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PTCH1 - Top 30 Publications

Mutations in SUFU and PTCH1 genes may cause different cutaneous cancer predisposition syndromes: similar, but not the same.

Many cancer predisposition syndromes are preceded or accompanied by a range of typical skin signs. Gorlin syndrome is a rare multisystem inherited disorder which can predispose to basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), childhood medulloblastomas in addition to various developmental abnormalities; the majority of cases are due to mutations in the PTCH1 gene. Approximately 5% of cases have been attributed to a mutation in the SUFU gene. Certain phenotypic features have been identified as being more prevalent in individuals with a SUFU mutation such as childhood medulloblastoma, infundibulocystic BCCs and trichoepitheliomas. Recently hamartomatous skin lesions have also been noted in families with childhood medulloblastoma, a "Gorlin like" phenotype and a SUFU mutation. Here we describe a family previously diagnosed with Gorlin syndrome with a novel SUFU splice site deleterious genetic variant, who have several dermatological features including palmar sclerotic fibromas which has not been described in relation to a SUFU mutation before. We highlight the features more prominent in individuals with a SUFU mutation. It is important to note that emerging therapies for treatment of BCCs in patients with a PTCH1 mutation may not be effective in those with a SUFU mutation.

A mutational signature associated with alcohol consumption and prognostically significantly mutated driver genes in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is often diagnosed at an advanced and incurable stage. Information on driver genes and prognosticators in ESCC remains incomplete. The objective was to elucidate significantly mutated genes (SMGs), mutational signatures, and prognosticators in ESCC.

Patched 1 Expression Correlates with Biochemical Relapse in High-Risk Prostate Cancer Patients.

There is an unmet clinical need for adequate biomarkers to aid risk stratification and management of prostate cancer (PCa) patients. Even within the high-risk PCa category not all patients will invariably have a poor prognosis, and improved stratification of this heterogeneous group is needed. In this context, components of the hedgehog (Hh) pathway may have promise as biomarkers, as the available evidence suggests increased Hh pathway activity may confer a poorer outcome in advanced and castrate-resistant PCa. In this study potential associations between Hh pathway protein expression and clinico-pathological factors, including time to biochemical recurrence (BCR), were investigated using a tissue microarray constructed from benign and malignant prostate samples from 75 predominantly high-risk PCa patients who underwent radical prostatectomy. Hh signaling activity was found to differ between benign and malignant prostate tissue, with a greater amount of active Hh signaling present in malignant than benign prostate epithelium. High expression of PTCH1 in malignant prostate epithelium was found to be an independent predictor of BCR in high-risk PCa patients. GLI1 may potentially represent a clinically useful biomarker of an aggressive tumor phenotype. Evaluation of Hh signaling activity in PCa patients may be useful for risk-stratification, and epithelial PTCH1 expression in particular may be a prognostic marker for BCR in high-risk PCa patients.

Involvement of hedgehog pathway in early onset, aggressive molecular subtypes and metastatic potential of breast cancer.

Dysregulation of hedgehog pathway is observed in numerous cancers. Relevance of hedgehog pathway genes in cancer cohort and inhibition of its downstream effector (GLI1) towards metastasis in cell lines are explored in the study.

Smoothened Sensor Places Sodium and Sterols Center Stage.

Regulation of Smoothened by PTCH1 is central to Hedgehog signal transduction. Reporting recently in PNAS, Myers et al. (2017) provide evidence that a transmembrane flux of sodium ions drives PTCH1 activity and that cholesterol regulates Smoothened via its transmembrane domain.

Regulation of Calvarial Osteogenesis by Concomitant De-repression of GLI3 and Activation of IHH Targets.

