Despite much effort, pancreatic cancer survival rates are still dismally low. Novel therapeutics may hold the key to improving survival. YM155 is a small molecule inhibitor which has shown anti-tumor activity in a number of cancers by reducing the expression of survivin. The aim of our study is to understand the mechanisms by which YM155 functions in pancreatic cancer cells. We established the anti-tumor effect of YM155 with in vitro studies in the cultured cells, and in vivo studies using a mouse xenograft model. Our data demonstrated that YM155 reduced the expression of survivin; however down-regulation of survivin itself is insufficient to induce apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells. We showed for the first time that treatment with YM155 increased death receptor 5 (DR5) expression in pancreatic cancer cells. We found that YM155 induced apoptosis by broad-spectrum inhibition of IAP family member proteins (e.g. CIAP1/2 and FLIP) and induced pro-apoptotic Bak protein up-regulation and activation; the anti-tumor effect of YM155 treatment with either the DR5 agonist lexatumumab or gemcitabine on pancreatic cancer cells was synergistic. Our data also revealed that YM155 inhibit tumor growth in vivo, whilst had no apparent toxicity to the non-cancerous human pancreatic ductal epithelial cell line (HPDE). Together, these findings suggest that YM155 could be a novel therapeutic agent for pancreatic cancer.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Deregulated DNA methylation landscapes are ubiquitous in human cancers. Interpretation of epigenetic aberrations in HCC is confounded by multiple etiologic drivers and underlying cirrhosis. We globally profiled the DNA methylome of 34 normal and 122 liver disease tissues arising in settings of hepatitis B (HBV) or C (HCV) viral infection, alcoholism (EtOH), and other causes to examine how these environmental agents impact DNA methylation in a manner that contributes to liver disease. Our results demonstrate that each 'exposure' leaves unique and overlapping signatures on the methylome. CpGs aberrantly methylated in cirrhosis-HCV and conserved in HCC were enriched for cancer driver genes, suggesting a pathogenic role for HCV-induced methylation changes. Additionally, large genomic regions displaying stepwise hypermethylation or hypomethylation during disease progression were identified. HCC-HCV/EtOH methylomes overlap highly with cryptogenic HCC, suggesting shared epigenetically deregulated pathways for hepatocarcinogenesis. Finally, overlapping methylation abnormalities between primary and cultured tumors unveil conserved epigenetic signatures in HCC. Taken together, this study reveals profound epigenome deregulation in HCC beginning during cirrhosis and influenced by common environmental agents. These results lay the foundation for defining epigenetic drivers and clinically useful methylation markers for HCC.
The correlation between DNA methylation and a subset of histone post-translational modifications (positive and negative) has hinted at an underlying regulatory crosstalk between histone marks and DNA methylation in patterning the human DNA methylome, an idea further supported by corresponding alterations to both histone marks and DNA methylation during malignant transformation. This study investigated the framework by which histone marks influence DNA methylation at a genome-wide level. Using RNAi in a pluripotent human embryonic carcinoma cell line we depleted essential components of the MLL/COMPASS, polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), and PRC1 histone modifying complexes that establish, respectively, the post-translational modifications H3K4me3, H3K27me3, and H2AK119ub, and assayed the impact of the subsequent depletion of these marks on the DNA methylome. Absence of H2AK119ub resulted predominantly in hypomethylation across the genome. Depletion of H3K4me3 and, surprisingly, H3K27me3 caused CpG island hypermethylation at a subset of loci. Intriguingly, many promoters were co-regulated by all three histone marks, becoming hypermethylated with loss of H3K4me3 or H3K27me3 and hypomethylated with depletion of H2AK119ub, and many of these co-regulated loci were among those commonly targeted for aberrant hypermethylation in cancer. Taken together, our results elucidate novel roles for polycomb and MLL/COMPASS in regulating DNA methylation and define targets of this regulation.
The TET family of dioxygenases catalyze conversion of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), but their involvement in establishing normal 5mC patterns during mammalian development and their contributions to aberrant control of 5mC during cellular transformation remain largely unknown. We depleted TET1, TET2, and TET3 in a pluripotent embryonic carcinoma cell model and examined the impact on genome-wide 5mC, 5hmC, and transcriptional patterns.
The maintenance DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1 and the de novo methyltransferases DNMT3A and DNMT3B are all essential for mammalian development. DNA methylation, catalyzed by the DNMTs, plays an important role in maintaining genome stability. Aberrant expression of DNMTs and disruption of DNA methylation patterns are closely associated with many forms of cancer, although the exact mechanisms underlying this link remain elusive. DNA damage repair systems have evolved to act as a genome-wide surveillance mechanism to maintain chromosome integrity by recognizing and repairing both exogenous and endogenous DNA insults. Impairment of these systems gives rise to mutations and directly contributes to tumorigenesis. Evidence is mounting for a direct link between DNMTs, DNA methylation, and DNA damage repair systems, which provide new insight into the development of cancer. Like tumor suppressor genes, an array of DNA repair genes frequently sustain promoter hypermethylation in a variety of tumors. In addition, DNMT1, but not the DNMT3s, appear to function coordinately with DNA damage repair pathways to protect cells from sustaining mutagenic events, which is very likely through a DNA methylation-independent mechanism. This chapter is focused on reviewing the links between DNA methylation and the DNA damage response.
A series of compounds based on the structure of bacilysin were synthesised and tested for antibacterial activity. The key steps in the syntheses are the coupling of an iodide to a diketopiperazine (DKP) and mono-lactim ether scaffold, respectively. The diastereoselectivity of the coupling reactions was dependant on the scaffold, with selectivity for DKP of about 4:1 and mono-lactim ether exceeding 98:2. Subsequent elaboration of the compounds to give open chain dipeptides and DKPs that mimic the structure of bacilysin but substitute the epoxy ketone for a saturated or unsaturated ketone is described. Overall yield from coupling to final product was between 5 and 21 %, with the yield of the saturated products notably higher. The open chain dipeptides demonstrated moderate antibacterial and antifungal activity.
