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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Current Opinion in Cell Biology, June 2012, Vol.24(3), pp.387-396
    Description: At fertilization, fusion of two differentiated gametes forms the zygote that is capable of forming all of the varied cell lineages of an organism. It is widely thought that the acquisition of totipotency involves extensive epigenetic reprogramming of the germline state into an embryonic state. However, recent data argue that this reprogramming is incomplete and that substantial epigenetic information passes from one generation to the next. In this review we summarize the changes in chromatin states that take place during mammalian gametogenesis and examine the evidence that early mammalian embryogenesis may be affected by inheritance of epigenetic information from the parental generation.
    Keywords: Biology
    ISSN: 0955-0674
    E-ISSN: 1879-0410
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2013, Vol.8(7), p.e69289
    Description: Cytokinetic abscission is the cellular process leading to physical separation of two postmitotic sister cells by severing the intercellular bridge. The most noticeable structural component of the intercellular bridge is a transient organelle termed as midbody, localized at a central region marking the site of abscission. Despite its major role in completion of cytokinesis, our understanding of spatiotemporal regulation of midbody assembly is limited. Here, we report the first characterization of coiled-coil domain-containing protein-124 (Ccdc124), a eukaryotic protein conserved from fungi-to-man, which we identified as a novel centrosomal and midbody protein. Knockdown of Ccdc124 in human HeLa cells leads to accumulation of enlarged and multinucleated cells; however, centrosome maturation was not affected. We found that Ccdc124 interacts with the Ras-guanine nucleotide exchange factor 1B (RasGEF1B), establishing a functional link between cytokinesis and activation of localized Rap2 signaling at the midbody. Our data indicate that Ccdc124 is a novel factor operating both for proper progression of late cytokinetic stages in eukaryotes, and for establishment of Rap2 signaling dependent cellular functions proximal to the abscission site.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    In: Nature, 2014
    Description: Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant paediatric brain tumour currently treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, posing a considerable burden of toxicity to the developing child. Genomics has illuminated the extensive intertumoral heterogeneity of medulloblastoma, identifying four distinct molecular subgroups. Group 3 and group 4 subgroup medulloblastomas account for most paediatric cases; yet, oncogenic drivers for these subtypes remain largely unidentified. Here we describe a series of prevalent, highly disparate genomic structural variants, restricted to groups 3 and 4, resulting in specific and mutually exclusive activation of the growth factor independent 1 family proto-oncogenes, GFI1 and GFI1B. Somatic structural variants juxtapose GFI1 or GFI1B coding sequences proximal to active enhancer elements, including super-enhancers, instigating oncogenic activity. Our results, supported by evidence from mouse models, identify GFI1 and GFI1B as prominent medulloblastoma oncogenes and implicate 'enhancer hijacking' as an efficient mechanism driving oncogene activation in a childhood cancer.
    Keywords: Medulloblastoma – Research ; Medulloblastoma – Health Aspects ; DNA Sequencing – Analysis ; Growth Factor Receptors – Analysis;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 14764687
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Cancer Research, 07/15/2016, Vol.76(14 Supplement), pp.SY15-02-SY15-02
    Description: Malignant pediatric brain tumors, including ependymoma, medulloblastoma and atypical teratoidrhabdoid tumors, frequently demonstrate a very quiet genome with very few nonsynonyomous single nucleotide variants or indels and a stable copy number profile. The recent advance of integrative genomics approaches from primary tumor tissue including whole-genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, and ChIP sequencing for core histone marks and important transcription factors and chromatin configuration have enabled the discovery of new tumor-driving pathways and potentially druggable alterations in these cancers with quiet genomes. This knowledge after functional validation in vitro and in vivo provides critical insight in the search for the cell of origin in these tumors, the understanding of underlying pathomechanisms, and the identification of new treatment options.
