We report that two oncogenes co-amplified on chromosome 3q26, PRKCI and SOX2, cooperate to drive a stem-like phenotype in lung squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC). PKCι phosphorylates SOX2, a master transcriptional regulator of stemness, and recruits it to the promoter of Hedgehog Acyl Transferase (HHAT), which catalyzes the rate-limiting step in Hh ligand production. PKCι-mediated SOX2 phosphorylation is required for HHAT promoter occupancy, HHAT expression, and maintenance of a stem-like phenotype. Primary LSCC tumors coordinately overexpress PKCι, SOX2, and HHAT, and require PKCι-SOX2-HHAT signaling to maintain a stem-like phenotype. Thus, PKCι and SOX2 are genetically, biochemically and functionally linked in LSCC, and together they drive tumorigenesis by establishing a cell autonomous Hh signaling axis.
Protein Kinase Cι; SOX2; 3q26 amplification; Hedgehog signaling; proliferation; transformed growth; LSCC tumor initiation; clonal expansion
During activation of smooth muscle contraction, one myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) molecule rapidly phosphorylates many smooth muscle myosin (SMM) molecules, suggesting that muscle activation rates are influenced by the kinetics of MLCK-SMM interactions. To determine the rate-limiting step underlying activation of SMM by MLCK, we measured the kinetics of calcium-calmodulin (Ca2+-CaM)-MLCK-mediated SMM phosphorylation and the corresponding initiation of SMM-based F-actin motility in an in vitro system with SMM attached to a coverslip surface. Fitting the time course of SMM phosphorylation to a kinetic model gave an initial phosphorylation rate, kpo, of ~1.17 heads s−1·MLCK−1. Also we measured the dwell time of single QD-labeled MLCK molecules interacting with surface-attached SMM and phosphorylated SMM using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. From these data, the dissociation rate constant from phosphorylated SMM was 0.80 s−1, which was similar to kpo mentioned above and with rates measured in solution. This dissociation rate was essentially independent of the phosphorylation state of SMM. From calculations using our measured dissociation rates and Kds, and estimates of [SMM] and [MLCK] in muscle, we predict that the dissociation of MLCK from phosphorylated SMM is rate-limiting and that the rate of the phosphorylation step is faster than this dissociation rate. Also, association to SMM (11-46 s−1) would be much faster than to pSMM (<0.1-0.2 s−1). This suggests that the probability of MLCK interacting with unphosphorylated versus pSMM is 55-460 times greater. This would avoid sequestering MLCK to unproductive interactions with previously phosphorylated SMM, potentially leading to faster rates of phosphorylation in muscle.
smooth muscle myosin; smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase; single molecule kinetics; total internal reflection microscopy; phosphorylation rate
Computational analysis of human adenovirus type 4 (HAdV-E4), a pathogen that is the only HAdV member of species E, provides insights into its zoonotic origin and molecular adaptation. Its genome encodes a domain of the major capsid protein, hexon, from HAdV-B16 recombined into the genome chassis of a simian adenovirus. Genomes of two recent field strains provide a clue to its adaptation to the new host: recombination of a NF-I binding site motif, which is required for efficient viral replication, from another HAdV genome. This motif is absent in the chimpanzee adenoviruses and the HAdV-E4 prototype, but is conserved amongst other HAdVs. This is the first report of an interspecies recombination event for HAdVs, and the first documentation of a lateral partial gene transfer from a chimpanzee AdV. The potential for such recombination events are important when considering chimpanzee adenoviruses as candidate gene delivery vectors for human patients.
Adenovirus; Molecular evolution; Recombination; Zoonosis
The myogenic response has a critical role in regulation of blood flow to the brain. Increased intraluminal pressure elicits vasoconstriction, whereas decreased intraluminal pressure induces vasodilatation, thereby maintaining flow constant over the normal physiologic blood pressure range. Improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the myogenic response is crucial to identify deficiencies with pathologic consequences, such as cerebral vasospasm, hypertension, and stroke, and to identify potential therapeutic targets. Three mechanisms have been suggested to be involved in the myogenic response: (1) membrane depolarization, which induces Ca2+ entry, activation of myosin light chain kinase, phosphorylation of the myosin regulatory light chains (LC20), increased actomyosin MgATPase activity, cross-bridge cycling, and vasoconstriction; (2) activation of the RhoA/Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) pathway, leading to inhibition of myosin light chain phosphatase by phosphorylation of MYPT1, the myosin targeting regulatory subunit of the phosphatase, and increased LC20 phosphorylation; and (3) activation of the ROCK and protein kinase C pathways, leading to actin polymerization and the formation of enhanced connections between the actin cytoskeleton, plasma membrane, and extracellular matrix to augment force transmission. This review describes these three mechanisms, emphasizing recent developments regarding the importance of dynamic actin polymerization in the myogenic response of the cerebral vasculature.
