Loss of progesterone receptor links to high proliferation and increases from primary to metastatic endometrial cancer lesions.
Eur. J. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 06-02-2014
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In endometrial cancer loss of progesterone receptor (PR, gene name PGR) is associated with aggressive disease and altered response to hormonal treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in PR expression level with disease progression, and explore whether differences in gene expression according to PR status can be linked to processes involved in cancer development elucidating new therapeutic opportunities.
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Assessing the clinical utility of cancer genomic and proteomic data across tumor types.
Nat. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 05-28-2014
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Molecular profiling of tumors promises to advance the clinical management of cancer, but the benefits of integrating molecular data with traditional clinical variables have not been systematically studied. Here we retrospectively predict patient survival using diverse molecular data (somatic copy-number alteration, DNA methylation and mRNA, microRNA and protein expression) from 953 samples of four cancer types from The Cancer Genome Atlas project. We find that incorporating molecular data with clinical variables yields statistically significantly improved predictions (FDR < 0.05) for three cancers but those quantitative gains were limited (2.2-23.9%). Additional analyses revealed little predictive power across tumor types except for one case. In clinically relevant genes, we identified 10,281 somatic alterations across 12 cancer types in 2,928 of 3,277 patients (89.4%), many of which would not be revealed in single-tumor analyses. Our study provides a starting point and resources, including an open-access model evaluation platform, for building reliable prognostic and therapeutic strategies that incorporate molecular data.
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A functional genomic approach identifies FAL1 as an oncogenic long noncoding RNA that associates with BMI1 and represses p21 expression in cancer.
Cancer Cell
PUBLISHED: 05-17-2014
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In a genome-wide survey on somatic copy-number alterations (SCNAs) of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) in 2,394 tumor specimens from 12 cancer types, we found that about 21.8% of lncRNA genes were located in regions with focal SCNAs. By integrating bioinformatics analyses of lncRNA SCNAs and expression with functional screening assays, we identified an oncogene, focally amplified lncRNA on chromosome 1 (FAL1), whose copy number and expression are correlated with outcomes in ovarian cancer. FAL1 associates with the epigenetic repressor BMI1 and regulates its stability in order to modulate the transcription of a number of genes including CDKN1A. The oncogenic activity of FAL1 is partially attributable to its repression of p21. FAL1-specific siRNAs significantly inhibit tumor growth in vivo.
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A curated census of autophagy-modulating proteins and small molecules: candidate targets for cancer therapy.
Autophagy
PUBLISHED: 05-12-2014
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Autophagy, a programmed process in which cell contents are delivered to lysosomes for degradation, appears to have both tumor-suppressive and tumor-promoting functions; both stimulation and inhibition of autophagy have been reported to induce cancer cell death, and particular genes and proteins have been associated both positively and negatively with autophagy. To provide a basis for incisive analysis of those complexities and ambiguities and to guide development of new autophagy-targeted treatments for cancer, we have compiled a comprehensive, curated inventory of autophagy modulators by integrating information from published siRNA screens, multiple pathway analysis algorithms, and extensive, manually curated text-mining of the literature. The resulting inventory includes 739 proteins and 385 chemicals (including drugs, small molecules, and metabolites). Because autophagy is still at an early stage of investigation, we provide extensive analysis of our sources of information and their complex relationships with each other. We conclude with a discussion of novel strategies that could potentially be used to target autophagy for cancer therapy.
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Phosphorylation of ETS1 by Src family kinases prevents its recognition by the COP1 tumor suppressor.
Cancer Cell
PUBLISHED: 05-09-2014
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Oncoproteins and tumor suppressors antagonistically converge on critical nodes governing neoplastic growth, invasion, and metastasis. We discovered that phosphorylation of the ETS1 and ETS2 transcriptional oncoproteins at specific serine or threonine residues creates binding sites for the COP1 tumor suppressor protein, which is an ubiquitin ligase component, leading to their destruction. In the case of ETS1, however, phosphorylation of a neighboring tyrosine residue by Src family kinases disrupts COP1 binding, thereby stabilizing ETS1. Src-dependent accumulation of ETS1 in breast cancer cells promotes anchorage-independent growth in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. These findings expand the list of potential COP1 substrates to include proteins whose COP1-binding sites are subject to regulatory phosphorylation and provide insights into transformation by Src family kinases.
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Unraveling the regulatory connections between two controllers of breast cancer cell fate.
Nucleic Acids Res.
PUBLISHED: 05-03-2014
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Estrogen receptor alpha (ER?) expression is critical for breast cancer classification, high ER? expression being associated with better prognosis. ER? levels strongly correlate with that of GATA binding protein 3 (GATA3), a major regulator of ER? expression. However, the mechanistic details of ER?-GATA3 regulation remain incompletely understood. Here we combine mathematical modeling with perturbation experiments to unravel the nature of regulatory connections in the ER?-GATA3 network. Through cell population-average, single-cell and single-nucleus measurements, we show that the cross-regulation between ER? and GATA3 amounts to overall negative feedback. Further, mathematical modeling reveals that GATA3 positively regulates its own expression and that ER? autoregulation is most likely absent. Lastly, we show that the two cross-regulatory connections in the ER?-GATA3 negative feedback network decrease the noise in ER? or GATA3 expression. This may ensure robust cell fate maintenance in the face of intracellular and environmental fluctuations, contributing to tissue homeostasis in normal conditions, but also to the maintenance of pathogenic states during cancer progression.
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Realizing the promise of reverse phase protein arrays for clinical, translational, and basic research: a workshop report: the RPPA (Reverse Phase Protein Array) society.
