Yang HW, Kim T-M, Song SS, Menon L, Jiang X, Huang W, Black PM, Park PJ, Carroll RS, Johnson MD. A small subunit processome protein promotes cancer by altering translation. Oncogene 2015;34(34):4471-81.Abstract

Dysregulation of ribosome biogenesis or translation can promote cancer, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. UTP18 is a component of the small subunit processome, a nucleolar multi-protein complex whose only known function is to cleave pre-ribosomal RNA to yield the 18S ribosomal RNA component of 40S ribosomal subunits. Here, we show that UTP18 also alters translation to promote stress resistance and growth, and that UTP18 is frequently gained and overexpressed in cancer. We observed that UTP18 localizes to the cytoplasm in a subset of cells, and that serum withdrawal increases cytoplasmic UTP18 localization. Cytoplasmic UTP18 associates with the translation complex and Hsp90 to upregulate the translation of IRES-containing transcripts such as HIF1a, Myc and VEGF, thereby inducing stress resistance. Hsp90 inhibition decreases cytoplasmic UTP18 and UTP18-induced increases in translation. Importantly, elevated UTP18 expression correlates with increased aggressiveness and decreased survival in numerous cancers. Enforced UTP18 overexpression promotes transformation and tumorigenesis, whereas UTP18 knockdown inhibits these processes. This stress adaptation mechanism is thus co-opted for growth by cancers, and its inhibition may represent a promising new therapeutic target.

Park RW*, Kim T-M*, Kasif S, Park PJ. Identification of rare germline copy number variations over-represented in five human cancer types. Molecular Cancer 2015;14:25.Abstract

-BACKGROUND: Copy number variations (CNVs) are increasingly recognized as significant disease susceptibility markers in many complex disorders including cancer. The availability of a large number of chromosomal copy number profiles in both malignant and normal tissues in cancer patients presents an opportunity to characterize not only somatic alterations but also germline CNVs, which may confer increased risk for cancer. RESULTS: We explored the germline CNVs in five cancer cohorts from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) consisting of 351 brain, 336 breast, 342 colorectal, 370 renal, and 314 ovarian cancers, genotyped on Affymetrix SNP6.0 arrays. Comparing these to ~3000 normal controls from another study, our case-control association study revealed 39 genomic loci (9 brain, 3 breast, 4 colorectal, 11 renal, and 12 ovarian cancers) as potential candidates of tumor susceptibility loci. Many of these loci are new and in some cases are associated with a substantial increase in disease risk. The majority of the observed loci do not overlap with coding sequences; however, several observed genomic loci overlap with known cancer genes including RET in brain cancers, ERBB2 in renal cell carcinomas, and DCC in ovarian cancers, all of which have not been previously associated with germline changes in cancer. CONCLUSIONS: This large-scale genome-wide association study for CNVs across multiple cancer types identified several novel rare germline CNVs as cancer predisposing genomic loci. These loci can potentially serve as clinically useful markers conferring increased cancer risk.

De Los Angeles A*, Ferrari F*, Fujiwara Y, Mathieu R, Lee S, Lee S, Tu H-C, Ross S, Chou S, Nguyen M, Wu Z, Theunissen TW, Powell BE, Imsoonthornruksa S, Chen J, Borkent M, Krupalnik V, Lujan E, Wernig M, Hanna JH, Hochedlinger K, Pei D, Jaenisch R, Deng H, Orkin SH, Park PJ**, Daley GQ**. Failure to replicate the STAP cell phenomenon. Nature 2015;525(7570):E6-9.
Ajay AK, Kim T-M, Ramirez-Gonzalez V, Park PJ, Frank DA, Vaidya VS. A bioinformatics approach identifies signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 and checkpoint kinase 1 as upstream regulators of kidney injury molecule-1 after kidney injury. J Am Soc Nephrol 2014;25(1):105-18.Abstract

Kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1)/T cell Ig and mucin domain-containing protein-1 (TIM-1) is upregulated more than other proteins after AKI, and it is highly expressed in renal damage of various etiologies. In this capacity, KIM-1/TIM-1 acts as a phosphatidylserine receptor on the surface of injured proximal tubular epithelial cells, mediating phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, and it may also act as a costimulatory molecule for immune cells. Despite recognition of KIM-1 as an important therapeutic target for kidney disease, the regulators of KIM-1 transcription in the kidney remain unknown. Using a bioinformatics approach, we identified upstream regulators of KIM-1 after AKI. In response to tubular injury in rat and human kidneys or oxidant stress in human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HPTECs), KIM-1 expression increased significantly in a manner that corresponded temporally and regionally with increased phosphorylation of checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) and STAT3. Both ischemic and oxidant stress resulted in a dramatic increase in reactive oxygen species that phosphorylated and activated Chk1, which subsequently bound to STAT3, phosphorylating it at S727. Furthermore, STAT3 bound to the KIM-1 promoter after ischemic and oxidant stress, and pharmacological or genetic induction of STAT3 in HPTECs increased KIM-1 mRNA and protein levels. Conversely, inhibition of STAT3 using siRNAs or dominant negative mutants reduced KIM-1 expression in a kidney cancer cell line (769-P) that expresses high basal levels of KIM-1. These observations highlight Chk1 and STAT3 as critical upstream regulators of KIM-1 expression after AKI and may suggest novel approaches for therapeutic intervention.

Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network TCGA. Integrated genomic characterization of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Cell 2014;159(3):676-90.Abstract

Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common type of thyroid cancer. Here, we describe the genomic landscape of 496 PTCs. We observed a low frequency of somatic alterations (relative to other carcinomas) and extended the set of known PTC driver alterations to include EIF1AX, PPM1D, and CHEK2 and diverse gene fusions. These discoveries reduced the fraction of PTC cases with unknown oncogenic driver from 25% to 3.5%. Combined analyses of genomic variants, gene expression, and methylation demonstrated that different driver groups lead to different pathologies with distinct signaling and differentiation characteristics. Similarly, we identified distinct molecular subgroups of BRAF-mutant tumors, and multidimensional analyses highlighted a potential involvement of oncomiRs in less-differentiated subgroups. Our results propose a reclassification of thyroid cancers into molecular subtypes that better reflect their underlying signaling and differentiation properties, which has the potential to improve their pathological classification and better inform the management of the disease.

Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network TCGA. Comprehensive molecular characterization of gastric adenocarcinoma. Nature 2014;513(7517):202-9.Abstract

Gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths, but analysis of its molecular and clinical characteristics has been complicated by histological and aetiological heterogeneity. Here we describe a comprehensive molecular evaluation of 295 primary gastric adenocarcinomas as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. We propose a molecular classification dividing gastric cancer into four subtypes: tumours positive for Epstein-Barr virus, which display recurrent PIK3CA mutations, extreme DNA hypermethylation, and amplification of JAK2, CD274 (also known as PD-L1) and PDCD1LG2 (also known as PD-L2); microsatellite unstable tumours, which show elevated mutation rates, including mutations of genes encoding targetable oncogenic signalling proteins; genomically stable tumours, which are enriched for the diffuse histological variant and mutations of RHOA or fusions involving RHO-family GTPase-activating proteins; and tumours with chromosomal instability, which show marked aneuploidy and focal amplification of receptor tyrosine kinases. Identification of these subtypes provides a roadmap for patient stratification and trials of targeted therapies.

Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network TCGA. Comprehensive molecular characterization of urothelial bladder carcinoma. Nature 2014;507(7492):315-22.Abstract

Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder is a common malignancy that causes approximately 150,000 deaths per year worldwide. So far, no molecularly targeted agents have been approved for treatment of the disease. As part of The Cancer Genome Atlas project, we report here an integrated analysis of 131 urothelial carcinomas to provide a comprehensive landscape of molecular alterations. There were statistically significant recurrent mutations in 32 genes, including multiple genes involved in cell-cycle regulation, chromatin regulation, and kinase signalling pathways, as well as 9 genes not previously reported as significantly mutated in any cancer. RNA sequencing revealed four expression subtypes, two of which (papillary-like and basal/squamous-like) were also evident in microRNA sequencing and protein data. Whole-genome and RNA sequencing identified recurrent in-frame activating FGFR3-TACC3 fusions and expression or integration of several viruses (including HPV16) that are associated with gene inactivation. Our analyses identified potential therapeutic targets in 69% of the tumours, including 42% with targets in the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase/AKT/mTOR pathway and 45% with targets (including ERBB2) in the RTK/MAPK pathway. Chromatin regulatory genes were more frequently mutated in urothelial carcinoma than in any other common cancer studied so far, indicating the future possibility of targeted therapy for chromatin abnormalities.

Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network TCGA. Comprehensive molecular profiling of lung adenocarcinoma. Nature 2014;511(7511):543-50.Abstract

Adenocarcinoma of the lung is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Here we report molecular profiling of 230 resected lung adenocarcinomas using messenger RNA, microRNA and DNA sequencing integrated with copy number, methylation and proteomic analyses. High rates of somatic mutation were seen (mean 8.9 mutations per megabase). Eighteen genes were statistically significantly mutated, including RIT1 activating mutations and newly described loss-of-function MGA mutations which are mutually exclusive with focal MYC amplification. EGFR mutations were more frequent in female patients, whereas mutations in RBM10 were more common in males. Aberrations in NF1, MET, ERBB2 and RIT1 occurred in 13% of cases and were enriched in samples otherwise lacking an activated oncogene, suggesting a driver role for these events in certain tumours. DNA and mRNA sequence from the same tumour highlighted splicing alterations driven by somatic genomic changes, including exon 14 skipping in MET mRNA in 4% of cases. MAPK and PI(3)K pathway activity, when measured at the protein level, was explained by known mutations in only a fraction of cases, suggesting additional, unexplained mechanisms of pathway activation. These data establish a foundation for classification and further investigations of lung adenocarcinoma molecular pathogenesis.

Marinov GK, Kundaje A, Park PJ, Wold BJ. Large-scale quality analysis of published ChIP-seq data. G3 2014;4(2):209-23.Abstract

ChIP-seq has become the primary method for identifying in vivo protein-DNA interactions on a genome-wide scale, with nearly 800 publications involving the technique appearing in PubMed as of December 2012. Individually and in aggregate, these data are an important and information-rich resource. However, uncertainties about data quality confound their use by the wider research community. Recently, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project developed and applied metrics to objectively measure ChIP-seq data quality. The ENCODE quality analysis was useful for flagging datasets for closer inspection, eliminating or replacing poor data, and for driving changes in experimental pipelines. There had been no similarly systematic quality analysis of the large and disparate body of published ChIP-seq profiles. Here, we report a uniform analysis of vertebrate transcription factor ChIP-seq datasets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository as of April 1, 2012. The majority (55%) of datasets scored as being highly successful, but a substantial minority (20%) were of apparently poor quality, and another ∼25% were of intermediate quality. We discuss how different uses of ChIP-seq data are affected by specific aspects of data quality, and we highlight exceptional instances for which the metric values should not be taken at face value. Unexpectedly, we discovered that a significant subset of control datasets (i.e., no immunoprecipitation and mock immunoprecipitation samples) display an enrichment structure similar to successful ChIP-seq data. This can, in turn, affect peak calling and data interpretation. Published datasets identified here as high-quality comprise a large group that users can draw on for large-scale integrated analysis. In the future, ChIP-seq quality assessment similar to that used here could guide experimentalists at early stages in a study, provide useful input in the publication process, and be used to stratify ChIP-seq data for different community-wide uses.

