[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Theiler's disease is an acute hepatitis in horses that is associated with the administration of equine blood products; its etiologic agent has remained unknown for nearly a century. Here, we used massively parallel sequencing to explore samples from a recent Theiler's disease outbreak. Metatranscriptomic analysis of the short sequence reads identified a 10.5-kb sequence from a previously undescribed virus of the Flaviviridae family, which we designate "Theiler's disease-associated virus" (TDAV). Phylogenetic analysis clusters TDAV with GB viruses of the recently proposed Pegivirus genus, although it shares only 35.3% amino acid identity with its closest relative, GB virus D. An epidemiological survey of additional horses from three separate locations supports an association between TDAV infection and acute serum hepatitis. Experimental inoculation of horses with TDAV-positive plasma provides evidence that several weeks of viremia preceded liver injury and that liver disease may not be directly related to the level of viremia. Like hepatitis C virus, the best characterized Flaviviridae species known to cause hepatitis, we find TDAV is capable of efficient parenteral transmission, engendering acute and chronic infections associated with a diversity of clinical presentations ranging from subclinical infection to clinical hepatitis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 receptor-negative triple-negative breast cancers encompass the most clinically challenging subtype for which targeted therapeutics are lacking. We find that triple-negative tumors exhibit elevated MYC expression, as well as altered expression of MYC regulatory genes, resulting in increased activity of the MYC pathway. In primary breast tumors, MYC signaling did not predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy but was associated with poor prognosis. We exploit the increased MYC expression found in triple-negative breast cancers by using a synthetic-lethal approach dependent on cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibition. CDK inhibition effectively induced tumor regression in triple-negative tumor xenografts. The proapoptotic BCL-2 family member BIM is up-regulated after CDK inhibition and contributes to this synthetic-lethal mechanism. These results indicate that aggressive breast tumors with elevated MYC are uniquely sensitive to CDK inhibitors.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 03/2012; 209(4):679-96. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomewide analyses of the mammalian transcriptome have revealed that large tracts of sequence previously annotated as noncoding are frequently transcribed and give rise to stable RNA. Although the transcription of individual genes of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) has been well studied, little is known of the architecture of the viral transcriptome on a genomewide scale. Here we have employed a genomewide tiling array to examine the lytic transcriptome of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, KSHV. Our results reveal that during lytic growth (but not during latency), there is extensive transcription from noncoding regions, including both intergenic regions and, especially, noncoding regions antisense to known open reading frames (ORFs). Several of these transcripts have been characterized in more detail, including (i) a 10-kb RNA antisense to the major latency locus, including many of its microRNAs as well as its ORFs; (ii) a 17-kb RNA antisense to numerous ORFs at the left-hand end of the genome; and (iii) a 0.7-kb RNA antisense to the viral homolog of interleukin-6 (vIL-6). These studies indicate that the lytic herpesviral transcriptome resembles a microcosm of the host transcriptome and provides a useful system for the study of noncoding RNAs.
Journal of Virology 08/2010; 84(16):7934-42. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a B-lymphotropic herpesvirus strongly linked to both lymphoproliferative diseases and Kaposi's sarcoma. The viral latency program of KSHV is central to persistent infection and plays important roles in the pathogenesis of KSHV-related tumors. Up to six polypeptides and 18 microRNAs are known to be expressed in latency, but it is unclear if all major latency genes have been identified. Here, we have employed array-based transcript profiling and limiting-dilution reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) methodologies to explore this issue in several KSHV-infected cell lines. Our results show that RNAs encoding the K1 protein are found at low levels in most latently infected cell lines. The gene encoding v-IL-6 is also expressed as a latent transcript in some contexts. Both genes encode powerful signaling molecules with particular relevance to B cell biology: K1 mimics signaling through the B cell receptor, and v-IL-6 promotes B cell survival. These data resolve earlier controversies about K1 and v-IL-6 expression and indicate that, in addition to core latency genes, some transcripts can be expressed in KSHV latency in a context-dependent manner.
Journal of Virology 03/2010; 84(11):5565-73. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The MYC oncogene contributes to induction and growth of many cancers but the full spectrum of the MYC transcriptional response remains unclear.
Using microarrays, we conducted a detailed kinetic study of genes that respond to MYCN or MYCNDeltaMBII induction in primary human fibroblasts. In parallel, we determined the response to steady state overexpression of MYCN and MYCNDeltaMBII in the same cell type. An overlapping set of 398 genes from the two protocols was designated a 'Core MYC Signature' and used for further analysis. Comparison of the Core MYC Signature to a published study of the genes induced by serum stimulation revealed that only 7.4% of the Core MYC Signature genes are in the Core Serum Response and display similar expression changes to both MYC and serum. Furthermore, more than 50% of the Core MYC Signature genes were not influenced by serum stimulation. In contrast, comparison to a panel of breast cancers revealed a strong concordance in gene expression between the Core MYC Signature and the basal-like breast tumor subtype, which is a subtype with poor prognosis. This concordance was supported by the higher average level of MYC expression in the same tumor samples.
