[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A central problem in biology is to identify gene function. One approach is to infer function in large supergenomic networks of interactions and ancestral relationships among genes; however, their analysis can be computationally prohibitive. We show here that these biological networks are compressible. They can be shrunk dramatically by eliminating redundant evolutionary relationships, and this process is efficient because in these networks the number of compressible elements rises linearly rather than exponentially as in other complex networks. Compression enables global network analysis to computationally harness hundreds of interconnected genomes and to produce functional predictions. As a demonstration, we show that the essential, but functionally uncharacterized Plasmodium falciparum antigen EXP1 is a membrane glutathione S-transferase. EXP1 efficiently degrades cytotoxic hematin, is potently inhibited by artesunate, and is associated with artesunate metabolism and susceptibility in drug-pressured malaria parasites. These data implicate EXP1 in the mode of action of a frontline antimalarial drug.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synchrony of the mammalian circadian clock is achieved by complex transcriptional and translational feedback loops centered on the BMAL1:CLOCK heterodimer. Modulation of circadian feedback loops is essential for maintaining rhythmicity, yet the role of transcriptional coactivators in driving BMAL1:CLOCK transcriptional networks is largely unexplored. Here, we show diurnal hepatic steroid receptor coactivator 2 (SRC-2) recruitment to the genome that extensively overlaps with the BMAL1 cistrome during the light phase, targeting genes that enrich for circadian and metabolic processes. Notably, SRC-2 ablation impairs wheel-running behavior, alters circadian gene expression in several peripheral tissues, alters the rhythmicity of the hepatic metabolome, and deregulates the synchronization of cell-autonomous metabolites. We identify SRC-2 as a potent coregulator of BMAL1:CLOCK and find that SRC-2 targets itself with BMAL1:CLOCK in a feedforward loop. Collectively, our data suggest that SRC-2 is a transcriptional coactivator of the BMAL1:CLOCK oscillators and establish SRC-2 as a critical positive regulator of the mammalian circadian clock.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer (BCa) molecular subtypes include luminal A, luminal B, normal-like, HER-2–enriched, and basal-like tumors, among which luminal B and basal-like cancers are highly aggressive. Biochemical pathways associated with patient survival or treatment response in these more aggressive subtypes are not well understood. With the limited availability of pathologically verified clinical specimens, cell line models are routinely used for pathway-centric studies. We measured the metabolome of luminal and basal-like BCa cell lines using mass spectrometry, linked metabolites to biochemical pathways using Gene Set Analysis, and developed a novel rank-based method to select pathways on the basis of their enrichment in patient-derived omics data sets and prognostic relevance. Key mediators of the pathway were then characterized for their role in disease progression. Pyrimidine metabolism was altered in luminal versus basal BCa, whereas the combined expression of its associated genes or expression of one key gene, ribonucleotide reductase subunit M2 (RRM2) alone, associated significantly with decreased survival across all BCa subtypes, as well as in luminal patients resistant to tamoxifen. Increased RRM2 expression in tamoxifen-resistant patients was verified using tissue microarrays, whereas the metabolic products of RRM2 were higher in tamoxifen-resistant cells and in xenograft tumors. Both genetic and pharmacological inhibition of this key enzyme in tamoxifen-resistant cells significantly decreased proliferation, reduced expression of cell cycle genes, and sensitized the cells to tamoxifen treatment. Our study suggests for evaluating RRM2-associated metabolites as noninvasive markers for tamoxifen resistance and its pharmacological inhibition as a novel approach to overcome tamoxifen resistance in BCa.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite recent developments in treatment strategies, castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is still the second leading cause of cancer associated mortality among American men, the biological underpinnings of which are not well understood. To this end, we measured levels of 150 metabolites and examined the rate of utilization of 184 metabolites in metastatic androgen dependent prostate cancer (AD) and CRPC cell lines using a combination of targeted mass spectrometry and metabolic phenotyping. Metabolic data were used to derive biochemical pathways that were enriched in CRPC, using Oncomine Concept Maps (OCM). The enriched pathways were then examined in-silico for their association with treatment failure (i.e., prostate specific antigen (PSA) recurrence or biochemical recurrence) using published clinically annotated gene expression data sets. Our results indicate that a total of 19 metabolites were altered in CRPC compared to AD cell lines. These altered metabolites mapped to a highly interconnected network of biochemical pathways that describe UDP glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) activity. We observed an association with time to treatment failure in an analysis employing genes restricted to this pathway in three independent gene expression data sets. In summary, our studies highlight the value of employing metabolomic strategies in cell lines to derive potentially clinically useful predictive tools.
