Publications by authors named "Jens-Martin Hübner"

7 Publications

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Modeling SHH-driven medulloblastoma with patient iPS cell-derived neural stem cells.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 08 3;117(33):20127-20138. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell biology (MTC), Karolinska Institutet, 171 65 Stockholm, Sweden;

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Here we describe a medulloblastoma model using Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived human neuroepithelial stem (NES) cells generated from a Gorlin syndrome patient carrying a germline mutation in the sonic hedgehog (SHH) receptor We found that Gorlin NES cells formed tumors in mouse cerebellum mimicking human medulloblastoma. Retransplantation of tumor-isolated NES (tNES) cells resulted in accelerated tumor formation, cells with reduced growth factor dependency, enhanced neurosphere formation in vitro, and increased sensitivity to Vismodegib. Using our model, we identified to be a GLI target gene that is up-regulated in both Gorlin tNES cells and SHH-subgroup of medulloblastoma patients. Taken together, we demonstrate that NES cells derived from Gorlin patients can be used as a resource to model medulloblastoma initiation and progression and to identify putative targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1920521117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7443968PMC
August 2020

The molecular landscape of ETMR at diagnosis and relapse.

Nature 2019 12 4;576(7786):274-280. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Department of Pathology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Embryonal tumours with multilayered rosettes (ETMRs) are aggressive paediatric embryonal brain tumours with a universally poor prognosis. Here we collected 193 primary ETMRs and 23 matched relapse samples to investigate the genomic landscape of this distinct tumour type. We found that patients with tumours in which the proposed driver C19MC was not amplified frequently had germline mutations in DICER1 or other microRNA-related aberrations such as somatic amplification of miR-17-92 (also known as MIR17HG). Whole-genome sequencing revealed that tumours had an overall low recurrence of single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), but showed prevalent genomic instability caused by widespread occurrence of R-loop structures. We show that R-loop-associated chromosomal instability can be induced by the loss of DICER1 function. Comparison of primary tumours and matched relapse samples showed a strong conservation of structural variants, but low conservation of SNVs. Moreover, many newly acquired SNVs are associated with a mutational signature related to cisplatin treatment. Finally, we show that targeting R-loops with topoisomerase and PARP inhibitors might be an effective treatment strategy for this deadly disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1815-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6908757PMC
December 2019

EZHIP/CXorf67 mimics K27M mutated oncohistones and functions as an intrinsic inhibitor of PRC2 function in aggressive posterior fossa ependymoma.

Neuro Oncol 2019 07;21(7):878-889

Division of Pediatric Neurooncology, German Cancer Consortium, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Posterior fossa A (PFA) ependymomas are one of 9 molecular groups of ependymoma. PFA tumors are mainly diagnosed in infants and young children, show a poor prognosis, and are characterized by a lack of the repressive histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) mark. Recently, we reported overexpression of chromosome X open reading frame 67 (CXorf67) as a hallmark of PFA ependymoma and showed that CXorf67 can interact with enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), thereby inhibiting polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), but the mechanism of action remained unclear.

Methods: We performed mass spectrometry and peptide modeling analyses to identify the functional domain of CXorf67 responsible for binding and inhibition of EZH2. Our findings were validated by immunocytochemistry, western blot, and methyltransferase assays.

Results: We find that the inhibitory mechanism of CXorf67 is similar to diffuse midline gliomas harboring H3K27M mutations. A small, highly conserved peptide sequence located in the C-terminal region of CXorf67 mimics the sequence of K27M mutated histones and binds to the SET domain (Su(var)3-9/enhancer-of-zeste/trithorax) of EZH2. This interaction blocks EZH2 methyltransferase activity and inhibits PRC2 function, causing de-repression of PRC2 target genes, including genes involved in neurodevelopment.

Conclusions: Expression of CXorf67 is an oncogenic mechanism that drives H3K27 hypomethylation in PFA tumors by mimicking K27M mutated histones. Disrupting the interaction between CXorf67 and EZH2 may serve as a novel targeted therapy for PFA tumors but also for other tumors that overexpress CXorf67. Based on its function, we have renamed CXorf67 as "EZH Inhibitory Protein" (EZHIP).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noz058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6620627PMC
July 2019

Heterogeneity within the PF-EPN-B ependymoma subgroup.