The Core MYC Signature has clinical relevance as this profile can be used to deduce an underlying genetic program that is likely to contribute to a clinical phenotype. Therefore, the presence of the Core MYC Signature may predict clinical responsiveness to therapeutics that are designed to disrupt MYC-mediated phenotypes.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(8):e6693. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lytic infection by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is associated with an extensive shutoff of host gene expression, mediated chiefly by accelerated mRNA turnover due to expression of the viral SOX protein. We have previously identified a small number of host mRNAs that can escape SOX-mediated degradation. Here we present a detailed, transcriptome-wide analysis of host shutoff, with careful microarray normalization to allow rigorous determination of the magnitude and extent of transcript loss. We find that the extent of transcript reduction represents a continuum of susceptibilities of transcripts to virus-mediated shutoff. Our results affirm that the levels of over 75% of host transcripts are substantially reduced during lytic infection, but also show that another approximately 20% of cellular mRNAs declines only slightly (less than 2-fold) during the course of infection. Approximately 2% of examined cellular genes are strongly upregulated during lytic infection, most likely due to transcriptional induction of mRNAs that display intrinsic SOX-resistance.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The myc family of oncogenes is well conserved throughout evolution. Here we present the characterization of a domain conserved in c-, N-, and L-Myc from fish to humans, N-Myc317-337, designated Myc box IV (MBIV). A deletion of this domain leads to a defect in Myc-induced apoptosis and in some transformation assays but not in cell proliferation. Unlike other Myc mutants, MycDeltaMBIV is not a simple loss-of-function mutant because it is hyperactive for G2 arrest in primary cells. Microarray analysis of genes regulated by N-MycDeltaMBIV reveals that it is weakened for transactivation and repression but not nearly as defective as N-MycDeltaMBII. Although the mutated region is not part of the previously defined DNA binding domain, we find that N-MycDeltaMBIV has a significantly lower affinity for DNA than the wild-type protein in vitro. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation shows reduced binding of N-MycDeltaMBIV to some target genes in vivo, which correlates with the defect in transactivation. Thus, this conserved domain has an unexpected role in Myc DNA binding activity. These data also provide a novel separation of Myc functions linked to the modulation of DNA binding activity.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 07/2006; 26(11):4226-39. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cDNA library enriched with Myc-responsive cDNAs but depleted of myc cDNAs was used in a functional screen for growth enhancement in c-myc-null cells. A cDNA clone for mitochondrial serine hydroxymethyltransferase (mSHMT) that was capable of partial complementation of the growth defects of c-myc-null cells was identified. Expression analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that mSHMT is a direct Myc target gene. Furthermore, a separate gene encoding the cytoplasmic isoform of the same enzyme is also a direct target of Myc regulation. SHMT enzymes are the major source of the one-carbon unit required for folate metabolism and for the biosynthesis of nucleotides and amino acids. Our data establish a novel functional link between Myc and the regulation of cellular metabolism.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 09/2002; 22(16):5793-800. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We demonstrate that transformation-transactivation domain-associated protein (TRRAP) binding and the recruitment of histone H3 and H4 acetyltransferase activities are required for the transactivation of a silent telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene in exponentially growing human fibroblasts by c-Myc or N-Myc protein. However, recruitment of TRRAP by c- or N-Myc is dispensable for the partial induction of several basally expressed genes in exponentially growing primary and immortalized fibroblasts. Furthermore, recruitment of TRRAP is required for c-Myc- or N-Myc-mediated oncogenic transformation but not for the partial restoration of the growth defect in myc-null fibroblasts. A segment of the adenovirus E1A protein fused to a transformation-defective N-Myc protein carrying a small deletion in the transactivation domain specifically restores interaction with TRRAP, activates the silent TERT gene, induces acetylation of histones H3 and H4 at the TERT promoter, and transforms primary cells. Accordingly, wild-type L-Myc is much less efficient in TRRAP binding, activation of the silent TERT gene, and transformation of primary fibroblasts. Nevertheless, L-Myc is a potent activator of several basally expressed genes and can fully restore the growth defect of myc-null cells. These results suggest a differential requirement for TRRAP for several Myc-mediated activities.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 08/2002; 22(14):5054-63. · 5.37 Impact Factor