Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is characterized by overexpression of EGFR and loss of the tumor suppressors Ink4a/Arf. Efforts at modeling GBM using wild-type EGFR in mice have proven unsuccessful. Here, we present a unique mouse model of wild-type EGFR-driven gliomagenesis. We used a combination of somatic conditional overexpression and ligand-mediated chronic activation of EGFR in cooperation with Ink4a/Arf loss in the CNS of adult mice to generate tumors with the histopathological and molecular characteristics of human GBMs. Sustained, ligand-mediated activation of EGFR was necessary for gliomagenesis, functionally substantiating the clinical observation that EGFR-positive GBMs from patients express EGFR ligands. To gain a better understanding of the clinically disappointing EGFR targeted therapies for GBM, we investigated the molecular responses to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment in this model. Gefitinib treatment of primary GBM cells resulted in a robust apoptotic response, partially conveyed by MAPK signaling attenuation and accompanied by BIMEL expression. In human GBMs, loss-of-function mutations in the tumor suppressor PTEN are a common occurrence. Elimination of PTEN expression in GBM cells post-tumor formation did not confer resistance to TKI treatment, demonstrating that PTEN status in our model is not predictive. Together, these findings offer important mechanistic insights into the genetic determinants of EGFR gliomagenesis and sensitivity to TKIs and provide a robust discovery platform to better understand the molecular events that are associated with predictive markers of TKI therapy.
Ras-driven tumors are often refractory to conventional therapies. Here we identify a promising targeted therapeutic strategy for two Ras-driven cancers: Nf1-deficient malignancies and KRas/p53-mutant lung cancer. We show that agents that enhance proteotoxic stress, including the HSP90 inhibitor IPI-504, induce tumor regression in aggressive mouse models, but only when combined with rapamycin. These agents synergize by promoting irresolvable ER stress, resulting in catastrophic ER and mitochondrial damage. This process is fueled by oxidative stress, which is caused by IPI-504-dependent production of reactive oxygen species, and the rapamycin-dependent suppression of glutathione, an important endogenous antioxidant. Notably, the mechanism by which these agents cooperate reveals a therapeutic paradigm that can be expanded to develop additional combinations.
Intrinsic stress response pathways are frequently mobilized within tumor cells. The mediators of these adaptive mechanisms and how they contribute to carcinogenesis remain poorly understood. A striking example is heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), master transcriptional regulator of the heat shock response. Surprisingly, we found that loss of the tumor suppressor gene neurofibromatosis type 1 (Nf1) increased HSF1 levels and triggered its activation in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. As a consequence, Nf1–/– cells acquired tolerance to proteotoxic stress. This activation of HSF1 depended on dysregulated MAPK signaling. HSF1, in turn, supported MAPK signaling. In mice, Hsf1 deficiency impeded NF1-associated carcinogenesis by attenuating oncogenic RAS/MAPK signaling. In cell lines from human malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) driven by NF1 loss, HSF1 was overexpressed and activated, which was required for tumor cell viability. In surgical resections of human MPNSTs, HSF1 was overexpressed, translocated to the nucleus, and phosphorylated. These findings reveal a surprising biological consequence of NF1 deficiency: activation of HSF1 and ensuing addiction to this master regulator of the heat shock response. The loss of NF1 function engages an evolutionarily conserved cellular survival mechanism that ultimately impairs survival of the whole organism by facilitating carcinogenesis.
Myeloid sarcomas are extramedullary accumulations of immature myeloid cells that may present with or without evidence of pathologic involvement of the bone marrow or peripheral blood, and often coincide with or precede a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). A dearth of experimental models has hampered the study of myeloid sarcomas and led us to establish a new system in which tumor induction can be evaluated in an easily accessible non-hematopoietic tissue compartment. Using ex-vivo transduction of oncogenic Kras(G12V) into p16/p19−/− bone marrow cells, we generated transplantable leukemia-initiating cells that rapidly induced tumor formation in the skeletal muscle of immunocompromised NOD.SCID mice. In this model, murine histiocytic sarcomas, equivalent to human myeloid sarcomas, emerged at the injection site 30–50 days after cell implantation and consisted of tightly packed monotypic cells that were CD48+, CD47+ and Mac1+, with low or absent expression of other hematopoietic lineage markers. Tumor cells also infiltrated the bone marrow, spleen and other non-hematopoietic organs of tumor-bearing animals, leading to systemic illness (leukemia) within two weeks of tumor detection. P16/p19−/−; Kras(G12V) myeloid sarcomas were multi-clonal, with dominant clones selected during secondary transplantation. The systemic leukemic phenotypes exhibited by histiocytic sarcoma-bearing mice were nearly identical to those of animals in which leukemia was introduced by intravenous transplantation of the same donor cells. Moreover, murine histiocytic sarcoma could be similarly induced by intramuscular injection of MLL-AF9 leukemia cells. This study establishes a novel, transplantable model of murine histiocytic/myeloid sarcoma that recapitulates the natural progression of these malignancies to systemic disease and indicates a cell autonomous leukemogenic mechanism.
