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Cancer Cell [journal]
- SnapShot: Melanoma. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):706-706.e1.
- Function of BRCA1 in the DNA Damage Response Is Mediated by ADP-Ribosylation. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):693-704.
Carriers of BRCA1 germline mutations are predisposed to breast and ovarian cancers. Accumulated evidence shows that BRCA1 is quickly recruited to DNA lesions and plays an important role in the DNA damage response. However, the mechanism by which BRCA1 is recruited to DNA damage sites remains elusive. BRCA1 forms a Ring-domain heterodimer with BARD1, a major partner of BRCA1 that contains tandem BRCA1 C-terminus (BRCT) motifs. Here, we identify the BRCTs of BARD1 as a poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR)-binding module. The binding of the BARD1 BRCTs to PAR targets the BRCA1/BARD1 heterodimer to DNA damage sites. Thus, our study uncovers a PAR-dependent mechanism of rapid recruitment of BRCA1/BARD1 to DNA damage sites.
- EZH2 Is Required for Germinal Center Formation and Somatic EZH2 Mutations Promote Lymphoid Transformation. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):677-92.
The EZH2 histone methyltransferase is highly expressed in germinal center (GC) B cells and targeted by somatic mutations in B cell lymphomas. Here, we find that EZH2 deletion or pharmacologic inhibition suppresses GC formation and functions. EZH2 represses proliferation checkpoint genes and helps establish bivalent chromatin domains at key regulatory loci to transiently suppress GC B cell differentiation. Somatic mutations reinforce these physiological effects through enhanced silencing of EZH2 targets. Conditional expression of mutant EZH2 in mice induces GC hyperplasia and accelerated lymphomagenesis in cooperation with BCL2. GC B cell (GCB)-type diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) are mostly addicted to EZH2 but not the more differentiated activated B cell (ABC)-type DLBCLs, thus clarifying the therapeutic scope of EZH2 targeting.
- In Vivo RNAi Screen for BMI1 Targets Identifies TGF-β/BMP-ER Stress Pathways as Key Regulators of Neural- and Malignant Glioma-Stem Cell Homeostasis. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):660-76.
In mouse and human neural progenitor and glioblastoma "stem-like" cells, we identified key targets of the Polycomb-group protein BMI1 by combining ChIP-seq with in vivo RNAi screening. We discovered that Bmi1 is important in the cellular response to the transforming growth factor-β/bone morphogenetic protein (TGF-β/BMP) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress pathways, in part converging on the Atf3 transcriptional repressor. We show that Atf3 is a tumor-suppressor gene inactivated in human glioblastoma multiforme together with Cbx7 and a few other candidates. Acting downstream of the ER stress and BMP pathways, ATF3 binds to cell-type-specific accessible chromatin preloaded with AP1 and participates in the inhibition of critical oncogenic networks. Our data support the feasibility of combining ChIP-seq and RNAi screens in solid tumors and highlight multiple p16(INK4a)/p19(ARF)-independent functions for Bmi1 in development and cancer.
- Mutant p53 Prolongs NF-κB Activation and Promotes Chronic Inflammation and Inflammation-Associated Colorectal Cancer. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):634-46.
The tumor suppressor p53 is frequently mutated in human cancer. Common mutant p53 (mutp53) isoforms can actively promote cancer through gain-of-function (GOF) mechanisms. We report that mutp53 prolongs TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation in cultured cells and intestinal organoid cultures. Remarkably, when exposed to dextran sulfate sodium, mice harboring a germline p53 mutation develop severe chronic inflammation and persistent tissue damage, and are highly prone to inflammation-associated colon cancer. This mutp53 GOF is manifested by rapid onset of flat dysplastic lesions that progress to invasive carcinoma with mutp53 accumulation and augmented NF-κB activation, faithfully recapitulating features frequently observed in human colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC). These findings might explain the early appearance of p53 mutations in human CAC.
- Oncogenic ERBB3 Mutations in Human Cancers. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):603-17.
The human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family of tyrosine kinases is deregulated in multiple cancers either through amplification, overexpression, or mutation. ERBB3/HER3, the only member with an impaired kinase domain, although amplified or overexpressed in some cancers, has not been reported to carry oncogenic mutations. Here, we report the identification of ERBB3 somatic mutations in ∼11% of colon and gastric cancers. We found that the ERBB3 mutants transformed colonic and breast epithelial cells in a ligand-independent manner. However, the mutant ERBB3 oncogenic activity was dependent on kinase-active ERBB2. Furthermore, we found that anti-ERBB antibodies and small molecule inhibitors effectively blocked mutant ERBB3-mediated oncogenic signaling and disease progression in vivo.
- RAF Inhibitors Activate the MAPK Pathway by Relieving Inhibitory Autophosphorylation. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):594-602.
ATP competitive inhibitors of the BRAF(V600E) oncogene paradoxically activate downstream signaling in cells bearing wild-type BRAF (BRAF(WT)). In this study, we investigate the biochemical mechanism of wild-type RAF (RAF(WT)) activation by multiple catalytic inhibitors using kinetic analysis of purified BRAF(V600E) and RAF(WT) enzymes. We show that activation of RAF(WT) is ATP dependent and directly linked to RAF kinase activity. These data support a mechanism involving inhibitory autophosphorylation of RAF's phosphate-binding loop that, when disrupted either through pharmacologic or genetic alterations, results in activation of RAF and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. This mechanism accounts not only for compound-mediated activation of the MAPK pathway in BRAF(WT) cells but also offers a biochemical mechanism for BRAF oncogenesis.
- Tumor cell dissemination: emerging biological insights from animal models and cancer patients. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):573-81.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) are increasingly recognized for their potential utility in disease monitoring and therapeutic targeting. The clinical application of CTC/DTC requires better understanding of the biological mechanisms behind tumor dissemination, the survival of DTCs, and their activation to aggressive growth from dormancy. Recent research using animal models of DTCs and CTCs have provided novel insights into these processes. Here, we discuss these findings in the context of results obtained from the clinical analyses of CTCs and DTCs, which demonstrate that the animal models mimic, in many aspects, the complex situation in patients.
- Releasing the Block: Setting Differentiation Free with Mutant IDH Inhibitors. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):570-2.
Hotspot mutations in IDH1 and IDH2 cause a differentiation block that can promote tumorigenesis. Two recent papers reported that small molecules targeting mutant IDH1 or mutant IDH2 release this differentiation block and/or impede tumor growth, providing a proof-of-concept that mutant IDHs are therapeutically targetable and that their effects are reversible.
- Chromoplexy: a new category of complex rearrangements in the cancer genome. [Journal Article]
- Cancer Cell 2013 May 13; 23(5):567-9.
Widespread structural alterations of cancer genomes are increasingly observed in a broad spectrum of tumors. In a recent issue of Cell, Baca and colleagues describe large chains of rearrangements that coordinately affect multiple chromosomes in prostate cancer. This phenomenon of chromoplexy may define cancer subtypes and drive punctuated tumor evolution.