[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PTEN loss contributes to the development of liver diseases including hepatic steatosis and both hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CC). The factors that influence the penetrance of these conditions are unclear. We explored the influence of sustained hypoxia signaling through co-deletion of Pten and Vhl in a murine model.
We used a CreER-linked Keratin 18 mouse model to conditionally delete Pten, Vhl or both in somatic cells of adult mice, evaluating the resultant tumors by histology and gene expression microarray. Existing sets of gene expression data for human HCC and CC were examined for pathways related to those observed in the murine tumors, and a cohort of human CC samples was evaluated for relationships between HIF-1α expression and clinical outcomes.
Both Pten deletion genotypes developed liver tumors, but with differing phenotypes. Pten deletion alone led to large hepatic tumors with widespread hepatosteatosis. Co-deletion of Pten and Vhl with the Keratin 18 promoter resulted in reduced steatosis and a reduced tumor burden that was characterized by a trabecular architecture similar to CC. Genes associated with hepatic steatosis were coordinately expressed in the human HCC dataset, while genes involved in hypoxia response were upregulated in tumors from the human CC dataset. HIF-1α expression and overall survival were examined in an independent cohort of human CC tumors with no statistical differences uncovered.
Pten deletion in Keratin 18 expressing cells leads to aggressive tumor formation and widespread steatosis in mouse livers. Co-deletion of Vhl and Pten results in lower tumor burden with gene expression profiling suggesting a switch from a profile of lipid deposition to an expression profile more consistent with upregulation of the hypoxia response pathway. A relationship between tumor hypoxia signaling and altered hepatic steatotic response suggests that competing influences may alter tumor phenotypes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 7-year-old, 153.0-kg American Miniature mare presented for evaluation of keratoconjunctivitis of the right eye (OD). A superior palpebral conjunctival mass and stromal keratitis were diagnosed. The incisional biopsy diagnosis was a presumptive corneal hemangiosarcoma. Transpalpebral enucleation was performed, and histopathologic evaluation confirmed angiosarcoma of the conjunctiva, cornea, and extraocular muscles. The horse developed progressive epistaxis and orbital swelling following surgery. A systemic workup was performed 3 months after enucleation, revealing regrowth within the orbit and marked cranial cervical lymphomegaly, suggestive of metastasis. Humane euthanasia was performed, and necropsy confirmed a locally invasive periorbital tumor with metastasis to the submandibular tissue, submandibular lymph node, and thoracic inlet. Histopathologic evaluation of necropsy specimens revealed polygonal to spindle neoplastic cells lining neoplastic vascular channels lacking erythrocytes. Immunohistochemically, the neoplastic cells labeled strongly positive for PROX-1, vimentin, CD-31, VEGF, weakly positive for factor VIII-related antigen, and negative for collagen IV. Based on the clinical, histological, and immunohistochemical features of this tumor, a primary ocular lymphangiosarcoma with metastasis was diagnosed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Whether dietary fiber protects against colorectal cancer is controversial because of conflicting results from human epidemiologic studies. However, these studies and mouse models of colorectal cancer have not controlled the composition of gut microbiota, which ferment fiber into short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate. Butyrate is noteworthy because it has energetic and epigenetic functions in colonocytes and tumor-suppressive properties in colorectal cancer cell lines. We used gnotobiotic mouse models colonized with wild-type or mutant strains of a butyrate-producing bacterium to demonstrate that fiber does have a potent tumor-suppressive effect but in a microbiota- and butyrate-dependent manner. Furthermore, due to the Warburg effect, butyrate was metabolized less in tumors where it accumulated and functioned as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor to stimulate histone acetylation and affect apoptosis and cell proliferation. To support the relevance of this mechanism in human cancer, we demonstrate that butyrate and histone-acetylation levels are elevated in colorectal adenocarcinomas compared with normal colonic tissues.
These results, which link diet and microbiota to a tumor-suppressive metabolite, provide insight into conflicting epidemiologic findings and suggest that probiotic/prebiotic strategies can modulate an endogenous HDAC inhibitor for anticancer chemoprevention without the adverse effects associated with synthetic HDAC inhibitors used in chemotherapy.
