Simultaneous Multiplexed Imaging of mRNA and Proteins with Subcellular Resolution in Breast Cancer Tissue Samples by Mass Cytometry.
ABSTRACT: To build comprehensive models of cellular states and interactions in normal and diseased tissue, genetic and proteomic information must be extracted with single-cell and spatial resolution. Here, we extended imaging mass cytometry to enable multiplexed detection of mRNA and proteins in tissues. Three mRNA target species were detected by RNAscope-based metal in situ hybridization with simultaneous antibody detection of 16 proteins. Analysis of 70 breast cancer samples showed that HER2 and CK19 mRNA and protein levels are moderately correlated on the single-cell level, but that only HER2, and not CK19, has strong mRNA-to-protein correlation on the cell population level. The chemoattractant CXCL10 was expressed in stromal cell clusters, and the frequency of CXCL10-expressing cells correlated with T cell presence. Our flexible and expandable method will allow an increase in the information content retrieved from patient samples for biomedical purposes, enable detailed studies of tumor biology, and serve as a tool to bridge comprehensive genomic and proteomic tissue analysis.
Project description:Systems-wide profiling of breast cancer has almost always entailed RNA and DNA analysis by microarray and sequencing techniques. Marked developments in proteomic technologies now enable very deep profiling of clinical samples, with high identification and quantification accuracy. We analysed 40 oestrogen receptor positive (luminal), Her2 positive and triple negative breast tumours and reached a quantitative depth of >10,000 proteins. These proteomic profiles identified functional differences between breast cancer subtypes, related to energy metabolism, cell growth, mRNA translation and cell-cell communication. Furthermore, we derived a signature of 19 proteins, which differ between the breast cancer subtypes, through support vector machine (SVM)-based classification and feature selection. Remarkably, only three proteins of the signature were associated with gene copy number variations and eleven were also reflected on the mRNA level. These breast cancer features revealed by our work provide novel insights that may ultimately translate to development of subtype-specific therapeutics.
Project description:We sought to determine the predictive value of in situ mRNA measurement compared to traditional methods on a cohort of trastuzumab-treated metastatic breast cancer patients.A tissue microarray composed of 149, classified as HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancers treated with various trastuzumab-containing chemotherapy regimens was constructed. HER2 intracellular domain(ICD), HER2 extracellular domain(ECD) and HER2 mRNA were assessed using AQUA. For HER2 protein evaluation, CB11 was used to measure ICD and SP3 to measure ECD of the HER2 receptor. In addition, HER2 mRNA status was assessed using RNAscope assay ERRB2 probe. Kaplan - Meier estimates were used for depicting time-to-event endpoints. Multivariate Cox regression models with backward elimination were used to assess the performance of markers as predictors of TTP and OS, after adjusting for important covariates.HER2 mRNA was correlated with ICD HER2, as measured by CB11 HER2, with ECD HER2 as measured by SP3 (Pearson's Correlation Coefficient, r?=?0.66 and 0.51 respectively) and with FISH HER2 (Spearman's Correlation Coefficient, r?=?0.75). All markers, HER2 mRNA, ICD HER2 and ECD HER2, along with FISH HER2, were found prognostic for OS (Log-rank p?=?0.007, 0.005, 0.009 and 0.043 respectively), and except for FISH HER2, they were also prognostic for TTP Log-rank p?=?0.036, 0.068 and 0.066 respectively) in this trastuzumab- treated cohort. Multivariate analysis showed that in the presence of pre-specified set of prognostic factors, among all biomarkers only ECD HER2, as measured by SP3, is strong prognostic factor for both TTP (HR?=?0.54, 95% CI: 0.31-0.93, p?=?0.027) and OS (HR?=?0.39, 95%CI: 0.22-0.70, p?=?0.002).The expression of HER2 ICD and ECD as well as HER2 mRNA levels was significantly associated with TTP and OS in this trastuzumab-treated metastatic cohort. In situ assessment of HER2 mRNA has the potential to identify breast cancer patients who derive benefit from Trastuzumab treatment.
