Cancer Epigenetics Group

Barcelona, Spain

Cancer Epigenetics Group

Barcelona, Spain
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Martin-Sanchez E.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Mendaza S.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Ulazia-Garmendia A.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Monreal-Santesteban I.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | And 6 more authors.
Clinical Epigenetics | Year: 2017

Background: Cadherin-like protein 22 (CDH22) is a transmembrane glycoprotein involved in cell-cell adhesion and metastasis. Its role in cancer is controversial because it has been described as being upregulated in colorectal cancer, whereas it is downregulated in metastatic melanoma. However, its status in breast cancer (BC) is unknown. The purpose of our study was to determine the molecular status and clinical value of CDH22 in BC. Results: We observed by immunohistochemistry that the level of CDH22 expression was lower in BC tissues than in their matched adjacent-to-tumour and non-neoplastic tissues from reduction mammoplasties. Since epigenetic alteration is one of the main causes of gene silencing, we analysed the hypermethylation of 3 CpG sites in the CDH22 promoter by pyrosequencing in a series of 142 infiltrating duct BC cases. CDH22 was found to be hypermethylated in tumoral tissues relative to non-neoplastic mammary tissues. Importantly, this epigenetic alteration was already present in adjacent-to-tumour tissues, although to a lesser extent than in tumoral samples. Furthermore, CDH22 gene regulation was dynamically modulated in vitro by epigenetic drugs. Interestingly, CDH22 hypermethylation in all 3 CpG sites simultaneously, but not expression, was significantly associated with shorter progression-free survival (p = 0.015) and overall survival (p = 0.021) in our patient series. Importantly, CDH22 hypermethylation was an independent factor that predicts poor progression-free survival regardless of age and stage (p = 0.006). Conclusions: Our results are the first evidence that CDH22 is hypermethylated in BC and that this alteration is an independent prognostic factor in BC. Thus, CDH22 hypermethylation could be a potential biomarker of poor prognosis in BC. © 2017, The Author(s).


Costa V.L.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Henrique R.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Henrique R.,University of Porto | Ribeiro F.R.,University of Porto | And 7 more authors.
Epigenetics | Year: 2010

Constitutive activation of the Wnt signaling pathway is a common feature of solid tumors and contributes to uncontrolled cell-growth and impaired differentiation. We hypothesized that gene silencing mediated through aberrant promoter methylation of upstream Wnt antagonist genes might result in β-catenin accumulation, resulting in constitutive Wnt activation. Wnt antagonist genes (SFRP1, WIF1, APC and CDH1) and CTNNB1 promoter methylation was examined in genomic DNAextracted from 12 urological cancer cell lines and correlated with CTNNB1 mRNAexpression. Promoter methylation status was then assessed in 36 BCa, 30 PCa, 31 RCT, and normal bladder mucosa (15), prostate (10) and renal (5) tissue samples. Finally, CTNNB1 mRNArelative expression levels were correlated with Wnt antagonist gene methylation status in RCT. Methylation was found in at least one Wnt antagonist gene and the CTNNB1 promoter was unmethylated in all cancer cell lines tested. When gene methylation levels were compared between cancer cell lines with high and low CTNNB1 mRNAexpression, a trend was found for increased CDH1 promoter methylation levels in the former. BCa and PCa tumors demonstrated high frequency of promoter methylation at all tested genes. In RCT, CTNNB1 was unmethylated in all cases and the overall frequency of promoter methylation at the remainder genes was lower. Interestingly, median CTNNB1 mRNAexpression levels were significantly higher in RCTs methylated in at least one Wnt antagonist gene promoter. We concluded that epigenetic deregulation of Wnt pathway inhibitors may contribute to aberrant activation of Wnt signaling pathway in bladder, prostate and renal tumors. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.


Guerrero-Setas D.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Perez-Janices N.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Blanco-Fernandez L.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Ojer A.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | And 5 more authors.
Modern Pathology | Year: 2013

Ras association (RalGDS/AF-6) domain family member 2 (RASSF2) is a gene involved in the progression of several human cancers, including breast, colorectal and lung cancer. The aims of this study were to determine the hypermethylation of the gene in squamous cervical cancer and precursor lesions, along with that of RASSF1 and the recently described EPB41L3, and to analyze the potential prognostic role of these genes. Methylation-specific PCR and bisulfite sequencing were used to analyze the methylation status of RASSF2 and EPB41L3 gene in 60 squamous cervical cancer, 76 cervical intraepithelial neoplasias grade III, 16 grade II, 14 grade I and 13 cases of normal tissue adjacent to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. RASSF2 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and the re-expression of RASSF2 and EPB41L3 was analyzed by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR in HeLa, SiHa, C33A and A431 cell lines treated with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine and/or trichostatin. RASSF1 hypermethylation and human papillomavirus type were also analyzed in all the cases by methylation-specific PCR and reverse line blot, respectively. RASSF2 hypermethylation was predominant in squamous cervical cancer (60.9%) compared with cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (4.2%) and was associated with a lower level of RASSF2 expression and vascular invasion in squamous cervical cancer. EPB41L3 and RASSF1 hypermethylations were also more frequent in cancer than in precursor lesions. Patients with RASSF2 hypermethylation had shorter survival time, independent of tumor stage (hazard ratio: 6.0; 95% confidence interval: 1.5-24.5). Finally, the expressions of RASSF2 and EPB41L3 were restored in several cell lines treated with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine. Taken together, our results suggest that RASSF2 potentially functions as a new tumor-suppressor gene that is inactivated through hypermethylation in cervical cancer and is related to the bad prognosis of these patients. © 2013 USCAP, Inc. All rights reserved.


