Mycobacteriophages are dsDNA viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts. The mycobacteriophage Ms6 accomplishes lysis by producing two cell wall hydrolytic enzymes, Lysin A (LysA) that possesses a central peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP) super-family conserved domain with the amidase catalytic site, that cleaves the amide bond between the N-acetylmuramic acid and L-alanine residues in the oligopeptide crosslinking chains of the peptidoglycan and Lysin B (LysB) a mycolylarabinogalactan esterase that hydrolyzes the mycolic acids from the mycolyl-arabinogalactan-peptidoglycan complex. Examination of the endolysin (lysA) DNA sequence revealed the existence of an embedded gene (lysA241) encoded in the same reading frame and preceded by a consensus ribosome-binding site. In the present work we show that, even though lysA is essential for Ms6 viability, phage mutants that express only the longer (Lysin384) or the shorter (Lysin241) endolysin are viable, but defective in the normal timing, progression and completion of host cell lysis. In addition, both endolysins have peptidoglycan hydrolase activity and demonstrated broad growth inhibition activity against various Gram-positive bacteria and mycobacteria.
Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is a complex process regulated by different cytokines and growth factors. The pleiotropic cytokine IL-6 (Interleukin-6) and related cytokines of the same family acting on the common signal transducer gp130 are known to play a key role in bone marrow (BM) engraftment. In contrast, the exact signalling events that control IL-6/gp130-driven haematopoietic stem cell development during BMT remain unresolved.
Conditional gp130 knockout and knockin mice were used to delete gp130 expression (gp130ΔMx), or to selectively disrupt gp130-dependent Ras (gp130ΔMxRas) or STAT signalling (gp130ΔMxSTAT) in BM cells. BM derived from the respective strains was transplanted into irradiated wildtype hosts and repopulation of various haematopoietic lineages was monitored by flow cytometry.
BM derived from gp130 deficient donor mice (gp130ΔMx) displayed a delayed engraftment, as evidenced by reduced total white blood cells (WBC), marked thrombocytopenia and anaemia in the early phase after BMT. Lineage analysis unravelled a restricted development of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cells, CD19(+) B-cells and CD11b(+) myeloid cells after transplantation of gp130-deficient BM grafts. To further delineate the two major gp130-induced signalling cascades, Ras-MAPK and STAT1/3-signalling respectively, we used gp130ΔMxRas and gp130ΔMxSTAT donor BM. BMT of gp130ΔMxSTAT cells significantly impaired engraftment of CD4(+), CD8(+), CD19(+) and CD11b(+) cells, whereas gp130ΔMxRas BM displayed a selective impairment in early thrombopoiesis. Importantly, gp130-STAT1/3 signalling deficiency in BM grafts severely impaired survival of transplanted mice, thus demonstrating a pivotal role for this pathway in BM graft survival and function.
Our data unravel a vital function of IL-6/gp130-STAT1/3 signals for BM engraftment and haematopoiesis, as well as for host survival after transplantation. STAT1/3 and ras-dependent pathways thereby exert distinct functions on individual bone-marrow-lineages.
The mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) ERK1 and ERK2 are among the major signal transduction molecules but little is known about their specific functions in vivo. ERK activity is provided by two isoforms, ERK1 and ERK2, which are ubiquitously expressed and share activators and substrates. However, there are not in vivo studies which have reported a role for ERK1 or ERK2 in HSCs and the bone marrow microenvironment. The present study shows that the ERK1-deficient mice present a mild osteopetrosis phenotype. The lodging and the homing abilities of the ERK1−/− HSC are impaired, suggesting that the ERK1−/−-defective environment may affect the engrafment of HSCs. Serial transplantations demonstrate that ERK1 is involved in the maintenance of an appropriate medullar microenvironment, but that the intrinsic properties of HSCs are not altered by the ERK1−/− defective microenvironment. Deletion of ERK1 impaired in vitro and in vivo osteoclastogenesis while osteoblasts were unaffected. As osteoclasts derive from precursors of the monocyte/macrophage lineage, investigation of the monocytic compartment was performed. In vivo analysis of the myeloid lineage progenitors revealed that the frequency of CMPs increased by approximately 1.3-fold, while the frequency of GMPs significantly decreased by almost 2-fold, compared with the respective WT compartments. The overall mononuclear-phagocyte lineage development was compromised in these mice due to a reduced expression of the M-CSF receptor on myeloid progenitors. These results show that the cellular targets of ERK1 are M-CSFR-responsive cells, upstream to osteoclasts. While ERK1 is well known to be activated by M-CSF, the present results are the first to point out an ERK1-dependent M-CSFR regulation on hematopoietic progenitors. This study reinforces the hypothesis of an active cross-talk between HSCs, their progeny and bone cells in the maintenance of the homeostasis of these compartments.
