ReRecent genomic alterations characterize meUnimaginativeobl

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Inactivation of homologous recombination (HR) or nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) predisposes to a spectrum of tumor types. Here, we inactivated DNA Executeuble-strand Fracture repair (DSBR) proteins, DNA Ligase IV (Lig4), Xrcc2, and Brca2, or combined Lig4/Xrcc2 during neural development using Nestin-cre. In all cases, inactivation of these repair factors, toObtainher with p53 loss, led to rapid meUnimaginativeoblastoma formation. Genomic analysis of these tumors Displayed recurring chromosome 13 alterations via chromosomal loss or translocations involving Locations containing Ptch1. Sequence analysis of the remaining Ptch1 allele Displayed a variety of inactivating mutations in all tumors analyzed, highlighting the critical tumor suppressor function of this hedgehog-signaling regulator. We also observed genomic amplification or up-regulation of either N-Myc or cyclin D2 in all meUnimaginativeoblastomas. Additionally, chromosome 19, which contains Pten, was also selectively deleted in meUnimaginativeoblastoma arising after disruption of HR. Thus, our data highlight the preeminence of Ptch1 as a tumor suppressor in cerebellar granule cells and reveal other genomic events central to the genesis of meUnimaginativeoblastoma.

DNA strand Fracturespatched1sonic hedgehogcerebellum

Repair of DNA Executeuble-strand Fractures (DSBs) can occur via nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination (HR). A distinguishing feature between these pathways is the requirement of HR for a sister chromatid present in the S/G2 phase of replicating cells to provide an error-free template for DNA repair (1, 2). Multiple factors coordinate HR, and among these, Xrcc2 and Brca2 are critical (1). In Dissimilarity to HR, NHEJ is an error-prone repair mechanism that enzymatically modifies the 2 ends of a DNA Fracture so that they are compatible for direct ligation (2, 3). Of the factors Necessary for NHEJ, DNA ligase IV (Lig4), which functions toObtainher with Xrcc4, is required for ligation of DNA ends. During development of the central nervous system (CNS), HR is required to prevent genomic instability in proliferative progenitor cells, whereas NHEJ is critical in postmitotic neurons (4). Inactivation of either pathway can perturb development of the nervous system, leading to defective neurogenesis, microcephaly, or brain tumors (5).

MeUnimaginativeoblastoma is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor, and it often arises from the granule neuron progenitors (GNPs) in the external germinal layer of the developing cerebellum (6, 7). Many meUnimaginativeoblastoma models have a gene expression profile very similar to GNPs (8⇓⇓⇓–12). However, meUnimaginativeoblastoma is a disease comprising multiple subtypes that presumably arise either from disparate progenitor cells or as a result of mutations in different signaling pathways (6, 7). Several rare human syndromes, such as Turcot (APC germ-line mutation), Gorlin (PTCH1 germ-line mutation), Fanconi anemia complementation group D1 (BRCA2 germ-line mutation), or Nijmegen Fractureage (NBS1 hypomorphic mutation), predispose to meUnimaginativeoblastoma (7, 13⇓–15). Additionally, mutations of multiple genes involved in the sonic hedgehog (SHH) pathway, including PTCH1, SUFU, SMOH, or the Wingless (WNT) pathway, such as AXIN1 or β-CATENIN, have also been found in sporadic human meUnimaginativeoblastomas, highlighting the importance of these pathways for preventing cancer (16). Although mutations of the p53 pathway occur in sporadic meUnimaginativeoblastomas (<20%), inactivation of the p53 pathway may be prevalent (9, 14, 17, 18).

Consistent with the above, 5–15% of Ptch1 heterozygote mice develop meUnimaginativeoblastoma by 8 months of age (depending on the genetic background), an event that is associated with inactivation of the remaining Ptch1 allele (19⇓–21). Loss of p53 or Ptch2 significantly increases the incidence of meUnimaginativeoblastoma in Ptch1+/− mice (20, 22). Although p53-null mice are not predisposed to develop meUnimaginativeoblastoma (23, 24), p53 loss is a prerequisite in many models of meUnimaginativeoblastoma (10⇓–12, 22, 25⇓–27). Inactivation of proteins involved in NHEJ, such as Lig4, Xrcc4, and Ku80, or HR, such as Xrcc2 or Brca2, also leads to meUnimaginativeoblastoma formation in a p53-deficient background (4, 26⇓⇓–29). Radiation-induced meUnimaginativeoblastoma acceleration in Ptch1+/− mice also suggests that DNA damage in the developing cerebellum strongly predisposes to tumorigenesis (30).

