[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive form of leukemia that is mainly diagnosed in children and shows a skewed gender distribution towards males. Here, we report somatic loss-of-function mutations in the X-linked histone H3K27me3 demethylase UTX in human T-ALL. Interestingly, UTX mutations were exclusively present in male T-ALL patients and allelic expression analysis revealed that UTX escapes X-inactivation in female T-ALL lymphoblasts and normal T-cells. Notably, we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that the H3K27me3 demethylase Utx functions as a bona fide tumor suppressor in T-ALL. Moreover, T-ALL driven by UTX inactivation exhibits collateral sensitivity to pharmacological H3K27me3 inhibition. All together, our results show how a gender-specific and therapeutically relevant defect in balancing H3K27 methylation contributes to T-cell leukemogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe methclone, a novel method to identify epigenetic loci that harbor large changes in the clonality of their epialleles (epigenetic alleles). methclone efficiently analyzes genome-wide DNA methylation sequencing data. We quantify the changes using a composition entropy difference calculation and also introduce a new measure of global clonality shift, loci with epiallele shift per million loci covered, which enables comparisons between different samples to gauge overall epiallelic dynamics. Finally, we demonstrate the utility of methclone in capturing functional epiallele shifts in leukemia patients from diagnosis to relapse. methclone is open-source and freely available at https://code.google.com/p/methclone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand how the Bcl6 transcriptional repressor functions in the immune system, we disrupted its RD2 repression domain in mice. Bcl6RD2(MUT) mice exhibit a complete loss of germinal center (GC) formation but retain normal extrafollicular responses. Bcl6RD2(MUT) antigen-engaged B cells migrate to the interfollicular zone and interact with cognate T helper cells. However, these cells fail to complete early GC-commitment differentiation and coalesce as nascent GC aggregates. Bcl6 directly binds and represses trafficking receptors S1pr1 and Gpr183 by recruiting Hdac2 through the RD2 domain. Deregulation of these genes impairs B cell migration and may contribute to GC failure in Bcl6RD2(MUT) mice. The development of functional GC-TFH cells was partially impaired in Bcl6RD2(MUT) mice. In contrast to Bcl6(-/-) mice, Bcl6RD2(MUT) animals experience no inflammatory disease or macrophage deregulation. These results reveal an essential role for RD2 repression in early GC commitment and striking biochemical specificity in Bcl6 control of humoral and innate immune-cell phenotypes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Molecular mechanisms associated with frequent relapse of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are poorly defined. It¿s especially unclear how primary tumor clonal heterogeneity contributes to relapse. Here, we explore unique features of B-cell lymphomas - VDJ recombination and somatic hypermutation - to address this question.ResultsWe performed high-throughput sequencing of rearranged VDJ junctions in 14 pairs of matched diagnosis-relapse tumors, among which 7 pairs were further characterized by exome sequencing. We identify two distinctive modes of clonal evolution of DLBCL relapse: an early-divergent mode in which clonally related diagnosis and relapse tumors diverged early and developed in parallel; and a late-divergent mode in which relapse tumors developed directly from diagnosis tumors with minor divergence. By examining mutation patterns in the context of phylogenetic information provided by VDJ junctions, we identified mutations in epigenetic modifiers such as KMT2D as potential early driving events in lymphomagenesis and immune escape alterations as relapse-associated events.Conclusions
Altogether, our study for the first time provides important evidence that DLBCL relapse may result from multiple, distinct tumor evolutionary mechanisms, providing rationale for therapies for each mechanism. Moreover, this study highlights the urgent need to understand the driving roles of epigenetic modifier mutations in lymphomagenesis, and immune surveillance factor genetic lesions in relapse.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an unmet need to develop new, more effective and safe therapies for the aggressive forms of triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs). While up to 20% of women under 50 years of age with TNBC harbor germline mutations in BRCA1, and these tumors are sensitive to treatment with poly(ADP) ribose polymerase inhibitors, a majority of TNBCs lack BRCA1 mutations or loss of expression. Findings presented here demonstrate that by attenuating the levels of DNA damage response and homologous recombination proteins, pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDI) treatment induces 'BRCAness' and sensitizes TNBC cells lacking BRCA1 to lethal effects of PARP inhibitor or cisplatin. Treatment with HDI also induced hyperacetylation of nuclear hsp90. Similar effects were observed following shRNA-mediated depletion of HDAC3, confirming its role as the deacetylase for nuclear HSP90. Furthermore, cotreatment with HDI and ABT-888 induced significantly more DNA strand breaks than either agent alone, and synergistically induced apoptosis of TNBC cells. Notably, co-treatment with HDI and ABT-888 significantly reduced in vivo tumor growth and markedly improved the survival of mice bearing TNBC cell xenografts. These findings support the rationale to interrogate the clinical activity of this novel combination against human TNBC, irrespective of its expression of mutant BRCA1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is a family of proteins with key roles in regulating malignancy. Cancer cells rely on Hsp70 to inhibit apoptosis, regulate senescence and autophagy, and maintain the stability of numerous onco-proteins. Despite these important biological functions in cancer, robust chemical tools that enable the analysis of the Hsp70-regulated proteome in a tumor-by-tumor manner are yet unavailable. Here we take advantage of a recently reported Hsp70 ligand to design and develop an affinity purification chemical toolset for potential use in the investigation of the endogenous Hsp70-interacting proteome in cancer. We demonstrate that these tools lock Hsp70 in complex with onco-client proteins and effectively isolate Hsp70 complexes for identification through biochemical techniques. Using these tools we provide proof-of-concept analyses that glimpse into the complex roles played by Hsp70 in maintaining a multitude of cell-specific malignancy-driving proteins.
