Brain Tumor Research Center

San Francisco, CA, United States

Brain Tumor Research Center

San Francisco, CA, United States
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Chesnelong C.,Foothills Hospital | Chesnelong C.,Southern Research Institute | Blough M.D.,Foothills Hospital | Blough M.D.,Southern Research Institute | And 16 more authors.
Neuro-Oncology | Year: 2014

BackgroundMutations of the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 gene (IDH1/2) were initially thought to enhance cancer cell survival and proliferation by promoting the Warburg effect. However, recent experimental data have shown that production of 2-hydroxyglutarate by IDH mutant cells promotes hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)1α degradation and, by doing so, may have unexpected metabolic effects.MethodsWe used human glioma tissues and derived brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs) to study the expression of HIF1α target genes in IDH mutant ( mt) and IDH wild-type (wt) tumors. Focusing thereafter on the major glycolytic enzyme, lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), we used standard molecular methods and pyrosequencing-based DNA methylation analysis to identify mechanisms by which LDHA expression was regulated in human gliomas.ResultsWe found that HIF1α-responsive genes, including many essential for glycolysis (SLC2A1, PDK1, LDHA, SLC16A3), were underexpressed in IDHmt gliomas and/or derived BTSCs. We then demonstrated that LDHA was silenced in IDH mt derived BTSCs, including those that did not retain the mutant IDH1 allele (mIDHwt), matched BTSC xenografts, and parental glioma tissues. Silencing of LDHA was associated with increased methylation of the LDHA promoter, as was ectopic expression of mutant IDH1 in immortalized human astrocytes. Furthermore, in a search of The Cancer Genome Atlas, we found low expression and high methylation of LDHA in IDHmt glioblastomas. ConclusionTo our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of downregulation of LDHA in cancer. Although unexpected findings, silencing of LDHA and downregulation of several other glycolysis essential genes raise the intriguing possibility that IDHmt gliomas have limited glycolytic capacity, which may contribute to their slow growth and better prognosis. © 2013 © The Author(s) 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


Nagarajan R.P.,Brain Tumor Research Center | Zhang B.,University of Washington | Bell R.J.A.,Brain Tumor Research Center | Johnson B.E.,Brain Tumor Research Center | And 11 more authors.
Genome Research | Year: 2014

Aberrant DNA hypomethylation may play an important role in the growth rate of glioblastoma (GBM), but the functional impact on transcription remains poorly understood. We assayed the GBM methylome with MeDIP-seq and MREseq, adjusting for copy number differences, in a small set of non-glioma CpG island methylator phenotype (non-G-CIMP) primary tumors. Recurrent hypomethylated loci were enriched within a region of chromosome 5p15 that is specified as a cancer amplicon and also encompasses TERT, encoding telomerase reverse transcriptase, which plays a critical role in tumorigenesis. Overall, 76 gene body promoters were recurrently hypomethylated, including TERT and the oncogenes GLI3 and TP73. Recurring hypomethylation also affected previously unannotated alternative promoters, and luciferase reporter assays for three of four of these promoters confirmed strong promoter activity in GBM cells. Histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) ChIP-seq on tissue from the GBMs uncovered peaks that coincide precisely with tumor-specific decrease of DNA methylation at 200 loci, 133 of which are in gene bodies. Detailed investigation of TP73 and TERT gene body hypomethylation demonstrated increased expression of corresponding alternate transcripts, which in TP73 encodes a truncated p73 protein with oncogenic function and in TERT encodes a putative reverse transcriptase-null protein. Our findings suggest that recurring gene body promoter hypomethylation events, along with histone H3K4 trimethylation, alter the transcriptional landscape of GBM through the activation of a limited number of normally silenced promoters within gene bodies, in at least one case leading to expression of an oncogenic protein. © 2014 Nagarajan et al.


Barkovich K.J.,Brain Tumor Research Center | Hariono S.,Brain Tumor Research Center | Garske A.L.,University of California at San Francisco | Zhang J.,Brain Tumor Research Center | And 6 more authors.
Cancer Discovery | Year: 2012

Although mutational activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) features prominently in glioma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), inhibitors of EGFR improve survival only in patients with NCSLC. To understand how mutations in EGFR influence response to therapy, we generated glioma cells expressing either glioma- or NSCLCderived alleles and quantified kinase-site occupancy by clinical inhibitors with the use of a novel affinity probe and kinetic methodology. At equivalent doses, erlotinib achieved lower kinase-site occupancy in glioma-derived EGFRvIII compared with NSCLC-derived EGFR mutants. Kinase-site occupancy correlated directly with cell-cycle arrest. EGFRvIII released erlotinib rapidly compared with wild-type EGFR, whereas NSCLC-derived mutants released erlotinib slowly. SIGNIFICANCE: These data suggest that kinase-site occupancy is a biomarker for efficacy of EGFR inhibitors, that rapid binding and release of erlotinib in glioma-derived EGFRvIII opposes the blockade of downstream signaling, and that slower cycling of erlotinib within the active site of NSCLC-derived mutants underlies their improved clinical response. © 2012 American Association for Cancer Research.


