Expression of FGFR1 controls both myoblast proliferation and differentiation. The Krüppel-like transcription factor BTEB1 demonstrates bimodal, reciprocal activity by activating the FGFR1 promoter in proliferating myoblasts and repressing the same promoter via the same DNA-binding site in differentiated myotubes.
Expression of the gene encoding fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) and subsequent FGFR1-mediated cell signaling controls numerous developmental and disease-related processes. The transcriptional regulation of the FGFR1 gene is central to these developmental events and serves as a molecular model for understanding transcriptional control of growth factor receptor genes. The FGFR1 promoter is activated in proliferating myoblasts via several Sp1-like binding elements. These elements display varying levels of activation potential, suggesting that unique protein-DNA complexes coordinate FGFR1 gene expression via each of these sites. The Krüppel-like factor, BTEB1/KLF9, was expressed in both proliferating myoblasts and differentiated myotubes in vitro. The BTEB1 protein was nuclear-localized in both cell types. BTEB1 activated the FGFR1 promoter via interaction with the Sp1-like binding site located at −59 bp within the FGFR1 promoter. FGFR1 gene expression is down-regulated during myogenic differentiation, and FGFR1 promoter activity is correspondingly reduced. This reduction in FGFR1 promoter activity was attributable to BTEB1 interaction with the same Sp1-like binding site located at −59 bp in the FGFR1 promoter. Therefore, BTEB1 is capable of functioning as a transcriptional activator and repressor of the same promoter via the same DNA-binding element and demonstrates a novel, bimodal role of BTEB1 during myogenesis.
Homozygous null mutation of Fgfr2IIIb or its ligand Fgf10 results in duodenal atresia in mice. Mutations of either of these genes in humans cause Matthew-Wood syndrome and associated duodenal stenosis. Recently, mutations in the retinol-binding protein receptor gene STRA6 were reported to be implicated in this syndrome as well. This suggests that the retinoic acid (RA) signaling pathway interacts with the Fgf10-Fgfr2IIIb signaling pathway during duodenal development. Accordingly, we hypothesized that Fgfr2IIIb−/− mouse embryos would exhibit disruptions in expression of Raldh2, the gene for the enzyme that regulates the final step in the conversion of vitamin A to the active form RA, during duodenal atresia formation.
Materials and Methods
Fgfr2IIIb −/− mice were generated from heterozygous breedings. Embryos were harvested between embryonic day (E) 11.0 to E13.5 and genotyped by PCR. Duodenums were dissected out, fixed and photographed. Whole mount and section in situs were performed for Raldh2.
Fgfr2IIIb−/− embryos demonstrate subtle changes in the duodenal morphology by E11.5 with complete involution of the atretic precursor by E13.5. Raldh2 appears to be down regulated as early at E11.5 in the atretic precursor a full 2 days before this segment disappears.
In Fgfr2IIIb−/− mouse embryos, a reduction of Raldh2 expression is observed within the region that is forming the atresia. This is the first demonstration of such an event in this model. As in humans, these results implicate disruptions between Fgfr2IIIb receptor function and RA signaling in the formation of this defect and indicate that Fgfr2IIIb−/− mouse embryos are a valid model for the study of the atretic spectrum of defects in human duodenal development.
Duodenal atresia; mouse; Fgfr2IIIb; Raldh2; retinoic acid; down regulation; gene expression; Matthew-Wood syndrome
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) cooperates with the Wnt/β-catenin pathway to promote mammary tumorigenesis. To investigate the mechanisms involved in FGF/Wnt cooperation, we genetically engineered a model of inducible FGF receptor (iFGFR) signaling in the context of the well-established mouse mammary tumor virus–Wnt-1 transgenic mouse. In the bigenic mice, iFGFR1 activation dramatically enhanced mammary tumorigenesis. Expression microarray analysis did not show transcriptional enhancement of Wnt/β-catenin target genes but instead showed a translational gene signature that also correlated with elevated FGFR1 and FGFR2 in human breast cancer data sets. Additionally, iFGFR1 activation enhanced recruitment of RNA to polysomes, resulting in a marked increase in protein expression of several different Wnt/β-catenin target genes. FGF pathway activation stimulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase and the phosphorylation of key translation regulators both in vivo in the mouse model and in vitro in a human breast cancer cell line. Our results suggest that cooperation of the FGF and Wnt pathways in mammary tumorigenesis is based on the activation of protein translational pathways that result in, but are not limited to, increased expression of Wnt/β-catenin target genes (at the level of protein translation). Further, they reveal protein translation initiation factors as potential therapeutic targets for human breast cancers with alterations in FGF signaling.
