[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A central hallmark of epigenetic inheritance is the parental transmission of changes in patterns of gene expression to progeny without modification of DNA sequence. Although, the trans-generational conveyance of this molecular memory has been traditionally linked to covalent modification of histone and/or DNA, recent studies suggest a role for proteins that persist or remain bound within chromatin to "bookmark" specific loci for enhanced or potentiated responses in daughter cells immediately following cell division. In this report we describe a role for p300 in enabling gene bookmarking by pre-initiation complexes (PICs) containing RNA polymerase II (pol II), Mediator and TBP. Once formed these complexes require p300 to enable reacquisition of protein complex assemblies, chromatin modifications and long range chromatin interactions that facilitate post-mitotic transmission of transcriptional memory of prior environmental stimuli.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(6):e99989. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There has been an explosion of articles on epithelial-mesenchymal transition and other modes of cellular reprogramming that influence the tumor microenvironment. Many controversies exist and remain to be resolved. The interest of the pathologists in the molecular and functional parallels between wound healing and the developing tumor stroma has its earliest origin in the writings of Rudolph Virchow in the 19(th) century. Since then, most of the focus has been primarily on the dynamics of the extracellular matrix; however, new interest has been redirected toward deciphering and understanding the enigmatic, yet elegant, plasticity of the cellular components of the proliferating epithelia and stroma and how they are reciprocally influenced. Citing several examples from breast cancer research, we will trace how these perspectives have unfolded in the pages of The American Journal of Pathology and other investigative journals during the past century, their impact, and where the field is headed.
American Journal Of Pathology 02/2013; · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The C-terminal binding protein (CtBP) is a NADH-dependent transcriptional repressor that links carbohydrate metabolism to epigenetic regulation by recruiting diverse histone-modifying complexes to chromatin. Here global profiling of CtBP in breast cancer cells reveals that it drives epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, stem cell pathways and genome instability. CtBP expression induces mesenchymal and stem cell-like features, whereas CtBP depletion or caloric restriction reverses gene repression and increases DNA repair. Multiple members of the CtBP-targeted gene network are selectively downregulated in aggressive breast cancer subtypes. Differential expression of CtBP-targeted genes predicts poor clinical outcome in breast cancer patients, and elevated levels of CtBP in patient tumours predict shorter median survival. Finally, both CtBP promoter targeting and gene repression can be reversed by small molecule inhibition. These findings define broad roles for CtBP in breast cancer biology and suggest novel chromatin-based strategies for pharmacologic and metabolic intervention in cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of obesity has given rise to significant global concerns as numerous population-based studies demonstrate an incontrovertible association between obesity and breast cancer. Mechanisms proposed to account for this linkage include exaggerated levels of carbohydrate substrates, elevated levels of circulating mitogenic hormones, and inflammatory cytokines that impinge on epithelial programming in many tissues. Moreover, recently many scientists have rediscovered the observation, first described by Otto Warburg nearly a century ago, that most cancer cells undergo a dramatic metabolic shift in energy utilization and expenditure that fuels and supports the cellular expansion associated with malignant proliferation. This shift in substrate oxidation comes at the cost of sharp changes in the levels of the high energy intermediate, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH). In this review, we discuss a novel example of how shifts in the concentration and flux of substrates metabolized and generated during carbohydrate metabolism represent components of a signaling network that can influence epigenetic regulatory events in the nucleus. We refer to this regulatory process as "metabolic transduction" and describe how the C-terminal binding protein (CtBP) family of NADH-dependent nuclear regulators represents a primary example of how cellular metabolic status can influence epigenetic control of cellular function and fate.
International Journal of Cell Biology 01/2013; 2013:647975.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) maintain self-renewal and the potential for rapid response to differentiation cues. Both ESC features are subject to epigenetic regulation. Here we show that the histone acetyltransferase Mof plays an essential role in the maintenance of ESC self-renewal and pluripotency. ESCs with Mof deletion lose characteristic morphology, alkaline phosphatase (AP) staining, and differentiation potential. They also have aberrant expression of the core transcription factors Nanog, Oct4, and Sox2. Importantly, the phenotypes of Mof null ESCs can be partially suppressed by Nanog overexpression, supporting the idea that Mof functions as an upstream regulator of Nanog in ESCs. Genome-wide ChIP-sequencing and transcriptome analyses further demonstrate that Mof is an integral component of the ESC core transcriptional network and that Mof primes genes for diverse developmental programs. Mof is also required for Wdr5 recruitment and H3K4 methylation at key regulatory loci, highlighting the complexity and interconnectivity of various chromatin regulators in ESCs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sequencing of the human genome led to many insights into gene organization and structure. One interesting observation was the high frequency of bidirectional promoters characterized by two protein encoding genes whose promoters are arranged in a divergent or "head-to-head" configuration with less than 2000 base pairs of intervening sequence. Computational estimates published by various groups indicate that nearly 10% of the coding gene promoters are arranged in such a manner and the extent of this bias is a unique feature of mammalian genomes. Moreover, as a class, head-to-head promoters appear to be enriched in specific categories of gene function. Here we review the structure, composition, genomic properties and functional classifications of genes controlled by bidirectional promoters and explore the biological implication of these features. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Chromatin in time and space.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 02/2012; 1819(7):688-93. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcription is a multi-stage process that coordinates several steps within the transcription cycle including chromatin reorganization, RNA polymerase II recruitment, initiation, promoter clearance and elongation. Recent advances have identified the super elongation complex, containing the eleven-nineteen lysine-rich leukaemia (ELL) protein, as a key regulator of transcriptional elongation. Here we show that ELL has a diverse and kinetically distinct role before its assembly into the super elongation complex by stabilizing Pol II recruitment/initiation and entry into the pause site. Loss of ELL destabilizes the pre-initiation complexes and results in disruption of early elongation and promoter proximal chromatin structure before recruitment of AFF4 and other super elongation complex components. These changes result in significantly reduced transcriptional activation of rapidly induced genes. Thus, ELL has an early and essential role during rapid high-amplitude gene expression that is required for both Pol II pause site entry and release.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The BRCA1 gene product plays numerous roles in regulating genome integrity. Its role in assembling supermolecular complexes in response to DNA damage has been extensively studied; however, much less is understood about its role as a transcriptional coregulator. Loss or mutation is associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, whereas altered expression occurs frequently in sporadic forms of breast cancer, suggesting that the control of BRCA1 transcription might be important to tumorigenesis. Here, we provide evidence of a striking linkage between the roles for BRCA1 as a transcriptional coregulator with control of its expression via an autoregulatory transcriptional loop. BRCA1 assembles with complexes containing E2F-1 and RB to form a repressive multicomponent transcriptional complex that inhibits BRCA1 promoter transcription. This complex is disrupted by genotoxic stress, resulting in the displacement of BRCA1 protein from the BRCA1 promoter and subsequent upregulation of BRCA1 transcription. Cells depleted of BRCA1 respond by upregulating BRCA1 transcripts, whereas cells overexpressing BRCA1 respond by downregulating BRCA1 transcripts. Tandem chromatin immmunoprecipitation studies show that BRCA1 is regulated by a dynamic coregulatory complex containing BRCA1, E2F1, and Rb at the BRCA1 promoter that is disrupted by DNA-damaging agents to increase its transcription. These results define a novel transcriptional mechanism of autoregulated homeostasis of BRCA1 that selectively titrates its levels to maintain genome integrity in response to genotoxic insult.
Cancer Research 01/2010; 70(2):532-42. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Profiling the dynamic interaction of p300 with proximal promoters of human T cells identified a class of genes that rapidly coassemble p300 and RNA polymerase II (pol II) following mitogen stimulation. Several of these p300 targets are immediate early genes, including FOS, implicating a prominent role for p300 in the control of primary genetic responses. The recruitment of p300 and pol II rapidly transitions to the assembly of several elongation factors, including the positive transcriptional elongation factor (P-TEFb), the bromodomain-containing protein (BRD4), and the elongin-like eleven nineteen lysine-rich leukemia protein (ELL). However, transcription at many of these rapidly induced genes is transient, wherein swift departure of P-TEFb, BRD4, and ELL coincides with termination of transcriptional elongation. Unexpectedly, both p300 and pol II remain accumulated or "bookmarked" at the proximal promoter long after transcription has terminated, demarking a clear mechanistic separation between the recruitment and elongation phases of transcription in vivo. The bookmarked pol II is depleted of both serine-2 and serine-5 phosphorylation of its C-terminal domain and remains proximally positioned at the promoter for hours. Surprisingly, these p300/pol II bookmarked genes can be readily reactivated, and elongation factors can be reassembled by subsequent addition of nonmitogenic agents that, alone, have minimal effects on transcription in the absence of prior preconditioning by mitogen stimulation. These findings suggest that p300 is likely to play an important role in biological processes in which transcriptional bookmarking or preconditioning influences cellular growth and development through the dynamic priming of genes for response to rechallenge by secondary stimuli.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2009; 106(46):19286-91. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 2-(2,4-Difluoro-phenyl)-4,5,6,7-tetrafluoro-1H-isoindole-1,3(2H)-dione (CPS49) is a member of a recently identified class of redox-reactive thalidomide analogs that show selective killing of leukemic cells by increasing intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and targeting multiple transcriptional pathways. Flavopiridol is a semisynthetic flavonoid that inhibits cyclin-dependent kinases and also shows selective lethality against leukemic cells. The purpose of this study is to explore the efficacy and mechanism of action of the combinatorial use of the redox-reactive thalidomide CPS49 and the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor flavopiridol as a selective antileukemic therapeutic strategy. In combination, CPS49 and flavopiridol were found to induce selective cytotoxicity associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and elevations of ROS in leukemic cells ranging from additive to synergistic activity at low micromolar concentrations. Highest synergy was observed at the level of ROS generation with a strong correlation between cell-specific cytotoxicity and reciprocal coupling of drug-induced ROS elevation with glutathione depletion. Examination of the transcriptional targeting of CPS49 and flavopiridol combinations reveals that the drugs act in concert to initiate a cell specific transcriptional program that manipulates nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), E2F-1, and p73 activity to promote enhanced mitochondrial instability by simultaneously elevating the expression of the proapoptotic factors BAX, BAD, p73, and PUMA while depressing expression of the antiapoptotic genes MCL1, XIAP, BCL-xL, SURVIVIN, and MDM2. The coadministration of CPS49 and flavopiridol acts through coordinate targeting of transcriptional pathways that enforce selective mitochondrial dysfunction and ROS elevation and is therefore a promising new therapeutic combination that warrants further preclinical exploration.