Cancer Discovery 09/2014; 4(12). DOI:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-14-0501 · 19.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus that has reemerged to cause profound epidemics of fever, rash, and arthralgia throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. Like other arthritogenic alphaviruses, mechanisms of CHIKV pathogenesis are not well defined. Using the attenuated CHIKV strain 181/25 and virulent strain AF15561, we identified a residue in the E2 viral attachment protein that is a critical determinant of viral replication in cultured cells and pathogenesis in vivo. Viruses containing an arginine at E2 residue 82 displayed enhanced infectivity in mammalian cells but reduced infectivity in mosquito cells and diminished virulence in a mouse model of CHIKV disease. Mice inoculated with virus containing an arginine at this position exhibited reduced swelling at the site of inoculation with a concomitant decrease in the severity of necrosis in joint-associated tissues. Viruses containing a glycine at E2 residue 82 produced higher titers in the spleen and serum at early times postinfection. Using wild-type and glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-deficient Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines and soluble GAGs, we found that an arginine at residue 82 conferred greater dependence on GAGs for infection of mammalian cells. These data suggest that CHIKV E2 interactions with GAGs diminish dissemination to lymphoid tissue, establishment of viremia, and activation of inflammatory responses early in infection. Collectively, these results suggest a function for GAG utilization in regulating CHIKV tropism and host responses that contribute to arthritis.
Journal of Virology 08/2014; 88(21). DOI:10.1128/JVI.01672-14 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a re-emerging mosquito-borne pathogen that causes incapacitating disease in humans characterized by intense joint pain that can persist for weeks, months, or even years. Although there is some evidence of persistent CHIKV infection in humans suffering from chronic rheumatologic disease symptoms, little is known about chronic disease pathogenesis and no specific therapies exist for acute or chronic CHIKV disease. To investigate mechanisms of chronic CHIKV-induced disease, we utilized a mouse model and defined the duration of CHIKV infection in tissues and the associated histopathological changes. Although CHIKV RNA was readily detectable in a variety of tissues very early after infection, CHIKV RNA persisted specifically in joint-associated tissues for at least 16 weeks. Inoculation of Rag1(-/-) mice, which lack T and B cells, resulted in higher viral levels in a variety of tissues, suggesting that adaptive immunity controls the tissue-specificity and persistence of CHIKV infection. The presence of CHIKV RNA in tissues of wild-type and Rag1(-/-) mice was associated with histopathological evidence of synovitis, arthritis, and tendonitis; thus CHIKV-induced persistent arthritis is not mediated primarily by adaptive immune responses. Finally, we show that prophylactic administration of CHIKV-specific monoclonal antibodies prevented the establishment of CHIKV persistence whereas therapeutic administration had tissue-specific efficacy. These findings suggest that chronic musculoskeletal tissue pathology is caused by persistent CHIKV infection and controlled by adaptive immune responses. Our results have significant implications for the development of strategies to mitigate the disease burden associated with CHIKV infection in humans.
Journal of Virology 10/2013; 87(24). DOI:10.1128/JVI.02666-13 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Ross River virus (RRV) cause a debilitating, and often chronic, musculoskeletal inflammatory disease in humans. Macrophages constitute the major inflammatory infiltrates in musculoskeletal tissues during these infections. However, the precise macrophage effector functions that affect the pathogenesis of arthritogenic alphaviruses have not been defined. We hypothesized that the severe damage to musculoskeletal tissues observed in RRV- or CHIKV-infected mice would promote a wound-healing response characterized by M2-like macrophages. Indeed, we found that RRV- and CHIKV-induced musculoskeletal inflammatory lesions, and macrophages present in these lesions, have a unique gene-expression pattern characterized by high expression of arginase 1 and Ym1/Chi3l3 in the absence of FIZZ1/Relmα that is consistent with an M2-like activation phenotype. Strikingly, mice specifically deleted for arginase 1 in neutrophils and macrophages had dramatically reduced viral loads and improved pathology in musculoskeletal tissues at late times post-RRV infection. These findings indicate that arthritogenic alphavirus infection drives a unique myeloid cell activation program in inflamed musculoskeletal tissues that inhibits virus clearance and impedes disease resolution in an arginase 1-dependent manner.