Neuronal loss and axonal degeneration are important pathological features of many neurodegenerative diseases. The molecular mechanisms underlying the majority of axonal degeneration conditions remain unknown. To better understand axonal degeneration, we studied a mouse mutant wabbler-lethal (wl). Wabbler-lethal (wl) mutant mice develop progressive ataxia with pronounced neurodegeneration in the central and peripheral nervous system. Previous studies have led to a debate as to whether myelinopathy or axonopathy is the primary cause of neurodegeneration observed in wl mice. Here we provide clear evidence that wabbler-lethal mutants develop an axonopathy, and that this axonopathy is modulated by Wlds and Bax mutations. In addition, we have identified the gene harboring the disease-causing mutations as Atp8a2. We studied three wl alleles and found that all result from mutations in the Atp8a2 gene. Our analysis shows that ATP8A2 possesses phosphatidylserine translocase activity and is involved in localization of phosphatidylserine to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. Atp8a2 is widely expressed in the brain, spinal cord, and retina. We assessed two of the mutant alleles of Atp8a2 and found they are both nonfunctional for the phosphatidylserine translocase activity. Thus, our data demonstrate for the first time that mutation of a mammalian phosphatidylserine translocase causes axon degeneration and neurodegenerative disease.
Axonal degeneration is an important pathological feature of many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In most of these disease conditions, molecular mechanisms of axonal degeneration remain largely unknown. Spontaneous mouse mutants are important in human disease studies. Identification of a disease-causing gene in mice can lead to the identification of the human ortholog as the disease gene in humans. This approach has the power to identify unexpected genes and pathways involved in disease. Our study centered on wabbler lethal (wl) mutant mice, which display axonal degeneration in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. We identified the disease-causing gene in mice with different wl mutations. The mutations are in Atp8a2, a gene encoding a phosphatidylserine translocase. This protein functions to keep phosphatidylserine enriched to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. Our study demonstrates a new role for phospholipid asymmetry in maintaining axon health, and it also reveals a novel function for phosphatidyleserine translocase in neurodegenerative diseases.
In epidemiologic studies, high intake of β-cryptoxanthin has been associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer, particularly among current smokers. However, data are not available from well-controlled animal studies to examine the effects of β-cryptoxanthin on cigarette smoke-induced lung lesions, and the biological mechanisms by which β-cryptoxanthin might affect lung carcinogenesis. We evaluated the effects of β-cryptoxanthin supplementation on cigarette smoke-induced squamous metaplasia, inflammation, and changes in protein levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine [tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα)] and transcription factors [nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1)], as well as on smoke-induced oxidative DNA damage [8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG)] in the lung tissue of ferrets. Thirty six male ferrets were assigned to cigarette smoke exposure or no exposure and to low-dose, or high-dose β-cryptoxanthin, or no dose (2 × 3 factorial design) for 3 months. β-Cryptoxanthin supplementation dose-dependently increased plasma and lung β-cryptoxanthin levels in ferrets, whereas cigarette smoke exposure lowered plasma and lung β-cryptoxanthin levels. β-Cryptoxanthin at both doses significantly decreased smoke-induced lung squamous metaplasia and inflammation. β-Cryptoxanthin also substantially reduced smoke-elevated TNFα levels in alveolar, bronchial, bronchiolar and bronchial serous/mucous gland epithelial cells and in lung macrophages. Moreover, β-cryptoxanthin decreased smoke-induced activation of NF-κB, expression of AP-1 and levels of 8-OHdG. The beneficial effects of β-cryptoxanthin were stronger for high-dose β-cryptoxanthin than for low-dose β-cryptoxanthin. Data from this study indicate that β-cryptoxanthin provides a beneficial effect against cigarette smoke-induced inflammation, oxidative DNA damage and squamous metaplasia in the lungs.