actin polymerization; calcium sensitization; myogenic response; myosin light chain phosphorylation; Rho-associated kinase
For DNA viruses, genetic recombination, addition, and deletion represent important evolutionary mechanisms. Since these genetic alterations can lead to new, possibly severe pathogens, we applied a systems biology approach to study the pathogenicity of a novel human adenovirus with a naturally occurring deletion of the canonical penton base Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) loop, thought to be critical to cellular entry by adenoviruses. Bioinformatic analysis revealed a new highly recombinant species D human adenovirus (HAdV-D60). A synthesis of in silico and laboratory approaches revealed a potential ocular tropism for the new virus. In vivo, inflammation induced by the virus was dramatically greater than that by adenovirus type 37, a major eye pathogen, possibly due to a novel alternate ligand, Tyr-Gly-Asp (YGD), on the penton base protein. The combination of bioinformatics and laboratory simulation may have important applications in the prediction of tissue tropism for newly discovered and emerging viruses.
The ongoing dance between a virus and its host distinctly shapes how the virus evolves. While human adenoviruses typically cause mild infections, recent reports have described newly characterized adenoviruses that cause severe, sometimes fatal human infections. Here, we report a systems biology approach to show how evolution has affected the disease potential of a recently identified novel human adenovirus. A comprehensive understanding of viral evolution and pathogenicity is essential to our capacity to foretell the potential impact on human disease for new and emerging viruses.
Ureteric peristalsis, which occurs via alternating contraction and relaxation of ureteric smooth muscle, ensures the unidirectional flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder. Understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying ureteric excitation–contraction coupling, however, is limited. To address these knowledge deficits, and in particular to test the hypothesis that Ca2+ sensitization via activation of the RhoA/Rho-associated kinase (ROK) pathway plays an important role in ureteric smooth muscle contraction, we carried out a thorough characterization of the electrical activity, Ca2+ signaling, MYPT1 (myosin targeting subunit of myosin light chain phosphatase, MLCP) and myosin regulatory light chain (LC20 ) phosphorylation, and force responses to membrane depolarization induced by KCl (electromechanical coupling) and carbachol (CCh) (pharmacomechanical coupling). The effects of ROK inhibition on these parameters were investigated. We conclude that the tonic, but not the phasic component of KCl- or CCh-induced ureteric smooth muscle contraction is highly dependent on ROK-catalyzed phosphorylation of MYPT1 at T855, leading to inhibition of MLCP and increased LC20 phosphorylation.
PMID: 21839512 CAMSID: cams2593
Rho-kinase; Ureter smooth muscle; Ca2+ sensitization
Matrix metalloproteinases (Mmps) stimulate tumor invasion and metastasis by degrading the extracellular matrix. Here we reveal an unexpected role for Mmp10 (stromelysin 2) in the maintenance and tumorigenicity of mouse lung cancer stem-like cells (CSC). Mmp10 is highly expressed in oncosphere cultures enriched in CSCs and RNAi-mediated knockdown of Mmp10 leads to a loss of stem cell marker gene expression and inhibition of oncosphere growth, clonal expansion, and transformed growth in vitro. Interestingly, clonal expansion of Mmp10 deficient oncospheres can be restored by addition of exogenous Mmp10 protein to the culture medium, demonstrating a direct role for Mmp10 in the proliferation of these cells. Oncospheres exhibit enhanced tumor-initiating and metastatic activity when injected orthotopically into syngeneic mice, whereas Mmp10-deficient cultures show a severe defect in tumor initiation. Conversely, oncospheres implanted into syngeneic non-transgenic or Mmp10−/− mice show no significant difference in tumor initiation, growth or metastasis, demonstrating the importance of Mmp10 produced by cancer cells rather than the tumor microenvironment in lung tumor initiation and maintenance. Analysis of gene expression data from human cancers reveals a strong positive correlation between tumor Mmp10 expression and metastatic behavior in many human tumor types. Thus, Mmp10 is required for maintenance of a highly tumorigenic, cancer-initiating, metastatic stem-like cell population in lung cancer. Our data demonstrate for the first time that Mmp10 is a critical lung cancer stem cell gene and novel therapeutic target for lung cancer stem cells.