Journal of Proteome Research 12/2013; · 5.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metabolic profiling of cancer cells has recently been established as a promising tool for the development of therapies and identification of cancer biomarkers. Here we characterized the metabolomic profile of human breast tumors and uncovered intrinsic metabolite signatures in these tumors using an untargeted discovery approach and validation of key metabolites. The oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG) accumulated at high levels in a subset of tumors and human breast cancer cell lines. We discovered an association between increased 2HG levels and MYC pathway activation in breast cancer, and further corroborated this relationship using MYC overexpression and knockdown in human mammary epithelial and breast cancer cells. Further analyses revealed globally increased DNA methylation in 2HG-high tumors and identified a tumor subtype with high tissue 2HG and a distinct DNA methylation pattern that was associated with poor prognosis and occurred with higher frequency in African-American patients. Tumors of this subtype had a stem cell-like transcriptional signature and tended to overexpress glutaminase, suggestive of a functional relationship between glutamine and 2HG metabolism in breast cancer. Accordingly, 13C-labeled glutamine was incorporated into 2HG in cells with aberrant 2HG accumulation, whereas pharmacologic and siRNA-mediated glutaminase inhibition reduced 2HG levels. Our findings implicate 2HG as a candidate breast cancer oncometabolite associated with MYC activation and poor prognosis.
The Journal of clinical investigation 12/2013; · 15.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
Failure of an embryo to correctly implant into the endometrium is a common cause of pregnancy failure or early embryo miscarriage. Although advances in our understanding of oocyte and embryo development have significantly increased pregnancy success rates, these rates remain unacceptably low due in part to an endometrium that is unreceptive to embryo implantation. Using experimental mouse genetics and a primary human cell culture model, we show here that the development of a receptive endometrium requires steroid receptor coactivator-2, a factor which modulates the response of an endometrial cell to the pregnancy hormone, progesterone. Specifically, we show that SRC-2 increases progesterone-dependent glycolysis in the endometrial cell to provide energy and biomolecules for the next round of cell division. For an endometrium to be receptive to embryo implantation, specific endometrial cells (termed stromal cells) need to divide and numerically increase just prior to devel
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early embryo miscarriage is linked to inadequate endometrial decidualization, a cellular transformation process that enables deep blastocyst invasion into the maternal compartment. Although much of the cellular events that underpin endometrial stromal cell (ESC) decidualization are well recognized, the individual gene(s) and molecular pathways that drive the initiation and progression of this process remain elusive. Using a genetic mouse model and a primary human ESC culture model, we demonstrate that steroid receptor coactivator-2 (SRC-2) is indispensable for rapid steroid hormone-dependent proliferation of ESCs, a critical cell-division step which precedes ESC terminal differentiation into decidual cells. We reveal that SRC-2 is required for increasing the glycolytic flux in human ESCs, which enables rapid proliferation to occur during the early stages of the decidualization program. Specifically, SRC-2 increases the glycolytic flux through induction of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2, 6-bisphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3), a major rate-limiting glycolytic enzyme. Similarly, acute treatment of mice with a small molecule inhibitor of PFKFB3 significantly suppressed the ability of these animals to exhibit an endometrial decidual response. Together, these data strongly support a conserved mechanism of action by which SRC-2 accelerates the glycolytic flux through PFKFB3 induction to provide the necessary bioenergy and biomass to meet the demands of a high proliferation rate observed in ESCs prior to their differentiation into decidual cells. Because deregulation of endometrial SRC-2 expression has been associated with common gynecological disorders of reproductive-age women, this signaling pathway, involving SRC-2 and PFKFB3, promises to offer new clinical approaches in the diagnosis and/or treatment of a non-receptive uterus in patients presenting idiopathic infertility, recurrent early pregnancy loss, or increased time to pregnancy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metabolomic profiling of prostate cancer (PCa) progression identified markedly elevated levels of sarcosine (N-methyl glycine) in metastatic PCa and modest but significant elevation of the metabolite in PCa urine. Here, we examine the role of key enzymes associated with sarcosine metabolism in PCa progression. Consistent with our earlier report, sarcosine levels were significantly elevated in PCa urine sediments compared to controls, with a modest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.71. In addition, the expression of sarcosine biosynthetic enzyme, glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT), was elevated in PCa tissues, while sarcosine dehydrogenase (SARDH) and pipecolic acid oxidase (PIPOX), which metabolize sarcosine, were reduced in prostate tumors. Consistent with this, GNMT promoted the oncogenic potential of prostate cells by facilitating sarcosine production, while SARDH and PIPOX reduced the oncogenic potential of prostate cells by metabolizing sarcosine. Accordingly, addition of sarcosine, but not glycine or alanine, induced invasion and intravasation in an in vivo PCa model. In contrast, GNMT knockdown or SARDH overexpression in PCa xenografts inhibited tumor growth. Taken together, these studies substantiate the role of sarcosine in PCa progression.
