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Shackleton M.,Melanoma Research Laboratory | Shackleton M.,University of Melbourne
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2011

Cellular heterogeneity is a frequently noted feature of melanoma. As reported in this issue, Kupas et al. identified heterogeneous expression of receptor activator of nuclear factor-B (RANK) in melanoma cells in tumors and peripheral blood from patients. Increased expression of RANK was associated with the presence of metastatic disease and increased tumorigenicity in melanoma cells, raising the possibility that RANK signaling contributes to melanoma progression. © 2011 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.

Tikoo A.,The Surgical Center | Tikoo A.,University of Melbourne | Roh V.,The Surgical Center | Montgomery K.G.,The Surgical Center | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

PIK3CA, the gene coding for the p110α subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, is frequently mutated in a variety of human tumors including breast cancers. To better understand the role of mutant PIK3CA in the initiation and/or progression of breast cancer, we have generated mice with a conditional knock-in of the common activating mutation, Pik3caH1047R, into one allele of the endogenous gene in the mammary gland. These mice developed a ductal anaplasia and hyperplasia by 6 weeks of age characterized by multi-layering of the epithelial lining of the mammary ducts and expansion of the luminal progenitor (Lin-; CD29lo; CD24+; CD61+) cell population. The Pik3caH1047R expressing mice eventually develop mammary tumors with 100% penetrance but with a long latency (>12 months). This is significantly longer than has been reported for transgenic models where expression of the mutant Pik3ca is driven by an exogenous promoter. Histological analysis of the tumors formed revealed predominantly ERα-positive fibroadenomas, carcinosarcomas and sarcomas. In vitro induction of Pik3caH1047R in immortalized mammary epithelial cells also resulted in tumor formation when injected into the mammary fat pad of immunodeficient recipient mice. This novel model, which reproduces the scenario of a heterozygous somatic mutation occurring in the endogenous PIK3CA gene, will thus be a valuable tool for investigating the role of Pik3caH1047R mutation in mammary tumorigenesis both in vivo and in vitro. © 2012 Tikoo et al.

McGrath M.J.,Monash University | Binge L.C.,Monash University | Sriratana A.,Monash University | Wang H.,Monash University | And 12 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

It is now clear that progression from localized prostate cancer to incurable castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is driven by continued androgen receptor (AR), signaling independently of androgen. Thus, there remains a strong rationale to suppress AR activity as the single most important therapeutic goal in CRPC treatment. Although the expression of ligand-independent AR splice variants confers resistance to AR-targeted therapy and progression to lethal castrate-resistant cancer, the molecular regulators of AR activity in CRPC remain unclear, in particular those pathways that potentiate the function of mutant AR in CRPC. Here, we identify FHL2 as a novel coactivator of ligand-independent AR variants that are important in CRPC. We show that the nuclear localization of FHL2 and coactivation of the AR is driven by calpain cleavage of the cytoskeletal protein filamin, a pathway that shows differential activation in prostate epithelial versus prostate cancer cell lines.Wefurther identify a novel FHL2-AR-filamin transcription complex, revealing how deregulation of this axis promotes the constitutive, ligand-independent activation of AR variants, which are present in CRPC. Critically, the calpain-cleaved filamin fragment and FHL2 are present in the nucleus only in CRPC and not benign prostate tissue or localized prostate cancer. Thus, our work provides mechanistic insight into the enhanced AR activation, most notably of the recently identified AR variants, including AR-V7 that drives CRPC progression. Furthermore, our results identify the first disease-specific mechanism for deregulation of FHL2 nuclear localization during cancer progression. These results offer general import beyond prostate cancer, given that nuclear FHL2 is characteristic of other human cancers where oncogenic transcription factors that drive disease are activated like the AR in prostate cancer. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.

Ooms L.M.,Monash University | Binge L.C.,Monash University | Davies E.M.,Monash University | Rahman P.,Monash University | And 16 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2015

Metastasis is the major cause of breast cancer mortality. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) generated PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 activates AKT, which promotes breast cancer cell proliferation and regulates migration. To date, none of the inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatases that inhibit PI3K/AKT signaling have been reported as tumor suppressors in breast cancer. Here, we show depletion of the inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase PIPP (INPP5J) increases breast cancer cell transformation, but reduces cell migration and invasion. Pipp ablation accelerates oncogene-driven breast cancer tumor growth in vivo, but paradoxically reduces metastasis by regulating AKT1-dependent tumor cell migration. PIPP mRNA expression is reduced in human ER-negative breast cancers associated with reduced long-term outcome. Collectively, our findings identify PIPP as a suppressor of oncogenic PI3K/AKT signaling in breast cancer. Ooms et al. identify the inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase PIPP as a suppressor of oncogenic PI3K/AKT signaling in breast cancer. PIPP depletion increases transformation and accelerates oncogene-driven tumor growth in vivo, while paradoxically reducing cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Schroder J.,Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research | Schroder J.,University of Melbourne | Hsu A.,Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research | Hsu A.,University of Melbourne | And 15 more authors.
Bioinformatics | Year: 2014

Motivation: Methods for detecting somatic genome rearrangements in tumours using next-generation sequencing are vital in cancer genomics. Available algorithms use one or more sources of evidence, such as read depth, paired-end reads or split reads to predict structural variants. However, the problem remains challenging due to the significant computational burden and high false-positive or false-negative rates.Results: In this article, we present Socrates (SOft Clip re-alignment To idEntify Structural variants), a highly efficient and effective method for detecting genomic rearrangements in tumours that uses only split-read data. Socrates has single-nucleotide resolution, identifies micro-homologies and untemplated sequence at break points, has high sensitivity and high specificity and takes advantage of parallelism for efficient use of resources. We demonstrate using simulated and real data that Socrates performs well compared with a number of existing structural variant detection tools. © 2014 The Author.

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