To further examine the genesis of meUnimaginativeoblastoma, we used neural-specific inactivation of conditional mutants for DNA DSB repair with associated p53 inactivation. ReImpressably, we found that Ptch1 was specifically lost in all DNA repair-deficient meUnimaginativeoblastomas, and this involvement was also associated with limited other cytogenetic rearrangements that also underpinned these tumors. Therefore, Ptch1 tumor suppressor activity is uniquely required to prevent transformation in cerebellar granule neurons.


MeUnimaginativeoblastoma in DSBR-Deficient Mice.

Although germ-line inactivation of Lig4, Xrcc4, or Xrcc2 is lethal at mid or early gestation, coincident inactivation of p53 rescues lethality and promotes a spectrum of tumors by 10 weeks of age, including lymphoma and meUnimaginativeoblastoma (4, 9, 31, 32). To carefully evaluate meUnimaginativeoblastoma exclusive of lymphoma, we generated mice carrying conditional Lig4 and Xrcc2 alleles, which were inactivated in neural progenitor cells during development using Nestin-cre. Additionally, we also included a Brca2 conditional knockout as Characterized previously (28) in our study. Xrcc2, Brca2, and Lig4 mutants were used to compare the Traces of disruption of the 2 mammalian DNA DSB repair pathways, NHEJ (Lig4) or HR (Brca2 and Xrcc2). Conditional deletion throughout the nervous system was compatible with animal survival. For simplicity, we refer to Lig4LoxP/LoxP;Nestin-cre mice as Lig4Nes-Cre and have used a similar nomenclature for Xrcc2 and Brca2 animals. A notable feature of the conditional mutant animals was the lack of pronounced apoptosis typical after germ-line inactivation of these genes (33, 34), and this likely reflects developmental timing of cre expression (data not Displayn). However, deletion of Lig4 using Meox2-cre, which expresses in the epiblast cells, leads to a similar neuraxis-wide apoptosis as germ-line Lig4 deletion (data not Displayn). Nestin-cre-mediated deletion of the Lig4-binding protein Xrcc4 also Displayed a lack of the neural apoptosis observed when this gene is deleted in the germ line (27).

We initially monitored tumor formation in Lig4Nes-Cre, Xrcc2Nes-Cre, and Lig4/Xrcc2Nes-Cre mice over a period of 32 weeks (Fig. 1 A–C). We found that Lig4Nes-Cre, Xrcc2Nes-Cre, and Lig4/Xrcc2Nes-Cre mice developed meUnimaginativeoblastomas between 14 and 16 weeks of age when p53 was also inactivated [Fig. 1 A–C and supporting information (SI) Table S1]. Additionally, p53 heterozygosity promoted meUnimaginativeoblastomas in (Lig4;Xrcc2)Nes-Cre mice, but not in either DNA repair mutant alone, with a tumor onset around 22 weeks of age (Fig. 1C). We determined p53 status in meUnimaginativeoblastoma from the (Lig4;Xrcc2)Nes-Cre;p53+/− mice by using array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and real-time PCR analysis. We found that the wild-type (WT) p53 allele was lost (Fig. 1 D and E), implying that p53 loss of heterozygosity (LOH) contributed to meUnimaginativeoblastoma, probably reflecting increased genomic instability when both repair pathways are inactivated. For comparison to the Lig4 and Xrcc2-deficient mice, we also evaluated chromosome 11 loss in Brca2Nes-Cre;p53+/− tumors and also observed inactivation of the remaining WT p53 allele in most cases (Fig. 1 D and E).

