Oncogenic BRAF disrupts thyroid morphogenesis and function via twist expression.

TitleOncogenic BRAF disrupts thyroid morphogenesis and function via twist expression.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAnelli V, Villefranc JA, Chhangawala S, Martinez-McFaline R, Riva E, Nguyen A, Verma A, Bareja R, Chen Z, Scognamiglio T, Elemento O, Houvras Y
Date Published2017 03 28
KeywordsAnimals, Disease Models, Animal, Gene Deletion, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Morphogenesis, Mutant Proteins, Mutation, Missense, Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf, Thyroid Gland, Thyroid Hormones, Thyroid Neoplasms, Twist-Related Protein 2, Zebrafish

Thyroid cancer is common, yet the sequence of alterations that promote tumor formation are incompletely understood. Here, we describe a novel model of thyroid carcinoma in zebrafish that reveals temporal changes due to BRAF. Through the use of real-time in vivo imaging, we observe disruption in thyroid follicle structure that occurs early in thyroid development. Combinatorial treatment using BRAF and MEK inhibitors reversed the developmental effects induced by BRAF. Adult zebrafish expressing BRAF in thyrocytes developed invasive carcinoma. We identified a gene expression signature from zebrafish thyroid cancer that is predictive of disease-free survival in patients with papillary thyroid cancer. Gene expression studies nominated TWIST2 as a key effector downstream of BRAF. Using CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically inactivate a TWIST2 orthologue, we suppressed the effects of BRAF and restored thyroid morphology and hormone synthesis. These data suggest that expression of TWIST2 plays a role in an early step of BRAF-mediated transformation.

Alternate JournalElife
PubMed ID28350298
PubMed Central IDPMC5389860
Grant ListP50 CA172012 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R21 CA202540 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R21 CA202540 01 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
T32 GM007739 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States