Background & Aims
Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) 4 controls bile acid metabolism and protects the liver from fibrosis, but the roles of FGFR1 and FGFR2 in the adult liver are largely unknown. We investigated the functions and mechanisms of action of these receptors in liver homeostasis, regeneration, and fibrosis.
We generated mice with hepatocytes that lack FGFR1 and FGFR2 and subjected them to acute and chronic carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury and partial hepatectomy; mice were also injected with FGF7. We performed histology, histomorphometry, real-time reverse transcription PCR, and immunoblot analyses.
In hepatocytes, loss of FGFR1 and FGFR2 eliminated responsiveness to FGF7 and related FGF family members, but did not affect toxin-induced liver injury and fibrosis. However, mortality after partial hepatectomy increased because of severe hepatocyte necrosis. These effects appeared to be mediated by a failure of hepatocyes to induce the expression of the transcriptional regulators Dbp and Tef upon liver surgery; this affected expression of their target genes, which encode detoxifying cytochrome P450 enzymes. We found that Dbp and Tef expression was directly controlled by FGFR signalling in hepatocytes. As a consequence of the reduced expression of genes that control detoxification, the liver tissue that remained after partial hepatectomy failed to efficiently metabolize endogenous compounds and the drugs applied for anaesthesia/analgesia.
We identified a new, cytoprotective effect of FGFR1 and FGFR2 in the regenerating liver and suggest the use of recombinant FGF7 to increase survival of patients after surgical resection of large amounts of liver tissue.
liver disease; cirrhosis; drug toxicity; cytoprotection
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common childhood soft tissue sarcoma. Despite advances in modern therapy, patients with relapsed or metastatic disease have a very poor clinical prognosis. Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 4 (FGFR4) is a cell surface tyrosine kinase receptor that is involved in normal myogenesis and muscle regeneration, but not commonly expressed in differentiated muscle tissues. Amplification and mutational activation of FGFR4 has been reported in RMS and promotes tumor progression. Therefore, FGFR4 is a tractable therapeutic target for patients with RMS. In this study, we used a chimeric Ba/F3 TEL-FGFR4 construct to test five tyrosine kinase inhibitors reported to specifically inhibit FGFRs in the nanomolar range. We found ponatinib (AP24534) to be the most potent FGFR4 inhibitor with an IC50 in the nanomolar range. Ponatinib inhibited the growth of RMS cells expressing wild-type or mutated FGFR4 through increased apoptosis. Phosphorylation of wild-type and mutated FGFR4 as well as its downstream target STAT3 was also suppressed by ponatinib. Finally, ponatinib treatment inhibited tumor growth in a RMS mouse model expressing mutated FGFR4. Therefore, our data suggests that ponatinib is a potentially effective therapeutic agent for RMS tumors that are driven by a dysregulated FGFR4 signaling pathway.
Analyses of Fgf10 and Fgfr2b mutant mice, as well as human studies, suggest that FGF10/FGFR2b signaling may play an essential, nonredundant role during embryonic SMG development. To address this question, we have analyzed the SMG phenotype in Fgf10 and Fgfr2b heterozygous and null mutant mice. In addition, although previous studies suggest that the FGF10/FGFR2b and FGF8/FGFR2c signaling pathways are functionally interrelated, little is known about the functional relationship between these two pathways during SMG development. We have designed in vivo and in vitro experiments to address this question.
We analyzed Fgf10 and Fgfr2b heterozygous mutant and null mice and demonstrate dose-dependent SMG phenotypic differences. Hypoplastic SMGs are seen in Fgf10 and Fgfr2b heterozygotes whereas SMG aplasia is seen in Fgf10 and Fgfr2b null embryos. Complementary in vitro studies further indicate that FGF10/FGFR2b signaling regulates SMG epithelial branching and cell proliferation. To delineate the functional relationship between the FGF10/FGFR2b and FGF8/FGFR2c pathways, we compared the SMG phenotype in Fgfr2c+/Δ/Fgf10+/- double heterozygous mice to that seen in wildtype, Fgf10+/- (Fgfr2c+/+/Fgf10+/-) and Fgfr2c+/Δ (Fgfr2c+/Δ/Fgf10+/+) single heterozygous mutant littermates and demonstrate genotype-specific SMG phenotypes. In addition, exogenous FGF8 was able to rescue the abnormal SMG phenotype associated with abrogated FGFR2b signaling in vitro and restore branching to normal levels.