Loss-of-function mutations in GLI3 and IHH cause craniosynostosis and reduced osteogenesis, respectively. In this study, we show that Ihh ligand, the receptor Ptch1 and Gli transcription factors are differentially expressed in embryonic mouse calvaria osteogenic condensations. We show that in both Ihh-/- and Gli3Xt-J/Xt-J embryonic mice, the normal gene expression architecture is lost and this results in disorganized calvarial bone development. RUNX2 is a master regulatory transcription factor controlling osteogenesis. In the absence of Gli3, RUNX2 isoform II and IHH are upregulated, and RUNX2 isoform I downregulated. This is consistent with the expanded and aberrant osteogenesis observed in Gli3Xt-J/Xt-J mice, and consistent with Runx2-I expression by relatively immature osteoprogenitors. Ihh-/- mice exhibited small calvarial bones and HH target genes, Ptch1 and Gli1, were absent. This indicates that IHH is the functional HH ligand, and that it is not compensated by another HH ligand. To decipher the roles and potential interaction of Gli3 and Ihh, we generated Ihh-/-;Gli3Xt-J/Xt-J compound mutant mice. Even in the absence of Ihh, Gli3 deletion was sufficient to induce aberrant precocious ossification across the developing suture, indicating that the craniosynostosis phenotype of Gli3Xt-J/Xt-J mice is not dependent on IHH ligand. Also, we found that Ihh was not required for Runx2 expression as the expression of RUNX2 target genes was unaffected by deletion of Ihh. To test whether RUNX2 has a role upstream of IHH, we performed RUNX2 siRNA knock down experiments in WT calvarial osteoblasts and explants and found that Ihh expression is suppressed. Our results show that IHH is the functional HH ligand in the embryonic mouse calvaria osteogenic condensations, where it regulates the progression of osteoblastic differentiation. As GLI3 represses the expression of Runx2-II and Ihh, and also elevates the Runx2-I expression, and as IHH may be regulated by RUNX2 these results raise the possibility of a regulatory feedback circuit to control calvarial osteogenesis and suture patency. Taken together, RUNX2-controlled osteoblastic cell fate is regulated by IHH through concomitant inhibition of GLI3-repressor formation and activation of downstream targets.

A Distinct Malignant Epithelioid Neoplasm With GLI1 Gene Rearrangements, Frequent S100 Protein Expression, and Metastatic Potential: Expanding the Spectrum of Pathologic Entities With ACTB/MALAT1/PTCH1-GLI1 Fusions.

ACTB-GLI1 fusions have been reported as the pathognomonic genetic abnormality defining an unusual subset of actin-positive, perivascular myoid tumors, known as "pericytoma with the t(7;12) translocation." In addition, GLI1 oncogenic activation through a related MALAT1-GLI1 gene fusion has been recently reported in 2 unrelated gastric tumors, namely plexiform fibromyxoma and gastroblastoma. Triggered by unexpected targeted RNA-sequencing results detecting GLI1-related fusions in a group of malignant neoplasms with round to epithelioid morphology, and frequently strong S100 protein immunoreactivity, we investigated their clinicopathologic features in relation to other known pathologic entities sharing similar genetics. On the basis of a combined approach of targeted RNA sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization screening, we identified 6 cases with GLI1 gene fusions, including 4 fused to ACTB, 1 with MALAT1 and 1 with PTCH1 gene. Patients had a mean age of 36 years at diagnosis (range, 16 to 79 y) and slight female predilection all except 1 tumor originated in the soft tissue. Microscopically, the tumors had a monomorphic epithelioid phenotype arranged in a distinctive nested or cord-like architecture, separated by thin septae and delicate capillary network. All except 2 cases were strongly positive for S100 protein, whereas being negative for SOX10, SMA, and EMA. Only 1 tumor showed focal cytokeratin positivity in rare cells. Although the tumors showed some resemblance to pericytic/glomus tumors or myoepithelial tumors, the immunoprofile was not supportive of either lineage. Moreover, in contrast to the benign course of so-called pericytoma with t(7;12), 3 patients in this series developed metastatic disease to either lymph nodes or lung. In fact the only patient with lung metastases showed a novel PTCH1-GLI1 gene fusion. It remains to be determined whether these tumors represent a clinically and immunohistologically distinct subset of pericytoma, or an altogether novel soft tissue sarcoma. Our findings open new opportunities for targeted therapy, as tumors with GLI1 oncogenic activation, and subsequent PTCH1 overexpression, might be sensitive to sonic hedgehog pathway inhibitors.

