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      Mammalian SWI/SNF complexes in cancer: emerging therapeutic opportunities

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      Current Opinion in Genetics & Development

      Elsevier BV

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          Discovery and saturation analysis of cancer genes across 21 tumor types

          Summary While a few cancer genes are mutated in a high proportion of tumors of a given type (>20%), most are mutated at intermediate frequencies (2–20%). To explore the feasibility of creating a comprehensive catalog of cancer genes, we analyzed somatic point mutations in exome sequence from 4,742 tumor-normal pairs across 21 cancer types. We found that large-scale genomic analysis can identify nearly all known cancer genes in these tumor types. Our analysis also identified 33 genes not previously known to be significantly mutated, including genes related to proliferation, apoptosis, genome stability, chromatin regulation, immune evasion, RNA processing and protein homeostasis. Down-sampling analysis indicates that larger sample sizes will reveal many more genes, mutated at clinically important frequencies. We estimate that near-saturation may be achieved with 600–5000 samples per tumor type, depending on background mutation rate. The results help guide the next stage of cancer genomics.
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            The Polycomb complex PRC2 and its mark in life.

            Polycomb group proteins maintain the gene-expression pattern of different cells that is set during early development by regulating chromatin structure. In mammals, two main Polycomb group complexes exist - Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) and 2 (PRC2). PRC1 compacts chromatin and catalyses the monoubiquitylation of histone H2A. PRC2 also contributes to chromatin compaction, and catalyses the methylation of histone H3 at lysine 27. PRC2 is involved in various biological processes, including differentiation, maintaining cell identity and proliferation, and stem-cell plasticity. Recent studies of PRC2 have expanded our perspectives on its function and regulation, and uncovered a role for non-coding RNA in the recruitment of PRC2 to target genes.
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              Selective inhibition of tumor oncogenes by disruption of super-enhancers.

              Chromatin regulators have become attractive targets for cancer therapy, but it is unclear why inhibition of these ubiquitous regulators should have gene-specific effects in tumor cells. Here, we investigate how inhibition of the widely expressed transcriptional coactivator BRD4 leads to selective inhibition of the MYC oncogene in multiple myeloma (MM). BRD4 and Mediator were found to co-occupy thousands of enhancers associated with active genes. They also co-occupied a small set of exceptionally large super-enhancers associated with genes that feature prominently in MM biology, including the MYC oncogene. Treatment of MM tumor cells with the BET-bromodomain inhibitor JQ1 led to preferential loss of BRD4 at super-enhancers and consequent transcription elongation defects that preferentially impacted genes with super-enhancers, including MYC. Super-enhancers were found at key oncogenic drivers in many other tumor cells. These observations have implications for the discovery of cancer therapeutics directed at components of super-enhancers in diverse tumor types. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
                Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
                Elsevier BV
                0959437X
                February 2017
                February 2017
                : 42
                :
                : 56-67
                10.1016/j.gde.2017.02.004
                © 2017

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