cigarette smoke; β-cryptoxanthin; lung inflammation; squamous metaplasia
Cancer cell-of-origin is difficult to identify by analyzing cells within terminal-stage tumors, whose identity could be concealed by the acquired plasticity. Thus an ideal approach to identify the cell-of-origin is to analyze proliferative abnormalities in distinct lineages prior to malignancy. Here we use Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers (MADM) in mice to model gliomagenesis by initiating concurrent p53/Nf1 mutations sporadically in neural stem cells (NSCs). Surprisingly, MADM-based lineage tracing revealed significant aberrant growth prior to malignancy only in oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), but not in any other NSC-derived lineages or NSCs themselves. Upon tumor formation, phenotypic and transcriptome analyses of tumor cells revealed salient OPC features. Finally, introducing the same p53/Nf1 mutations directly into OPCs consistently led to gliomagenesis. Our findings suggest OPCs as the cell-of-origin in this model even when initial mutations occur in NSCs, and highlight the importance of analyzing pre-malignant stages to identify the cancer cell-of-origin.
AvR2-V10.3 is an engineered R-type pyocin that specifically kills Escherichia coli O157, an enteric pathogen that is a major cause of food-borne diarrheal disease. New therapeutics to counteract E. coli O157 are needed, as currently available antibiotics can exacerbate the consequences of infection. We show here that orogastric administration of AvR2-V10.3 can prevent or ameliorate E. coli O157:H7-induced diarrhea and intestinal inflammation in an infant rabbit model of infection when the compound is administered either in a postexposure prophylactic regimen or after the onset of symptoms. Notably, administration of AvR2-V10.3 also reduces bacterial carriage and fecal shedding of this pathogen. Our findings support the further development of pathogen-specific R-type pyocins as a way to treat enteric infections.
The naked mole rat (NMR, Heterocephalus glaber) is a strictly subterranean, extraordinarily long-lived eusocial mammal1. Although the size of a mouse, its maximum lifespan exceeds 30 years and makes this animal the longest living rodent. NMRs show negligible senescence, no age-related increase in mortality, and high fecundity until death2. In addition to delayed aging, NMRs are resistant to both spontaneous cancer and experimentally induced tumorigenesis3,4. NMRs pose a challenge to the theories that link aging, cancer and redox homeostasis. Although characterized by significant oxidative stress5, the NMR proteome does not show age-related susceptibility to oxidative damage nor increased ubiquitination6. NMRs naturally reside in large colonies with a single breeding female, the “queen,” who suppresses the sexual maturity of her subordinates11. NMRs also live in full darkness, at low oxygen and high carbon dioxide concentrations7, and are unable to sustain thermogenesis8 nor feel certain types of pain9,10. Here we report sequencing and analysis of the NMR genome, which revealed unique genome features and molecular adaptations consistent with cancer resistance, poikilothermy, hairlessness, altered visual function, circadian rhythms and taste sensing, and insensitivity to low oxygen. This information provides insights into NMR’s exceptional longevity and capabilities to live in hostile conditions, in the dark and at low oxygen. The extreme traits of NMR, together with the reported genome and transcriptome information, offer unprecedented opportunities for understanding aging and advancing many other areas of biological and biomedical research.
The subventricular zone (SVZ) of the brain constitutes a niche for neural stem and progenitor cells that can initiate repair after central nervous system (CNS) injury. In a relapsingremitting model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the neural stem cells (NSCs) become activated and initiate regeneration during acute disease, but lose this ability during the chronic phases of disease. We hypothesized that chronic microglia activation contributes to the failure of the NSC repair potential in the SVZ.
Using BrdU injections at different time points during EAE, we quantified the number of proliferating and differentiating progenitors, and evaluated the structure of the SVZ by electron microscopy. In vivo minocycline treatment during EAE was used to address the effect of microglia inactivation on SVZ dysfunction
In vivo treatment with minocycline, an inhibitor of microglia activation, increases stem cell proliferation in both naïve and EAE animals. Minocycline treatment decreases cortical and periventricular pathology in the chronic phase of EAE, improving the proliferation of Sox2 stem cells and NG2 oligodendrocyte precursors cells originating in the SVZ and their differentiation into mature oligodendrocytes.
