An investigation of WNT pathway activation and association with survival in central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumours (CNS PNET).
ABSTRACT: Central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumours (CNS PNET) are high-grade, predominantly paediatric, brain tumours. Previously they have been grouped with medulloblastomas owing to their histological similarities. The WNT/beta-catenin pathway has been implicated in many tumour types, including medulloblastoma. On pathway activation beta-catenin (CTNNB1) translocates to the nucleus, where it induces transcription of target genes. It is commonly upregulated in tumours by mutations in the key pathway components APC and CTNNB1. WNT/beta-catenin pathway status was investigated by immunohistochemical analysis of CTNNB1 and the pathway target cyclin D1 (CCND1) in 49 CNS PNETs and 46 medulloblastomas. The mutational status of APC and CTNNB1 (beta-catenin) was investigated in 33 CNS PNETs and 22 medulloblastomas. CTNNB1 nuclear localisation was seen in 36% of CNS PNETs and 27% of medulloblastomas. A significant correlation was found between CTNNB1 nuclear localisation and CCND1 levels. Mutations in CTNNB1 were identified in 4% of CNS PNETs and 20% of medulloblastomas. No mutations were identified in APC. A potential link between the level of nuclear staining and a better prognosis was identified in the CNS PNETs, suggesting that the extent of pathway activation is linked to outcome. The results suggest that the WNT/beta-catenin pathway plays an important role in the pathogenesis of CNS PNETs. However, activation is not caused by mutations in CTNNB1 or APC in the majority of CNS PNET cases.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumours (CNS PNETs) are embryonal tumours occurring predominantly in children. Current lack of knowledge regarding their underlying biology hinders development of more effective treatments. We previously identified WNT/?-catenin pathway activation in one-third of CNS PNETs, which was potentially linked to a better prognosis. In this study, we have extended our cohort, achieving a statistically significant correlation with prognosis. We additionally investigated the biological effects of WNT/?-catenin pathway activation in tumour pathogenesis. METHODS: A total of 42 primary and 8 recurrent CNS PNETs were analysed for WNT/?-catenin pathway status using ?-catenin immunohistochemistry. Genomic copy number and mRNA expression data were analysed to identify a molecular profile linked to WNT/?-catenin pathway activation. RESULTS: Pathway activation was seen in 26% of CNS PNETs and was significantly associated with longer overall survival. Genes displaying a significant difference in expression levels, between tumours with and without WNT/?-catenin pathway activation, included several involved in normal CNS development suggesting aberrant pathway activation may be disrupting this process. CONCLUSION: We have identified WNT/?-catenin pathway status as a marker, which could potentially be used to stratify disease risk for patients with CNS PNET. Gene expression data suggest pathway activation is disrupting normal differentiation in the CNS.
Project description:Central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumors (CNS PNET) and medulloblastomas are both embryonal tumors that predominantly occur in children. We used microarrays to analyse a cohort of CNS PNETs and medulloblastomas to identify gene expression related to tumor subgroups. RNA extracted from 23 frozen tumor samples, plus a commercial fetal brain sample, was analysed using Affymetrix U133 plus 2.0 arrays. Tumour subgroups, based on gene expression, were identified using clustering methods.
Project description:The pathological entity of primitive neuroectodermal tumour/medulloblastoma (PNET/MB) comprises a very heterogeneous group of neoplasms on a clinical as well as on a molecular level. We evaluated the importance of DNA amplification in medulloblastomas and other primitive neuroectodermal tumours (PNETs) of the CNS.Restriction landmark genomic scanning (RLGS), a method that allows the detection of low level amplification, was used. RLGS provides direct access to DNA sequences circumventing positional cloning efforts. Furthermore, we analysed several samples by CGH.Twenty primary medulloblastomas, five supratentorial PNETs, and five medulloblastoma cell lines were studied.Although our analysis confirms that gene amplification is generally a rare event in childhood PNET/MB, we found a total of 17 DNA fragments that were amplified in seven different tumours. Cloning and sequencing of several of these fragments confirmed the previous finding of MYC amplification in the cell line D341 Med and identified novel DNA sequences amplified in PNET/MB. We describe for the first time amplification of the novel gene, NAG, in a subset of PNET/MB. Despite genomic amplification, NAG was not overexpressed in the tumours studied. We have determined that NAG maps less than 50 kb 5' of DDX1 and approximately 400 kb telomeric of MYCN on chromosome 2p24.We found a similar but slightly higher frequency of amplification than previously reported. We present several DNA fragments that may belong to the CpG islands of novel genes amplified in a small subset of PNET/MB. As an example we describe for the first time the amplification of NAG in the MYCN amplicon in PNET/MB.
