We have observed that of the 10 AAV serotypes, AAV6 is the most efficient in transducing primary human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and that the transduction efficiency can be further increased by specifically mutating single surface-exposed tyrosine (Y) residues on AAV6 capsids. In the present studies, we combined the two mutations to generate a tyrosine double-mutant (Y705+731F) AAV6 vector, with which >70% of CD34+ cells could be transduced. With the long-term objective of developing recombinant AAV vectors for the potential gene therapy of human hemoglobinopathies, we generated the wild-type (WT) and tyrosine-mutant AAV6 vectors containing the following erythroid cell-specific promoters: β-globin promoter (βp) with the upstream hyper-sensitive site 2 (HS2) enhancer from the β-globin locus control region (HS2-βbp), and the human parvovirus B19 promoter at map unit 6 (B19p6). Transgene expression from the B19p6 was significantly higher than that from the HS2-βp, and increased up to 30-fold and up to 20-fold, respectively, following erythropoietin (Epo)-induced differentiation of CD34+ cells in vitro. Transgene expression from the B19p6 or the HS2-βp was also evaluated in an immuno-deficient xenograft mouse model in vivo. Whereas low levels of expression were detected from the B19p6 in the WT AAV6 capsid, and that from the HS2-βp in the Y705+731F AAV6 capsid, transgene expression from the B19p6 promoter in the Y705+731F AAV6 capsid was significantly higher than that from the HS2-βp, and was detectable up to 12 weeks post-transplantation in primary recipients, and up to 6 additional weeks in secondary transplanted animals. These data demonstrate the feasibility of the use of the novel Y705+731F AAV6-B19p6 vectors for high-efficiency transduction of HSCs as well as expression of the b-globin gene in erythroid progenitor cells for the potential gene therapy of human hemoglobinopathies such as β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease.
Our recent studies have revealed that among the 10 different commonly used AAV serotypes, AAV3 vectors transduce human liver cancer cells extremely efficiently because these cells express high levels of human hepatocyte growth factor receptor (hHGFR), and AAV3 utilizes hHGFR as a cellular co-receptor for viral entry. In this report, we provide further evidence that both extracellular as well as intracellular kinase domains of hHGFR are involved in AAV3 vector entry and AAV3-mediated transgene expression. We also document that AAV3 vectors are targeted for degradation by the host cell proteasome machinery, and that site-directed mutagenesis of surface exposed tyrosine (Y) to phenylalanine (F) residues on AAV3 capsids significantly improves the transduction efficiency of Y701F, Y705F and Y731F mutant AAV3 vectors. The transduction efficiency of the Y705+731F double-mutant vector is significantly higher than each of the single-mutants in liver cancer cells in vitro. In immuno-deficient mouse xenograft models, direct intra-tumor injection of AAV3 vectors also led to high-efficiency transduction of human liver tumor cells in vivo. We also document here that the optimized tyrosine-mutant AAV3 vectors lead to increased transduction efficiency following both intra-tumor and tail-vein injections in vivo. The optimized tyrosine-mutant AAV3 serotype vectors containing pro-apoptotic genes should prove useful for the potential gene therapy of human liver cancers.
AAV vectors; tyrosine mutants; human hepatocyte growth factor receptor; human liver cancer; gene therapy
We have recently shown that co-administration of conventional single-stranded adeno-associated virus 2 (ssAAV2) vectors with self-complementary (sc) AAV2-protein phosphatase 5 (PP5) vectors leads to a significant increase in the transduction efficiency of ssAAV2 vectors in human cells in vitro as well as in murine hepatocytes in vivo. In the present study, this strategy has been further optimized by generating a mixed population of ssAAV2-EGFP and scAAV2-PP5 vectors at a 10:1 ratio to achieve enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgene expression at approximately 5- to 10-fold higher efficiency, both in vitro and in vivo. This simple coproduction method should be adaptable to any ssAAV serotype vector containing transgene cassettes that are too large to be encapsidated in scAAV vectors.
Previous studies by this group have shown that coadministration of conventional single-stranded adenoassociated virus serotype 2 (ssAAV2) vectors with self-complementary (sc) AAV2–protein phosphatase-5 (PP5) vectors leads to a significant increase in the transduction efficiency of ssAAV2 vectors in human cells in vitro as well as in murine hepatocytes in vivo. Here, Ma and colleagues expand on those previous findings and describe a quadruple-plasmid transfection protocol that results in the production of ssAAV vectors that transduce cells up to 9-fold more efficiently than in the absence of PP5 coexpression.
