Modelling gene expression profiles related to prostate tumor progression using binary states.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cancer is a complex disease commonly characterized by the disrupted activity of several cancer-related genes such as oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes. Previous studies suggest that the process of tumor progression to malignancy is dynamic and can be traced by changes in gene expression. Despite the enormous efforts made for differential expression detection and biomarker discovery, few methods have been designed to model the gene expression level to tumor stage during malignancy progression. Such models could help us understand the dynamics and simplify or reveal the complexity of tumor progression. METHODS: We have modeled an on-off state of gene activation per sample then per stage to select gene expression profiles associated to tumor progression. The selection is guided by statistical significance of profiles based on random permutated datasets. RESULTS: We show that our method identifies expected profiles corresponding to oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in a prostate tumor progression dataset. Comparisons with other methods support our findings and indicate that a considerable proportion of significant profiles is not found by other statistical tests commonly used to detect differential expression between tumor stages nor found by other tailored methods. Ontology and pathway analysis concurred with these findings. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that our methodology may be a valuable tool to study tumor malignancy progression, which might reveal novel cancer therapies.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Genomic instability with frequent DNA copy number alterations is one of the key hallmarks of carcinogenesis. The chromosomal regions with frequent DNA copy number gain and loss in human gastric cancer are still poorly defined. It remains unknown how the DNA copy number variations contributes to the changes of gene expression profiles, especially on the global level. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed DNA copy number alterations in 64 human gastric cancer samples and 8 gastric cancer cell lines using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) arrays based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). Statistical analysis was applied to correlate previously published gene expression data obtained from cDNA microarrays with corresponding DNA copy number variation data to identify candidate oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. We found that gastric cancer samples showed recurrent DNA copy number variations, including gains at 5p, 8q, 20p, 20q, and losses at 4q, 9p, 18q, 21q. The most frequent regions of amplification were 20q12 (7/72), 20q12-20q13.1 (12/72), 20q13.1-20q13.2 (11/72) and 20q13.2-20q13.3 (6/72). The most frequent deleted region was 9p21 (8/72). Correlating gene expression array data with aCGH identified 321 candidate oncogenes, which were overexpressed and showed frequent DNA copy number gains; and 12 candidate tumor suppressor genes which were down-regulated and showed frequent DNA copy number losses in human gastric cancers. Three networks of significantly expressed genes in gastric cancer samples were identified by ingenuity pathway analysis. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insight into DNA copy number variations and their contribution to altered gene expression profiles during human gastric cancer development. It provides novel candidate driver oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes for human gastric cancer, useful pathway maps for the future understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of this malignancy, and the construction of new therapeutic targets.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Recently we have identified a novel RASSF1C-PIWIL1-piRNA pathway that promotes lung cancer cell progression and migration. PIWI-like proteins interact with piRNAs to form complexes that regulate gene expression at the transcriptional and translational levels. We have illustrated in previous work that RASSF1C modulates the expression of the PIWIL1-piRNA gene axis, suggesting the hypothesis that the RASSF1C-PIWI-piRNA pathway could potentially contribute to lung cancer stem cell development and progression, in part, through modulation of gene methylation of both oncogenic and tumor suppressor genes. Therefore, we tested this hypothesis using a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell model to identify Candidate Differentially Methylated Regions (DMRs) modulated by the RASSF1C-PIWIL1-piRNA pathway. MATERIALS AND METHODS:We studied the impact of over-expressing RASSF1C and knocking down RASSF1C and PIWIL1 expression on global gene DNA methylation in the NSCLC cell line H1299 using the Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing (RRBS) method. RESULTS:DMRs were identified by comparing DNA methylation profiles of experimental and control cells. Over-expression of RASSF1C and knocking down RASSF1C and PIWIL1 modulated DNA methylation of genomic regions; and statistically significant candidate genes residing DMR regions in lung cancer cells were identified, including oncogenes and tumor suppressors. One of the hypermethylated genes, Gem Interacting Protein (GMIP), displays tumor suppressor properties. GMIP expression attenuates lung cancer cell migration, and its over-expression is associated with longer survival of lung cancer patients. CONCLUSIONS:The RASSF1C-PIWI-piRNA pathway modulates key oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. GMIP is hypermethylated by this pathway and has tumor suppressor properties.