    Keywords: Brain Mapping ; Histones ; Chromatin ; Pediatrics ; Landscape ; Bisulfite ; Nucleotides ; Cancer ; Copy Number ; Brain Tumors ; Enhancers ; RNA ; Transcription Factors ; Medulloblastoma ; Genomics ; Gene Mapping ; Development & Cell Cycle ; Miscellaneous Oncogenes & Growth Factors;
    ISSN: 0008-5472
    E-ISSN: 1538-7445
    Source: CrossRef
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  • 5
    In: Nature, 2017, Vol.553(7686), p.101
    Description: Genomic sequencing has driven precision-based oncology therapy; however, the genetic drivers of many malignancies remain unknown or non-targetable, so alternative approaches to the identification of therapeutic leads are necessary. Ependymomas are chemotherapy-resistant brain tumours, which, despite genomic sequencing, lack effective molecular targets. Intracranial ependymomas are segregated on the basis of anatomical location (supratentorial region or posterior fossa) and further divided into distinct molecular subgroups that reflect differences in the age of onset, gender predominance and response to therapy. The most common and aggressive subgroup, posterior fossa ependymoma group A (PF-EPN-A), occurs in young children and appears to lack recurrent somatic mutations. Conversely, posterior fossa ependymoma group B (PF-EPN-B) tumours display frequent large-scale copy number gains and losses but have favourable clinical outcomes. More than 70% of supratentorial ependymomas are defined by highly recurrent gene fusions in the NF-κB subunit gene RELA (ST-EPN-RELA), and a smaller number involve fusion of the gene encoding the transcriptional activator YAP1 (ST-EPN-YAP1). Subependymomas, a distinct histologic variant, can also be found within the supratetorial and posterior fossa compartments, and account for the majority of tumours in the molecular subgroups ST-EPN-SE and PF-EPN-SE. Here we describe mapping of active chromatin landscapes in 42 primary ependymomas in two non-overlapping primary ependymoma cohorts, with the goal of identifying essential super-enhancer-associated genes on which tumour cells depend. Enhancer regions revealed putative oncogenes, molecular targets and pathways; inhibition of these targets with small molecule inhibitors or short hairpin RNA diminished the proliferation of patient-derived neurospheres and increased survival in mouse models of ependymomas. Through profiling of transcriptional enhancers, our study provides a framework for target and drug discovery in other cancers that lack known genetic drivers and are therefore difficult to treat.
    Keywords: Sciences (General) ; Physics;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 6
    In: Nature, 2016
    Description: Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant paediatric brain tumour, often inflicting devastating consequences on the developing child. Genomic studies have revealed four distinct molecular subgroups with divergent biology and clinical behaviour. An understanding of the regulatory circuitry governing the transcriptional landscapes of medulloblastoma subgroups, and how this relates to their respective developmental origins, is lacking. Here, using H3K27ac and BRD4 chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) coupled with tissue-matched DNA methylation and transcriptome data, we describe the active cis-regulatory landscape across 28 primary medulloblastoma specimens. Analysis of differentially regulated enhancers and super-enhancers reinforced inter-subgroup heterogeneity and revealed novel, clinically relevant insights into medulloblastoma biology. Computational reconstruction of core regulatory circuitry identified a master set of transcription factors, validated by ChIP-seq, that is responsible for subgroup divergence, and implicates candidate cells of origin for Group 4. Our integrated analysis of enhancer elements in a large series of primary tumour samples reveals insights into cis-regulatory architecture, unrecognized dependencies, and cellular origins.
