Publications by authors named "Javed Khan"

316 Publications

Formulation development and in vitro characterization of triple layer tablet containing amlodipine besylate, rosuvastatin calcium and hydrochlorothiazide.

Pak J Pharm Sci 2021 Mar;34(2(Supplementary)):699-710

Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Saudi Electronic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Triple layered tablet having various excipients and a new combination of APIs i.e. amlodipine besylate, rosuvastatin calcium and hydrochlorothiazide was prepared through wet granulation. The concentration of disintegrant and diluent was kept different in formulations of all APIs. At compression stage, nine different formulations from H1 to H9 having different combinations were prepared. Layers T1, T2 and T3 of all the three APIs had disintegrant concentration of 3%, 5% and 7 % respectively. In vitro analysis of granules was made by determining angle of repose, loss on drying, bulk density, tapped density, hausner ratio. Results of all these parameters were quite similar in all layers, which showed that change in disintegrant concentration does not affect the flow ability of granules to much extent. After compression, tablets were further subjected to weight variation, hardness, thickness, friability, disintegration, dissolution studies and FTIR. In vitro drug release data of all formulations were studied which showed that all the formulations exhibited zero order release. Results indicated that H8 had the best results in terms of physicochemical properties, assay and dissolution studies. The external morphology of formulations were further analyzed using scanning electron microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. Triple layered tablet was successfully developed and characterized.
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March 2021

Lysine Demethylase 5A is Required for MYC Driven Transcription in Multiple Myeloma.

Blood Cancer Discov 2021 07 10;2(4):370-387. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA 02215.

Lysine demethylase 5A (KDM5A) is a negative regulator of histone H3K4 trimethylation, a histone mark associated with activate gene transcription. We identify that KDM5A interacts with the P-TEFb complex and cooperates with MYC to control MYC targeted genes in multiple myeloma (MM) cells. We develop a cell-permeable and selective KDM5 inhibitor, JQKD82, that increases histone H3K4me3 but paradoxically inhibits downstream MYC-driven transcriptional output and . Using genetic ablation together with our inhibitor, we establish that KDM5A supports MYC target gene transcription independent of MYC itself, by supporting TFIIH (CDK7)- and P-TEFb (CDK9)-mediated phosphorylation of RNAPII. These data identify KDM5A as a unique vulnerability in MM functioning through regulation of MYC-target gene transcription, and establish JQKD82 as a tool compound to block KDM5A function as a potential therapeutic strategy for MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2643-3230.BCD-20-0108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8265280PMC
July 2021

CAR T cells targeting tumor-associated exons of glypican 2 regress neuroblastoma in mice.

Cell Rep Med 2021 Jun 1;2(6):100297. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Targeting solid tumors must overcome several major obstacles, in particular, the identification of elusive tumor-specific antigens. Here, we devise a strategy to help identify tumor-specific epitopes. Glypican 2 (GPC2) is overexpressed in neuroblastoma. Using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis, we show that exon 3 and exons 7-10 of GPC2 are expressed in cancer but are minimally expressed in normal tissues. Accordingly, we discover a monoclonal antibody (CT3) that binds exons 3 and 10 and visualize the complex structure of CT3 and GPC2 by electron microscopy. The potential of this approach is exemplified by designing CT3-derived chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells that regress neuroblastoma in mice. Genomic sequencing of T cells recovered from mice reveals the CAR integration sites that may contribute to CAR T cell proliferation and persistence. These studies demonstrate how RNA-seq data can be exploited to help identify tumor-associated exons that can be targeted by CAR T cell therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2021.100297DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8233664PMC
June 2021

Chromatin Mechanisms Driving Cancer.

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2021 Jun 29. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Genetics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

The change in cell state from normal to malignant is driven fundamentally by oncogenic mutations in cooperation with epigenetic alterations of chromatin. These alterations in chromatin can be a consequence of environmental stressors or germline and/or somatic mutations that directly alter the structure of chromatin machinery proteins, their levels, or their regulatory function. These changes can result in an inability of the cell to differentiate along a predefined lineage path, or drive a hyperactive, highly proliferative state with addiction to high levels of transcriptional output. We discuss how these genetic alterations hijack the chromatin machinery for the oncogenic process to reveal unique vulnerabilities and novel targets for cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a040956DOI Listing
June 2021

Serine hydroxymethyltransferase 2 expression promotes tumorigenesis in rhabdomyosarcoma with 12q13-14 amplification.

J Clin Invest 2021 Jun 24. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, United States of America.