Project description:Protein-based markers that classify tumor subtypes and predict therapeutic response would be clinically useful in guiding patient treatment. We investigated the LC-MS/MS-identified protein biosignatures in 39 baseline breast cancer specimens including 28 HER2-positive and 11 triple-negative (TNBC) tumors. Twenty proteins were found to correctly classify all HER2 positive and 7 of the 11 TNBC tumors. Among them, galectin-3-binding protein and ALDH1A1 were found preferentially elevated in TNBC, whereas CK19, transferrin, transketolase, and thymosin ?4 and ?10 were elevated in HER2-positive cancers. In addition, several proteins such as enolase, vimentin, peroxiredoxin 5, Hsp 70, periostin precursor, RhoA, cathepsin D preproprotein, and annexin 1 were found to be associated with the tumor responses to treatment within each subtype. The MS-based proteomic findings appear promising in guiding tumor classification and predicting response. When sufficiently validated, some of these candidate protein markers could have great potential in improving breast cancer treatment.
Project description:Spontaneously occurring canine mammary gland tumors share many features with human breast cancer, including biological behavior and histologic features. Compared to transgenic murine model, canine models have advantages including naturally occurring models of human diseases and cancer. In humans, breast cancer is divided into molecular subtypes based on ER, PR, and HER2 expression. In contrast with humans, few studies have evaluated these subtypes in canine mammary gland tumors, including expression of HER2. HER2 expression in canine mammary tissues has been further complicated by controversy regarding the antibody's specificity. This study aimed to investigate c-erbB2 mRNA expression in retrospective formalin-fixed paraffin embedded samples, using RNA in situ hybridization with a novel quantitative assay and to compare this method with immunohistochemistry. Using 48 canine mammary tumor samples and 14 non-neoplastic canine mammary tissues, RNA in situ hybridization was performed with RNAscope® using a canine-specific target gene probe (ERBB2), and quantitative measurement was performed using the housekeeping gene (POLR2A) to calculate the target gene/housekeeping gene ratio. The ratio of ERBB2/POLR2A was quantified using open-source image analysis programs and compared with the immunohistochemistry results. A significant correlation was observed between the HER2 immunohistochemistry score and ERBB2/POLR2A RNA in situ hybridization (P < 0.001). When the HER2 immunohistochemistry score was 3+, significantly higher expression of HER2 mRNA was observed by RNA in situ hybridization. Interestingly, HER2 mRNA was also observed in non-neoplastic mammary tissues by RNA in situ hybridization. This assay potentially facilitates the reliable quantification of mRNA expression levels in retrospective formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples. Further studies are required to elucidate the role of HER2 in canine mammary gland tumors and to implement clinical trials in dogs.
Project description:The aim of this study was to gain insight into breast cancer dormancy by examining different measures of minimal residual disease (MRD) over time in relation to known prognostic factors.Sixty-four primary breast cancer patients on follow-up (a median of 8.3 years post surgery) who were disease free had sequential bone marrow aspirates and blood samples taken for the measurement of disseminated tumour cells (DTCs), circulating tumour cells (CTCs) by CellSearch and qPCR measurement of overlapping (96-bp and 291-bp) amplicons in circulating free DNA (cfDNA).The presence of CTCs was correlated with the presence of DTCs measured by immunocytochemistry (P=0.01) but both were infrequently detected. Increasing cfDNA concentration correlated with ER, HER2 and triple-negative tumours and high tumour grade, and the 291-bp amplicon was inversely correlated with DTCs measured by CK19 qRT-PCR (P=0.047).Our results show that breast cancer patients have evidence of MRD for many years after diagnosis despite there being no overt evidence of disease. The inverse relationship between bone marrow CK19 mRNA and the 291-bp amplicon in cfDNA suggests that an inverse relationship between a measure of cell viability in the bone marrow (DTCs) and cell death in the plasma occurs during the dormancy phase of breast cancer.