Postnatal lethality and chondrodysplasia in mice lacking both chondroitin sulfate N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase-1 and -2.

Chondroitin sulfate (CS) is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain. In cartilage, CS plays important roles as the main component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), existing as side chains of the major cartilage proteoglycan, aggrecan. Six glycosyltransferases are known to coordinately synthesize the backbone structure of CS; however, their in vivo synthetic mechanism remains unknown. Previous studies have suggested that two glycosyltransferases, Csgalnact1 (t1) and Csgalnact2 (t2), are critical for initiation of CS synthesis in vitro. Indeed, t1 single knockout mice (t1 KO) exhibit slight dwarfism and a reduction in CS content in cartilage compared with wild-type (WT) mice. To reveal the synergetic roles of t1 and t2 in CS synthesis in vivo, we generated systemic single and double knockout (DKO) mice and cartilage-specific t1 and t2 double knockout (Col2-DKO) mice. DKO mice exhibited postnatal lethality, whereas t2 KO mice showed normal size and skeletal development. Col2-DKO mice survived to adulthood and showed severe dwarfism compared with t1 KO mice. Histological analysis of epiphyseal cartilage from Col2-DKO mice revealed disrupted endochondral ossification, characterized by drastic GAG reduction in the ECM. Moreover, DKO cartilage had reduced chondrocyte proliferation and an increased number of apoptotic chondrocytes compared with WT cartilage. Conversely, primary chondrocyte cultures from Col2-DKO knee cartilage had the same proliferation rate as WT chondrocytes and low GAG expression levels, indicating that the chondrocytes themselves had an intact proliferative ability. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of E18.5 cartilage showed that the expression levels of Col2a1 and Ptch1 transcripts tended to decrease in DKO compared with those in WT mice. The CS content in DKO cartilage was decreased compared with that in t1 KO cartilage but was not completely absent. These results suggest that aberrant ECM caused by CS reduction disrupted endochondral ossification. Overall, we propose that both t1 and t2 are necessary for CS synthesis and normal chondrocyte differentiation but are not sufficient for all CS synthesis in cartilage.

PTCH1 Germline Mutations and the Basaloid Follicular Hamartoma Values in the Tumor Spectrum of Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome (NBCCS).

Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS) is an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder characterized by multiple basal cell carcinomas (BCC), odontogenic tumors and various skeletal anomalies. Basaloid follicular hamartomas (BFHs) constitute rare neoplasms that can be detected in sporadic and familial settings as in the Basaloid Follicular Hamartoma Syndrome (BFHS). Although BFHS shares clinical, histopathological and genetic overlapping with the NBCCS, they are still considered two distinctive entities. The aim of our single-institution study was the analysis of a cohort of PTCH1-mutated patients in order to define clinical and biomolecular relationship between NBCCS and BFHs.

Indian Hedgehog Suppresses a Stromal Cell-Driven Intestinal Immune Response.

Upon intestinal epithelial damage a complex wound healing response is initiated to restore epithelial integrity and defend against pathogenic invasion. Epithelium-derived Indian Hedgehog (Ihh) functions as a critical sensor in this process. Signaling occurs in a paracrine manner because the receptor for Ihh is expressed only in the mesenchyme, but the exact Hedgehog target cell has remained elusive. The aim of this study was to elucidate further the nature of this target cell in the context of intestinal inflammation.

The role of the Hedgehog signaling pathway in cancer: A comprehensive review.

