Childrens Cancer Research Institute

Sankt Anna am Aigen, Austria

Childrens Cancer Research Institute

Sankt Anna am Aigen, Austria
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Bennani-Baiti I.M.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute | MacHado I.,University of Valencia | Llombart-Bosch A.,University of Valencia | Kovar H.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute
Human Pathology | Year: 2012

Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (GeneID 23028), a flavin-dependent monoamine oxidoreductase and a histone demethylase, serves as an epigenetic coregulator of transcription. Lysine-specific demethylase 1 is up-regulated in neuroblastoma and in bladder, breast, colorectal, gastric, lung, and neuroendocrine cancers, and its overexpression drives the cell cycle of otherwise nontransformed human cells, suggesting oncogenic properties. Lysine-specific demethylase 1 was recently reported to be also overexpressed in several different mesenchymal tumors. We investigated lysine-specific demethylase 1 expression in over 500 sarcomas by gene expression profiling and tissue microarray-coupled immunohistochemical analyses and confirmed lysine-specific demethylase 1 overexpression in rhabdomyosarcoma and synovial sarcoma. We also show for the first time that lysine-specific demethylase 1 is also overexpressed in chondrosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, and osteosarcoma wherein it localizes in cell nuclei. We further show that a US Food and Drug Administration-approved drug that inhibits lysine-specific demethylase 1 also inhibits chondrosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, osteosarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma cell growth in vitro. These data suggest that lysine-specific demethylase 1 plays a role in sarcoma pathology and that lysine-specific demethylase 1 inhibition strategies might represent a novel means to inhibiting growth of lysine-specific demethylase 1-overexpressing sarcomas. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Bennani-Baiti B.,University of Vienna | Bennani-Baiti I.M.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute
Gene | Year: 2012

Several gene databases, including heavily used ones such as the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database, erroneously assign, on occasion, literature references to genes or proteins. These mistakes are mostly due to an overlap in gene aliases, whereby two distinct genes share a pseudonym. This is particularly confusing when the gene products have also biological properties in common, are part of signaling pathways that cross-talk to one another, or are regulated by the same effectors. We present examples spanning several research fields including apoptosis, ubiquitin-dependent degradation, signaling by Notch, Wnt, and small G proteins, transporters of glutathione conjugates of electrophiles, and mitochondrial and ribosomal RNA genes. To solve the problem, we argue in favor of including Entrez gene numbers in papers submitted for publication as unique gene identifiers to allow precise identification of genes and species studied. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Heitzeneder S.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute | Seidel M.,St Anna Childrens Hospital | Forster-Waldl E.,St Anna Childrens Hospital | Forster-Waldl E.,Medical University of Vienna | Heitger A.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute
Clinical Immunology | Year: 2012

Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency has been classified as a commonly occurring immune disorder, affecting approximately 30% of the human population. MBL, being part of the innate immune system, supports the recognition of infectious pathogens by binding to carbohydrate moieties expressed on microorganisms and activates the lectin pathway of the complement system. MBL2 gene polymorphisms are associated with quantitative and qualitative MBL abnormalities in the serum. The clinical impact of MBL deficiency and its association to a wide variety of diseases has been extensively studied. The picture is puzzling as the studies suggest a detrimental or beneficial or no impact of low or high MBL serum levels on disease susceptibility. In this review we attempt to extract what is relevant from the literature and address controversial issues. We finally suggest that a comprehensive understanding of the role of MBL in human diseases requires considering its context-dependency. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Lawitschka A.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute | Ball L.,Leiden University | Peters C.,St Anna Childrens Hospital
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2012

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative treatment for many children with life-threatening diseases. One of the most significant long-term complications of transplantation is chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Although the rates of cGVHD after HSCT are lower in the pediatric population than in adults, cGVHD remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Medicines used to prevent and treat cGVHD remain unsatisfactory, with protracted use of immune suppression necessary and high rates of first-line treatment failure. Efforts to improve salvage treatment are urgently required. Nonpharmacologic strategies attempt to modulate the cellular inflammation response and possibly allow reduction or cessation of immunosuppressive drugs. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have been shown invitro to mediate a wide variety of immune responses. MSC have been used in the prophylaxis of acute GVHD (aGVHD) and for the treatment of established steroid refractory aGVHD and, more recently, in the management of cGVHD. Extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP) has shown promising efficacy in graft-versus-host disease, and may allow a significant reduction in the use of systemic steroids and other immunosuppressants, reducing long-term morbidity and mortality. The accumulated experience shows ECP to be well tolerated, with no clinically significant side effects. © 2012 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Kovar H.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute
Genome Medicine | Year: 2010

Ewing's sarcoma family tumors are a good example of how genome research has advanced our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of an otherwise enigmatic disease. This group of embryonal bone tumors is characterized by the expression of a chimeric ETS-family oncogene, predominantly EWS/FLI1. There is now convincing evidence for a mesenchymal descent from an early pluripotent progenitor. EWS/FLI1 has been shown to drive proliferation of Ewing's sarcoma cells and block most of the differentiation potential except for a partial neural gene expression program. The EWS/FLI1 fusion protein acts mainly as a gene activator, directly interacting with chromatin at two kinds of binding site: distant enhancers enriched in GGAA microsatellites, and proximal promoters containing classical ETS-binding motifs and recognition motifs for other transcription factors. EWS/FLI1 also represses a large number of genes, mainly indirectly, presumably by altering microRNA expression and epigenetic mechanisms, and potentially affecting post-transcriptional gene regulation. Modulation of EWS/FLI1 expression is not only a desirable therapeutic goal, but may also occur under physiological conditions and influence the course of the disease. © 2010 BioMed Central Ltd.

