MRC Holland

Amsterdam, Netherlands

MRC Holland

Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Van Gisbergen K.P.J.M.,Sanquin Research | Yigittop H.,MRC Holland | Nolte M.A.,Sanquin Research | Van Lier R.A.W.,Sanquin Research
Blood | Year: 2012

The efficiency of humoral immune responses depends on the selective outgrowth of B cells and plasmacells that produce high affinity antibodies. The factors responsible for affinity maturation of B cell clones in the germinal center (GC) have been well established but selection mechanisms that allow clones to enter the GC are largely unknown. Here we identify apoptosis, regulated by the proapoptotic BH3-only member Noxa (Pmaip1), as a critical factor for the selection of high-affinity clones during B cell expansion after antigen triggering. Noxa is induced in activated B cells, and its ablation provides a survival advantage both in vitro and in vivo. After immunization or influenza infection, Noxa -/- mice display enlarged GCs, in which B cells with reduced antigen affinity accumulate. As a consequence, Noxa -/- mice mount low affinity antibody responses compared with wild-type animals. Importantly, the low affinity responses correlate with increased immunoglobulin diversity, and cannot be corrected by booster immunization. Thus, normal elimination of low affinity cells favors outgrowth of the remaining high-affinity clones, and this is mandatory for the generation of proper antibody responses. Manipulation of this process may alter the breadth of antibody responses after immunization. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.


Romero O.A.,Genes and Cancer Group | Torres-Diz M.,Genes and Cancer Group | Pros E.,Genes and Cancer Group | Savola S.,MRC Holland | And 10 more authors.
Cancer Discovery | Year: 2014

Our knowledge of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) genetics is still very limited, ampli-fication of L-MYC, N-MYC, and C-MYC being some of the well-established gene alterations. Here, we report our discovery of tumor-specific inactivation of the MYC-associated factor X gene, MAX, in SCLC. MAX inactivation is mutually exclusive with alterations of MYC and BRG1, the latter coding for an ATPase of the switch/sucrose nonfermentable (SWI/SNF) complex. We demonstrate that BRG1 regulates the expression of MAX through direct recruitment to the MAX promoter, and that depletion of BRG1 strongly hinders cell growth, specifically in MAX-deficient cells, heralding a synthetic lethal interaction. Furthermore, MAX requires BRG1 to activate neuroendocrine transcriptional programs and to upregulate MYC targets, such as glycolysis-related genes. Finally, inactivation of the MAX dimerization protein, MGA, was also observed in both non-small cell lung cancer and SCLC. Our results provide evidence that an aberrant SWI/SNF-MYC network is essential for lung cancer development. SIGNIFICANCE: We discovered that the MYC-associated factor X gene, MAX, is inactivated in SCLCs. Furthermore, we revealed a preferential toxicity of the inactivation of the chromatin remodeler BRG1 in MAX-deficient lung cancer cells, which opens novel therapeutic possibilities for the treatment of patients with SCLC with MAX-deficient tumors. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.


Creytens D.,Ghent University | Van Gorp J.,Diakonessenhuis Utrecht | Savola S.,MRC Holland | Ferdinande L.,Ghent University | And 2 more authors.
Virchows Archiv | Year: 2014

We studied a series of spindle cell lipomas arising in atypical sites and showing unusual morphologic features (which we called atypical spindle cell lipoma) to assess if these lesions have the same chromosomal alterations as classical spindle cell lipoma but different from those found in atypical lipomatous tumor/well-differentiated liposarcoma. We investigated alterations of different genes in the 13q14 region and the amplification status of the MDM2 and CDK4 genes at 12q14-15 by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis. In the atypical spindle cell lipomas, MLPA revealed deletions in the two nearest flanking genes of RB1 (ITM2B and RCBTB2) and in multiple important exons of RB1. In contrast, in classical spindle cell lipomas, a less complex loss of RB1 exons was found but no deletion of ITM2B and RCBTB2. Moreover, MLPA identified a deletion of the DLEU1 gene, a finding which has not been reported earlier. We propose an immunohistochemical panel for lipomatous tumors which comprises of MDM2, CDK4, p16, Rb, which we have found useful in discriminating between atypical or classical spindle cell lipomas and other adipocytic neoplasms, especially atypical lipomatous tumor/well-differentiated liposarcoma. Our findings strengthen the link between atypical spindle cell lipoma and classical spindle cell lipoma, and differentiate them from atypical lipomatous tumor/well-differentiated liposarcoma. © 2014 Springer-Verlag.