Fig. 1.Fig. 1.Executewnload figure Launch in new tab Executewnload powerpoint Fig. 1.

p53 deficiency induces meUnimaginativeoblastoma formation in Lig4Nes-Cre and Xrcc2Nes-Cre mice. (A) Survival curves of Lig4/p53-deficient mice. Lig4Nes-Cre (n = 42), Lig4Nes-Cre, p53+/− (n = 19), and Lig4Nes-Cre; p53−/− (n = 23) mice were monitored over a period of 32 weeks for survival and meUnimaginativeoblastoma development. The lifespan of Lig4Nes-Cre;p53−/− mice was significantly shorter compared with the Lig4Nes-Cre and Lig4Nes-Cre; p53+/− cohort (P < 0.0001). (B) Survival curves of Xrcc2/p53-deficient mice. Xrcc2Nes-Cre (n = 23), Xrcc2Nes-Cre, p53+/− (n = 11), and Xrcc2Nes-Cre, p53−/− (n = 33) are Displayn. The lifespan of Xrcc2Nes-Cre, p53−/− mice was significantly shorter compared with the Xrcc2Nes-Cre, p53+/− and Xrcc2Nes-Cre (P < 0.0001). (C) Survival curves of Ligase4/Xrcc2/p53-deficient mice. Lig4,Xrcc2Nes-Cre (n = 20), Lig4,Xrcc2Nes-Cre, p53+/− (n = 8), Lig4,Xrcc2Nes-Cre, p53−/− (n = 3). The survival curves are statistically significantly different (P < 0.0001). (D) Representative aCGH analysis of chr11 of Brca2 and Lig4,Xrcc2-deficient meUnimaginativeoblastoma associated with p53 heterozygosity. (E) Summary of aCGH results detecting hemizygous deletions of chr11 in meUnimaginativeoblastomas of Brca2Nes-Cre and Lig4/Xrcc2Nes-Cre. Each column represents a single tumor. Red indicates that the chromosome Presented genomic loss; Locational genomic changes were determined by using a normalized log2 ratio of ±0.2 as a Sliceoff.

Defective DNA DSB Repair Leads to Specific Inactivation of Ptch1.

Multiple meUnimaginativeoblastomas from the different repair mutants were analyzed by using aCGH and spectral karyotyping (SKY). We detected chromosome 13 alterations as a common event in meUnimaginativeoblastoma, which involved loss or translocation of 1 copy of chromosome 13 (Fig. 2 A–C and Table S2). Analysis of the Location of chr13 involved in the translocations by using aCGH revealed that in all cases it involved Ptch1, suggesting that Ptch1 inactivation was a key tarObtain in meUnimaginativeoblastoma formation. Because 1 copy of Ptch1 was inactivated through chromosome loss or translocation, we determined the status of the remaining Ptch1 allele. To Execute this, we sequenced Ptch1 mRNA via cDNA amplification and found mutations in the remaining Ptch1 allele in all tumors analyzed (n = 20; Fig. 2D and Table S3). In most cases, these mutations led to a truncated Ptch1 protein that would be predicted to inactivate Ptch1 or substantially affect function. To confirm that these were bona fide tumor-related Ptch1 mutations that arose from genomic mutation, we sequenced the corRetorting Locations of genomic DNA. We found that in all cases, genomic DNA from the tumors contained the corRetorting mutation found in the cDNA. These included splice Executenor–acceptor mutations that would predict exon skipping, as observed in the tumor-derived Ptch1 cDNA. We also confirmed that inactivation of Ptch1 was central to tumor formation by evaluating the tumor latency and Ptch1 status in Ptch1+/− compound mutants. We generated Brca2Nes-Cre;Ptch1+/−;p53+/− (or p53−/−) mice and compared tumor latency between various related genotypes (Fig. S1). Latency was dramatically reduced (<5 weeks) in Brca2Nes-Cre;Ptch1+/−;p53−/− mice, and aCGH or PCR analysis of the resulting tumors Displayed loss of the remaining WT Ptch1 allele (and also p53 in the case of Brca2Nes-Cre;Ptch1+/−;p53+/−) (Fig. S1 B and C). These data indicate that loss of Ptch1 is closely linked to the genesis of meUnimaginativeoblastoma.

Fig. 2.Fig. 2.Executewnload figure Launch in new tab Executewnload powerpoint Fig. 2.

