Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    IL-23 costimulates antigen-specific MAIT cell activation and enables vaccination against bacterial infection
    Wang, H ; Kjer-Nielsen, L ; Shi, M ; D'Souza, C ; Pediongco, TJ ; Cao, H ; Kostenko, L ; Lim, XY ; Eckle, SBG ; Meehan, BS ; Zhu, T ; Wang, B ; Zhao, Z ; Mak, JYW ; Fairlie, DP ; Teng, MWL ; Rossjohn, J ; Yu, D ; de St Groth, BF ; Lovrecz, G ; Lu, L ; McCluskey, J ; Strugnell, RA ; Corbett, AJ ; Chen, Z (AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE, 2019-11-01)
    Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are activated in a TCR-dependent manner by antigens derived from the riboflavin synthesis pathway, including 5-(2-oxopropylideneamino)-6-D-ribitylaminouracil (5-OP-RU), bound to MHC-related protein-1 (MR1). However, MAIT cell activation in vivo has not been studied in detail. Here, we have found and characterized additional molecular signals required for optimal activation and expansion of MAIT cells after pulmonary Legionella or Salmonella infection in mice. We show that either bone marrow–derived APCs or non–bone marrow–derived cells can activate MAIT cells in vivo, depending on the pathogen. Optimal MAIT cell activation in vivo requires signaling through the inducible T cell costimulator (ICOS), which is highly expressed on MAIT cells. Subsequent expansion and maintenance of MAIT-17/1-type responses are dependent on IL-23. Vaccination with IL-23 plus 5-OP-RU augments MAIT cell–mediated control of pulmonary Legionella infection. These findings reveal cellular and molecular targets for manipulating MAIT cell function under physiological conditions.
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    An alternative splicing switch in FLNB promotes the mesenchymal cell state in human breast cancer
    Li, J ; Choi, PS ; Chaffer, CL ; Labella, K ; Hwang, JH ; Giacomelli, AO ; Kim, JW ; Ilic, N ; Doench, JG ; Ly, SH ; Dai, C ; Hagel, K ; Hong, AL ; Gjoerup, O ; Goel, S ; Ge, JY ; Root, DE ; Zhao, JJ ; Brooks, AN ; Weinberg, RA ; Hahn, WC (ELIFE SCIENCES PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2018-07-30)
    Alternative splicing of mRNA precursors represents a key gene expression regulatory step and permits the generation of distinct protein products with diverse functions. In a genome-scale expression screen for inducers of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), we found a striking enrichment of RNA-binding proteins. We validated that QKI and RBFOX1 were necessary and sufficient to induce an intermediate mesenchymal cell state and increased tumorigenicity. Using RNA-seq and eCLIP analysis, we found that QKI and RBFOX1 coordinately regulated the splicing and function of the actin-binding protein FLNB, which plays a causal role in the regulation of EMT. Specifically, the skipping of FLNB exon 30 induced EMT by releasing the FOXC1 transcription factor. Moreover, skipping of FLNB exon 30 is strongly associated with EMT gene signatures in basal-like breast cancer patient samples. These observations identify a specific dysregulation of splicing, which regulates tumor cell plasticity and is frequently observed in human cancer.
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    CDK4/6 inhibition: the late harvest cycle begins
    Goel, S ; Zhao, JJ (IMPACT JOURNALS LLC, 2016-08-02)
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    CDK4/6 inhibition in breast cancer: current practice and future directions
    Pernas, S ; Tolaney, SM ; Winer, EP ; Goel, S (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2018-07-17)
    The cyclin D/cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6)-retinoblastoma protein (RB) pathway plays a key role in the proliferation of both normal breast epithelium and breast cancer cells. A strong rationale for inhibiting CDK4/6 in breast cancers has been present for many years. However, potent and selective CDK4/6 inhibitors have only recently become available. These agents prevent phosphorylation of the RB tumor suppressor, thereby invoking cancer cell cycle arrest in G1. CDK4/6 inhibitors have transited rapidly from preclinical studies to the clinical arena, and three have already been approved for the treatment of advanced, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer patients on account of striking clinical trial results demonstrating substantial improvements in progression-free survival. ER-positive breast cancers harbor several molecular features that would predict their sensitivity to CDK4/6 inhibitors. As physicians gain experience with using these agents in the clinic, new questions arise: are CDK4/6 inhibitors likely to be useful for patients with other subtypes of breast cancer? Are there other agents that could be effectively combined with CDK4/6 inhibitors, beyond endocrine therapy? Is there a rationale for combining CDK4/6 inhibitors with novel immune-based therapies? In this review, we describe not only the clinical data available to date, but also the biology of the CDK4/6 pathway and discuss answers to these questions. In particular, we highlight that CDK4 and CDK6 govern much more than the cancer cell cycle, and that their optimal use in the clinic depends on a deeper understanding of the less well characterized effects of these enzymes.
