54 research outputs found

    Boundary dispute in the developing forebrain — DLX2 vs PAX6

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    The role of homeobox genes in retinal development and disease

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    AbstractHomeobox genes are an evolutionarily conserved class of transcription factors that are critical for development of many organ systems, including the brain and eye. During retinogenesis, homeodomain-containing transcription factors, which are encoded by homeobox genes, play essential roles in the regionalization and patterning of the optic neuroepithelium, specification of retinal progenitors and differentiation of all seven of the retinal cell classes that derive from a common progenitor. Homeodomain transcription factors control retinal cell fate by regulating the expression of target genes required for retinal progenitor cell fate decisions and for terminal differentiation of specific retinal cell types. The essential role of homeobox genes during retinal development is demonstrated by the number of human eye diseases, including colobomas and anophthalmia, which are attributed to homeobox gene mutations. In the following review, we highlight the role of homeodomain transcription factors during retinogenesis and regulation of their gene targets. Understanding the complexities of vertebrate retina development will enhance our ability to drive differentiation of specific retinal cell types towards novel cell-based replacement therapies for retinal degenerative diseases

    Dlx2 homeobox gene transcriptional regulation of Trkb neurotrophin receptor expression during mouse retinal development

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    Dlx homeobox genes are first expressed in embryonic retina at E11.5. The Dlx1/Dlx2 null retina has a reduced ganglion cell layer (GCL), with loss of late-born differentiated retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) due to increased apoptosis. TrkB signaling is proposed to regulate the dynamics of RGC apoptosis throughout development. DLX2 expression markedly precedes the onset of TrkB expression in the GCL; TrkB co-expression with Dlx2 and RGC markers is well-established by E13.5. In the Dlx1/Dlx2 null retina, TrkB expression is significantly reduced by E16.5. We demonstrated that DLX2 binds to a specific region of the TrkB promoter in retinal neuroepithelium during embryogenesis. In vitro confirmation and the functional consequences of DLX2 binding to this TrkB regulatory region support TrkB as a Dlx2 transcriptional target. Furthermore, ectopic Dlx2 expression in retinal explants activates TrkB expression and Dlx2 knockdown in primary retinal cultures results in reduced TrkB expression. RGC differentiation and survival require the coordinated expression of transcription factors. This study establishes a direct transcriptional relationship between a homeodomain protein involved in RGC differentiation and a neurotrophin receptor implicated in RGC survival. Signaling mediated by TrkB may contribute to survival of late-born RGCs whose terminal differentiation is regulated by Dlx gene function

    Preclinical and clinical evaluation of German-sourced ONC201 for the treatment of H3K27M-mutant diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

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    Background Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a fatal childhood brainstem tumor for which radiation is the only treatment. Case studies report a clinical response to ONC201 for patients with H3K27M-mutant gliomas. Oncoceutics (ONC201) is only available in the United States and Japan; however, in Germany, DIPG patients can be prescribed and dispensed a locally produced compound-ONC201 German-sourced ONC201 (GsONC201). Pediatric oncologists face the dilemma of supporting the administration of GsONC201 as conjecture surrounds its authenticity. Therefore, we compared GsONC201 to original ONC201 manufactured by Oncoceutics Inc. Methods Authenticity of GsONC201 was determined by high-resolution mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Biological activity was shown via assessment of on-target effects, in vitro growth, proliferation, and apoptosis analysis. Patient-derived xenograft mouse models were used to assess plasma and brain tissue pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and overall survival (OS). The clinical experience of 28 H3K27M+ mutant DIPG patients who received GsONC201 (2017-2020) was analyzed. Results GsONC201 harbored the authentic structure, however, was formulated as a free base rather than the dihydrochloride salt used in clinical trials. GsONC201 in vitro and in vivo efficacy and drug bioavailability studies showed no difference compared to Oncoceutics ONC201. Patients treated with GsONC201 (n = 28) showed a median OS of 18 months (P = .0007). GsONC201 patients who underwent reirradiation showed a median OS of 22 months compared to 12 months for GsONC201 patients who did not (P = .012). Conclusions This study confirms the biological activity of GsONC201 and documents the OS of patients who received the drug; however, GsONC201 was never used as a monotherapy

    Therapeutic and Prognostic Implications of BRAF V600E in Pediatric Low-Grade Gliomas

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    Purpose BRAF V600E is a potentially highly targetable mutation detected in a subset of pediatric low-grade gliomas (PLGGs). Its biologic and clinical effect within this diverse group of tumors remains unknown. Patients and Methods A combined clinical and genetic institutional study of patients with PLGGs with long-term follow-up was performed (N = 510). Clinical and treatment data of patients with BRAF V600E mutated PLGG (n = 99) were compared with a large international independent cohort of patients with BRAF V600E mutated-PLGG (n = 180). Results BRAF V600E mutation was detected in 69 of 405 patients (17%) with PLGG across a broad spectrum of histologies and sites, including midline locations, which are not often routinely biopsied in clinical practice. Patients with BRAF V600E PLGG exhibited poor outcomes after chemotherapy and radiation therapies that resulted in a 10-year progression-free survival of 27% (95% CI, 12.1% to 41.9%) and 60.2% (95% CI, 53.3% to 67.1%) for BRAF V600E and wild-type PLGG, respectively (P < .001). Additional multivariable clinical and molecular stratification revealed that the extent of resection and CDKN2A deletion contributed independently to poor outcome in BRAF V600E PLGG. A similar independent role for CDKN2A and resection on outcome were observed in the independent cohort. Quantitative imaging analysis revealed progressive disease and a lack of response to conventional chemotherapy in most patients with BRAF V600E PLGG. Conclusion BRAF V600E PLGG constitutes a distinct entity with poor prognosis when treated with current adjuvant therapy. (C) 2017 by American Society of Clinical Oncolog

    Therapeutic and Prognostic Implications of BRAF V600E in Pediatric Low-Grade Gliomas.

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    Purpose BRAF V600E is a potentially highly targetable mutation detected in a subset of pediatric low-grade gliomas (PLGGs). Its biologic and clinical effect within this diverse group of tumors remains unknown. Patients and Methods A combined clinical and genetic institutional study of patients with PLGGs with long-term follow-up was performed (N = 510). Clinical and treatment data of patients with BRAF V600E mutated PLGG (n = 99) were compared with a large international independent cohort of patients with BRAF V600E mutated-PLGG (n = 180). Results BRAF V600E mutation was detected in 69 of 405 patients (17%) with PLGG across a broad spectrum of histologies and sites, including midline locations, which are not often routinely biopsied in clinical practice. Patients with BRAF V600E PLGG exhibited poor outcomes after chemotherapy and radiation therapies that resulted in a 10-year progression-free survival of 27% (95% CI, 12.1% to 41.9%) and 60.2% (95% CI, 53.3% to 67.1%) for BRAF V600E and wild-type PLGG, respectively ( P \u3c .001). Additional multivariable clinical and molecular stratification revealed that the extent of resection and CDKN2A deletion contributed independently to poor outcome in BRAF V600E PLGG. A similar independent role for CDKN2A and resection on outcome were observed in the independent cohort. Quantitative imaging analysis revealed progressive disease and a lack of response to conventional chemotherapy in most patients with BRAF V600E PLGG. Conclusion BRAF V600E PLGG constitutes a distinct entity with poor prognosis when treated with current adjuvant therapy
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