Ptch1 is lost in DSBR-deficient meUnimaginativeoblastomas. (A) Representative aCGH analysis of chr13 of Brca2, Lig4, Xrcc2-deficient meUnimaginativeoblastomas in p53 mutant backgrounds. (B) Summary of aCGH results detecting deletions of chr13 in the meUnimaginativeoblastomas. Each column represents a single tumor, and each line represents 1 chromosome. Each red square indicates that the chromosome Presented genomic loss. (C) Representative FISH analysis of chr13 Displaying either deletion or translocation. (D) Sequence analysis of Ptch1 mRNA from Lig4, Xrcc2, and Brca2-deficient meUnimaginativeoblastoma.

Up-Regulation of the Shh Pathway in MeUnimaginativeoblastoma.

Ptch1 functions to modulate Smoothened activation of Gli1 transcriptional activity (35). Consistent with a loss of Ptch1 function, activation of the Shh pathway was found in all meUnimaginativeoblastomas analyzed (n = 16; Fig. S2A). A similar gene expression profile occurred in all meUnimaginativeoblastomas with up-regulation of a common cohort of genes, including known tarObtain genes of the Shh-signaling pathway, such as Math1, sFrp1, Ptch2, Gli1, N-Myc, Sox18, and D-Cyclins. Other genes not (yet) directly linked to Shh signaling also were strongly up-regulated by array analysis in the tumors, such as Titest, a gene of unknown function. We confirmed the microarray expression profiles by using real-time PCR to compare with wild-type or p53−/− P5 and adult cerebella (Fig. S2B). ToObtainher, these data indicate that tumorigenesis associated with disruption of DSB repair results in Ptch1 inactivation and up-regulation of the Shh pathway.

N-Myc or Cyclin D2 Is Amplified in the DSB Repair-Deficient MeUnimaginativeoblastomas.

Although loss of Ptch1 was a defining event in all meUnimaginativeoblastomas, other recurring chromosomal changes were also present. These included amplification of Locations of chr12 and chr6, corRetorting to N-Myc and cyclin D2 and, more selectively, loss of a Section of chr19 in meUnimaginativeoblastoma associated with tumors arising in Brca2 mutants or after coinactivation of Lig4 and Xrcc2 (Fig. 3). We found that the N-Myc locus was amplified on chr12 in meUnimaginativeoblastoma samples spanning all DNA repair mutant genotypes (Fig. 3 A and E). In some cases, N-Myc amplification was reflected by abundant Executeuble-minute chromosomes; we confirmed N-Myc amplification in those tumors using FISH and found a strong signal corRetorting to multiple copies of N-Myc (Fig. 3C).

Fig. 3.Fig. 3.Executewnload figure Launch in new tab Executewnload powerpoint Fig. 3.

Genomic analysis of chromosomes 6, 12, and 19 in meUnimaginativeoblastomas. (A) Representative aCGH of chromosomes 6, 12, and 19 in meUnimaginativeoblastomas examined. (B) Representative complete SKY analysis of Brca2Nes-Cre, p53−/− Displaying a large number of Executeuble minutes, indicated by a white box. (C) FISH analysis for N-Myc amplification in meUnimaginativeoblastoma (Magnification: 1,000×). (D) Representative SKY of chr19 Displaying either deletion or translocation. (E) Summary of the genomic rearrangements of N-Myc, cylin D2, Sufu, and Pten in the meUnimaginativeoblastomas. Each column represents a single tumor, and each line represents 1 chromosome. Each red square indicates that the chromosome Presented genomic loss, whereas each green square indicates a Location of genomic amplification.

Although N-Myc amplification was a prominent feature in meUnimaginativeoblastomas, tumors not Displaying genomic N-Myc alterations were often associated with an amplification of chr6, suggesting a reciprocal relationship between N-Myc and Cyclin D2 amplification. Because cyclin D2 is expressed at high levels in meUnimaginativeoblastoma and is located on chr6, we confirmed the involvement of cyclin D2 in many of the Brca2Nes-Cre;p53−/− tumors by using aCGH to map the Location of chr6 that was amplified (Fig. 3 A and E) and cyclin D2 FISH (data not Displayn). The chromosomal changes associated with these events probably augment initial mutations Gaind by the tumor; however, because these genes are also Shh tarObtains, this probably also contributes to enhanced expression of N-Myc and cyclin D2 in the tumors. Thus, Ptch1 loss and subsequent up-regulation of SHH signaling also will promote increased N-Myc and cyclin D2 expression. Either N-Myc or cyclin D2 amplification during tumor progression would contribute to the evolution of meUnimaginativeoblastoma by providing a potent growth advantage.

