In a previous study we demonstrated high expression of the non-coding BIC gene in the vast majority of Hodgkin's lymphomas (HLs). Evidence suggesting that BIC is a primary microRNA transcript containing the mature microRNA-155 (miR-155) as part of a RNA hairpin is now accumulating. We therefore analysed HL cell lines and tissue samples to determine whether miR-155 is also expressed in HL. High levels of miR-155 could be demonstrated, indicating that BIC is processed into a microRNA in HL. Most non-HL subtypes were negative for BIC as determined by RNA-ISH. However, in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and primary mediastinal B cell lymphoma (PMBL), significant percentages of positive tumour cells were observed in 12/18 and 8/8 cases. A higher proportion of tumour cells were positive for BIC in DLBCL with activated B cell-like phenotype than in DLBCL with germinal centre B cell-like phenotype. Differential BIC expression was confirmed by qRT-PCR analysis. Northern blot analysis showed expression of miR-155 in all DLBCL and PMBL derived cell lines and tissue samples analysed. In summary, we demonstrate expression of primary microRNA BIC and its derivative miR-155 in HL, PMBL and DLBCL.
Chromosomal translocations are critically involved in the molecular pathogenesis of B-cell lymphomas, and highly recurrent and specific rearrangements have defined distinct molecular subtypes linked to unique clinicopathological features1,2. In contrast, several well-characterized lymphoma entities still lack disease-defining translocation events. To identify novel fusion transcripts resulting from translocations, we investigated two Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines by whole-transcriptome paired-end sequencing (RNA-seq). Here we show a highly expressed gene fusion involving the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II transactivator CIITA (MHC2TA) in KM-H2 cells. In a subsequent evaluation of 263 B-cell lymphomas, we also demonstrate that genomic CIITA breaks are highly recurrent in primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (38%) and classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) (15%). Furthermore, we find that CIITA is a promiscuous partner of various in-frame gene fusions, and we report that CIITA gene alterations impact survival in primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL). As functional consequences of CIITA gene fusions, we identify downregulation of surface HLA class II expression and overexpression of ligands of the receptor molecule programmed cell death 1 (CD274/PDL1 and CD273/PDL2). These receptor–ligand interactions have been shown to impact anti-tumour immune responses in several cancers3, whereas decreased MHC class II expression has been linked to reduced tumour cell immunogenicity4. Thus, our findings suggest that recurrent rearrangements of CIITA may represent a novel genetic mechanism underlying tumour–microenvironment interactions across a spectrum of lymphoid cancers.
BackgroundChromosome instability leads to aneuploidy, a state in which cells have abnormal numbers of chromosomes, and is found in two out of three cancers. In a chromosomal instable p53 deficient mouse model with accelerated lymphomagenesis, we previously observed whole chromosome copy number changes affecting all lymphoma cells. This suggests that chromosome instability is somehow suppressed in the aneuploid lymphomas or that selection for frequently lost/gained chromosomes out-competes the CIN-imposed mis-segregation.ResultsTo distinguish between these explanations and to examine karyotype dynamics in chromosome instable lymphoma, we use a newly developed single-cell whole genome sequencing (scWGS) platform that provides a complete and unbiased overview of copy number variations (CNV) in individual cells. To analyse these scWGS data, we develop AneuFinder, which allows annotation of copy number changes in a fully automated fashion and quantification of CNV heterogeneity between cells. Single-cell sequencing and AneuFinder analysis reveals high levels of copy number heterogeneity in chromosome instability-driven murine T-cell lymphoma samples, indicating ongoing chromosome instability. Application of this technology to human B cell leukaemias reveals different levels of karyotype heterogeneity in these cancers.ConclusionOur data show that even though aneuploid tumours select for particular and recurring chromosome combinations, single-cell analysis using AneuFinder reveals copy number heterogeneity. This suggests ongoing chromosome instability that other platforms fail to detect. As chromosome instability might drive tumour evolution, karyotype analysis using single-cell sequencing technology could become an essential tool for cancer treatment stratification.