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Epithelial to mesenchymal transition is activated in metastatic pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas caused by SDHB gene mutations.

The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism (2012-04-12)
Céline Loriot, Nelly Burnichon, Noémie Gadessaud, Laure Vescovo, Laurence Amar, Rossella Libé, Jérôme Bertherat, Pierre-François Plouin, Xavier Jeunemaitre, Anne-Paule Gimenez-Roqueplo, Judith Favier
ABSTRACT

Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma are rare neural-crest-derived tumors. They are metastatic in 15% of cases, and the identification of a germline mutation in the SDHB gene is a predictive risk factor for malignancy and poor prognosis. To date, the link between SDHB mutations and malignancy is still missing. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a developmental event, reactivated in cancer cells to promote cell mobility and invasiveness. The aim of this study was to address the participation of EMT in the metastatic evolution of pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma. Transcriptomic profiling of EMT was performed on 188 tumor samples, using a set of 94 genes implicated in this pathway. Activation of EMT was further confirmed at protein level by immunohistochemistry in a second set of 93 tumors. Hierarchical unsupervised classification showed that most SDHB-metastatic samples clustered together, indicating that EMT is differently regulated in these tumors. Major actors of EMT, metalloproteases and components of cellular junctions, were either up-regulated (LOXL2, TWIST, TCF3, MMP2, and MMP1) or down-regulated (KRT19 and CDH2) in SDHB-metastatic tumors compared with nonmetastatic ones. Interestingly, within metastatic tumors, most of these genes (LOXL2, TWIST, TCF3, MMP2, and KRT19) also allowed us to discriminate SDHB-mutated from non-SDHB-related tumors. In the second set of tumors, we studied Snail1/2 expression by immunohistochemistry and observed its specific nuclear translocation in all SDHB-metastatic tumors. We have identified the first pathway that distinguishes SDHB-metastatic from all other types of pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas and suggest that activation of the EMT process might play a critical role in the particularly invasive phenotype of this group of tumors.

MATERIALS
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Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Anti-SDHB antibody produced in rabbit, Prestige Antibodies® Powered by Atlas Antibodies, affinity isolated antibody, buffered aqueous glycerol solution