Lerner R.G.,Brain Tumor Research Center | Petritsch C.,Brain Tumor Research Center
Nature Cell Biology | Year: 2014

Defective asymmetric cell divisions of stem and progenitor cells are associated with tumorigenesis by a largely unknown mechanism. A signalling axis involving Snail, microRNA-146a and Numb is now shown to regulate the switch between symmetric and asymmetric cell division in colorectal cancer stem cells. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Jahangiri A.,Brain Tumor Research Center | Aghi M.K.,Brain Tumor Research Center
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer | Year: 2012

No fully validated biological markers currently exist to predict responsiveness to or the development of evasion to anti-angiogenic therapy of cancer. The identification of such biomarkers is vital to move these therapies forward, as failure to respond to these treatments is often associated with rapid tumor progression that could have been averted had the intrinsic or acquired evasion to anti-angiogenic therapy been identified in a timely fashion. Furthermore, the high cost of antiangiogenic therapies makes it important to avoid utilizing them in the setting of lack of response or developing evasion, making the identification of biomarkers even more important. A number of potential physiologic, circulating, tissue, and imaging biomarkers have emerged from recently completed preclinical animal studies and clinical trials. In this review, we define 5 different types of biomarkers (physiologic, circulating, intratumoral, genetic polymorphisms, and radiographic); discuss the challenges in establishing biomarkers of antiangiogenic therapy in animal models and in clinical trials; and discuss future strategies to identify and validate biomarkers of anti-angiogenic therapy. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Brain Tumor Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biochimica et biophysica acta | Year: 2011

No fully validated biological markers currently exist to predict responsiveness to or the development of evasion to anti-angiogenic therapy of cancer. The identification of such biomarkers is vital to move these therapies forward, as failure to respond to these treatments is often associated with rapid tumor progression that could have been averted had the intrinsic or acquired evasion to anti-angiogenic therapy been identified in a timely fashion. Furthermore, the high cost of antiangiogenic therapies makes it important to avoid utilizing them in the setting of lack of response or developing evasion, making the identification of biomarkers even more important. A number of potential physiologic, circulating, tissue, and imaging biomarkers have emerged from recently completed preclinical animal studies and clinical trials. In this review, we define 5 different types of biomarkers (physiologic, circulating, intratumoral, genetic polymorphisms, and radiographic); discuss the challenges in establishing biomarkers of antiangiogenic therapy in animal models and in clinical trials; and discuss future strategies to identify and validate biomarkers of anti-angiogenic therapy.


Fiaschetti G.,Neuro Oncology Group | Abela L.,University of Zürich | Nonoguchi N.,World Health Organization | Dubuc A.M.,Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Center | And 9 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2014

Background:microRNA-9 is a key regulator of neuronal development aberrantly expressed in brain malignancies, including medulloblastoma. The mechanisms by which microRNA-9 contributes to medulloblastoma pathogenesis remain unclear, and factors that regulate this process have not been delineated.Methods:Expression and methylation status of microRNA-9 in medulloblastoma cell lines and primary samples were analysed. The association of microRNA-9 expression with medulloblastoma patients' clinical outcome was assessed, and the impact of microRNA-9 restoration was functionally validated in medulloblastoma cells.Results:microRNA-9 expression is repressed in a large subset of MB samples compared with normal fetal cerebellum. Low microRNA-9 expression correlates significantly with the diagnosis of unfavourable histopathological variants and with poor clinical outcome. microRNA-9 silencing occurs via cancer-specific CpG island hypermethylation. HES1 was identified as a direct target of microRNA-9 in medulloblastoma, and restoration of microRNA-9 was shown to trigger cell cycle arrest, to inhibit clonal growth and to promote medulloblastoma cell differentiation.Conclusions:microRNA-9 is a methylation-silenced tumour suppressor that could be a potential candidate predictive marker for poor prognosis of medulloblastoma. Loss of microRNA-9 may confer a proliferative advantage to tumour cells, and it could possibly contribute to disease pathogenesis. Thus, re-expression of microRNA-9 may constitute a novel epigenetic regulation strategy against medulloblastoma. © 2014 Cancer Research UK.