Project description:Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) are critical in regulating gene expression in normal physiological processes. Decreased expression and/or somatic mutations of TRs have been shown to be associated several types of human cancers including liver, breast, lung, and thyroid. To understand the molecular mechanisms by which mutated TRs promote carcinogenesis, an animal model of follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) (Thrb(PV/PV) mice) was used in the present study. The Thrb(PV/PV) mouse harbors a knockin dominant negative PV mutation, identified in a patient with resistance to thyroid hormone. To understand whether oncogenic actions of PV involve not only the loss of normal TR functions but also gain-of-function activities, we compared the gene expression profiles of thyroid lesions in Thrb(PV/PV) mice and Thra1(-/-)Thrb(-/-) mice that also spontaneously develop FTC, but with less severe malignancy. Analysis of the cDNA microarray data derived from microdissected thyroid tumor cells of these two mice showed contrasting global gene expression profiles. With stringent selection using 2.5-fold change (p<0.01) in cDNA microarray analysis, 241 genes with altered gene expression were identified. Nearly half of the genes (n=103: 42.7% of total) with altered gene expression in thyroid tumor cells of Thrb(PV/PV) mice were associated with tumorigenesis and metastasis; some of these genes function as oncogenes in human thyroid cancers. The remaining genes were found to function in transcriptional regulation, RNA processing, cell proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and cytoskeleton modification. These results indicate that the more aggressive thyroid tumor progression in Thrb(PV/PV) mice was not due simply to the loss of tumor suppressor functions of TR via mutation but also, importantly, to gain-of-function in the oncogenic activities of PV to drive thyroid carcinogenesis. Thus, the present study identifies a novel mechanism by which a mutated TRβ evolves with an oncogenic advantage to promote thyroid carcinogenesis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>glycosyltransferase B4GALNT2 and its cognate carbohydrate antigen Sd<sup>a</sup> are highly expressed in normal colon but strongly downregulated in colorectal carcinoma (CRC). We previously showed that CRC patients expressing higher <i>B4GALNT2</i> mRNA levels displayed longer survival. Forced <i>B4GALNT2</i> expression reduced the malignancy and stemness of colon cancer cells.<h4>Methods</h4>Kaplan-Meier survival curves were determined in "The Cancer Genome Atlas" (TCGA) COAD cohort for several glycosyltransferases, oncogenes, and tumor suppressor genes. Whole expression data of coding genes as well as miRNA and methylation data for <i>B4GALNT2</i> were downloaded from TCGA.<h4>Results</h4>the prognostic potential of <i>B4GALNT2</i> was the best among the glycosyltransferases tested and better than that of many oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes; high <i>B4GALNT2</i> expression was associated with a lower malignancy gene expression profile; differential methylation of an intronic <i>B4GALNT2</i> gene position and miR-204-5p expression play major roles in <i>B4GALNT2</i> regulation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>high <i>B4GALNT2</i> expression is a strong predictor of good prognosis in CRC as a part of a wider molecular signature that includes <i>ZG16</i>, <i>ITLN1</i>, <i>BEST2</i>, and <i>GUCA2B</i>. Differential DNA methylation and miRNA expression contribute to regulating <i>B4GALNT2</i> expression during colorectal carcinogenesis.
Project description:Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as regulators in cancer development and progression, and aberrant lncRNA profiles have been reported in several cancers. Here, we evaluated the potential of using the maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) tissue level as a prognostic marker in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), the most common and deadliest gynecologic malignancy. To the aim of the study, we measured MEG3 transcript levels in 90 pre-treatment peritoneal biopsies. We also investigated MEG3 function in ovarian cancer biology. We found that high MEG3 expression was independently associated with better progression-free (p = 0.002) and overall survival (p = 0.01). In vitro and in vivo preclinical studies supported a role for MEG3 as a tumor suppressor in HGSOC, possibly through modulation of the phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) network. Overall, results from this study demonstrated that decreased MEG3 is a hallmark for malignancy and tumor progression in HGSOC.
Project description:In recent years, microRNAs (miRNAs) have received increasing attention for their important role in tumor initiation and progression. MiRNAs are a class of endogenous small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate the expression of several oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. MiR-19a, a component of the oncogenic miR-17-92 cluster, has been reported to be highly expressed only in anaplastic thyroid cancer, the most undifferentiated, aggressive and lethal form of thyroid neoplasia. In this work, we evaluated the putative contribution of miR-19a in de-differentiation and aggressiveness of thyroid tumors. To this aim, we induced miR-19a expression in the well-differentiated follicular thyroid cancer cell line and evaluated proliferation, apoptosis and gene expression profile of cancer cells. Our results showed that miR-19a overexpression stimulates cell proliferation and alters the expression profile of genes related to thyroid cell differentiation and aggressiveness. These findings not only suggest that miR-19a has a possible involvement in de-differentiation and malignancy, but also that it could represent an important prognostic indicator and a good therapeutic target for the most aggressive thyroid cancer.