Parfenov M, Pedamallu CS, Gehlenborg N, Freeman SS, Danilova L, Bristow CA, Lee S, Hadjipanayis AG, Ivanova EV, Wilkerson MD, Protopopov A, Yang L, Seth S, Song X, Tang J, Ren X, Zhang J, Pantazi A, Santoso N, Xu AW, Mahadeshwar H, Wheeler DA, Haddad RI, Jung J, Ojesina AI, Issaeva N, Yarbrough WG, Hayes ND, Grandis JR, El-Naggar AK, Meyerson M, Park PJ, Chin L, Seidman JG, Hammerman PS, Kucherlapati R, Cancer Genome Atlas Network TCGA. Characterization of HPV and host genome interactions in primary head and neck cancers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014;111(43):15544-9.Abstract

Previous studies have established that a subset of head and neck tumors contains human papillomavirus (HPV) sequences and that HPV-driven head and neck cancers display distinct biological and clinical features. HPV is known to drive cancer by the actions of the E6 and E7 oncoproteins, but the molecular architecture of HPV infection and its interaction with the host genome in head and neck cancers have not been comprehensively described. We profiled a cohort of 279 head and neck cancers with next generation RNA and DNA sequencing and show that 35 (12.5%) tumors displayed evidence of high-risk HPV types 16, 33, or 35. Twenty-five cases had integration of the viral genome into one or more locations in the human genome with statistical enrichment for genic regions. Integrations had a marked impact on the human genome and were associated with alterations in DNA copy number, mRNA transcript abundance and splicing, and both inter- and intrachromosomal rearrangements. Many of these events involved genes with documented roles in cancer. Cancers with integrated vs. nonintegrated HPV displayed different patterns of DNA methylation and both human and viral gene expressions. Together, these data provide insight into the mechanisms by which HPV interacts with the human genome beyond expression of viral oncoproteins and suggest that specific integration events are an integral component of viral oncogenesis.

Ho JWK*, Jung YL*, Liu T*, Alver BH, Lee S, Ikegami K, Sohn K-A, Minoda A, Tolstorukov MY, Appert A, Parker SCJ, Gu T, Kundaje A, Riddle NC, Bishop EP, Egelhofer TA, Hu S'en S, Alekseyenko AA, Rechtsteiner A, Asker D, Belsky JA, Bowman SK, Chen BQ, Chen RA-J, Day DS, Dong Y, Dose AC, Duan X, Epstein CB, Ercan S, Feingold EA, Ferrari F, Garrigues JM, Gehlenborg N, Good PJ, Haseley P, He D, Herrmann M, Hoffman MM, Jeffers TE, Kharchenko PV, Kolasinska-Zwierz P, Kotwaliwale CV, Kumar N, Langley SA, Larschan EN, Latorre I, Libbrecht MW, Lin X, Park R, Pazin MJ, Pham HN, Plachetka A, Qin B, Schwartz YB, Shoresh N, Stempor P, Vielle A, Wang C, Whittle CM, Xue H, Kingston RE, Kim JH, Bernstein BE, Dernburg AF, Pirrotta V, Kuroda MI, Noble WS, Tullius TD, Kellis M, MacAlpine DM**, Strome S**, Elgin SCR**, Liu XS**, Lieb JD**, Ahringer J**, Karpen GH**, Park PJ**. Comparative analysis of metazoan chromatin organization. Nature 2014;512(7515):449-52.Abstract