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    Estrogen Receptor beta Activation Impairs Prostatic Regeneration by Inducing Apoptosis in Murine and Human Stem/Progenitor Enriched Cell Populations
    Hussain, S ; Lawrence, MG ; Taylor, RA ; Lo, CY-W ; BioResource, APC ; Frydenberg, M ; Ellem, SJ ; Furic, L ; Risbridger, GP ; Tang, DG (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-07-10)
    Androgen depletion is the primary treatment for prostate disease; however, it fails to target residual castrate-resistant cells that are regenerative and cells of origin of prostate cancer. Estrogens, like androgens, regulate survival in prostatic cells, and the goal of this study was to determine the advantages of selective activation of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) to induce cell death in stem cells that are castrate-resistant. Here we show two cycles of short-term ERβ agonist (8β-VE2) administration this treatment impairs regeneration, causing cystic atrophy that correlates with sustained depletion of p63+ basal cells. Furthermore, agonist treatment attenuates clonogenicity and self-renewal of murine prostatic stem/progenitor cells and depletes both murine (Lin(-)Sca1(+)CD49f(hi)) and human (CD49f(hi)Trop2(hi)) prostatic basal cells. Finally, we demonstrate the combined added benefits of selective stimulation of ERβ, including the induction of cell death in quiescent post-castration tissues. Subsequent to castration ERβ-induces further apoptosis in basal, luminal and intermediate cells. Our results reveal a novel benefit of ERβ activation for prostate disease and suggest that combining selective activation of ERβ with androgen-deprivation may be a feasible strategy to target stem cells implicated in the origin of prostatic disease.
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    Pro-tumorigenic role of ER alpha in prostate cancer cells
    Furic, L ; Lawrence, MG ; Risbridger, GP (IMPACT JOURNALS LLC, 2015-06-01)
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    mTORC1 and CK2 coordinate ternary and eIF4F complex assembly
    Gandin, V ; Masvidal, L ; Cargnello, M ; Gyenis, L ; McLaughlan, S ; Cai, Y ; Tenkerian, C ; Morita, M ; Balanathan, P ; Jean-Jean, O ; Stambolic, V ; Trost, M ; Furic, L ; Larose, L ; Koromilas, AE ; Asano, K ; Litchfield, D ; Larsson, O ; Topisirovic, I (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2016-04-01)
    Ternary complex (TC) and eIF4F complex assembly are the two major rate-limiting steps in translation initiation regulated by eIF2α phosphorylation and the mTOR/4E-BP pathway, respectively. How TC and eIF4F assembly are coordinated, however, remains largely unknown. We show that mTOR suppresses translation of mRNAs activated under short-term stress wherein TC recycling is attenuated by eIF2α phosphorylation. During acute nutrient or growth factor stimulation, mTORC1 induces eIF2β phosphorylation and recruitment of NCK1 to eIF2, decreases eIF2α phosphorylation and bolsters TC recycling. Accordingly, eIF2β mediates the effect of mTORC1 on protein synthesis and proliferation. In addition, we demonstrate a formerly undocumented role for CK2 in regulation of translation initiation, whereby CK2 stimulates phosphorylation of eIF2β and simultaneously bolsters eIF4F complex assembly via the mTORC1/4E-BP pathway. These findings imply a previously unrecognized mode of translation regulation, whereby mTORC1 and CK2 coordinate TC and eIF4F complex assembly to stimulate cell proliferation.