Mol. Cell Proteomics
PUBLISHED: 04-28-2014
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Reverse phase protein array (RPPA) technology introduced a miniaturized "antigen-down" or "dot-blot" immunoassay suitable for quantifying the relative, semi-quantitative or quantitative (if a well-accepted reference standard exists) abundance of total protein levels and post-translational modifications across a variety of biological samples including cultured cells, tissues, and body fluids. The recent evolution of RPPA combined with more sophisticated sample handling, optical detection, quality control, and better quality affinity reagents provides exquisite sensitivity and high sample throughput at a reasonable cost per sample. This facilitates large-scale multiplex analysis of multiple post-translational markers across samples from in vitro, preclinical, or clinical samples. The technical power of RPPA is stimulating the application and widespread adoption of RPPA methods within academic, clinical, and industrial research laboratories. Advances in RPPA technology now offer scientists the opportunity to quantify protein analytes with high precision, sensitivity, throughput, and robustness. As a result, adopters of RPPA technology have recognized critical success factors for useful and maximum exploitation of RPPA technologies, including the following: preservation and optimization of pre-analytical sample quality, application of validated high-affinity and specific antibody (or other protein affinity) detection reagents, dedicated informatics solutions to ensure accurate and robust quantification of protein analytes, and quality-assured procedures and data analysis workflows compatible with application within regulated clinical environments. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, the first three Global RPPA workshops were held in the United States, Europe, and Japan, respectively. These workshops provided an opportunity for RPPA laboratories, vendors, and users to share and discuss results, the latest technology platforms, best practices, and future challenges and opportunities. The outcomes of the workshops included a number of key opportunities to advance the RPPA field and provide added benefit to existing and future participants in the RPPA research community. The purpose of this report is to share and disseminate, as a community, current knowledge and future directions of the RPPA technology.
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Mesenchymal gene program-expressing ovarian cancer spheroids exhibit enhanced mesothelial clearance.
J. Clin. Invest.
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2014
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Metastatic dissemination of ovarian tumors involves the invasion of tumor cell clusters into the mesothelial cell lining of peritoneal cavity organs; however, the tumor-specific factors that allow ovarian cancer cells to spread are unclear. We used an in vitro assay that models the initial step of ovarian cancer metastasis, clearance of the mesothelial cell layer, to examine the clearance ability of a large panel of both established and primary ovarian tumor cells. Comparison of the gene and protein expression profiles of clearance-competent and clearance-incompetent cells revealed that mesenchymal genes are enriched in tumor populations that display strong clearance activity, while epithelial genes are enriched in those with weak or undetectable activity. Overexpression of transcription factors SNAI1, TWIST1, and ZEB1, which regulate the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), promoted mesothelial clearance in cell lines with weak activity, while knockdown of the EMT-regulatory transcription factors TWIST1 and ZEB1 attenuated mesothelial clearance in ovarian cancer cell lines with strong activity. These findings provide important insights into the mechanisms associated with metastatic progression of ovarian cancer and suggest that inhibiting pathways that drive mesenchymal programs may suppress tumor cell invasion of peritoneal tissues.
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Genetic and pharmacological strategies to refunctionalize the von Hippel Lindau R167Q mutant protein.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 04-22-2014
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Aberrant von Hippel Lindau (VHL) protein function is the underlying driver of VHL-related diseases, including both sporadic and inherited clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). About one third of VHL mutations are missense point mutations, with R167Q being the most common VHL point mutation in hereditary VHL disease. Although it has been studied extensively, the ability of VHL-R167Q to downregulate hypoxia-inducible factor 2? (HIF2?) is still controversial. In addition, the manner in which the mutation contributes to tumorigenesis is not fully understood. No therapeutic approach is available to target VHL-R167Q and similar missense point mutations. We analyzed VHL-R167Q proteostasis and function at normoxia, at hypoxia with different oxygen pressure, and in a xenograft mouse model. We showed that the protein levels of VHL-R167Q dictate its ability to downregulate HIF2? and suppress tumor growth. Strikingly, the proteasome inhibitors bortezomib and carfilzomib, which are currently in clinical use, stabilize VHL-R167Q and increase its ability to downregulate HIF2?. VHL-R167Q binds elongin C and elongin B with considerably less avidity than wild-type VHL does but retains residual capacity to generate a VHL-elongin C-elongin B complex, downregulate HIF2?, and suppress tumorigenesis, which could be rescued by increase of VHL-R167Q levels. Finally, we used in silico approaches and identified other missense VHL mutants in addition to VHL-R167Q that might be rescued by similar strategies. Thus, our studies revealed detailed information describing how VHL-R167Q contributes to tumorigenesis and identified a potential targeted therapy for ccRCC and other VHL-related disease in patients carrying VHL-R167Q or similar missense mutations.
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A pan-cancer proteomic perspective on The Cancer Genome Atlas.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 04-15-2014
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Protein levels and function are poorly predicted by genomic and transcriptomic analysis of patient tumours. Therefore, direct study of the functional proteome has the potential to provide a wealth of information that complements and extends genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic analysis in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) projects. Here we use reverse-phase protein arrays to analyse 3,467 patient samples from 11 TCGA 'Pan-Cancer' diseases, using 181 high-quality antibodies that target 128 total proteins and 53 post-translationally modified proteins. The resultant proteomic data are integrated with genomic and transcriptomic analyses of the same samples to identify commonalities, differences, emergent pathways and network biology within and across tumour lineages. In addition, tissue-specific signals are reduced computationally to enhance biomarker and target discovery spanning multiple tumour lineages. This integrative analysis, with an emphasis on pathways and potentially actionable proteins, provides a framework for determining the prognostic, predictive and therapeutic relevance of the functional proteome.
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OvMark: a user-friendly system for the identification of prognostic biomarkers in publically available ovarian cancer gene expression datasets.
