CYP2S1 is a synthetic lethal target in BRAFV600E-driven thyroid cancers.
ABSTRACT: BRAFV600E is the most common genetic alteration and has become a major therapeutic target in thyroid cancers; however, intrinsic feedback mechanism limited clinical use of BRAFV600E specific inhibitors. Synthetic lethal is a kind of interaction between two genes, where only simultaneously perturbing both of the genes can lead to lethality. Here, we identified CYP2S1 as a synthetic lethal partner of BRAFV600E in thyroid cancers. First, we found that CYP2S1 was highly expressed in papillary thyroid cancers (PTCs) compared to normal thyroid tissues, particularly in conventional PTCs (CPTCs) and tall-cell PTCs (TCPTCs), and its expression was positively associated with BRAFV600E mutation. CYP2S1 knockdown selectively inhibited cell proliferation, migration, invasion and tumorigenic potential in nude mice, and promoted cell apoptosis in BRAFV600E mutated thyroid cancer cells, but not in BRAF wild-type ones. Mechanistically, BRAFV600E-mediated MAPK/ERK cascade upregulated CYP2S1 expression by an AHR-dependent pathway, while CYP2S1 in turn enhanced transcriptional activity of AHR through its metabolites. This AHR/CYP2S1 feedback loop strongly amplified oncogenic role of BRAFV600E in thyroid cancer cells, thereby causing synthetic lethal interaction between CYP2S1 and BRAFV600E. Finally, we demonstrated CYP2S1 as a potential therapeutic target in both BRAFV600E-drived xenograft and transgenic mouse models by targetedly delivering CYP2S1-specific siRNA. Altogether, our data demonstrate CYP2S1 as a synthetic lethal partner of BRAFV600E in thyroid cancers, and indicate that targeting CYP2S1 will provide a new therapeutic strategy for BRAFV600E mutated thyroid cancers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Molecular alterations of the MAPK pathway are frequently observed in papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs). It leads to a constitutive activation of the signalling pathway through an increase in MEK and ERK phosphorylation. ERK is negatively feedback-regulated by Dual Specificity Phosphatases (DUSPs), especially two ERK-specific DUSPs, DUSP5 (nuclear) and DUSP6 (cytosolic). These negative MAPK regulators may play a role in thyroid carcinogenesis. METHODS:MAPK pathway activation was analyzed in 11 human thyroid cancer cell lines. Both phosphatases were studied in three PCCL3 rat thyroid cell lines that express doxycycline inducible PTC oncogenes (RET/PTC3, H-RASV12 or BRAFV600E). Expression levels of DUSP5 and DUSP6 were quantified in 39 human PTCs. The functional role of DUSP5 and DUSP6 was investigated through their silencing in two human BRAFV600E carcinoma cell lines. RESULTS:BRAFV600E human thyroid cancer cell lines expressed higher phospho-MEK levels but not higher phospho-ERK levels. DUSP5 and DUSP6 are specifically induced by the MEK-ERK pathway in the three PTC oncogenes inducible thyroid cell lines. This negative feedback loop explains the tight regulation of p-ERK levels. DUSP5 and DUSP6 mRNA are overexpressed in human PTCs, especially in BRAFV600E mutated PTCs. DUSP5 and/or DUSP6 siRNA inactivation did not affect proliferation in two BRAFV600E mutated cell lines, which may be explained by a compensatory increase in other phosphatases. In the light of this, we observed a marked DUSP6 upregulation upon DUSP5 inactivation. Despite this, DUSP5 and DUSP6 positively control cell migration and invasion. CONCLUSIONS:Our results are in favor of a stronger activation of the MAPK pathway in BRAFV600E PTCs. DUSP5 and DUSP6 have pro-tumorigenic properties in two BRAFV600E PTC cell line models.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We previously reported the frequent neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) gene mutations in anaplastic thyroid cancers in association with the BRAFV600E mutation. We aimed to investigate the role of NF2 in thyroid cancer with BRAF mutation. METHODS:To identify the function of NF2 in thyroid cancers, we investigated the changes in cell proliferation, colon formation, migration and invasion of thyroid cancer cells (8505C, BHT101, and KTC-1) with BRAFV600E mutation after overexpression and knock-down of NF2. We also examined how cell proliferation changed when NF2 was mutagenized. Human NF2 expression in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) was analyzed using the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data. RESULTS:First, NF2 was overexpressed in 8505C and KTC-1 cells. Compared to control, NF2 overexpressed group of both thyroid cancer cells showed significant inhibition in cell proliferation and colony formation. These results were also confirmed by cell migration and invasion assay. After knock-down of NF2 in 8505C cells, there were no significant changes in cell proliferation and colony formation, compared with the control group. However, after mutagenized S288* and Q470* sites of NF2 gene, the cell proliferation increased compared to NF2 overexpression group. In the analysis of TCGA data, the mRNA expression of NF2 was significantly decreased in PTCs with lateral cervical lymph node (LN) metastasis compared with PTCs without LN metastasis. CONCLUSION:Our study suggests that NF2 might play a role as a tumor suppressor in thyroid cancer with BRAF mutation. More studies are needed to elucidate the mechanism how NF2 acts in thyroid cancer with BRAF mutation.