The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway was first identified in the common fruit fly. It is a highly conserved evolutionary pathway of signal transmission from the cell membrane to the nucleus. The Hh signaling pathway plays an important role in the embryonic development. It exerts its biological effects through a signaling cascade that culminates in a change of balance between activator and repressor forms of glioma-associated oncogene (Gli) transcription factors. The components of the Hh signaling pathway involved in the signaling transfer to the Gli transcription factors include Hedgehog ligands (Sonic Hh [SHh], Indian Hh [IHh], and Desert Hh [DHh]), Patched receptor (Ptch1, Ptch2), Smoothened receptor, Suppressor of fused homolog, kinesin-7, protein kinase A, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP). The activator form of Gli travels to the nucleus and stimulates the transcription of the target genes by binding to their promoters. The main target genes of the Hh signaling pathway are PTCH1, PTCH2, and GLI1. Deregulation of the Hh signaling pathway is associated with developmental anomalies and cancer, including Gorlin syndrome, and sporadic cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, medulloblastoma, pancreatic, breast, colon, ovarian, and small-cell lung carcinomas. The aberrant activation of the Hh signaling pathway is caused by mutations in the related genes (ligand-independent signaling) or by the excessive expression of the Hh signaling molecules (ligand-dependent signaling - autocrine or paracrine). Several Hh signaling pathway inhibitors, such as vismodegib and sonidegib, have been developed for cancer treatment. These drugs are regarded as promising cancer therapies, especially for patients with refractory/advanced cancers.

Absence of BRAFV600E mutation in odontogenic keratocysts.

Mutations in the patched 1 (PTCH1) gene are the main genetic alteration reported in sporadic and nevoid basal cell carcinoma-associated odontogenic keratocyst (OKC). Oncogenic mutations, including BRAFV600E, previously considered exclusive of malignant neoplasms have been reported in odontogenic tumors. Recently, a high frequency of BRAFV600E mutation has been reported in OKC. Because of the considerable recurrence rate of OKC, the identification of druggable genetic mutations can be relevant in the management of extensive lesions.

Identification of novel targetable mutations in metastatic anorectal melanoma by next-generation sequencing.

Hypoxia Accelerates Aggressiveness of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells Involving Oxidative Stress, Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Non-Canonical Hedgehog Signaling.

Hypoxic microenvironment, a common feature of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), can induce HIF-1α expression and promote the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion of cancer cells. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms have not fully elucidated.

Congenital embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma caused by heterozygous concomitant PTCH1 and PTCH2 germline mutations.

The sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling pathway has been shown to play important roles in embryogenesis, cell proliferation as well as in cell differentiation. It is aberrantly activated in various common cancers in adults, but also in pediatric neoplasms, such as rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) and atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs). Dysregulation and germline mutation in PATCHED1 (PTCH1), a receptor for SHH, is responsible for the Gorlin Syndrome, a familial cancer predisposing syndrome including RMS. Here, we report a newborn diagnosed with congenital embryonal RMS. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) identified the presence of two heterozygous germline mutations in two target genes of the SHH signaling pathway. The PTCH1 mutation p.(Gly38Glu) is inherited from the mother, whereas the PTCH2 p.(His622Tyr) mutation is transmitted from the father. Quantitative RT-PCR expression analysis of GLI and SMO, key players of the SHH pathway, showed significantly increase in the tumor tissue of the patient and also enrichment in the germline sample in comparison to the parents indicating activation of the SHH pathway in the patient. These findings demonstrate that SHH pathway activity seems to play a role in eRMS as evidenced by high expression levels of GLI1 RNA transcripts. We speculate that PTCH2 modulates tumorigenesis linked to the PTCH1 mutation and is likely associated with the congenital onset of the RMS observed in our patient.

HDAC6 inhibition induces glioma stem cells differentiation and enhances cellular radiation sensitivity through the SHH/Gli1 signaling pathway.