Project description:Deregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is a typical feature of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the in vivo relevance of miRNAs along hepatocarcinogenesis remains largely unknown. Here, we show that liver tumors induced in mice by c-Myc overexpression or AKT/Ras co-expression exhibit distinct miRNA expression profiles. Among the downregulated miRNAs, eight (miR-101, miR-107, miR-122, miR-29, miR-365, miR-375, miR-378, and miR-802) were selected and their tumor suppressor activity was determined by overexpressing each of them together with c-Myc or AKT/Ras oncogenes in mouse livers via hydrodynamic transfection. The tumor suppressor activity of these microRNAs was extremely heterogeneous in c-Myc and AKT/Ras mice: while miR-378 had no tumor suppressor activity, miR-107, mir-122, miR-29, miR-365 and miR-802 exhibited weak to moderate tumor suppressor potential. Noticeably, miR-375 showed limited antineoplastic activity against c-Myc driven tumorigenesis, whereas it strongly inhibited AKT/Ras induced hepatocarcinogenesis. Furthermore, miR-101 significantly suppressed both c-Myc and AKT/Ras liver tumor development. Altogether, the present data demonstrate that different oncogenes induce distinct miRNA patterns, whose modulation differently affects hepatocarcinogenesis depending on the driving oncogenes. Finally, our findings support a strong tumor suppressor activity of miR-101 in liver cancer models regardless of the driver oncogenes involved, thus representing a promising therapeutic target in human HCC.
Project description:Tumor suppressor genes on the X chromosome may skew the gender distribution of specific types of cancer. T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematological malignancy with an increased incidence in males. In this study, we report the identification of inactivating mutations and deletions in the X-linked plant homeodomain finger 6 (PHF6) gene in 16% of pediatric and 38% of adult primary T-ALL samples. Notably, PHF6 mutations are almost exclusively found in T-ALL samples from male subjects. Mutational loss of PHF6 is importantly associated with leukemias driven by aberrant expression of the homeobox transcription factor oncogenes TLX1 and TLX3. Overall, these results identify PHF6 as a new X-linked tumor suppressor in T-ALL and point to a strong genetic interaction between PHF6 loss and aberrant expression of TLX transcription factors in the pathogenesis of this disease.
Project description:Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women worldwide, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer. It is now well understood that breast cancer is a heterogeneous entity that exhibits distinctive histological and biological features, treatment responses and prognostic patterns. Therefore, the identification of novel ideal diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers is of utmost importance. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are commonly defined as transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides that lack coding potential. Extensive research has shown that lncRNAs are involved in multiple human cancers, including breast cancer. LncRNAs with dysregulated expression can act as oncogenes or tumor-suppressor genes to regulate malignant transformation processes, such as proliferation, invasion, migration and drug resistance. Intriguingly, the expression profiles of lncRNAs tend to be highly cell-type-specific, tissue-specific, disease-specific or developmental stage-specific, which makes them suitable biomarkers for breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
Project description:Cancer arises as the consequence of mutations and epigenetic alterations that activate oncogenes and inactivate tumor suppressor genes. Through a genome-wide screen for methylated genes in colon neoplasms, we identified aberrantly methylated RET in colorectal cancer. RET, a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase and a receptor for the glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor family ligands, was one of the first oncogenes to be identified, and has been shown to be an oncogene in thyroid cancer and pheochromocytoma. However, unexpectedly, we found RET is methylated in 27% of colon adenomas and in 63% of colorectal cancers, and now provide evidence that RET has tumor suppressor activity in colon cancer. The aberrant methylation of RET correlates with decreased RET expression, whereas the restoration of RET in colorectal cancer cell lines results in apoptosis. Furthermore, in support of a tumor suppressor function of RET, mutant RET has also been found in primary colorectal cancer. We now show that these mutations inactivate RET, which is consistent with RET being a tumor suppressor gene in the colon. These findings suggest that the aberrant methylation of RET and the mutational inactivation of RET promote colorectal cancer formation, and that RET can serve as a tumor suppressor gene in the colon. Moreover, the increased frequency of methylated RET in colon cancers compared with adenomas suggests RET inactivation is involved in the progression of colon adenomas to cancer.