[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many genomic techniques have been developed to study gene essentiality genome-wide, such as CRISPR and shRNA screens. Our analyses of public CRISPR screens suggest protein interaction networks, when integrated with gene expression or histone marks, are highly predictive of gene essentiality. Meanwhile, the quality of CRISPR and shRNA screen results can be significantly enhanced through network neighbor information. We also found network neighbor information to be very informative on prioritizing ChIP-seq target genes and survival indicator genes from tumor profiling. Thus, our study provides a general method for gene essentiality analysis in functional genomic experiments (http://nest.dfci.harvard.edu).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to predict the response of a cancer patient to a therapeutic agent is a major goal in modern oncology that should ultimately lead to personalized treatment. Existing approaches to predicting drug sensitivity rely primarily on profiling of cancer cell line panels that have been treated with different drugs and selecting genomic or functional genomic features to regress or classify the drug response. Here, we propose a dual-layer integrated cell line-drug network model, which uses both cell line similarity network (CSN) data and drug similarity network (DSN) data to predict the drug response of a given cell line using a weighted model. Using the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) and Cancer Genome Project (CGP) studies as benchmark datasets, our single-layer model with CSN or DSN and only a single parameter achieved a prediction performance comparable to the previously generated elastic net model. When using the dual-layer model integrating both CSN and DSN, our predicted response reached a 0.6 Pearson correlation coefficient with observed responses for most drugs, which is significantly better than the previous results using the elastic net model. We have also applied the dual-layer cell line-drug integrated network model to fill in the missing drug response values in the CGP dataset. Even though the dual-layer integrated cell line-drug network model does not specifically model mutation information, it correctly predicted that BRAF mutant cell lines would be more sensitive than BRAF wild-type cell lines to three MEK1/2 inhibitors tested.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent years have seen the rapid growth of large-scale biological data, but the effective mining and modeling of 'big data' for new biological discoveries remains a significant challenge. A new study reanalyzes expression profiles from the Gene Expression Omnibus to make novel discoveries about genes involved in DNA damage repair and genome instability in cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We propose the Model-based Analysis of Genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 Knockout (MAGeCK) method for prioritizing single-guide RNAs, genes and pathways in genome-scale CRISPR/Cas9 knockout screens. MAGeCK demonstrates better performance compared with existing methods, identifies both positively and negatively selected genes simultaneously, and reports robust results across different experimental conditions. Using public datasets, MAGeCK identified novel essential genes and pathways, including EGFR in vemurafenib-treated A375 cells harboring a BRAF mutation. MAGeCK also detected cell type-specific essential genes, including BCR and ABL1, in KBM7 cells bearing a BCR-ABL fusion, and IGF1R in HL-60 cells, which depends on the insulin signaling pathway for proliferation.
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[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Graphical Abstract Highlights d LSD1 is broadly associated with AR-regulated enhancers, and a subset is H3T6ph marked d LSD1 is associated with CoREST at these sites and interacts with FOXA1 d Despite coactivator function at these sites, LSD1 mediates their H3K4 demethylation d LSD1 coactivation is through demethylation of novel histone or nonhistone substrates In Brief Cai et al. show that lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), although generally a transcriptional corepressor through H3K4 demethylation, functions broadly as a coactivator for androgen receptor and interacts with FOXA1 on androgen-stimulated genes. LSD1-mediated H3K4 demethylation persists at these sites, indicating a distinct coactivator function mediated by demethylation of other substrates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Notch signaling has pleiotropic context-specific functions that have essential roles in many processes, including embryonic development and maintenance and homeostasis of adult tissues. Aberrant Notch signaling (both hyper- and hypoactive) is implicated in a number of human developmental disorders and many cancers. Notch receptor signaling is mediated by tightly regulated proteolytic cleavages that lead to the assembly of a nuclear Notch transcription complex, which drives the expression of downstream target genes and thereby executes Notch's functions. Thus, understanding regulation of gene expression by Notch is central to deciphering how Notch carries out its many activities. Here, we summarize the recent findings pertaining to the complex interplay between the Notch transcriptional complex and interacting factors involved in transcriptional regulation, including co-activators, cooperating transcription factors, and chromatin regulators, and discuss emerging data pertaining to the role of Notch-regulated noncoding RNAs in transcription. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have been used in diverse ways to investigate various aspects of chromatin biology by identifying genomic loci that are bound by transcription factors, occupied by nucleosomes or accessible to nuclease cleavage, or loci that physically interact with remote genomic loci. However, reaching sound biological conclusions from such NGS enrichment profiles requires many potential biases to be taken into account. In this Review, we discuss common ways in which biases may be introduced into NGS chromatin profiling data, approaches to diagnose these biases and analytical techniques to mitigate their effect.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tissues may adopt diverse strategies to establish specific transcriptional programs in daughter lineages. In intestinal crypts, enhancers for genes expressed in both major cell types appear broadly permissive in stem and specified progenitor cells. In blood, another self-renewing tissue, it is unclear when chromatin becomes permissive for transcription of genes expressed in distinct terminal lineages. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) combined with deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) to profile activating histone marks, we studied enhancer dynamics in primary mouse blood stem, progenitor, and specified cells. Stem and multipotent progenitor cells show scant H3K4me2 marking at enhancers bound by specific transcription factors in their committed progeny. Rather, enhancers are modulated dynamically and serially, with substantial loss and gain of H3K4me2, at each cellular transition. Quantitative analysis of these dynamics accurately modeled hematopoiesis according to Waddington's notion of epigenotypes. Delineation of enhancers in terminal blood lineages coincides with cell specification, and enhancers active in single lineages show well-positioned H3K4me2- and H3K27ac-marked nucleosomes and DNaseI hypersensitivity in other cell types, revealing limited lineage fidelity. These findings demonstrate that enhancer chronology in blood cells differs markedly from that in intestinal crypts. Chromatin dynamics in hematopoiesis provide a useful foundation to consider classical observations such as cellular reprogramming and multilineage locus priming.