The existence of small numbers of stem-like cells, called glioma stem cells (GSCs), in human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is responsible for recurrence due to resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Inhibition of histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) enhanced radiosensitivity of cancer cells. However, the effect of inhibiting HDAC6 on stemness and radioresistance of GSCs and its molecular mechanism are largely unknown. In the present study, we found that HDAC6 was upregulated in GSCs comparing to non-stem tumor cells. Inhibiting HDAC6 downregulated glioma-associated oncogene homolog 1 (Gli1), Patched (Ptch1 and Ptch2) receptors, components of SHH signal, expression and activity in GSCs. Restraining HDAC6 decreased cell proliferation, induces differentiation and increased apoptosis of GSCs via inactivation of SHH/Gli1 signaling pathway. Moreover, HDAC6 inhibition decreased DNA damage repair capacity of GSCs through degradation of checkpoint kinase (CHK) 1 caused by X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) downregulation, leading to elevated radiosensitivity. Taken together, these findings indicate that HDAC6 inhibition decreased stemness of GSCs and enhanced GSCs radiosensitivity through inactivating SHH/Gli1 pathway. This provides a promising novel drug target to overcome GSCs stemness and radioresistance.

Non-Canonical Hedgehog Signaling Is a Positive Regulator of the WNT Pathway and Is Required for the Survival of Colon Cancer Stem Cells.

Colon cancer is a heterogeneous tumor driven by a subpopulation of cancer stem cells (CSCs). To study CSCs in colon cancer, we used limiting dilution spheroid and serial xenotransplantation assays to functionally define the frequency of CSCs in a panel of patient-derived cancer organoids. These studies demonstrated cancer organoids to be enriched for CSCs, which varied in frequency between tumors. Whole-transcriptome analysis identified WNT and Hedgehog signaling components to be enhanced in CSC-enriched tumors and in aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH)-positive CSCs. Canonical GLI-dependent Hedgehog signaling is a negative regulator of WNT signaling in normal intestine and intestinal tumors. Here, we show that Hedgehog signaling in colon CSCs is autocrine SHH-dependent, non-canonical PTCH1 dependent, and GLI independent. In addition, using small-molecule inhibitors and RNAi against SHH-palmitoylating Hedgehog acyltransferase (HHAT), we demonstrate that non-canonical Hedgehog signaling is a positive regulator of WNT signaling and required for colon CSC survival.

A mutational comparison of adult and adolescent and young adult (AYA) colon cancer.

It is possible that the relative lack of progress in treatment outcomes among adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer is caused by a difference in disease biology compared with the corresponding diseases in younger and older individuals. There is evidence that colon cancer is more aggressive and has a poorer prognosis in AYA patients than in older adult patients.

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma-derived Sonic Hedgehog Promotes Angiogenesis.

Sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling is related to the pathogenesis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), but its role in OSCC is not yet well understood. In this study, we analyzed the role of SHH signaling in OSCC.

Germline SUFU mutation carriers and medulloblastoma: clinical characteristics, cancer risk and prognosis.

Germline SUFU mutations predispose to SHH medulloblastoma. Germline SUFU mutations have been reported in nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), but little is known about the cancer risk and clinical spectrum.

Understanding the Molecular Genetics of Basal Cell Carcinoma.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common human cancer and represents a growing public health care problem. Several tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes have been implicated in BCC pathogenesis, including the key components of the Hedgehog pathway, PTCH1 and SMO, the TP53 tumor suppressor, and members of the RAS proto-oncogene family. Aberrant activation of the Hedgehog pathway represents the molecular driver in basal cell carcinoma pathogenesis, with the majority of BCCs carrying somatic point mutations, mainly ultraviolet (UV)-induced, and/or copy-loss of heterozygosis in the PTCH1 gene. Recent advances in sequencing technology allowed genome-scale approaches to mutation discovery, identifying new genes and pathways potentially involved in BCC carcinogenesis. Mutational and functional analysis suggested PTPN14 and LATS1, both effectors of the Hippo-YAP pathway, and MYCN as new BCC-associated genes. In addition, emerging reports identified frequent non-coding mutations within the regulatory promoter sequences of the TERT and DPH3-OXNAD1 genes. Thus, it is clear that a more complex genetic network of cancer-associated genes than previously hypothesized is involved in BCC carcinogenesis, with a potential impact on the development of new molecular targeted therapies. This article reviews established knowledge and new hypotheses regarding the molecular genetics of BCC pathogenesis.

