Finnish Cancer Institute

Helsinki, Finland

Finnish Cancer Institute

Helsinki, Finland
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Heikkinen T.,University of Helsinki | Kampjarvi K.,University of Helsinki | Keskitalo S.,University of Helsinki | von Nandelstadh P.,University of Helsinki | And 16 more authors.
Human Mutation | Year: 2017

MED12 is a key component of the transcription-regulating Mediator complex. Specific missense and in-frame insertion/deletion mutations in exons 1 and 2 have been identified in uterine leiomyomas, breast tumors, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Here, we characterize the first MED12 5′ end nonsense mutation (c.97G>T, p.E33X) identified in acute lymphoblastic leukemia and show that it escapes nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) by using an alternative translation initiation site. The resulting N-terminally truncated protein is unable to enter the nucleus due to the lack of identified nuclear localization signal (NLS). The absence of NLS prevents the mutant MED12 protein to be recognized by importin-α and subsequent loading into the nuclear pore complex. Due to this mislocalization, all interactions between the MED12 mutant and other Mediator components are lost. Our findings provide new mechanistic insights into the MED12 functions and indicate that somatic nonsense mutations in early exons may avoid NMD. © 2016 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.


Turunen S.P.,Karolinska Institutet | Tatti-Bugaeva O.,University of Helsinki | Lehti K.,Karolinska Institutet | Lehti K.,University of Helsinki | Lehti K.,Finnish Cancer Institute
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research | Year: 2017

Membrane-type matrix metalloproteases (MT-MMP) are pivotal regulators of cell invasion, growth and survival. Tethered to the cell membranes by a transmembrane domain or GPI-anchor, the six MT-MMPs can exert these functions via cell surface-associated extracellular matrix degradation or proteolytic protein processing, including shedding or release of signaling receptors, adhesion molecules, growth factors and other pericellular proteins. By interactions with signaling scaffold or cytoskeleton, the C-terminal cytoplasmic tail of the transmembrane MT-MMPs further extends their functionality to signaling or structural relay. MT-MMPs are differentially expressed in cancer. The most extensively studied MMP14/MT1-MMP is induced in various cancers along malignant transformation via pathways activated by mutations in tumor suppressors or proto-oncogenes and changes in tumor microenvironment including cellular heterogeneity, extracellular matrix composition, tissue oxygenation, and inflammation. Classically such induction involves transcriptional programs related to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Besides inhibition by endogenous tissue inhibitors, MT-MMP activities are spatially and timely regulated at multiple levels by microtubular vesicular trafficking, dimerization/oligomerization, other interactions and localization in the actin-based invadosomes, in both tumor and the stroma. The functions of MT-MMPs are multifaceted within reciprocal cellular responses in the evolving tumor microenvironment, which poses the importance of these proteases beyond the central function as matrix scissors, and necessitates us to rethink MT-MMPs as dynamic signaling proteases of cancer. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Matrix Metalloproteinases edited by Rafael Fridman. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Aavikko M.,Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research | Kaasinen E.,Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research | Nieminen J.K.,Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare | Byun M.,Rockefeller University | And 26 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Background. Classic Kaposi sarcoma (cKS) is an inflammatory tumor caused by human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) commonly observed in elderly men of Mediterranean origin. We studied a Finnish family of 5 affected individuals in 2 generations. Except for atypical mycobacterial infection of the index case, the affected individuals did not have notable histories of infection. Methods. We performed genome and exome sequencing and mapped shared chromosomal regions to identify genetic predisposition in the family. Results. We identified 12 protein-coding candidate variants that segregated in the 3 affected cousins from whom we had samples. The affected mother of the index case was an obligatory carrier. Among the 12 candidates was a rare heterozygous substitution rs141331848 (c.1337C>T, p.Thr446Ile) in the DNA-binding domain of STAT4. The variant was not present in 242 Finnish control genomes or 180 additional regional controls. Activated T-helper cells from the HHV-8-negative variant carriers showed reduced interferon γ production, compared with age and sex matched wild-type individuals. We screened STAT4 in additional 18 familial KS cases and the variant site from 56 sporadic KS cases but detected no pathogenic mutations. Conclusions. Our data suggest that STAT4 is a potential cKS-predisposition gene, but further functional and genetic validation is needed. © 2014 The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.


Hyvonen M.,University of Helsinki | Enback J.,University of Helsinki | Huhtala T.,University of Eastern Finland | Lammi J.,University of Helsinki | And 10 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2014

Malignant gliomas are associated with high mortality due to infiltrative growth, recurrence, and malignant progression. Even with the most efficient therapy combinations, median survival of the glioblastoma multiforme (grade 4) patients is less than 15 months. Therefore, new treatment approaches are urgently needed. We describe here identification of a novel homing peptide that recognizes tumor vessels and invasive tumor satellites in glioblastomas. We demonstrate successful brain tumor imaging using radiolabeled peptide in whole-body SPECT/CT imaging. Peptide-targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics prolonged the lifespan of mice bearing invasive brain tumors and significantly reduced the number of tumor satellites compared with the free drug. Moreover, we identified mammary-derived growth inhibitor (MDGI/H-FABP/FABP3) as the interacting partner for our peptide on brain tumor tissue. MDGI was expressed in human brain tumor specimens in a grade-dependent manner and its expression positively correlated with the histologic grade of the tumor, suggesting MDGI as a novel marker for malignant gliomas. Mol Cancer Ther; 13(4); 996-1007. © 2014 AACR.