Human adenovirus C (HAdV-C) species are a common cause of respiratory infections and can occasionally produce severe clinical manifestations. A deeper understanding of the variation and evolution in species HAdV-C is especially important since these viruses, including HAdV-C6, are used as gene delivery vectors for human gene therapy and in other biotechnological applications. Here, the full-genome analysis of the prototype HAdV-C6 and a recently identified virus provisionally termed HAdV-C57 are reported. Although the genomes of all species HAdV-C members are very similar to each other, the E3 region, hexon and fiber (ten proteins total) present a wide range of identity values at the amino acid level. Studies of these viruses in comparison to the other three HAdV-C prototypes (1, 2, and 5) comprise a comprehensive analysis of the diversity and conservation within HAdV-C species. HAdV-C6 contains a recombination event within the constant region of the hexon gene. HAdV-C57 is a recombinant virus with a fiber gene nearly identical to HAdV-C6 and a unique hexon distinguished by its loop 2 motif.
Adenoviral infections are typically acute, self-limiting, and not associated with death. However, we present the genomic and bioinformatics analysis of a novel recombinant human adenovirus (HAdV-D56) isolated in France that caused a rare neonatal fatality, and keratoconjunctivitis in three health care workers who cared for the neonate. Whole genome alignments revealed the expected diversity in the penton base, hexon, E3, and fiber coding regions, and provided evidence for extensive recombination. Bootscan analysis confirmed recombination between HAdV-D9, HAdV-D26, HAdV-D15, and HAdV-D29 in the penton base and hexon proteins, centered around hypervariable loops within the putative proteins. Protein structure analysis of the fiber coding region revealed similarity with HAdV-D8, HAdV-D9, and HAdV-D53, possibly accounting for the ocular tropism of the virus. Based on these data, this virus appears to be a new HAdV-D type (HAdV-D56), underscoring the importance of recombination events in human adenovirus evolution and the emergence of new adenovirus pathogens.
Adenovirus; viral genomics; viral recombination; viral evolution; viral bioinformatics
KRAS mutations are highly prevalent in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and tumors harboring these mutations tend to be aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy. We used next-generation sequencing technology to identify pathways that are specifically altered in lung tumors harboring a KRAS mutation. Paired-end RNA-sequencing of 15 primary lung adenocarcinoma tumors (8 harboring mutant KRAS and 7 with wild-type KRAS) were performed. Sequences were mapped to the human genome, and genomic features, including differentially expressed genes, alternate splicing isoforms and single nucleotide variants, were determined for tumors with and without KRAS mutation using a variety of computational methods. Network analysis was carried out on genes showing differential expression (374 genes), alternate splicing (259 genes), and SNV-related changes (65 genes) in NSCLC tumors harboring a KRAS mutation. Genes exhibiting two or more connections from the lung adenocarcinoma network were used to carry out integrated pathway analysis. The most significant signaling pathways identified through this analysis were the NFκB, ERK1/2, and AKT pathways. A 27 gene mutant KRAS-specific sub network was extracted based on gene–gene connections from the integrated network, and interrogated for druggable targets. Our results confirm previous evidence that mutant KRAS tumors exhibit activated NFκB, ERK1/2, and AKT pathways and may be preferentially sensitive to target therapeutics toward these pathways. In addition, our analysis indicates novel, previously unappreciated links between mutant KRAS and the TNFR and PPARγ signaling pathways, suggesting that targeted PPARγ antagonists and TNFR inhibitors may be useful therapeutic strategies for treatment of mutant KRAS lung tumors. Our study is the first to integrate genomic features from RNA-Seq data from NSCLC and to define a first draft genomic landscape model that is unique to tumors with oncogenic KRAS mutations.
