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De La Rosa J.,Institute Medicina Oncologica Y Molecular Of Asturias Imoma | Freije J.M.P.,Instituto Universitario Of Oncolog opa | Cabanillas R.,Institute Medicina Oncologica Y Molecular Of Asturias Imoma | Osorio F.G.,Instituto Universitario Of Oncolog opa | And 13 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

Defining the relationship between ageing and cancer is a crucial but challenging task. Mice deficient in Zmpste24, a metalloproteinase mutated in human progeria and involved in nuclear prelamin A maturation, recapitulate multiple features of ageing. However, their short lifespan and serious cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic alterations restrict the application and interpretation of carcinogenesis protocols. Here we present Zmpste24 mosaic mice that lack these limitations. Zmpste24 mosaic mice develop normally and keep similar proportions of Zmpste24-deficient (prelamin A-accumulating) and Zmpste24-proficient (mature lamin A-containing) cells throughout life, revealing that cell-extrinsic mechanisms are preeminent for progeria development. Moreover, prelamin A accumulation does not impair tumour initiation and growth, but it decreases the incidence of infiltrating oral carcinomas. Accordingly, silencing of ZMPSTE24 reduces human cancer cell invasiveness. Our results support the potential of cell-based and systemic therapies for progeria and highlight ZMPSTE24 as a new anticancer target.

Rad R.,TU Munich | Rad R.,German Cancer Research Center | Rad R.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Cadinanos J.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | And 27 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2013

We show that BRAFV600E initiates an alternative pathway to colorectal cancer (CRC), which progresses through a hyperplasia/adenoma/carcinoma sequence. This pathway underlies significant subsets of CRCs with distinctive pathomorphologic/genetic/epidemiologic/clinical characteristics. Genetic and functional analyses in mice revealed a series of stage-specific molecular alterations driving different phases of tumor evolution and uncovered mechanisms underlying this stage specificity. We further demonstrate dose-dependent effects of oncogenic signaling, with physiologic BrafV600E expression being sufficient for hyperplasia induction, but later stage intensified Mapk-signaling driving both tumor progression and activation of intrinsic tumor suppression. Such phenomena explain, for example, the inability of p53 to restrain tumor initiation as well as its importance in invasiveness control, and the late stage specificity of its somatic mutation. Finally, systematic drug screening revealed sensitivity of this CRC subtype to targeted therapeutics, including Mek or combinatorial PI3K/Braf inhibition. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Rad R.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Rad L.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Wang W.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Strong A.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | And 41 more authors.
Nature genetics | Year: 2015

Here we describe a conditional piggyBac transposition system in mice and report the discovery of large sets of new cancer genes through a pancreatic insertional mutagenesis screen. We identify Foxp1 as an oncogenic transcription factor that drives pancreatic cancer invasion and spread in a mouse model and correlates with lymph node metastasis in human patients with pancreatic cancer. The propensity of piggyBac for open chromatin also enabled genome-wide screening for cancer-relevant noncoding DNA, which pinpointed a Cdkn2a cis-regulatory region. Histologically, we observed different tumor subentities and discovered associated genetic events, including Fign insertions in hepatoid pancreatic cancer. Our studies demonstrate the power of genetic screening to discover cancer drivers that are difficult to identify by other approaches to cancer genome analysis, such as downstream targets of commonly mutated human cancer genes. These piggyBac resources are universally applicable in any tissue context and provide unique experimental access to the genetic complexity of cancer.

Fanjul-Fernandez M.,University of Oviedo | Quesada V.,University of Oviedo | Cabanillas R.,Institute Medicina Oncologica Y Molecular Of Asturias Imoma | Cadinanos J.,Institute Medicina Oncologica Y Molecular Of Asturias Imoma | And 7 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma is a frequent and significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Here we explore the biological basis of this aggressive tumour, and identify two cell-cell adhesion genes as recurrently mutated in this malignancy. We first perform exome sequencing of four laryngeal carcinomas and their matched normal tissues. Among the 569 genes found to present somatic mutations, and based on their recurrence or functional relevance in cancer, w e select 40 for further validation in 86 additional laryngeal carcinomas. We detect frequent mutations (14 of 90, 15%) in CTNNA2 and CTNNA3-encoding α-catenins. Functional studies reveal an increase in the migration and invasive ability of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells producing mutated forms of CTNNA2 and CTNNA3 or in cells where both α-catenins are silenced. Analysis of the clinical relevance of these mutations demonstrates that they are associated with poor prognosis. We conclude that CTNNA2 and CTNNA3 are tumour suppressor genes frequently mutated in laryngeal carcinomas. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

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