The identification and characterization of cancer stem cells (CSCs) is imperative to understanding the mechanism of cancer pathogenesis. Growing evidence suggests that CSCs play critical roles in the development and progression of cancer. However, controversy exists as to whether CSCs arise from bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs).
Methodology and Principal Findings
In the present study, n-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) was used to induce tumor formation in female mice that received bone marrow from male mice. Tumor formation was induced in 20/26 mice, including 12 liver tumors, 6 lung tumors, 1 bladder tumor and 1 nasopharyngeal tumor. Through comparison of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) results in corresponding areas from serial tumor sections stained with H&E, we determined that BMDCs were recruited to both tumor tissue and normal surrounding tissue at a very low frequency (0.2–1% in tumors and 0–0.3% in normal tissues). However, approximately 3–70% of cells in the tissues surrounding the tumor were BMDCs, and the percentage of BMDCs was highly associated with the inflammatory status of the tissue. In the present study, no evidence was found to support the existence of fusion cells formed form BMDCs and tissue-specific stem cells.
In summary, our data suggest that although BMDCs may contribute to tumor progression, they are unlike to contribute to tumor initiation.
Cancer cell lines have been shown to be reliable tools in genetic studies of breast cancer, and the characterization of these lines indicates that they are good models for studying the biological mechanisms underlying this disease. Here, we describe the molecular cytogenetic/genetic characterization of two sister rat mammary tumor cell lines, HH-16 cl.2/1 and HH-16.cl.4, for the first time. Molecular cytogenetic analysis using rat and mouse chromosome paint probes and BAC/PAC clones allowed the characterization of clonal chromosome rearrangements; moreover, this strategy assisted in revealing detected breakpoint regions and complex chromosome rearrangements. This comprehensive cytogenetic analysis revealed an increase in the number of copies of the Mycn and Erbb2 genes in the investigated cell lines. To analyze its possible correlation with expression changes, relative RNA expression was assessed by real-time reverse transcription quantitative PCR and RNA FISH. Erbb2 was found to be overexpressed in HH-16.cl.4, but not in the sister cell line HH-16 cl.2/1, even though these lines share the same initial genetic environment. Moreover, the relative expression of Erbb2 decreased after global genome demethylation in the HH-16.cl.4 cell line. As these cell lines are commercially available and have been used in previous studies, the present detailed characterization improves their value as an in vitro cell model. We believe that the development of appropriate in vitro cell models for breast cancer is of crucial importance for revealing the genetic and cellular pathways underlying this neoplasy and for employing them as experimental tools to assist in the generation of new biotherapies.
Aberrant miR-21 expression is closely associated with cell proliferation, anti-apoptosis, migration, invasion, and metastasis in various cancers. However, the regulatory mechanism of miR-21 biogenesis is largely unknown. Here, we demonstrated that the tumor suppressor PTEN negatively regulates the expression of oncogenic miR-21 at the post-transcriptional level. Moreover, our results suggest that PTEN plays such a role through the indirect interaction with the Drosha complex. To elucidate how PTEN regulates pri- to pre-miR-21 processing, we attempted to find PTEN-interacting proteins and identified an RNA-regulatory protein, RNH1. Using the sensor to monitor pri-miR-21 processing, we demonstrated that RNH1 is necessary and sufficient for pri-miR-21 processing. Moreover, our results propose that the nuclear localization of RNH1 is important for this function. Further analysis showed that RNH1 directly interacts with the Drosha complex and that PTEN blocks this interaction. Taken together, these results suggest that the PTEN-mediated miR-21 regulation is achieved by inhibiting the interaction between the Drosha complex and RNH1, revealing previously unidentified role of PTEN in the oncogenic miR-21 biogenesis.
