Proteolytic enzymes play important roles during tumor development and progression through their ability to promote cell growth or by facilitating the invasion of surrounding tissues. The human genome contains more than 570 protease-coding genes, many of them forming functional networks, which has forced the use of global strategies for the analysis of this group of enzymes. In this study, we have designed a new quantitative PCR-based device for profiling the entire degradome in human malignancies. We have used this method to evaluate protease expression levels in colorectal carcinomas with the finding that most proteases with altered expression in these tumors exert their function in the extracellular compartment. In addition, we have found that among genes encoding repressed proteases there was a higher proportion with somatic mutations in colorectal cancer when compared to genes coding for upregulated proteases (14% vs. 4%, p<0.05). One of these genes, MASP3, is consistently repressed in colorectal carcinomas as well as in colorectal cancer cell lines when compared to normal colonic mucosa. Functional analysis of this gene revealed that ectopic expression of MASP3 reduces cell proliferation in vitro and restrains subcutaneous tumor growth, whereas its downregulation induces an increase in the tumorigenic potential of colorectal cancer cells. These results provide new insights into the diversity of proteases associated with cancer and support the utility of degradome profiling to identify novel proteases with tumor-defying functions.
Here we perform whole-exome sequencing of samples from 105 individuals with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most frequent leukemia in adults in Western countries. We found 1,246 somatic mutations potentially affecting gene function and identified 78 genes with predicted functional alterations in more than one tumor sample. Among these genes, SF3B1, encoding a subunit of the spliceosomal U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP), is somatically mutated in 9.7% of affected individuals. Further analysis in 279 individuals with CLL showed that SF3B1 mutations were associated with faster disease progression and poor overall survival. This work provides the first comprehensive catalog of somatic mutations in CLL with relevant clinical correlates and defines a large set of new genes that may drive the development of this common form of leukemia. The results reinforce the idea that targeting several well-known genetic pathways, including mRNA splicing, could be useful in the treatment of CLL and other malignancies.
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), the most frequent leukaemia in adults in Western countries, is a heterogeneous disease with variable clinical presentation and evolution. Two major molecular subtypes can be distinguished, characterized respectively by a high or low number of somatic hypermutations in the variable region of immunoglobulin genes. The molecular changes leading to the pathogenesis of the disease are still poorly understood. Here we performed whole-genome sequencing of four cases of CLL and identified 46 somatic mutations that potentially affect gene function. Further analysis of these mutations in 363 patients with CLL identified four genes that are recurrently mutated: notch 1 (NOTCH1), exportin 1 (XPO1), myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MYD88) and kelch-like 6 (KLHL6). Mutations in MYD88 and KLHL6 are predominant in cases of CLL with mutated immunoglobulin genes, whereas NOTCH1 and XPO1 mutations are mainly detected in patients with unmutated immunoglobulins. The patterns of somatic mutation, supported by functional and clinical analyses, strongly indicate that the recurrent NOTCH1, MYD88 and XPO1 mutations are oncogenic changes that contribute to the clinical evolution of the disease. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive analysis of CLL combining whole-genome sequencing with clinical characteristics and clinical outcomes. It highlights the usefulness of this approach for the identification of clinically relevant mutations in cancer.
Accelerated aging syndromes represent a valuable source of information about the molecular mechanisms involved in normal aging. Here, we describe a progeroid syndrome that partially phenocopies Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) but also exhibits distinctive features, including the absence of cardiovascular deficiencies characteristic of HGPS, the lack of mutations in LMNA and ZMPSTE24, and a relatively long lifespan of affected individuals. Exome sequencing and molecular analysis in two unrelated families allowed us to identify a homozygous mutation in BANF1 (c.34G>A [p.Ala12Thr]), encoding barrier-to-autointegration factor 1 (BAF), as the molecular abnormality responsible for this Mendelian disorder. Functional analysis showed that fibroblasts from both patients have a dramatic reduction in BAF protein levels, indicating that the p.Ala12Thr mutation impairs protein stability. Furthermore, progeroid fibroblasts display profound abnormalities in the nuclear lamina, including blebs and abnormal distribution of emerin, an interaction partner of BAF. These nuclear abnormalities are rescued by ectopic expression of wild-type BANF1, providing evidence for the causal role of this mutation. These data demonstrate the utility of exome sequencing for identifying the cause of rare Mendelian disorders and underscore the importance of nuclear envelope alterations in human aging.