The 12q13-q14 chromosomal region is recurrently amplified in 25% of fusion-positive (FP) rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cases and is associated with a poor prognosis. To identify amplified oncogenes in FP RMS, we compared the size, gene composition and expression of 12q13-q14 amplicons in FP RMS with other cancer categories (glioblastoma multiforme, lung adenocarcinoma and liposarcoma) in which 12q13-q14 amplification frequently occurs. We uncovered a 0.2 Mb region that is commonly amplified across these cancers and includes CDK4 and six other genes that are overexpressed in amplicon-positive samples. Additionally, we identified a 0.5 Mb segment that is only recurrently amplified in FP RMS and includes four genes that are overexpressed in amplicon-positive RMS. Among these genes, only SHMT2 was overexpressed at the protein level in an amplicon-positive RMS cell line. SHMT2 knockdown in amplicon- positive RMS cells suppressed growth, transformation and tumorigenesis, whereas overexpression in amplicon-negative RMS cells promoted these phenotypes. High SHMT2 expression reduced sensitivity of FP RMS cells to SHIN1, a direct SHMT2 inhibitor, but sensitized cells to pemetrexed, an inhibitor of the folate cycle. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that SHMT2 contributes to tumorigenesis in FP RMS and that SHMT2 amplification predicts differential response to drugs targeting this metabolic pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI138022DOI Listing
June 2021

Genomic Classification and Clinical Outcome in Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Report From an International Consortium.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jun 24:JCO2003060. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children's Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Purpose: Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma of childhood. Despite aggressive therapy, the 5-year survival rate for patients with metastatic or recurrent disease remains poor, and beyond fusion status, no genomic markers are available for risk stratification. We present an international consortium study designed to determine the incidence of driver mutations and their association with clinical outcome.

Patients And Methods: Tumor samples collected from patients enrolled on Children's Oncology Group trials (1998-2017) and UK patients enrolled on malignant mesenchymal tumor and RMS2005 (1995-2016) trials were subjected to custom-capture sequencing. Mutations, indels, gene deletions, and amplifications were identified, and survival analysis was performed.

Results: DNA from 641 patients was suitable for analyses. A median of one mutation was found per tumor. In fusion-negative cases, mutation of any RAS pathway member was found in > 50% of cases, and 21% had no putative driver mutation identified. (15%), (15%), and (13%) mutations were found at a higher incidence than previously reported and mutations were associated with worse outcomes in both fusion-negative and fusion-positive cases. Interestingly, mutations in isoforms predominated in infants < 1 year (64% of cases). Mutation of was associated with histologic patterns beyond those previously described, older age, head and neck primary site, and a dismal survival. Finally, we provide a searchable companion database (ClinOmics), containing all genomic variants, and clinical annotation including survival data.

Conclusion: This is the largest genomic characterization of clinically annotated rhabdomyosarcoma tumors to date and provides prognostic genetic features that refine risk stratification and will be incorporated into prospective trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03060DOI Listing
June 2021

Notch signaling and efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 blockade in relapsed small cell lung cancer.

Nat Commun 2021 06 23;12(1):3880. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Developmental Therapeutics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) benefits only a small subset of patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC), yet the mechanisms driving benefit are poorly understood. To identify predictors of clinical benefit to ICB, we performed immunogenomic profiling of tumor samples from patients with relapsed SCLC. Tumors of patients who derive clinical benefit from ICB exhibit cytotoxic T-cell infiltration, high expression of antigen processing and presentation machinery (APM) genes, and low neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation. However, elevated Notch signaling, which positively correlates with low NE differentiation, most significantly predicts clinical benefit to ICB. Activation of Notch signaling in a NE human SCLC cell line induces a low NE phenotype, marked by increased expression of APM genes, demonstrating a mechanistic link between Notch activation, low NE differentiation and increased intrinsic tumor immunity. Our findings suggest Notch signaling as a determinant of response to ICB in SCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24164-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8222224PMC
June 2021

Pathogenic Germline Variants in Cancer Susceptibility Genes in Children and Young Adults With Rhabdomyosarcoma.

JCO Precis Oncol 2021 11;5. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Clinical Genetics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD.

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma and accounts for 3% of all pediatric cancer. In this study, we investigated germline sequence and structural variation in a broad set of genes in two large, independent RMS cohorts.

Materials And Methods: Genome sequencing of the discovery cohort (n = 273) and exome sequencing of the secondary cohort (n = 121) were conducted on germline DNA. Analyses were performed on 130 cancer susceptibility genes (CSG). Pathogenic or likely pathogenic (P/LP) variants were predicted using the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) criteria. Structural variation and survival analyses were performed on the discovery cohort.

Results: We found that 6.6%-7.7% of patients with RMS harbored P/LP variants in dominant-acting CSG. An additional approximately 1% have structural variants (, ) in CSGs. CSG variants did not influence survival, although there was a significant correlation with an earlier age of tumor onset. There was a nonsignificant excess of P/LP variants in dominant inheritance genes in the patients with fusion-negative RMS patients versus the patients with fusion-positive RMS. We identified pathogenic germline variants in CSGs previously (, , , mismatch repair genes), rarely (, , , ), or never () reported in RMS. Numerous genes (, , mismatch repair) were on the ACMG Secondary Findings 2.0 list.

Conclusion: In two cohorts of patients with RMS, we identified pathogenic germline variants for which gene-specific therapies and surveillance guidelines may be beneficial. In families with a proband with an RMS-risk P/LP variant, genetic counseling and cascade testing should be considered, especially for ACMG Secondary Findings genes and/or with gene-specific surveillance guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/PO.20.00218DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8169077PMC
January 2021

Prioritization of Novel Agents for Patients with Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Report from the Children's Oncology Group (COG) New Agents for Rhabdomyosarcoma Task Force.