Cell-based high-throughput RNAi screening has become a powerful research tool in addressing a variety of biological questions. In RNAi screening, one of the most commonly applied assay system is measuring the fitness of cells that is usually quantified using fluorescence, luminescence and absorption-based readouts. These methods, typically implemented and scaled to large-scale screening format, however often only yield limited information on the cell fitness phenotype due to evaluation of a single and indirect physiological indicator. To address this problem, we have established a cell fitness multiplexing assay which combines a biochemical approach and two fluorescence-based assaying methods. We applied this assay in a large-scale RNAi screening experiment with siRNA pools targeting the human kinome in different modified HEK293 cell lines. Subsequent analysis of ranked fitness phenotypes assessed by the different assaying methods revealed average phenotype intersections of 50.7±2.3%–58.7±14.4% when two indicators were combined and 40–48% when a third indicator was taken into account. From these observations we conclude that combination of multiple fitness measures may decrease false-positive rates and increases confidence for hit selection. Our robust experimental and analytical method improves the classical approach in terms of time, data comprehensiveness and cost.
To mitigate the cardiotoxicity of anthracycline antibiotics without compromising their anticancer activities is still an issue to be solved. We previously demonstrated that schisandrin B (Sch B) could protect against doxorubicin (Dox)-induced acute cardiotoxicity via enhancing cardiomyocytic glutathione redox cycling that could attenuate oxidative stress generated from Dox. In this study, we attempted to prove if Sch B could also protect against Dox-induced chronic cardiotoxicity, a more clinically relevant issue, without compromising its anticancer activity.
Rat was given intragastrically either vehicle or Sch B (50 mg/kg) two hours prior to i.p. Dox (2.5 mg/kg) weekly over a 5-week period with a cumulative dose of Dox 12.5 mg/kg. At the 6th and 12th week after last dosing, rats were subjected to cardiac function measurement, and left ventricles were processed for histological and ultrastructural examination. Dox anticancer activity enhanced by Sch B was evaluated by growth inhibition of 4T1, a breast cancer cell line, and S180, a sarcoma cell line, in vitro and in vivo.
Pretreatment with Sch B significantly attenuated Dox-induced loss of cardiac function and damage of cardiomyocytic structure. Sch B substantially enhanced Dox cytotoxicities toward S180 in vitro and in vivo in mice, and increased Dox cytotoxcity against 4T1 in vitro. Although we did not observe this enhancement against the implanted 4T1 primary tumor, the spontaneous metastasis to lung was significantly reduced in combined treatment group than Dox alone group.
Sch B is capable of protecting Dox-induced chronic cardiotoxicity and enhancing its anticancer activity. To the best of our knowledge, Sch B is the only molecule ever proved to function as a cardioprotective agent as well as a chemotherapeutic sensitizer, which is potentially applicable for cancer treatment.
Bcl2 subfamily proteins, including Bcl2 and Bcl-XL, inhibit apoptosis. As osteoblast apoptosis is in part responsible for osteoporosis in sex steroid deficiency, glucocorticoid excess, and aging, bone loss might be inhibited by the upregulation of Bcl2; however, the effects of Bcl2 overexpression on osteoblast differentiation and bone development and maintenance have not been fully investigated. To investigate these issues, we established two lines of osteoblast-specific BCL2 transgenic mice. In BCL2 transgenic mice, bone volume was increased at 6 weeks of age but not at 10 weeks of age compared with wild-type mice. The numbers of osteoblasts and osteocytes increased, but osteoid thickness and the bone formation rate were reduced in BCL2 transgenic mice with high expression at 10 weeks of age. The number of BrdU-positive cells was increased but that of TUNEL-positive cells was unaltered at 2 and 6 weeks of age. Osteoblast differentiation was inhibited, as shown by reduced Col1a1 and osteocalcin expression. Osteoblast differentiation of calvarial cells from BCL2 transgenic mice also fell in vitro. Overexpression of BCL2 in primary osteoblasts had no effect on osteoclastogenesis in co-culture with bone marrow cells. Unexpectedly, overexpression of BCL2 in osteoblasts eventually caused osteocyte apoptosis. Osteocytes, which had a reduced number of processes, gradually died with apoptotic structural alterations and the expression of apoptosis-related molecules, and dead osteocytes accumulated in cortical bone. These findings indicate that overexpression of BCL2 in osteoblasts inhibits osteoblast differentiation, reduces osteocyte processes, and causes osteocyte apoptosis.