Bunyan D.J.,Salisbury District Hospital | Callaway J.L.A.,Salisbury District Hospital | Laddach N.,MRC Holland
Journal of Reproduction and Infertility | Year: 2012

Background: In recent studies, partial deletions of the azoospermia factor c region (AZFc) on the Y-chromosome have been detected in males with infertility problems. However, there has been a lot of debate about their significance. In order to study such deletions, a simple but accurate method for their detection was applied in this study. Methods: We present data obtained from the Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) assay using a new Y-chromosome-specific MLPA probemix (P360) which allows the easy detection of partial AZFc deletions. Results: Partial AZFc deletions were detected in 8% of our cohort of previously mutation-negative infertile males (and 0% of the fertile control cohort). Conclusion: These results provide further evidence of the causality of partial AZFc deletions. None of the partial AZFc deletions were detectable by the standard multiplex PCR method, demonstrating the advantage of the MLPA method.


Sahi H.,University of Helsinki | Savola S.,MRC Holland | Sihto H.,University of Helsinki | Koljonen V.,University of Helsinki | And 2 more authors.
APMIS | Year: 2015

Sequestration of the tumor suppressor retinoblastoma protein (RB) by the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) is a crucial step in the pathogenesis of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). RB expression is frequently lost, particularly in MCV-negative MCC tumors, through yet unknown mechanisms. We compared the genomic copy number changes of 13 MCV-positive and 13 -negative MCC tumors by array comparative genomic hybridization. The analysis revealed increased genomic instability, amplification of 1p34.3-1p34.2, and losses of 11p in the absence of MCV infection. Deletions of the RB1 locus were also detected at high rates in MCV-negative tumors. None of the tumors with heterozygous RB1 losses expressed RB in immunohistochemistry. RB1 promoter hypermethylation was studied with a methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification technique. The RB1 promoter was methylated in all tumor specimens at CpG islands located close to the ATG start codon, albeit at low levels. The pattern of hypermethylation was similar in all MCC samples, despite RB expression, survival or MCV status. In conclusion, the frequent heterozygous losses of the RB1 locus could partly explain the decreased RB expression in MCV-negative MCC tumors, although the effects of RB1 mutations, coinciding promoter hypermethylation and, for example, miRNA regulation, cannot be excluded. © 2014 APMIS.


Sandell S.,Salisbury District Hospital | Schuit R.J.L.,MRC Holland | Bunyan D.J.,Salisbury District Hospital
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Background:A cohort of 629 patients with suspected Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome or Cowden syndrome was tested for mutations in the PTEN gene.Methods:Dosage analysis of PTEN was carried out using a PTEN-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) kit, whereas point mutation analysis was performed using direct sequencing.Results:Approximately 4% of the patients from the testing cohort were heterozygously deleted for the two MLPA probe-binding sites situated in intron 1. The same deletion was subsequently seen in ∼3% of 220 normal controls, and in patients from the testing cohort with a causative mutation elsewhere in the PTEN gene. Sequencing of the variant revealed an 899 bp deletion, the 3′ breakpoint of which is only 58 bp from the start of exon 2.Conclusion:Although all evidence suggests that the 899 bp deletion is a polymorphism with no clinical effect, it removes the binding sites of almost all published PTEN exon 2 forward primers, resulting in allelic loss during PCR. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.


Bowman M.,Oxford Genetics | Oldridge M.,Oxford Genetics | Archer C.,Oxford Genetics | O'Rourke A.,Oxford Genetics | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2012

Treacher-Collins-Franceschetti syndrome (TCS) is an autosomal dominant craniofacial disorder characterised by midface hypoplasia, micrognathia, downslanting palpebral fissures, eyelid colobomata, and ear deformities that often lead to conductive deafness. A total of 182 patients with signs consistent with a diagnosis of TCS were screened by DNA sequence and dosage analysis of the TCOF1 gene. In all, 92 cases were found to have a pathogenic mutation by sequencing and 5 to have a partial gene deletion. A further case had a novel in-frame deletion in the alternatively spliced exon 6A of uncertain pathogenicity. The majority of the pathogenic sequence changes were found to predict premature protein termination, however, four novel missense changes in the LIS1 homology motif at the 5′ end of the gene were identified. The partial gene deletions of different sizes represent 5.2% of all the pathogenic TCOF1 mutations identified, indicating that gene rearrangements account for a significant proportion of TCS cases. This is the first report of gene rearrangements resulting in TCS. These findings expand the TCOF1 mutation spectrum indicating that dosage analysis should be performed together with sequence analysis, a strategy that is predicted to have a sensitivity of 71% for patients in whom TCS is strongly suspected. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Martis S.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Mei H.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Vijzelaar R.,MRC Holland | Edelmann L.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Pharmacogenomics Journal | Year: 2013