Project description:Although various chemokines have pro-tumorigenic actions in cancers, the effects of CXCL16 remain controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular characteristics of CXCL16-expressing papillary thyroid cancers (PTCs). CXCL16 expressions were significantly higher in PTCs than benign or normal thyroid tissues. In the TCGA dataset for PTCs, a higher CXCL16 expression was associated with M2 macrophage- and angiogenesis-related genes and poor prognostic factors including a higher TNM staging and the BRAFV600E mutation. PTCs with a higher expression of 3-gene panel including CXCL16, AHNAK2, and THBS2 showed poor recurrence-free survivals than that of the lower expression group. Next, shCXCL16 was introduced into BHP10-3SCp cells to deplete the endogenous CXCL16, and then, the cells were subcutaneously injected to athymic mice. Tumors from the BHP10-3SCpshCXCL16 exhibited a delayed tumor growth with decreased numbers of ERG+ endothelial cells and F4/80+ macrophages than those from the BHP10-3SCpcontrol. CXCL16-related genes including AHNAK2 and THBS2 were downregulated in the tumors from the BHP10-3SCpshCXCL16 compared with that from the BHP10-3SCpcontrol. In conclusion, a higher CXCL16 expression was associated with macrophage- and angiogenesis-related genes and aggressive phenotypes in PTC. Targeting CXCL16 may be a good therapeutic strategy for advanced thyroid cancer.
Project description:Background Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the most frequent endocrine tumor. Radioiodine (RAI) treatment is highly effective in these tumors, but up to 60% of metastatic cases become RAI-refractory. Scanty data are available on either the molecular pattern of radioiodine refractory papillary thyroid cancers (PTC) or the mechanisms responsible for RAI resistance. Methods We analyzed the molecular profile and gene/miRNA expression in primary PTCs, synchronous and RAI-refractory lymph node metastases (LNMs) in correlation to RAI avidity or refractoriness. We classified patients as RAI+/D+ (RAI uptake/disease persistence), RAI?/D+ (absent RAI uptake/disease persistence), and RAI+/D- (RAI uptake/disease remission), and analyzed the molecular and gene/miRNA profiles, and the expression of thyroid differentiation (TD) related genes. Results A different molecular profile according to the RAI class was observed: BRAFV600E cases were more frequent in RAI?/D+ (P?=?0.032), and fusion genes in RAI+/D+ cases. RAI+/D- patients were less frequently pTERT mutations positive, and more frequently wild type for the tested mutations/fusions. Expression profiles clearly distinguished PTC from normal thyroid. On the other hand, in refractory cases (RAI+/D+ and RAI?/D+) no distinctive PTC expression patterns were associated with either tissue type, or RAI uptake, but with the driving lesion and BRAF?/RAS-like subtype. Primary tumors and RAI-refractory LNMs with BRAFV600E mutation display transcriptome similarity suggesting that RAI minimally affects the expression profiles of RAI-refractory metastases. Molecular profiles associated with the expression of TPO, SLC26A4 and TD genes, that were found more downregulated in BRAFV600E than in gene fusions tumors. Conclusions The present data indicate a different molecular profile in RAI-avid and RAI-refractory metastatic PTCs. Moreover, BRAFV600E tumors displayed reduced differentiation and intrinsic RAI refractoriness, while PTCs with fusion oncogenes are RAI-avid but persistent, suggesting different oncogene-driven mechanisms leading to RAI refractoriness. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13046-020-01757-x.