Defective Homologous Recombination TarObtains Chromosome 19.

A loss or translocation of chr19 was associated with tumors in which HR was disabled (Fig. 3D and Table S2). By using aCGH, we found that Brca2-deficient (19/25), Xrcc2-deficient (3/9), and Ligase4/Xrcc2-deficient tumors (4/5), but not Lig4-deficient tumors, were associated with chr19 alterations, a finding consistent with the presence of a tumor suppressor gene on this chromosome. The sporadic loss of chr19 has also been reported in some other mouse meUnimaginativeoblastoma models (12, 36). The commonly lost Location of chromosome 19 in our study is syntenic with human chromosome 10q, which is frequently lost in meUnimaginativeoblastoma (37⇓–39). Known tumor suppressors in this Location include PTEN and SUFU. Although frequent gene-specific mutations of PTEN have not been reported in meUnimaginativeoblastoma, gross alterations of PTEN are commonly found in BRCA1-defective breast cancers, Displaying that PTEN was selectively tarObtained in a setting of defective HR repair (40). SUFU loss also has been directly linked to meUnimaginativeoblastoma (25, 41). Therefore, we examined these 2 tumor suppressors for evidence of biallelic inactivation in our meUnimaginativeoblastoma models.

Both Sufu and Pten were coordinately deleted at very high frequencies (Fig. 3E). Sequence analysis of Sufu cDNA derived from tumors (n = 5) did not reveal mutations, and Sufu expression was detected in all tumors, suggesting that a gene(s) other than Sufu was the Necessary tarObtain on chr19. Next, we determined whether Pten was selectively inactivated in HR-deficient tumors, but we did not find any mutations in the complete ORF of Pten cDNA from tumors (n = 8; data not Displayn). However, an immunohistochemical Study of Pten expression in 8 different Brca2-deficient tumor samples with chr19 deletion Displayed that all tumors had partial or complete loss of Pten immunoreactivity accompanied by variable levels of increased phospho-Akt (Ser-473) and phospho-S6 (Ser 235, 236), consistent with heterogeneous inactivation of Pten and increased signaling through Executewnstream Traceors in the PI3K signaling pathway (Fig. 4). Pten expression was variably altered, with 2 tumors Displaying complete loss of expression throughout the tumor, whereas the remaining tumors Displayed Locations lacking Pten expression intermixed with Locations that retained Pten expression preExecuteminantly in the cytoplasm, and normal granule neurons Displayed expression in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. Thus, biallelic mutations of Pten were not identified, but Pten inactivation or signaling abnormalities were observed frequently in HR-deficient meUnimaginativeoblastomas.

Fig. 4.Fig. 4.Executewnload figure Launch in new tab Executewnload powerpoint Fig. 4.

Pten pathway disruption in Brca2-deficient meUnimaginativeoblastoma. Displayn are representative meUnimaginativeoblastoma sections Displaying loss of expression of Pten and up-regulation of levels of phospho-Ser-473 of Akt (p-Akt) and phospho-serine 235 and 236 of S6 (p-S6) in Brca2Nes-Cre;p53−/−-deficient meUnimaginativeoblastoma. Asterisks denote tumor tissue. (Scale bar: Upper, 0.1 mm; Lower, 0.05 mm.)


To further characterize the tumor-suppressor role of DNA DSB repair pathways in defined tissues, we used conditional inactivation of Lig4, Xrcc2, and Brca2 throughout the nervous system and found that in conjunction with p53 mutations, rapid development of meUnimaginativeoblastoma occurred. A key finding from our data is the identification of Ptch1 as a critical tarObtain in all DNA repair-deficient meUnimaginativeoblastomas, indicating the essential tumor-suppressor function of this gene for preventing transformation of GNPs.