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    Streamlined genetic education is effective in preparing women newly diagnosed with breast cancer for decision making about treatment-focused genetic testing: a randomized controlled noninferiority trial
    Quinn, VF ; Meiser, B ; Kirk, J ; Tucker, KM ; Watts, KJ ; Rahman, B ; Peate, M ; Saunders, C ; Geelhoed, E ; Gleeson, M ; Barlow-Stewart, K ; Field, M ; Harris, M ; Antill, YC ; Cicciarelli, L ; Crowe, K ; Bowen, MT ; Mitchell, G (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-04-01)
    PURPOSE: Increasingly, women newly diagnosed with breast cancer are being offered treatment-focused genetic testing (TFGT). As the demand for TFGT increases, streamlined methods of genetic education are needed. METHODS: In this noninferiority trial, women aged <50 years with either a strong family history (FH+) or other features suggestive of a germ-line mutation (FH-) were randomized before definitive breast cancer surgery to receive TFGT education either as brief written materials (intervention group (IG)) or during a genetic counseling session at a familial cancer clinic (usual-care group (UCG)). Women completed self-report questionnaires at four time points over 12 months. RESULTS: A total of 135 women were included in the analysis, all of whom opted for TFGT. Decisional conflict about TFGT choice (primary outcome) was not inferior in the IG compared with the UCG (noninferiority margin of -10; mean difference = 2.45; 95% confidence interval -2.87-7.76; P = 0.36). Costs per woman counseled in the IG were significantly lower (AUD$89) compared with the UCG (AUD$173; t(115) = 6.02; P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: A streamlined model of educating women newly diagnosed with breast cancer about TFGT seems to be a cost-effective way of delivering education while ensuring that women feel informed and supported in their decision making, thus freeing resources for other women to access TFGT.Genet Med 19 4, 448-456.
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    Pheo-Type: A Diagnostic Gene-expression Assay for the Classification of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
    Flynn, A ; Dwight, T ; Harris, J ; Benn, D ; Zhou, L ; Hogg, A ; Catchpoole, D ; James, P ; Duncan, EL ; Trainer, A ; Gill, AJ ; Clifton-Bligh, R ; Hicks, RJ ; Tothill, RW (ENDOCRINE SOC, 2016-03-01)
    CONTEXT: Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are heritable neoplasms that can be classified into gene-expression subtypes corresponding to their underlying specific genetic drivers. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop a diagnostic and research tool (Pheo-type) capable of classifying PPGL tumors into gene-expression subtypes that could be used to guide and interpret genetic testing, determine surveillance programs, and aid in elucidation of PPGL biology. DESIGN: A compendium of published microarray data representing 205 PPGL tumors was used for the selection of subtype-specific genes that were then translated to the Nanostring gene-expression platform. A support vector machine was trained on the microarray dataset and then tested on an independent Nanostring dataset representing 38 familial and sporadic cases of PPGL of known genotype (RET, NF1, TMEM127, MAX, HRAS, VHL, and SDHx). Different classifier models involving between three and six subtypes were compared for their discrimination potential. RESULTS: A gene set of 46 genes and six endogenous controls was selected representing six known PPGL subtypes; RTK1-3 (RET, NF1, TMEM127, and HRAS), MAX-like, VHL, and SDHx. Of 38 test cases, 34 (90%) were correctly predicted to six subtypes based on the known genotype to gene-expression subtype association. Removal of the RTK2 subtype from training, characterized by an admixture of tumor and normal adrenal cortex, improved the classification accuracy (35/38). Consolidation of RTK and pseudohypoxic PPGL subtypes to four- and then three-class architectures improved the classification accuracy for clinical application. CONCLUSIONS: The Pheo-type gene-expression assay is a reliable method for predicting PPGL genotype using routine diagnostic tumor samples.
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    TERT structural rearrangements in metastatic pheochromocytomas
    Dwight, T ; Flynn, A ; Amarasinghe, K ; Benn, DE ; Lupat, R ; Li, J ; Cameron, DL ; Hogg, A ; Balachander, S ; Candiloro, ILM ; Wong, SQ ; Robinson, BG ; Papenfuss, AT ; Gill, AJ ; Dobrovic, A ; Hicks, RJ ; Clifton-Bligh, RJ ; Tothill, RW (BIOSCIENTIFICA LTD, 2018-01-01)
    Pheochromocytomas (PC) and paragangliomas (PGL) are endocrine tumors for which the genetic and clinicopathological features of metastatic progression remain incompletely understood. As a result, the risk of metastasis from a primary tumor cannot be predicted. Early diagnosis of individuals at high risk of developing metastases is clinically important and the identification of new biomarkers that are predictive of metastatic potential is of high value. Activation of TERT has been associated with a number of malignant tumors, including PC/PGL. However, the mechanism of TERT activation in the majority of PC/PGL remains unclear. As TERT promoter mutations occur rarely in PC/PGL, we hypothesized that other mechanisms - such as structural variations - may underlie TERT activation in these tumors. From 35 PC and four PGL, we identified three primary PCs that developed metastases with elevated TERT expression, each of which lacked TERT promoter mutations and promoter DNA methylation. Using whole genome sequencing, we identified somatic structural alterations proximal to the TERT locus in two of these tumors. In both tumors, the genomic rearrangements led to the positioning of super-enhancers proximal to the TERT promoter, that are likely responsible for the activation of the normally tightly repressed TERT expression in chromaffin cells.