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2012; 189(8):4047-59. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1201240 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an emerging mosquito-borne Alphavirus, causes debilitating rheumatic disease in humans that can last for weeks to months. Starting in 2004, a CHIKV outbreak in the Indian Ocean region affected millions of people, and infected travelers introduced CHIKV to new regions. The pathogenesis of CHIKV is poorly understood, and no approved vaccines or specific therapies exist. A major challenge to the study of CHIKV disease is the lack of a small animal model that recapitulates the major outcomes of human infection. In this study, the pathogenesis of CHIKV in C57BL/6J mice was investigated using biological and molecular clones of CHIKV isolated from human serum (CHIKV SL15649). After 14-day-old mice were inoculated with CHIKV SL15649 in the footpad, they displayed reduced weight gain and swelling of the inoculated limb. Histologic analysis of hind limb sections revealed severe necrotizing myositis, mixed inflammatory cell arthritis, chronic active tenosynovitis, and multifocal vasculitis. Interestingly, these disease signs and viral RNA persisted in musculoskeletal tissues for at least 3 weeks after inoculation. This work demonstrates the development of a mouse model of CHIKV infection with clinical manifestations and histopathologic findings that are consistent with the disease signs of CHIKV-infected humans, providing a useful tool for studying viral and host factors that drive CHIKV pathogenesis and for evaluating potential therapeutics against this emerging viral disease.
American Journal Of Pathology 01/2011; 178(1):32-40. DOI:10.1016/j.ajpath.2010.11.018 · 4.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alphaviruses are mosquito-borne viruses that cause serious human and animal diseases. Previous studies demonstrated that a determinant within the nsP1/nsP2 cleavage domain of the virulent Sindbis AR86 virus played a key role in regulating adult mouse virulence without adversely affecting viral replication. Additional characterization of this determinant demonstrated that a virus with the attenuating mutation induced more type I IFN production both in vivo and in vitro. Interestingly, this phenotype was not specific to the Sindbis AR86 virus, as a similar mutation in a distantly related alphavirus, Ross River Virus (RRV), also led to enhanced IFN induction. This effect was independent of virus-induced host shutoff, since IRF-3 phosphorylation, which occurs independently of de novo host transcription/translation, was induced more robustly in cells infected with the mutant viruses. Altogether, these results demonstrate that critical determinants within the nsP1/nsP2 cleavage domain play an important role in regulating alphavirus-induced IFN responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is an important human and veterinary pathogen causing sporadic epizootic outbreaks of potentially fatal encephalitis. The type I interferon (IFN) system plays a central role in controlling VEEV and other alphavirus infections, and IFN evasion is likely an important determinant of whether these viruses disseminate and cause disease within their hosts. Alphaviruses are thought to limit the induction of type I IFNs and IFN-stimulated genes by shutting off host cell macromolecular synthesis, which in the case of VEEV is partially mediated by the viral capsid protein. However, more specific strategies by which alphaviruses inhibit type I IFN signaling have not been characterized. Analyses of cells infected with VEEV and VEEV replicon particles (VRP) demonstrate that viral infection rapidly disrupts tyrosine phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of the transcription factor STAT1 in response to both IFN-beta and IFN-gamma. This effect was independent of host shutoff and expression of viral capsid, suggesting that VEEV uses novel mechanisms to interfere with type I and type II IFN signaling. Furthermore, at times when STAT1 activation was efficiently inhibited, VRP infection did not limit tyrosine phosphorylation of Jak1, Tyk2, or STAT2 after IFN-beta treatment but did inhibit Jak1 and Jak2 activation in response to IFN-gamma, suggesting that VEEV interferes with STAT1 activation by the type I and II receptor complexes through distinct mechanisms. Identification of the viral requirements for this novel STAT1 inhibition will further our understanding of alphavirus molecular pathogenesis and may provide insights into effective alphavirus-based vaccine design.