These data suggest that failure of repair observed during chronic EAE correlates with microglia activation and that treatments targeting chronic microglial activation have the potential for enhancing repair in the CNS.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a leading cause of seafood-borne gastroenteritis in many parts of the world, but there is limited knowledge of the pathogenesis of V. parahaemolyticus-induced diarrhea. The absence of an oral infection-based small animal model to study V. parahaemolyticus intestinal colonization and disease has constrained analyses of the course of infection and the factors that mediate it. Here, we demonstrate that infant rabbits oro-gastrically inoculated with V. parahaemolyticus develop severe diarrhea and enteritis, the main clinical and pathologic manifestations of disease in infected individuals. The pathogen principally colonizes the distal small intestine, and this colonization is dependent upon type III secretion system 2. The distal small intestine is also the major site of V. parahaemolyticus-induced tissue damage, reduced epithelial barrier function, and inflammation, suggesting that disease in this region of the gastrointestinal tract accounts for most of the diarrhea that accompanies V. parahaemolyticus infection. Infection appears to proceed through a characteristic sequence of steps that includes remarkable elongation of microvilli and the formation of V. parahaemolyticus-filled cavities within the epithelial surface, and culminates in villus disruption. Both depletion of epithelial cell cytoplasm and epithelial cell extrusion contribute to formation of the cavities in the epithelial surface. V. parahaemolyticus also induces proliferation of epithelial cells and recruitment of inflammatory cells, both of which occur before wide-spread damage to the epithelium is evident. Collectively, our findings suggest that V. parahaemolyticus damages the host intestine and elicits disease via previously undescribed processes and mechanisms.
The marine bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a leading cause worldwide of gastroenteritis linked to the consumption of contaminated seafood. Despite the prevalence of V. parahaemolyticus-induced gastroenteritis, there is limited understanding of how this pathogen causes disease in the intestine. In part, the paucity of knowledge results from the absence of an oral infection-based animal model of the human disease. We developed a simple oral infection-based infant rabbit model of V. parahaemolyticus-induced intestinal pathology and diarrhea. This experimental model enabled us to define several previously unknown but key features of the pathology elicited by this organism. We found that V. parahaemolyticus chiefly colonizes the distal small intestine and that the organism's second type III secretion system is essential for colonization. The epithelial surface of the distal small intestine is also the major site of V. parahaemolyticus-induced damage, which arises via a characteristic sequence of events culminating in the formation of V. parahaemolyticus-filled cavities in the epithelial surface. This experimental model will transform future studies aimed at deciphering the bacterial and host factors/processes that contribute to disease, as well as enable testing of new therapeutics to prevent and/or combat infection.
Homologous recombination (HR)-defective cells, such as those lacking BRCA1/2, are hypersensitive to poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibition. However, BRCA-deficient tumors represent only a small fraction of adult cancers, potentially restricting the therapeutic utility of PARP inhibitor monotherapy. We previously showed that cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk)1 phosphorylates BRCA1, an event essential for efficient BRCA1 focus formation. Here, we show that cdk1 depletion or inhibition compromises the cellular capacity to repair DNA by HR. Combined cdk1 and PARP inhibition in BRCA wild-type cancer cells results in reduced colony formation, delayed human tumor xenograft growth and tumor regression with prolonged survival in a mouse lung adenocarcinoma model. Cdk1 inhibition did not sensitize non-transformed cells or tissues to PARP inhibition. Because reduced cdk1 activity impairs BRCA1 function and HR repair, cdk1 inhibition represents a plausible strategy for expanding the utility of PARP inhibitors to the BRCA-proficient cancer population.
Lung adenocarcinoma is a frequently diagnosed cancer type and a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. We recently demonstrated in an autochthonous mouse model of this disease that genetic inhibition of the NF-κB pathway affects both the initiation and maintenance of lung cancer, identifying this pathway as a promising therapeutic target. In this study, we tested the efficacy of small molecule NF-κB inhibitors in mouse models of lung cancer. In murine lung adenocarcinoma cell lines with high NF-κB activity, the proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib efficiently reduced nuclear p65, repressed NF-κB target genes and rapidly induced apoptosis. Bortezomib also induced lung tumor regression in vivo and prolonged the survival of tumor bearing KrasLSL-G12D/wt;p53flox/flox mice. In contrast, KrasG12D/wt lung tumors, which have low levels of nuclear NF-κB, do not respond to Bortezomib, suggesting that nuclear NF-κB may be a biomarker to predict treatment response to drugs of this class. Following repeated treatment, initially sensitive lung tumors became resistant to Bortezomib. A second NF-κB inhibitor, Bay-117082, showed similar therapeutic efficacy and acquired-resistance in mice. Our results using preclinical mouse models support the NF-κB pathway as a potential therapeutic target for a defined subset of lung adenocarcinoma.
Secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC, also known as osteonectin or BM-40) is a glycoprotein component of the extracellular matrix that has been reported to be involved with a variety of cellular processes. Although SPARC expression levels are frequently altered in a variety of tumor types, the exact implications of deregulated SPARC expression — whether it promotes, inhibits or has no effect on tumor progression — have remained unclear. Our recent gene expression analyses have shown that SPARC is significantly downregulated in highly metastatic human prostate cancer cells. To test the role of endogenous SPARC in tumorigenesis directly, we examined cancer progression and metastasis in SPARC+/− and SPARC−/− mice using two separate transgenic mouse tumor models: transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) and murine mammary tumor virus-polyoma middle T (MMTV-PyMT). Surprisingly, in both instances, we found that loss of SPARC had no significant effects on tumor initiation, progression or metastasis. Tumor angiogenesis and collagen deposition were also largely unaffected. Our results indicate that, although differential SPARC expression may be a useful marker of aggressive, metastasis-prone tumors, loss of SPARC is not sufficient either to promote or to inhibit cancer progression in two spontaneous mouse tumor models.
SPARC; prostate cancer; breast cancer; metastasis; TRAMP; PyMT-MMTV
Subimmunogenic vaccination with an agonist mimetope of insulin converts naive T cells into regulatory T cells and prevents type 1 diabetes in NOD mice.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) results from the destruction of insulin-secreting pancreatic β cells by autoreactive T cells. Insulin is an essential target of the autoimmune attack. Insulin epitopes recognized by diabetogenic T cell clones bind poorly to the class II I-Ag7 molecules of nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, which results in weak agonistic activity of the peptide MHC complex. Here, we describe a strongly agonistic insulin mimetope that effectively converts naive T cells into Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in vivo, thereby completely preventing T1D in NOD mice. In contrast, natural insulin epitopes are ineffective. Subimmunogenic vaccination with strongly agonistic insulin mimetopes might represent a novel strategy to prevent T1D in humans at risk for the disease.
Mutations in the gene encoding the immunoglobulin-superfamily member cell adhesion molecule contactin1 (CNTN1) cause lethal congenital myopathy in human patients and neurodevelopmental phenotypes in knockout mice. Whether the mutant mice provide an accurate model of the human disease is unclear; resolving this will require additional functional tests of the neuromuscular system and examination of Cntn1 mutations on different genetic backgrounds that may influence the phenotype. Toward these ends, we have analyzed a new, spontaneous mutation in the mouse Cntn1 gene that arose in a BALB/c genetic background. The overt phenotype is very similar to the knockout of Cntn1, with affected animals having reduced body weight, a failure to thrive, locomotor abnormalities, and a lifespan of 2–3 weeks. Mice homozygous for the new allele have CNTN1 protein undetectable by western blotting, suggesting that it is a null or very severe hypomorph. In an analysis of neuromuscular function, neuromuscular junctions had normal morphology, consistent with previous studies in knockout mice, and the muscles were able to generate appropriate force when normalized for their reduced size in late stage animals. Therefore, the Cntn1 mutant mice do not show evidence for a myopathy, but instead the phenotype is likely to be caused by dysfunction in the nervous system. Given the similarity of CNTN1 to other Ig-superfamily proteins such as DSCAMs, we also characterized the expression and localization of Cntn1 in the retinas of mutant mice for developmental defects. Despite widespread expression, no anomalies in retinal anatomy were detected histologically or using a battery of cell-type specific antibodies. We therefore conclude that the phenotype of the Cntn1 mice arises from dysfunction in the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nervous system, and is similar in either a BALB/c or B6;129;Black Swiss background, raising a possible discordance between the mouse and human phenotypes resulting from Cntn1 mutations.