Perez-Janices N.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Blanco-Luquin I.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Tunon M.T.,Complejo Hospitalario Of Navarra | Barba-Ramos E.,Complejo Hospitalario Of Navarra | And 11 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes is one of the hallmarks in the progression of brain tumors. Our objectives were to analyze the presence of the hypermethylation of EPB41L3, RASSF2 and TSP-1 genes in 132 diffuse gliomas (astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors) and in 10 cases of normal brain, and to establish their association with the patients' clinicopathological characteristics. Gene hypermethylation was analyzed by methylation-specific-PCR and confirmed by pyrosequencing (for EPB41L3 and TSP-1) and bisulfite-sequencing (for RASSF2).EPB41L3, RASSF2 and TSP-1 genes were hypermethylated only in tumors (29%, 10.6%, and 50%, respectively), confirming their cancer-specific role. Treatment of cells with the DNA-demethylating-agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine restores their transcription, as confirmed by quantitative-reverse-transcription-PCR and immunofluorescence. Immunohistochemistry for EPB41L3, RASSF2 and TSP-1 was performed to analyze protein expression; p53, ki-67, and CD31 expression and 1p/19q co-deletion were considered to better characterize the tumors. EPB41L3 and TSP-1 hypermethylation was associated with worse (p = 0.047) and better (p = 0.037) prognosis, respectively. This observation was confirmed after adjusting the results for age and tumor grade, the role of TSP-1 being most pronounced in oligodendrogliomas (p = 0.001). We conclude that EPB41L3, RASSF2 and TSP-1 genes are involved in the pathogenesis of diffuse gliomas, and that EPB41L3 and TSP-1 hypermethylation are of prognostic significance.


Jacobsen S.C.,Steno Diabetes Center | Jacobsen S.C.,Rigshospitalet | Brons C.,Steno Diabetes Center | Brons C.,Rigshospitalet | And 17 more authors.
Diabetologia | Year: 2012

Aims/hypothesis Energy-dense diets that are high in fat are associated with a risk of metabolic diseases. The underlying molecular mechanisms could involve epigenetics, as recent data show altered DNA methylation of putative type 2 diabetes candidate genes in response to high-fat diets. We examined the effect of a short-term high-fat overfeeding (HFO) diet on genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in human skeletal muscle. Methods Skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained from 21 healthy young men after ingestion of a short-term HFO diet and a control diet, in a randomised crossover setting. DNA methylation was measured in 27,578 CpG sites/14,475 genes using Illumina's Infinium Bead Array. Candidate gene expression was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Results HFO introduced widespread DNA methylation changes affecting 6,508 genes (45%), with a maximum methylation change of 13.0 percentage points. The HFO-induced methylation changes were only partly and non-significantly reversed after 6-8weeks.Alterations inDNAmethylation levels primarily affected genes involved in inflammation, the reproductive system and cancer. Few gene expression changes were observed and these had poor correlation to DNA methylation. Conclusions/interpretation The genome-wide DNA methylation changes induced by the short-term HFO diet could have implications for our understanding of transient epigenetic regulation in humans and its contribution to the development of metabolic diseases. The slow reversibility suggests a methylation build-up with HFO, which over time may influence gene expression levels. © Springer-Verlag 2012.


PubMed | Cancer Epigenetics group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Immunomodulation group, University of London and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2014

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) exhibit potent immunosuppressive activities in cancer. MDSCs infiltrate tumors and strongly inhibit cancer-specific cytotoxic T cells. Their mechanism of differentiation and identification of MDSC-specific therapeutic targets are major areas of interest. We have devised a highly efficient and rapid method to produce very large numbers of melanoma-infiltrating MDSCs ex vivo without inducing tumors in mice. These MDSCs were used to study their differentiation, immunosuppressive activities and were compared to non-neoplastic counterparts and conventional dendritic cells using unbiased systems biology approaches. Differentially activated/deactivated pathways caused by cell type differences and by the melanoma tumor environment were identified. MDSCs increased the expression of trafficking receptors to sites of inflammation, endocytosis, changed lipid metabolism, and up-regulated detoxification pathways such as the expression of P450 reductase. These studies uncovered more than 60 potential novel therapeutic targets. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that P450 reductase is the target of pro-drugs such as Paclitaxel, which depletes MDSCs following chemotherapy in animal models of melanoma and in human patients. Conversely, P450 reductase protects MDSCs against the cytotoxic actions of other chemotherapy drugs such as Irinotecan, which is ineffective for the treatment of melanoma.


