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  • Nature Publishing Group (CrossRef)  (21)
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  • 1
    In: Pediatric Research, 2012, Vol.71(4-2), p.407
    Keywords: Brain Injuries–Therapy ; Child–Methods ; Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation–Therapy ; Humans–Methods ; Inflammation–Trends ; Pediatrics–Trends;
    ISSN: 0031-3998
    E-ISSN: 15300447
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  • 2
    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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  • 3
  • 4
    In: Nature, 2012, Vol.482(7384), p.226
    Description: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a lethal brain tumour in adults and children. However, DNA copy number and gene expression signatures indicate differences between adult and paediatric cases (1-4). To explore the genetic events underlying this distinction, we sequenced the exomes of 48 paediatric GBM samples. Somatic mutations in the H3.3-ATRX-DAXX chromatin remodelling pathway were identified in 44% of tumours (21/48). Recurrent mutations in H3F3A, which encodes the replication-independent histone 3 variant H3.3, were observed in 31% of tumours, and led to amino acid substitutions at two critical positions within the histone tail (K27M, G34R/G34V) involved in key regulatory post-translational modifications. Mutations in ATRX([alpha]-thalassaemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked) (5) and DAXX (death-domain associated protein), encoding two subunits of a chromatin remodelling complex required for H3.3 incorporation at pericentric heterochromatin and telomeres (6,7), were identified in 31% of samples overall, and in 100% of tumours harbouring a G34R or G34V H3.3 mutation. Somatic TP53 mutations were identified in 54% of all cases, and in 86% of samples with H3F3A and/or ATRX mutations. Screening of a large cohort of gliomas of various grades and histologies (n = 784) showed H3F3A mutations to be specific to GBM and highly prevalent in children and young adults. Furthermore, the presence of H3F3A/ATRX-DAXX/TP53 mutations was strongly associated with alternative lengthening of telomeres and specific gene expression profiles. This is, to our knowledge, the first report to highlight recurrent mutations in a regulatory histone in humans, and our data suggest that defects of the chromatin architecture underlie paediatric and young adult GBM pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Gene Mutation -- Research ; Dna -- Research ; Dna -- Physiological Aspects ; Glioblastomas -- Genetic Aspects ; Glioblastomas -- Research ; Tumor Proteins -- Physiological Aspects ; Tumor Proteins -- Research;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 14764687
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  • 5
    In: Nature, 2001, Vol.411(6840), p.909
    Description: Life on Earth depends on photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy from the sun to chemical energy. In plants, green algae, and cyanobacteria, this process is driven by the cooperation of two large protein-cofactor complexes, photosystems I and II, which are located in the thylakoid photosynthetic membranes. The crystal structure of photosystem I from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus described in this paper provides a picture at atomic detail of 12 protein subunits and 127 cofactors comprising 96 chlorophylls, two phylloquinones, three Fe4S4 clusters, 22 carotenoids, four lipids, a putative Ca(2+) ion and 201 water molecules. The structural information on the proteins and cofactors and their interactions provides a basis for understanding how the high efficiency of photosystem I in light capturing and electron transfer is achieved. (Author)
    Keywords: Algae ; Photosynthesis ; Crystal Structure ; Proteins ; Molecular Biology ; Chlorophylls ; Quinones ; Molecular Clusters ; Carotene ; Lipids ; Calcium ; Water ; Electron Transfer ; LIFE Sciences (General) (Ah) ; Article;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 6
    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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  • 7
    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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  • 8
    In: Nature, 2012, Vol.488(7409), p.100
    Description: Medulloblastoma is an aggressively growing tumour, arising in the cerebellum or medulla/brain stem. It is the most common malignant brain tumour in children, and shows tremendous biological and clinical heterogeneity. Despite recent treatment advances, approximately 40% of children experience tumour recurrence, and 30% will die from their disease. Those who survive often have a significantly reduced quality of life. Four tumour subgroups with distinct clinical, biological and genetic profiles are currently identified. WNT tumours, showing activated wingless pathway signalling, carry a favourable prognosis under current treatment regimens. SHH tumours show hedgehog pathway activation, and have an intermediate prognosis. Group 3 and 4 tumours are molecularly less well characterized, and also present the greatest clinical challenges. The full repertoire of genetic events driving this distinction, however, remains unclear. Here we describe an integrative deep-sequencing analysis of 125 tumour-normal pairs, conducted as part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) PedBrain Tumor Project. Tetraploidy was identified as a frequent early event in Group 3 and 4 tumours, and a positive correlation between patient age and mutation rate was observed. Several recurrent mutations were identified, both in known medulloblastoma-related genes (CTNNB1, PTCH1, MLL2, SMARCA4) and in genes not previously linked to this tumour (DDX3X, CTDNEP1, KDM6A, TBR1), often in subgroup-specific patterns. RNA sequencing confirmed these alterations, and revealed the expression of what are, to our knowledge, the first medulloblastoma fusion genes identified. Chromatin modifiers were frequently altered across all subgroups. These findings enhance our understanding of the genomic complexity and heterogeneity underlying medulloblastoma, and provide several potential targets for new therapeutics, especially for Group 3 and 4 patients.
    Keywords: Cerebellar Neoplasms -- Genetics ; Genome, Human -- Genetics ; Medulloblastoma -- Genetics;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 14764687
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  • 9
    In: Nature, 2018
    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.
    Keywords: Sciences (General) ; Physics;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 10
    In: Nature, 2017, Vol.547(7663), p.311
    Description: Current therapies for medulloblastoma, a highly malignant childhood brain tumour, impose debilitating effects on the developing child, and highlight the need for molecularly targeted treatments with reduced toxicity. Previous studies have been unable to identify the full spectrum of driver genes and molecular processes that operate in medulloblastoma subgroups. Here we analyse the somatic landscape across 491 sequenced medulloblastoma samples and the molecular heterogeneity among 1,256 epigenetically analysed cases, and identify subgroup-specific driver alterations that include previously undiscovered actionable targets. Driver mutations were confidently assigned to most patients belonging to Group 3 and Group 4 medulloblastoma subgroups, greatly enhancing previous knowledge. New molecular subtypes were differentially enriched for specific driver events, including hotspot in-frame insertions that target KBTBD4 and 'enhancer hijacking' events that activate PRDM6. Thus, the application of integrative genomics to an extensive cohort of clinical samples derived from a single childhood cancer entity revealed a series of cancer genes and biologically relevant subtype diversity that represent attractive therapeutic targets for the treatment of patients with medulloblastoma.
    Keywords: Sciences (General) ; Physics;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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