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See detailEpigenetically Regulated Chromosome 14q32 miRNA Cluster Induces Metastasis and Predicts Poor Prognosis in Lung Adenocarcinoma Patients.
Gonzalez-Vallinas, Margarita; Rodriguez-Paredes, Manuel; Albrecht, Marco UL et al

in Molecular cancer research : MCR (2018)

Most lung cancer deaths are related to metastases, which indicates the necessity of detecting and inhibiting tumor cell dissemination. Here, we aimed to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) involved in metastasis ... [more ▼]

Most lung cancer deaths are related to metastases, which indicates the necessity of detecting and inhibiting tumor cell dissemination. Here, we aimed to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) involved in metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma as prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets. To that end, lymph node metastasis-associated miRNAs were identified in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) lung adenocarcinoma patient cohort (sequencing data; n=449) and subsequently validated by RT-qPCR in an independent clinical cohort (n=108). Overexpression of miRNAs located on chromosome 14q32 were associated with metastasis in lung adenocarcinoma patients. Importantly, Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank test revealed that higher expression levels of individual 14q32 miRNAs (mir-539, mir-323b, and mir-487a) associated with worse disease-free survival of never-smoker patients. Epigenetic analysis including DNA methylation microarray data and bisulfite sequencing validation demonstrated that the induction of 14q32 cluster correlated with genomic hypomethylation of the 14q32 locus. CRISPR activation technology, applied for the first time to functionally study the increase of clustered miRNA levels in a coordinated manner, showed that simultaneous overexpression of 14q32 miRNAs promoted tumor cell migratory and invasive properties. Analysis of individual miRNAs by mimic transfection further illustrated that miR-323b-3p, miR-487a-3p, and miR-539-5p significantly contributed to the invasive phenotype through the indirect regulation of different target genes. In conclusion, overexpression of 14q32 miRNAs, associated with the respective genomic hypomethylation, promotes metastasis and correlates with poor patient prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma. IMPLICATIONS: This study points to chromosome 14q32 miRNAs as promising targets to inhibit tumor cell dissemination and to predict patient prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma. [less ▲]

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See detailTTCA: an R package for the identification of differentially expressed genes in time course microarray data
Albrecht, Marco UL; Stichel, Damian; Müller, Benedikt et al

in BMC Bioinformatics (2017), 18(1), 33

Background: The analysis of microarray time series promises a deeper insight into the dynamics of the cellular response following stimulation. A common observation in this type of data is that some genes ... [more ▼]

Background: The analysis of microarray time series promises a deeper insight into the dynamics of the cellular response following stimulation. A common observation in this type of data is that some genes respond with quick, transient dynamics, while other genes change their expression slowly over time. The existing methods for detecting significant expression dynamics often fail when the expression dynamics show a large heterogeneity. Moreover, these methods often cannot cope with irregular and sparse measurements. Results: The method proposed here is specifically designed for the analysis of perturbation responses. It combines different scores to capture fast and transient dynamics as well as slow expression changes, and performs well in the presence of low replicate numbers and irregular sampling times. The results are given in the form of tables including links to figures showing the expression dynamics of the respective transcript. These allow to quickly recognise the relevance of detection, to identify possible false positives and to discriminate early and late changes in gene expression. An extension of the method allows the analysis of the expression dynamics of functional groups of genes, providing a quick overview of the cellular response. The performance of this package was tested on microarray data derived from lung cancer cells stimulated with epidermal growth factor (EGF). Conclusion: Here we describe a new, efficient method for the analysis of sparse and heterogeneous time course data with high detection sensitivity and transparency. It is implemented as R package TTCA (transcript time course analysis) and can be installed from the Comprehensive R Archive Network, CRAN. The source code is provided with the Additional file 1. [less ▲]

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See detailThermodynamically constrained averaging theory for cancer growth modelling
Albrecht, Marco UL; Sciumè, Giuseppe; Lucarelli, Philippe UL et al

in IFAC-PapersOnLine (2016), 49(26), 289-294

In Systems Biology, network models are often used to describe intracellular mechanisms at the cellular level. The obtained results are difficult to translate into three-dimensional biological systems of ... [more ▼]

In Systems Biology, network models are often used to describe intracellular mechanisms at the cellular level. The obtained results are difficult to translate into three-dimensional biological systems of higher order. The multiplicity and time dependency of cellular system boundaries, mechanical phenomena and spatial concentration gradients affect the intercellular relations and communication of biochemical networks. These environmental effects can be integrated with our promising cancer modelling environment, that is based on thermodynamically constrained averaging theory (TCAT). Especially, the TCAT parameter viscosity can be used as critical player in tumour evolution. Strong cell-cell contacts and a high degree of differentiation make cancer cells viscous and support compact tumour growth with high tumour cell density and accompanied displacement of the extracellular material. In contrast, dedifferentiation and losing of cell-cell contacts make cancer cells more fluid and lead to an infiltrating tumour growth behaviour without resistance due to the ECM. The fast expanding tumour front of the invasive type consumes oxygen and the limited oxygen availability behind the invasive front results automatically in a much smaller average tumour cell density in the tumour core. The proposed modelling technique is most suitable for tumour growth phenomena in stiff tissues like skin or bone with high content of extracellular matrix. [less ▲]

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