Project description:Embryonal tumours of the central nervous system (CNS) represent a heterogeneous group of tumours about which little is known biologically, and whose diagnosis, on the basis of morphologic appearance alone, is controversial. Medulloblastomas, for example, are the most common malignant brain tumour of childhood, but their pathogenesis is unknown, their relationship to other embryonal CNS tumours is debated, and patients' response to therapy is difficult to predict. We approached these problems by developing a classification system based on DNA microarray gene expression data derived from 99 patient samples. Here we demonstrate that medulloblastomas are molecularly distinct from other brain tumours including primitive neuroectodermal tumours (PNETs), atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumours (AT/RTs) and malignant gliomas. Previously unrecognized evidence supporting the derivation of medulloblastomas from cerebellar granule cells through activation of the Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) pathway was also revealed. We show further that the clinical outcome of children with medulloblastomas is highly predictable on the basis of the gene expression profiles of their tumours at diagnosis. golub-00460 Assay Type: Gene Expression Provider: Affymetrix Array Designs: Hu6800 Organism: Homo sapiens (ncbitax) Material Types: synthetic_RNA, organism_part, whole_organism, total_RNA Disease States: synthetic_RNA, organism_part, whole_orMedulloblastoma, renal rhabdoid tumor, Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor, Supratentorial PNET, Supratentorial PNET (pineoblastoma), Normal, Malignant Glioma, Extrarenal Rhabdoid Tumorganism, total_RNA
Project description:The Wnt/?-Catenin signaling pathway is one of the most frequently altered pathways in adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs). The aim of this study was to investigate the status of Wnt/?-Catenin signaling pathway by analyzing the expression level of ?-Catenin and the mutational status of APC, AXIN2, CTNNB1, and ZNRF3 in ACCs. Mutations in APC, CTNNB1, ZNRF3 and homozygous deletions in ZNRF3 were observed in 3.8% (2/52), 11.5% (6/52), 1.9% (1/52) and 17.3% (9/52) of the cohort respectively. Novel interstitial deletions in CTNNB1 spanning intron 1 to exon 3/intron 3 were also found in 7.7% (4/52) of the tumours. All the observed alterations were mutually exclusive. Nuclear accumulation of ?-Catenin, increased expression of Cyclin D1 and significantly higher expression of AXIN2 (p?=?0.0039), ZNRF3 (p?=?0.0032) and LEF1(p?=?0.0090) observed in the tumours harbouring the deletion in comparison to tumours without CTNNB1 mutation demonstrates that the truncated ?-Catenin is functionally active and erroneously activates the downstream targets. Significantly lower overall survival rate in patients with tumours harbouring alterations in APC/CTNNB1/ZNRF3 in comparison to those without mutation was observed. In conclusion, the discovery of novel large deletions in addition to the point mutations in CTNNB1 infers that activation of Wnt/?-Catenin pathway via alterations in CTNNB1 occurs frequently in ACCs. We also confirm that alterations in Wnt/?-Catenin signaling pathway members have a negative effect on overall survival of patients.
Project description:Medulloblastoma is the most frequent malignant pediatric brain tumor. Considerable efforts are dedicated to identify markers that help to refine treatment strategies. The activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway occurs in 10-15% of medulloblastomas and has been recently described as a marker for favorable patient outcome. We report a series of 72 pediatric medulloblastomas evaluated for beta-catenin immunostaining, CTNNB1 mutations, and studied by comparative genomic hybridization. Gene expression profiles were also available in a subset of 40 cases. Immunostaining of beta-catenin showed extensive nuclear staining (>50% of the tumor cells) in 6 cases and focal nuclear staining (<10% of cells) in 3 cases. The other cases exhibited either a signal strictly limited to the cytoplasm (58 cases) or were negative (5 cases). CTNNB1 mutations were detected in all beta-catenin extensively nucleopositive cases. The expression profiles of these cases documented a strong activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. Remarkably, 5 out of these 6 tumors showed a complete loss of chromosome 6. In contrast, cases with focal nuclear beta-catenin staining, as well as tumors with negative or cytoplasmic staining, never demonstrated CTNNB1 mutation, Wnt/beta-catenin pathway activation or chromosome 6 loss. Patients with extensive nuclear staining were significantly older at diagnosis and were in continuous complete remission after a mean follow-up of 75.7 months (range 27.5-121.2) from diagnosis. All three patients with a focal nuclear staining of beta-catenin died within 36 months from diagnosis. Altogether, these data confirm and extend previous observations that CTNNB1-mutated tumors represent a distinct molecular subgroup of medulloblastomas with favorable outcome, indicating that therapy de-escalation should be considered. Yet, international consensus on the definition criteria of this distinct medulloblastoma subgroup should be achieved. A series of 72 pediatric medulloblastoma tumors has been studied at the genomic level (array-CGH), screened for CTNNB1 mutations and beta-catenin expression (immunohistochemistry). A subset of 40 tumor samples has been analyzed at the RNA expression level (Affymetrix HG U133 Plus 2.0). Correlations between the genomic data, the expression data, the mutational screening, the pathological classification and clinical data is presented in the study. note: aCGH data not submitted to GEO