Mol. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 04-11-2014
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Ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of all gynaecologic cancers and is characterised by a lack of early symptoms and frequent late stage diagnosis. There is a paucity of robust molecular markers that are independent of and complementary to clinical parameters such as disease stage and tumour grade.
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Ischemia in tumors induces early and sustained phosphorylation changes in stress kinase pathways but does not affect global protein levels.
Mol. Cell Proteomics
PUBLISHED: 04-09-2014
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Protein abundance and phosphorylation convey important information about pathway activity and molecular pathophysiology in diseases including cancer, providing biological insight, informing drug and diagnostic development, and guiding therapeutic intervention. Analyzed tissues are usually collected without tight regulation or documentation of ischemic time. To evaluate the impact of ischemia, we collected human ovarian tumor and breast cancer xenograft tissue without vascular interruption and performed quantitative proteomics and phosphoproteomics after defined ischemic intervals. Although the global expressed proteome and most of the >25,000 quantified phosphosites were unchanged after 60 min, rapid phosphorylation changes were observed in up to 24% of the phosphoproteome, representing activation of critical cancer pathways related to stress response, transcriptional regulation, and cell death. Both pan-tumor and tissue-specific changes were observed. The demonstrated impact of pre-analytical tissue ischemia on tumor biology mandates caution in interpreting stress-pathway activation in such samples and motivates reexamination of collection protocols for phosphoprotein analysis.
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Overcoming endocrine resistance due to reduced PTEN levels in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by co-targeting mammalian target of rapamycin, protein kinase B, or mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase.
Breast Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2014
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IntroductionActivation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway in estrogen receptor ¿ (ER)-positive breast cancer is associated with reduced ER expression and activity, luminal B subtype, and poor outcome. Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a negative regulator of this pathway, is typically lost in ER-negative breast cancer. We set out to clarify the role of reduced PTEN levels in endocrine resistance, and to explore the combination of newly developed PI3K downstream kinase inhibitors to overcome this resistance.MethodsAltered cellular signaling, gene expression, and endocrine sensitivity were determined in inducible PTEN-knockdown ER-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer cell and/or xenograft models. Single or two-agent combinations of kinase inhibitors were examined to improve endocrine therapy.ResultsModerate PTEN reduction was sufficient to enhance PI3K signaling, generate a gene signature associated with the luminal B subtype of breast cancer, and cause endocrine resistance in vitro and in vivo. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), protein kinase B (AKT), or mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors, alone or in combination, improved endocrine therapy, but the efficacy varied by PTEN levels, type of endocrine therapy, and the specific inhibitor(s). A single agent AKT inhibitor combined with fulvestrant conferred superior efficacy in overcoming resistance, inducing apoptosis and tumor regression.ConclusionsModerate reduction in PTEN, without complete loss, can activate the PI3K pathway to cause endocrine resistance in ER-positive breast cancer, which can be overcome by combining endocrine therapy with inhibitors of the PI3K pathway. Our data suggests that the ER degrader fulvestrant, to block both ligand-dependent and -independent ER signaling, combined with an AKT inhibitor is an effective strategy to test in patients.
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Concordance of genomic alterations between primary and recurrent breast cancer.
Mol. Cancer Ther.
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2014
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There is growing interest in delivering genomically informed cancer therapy. Our aim was to determine the concordance of genomic alterations between primary and recurrent breast cancer. Targeted next-generation sequencing was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, profiling 3,320 exons of 182 cancer-related genes plus 37 introns from 14 genes often rearranged in cancer. Point mutations, indels, copy-number alterations (CNA), and select rearrangements were assessed in 74 tumors from 43 patients (36 primary and 38 recurrence/metastases). Alterations potentially targetable with established or investigational therapeutics were considered "actionable." Alterations were detected in 55 genes (mean 3.95 alterations/sample, range 1-12), including mutations in PIK3CA, TP53, ARID1A, PTEN, AKT1, NF1, FBXW7, and FGFR3 and amplifications in MCL1, CCND1, FGFR1, MYC, IGF1R, MDM2, MDM4, AKT3, CDK4, and AKT2. In 33 matched primary and recurrent tumors, 97 of 112 (86.6%) somatic mutations were concordant. Of identified CNAs, 136 of 159 (85.5%) were concordant: 37 (23.3%) were concordant, but below the reporting threshold in one of the matched samples, and 23 (14.5%) discordant. There was an increased frequency of CDK4/MDM2 amplifications in recurrences, as well as gains and losses of other actionable alterations. Forty of 43 (93%) patients had actionable alterations that could inform targeted treatment options. In conclusion, deep genomic profiling of cancer-related genes reveals potentially actionable alterations in most patients with breast cancer. Overall there was high concordance between primary and recurrent tumors. Analysis of recurrent tumors before treatment may provide additional insights, as both gains and losses of targets are observed.
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Reverse-phase protein array profiling of oropharyngeal cancer and significance of PIK3CA mutations in HPV-associated head and neck cancer.
Clin. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-05-2014
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Human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated (HPV+) oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OPSCC) have different molecular and biologic characteristics and clinical behavior compared with HPV-negative (HPV-) OPSCC. PIK3CA mutations are more common in HPV(+) OPSCC. To define molecular differences and tumor subsets, protein expression and phosphorylation were compared between HPV(+) and HPV(-) OPSCC and between tumors with and without PIK3CA mutations.
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YB-1 transforms human mammary epithelial cells through chromatin remodeling leading to the development of basal-like breast cancer.