Although diabetes mellitus (DM) can be treated with islet transplantation, a scarcity of donors limits the utility of this technique. This study investigated whether human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from umbilical cord could be induced efficiently to differentiate into insulin-producing cells. Secondly, we evaluated the effect of portal vein transplantation of these differentiated cells in the treatment of streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats.
MSCs from human umbilical cord were induced in three stages to differentiate into insulin-producing cells and evaluated by immunocytochemistry, reverse transcriptase, and real-time PCR, and ELISA. Differentiated cells were transplanted into the liver of diabetic rats using a Port-A catheter via the portal vein. Blood glucose levels were monitored weekly.
Human nuclei and C-peptide were detected in the rat liver by immunohistochemistry. Pancreatic β-cell development-related genes were expressed in the differentiated cells. C-peptide release was increased after glucose challenge in vitro. Furthermore, after transplantation of differentiated cells into the diabetic rats, blood sugar level decreased. Insulin-producing cells containing human C-peptide and human nuclei were located in the liver.
Thus, a Port-A catheter can be used to transplant differentiated insulin-producing cells from human MSCs into the portal vein to alleviate hyperglycemia among diabetic rats.
Mesenchymal stem cell; Portal vein; Insulin-producing cells; Transplant
Ling et al. identify human hepatocyte growth factor (hHGFR) as a novel receptor/coreceptor necessary for AAV3 entry into liver-specific cells. Using a variety of methods, the authors show that interference with the cell surface expression of HGFR significantly reduces the transduction efficiency of AAV3 vectors. Subsequent in vitro and in vivo experiments revealed that AAV3 specifically utilizes human HGFR (hHGFR), and not mouse HGFR (mHGFR).
Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) use a variety of cellular receptors/coreceptors to gain entry into cells. A number of AAV serotypes are now available, and the cognate receptors/coreceptors for only a handful of those have been identified thus far. Of the 10 commonly used AAV serotypes, AAV3 is by far the least efficient in transducing cells in general. However, in our more recent studies, we observed that AAV3 vectors transduced human liver cancer cells remarkably well, which led to the hypothesis that AAV3 uses hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR) as a cellular coreceptor for viral entry. AAV3 infection of human liver cancer cell lines was strongly inhibited by hepatocyte growth factor, HGFR-specific small interfering RNA, and anti-HGFR antibody, which corroborated this hypothesis. However, AAV3 vectors failed to transduce murine hepatocytes, both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that AAV3 specifically uses human HGFR, but not murine HGFR, as a cellular coreceptor for transduction. AAV3 may prove to be a useful vector for targeting human liver cancers for the potential gene therapy.
Previous reports have shown that site-directed mutagenesis of surface-exposed tyrosine residues on the capsid of AAV2 leads to enhanced transduction efficiency. In this report, Li and colleagues use these AAV2 tyrosine mutants and demonstrate that they are capable of transducing up to 90% of mouse and human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells.
Adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) vectors transduce fibroblasts and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) inefficiently, which limits their potential widespread applicability in combinatorial gene and cell therapy. We have reported that AAV2 vectors fail to traffic efficiently to the nucleus in murine fibroblasts. We have also reported that site-directed mutagenesis of surface-exposed tyrosine residues on viral capsids leads to improved intracellular trafficking of the mutant vectors, and the transduction efficiency of the single tyrosine-mutant vectors is ∼10-fold higher in human cells. In the current studies, we evaluated the transduction efficiency of single as well as multiple tyrosine-mutant AAV2 vectors in murine fibroblasts. Our results indicate that the Y444F mutant vectors transduce these cells most efficiently among the seven single-mutant vectors, with >30-fold increase in transgene expression compared with the wild-type vectors. When the Y444F mutation is combined with additional mutations (Y500F and Y730F), the transduction efficiency of the triple-mutant vectors is increased by ∼130-fold and the viral intracellular trafficking is also significant improved. Similarly, the triple-mutant vectors are capable of transducing up to 80–90% of bone marrow-derived primary murine as well as human MSCs. Thus, high-efficiency transduction of fibroblasts with reprogramming genes to generate induced pluripotent stem cells, and the MSCs for delivering therapeutic genes, should now be feasible with the tyrosine-mutant AAV vectors.
