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Sekido Y.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute | Sekido Y.,Nagoya University
Cancer Science | Year: 2010

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a tumor with poor prognosis associated with asbestos exposure. While it remains to be clarified how asbestos fibers confer genetic/epigenetic alterations and induce cellular transformation in normal mesothelial cells, the understanding of key molecular mechanisms of MM cell development, proliferation, and invasion has progressed. MM shows frequent genetic inactivation of tumor suppressor genes of p16INK4a/. p14ARF and neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) which encodes Merlin, and epigenetic inactivation of RASSF1A. However, no frequent mutations of well-known oncogenes such as K-RAS and PIK3CA have been identified. Activation of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family and MET, and subsequent deregulations of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT signaling cascades are frequently observed in most MM cells. The tumor suppressive function of Merlin in MM cells is also being investigated by dissecting its possible downstream signaling cascade called the Hippo pathway. Further comprehensive delineation of dysregulated signaling cascades in MM cells will lead to identification of key addiction pathways for cell survival and proliferation of MM cells, which strongly promote establishment of a new molecular target therapy for MM. © 2009 Japanese Cancer Association.


Sekido Y.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute | Sekido Y.,Nagoya University
Carcinogenesis | Year: 2013

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive tumor arising primarily from the pleural or peritoneal cavities. It develops by asbestos exposure after a long latency, which is characterized by insidious growth and clinical presentation at an advanced stage of disease. MM is highly refractory to conventional therapies even with a combination of aggressive surgical intervention and multimodality strategies, with cure remaining elusive. Molecular genetic analysis has revealed several key genetic alterations, which are responsible for the development and progression of MM. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A/alternative reading frame (CDKN2A/ARF), neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and BRCA1-associated protein-1 (BAP1) genes are the most frequently mutated tumor suppressor genes detected in MM cells; the alterations of the latter two are relatively characteristic of MM. Merlin, which is encoded by NF2, regulates multiple cell signaling cascades including the Hippo and mammalian target of rapamycin pathways, which regulate cell proliferation and growth. BAP1 is involved in histone modification and its inactivation induces the disturbance of global gene expression profiling. The discovery of a new familial cancer syndrome with germline mutation of BAP1 also indicates the importance of genetic factors in MM susceptibility. Meanwhile, although frequent expression and functional activations of oncogene products such as receptor tyrosine kinases are observed in MM cells, activating mutations of these genes are rare. With further comprehensive genome analyses, new genetic and epigenetic alterations in MM cells are expected to be revealed more precisely, and the new knowledge based on them will be applied for developing new diagnostic tools and new target therapies against MMs. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Murata T.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute | Murata T.,Nagoya University | Tsurumi T.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute
Reviews in Medical Virology | Year: 2014

The EBV is a human gamma-herpesvirus that is associated with a variety of neoplasms. Upon primary infection, it transiently runs a short lytic program and then predominantly establishes latent infection. Only a small percentage of infected cells switch from the latent stage into the lytic cycle and produce progeny viruses. Although EBV in cancer cells is mostly in the latent state, the lytic cycle of the virus is also expected to play a pivotal role in development and maintenance of tumors because of its association with secretion of cytokines or growth factors. Moreover, if efficient artificial induction of lytic replication could somehow be achieved, development of oncolytic therapy for EBV-positive cancers would be conceivable. Thus, understanding the switching mechanism is of essential importance. Reactivation of the virus from latency is dependent on expression of the viral BZLF1 protein. The BZLF1 promoter (Zp) normally exhibits only low basal activity but is activated in response to chemical or biological inducers, such as 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, calcium ionophore, or histone deacetylase inhibitors. Transcription from the Zp is regulated by the balance between active and suppressive epigenetic histone marks, including histone acetylation, histone H3 Lysine 4 trimethylation and histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation, being mediated by multiple transcription factors, such as myocyte enhancer factor 2, specificity protein 1, and zinc finger E-box binding homeobox. This review will focus on such molecular mechanisms by which the EBV lytic switch is controlled and discuss the physiological significance of the switching for oncogenesis. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Tsuzuki S.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute | Seto M.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute
Blood | Year: 2012

Self-renewal activity is essential for the maintenance and regeneration of the hematopoietic system. The search for molecules capable of promoting self-renewal and expanding hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) has met with limited success. Here, we show that a short isoform (AML1a) of RUNX1/AML1 has such activities. Enforced AML1a expression expanded functionally defined HSCs, with an efficiency that was at least 20 times greater than that of the control in vivo and by 18-fold within 7 days ex vivo. The ex vivo-expanded HSCs could repopulate hosts after secondary transplantations. Moreover, AML1a expression resulted in vigorous and long-term (> 10 6-fold at 4 weeks) ex vivo expansion of progenitor cell populations capable of differentiating into multilineages. Gene expression analysis revealed that AML1a expression was associated with up-regulation of genes, including Hoxa9, Meis1, Stat1, and Ski. shRNA-mediated silencing of these genes attenuated AML1a-mediated activities. Overall, these findings establish AML1a as an isoform-specific molecule that can influence several transcriptional regulators associated with HSCs, leading to enhanced self-renewal activity and hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell expansion ex vivo and in vivo. Therefore, the abilities of AML1a may have implications for HSC transplantation and transfusion medicine, given that the effects also can be obtained by cell-penetrating AML1a protein. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.


