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Alimonti A.,Cancer Genetics Program | Alimonti A.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Alimonti A.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Carracedo A.,Cancer Genetics Program | And 27 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2010

Cancer susceptibility has been attributed to at least one heterozygous genetic alteration in a tumor suppressor gene (TSG). It has been hypothesized that subtle variations in TSG expression can promote cancer development. However, this hypothesis has not yet been definitively supported in vivo. Pten is a TSG frequently lost in human cancer and mutated in inherited cancer-predisposition syndromes. Here we analyze Pten hypermorphic mice (Pten hy/+), expressing 80% normal levels of Pten. Pten hy/+ mice develop a spectrum of tumors, with breast tumors occurring at the highest penetrance. All breast tumors analyzed here retained two intact copies of Pten and maintained Pten levels above heterozygosity. Notably, subtle downregulation of Pten altered the steady-state biology of the mammary tissues and the expression profiles of genes involved in cancer cell proliferation. We present an alterative working model for cancer development in which subtle reductions in the dose of TSGs predispose to tumorigenesis in a tissue-specific manner. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Ward P.S.,Cancer Biology and Genetics Program | Ward P.S.,University of Pennsylvania | Lu C.,Cancer Biology and Genetics Program | Lu C.,University of Pennsylvania | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2013

Monoallelic point mutations in cytosolic isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) and its mitochondrial homolog IDH2 can lead to elevated levels of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG) in multiple cancers. Here we report that cellular 2HG production from cytosolic IDH1 mutation is dependent on the activity of a retained wild-type IDH1 allele. In contrast, expression of mitochondrial IDH2 mutations led to robust 2HG production in a manner independent of wild-type mitochondrial IDH function. Among the recurrent IDH2 mutations at Arg-172 and Arg-140, IDH2 Arg-172 mutations consistently led to greater 2HG accumulation than ID H2 Arg-140 mutations, and the degree of 2HG accumulation correlated with the ability of these mutations to block cellular differentiation. Cytosolic IDH1 Arg-132 mutations, although structurally analogous to mutations at mitochondrial IDH2 Arg-172, were only able to elevate intracellular 2HG to comparable levels when an equivalent level of wild-type IDH1 was co-expressed. Consistent with 2HG production from cytosolic IDH1 being limited by substrate production from wild-type IDH1, we observed 2HG levels to increase in cancer cells harboring an endogenous monoallelic ID HI mutation when mitochondrial IDH flux was diverted to the cytosol. Finally, expression of an IDH1 construct engineered to localize to the mitochondria rather than the cytosol resulted in greater 2HG accumulation. These data demonstrate that allelic and subcellular compartment differences can regulate the potential for IDH mutations to produce 2HG in cells. The consequences of 2HG elevation are dose-dependent, and the non-equivalent 2HG accumulation resulting from IDH1 and IDH2 mutations may underlie their differential prognosis and prevalence in various cancers. © 2013 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Source

Venneti S.,University of Michigan | Dunphy M.P.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Zhang H.,Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program | Pitter K.L.,Cancer Biology and Genetics Program | And 16 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2015

Glucose and glutamine are the two principal nutrients that cancer cells use to proliferate and survive. Many cancers show altered glucose metabolism,which constitutes the basis for in vivo positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG). However, 18F-FDG is ineffective in evaluating gliomas because of high background uptake in the brain. Glutamine metabolism is also altered in many cancers, and we demonstrate that PET imaging in vivo with the glutamine analog 4-18F-(2S,4R)-fluoroglutamine (18F-FGln) shows high uptake in gliomas but low background brain uptake, facilitating clear tumor delineation. Chemo/radiation therapy reduced 18F-FGln tumor avidity, corresponding with decreased tumor burden. 18F-FGln uptake was not observed in animals with a permeable blood-brain barrier or neuroinflammation. We translated these findings to human subjects, where 18F-FGln showed high tumor/background ratios with minimal uptake in the surrounding brain in human glioma patients with progressive disease. These data suggest that 18F-FGln is avidly taken up by gliomas, can be used to assess metabolic nutrient uptake in gliomas in vivo, and may serve as a valuable tool in the clinical management of gliomas. Copyright © 2015 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Source

Schatz J.H.,Cancer Biology and Genetics Program | Schatz J.H.,New York Medical College | Wendel H.-G.,Cancer Biology and Genetics Program
Cell Cycle | Year: 2011

"Shoot the driver" is the paradigm of targeted cancer therapy. However, resistance to targeted inhibitors of signaling pathways is a major problem. In part the redundancy of signaling networks can bypass targeted inhibitors and thereby reduce their biological effect. In this case the driver turns out to be one of several potential messengers and is easily replaced. Cocktails of multiple targeted inhibitors are an obvious solution. This is limited, however, by the lack of potent inhibitors and may also produce increased toxicity. Therefore we explored the direct blockade of a key biological activity downstream from multiple converging oncogenic signals. Specifically, several oncogenic signaling pathways including AKT, MAPK and PIM kinase signals converge on the activation of capdependent translation. In cancer cells, aberrant activation of cap-dependent translation favors the increased expression of short-lived oncoproteins like c-MYC, MCL1, CYCLIN D1 and the PIM kinases. Intriguingly, cancer cells are especially sensitive to even temporary reductions in these proteins. We will discuss our findings concerning translational inhibitor therapy in cancer. © 2011 Landes Bioscience. Source

Roccaa La G.,Cancer Biology and Genetics Program | Olejniczaka S.H.,Cancer Biology and Genetics Program | Gonzalezb A.J.,Computational Biology Program | Briskinc D.,Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | And 9 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

MicroRNAs repress mRNA translation by guiding Argonaute proteins to partially complementary binding sites, primarily within the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of target mRNAs. In cell lines, Argonaute-bound microRNAs exist mainly in high molecular weight RNA-induced silencing complexes (HMW-RISC) associated with target mRNA. Here we demonstrate that most adult tissues contain reservoirs of microRNAs in low molecular weight RISC (LMW-RISC) not bound to mRNA, suggesting that these microRNAs are not actively engaged in target repression. Consistent with this observation, the majority of individual microRNAs in primary T cells were enriched in LMW-RISC. During T-cell activation, signal transduction through the phosphoinositide-3 kinase-RAC-alpha serine/threo-nine-protein kinase-mechanistic target of rapamycin pathway increased the assembly of microRNAs into HMW-RISC, enhanced expression of the glycine-tryptophan protein of 182 kDa, an essential component of HMW-RISC, and improved the ability of microRNAs to repress partially complementary reporters, even when expression of targeting microRNAs did not increase. Overall, data presented here demonstrate that microRNA-mediated target repression in nontransformed cells depends not only on abundance of specific microRNAs, but also on regulation of RISC assembly by intracellular signaling. Source

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