Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Jonathan Fries, Igor Drobiazko, William Schmarzo, John Esposito, Elizabeth White

News Feed Item

Study Involving Twin Sisters Provides Clues for Battling Aggressive Cancers

CINCINNATI, Feb. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Analyzing the genomes of twin 3-year-old sisters – one healthy and one with aggressive leukemia – led an international team of researchers to identify a novel molecular target that could become a way to treat recurring and deadly malignancies.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110406/MM79025LOGO)

Scientists in China and the United States report their findings online Feb. 9 in Nature Genetics. The study points to a molecular pathway involving a gene called SETD2, which can mutate in blood cells during a critical step as DNA is being transcribed and replicated.

The findings stem from the uniquely rare opportunity to compare the whole genomes of the monozygotic twin sisters (which means they came from a single egg). This led to a series of follow up experiments in human samples from leukemia patients and mouse models of human disease. Those tests verified and extended initial findings researchers gleaned from the twin sisters' blood samples, according to Gang Huang, PhD, co-corresponding author and a researcher in the divisions of Pathology and Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

"We reasoned that monozygotic twins discordant for human leukemia would have identical inherited genetic backgrounds and well-matched tissue-specific events," Huang said. "This provided a strong basis for comparison and analysis. We identified a gene mutation involving SETD2 that contributes to the initiation and progression of leukemia by promoting the self-renewal potential of leukemia stem cells."

The twin sisters' genomes were compared at the laboratory of co-corresponding author Qian-fei Wang, PhD, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China. The sick sister had a particularly acute and aggressive form of the acute myeloid leukemia (AML) known as MLL, or multi-lineage leukemia.

Acute and aggressive leukemia like MLL develops and progresses rapidly in patients, requiring prompt treatment with chemotherapy, radiation or bone marrow transplant. These treatments can be risky or only partially effective. About 70 percent of people with AML respond initially to standard chemotherapy. Unfortunately, five-year survival rates vary between 15-70 percent, depending on the subtype of AML.

The researchers – including co-corresponding author Tao Cheng, MD, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College in Tianjin, China – are searching for improved and more targeted treatment strategies. The authors show in their current study that the onset of aggressive and acute leukemia is fueled by a spiraling cascade of multiple gene mutations and what are called chromosomal translocations – essentially incorrect alignments of DNA and genetic information during cell replication.

In comparing the blood cells of both twin sisters, these researchers identified a chromosomal translocation generated what is known as the MLL-NRIP3 fusion leukemia gene. When they activated the MLL-NRIP3 gene in laboratory mouse models, the animals developed the same type of leukemia, but it took a long period of time for them to do so. Researchers said this suggested that there had to be additional cooperative epigenetic and molecular events in play to induce full-blown leukemia.

The authors went on to demonstrate that activation of the MLL-NRIP3 fusion leukemia gene cooperated with the molecular cascade (including mutations in SETD2) to cause the multi-lineage form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The scientists' initial clue came by looking for additional genomic alterations in the leukemic blood cells of the sick twin sister. They discovered activation of the MLL-NRIP3 fusion leukemia started the molecular cascade that led to bi-allelic (two mutations) in the gene SETD2 – a tumor suppressor and enzyme that regulates a specific histone modification protein called H3K36me3.

During a process called transcriptional elongation, SETD2 and H3K36me3 normally mark the zone for accurate gene transcription along the DNA. In the case of the sick twin sister, the gene mutations and molecular cascade disrupted the H3K36me3 mark, leading to abnormal transcription and the multi-lineage form of acute leukemia.

Researchers then analyzed blood samples from 241 people who had different forms acute leukemia. SETD2 mutations were found in samples from 6.2 percent of those patients. Patients with SETD2 mutations also had a leukemia associated with major chromosomal translocations and disruption of the H3K36me3 mark.  

In follow up tests on cell cultures of pre-leukemic cells and mouse models, researchers saw the same progression of gene mutations and related molecular events fuel the growth of leukemic cells. Researchers also noticed mutation of SETD2 activated two genes (MTOR and JAK-STAT) that known contributors to cancer and leukemia. The scientists decided to test two existing targeted molecular inhibitors of MTOR on pre-leukemic cells that are generated by SETD2 gene mutations.

That treatment resulted in a marked decrease in cell growth, indicating that SETD2 mutations activate numerous molecular pathways to generate leukemia. Huang said the tests also demonstrate that there are multiple opportunities to find new molecular targets for developing more effective drugs – in particular those that would target the MLL fusion-SETD2-H3K36me3 pathway for treating acute and aggressive multi-lineage leukemia.

Researchers are following up their current study by identifying additional pathways activated by mutations of SETD2. They also are looking possible new molecular targets and therapeutic strategies for block disruptions in the MLL fusions-SETD2-H3K36me3 pathway.

Other collaborating institutions include: the Institute of Hematology and Blood Diseases Hospital at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College; the University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China; Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China; the University Feinberg School of Medicine and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Research Center, Chicago. Co-first authors are: Xiaofan Zhu, Fuhong He, Huimin Zeng, Shaoping Ling and Aili Chen.

Funding support came from: the China Ministry of Science and Technology (2011CB964801, 2012CB966600, 2010DFB30270); the Chinese Academy of Sciences; the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81090411, 81000220, 81130074, 30825017) Tianjin Municipal Science & Technology Commission (09ZCZDSF03800).

About Cincinnati Children's:
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report's 2013 Best Children's Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for cancer and in the top 10 for nine of 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children's, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org. Connect on the Cincinnati Children's blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.

SOURCE Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.