[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation promotes phenotypic plasticity in melanoma, a source of non-genetic hetero-geneity, but the molecular framework is poorly understood. Here we use functional genomic approaches and identify a reciprocal antagonism between the melanocyte lineage transcription factor MITF and c-Jun, which interconnects inflammation-induced dedifferentiation with pro-inflammatory cytokine responsiveness of melanoma cells favouring myeloid cell recruitment. We show that pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-a instigate gradual suppression of MITF expression through c-Jun. MITF itself binds to the c-Jun regulatory genomic region and its reduction increases c-Jun expression that in turn amplifies TNF-stimulated cytokine expression with further MITF suppression. This feed-forward mechanism turns poor peak-like transcriptional responses to TNF-a into progressive and persistent cytokine and chemokine induction. Consistently, inflammatory MITF low /c-Jun high syngeneic mouse melanomas recruit myeloid immune cells into the tumour microenviron-ment as recapitulated by their human counterparts. Our study suggests myeloid cell-directed therapies may be useful for MITF low /c-Jun high melanomas to counteract their growth-promoting and immunosuppressive functions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MIcrophthalmia-associated Transcription Factor (MITF) regulates melanocyte and melanoma physiology. We show that MITF associates the NURF chromatin-remodelling factor in melanoma cells. ShRNA-mediated silencing of the NURF subunit BPTF revealed its essential role in several melanoma cell lines and in untransformed melanocytes in vitro. Comparative RNA-seq shows that MITF and BPTF co-regulate overlapping gene expression programs in cell lines in vitro. Somatic and specific inactivation of Bptf in developing murine melanoblasts in vivo shows that Bptf regulates their proliferation, migration and morphology. Once born, Bptf-mutant mice display premature greying where the second post-natal coat is white. This second coat is normally pigmented by differentiated melanocytes derived from the adult melanocyte stem cell (MSC) population that is stimulated to proliferate and differentiate at anagen. An MSC population is established and maintained throughout the life of the Bptf-mutant mice, but these MSCs are abnormal and at anagen, give rise to reduced numbers of transient amplifying cells (TACs) that do not express melanocyte markers and fail to differentiate into mature melanin producing melanocytes. MSCs display a transcriptionally repressed chromatin state and Bptf is essential for reactivation of the melanocyte gene expression program at anagen, the subsequent normal proliferation of TACs and their differentiation into mature melanocytes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) is instrumental to male germ cell differentiation, but its mechanism of action remains elusive. To address this question, we have analyzed the phenotypes of mice lacking, in spermatogonia, all rexinoid receptors (RXRA, RXRB and RXRG) or all ATRA receptors (RARA, RARB and RARG). We demonstrate that the combined ablation of RXRA and RXRB in spermatogonia recapitulates the set of defects observed both upon ablation of RAR in spermatogonia. We also show that ATRA activates RAR and RXR bound to a conserved regulatory region to increase expression of the SALL4A transcription factor in spermatogonia. Our results reveal that this major pluripotency gene is a target of ATRA signaling and that RAR/RXR heterodimers are the functional units driving its expression in spermatogonia. They add to the mechanisms through which ATRA promote expression of the KIT tyrosine kinase receptor to trigger a critical step in spermatogonia differentiation. Importantly, they indicate also that meiosis eventually occurs in the absence of a RAR/RXR pathway within germ cells and suggest that instructing this process is either ATRA-independent or requires an ATRA signal originating from Sertoli cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The multifunctional Ig-like carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1) is neo-expressed in the majority of malignant melanoma lesions. CEACAM1 acts as a driver of tumor cell invasion and its expression correlates with poor patient prognosis. Despite its importance in melanoma progression, how CEACAM1 expression is regulated is largely unknown. Here, we show that CEACAM1 expression in melanoma cell lines and melanoma tissue strongly correlates with that of the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), a key regulator of melanoma proliferation and invasiveness. MITF is revealed as a direct and positive regulator for CEACAM1 expression via binding to an M-box motif located in the CEACAM1 promoter. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of CEACAM1 expression and suggests an MITF-CEACAM1 axis as a potential determinant of melanoma progression. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) is the master regulator of the melanocyte lineage. To understand how MITF regulates transcription, we used tandem affinity purification and mass spectrometry to define a comprehensive MITF interactome identifying novel cofactors involved in transcription, DNA replication and repair and chromatin organisation. We show that MITF interacts with a PBAF chromatin remodelling complex comprising BRG1 and CHD7. BRG1 is essential for melanoma cell proliferation in vitro and for normal melanocyte development in vivo. MITF and SOX10 actively recruit BRG1 to a set of MITF-associated regulatory elements (MAREs) at active enhancers. Combinations of MITF, SOX10, TFAP2A and YY1 bind between two BRG1-occupied nucleosomes thus defining both a signature of transcription factors essential for the melanocyte lineage and a specific chromatin organisation of the regulatory elements they occupy. BRG1 also regulates the dynamics of MITF genomic occupancy. MITF-BRG1 interplay thus plays an essential role in transcription regulation in melanoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinoid X receptors (RXRs) act as homodimers