Journal of Virology 09/2009; 83(20):10571-81. DOI:10.1128/JVI.01041-09 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polycomb group proteins represent a conserved family of developmental regulators that mediate heritable transcriptional silencing by modifying chromatin states. One Polycomb group complex, the PRC2 complex, is composed of several proteins, including the histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27) methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 and the WD-repeat protein embryonic ectoderm development (EED). Histone H3K27 can be monomethylated (H3K27me1), dimethylated (H3K27me2), or trimethylated (H3K27me3). However, it remains unclear what regulates the number of methyl groups added to H3K27 in a particular nucleosome. In mammalian cells, EED is present as four distinct isoforms, which are believed to be produced by utilizing four distinct, in-frame translation start sites in a common Eed mRNA. A mutation that disables all four EED isoforms produces defects in H3K27 methylation [Montgomery, N.D., Yee, D., Chen, A., Kalantry, S., Chamberlain, S.J., Otte, A.P. & Magnuson, T. (2005). The murine polycomb group protein Eed is required for global histone H3 lysine-27 methylation. Curr. Biol., 15, 942-947]. To assess the roles of individual EED isoforms in H3K27 methylation, we first characterized three of the four EED isoform start sites and then demonstrated that individual isoforms are not necessary for H3K27me1, H3K27me2, or H3K27me3. Instead, we show that the core WD-40 motifs and the histone-binding region of EED alone are sufficient for the generation of all three marks, demonstrating that EED isoforms do not control the number of methyl groups added to H3K27.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many RNA viruses, which replicate predominantly in the cytoplasm, have nuclear components that contribute to their life cycle or pathogenesis. We investigated the intracellular localization of the multifunctional nonstructural protein 2 (nsP2) in mammalian cells infected with Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE), an important, naturally emerging zoonotic alphavirus. VEE nsP2 localizes to both the cytoplasm and the nucleus of mammalian cells in the context of infection and also when expressed alone. Through the analysis of a series of enhanced green fluorescent protein fusions, a segment of nsP2 that completely localizes to the nucleus of mammalian cells was identified. Within this region, mutation of the putative nuclear localization signal (NLS) PGKMV diminished, but did not obliterate, the ability of the protein to localize to the nucleus, suggesting that this sequence contributes to the nuclear localization of VEE nsP2. Furthermore, VEE nsP2 specifically interacted with the nuclear import protein karyopherin-alpha1 but not with karyopherin-alpha2, -3, or -4, suggesting that karyopherin-alpha1 transports nsP2 to the nucleus during infection. Additionally, a novel nuclear export signal (NES) was identified, which included residues L526 and L528 of VEE nsP2. Leptomycin B treatment resulted in nuclear accumulation of nsP2, demonstrating that nuclear export of nsP2 is mediated via the CRM1 nuclear export pathway. Disruption of either the NLS or the NES in nsP2 compromised essential viral functions. Taken together, these results establish the bidirectional transport of nsP2 across the nuclear membrane, suggesting that a critical function of nsP2 during infection involves its shuttling between the cytoplasm and the nucleus.
Journal of Virology 11/2007; 81(19):10268-79. DOI:10.1128/JVI.00371-07 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although alphaviruses dramatically alter cellular function within hours of infection, interactions between alphaviruses and specific host cellular proteins are poorly understood. Although the alphavirus nonstructural protein 2 (nsP2) is an essential component of the viral replication complex, it also has critical auxiliary functions that determine the outcome of infection in the host. To gain a better understanding of nsP2 function, we sought to identify cellular proteins with which Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus nsP2 interacted. We demonstrate here that nsP2 associates with ribosomal protein S6 (RpS6) and that nsP2 is present in the ribosome-containing fractions of a polysome gradient, suggesting that nsP2 associates with RpS6 in the context of the whole ribosome. This result was noteworthy, since viral replicase proteins have seldom been described in direct association with components of the ribosome. The association of RpS6 with nsP2 was detected throughout the course of infection, and neither the synthesis of the viral structural proteins nor the presence of the other nonstructural proteins was required for RpS6 interaction with nsP2. nsP1 also was associated with RpS6, but other nonstructural proteins were not. RpS6 phosphorylation was dramatically diminished within hours after infection with alphaviruses. Furthermore, a reduction in the level of RpS6 protein expression led to diminished expression from alphavirus subgenomic messages, whereas no dramatic diminution in cellular translation was observed. Taken together, these data suggest that alphaviruses alter the ribosome during infection and that this alteration may contribute to differential translation of host and viral messages.
Journal of Virology 09/2006; 80(15):7729-39. DOI:10.1128/JVI.00425-06 · 4.44 Impact Factor