Identification of genome-wide SNP-SNP interactions associated with important traits in chicken.

In addition to additive genetic effects, epistatic interactions can play key roles in the control of phenotypic variation of traits of interest. In the current study, 475 male birds from lean and fat chicken lines were utilized as a resource population to detect significant epistatic effects associated with growth and carcass traits.

Temporal and spatial expression patterns of Hedgehog receptors in the developing inner and middle ear.

The mammalian inner ear is a complex organ responsible for balance and hearing. Sonic hedgehog (Shh), a member of the Hedgehog (Hh) family of secreted proteins, has been shown to play important roles in several aspects of inner ear development, including dorsoventral axial specification, cochlear elongation, tonotopic patterning, and hair cell differentiation. Hh proteins initiate a downstream signaling cascade by binding to the Patched 1 (Ptch1) receptor. Recent studies have revealed that other types of co-receptors can also mediate Hh signaling, including growth arrest-specific 1 (Gas1), cell-adhesion molecules-related/down-regulated by oncogenes (Cdon), and biregional Cdon binding protein (Boc). However, little is known about the role of these Hh co-receptors in inner ear development. In this study, we examined the expression patterns of Gas1, Cdon, and Boc, as well as that of Ptch1, in the developing mouse inner ear from otocyst (embryonic day (E) 9.5) until birth and in the developing middle ear at E15.5. Ptch1, a readout of Hh signaling, was expressed in a graded pattern in response to Shh signaling throughout development. Expression patterns of Gas1, Cdon, and Boc differed from that of Ptch1, and each Hh co-receptor was expressed in specific cells and domains in the developing inner and middle ear. These unique and differential expression patterns of Hh co-receptors suggest their roles in mediating various time- and space-specific functions of Shh during ear development.

Downregulation of the Sonic Hedgehog/Gli pathway transcriptional target Neogenin-1 is associated with basal cell carcinoma aggressiveness.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is one of the most diagnosed cancers worldwide. It develops due to an unrestrained Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) signaling activity in basal cells of the skin. Certain subtypes of BCC are more aggressive than others, although the molecular basis of this phenomenon remains unknown. We have previously reported that Neogenin-1 (NEO1) is a downstream target gene of the SHH/GLI pathway in neural tissue. Given that SHH participates in epidermal homeostasis, here we analyzed the epidermal expression of NEO1 in order to identify whether it plays a role in adult epidermis or BCC. We describe the mRNA and protein expression profile of NEO1 and its ligands (Netrin-1 and RGMA) in human and mouse control epidermis and in a broad range of human BCCs. We identify in human BCC a significant positive correlation in the levels of NEO1 receptor, NTN-1 and RGMA ligands with respect to GLI1, the main target gene of the canonical SHH pathway. Moreover, we show via cyclopamine inhibition of the SHH/GLI pathway of ex vivo cultures that NEO1 likely functions as a downstream target of SHH/GLI signaling in the skin. We also show how Neo1 expression decreases throughout BCC progression in the K14-Cre:Ptch1lox/lox mouse model and that aggressive subtypes of human BCC exhibit lower levels of NEO1 than non-aggressive BCC samples. Taken together, these data suggest that NEO1 is a SHH/GLI target in epidermis. We propose that NEO1 may be important in tumor onset and is then down-regulated in advanced BCC or aggressive subtypes.

Activated Hedgehog-GLI Signaling Causes Congenital Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction.

