Publications by authors named "Emily S Humphrey"

10 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Whole-genome landscape of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.

Nature 2017 03 15;543(7643):65-71. Epub 2017 Feb 15.

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston Road, Brisbane 4006, Australia.

The diagnosis of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PanNETs) is increasing owing to more sensitive detection methods, and this increase is creating challenges for clinical management. We performed whole-genome sequencing of 102 primary PanNETs and defined the genomic events that characterize their pathogenesis. Here we describe the mutational signatures they harbour, including a deficiency in G:C > T:A base excision repair due to inactivation of MUTYH, which encodes a DNA glycosylase. Clinically sporadic PanNETs contain a larger-than-expected proportion of germline mutations, including previously unreported mutations in the DNA repair genes MUTYH, CHEK2 and BRCA2. Together with mutations in MEN1 and VHL, these mutations occur in 17% of patients. Somatic mutations, including point mutations and gene fusions, were commonly found in genes involved in four main pathways: chromatin remodelling, DNA damage repair, activation of mTOR signalling (including previously undescribed EWSR1 gene fusions), and telomere maintenance. In addition, our gene expression analyses identified a subgroup of tumours associated with hypoxia and HIF signalling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature21063DOI Listing
March 2017

Homo- and Heterotypic Association Regulates Signaling by the SgK269/PEAK1 and SgK223 Pseudokinases.

J Biol Chem 2016 Oct 16;291(41):21571-21583. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

From the Cancer Program, Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Level 1, Building 77, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800,

SgK269/PEAK1 is a pseudokinase and scaffolding protein that plays a critical role in regulating growth factor receptor signal output and is implicated in the progression of several cancers, including those of the breast, colon, and pancreas. SgK269 is structurally related to SgK223, a human pseudokinase that also functions as a scaffold but recruits a distinct repertoire of signaling proteins compared with SgK269. Structural similarities between SgK269 and SgK223 include a predicted α-helical region (designated CH) immediately preceding the conserved C-terminal pseudokinase (PK) domain. Structure-function analyses of SgK269 in MCF-10A mammary epithelial cells demonstrated a critical role for the CH and PK regions in promoting cell migration and Stat3 activation. Characterization of the SgK269 "interactome" by mass spectrometry-based proteomics identified SgK223 as a novel binding partner, and association of SgK269 with SgK223 in cells was dependent on the presence of the CH and PK domains of both pseudokinases. Homotypic association of SgK269 and SgK223 was also demonstrated and exhibited the same structural requirements. Further analysis using pulldowns and size-exclusion chromatography underscored the critical role of the CH region in SgK269/SgK223 association. Importantly, although SgK269 bridged SgK223 to Grb2, it was unable to activate Stat3 or efficiently enhance migration in SgK223 knock-out cells generated by CRISPR/Cas9. These results reveal previously unrecognized interplay between two oncogenic scaffolds and demonstrate a novel signaling mechanism for pseudokinases whereby homotypic and heterotypic association is used to assemble scaffolding complexes with distinct binding properties and hence qualitatively regulate signal output.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M116.748897DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5076828PMC
October 2016

Resolution of Novel Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Subtypes by Global Phosphotyrosine Profiling.

Mol Cell Proteomics 2016 08 3;15(8):2671-85. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

¶Cancer Program, Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Level 1, Building 77, Monash University, VIC 3800, Australia;

Comprehensive characterization of signaling in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) promises to enhance our understanding of the molecular aberrations driving this devastating disease, and may identify novel therapeutic targets as well as biomarkers that enable stratification of patients for optimal therapy. Here, we use immunoaffinity-coupled high-resolution mass spectrometry to characterize global tyrosine phosphorylation patterns across two large panels of human PDAC cell lines: the ATCC series (19 cell lines) and TKCC series (17 cell lines). This resulted in the identification and quantification of over 1800 class 1 tyrosine phosphorylation sites and the consistent segregation of both PDAC cell line series into three subtypes with distinct tyrosine phosphorylation profiles. Subtype-selective signaling networks were characterized by identification of subtype-enriched phosphosites together with pathway and network analyses. This revealed that the three subtypes characteristic of the ATCC series were associated with perturbations in signaling networks associated with cell-cell adhesion and epithelial-mesenchyme transition, mRNA metabolism, and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling, respectively. Specifically, the third subtype exhibited enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of multiple RTKs including the EGFR, ERBB3 and MET. Interestingly, a similar RTK-enriched subtype was identified in the TKCC series, and 'classifier' sites for each series identified using Random Forest models were able to predict the subtypes of the alternate series with high accuracy, highlighting the conservation of the three subtypes across the two series. Finally, RTK-enriched cell lines from both series exhibited enhanced sensitivity to the small molecule EGFR inhibitor erlotinib, indicating that their phosphosignature may provide a predictive biomarker for response to this targeted therapy. These studies highlight how resolution of subtype-selective signaling networks can provide a novel taxonomy for particular cancers, and provide insights into PDAC biology that can be exploited for improved patient management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/mcp.M116.058313DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4974343PMC
August 2016

Genomic analyses identify molecular subtypes of pancreatic cancer.