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 05/2013; 15(5):491-501. · 5.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is triggered by the intracellular bacterial sensor NOD2 (nucleotide-binding, oligomerization domain 2) as an anti-bacterial response. Defects in autophagy have been implicated in Crohn's disease susceptibility. The molecular mechanisms of activation and regulation of this process by NOD2 are not well understood, with recent studies reporting conflicting requirements for RIP2 (receptor-interacting protein kinase 2) in autophagy induction. We examined the requirement of NOD2 signaling mediated by RIP2 for anti-bacterial autophagy induction and clearance of Salmonella typhimurium in the intestinal epithelial cell line HCT116. Our data demonstrate that NOD2 stimulates autophagy in a process dependent on RIP2 tyrosine kinase activity. Autophagy induction requires the activity of the mitogen-activated protein kinases MEKK4 and p38 but is independent of NFκB signaling. Activation of autophagy was inhibited by a PP2A phosphatase complex, which interacts with both NOD2 and RIP2. PP2A phosphatase activity inhibited NOD2-dependent autophagy but not activation of NFκB or p38. Upon stimulation of NOD2, the phosphatase activity of the PP2A complex is inhibited through tyrosine phosphorylation of the catalytic subunit in a process dependent on RIP2 activity. These findings demonstrate that RIP2 tyrosine kinase activity is not only required for NOD2-dependent autophagy but plays a dual role in this process. RIP2 both sends a positive autophagy signal through activation of p38 MAPK and relieves repression of autophagy mediated by the phosphatase PP2A.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2012; 287(30):25565-76. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We explore the utility of p-value weighting for enhancing the power to detect differential metabolites in a two-sample setting. Related gene expression information is used to assign an a priori importance level to each metabolite being tested. We map the gene expression to a metabolite through pathways and then gene expression information is summarized per-pathway using gene set enrichment tests. Through simulation we explore four styles of enrichment tests and four weight functions to convert the gene information into a meaningful p-value weight. We implement the p-value weighting on a prostate cancer metabolomic dataset. Gene expression on matched samples is used to construct the weights. Under certain regulatory conditions, the use of weighted p-values does not inflate the type I error above what we see for the un-weighted tests except in high correlation situations. The power to detect differential metabolites is notably increased in situations with disjoint pathways and shows moderate improvement, relative to the proportion of enriched pathways, when pathway membership overlaps.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymorphisms that reduce the function of nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)2, a bacterial sensor, have been associated with Crohn's disease (CD). No proteins that regulate NOD2 activity have been identified as selective pharmacologic targets. We sought to discover regulators of NOD2 that might be pharmacologic targets for CD therapies.
Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase/aspartate transcarbamylase/dihydroorotase (CAD) is an enzyme required for de novo pyrimidine nucleotide synthesis; it was identified as a NOD2-interacting protein by immunoprecipitation-coupled mass spectrometry. CAD expression was assessed in colon tissues from individuals with and without inflammatory bowel disease by immunohistochemistry. The interaction between CAD and NOD2 was assessed in human HCT116 intestinal epithelial cells by immunoprecipitation, immunoblot, reporter gene, and gentamicin protection assays. We also analyzed human cell lines that express variants of NOD2 and the effects of RNA interference, overexpression and CAD inhibitors.
CAD was identified as a NOD2-interacting protein expressed at increased levels in the intestinal epithelium of patients with CD compared with controls. Overexpression of CAD inhibited NOD2-dependent activation of nuclear factor κB and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, as well as intracellular killing of Salmonella. Reduction of CAD expression or administration of CAD inhibitors increased NOD2-dependent signaling and antibacterial functions of NOD2 variants that are and are not associated with CD.
