Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an aggressive head and neck cancer characterized by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and dense lymphocyte infiltration. The scarcity of NPC genomic data hinders the understanding of NPC biology, disease progression and rational therapy design. Here we performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) on 111 micro-dissected EBV-positive NPCs, with 15 cases subjected to further whole-genome sequencing (WGS), to determine its mutational landscape. We identified enrichment for genomic aberrations of multiple negative regulators of the NF-kB pathway, including CYLD, TRAF3, NFKBIA and NLRC5, in a total of 41% of cases. Functional analysis confirmed inactivating CYLD mutations as drivers for NPC cell growth. The EBV oncoprotein latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) functions to constitutively activate NF-kB signalling, and we observed mutual exclusivity among tumours with somatic NF-kB pathway aberrations and LMP1-overexpression, suggesting that NF-kB activation is selected for by both somatic and viral events during NPC pathogenesis.
Follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) and benign follicular adenoma (FA) are indistinguishable by preoperative diagnosis due to their similar histological features. Here we report the first RNA sequencing study of these tumors, with data for 30 minimally invasive FTCs (miFTCs) and 25 FAs. We also compared 77 classical papillary thyroid carcinomas (cPTCs) and 48 follicular variant of PTCs (FVPTCs) to observe the differences in their molecular properties. Mutations in H/K/NRAS, DICER1, EIF1AX, IDH1, PTEN, SOS1, and SPOP were identified in miFTC or FA. We identified a low frequency of fusion genes in miFTC (only one, PAX8–PPARG), but a high frequency of that in PTC (17.60%). The frequencies of BRAFV600E and H/K/NRAS mutations were substantially different in miFTC and cPTC, and those of FVPTC were intermediate between miFTC and cPTC. Gene expression analysis demonstrated three molecular subtypes regardless of their histological features, including Non–BRAF–Non–RAS (NBNR), as well as BRAF–like and RAS–like. The novel molecular subtype, NBNR, was associated with DICER1, EIF1AX, IDH1, PTEN, SOS1, SPOP, and PAX8–PPARG. The transcriptome of miFTC or encapsulated FVPTC was indistinguishable from that of FA, providing a molecular explanation for the similarly indolent behavior of these tumors. We identified upregulation of genes that are related to mitochondrial biogenesis including ESRRA and PPARGC1A in oncocytic follicular thyroid neoplasm. Arm-level copy number variations were correlated to histological and molecular characteristics. These results expanded the current molecular understanding of thyroid cancer and may lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to the disease.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) and advanced differentiated thyroid cancers (DTCs) show fatal outcomes, unlike DTCs. Here, we demonstrate mutational landscape of 27 ATCs and 86 advanced DTCs by massively-parallel DNA sequencing, and transcriptome of 13 ATCs and 12 advanced DTCs were profiled by RNA sequencing.
were frequently co-mutated with driver genes (
) in advanced DTCs as well as ATC, but tumor suppressors (e.g.,
) were predominantly altered in ATC.
loss was significantly associated with poor disease-specific survival in patients with ATC or advanced DTCs, and up-regulation of
(PD-L2). Transcriptome analysis revealed a fourth molecular subtype of thyroid cancer (TC), ATC-like, which hardly reflects the molecular signatures in DTC. Furthermore, the activation of JAK-STAT signaling pathway could be a potential druggable target in
-positive ATC. Our findings provide insights for precision medicine in patients with advanced TCs.
Thyroid cancer is the most common cancer in Korea. Several susceptibility loci of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) were identified by previous genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in Europeans only. Here we conducted a GWAS and a replication study in Koreans using a total of 1,085 DTC cases and 8,884 controls, and validated these results using expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis and clinical phenotypes. The most robust associations were observed in the NRG1 gene (rs6996585, P=1.08 × 10−10) and this SNP was also associated with NRG1 expression in thyroid tissues. In addition, we confirmed three previously reported loci (FOXE1, NKX2-1 and DIRC3) and identified seven novel susceptibility loci (VAV3, PCNXL2, INSR, MRSB3, FHIT, SEPT11 and SLC24A6) associated with DTC. Furthermore, we identified specific variants of DTC that have different effects according to cancer type or ethnicity. Our findings provide deeper insight into the genetic contribution to thyroid cancer in different populations.
Synergistic effects of BRAFV600E and TERT promoter mutations on the poor clinical outcomes in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) have been demonstrated. The potential mechanism of this phenomenon has been proposed: MAPK pathway activation by the BRAFV600E mutation may upregulate E-twenty six (ETS) transcription factors, increasing TERT expression by binding to the ETS-binding site generated by the TERT promoter mutation; however, it has not yet been fully proven. This article provides transcriptomic insights into the interaction between BRAFV600E and TERT promoter mutations mediated by ETS factors in PTC. RNA sequencing data on 266 PTCs from The Cancer Genome Atlas and 65 PTCs from our institute were analyzed for gene expression changes and related molecular pathways, and the results of transcriptomic analyses were validated by in vitro experiments. TERT mRNA expression was increased by the coexistence of BRAFV600E and TERT promoter mutations (fold change, 16.17; q-value = 7.35 × 10−12 vs no mutation). In the ETS family of transcription factors, ETV1, ETV4 and ETV5 were upregulated by the BRAFV600E/MAPK pathway activation. These BRAFV600E-induced ETS factors selectively bound to the mutant TERT promoter. The molecular pathways activated by BRAFV600E were further augmented by adding the TERT promoter mutation, and the pathways related to immune responses or adhesion molecules were upregulated by TERT expression. The mechanism of the synergistic effect between BRAFV600E and TERT promoter mutations on cancer invasiveness and progression in PTC may be explained by increased TERT expression, which may result from the BRAF-induced upregulation of several ETS transcription factors.
BACKGROUND:Noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of monogenic disorders using maternal plasma and targeted massively parallel sequencing is being investigated actively. We previously demonstrated that comprehensive genetic diagnosis of a Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patient is feasible using a single targeted sequencing platform. Here we demonstrate the applicability of this approach to carrier detection and noninvasive prenatal diagnosis.
Although various chemokines have pro-tumorigenic actions in cancers, the effects of CXCL16 remain controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular characteristics of CXCL16-expressing papillary thyroid cancers (PTCs). CXCL16 expressions were significantly higher in PTCs than benign or normal thyroid tissues. In the TCGA dataset for PTCs, a higher CXCL16 expression was associated with M2 macrophage- and angiogenesis-related genes and poor prognostic factors including a higher TNM staging and the BRAFV600E mutation. PTCs with a higher expression of 3-gene panel including CXCL16, AHNAK2, and THBS2 showed poor recurrence-free survivals than that of the lower expression group. Next, shCXCL16 was introduced into BHP10-3SCp cells to deplete the endogenous CXCL16, and then, the cells were subcutaneously injected to athymic mice. Tumors from the BHP10-3SCpshCXCL16 exhibited a delayed tumor growth with decreased numbers of ERG+ endothelial cells and F4/80+ macrophages than those from the BHP10-3SCpcontrol. CXCL16-related genes including AHNAK2 and THBS2 were downregulated in the tumors from the BHP10-3SCpshCXCL16 compared with that from the BHP10-3SCpcontrol. In conclusion, a higher CXCL16 expression was associated with macrophage- and angiogenesis-related genes and aggressive phenotypes in PTC. Targeting CXCL16 may be a good therapeutic strategy for advanced thyroid cancer.
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