Our data indicates that FGF10/FGFR2b signaling is essential for the SMG epithelial branching and histodifferentiation, but not earliest initial bud formation. The functional presence of other endogenous signaling pathways could not prevent complete death of embryonic SMG cells in Fgf10 and Fgfr2b null mice. Though we were able to rescue the abnormal phenotype associated with reduced in vitro FGF10/FGFR2b signaling with exogenous FGF8 supplementation, our results indicate that the FGF10/FGFR2b and FGF8/FGFR2c are nonredundant signaling pathways essential for in vivo embryonic SMG development. What remains to be determined is the in vivo functional relationship between the FGF10/FGFR2b signal transduction pathway and other key signaling pathways, and how these pathways are integrated during embryonic SMG development to compose the functional epigenome.
The TEAD (1–4) transcription factors comprise the conserved TEA/ATTS DNA-binding domain recognising the MCAT element in the promoters of muscle-specific genes. Despite extensive genetic analysis, the function of TEAD factors in muscle differentiation has proved elusive due to redundancy among the family members. Expression of the TEA/ATTS DNA-binding domain that acts as a dominant negative repressor of TEAD factors in C2C12 myoblasts inhibits their differentiation, whereas selective shRNA knockdown of TEAD4 results in abnormal differentiation characterised by the formation of shortened myotubes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to array hybridisation shows that TEAD4 occupies 867 promoters including those of myogenic miRNAs. We show that TEAD factors directly induce Myogenin, CDKN1A and Caveolin 3 expression to promote myoblast differentiation. RNA-seq identifies a set of genes whose expression is strongly reduced upon TEAD4 knockdown among which are structural and regulatory proteins and those required for the unfolded protein response. In contrast, TEAD4 represses expression of the growth factor CTGF (connective tissue growth factor) to promote differentiation. Together these results show that TEAD factor activity is essential for normal C2C12 cell differentiation and suggest a role for TEAD4 in regulating expression of the unfolded protein response genes.
MYOD1; ER-stress; myoblast fusion; Chromatin immunoprecipitation; RNA-seq
Mice with conditional deletion of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (Fgfr2) in metanephric mesenchyme (Fgfr2Mes−/−) have ureteric bud induction abnormalities. Our goal was to determine if Fgfr2Mes−/− mutants developed abnormally positioned ureters predisposing to vesico-ureteral reflux (VUR).
Materials and Methods
We measured common nephric duct (CND) lengths and assayed for apoptosis in embryonic day (E) 11.5 mice. We performed 3 dimensional (3D) reconstructions of and real time PCR and whole mount in situ hybridization for Fgfr2 in urinary tracts in E15.5 embryos. We performed cystograms followed by 3D reconstructions in postnatal animals.
Compared with controls, Fgfr2Mes−/− embryos had increased CND lengths (with no differences in apoptosis) indicating cranially displaced ureteric buds. 3-D reconstructions at E15.5 showed low insertions of ureters into the bladder (near bladder necks) in Fgfr2Mes−/− mice. Postnatal Fgfr2Mes−/− mutants had high rates of VUR compared with controls (47.4% vs. 4.0%, p=0.00006). In postnatal mutants with unilateral reflux, the refluxing ureters inserted closer to the bladder neck than non-refluxing ureters. The external ureteral insertional angles at the outer bladder wall (formed by the ureteral insertion points and bladder neck) were greater in mutant refluxing ureters compared to contralateral non-refluxing ureters and to control ureters. At E15.5, Fgfr2 levels were decreased in Fgfr2Mes−/− kidneys compared with controls, but were not statistically different in ureters or bladders.
Fgfr2Mes−/− mice have ureteric induction abnormalities, associated with abnormal ureteral insertion in the bladder and subsequent VUR, consistent with the Mackie and Stephens hypothesis.
