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Title: Next-generation sequencing identifies mechanisms of tumourigenesis caused by loss of SMARCB1 in Malignant Rhabdoid Tumours
Author: Finetti, Martina Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7233 1626
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2015
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Introduction: Malignant Rhabdoid Tumours (MRT) are unique malignancies caused by biallelic inactivation of a single gene (SMARCB1). SMARCB1 encodes for a protein that is part of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex, responsible for the regulation of hundreds of downstream genes/pathways. Despite the simple biology of these tumours, no studies have identified the critical pathways involved in tumourigenesis. The understanding of downstream effects is essential to identifying therapeutic targets that can improve the outcome of MRT patients. Methods: RNA-seq and 450K-methylation analyses have been performed in MRT human primary malignancies (n > 39) and in 4 MRT cell lines in which lentivirus was used to re-express SMARCB1 (G401, A204, CHLA-266, and STA-WT1). The MRT cell lines were treated with 5-aza-2 -deoxycytidine followed by global gene transcription analysis (RNA-seq and 450K-methylation) to investigate how changes in methylation lead to tumourigenesis. Results: We show that primary Malignant Rhabdoid Tumours present a unique and distinct expression/methylation profile which confirms that MRT broadly constitute a single and different tumour type from other paediatric malignancies. However, despite their common cause MRT can be can sub-group by location (i.e. CNS or kidney). We observe that re-expression of SMARCB1 in MRT cell lines determines activation/inactivation of specific downstream pathways such as IL-6/TGF beta. We also observe a direct correlation between alterations in methylation and gene expression in CD44, GLI2, GLI3, CDKN1A, CDKN2A and JARID after SMARB1 re-expression. Loss of SMARCB1 also promotes expression of aberrant isoforms and novel transcripts and causes genome-wide changes in SWI/SNF binding. Conclusion: Next generation transcriptome and methylome analysis in primary MRT and in functional models give us detailed downstream effects of SMARCB1 loss in Malignant Rhabdoid Tumours. The integration of data from both primary and functional models has provided, for the first time, a genome-wide catalogue of SMARCB1 tumourigenic changes (validated using systems biology). Here we show how a single V deletion of SMARCB1 is responsible for deregulation of expression, methylation status and binding at the promoter regions of potent tumour-suppressor genes. The genes, pathways and biological mechanisms indicated as key in tumour development may ultimately be targetable therapeutically and will lead to better treatments for what is currently one of the most lethal paediatric cancers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: NECCR ; Children with Cancer UK ; Brain Trust ; Love Oliver ; CCLG ; Karen and Iain Wark ; Smiley Ridley Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available