Genes & Development 08/2014; 28(16):1827-39. DOI:10.1101/gad.240101.114 · 10.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Next-generation sequencing was used to identify Notch mutations in a large collection of diverse solid tumors. NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 rearrangements leading to constitutive receptor activation were confined to triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC; 6 of 66 tumors). TNBC cell lines with NOTCH1 rearrangements associated with high levels of activated NOTCH1 (N1-ICD) were sensitive to the gamma-secretase inhibitor (GSI) MRK-003, both alone and in combination with paclitaxel, in vitro and in vivo, whereas cell lines with NOTCH2 rearrangements were resistant to GSI. Immunohistochemical staining of N1-ICD in TNBC xenografts correlated with responsiveness, and expression levels of the direct Notch target gene HES4 correlated with outcome in patients with TNBC. Activating NOTCH1 point mutations were also identified in other solid tumors, including adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC). Notably, ACC primary tumor xenografts with activating NOTCH1 mutations and high N1-ICD levels were sensitive to GSI, whereas N1-ICD-low tumors without NOTCH1 mutations were resistant.
NOTCH1 mutations, immunohistochemical staining for activated NOTCH1, and HES4 expression are biomarkers that can be used to identify solid tumors that are likely to respond to GSI-based therapies.
Cancer Discovery 08/2014; 4(10). DOI:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-13-0830 · 19.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recurrent mutations in histone-modifying enzymes imply key roles in tumorigenesis, yet their functional relevance is largely unknown. Here, we show that JARID1B, encoding a histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) demethylase, is frequently amplified and overexpressed in luminal breast tumors and a somatic mutation in a basal-like breast cancer results in the gain of unique chromatin binding and luminal expression and splicing patterns. Downregulation of JARID1B in luminal cells induces basal genes expression and growth arrest, which is rescued by TGFβ pathway inhibitors. Integrated JARID1B chromatin binding, H3K4 methylation, and expression profiles suggest a key function for JARID1B in luminal cell-specific expression programs. High luminal JARID1B activity is associated with poor outcome in patients with hormone receptor-positive breast tumors.
Cancer Cell 06/2014; 25(6):762-777. DOI:10.1016/j.ccr.2014.04.024 · 23.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromatin regulators play an important role in the development of human diseases. In this study, we focused on Plant Homeo Domain Finger protein 8 (PHF8), a chromatin regulator that has attracted special concern recently. PHF8 is a histone lysine demethylase ubiquitously expressed in nuclei. Mutations of PHF8 are associated with X-linked mental retardation. It usually functions as a transcriptional co-activator by associating with H3K4me3 and RNA polymerase II. We found that PHF8 may associate with another regulator, REST/NRSF, predominately at promoter regions via studying several published PHF8 chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-Seq) datasets. Our analysis suggested that PHF8 not only activates but may also repress gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human neurons are functional over an entire lifetime, yet the mechanisms that preserve function and protect against neurodegeneration during ageing are unknown. Here we show that induction of the repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST; also known as neuron-restrictive silencer factor, NRSF) is a universal feature of normal ageing in human cortical and hippocampal neurons. REST is lost, however, in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Chromatin immunoprecipitation with deep sequencing and expression analysis show that REST represses genes that promote cell death and Alzheimer's disease pathology, and induces the expression of stress response genes. Moreover, REST potently protects neurons from oxidative stress and amyloid β-protein toxicity, and conditional deletion of REST in the mouse brain leads to age-related neurodegeneration. A functional orthologue of REST, Caenorhabditis elegans SPR-4, also protects against oxidative stress and amyloid β-protein toxicity. During normal ageing, REST is induced in part by cell non-autonomous Wnt signalling. However, in Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies, REST is lost from the nucleus and appears in autophagosomes together with pathological misfolded proteins. Finally, REST levels during ageing are closely correlated with cognitive preservation and longevity. Thus, the activation state of REST may distinguish neuroprotection from neurodegeneration in the ageing brain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer cells induce a set of adaptive response pathways to survive in the face of stressors due to inadequate vascularization1. One such adaptive pathway is the unfolded protein (UPR) or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response mediated in part by the ER-localized transmembrane sensor IRE12