J Clin Med 2021 Apr 1;10(7). Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Pediatrics and Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma diagnosed in children and adolescents. Patients that are diagnosed with advanced or relapsed disease have exceptionally poor outcomes. The Children's Oncology Group (COG) convened a rhabdomyosarcoma new agent task force in 2020 to systematically evaluate novel agents for inclusion in phase 2 or phase 3 clinical trials for patients diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, following a similar effort for Ewing sarcoma. The task force was comprised of clinicians and basic scientists who collectively identified new agents for evaluation and prioritization in clinical trial testing. Here, we report the work of the task force including the framework upon which the decisions were rendered and review the top classes of agents that were discussed. Representative agents include poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in combination with cytotoxic agents, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK) inhibitors in combination with type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR1) inhibitors, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, and novel cytotoxic agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10071416DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8037615PMC
April 2021

Therapeutic targeting of ATR yields durable regressions in small cell lung cancers with high replication stress.

Cancer Cell 2021 Apr;39(4):566-579.e7

Developmental Therapeutics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Small cell neuroendocrine cancers (SCNCs) are recalcitrant cancers arising from diverse primary sites that lack effective treatments. Using chemical genetic screens, we identified inhibition of ataxia telangiectasia and rad3 related (ATR), the primary activator of the replication stress response, and topoisomerase I (TOP1), nuclear enzyme that suppresses genomic instability, as synergistically cytotoxic in small cell lung cancer (SCLC). In a proof-of-concept study, we combined M6620 (berzosertib), first-in-class ATR inhibitor, and TOP1 inhibitor topotecan in patients with relapsed SCNCs. Objective response rate among patients with SCLC was 36% (9/25), achieving the primary efficacy endpoint. Durable tumor regressions were observed in patients with platinum-resistant SCNCs, typically fatal within weeks of recurrence. SCNCs with high neuroendocrine differentiation, characterized by enhanced replication stress, were more likely to respond. These findings highlight replication stress as a potentially transformative vulnerability of SCNCs, paving the way for rational patient selection in these cancers, now treated as a single disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2021.02.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8048383PMC
April 2021

Neopetrothiazide: An Intriguing Pentacyclic Thiazide Alkaloid from the Sponge sp.

Org Lett 2021 05 13;23(9):3278-3281. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Molecular Targets Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201, United States.

Neopetrothiazide (), a pentacyclic isoquinoline quinone, was isolated from a sp. sponge. The structure elucidation was facilitated by utilizing long-range heteronuclear single quantum multiple bond correlation (LR-HSQMBC) and heteronuclear multiple bond correlation (HMBC) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) pulse sequences optimized to detect four- and five-bond H-C heteronuclear correlations. These NMR experiments can help assign proton-deficient structural motifs like neopetrothiazide (), which has 14 contiguous nonprotonated centers (C, N, and S). Neopetrothiazide (), with an unprecedented thiazide-fused structural scaffold, is the first natural product containing a thiazide moiety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.1c00743DOI Listing
May 2021

Ataxia telangiectasia mutated germline pathogenic variant in adrenocortical carcinoma.

Cancer Genet 2021 Aug 24;256-257:21-25. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Pediatric Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States; Developmental Therapeutics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, United States. Electronic address:

Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy arising from the adrenal cortex. ACC carries a dismal prognosis and surgery offers the only chance for a cure. Germline pathogenic variants among certain oncogenes have been implicated in ACC. Here, we report the first case of ACC in a patient with a pathogenic variant in the Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) gene.

Patients And Methods: A 56-year-old Caucasian woman with biopsy proven ACC deemed unresectable and treated with etoposide, doxorubicin and cisplatin (EDP), and mitotane presented to our institution for evaluation. The tumor specimen was examined pathologically, and genetic analyses were performed on the tumor and germline using next-generation sequencing.

Results: Pathologic evaluation revealed an 18.0 × 14.0 × 9.0 cm low-grade ACC with tumor free resection margins. Immunohistochemistry stained for inhibin, melan-A, and chromogranin. ClinOmics analysis revealed a germline pathogenic deletion mutation of one nucleotide in ATM is denoted as c.1215delT at the cDNA level and p.Asn405LysfsX15 (N405KfsX15) at the protein level. Genomic analysis of the tumor showed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of chromosome 11 on which the ATM resides.

Conclusion: ACC is an aggressive malignancy for which surgical resection currently offers the only curative option. Here we report a heterozygous loss-of-function mutation in germline DNA and LOH of ATM in tumor in an ACC patient, a classic two-hit scenario in a well-known cancer suppresser gene, suggesting a pathogenic role of the ATM gene in certain ACC cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cancergen.2021.03.003DOI Listing
August 2021

Small molecule and macrocyclic pyrazole derived inhibitors of myeloperoxidase (MPO).

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2021 Jun 1;42:128010. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Research and Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, P. O. Box 5400, Princeton, NJ 08543, United States.

Myeloperoxidase (MPO), a critical enzyme in antimicrobial host-defense, has been implicated in chronic inflammatory diseases such as coronary artery disease. The design and evaluation of MPO inhibitors for the treatment of cardiovascular disease are reported herein. Starting with the MPO and triazolopyridine 3 crystal structure, novel inhibitors were designed incorporating a substituted pyrazole, which allowed for substituents to interact with hydrophobic and hydrophilic patches in the active site. SAR exploration of the substituted pyrazoles led to piperidine 17, which inhibited HOCl production from activated neutrophils with an IC value of 2.4 μM and had selectivity against thyroid peroxidase (TPO). Optimization of alkylation chemistry on the pyrazole nitrogen facilitated the preparation of many analogs, including macrocycles designed to bridge two hydrophobic regions of the active site. Multiple macrocyclization strategies were pursued to prepare analogs that optimally bound to the active site, leading to potent macrocyclic MPO inhibitors with TPO selectivity, such as compound 30.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2021.128010DOI Listing
June 2021

ZFTA-translocations constitute ependymoma chromatin remodeling and transcription factors.