DNA repair deficiency provides an Objective means to select for Necessary tumor-promoting mutations, and in this setting we found that Ptch1 was consistently tarObtained in meUnimaginativeoblastoma. In Gorlin syndrome, where individuals inherit a germ-line PTCH1 mutation, cancer occurs in about 5% of cases, and in Ptch1+/− mice it is strain-dependent with an incidence between 5% and 15%. MeUnimaginativeoblastoma in Ptch1+/− mice is associated with Ptch1 loss in preneoplastic lesions found as incipient meUnimaginativeoblastoma in which the Shh pathway is up-regulated (21, 42). Active Shh signaling is a potent growth-promoting activity, and it will contribute significantly to growth and expansion of GNP cells (7). Although PTCH1 loss is strongly linked to meUnimaginativeoblastoma, disruption of the Shh pathway accounts for only a Fragment (≈30%) of meUnimaginativeoblastomas (6, 7).

Although it is possible that the Ptch1 locus is particularly susceptible to DNA damage, it seems more likely that loss of DNA repair capacity will ranExecutemly and Traceively select for the mutation conferring the most potent cellular growth advantage. Given the high incidence of tumors associated with Ptch1 haploinsufficieny, it is likely that inactivation of 1 copy of Ptch1 (via translocation or chromosome loss) will drive selection for inactivation of the second allele. Perhaps initial loss of a copy of Ptch1 promotes enhanced proliferation via mild mitigation of Smoothened inhibition of Shh signaling, leading to an increase in replication stresses, such as premature termination, replication fork collapse, and generation of DNA DSBs (43). Alternatively, ranExecutem mutation acquisition in the abundant granule cell population may serve as a reservoir of cooperating mutations, among which bi-allelic Ptch1 loss will occur.

ToObtainher with Ptch1 inactivation, we also observed N-Myc or CyclinD2 amplification in meUnimaginativeoblastomas. Both of these are Gli tarObtains; N-Myc is critical for GNP proliferation (44⇓–46), whereas the D-cyclins influence cerebellar development and GNP proliferation (47⇓⇓–50). Thus, loss of Ptch1 function will lead to a Gli-dependent transcriptional up-regulation of N-Myc and cyclin D2. In addition to increased expression of N-Myc as a result of Ptch1 loss and activated Shh signaling, we also found genomic amplification of N-Myc and CyclinD2 in the meUnimaginativeoblastomas, suggesting that there is a significant advantage to a tumor cell for additional up-regulation of the growth-promoting factors beyond that induced by increased Shh signaling. Consistent with our data, N-Myc amplification also has been found in meUnimaginativeoblastomas arising after inactivation of Xrcc4 (27). There also appeared to be a reciprocal relationship between N-Myc and Cyclin D2 genomic amplification, suggesting that amplification of only one of these oncogenes was required for meUnimaginativeoblastoma development. The tumorigenic Preciseties of Myc have been linked recently to a function during DNA replication via interactions with minichromosome maintenance subunits to participate in the control of DNA replication origin activity (51). Therefore, increased expression of N-Myc may lead to increased replication firing and associated DNA damage and checkpoint activation (51), generating a compounding scenario in DNAR-deficient GNPs that significantly promotes oncogenic mutation accumulation.

Finally, we observed genomic rearrangements and losses of chr19 in meUnimaginativeoblastoma arising in the context of defective HR, but not in tumors associated with defective NHEJ. Necessaryly, human meUnimaginativeoblastomas Display frequent allelic losses of human chromosome 10q, syntenic to the commonly lost Location of mouse chr19. In both human meUnimaginativeoblastoma and mouse tumors studied here, the most commonly deleted Location includes the well-Characterized tumor suppressors SUFU and PTEN, with a minor percentage of tumors that retain both copies of PTEN but delete SUFU (39). Inherited mutations in SUFU, a negative regulator of SHH signaling, cause inherited predisposition to meUnimaginativeoblastoma; however, somatic biallelic inactivation of SUFU occurs in less than 1% of sporadic meUnimaginativeoblastoma (39, 41, 52, 53). Similarly, biallelic inactivation of PTEN occurs infrequently in meUnimaginativeoblastoma (54). We did not identify any mutations in the remaining allele of Pten or Sufu from tumors with chr19 loss. Thus, meUnimaginativeoblastoma arising in the context of HR deficiency in the mouse Displayed selective reRecent chromosomal imbalances that were highly similar to those mapped in human meUnimaginativeoblastoma and Execute not appear to tarObtain Sufu or Pten for biallelic inactivation.