Embryonic development; Vesico-ureteral Reflux; Receptors; Fibroblast Growth Factor
Activating mutations in FGFR3 cause the most common forms of human dwarfism: achondroplasia and thanatophoric dysplasia. In mouse models of achondroplasia, recent studies have implicated the ERK MAPK pathway, a pathway activated by FGFR3, in creating reduced bone growth. Our recent studies have indicated that increased Fgfr3 and ERK MAPK signaling in chondrocytes also causes premature synchondrosis closure in the cranial base and vertebrae, accounting for the sometimes fatal stenosis of the foramen magnum and spinal canal in achondroplasia. Conversely, whether the decrease—or inactivation—of ERK1 and ERK2 promotes bone growth and delays synchondrosis closure remains to be investigated. In this study, we inactivated ERK2 in the chondrocytes of ERK1-null mice using the Col2a1-Cre and Col2a1-CreER transgenes. We found that the genetic inactivation of ERK1 and ERK2 in chondrocytes enhances the growth of cartilaginous skeletal elements. We also found that the postnatal inactivation of ERK1 and ERK2 in chondrocytes delays synchondrosis closure and enlarges the spinal canal. These observations make ERK1 and ERK2 an attractive target for the treatment of achondroplasia and other FGFR3-related skeletal syndromes.
ERK; chondrocytes; bone growth; synchondrosis; achondroplasia
Related transcriptional enhancer factor 1 (RTEF-1) is a key transcriptional regulator in endothelial function. In this study, we investigated a possible role for RTEF-1 in the regulation of microvascular relaxation and the underlying mechanism involved. Activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) by FGFs increases vasodilation, although transcriptional control of the molecular mechanisms underlying FGFR1 is still unclear. Materials and Methods: We demonstrated that RTEF-1 stimulated FGFR1 expression at the transcriptional level, specifically an area including Sp1 elements, as evidenced by promoter assays. Additionally, RTEF-1 increased FGFR1 mRNA and protein expression in vitro and in VE-cadherin-promoted RTEF-1 (VE-Cad/RTEF-1) transgenic mice, whereas RTEF-1 siRNA blocked the upregulation of FGFR1 expression. Furthermore, increased endothelial-dependent microvessel relaxation was observed in the coronary arteries of VE-Cad/RTEF-1 mice, and increased proliferation was observed in RTEF-1-overexpressing cells, both of which correlated to increased FGF/FGFR1 signaling and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) upregulation. Our results indicate that RTEF-1 acts as a transcriptional stimulator of FGFR1 and is involved in FGF pathways by increasing microvessel dilatation via eNOS.
These findings suggest that RTEF-1 plays an important role in FGFR1- stimulated vasodilatation. Understanding the effect of RTEF-1 in microvessel relaxation may provide beneficial knowledge in improving treatments in regards to ischemic vascular disorders.
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 1; Related transcriptional enhancer factor 1; Endothelial nitric oxide synthase; Endothelial function; Microvascular relaxation
The fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) exert their diverse (or pleiotropic) biological responses through the binding and activation of specific cell surface receptors (FGFRs). While FGFRs are known to initiate intracellular signaling through receptor tyrosine phosphorylation, the precise mechanisms by which the FGFRs regulate pleiotropic biological responses remain unclear. We now identify a new mechanism by which FGFR2 is able to regulate intracellular signaling and cellular responses. We show that FGFR2 is phosphorylated on serine 779 (S779) in response to FGF2. S779, which lies adjacent to the phospholipase Cγ binding site at Y766, provides a docking site for the 14-3-3 phosphoserine-binding proteins and is essential for the full activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Furthermore, S779 signaling is essential for promoting cell survival and proliferation in both Ba/F3 cells and BALB/c 3T3 fibroblasts. This new mode of FGFR2 phosphoserine signaling via the 14-3-3 proteins may provide an increased repertoire of signaling outputs to allow the regulation of pleiotropic biological responses. In this regard, we have identified conserved putative phosphotyrosine/phosphoserine motifs in the cytoplasmic domains of diverse cell surface receptors, suggesting that they may perform important functional roles beyond the FGFRs.
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) plays an important role in cartilage development. Although upregulation of FGFR3 expression in response to bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) has been reported, the molecular mechanisms remain unknown. In this study, we used in vivo approaches to characterize BMP-2-induced alterations in the chromatin organization of the FGFR3 core promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated that the binding of Brg1, a component of the SWI/SNF remodeling complex, may selectively remodel a chromatin region (encompassing nucleotide –90 to +35), uncovering the transcription start site and three Sp1-binding sites, as revealed by nuclease digestion hypersensitivity assays. We then showed an increase in the association of Sp1 with the proximal promoter, followed by the recruitment of p300, resulting in a change of the histone ‘code’, such as in phosphorylation and methylation. Collectively, our study results suggest a model for BMP-2-induced FGFR3 expression in which the core promoter architecture is specifically regulated.