Stem Cells
PUBLISHED: 02-27-2014
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There is growing evidence that cancer-initiation could result from epigenetic changes. Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1) is a transcription/translation factor that promotes the formation of tumors in transgenic mice; however, the underlying molecular events are not understood. To explore this in a human model system, YB-1 was expressed in mammary epithelial cells under the control of a tetracycline-inducible promoter. The induction of YB-1 promoted phenotypes associated with malignancy in three-dimensional breast acini cultures. This was attributed to YB-1 enhancing the expression and activity of the histone acetyltransferase p300 leading to chromatin remodeling. Specifically, this relaxation of chromatin allowed YB-1 to bind to the BMI1 promoter. The induction of BMI1 engaged the Polycomb complex resulting in histone H2A ubiquitylation and repression of the CDKN2A locus. These events manifested functionally as enhanced self-renewal capacity that occurred in a BMI1-dependent manner. Conversely, p300 inhibition with anacardic acid prevented YB-1 from binding to the BMI1 promoter and thereby subverted self-renewal. Despite these early changes, full malignant transformation was not achieved until RSK2 became overexpressed concomitant with elevated human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) activity. The YB-1/RSK2/hTERT expressing cells formed tumors in mice that were molecularly subtyped as basal-like breast cancer. We conclude that YB-1 cooperates with p300 to allow BMI1 to over-ride p16(INK4a) -mediated cell cycle arrest enabling self-renewal and the development of aggressive breast tumors.
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Implementation of biomarker-driven cancer therapy: existing tools and remaining gaps.
Discov Med
PUBLISHED: 02-19-2014
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There has been growing interest in biomarker-driven personalized cancer therapy, also known as precision medicine. Recently, dozens of molecular tests, including next generation sequencing, have been developed to detect biomarkers that have the potential to predict response of cancers to particular targeted therapies. However, detection of cancer-related biomarkers is only the first step in the battle. Deciding what therapy options to pursue can also be daunting, especially when tumors harbor more than one potentially actionable aberration. Further, different mutations/variants in a single gene may have different functional consequences, and response to targeted agents may be context dependent. However, early clinical trials with new molecular entities are increasingly conducted in a biomarker-selected fashion, and even when trials are not biomarker-selected, much effort is placed on enrolling patients onto clinical trials where they have the highest probability of response. We review available molecular tests and therapy discerning tools, including tools available for assessing functional consequences of molecular alterations and tools for finding applicable clinical trials, which exist to help bridge the gap between detection of cancer-related biomarker to the initiation of biomarker-matched targeted therapies.
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Gain-of-function mutant p53 promotes cell growth and cancer cell metabolism via inhibition of AMPK activation.
Mol. Cell
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2014
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Many mutant p53 proteins (mutp53s) exert oncogenic gain-of-function (GOF) properties, but the mechanisms mediating these functions remain poorly defined. We show here that GOF mutp53s inhibit AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling in head and neck cancer cells. Conversely, downregulation of GOF mutp53s enhances AMPK activation under energy stress, decreasing the activity of the anabolic factors acetyl-CoA carboxylase and ribosomal protein S6 and inhibiting aerobic glycolytic potential and invasive cell growth. Under conditions of energy stress, GOF mutp53s, but not wild-type p53, preferentially bind to the AMPK? subunit and inhibit AMPK activation. Given the importance of AMPK as an energy sensor and tumor suppressor that inhibits anabolic metabolism, our findings reveal that direct inhibition of AMPK activation is an important mechanism through which mutp53s can gain oncogenic function.
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A functional proteogenomic analysis of endometrioid and clear cell carcinomas using reverse phase protein array and mutation analysis: protein expression is histotype-specific and loss of ARID1A/BAF250a is associated with AKT phosphorylation.
BMC Cancer
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2014
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Ovarian cancer is now recognized as a number of distinct diseases primarily defined by histological subtype. Both clear cell ovarian carcinomas (CCC) and ovarian endometrioid carcinomas (EC) may arise from endometriosis and frequently harbor mutations in the ARID1A tumor suppressor gene. We studied the influence of histological subtype on protein expression with reverse phase protein array (RPPA) and assessed proteomic changes associated with ARID1A mutation/BAF250a expression in EC and CCC.
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Activation of YAP1 is associated with poor prognosis and response to taxanes in ovarian cancer.
Anticancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2014
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We aimed to investigate the clinical significance of the activation of Yes-Associated Protein 1 (YAP1), a key downstream effector of Hippo tumor-suppressor pathway, in ovarian cancer.
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Cancer Systems Biology: a peek into the future of patient care?
Nat Rev Clin Oncol
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2014
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Traditionally, scientific research has focused on studying individual events, such as single mutations, gene function, or the effect that mutating one protein has on a biological phenotype. A range of technologies is beginning to provide information that will enable a holistic view of how genomic and epigenetic aberrations in cancer cells can alter the homeostasis of signalling networks within these cells, between cancer cells and the local microenvironment, and at the organ and organism level. This process, termed Systems Biology, needs to be integrated with an iterative approach wherein hypotheses and predictions that arise from modelling are refined and constrained by experimental evaluation. Systems biology approaches will be vital for developing and implementing effective strategies to deliver personalized cancer therapy. Specifically, these approaches will be important to select those patients who are most likely to benefit from targeted therapies and for the development and implementation of rational combinatorial therapies. Systems biology can help to increase therapy efficacy or bypass the emergence of resistance, thus converting the current-often short term-effects of targeted therapies into durable responses, ultimately to improve patient quality of life and provide a cure.
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A comprehensive comparison of normalization methods for loading control and variance stabilization of reverse-phase protein array data.
Cancer Inform
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Loading control (LC) and variance stabilization of reverse-phase protein array (RPPA) data have been challenging mainly due to the small number of proteins in an experiment and the lack of reliable inherent control markers. In this study, we compare eight different normalization methods for LC and variance stabilization. The invariant marker set concept was first applied to the normalization of high-throughput gene expression data. A set of "invariant" markers are selected to create a virtual reference sample. Then all the samples are normalized to the virtual reference. We propose a variant of this method in the context of RPPA data normalization and compare it with seven other normalization methods previously reported in the literature. The invariant marker set method performs well with respect to LC, variance stabilization and association with the immunohistochemistry/florescence in situ hybridization data for three key markers in breast tumor samples, while the other methods have inferior performance. The proposed method is a promising approach for improving the quality of RPPA data.