transcriptome sequencing; RNA-Seq; KRAS mutation; NSCLC; bioinformatics; network analysis; data integration and computational methods
Matrix metalloproteinase 10 (MMP-10; stromelysin 2) is a member of a large family of structurally related matrix metalloproteinases, many of which have been implicated in tumor progression, invasion and metastasis. We recently identified Mmp10 as a gene that is highly induced in tumor-initiating lung bronchioalveolar stem cells (BASCs) upon activation of oncogenic Kras in a mouse model of lung adenocarcinoma. However, the potential role of Mmp10 in lung tumorigenesis has not been addressed. Here, we demonstrate that Mmp10 is overexpressed in lung tumors induced by either the smoke carcinogen urethane or oncogenic Kras. In addition, we report a significant reduction in lung tumor number and size after urethane exposure or genetic activation of oncogenic Kras in Mmp10 null (Mmp10−/−) mice. This inhibitory effect is reflected in a defect in the ability of Mmp10-deficient BASCs to expand and undergo transformation in response to urethane or oncogenic Kras in vivo and in vitro, demonstrating a role for Mmp10 in the tumor-initiating activity of Kras-transformed lung stem cells. To determine the potential relevance of MMP10 in human cancer we analyzed Mmp10 expression in publicly-available gene expression profiles of human cancers. Our analysis reveals that MMP10 is highly overexpressed in human lung tumors. Gene set enhancement analysis (GSEA) demonstrates that elevated MMP10 expression correlates with both cancer stem cell and tumor metastasis genomic signatures in human lung cancer. Finally, Mmp10 is elevated in many human tumor types suggesting a widespread role for Mmp10 in human malignancy. We conclude that Mmp10 plays an important role in lung tumor initiation via maintenance of a highly tumorigenic, cancer-initiating, stem-like cell population, and that Mmp10 expression is associated with stem-like, highly metastatic genotypes in human lung cancers. These results indicate that Mmp10 may represent a novel therapeutic approach to target lung cancer stem cells.
The genome of the sole remaining unsequenced member of species A, human adenovirus type 18 (HAdV-A18), has been sequenced and analyzed. Members of species A are implicated as gastrointestinal pathogens and were shown to be tumorigenic in rodents. These whole genome and in silico proteome data are important as references for re-examining and integrating earlier work and observations based on lower resolution techniques, such as restriction enzyme digestion patterns, particularly for hypotheses based on pre-genomics data. Additionally, the genome of HAdV-A18 will also serve as reference for current studies examining the molecular evolution and origins of human and simian adenoviruses, particularly genome recombination studies. Applications of this virus as a potential vector for gene delivery protocols may be practical as data accumulates on this and other adenovirus genomes.
human adenovirus; molecular evolution; species A; oncogenesis
Novel human adenoviruses (HAdVs) arise from genome recombination. Analysis of HAdV type 55 from an outbreak in China shows a hexon recombination between HAdV-B11 and HAdV-B14, resulting in a genome that is 97.4% HAdV-B14. Sporadic appearances as a re-emergent pathogen and misidentification as “HAdV-B11a” are due to this partial hexon.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a highly evolutionarily conserved, multi-domain signaling protein that localizes to focal adhesions, myofilaments and centrosomes where it forms distinct multi-protein complexes to regulate cell adhesion, cell contraction, actin cytoskeletal organization and mitotic spindle assembly. Numerous studies have demonstrated that ILK can regulate the phosphorylation of various protein and peptide substrates in vitro, as well as the phosphorylation of potential substrates and various signaling pathways in cultured cell systems. Nevertheless, the ability of ILK to function as a protein kinase has been questioned because of its atypical kinase domain.
Here, we have expressed full-length recombinant ILK, purified it to >94% homogeneity, and characterized its kinase activity. Recombinant ILK readily phosphorylates glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) peptide and the 20-kDa regulatory light chains of myosin (LC20). Phosphorylation kinetics are similar to those of other active kinases, and mutation of the ATP-binding lysine (K220 within subdomain 2) causes marked reduction in enzymatic activity. We show that ILK is a Mn-dependent kinase (the Km for MnATP is ∼150-fold less than that for MgATP).
Taken together, our data demonstrate that ILK is a bona fide protein kinase with enzyme kinetic properties similar to other active protein kinases.