Genome function is dynamically regulated in part by chromatin, which consists of the histones, non-histone proteins and RNA molecules that package DNA. Studies in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster have contributed substantially to our understanding of molecular mechanisms of genome function in humans, and have revealed conservation of chromatin components and mechanisms. Nevertheless, the three organisms have markedly different genome sizes, chromosome architecture and gene organization. On human and fly chromosomes, for example, pericentric heterochromatin flanks single centromeres, whereas worm chromosomes have dispersed heterochromatin-like regions enriched in the distal chromosomal 'arms', and centromeres distributed along their lengths. To systematically investigate chromatin organization and associated gene regulation across species, we generated and analysed a large collection of genome-wide chromatin data sets from cell lines and developmental stages in worm, fly and human. Here we present over 800 new data sets from our ENCODE and modENCODE consortia, bringing the total to over 1,400. Comparison of combinatorial patterns of histone modifications, nuclear lamina-associated domains, organization of large-scale topological domains, chromatin environment at promoters and enhancers, nucleosome positioning, and DNA replication patterns reveals many conserved features of chromatin organization among the three organisms. We also find notable differences in the composition and locations of repressive chromatin. These data sets and analyses provide a rich resource for comparative and species-specific investigations of chromatin composition, organization and function.

Gerstein MB* **, Rozowsky J*, Yan K-K*, Wang D*, Cheng C*, Brown JB*, Davis CA*, Hillier LD*, Sisu C*, Li JJ*, Pei B*, Harmanci AO*, Duff MO*, Djebali S*, Alexander RP, Alver BH, Auerbach R, Bell K, Bickel PJ, Boeck ME, Boley NP, Booth BW, Cherbas L, Cherbas P, Di C, Dobin A, Drenkow J, Ewing B, Fang G, Fastuca M, Feingold EA, Frankish A, Gao G, Good PJ, Guigó R, Hammonds A, Harrow J, Hoskins RA, Howald C, Hu L, Huang H, Hubbard TJP, Huynh C, Jha S, Kasper D, Kato M, Kaufman TC, Kitchen RR, Ladewig E, Lagarde J, Lai E, Leng J, Lu Z, MacCoss M, May G, McWhirter R, Merrihew G, Miller DM, Mortazavi A, Murad R, Oliver B, Olson S, Park PJ, Pazin MJ, Perrimon N, Pervouchine D, Reinke V, Reymond A, Robinson G, Samsonova A, Saunders GI, Schlesinger F, Sethi A, Slack FJ, Spencer WC, Stoiber MH, Strasbourger P, Tanzer A, Thompson OA, Wan KH, Wang G, Wang H, Watkins KL, Wen J, Wen K, Xue C, Yang L, Yip K, Zaleski C, Zhang Y, Zheng H, Brenner SE**, Graveley BR**, Celniker SE**, Gingeras TR**, Waterston R**. Comparative analysis of the transcriptome across distant species. Nature 2014;512(7515):445-8.Abstract

The transcriptome is the readout of the genome. Identifying common features in it across distant species can reveal fundamental principles. To this end, the ENCODE and modENCODE consortia have generated large amounts of matched RNA-sequencing data for human, worm and fly. Uniform processing and comprehensive annotation of these data allow comparison across metazoan phyla, extending beyond earlier within-phylum transcriptome comparisons and revealing ancient, conserved features. Specifically, we discover co-expression modules shared across animals, many of which are enriched in developmental genes. Moreover, we use expression patterns to align the stages in worm and fly development and find a novel pairing between worm embryo and fly pupae, in addition to the embryo-to-embryo and larvae-to-larvae pairings. Furthermore, we find that the extent of non-canonical, non-coding transcription is similar in each organism, per base pair. Finally, we find in all three organisms that the gene-expression levels, both coding and non-coding, can be quantitatively predicted from chromatin features at the promoter using a 'universal model' based on a single set of organism-independent parameters.