Cancer Discov 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Oncology/CRUK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge

ZFTA (C11orf95)-a gene of unknown function-partners with a variety of transcriptional co-activators in translocations that drive supratentorial ependymoma, a frequently lethal brain tumor. Understanding the function of ZFTA is key to developing therapies that inhibit these fusion proteins. Here, using a combination of transcriptomics, chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing, and proteomics, we interrogated a series of deletion-mutant genes to identify a tri-partite transformation mechanism of ZFTA-containing fusions, including: spontaneous nuclear translocation, extensive chromatin binding, and SWI/SNF, SAGA and NuA4/Tip60 HAT chromatin modifier complex recruitment. Thereby, ZFTA tethers fusion proteins across the genome, modifying chromatin to an active state, and enabling its partner transcriptional co-activators to promote promiscuous expression of a transforming transcriptome. Using mouse models, we validate further those elements of ZFTA-fusion proteins that are critical for transformation-including ZFTA zinc fingers and partner gene transactivation domains-thereby unmasking vulnerabilities for therapeutic targeting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-1052DOI Listing
March 2021

Quinoline yellow dye stimulates whey protein fibrillation via electrostatic and hydrophobic interaction: A biophysical study.

J Dairy Sci 2021 May 6;104(5):5141-5151. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Central Laboratory, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, 2460, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Amyloid fibril formation of proteins is associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases. Several small molecules can accelerate the amyloid fibril formation in vitro and in vivo. However, the molecular mechanism of amyloid fibrillation is still unclear. In this study, we investigated how the food dye quinoline yellow (QY) induces amyloid fibrillation in α-lactalbumin (α-LA), a major whey protein, at pH 2.0. We used several spectroscopy techniques and a microscopy technique to explore how QY provokes amyloid fibrillation in α-LA. From turbidity and Rayleigh light scattering experiments, we found that QY promotes α-LA aggregation in a concentration-dependent manner; the optimal concentration for α-LA aggregation was 0.15 to 10.00 mM. Below 0.1 mM, no aggregation occurred. Quinoline yellow-induced aggregation was a rapid process that escaped the lag phase, but it depended on the concentrations of both α-LA and QY. We also demonstrated that aggregation switched the secondary structure of α-LA from α-helices to cross-β-sheets. We then confirmed the amyloid-like structure of aggregated α-LA by transmission electron microscopy measurements. Molecular docking and simulation confirmed the stability of the α-LA-QY complex due to the formation of 1 hydrogen bond with Lys99 and 2 electrostatic interactions with Arg70 and Lys99, along with hydrophobic interactions with Leu59 and Tyr103. This study will aid in our understanding of how small molecules induce aggregation of proteins inside the stomach (low pH) and affect the digestive process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2020-19766DOI Listing
May 2021

FOXF1 is required for the oncogenic properties of PAX3-FOXO1 in rhabdomyosarcoma.

Oncogene 2021 Mar 24;40(12):2182-2199. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Division of Pulmonary Biology, The Perinatal Institute of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

The PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein is the key oncogenic driver in fusion positive rhabdomyosarcoma (FP-RMS), an aggressive soft tissue malignancy with a particularly poor prognosis. Identifying key downstream targets of PAX3-FOXO1 will provide new therapeutic opportunities for treatment of FP-RMS. Herein, we demonstrate that Forkhead Box F1 (FOXF1) transcription factor is uniquely expressed in FP-RMS and is required for FP-RMS tumorigenesis. The PAX3-FOXO1 directly binds to FOXF1 enhancers and induces FOXF1 gene expression. CRISPR/Cas9 mediated inactivation of either FOXF1 coding sequence or FOXF1 enhancers suppresses FP-RMS tumorigenesis even in the presence of PAX3-FOXO1 oncogene. Knockdown or genetic knockout of FOXF1 induces myogenic differentiation in PAX3-FOXO1-positive FP-RMS. Over-expression of FOXF1 decreases myogenic differentiation in primary human myoblasts. In FP-RMS tumor cells, FOXF1 protein binds chromatin near enhancers associated with FP-RMS gene signature. FOXF1 cooperates with PAX3-FOXO1 and E-box transcription factors MYOD1 and MYOG to regulate FP-RMS-specific gene expression. Altogether, FOXF1 functions downstream of PAX3-FOXO1 to promote FP-RMS tumorigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-021-01694-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005492PMC
March 2021

Proteomic and Mechanistic Analysis of Spironolactone in Patients at Risk for HF.

JACC Heart Fail 2021 Apr 3;9(4):268-277. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Université de Lorraine, Inserm, Centre d'Investigation Clinique Plurithématique 1433, CHRU de Nancy, F-CRIN INI-CRCT, Nancy, France. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study sought to further understand the mechanisms underlying effect of spironolactone and assessed its impact on multiple plasma protein biomarkers and their respective underlying biologic pathways.