Two competing models for fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor (FGFR) dimerization have recently emerged based on ternary FGF-FGFR-heparin crystal structures. In the symmetric two-end model, heparin promotes dimerization of two FGF-FGFR complexes by stabilizing bivalent interactions of the ligand and receptor through primary and secondary sites and by stabilizing direct receptor-receptor contacts. In the asymmetric model, there are no protein-protein contacts between the two FGF-FGFR complexes, which are bridged solely by heparin. To identify the correct mode of FGFR dimerization, we abolished interactions at the secondary ligand-receptor interaction site, which are observed only in the symmetric two-end model, using site-directed mutagenesis. Cellular studies and real-time binding assays, as well as matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight analysis, demonstrate that loss of secondary ligand-receptor interactions results in diminished FGFR activation due to decreased dimerization without affecting FGF-FGFR binding. Additionally, structural and biochemical analysis of an activating FGFR2 mutation resulting in Pfeiffer syndrome confirms the physiological significance of receptor-receptor contacts in the symmetric two-end model and provides a novel mechanism for FGFR gain of function in human skeletal disorders. Taken together, the data validate the symmetric two-end model of FGFR dimerization and argue against the asymmetric model of FGFR dimerization.
Fibroblast growth factors play important roles in angiogenesis, but their functions in lymphangiogenesis remain poorly understood. The homeodomain transcription factor Prox1 is essential for development of the lymphatic system by specifying lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) fate. Here, we identify fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor (FGFR)-3 as a novel Prox1 target gene. Ectopic overexpression of Prox1 in blood vascular endothelial cells up-regulates FGFR-3. Prox1 induces the expression of the IIIc isoform, which we also found to be the major isoform of FGFR-3 expressed in LECs. This transcriptional activation is mediated by a direct binding of Prox1 to newly identified Prox1-response elements in the FGFR-3 promoter. Consistently, FGFR-3 is up-regulated in Prox1-positive newly formed lymphatic vessels during embryogenesis and its lymphatic-specific expression is maintained throughout development. We also found that FGF-1 and FGF-2 promote proliferation, migration, and survival of cultured LECs without involvement of vascular endothelial cell growth factor receptor-3. We show that FGF-2 binds to low- and high-affinity receptors on LECs and is efficiently internalized and processed. Moreover, functional inhibition of FGFR-3 using small interfering RNA represses LEC proliferation. Together, these results indicate that FGFR-3 is an initial target of Prox1 during the lymphatic cell fate specification and that FGF signaling may play an important role in lymphatic vessel development.
Ligand activation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) represses myogenesis and promotes activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (Erks). The precise mechanism through which the FGFR transmits both of these signals in myoblasts remains unclear. The SH2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase, SHP-2, has been shown to participate in the regulation of FGFR signaling. However, no role for SHP-2 in FGFR myogenic signaling is known. In this study, we show that stimulation of C2C12 myoblasts with FGF-2 induces SHP-2 complex formation with tyrosyl-phosphorylated FGFR substrate 2α (FRS-2α). Both the catalytic activity and, to a much lesser extent, the Grb2 binding-tyrosyl phosphorylation sites of SHP-2 are required for maximal FGF-2-induced Erk activity and Elk-1 transactivation. When overexpressed in C2C12 myoblasts, wild-type SHP-2, but not a catalytically inactive SHP-2 mutant, potentiates the suppressive effects of FGF-2 on muscle-specific gene expression. In addition, expression of a constitutively active mutant of SHP-2 is sufficient to prevent myogenesis. The constitutively active mutant of SHP-2 induces hyper-tyrosyl phosphorylation of FRS-2α but fails to stimulate or potentiate either FGF-2-induced Erk activation or Elk-1 transactivation. These data suggest that in myoblasts, SHP-2 represses myogenesis via a pathway that is independent of the Erks. We propose that SHP-2 plays a pivotal role in FGFR signaling in myoblasts via both Erk-dependent and Erk-independent pathways.