Despite the high prevalence and poor outcome of patients with metastatic lung cancer, the mechanisms of tumour progression and metastasis remain largely uncharacterized. We modelled human lung adenocarcinoma, which frequently harbours activating point mutations in KRAS1 and inactivation of the p53-pathway2, using conditional alleles in mice3–5. Lentiviral-mediated somatic activation of oncogenic Kras and deletion of p53 in the lung epithelial cells of KrasLSL-G12D/+;p53flox/flox mice initiates lung adenocarcinoma development4. Although tumours are initiated synchronously by defined genetic alterations, only a subset become malignant, suggesting that disease progression requires additional alterations. Identification of the lentiviral integration sites allowed us to distinguish metastatic from non-metastatic tumours and determine the gene expression alterations that distinguish these tumour types. Cross-species analysis identified the NK-2 related homeobox transcription factor Nkx2-1 (Ttf-1/Titf1) as a candidate suppressor of malignant progression. In this mouse model, Nkx2-1-negativity is pathognomonic of high-grade poorly differentiated tumours. Gain-and loss-of-function experiments in cells derived from metastatic and non-metastatic tumours demonstrated that Nkx2-1 controls tumour differentiation and limits metastatic potential in vivo. Interrogation of Nkx2-1 regulated genes, analysis of tumours at defined developmental stages, and functional complementation experiments indicate that Nkx2-1 constrains tumours in part by repressing the embryonically-restricted chromatin regulator Hmga2. While focal amplification of NKX2-1 in a fraction of human lung adenocarcinomas has focused attention on its oncogenic function6–9, our data specifically link Nkx2-1 downregulation to loss of differentiation, enhanced tumour seeding ability, and increased metastatic proclivity. Thus, the oncogenic and suppressive functions of Nkx2-1 in the same tumour type substantiate its role as a dual function lineage factor.
PI3K plays a critical role in tumorigenesis and the PI3K p85 regulatory subunit exerts both positive and negative effects on signaling. Expression of Pik3r1, the gene encoding p85, is decreased in human prostate, lung, ovarian, bladder and liver cancers consistent with the possibility that p85 has tumor suppressor properties. We tested this hypothesis by studying mice with a liver-specific deletion of the Pik3r1 gene. These mice exhibited enhanced insulin and growth factor signaling and progressive changes in hepatic pathology, leading to the development of aggressive hepatocellular carcinomas with pulmonary metastases. Liver tumors that arose exhibited a markedly elevated level of phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3), along with Akt activation and and decreased PTEN expression, at both the mRNA and protein levels. Together, these results substantiate the concept that the p85 subunit of PI3K has a tumor suppressive role in the liver and possibly other tissues.
liver; hepatocellular carcinoma; phosphoinositide 3-kinase; p85 subunit; tumor suppressor; PTEN; conditional gene inactivation
To examine the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 in treatment of PIK3CA wild-type colorectal cancer (CRC).
PIK3CA mutant and wild-type human CRC cell lines were treated in vitro with NVP-BEZ235, and the resulting effects on proliferation, apoptosis, and signaling were assessed. Colonic tumors from a genetically engineered mouse (GEM) model for sporadic wild-type PIK3CA CRC were treated in vivo with NVP-BEZ235. The resulting effects on macroscopic tumor growth/regression, proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and signaling were examined.
In vitro treatment of CRC cell lines with NVP-BEZ235 resulted in transient PI3K blockade, sustained decreases in mTORC1/mTORC2 signaling, and a corresponding decrease in cell viability (median IC50 = 9.0–14.3 nM). Similar effects were seen in paired isogenic CRC cell lines that differed only in the presence or absence of an activating PIK3CA mutant allele. In vivo treatment of colonic tumor-bearing mice with NVP-BEZ235 resulted in transient PI3K inhibition and sustained blockade of mTORC1/mTORC2 signaling. Longitudinal tumor surveillance by optical colonoscopy demonstrated a 97% increase in tumor size in control mice (p = 0.01) vs. a 43% decrease (p = 0.008) in treated mice. Ex vivo analysis of the NVP-BEZ235-treated tumors demonstrated a 56% decrease in proliferation (p = 0.003), no effects on apoptosis, and a 75% reduction in angiogenesis (p = 0.013).