Background: In addition to their beneficial effects in established heart failure (HF), mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists may act upstream on mechanisms, preventing incident HF. In people at risk for developing HF, the HOMAGE (Heart OMics in AGEing) trial showed that spironolactone treatment could provide antifibrotic and antiremodeling effects, potentially slowing the progression to HF.

Methods: Baseline, 1-month, and 9-month (or last visit) plasma samples of HOMAGE participants were measured for protein biomarkers (n = 276) by using Olink Proseek-Multiplex cardiovascular and inflammation panels (Olink, Uppsala, Sweden). The effect of spironolactone on biomarkers was assessed by analysis of covariance and explored by knowledge-based network analysis.

Results: A total of 527 participants were enrolled; 265 were randomized to spironolactone (25 to 50 mg/day) and 262 to standard care ("control"). The median (interquartile range) age was 73 years (69 to 79 years), and 26% were female. Spironolactone reduced biomarkers of collagen metabolism (e.g., COL1A1, MMP-2); brain natriuretic peptide; and biomarkers related to metabolic processes (e.g., PAPPA), inflammation, and thrombosis (e.g., IL17A, VEGF, and urokinase). Spironolactone increased biomarkers that reflect the blockade of the mineralocorticoid receptor (e.g., renin) and increased the levels of adipokines involved in the anti-inflammatory response (e.g., RARRES2) and biomarkers of hemostasis maintenance (e.g., tPA, UPAR), myelosuppressive activity (e.g., CCL16), insulin suppression (e.g., RETN), and inflammatory regulation (e.g., IL-12B).

Conclusions: Proteomic analyses suggest that spironolactone exerts pleiotropic effects including reduction in fibrosis, inflammation, thrombosis, congestion, and vascular function improvement, all of which may mediate cardiovascular protective effects, potentially slowing progression toward heart failure. (HOMAGE [Bioprofiling Response to Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists for the Prevention of Heart Failure]; NCT02556450).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchf.2020.11.010DOI Listing
April 2021

Case Report: Single-Cell Transcriptomic Analysis of an Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma Post Immunotherapy.

Front Oncol 2020 14;10:601452. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Neuro-Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States.

Glioma is the most common primary malignant brain tumor with a poor prognosis. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have been of great interest in investigation of glioma treatments. Here, we report single-cell transcriptomic analyses of two tumor areas from an oligodendroglioma taken from a patient who had multiple tumor recurrences, following several chemotherapies and radiation treatments. The patient subsequently received nivolumab and was considered have disease progression based on conventional diagnostic imaging after two cycles of treatment. He underwent a debulking surgical resection and pathological diagnosis was recurrent disease. During the surgery, tumor tissues were also collected from the enhancing and non-enhancing areas for a scRNAseq analysis to investigate the tumor microenvironment of these radiographically divergent areas. The scRNAseq analysis reveals a plethora of immune cells, suggesting that the increased mass observed on MRI may be partially a result of immune cell infiltration. The patient continued to receive immunotherapy after a short course of palliative radiation and remained free of disease progression for at least 12 months after the last surgery, suggesting a sustained response to immunotherapy. The scRNAseq analysis indicated that the radiological progression was in large part due to immune cell infiltrate and continued immunotherapy led to a positive clinical outcome in a patient who would have otherwise been admitted to hospice care with halting of immunotherapy. Our study demonstrates the potential of scRNAseq analyses in understanding the tumor microenvironment, which may assist the clinical decision-making process for challenging glioma cases following immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.601452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7841290PMC
January 2021

Whole-exome sequencing reveals germline-mutated small cell lung cancer subtype with favorable response to DNA repair-targeted therapies.

Sci Transl Med 2021 01;13(578)

Developmental Therapeutics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Because tobacco is a potent carcinogen, secondary causes of lung cancer are often diminished in perceived importance. To assess the extent of inherited susceptibility to small cell lung cancer (SCLC), the most lethal type of lung cancer, we sequenced germline exomes of 87 patients (77 SCLC and 10 extrapulmonary small cell) and considered 607 genes, discovering 42 deleterious variants in 35 cancer-predisposition genes among 43.7% of patients. These findings were validated in an independent cohort of 79 patients with SCLC. Loss of heterozygosity was observed in 3 of 14 (21.4%) tumors. Identification of variants influenced medical management and family member testing in nine (10.3%) patients. Unselected patients with SCLC were more likely to carry germline RAD51 paralog D (), checkpoint kinase 1 (), breast cancer 2 (), and mutY DNA glycosylase () pathogenic variants than healthy controls. Germline genotype was significantly associated with the likelihood of a first-degree relative with cancer or lung cancer (odds ratio: 1.82, = 0.008; and 2.60, = 0.028), and longer recurrence-free survival after platinum-based chemotherapy ( = 0.002), independent of known prognostic factors. Treatment of a patient with relapsed SCLC and germline pathogenic mutation of interacting protein C-terminal helicase 1 (), a homologous recombination-related gene, using agents synthetically lethal with homologous recombination deficiency, resulted in a notable disease response. This work demonstrates that SCLC, currently thought to result almost exclusively from tobacco exposure, may have an inherited predisposition and lays the groundwork for targeted therapies based on the genes involved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abc7488DOI Listing
January 2021

Beyond the storm - subacute toxicities and late effects in children receiving CAR T cells.

Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2021 Jun 25;18(6):363-378. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Pediatric Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.

As clinical advances with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are increasingly described and the potential for extending their therapeutic benefit grows, optimizing the implementation of this therapeutic modality is imperative. The recognition and management of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) marked a milestone in this field; however, beyond the understanding gained in treating CRS, a host of additional toxicities and/or potential late effects of CAR T cell therapy warrant further investigation. A multicentre initiative involving experts in paediatric cell therapy, supportive care and/or study of late effects from cancer and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation was convened to facilitate the comprehensive study of extended CAR T cell-mediated toxicities and establish a framework for new systematic investigations of CAR T cell-related adverse events. Together, this group identified six key focus areas: extended monitoring of neurotoxicity and neurocognitive function, psychosocial considerations, infection and immune reconstitution, other end organ toxicities, evaluation of subsequent neoplasms, and strategies to optimize remission durability. Herein, we present the current understanding, gaps in knowledge and future directions of research addressing these CAR T cell-related outcomes. This systematic framework to study extended toxicities and optimization strategies will facilitate the translation of acquired experience and knowledge for optimal application of CAR T cell therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41571-020-00456-yDOI Listing
June 2021

Genome-Wide Analysis Unveils DNA Helicase RECQ1 as a Regulator of Estrogen Response Pathway in Breast Cancer Cells.

Mol Cell Biol 2021 03 24;41(4). Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA

Susceptibility to breast cancer is significantly increased in individuals with germ line mutations in (also known as or ), a gene encoding a DNA helicase essential for genome maintenance. We previously reported that expression predicts clinical outcomes for sporadic breast cancer patients stratified by estrogen receptor (ER) status. Here, we utilized an unbiased integrative genomics approach to delineate a cross talk between RECQ1 and ERα, a known master regulatory transcription factor in breast cancer. We found that expression of , the gene encoding ERα, is directly activated by RECQ1. More than 35% of RECQ1 binding sites were cobound by ERα genome-wide. Mechanistically, RECQ1 cooperates with FOXA1, the pioneer transcription factor for ERα, to enhance chromatin accessibility at the regulatory regions in a helicase activity-dependent manner. In clinical ERα-positive breast cancers treated with endocrine therapy, high RECQ1 and high FOXA1 coexpressing tumors were associated with better survival. Collectively, these results identify RECQ1 as a novel cofactor for ERα and uncover a previously unknown mechanism by which RECQ1 regulates disease-driving gene expression in ER-positive breast cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.00515-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8088126PMC
March 2021

The role of the multifunctional antimicrobial peptide melittin in gene delivery.

Drug Discov Today 2021 Apr 12;26(4):1053-1059. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Melittin is vital for the endosomal escape of nanoparticles, but its excessive cytotoxicity in mammalian cells limits its value as a potential therapeutic agent. Several novel analogs of melittin have been optimized and characterized to establish a non-toxic melittin-based gene delivery system, in which the sequences of the melittin peptides were altered to reduce their cytotoxic activity. This review focusses on the involvement of melittin in nanoparticle endosomal escape and on the construction of melittin conjugates to boost gene delivery. Endosomal escape mechanisms for melittin, as well as the development of melittin as a therapeutic agent and its potential applications in nanomedicine, are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drudis.2021.01.004DOI Listing
April 2021

A novel route for catalytic activation of peroxymonosulfate by oxygen vacancies improved bismuth-doped titania for the removal of recalcitrant organic contaminant.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 May 14;28(18):23368-23385. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

College of Natural and Health Sciences, Zayed University, P.O. Box 144534, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

In this work, bismuth-doped titania (BiTiO) with improved oxygen vacancies was synthesized by sol-gel protocol as a novel peroxymonosulfate (PMS, HSO) activator. HSO and adsorbed oxygen molecules could efficiently be transformed into their respective radicals through defect ionization to attain charge balance after their trapping on oxygen vacancies of the catalyst. XRD study of BiTiO with 5 wt% Bi (5BiT) revealed anatase, crystalline nature, and successful doping of Bi into TiO crystal lattice. The particle size obtained from BET data and SEM observations was in good agreement. PL spectra showed the formation rates of OH by 3BiT, 7BiT, 5BiTC, and 5BiT as 0.720, 1.200, 1.489, and 2.153 μmol/h, respectively. 5BiT catalyst with high surface area (216.87 m g) and high porosity (29.81%) was observed the excellent HSO activator. The catalytic performance of 0BiT, 3BiT, 5BiT, and 7BiT when coupled with 2 mM HSO for recalcitrant flumequine (FLU) removal under dark was 10, 27, 55, and 37%, respectively. Only 5.4% decrease in catalytic efficiency was observed at the end of seventh cyclic run. Radical scavenging studies indicate that SO is the dominant species that caused 62.0% degradation. Moreover, strong interaction between Bi and TiO through Bi-O-Ti bonds prevents Bi leaching (0.081 mg L) as shown by AAS. The kinetics, degradation pathways, ecotoxicity, and catalytic mechanism for recalcitrant FLU were also elucidated. Cost-efficient, environment-friendly, and high mineralization recommends this design strategy; BiTiO/HSO system is a promising advanced oxidation process for the aquatic environment remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11497-2DOI Listing
May 2021

