Publications by authors named "Hetty H Helsmoortel"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Circulating microRNA biomarkers for metastatic disease in neuroblastoma patients.

JCI Insight 2018 12 6;3(23). Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Center for Medical Genetics, Department of Biomolecular Medicine, and.

In this study, the circulating miRNome from diagnostic neuroblastoma serum was assessed for identification of noninvasive biomarkers with potential in monitoring metastatic disease. After determining the circulating neuroblastoma miRNome, 743 miRNAs were screened in 2 independent cohorts of 131 and 54 patients. Evaluation of serum miRNA variance in a model testing for tumor stage, MYCN status, age at diagnosis, and overall survival revealed tumor stage as the most significant factor impacting miRNA abundance in neuroblastoma serum. Differential abundance analysis between patients with metastatic and localized disease revealed 9 miRNAs strongly associated with metastatic stage 4 disease in both patient cohorts. Increasing levels of these miRNAs were also observed in serum from xenografted mice bearing human neuroblastoma tumors. Moreover, murine serum miRNA levels were strongly associated with tumor volume. These findings were validated in longitudinal serum samples from metastatic neuroblastoma patients, where the 9 miRNAs were associated with disease burden and treatment response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.97021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6328024PMC
December 2018

Unique long non-coding RNA expression signature in ETV6/RUNX1-driven B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Oncotarget 2016 11;7(45):73769-73780

Center for Medical Genetics, Department of Paediatrics and Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Overwhelming evidence indicates that long non-coding RNAs have essential roles in tumorigenesis. Nevertheless, their role in the molecular pathogenesis of pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia has not been extensively explored. Here, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the long non-coding RNA transcriptome in ETV6/RUNX1-positive BCP-ALL, one of the most frequent subtypes of pediatric leukemia. First, we used primary leukemia patient samples to identify an ETV6/RUNX1 specific expression signature consisting of 596 lncRNA transcripts. Next, integration of this lncRNA signature with RNA sequencing of BCP-ALL cell lines and lncRNA profiling of an in vitro model system of ETV6/RUNX1 knockdown, revealed that lnc-NKX2-3-1, lnc-TIMM21-5, lnc-ASTN1-1 and lnc-RTN4R-1 are truly regulated by the oncogenic fusion protein. Moreover, sustained inactivation of lnc-RTN4R-1 and lnc-NKX2-3-1 in ETV6/RUNX1 positive cells caused profound changes in gene expression. All together, our study defined a unique lncRNA expression signature associated with ETV6/RUNX1-positive BCP-ALL and identified lnc-RTN4R-1 and lnc-NKX2-3-1 as lncRNAs that might be functionally implicated in the biology of this prevalent subtype of human leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5342012PMC
November 2016

LIN28B overexpression defines a novel fetal-like subgroup of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.

Blood 2016 Mar 28;127(9):1163-72. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

Department of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium;

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a rare and aggressive stem cell disease of early childhood. RAS activation constitutes the core component of oncogenic signaling. In addition, leukemic blasts in one-fourth of JMML patients present with monosomy 7, and more than half of patients show elevated age-adjusted fetal hemoglobin (HbF) levels. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is the current standard of care and results in an event-free survival rate of 50% to 60%, indicating that novel molecular-driven therapeutic options are urgently needed. Using gene expression profiling in a series of 82 patient samples, we aimed at understanding the molecular biology behind JMML and identified a previously unrecognized molecular subgroup characterized by high LIN28B expression. LIN28B overexpression was significantly correlated with higher HbF levels, whereas patients with monosomy 7 seldom showed enhanced LIN28B expression. This finding gives a biological explanation of why patients with monosomy 7 are rarely diagnosed with high age-adjusted HbF levels. In addition, this new fetal-like JMML subgroup presented with reduced levels of most members of the let-7 microRNA family and showed characteristic overexpression of genes involved in fetal hematopoiesis and stem cell self-renewal. Lastly, high LIN28B expression was associated with poor clinical outcome in our JMML patient series but was not independent from other prognostic factors such as age and age-adjusted HbF levels. In conclusion, we identified elevated LIN28B expression as a hallmark of a novel fetal-like subgroup in JMML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-09-667808DOI Listing
March 2016

MYCN-driven regulatory mechanisms controlling LIN28B in neuroblastoma.

Cancer Lett 2015 Sep 26;366(1):123-32. Epub 2015 Jun 26.

Center for Medical Genetics (CMGG), Ghent University, Medical Research Building (MRB1), De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address:

LIN28B has been identified as an oncogene in various tumor entities, including neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that originates from neural crest-derived cells, and is characterized by amplification of the MYCN oncogene. Recently, elevated LIN28B expression levels were shown to contribute to neuroblastoma tumorigenesis via let-7 dependent de-repression of MYCN. However, additional insight in the regulation of LIN28B in neuroblastoma is lacking. Therefore, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of the regulation of LIN28B in neuroblastoma, with a specific focus on the contribution of miRNAs. We show that MYCN regulates LIN28B expression in neuroblastoma tumors via two distinct parallel mechanisms. First, through an unbiased LIN28B-3'UTR reporter screen, we found that miR-26a-5p and miR-26b-5p regulate LIN28B expression. Next, we demonstrated that MYCN indirectly affects the expression of miR-26a-5p, and hence regulates LIN28B, therefore establishing an MYCN-miR-26a-5p-LIN28B regulatory axis. Second, we provide evidence that MYCN regulates LIN28B expression via interaction with the LIN28B promoter, establishing a direct MYCN-LIN28B regulatory axis. We believe that these findings mark LIN28B as an important effector of the MYCN oncogenic phenotype and underline the importance of MYCN-regulated miRNAs in establishing the MYCN-driven oncogenic process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2015.06.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4837470PMC
September 2015