Acta Neuropathol 2018 08 17;136(2):227-237. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Program in Solid Tumors and Biomarkers, Department of Pediatrics, The Health Research Institute of Navarra (IDISNA), Foundation for the Applied Medical Research, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain.

Posterior fossa ependymoma comprise three distinct molecular variants, termed PF-EPN-A (PFA), PF-EPN-B (PFB), and PF-EPN-SE (subependymoma). Clinically, they are very disparate and PFB tumors are currently being considered for a trial of radiation avoidance. However, to move forward, unraveling the heterogeneity within PFB would be highly desirable. To discern the molecular heterogeneity within PFB, we performed an integrated analysis consisting of DNA methylation profiling, copy-number profiling, gene expression profiling, and clinical correlation across a cohort of 212 primary posterior fossa PFB tumors. Unsupervised spectral clustering and t-SNE analysis of genome-wide methylation data revealed five distinct subtypes of PFB tumors, termed PFB1-5, with distinct demographics, copy-number alterations, and gene expression profiles. All PFB subtypes were distinct from PFA and posterior fossa subependymomas. Of the five subtypes, PFB4 and PFB5 are more discrete, consisting of younger and older patients, respectively, with a strong female-gender enrichment in PFB5 (age: p = 0.011, gender: p = 0.04). Broad copy-number aberrations were common; however, many events such as chromosome 2 loss, 5 gain, and 17 loss were enriched in specific subtypes and 1q gain was enriched in PFB1. Late relapses were common across all five subtypes, but deaths were uncommon and present in only two subtypes (PFB1 and PFB3). Unlike the case in PFA ependymoma, 1q gain was not a robust marker of poor progression-free survival; however, chromosome 13q loss may represent a novel marker for risk stratification across the spectrum of PFB subtypes. Similar to PFA ependymoma, there exists a significant intertumoral heterogeneity within PFB, with distinct molecular subtypes identified. Even when accounting for this heterogeneity, extent of resection remains the strongest predictor of poor outcome. However, this biological heterogeneity must be accounted for in future preclinical modeling and personalized therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-018-1888-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6373486PMC
August 2018

Molecular heterogeneity and CXorf67 alterations in posterior fossa group A (PFA) ependymomas.

Acta Neuropathol 2018 08 16;136(2):211-226. Epub 2018 Jun 16.

Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, 38105, USA.

Of nine ependymoma molecular groups detected by DNA methylation profiling, the posterior fossa type A (PFA) is most prevalent. We used DNA methylation profiling to look for further molecular heterogeneity among 675 PFA ependymomas. Two major subgroups, PFA-1 and PFA-2, and nine minor subtypes were discovered. Transcriptome profiling suggested a distinct histogenesis for PFA-1 and PFA-2, but their clinical parameters were similar. In contrast, PFA subtypes differed with respect to age at diagnosis, gender ratio, outcome, and frequencies of genetic alterations. One subtype, PFA-1c, was enriched for 1q gain and had a relatively poor outcome, while patients with PFA-2c ependymomas showed an overall survival at 5 years of > 90%. Unlike other ependymomas, PFA-2c tumors express high levels of OTX2, a potential biomarker for this ependymoma subtype with a good prognosis. We also discovered recurrent mutations among PFA ependymomas. H3 K27M mutations were present in 4.2%, occurring only in PFA-1 tumors, and missense mutations in an uncharacterized gene, CXorf67, were found in 9.4% of PFA ependymomas, but not in other groups. We detected high levels of wildtype or mutant CXorf67 expression in all PFA subtypes except PFA-1f, which is enriched for H3 K27M mutations. PFA ependymomas are characterized by lack of H3 K27 trimethylation (H3 K27-me3), and we tested the hypothesis that CXorf67 binds to PRC2 and can modulate levels of H3 K27-me3. Immunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry detected EZH2, SUZ12, and EED, core components of the PRC2 complex, bound to CXorf67 in the Daoy cell line, which shows high levels of CXorf67 and no expression of H3 K27-me3. Enforced reduction of CXorf67 in Daoy cells restored H3 K27-me3 levels, while enforced expression of CXorf67 in HEK293T and neural stem cells reduced H3 K27-me3 levels. Our data suggest that heterogeneity among PFA ependymomas could have clinicopathologic utility and that CXorf67 may have a functional role in these tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-018-1877-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6105278PMC
August 2018

Epidemiology, molecular classification and WHO grading of ependymoma.