The Notch signalling pathway mediates cell-cell communication in a wide variety of organisms. The major components, as well as the basic mechanisms of Notch signal transduction, are remarkably well conserved amongst vertebrates and invertebrates. Notch signalling results in transcriptional activation of Notch target genes, which is mediated by an activator complex composed of the DNA binding protein CSL, the intracellular domain of the Notch receptor, and the transcriptional coactivator Mastermind. In the absence of active signalling, CSL represses transcription from Notch target genes by the recruitment of corepressors. The Notch activator complex is extremely well conserved and has been studied in great detail. However, Notch repressor complexes are far less understood. In Drosophila melanogaster, the CSL protein is termed Suppressor of Hairless [Su(H)]. Su(H) functions as a transcriptional repressor by binding Hairless, the major antagonist of Notch signalling in Drosophila, which in turn recruits two general corepressors – Groucho and C-terminal binding protein CtBP. Recently, we determined that the C-terminal domain (CTD) of Su(H) binds Hairless and identified a single site in Hairless, which is essential for contacting Su(H). Here we present additional biochemical and in vivo studies aimed at mapping the residues in Su(H) that contact Hairless. Focusing on surface exposed residues in the CTD, we identified two sites that affect Hairless binding in biochemical assays. Mutation of these sites neither affects binding to DNA nor to Notch. Subsequently, these Su(H) mutants were found to function normally in cellular and in vivo assays using transgenic flies. However, these experiments rely on Su(H) overexpression, which does not allow for detection of quantitative or subtle differences in activity. We discuss the implications of our results.
Acute megakaryocytic leukemia (AMkL) in Down syndrome (DS) children is uniformly associated with somatic GATA1 mutations, which result in the synthesis of a shorter protein (GATA1s) with altered transactivation activity compared to the wild-type GATA1. It is not fully established whether leukemogenesis and therapeutic responses in DS AMkL patients are due to loss of the wild-type GATA1 or due to a unique function of GATA1s.
Stable clones of CMK cells with decreased GATA1s or Bcl-2 levels were generated by using GATA1- or BCL-2-specific lentivirus shRNAs. In vitro ara-C, daunorubicin, and VP-16 cytotoxicities of the shRNA stable clones were determined by using the Cell Titer-blue reagent. Apoptosis and cell cycle distribution were determined by flow cytometry analysis. Changes in gene transcript levels were determined by gene expression microarray and/or real-time RT-PCR. Changes in protein levels were measured by Western blotting. In vivo binding of GATA1s to IL1A promoter was determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays.
Lentivirus shRNA knockdown of the GATA1 gene in the DS AMkL cell line, CMK (harbors a mutated GATA1 gene and only expresses GATA1s), resulting in lower GATA1s protein levels, promoted cell differentiation towards the megakaryocytic lineage and repressed cell proliferation. Increased basal apoptosis and sensitivities to ara-C, daunorubicin, and VP-16 accompanied by down-regulated Bcl-2 were also detected in the CMK GATA1 shRNA knockdown clones. Essentially the same results were obtained when Bcl-2 was knocked down with lentivirus shRNA in CMK cells. Besides Bcl-2, down-regulation of GATA1s also resulted in altered expression of genes (e.g., IL1A, PF4, and TUBB1) related to cell death, proliferation, and differentiation.
Our results suggest that GATA1s may facilitate leukemogenesis and potentially impact therapeutic responses in DS AMkL by promoting proliferation and survival, and by repressing megakaryocytic lineage differentiation, potentially by regulating expression of Bcl-2 protein and other relevant genes.