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cMET Activation and EGFR-Directed Therapy Resistance in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.
J Cancer
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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EGFR expression and pathway activation are common in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, anti-EGFR therapies have not been effective in these patients. We aimed to study the efficacy of targeting MET in overcoming resistance to EGFR therapy in TNBC cell lines.
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AKT pathway genes define 5 prognostic subgroups in glioblastoma.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Activity of GFR/PI3K/AKT pathway inhibitors in glioblastoma clinical trials has not been robust. We hypothesized variations in the pathway between tumors contribute to poor response. We clustered GBM based on AKT pathway genes and discovered new subtypes then characterized their clinical and molecular features. There are at least 5 GBM AKT subtypes having distinct DNA copy number alterations, enrichment in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes and patterns of expression for PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling components. Gene Ontology terms indicate a different cell of origin or dominant phenotype for each subgroup. Evidence suggests one subtype is very sensitive to BCNU or CCNU (median survival 5.8 vs. 1.5 years; BCNU/CCNU vs other treatments; respectively). AKT subtyping advances previous approaches by revealing additional subgroups with unique clinical and molecular features. Evidence indicates it is a predictive marker for response to BCNU or CCNU and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitors. We anticipate Akt subtyping may help stratify patients for clinical trials and augment discovery of class-specific therapeutic targets.
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Genome-wide transcriptome profiling of homologous recombination DNA repair.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Homologous recombination (HR) repair deficiency predisposes to cancer development, but also sensitizes cancer cells to DNA damage-inducing therapeutics. Here we identify an HR defect (HRD) gene signature that can be used to functionally assess HR repair status without interrogating individual genetic alterations in cells. By using this HRD gene signature as a functional network analysis tool, we discover that simultaneous loss of two major tumour suppressors BRCA1 and PTEN extensively rewire the HR repair-deficient phenotype, which is found in cells with defects in either BRCA1 or PTEN alone. Moreover, the HRD gene signature serves as an effective drug discovery platform to identify agents targeting HR repair as potential chemo/radio sensitizers. More importantly, this HRD gene signature is able to predict clinical outcomes across multiple cancer lineages. Our findings, therefore, provide a molecular profile of HR repair to assess its status at a functional network level, which can provide both biological insights and have clinical implications in cancer.
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A Genetic Mouse Model of Invasive Endometrial Cancer Driven by Concurrent Loss of Pten and Lkb1 Is Highly Responsive to mTOR Inhibition.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 12-09-2013
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Signals from the tumor suppressors PTEN and LKB1 converge on mTOR to negatively regulate its function in cancer cells. Notably, both of these suppressors are attenuated in a significant fraction of human endometrial tumors. In this study, we generated a genetic mouse model of endometrial cancer driven by concomitant loss of these suppressors to gain pathophysiological insight into this disease. Dual loss of Pten and Lkb1 in the endometrial epithelium led to rapid development of advanced endometrioid endometrial tumors with 100% penetrance and short host survival. The tumors displayed dysregulated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and Lkb1/Ampk signaling with hyperactivation of mTOR signaling. Treatment with a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, BEZ235, extended the time before tumor onset and prolonged overall survival. The PI3K inhibitor GDC-0941 used as a single agent reduced the growth rate of primary tumor implants in Pten/Lkb1-deficient mice, and the mTOR inhibitor RAD001 was unexpectedly as effective as BEZ235 in triggering tumor regression. In parallel, we also found that ectopic expression of LKB1 in PTEN/LKB1-deficient human endometrial cancer cells increased their sensitivity to PI3K inhibition. Together, our results demonstrated that Pten/Lkb1-deficient endometrial tumors rely strongly on deregulated mTOR signaling, and they provided evidence that LKB1 status may modulate the response of PTEN-deficient tumors to PI3K or mTOR inhibitors. Cancer Res; 1-9. ©2013 AACR.
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Differences in gene and protein expression and the effects of race/ethnicity on breast cancer subtypes.
Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev.
PUBLISHED: 12-02-2013
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Background: Differences in gene or protein expression patterns between breast cancers according to race/ethnicity and cancer subtype. Methods: Transcriptional profiling was performed using Affymetrix HG-U133A platform in 376 patients and reverse phase protein array analysis (RPPA) was done for 177 proteins in 255 patients from a separate cohort. Unsupervised clustering was conducted, as well as supervised comparison by race and tumor subtype. Standard statistical methods, BRB-Array tools and Ingenuity Pathways software packages were used to analyze the data. Results: Median age was 50 years in both cohorts. In the RPPA cohort 54.5% of the tumors were HR-positive, 20.7% HER2-positive and 24.71% triple-negative (TNBC). One hundred and forty-seven (57.6%), 47 (18.43%), 46 (18.1%) of the patients were White, Hispanic and Black, respectively. Unsupervised hierarchal clustering of the protein expression data showed no distinct clusters by race (p-values were 0.492, 0.489 and 0.494 for the HR-positive, HER2-positive and TNBC tumors respectively). In the gene expression cohort, 54.2% of the tumors were HR-positive, 16.5% HER2-positive and 29.3% TNBC. Two hundred and sixteen (57.5%), 111 (29.52%), and 32 (8.52%) patients were white, Hispanic and black, respectively. No probe set with an FDR < 0.05 showed an association with race by breast cancer subtype; similar results were obtained using pathway and gene set enrichment analysis methods. Conclusions: we did not detect significant variation in RNA or protein expression comparing different race/ethnicity groups of women with breast cancer Impact: More research on the complex network of factors that result in outcomes differences among race/ethnicities is needed.