These studies provide the preclinical rationale for studies examining the efficacy of the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 in treatment of PIK3CA wild-type CRC.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) has an abysmal prognosis. We now know that the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway along with loss of function of the tumor suppressor genes p16Ink4a/p19ARF and PTEN play a crucial role in GBM pathogenesis: initiating the early stages of tumor development, sustaining tumor growth, promoting infiltration and mediating resistance to therapy. We have recently demonstrated that this genetic combination is sufficient to promote the development of GBM in adult mice. Therapeutic agents raised against single targets of the EGFR signaling pathway have proven rather inefficient in GBM therapy, demonstrating the need for combinatorial therapeutic approaches. An effective strategy for concurrent disruption of multiple signaling pathways is via the inhibition of the molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90). Hsp90 inhibition leads to the degradation of so-called client proteins of which many are key effectors of GBM pathogenesis. NXD30001 is a novel second generation Hsp90 inhibitor that demonstrates improved pharmacokinetic parameters. Here we demonstrate that NXD30001 is a potent inhibitor of GBM cell growth in vitro consistent with its capacity to inhibit several key targets and regulators of GBM biology. We also demonstrate the efficacy of NXD30001 in vivo in an EGFR driven genetically engineered mouse model of GBM. Our findings establish that the Hsp90 inhibitor NXD30001 is a therapeutically multivalent molecule, whose actions strike GBM at the core of its drivers of tumorigenesis and represent a compelling rationale for its use in GBM treatment.
mouse glioblastoma; Hsp90; inhibitor; therapy
Neoantigens derived from somatic mutations in tumors may provide a critical link between the adaptive immune system and cancer. Here we describe a system to introduce exogenous antigens into genetically engineered mouse lung cancers to mimic tumor neoantigens. We show that endogenous T cells respond to and infiltrate tumors, significantly delaying malignant progression. Despite continued antigen expression, T cell infiltration does not persist and tumors ultimately escape immune attack. Transplantation of cell lines derived from these lung tumors or prophylactic vaccination against the autochthonous tumors, however, results in rapid tumor eradication or selection of tumors that lose antigen expression. These results provide insight into the dynamic nature of the immune response to naturally arising tumors.
Background & Aims
Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) underlies 5%–11% of cases of chronic pancreatitis. An association between AIP and the HLA-DRB1* 0405/DQB1*0401 haplotype has been reported, but linkage disequilibrium has precluded the identification of predisposing HLA gene(s). We studied the role of single HLA genes in the development of AIP in transgenic mice.
CD4+ T cell-negative I-Aβ chain−/− (Ab0) mice develop AIP spontaneously, likely due to dysregulation of CD8+ T cell responses. We generated Ab0 NOD mice transgenic for HLA-DR*0405, leading to rescue of CD4+ T cells; we compared their susceptibility to AIP with HLA-DQ8 or HLA-DR* 0401 (single) transgenic, or HLA-DR*0405/DQ8 (double) transgenic mice.
CD4+ T cell-competent HLA-DR*0405 transgenic Ab0 NOD mice develop AIP with high prevalence after sublethal irradiation and adoptive transfer of CD90+ T cells, leading to complete pancreatic atrophy. HLA-DR* 0405 transgenic mice can also develop unprovoked AIP, whereas HLA-DR* 0401, HLA-DQ8 and HLA-DR*0405/DQ8 transgenic Ab0 NOD controls all remained normal, even after irradiation and adoptive transfer of CD90+ T cells. Pancreas histology in HLA-DR*0405 transgenic mice was characterized by destructive infiltration of the exocrine tissue with CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, B cells and macrophages. Mice with complete pancreatic atrophy lost weight, developed fat stools, and had reduced levels of serum lipase activity.
Since HLA-DR*0405 expression fails to protect mice from AIP, the HLA-DRB1*0405 allele appears to be an important risk factor for AIP on the HLA-DRB1*0405/DQB1*0401 haplotype. This humanized mouse model should be useful for studying immunopathogenesis, diagnostic markers, and therapy of human AIP.
Autoimmune pancreatitis; HLA-DR*0405; CD4+ T cells; immune regulation
This manuscript reports on five cases of spontaneous myelogenous leukemia, similar to human disease, occurring within highly inbred, histocompatible sublines of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) MHC-defined miniature swine. In cases where a neoplasm was suspected based on clinical observations, samples were obtained for complete blood count, peripheral blood smear, and flow cytometric analysis. Animals confirmed to have neoplasms were euthanized and underwent necropsy. Histological samples were obtained from abnormal tissues and suspect lesions. The phenotype of the malignancies was assessed by flow cytometric analysis of processed peripheral blood mononuclear cells and affected tissues. Five cases of spontaneous myeloid leukemia were identified in adult animals older than 30 months of age. All animals presented with symptoms of weight loss, lethargy, and marked leukocytosis. At autopsy, all animals had systemic disease involvement and presented with severe hepatosplenomegaly. Three of the five myelogenous leukemias have successfully been expanded in vitro. The clustered incidence of disease in this closed herd suggests that genetic factors may be contributing to disease development. Myelogenous leukemia cell lines established from inbred sublines of MGH MHC-defined miniature swine have the potential to be utilized as a model to evaluate therapies of human leukemia.