ACS Chemical Biology 06/2014; · 5.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoma and can be separated into two subtypes based upon molecular features with similarities to germinal centre B-cells (GCB-like) or activated B-cells (ABC-like). Here we identify gain of 3q27.2 as being significantly associated with adverse outcome in DLBCL and linked with the ABC-like subtype. This lesion includes the BCL6 oncogene, but does not alter BCL6 transcript levels or target-gene repression. Separately, we identify expression of BCL6 in a subset of human haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs). We therefore hypothesize that BCL6 may act by 'hit-and-run' oncogenesis. We model this hit-and-run mechanism by transiently expressing Bcl6 within murine HSPCs, and find that it causes mature B-cell lymphomas that lack Bcl6 expression and target-gene repression, are transcriptionally similar to post-GCB cells, and show epigenetic changes that are conserved from HSPCs to mature B-cells. Together, these results suggest that BCL6 may function in a 'hit-and-run' role in lymphomagenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a chronic lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by somatic BRAFV600E mutations. The malignant cell in HCL has immunophenotypic features of a mature B cell, but no normal counterpart along the continuum of developing B lymphocytes has been delineated as the cell of origin. We find that the BRAFV600E mutation is present in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in HCL patients, and that these patients exhibit marked alterations in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) frequencies. Quantitative sequencing analysis revealed a mean BRAFV600E-mutant allele frequency of 4.97% in HSCs from HCL patients. Moreover, transplantation of BRAFV600E-mutant HSCs from an HCL patient into immunodeficient mice resulted in stable engraftment of BRAFV600E-mutant human hematopoietic cells, revealing the functional self-renewal capacity of HCL HSCs. Consistent with the human genetic data, expression of BRafV600E in murine HSPCs resulted in a lethal hematopoietic disorder characterized by splenomegaly, anemia, thrombocytopenia, increased circulating soluble CD25, and increased clonogenic capacity of B lineage cells-all classic features of human HCL. In contrast, restricting expression of BRafV600E to the mature B cell compartment did not result in disease. Treatment of HCL patients with vemurafenib, an inhibitor of mutated BRAF, resulted in normalization of HSPC frequencies and increased myeloid and erythroid output from HSPCs. These findings link the pathogenesis of HCL to somatic mutations that arise in HSPCs and further suggest that chronic lymphoid malignancies may be initiated by aberrant HSCs.