Radical cystectomy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) patients frequently impairs their quality of life (QOL) due to urinary diversion. To improve their QOL, a bladder-sparing alternative strategy using chemoradiation has been developed. In bladder-sparing protocols, complete response (CR) to induction chemoradiation is a prerequisite for bladder preservation and favorable survival. Thus predicting chemoradiation resistance and overcoming it would increase individual MIBC patients' chances of bladder preservation. The aim of this study is to investigate putative molecular targets for treatment aimed at improving chemoradiation response. Expression levels of erbB2, NFκB, p53, and survivin were evaluated immunohistochemically in pretreatment biopsy samples from 35 MIBC patients in whom chemoradiation sensitivity had been pathologically evaluated in cystectomy specimens, and associations of these expression levels with chemoradiation sensitivity and cancer-specific survival (CSS) were investigated. Of the 35 patients, 11 (31%) achieved pathological CR, while tumors in the remaining 24 patients (69%) were chemoradiation-resistant. Multivariate analysis identified erbB2 and NFκB overexpression and hydronephrosis as significant and independent risk factors for chemoradiation resistance with respective relative risks of 11.8 (P = 0.014), 15.4 (P = 0.024) and 14.3 (P = 0.038). The chemoradiation resistance rate was 88.5% for tumors overexpressing erbB2 and/or NFκB, but only 11.1% for those negative for both (P <0.0001). The 5-year CSS rate was 74% overall. Through multivariate analysis, overexpression of erbB2 and/or NFκB was identified as an independent risk factor for bladder cancer death with marginal significance (hazard ratio 21.5, P = 0.056) along with chemoradiation resistance (P = 0.003) and hydronephrosis (P = 0.018). The 5-year CSS rate for the 11 patients achieving pathological CR was 100%, while that for the 24 with chemoradiation-resistant disease was 61% (P = 0.018). Thus, erbB2 and NFκB overexpression are relevant to chemoradiation resistance and are putative targets aimed at overcoming chemoradiation resistance in MIBC.
Familial Dysautonomia (FD) is an autosomal recessive disorder that affects 1/3,600 live births in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, and leads to death before the age of 40. The disease is characterized by abnormal development and progressive degeneration of the sensory and autonomic nervous system. A single base pair substitution in intron 20 of the Ikbkap gene accounts for 98% of FD cases, and results in the expression of low levels of the full-length mRNA with simultaneous expression of an aberrantly spliced mRNA in which exon 20 is missing. To date, there is no animal model for the disease, and the essential cellular functions of IKAP - the protein encoded by Ikbkap - remain unknown. To better understand the normal function of IKAP and in an effort to generate a mouse model for FD, we have targeted the mouse Ikbkap gene by homologous recombination. We created two distinct alleles that result in either loss of Ikbkap expression, or expression of an mRNA lacking only exon 20. Homozygosity for either mutation leads to developmental delay, cardiovascular and brain malformations, accompanied with early embryonic lethality. Our analyses indicate that IKAP is essential for expression of specific genes involved in cardiac morphogenesis, and that cardiac failure is the likely cause of abnormal vascular development and embryonic lethality. Our results also indicate that deletion of exon 20 abolishes gene function. This implies that the truncated IKAP protein expressed in FD patients does not retain any significant biological function.
The regulation of gene transcription is fundamental to the existence of complex multicellular organisms such as humans. Although it is widely recognized that much of gene regulation is controlled by gene-specific protein-DNA interactions, there presently exists little in the way of tools to identify proteins that interact with the genome at locations of interest. We have developed a novel strategy to address this problem, which we refer to as GENECAPP, for Global ExoNuclease-based Enrichment of Chromatin-Associated Proteins for Proteomics. In this approach, formaldehyde cross-linking is employed to covalently link DNA to its associated proteins; subsequent fragmentation of the DNA, followed by exonuclease digestion, produces a single-stranded region of the DNA that enables sequence-specific hybridization capture of the protein-DNA complex on a solid support. Mass spectrometric (MS) analysis of the captured proteins is then used for their identification and/or quantification. We show here the development and optimization of GENECAPP for an in vitro model system, comprised of the murine insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) promoter region and FoxO1, a member of the forkhead rhabdomyosarcoma (FoxO) subfamily of transcription factors, which binds specifically to the IGFBP1 promoter. This novel strategy provides a powerful tool for studies of protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions.
Interleukin IL-17 is a proinflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs2275913, in the promoter region of the IL-17 gene is associated with susceptibility to ulcerative colitis. When we examined the impact of rs2275913 in a cohort consisting of 438 pairs of patients and their unrelated donors transplanted through the Japan Marrow Donor Program, the donor IL-17 197A allele was found to be associated with a higher risk of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD; hazard ratio [HR], 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 2.13; P = 0.05). Next, we investigated the functional relevance of the rs2275913 SNP. In vitro stimulated T cells from healthy individuals possessing the 197A allele produced significantly more IL-17 than those without the 197A allele. In a gene reporter assay, the 197A allele construct induced higher luciferase activity than the 197G allele, and the difference was higher in the presence of T cell receptor activation and was abrogated by cyclosporine treatment. Moreover, the 197A allele displayed a higher affinity for the nuclear factor activated T cells (NFAT), a critical transcription factor involved in IL-17 regulation. These findings substantiate the functional relevance of the rs2275913 polymorphism and indicate that the higher IL-17 secretion by individuals with the 197A allele likely accounts for their increased risk for acute GVHD and certain autoimmune diseases.