Orang-utan is derived from a Malay term meaning man of the forest and aptly describes the southeast Asian great apes native to Sumatra and Borneo. The orang-utan species, Pongo abelii (Sumatran) and Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean), are the most phylogenetically distant great apes from humans, thereby providing an informative perspective on hominid evolution. Here we present a Sumatran orang-utan draft genome assembly and short read sequence data from five Sumatran and five Bornean orang-utan genomes. Our analyses reveal that, compared to other primates, the orang-utan genome has many unique features. Structural evolution of the orang-utan genome has proceeded much more slowly than other great apes, evidenced by fewer rearrangements, less segmental duplication, a lower rate of gene family turnover and surprisingly quiescent Alu repeats, which have played a major role in restructuring other primate genomes. We also describe a primate polymorphic neocentromere, found in both Pongo species, emphasizing the gradual evolution of orang-utan genome structure. Orang-utans have extremely low energy usage for a eutherian mammal, far lower than their hominid relatives. Adding their genome to the repertoire of sequenced primates illuminates new signals of positive selection in several pathways including glycolipid metabolism. From the population perspective, both Pongo species are deeply diverse; however, Sumatran individuals possess greater diversity than their Bornean counterparts, and more species-specific variation. Our estimate of Bornean/Sumatran speciation time, 400,000?years ago, is more recent than most previous studies and underscores the complexity of the orang-utan speciation process. Despite a smaller modern census population size, the Sumatran effective population size (N(e)) expanded exponentially relative to the ancestral N(e) after the split, while Bornean N(e) declined over the same period. Overall, the resources and analyses presented here offer new opportunities in evolutionary genomics, insights into hominid biology, and an extensive database of variation for conservation efforts.
Metalloproteases comprise a heterogeneous group of proteolytic enzymes whose main characteristic is the utilization of a metal ion to polarize a water molecule and perform hydrolytic reactions. These enzymes represent the most densely populated catalytic class of proteases in many organisms and play essential roles in multiple biological processes. In this chapter, we will first present a general description of the complexity of metalloproteases in the context of the degradome, which is defined as the complete set of protease genes encoded by the genome of a certain organism. We will also discuss the functional relevance of these enzymes in a large variety of biological and pathological conditions. Finally, we will analyze in more detail three families of metalloproteases: ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase), ADAMTSs (ADAMs with thrombospondin domains), and MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases) which have a growing relevance in a number of human pathologies including cancer, arthritis, neurodegenerative disorders, and cardiovascular diseases.
Cancer is driven by mutation. Worldwide, tobacco smoking is the principal lifestyle exposure that causes cancer, exerting carcinogenicity through >60 chemicals that bind and mutate DNA. Using massively parallel sequencing technology, we sequenced a small-cell lung cancer cell line, NCI-H209, to explore the mutational burden associated with tobacco smoking. A total of 22,910 somatic substitutions were identified, including 134 in coding exons. Multiple mutation signatures testify to the cocktail of carcinogens in tobacco smoke and their proclivities for particular bases and surrounding sequence context. Effects of transcription-coupled repair and a second, more general, expression-linked repair pathway were evident. We identified a tandem duplication that duplicates exons 3-8 of CHD7 in frame, and another two lines carrying PVT1-CHD7 fusion genes, indicating that CHD7 may be recurrently rearranged in this disease. These findings illustrate the potential for next-generation sequencing to provide unprecedented insights into mutational processes, cellular repair pathways and gene networks associated with cancer.
All cancers carry somatic mutations. A subset of these somatic alterations, termed driver mutations, confer selective growth advantage and are implicated in cancer development, whereas the remainder are passengers. Here we have sequenced the genomes of a malignant melanoma and a lymphoblastoid cell line from the same person, providing the first comprehensive catalogue of somatic mutations from an individual cancer. The catalogue provides remarkable insights into the forces that have shaped this cancer genome. The dominant mutational signature reflects DNA damage due to ultraviolet light exposure, a known risk factor for malignant melanoma, whereas the uneven distribution of mutations across the genome, with a lower prevalence in gene footprints, indicates that DNA repair has been preferentially deployed towards transcribed regions. The results illustrate the power of a cancer genome sequence to reveal traces of the DNA damage, repair, mutation and selection processes that were operative years before the cancer became symptomatic.
Proteolytic enzymes play an essential role in many biological and pathological processes. Taking advantage of the recent availability of several mammalian genome sequences and by using a set of computational approaches, we have annotated and compared the degradome or complete repertoire of proteases of different mammalian species including human, mouse, rat, and chimpanzee. These studies have allowed us to expand our knowledge about the complexity, evolution, and diversity of proteolytic systems, which represent about 2% of the studied genomes. In this chapter, we review the genomic and computational methodologies used in this degradomic analysis and summarize the main findings derived from comparison of mammalian degradomes.
The degradome is defined as the complete set of proteases present in an organism. The recent availability of whole genomic sequences from multiple organisms has led us to predict the contents of the degradomes of several mammalian species. To ensure the fidelity of these predictions, our methods have included manual curation of individual sequences and, when necessary, direct cloning and sequencing experiments. The results of these studies in human, chimpanzee, mouse and rat have been incorporated into the Degradome database, which can be accessed through a web interface at http://degradome.uniovi.es. The annotations about each individual protease can be retrieved by browsing catalytic classes and families or by searching specific terms. This web site also provides detailed information about genetic diseases of proteolysis, a growing field of great importance for multiple users. Finally, the user can find additional information about protease structures, protease inhibitors, ancillary domains of proteases and differences between mammalian degradomes.
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