Netherlands Cancer Institute

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Netherlands Cancer Institute

Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Neefjes J.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | van der Kant R.,University of California at San Diego
Trends in Neurosciences | Year: 2014

The past decade has seen an explosion of DNA sequencing activities and many mutations and genetic variances underlying neurological and neurodegenerative diseases have been determined. This wealth of genetic data is now placed in molecular pathways revealing the nodes that underlie the disrupted processes. Many mutations in neurological diseases affect proteins controlling endosomal/lysosomal transport. Although the age of onset of these diseases range from juvenile [i.e., Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) and Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease] to late onset (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease), deregulation of endosomal transport is a common theme. This review summarizes how elucidating the genetic basis for the various neurological diseases has advanced our understanding of the endo-lysosomal system and why the various mutations all translate into similar disease phenotypes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Linnemann C.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Linnemann C.,Netherlands Cancer Institute
Nature medicine | Year: 2015

Tumor-specific neo-antigens that arise as a consequence of mutations are thought to be important for the therapeutic efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. Accumulating evidence suggests that neo-antigens may be commonly recognized by intratumoral CD8+ T cells, but it is unclear whether neo-antigen-specific CD4+ T cells also frequently reside within human tumors. In view of the accepted role of tumor-specific CD4+ T-cell responses in tumor control, we addressed whether neo-antigen-specific CD4+ T-cell reactivity is a common property in human melanoma.

Schumacher T.N.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | Schreiber R.D.,University of Washington
Science | Year: 2015

The clinical relevance of Tcells in the control of a diverse set of human cancers is now beyond doubt. However, the nature of the antigens that allow the immune system to distinguish cancer cells from noncancer cells has long remained obscure. Recent technological innovations have made it possible to dissect the immune response to patient-specific neoantigens that arise as a consequence of tumor-specific mutations, and emerging data suggest that recognition of such neoantigens is a major factor in the activity of clinical immunotherapies.These observations indicate that neoantigen load may form a biomarker in cancer immunotherapy and provide an incentive for the development of novel therapeutic approaches that selectively enhance Tcell reactivity against this class of antigens.

Van Steensel B.,Netherlands Cancer Institute
EMBO Journal | Year: 2011

Chromatin is the ensemble of genomic DNA and a large number of proteins. Various genome-wide mapping techniques have begun to reveal that, despite the tremendous complexity, chromatin organization is governed by simple principles. This review discusses the principles that drive the spatial architecture of chromatin, as well as genome-wide-binding patterns of chromatin proteins. © 2011 European Molecular Biology Organization | All Rights Reserved.

Bouwman P.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | Jonkers J.,Netherlands Cancer Institute
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2012

Tumours with specific DNA repair defects can be completely dependent on back-up DNA repair pathways for their survival. This dependence can be exploited therapeutically to induce synthetic lethality in tumour cells. For instance, homologous recombination (HR)-deficient tumours can be effectively targeted by DNA double-strand break-inducing agents. However, not all HR-defective tumours respond equally well to this type of therapy. Tumour cells may acquire resistance by invoking biochemical mechanisms that reduce drug action or by acquiring additional alterations in DNA damage response pathways. A thorough understanding of these processes is important for predicting treatment response and for the development of novel treatment strategies that prevent the emergence of therapy-resistant tumours. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Bernards R.,Netherlands Cancer Institute
Cell | Year: 2012