Fibroblasts and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising targets for gene and cell therapy. Recombinant adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) vectors are currently in use in several Phase I/II clinical trials for gene therapy. However, the existing data show that AAV2 vector-mediated transduction of fibroblasts and MSCs is inefficient. We observed that AAV2 vectors containing mutations in three surface-exposed tyrosine residues significantly increase transduction efficiency in fibroblasts, as well as in both human and murine primary MSCs. The increased transduction efficiency of these triple-mutant AAV2 vectors correlates well with improved viral intracellular trafficking in fibroblasts. These data provide strong evidence that high-efficiency gene delivery and transgene expression by AAV vectors are indeed feasible, which should facilitate the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells, as well as the use of MSCs in combinatorial gene and cell therapy.
FANCM remodels branched DNA structures and plays essential roles in the cellular response to DNA replication stress. Here we show that FANCM forms a conserved DNA remodeling complex with a histone-fold heterodimer, MHF. We find that MHF stimulates DNA binding and replication fork remodeling by FANCM. In the cell, FANCM and MHF are rapidly recruited to forks stalled by DNA interstrand crosslinks, and both are required for cellular resistance to such lesions. In vertebrates, FANCM-MHF associates with the Fanconi anemia (FA) core complex, promotes FANCD2 monoubiquitination in response to DNA damage, and suppresses sister-chromatid exchanges. Yeast orthologs of these proteins function together to resist MMS-induced DNA damage and promote gene conversion at blocked replication forks. Thus, FANCM-MHF is an essential DNA remodeling complex that protects replication forks from yeast to human.
FANCM; Fanconi Anemia; DNA repair; Histone fold; CENP-S; CENP-X
Recombinant vectors based on a non-pathogenic human parvovirus, the adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) have been developed, and are currently in use in a number of gene therapy clinical trials. More recently, a number of additional AAV serotypes have also been isolated, which have been shown to exhibit selective tissue-tropism in various small and large animal models1. Of the 10 most commonly used AAV serotypes, AAV3 is by far the least efficient in transducing cells and tissues in vitro as well as in vivo.
However, in our recently published studies, we have documented that AAV3 vectors transduce human liver cancer - hepatoblastoma (HB) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) - cell lines extremely efficiently because AAV3 utilizes human hepatocyte growth factor receptor as a cellular co-receptor for binding and entry in these cells2,3.
In this article, we describe the steps required to achieve high-efficiency transduction of human liver cancer cells by recombinant AAV3 vectors carrying a reporter gene. The use of recombinant AAV3 vectors carrying a therapeutic gene may eventually lead to the potential gene therapy of liver cancers in humans.
Mirror-imaging of arachnoid cysts (ACs) in monozygotic twins (MZ) is extremely rare. We describe a pair of MZ who developed mirror-imaging of ACs in the temporal fossas, and we also review the literature. Brain computer tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the MZ revealed mirror-imaging of vast lesions of cerebrospinal fluid intensity in their temporal fossas. This is the second ever report of such a case according to the available literature. Unlike the prior case, our patients were 14 months, which is a much younger age than the patients of the previous report. Consequently, our case is better in supporting a genetic origin in the pathogenesis of AC. The findings in our case indicate that early neuroimaging is mandatory in the counterpart of the symptomatic patient with AC, irrespective of the absence of symptoms.
Mirror image; Arachnoid cyst; Monozygotic twins
ErbB2, a metastasis-promoting oncoprotein, is overexpressed in ~25% of invasive/metastatic breast cancers, but in 50–60% of non-invasive ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS). It has been puzzling how a subset of ErbB2-overexpressing DCIS develops into invasive breast cancer (IBC). We found that co-overexpression of 14-3-3ζ in ErbB2-overexpressing DCIS conferred a higher risk of progression to IBC. ErbB2 and 14-3-3ζ overexpression, respectively, increased cell migration and decreased cell adhesion, two prerequisites of tumor cell invasion. 14-3-3ζ overexpression reduced cell adhesion by activating the TGFβ/Smads pathway that led to ZFHX1B/SIP-1 upregulation, E-cadherin loss, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Importantly, patients whose breast tumors overexpressed both ErbB2 and 14-3-3ζ had higher rates of metastatic recurrence and death than those whose tumors overexpressed only one.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) SM protein is essential for lytic EBV DNA replication and virion production. When EBV replication is induced in cells infected with an SM-deleted recombinant EBV, approximately 50% of EBV genes are expressed inefficiently. When EBV replication is rescued by transfection of SM, SM enhances expression of these genes by direct and indirect mechanisms. While expression of most EBV genes is either unaffected or enhanced by SM, expression of several genes is decreased in the presence of SM. Expression of BHRF1, a homolog of cellular bcl-2, is particularly decreased in the presence of SM. Investigation of the mechanism of BHRF1 downregulation revealed that SM downregulates expression of the immediate-early EBV transactivator R. In EBV-infected cells, R-responsive promoters, including the BHRF1 and SM promoters, were less active in the presence of SM, consistent with SM inhibition of R expression. SM decreased spliced R mRNA levels, supporting a posttranscriptional mechanism of R inhibition. R and BHRF1 expression were also found to decrease during later stages of EBV lytic replication in EBV-infected lymphoma cells. These data indicate that feedback regulation of immediate-early and early genes occurs during the lytic cycle of EBV regulation.
Tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1) is a membrane receptor able to bind TNF-α or TNF-β. TNFR1 can suppress apoptosis by activating the NF-κB or JNK/SAPK signal transduction pathway, or it can induce apoptosis through a series of caspase cascade reactions; the particular effect may depend on the cell line. In the present study, we first showed that TNFR1 is expressed at both the gene and protein levels in the esophageal carcinoma cell line EC109. Then, by applying a specific siRNA, we silenced the expression of TNFR1; this resulted in a significant time-dependent promotion of cell proliferation and downregulation of the apoptotic rate. These results suggest that TNFR1 is strongly expressed in the EC109 cell line and that it may play an apoptosis-mediating role, which may be suppressed by highly activated NF-κB.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetic disease featuring genomic instability and cancer predisposition1. Nine FA genes have been identified, and their products participate in a DNA damage response network involving BRCA1 and BRCA22,3. We have previously purified a FA core complex containing the FANCL ubiquitin ligase and 6 other FA proteins4–6. Each protein in this complex is essential for monoubiquitination of FANCD2, a key reaction in the FA DNA damage response pathway2,7. Here we show that another component of this complex, FAAP250, is mutated in FA patients of a new complementation group (FA-M). FAAP250, renamed FANCM, has sequence similarity to known DNA repair proteins, including archaeal Hef, yeast Mph1 and human ERCC4/XPF. FANCM can dissociate DNA triplex, possibly due to its ability to translocate on duplex DNA. FANCM is essential for FANCD2 monoubiquitination and becomes hyperphosphorylated in response to DNA damage. Our data suggest an evolutionary link between FA proteins and DNA repair; FANCM may act as an engine that translocates the FA core complex along DNA.
Fanconi anemia; FANCM; Hef; MPH1; XPF/ERCC4; FANCD2
In response to DNA damage, the Fanconi anemia (FA) core complex functions as a signaling machine for monoubiquitination of FANCD2 and FANCI. It remains unclear whether this complex can also participate in subsequent DNA repair. We have shown previously that the FANCM constituent of the complex contains a highly conserved helicase domain and an associated ATP-dependent DNA translocase activity. Here we show that FANCM also possesses an ATP-independent binding activity and an ATP-dependent bi-directional branch-point translocation activity on a synthetic four-way junction DNA, which mimics intermediates generated during homologous recombination or at stalled replication forks. Using an siRNA-based complementation system, we found that the ATP-dependent activities of FANCM are required for cellular resistance to a DNA-crosslinking drug, mitomycin C, but not for the monoubiquitination of FANCD2 and FANCI. In contrast, monoubiquitination requires the entire helicase domain of FANCM, which has both ATP dependent and independent activities. These data are consistent with participation of FANCM and its associated FA core complex in the FA pathway at both signaling through monoubiquitination and the ensuing DNA repair.
Whether SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes play roles in embryonic stem (ES) cells remains unknown. Here we show that SWI/SNF complexes are present in mouse ES cells, and their composition is dynamically regulated upon induction of ES cell differentiation. For example, the SWI/SNF purified from undifferentiated ES cells contains a high level of BAF155 and a low level of BAF170 (both of which are homologs of yeast SWI3 protein), whereas that from differentiated cells contains near equal amounts of both. Moreover, the levels of BAF250A and BAF250B decrease, whereas that of BRM increases, during the differentiation of ES cells. The altered expression of SWI/SNF components hinted that these complexes could play roles in ES cell maintenance or differentiation. We therefore generated ES cells with biallelic inactivation of BAF250B, and found that these cells display a reduced proliferation rate and an abnormal cell cycle. Importantly, these cells are deficient in self-renewal capacity of undifferentiated ES cells, and exhibit certain phenotypes of differentiated cells, including reduced expression of several pluripotency-related genes, and increased expression of some differentiation-related genes. These data suggest that the BAF250B-associated SWI/SNF is essential for mouse ES cells to maintain its normal proliferation and pluripotency. The work presented here underscores the importance of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes in pluripotent stem cells.