The nucleotide synthesis enzyme CAD is a negative regulator of NOD2. The antibacterial function of NOD2 variants that have been associated with CD increased in response to pharmacologic inhibition of CAD. CAD is a potential therapeutic target for CD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although alterations in xenobiotic metabolism are considered causal in the development of bladder cancer, the precise mechanisms involved are poorly understood. In this study, we used high-throughput mass spectrometry to measure over 2,000 compounds in 58 clinical specimens, identifying 35 metabolites which exhibited significant changes in bladder cancer. This metabolic signature distinguished both normal and benign bladder from bladder cancer. Exploratory analyses of this metabolomic signature in urine showed promise in distinguishing bladder cancer from controls and also nonmuscle from muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Subsequent enrichment-based bioprocess mapping revealed alterations in phase I/II metabolism and suggested a possible role for DNA methylation in perturbing xenobiotic metabolism in bladder cancer. In particular, we validated tumor-associated hypermethylation in the cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) and cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) promoters of bladder cancer tissues by bisulfite sequence analysis and methylation-specific PCR and also by in vitro treatment of T-24 bladder cancer cell line with the DNA demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Furthermore, we showed that expression of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 was reduced significantly in an independent cohort of bladder cancer specimens compared with matched benign adjacent tissues. In summary, our findings identified candidate diagnostic and prognostic markers and highlighted mechanisms associated with the silencing of xenobiotic metabolism. The metabolomic signature we describe offers potential as a urinary biomarker for early detection and staging of bladder cancer, highlighting the utility of evaluating metabolomic profiles of cancer to gain insights into bioprocesses perturbed during tumor development and progression.
Cancer Research 12/2011; 71(24):7376-86. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Androgen and androgen receptors (AR) play critical roles in the proliferation of prostate cancer through transcriptional regulation of target genes. Here, we found that androgens upregulated the expression of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), which is involved in the induction of mitochondrial fission, a common event in mitosis and apoptosis. Clinical tissue samples and various prostate cancer cell lines revealed a positive correlation between Drp1 and AR levels. Treatment of androgen-sensitive cells with an AR agonist, R1881, and antagonist, bicalutamide, showed that Drp1 is transcriptionally regulated by androgens, as confirmed by an AR ChIP-seq assay. Live imaging experiments using pAcGFP1-Mito stably transfected LNCaP (mito-green) cells revealed that androgen did not induce significant mitochondrial fission by itself, although Drp1 was upregulated. However, when treated with CGP37157 (CGP), an inhibitor of mitochondrial Ca²⁺ efflux, these cells exhibited mitochondrial fission, which was further enhanced by pretreatment with R1881, suggesting that androgen-induced Drp1 expression facilitated CGP-induced mitochondrial fission. This enhanced mitochondrial fission was correlated with increased apoptosis. Transfection with dominant-negative (DN-Drp1, K38A) rescued cells from increased apoptosis, confirming the role of androgen-induced Drp1 in the observed apoptosis with combination treatment. Furthermore, we found that CGP reduced the expression of Mfn1, a protein that promotes mitochondrial fusion, a process which opposes fission. We suggest that androgen-increased Drp1 enhanced mitochondrial fission leading to apoptosis. The present study shows a novel role for androgens in the regulation of mitochondrial morphology that could potentially be utilized in prostate cancer therapy.
Molecular Cancer Research 07/2011; 9(8):1067-77. · 4.35 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the fourth highest cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, has the most aggressive presentation resulting in a very short median survival time for the affected patients. Early detection of PDAC is confounded by lack of specific markers that has motivated the use of high throughput molecular approaches to delineate potential biomarkers. To pursue identification of a distinct marker, this study profiled the secretory proteome in 16 PDAC, 2 carcinoma in situ (CIS) and 7 benign patients using label-free mass spectrometry coupled to 1D-SDS-PAGE and Strong Cation-Exchange Chromatography (SCX). A total of 431 proteins were detected of which 56 were found to be significantly elevated in PDAC. Included in this differential set were Parkinson disease autosomal recessive, early onset 7 (PARK 7) and Alpha Synuclein (aSyn), both of which are known to be pathognomonic to Parkinson's disease as well as metabolic enzymes like Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase (NP) which has been exploited as therapeutic target in cancers. Tissue Microarray analysis confirmed higher expression of aSyn and NP in ductal epithelia of pancreatic tumors compared to benign ducts. Furthermore, extent of both aSyn and NP staining positively correlated with tumor stage and perineural invasion while their intensity of staining correlated with the existence of metastatic lesions in the PDAC tissues. From the biomarker perspective, NP protein levels were higher in PDAC sera and furthermore serum levels of its downstream metabolites guanosine and adenosine were able to distinguish PDAC from benign in an unsupervised hierarchical classification model. Overall, this study for the first time describes elevated levels of aSyn in PDAC as well as highlights the potential of evaluating NP protein expression and levels of its downstream metabolites to develop a multiplex panel for non-invasive detection of PDAC.