Wu G.H.-M.,University of Tampere | Wu G.H.-M.,National Taiwan University | Auvinen A.,University of Tampere | Auvinen A.,Finnish Cancer Institute | And 6 more authors.
Biometrical Journal | Year: 2012

To compare the survival between screen-detected and clinically detected cancers, we applied a series of non-homogeneous stochastic processes to deal with leadtime, length bias, and over-detection by using full information on detection modes obtained from the Finnish randomized controlled trial for prostate cancer screening. The results show after 9-year follow-up the hazard ratio of prostate cancer death for screen-detected cases against clinically detected cases increased from 0.24 (95% CI: 0.16-0.35) without correction for these biases, to 0.76 after correction for leadtime and length biases, and finally to 1.03 (95% CI: 0.79-1.33) for a further adjustment for over-detection. Adjustment for leadtime and length bias but no over-detection led to a 24% reduction in prostate cancer death as a result of prostate-specific antigen test. The further calibration of over-detection indicates no gain in survival of screen-detected prostate cancers (excluding over-detected case as stayer considered in the mover-stayer model) as compared with the control group in the absence of screening that is considered as the mover. However, whether the model assumption on over-detection is robust should be validated with other data sets and longer follow-up. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Sarek G.,University of Helsinki | Ma L.,University of Helsinki | Enback J.,University of Helsinki | Jarviluoma A.,University of Helsinki | And 9 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2013

Primary effusion lymphomas (PELs) are aggressive Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV)-induced malignancies with median survival time <6 months post-diagnosis. Mutations in the TP53 gene seldom occur in PELs, suggesting that genetic alterations in the TP53 are not selected during PEL progression. We have reported that p53 reactivation by an inhibitor of the p53-MDM2 interaction, Nutlin-3, induces selective and massive apoptosis in PEL cells leading to efficient anti-tumor activity in a subcutaneous xenograft model for PEL. Here, we show compelling anti-tumor activity of Nutlin-3 in the majority of intraperitoneal PEL xenografts in vivo. Interestingly, our results demonstrate that spontaneous induction of viral lytic replication in tumors could drastically attenuate the p53-dependent apoptotic response to Nutlin-3. Moreover, viral reactivation compromised p53-dependent apoptosis in PEL cells treated with genotoxic anti-cancer agents doxorubicin and etoposide. We have recently demonstrated that the Ser/Thr kinases Pim 1 and 3 are required to trigger induction of the lytic replication cascade of KSHV. We have now assessed the ability of a novel Pim kinase inhibitor to restore the Nutlin-3-induced cytotoxicity in lytic PEL cells. PEL cells induced to lytic replication by phorbol esters showed 50% inhibition of active viral replication following treatment with the Pim kinase inhibitor. Importantly, co-treatment of these cells with the kinase inhibitor and Nutlin-3 resulted in a robust restoration of the Nutlin-3-induced cell death. These results highlight the potential impact of activation of viral lytic replication on disease progression and response to treatment in KSHV-induced lymphomas. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Tatti O.,University of Helsinki | Gucciardo E.,University of Helsinki | Pekkonen P.,University of Helsinki | Holopainen T.,University of Helsinki | And 13 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Lymphatic invasion and accumulation of continuous collagen bundles around tumor cells are associated with poor melanoma prognosis, but the underlying mechanisms and molecular determinants have remained unclear. We show here that a copy-number gain or overexpression of the membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase MMP16 (MT3-MMP) is associated with poor clinical outcome, collagen bundle assembly around tumor cell nests, and lymphatic invasion. In cultured WM852 melanoma cells derived from human melanoma metastasis, silencing of MMP16 resulted in cell-surface accumulation of the MMP16 substrate MMP14 (MT1-MMP) as well as L1CAM cell adhesion molecule, identified here as a novel MMP16 substrate. When limiting the activities of these trans-membrane protein substrates toward pericellular collagen degradation, cell junction disassembly, and blood endothelial transmigration, MMP16 supported nodular-type growth of adhesive collagen-surrounded melanoma cell nests, coincidentally steering cell collectives into lymphatic vessels. These results uncover a novel mechanism in melanoma pathogenesis, whereby restricted collagen infiltration and limited mesenchymal invasion are unexpectedly associated with the properties of the most aggressive tumors, revealing MMP16 as a putative indicator of adverse melanoma prognosis. © 2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

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