Intrinsic ureteropelvic junction obstruction is the most common cause of congenital hydronephrosis, yet the underlying pathogenesis is undefined. Hedgehog proteins control morphogenesis by promoting GLI-dependent transcriptional activation and inhibiting the formation of the GLI3 transcriptional repressor. Hedgehog regulates differentiation and proliferation of ureteric smooth muscle progenitor cells during murine kidney-ureter development. Histopathologic findings of smooth muscle cell hypertrophy and stroma-like cells, consistently observed in obstructing tissue at the time of surgical correction, suggest that Hedgehog signaling is abnormally regulated during the genesis of congenital intrinsic ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Here, we demonstrate that constitutively active Hedgehog signaling in murine intermediate mesoderm-derived renal progenitors results in hydronephrosis and failure to develop a patent pelvic-ureteric junction. Tissue obstructing the ureteropelvic junction was marked as early as E13.5 by an ectopic population of cells expressing Ptch2, a Hedgehog signaling target. Constitutive expression of GLI3 repressor in Ptch1-deficient mice rescued ectopic Ptch2 expression and obstructive hydronephrosis. Whole transcriptome analysis of isolated Ptch2+ cells revealed coexpression of genes characteristic of stromal progenitor cells. Genetic lineage tracing indicated that stromal cells blocking the ureteropelvic junction were derived from intermediate mesoderm-derived renal progenitors and were distinct from the smooth muscle or epithelial lineages. Analysis of obstructive ureteric tissue resected from children with congenital intrinsic ureteropelvic junction obstruction revealed a molecular signature similar to that observed in Ptch1-deficient mice. Together, these results demonstrate a Hedgehog-dependent mechanism underlying mammalian intrinsic ureteropelvic junction obstruction.

Frequent oncogenic BRAF V600E mutation in odontogenic keratocyst.

Odontogenic keratocyst (OKC), also known as keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT), has clinical significance due to its high incidence as well as high recurrence rate after surgical enucleation. Current clinical management for OCK is entirely dependent on surgical approach. While various genetic alterations, such as PTCH1 mutation and loss of heterozygosity in tumor suppressor genes, have been reported, the molecular background of OKC is not well-understood. Although recent identification of BRAF V600E mutation and subsequent activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in ameloblastoma and odontogenic tumors provide additional options with targeted therapeutics, the molecular background of OKC is not well understood.

Gorlin syndrome-derived induced pluripotent stem cells are hypersensitive to hedgehog-mediated osteogenic induction.

Gorlin syndrome is an autosomal dominant inherited syndrome that predisposes a patient to the formation of basal cell carcinomas, odontogenic keratocysts, and skeletal anomalies. Causative mutations in several genes associated with the sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling pathway, including PTCH1, have been identified in Gorlin syndrome patients. However, no definitive genotype-phenotype correlations are evident in these patients, and their clinical presentation varies greatly, often leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment. We generated iPSCs from four unrelated Gorlin syndrome patients with loss-of-function mutations in PTCH1 using the Sendai virus vector (SeVdp(KOSM)302). The patient-derived iPSCs exhibited basic iPSC features, including stem cell marker expression, totipotency, and the ability to form teratomas. GLI1 expression levels were greater in fibroblasts and patient-derived iPSCs than in the corresponding control cells. Patient-derived iPSCs expressed lower basal levels than control iPSCs of the genes encoding the Hh ligands Indian Hedgehog (IHH) and SHH, the Hh acetyltransferase HHAT, Wnt proteins, BMP4, and BMP6. Most of these genes were upregulated in patient-derived iPSCs grown in osteoblast differentiation medium (OBM) and downregulated in control iPSCs cultured in OBM. The expression of GLI1 and GLI2 substantially decreased in both control and patient-derived iPSCs cultured in OBM, whereas GLI3, SHH, and IHH were upregulated in patient-derived iPSCs and downregulated in control iPSCs grown in OBM. Activation of Smoothened by SAG in cells grown in OBM significantly enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity in patient-derived iPSCs compared with control iPSC lines. In summary, patient-derived iPSCs expressed lower basal levels than the control iPSCs of the genes encoding Hh, Wnt, and bone morphogenetic proteins, but their expression of these genes strongly increased under osteogenic conditions. These findings indicate that patient-derived iPSCs are hypersensitive to osteogenic induction. We propose that Hh signaling is constituently active in iPSCs from Gorlin syndrome patients, enhancing their response to osteogenic induction and contributing to disease-associated abnormalities.