Both OTX2 and MYC are important oncogenes in medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in childhood. Much is known about MYC binding to promoter regions, but OTX2 binding is hardly investigated. We used ChIP-on-chip data to analyze the binding patterns of both transcription factors in D425 medulloblastoma cells. When combining the data for all promoter regions in the genome, OTX2 binding showed a remarkable bi-modal distribution pattern with peaks around −250 bp upstream and +650 bp downstream of the transcription start sites (TSSs). Indeed, 40.2% of all OTX2-bound TSSs had more than one significant OTX2-binding peak. This OTX2-binding pattern was very different from the TSS-centered single peak binding pattern observed for MYC and other known transcription factors. However, in individual promoter regions, OTX2 and MYC have a strong tendency to bind in proximity of each other. OTX2-binding sequences are depleted near TSSs in the genome, providing an explanation for the observed bi-modal distribution of OTX2 binding. This contrasts to the enrichment of E-box sequences at TSSs. Both OTX2 and MYC binding independently correlated with higher gene expression. Interestingly, genes of promoter regions with multiple OTX2 binding as well as MYC binding showed the highest expression levels in D425 cells and in primary medulloblastomas. Genes within this class of promoter regions were enriched for medulloblastoma and stem cell specific genes. Our data suggest an important functional interaction between OTX2 and MYC in regulating gene expression in medulloblastoma.
Splenic marginal zone lymphomas (SMZL) are an uncommon type of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL-B) in which no specific chromosomal translocations have been described. In contrast, the most frequent cytogenetic abnormality is the loss of the long arm of chromosome 7 (7q). Previous reports have located this loss in the 7q32 region. In order to better characterize the genomic imbalances in SMZL, molecular studies were carried out in 73 patients with SMZL. To gain insight into the mapping at 7q a tiling array was also used. The results confirmed the loss of 7q as the most frequent change. In addition, several abnormalities, including 4q22.1, 1q21.3–q22, 6q25.3, 20q13.33, 3q28, 2q23.3–q24.1 and 17p13, were also present. A loss of 7q22.1 at 99925039–101348479 bp was observed in half of the cases. The region of 7q22.1 has not previously been characterised in SMZL. Our results confirmed the presence of a new region of loss on chromosome 7 in these NHL.
Renal angiomyolipoma are part of the PEComa family of neoplasms, and occur both in association with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and independent of that disorder. Previous studies on the molecular genetic alterations that occur in angiomyolipoma are very limited. We evaluated 9 angiomyolipoma for which frozen tissue was available from a consecutive surgical series. Seven of 8 samples subjected to RT-PCR-cDNA sequencing showed mutations in TSC2; none showed mutations in TSC1 or RHEB. Six of the seven mutations were deletions. We searched for 983 activating and inactivating mutations in 115 genes, and found none in these tumors. Similarly analysis for genomic regions of loss or gain, assessed by Affymetrix SNP6.0 analysis, showed no abnormalities. Loss of heterozygosity in the TSC2 region was commonly seen, except in patients with low frequency TSC2 mutations. We conclude that sporadic renal angiomyolipoma usually have mutations in TSC2, but not TSC1 or RHEB, and have no other common genomic events, among those we searched for. However, chromosomal translocations and gene fusion events were not assessed here. TSC2 inactivation by mutation is a consistent and likely necessary genetic event in the pathogenesis of most angiomyolipoma.
Mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC) make cell fate decisions based on intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The decision of ESC to differentiate to multiple lineages in vitro occurs during the formation of embryoid bodies (EB) and is influenced by cell-environment interactions. However, molecular mechanisms underlying cell-environmental modulation of ESC fate decisions are incompletely understood. Since adhesion molecules (AM) influence proliferation and differentiation in developing and adult tissues, we hypothesized that specific AM interactions influence ESC commitment toward hematopoietic and endothelial lineages. Expression of AM in the adherens, tight and gap junction pathways in ESC subpopulations were quantified. E-cadherin (E-cad), Claudin-4 (Cldn4), Connexin-43 (Cx43), Zona Occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Zona Occludens-2 (ZO-2) transcript levels were differentially expressed during early stages of hematopoietic/endothelial commitment. Stable ESC lines were generated with reduced expression of E-cad, Cldn4, Cx43, ZO-1 and ZO-2 using shRNA technology. Functional and phenotypic consequences of modulating AM expression were assessed using hematopoietic colony forming assays, endothelial sprouting assays and surface protein expression. A decrease in E-cad, Cldn4, Cx43 and ZO-1 expression was associated with less commitment to the hematopoietic lineage and increased endothelial differentiation as evidenced by functional and phenotypic analysis. A reduction in ZO-2 expression did not influence endothelial differentiation, but decreased hematopoietic commitment two-fold. These data indicate that a subset of AM influence ESC decisions to commit to endothelial and hematopoietic lineages. Furthermore, differentially expressed AM may provide novel markers to delineate early stages of ESC commitment to hematopoietic/endothelial lineages.