To determine the role of CYP450 copy number variation (CNV) beyond CYP2D6, 11 CYP450 genes were interrogated by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and quantitative PCR in 542 African-American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic and Ashkenazi Jewish individuals. The CYP2A6, CYP2B6 and CYP2E1 combined deletion/duplication allele frequencies ranged from 2 to 10% in these populations. High-resolution microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) localized CYP2A6, CYP2B6 and CYP2E1 breakpoints to directly oriented low-copy repeats. Sequencing localized the CYP2B6 breakpoint to a 529-bp intron 4 region with high homology to CYP2B7P1, resulting in the CYP2B6*29 partial deletion allele and the reciprocal, and novel, CYP2B6/2B7P1 duplicated fusion allele (CYP2B6*30). Together, these data identified novel CYP450 CNV alleles (CYP2B6*30 and CYP2E1*1Cx2) and indicate that common CYP450 CNV formation is likely mediated by non-allelic homologous recombination resulting in both full gene and gene-fusion copy number imbalances. Detection of these CNVs should be considered when interrogating these genes for pharmacogenetic drug selection and dosing. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Moelans C.B.,University Utrecht | De Weger R.A.,University Utrecht | Monsuur H.N.,University Utrecht | Vijzelaar R.,MRC Holland | Van Diest P.J.,University Utrecht
Modern Pathology | Year: 2010

Several oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes have been shown to be implicated in the development, progression and response to therapy of invasive breast cancer. The phenotypic uniqueness (and thus the heterogeneity of clinical behavior) among patients tumors may be traceable to the underlying variation in gene copy number of these genes. To obtain a more complete view of gene copy number changes and their relation to phenotype, we analyzed 20 breast cancer-related genes in 104 invasive breast cancers with the use of multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). We identified MYC gene amplification in 48% of patients, PRDM14 in 34%, topoisomerase IIα (TOP2A) in 32%, ADAM9 in 32%, HER2 in 28%, cyclin D1 (CCND1) in 26%, EMSY in 25%, IKBKB in 21%, AURKA in 17%, FGFR1 in 17%, estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) in 16%, CCNE1 in 12% and EGFR in 9% of patients. There was a significant correlation between the number of amplified genes and the histological grade and mitotic index of the tumor. Gene amplifications of EGFR, CCNE1 and HER2 were negatively associated with estrogen receptor status whereas FGFR1, ADAM9, IKBKB and TOP2A revealed a positive association. Amplifications of ESR1, PRDM14, MYC and HER2 were associated with a high mitotic index, and PRDM14 and HER2 amplifications with high histological grade. MYC amplification was detected more frequently in ductal tumors and high-level MYC amplifications were significantly associated with large tumor size. HER2/MYC, HER2/CCNE1 and EGFR/MYC co-amplified tumors were significantly larger than tumors with either of these amplifications. Gene loss occurred most frequently in E-cadherin (CDH1) (20%) and FGFR1 (10%). In conclusion, MLPA analysis with this breast cancer kit allowed to simultaneously assess copy numbers of 20 important breast cancer genes, providing an overview of the most frequent (co)amplifications as well as interesting phenotypic correlations, and thereby data on the potential importance of these genes in breast cancer. © 2010 USCAP, Inc. All rights reserved.


Oonk A.M.M.,Deventer Hospital | Van Rijn C.,Deventer Hospital | Smits M.M.,Deventer Hospital | Mulder L.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | And 6 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2012

Background: We have previously reported an array comparative genomic hybridization profile that identifies triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC), with BRCA1 dysfunction and a high sensitivity to intensified dose bifunctional alkylating agents. To determine the effect of conventional-dose chemotherapy in patients with this so-called BRCA1-like profile, clinical characteristics and survival were studied in a large group of TNBC patients. Patients and methods: DNA was isolated and BRCA1-like status was assessed in 101 patients with early-stage TNBC receiving adjuvant cyclophosphamide-based chemotherapy. Clinical characteristics and survival were compared between BRCA1-like and non-BRCA1-like groups. Results: Sixty-six tumors (65%) had a BRCA1-like profile. Patients with BRCA1-like tumors tended to be younger and had more often node-negative disease (P = 0.06 and P = 0.03, respectively). Five-year recurrence-free survival was 80% for the BRCA1-like group and 75% for the non-BRCA1-like group (P = 0.35). T stage was the only variable significantly associated with survival. Conclusions: BRCA1-like tumors share clinical features, like young age at diagnosis and similar nodal status, with breast cancers in BRCA1 mutation carriers. Their prognosis is similar to that of non-BRCA1-like tumors when conventional-dose chemotherapy is administered. TNBCs that are classified as BRCA1-like may contain a defect in homologous recombination and could, in theory, benefit from the addition of poly ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

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