chromatin remodeling; SWI/SNF; BAF250B; ARID1B; embryonic stem cells; ES cells; gene targeting; DNA microarray; gene expression profiling; embryonal carcinoma cells; EC cells; Pou5f1; Oct4; Oct3/4; trophoblast; primitive endoderm; BRG1; SMARCA4; BRM; SMARCA2; BAF250A; ARID1A; BAF180; PBRM1; BAF170; SMARCC2; BAF155; SMARCC1; BAF60A; SMARCD1; BAF57; SMARCE1; BAF53A; ACTL6A; ACTIN; hSNF5/INI1; SMARCB1
Amplification and elevated expression of the ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase occurs in 20% of human breast cancers and is associated with a poor prognosis. We have previously demonstrated that mammary tissue-specific expression of activated ErbB2 under the control of its endogenous promoter results in mammary tumor formation. Tumor development was associated with amplification and overexpression of ErbB2 at both the transcript and protein levels. Here we demonstrate that the EGR2/Krox20 transcription factor and its coactivator CITED1 are coordinately upregulated during ErbB2 tumor induction. We have identified an EGR2 binding site in the erbB2 promoter and demonstrated by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays that EGR2 and CITED1 associate specifically with this region of the promoter. EGR2 and CITED1 were shown to associate, and expression from an erbB2 promoter-reporter construct was stimulated by EGR2 and was further enhanced by CITED1 coexpression. Furthermore, expression of the 14-3-3σ tumor suppressor led to downregulation of ErbB2 protein levels and relocalization of EGR2 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Taken together, these observations suggest that, in addition to an increased gene copy number and upregulation of EGR2 and CITED1, an elevated erbB2 transcript level involves the loss of 14-3-3σ, which sequesters a key transcriptional regulator of the erbB2 promoter.
The Aquifex aeolicus αβ-LeuRS is the only known heterodimeric class Ia aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase. In this study, we investigated the function of the β subunit which is believed to bind tRNALeu. A yeast three-hybrid system was constructed on the basis of the interaction of the β subunit with its cognate tRNALeu. Then, seven mutated β subunits exhibiting impaired tRNA binding capacities were selected out from a randomly mutated library. Two mutations were identified in the class Ia-helix-bundle-domain, which might interact with the D-hairpin of the tRNA analogous to other class Ia tRNA:synthetases complexes. The five other mutations were found in the LeuRS-specific C-terminal domain of which the folding is still unknown. tRNA affinity measurements and kinetic analyses performed on the isolated β subunits and on the co-expressed αβ-heterodimers showed for all the mutants an effect in tRNA affinity in the ground state. In addition, an effect on the transition state of the aminoacylation reaction was observed for a 21-residues deletion mutant of the C-terminal end. These results show that the genetic approach of the three hybrid system is widely applicable and is a powerful tool for the investigation of tRNA:synthetase interactions.
The SWI/SNF family of chromatin-remodeling complexes has been discovered in many species and has been shown to regulate gene expression by assisting transcriptional machinery to gain access to their sites in chromatin. Several complexes of this family have been reported for humans. In this study, two additional complexes are described that belong to the same SWI/SNF family. These new complexes contain as many as eight subunits identical to those found in other SWI/SNF complexes, and they possess a similar ATP-dependent nucleosome disruption activity. But unlike known SWI/SNFs, the new complexes are low in abundance and contain an extra subunit conserved between human and yeast SWI/SNF complexes. This subunit, ENL, is a homolog of the yeast SWI/SNF subunit, ANC1/TFG3. Moreover, ENL is a fusion partner for the gene product of MLL that is a common target for chromosomal translocations in human acute leukemia. The resultant MLL-ENL fusion protein associates and cooperates with SWI/SNF complexes to activate transcription of the promoter of HoxA7, a downstream target essential for oncogenic activity of MLL-ENL. Our data suggest that human SWI/SNF complexes show considerable heterogeneity, and one or more may be involved in the etiology of leukemia by cooperating with MLL fusion proteins.