PubMed | Neuro Oncology group, Oncology group, World Health Organization, University of Zürich and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: British journal of cancer | Year: 2014

microRNA-9 is a key regulator of neuronal development aberrantly expressed in brain malignancies, including medulloblastoma. The mechanisms by which microRNA-9 contributes to medulloblastoma pathogenesis remain unclear, and factors that regulate this process have not been delineated.Expression and methylation status of microRNA-9 in medulloblastoma cell lines and primary samples were analysed. The association of microRNA-9 expression with medulloblastoma patients clinical outcome was assessed, and the impact of microRNA-9 restoration was functionally validated in medulloblastoma cells.microRNA-9 expression is repressed in a large subset of MB samples compared with normal fetal cerebellum. Low microRNA-9 expression correlates significantly with the diagnosis of unfavourable histopathological variants and with poor clinical outcome. microRNA-9 silencing occurs via cancer-specific CpG island hypermethylation. HES1 was identified as a direct target of microRNA-9 in medulloblastoma, and restoration of microRNA-9 was shown to trigger cell cycle arrest, to inhibit clonal growth and to promote medulloblastoma cell differentiation.microRNA-9 is a methylation-silenced tumour suppressor that could be a potential candidate predictive marker for poor prognosis of medulloblastoma. Loss of microRNA-9 may confer a proliferative advantage to tumour cells, and it could possibly contribute to disease pathogenesis. Thus, re-expression of microRNA-9 may constitute a novel epigenetic regulation strategy against medulloblastoma.


PubMed | Brain Tumor Research Center, University of Utah and Northwestern University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Inhibitors of BRAFV600E kinase are currently under investigations in preclinical and clinical studies involving BRAFV600E glioma. Studies demonstrated clinical response to such individualized therapy in the majority of patients whereas in some patients tumors continue to grow despite treatment. To study resistance mechanisms, which include feedback activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in melanoma, we developed a luciferase-modified cell line (2341luc) from a BrafV600E mutant and Cdkn2a- deficient murine high-grade glioma, and analyzed its molecular responses to BRAFV600E- and MAPK kinase (MEK)-targeted inhibition. Immunocompetent, syngeneic FVB/N mice with intracranial grafts of 2341luc were tested for effects of BRAFV600E and MEK inhibitor treatments, with bioluminescence imaging up to 14-days after start of treatment and survival analysis as primary indicators of inhibitor activity. Intracranial injected tumor cells consistently generated high-grade glioma-like tumors in syngeneic mice. Intraperitoneal daily delivery of BRAFV600E inhibitor dabrafenib only transiently suppressed MAPK signaling, and rather increased Akt signaling and failed to extend survival for mice with intracranial 2341luc tumor. MEK inhibitor trametinib delivered by oral gavage daily suppressed MAPK pathway more effectively and had a more durable anti-growth effect than dabrafenib as well as a significant survival benefit. Compared with either agent alone, combined BRAFV600E and MEK inhibitor treatment was more effective in reducing tumor growth and extending animal subject survival, as corresponding to sustained MAPK pathway inhibition. Results derived from the 2341luc engraftment model application have clinical implications for the management of BRAFV600E glioma.


PubMed | Brain Tumor Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cancer discovery | Year: 2012

Although mutational activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) features prominently in glioma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), inhibitors of EGFR improve survival only in patients with NCSLC. To understand how mutations in EGFR influence response to therapy, we generated glioma cells expressing either glioma- or NSCLC-derived alleles and quantified kinase-site occupancy by clinical inhibitors with the use of a novel affinity probe and kinetic methodology. At equivalent doses, erlotinib achieved lower kinase-site occupancy in glioma-derived EGFRvIII compared with NSCLC-derived EGFR mutants. Kinase-site occupancy correlated directly with cell-cycle arrest. EGFRvIII released erlotinib rapidly compared with wild-type EGFR, whereas NSCLC-derived mutants released erlotinib slowly.These data suggest that kinase-site occupancy is a biomarker for efficacy of EGFR inhibitors, that rapid binding and release of erlotinib in glioma-derived EGFRvIII opposes the blockade of downstream signaling, and that slower cycling of erlotinib within the active site of NSCLC-derived mutants underlies their improved clinical response.

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