FGF signaling is associated with breast cancer and is required for mammary placode formation in the mouse. In this study, we employed a genetic mosaic analysis based on Cre-mediated recombination to investigate FGF receptor 2 (Fgfr2) function in the postnatal mammary gland. Mosaic inactivation of Fgfr2 by the MMTVCre transgene enabled us to compare the behavior of Fgfr2 null and Fgfr2 heterozygous cells in the same gland. Fgfr2 null cells were at a competitive disadvantage to their Fgfr2 heterozygous neighbors in the highly proliferative terminal end buds (TEBs) at the invasion front, owing to a negative effect of loss of Fgfr2 function on cell proliferation. However, Fgfr2 null cells were tolerated in mature ducts. In these genetic mosaic mammary glands, the epithelial network is apparently built by TEBs that over time are composed of a progressively larger proportion of Fgfr2-positive cells. However, subsequently, most cells lose Fgfr2 function, presumably due to additional rounds of Cre-mediated recombination. Using an independent strategy to create mosaic mammary glands, which employed an adenovirus-Cre that acts only once, we confirmed that Fgfr2 null cells were out-competed by neighboring Fgfr2 heterozygous cells. Together, our data demonstrate that Fgfr2 functions in the proliferating and invading TEBs, but it is not required in the mature ducts of the pubertal mammary gland.
Cre recombinase; Epithelial-mesenchymal crosstalk; FGF signaling; Mosaic analysis; Terminal end buds
Nuclear FGFR1 acts as a developmental gene regulator in cooperation with FGF-2, RSK1, and CREB-binding protein (CBP). FRAP analysis revealed three nuclear FGFR1 populations: i) a fast mobile, ii) a slower mobile population reflecting chromatin-bound FGFR1, and iii) an immobile FGFR1 population associated with the nuclear matrix. Factors (cAMP, CBP) that induce FGFR1-mediated gene activation shifted FGFR1 from the nuclear matrix (immobile) to chromatin (slow) and reduced the movement rate of the chromatin-bound population. Transcription inhibitors accelerated FGFR1 movement; the content of the chromatin-bound slow FGFR1 decreased, whereas the fast population increased. The transcriptional activation appears to involve conversion of the immobile matrix-bound and the fast nuclear FGFR1 into a slow chromatin-binding population through FGFR1's interaction with CBP, RSK1, and the high-molecular-weight form of FGF-2. Our findings support a general mechanism in which gene activation is governed by protein movement and collisions with other proteins and nuclear structures.
Forced overexpression of TEAD1 in human uterine fibroblast (HUF) and human endometrial stromal cells markedly inhibited prolactin promoter activity in both cell types in a dose-dependent manner, with maximal inhibition of greater than 90%. Conversely, the knockdown of TEAD1 expression in HUF cells with a TEAD1 siRNA resulted in a 75–80% increase in prolactin mRNA levels (P<0.01) compared to control cells exposed to a scrambled nonsense RNA. Mutagenesis of the putative TEAD site inhibited basal promoter activity by about 80%. However, mutagenesis of the TEAD site did not prevent TEAD1-induced inhibition of promoter activity; and the transcription activity of a minimal promoter fragment lacking a putative TEAD binding site was repressed by overexpression of TEAD1. Taken together, these findings suggest that the TEAD binding site on the prolactin promoter is important for the maintenance of basal prolactin promoter activity and that overexpression of TEAD1 has a dominant-negative effect on prolactin promoter activity, probably by interacting directly with other transcription factors.
transcription; gene regulation; siRNA; (human decidua)
Developing molecular markers that define high-risk lesions is clinically critical for improving the prognosis determination of the tumors and their treatment. We decided to focus on the two pathways involving FGFR3 and allelic losses at 9p22 to identify a potential combined role in predicting tumor recurrence, progression and/or muscle. Microsatellite and mutational FGFR3 status analyses was performed in tumor tissue of 58 patients in a prospective unicentre study. The results of microsatellite and FGFR3 analyses were dichotomized as follows: loss of heterozygos-ity (LOH) versus retention of heterozygosity (ROH) on the one hand; mutant FGFR3 (mtFGFR3) versus wild-type FGFR3 (wtFGFR3) on the other hand. The combined 9p22/FGFR3 status was strongly correlated with stage (p=0.001) and grade (p<0.001) whereas the single FGFR3 mutational status was not able to predict recurrence, progression or muscle invasion. The survival curves corresponding to each combined status (mtFGFR3/ROH, wtFGFR3/ROH, mtFGFR3/LOH, wtFGFR3/LOH) were significantly different for recurrence (p=0.008), progression (p=0.046) and progression to muscle invasive disease (p=0.004). In case of 9p22 LOH, the FGFR3 mutational status was strongly associated with different clinical outcomes. In a multivariate model, the combined wtFGFR3/9p22 LOH status remained significant in predicting oncologic outcomes. FGFR3 mutations strongly characterize tumors with low malignant potential and favourable clinical outcome in case of allelic losses at 9p22, whereas its prognostic value becomes null or slightly inverts in case of allelic stability. Thus, our findings may also lead to further experiments in order to study interactions between FGFR3 and genes located at 9p22, as CDKN2A.