    Keywords: Medulloblastoma -- Genetic Aspects ; Cancer Genetics -- Research ; Cancer Research;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 14764687
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  • 7
    In: Nature, 2014, Vol.510(7506), p.537
    Description: Epigenetic alterations, that is, disruption of DNA methylation and chromatin architecture, are now acknowledged as a universal feature of tumorigenesis. Medulloblastoma, a clinically challenging, malignant childhood brain tumour, is no exception. Despite much progress from recent genomics studies, with recurrent changes identified in each of the four distinct tumour subgroups (WNT-pathway-activated, SHH-pathway-activated, and the less-well-characterized Group 3 and Group 4), many cases still lack an obvious genetic driver. Here we present whole-genome bisulphite-sequencing data from thirty-four human and five murine tumours plus eight human and three murine normal controls, augmented with matched whole-genome, RNA and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing data. This comprehensive data set allowed us to decipher several features underlying the interplay between the genome, epigenome and transcriptome, and its effects on medulloblastoma pathophysiology. Most notable were highly prevalent regions of hypomethylation correlating with increased gene expression, extending tens of kilobases downstream of transcription start sites. Focal regions of low methylation linked to transcription-factor-binding sites shed light on differential transcriptional networks between subgroups, whereas increased methylation due to re-normalization of repressed chromatin in DNA methylation valleys was positively correlated with gene expression. Large, partially methylated domains affecting up to one-third of the genome showed increased mutation rates and gene silencing in a subgroup-specific fashion. Epigenetic alterations also affected novel medulloblastoma candidate genes (for example, LIN28B), resulting in alternative promoter usage and/or differential messenger RNA/microRNA expression. Analysis of mouse medulloblastoma and precursor-cell methylation demonstrated a somatic origin for many alterations. Our data provide insights into the epigenetic regulation of transcription and genome organization in medulloblastoma pathogenesis, which are probably also of importance in a wider developmental and disease context.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic ; Gene Silencing ; DNA Methylation -- Genetics ; Medulloblastoma -- Genetics ; Sequence Analysis, DNA -- Methods;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Nature, 2018, Vol.555, pp.321-327
    Description: Pan-cancer analyses that examine commonalities and differences among various cancer types have emerged as a powerful way to obtain novel insights into cancer biology. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of genetic alterations in a pan-cancer cohort including 961 tumours from children, adolescents, and young adults, comprising 24 distinct molecular types of cancer. Using a standardized workflow, we identified marked differences in terms of mutation frequency and significantly mutated genes in comparison to previously analysed adult cancers. Genetic alterations in 149 putative cancer driver genes separate the tumours into two classes: small mutation and structural/copy-number variant (correlating with germline variants). Structural variants, hyperdiploidy, and chromothripsis are linked to TP53 mutation status and mutational signatures. Our data suggest that 7-8% of the children in this cohort carry an unambiguous predisposing germline variant and that nearly 50% of paediatric neoplasms harbour a potentially druggable event, which is highly relevant for the design of future clinical trials
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: NARCIS (National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System)
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Nature, July 2018, Vol.559(7714), pp.E10
    Description: In this Article, author Benedikt Brors was erroneously associated with affiliation number '8' (Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA); the author's two other affiliations (affiliations '3' and '7', both at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)) were correct. This has been corrected online.
    Keywords: Cancer ; Medical Schools;
    ISSN: 00280836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 10
    In: Nature Protocols, 2013, Vol.8(12), p.2449
    Description: At the end of mammalian spermatogenesis, chromatin in differentiating germ cells is extensively remodeled, with the majority of nucleosomes being removed and ultimately exchanged by highly basic proteins named protamines. residual nucleosomes are, to various degrees, retained at regulatory sequences in human and mouse sperm. Moreover, certain histone variants and modifications remain present in regulatory sequences of subsets of genes in spermatozoa, providing opportunities for paternal inheritance of chromatin states and epigenetic control of gene expression in the subsequent generation. Here we describe in detail a method that enables the generation of soluble chromatin samples from mouse and human spermatozoa within 1 d. these samples are amendable to chromatin immunoprecipitation and high-throughput sequencing of nucleosome-associated genomic DNA, which require several additional days. We also provide computational scripts that allow straightforward analysis of large genome-wide data sets by biologists with limited computational experience. this protocol will facilitate studies of mechanisms of chromatin remodeling and epigenetic reprogramming during spermatogenesis and of paternal epigenetic inheritance. similarly, it will help in the study of the causes of human male infertility.
    Keywords: Chromatin -- Genetic Aspects ; Epigenetic Inheritance -- Research ; Genetic Research;
    ISSN: 1754-2189
    E-ISSN: 17502799
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