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Fortney K.,University of Toronto | Jurisica I.,University of Toronto | Jurisica I.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Jurisica I.,Campbell Family Institute for Cancer Research
Human Genetics | Year: 2011

Over the past two decades, high-throughput (HTP) technologies such as microarrays and mass spectrometry have fundamentally changed clinical cancer research. They have revealed novel molecular markers of cancer subtypes, metastasis, and drug sensitivity and resistance. Some have been translated into the clinic as tools for early disease diagnosis, prognosis, and individualized treatment and response monitoring. Despite these successes, many challenges remain: HTP platforms are often noisy and suVer from false positives and false negatives; optimal analysis and successful validation require complex work- Xows; and great volumes of data are accumulating at a rapid pace. Here we discuss these challenges, and show how integrative computational biology can help diminish them by creating new software tools, analytical methods, and data standards. © The Author(s) 2011.

Ichim C.V.,University of Toronto | Ichim C.V.,Sunnybrook Research Institute | Atkins H.L.,Ottawa Hospital Research Institute | Iscove N.N.,University of Toronto | And 6 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2011

Identification of genes that regulate clonogenicity of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) cells is hindered by the difficulty of isolating pure populations of cells with defined proliferative abilities. By analyzing the growth of clonal siblings in low passage cultures of the cell line OCI/AML4 we resolved this heterogeneous population into strata of distinct clonogenic potential, permitting analysis of the transcriptional signature of single cells with defined proliferative abilities. By microarray analysis we showed that the expression of the orphan nuclear receptor EAR-2 (NR2F6) is greater in leukemia cells with extensive proliferative capacity than in those that have lost proliferative ability. EAR-2 is expressed highly in long-term hematopoietic stem cells, relative to short-term hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, and is downregulated in AML cells after induction of differentiation. Exogenous expression of EAR-2 increased the growth of U937 cells and prevented the proliferative arrest associated with terminal differentiation, and blocked differentiation of U937 and 32Dcl3 cells. Conversely, silencing of EAR-2 by short-hairpin RNA initiated terminal differentiation of these cell lines. These data identify EAR-2 as an important factor in the regulation of clonogenicity and differentiation, and establish that analysis of clonal siblings allows the elucidation of differences in gene expression within the AML hierarchy. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Zhu C.-Q.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Strumpf D.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Li C.-Y.,JiShou University | Li Q.,Ontario Cancer Institute | And 9 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2010

Purpose: This study aimed to identify and validate a gene expression signature for squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (SQCC). Experimental Design: A published microarray dataset from 129 SQCC patients was used as a training set to identify the minimal gene set prognostic signature. This was selected using the MAximizing R Square Algorithm (MARSA), a novel heuristic signature optimization procedure based on goodness-of-fit (R square). The signature was tested internally by leave-one-out-cross-validation (LOOCV), and then externally in three independent public lung cancer microarray datasets: two datasets of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and one of adenocarcinoma (ADC) only. Quantitative-PCR (qPCR) was used to validate the signature in a fourth independent SQCC cohort. Results: A 12-gene signature that passed the internal LOOCV validation was identified. The signature was independently prognostic for SQCC in two NSCLC datasets (total n = 223) but not in ADC. The lack of prognostic significance in ADC was confirmed in the Director's Challenge ADC dataset (n = 442). The prognostic significance of the signature was validated further by qPCR in another independent cohort containing 62 SQCC samples (hazard ratio, 3.76; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-12.87; P = 0.035). Conclusions: We identified a novel 12-gene prognostic signature specific for SQCC and showed the effectiveness of MARSA to identify prognostic gene expression signatures. ©2010 AACR.

Li Y.,Sunnybrook Research Institute | Shi Y.,Sunnybrook Research Institute | McCaw L.,Sunnybrook Research Institute | Li Y.-J.,Sunnybrook Research Institute | And 11 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2015

The regulation of toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling in a tumor microenvironment is poorly understood despite its importance in cancer biology. To address this problem, TLR7-responses of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells were studied in the presence and absence of a human stromal cell-line derived from a leukemic spleen. CLL cells alone produced high levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and proliferated in response to TLR7-agonists. A signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 -activating stromal factor, identified as interleukin (IL)-6, was found to upregulate microRNA (miR)-17 and miR-19a, target TLR7 and TNFA messenger RNA, and induce a state of tolerance to TLR7-agonists in CLL cells. Overexpression of the miR-17-92 cluster tolerized CLL cells directly and miR-17 and miR-19a antagomiRs restored TLR7-signaling. Inhibition of IL-6 signaling with antibodies or small-molecule Janus kinase inhibitors reversed tolerization and increased TLR7-stimulated CLL cell numbers in vitro and in NOD-SCIDγcnull mice. These results suggest IL-6 can act as tumor suppressor in CLL by inhibiting TLR-signaling. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology.

Prickaerts P.,Maastricht University | Niessen H.E.C.,Maastricht University | Dahlmans V.E.H.,Maastricht University | Spaapen F.,Maastricht University | And 14 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Although the MK3 gene was originally found deleted in some cancers, it is highly expressed in others. The relevance ofMK3 for oncogenesis is currently not clear. We recently reported that MK3 controls ERK activity via a negative feedbackmechanism. This prompted us to investigate a potential role for MK3 in cell proliferation. We here show that overexpression of MK3 induces a proliferative arrest in normal diploid human fibroblasts, characterized by enhanced expression of replication stress- and senescence-associated markers. Surprisingly, MK3 depletion evokes similar senescence characteristics in the fibroblastmodel.We previously identifiedMK3 as a binding partner of Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) proteins. In the current study we show thatMK3 overexpression results in reduced cellular EZH2 levels and concomitant loss of epigenetic H3K27me3-marking and PRC1/chromatin-occupation at the CDKN2A/INK4A locus. In agreement with this, the PRC1 oncoprotein BMI1, but not the PCR2 protein EZH2, bypasses MK3-induced senescence in fibroblasts and suppresses P16INK4A expression. In contrast, BMI1 does not rescue the MK3 loss-of-function phenotype, suggesting the involvement of multiple different checkpoints in gain and loss of MK3 function. Notably, MK3 ablation enhances proliferation in two different cancer cells. Finally, the fibroblastmodel was used to evaluate the effect of potential tumorigenic MK3 drivermutations on cell proliferation and M/SAPK signaling imbalance. Taken together, our findings support a role for MK3 in control of proliferation and replicative life-span, in part through concerted action with BMI1, and suggest that the effect of MK3 modulation or mutation onM/ SAPK signaling and, ultimately, proliferation, is cell context-dependent. Copyright: © 2015 Prickaerts et al.

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