Liechtenstein T.,University of London | Liechtenstein T.,Immunomodulation group | Perez-Janices N.,University of London | Perez-Janices N.,Cancer Epigenetics group | And 12 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2014

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) exhibit potent immunosuppressive activities in cancer. MDSCs infiltrate tumors and strongly inhibit cancer-specific cytotoxic T cells. Their mechanism of differentiation and identification of MDSC-specific therapeutic targets are major areas of interest. We have devised a highly efficient and rapid method to produce very large numbers of melanoma-infiltrating MDSCs ex vivo without inducing tumors in mice. These MDSCs were used to study their differentiation, immunosuppressive activities and were compared to non-neoplastic counterparts and conventional dendritic cells using unbiased systems biology approaches. Differentially activated/deactivated pathways caused by cell type differences and by the melanoma tumor environment were identified. MDSCs increased the expression of trafficking receptors to sites of inflammation, endocytosis, changed lipid metabolism, and up-regulated detoxification pathways such as the expression of P450 reductase. These studies uncovered more than 60 potential novel therapeutic targets. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that P450 reductase is the target of pro-drugs such as Paclitaxel, which depletes MDSCs following chemotherapy in animal models of melanoma and in human patients. Conversely, P450 reductase protects MDSCs against the cytotoxic actions of other chemotherapy drugs such as Irinotecan, which is ineffective for the treatment of melanoma.


Mostoslavsky R.,Harvard University | Esteller M.,Cancer Epigenetics Group | Esteller M.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Vaquero A.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Vaquero A.,Chromatin
Cell Cycle | Year: 2010

Longevity, lifespan, cancer, cellular transformation, energy, calorie restriction, diabetes... what can tie together such a diversity of hot topics in biomedical research? Emerging findings suggest that the answer lies in understanding the functions of the recently discovered family of proteins known as Sirtuins. Barcelona hosted the first scientific meeting completely focused on these evolutionary conserved protein deacetylases, bringing together experts in the biochemistry to cellular biology, mice models, drug targeting and pathophysiology of these molecules. Their work, summarized here, establishes the Sirtuins as major players in cellular homeostasis and human diseases that act through a whole range of biochemical substrates and physiological processes. Undoubtedly, this is an increasingly expanding field that it is here to stay and growth. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.


Gato-Canas M.,Immunomodulation group | Gato-Canas M.,University College London | Morentin X.M.,Proteomics Unit | Blanco-Luquin I.,Immunomodulation group | And 17 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) differentiate from bone marrow precursors, expand in cancer-bearing hosts and accelerate tumor progression. MDSCs have become attractive therapeutic targets, as their elimination strongly enhances anti-neoplastic treatments. Here, immature myeloid dendritic cells (DCs), MDSCs modeling tumor-infiltrating subsets or modeling non-cancerous (NC)-MDSCs were compared by in-depth quantitative proteomics. We found that neoplastic MDSCs differentially expressed a core of kinases which controlled lineage-specific (PI3K-AKT and SRC kinases) and cancer-induced (ERK and PKC kinases) protein interaction networks (interactomes). These kinases contributed to some extent to myeloid differentiation. However, only AKT and ERK specifically drove MDSC differentiation from myeloid precursors. Interfering with AKT and ERK with selective small molecule inhibitors or shRNAs selectively hampered MDSC differentiation and viability. Thus, we provide compelling evidence that MDSCs constitute a distinct myeloid lineage distinguished by a "kinase signature" and well-defined interactomes. Our results define new opportunities for the development of anti-cancer treatments targeting these tumor-promoting immune cells.


PubMed | Cancer Epigenetics Group, Immunomodulation Group, University of Navarra, Proteomics Unit and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) differentiate from bone marrow precursors, expand in cancer-bearing hosts and accelerate tumor progression. MDSCs have become attractive therapeutic targets, as their elimination strongly enhances anti-neoplastic treatments. Here, immature myeloid dendritic cells (DCs), MDSCs modeling tumor-infiltrating subsets or modeling non-cancerous (NC)-MDSCs were compared by in-depth quantitative proteomics. We found that neoplastic MDSCs differentially expressed a core of kinases which controlled lineage-specific (PI3K-AKT and SRC kinases) and cancer-induced (ERK and PKC kinases) protein interaction networks (interactomes). These kinases contributed to some extent to myeloid differentiation. However, only AKT and ERK specifically drove MDSC differentiation from myeloid precursors. Interfering with AKT and ERK with selective small molecule inhibitors or shRNAs selectively hampered MDSC differentiation and viability. Thus, we provide compelling evidence that MDSCs constitute a distinct myeloid lineage distinguished by a kinase signature and well-defined interactomes. Our results define new opportunities for the development of anti-cancer treatments targeting these tumor-promoting immune cells.

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