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Proteomic characterization of breast cancer xenografts identifies early and late bevacizumab-induced responses and predicts effective drug combinations.
Clin. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 11-05-2013
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Neoangiogenesis is an important feature in tumor growth and progression, and combining chemotherapy and antiangiogenic drugs have demonstrated clinical efficacy. However, as treatment induced resistance often develops our goal was to identify pathways indicating response and/or evolving resistance to treatment, and inhibit these pathways to optimize the treatment strategies.
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The Cancer Genome Atlas Pan-Cancer analysis project.
Nat. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 09-28-2013
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The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network has profiled and analyzed large numbers of human tumors to discover molecular aberrations at the DNA, RNA, protein and epigenetic levels. The resulting rich data provide a major opportunity to develop an integrated picture of commonalities, differences and emergent themes across tumor lineages. The Pan-Cancer initiative compares the first 12 tumor types profiled by TCGA. Analysis of the molecular aberrations and their functional roles across tumor types will teach us how to extend therapies effective in one cancer type to others with a similar genomic profile.
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Proteomic markers of DNA repair and PI3K pathway activation predict response to the PARP inhibitor BMN 673 in small cell lung cancer.
Clin. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 09-27-2013
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Small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) is an aggressive malignancy affecting nearly 30,000 people annually in the United States. We have previously identified elevated PARP1 levels in SCLC and demonstrated in vitro sensitivity to the PARP inhibitors AZD 2281 and AG014699. Here, we evaluate activity of a novel, potent PARP inhibitor, BMN 673, and identify markers of response as a basis for developing predictive markers for clinical application.
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Genomic copy number imbalances associated with bone and non-bone metastasis of early-stage breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. Treat.
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2013
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The aim of this study is to identify and validate copy number aberrations in early-stage primary breast tumors associated with bone or non-bone metastasis. Whole-genome molecular inversion probe arrays were used to evaluate copy number imbalances (CNIs) in breast tumors from 960 early-stage patients with information about site of metastasis. The CoxBoost algorithm was used to select metastasis site-related CNIs and to fit a Cox proportional hazards model. Gains at 1q41 and 1q42.12 and losses at 1p13.3, 8p22, and Xp11.3 were significantly associated with bone metastasis. Gains at 2p11.2, 3q21.3-22.2, 3q27.1, 10q23.1, and 14q13.2-3 and loss at 7q21.11 were associated with non-bone metastasis. To examine the joint effect of CNIs and clinical predictors, patients were stratified into three risk groups (low, intermediate, and high) based on the sum of predicted linear hazard ratios. For bone metastasis, the hazard (95 % confidence interval) for the low-risk group was 0.32 (0.11-0.92) compared to the intermediate-risk group and 2.99 (1.74-5.11) for the high-risk group. For non-bone metastasis, the hazard for the low-risk group was 0.34 (0.17-0.66) and 2.33 (1.59-3.43) for the high-risk group. The prognostic value of loss at 8p22 for bone metastasis and gains at 10q23.1 for non-bone metastasis, and gain at 11q13.5 for both bone and non-bone metastases were externally validated in 335 breast tumors pooled from four independent cohorts. Distinct CNIs are independently associated with bone and non-bone metastasis for early-stage breast cancer patients across cohorts. These data warrant consideration for tailoring surveillance and management of metastasis risk.
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Favorable modulation of benign breast tissue and serum risk biomarkers is associated with > 10 % weight loss in postmenopausal women.
Breast Cancer Res. Treat.
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2013
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We conducted a phase II feasibility study of a 6-month behavioral weight loss intervention in postmenopausal overweight and obese women at increased risk for breast cancer and the effects of weight loss on anthropomorphic, blood, and benign breast tissue biomarkers. 67 women were screened by random peri-areolar fine-needle aspiration, 27 were registered and 24 participated in the interventional phase. The 24 biomarker evaluable women had a median baseline BMI of 34.2 kg/m(2) and lost a median of 11 % of their initial weight. Significant tissue biomarker modulation after the 6-month intervention was noted for Ki-67 (if restricted to the 15 women with any Ki-67 at baseline, p = 0.041), adiponectin to leptin ratio (p = 0.003); and cyclin B1 (p = 0.001), phosphorylated retinoblastoma (p = 0.005), and ribosomal S6 (p = 0.004) proteins. Favorable modulation for serum markers was observed for sex hormone-binding globulin (p < 0.001), bioavailable estradiol (p < 0.001), bioavailable testosterone (p = 0.033), insulin (p = 0.018), adiponectin (p = 0.001), leptin (p < 0.001), the adiponectin to leptin ratio (p < 0.001), C-reactive protein (p = 0.002), and hepatocyte growth factor (p = 0.011). When subdivided by <10 or >10 % weight loss, change in percent total body and android (visceral) fat, physical activity, and the majority of the serum and tissue biomarkers were significantly modulated only for women with >10 % weight loss from baseline. Some factors such as serum PAI-1 and breast tissue pS2 (estrogen-inducible gene) mRNA were not significantly modulated overall but were when considering only those with >10 % weight loss. In conclusion, a median weight loss of 11 % over 6 months resulted in favorable modulation of a number of anthropomorphic, breast tissue and serum risk and mechanistic markers. Weight loss of 10 % or more should likely be the goal for breast cancer risk reduction studies in obese women.
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Clinical investigation of receptor and non-receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Expert Opin Pharmacother
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2013
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Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the second most common gynecologic malignancy and the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer in the USA. EOC is an exquisitely chemo-sensitive disease with response rates of over 75% in the upfront setting. Despite this, due to high rates of recurrence and development of chemo-resistance, the overall survival of EOC remains about 25%. Thus, there is a great need for new therapeutic approaches to render more durable responses. Based on preclinical and early phase clinical studies, key targeted pathways include targets that drive angiogenesis and chemo-resistance. Receptor tyrosine kinases and non-receptor tyrosine kinases play important roles in these processes and several small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are in clinical development.