Project description:Conditionally replicating adenoviral vectors constructed with tumor-specific promoters (TSPs) offers a viable tool for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma. The aim of the present study was to investigate cholangiocarcinoma-specific TSPs that remain active in adenoviral constructs in gene therapy. The mRNA expressions of cyclooxygenase-2, cytokeratin-19 (CK19), mucin-1, midkine and telomerase reverse transcriptase were determined in human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines, primary human hepatocytes and cholangiocytes using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The candidate promoters constructed in adenoviral vectors were analyzed for their activities in cholangiocarcinoma cell lines, primary human hepatocytes and cholangiocytes using dual-luciferase reporter assays. The mRNA expression of CK19 was markedly higher in the QBC939 cell line, indicating specificity to cholangiocarcinoma. Moreover, the promoter activity of CK19 in the adenoviral vector in infected cholangiocarcinoma cells was found to be significantly stronger compared with that in infected primary human hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. CK19 may be implicated in the pathogenesis of cholangiocarcinoma, as demonstrated by the stronger activity of its promoter, as well as the higher expression of mRNA in tumor cells. Therefore, the use of the promoter sequence of the CK19 gene may represent a potential tool in cholangiocarcinoma-specific adenoviral gene therapy.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that present mesenchymal phenotypes can escape standard methods of isolation, thus limiting possibilities for their characterization. Whereas mesenchymal CTCs are considered to be more malignant than epithelial CTCs, factors responsible for this aggressiveness have not been thoroughly defined. This study analyzed the molecular profile related to metastasis formation potential of CTC-enriched blood fractions obtained by marker unbiased isolation from breast cancer patients without (N-) and with lymph nodes metastases (N+). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Blood samples drawn from 117 patients with early-stage breast cancer were enriched for CTCs using density gradient centrifugation and negative selection with anti-CD45 covered magnetic particles. In the resulting CTC-enriched blood fractions, expression of CK19, MGB1, VIM, TWIST1, SNAIL, SLUG, HER2, CXCR4 and uPAR was analyzed with qPCR. Results were correlated with patients' clinicopathological data. RESULTS: CTCs (defined as expression of either CK19, MGB1 or HER2) were detected in 41% (20/49) of N- and 69% (34/49) of N+ patients (P?=?0.004). CTC-enriched blood fractions of N+ patients were more frequently VIM (P?=?0.02), SNAIL (P?=?0.059) and uPAR-positive (P?=?0.03). Positive VIM, CXCR4 and uPAR status correlated with >3 lymph nodes involved (P?=?0.003, P?=?0.01 and P?=?0.045, respectively). In the multivariate logistic regression MGB1 and VIM-positivity were independently related to lymph node involvement with corresponding overall risk of 3.2 and 4.2. Moreover, mesenchymal CTC-enriched blood fractions (CK19-/VIM+ and MGB1+ or HER2+) had 4.88 and 7.85-times elevated expression of CXCR4 and uPAR, respectively, compared with epithelial CTC-enriched blood fractions (CK19+/VIM- and MGB1+ or HER2+). CONCLUSIONS: Tumors of N+ patients have superior CTC-seeding and metastatic potential compared with N- patients. These differences can be attributed to VIM, uPAR and CXCR4 expression, which endow tumor cells with particularly malignant phenotypes.
Project description:Identifying the source and dynamics of persistent HIV-1 at single-cell resolution during cART is crucial for the design of strategies to eliminate the latent HIV-1 reservoir. An assay to measure latent HIV-1 that can distinguish inducible from defective proviruses with high precision is essential to evaluate the efficacy of HIV-1 cure efforts but is presently lacking. The primary aim of this study was therefore to identify transcription and translation competent latently infected cells through detection of biomolecules that are dependent on transcriptional activation of the provirus. We investigated the applicability of two commercially available assays; PrimeFlowTM RNA Assay (RNAflow) and RNAscope® ISH (RNAscope) for evaluation of the efficacy of latency reversal agents (LRAs) to reactivate the HIV-1 latent reservoir. The J-Lat cell model (clones 6.3, 9.3, and 10.6) and four LRAs was used to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, and lower detection limit of the RNAflow and RNAscope assays for the detection and description of the translation-competent HIV-1 reservoir. We also checked for HIV-1 subtype specificity of the RNAscope assay using patient-derived subtype A1, B, C, and CRF01_AE recombinant plasmids following transfection in 293T cells and the applicability of the method in patient-derived peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The lower detection limit of RNAflow was 575 HIV-1 infected cells/million and 45 cells/million for RNAscope. The RNAscope probes, designed for HIV-1B, also detected other subtypes (A1, B, C, and CRF01_AE). RNAscope was applicable for the detection of HIV-1 in patient-derived PBMCs following LRA activation. In conclusion, our study showed that RNAscope can be used to quantify the number of directly observed individual cells expressing HIV-1 mRNA following LRA activation. Therefore, it can be a useful tool for characterization of translation-competent HIV-1 in latently infected cell at single-cell resolution in the fields of HIV-1 pathogenesis and viral persistence.
