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Articles by J. D. Potter
Total Records ( 2 ) for J. D. Potter
  P Vineis , A Schatzkin and J. D. Potter

At least five coherent models of carcinogenesis have been proposed in the history of cancer research in the last century. Model 1 is mainly centered around mutations, and its main focus is on the chemical environment, radiation and viruses. Model 2 has to do mainly with genome instability and it focuses on familiality. Model 3 is based on non-genotoxic mechanisms, and clonal expansion and epigenetics are its main features. We propose a fourth model, which can encompass the previous three, based on the concept of a ‘Darwinian’ cell selection (we clarify that the term Darwinian needs to be used cautiously, being a short cut for ‘somatic cellular selection’). Finally, a fifth model has recently become popular, based on the concept of ‘tissue organization’. We describe examples of the five models and how they have been formalized mathematically. The five models largely overlap, both scientifically and historically, but for the sake of clarity, it is useful to treat them separately. We also argue that the five models can be included into a simpler scheme, i.e. two types of models: (i) biological changes in the epithelium alone lead to malignancy and (ii) changes in stroma/extracellular matrix are necessary (along with changes in epithelium) for malignancy. Our description, though simplified, looks realistic, it is able to capture the historical sequence of carcinogenesis theories in the last century and can serve as a frame to make research hypotheses more explicit.

  R. E Hershberger , J. R Pinto , S. B Parks , J. D Kushner , D Li , S Ludwigsen , J Cowan , A Morales , M. S Parvatiyar and J. D. Potter

Background— A key issue for cardiovascular genetic medicine is ascertaining if a putative mutation indeed causes dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). This is critically important as genetic DCM, usually presenting with advanced, life-threatening disease, may be preventable with early intervention in relatives known to carry the mutation.

Methods and Results— We recently undertook bidirectional resequencing of TNNT2, the cardiac troponin T gene, in 313 probands with DCM. We identified 6 TNNT2 protein-altering variants in 9 probands, all who had early onset, aggressive disease. Additional family members of mutation carriers were then studied when available. Four of the 9 probands had DCM without a family history, and 5 probands had familial DCM. Only 1 mutation (Lys210del) could be attributed as definitively causative from previous reports. Four of the 5 missense mutations were novel (Arg134Gly, Arg151Cys, Arg159Gln, and Arg205Trp), and one was previously reported with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (Glu244Asp). Based on the clinical, pedigree, and molecular genetic data, these 5 mutations were considered possibly or likely disease causing. To further clarify their potential pathophysiologic impact, we undertook functional studies of these mutations in cardiac myocytes reconstituted with mutant troponin T proteins. We observed decreased Ca2+ sensitivity of force development, a hallmark of DCM, in support of the conclusion that these mutations are disease causing.

Conclusions— We conclude that the combination of clinical, pedigree, molecular genetic, and functional data strengthen the interpretation of TNNT2 mutations in DCM.

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