Nature 2016 Mar 24;531(7592):47-52. Epub 2016 Feb 24.

Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.

Integrated genomic analysis of 456 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas identified 32 recurrently mutated genes that aggregate into 10 pathways: KRAS, TGF-β, WNT, NOTCH, ROBO/SLIT signalling, G1/S transition, SWI-SNF, chromatin modification, DNA repair and RNA processing. Expression analysis defined 4 subtypes: (1) squamous; (2) pancreatic progenitor; (3) immunogenic; and (4) aberrantly differentiated endocrine exocrine (ADEX) that correlate with histopathological characteristics. Squamous tumours are enriched for TP53 and KDM6A mutations, upregulation of the TP63∆N transcriptional network, hypermethylation of pancreatic endodermal cell-fate determining genes and have a poor prognosis. Pancreatic progenitor tumours preferentially express genes involved in early pancreatic development (FOXA2/3, PDX1 and MNX1). ADEX tumours displayed upregulation of genes that regulate networks involved in KRAS activation, exocrine (NR5A2 and RBPJL), and endocrine differentiation (NEUROD1 and NKX2-2). Immunogenic tumours contained upregulated immune networks including pathways involved in acquired immune suppression. These data infer differences in the molecular evolution of pancreatic cancer subtypes and identify opportunities for therapeutic development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature16965DOI Listing
March 2016

The pseudokinase SgK223 promotes invasion of pancreatic ductal epithelial cells through JAK1/Stat3 signaling.

Mol Cancer 2015 Jul 29;14:139. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Cancer Research Division, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, 384 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW, 2010, Australia.

Background: Characterization of molecular mechanisms underpinning development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) may lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers. SgK223, also known as Pragmin, is a pseudokinase and scaffolding protein closely related to SgK269/PEAK1. Both proteins are implicated in oncogenic tyrosine kinase signaling, but their mechanisms and function remain poorly characterized.

Methods: Expression of SgK223 in PDAC and PDAC cell lines was characterized using gene expression microarrays, mass spectrometry (MS)-based phosphoproteomics and Western blotting. SgK223 was overexpressed in human pancreatic ductal epithelial (HPDE) cells via retroviral transduction, and knocked down in PDAC cells using siRNA. Cell proliferation was determined using a colorimetric cell viability assay, and cell migration and invasion using transwells. Expression of markers of epithelial-mesenchyme transition (EMT) was assayed by quantitative PCR. SgK223 and Stat3 signaling was interrogated by immunoprecipitation, Western blot and gene reporter assays. The functional role of specific kinases and Stat3 was determined using selective small molecule inhibitors.

Results: Elevated site-selective tyrosine phosphorylation of SgK223 was identified in subsets of PDAC cell lines, and increased expression of SgK223 detected in several PDAC cell lines compared to human pancreatic ductal epithelial (HPDE) cells and in PDACs compared to normal pancreas. Expression of SgK223 in HPDE cells at levels comparable to those in PDAC did not alter cell proliferation but led to a more elongated morphology, enhanced migration and invasion and induced gene expression changes characteristic of a partial EMT. While SgK223 overexpression did not affect activation of Erk or Akt, it led to increased Stat3 Tyr705 phosphorylation and Stat3 transcriptional activity, and SgK223 and Stat3 associated in vivo. SgK223-overexpressing cells exhibited increased JAK1 activation, and use of selective inhibitors determined that the increased Stat3 signaling driven by SgK223 was JAK-dependent. Pharmacological inhibition of Stat3 revealed that Stat3 activation was required for the enhanced motility and invasion of SgK223-overexpressing cells.

Conclusions: Increased expression of SgK223 occurs in PDAC, and overexpression of SgK223 in pancreatic ductal epithelial cells promotes acquisition of a migratory and invasive phenotype through enhanced JAK1/Stat3 signaling. This represents the first association of SgK223 with a particular human cancer, and links SgK223 with a major signaling pathway strongly implicated in PDAC progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12943-015-0412-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517651PMC
July 2015

Whole genomes redefine the mutational landscape of pancreatic cancer.

Nature 2015 Feb;518(7540):495-501

Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.

