Ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD) is a rare genomic instability syndrome caused by biallelic variants of MRE11 (meiotic recombination 11) characterized by progressive cerebellar ataxia and typical karyotype abnormalities. These symptoms are common to those of ataxia-telangiectasia, which is consistent with the key role of MRE11 in ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) activation after DNA double-strand breaks. Three unrelated French patients were referred with ataxia. Only one had typical karyotype abnormalities. Unreported biallelic MRE11 variants were found in these three cases. Interestingly, one variant (c.424G>A) was present in two cases and haplotype analysis strongly suggested a French founder variant. Variants c.544G>A and c.314+4_314+7del lead to splice defects. The level of MRE11 in lymphoblastoid cell lines was consistently and dramatically reduced. Functional consequences were evaluated on activation of the ATM pathway via phosphorylation of ATM targets (KAP1 and CHK2), but no consistent defect was observed. However, an S-phase checkpoint activation defect after camptothecin was observed in these patients with ATLD. In conclusion, we report the first three French ATLD patients and a French founder variant, and propose an S-phase checkpoint activation study to evaluate the pathogenicity of MRE11 variants.
Predicting the risk of liver metastasis can have important prognostic and therapeutic implications, given the availability of liver-directed therapy. Uveal melanoma has a striking predisposition for liver metastasis despite the absence of anatomical proximity. Understanding its biology may uncover factors promoting liver metastasis in other malignancies. We quantified gene expression by RNAseq in 76 uveal melanomas and combined with public data in a meta-analysis of 196 patients. The meta-analysis of uveal melanoma gene expression identified 63 genes which remained prognostic after adjustment for chromosome 3 status. Two genes, PTP4A3 and JPH1, were selected by L1-penalized regression and combined in a prognostic score. The score predicted liver-specific relapse in a public pan-cancer dataset and in two public colorectal cancer datasets. The score varied between colorectal consensus molecular subtypes (CMS), as did the risk of liver relapse, which was lowest in CMS1. Additional prospective validation was done by real-time PCR in 463 breast cancer patients. The score was significantly correlated with liver relapse in hormone receptor positive tumors. In conclusion, the expression of PTP4A3 and JPH1 correlates with risk of liver metastasis in colorectal cancer and breast cancer. The underlying biological mechanism is an interesting area for further research.
T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a rare and poor-prognostic mature T-cell leukemia. Recent studies detected genomic aberrations affecting and genes in T-PLL. Due to the limited number of primary patient samples available, genomic analyses of the JAK/STAT pathway have been performed in rather small cohorts. Therefore, we conducted-via a primary-data based pipeline-a meta-analysis that re-evaluated the genomic landscape of T-PLL. It included all available data sets with sequence information on or gene loci in 275 T-PLL. We eliminated overlapping cases and determined a cumulative rate of 62.1% of cases with mutated or genes. Most frequently, (6.3%), (36.4%), and (18.8%) carried somatic single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), with missense mutations in the SH2 or pseudokinase domains as most prevalent. Importantly, these lesions were predominantly subclonal. We did not detect any strong association between mutations of a or gene with clinical characteristics. Irrespective of the presence of gain-of-function (GOF) SNVs, basal phosphorylation of STAT5B was elevated in all analyzed T-PLL. Fittingly, a significant proportion of genes encoding for potential negative regulators of STAT5B showed genomic losses (in 71.4% of T-PLL in total, in 68.4% of T-PLL without any or mutations). They included and . Overall, considering such losses of negative regulators and the GOF mutations in and genes, a total of 89.8% of T-PLL revealed a genomic aberration potentially explaining enhanced STAT5B activity. In essence, we present a comprehensive meta-analysis on the highly prevalent genomic lesions that affect genes encoding JAK/STAT signaling components. This provides an overview of possible modes of activation of this pathway in a large cohort of T-PLL. In light of new advances in JAK/STAT inhibitor development, we also outline translational contexts for harnessing active JAK/STAT signaling, which has emerged as a ‘secondary’ hallmark of T-PLL.