Riedmann L.T.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute | Schwentner R.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute
RNA Biology | Year: 2010

Since the discovery of the first microRNA (miRNA) family member lin-4 in Caenorhabditis elegans by Lee et al. and RNA interference (RNAi) by Andrew Fire and his colleagues in the 1990s, the new field of regulatory non-coding RNAs has enormously gained momentum and importance. Small regulatory RNAs comprise small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), miRNAs and Piwi-associated small RNAs (piRNAs). generated from double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), siRNAs trigger sequence-specific mRNA decay also known as RNA interference (RNAi). miRNAs in association with Argonaute (AGO) and GW182 proteins, forming the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), mediate fine tuning of gene expression and are involved in various biological key processes. An estimate of 500-1,000 miRNA genes exist in vertebrates and plants and about 100 in invertebrates. Each miRNA is predicted to target hundreds of mRNAs thus influencing key regulatory mechanisms of the cell. Consequently, deregulated miRNA expression has been suggested to contribute to the initiation and progression of human cancer and other diseases. piRNAs associated with piwi proteins protect the animal germline from mobile genetic elements, thereby acting as a small RNA-based immune system. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.

Bennani-Baiti I.M.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute
Epigenomics | Year: 2011

Sarcomas comprise a large number of rare, histogenetically heterogeneous, mesenchymal tumors. Cancers such as Ewing's sarcoma, liposarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and synovial sarcoma can be generated by the transduction of mesenchymal stem cell progenitors with sarcoma-pathognomonic oncogenic fusions, a neoplastic transformation process accompanied by profound locus-specific and pangenomic epigenetic alterations. The epigenetic activities of histone-modifying and chromatin-remodeling enzymes such as SUV39H1/KMT1A, EZH2/KMT6A and BMI1 are central to epigenetic-regulated transformation, a property we coin oncoepigenic. Sarcoma-specific oncoepigenic aberrations modulate critical signaling pathways that control cell growth and differentiation including several miRNAs, Wnt, PI3K/AKT, Sav-RASSF1-Hpo and regulators of the G1 and G2/M checkpoints of the cell cycle. Herein an overview of the current knowledge of this rapidly evolving field that will undoubtedly uncover additional oncoepigenic mechanisms and yield druggable targets in the near future is discussed. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.

Heitger A.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2011

In the human immune system, IDO expression and activity (IDO competence), are preferentially found in the antigenpresenting cell population, of which dendritic cells (DCs) represent an essential part. As will be comprehensively reviewed, IDO competence in human DCs, in general, is induced by molecules such as interferon-, which otherwise initiate immunity. IDO activity therefore, can be interpreted as a negative feedback pathway that limits uncontrolled immune responses. Because of its potent immunosuppressive effects (down-regulation of T cell responses or the expansion of T cell regulatory activity), IDO competence in human DCs is tightly regulated, at the transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels. I will critically discuss the experimental prerequisites and limits of attributing IDO competence to a mechanism of immunosuppression and examine, whether IDO competence itself can be viewed as mediating immunosuppression, or as representing one component among other immunosuppressive factors, involved in tolerogenic function of DCs. Finally, the newly emerging concepts of manipulating IDO competence as a therapy for either augmenting immune responses, such as in cancer, or down-regulating immune responses, such as in transplantation, will be summarized. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Kovar H.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute
Sarcoma | Year: 2011

FUS, EWS, and TAF15 form the FET family of RNA-binding proteins whose genes are found rearranged with various transcription factor genes predominantly in sarcomas and in rare hematopoietic and epithelial cancers. The resulting fusion gene products have attracted considerable interest as diagnostic and promising therapeutic targets. So far, oncogenic FET fusion proteins have been regarded as strong transcription factors that aberrantly activate or repress target genes of their DNA-binding fusion partners. However, the role of the transactivating domain in the context of the normal FET proteins is poorly defined, and, therefore, our knowledge on how FET aberrations impact on tumor biology is incomplete. Since we believe that a full understanding of aberrant FET protein function can only arise from looking at both sides of the coin, the good and the evil, this paper summarizes evidence for the central function of FET proteins in bridging RNA transcription, processing, transport, and DNA repair. Copyright © 2011 Heinrich Kovar.

Dmytrus J.,Childrens Cancer Research Institute
Bone Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2016

Flow cytometric routine CD34 analysis enumerates hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells irrespective of their subpopulations although this might predict engraftment dynamics and immune reconstitution. We established a multi-color CD34 assay containing CD133, CD45RA, CD10, CD38 and CD33. We examined PBSC, donor bone marrow (BMd) and BM of patients 1 year after allografting (BM1y) regarding their CD34 subset composition, which differed significantly amongst those materials: the early CD45RA-CD133+CD38low subpopulations were significantly more frequent in PBSC than in BMd, and very low in BM1y. Vice versa, clearly more committed CD34 stages prevailed in BM, particularly in BM1y where the proportion of multi-lymphoid and CD38++ B-lymphoid precursors was highest (mean 59%). CD33 was expressed at different intensity on CD45RA-CD133- subsets allowing discrimination of earlier from more committed myeloid precursors. Compared with conventional CD34+ cell enumeration, the presented multi-color phenotyping is a qualitative approach defining different CD34 subtypes in any CD34 source. Its potential impact to predict engraftment kinetics and immune reconstitution has to be evaluated in future studies.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 4 April 2016; doi:10.1038/bmt.2016.88. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited

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