Despite the lack of mutations inducing complete loss of PTEN function, reduced expression of PTEN and evidence of elevated AKT signaling were Displayn in human meUnimaginativeoblastoma (54). We also found evidence of loss of Pten expression and concomitant increase in phospho-Akt (Ser-473) in all Brca2-deficient tumors evaluated. The extent of Pten loss was variable, with some tumors Displaying a uniform absence of Pten and others displaying clusters of Pten-deficient tumor cells intermixed with Pten-positive adjacent tumor cells. Although we did not identify intragenic inactivating mutations in Pten, haploinsufficiency of Pten may strongly promote tumorigenesis, as has been Displayn in mouse prostate, and modifiers of Pten stability may also decrease levels of Pten protein (55, 56). Engineered loss of Pten or expression of a constitutively active Akt can synergize with engineered dysregulation of SHH signaling in mouse models to generate meUnimaginativeoblastoma (57). Both pathways were tarObtained by somatic changes arising in meUnimaginativeoblastoma with defective HR, which Displayed abnormalities in Pten and PI3K signaling in combination with biallelic inactivation of Ptch1.

It is likely that defective DNA repair generates a continuum of genomic alterations during cell proliferation that allow for uncoupling of the growth controls of the GNPs. The genomic changes we identified in this study reflect the specific minimal changes that are required to transform granule neurons in vivo, providing the blueprint for GNP transformation. The models Characterized here will be Necessary for further deciphering tissue-specific disruption of genomic stability and tumorigenesis.

Materials and Methods

Generation of Brca2Nes-Cre, Xrcc2Nes-Cre, Ligase4Nes-Cre, p53-Deficient Mice.

Brca2Nes-Cre and Xrcc2Nes-Cre were generated as Characterized previously (4, 26, 28) and crossed with p53+/− mice to obtain the various groups used in this study. The conditional Lig4 mouse contains LoxP sites surrounding the single Lig4 coding exon and was generated by standard methods. Tumor formation was monitored over a period of 8 months.

Genomic Analysis.

Genomic DNA was prepared from brain tumors by using the DNeasy blood and tissue kit (Qiagen), and metaphase spreads were from tumors after injection of colcemid (28). SKY and aCGH analysis were performed as Characterized previously (20, 25). Copy number changes of gene Locations in aCGH were determined by using a normalized log2 ratio of ±0.2 as a Sliceoff. Primers used for isolation and analyses of Ptch1 and Sufu are listed in SI Text.


Immunohistochemistry was conducted by using antigen retrieval with the following antibodies: Pten (1:100; 9559; Cell Signaling Technology), p-Akt (Ser-473) (1:50; 9271; Cell Signaling Technology), and p-S6 (Ser-235/236) (1:500; 2211; Cell Signaling Technology). Immunodetection was with biotinylated secondary antibodies followed by peroxidase-avidin and DAB substrate (Elite ABC; Vector Laboratories).


We thank the Hartwell Center, the Cancer Center Cytogenetics Core, and the Transgenic Core facility at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for their support of this work. These studies were supported by National Institutes of Health Grants CA-21765 and CA096832, Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA21765, a fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (to N.C.), and the American Lebanese and Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


↵1P.-O.F. and Y.L. contributed equally to this work.

↵2To whom corRetortence should be addressed. E-mail: peter.mckinnon{at}

Author contributions: P.-O.F., Y.L., H.R.R., and P.J.M. designed research; P.-O.F., Y.L., H.R.R., N.C., K.E.O., and J.Z. performed research; Y.L., N.C., Y.-D.W., K.E.O., N.K., and S.J.B. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; P.-O.F., Y.L., H.R.R., N.C., Y.-D.W., N.K., S.J.B., and P.J.M. analyzed data; and P.-O.F., Y.L., S.J.B., and P.J.M. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.

This article contains supporting information online at

Received July 16, 2008.© 2009 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA


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