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Inferring tumour purity and stromal and immune cell admixture from expression data.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 07-12-2013
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Infiltrating stromal and immune cells form the major fraction of normal cells in tumour tissue and not only perturb the tumour signal in molecular studies but also have an important role in cancer biology. Here we describe Estimation of STromal and Immune cells in MAlignant Tumours using Expression data (ESTIMATE)--a method that uses gene expression signatures to infer the fraction of stromal and immune cells in tumour samples. ESTIMATE scores correlate with DNA copy number-based tumour purity across samples from 11 different tumour types, profiled on Agilent, Affymetrix platforms or based on RNA sequencing and available through The Cancer Genome Atlas. The prediction accuracy is further corroborated using 3,809 transcriptional profiles available elsewhere in the public domain. The ESTIMATE method allows consideration of tumour-associated normal cells in genomic and transcriptomic studies. An R-library is available on https://sourceforge.net/projects/estimateproject/.
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Predicting time to ovarian carcinoma recurrence using protein markers.
J. Clin. Invest.
PUBLISHED: 06-06-2013
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Patients with ovarian cancer are at high risk of tumor recurrence. Prediction of therapy outcome may provide therapeutic avenues to improve patient outcomes. Using reverse-phase protein arrays, we generated ovarian carcinoma protein expression profiles on 412 cases from TCGA and constructed a PRotein-driven index of OVARian cancer (PROVAR). PROVAR significantly discriminated an independent cohort of 226 high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas into groups of high risk and low risk of tumor recurrence as well as short-term and long-term survivors. Comparison with gene expression-based outcome classification models showed a significantly improved capacity of the protein-based PROVAR to predict tumor progression. Identification of protein markers linked to disease recurrence may yield insights into tumor biology. When combined with features known to be associated with outcome, such as BRCA mutation, PROVAR may provide clinically useful predictions of time to tumor recurrence.
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A renewable tissue resource of phenotypically stable, biologically and ethnically diverse, patient-derived human breast cancer xenograft models.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2013
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Breast cancer research is hampered by difficulties in obtaining and studying primary human breast tissue, and by the lack of in vivo preclinical models that reflect patient tumor biology accurately. To overcome these limitations, we propagated a cohort of human breast tumors grown in the epithelium-free mammary fat pad of severe combined immunodeficient (SCID)/Beige and nonobese diabetic (NOD)/SCID/IL-2?-receptor null (NSG) mice under a series of transplant conditions. Both models yielded stably transplantable xenografts at comparably high rates (?21% and ?19%, respectively). Of the conditions tested, xenograft take rate was highest in the presence of a low-dose estradiol pellet. Overall, 32 stably transplantable xenograft lines were established, representing 25 unique patients. Most tumors yielding xenografts were "triple-negative" [estrogen receptor (ER)-progesterone receptor (PR)-HER2+; n = 19]. However, we established lines from 3 ER-PR-HER2+ tumors, one ER+PR-HER2-, one ER+PR+HER2-, and one "triple-positive" (ER+PR+HER2+) tumor. Serially passaged xenografts show biologic consistency with the tumor of origin, are phenotypically stable across multiple transplant generations at the histologic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and genomic levels, and show comparable treatment responses as those observed clinically. Xenografts representing 12 patients, including 2 ER+ lines, showed metastasis to the mouse lung. These models thus serve as a renewable, quality-controlled tissue resource for preclinical studies investigating treatment response and metastasis.
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Quinoline 3-sulfonamides inhibit lactate dehydrogenase A and reverse aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells.
Cancer Metab
PUBLISHED: 05-31-2013
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Most normal cells in the presence of oxygen utilize glucose for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. In contrast, many cancer cells rapidly convert glucose to lactate in the cytosol, a process termed aerobic glycolysis. This glycolytic phenotype is enabled by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), which catalyzes the inter-conversion of pyruvate and lactate. The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize potent and selective inhibitors of LDHA.
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Lactate dehydrogenase B: a metabolic marker of response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer.
Clin. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 05-22-2013
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Although breast cancers are known to be molecularly heterogeneous, their metabolic phenotype is less well-understood and may predict response to chemotherapy. This study aimed to evaluate metabolic genes as individual predictive biomarkers in breast cancer.
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Endocrine-therapy-resistant ESR1 variants revealed by genomic characterization of breast-cancer-derived xenografts.
Cell Rep
PUBLISHED: 05-06-2013
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To characterize patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) for functional studies, we made whole-genome comparisons with originating breast cancers representative of the major intrinsic subtypes. Structural and copy number aberrations were found to be retained with high fidelity. However, at the single-nucleotide level, variable numbers of PDX-specific somatic events were documented, although they were only rarely functionally significant. Variant allele frequencies were often preserved in the PDXs, demonstrating that clonal representation can be transplantable. Estrogen-receptor-positive PDXs were associated with ESR1 ligand-binding-domain mutations, gene amplification, or an ESR1/YAP1 translocation. These events produced different endocrine-therapy-response phenotypes in human, cell line, and PDX endocrine-response studies. Hence, deeply sequenced PDX models are an important resource for the search for genome-forward treatment options and capture endocrine-drug-resistance etiologies that are not observed in standard cell lines. The originating tumor genome provides a benchmark for assessing genetic drift and clonal representation after transplantation.
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AMPK: a contextual oncogene or tumor suppressor?