Project description:Malignant brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children. Primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the CNS (CNS-PNETs) are particularly aggressive embryonal tumors of unknown cellular origin. Recent genomic studies have classified CNS-PNETs into molecularly distinct subgroups that promise to improve diagnosis and treatment; however, the lack of cell- or animal-based models for these subgroups prevents testing of rationally designed therapies. Here, we show that a subset of CNS-PNETs co-express oligoneural precursor cell (OPC) markers OLIG2 and SOX10 with coincident activation of the RAS/MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathway. Modeling NRAS activation in embryonic OPCs generated malignant brain tumors in zebrafish that closely mimic the human oligoneural/NB-FOXR2 CNS-PNET subgroup by histology and comparative oncogenomics. The zebrafish CNS-PNET model was used to show that MEK inhibitors selectively eliminate Olig2(+)/Sox10(+) CNS-PNET tumors in vivo without impacting normal brain development. Thus, MEK inhibitors represent a promising rationally designed therapy for children afflicted with oligoneural/NB-FOXR2 CNS-PNETs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRalpha) expression is typical for a variety of brain tumours, while in normal adult brain PDGFRalpha expression is limited to a small number of neural progenitor cells. The molecular mechanisms responsible for the PDGFRalpha expression in tumours are not known, but in the absence of amplification, changes in transcriptional regulation might be an important factor in this process. METHODS AND RESULTS: We have investigated the link between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the PDGFRalpha gene promoter and the occurrence of brain tumours (medulloblastomas, supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumours (PNETs), ependymal tumours, astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and mixed gliomas). These SNPs give rise to five different promoter haplotypes named H1 and H2alpha-delta. It is apparent from the haplotype frequency distribution that both PNET (10-fold) and ependymoma (6.5-fold) patient groups display a significant over-representation of the H2delta haplotype. The precise functional role in PDGFRalpha gene transcription for the H2delta haplotype is not known yet, but we can show that the H2delta haplotype specifically disrupts binding of the transcription factor ZNF148 as compared to the other promoter haplotypes. CONCLUSIONS: The specific over-representation of the H2delta haplotype in both patients with PNETs and ependymomas suggests a functional role for the ZNF148/PDGFRalpha pathway in the pathogenesis of these tumours.
Project description:Expression of the ALK gene strongly correlates with the WNT-activated medulloblastomas, which are routinely identified by detection of CTNNB1 mutation. However, some tumors have mutations in other than CTNNB1 genes. Therefore, we investigated if ALK expression may identify WNT-activated tumors without CTNNB1 mutation. In addition, we examined if ALK expression may differentiate WNT-activated medulloblastoma from other malignant posterior fossa tumors. ALK expression was analyzed using immunohistochemistry (clone D5F3) in 70 patients with posterior fossa tumours. Among 55 medulloblastomas, 6 tumors showed ALK expression in >?50% of tumor cells. In one tumor, with ALK positive reaction, negative nuclear reaction against ?-catenin and the lack of CTNNB1 mutation, next generation sequencing revealed a presence of pathogenic variant c.3366_3369del in the APC gene, with homozygous deletion leading to inactivation of both copies in tumor cells. MLPA analysis displayed the presence of chromosome 6 monosomy, therefore, confirming the WNT type of this tumor. All analyzed 19 anaplastic ependymomas, 4 choroid plexus carcinomas and 2 atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors were immunonegative for ALK expression. Therefore, we propose, that immunohistochemical detection of ALK protein should be highly recommended in routine investigation, in parallel to already established methods for identification and differentiation of WNT-activated medulloblastoma.
Project description:Central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumors (CNS PNET) and medulloblastomas are both embryonal tumors that predominantly occur in children. We used microarrays to analyse a cohort of CNS PNETs and medulloblastomas to identify gene expression related to tumor subgroups. Overall design: RNA extracted from 23 frozen tumor samples, plus a commercial fetal brain sample, was analysed using Affymetrix U133 plus 2.0 arrays. Tumour subgroups, based on gene expression, were identified using clustering methods.