Science translational medicine 05/2014; 6(238):238ra71. · 14.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic alterations, particularly in DNA methylation, are ubiquitous in cancer, yet the molecular origins and the consequences of these alterations are poorly understood. CTCF, a DNA-binding protein that regulates higher-order chromatin organization, is frequently altered by hemizygous deletion or mutation in human cancer. To date, a causal role for CTCF in cancer has not been established. Here, we show that Ctcf hemizygous knockout mice are markedly susceptible to spontaneous, radiation-, and chemically induced cancer in a broad range of tissues. Ctcf+/− tumors are characterized by increased aggressiveness, including invasion, metastatic dissemination, and mixed epithelial/mesenchymal differentiation. Molecular analysis of Ctcf+/− tumors indicates that Ctcf is haploinsufficient for tumor suppression. Tissues with hemizygous loss of CTCF exhibit increased variability in CpG methylation genome wide. These findings establish CTCF as a prominent tumor-suppressor gene and point to CTCF-mediated epigenetic stability as a major barrier to neoplastic progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins which interact
with (G +C)-rich sequences flanking the chicken c-myc gene
Victor V. LOBANENKOV, Robert H. NICOLAS, Mark A. PLUMB, Carol A. WRIGHT and Graham H. GOODWIN Institute of Cancer Research, Royal Cancer Hospital, Chester Beatty Laboratories, London
(Received February 27/May 12, 1986) - EJB 86 0211
The interaction of nuclear sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins from definitive chicken erythrocytes, thymus and proliferating transformed erythroid precursor (HD3) cells with the 700-base-pair (700-bp) DNA 5’-flanking region of the chicken c-myc gene was investigated by in vitro footprint analysis. The major HD3 protein-binding activity binds to a site (site V) 200 bp upstream from the ‘cap’ site but, after further fractionation, a second distinct binding activity is detected to a site (site VIII) which contains both the ‘CAAT’and ‘SP1-binding’ consensus sequences. Protein from thymus and erythrocyte cells which express c-myc at lower levels, bind to seven and eight sites respectively. In common with HD3 cell protein, they both bind to site VIII and, although binding to the sequence at site V is also detected, the footprint protection pattern is sufficiently different (site V’) to suggest the involvement of different proteins in terminally differentiated and proliferating cells. The DNA-binding activities were partially fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography gel filtration and include an erythrocyte-specific protein which binds to a c-myc gene poly(dG) homopolymer sequence similar to that found upstream of the chicken pA-globingene.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor-associated Zinc Finger Mutations in the CTCF Transcription Factor Selectively Alter Its DNA-binding Specificity
CTCF is a widely expressed 11-zinc finger (ZF) transcription factor that is involved in different aspects of gene regulation including promoter activation or repression, hormone-responsive gene silencing, methylation- dependent chromatin insulation, and genomic imprinting. Because CTCF targets include oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, we screened over 100 human tumor samples for mutations that might disrupt CTCF activ- ity. We did not observe any CTCF mutations leading to truncations/ premature stops. Rather, in breast, prostate, and Wilms’ tumors, we observed four different CTCF somatic missense mutations involving amino acids within the ZF domain. Each ZF mutation abrogated CTCF binding to a subset of target sites within the promoters/insulators of certain genes involved in regulating cell proliferation but did not alter binding to the regulatory sequences of other genes. These observations suggest that CTCF may represent a novel tumor suppressor gene that displays tumor-specific “change of function” rather than complete “loss of function.” [CANCER RESEARCH 62, 48 –52, January 1, 2002]
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway, a stress-induced signaling cascade emanating from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), regulates the expression and activity of molecules including BiP (HSPA5), IRE1 (ERN1), Blimp-1 (PRDM1), and X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1). These molecules are required for terminal differentiation of B cells into plasma cells and expressed at high levels in plasma cell-derived multiple myeloma. Although these molecules have no known role at early stages of B-cell development, here we show that their expression transiently peaks at the pre-B-cell receptor checkpoint. Inducible, Cre-mediated deletion of Hspa5, Prdm1, and Xbp1 consistently induces cellular stress and cell death in normal pre-B cells and in pre-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) driven by BCR-ABL1- and NRAS(G12D) oncogenes. Mechanistically, expression and activity of the UPR downstream effector XBP1 is regulated positively by STAT5 and negatively by the B-cell-specific transcriptional repressors BACH2 and BCL6. In two clinical trials for children and adults with ALL, high XBP1 mRNA levels at the time of diagnosis predicted poor outcome. A small molecule inhibitor of ERN1-mediated XBP1 activation induced selective cell death of patient-derived pre-B ALL cells in vitro and significantly prolonged survival of transplant recipient mice in vivo. Collectively, these studies reveal that pre-B ALL cells are uniquely vulnerable to ER stress and identify the UPR pathway and its downstream effector XBP1 as novel therapeutic targets to overcome drug resistance in pre-B ALL.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic alterations, particularly in DNA methylation, are ubiquitous in cancer, yet the molecular origins and the consequences of these alterations are poorly understood. CTCF, a DNA-binding protein that regulates higher-order chromatin organization, is frequently altered by hemizygous deletion or mutation in human cancer. To date, a causal role for CTCF in cancer has not been established. Here, we show that Ctcf hemizygous knockout mice are markedly susceptible to spontaneous, radiation-, and chemically induced cancer in a broad range of tissues. Ctcf(+/-) tumors are characterized by increased aggressiveness, including invasion, metastatic dissemination, and mixed epithelial/mesenchymal differentiation. Molecular analysis of Ctcf(+/-) tumors indicates that Ctcf is haploinsufficient for tumor suppression. Tissues with hemizygous loss of CTCF exhibit increased variability in CpG methylation genome wide. These findings establish CTCF as a prominent tumor-suppressor gene and point to CTCF-mediated epigenetic stability as a major barrier to neoplastic progression.