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 05-03-2013
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The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) functions to monitor and maintain energy homeostasis at the cellular and organism level. AMPK was perceived historically primarily as a component of the LKB1/STK11 tumor suppressor (LKB1 mutations cause the Peutz-Jegher cancer predisposition syndrome) cascade upstream of the TSC1/2/mTOR pathway and thus likely to be a tumor suppressor. However, AMPK has recently been shown to promote cancer cell survival in the face of extrinsic and intrinsic stressors including bioenergetic, growth factor, and oncogene stress compatible with studies showing that AMPK is required for oncogenic transformation. Thus, whether AMPK acts as a bona fide tumor suppressor or a contextual oncogene and, of particular importance, whether AMPK should be targeted for activation or inhibition during cancer therapy, is controversial and requires clarification. We aim to initiate discussions of these critical questions by reviewing the role of AMPK with an emphasis on cancer cell adaptation to microenvironment stress and therapeutic intervention.
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Growth of triple-negative breast cancer cells relies upon coordinate autocrine expression of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 04-30-2013
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Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are aggressive with no effective targeted therapies. A combined database analysis identified 32 inflammation-related genes differentially expressed in TNBCs and 10 proved critical for anchorage-independent growth. In TNBC cells, an LPA-LPAR2-EZH2 NF-?B signaling cascade was essential for expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and CXCL1. Concurrent inhibition of IL-6 and IL-8 expression dramatically inhibited colony formation and cell survival in vitro and stanched tumor engraftment and growth in vivo. A Cox multivariable analysis of patient specimens revealed that IL-6 and IL-8 expression predicted patient survival times. Together these findings offer a rationale for dual inhibition of IL-6/IL-8 signaling as a therapeutic strategy to improve outcomes for patients with TNBCs.
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Frequent mutation of the PI3K pathway in head and neck cancer defines predictive biomarkers.
Cancer Discov
PUBLISHED: 04-25-2013
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Genomic findings underscore the heterogeneity of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Identification of mutations that predict therapeutic response would be a major advance. We determined the mutationally altered, targetable mitogenic pathways in a large HNSCC cohort. Analysis of whole-exome sequencing data from 151 tumors revealed the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway to be the most frequently mutated oncogenic pathway (30.5%). PI3K pathway-mutated HNSCC tumors harbored a significantly higher rate of mutations in known cancer genes. In a subset of human papillomavirus-positive tumors, PIK3CA or PIK3R1 was the only mutated cancer gene. Strikingly, all tumors with concurrent mutation of multiple PI3K pathway genes were advanced (stage IV), implicating concerted PI3K pathway aberrations in HNSCC progression. Patient-derived tumorgrafts with canonical and noncanonical PIK3CA mutations were sensitive to an mTOR/PI3K inhibitor (BEZ-235), in contrast to PIK3CA-wild-type tumorgrafts. These results suggest that PI3K pathway mutations may serve as predictive biomarkers for treatment selection.
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Building a personalized medicine infrastructure at a major cancer center.
J. Clin. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 04-15-2013
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Our understanding of cancer biology is rapidly increasing, as is the availability and affordability of high throughput technologies for comprehensive molecular characterization of tumors and the individuals own genetic makeup. Thus, the time is right to implement personalized molecular medicine for all patients with cancer. Personalized approaches span the full cancer care spectrum from risk stratification to prevention, screening, therapy, and survivorship programs. Several molecular therapeutics have entered clinical trials creating a huge opportunity to couple genomic markers with this emerging drug tool kit. The number of patients managed in major cancer centers creates a challenge to the implementation of genomic technologies required to successfully deliver on the promise of personalized cancer care. This requires a major investment in infrastructure to facilitate rapid deployment of multiplex, cost-effective, and tissue-sparing assays relevant across multiple tumor lineages in the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) environment. Efforts must be made to ensure that assays are accessible to patients most likely to be enrolled onto molecular-marker-driven trials and that the tests are billable and payable, which will make them accessible to a wide range of patients. As the number of patients and aberrations increase, it will become critical to provide decision support for genomic medicine. Institutional commitment is needed to optimize accessibility and quality of research biopsies and to facilitate novel personalized cancer therapy trials. This article will focus on the challenges and opportunities that accompany the building of infrastructure for personalized cancer therapy.
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Integrated genomic characterization of endometrial carcinoma.
Nature
PUBLISHED: 03-21-2013
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We performed an integrated genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic characterization of 373 endometrial carcinomas using array- and sequencing-based technologies. Uterine serous tumours and ?25% of high-grade endometrioid tumours had extensive copy number alterations, few DNA methylation changes, low oestrogen receptor/progesterone receptor levels, and frequent TP53 mutations. Most endometrioid tumours had few copy number alterations or TP53 mutations, but frequent mutations in PTEN, CTNNB1, PIK3CA, ARID1A and KRAS and novel mutations in the SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex gene ARID5B. A subset of endometrioid tumours that we identified had a markedly increased transversion mutation frequency and newly identified hotspot mutations in POLE. Our results classified endometrial cancers into four categories: POLE ultramutated, microsatellite instability hypermutated, copy-number low, and copy-number high. Uterine serous carcinomas share genomic features with ovarian serous and basal-like breast carcinomas. We demonstrated that the genomic features of endometrial carcinomas permit a reclassification that may affect post-surgical adjuvant treatment for women with aggressive tumours.
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LKB1 is a central regulator of tumor initiation and pro-growth metabolism in ErbB2-mediated breast cancer.
Cancer Metab
PUBLISHED: 03-19-2013
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Germline and somatic mutations in STK11, the gene encoding the serine/threonine kinase LKB1, are strongly associated with tumorigenesis. While loss of LKB1 expression has been linked to breast cancer, the mechanistic role of LKB1 in regulating breast cancer development, metastasis, and tumor metabolism has remained unclear.
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What is Visualize?

JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

How does it work?

We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.

Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...

In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.