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Cold Spring Harbor, NY, United States

Eifert C.,University at Albany | Eifert C.,Cancer Genome Center | Wang X.,University at Albany | Kokabee L.,University at Albany | And 4 more authors.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer | Year: 2013

Tyrosine kinases orchestrate key cellular signaling pathways and their dysregulation is often associated with cellular transformation. Several recent cases in which inhibitors of tyrosine kinases have been successfully used as anticancer agents have underscored the importance of this class of proteins in the development of targeted cancer therapies. We have carried out a large-scale loss-of-function analysis of the human tyrosine kinases using RNA interference to identify novel survival factors for breast cancer cells. In addition to kinases with known roles in breast and other cancers, we identified several kinases that were previously unknown to be required for breast cancer cell survival. The most surprising of these was the cytosolic, nonreceptor tyrosine kinase, Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK), which has been extensively studied in B cell development. Down regulation of this protein with RNAi or inhibition with pharmacological inhibitors causes apoptosis; overexpression inhibits apoptosis induced by Doxorubicin in breast cancer cells. Our results surprisingly show that BTK is expressed in several breast cancer cell lines and tumors. The predominant form of BTK found in tumor cells is transcribed from an alternative promoter and results in a protein with an amino-terminal extension. This alternate form of BTK is expressed at significantly higher levels in tumorigenic breast cells than in normal breast cells. Since this protein is a survival factor for these cells, it represents both a potential marker and novel therapeutic target for breast cancer. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Eifert C.,Cancer Genome Center | Powers R.S.,Cancer Genome Center
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2012

The analysis of human cancer by genome sequencing and various types of arrays has proved that many tumours harbour hundreds of genes that are mutated or substantially altered by copy number changes. But how many of these changes are meaningful? And how can we exploit these massive data sets to yield new targets for cancer treatment? In this Opinion article, we describe emerging approaches that aim to determine which altered genes are actually contributing to cancer, as well as their potential as therapeutic targets. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

Rudalska R.,University of Tubingen | Dauch D.,University of Tubingen | Longerich T.,University of Heidelberg | McJunkin K.,Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | And 21 more authors.
Nature Medicine | Year: 2014

In solid tumors, resistance to therapy inevitably develops upon treatment with cytotoxic drugs or molecularly targeted therapies. Here, we describe a system that enables pooled shRNA screening directly in mouse hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) in vivo to identify genes likely to be involved in therapy resistance. Using a focused shRNA library targeting genes located within focal genomic amplifications of human HCC, we screened for genes whose inhibition increased the therapeutic efficacy of the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib. Both shRNA-mediated and pharmacological silencing of Mapk14 (p38α) were found to sensitize mouse HCC to sorafenib therapy and prolong survival by abrogating Mapk14-dependent activation of Mek-Erk and Atf2 signaling. Elevated Mapk14-Atf2 signaling predicted poor response to sorafenib therapy in human HCC, and sorafenib resistance of p-Mapk14-expressing HCC cells could be reverted by silencing Mapk14. Our results suggest that a combination of sorafenib and Mapk14 blockade is a promising approach to overcoming therapy resistance of human HCC. © 2014 Nature America, Inc. Source

Degenhardt Y.,Glaxosmithkline | Greshock J.,Glaxosmithkline | Laquerre S.,Glaxosmithkline | Gilmartin A.G.,Glaxosmithkline | And 15 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2010

Polo-like kinases are a family of serine threonine kinases that are critical regulators of cell cycle progression and DNA damage response. Predictive biomarkers for the Plk1-selective inhibitor GSK461364 A were identified by comparing the genomics and genetics of a panel of human cancer cell lines with their response to a drug washout followed by an outgrowth assay. In this assay, cell lines that have lost p53 expression or carry mutations in the TP53 gene tended to be more sensitive to GSK461364A. These more sensitive cell lines also had increased levels of chromosome instability, a characteristic associated with loss of p53 function. Further mechanistic studies showed that p53 wild-type (WT) and not mutant cells can activate a postmitotic tetraploidy checkpoint and arrest at pseudo-G1 state after GSK461364A treatment. RNA silencing of WT p53 increased the antiproliferative activity of GSK461364A. Furthermore, silencing of p53 or p21/CDKN1A weakened the tetraploidy checkpoint in cells that survived mitotic arrest and mitotic slippage. As many cancer therapies tend to be more effective in p53 WT patients, the higher sensitivity of p53-deficient tumors toward GSK461364A could potentially offer an opportunity to treat tumors that are refractory to other chemotherapies as well as early line therapy for these genotypes. ©2010 AACR. Source

Rajaram M.,Cancer Genome Center | Rajaram M.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | Li J.,Cancer Genome Center | Egeblad M.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2013

Many fibroblast-secreted proteins promote tumorigenicity, and several factors secreted by cancer cells have in turn been proposed to induce these proteins. It is not clear whether there are single dominant pathways underlying these interactions or whether they involve multiple pathways acting in parallel. Here, we identified 42 fibroblast-secreted factors induced by breast cancer cells using comparative genomic analysis. To determine what fraction was active in promoting tumorigenicity, we chose five representative fibroblast-secreted factors for in vivo analysis. We found that the majority (three out of five) played equally major roles in promoting tumorigenicity, and intriguingly, each one had distinct effects on the tumor microenvironment. Specifically, fibroblast-secreted amphiregulin promoted breast cancer cell survival, whereas the chemokine CCL7 stimulated tumor cell proliferation while CCL2 promoted innate immune cell infiltration and angiogenesis. The other two factors tested had minor (CCL8) or minimally (STC1) significant effects on the ability of fibroblasts to promote tumor growth. The importance of parallel interactions between fibroblasts and cancer cells was tested by simultaneously targeting fibroblast-secreted amphiregulin and the CCL7 receptor on cancer cells, and this was significantly more efficacious than blocking either pathway alone. We further explored the concept of parallel interactions by testing the extent to which induction of critical fibroblast-secreted proteins could be achieved by single, previously identified, factors produced by breast cancer cells. We found that although single factors could induce a subset of genes, even combinations of factors failed to induce the full repertoire of functionally important fibroblast-secreted proteins. Together, these results delineate a complex network of tumor-fibroblast interactions that act in parallel to promote tumorigenicity and suggest that effective anti-stromal therapeutic strategies will need to be multi-targeted. © 2013 Rajaram et al. Source

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