Kim T-M, Park PJ. A genome-wide view of microsatellite instability: old stories of cancer mutations revisited with new sequencing technologies. Cancer Res 2014;74(22):6377-82.Abstract

Microsatellites are simple tandem repeats that are present at millions of loci in the human genome. Microsatellite instability (MSI) refers to DNA slippage events on microsatellites that occur frequently in cancer genomes when there is a defect in the DNA-mismatch repair system. These somatic mutations can result in inactivation of tumor-suppressor genes or disrupt other noncoding regulatory sequences, thereby playing a role in carcinogenesis. Here, we will discuss the ways in which high-throughput sequencing data can facilitate genome- or exome-wide discovery and more detailed investigation of MSI events in microsatellite-unstable cancer genomes. We will address the methodologic aspects of this approach and highlight insights from recent analyses of colorectal and endometrial cancer genomes from The Cancer Genome Atlas project. These include identification of novel MSI targets within and across tumor types and the relationship between the likelihood of MSI events to chromatin structure. Given the increasing popularity of exome and genome sequencing of cancer genomes, a comprehensive characterization of MSI may serve as a valuable marker of cancer evolution and aid in a search for therapeutic targets.

Streit* M, Lex* A, Gratzl S, Partl C, Schmalstieg D, Pfister H, Park PJ**, Gehlenborg N**. Guided visual exploration of genomic stratifications in cancer. Nat Methods 2014;11(9):884-5.
Jung YL, Luquette LJ, Ho JWK, Ferrari F, Tolstorukov M, Minoda A, Issner R, Epstein CB, Karpen GH, Kuroda MI, Park PJ. Impact of sequencing depth in ChIP-seq experiments. Nucleic Acids Res 2014;42(9):e74.Abstract

In a chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) experiment, an important consideration in experimental design is the minimum number of sequenced reads required to obtain statistically significant results. We present an extensive evaluation of the impact of sequencing depth on identification of enriched regions for key histone modifications (H3K4me3, H3K36me3, H3K27me3 and H3K9me2/me3) using deep-sequenced datasets in human and fly. We propose to define sufficient sequencing depth as the number of reads at which detected enrichment regions increase <1% for an additional million reads. Although the required depth depends on the nature of the mark and the state of the cell in each experiment, we observe that sufficient depth is often reached at <20 million reads for fly. For human, there are no clear saturation points for the examined datasets, but our analysis suggests 40-50 million reads as a practical minimum for most marks. We also devise a mathematical model to estimate the sufficient depth and total genomic coverage of a mark. Lastly, we find that the five algorithms tested do not agree well for broad enrichment profiles, especially at lower depths. Our findings suggest that sufficient sequencing depth and an appropriate peak-calling algorithm are essential for ensuring robustness of conclusions derived from ChIP-seq data.

Hoadley KA, Yau C, Wolf DM, Cherniack AD, Tamborero D, Ng S, Leiserson MDM, Niu B, McLellan MD, Uzunangelov V, Zhang J, Kandoth C, Akbani R, Shen H, Omberg L, Chu A, Margolin AA, Van't Veer LJ, Lopez-Bigas N, Laird PW, Raphael BJ, Ding L, Robertson GA, Byers LA, Mills GB, Weinstein JN, Van Waes C, Chen Z, Collisson EA, Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network TCGA, Benz CC, Perou CM, Stuart JM. Multiplatform analysis of 12 cancer types reveals molecular classification within and across tissues of origin. Cell 2014;158(4):929-44.Abstract

Recent genomic analyses of pathologically defined tumor types identify "within-a-tissue" disease subtypes. However, the extent to which genomic signatures are shared across tissues is still unclear. We performed an integrative analysis using five genome-wide platforms and one proteomic platform on 3,527 specimens from 12 cancer types, revealing a unified classification into 11 major subtypes. Five subtypes were nearly identical to their tissue-of-origin counterparts, but several distinct cancer types were found to converge into common subtypes. Lung squamous, head and neck, and a subset of bladder cancers coalesced into one subtype typified by TP53 alterations, TP63 amplifications, and high expression of immune and proliferation pathway genes. Of note, bladder cancers split into three pan-cancer subtypes. The multiplatform classification, while correlated with tissue-of-origin, provides independent information for predicting clinical outcomes. All data sets are available for data-mining from a unified resource to support further biological discoveries and insights into novel therapeutic strategies.