Fujii M.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute
Journal of Biochemistry | Year: 2012

Yes-associated protein (YAP) has been shown to play a critical role in the growth of various tumours. Phosphorylation of Ser127 of YAP leads to the inhibition of YAP translocation into nucleus and subsequent failure to regulate the expression of target genes that induce cell proliferation. Chemical manipulation of YAP localization or expression may provide an efficient method for cancer treatment. In a recent work published by Bao et al. (J. Biochem. 2011;150:199-208), various compounds were screened in human osteosarcoma cells that stably express Green Fluorescent Protein-labeled YAP by monitoring subcellular localization of GFP-YAP. Using this cell-based assay, they found that dobutamine, a β-adrenergic receptor agonist, attenuated YAP-dependent transcription by inhibiting its nuclear translocation. © 2012 The Authors.


Tsuzuki S.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute
Nature Genetics | Year: 2016

The oncogenic mechanisms underlying acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adolescents and young adults (AYA; 15–39 years old) remain largely elusive. Here we have searched for new oncogenes in AYA-ALL by performing RNA-seq analysis of Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-negative AYA-ALL specimens (n = 73) with the use of a next-generation sequencer. Interestingly, insertion of D4Z4 repeats containing the DUX4 gene into the IGH locus was frequently identified in B cell AYA-ALL, leading to a high level of expression of DUX4 protein with an aberrant C terminus. A transplantation assay in mice demonstrated that expression of DUX4-IGH in pro-B cells was capable of generating B cell leukemia in vivo. DUX4 fusions were preferentially detected in the AYA generation. Our data thus show that DUX4 can become an oncogenic driver as a result of somatic chromosomal rearrangements and that AYA-ALL may be a clinical entity distinct from ALL at other ages. © 2016 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.


Tsuzuki S.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute | Taguchi O.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute | Seto M.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute
Blood | Year: 2011

The Ets-related gene (ERG) located on human chromosome 21 encodes a transcription factor and is thought to be causally related to Down syndrome- associated acute megakaryocytic leukemia in childhood. In clinical adult leukemia, however, increased expression of ERG is indicative of poor prognosis in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia, although the involvement of ERG in the development of adult leukemia remains elusive. Here, we show that forced expression of ERG in adult BM cells alters differentiation and induces expansion of T and erythroid cells and increases frequencies of myeloid progenitors in mouse BM transplantation models. The expanded T cells then develop T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia after acquisition of mutations in the Notch1 gene. Targeted expression of ERG into B cells also altered differentiation and promoted growth of precursor B cells. Overall, these findings suggest a general role of ERG in promoting growth of adult hematopoietic cells in various lineages. In line with this, shRNA-mediated silencing of ERG expression attenuated growth of human leukemia cell lines of various lineages. Thus, ERG is capable of promoting the development of leukemia and is crucial for its maintenance. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.


Seto M.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute
Blood | Year: 2013

In this issue of Blood, Salaverria et al report that more than half of Cyclin D1-(CCND1) negative SOX11-positive mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) had CCND2 gene rearrangement predominantly with immunoglobulin (IG) light chain genes.1.


Kamijo T.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute
Pediatric research | Year: 2012

Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common pediatric solid malignant tumor derived from the sympathetic nervous system. High-risk NB is still one of the most difficult tumors to cure, with only 40% long-term survival despite intensive multimodal therapy. The clinical presentation and treatment response of advanced NB, which results in relapse and a refractory state after a good response to the initial chemotherapy, suggests that cancer stem cells (CSCs) likely exist in NB tumors. Putative CSCs using primary tumor sphere formation from NB patients were reported previously, and several molecules will be elucidated from the tumor sphere to develop CSC-targeting therapies. Recently, our group reported that a CSC marker for several malignancies, CD133, and the stemness-related polycomb BMI1 have functions to repress NB cell differentiation. Depletion of CD133 or BMI1 effectively induced neurite elongation and marker molecules for differentiation in NB cells. Of note, CD133-related NB cell differentiation and RET (rearranged during transfection) repression were considerably dependent on p38MAPK and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathways. Intriguingly, both CD133 and BMI1 also have a role in xenograft tumor formation and tumor sphere formation. These observations suggest that CD133 and BMI1 may be candidates for the development of CSC-targeting therapies for refractory NB patients.


Tsuzuki S.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute | Seto M.,Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute
Stem Cells | Year: 2013

The initial steps involved in the pathogenesis of acute leukemia are poorly understood. The TEL-AML1 fusion gene usually arises before birth, producing a persistent and covert preleukemic clone that may convert to precursor B cell leukemia following the accumulation of secondary genetic "hits." Here, we show that TEL-AML1 can induce persistent self-renewing pro-B cells in mice. TEL-AML11 cells nevertheless differentiate terminally in the long term, providing a "window" period that may allow secondary genetic hits to accumulate and lead to leukemia. TEL-AML1-mediated self-renewal is associated with a transcriptional program shared with embryonic stem cells (ESCs), within which Mybl2, Tgif2, Pim2, and Hmgb3 are critical and sufficient components to establish self-renewing pro-B cells. We further show that TEL-AML1 increases the number of leukemia-initiating cells that are generated in collaboration with additional genetic hits, thus providing an overall basis for the development of novel therapeutic and preventive measures targeting the TEL-AML1-associated transcriptional program. © 2012 AlphaMed Press.

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