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e17177. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death in American men. Development and progression of clinically localized prostate cancer is highly dependent on androgen signaling. Metastatic tumors are initially responsive to anti-androgen therapy, however become resistant to this regimen upon progression. Genomic and proteomic studies have implicated a role for androgen in regulating metabolic processes in prostate cancer. However, there have been no metabolomic profiling studies conducted thus far that have examined androgen-regulated biochemical processes in prostate cancer. Here, we have used unbiased metabolomic profiling coupled with enrichment-based bioprocess mapping to obtain insights into the biochemical alterations mediated by androgen in prostate cancer cell lines. Our findings indicate that androgen exposure results in elevation of amino acid metabolism and alteration of methylation potential in prostate cancer cells. Further, metabolic phenotyping studies confirm higher flux through pathways associated with amino acid metabolism in prostate cancer cells treated with androgen. These findings provide insight into the potential biochemical processes regulated by androgen signaling in prostate cancer. Clinically, if validated, these pathways could be exploited to develop therapeutic strategies that supplement current androgen ablative treatments while the observed androgen-regulated metabolic signatures could be employed as biomarkers that presage the development of castrate-resistant prostate cancer.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e21417. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Follicular lymphoma (FL) is a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) that arises from germinal center (GC) B-cells. Despite the significant advances in immunotherapy, FL is still not curable. Beyond transcriptional profiling and genomics datasets, there currently is no epigenome-scale dataset or integrative biology approach that can adequately model this disease and therefore identify novel mechanisms and targets for successful prevention and treatment of FL.
We performed methylation-enriched genome-wide bisulfite sequencing of FL cells and normal CD19(+) B-cells using 454 sequencing technology. The methylated DNA fragments were enriched with methyl-binding proteins, treated with bisulfite, and sequenced using the Roche-454 GS FLX sequencer. The total number of bases covered in the human genome was 18.2 and 49.3 million including 726,003 and 1.3 million CpGs in FL and CD19(+) B-cells, respectively. 11,971 and 7,882 methylated regions of interest (MRIs) were identified respectively. The genome-wide distribution of these MRIs displayed significant differences between FL and normal B-cells. A reverse trend in the distribution of MRIs between the promoter and the gene body was observed in FL and CD19(+) B-cells. The MRIs identified in FL cells also correlated well with transcriptomic data and ChIP-on-Chip analyses of genome-wide histone modifications such as tri-methyl-H3K27, and tri-methyl-H3K4, indicating a concerted epigenetic alteration in FL cells.
This study is the first to provide a large scale and comprehensive analysis of the DNA methylation sequence composition and distribution in the FL epigenome. These integrated approaches have led to the discovery of novel and frequent targets of aberrant epigenetic alterations. The genome-wide bisulfite sequencing approach developed here can be a useful tool for profiling DNA methylation in clinical samples.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The problem of prostate cancer progression to androgen independence has been extensively studied. Several studies systematically analyzed gene expression profiles in the context of biological networks and pathways, uncovering novel aspects of prostate cancer. Despite significant research efforts, the mechanisms underlying tumor progression are poorly understood. We applied a novel approach to reconstruct system-wide molecular events following stimulation of LNCaP prostate cancer cells with synthetic androgen and to identify potential mechanisms of androgen-independent progression of prostate cancer.
We have performed concurrent measurements of gene expression and protein levels following the treatment using microarrays and iTRAQ proteomics. Sets of up-regulated genes and proteins were analyzed using our novel concept of "topological significance". This method combines high-throughput molecular data with the global network of protein interactions to identify nodes which occupy significant network positions with respect to differentially expressed genes or proteins. Our analysis identified the network of growth factor regulation of cell cycle as the main response module for androgen treatment in LNCap cells. We show that the majority of signaling nodes in this network occupy significant positions with respect to the observed gene expression and proteomic profiles elicited by androgen stimulus. Our results further indicate that growth factor signaling probably represents a "second phase" response, not directly dependent on the initial androgen stimulus.
We conclude that in prostate cancer cells the proliferative signals are likely to be transmitted from multiple growth factor receptors by a multitude of signaling pathways converging on several key regulators of cell proliferation such as c-Myc, Cyclin D and CREB1. Moreover, these pathways are not isolated but constitute an interconnected network module containing many alternative routes from inputs to outputs. If the whole network is involved, a precisely formulated combination therapy may be required to fight the tumor growth effectively.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(6):e10936. · 3.53 Impact Factor