J Neurosurg Sci 2018 Feb 8;62(1):46-50. Epub 2017 Sep 8.

Division of Pediatric Neurooncology, German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany -

Ependymoma can arise throughout all compartments of the central nervous system with prevalence for intracranial and spinal location in children and adults, respectively. The current histopathology based WHO grading system distinguishes grade I, II 'classic', and III 'anaplastic' ependymoma. However, analysis of multiple cohorts of intracranial ependymoma demonstrate a wide variance in the utility of the grade II versus grade III distinction as a prognostic marker that may additionally be confounded by the anatomic compartment. Recent (epi)genomic profiling efforts have identified molecularly distinct groups of ependymoma arising from all three anatomic compartments of the central nervous system that outperform the current histopathological classification regarding clinical associations. These advances have led to the cognition that molecular classification should be part of all future clinical trials in ependymoma patients. Clinical management of intracranial ependymomas (WHO Grade II/III) is challenging and molecular classification based risk stratification may help to intensify treatment and surveillance in high-risk patients but to de-escalate therapy in certain patient groups at low risk for recurrence. Finally, experience of neurosurgeons, and other disciplines, as well as intensified co-operation between all stakeholders involved hold promise to finally improve outcome of patients affected with ependymoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0390-5616.17.04152-2DOI Listing
February 2018

Studies on the Interaction of Tumor-Derived HD5 Alpha Defensins with Adenoviruses and Implications for Oncolytic Adenovirus Therapy.

J Virol 2017 03 28;91(6). Epub 2017 Feb 28.

Division of Medical Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Defensins are small antimicrobial peptides capable of neutralizing human adenovirus (HAdV) by binding capsid proteins and blocking endosomal escape of virus. In humans, the alpha defensin HD5 is produced by specialized epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal and genito-urinary tracts. Here, we demonstrate, using patient biopsy specimens, that HD5 is also expressed as an active, secreted peptide by epithelial ovarian and lung cancer cells This finding prompted us to study the role of HD5 in infection and spread of replication-competent, oncolytic HAdV type 3 (HAdV3). HAdV3 produces large amounts of penton-dodecahedra (PtDd), virus-like particles, during replication. We have previously shown that PtDd are involved in opening epithelial junctions, thus facilitating lateral spread of -produced virions. Here, we describe a second function of PtDd, namely, the blocking of HD5. A central tool to prove that viral PtDd neutralize HD5 and support spread of progeny virus was an HAdV3 mutant virus in which formation of PtDd was disabled (mut-Ad3GFP, where GFP is green fluorescent protein). We demonstrated that viral spread of mut-Ad3GFP was blocked by synthetic HD5 whereas that of the wild-type (wt) form (wt-Ad3GFP) was only minimally impacted. In human colon cancer Caco-2 cells, induction of cellular HD5 expression by fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) significantly inhibited viral spread and progeny virus production of mut-Ad3GFP but not of wt-Ad3GFP. Finally, the ectopic expression of HD5 in tumor cells diminished the oncolytic activity of mut-Ad3GFP but not of wt-Ad3GFP. These data suggest a new mechanism of HAdV3 to overcome innate antiviral host responses. Our study has implications for oncolytic adenovirus therapy. Previously, it has been reported that human defensin HD5 inactivates specific human adenoviruses by binding to capsid proteins and blocking endosomal escape of virus. The central new findings described in our manuscript are the following: (i) the discovery of a new mechanism used by human adenovirus serotype 3 to overcome innate antiviral host responses that is based on the capacity of HAdV3 to produce subviral penton-dodecahedral particles that act as decoys for HD5, thus preventing the inactivation of virus progeny produced upon replication; (ii) the demonstration that ectopic HD5 expression in cancer cells decreases the oncolytic efficacy of a serotype 5-based adenovirus vector; and (iii) the demonstration that epithelial ovarian and lung cancers express HD5. The study improves our understanding of how adenoviruses establish infection in epithelial tissues and has implications for cancer therapy with oncolytic adenoviruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02030-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5331826PMC
March 2017