Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2013 Jan 14;52(1):56-68. Epub 2012 Sep 14.
Department of Pathology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Cervical cancer results from persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV). Common genetic aberrations in cervical (pre)cancers encompass large genomic regions with numerous genes, hampering identification of driver genes. This study aimed to identify genes functionally involved in HPV-mediated transformation by analysis of focal aberrations (<3 Mb) in high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (hgCIN). Focal chromosomal aberrations were determined in high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization data of 60 hgCIN. Genes located within focal aberrations were validated using 2 external gene expression datasets or qRT-PCR. Functional roles of candidate genes EYA2 (20q13) and hsa-miR-375 (2q35) were studied by siRNA-mediated knock-down and overexpression, respectively, in hrHPV-containing cell lines. We identified 74 focal aberrations encoding 305 genes. Concurrent altered expression in hgCIN and/or cervical carcinomas compared with normal cervical samples was shown for ATP13A3, HES1, OPA1, HRASLS, EYA2, ZMYND8, APOBEC2, and NCR2. Gene silencing of EYA2 significantly reduced viability, migratory capacity, and anchorage-independent growth of HPV16-transformed keratinocytes. For hsa-miR-375, a direct correlation between a (focal) loss and significantly reduced expression was found. Downregulation of hsa-miR-375 expression was confirmed in an independent series of cervical tissues. Ectopic expression of hsa-miR-375 in 2 cervical carcinoma cell lines reduced cellular viability. Our data provide a proof of concept that chromosomal aberrations are actively contributing to HPV-induced carcinogenesis and identify EYA2 and hsa-miR-375 as oncogene and tumor suppressor gene, respectively.