Pancreatic cancer remains one of the most lethal of malignancies and a major health burden. We performed whole-genome sequencing and copy number variation (CNV) analysis of 100 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs). Chromosomal rearrangements leading to gene disruption were prevalent, affecting genes known to be important in pancreatic cancer (TP53, SMAD4, CDKN2A, ARID1A and ROBO2) and new candidate drivers of pancreatic carcinogenesis (KDM6A and PREX2). Patterns of structural variation (variation in chromosomal structure) classified PDACs into 4 subtypes with potential clinical utility: the subtypes were termed stable, locally rearranged, scattered and unstable. A significant proportion harboured focal amplifications, many of which contained druggable oncogenes (ERBB2, MET, FGFR1, CDK6, PIK3R3 and PIK3CA), but at low individual patient prevalence. Genomic instability co-segregated with inactivation of DNA maintenance genes (BRCA1, BRCA2 or PALB2) and a mutational signature of DNA damage repair deficiency. Of 8 patients who received platinum therapy, 4 of 5 individuals with these measures of defective DNA maintenance responded.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4523082PMC
February 2015

Characterization of the novel broad-spectrum kinase inhibitor CTx-0294885 as an affinity reagent for mass spectrometry-based kinome profiling.

J Proteome Res 2013 Jul 25;12(7):3104-16. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, 384 Victoria Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2010, Australia.

Kinase enrichment utilizing broad-spectrum kinase inhibitors enables the identification of large proportions of the expressed kinome by mass spectrometry. However, the existing inhibitors are still inadequate in covering the entire kinome. Here, we identified a novel bisanilino pyrimidine, CTx-0294885, exhibiting inhibitory activity against a broad range of kinases in vitro, and further developed it into a Sepharose-supported kinase capture reagent. Use of a quantitative proteomics approach confirmed the selectivity of CTx-0294885-bound beads for kinase enrichment. Large-scale CTx-0294885-based affinity purification followed by LC-MS/MS led to the identification of 235 protein kinases from MDA-MB-231 cells, including all members of the AKT family that had not been previously detected by other broad-spectrum kinase inhibitors. Addition of CTx-0294885 to a mixture of three kinase inhibitors commonly used for kinase-enrichment increased the number of kinase identifications to 261, representing the largest kinome coverage from a single cell line reported to date. Coupling phosphopeptide enrichment with affinity purification using the four inhibitors enabled the identification of 799 high-confidence phosphosites on 183 kinases, ∼10% of which were localized to the activation loop, and included previously unreported phosphosites on BMP2K, MELK, HIPK2, and PRKDC. Therefore, CTx-0294885 represents a powerful new reagent for analysis of kinome signaling networks that may facilitate development of targeted therapeutic strategies. Proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium ( http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org ) via the PRIDE partner repository with the data set identifier PXD000239.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr3008495DOI Listing
July 2013

Pancreatic cancer genomes reveal aberrations in axon guidance pathway genes.

Nature 2012 Nov 24;491(7424):399-405. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, 370 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales 2010, Australia.

Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal malignancy with few effective therapies. We performed exome sequencing and copy number analysis to define genomic aberrations in a prospectively accrued clinical cohort (n = 142) of early (stage I and II) sporadic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Detailed analysis of 99 informative tumours identified substantial heterogeneity with 2,016 non-silent mutations and 1,628 copy-number variations. We define 16 significantly mutated genes, reaffirming known mutations (KRAS, TP53, CDKN2A, SMAD4, MLL3, TGFBR2, ARID1A and SF3B1), and uncover novel mutated genes including additional genes involved in chromatin modification (EPC1 and ARID2), DNA damage repair (ATM) and other mechanisms (ZIM2, MAP2K4, NALCN, SLC16A4 and MAGEA6). Integrative analysis with in vitro functional data and animal models provided supportive evidence for potential roles for these genetic aberrations in carcinogenesis. Pathway-based analysis of recurrently mutated genes recapitulated clustering in core signalling pathways in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and identified new mutated genes in each pathway. We also identified frequent and diverse somatic aberrations in genes described traditionally as embryonic regulators of axon guidance, particularly SLIT/ROBO signalling, which was also evident in murine Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated somatic mutagenesis models of pancreatic cancer, providing further supportive evidence for the potential involvement of axon guidance genes in pancreatic carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11547DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530898PMC
November 2012

RON is not a prognostic marker for resectable pancreatic cancer.

BMC Cancer 2012 Sep 7;12:395. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, 384 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.

Background: The receptor tyrosine kinase RON exhibits increased expression during pancreatic cancer progression and promotes migration, invasion and gemcitabine resistance of pancreatic cancer cells in experimental models. However, the prognostic significance of RON expression in pancreatic cancer is unknown.

Methods: RON expression was characterized in several large cohorts, including a prospective study, totaling 492 pancreatic cancer patients and relationships with patient outcome and clinico-pathologic variables were assessed.

Results: RON expression was associated with outcome in a training set, but this was not recapitulated in the validation set, nor was there any association with therapeutic responsiveness in the validation set or the prospective study.

Conclusions: Although RON is implicated in pancreatic cancer progression in experimental models, and may constitute a therapeutic target, RON expression is not associated with prognosis or therapeutic responsiveness in resected pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-12-395DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3532183PMC
September 2012