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Milano, Italy

Magistroni V.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mologni L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Sanselicio S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Sanselicio S.,University of Geneva | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The ERG gene belongs to the ETS family of transcription factors and has been found to be involved in atypical chromosomal rearrangements in several cancers. To gain insight into the oncogenic activity of ERG, we compared the gene expression profile of NIH-3T3 cells stably expressing the coding regions of the three main ERG oncogenic fusions: TMPRSS2/ERG (tERG), EWS/ERG and FUS/ERG. We found that all three ERG fusions significantly up-regulate PIM1 expression in the NIH-3T3 cell line. PIM1 is a serine/threonine kinase frequently over-expressed in cancers of haematological and epithelial origin. We show here that tERG expression induces PIM1 in the non-malignant prostate cell line RWPE-1, strengthening the relation between tERG and PIM1 up-regulation in the initial stages of prostate carcinogenesis. Silencing of tERG reversed PIM1 induction. A significant association between ERG and PIM1 expression in clinical prostate carcinoma specimens was found, suggesting that such a mechanism may be relevant in vivo. Chromatin Immunoprecipitation experiments showed that tERG directly binds to PIM1 promoter in the RWPE-1 prostate cell line, suggesting that tERG could be a direct regulator of PIM1 expression. The up-regulation of PIM1 induced by tERG over-expression significantly modified Cyclin B1 levels and increased the percentage of aneuploid cells in the RWPE-1 cell line after taxane-based treatment. Here we provide the first evidence for an ERG-mediated PIM1 up-regulation in prostate cells in vitro and in vivo, suggesting a direct effect of ERG transcriptional activity in the alteration of genetic stability. © 2011 Magistroni et al.

Conconi D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Sala E.,Medical Genetics Laboratory | Bovo G.,San Gerardo Hospital | Strada G.,Bassini ICP Hospital | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2016

Bladder cancer represents the ninth most widespread malignancy throughout the world. It is characterized by the presence of two different clinical and prognostic subtypes: non-muscle-invasive bladder cancers (NMIBCs) and muscle-invasive bladder cancers (MIBCs). MIBCs have a poor outcome with a common progression to metastasis. Despite improvements in knowledge, treatment has not advanced significantly in recent years, with the absence of new therapeutic targets. Because of the limitations of current therapeutic options, the greater challenge will be to identify biomarkers for clinical application. For this reason, we compared our array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) results with those reported in literature for invasive bladder tumors and, in particular, we focused on the evaluation of copy number alterations (CNAs) present in biopsies and retained in the corresponding cancer stem cell (CSC) subpopulations that should be the main target of therapy. According to our data, CCNE1, MYC, MDM2 and PPARG genes could be interesting therapeutic targets for bladder CSC subpopulations. Surprisingly, HER2 copy number gains are not retained in bladder CSCs, making the gene-targeted therapy less interesting than the others. These results provide precious advice for further study on bladder therapy; however, the clinical importance of these results should be explored. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Panzeri E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Panzeri E.,Medical Genetics Laboratory | Conconi D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Conconi D.,Medical Genetics Laboratory | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Bladder carcinogenesis is believed to follow two alternative pathways driven by the loss of chromosome 9 and the gain of chromosome 7, albeit other nonrandom copy number alterations (CNAs) were identified. However, confirmation studies are needed since many aspects of this model remain unclear and considerable heterogeneity among cases has emerged. One of the purposes of this study was to evaluate the performance of a targeted test (UroVysion assay) widely used for the detection of Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder, in two different types of material derived from the same tumor. We compared the results of UroVysion test performed on Freshly Isolated interphasic Nuclei (FIN) and on Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) tissues from 22 TCCs and we didn't find substantial differences. A second goal was to assess the concordance between array-CGH profiles and the targeted chromosomal profiles of UroVysion assay on an additional set of 10 TCCs, in order to evaluate whether UroVysion is an adequately sensitive method for the identification of selected aneuploidies and nonrandom CNAs in TCCs. Our results confirmed the importance of global genomic screening methods, that is array based CGH, to comprehensively determine the genomic profiles of large series of TCCs tumors. However, this technique has yet some limitations, such as not being able to detect low level mosaicism, or not detecting any change in the number of copies for a kind of compensatory effect due to the presence of high cellular heterogeneity. Thus, it is still advisable to use complementary techniques such as array-CGH and FISH, as the former is able to detect alterations at the genome level not excluding any chromosome, but the latter is able to maintain the individual data at the level of single cells, even if it focuses on few genomic regions. © 2011 Panzeri et al.