Project description:Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common subtype of thyroid cancers and informative biomarkers are critical for risk stratification and treatment guidance. About half of PTCs harbor BRAFV600E and 10%-15% have RAS mutations. In the current study, we trained a deep learning convolutional neural network (CNN) model (Google Inception v3) on histopathology images obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to classify PTCs into BRAFV600E or RAS mutations. We aimed to answer whether CNNs can predict driver gene mutations using images as the only input. The performance of our method is comparable to that of recent publications of other cancer types using TCGA tumor slides with area under the curve (AUC) of 0.878-0.951. Our model was tested on separate tissue samples from the same cohort. On the independent testing subset, the accuracy rate using the cutoff of truth rate 0.8 was 95.2% for BRAF and RAS mutation class prediction. Moreover, we showed that the image-based classification correlates well with mRNA-derived expression pattern (Spearman correlation, rho = 0.63, p = 0.002 on validation data and rho = 0.79, p = 2 × 10-5 on final testing data). The current study demonstrates the potential of deep learning approaches for histopathologically classifying cancer based on driver mutations. This information could be of value assisting clinical decisions involving PTCs.
Project description:AIM:Acromegaly reportedly carries an increased risk of malignant and benign thyroid tumors, with a prevalence of thyroid cancer of around 3-7%. Germline mutations in the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) interacting protein (AIP) have been identified in familial forms of acromegaly. The molecular and endocrine relationships between follicular thyroid growth and GH-secreting pituitary adenoma have yet to be fully established. Our aim was to study the prevalence of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) in acromegaly, focusing on the role of genetic events responsible for the onset of thyroid cancer. METHODS:Germline mutations in the AIP gene were assessed in all patients; BRAF and H-N-K RAS status was analyzed by direct sequencing in thyroid specimens, while immunohistochemistry was used to analyze the protein expression of AIP and AHR. A set of PTCs unrelated to acromegaly was also studied. RESULTS:12 DTCs (10 papillary and 2 follicular carcinomas) were identified in a cohort of 113 acromegalic patients. No differences in GH/IGF-1 levels or disease activity emerged between patients with and without DTC, but the former were older and more often female. BRAF V600E was found in 70% of the papillary thyroid cancers; there were no RAS mutations. AIP protein expression was similar in neoplastic and normal cells, while AHR protein was expressed more in PTCs carrying BRAF mutations than in normal tissue, irrespective of acromegaly status. CONCLUSIONS:The prevalence of DTC in acromegaly is around 11% and endocrinologists should bear this in mind, especially when examining elderly female patients with uninodular goiter. The DTC risk does not seem to correlate with GH/IGF-1 levels, while it may be associated with BRAF mutations and AHR over-expression. Genetic or epigenetic events probably play a part in promoting thyroid carcinoma.
Project description:Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is expected to promote initiation, progression and invasion of cancer cells regulating proliferation, differentiation, gene expression, inflammation, cell motility and migration. Furthermore, an immunosuppressant function of AhR has been recognized. This study evaluated AhR expression and its role in thyroid cancer progression. AhR expression was assessed by qPCR in 107 thyroid cancer samples (90 PTCs, 11 MTCs, 6 ATCs), and by immunohistochemistry in 41 PTCs. To estimate receptor activation, the expression of target genes CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 was measured. AhR functional effects were evaluated in kynurenine-stimulated FTC-133 and BcPap cell lines by analyzing the expression of genes involved in EMT and cell motility. AhR mRNA expression resulted significantly higher in all the analyzed thyroid cancer samples compared to normal thyroid and a statistically significant correlation with CYP1B1 was detected. Kynurenine-stimulated FTC-133 and BcPap showed the activation of a specific AhR-driven EMT program characterized by E-cadherin decrease and SLUG, N-cadherin and fibronectin increase, resulting in boost of cell motility and invasion. This study confirmed the importance of the IDO1-Kyn-AhR pathway in thyroid cancer tumorigenesis, suggesting an AhR pivotal role in mediating an immunosuppressive microenvironment and favoring