Whole-exome sequencing to identify novel mutations of nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome in a Chinese population.

Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS) is a rare autosomal dominant disease with a complex genetic etiology. Although three causative genes (PTCH1, PTCH2, SUFU) have been identified through linkage analysis and Sanger sequencing, the genetic background of NBCCS hasn't been fully understood.

Nanog-driven cell-reprogramming and self-renewal maintenance in Ptch1 +/- granule cell precursors after radiation injury.

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common pediatric brain tumor, comprising four distinct molecular variants, one of which characterized by activation of the Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) pathway, driving 25-30% of sporadic MB. SHH-dependent MBs arise from granule cell precursors (GCPs), are fatal in 40-70% of cases and radioresistance strongly contributes to poor prognosis and tumor recurrence. Patched1 heterozygous (Ptch1 +/-) mice, carrying a germ-line heterozygous inactivating mutation in the Ptch1 gene, the Shh receptor and negative regulator of the pathway, are uniquely susceptible to MB development after radiation damage in neonatal cerebellum. Here, we irradiated ex-vivo GCPs isolated from cerebella of neonatal WT and Ptch1 +/- mice. Our results highlight a less differentiated status of Ptch1-mutated cells after irradiation, influencing DNA damage response. Increased expression levels of pluripotency genes Nanog, Oct4 and Sal4, together with greater clonogenic potential, clearly suggest that radiation induces expansion of the stem-like cell compartment through cell-reprogramming and self-renewal maintenance, and that this mechanism is strongly dependent on Nanog. These results contribute to clarify the molecular mechanisms that control radiation-induced Shh-mediated tumorigenesis and may suggest Nanog as a potential target to inhibit for adjuvant radiotherapy in treatment of SHH-dependent MB.

Non-canonical Hedgehog signaling activation in ovarian borderline tumors and ovarian carcinomas.

Hedgehog signaling pathway has been implicated in the pathology of ovarian cancer, and Survivin (BIRC5) has been suggested as a novel target of this pathway. Herein we investigated the role of Hedgehog signaling pathway and Survivin in ovarian carcinoma and borderline tumor samples. We aimed to determine possible ways of pathway modulation on primary ovarian cancer cells and an established cell line. RNA was extracted from fresh tumors and control tissues and gene expression was examined using qRT-PCR. Pathway activity in cell lines was examined after treatment with cyclopamine, SHH protein, GANT-61 or lithium chloride using qRT-PCR, western blot and confocal microscopy. The difference between control tissue, borderline tumors and carcinomas can be seen in GLI1 and SUFU gene expression, which is significantly higher in borderline tumors compared to carcinomas. SUFU also shows lower expression levels in higher FIGO stages relative to lower stages. BIRC5 is expressed in all tumors and in healthy ovarian tissues compared to our control tissue, healthy fallopian tube samples. Primary cells developed from ovarian carcinoma tissue respond to cyclopamine treatment with a short-term decrease in cell proliferation, downregulation of Hedgehog pathway genes, including BIRC5, and changes in protein dynamics. Stimulation with SHH protein results in increased cell migration, while GLI1 transfection or PTCH1 silencing demonstrate pathway upregulation. The pathway activity can be modulated by LiCl at the GSK3β-SUFU-GLI level, suggesting at least partial non-canonical activation. Downregulation of the pathway with GANT-61 has proved to be more effective than cyclopamine. GLI inhibitors may be a superior treatment option in ovarian cancer compared to SMO inhibitors.