and its substrate XBP13. Previous studies report UPR activation in various human tumors4-6, but XBP1's role in cancer progression in mammary epithelial cells is largely unknown. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), a form of breast cancer in which tumor cells do not express the genes for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and Her2/neu, is a highly aggressive malignancy with limited treatment options7, 8. Here, we report that XBP1 is activated in TNBC and plays a pivotal role in the tumorigenicity and progression of this human breast cancer subtype. In breast cancer cell line models, depletion of XBP1 inhibited tumor growth and tumor relapse and reduced the CD44high/CD24low population. Hypoxia-inducing factor (HIF)1α is known to be hyperactivated in TNBCs 9, 10. Genome-wide mapping of the XBP1 transcriptional regulatory network revealed that XBP1 drives TNBC tumorigenicity by assembling a transcriptional complex with HIF1α that regulates the expression of HIF1α targets via the recruitment of RNA polymerase II. Analysis of independent cohorts of patients with TNBC revealed a specific XBP1 gene expression signature that was highly correlated with HIF1α and hypoxia-driven signatures and that strongly associated with poor prognosis. Our findings reveal a key function for the XBP1 branch of the UPR in TNBC and imply that targeting this pathway may offer alternative treatment strategies for this aggressive subtype of breast cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcription factor SOX2 is an essential regulator of pluripotent stem cells and promotes development and maintenance of squamous epithelia. We previously reported that SOX2 is an oncogene and subject to highly recurrent genomic amplification in squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). Here, we have further characterized the function of SOX2 in SCC. Using ChIP-seq analysis, we compared SOX2-regulated gene profiles in multiple SCC cell lines to ES cell profiles and determined that SOX2 binds to distinct genomic loci in SCCs. In SCCs, SOX2 preferentially interacts with the transcription factor p63, as opposed to the transcription factor OCT4, which is the preferred SOX2 binding partner in ES cells. SOX2 and p63 exhibited overlapping genomic occupancy at a large number of loci in SCCs; however, coordinate binding of SOX2 and p63 was absent in ES cells. We further demonstrated that SOX2 and p63 jointly regulate gene expression, including the oncogene ETV4, which was essential for SOX2-amplified SCC cell survival. Together, these findings demonstrate that the action of SOX2 in SCC differs substantially from its role in pluripotency. The identification of the SCC-associated interaction between SOX2 and p63 will enable deeper characterization the downstream targets of this interaction in SCC and normal squamous epithelial physiology.
The Journal of clinical investigation 03/2014; 124(4). DOI:10.1172/JCI71545 · 13.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The main oncogenic driver in T-lymphoblastic leukemia is NOTCH1, which activates genes by forming chromatin-associated Notch transcription complexes. Gamma-secretase-inhibitor treatment prevents NOTCH1 nuclear localization, but most genes with NOTCH1-binding sites are insensitive to gamma-secretase inhibitors. Here, we demonstrate that fewer than 10% of NOTCH1-binding sites show dynamic changes in NOTCH1 occupancy when T-lymphoblastic leukemia cells are toggled between the Notch-on and -off states with gamma-secretase inhibiters. Dynamic NOTCH1 sites are functional, being highly associated with Notch target genes, are located mainly in distal enhancers, and frequently overlap with RUNX1 binding. In line with the latter association, we show that expression of IL7R, a gene with key roles in normal T-cell development and in T-lymphoblastic leukemia, is coordinately regulated by Runx factors and dynamic NOTCH1 binding to distal enhancers. Like IL7R, most Notch target genes and associated dynamic NOTCH1-binding sites cooccupy chromatin domains defined by constitutive binding of CCCTC binding factor, which appears to restrict the regulatory potential of dynamic NOTCH1 sites. More remarkably, the majority of dynamic NOTCH1 sites lie in superenhancers, distal elements with exceptionally broad and high levels of H3K27ac. Changes in Notch occupancy produces dynamic alterations in H3K27ac levels across the entire breadth of superenhancers and in the promoters of Notch target genes. These findings link regulation of superenhancer function to NOTCH1, a master regulatory factor and potent oncoprotein in the context of immature T cells, and delineate a generally applicable roadmap for identifying functional Notch sites in cellular genomes.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2013; 111(2). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1315023111 · 9.67 Impact Factor