Molecular Basis of Tumor Heterogeneity in Endometrial Carcinosarcoma
Rosa-Rosa, Juan Manuel
Palacios-Berraquero, María L.
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Endometrial carcinosarcoma (ECS) represents one of the most extreme examples of tumor heterogeneity among human cancers. ECS is a clinically aggressive, high-grade, metaplastic carcinoma. At the morphological level, intratumor heterogeneity in ECS is due to an admixture of epithelial (carcinoma) and mesenchymal (sarcoma) components that can include heterologous tissues, such as skeletal muscle, cartilage, or bone. Most ECSs belong to the copy-number high serous-like molecular subtype of endometrial carcinoma, characterized by the TP53 mutation and the frequently accompanied by a large number of gene copy-number alterations, including the amplification of important oncogenes, such as CCNE1 and c-MYC. However, a proportion of cases (20%) probably represent the progression of tumors initially belonging to the copy-number low endometrioid-like molecular subtype (characterized by mutations in genes such as PTEN, PI3KCA, or ARID1A), after the acquisition of the TP53 mutations. Only a few ECS belong to the microsatellite-unstable hypermutated molecular type and the POLE-mutated, ultramutated molecular type. A common characteristic of all ECSs is the modulation of genes involved in the epithelial to mesenchymal process. Thus, the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype is associated with a switch from E- to N-cadherin, the up-regulation of transcriptional repressors of E-cadherin, such as Snail Family Transcriptional Repressor 1 and 2 (SNAI1 and SNAI2), Zinc Finger E-Box Binding Homeobox 1 and 2 (ZEB1 and ZEB2), and the down-regulation, among others, of members of the miR-200 family involved in the maintenance of an epithelial phenotype. Subsequent differentiation to different types of mesenchymal tissues increases tumor heterogeneity and probably modulates clinical behavior and therapy response.
Is part ofCancers, 2019, vol. 11, núm. 7, article number 964
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