Bladder cancer; FGFR3; loss of heterozygosity; prognosis; mutations
M-CAT elements mediate both muscle-specific and non-muscle-specific transcription. We used artificial promoters to dissect M-CAT elements derived from the cardiac troponin T promoter, whose regulation is highly striated muscle specific. We show that muscle-specific M-CAT-dependent expression requires two distinct components: the core heptameric M-CAT motif (5'-CATTCCT-3'), which constitutes the canonical binding site for TEF-1-related proteins, and specific sequences immediately flanking the core motif that bind an additional factor(s). These factors are found in higher-order M-CAT DNA-protein complexes with TEF-1 proteins. Non-muscle-specific promoters are produced when the sequences flanking the M-CAT motif are removed or modified to match those of non-muscle-specific promoters such as the simian virus 40 promoter. Moreover, a mutation of the 5'-flanking region of the cardiac troponin T M-CAT-1 element upregulated expression in nonmuscle cells. That mutation also disrupts a potential E box that apparently does not bind myogenic basic helix-loop-helix proteins. We propose a model in which M-CAT motifs are potentially active in many cell types but are modulated through protein binding to specific flanking sequences. In nonmuscle cells, these flanking sequences bind a factor(s) that represses M-CAT-dependent activity. In muscle cells, on the other hand, the factor(s) binding to these flanking sequences contributes to both the cell specificity and the overall transcriptional strength of M-CAT-dependent promoters.
Ectopic activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) is associated with several cancers, including multiple myeloma (MM). FGFR3 inhibition in these cells inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis, validating FGFR3 signaling as a therapeutic target in t(4;14) MM cases. We have identified the PI3K regulatory subunit, p85α, as a novel interactor of FGFR3 by yeast two-hybrid, and confirmed an interaction with both p85α and p85β in mammalian cells. The interaction of FGFR3 with p85 is dependent upon receptor activation. In contrast to the Gab1-mediated association of FGFRs with p85, the FGFR3-p85 interaction we observed requires FGFR3 Y760, previously identified as a PLCγ binding site. The interaction of p85 with FGFR3 does not require PLCγ, suggesting the p85 interaction is direct and independent of PLCγ binding. FGFR3 and p85 proteins also interact in MM cell lines which consistently express p85α and p85β, but not p50 or p55 subunits. siRNA knockdown of p85β in MM cells caused an increased ERK response to FGF2. These data suggest that an endogenous negative regulatory role for the p85-FGFR3 interaction on the Ras/ERK/MAPK pathway may exist in response to FGFR3 activity and identifies a novel therapeutic target for MM.
Homozygous null mutation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 2IIIb (Fgfr2IIIb) gene in mice results in 42% of embryos developing duodenal atresias. Retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (Raldh2, a gene critical for the generation of retinoic acid) is expressed in the mouse duodenum during the temporal window when duodenal atresias form. Raldh2 is critical for the normal development of the pancreatoduodenal region; therefore, we were interested in the effect of a Raldh2 mutation on duodenal atresia formation. To test this, we rendered Fgfr2IIIb−/− embryos haploinsufficient for the Raldh2 and examined these embryos for the incidence and severity of duodenal atresia.
Control embryos, Fgfr2IIIb−/− mutants, and Fgfr2IIIb−/−; Raldh2+/− mutants were harvested at embryonic day 18.5, genotyped, and fixed overnight. Intestinal tracts were isolated. The type and severity of duodenal atresia was documented.
A total of 97 Fgfr2IIIb−/− embryos were studied; 44 had duodenal atresias, and 41 of these presented as type III. In the 70 Fgfr2IIIb−/−; Raldh2+/− embryos studied, a lesser incidence of duodenal atresia was seen (15 of 70; P = .0017; Fisher exact test). Atresia severity was also decreased; there were 12 embryos with type I atresias, 3 with type II atresias, and 0 with type III atresias (P < 2.81E–013; Fisher exact test).