Conconi D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Conconi D.,Medical Genetics Laboratory | Panzeri E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Panzeri E.,Medical Genetics Laboratory | And 10 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2012

Background: Bladder cancer is the seventh most common cancer worldwide and over 90% are transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). At the first time of diagnosis at least 70% of TCC present as superficial bladder cancer. Because the clinical outcome of superficial bladder tumors is relatively unpredictable, there is a pressing need to identify markers that may predict tumor recurrence and progression and new treatment strategies. Case presentation. We present a unique case of a 67-year old male who underwent total cystectomy after repeated trans-urethral resections of the bladder for multifocal non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. The first and the third tumor were diagnosed as high grade non-infiltrating (HGNI), while the second as carcinoma in situ (CIS). We performed both array comparative genomic hybridization and a targeted chromosomal profile by UroVysion in order to detect copy number variations (CNVs) that may be involved with tumor recurrence and progression. The overall data from this study provide new evidence for the monoclonal origin of urothelial tumor multifocality as several genetic changes were found in different tumors of the same patient. From the analysis of shared CNVs two gained regions emerged at 3p25.2 and 12q23.2, including PPARG and ASCL1 genes, respectively. The copy number level of these genes would seem inversely mutually correlated and highly dependent on histological grade, because the highest level of amplification at 3p25.2 was evidenced in the two HGNI samples, while the highest level of copy number gain at 12q23.2 was reported in the CIS. Conclusion: We provide new evidence on the role of PPARG in initiation and maintenance of bladder cancer. For the first time we also suggest a possible explanation for the elevated expression of PPARG in this type of tumor through a focal high level amplification at 3p25.2. Furthermore, a new gene, ASCL1, emerged as a potential candidate to assist PPARG in bladder carcinogenesis. © 2012 Conconi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Conconi D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Panzeri E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Redaelli S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bovo G.,Depatment of Pathology | And 4 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2014

Background: The existence of two distinct groups of tumors with different clinical characteristic is a remarkable feature of transitional cell carcinomas (TCCs) of the bladder. More than 70% are low-grade (LG) non-infiltrating (NI) cancers at diagnosis, but 60-80% of them recur at least one time and 10-20% progress in stage and grade. On the other hand, about 20% of tumors show muscle invasion (IN) and have a poor prognosis with <50% survival after 5 years. This study focuses on the complexity of the bladder cancer genome, and for the first time to our knowledge, on the possibility to compare genomic alterations of in vitro selected cancer stem-like cells (CSCs), and their original biopsy in order to identify different genomic signature already present in the early stages of tumorigenesis of LG and HG tumors.Methods: We initially used conventional chromosome analysis on TCC biopsies with different histotypes (LG vs HG) in order to detect rough differences between them. Then, we performed array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) on 10 HG and 10 LG tumors providing an overview of copy number alterations (CNAs). Finally, we made a comparison of the overall CNAs in 16 biopsies and their respective CSCs isolated from them.Results: Our findings indicate that LG and HG bladder cancer differ with regard to their genomic profile even in the early stage of tumorigenesis; moreover, we identified a subgroup of LG samples with a higher tendency to lose genomic regions which could represent a more aggressive phenotype.Conclusions: The outcomes not only provide valuable information to deeper studying TCC carcinogenesis, but also could help in the clinic for diagnosis and prognosis of patients who will benefit from a more aggressive therapy. © 2014 Conconi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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