A current popular model to explain phosphorylation of smooth muscle myosin (SMM) by smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) proposes that MLCK is bound tightly to actin but weakly to SMM. We found that MLCK and calmodulin (CaM) co-purify with unphosphorylated SMM (up-SMM) from chicken gizzard, suggesting that they are tightly bound. Although the MLCK:SMM molar ratio in SMM preparations was well below stoichiometric (1:73 ± 9), the ratio was ~ 23–37% of that in gizzard tissue. Fifteen to 30% of MLCK was associated with CaM at ~1 nM free [Ca2+]. There were two MLCK pools that bound unphosphorylated SMM with Kd ~10 μM and 0.2 μM and phosphorylated SMM with a Kd ~ 20 μM and 0.2 μM. Using an in vitro motility assay to measure actin sliding velocities, we showed that the co-purifying MLCK-CaM was activated by Ca2+ and phosphorylation of SMM occurred at a pCa50 of 6.1 and Hill coefficient of 0.9. Similar properties were observed from reconstituted MLCK-CaM-SMM. Using motility assays, co-sedimentation assays, and on-coverslip ELISA assays to quantify proteins on the motility assay coverslip, we provide strong evidence that most of the MLCK is bound directly to SMM through the telokin domain and some may also be bound to both SMM and to co-purifying actin through the N-terminal actin binding domain. These results suggest that this MLCK may play a role in the initiation of contraction.
smooth muscle; myosin light chain kinase; smooth muscle myosin; actin motility; phosphorylation
Recombination in human adenoviruses (HAdV) may confer virulence upon an otherwise nonvirulent strain. The genome sequence of species D HAdV type 22 (HAdV-D22) revealed evidence for recombination with HAdV-D19 and HAdV-D37 within the capsid penton base gene. Bootscan analysis demonstrated that recombination sites within the penton base gene frame the coding sequences for the two external hypervariable loops in the protein. A similar pattern of recombination was evident within other HAdV-D types but not other HAdV species. Further study of recombination among HAdVs is needed to better predict possible recombination events among wild-type viruses and adenoviral gene therapy vectors.
Technological advances and increasingly cost-effect methodologies in DNA sequencing and computational analysis are providing genome and proteome data for human adenovirus research. Applying these tools, data and derived knowledge to the development of vaccines against these pathogens will provide effective prophylactics. The same data and approaches can be applied to vector development for gene delivery in gene therapy and vaccine delivery protocols. Examination of several field strain genomes and their analyses provide examples of data that are available using these approaches. An example of the development of HAdV-B3 both as a vaccine and also as a vector is presented.
genomics; bioinformatics; molecular evolution; pathoepidemiology; field strain; adenovirus vaccine; human gene therapy vector; vaccine delivery vector
In 2005, a human adenovirus strain (formerly known as HAdV-D22/H8 but renamed here HAdV-D53) was isolated from an outbreak of epidemic keratoconjunctititis (EKC), a disease that is usually caused by HAdV-D8, -D19, or -D37, not HAdV-D22. To date, a complete change of tropism compared to the prototype has never been observed, although apparent recombinant strains of other viruses from species Human adenovirus D (HAdV-D) have been described. The complete genome of HAdV-D53 was sequenced to elucidate recombination events that lead to the emergence of a viable and highly virulent virus with a modified tropism. Bioinformatic and phylogenetic analyses of this genome demonstrate that this adenovirus is a recombinant of HAdV-D8 (including the fiber gene encoding the primary cellular receptor binding site), HAdV-D22, (the ε determinant of the hexon gene), HAdV-D37 (including the penton base gene encoding the secondary cellular receptor binding site), and at least one unknown or unsequenced HAdV-D strain. Bootscanning analysis of the complete genomic sequence of this novel adenovirus, which we have re-named HAdV-D53, indicated at least five recombination events between the aforementioned adenoviruses. Intrahexon recombination sites perfectly framed the ε neutralization determinant that was almost identical to the HAdV-D22 prototype. Additional bootscan analysis of all HAdV-D hexon genes revealed recombinations in identical locations in several other adenoviruses. In addition, HAdV-D53 but not HAdV-D22 induced corneal inflammation in a mouse model. Serological analysis confirmed previous results and demonstrated that HAdV-D53 has a neutralization profile representative of the ε determinant of its hexon (HAdV-D22) and the fiber (HAdV-D8) proteins. Our recombinant hexon sequence is almost identical to the hexon sequences of the HAdV-D strain causing EKC outbreaks in Japan, suggesting that HAdV-D53 is pandemic as an emerging EKC agent. This documents the first genomic, bioinformatic, and biological descriptions of the molecular evolution events engendering an emerging pathogenic adenovirus.