the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype that could promote invasiveness and metastasis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The molecular mechanisms driving the papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) are still poorly understood. The most frequent genetic alteration in PTC is the BRAFV600E mutation--its impact may extend even beyond PTC genomic profile and influence the tumor characteristics and even clinical behavior. METHODS:In order to identify BRAF-dependent signature of early carcinogenesis in PTC, a transgenic mouse model with BRAFV600E-induced PTC was developed. Mice thyroid samples were used in microarray analysis and the data were referred to a human thyroid dataset. RESULTS:Most of BRAF(+) mice developed malignant lesions. Nevertheless, 16% of BRAF(+) mice displayed only benign hyperplastic lesions or apparently asymptomatic thyroids. After comparison of non-malignant BRAF(+) thyroids to BRAF(-) ones, we selected 862 significantly deregulated genes. When the mouse BRAF-dependent signature was transposed to the human HG-U133A microarray, we identified 532 genes, potentially indicating the BRAF signature (representing early changes, not related to developed malignant tumor). Comparing BRAF(+) PTCs to healthy human thyroids, PTCs without BRAF and RET alterations and RET(+), RAS(+) PTCs, 18 of these 532 genes displayed significantly deregulated expression in all subgroups. All 18 genes, among them 7 novel and previously not reported, were validated as BRAFV600E-specific in the dataset of independent PTC samples, made available by The Cancer Genome Atlas Project. CONCLUSION:The study identified 7 BRAF-induced genes that are specific for BRAF V600E-driven PTC and not previously reported as related to BRAF mutation or thyroid carcinoma: MMD, ITPR3, AACS, LAD1, PVRL3, ALDH3B1, and RASA1. The full signature of BRAF-related 532 genes may encompass other BRAF-related important transcripts and require further study.
Project description:CYP2S1 is an evolutionarily conserved, mainly extra-hepatic member of the CYP2 family and proposed to be regulated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). The present study explores AhR's regulation of CYP2S1 in male Sprague Dawley rats using PCB126 (3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl), the most potent AhR agonist among the PCBs. Additionally, CYP2S1 expression was examined after treatments with the classic CYP-inducers ?-naphthoflavone (?-NF, AhR activator), phenobarbital (PB, CAR activator) and dexamethasone (Dex, PXR activator). CYP2S1 and CYP1A1/2, CYP1B1, CYP2B and CYP3A mRNAs were measured in liver, lung, spleen, stomach, kidney, and thymus at different time points. Constitutive CYP2S1 was expressed at comparable levels to other CYPs with the highest expression levels in stomach, kidney and lung. CYP2S1 mRNA was only non-significantly elevated by ?-NF in liver tissues. PCB126 did not increase CYP2S1 mRNA in any organ and at any time point examined despite a significant induction of CYP1 genes. PCB126 reduced CYP2S1 mRNA by 40% (not significant) from the 7th post-exposure day in thymus. PB and Dex had no effect on CYP2S1 mRNA levels. These observations show that in this model CYP2S1 is not, or only weakly, regulated by AhR and not induced by CAR or PXR activators.
Project description:Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), the most common thyroid cancer, is predominantly driven by mutations in BRAF (primarily p. V600E) and RAS oncogenes. Ultrasound (US) examination provides significant diagnostic data in the management of thyroid nodules, as many sonographic features of thyroid lesions are correlated with the potential risk of thyroid carcinoma. The aim of the study was to analyze the current literature in regard to the potential associations between genetic landscape and sonographic features of PTC. Based on the current literature, sonographic features of PTCs correlate with their molecular drivers, particularly between tumors harboring BRAFV600E versus activating RAS mutations, although many of these findings appear to be dependent on the tumor variant. Suspicious US findings, such as hypoechogenicity, spiculated/microlobulated margins, non-parallel orientation/taller-than-wide shape, and the presence of microcalcifications, are typical for PTC positive for BRAFV600E mutations. On the contrary, tumors with RAS mutations are most frequently hypo- or isoechoic and ovoid-to-round in shape, with smooth margins and without calcifications. There are also some US features typical for PTCs harboring other mutations, including BRAFK601E, RET/PTC rearrangements, PAX8-PPAR?, CTNNB1, and APC. However, further research is necessary, as some rare PTC variants still cannot be reliably analyzed due to the scarce published data.