Cholera is a severe diarrheal disease typically caused by O1 serogroup strains of Vibrio cholerae. The pathogenicity of all pandemic V. cholerae O1 strains relies on two critical virulence factors: cholera toxin, a potent enterotoxin, and toxin coregulated pilus (TCP), an intestinal colonization factor. However, certain non-O1, non-O139 V. cholerae strains, such as AM-19226, do not produce cholera toxin or TCP, yet they still cause severe diarrhea. The molecular basis for the pathogenicity of non-O1, non-O139 V. cholerae has not been extensively characterized, but many of these strains encode related type III secretion systems (TTSSs). Here, we used infant rabbits to assess the contribution of the TTSS to non-O1, non-O139 V. cholerae pathogenicity. We found that all animals infected with wild-type AM-19226 developed severe diarrhea even more rapidly than rabbits infected with V. cholerae O1. Unlike V. cholerae O1 strains, which do not damage the intestinal epithelium in rabbits or humans, AM-19226 caused marked disruptions of the epithelial surface in the rabbit small intestine. TTSS proved to be essential for AM-19226 virulence in infant rabbits; an AM-19226 derivative deficient for TTSS did not elicit diarrhea, colonize the intestine, or induce pathological changes in the intestine. Deletion of either one of the two previously identified or two newly identified AM-19226 TTSS effectors reduced but did not eliminate AM-19226 pathogenicity, suggesting that at least four effectors contribute to this strain’s virulence. In aggregate, our results suggest that the TTSS-dependent virulence in non-O1, non-O139 V. cholerae represents a new type of diarrheagenic mechanism.
Cholera, which is caused by Vibrio cholerae, is an important cause of diarrheal disease in many developing countries. The mechanisms of virulence of nonpandemic strains that can cause a diarrheal illness are poorly understood. AM-19226, like several other pathogenic, nonpandemic V. cholerae strains, carries genes that encode a type III secretion system (TTSS), but not cholera toxin (CT) or toxin coregulated pilus (TCP). In this study, we used infant rabbits to study AM-19226 virulence. Infant rabbits orally inoculated with this strain rapidly developed a fatal diarrheal disease, which was accompanied by marked disruptions of the intestinal epithelium. This strain’s TTSS proved essential for its pathogenicity, and there was no diarrhea, intestinal pathology, or colonization in rabbits infected with a TTSS mutant. The effector proteins translocated by the TTSS all appear to contribute to AM-19226 virulence. Thus, our study provides insight into in vivo mechanisms by which a novel TTSS contributes to diarrheal disease caused by nonpandemic strains of V. cholerae.
Tumourigenesis is a multistep process that results from the sequential accumulation of mutations in key oncogene and tumour suppressor pathways. Personalized cancer therapy that is based on targeting these underlying genetic abnormalities presupposes that sustained inactivation of tumour suppressors and activation of oncogenes is essential in advanced cancers. Mutations in the p53 tumour-suppressor pathway are common in human cancer and significant efforts toward pharmaceutical reactivation of defective p53 pathways are underway1–3. Here we show that restoration of p53 in established murine lung tumours leads to significant but incomplete tumour cell loss specifically in malignant adenocarcinomas but not in adenomas. We define amplification of MAPK signaling as a critical determinant of malignant progression and also a stimulator of Arf tumour-suppressor expression. The response to p53 restoration in this context is critically dependent on the expression of Arf. We propose that p53 not only limits malignant progression by suppressing the acquisition of alterations that lead to tumour progression, but also, in the context of p53 restoration, responds to increased oncogenic signaling to mediate tumor regression. Our observations also underscore that the p53 pathway is not engaged by low levels of oncogene activity that are sufficient for early stages of lung tumour development. These data suggest that restoration of pathways important in tumour progression, as opposed to initiation, may lead to incomplete tumour regression due to the stage-heterogeneity of tumour cell populations.