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-016-0971-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) studies have suggested that somatic mutations of a tumour suppressor gene or genes on chromosome 3p are a critical event in the pathogenesis of non-familial renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Germline mutations of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease gene predispose to early onset and multifocal clear cell renal cell carcinoma, and the mechanism of tumorigenesis in VHL disease is consistent with a one-hit mutation model. To investigate the role of somatic VHL gene mutations in non-familial RCC, we analysed 99 primary RCC for VHL gene mutations by SSCP and heteroduplex analysis. Somatic VHL gene mutations were identified in 30 of 65 (46%) sporadic RCC with chromosome 3p allele loss and one of 34 (3%) tumours with no LOH for chromosome 3p. The VHL gene mutations were heterogeneous (17 frameshift deletions, eight missense mutations, four frameshift insertions, one nonsense and one splice site mutation), but no mutations were detected in the first 120 codons of cloned coding sequence. Most RCCs with somatic VHL mutations (23 of 27 (85%) informative cases) had chromosome 3p25 allele loss in the region of the VHL gene so that both alleles of the VHL gene had been inactivated as expected from a two-hit model of tumorigenesis. Detailed histopathology was available for 59 of the tumours investigated: 18 of 43 (42%) RCC with a clear cell appearance had a somatic VHL gene mutation but none of 16 non-clear cell RCC (eight chromophilic, three chromophobe and five oncocytoma) (chi2 = 7.77, P < 0.025).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Platinum-based chemotherapies such as cisplatin are used as first-line treatment for many cancers. Although there is often a high initial responsiveness, the majority of patients eventually relapse with platinum-resistant disease. For example, a subset of testicular cancer patients still die even though testicular cancer is considered a paradigm of cisplatin-sensitive solid tumors, but the mechanisms of chemoresistance remain elusive. Here, we have shown that one key determinant of cisplatin-resistance in testicular embryonal carcinoma (EC) is high cytoplasmic expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p21. The EC component of the majority of refractory testicular cancer patients exhibited high cytoplasmic p21 expression, which protected EC cell lines against cisplatin-induced apoptosis via CDK2 inhibition. Localization of p21 in the cytoplasm was critical for cisplatin resistance, since relocalization of p21 to the nucleus by Akt inhibition sensitized EC cell lines to cisplatin. We also demonstrated in EC cell lines and human tumor tissue that high cytoplasmic p21 expression and cisplatin resistance of EC were inversely associated with the expression of Oct4 and miR-106b seed family members. Thus, targeting cytoplasmic p21, including by modulation of the Oct4/miR-106b/p21 pathway, may offer new strategies for the treatment of chemoresistant testicular and other types of cancer.
To identify predisposition loci for classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL) we conducted a genome-wide association study of 589 cHL cases and 5,199 controls with validation in 4 independent samples totaling 2,057 cases and 3,416 controls. We identified three new susceptibility loci at 2p16.1 (rs1432295, REL; odds ratio [OR]=1.22, Pcombined=1.91×10−8), 8q24.21 (rs2019960, PVT1; OR=1.33, Pcombined=1.26×10−13) and 10p14 (rs501764, GATA3; OR=1.25, Pcombined=7.05×10−8). Furthermore, we confirmed the role of the MHC in disease etiology by revealing a strong HLA association (rs6903608; OR=1.70, Pcombined=2.84×10−50). These data provide new insight into the pathogenesis of cHL.
In a search for genes specifically expressed in Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), we applied the serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) technique on the HL-derived cell line DEV. Genes highly expressed in DEV were subjected to an RT-PCR analysis to confirm the SAGE results. For one of the genes, a high expression was observed in DEV and other HL-derived cell lines but not in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)-derived cell lines and normal controls, suggesting an HL-specific expression. This gene corresponds to the human BIC gene, a member of the noncoding mRNA-like molecules. RNA in situ hybridization (ISH) indicated an exclusive nucleolar localization of BIC transcripts in all RS cells in 91% of HL cases, including nodular lymphocyte predominance (NLP) HL and classical HL. Analyses of normal human tissues revealed BIC transcripts in only a small number of CD20-positive B-cells in lymph node and tonsil tissue, albeit at a much lower level compared to that of RS cells. BIC RT-PCR in the Burkitt lymphoma-derived cell line Ramos demonstrated a significant up-regulation upon cross-linking of the B-cell receptor (BcR). IkappaBalpha-mediated blocking of NF-kappaB translocation in Ramos did not effect the up-regulation of BIC expression upon BcR triggering, suggesting that activation of NF-kappaB is not involved in regulation of BIC expression. In summary, our data show that expression of BIC is specific for RS cells of HL. In normal tissue, BIC is expressed weakly in a minority of germinal center B cells. Expression of BIC can be modified/influenced by BcR triggering, indicating that BIC might play a role in the selection of B cells.
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