Genes involved in 3′-splice site recognition during mRNA splicing constitute an emerging class of oncogenes. SF3B1 is the most frequently mutated splicing factor in cancer, and SF3B1 mutants corrupt branchpoint recognition leading to usage of cryptic 3′-splice sites and subsequent aberrant junctions. For a comprehensive determination of alterations leading to this splicing pattern, we performed a pan-TCGA screening for SF3B1-specific aberrant acceptor usage. While the most of aberrant 3′-splice patterns were explained by SF3B1 mutations, we also detected nine SF3B1 wild-type tumors (including five lung adenocarcinomas). Genomic profile analysis of these tumors identified somatic mutations combined with loss-of-heterozygosity in the splicing factor SUGP1 in five of these cases. Modeling of SUGP1 loss and mutations in cell lines showed that both alterations induced mutant-SF3B1-like aberrant splicing. Our study provides definitive evidence that genetic alterations of SUGP1 genocopy SF3B1 mutations in lung adenocarcinoma and other cancers.
We introduce shallowHRD, a software tool to evaluate tumor homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) based on whole genome sequencing (WGS) at low coverage (shallow WGS or sWGS; ∼1X coverage). The tool, based on mining copy number alterations profile, implements a fast and straightforward procedure that shows 87.5% sensitivity and 90.5% specificity for HRD detection. shallowHRD could be instrumental in predicting response to poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors, to which HRD tumors are selectively sensitive. shallowHRD displays efficiency comparable to most state-of-art approaches, is cost-effective, generates low-storable outputs and is also suitable for fixed-formalin paraffin embedded tissues.
Uveal melanoma (UM) arises from malignant transformation of melanocytes in the uveal tract of the eye. This rare tumor has a poor outcome with frequent chemo-resistant liver metastases. BAP1 is the only known predisposing gene for UM. UMs are generally characterized by low tumor mutation burden, but some UMs display a high level of CpG>TpG mutations associated with MBD4 inactivation. Here, we explored the incidence of germline MBD4 variants in a consecutive series of 1093 primary UM case patients and a series of 192 UM tumors with monosomy 3 (M3).
One important aspect of studies of the microtubule cytoskeleton is the investigation of microtubule behavior in in vitro reconstitution experiments. They allow the analysis of the intrinsic properties of microtubules, such as dynamics, and their interactions with microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). The “tubulin code” is an emerging concept that points to different tubulin isotypes and various posttranslational modifications (PTMs) as regulators of microtubule properties and functions. To explore the molecular mechanisms of the tubulin code, it is crucial to perform in vitro reconstitution experiments using purified tubulin with specific isotypes and PTMs. To date, this was technically challenging as brain tubulin, which is widely used in in vitro experiments, harbors many PTMs and has a defined isotype composition. Hence, we developed this protocol to purify tubulin from different sources and with different isotype compositions and controlled PTMs, using the classical approach of polymerization and depolymerization cycles. Compared to existing methods based on affinity purification, this approach yields pure, polymerization-competent tubulin, as tubulin resistant to polymerization or depolymerization is discarded during the successive purification steps. We describe the purification of tubulin from cell lines, grown either in suspension or as adherent cultures, and from single mouse brains. The method first describes the generation of cell mass in both suspension and adherent settings, the lysis step, followed by the successive stages of tubulin purification by polymerization-depolymerization cycles. Our method yields tubulin that can be used in experiments addressing the impact of the tubulin code on the intrinsic properties of microtubules and microtubule interactions with associated proteins.
Persistent cancer cells are the discrete and usually undetected cells that survive cancer drug treatment and constitute a major cause of treatment failure. These cells are characterized by their slow proliferation, highly flexible energy consumption, adaptation to their microenvironment, and phenotypic plasticity. Mechanisms that underlie their persistence offer highly coveted and sought-after therapeutic targets, and include diverse epigenetic, transcriptional, and translational regulatory processes, as well as complex cell-cell interactions. Although the successful clinical targeting of persistent cancer cells remains to be realized, immense progress has been made in understanding their persistence, yielding promising preclinical results.
Posttranslational modifications of the microtubule cytoskeleton have emerged as key regulators of cellular functions, and their perturbations have been linked to a growing number of human pathologies. Tubulin glycylation modifies microtubules specifically in cilia and flagella, but its functional and mechanistic roles remain unclear. In this study, we generated a mouse model entirely lacking tubulin glycylation. Male mice were subfertile owing to aberrant beat patterns of their sperm flagella, which impeded the straight swimming of sperm cells. Using cryo-electron tomography, we showed that lack of glycylation caused abnormal conformations of the dynein arms within sperm axonemes, providing the structural basis for the observed dysfunction. Our findings reveal the importance of microtubule glycylation for controlled flagellar beating, directional sperm swimming, and male fertility.
Copyright © 2021, American Association for the Advancement of Science.