Genotype-directed therapy holds great promise for the treatment of cancer, but crosstalk between signaling pathways often confounds simple genotype-drug response relationships. To deliver on the promise of precision medicine, a coordinated effort is needed to make a comprehensive inventory of the many signaling feedback circuits that exist in cancer cells. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are epigenetic erasers of lysine-acetyl marks. Inhibition of HDACs using small molecule inhibitors (HDACi) is a potential strategy in the treatment of various diseases and is approved for treating hematological malignancies. Harnessing the therapeutic potential of HDACi requires knowledge of HDAC-function in vivo. Here, we generated a thymocyte-specific gradient of HDAC-activity using compound conditional knockout mice for Hdac1 and Hdac2. Unexpectedly, gradual loss of HDAC-activity engendered a dosage-dependent accumulation of immature thymocytes and correlated with the incidence and latency of monoclonal lymphoblastic thymic lymphomas. Strikingly, complete ablation of Hdac1 and Hdac2 abrogated lymphomagenesis due to a block in early thymic development. Genomic, biochemical and functional analyses of pre-leukemic thymocytes and tumors revealed a critical role for Hdac1/Hdac2-governed HDAC-activity in regulating a p53-dependent barrier to constrain Myc-overexpressing thymocytes from progressing into lymphomas by regulating Myc-collaborating genes. One Myc-collaborating and p53-suppressing gene, Jdp2, was derepressed in an Hdac1/2-dependent manner and critical for the survival of Jdp2-overexpressing lymphoma cells. Although reduced HDAC-activity facilitates oncogenic transformation in normal cells, resulting tumor cells remain highly dependent on HDAC-activity, indicating that a critical level of Hdac1 and Hdac2 governed HDAC-activity is required for tumor maintenance.

Bickmore W.A.,University of Edinburgh | Van Steensel B.,Netherlands Cancer Institute
Cell | Year: 2013

The architecture of interphase chromosomes is important for the regulation of gene expression and genome maintenance. Chromosomes are linearly segmented into hundreds of domains with different protein compositions. Furthermore, the spatial organization of chromosomes is nonrandom and is characterized by many local and long-range contacts among genes and other sequence elements. A variety of genome-wide mapping techniques have made it possible to chart these properties at high resolution. Combined with microscopy and computational modeling, the results begin to yield a more coherent picture that integrates linear and three-dimensional (3D) views of chromosome organization in relation to gene regulation and other nuclear functions. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Breast cancers demonstrate substantial biological, clinical and etiological heterogeneity. We investigated breast cancer risk associations of eight susceptibility loci identified in GWAS and two putative susceptibility loci in candidate genes in relation to specific breast tumor subtypes. Subtypes were defined by five markers (ER, PR, HER2, CK5/6, EGFR) and other pathological and clinical features. Analyses included up to 30 040 invasive breast cancer cases and 53 692 controls from 31 studies within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. We confirmed previous reports of stronger associations with ER+ than ER- tumors for six of the eight loci identified in GWAS: rs2981582 (10q26) (P-heterogeneity = 6.1 × 10(-18)), rs3803662 (16q12) (P = 3.7 × 10(-5)), rs13281615 (8q24) (P = 0.002), rs13387042 (2q35) (P = 0.006), rs4973768 (3p24) (P = 0.003) and rs6504950 (17q23) (P = 0.002). The two candidate loci, CASP8 (rs1045485, rs17468277) and TGFB1 (rs1982073), were most strongly related with the risk of PR negative tumors (P = 5.1 × 10(-6) and P = 4.1 × 10(-4), respectively), as previously suggested. Four of the eight loci identified in GWAS were associated with triple negative tumors (P ≤ 0.016): rs3803662 (16q12), rs889312 (5q11), rs3817198 (11p15) and rs13387042 (2q35); however, only two of them (16q12 and 2q35) were associated with tumors with the core basal phenotype (P ≤ 0.002). These analyses are consistent with different biological origins of breast cancers, and indicate that tumor stratification might help in the identification and characterization of novel risk factors for breast cancer subtypes. This may eventually result in further improvements in prevention, early detection and treatment.

Bernards R.,Netherlands Cancer Institute
Current Opinion in Genetics and Development | Year: 2014

Intrinsic or acquired drug resistance often limits the success of cancer treatment. Loss of function genetic screens can help identify mechanisms of drug resistance and thereby deliver strategies to combat resistance. A further application of these genetic screens is the identification of drug targets whose inactivation is only effective in a specific context. This synthetic lethality approach enables the identification of drugs that act only in cancer cells having a cancer-specific mutation and the discovery of potent combination therapies. This review focuses on the question how functional genetic screens can help to improve the treatment of cancer. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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