or heterodimerisation partners of class II nuclear receptors. RXR homo- and heterodimers bind direct repeats of the half-site (A/G)G(G/T)TCA separated by 1 nucleotide (DR1). We present a structural characterization of RXR-DNA binding domain (DBD) homodimers on several natural DR1s and an idealized symmetric DR1. Homodimers displayed asymmetric binding, with critical high-affinity interactions accounting for the 3' positioning of RXR in heterodimers on DR1s. Differing half-site and spacer DNA sequence induce changes in RXR-DBD homodimer conformation notably in the dimerization interface such that natural DR1s are bound with higher affinity than an idealized symmetric DR1. Subtle changes in the consensus DR1 DNA sequence therefore specify binding affinity through altered RXR-DBD-DNA contacts and changes in DBD conformation suggesting a general model whereby preferential half-site recognition determines polarity of heterodimer binding to response elements.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA polymerase II general transcription factor TFIID is a macromolecular complex comprising the TATA-binding protein, TBP and 13-14 evolutionary conserved TBP-associated factors, TAFs. Although genetic experiments have shown that TAFs are essential for cell cycle progression in yeast and in rapidly proliferating vertebrate cells in vitro, new experiments indicate they may be dispensible in specific developmental and physiological processes. Moreover, the TAF4 subunit of TFIID negatively regulates proliferation by inhibiting activation of the TGFβ signalling pathway by its paralogue TAF4b. TAF4 is however essential in the retinoic acid and cAMP signalling pathways acting as a cofactor for CREB and the retinoic acid receptor, but is a negative regulator of the ATF7 transcription factor.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The functions of the TAF subunits of mammalian TFIID in physiological processes remain poorly characterised. In this study, we describe a novel function of TAFs in directing genomic occupancy of a transcriptional activator. Using liver-specific inactivation in mice, we show that the TAF4 subunit of TFIID is required for post-natal hepatocyte maturation. TAF4 promotes pre-initiation complex (PIC) formation at post-natal expressed liver function genes and down-regulates a subset of embryonic expressed genes by increased RNA polymerase II pausing. The TAF4–TAF12 heterodimer interacts directly with HNF4A and in vivo TAF4 is necessary to maintain HNF4A-directed embryonic gene expression at post-natal stages and promotes HNF4A occupancy of functional cis-regulatory elements adjacent to the transcription start sites of post-natal expressed genes. Stable HNF4A occupancy of these regulatory elements requires TAF4-dependent PIC formation highlighting that these are mutually dependent events. Local promoter-proximal HNF4A–TFIID interactions therefore act as instructive signals for post-natal hepatocyte differentiation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03613.001
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well established that tumours are not homogenous, but comprise cells with differing invasive, proliferative and tumour-initiating potential. A major challenge in cancer research is therefore to develop methods to characterize cell heterogeneity. In melanoma, proliferative and invasive cells are characterized by distinct gene expression profiles and accumulating evidence suggests that cells can alternate between these states through a process called phenotype switching. We have used microfluidic technology to isolate single melanoma cells grown in vitro as monolayers or melanospheres or in vivo as xenografted tumours and analyse the expression profiles of 114 genes that discriminate the proliferative and invasive states by quantitative PCR. Single-cell analysis accurately recapitulates the specific gene expression programmes of melanoma cell lines and defines subpopulations with distinct expression profiles. Cell heterogeneity is augmented when cells are grown as spheres and as xenografted tumours. Correlative analysis identifies gene-regulatory networks and changes in gene expression under different growth conditions. In tumours, subpopulations of cells that express specific invasion and drug resistance markers can be identified amongst which is the pluripotency factor POUF51 (OCT4) whose expression correlates with the tumorigenic potential. We therefore show that single-cell analysis can be used to define and quantify tumour heterogeneity based on detection of cells with specific gene expression profiles.Oncogene advance online publication, 18 August 2014; doi:10.1038/onc.2014.262.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a member of the serine protease inhibitor superfamily, has potent anti-metastatic effects in cutaneous melanoma through its direct actions on endothelial and melanoma cells. Here we show that PEDF expression positively correlates with microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) in melanoma cell lines and human samples. High PEDF and MITF expression is characteristic of low aggressive melanomas classified according to molecular and pathological criteria, whereas both factors are decreased in senescent melanocytes and naevi. Importantly, MITF silencing down-regulates PEDF expression in melanoma cell lines and primary melanocytes, suggesting that the correlation in the expression reflects a causal relationship. In agreement, analysis of Chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to high throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) data sets revealed three MITF binding regions within the first intron of SERPINF1, and reporter assays demonstrated that the binding of MITF to these regions is sufficient to drive transcription. Finally, we demonstrate that exogenous PEDF expression efficiently halts in vitro migration and invasion, as well as in vivo dissemination of melanoma cells induced by MITF silencing. In summary, these results identify PEDF as a novel transcriptional target of MITF and support a relevant functional role for the MITF-PEDF axis in the biology of melanoma.