Behavioral endophenotypes are determined by a multitude of counteracting but precisely balanced molecular and physiological mechanisms. In this study, we aim to identify potential novel molecular targets that contribute to the multigenic trait “anxiety”. We used microarrays to investigate the gene expression profiles of different brain regions within the limbic system of mice which were selectively bred for either high (HAB) or low (LAB) anxiety-related behavior, and also show signs of comorbid depression-like behavior.
We identified and confirmed sex-independent differences in the basal expression of 13 candidate genes, using tissue from the entire brain, including coronin 7 (Coro7), cathepsin B (Ctsb), muscleblind-like 1 (Mbnl1), metallothionein 1 (Mt1), solute carrier family 25 member 17 (Slc25a17), tribbles homolog 2 (Trib2), zinc finger protein 672 (Zfp672), syntaxin 3 (Stx3), ATP-binding cassette, sub-family A member 2 (Abca2), ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 5 (Enpp5), high mobility group nucleosomal binding domain 3 (Hmgn3) and pyruvate dehydrogenase beta (Pdhb). Additionally, we confirmed brain region-specific differences in the expression of synaptotagmin 4 (Syt4).
Our identification of about 90 polymorphisms in Ctsb suggested that this gene might play a critical role in shaping our mouse model's behavioral endophenotypes. Indeed, the assessment of anxiety-related and depression-like behaviors of Ctsb knock-out mice revealed an increase in depression-like behavior in females.
Altogether, our results suggest that Ctsb has significant effects on emotionality, irrespective of the tested mouse strain, making it a promising target for future pharmacotherapy.
Serine protease granzyme B plays important roles in infections, autoimmunity, transplant rejection, and antitumor immunity. A triple-mutated granzyme B variant that encodes three amino substitutions (Q48R, P88A, and Y245H) has been reported to have altered biological functions. In the polymorphism rs8192917 (2364A>G), the A and G alleles represent wild type QPY and RAH mutant variants, respectively. In this study, we analyzed the impact of granzyme B polymorphisms on transplant outcomes in recipients undergoing unrelated HLA-fully matched T-cell-replete bone marrow transplantation (BMT) through the Japan Donor Marrow Program. The granzyme B genotypes were retrospectively analyzed in a cohort of 613 pairs of recipients with hematological malignancies and their unrelated donors. In patients with myeloid malignancies consisting of acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, the donor G/G or A/G genotype was associated with improved overall survival (OS; adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.41–0.89; P = 0.01) as well as transplant related mortality (TRM; adjusted HR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.27–0.86, P = 0.01). The recipient G/G or A/G genotype was associated with a better OS (adjusted HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.47–0.99; P = 0.05) and a trend toward a reduced TRM (adjusted HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.35–1.06; P = 0.08). Granzyme B polymorphism did not have any effect on the transplant outcomes in patients with lymphoid malignancies consisting of acute lymphoid leukemia and malignant lymphoma. These data suggest that there is an association between the granzyme B genotype and better clinical outcomes in patients with myeloid malignancies after unrelated BMT.