Project description:To investigate the associations between baseline and posttreatment circulating tumor cell (CTC) gene expression and outcome of patients enrolled in four North Central Cancer Treatment Group metastatic breast cancer (MBC) trials in which specimens were shipped (at 4°C) from community-based sites to a reference laboratory (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN).Blood was collected at treating sites from MBC patients before (baseline), during, and at the end of treatment with erlotinib + gemcitabine (N0234), sorafenib (N0336), irinotecan + cetuximab (N0436), or paclitaxel-poliglumex + capecitabine (N0437). CTCs from 10 mL of EDTA blood were enriched with CD45 depletion, 24 to 30 hours postblood collection. Reverse transcription/quantitative PCR was used to determine cytokeratin-19 (CK19) and mammaglobin (MGB1) mRNA levels in CTCs from up to 13 (N0234), 16 (N0336), 18 (N0436), and 39 (N0437) patients. The gene expressions were normalized to ?(2)-microglobulin and calibrated to healthy blood using the 2(-??Cq) algorithm; positivity was defined as 2 or more.CK19+mRNA cells were detected in 56% to 75% and MGB1+mRNA cells in 23% to 38% of 86 patients at baseline. CK19+mRNA cells were detected in 30% to 67% and MGB1+mRNA cells in 14% to 64% of 110 postbaseline serial samples. The presence of baseline CK19+mRNA cells (P = 0.01) but not MGB1+mRNA cells (P = 0.14) was significantly associated with shorter overall survival. A decrease in MGB1+mRNA levels (baseline-week 8) seemed to be associated with clinical response (P = 0.05).CTC gene expression analysis conducted by a reference laboratory is feasible when blood is collected from treating sites and processed 24 to 30 hours postcollection. The presence of baseline CK19+mRNA CTCs was associated with poor prognosis; a decrease in MGB1+mRNA CTCs may help predict response to therapy of MBC patients.
Project description:Staging by sentinel node (SN) biopsy is the standard procedure for clinically node-negative breast cancer patients. Intra-operative analysis of the SN allows immediate axillary lymph node (ALN) dissection in SN positive patients, but a quick, reliable and reproducible method is lacking. We tested the suitability of a quantitative cytokeratin 19 (CK19) mRNA one step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA#) technique (OSNA-CK19) for intra-operative SN analysis. OSNA-CK19 involves a short manual sample preparation step and subsequent fully automated amplification of CK19 mRNA based on reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification, with results available within 30-40 min. OSNA-CK19 was compared to histological staining (Hematoxylin&Eosin and CAM5.2 and CK19 immunostaining) of 346 frozen ALNs from 32 breast cancer patients, using half of the lymph node for each method. 267 samples were negative and 61 positive by both methods. Three samples were histology positive and OSNA-CK19 negative. Fifteen samples were histology negative and OSNA-CK19 positive, 11 of which had copy numbers close to the cut-off level of OSNA-CK19. Seven of these 15 samples were RT-PCR positive for epithelial markers and/or showed CK19 protein expression by Western blot suggesting the presence of tumor deposits in the lymph node part investigated by OSNA-CK19. Concordance with histology was 94.8%, and 96.8% after exclusion of the latter 7 discordant cases. Sensitivity was 95.3% and specificity was 94.7% before and 97.1% after discordant case investigation. Our results indicate that OSNA-CK19 can potentially be useful in an intra-operative clinical setting to detect SN tumor involvement in breast cancer patients.