Haploinsufficiency of Raldh2 decreases the incidence and severity of duodenal atresia in the Fgfr2IIIb−/− model. The ability to alter defect severity through manipulation of a single gene in a specific genetic background has potentially important implications for understanding the mechanisms by which intestinal atresias arise.
Conditional deletion of murine fibroblast growth factor receptors (Fgfrs) 1 and 2 in metanephric mesenchyme leads to renal agenesis with unbranched ureteric buds; however, there are occasionally 2 buds per nephric duct. Our goal was to determine whether conditional deletion of Fgfr1 or Fgfr2 alone resulted in multiple ureteric bud induction sites. While deletion of Fgfr1 alone results in no abnormalities, loss of Fgfr2 often leads to multiple ureteric buds and anomalies including renal aplasia, misshaped kidneys, partially duplicated kidneys, duplicated ureters, and obstructed hydroureter. Deletion of Fgfr2 did not change expression domains of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (Gdnf), Robo2, bone morphogenetic protein 4, or Sprouty1, all of which regulate ureteric bud induction. Cultured Fgfr2 mutant nephric ducts were also not more sensitive to exogenous GDNF than controls. Whole mount in situ hybridization revealed that in mutant embryos, Fgfr2 was deleted from stromal cells around the nephric duct and ureteric bud base, which correlates well with the ureteric bud induction abnormalities. Thus, Fgfr2 is critical in ensuring that there is a single ureteric bud from the nephric duct. The plethora of later stage defects in Fgfr2 conditional knockouts is reminiscent of many human cases of genetic urogenital anomalies.
kidney development; ureteric bud; duplicated ureters; fibroblast growth factor receptor; conditional knockout
Tumour invasion and metastasis is the most common cause of death from cancer. For epithelial cells to invade surrounding tissues and metastasise, an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is required. We have demonstrated that FGFR1 expression is increased in bladder cancer and that activation of FGFR1 induces an EMT in urothelial carcinoma (UC) cell lines. Here, we created an in vitro FGFR1-inducible model of EMT, and used this model to identify regulators of urothelial EMT. FGFR1 activation promoted EMT over a period of 72 hours. Initially a rapid increase in actin stress fibres occurred, followed by an increase in cell size, altered morphology and increased migration and invasion. By using site-directed mutagenesis and small molecule inhibitors we demonstrated that combined activation of the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phospholipase C gamma (PLCγ) pathways regulated this EMT. Actin stress fibre formation was regulated by PLCγ activation, and was also important for the increase in cell size, migration and altered morphology. MAPK activation regulated migration and E-cadherin expression, indicating that combined activation of PLCγand MAPK is required for a full EMT. We used expression microarrays to assess changes in gene expression downstream of these signalling cascades. COX-2 was transcriptionally upregulated by FGFR1 and caused increased intracellular prostaglandin E2 levels, which promoted migration. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that FGFR1 activation in UC cells lines promotes EMT via coordinated activation of multiple signalling pathways and by promoting activation of prostaglandin synthesis.
Genome wide association studies have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) within fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) as one of the highest ranking risk alleles in terms of development of breast cancer. The potential effect of these SNPs, in intron two, was postulated to be due to the differential binding of cis-regulatory elements, such as transcription factors, since all the SNPs in linkage disequilibrium were located in a regulatory DNA region. A Runx2 binding site was reported to be functional only in the minor, disease associated allele of rs2981578, resulting in increased expression of FGFR2 in cancers from patients homozygous for that allele. Moreover, the increased risk conferred by the minor FGFR2 allele associates most strongly in oestrogen receptor alpha positive (ERα) breast tumours, suggesting a potential interaction between ERα and FGFR signalling. Here, we have developed a human cell line model system to study the effect of the putative functional SNP, rs2981578, on cell behaviour. MCF7 cells, an ERα positive breast cancer cell line homozygous for the wild-type allele were edited using a Zinc Finger Nuclease approach. Unexpectedly, the acquisition of a single risk allele in MCF7 clones failed to affect proliferation or cell cycle progression. Binding of Runx2 to the risk allele was not observed. However FOXA1 binding, an important ERα partner, appeared decreased at the rs2981578 locus in the risk allele cells. Differences in allele specific expression (ASE) of FGFR2 were not observed in a panel of 72 ERα positive breast cancer samples. Thus, the apparent increased risk of developing ERα positive breast cancer seems not to be caused by rs2981578 alone. Rather, the observed increased risk of developing breast cancer might be the result of a coordinated effect of multiple SNPs forming a risk haplotype in the second intron of FGFR2.