Honeybee nutrition and pollen substitutes: A review.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Jan 24;28(1):1167-1176. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Like other invertebrates, honey bees too are poikilothermic animals; they cannot regulate their body temperature and they have to undergo a period of inactivation when atmospheric temperature is un-tolerable. During this period, their nutritional requirements and metabolic activities are minimized due to highly restricted foraging activities. The egg-laying by queen and rearing of unsealed and sealed brood are decreased, however their extent is governed by the quantum of stored food available. The problems of deleterious influence of adverse weather conditions and non-availability of bee flora all round the year, in a particular locality, have been realized by the researchers/beekeepers and migration concept has been developed to solve this problem. But again, migration itself is not an easy task. The provision of artificial feeding as an alternate of migration. Scientists all over the world have formulated different artificial food recepies for bees on the basis of nutrient composition of honey and pollen, acceptability, palatability, digestibility and affordability of ingredients. This may help to maintain all colony parameters enough to derive maximum advantage of forthcoming floral rich season. However, a standard balanced diet for commercial beekeeping that is accepted worldwide is still awaited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2020.11.053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7783834PMC
January 2021

Substituted diaryl ether compounds as retinoic acid-related orphan Receptor-γt (RORγt) agonists.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2021 03 8;35:127778. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Chemistry, Bristol Myers Squibb Company, P.O. Box 4000, Princeton, NJ, USA.

The discovery of a series of substituted diarylether compounds as retinoic acid related orphan receptor γt (RORγt) agonists is described. Compound 1 was identified from deck mining as a RORγt agonist. Hit-to-lead optimization led to the identification of lead compound 5, which possesses improved potency (10x). Extensive SAR exploration led to the identification of a potent and selective compound 22, that demonstrated an improved pharmacokinetic profile and a dose-dependent pharmacodynamic response. However, when dosed in a MC38 syngeneic tumor model, no evidence of efficacy was observed. ©2020 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2021.127778DOI Listing
March 2021

Interaction between SNAI2 and MYOD enhances oncogenesis and suppresses differentiation in Fusion Negative Rhabdomyosarcoma.

Nat Commun 2021 01 8;12(1):192. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is an aggressive pediatric malignancy of the muscle, that includes Fusion Positive (FP)-RMS harboring PAX3/7-FOXO1 and Fusion Negative (FN)-RMS commonly with RAS pathway mutations. RMS express myogenic master transcription factors MYOD and MYOG yet are unable to terminally differentiate. Here, we report that SNAI2 is highly expressed in FN-RMS, is oncogenic, blocks myogenic differentiation, and promotes growth. MYOD activates SNAI2 transcription via super enhancers with striped 3D contact architecture. Genome wide chromatin binding analysis demonstrates that SNAI2 preferentially binds enhancer elements and competes with MYOD at a subset of myogenic enhancers required for terminal differentiation. SNAI2 also suppresses expression of a muscle differentiation program modulated by MYOG, MEF2, and CDKN1A. Further, RAS/MEK-signaling modulates SNAI2 levels and binding to chromatin, suggesting that the differentiation blockade by oncogenic RAS is mediated in part by SNAI2. Thus, an interplay between SNAI2, MYOD, and RAS prevents myogenic differentiation and promotes tumorigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20386-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794422PMC
January 2021

Unraveling the mechanism of arbidol binding and inhibition of SARS-CoV-2: Insights from atomistic simulations.

Eur J Pharmacol 2021 Mar 31;894:173836. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

Molecular and Structural Biophysics Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India. Electronic address:

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly and poses an unprecedented threat to the global economy and human health. Broad-spectrum antivirals are currently being administered to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). China's prevention and treatment guidelines suggest the use of an anti-influenza drug, arbidol, for the clinical treatment of COVID-19. Reports indicate that arbidol could neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Monotherapy with arbidol is superior to lopinavir-ritonavir or favipiravir for treating COVID-19. In SARS-CoV-2 infection, arbidol acts by interfering with viral binding to host cells. However, the detailed mechanism by which arbidol induces the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 is not known. Here, we present atomistic insights into the mechanism underlying membrane fusion inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 by arbidol. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation-based analyses demonstrate that arbidol binds and stabilizes at the receptor-binding domain (RBD)/ACE2 interface with a high affinity. It forms stronger intermolecular interactions with the RBD than ACE2. Analyses of the detailed decomposition of energy components and binding affinities revealed a substantial increase in the affinity between the RBD and ACE2 in the arbidol-bound RBD/ACE2 complex, suggesting that arbidol generates favorable interactions between them. Based on our MD simulation results, we propose that the binding of arbidol induces structural rigidity in the viral glycoprotein, thus restricting the conformational rearrangements associated with membrane fusion and virus entry. Furthermore, key residues of the RBD and ACE2 that interact with arbidol were identified, opening the door for developing therapeutic strategies and higher-efficacy arbidol derivatives or lead drug candidates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173836DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773528PMC
March 2021

Discovery of BMS-986202: A Clinical Tyk2 Inhibitor that Binds to Tyk2 JH2.

J Med Chem 2021 01 28;64(1):677-694. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Immunosciences Discovery Chemistry, Bristol-Myers Squibb Research & Development, P.O. Box 4000, Princeton, New Jersey 08543, United States.