A surprising portion of both mammalian and Drosophila genomes are transcriptionally paused, undergoing initiation without elongation. We tested the hypothesis that transcriptional pausing is an obligate transition state between definitive activation and silencing as human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) change state from pluripotency to mesoderm. Chromatin immunoprecipitation for trimethyl lysine 4 on histone H3 (ChIP-Chip) was used to analyze transcriptional initiation, and 3′ transcript arrays were used to determine transcript elongation. Pluripotent and mesodermal cells had equivalent fractions of the genome in active and paused transcriptional states (∼48% each), with ∼4% definitively silenced (neither initiation nor elongation). Differentiation to mesoderm changed the transcriptional state of 12% of the genome, with roughly equal numbers of genes moving toward activation or silencing. Interestingly, almost all loci (98–99%) changing transcriptional state do so either by entering or exiting the paused state. A majority of these transitions involve either loss of initiation, as genes specifying alternate lineages are archived, or gain of initiation, in anticipation of future full-length expression. The addition of chromatin dynamics permitted much earlier predictions of final cell fate compared to sole use of conventional transcript arrays. These findings indicate that the paused state may be the major transition state for genes changing expression during differentiation, and implicate control of transcriptional elongation as a key checkpoint in lineage specification.
Aurora-A is a serine/threonine protein kinase and plays an important role in the control of mitotic progression. Dysregulated expression of Aurora-A impairs centrosome separation and maturation, which lead to disrupted cell cycle progression and tumorigenesis. However, the molecular mechanism by which Aurora-A causes cell malignant transformation remains to be further defined. In this report, using transcription factors array and mRNA expression profiling array, we found that overexpression of Aurora-A suppressed transcription activity of AP-2α, a tumor suppressor that is often downregulated in variety of tumors, and inhibited expression of AP-2α-regulated downstream genes. These array-based observations were further confirmed by microwell colorimetric TF assay and luciferase reporter assay. Downregulated transcription activity of AP-2α by Aurora-A was found to be associated with reduced AP-2α protein stability, which appeared to be mediated by Aurora-A enhanced ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation of AP-2α protein. Interestingly, Aurora-A-mediated AP-2α degradation was likely dependent Aurora-A kinase activity since inhibition of Aurora-A kinase activity was able to rescue Aurora-A-induced degradation of AP-2α. Moreover, we defined a physical interaction between Aurora-A and AP-2α, and such interaction might bridge the suppressive effect of Aurora-A on AP-2α protein stability. These findings provide new insights into molecular mechanism by which Aurora-A acts as an oncogenic molecule in tumor occurrence and malignant development.
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) generated from the in-vitro culture of blastocyst stage embryos are known as equivalent to blastocyst inner cell mass (ICM) in-vivo. Though several reports have shown the expression of germ cell/pre-meiotic (GC/PrM) markers in ESCs, their functional relevance for the pluripotency and germ line commitment are largely unknown. In the present study, we used mouse as a model system and systematically analyzed the RNA and protein expression of GC/PrM markers in ESCs and found them to be comparable to the expression of cultured pluripotent cells originated from the germ line. Further, siRNA knockdown experiments have demonstrated the parallel maintenance and independence of pluripotent and GC/PrM networks in ESCs. Through chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments, we observed that pluripotent cells exhibit active chromatin states at GC marker genes and a bivalent chromatin structure at PrM marker genes. Moreover, gene expression analysis during the time course of iPS cells generation revealed that the expression of GC markers precedes pluripotency markers. Collectively, through our observations we hypothesize that the chromatin state and the expression of GC/PrM markers might indicate molecular parallels between in-vivo germ cell specification and pluripotent stem cell generation.
Recent studies have shown aberrant expression of SOX11 in various types of aggressive B-cell neoplasms. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to such deregulation, we performed a comprehensive SOX11 gene expression and epigenetic study in stem cells, normal hematopoietic cells and different lymphoid neoplasms. We observed that SOX11 expression is associated with unmethylated DNA and presence of activating histone marks (H3K9/14Ac and H3K4me3) in embryonic stem cells and some aggressive B-cell neoplasms. In contrast, adult stem cells, normal hematopoietic cells and other lymphoid neoplasms do not express SOX11. Such repression was associated with silencing histone marks H3K9me2 and H3K27me3. The SOX11 promoter of non-malignant cells was consistently unmethylated whereas lymphoid neoplasms with silenced SOX11 tended to acquire DNA hypermethylation. SOX11 silencing in cell lines was reversed by the histone deacetylase inhibitor SAHA but not by the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor AZA. These data indicate that, although DNA hypermethylation of SOX11 is frequent in lymphoid neoplasms, it seems to be functionally inert, as SOX11 is already silenced in the hematopoietic system. In contrast, the pathogenic role of SOX11 is associated with its de novo expression in some aggressive lymphoid malignancies, which is mediated by a shift from inactivating to activating histone modifications.