To survey hepatitis B virus (HBV) integration in liver cancer genomes, we conducted massively parallel sequencing of 81 HBV-positive and 7 HBV-negative hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and adjacent normal tissues. We found that HBV integration is observed more frequently in the tumors (86.4%) than in adjacent liver tissues (30.7%). Copy-number variations (CNVs) were significantly increased at HBV breakpoint locations where chromosomal instability was likely induced. Approximately 40% of HBV breakpoints within the HBV genome were located within a 1,800-bp region where the viral enhancer, X gene and core gene are located. We also identified recurrent HBV integration events (in ≥ 4 HCCs) that were validated by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and Sanger sequencing at the known and putative cancer-related TERT, MLL4 and CCNE1 genes, which showed upregulated gene expression in tumor versus normal tissue. We also report evidence that suggests that the number of HBV integrations is associated with patient survival.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most deadly cancers worldwide and has no effective treatment, yet the molecular basis of hepatocarcinogenesis remains largely unknown. Here we report findings from a whole-genome sequencing (WGS) study of 88 matched HCC tumor/normal pairs, 81 of which are Hepatitis B virus (HBV) positive, seeking to identify genetically altered genes and pathways implicated in HBV-associated HCC. We find beta-catenin to be the most frequently mutated oncogene (15.9%) and TP53 the most frequently mutated tumor suppressor (35.2%). The Wnt/beta-catenin and JAK/STAT pathways, altered in 62.5% and 45.5% of cases, respectively, are likely to act as two major oncogenic drivers in HCC. This study also identifies several prevalent and potentially actionable mutations, including activating mutations of Janus kinase 1 (JAK1), in 9.1% of patients and provides a path toward therapeutic intervention of the disease.
The size and shape of the plant leaf is an important agronomic trait. To understand the molecular mechanism governing plant leaf shape, we characterized a classic rice (Oryza sativa) dwarf mutant named narrow leaf1 (nal1), which exhibits a characteristic phenotype of narrow leaves. In accordance with reduced leaf blade width, leaves of nal1 contain a decreased number of longitudinal veins. Anatomical investigations revealed that the culms of nal1 also show a defective vascular system, in which the number and distribution pattern of vascular bundles are altered. Map-based cloning and genetic complementation analyses demonstrated that Nal1 encodes a plant-specific protein with unknown biochemical function. We provide evidence showing that Nal1 is richly expressed in vascular tissues and that mutation of this gene leads to significantly reduced polar auxin transport capacity. These results indicate that Nal1 affects polar auxin transport as well as the vascular patterns of rice plants and plays an important role in the control of lateral leaf growth.
The phytohormone cytokinin (CK) positively regulates the activity and function of the shoot apical meristem (SAM), which is a major parameter determining seed production. The rice (Oryza sativa L.) Gn1a/OsCKX2 (Grain number 1a/Cytokinin oxidase 2) gene, which encodes a cytokinin oxidase, has been identified as a major quantitative trait locus contributing to grain number improvement in rice breeding practice. However, the molecular mechanism of how the expression of OsCKX2 is regulated in planta remains elusive. Here, we report that the zinc finger transcription factor DROUGHT AND SALT TOLERANCE (DST) directly regulates OsCKX2 expression in the reproductive meristem. DST-directed expression of OsCKX2 regulates CK accumulation in the SAM and, therefore, controls the number of the reproductive organs. We identify that DST(reg1), a semidominant allele of the DST gene, perturbs DST-directed regulation of OsCKX2 expression and elevates CK levels in the reproductive SAM, leading to increased meristem activity, enhanced panicle branching, and a consequent increase of grain number. Importantly, the DST(reg1) allele provides an approach to pyramid the Gn1a-dependent and Gn1a-independent effects on grain production. Our study reveals that, as a unique regulator of reproductive meristem activity, DST may be explored to facilitate the genetic enhancement of grain production in rice and other small grain cereals.
Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is synthesized through the Kennedy pathway, but more than 50% of PC is remodeled through the Lands cycle, i.e. the deacylation and reacylation of PC to attain the final and proper fatty acids within PC. The reacylation step is catalyzed by lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase (LPCAT), and we report here the identification of a novel LPCAT, which we named LPCAT3. LPCAT3 belongs to the membrane-bound O-acyltransferase (MBOAT) family and encodes a protein of 487 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 56 kDa. Membranes from HEK293 cells overexpressing LPCAT3 showed significantly increased LPCAT activity as assessed by thin layer chromatography analysis with substrate preference toward unsaturated fatty acids. LPCAT3 is localized within the endoplasmic reticulum and is primarily expressed in metabolic tissues including liver, adipose, and pancreas. In a human hepatoma Huh7 cells, RNA interference-mediated knockdown of LPCAT3 resulted in virtually complete loss of membrane LPCAT activity, suggesting that LPCAT3 is primarily responsible for hepatic LPCAT activity. Furthermore, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ␣ agonists dosedependently regulated LPCAT3 in liver in a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ␣-dependent fashion, implicating a role of LPCAT3 in lipid homeostasis. Our studies identify a long-sought enzyme that plays a critical role in PC remodeling in metabolic tissues and provide an invaluable tool for future investigations on how PC remodeling may potentially impact glucose and lipid homeostasis.
To restrict pathogen entry, plants close stomata as an integral part of innate immunity. To counteract this defense, Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato produces coronatine (COR), which mimics jasmonic acid (JA), to reopen stomata for bacterial entry. It is believed that abscisic acid (ABA) plays a central role in regulating bacteria-triggered stomatal closure and that stomatal reopening requires the JA/COR pathway, but the downstream signaling events remain unclear. We studied the stomatal immunity of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and report here the distinct roles of two homologous NAC (for NAM, ATAF1,2, and CUC2) transcription factors, JA2 (for jasmonic acid2) and JA2L (for JA2-like), in regulating pathogen-triggered stomatal movement. ABA activates JA2 expression, and genetic manipulation of JA2 revealed its positive role in ABA-mediated stomatal closure. We show that JA2 exerts this effect by regulating the expression of an ABA biosynthetic gene. By contrast, JA and COR activate JA2L expression, and genetic manipulation of JA2L revealed its positive role in JA/COR-mediated stomatal reopening. We show that JA2L executes this effect by regulating the expression of genes involved in the metabolism of salicylic acid. Thus, these closely related NAC proteins differentially regulate pathogen-induced stomatal closure and reopening through distinct mechanisms.
Background: B-RAF V600E melanomas rapidly develop resistance to B-RAF inhibitors in the clinic. Results: FGFR3/Ras signaling is elevated and induces resistance to vemurafenib in vemurafenib-resistant cells. Conclusion: FGFR3/Ras confers resistance to B-RAF inhibition via MAPK pathway reactivation. Significance: A novel mechanism of resistance to B-RAF inhibitors is described and potential therapeutic strategies are suggested.
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