Transcription factor doses are of importance for normal and malignant B-lymphocyte development; however, the understanding of underlying mechanisms and functional consequences of reduced transcription factor levels is limited. We have analyzed progenitor and B-lineage compartments in mice carrying heterozygote mutations in the E2a, Ebf1, or Pax5 gene. Although lymphoid progenitors from Ebf1 or Pax5 heterozygote mice were specified and lineage-restricted in a manner comparable with Wt progenitors, this process was severely impaired in E2a heterozygote mutant mice. This defect was not significantly enhanced upon combined deletion of E2a with Ebf1 or Pax5. Analysis of the pre-B-cell compartment in Ebf1 heterozygote mice revealed a reduction in cell numbers. These cells expressed Pax5 and other B-lineage-associated genes, and global gene expression analysis suggested that the reduction of the pre-B-cell compartment was a result of impaired pre-B-cell expansion. This idea was supported by a reduction in IL2R?-expressing late pre-B-cells as well as by cell cycle analysis and by the finding that the complexity of the VDJ rearrangement patterns was comparable in Wt and Ebf1(+/-) pre-B-cells, although the number of progenitors was reduced. Heterozygote deletion of Ebf1 resulted in impaired response to IL7 in vitro and reduced expression levels of pre-BCR on the cell surface, providing possible explanations for the observed stage-specific reduction in cellular expansion. Thus, transcription factor doses are critical for specification as well as expansion of B-lymphoid progenitors, providing increased insight into the molecular regulation of B-cell development.
NOTCH1 PEST domain mutations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia have recently been shown to be of prognostic relevance. Both NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 are constitutively activated in B-cell CLL but not expressed in normal B cells and may be involved in survival and resistance to apoptosis in CLL. We screened for mutations in different parts of both NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 genes and related the changes to survival and other known risk factors.
Notch and Wnt pathways are key regulators of intestinal homeostasis and alterations in these pathways may lead to the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). In CRC the Apc/?-catenin genes in the Wnt signaling pathway are frequently mutated and active Notch signaling contributes to tumorigenesis by keeping the epithelial cells in a proliferative state. These pathways are simultaneously active in proliferative adenoma cells and a crosstalk between them has previously been suggested in normal development as well as in cancer.
The single nucleotide polymorphism SNP309 with a change from T to G in the promoter region of the MDM2 gene is shown to increase the MDM2 protein levels and attenuate the p53 levels and associates with disease progression in several tumors.
Bioactive metabolites downstream of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) generated prostaglandin H(2) (PGH(2)), in particular prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), are thought to play critical roles during the development of colorectal tumors. Previous reports reveal that defects of the tumor suppressor adenomatosis polyposis coli (APC) contribute to COX-2 upregulation in colon tumor cells. We investigated whether a similar relation was present between APC functional status and the expression of microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1), which acts downstream of COX-2 and catalyses the terminal conversion of PGH(2) into PGE(2). Surprisingly, mPGES-1 mRNA and protein levels were upregulated upon induction of a wild type-APC carrying vector in HT29 colon cancer cells, and downregulated following siRNA silencing of APC in HCT-116 cells. mPGES-1 was overall enhanced in human colorectal tumor specimens versus corresponding non-tumor mucosa and, in accordance with data on HT29 and HCT116 cells, higher levels of mPGES-1 were observed among tumors carrying wild type versus mutant APC. RNAi silencing of beta-catenin and luciferase assays regarding the mPGES-1 promoter region did not reveal a role for APC or beta-catenin/Tcf in controlling mPGES-1 gene transcription. However, RNA degradation assays in HT29 cells revealed a suppressed degradation of mPGES-1 in the presence of wild type APC, implying that mPGES-1 mRNA is stabilized in the APC wild type state. Collectively, we demonstrate a novel association between APC functional status and mPGES-1 expression in colorectal tumor cells, being most likely related to reduced mPGES-1 mRNA degradation rate in the APC wild type state.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a significant role in tumor angiogenesis and is found to be overexpressed and involved in the development and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). The VEGF gene contains several polymorphic sites known to influence VEGF expression. We examined the possible association between five polymorphisms, located in the promoter/5-untranslated region [-2578 (C/A), -2549 (del/ins 18 bp), -1154 (G/A), -634 (G/C)] or 3-untranslated region [+936 (C/T)] of the VEGF gene, and CRC susceptibility and clinicopathological characteristics in 302 Swedish CRC patients and 336 healthy randomly selected controls. Both genotypes and combined haplotypes were analyzed. No significant differences were observed when VEGF genotype/haplotype frequencies in the CRC cases and controls were compared, nor were any associations found between the genotypes/haplotypes and clinicopathological characteristics. However, when the -2578 C and +936 T alleles were combined, a small but significant association with CRC susceptibility was detected (OR=1.6, 95% CI 1.3-1.9, p=0.01). In addition, VEGF mRNA expression was determined in a subset of patients, revealing a 2-fold VEGF upregulation in CRC tissue compared to normal colonic mucosa, but no association between the genotypes or haplotypes and VEGF mRNA levels. Linkage analysis was performed, revealing that the polymorphisms in the promoter and 5-untranslated region were in tight linkage disequilibrium (LD) (__AMB__verbar;D__AMB__verbar;=0.91-1.00), while the +936 C/T polymorphism was only weakly associated with the others (__AMB__verbar;D__AMB__verbar;=0.05-0.19). In conclusion, VEGF is generally upregulated in colorectal tumors. However, the single nucleotide polymorphisms examined do not appear to influence the mRNA expression of VEGF in colorectal tumors, and most likely play a limited role in CRC development and progression.
Colorectal tumors are continuously exposed to an inflammatory environment, which together with mitogenic signals sustain several cancer hallmarks. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF?B) is a major regulator of inflammation and variation in NF?B-associated genes could potentially be used as biomarkers to identify patients with increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) development, and/or a rapidly progressing disease. In this study, 348 CRC cases and 806 randomly selected healthy individuals from southeastern Sweden were examined with regard to seven polymorphisms in NF?B pathway-associated genes. Log-rank-tests and Cox proportional hazard regression analysis examined the association between the polymorphisms and CRC-specific survival, whereas chi-square tests and logistic regression analysis were used to test for associations between the polymorphisms and CRC susceptibility. Gene expression and loss of heterozygosity analyses of TNFAIP3 were carried out in a subset of tumors to assess its role as a tumor suppressor in CRC. Heterozygous and polymorphic TNFAIP3 (rs6920220), heterozygous NLRP3 (Q705K) and polymorphic NF?B -94 ATTG ins/del genotypes were found to be associated with poorer survival in patients diagnosed with invasive CRC (aHR = 5.2, 95% CI: 2.5-10.9, P < 0.001). TNFAIP3 mRNA levels were significantly decreased in tumors compared with adjacent non-neoplastic mucosa (P < 0.0001) and loss of heterozygosity of 6q23.3 (TNFAIP3) was detected in 17% of cases, whereas only 2.5% of the investigated specimens displayed TNFAIP3 gene mutations. We propose that TNFAIP3 (rs6920220), NLRP3 (Q705K) and NF?B -94 ATTG ins/del polymorphisms are associated with poor survival in patients with advanced CRC and may be used as prognostic markers. Experimental results indicate that TNFAIP3 may act as a tumor suppressor in CRC.
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