A search for structurally diversified Tyk2 JH2 ligands from (BMS-986165), a pyridazine carboxamide-derived Tyk2 JH2 ligand as a clinical Tyk2 inhibitor currently in late development for the treatment of psoriasis, began with a survey of six-membered heteroaryl groups in place of the -methyl triazolyl moiety in . The X-ray co-crystal structure of an early lead () revealed a potential new binding pocket. Exploration of the new pocket resulted in two frontrunners for a clinical candidate. The potential hydrogen bonding interaction with Thr599 in the pocket was achieved with a tertiary amide moiety, confirmed by the X-ray co-crystal structure of . When the diversity search was extended to nicotinamides, a single fluorine atom addition was found to significantly enhance the permeability, which directly led to the discovery of (BMS-986202) as a clinical Tyk2 inhibitor that binds to Tyk2 JH2. The preclinical studies of , including efficacy studies in mouse models of IL-23-driven acanthosis, anti-CD40-induced colitis, and spontaneous lupus, will also be presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c01698DOI Listing
January 2021

The prognostic significance of anaplasia in childhood rhabdomyosarcoma: A report from the Children's Oncology Group.

Eur J Cancer 2021 01 7;143:127-133. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA, United States.

Background: Established prognostic indicators in rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), the most common childhood soft tissue sarcoma, include several clinicopathologic features. Among pathologic features, anaplasia has been suggested as a potential prognostic indicator, but the clinical significance of anaplasia remains unclear.

Methods: Patients enrolled on one of five recent Children's Oncology Group clinical trials for RMS (D9602, n = 357; D9802, n = 80; D9803, n = 462; ARST0331, n = 335; and ARST0531, n = 414) with prospective central pathology review were included in this study. Clinicopathologic variables including demographic information, risk group, histologic subtype, and anaplasia were recorded along with overall survival (OS) and failure-free survival (FFS) with failure defined by recurrence, progression, or death. The log-rank test was used to compare OS and FFS.

Results: Anaplasia was more common in embryonal RMS (27% of all embryonal RMS) than other subtypes of RMS (11% for alveolar RMS, 7% for botryoid RMS, 11% for spindle cell RMS). On multivariate analyses, anaplasia was not an independent prognostic factor in RMS (OS:hazard ratio (HR) = 1.12, p = 0.43; FFS:HR = 1.07, p = 0.56) across all subtypes or within embryonal RMS only (OS:HR = 1.41, p = 0.078; FFS:HR = 1.25, p = 0.16). Among tumors with TP53 mutations, 69% had anaplasia, while only 24% of tumors with anaplasia had a tumoral TP53 mutation.

Conclusions: Anaplasia is not an independent indicator of adverse outcomes in RMS. Emerging information on the prognostic significance of TP53 mutations raises the possibility that anaplasia may be a surrogate marker of TP53 mutations in some cases. Tumoral TP53 mutation status may be investigated as a prognostic indicator in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.10.018DOI Listing
January 2021

Immunohistochemical detection of PAX-FOXO1 fusion proteins in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma using breakpoint specific monoclonal antibodies.

Mod Pathol 2021 04 9;34(4):748-757. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Genetics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) is an aggressive pediatric cancer with about 80% of cases characterized by either a t(1;13)(p36;q14) or t(2;13)(q35;q14), which results in the formation of the fusion oncogenes PAX7-FOXO1 and PAX3-FOXO1, respectively. Since patients with fusion-positive ARMS (FP-RMS) have a poor prognosis and are treated with an aggressive therapeutic regimen, correct classification is of clinical importance. Detection of the translocation by different molecular methods is used for diagnostics, including fluorescence in situ hybridization and RT-PCR or NGS based approaches. Since these methods are complex and time consuming, we developed specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed to the junction region on the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein. Two mAbs, PFM.1 and PFM.2, were developed and able to immunoprecipitate in vitro-translated PAX3-FOXO1 and cellular PAX3-FOXO1 from FP-RMS cells. Furthermore, the mAbs recognized a 105 kDa band in PAX3-FOXO1-transfected cells and in FP-RMS cell lines. The mAbs did not recognize proteins in fusion-negative embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines, nor did they recognize PAX3 or FOXO1 alone when compared to anti-PAX3 and anti-FOXO1 antibodies. We next evaluated the ability of mAb PFM.2 to detect the fusion protein by immunohistochemistry. Both PAX3-FOXO1 and PAX7-FOXO1 were detected in HEK293 cells transfected with the corresponding cDNAs. Subsequently, we stained 26 primary tumor sections and a rhabdomyosarcoma tissue array and detected both fusion proteins with a positive predictive value of 100%, negative predictive value of 98%, specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 91%. While tumors are stained homogenously in PAX3-FOXO1 cases, the staining pattern is heterogenous with scattered positive cells only in tumors expressing PAX7-FOXO1. No staining was observed in stromal cells, embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, and fusion-negative rhabdomyosarcoma. These results demonstrate that mAbs specific for the chimeric oncoproteins PAX3-FOXO1 and PAX7-FOXO1 can be used efficiently for simple and fast subclassification of rhabdomyosarcoma in routine diagnostics via immunohistochemical detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-020-00719-0DOI Listing
April 2021
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