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 06/2014; 16(6). DOI:10.1016/j.neo.2014.06.001 · 4.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deregulation of signaling pathways that control differentiation, expansion and migration of neural crest-derived melanoblasts during normal development contributes also to melanoma progression and metastasis. Although several epithelial-to-mesenchymal (EMT) transcription factors, such as zinc finger E-box binding protein 1 (ZEB1) and ZEB2, have been implicated in neural crest cell biology, little is known about their role in melanocyte homeostasis and melanoma. Here we show that mice lacking Zeb2 in the melanocyte lineage exhibit a melanoblast migration defect and, unexpectedly, a severe melanocyte differentiation defect. Loss of Zeb2 in the melanocyte lineage results in a downregulation of the Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (Mitf) and melanocyte differentiation markers concomitant with an upregulation of Zeb1. We identify a transcriptional signaling network in which the EMT transcription factor ZEB2 regulates MITF levels to control melanocyte differentiation. Moreover, our data are also relevant for human melanomagenesis as loss of ZEB2 expression is associated with reduced patient survival.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 25 April 2014; doi:10.1038/cdd.2014.44.
Cell death and differentiation 04/2014; 21(8). DOI:10.1038/cdd.2014.44 · 8.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinoic acid (RA) plays key roles in cell differentiation and growth arrest by activating nuclear receptors, RARs (α, β and γ), which are ligand dependent transcriptional factors. RARs are also phosphorylated in response to RA. Here we investigated the in vivo relevance of RARs phosphorylation during RA-induced neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells. Using ES cells where the genes encoding each RAR subtype have been inactivated and stable rescue lines expressing RARs mutated in phosphor-acceptor sites, we show that RA-induced neuronal differentiation involves RARγ2 and requires RARγ2 phosphorylation. By gene expression profiling, we found that the phosphorylated form of RARγ2 regulates a small subset of genes through binding an unusual RA response element consisting of two direct repeats with a 7 base pair spacer. These new findings suggest an important role for RARγ phosphorylation during cell differentiation, and pave the way for further investigations during embryonic development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SIRT1 operates as both a tumor suppressor and oncogenic factor depending on the cell context. Whether SIRT1 plays a role in melanoma biology remained poorly elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that SIRT1 is a critical regulator of melanoma cell proliferation. SIRT1 suppression by genetic or pharmacological approaches induces cell cycle arrest and a senescence-like phenotype. Gain and loss of function experiments show that M-MITF regulates SIRT1 expression, thereby revealing a melanocyte-specific control of SIRT1. SIRT1 over-expression relieves the senescence-like phenotype and the proliferation arrest caused by MITF suppression, demonstrating that SIRT1 is an effector of MITF-induced proliferation in melanoma cells. Interestingly, SIRT1 level and activity are enhanced in the PLX4032-resistant BRAFV600E-mutated melanoma cells compared with their sensitive counterpart. SIRT1 inhibition decreases melanoma cell growth and rescues the sensibility to PLX4032 of PLX4032-resistant BRAFV600E-mutated melanoma cells. In conclusion, we provide the first evidence that inhibition of SIRT1 warrants consideration as an anti-melanoma therapeutic option.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Collagen 6A3 (Col6a3), a component of extracellular matrix, is often up-regulated in tumours and is believed to play a pro-oncogenic role. However the mechanisms of its tumorigenic activity are poorly understood. We show here that Col6a3 is highly expressed in densely growing mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). In MEFs where the TAF4 subunit of general transcription factor IID (TFIID) has been inactivated, elevated Col6a3 expression prevents contact inhibition promoting their 3 dimensional growth as foci and fibrospheres. Analyses of gene expression in densely growing Taf4(-/-) MEFs revealed repression of the Hippo pathway and activation of Wnt signalling. The Hippo activator Kibra/Wwc1 is repressed under dense conditions in Taf4(-/-) MEFs, leading to nuclear accumulation of the proliferation factor YAP1 in the cells forming 3D foci. At the same time, Wnt9a is activated and the Sfrp2 antagonist of Wnt signalling is repressed. Surprisingly, treatment of Taf4(-/-) MEFs with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) restores contact inhibition suppressing 3D growth. ATRA represses Col6a3 expression independently of TAF4 expression and Col6a3 silencing is sufficient to restore contact inhibition in Taf4(-/-) MEFs and to suppress 3D growth by reactivating Kibra expression to induce Hippo signalling and by inducing Sfrp2 expression to antagonize Wnt signalling. All together, these results reveal a critical role for Col6a3 in regulating both Hippo and Wnt signalling to promote 3D growth, and show that the TFIID subunit TAF4 is essential to restrain the growth promoting properties of Col6a3. Our data provide new insight into the role of extra cellular matrix components in regulating cell growth.
PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e87365. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0087365 · 3.23 Impact Factor