West JA*, Cook A*, Alver BH, Stadtfeld M, Deaton AM, Hochedlinger K, Park PJ**, Tolstorukov MY**, Kingston RE**. Nucleosomal occupancy changes locally over key regulatory regions during cell differentiation and reprogramming. Nat Commun 2014;5:4719.Abstract

Chromatin structure determines DNA accessibility. We compare nucleosome occupancy in mouse and human embryonic stem cells (ESCs), induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and differentiated cell types using MNase-seq. To address variability inherent in this technique, we developed a bioinformatic approach to identify regions of difference (RoD) in nucleosome occupancy between pluripotent and somatic cells. Surprisingly, most chromatin remains unchanged; a majority of rearrangements appear to affect a single nucleosome. RoDs are enriched at genes and regulatory elements, including enhancers associated with pluripotency and differentiation. RoDs co-localize with binding sites of key developmental regulators, including the reprogramming factors Klf4, Oct4/Sox2 and c-Myc. Nucleosomal landscapes in ESC enhancers are extensively altered, exhibiting lower nucleosome occupancy in pluripotent cells than in somatic cells. Most changes are reset during reprogramming. We conclude that changes in nucleosome occupancy are a hallmark of cell differentiation and reprogramming and likely identify regulatory regions essential for these processes.

Merlo P, Frost B, Peng S, Yang YJ, Park PJ, Feany M. p53 prevents neurodegeneration by regulating synaptic genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014;111(50):18055-60.Abstract

DNA damage has been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies, but the consequences of genotoxic stress to postmitotic neurons are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that p53, a key mediator of the DNA damage response, plays a neuroprotective role in a Drosophila model of tauopathy. Further, through a whole-genome ChIP-chip analysis, we identify genes controlled by p53 in postmitotic neurons. We genetically validate a specific pathway, synaptic function, in p53-mediated neuroprotection. We then demonstrate that the control of synaptic genes by p53 is conserved in mammals. Collectively, our results implicate synaptic function as a central target in p53-dependent protection from neurodegeneration.

The somatic genomic landscape of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.
Davis CF*, Ricketts CJ*, Wang M*, Yang L*, Cherniack AD, Shen H, Buhay C, Kang H, Kim SC, Fahey CC, Hacker KE, Bhanot G, Gordenin DA, Chu A, Gunaratne PH, Biehl M, Seth S, Kaipparettu BA, Bristow CA, Donehower LA, Wallen EM, Smith AB, Tickoo SK, Tamboli P, Reuter V, Schmidt LS, Hsieh JJ, Choueiri TK, Hakimi AA, Hakimi AA, Chin L, Meyerson M, Kucherlapati R, Park W-Y, Robertson GA, Laird PW, Henske EP, Kwiatkowski DJ, Park PJ, Morgan M, Shuch B, Muzny D, Wheeler DA, Linehan MW, Gibbs RA, Rathmell KW, Creighton CJ. The somatic genomic landscape of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma. Cancer Cell 2014;26(3):319-30.Abstract

We describe the landscape of somatic genomic alterations of 66 chromophobe renal cell carcinomas (ChRCCs) on the basis of multidimensional and comprehensive characterization, including mtDNA and whole-genome sequencing. The result is consistent that ChRCC originates from the distal nephron compared with other kidney cancers with more proximal origins. Combined mtDNA and gene expression analysis implicates changes in mitochondrial function as a component of the disease biology, while suggesting alternative roles for mtDNA mutations in cancers relying on oxidative phosphorylation. Genomic rearrangements lead to recurrent structural breakpoints within TERT promoter region, which correlates with highly elevated TERT expression and manifestation of kataegis, representing a mechanism of TERT upregulation in cancer distinct from previously observed amplifications and point mutations.

Ferrari F*, Apostolou E*, Park PJ**, Hochedlinger K**. Rearranging the chromatin for pluripotency. Cell Cycle 2014;13(2):167-8.