The long-term failure of autologous saphenous vein bypass grafts due to neointimal thickening is a major clinical burden. Identifying novel strategies to prevent neointimal thickening is important. Thus, this study aimed to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) that are dysregulated during neointimal formation and determine their pathophysiological relevance following miRNA manipulation.
DNA methylation and histone acetylation/deacetylation are distinct biochemical processes that control gene expression. While DNA methylation is a common epigenetic signal that inhibits gene transcription, histone deacetylation similarly represses transcription but can be both an epigenetic and nonepigenetic phenomenon. Here we report that the histone deacetylase SIRT1 regulates the activities of DNMT1, a key enzyme responsible for DNA methylation. In mass spectrometry analysis, 12 new acetylated lysine sites were identified in DNMT1. SIRT1 physically associates with DNMT1 and can deacetylate acetylated DNMT1 in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, deacetylation of different lysines on DNMT1 has different effects on the functions of DNMT1. For example, deacetylation of Lys1349 and Lys1415 in the catalytic domain of DNMT1 enhances DNMT1s methyltransferase activity, while deacetylation of lysine residues in the GK linker decreases DNMT1s methyltransferase-independent transcriptional repression function. Furthermore, deacetylation of all identified acetylated lysine sites in DNMT1 abrogates its binding to SIRT1 and impairs its capability to regulate cell cycle G(2)/M transition. Finally, inhibition of SIRT1 strengthens the silencing effects of DNMT1 on the expression of tumor suppressor genes ER-? and CDH1 in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Together, these results suggest that SIRT1-mediated deacetylation of DNMT1 is crucial for DNMT1s multiple effects in gene silencing.
Epigenetic modifications are heritable changes in gene expression not encoded by the DNA sequence. In the past decade, great strides have been made in characterizing epigenetic changes during normal development and in disease states like cancer. However, the epigenetic landscape has grown increasingly complicated, encompassing DNA methylation, the histone code, noncoding RNA, and nucleosome positioning, along with DNA sequence. As a stable repressive mark, DNA methylation, catalyzed by the DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), is regarded as a key player in epigenetic silencing of transcription. DNA methylation may coordinately regulate the chromatin status via the interaction of DNMTs with other modifications and with components of the machinery mediating those marks. In this review, we will comprehensively examine the current understanding of the connections between DNA methylation and other epigenetic marks and discuss molecular mechanisms of transcriptional repression in development and in carcinogenesis.
Epigenetic marks are well recognized as heritable chemical modifications of DNA and chromatin that induce chromatin structural changes thereby affecting gene activity. A lesser-known phenomenon is the pervasive effects these marks have on genomic integrity. Remarkably, epigenetic marks and the enzymes that establish them are involved in multiple aspects of maintaining genetic content. These aspects include preserving nucleotide sequences such as repetitive elements, preventing DNA damage, functioning in DNA repair mechanisms and chromatin restoration, and defining chromosomal organization through effects on structural elements such as the centromere. This review discusses these functional aspects of epigenetic marks and their effects on human health and disease.
Drug resistance is a major cause of failure in cancer chemotherapy. Therefore, identification and combined use of adjuvant compounds that can overcome drug resistance may improve the efficacy of cancer therapy. We screened extracts of Verticillium species-infected mushrooms for antitumor compounds and identified the compound Verticillin A as an inducer of hepatoma cell apoptosis in vitro and an inhibitor of tumor xenograft growth in vivo. Verticillin A exhibited a potent apoptosis-sensitizing activity in human colon carcinoma cells exposed to TRAIL or Fas in vitro. Furthermore, Verticillin A effectively sensitized metastatic human colon carcinoma xenograft to TRAIL-mediated growth inhibition in vivo. At the molecular level, we observed that Verticillin A induces cell-cycle arrest in the G? phase of the cell cycle in human colon carcinoma cells, markedly upregulating BNIP3 in both hepatoma and colon carcinoma cells. Notably, silencing BNIP3 decreased the sensitivity of tumor cells to Verticillin A-induced apoptosis in the absence or presence of TRAIL. We found that the BNIP3 promoter is methylated in both human hepatoma and colon carcinoma cells and tumor specimens. Verticillin A upregulated the expression of a panel of genes known to be regulated at the level of DNA methylation, in support of the concept that Verticillin A may act by demethylating the BNIP3 promoter to upregulate BNIP3 expression. Taken together, our findings identify Verticillin A as a potent apoptosis sensitizer with great promise for further development as an adjuvant agent to overcome drug resistance in human cancer therapy.
We applied a solution hybrid selection approach to the enrichment of CpG islands (CGIs) and promoter sequences from the human genome for targeted high-throughput bisulfite sequencing. A single lane of Illumina sequences allowed accurate and quantitative analysis of ~1 million CpGs in more than 21,408 CGIs and more than 15,946 transcriptional regulatory regions. Of the CpGs analyzed, 77-84% fell on or near capture probe sequences; 69-75% fell within CGIs. More than 85% of capture probes successfully yielded quantitative DNA methylation information of targeted regions. Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were identified in the 5-end regulatory regions, as well as the intra- and intergenic regions, particularly in the X-chromosome among the three breast cancer cell lines analyzed. We chose 46 candidate loci (762 CpGs) for confirmation with PCR-based bisulfite sequencing and demonstrated excellent correlation between two data sets. Targeted bisulfite sequencing of three DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) knockout cell lines and the wild-type HCT116 colon cancer cell line revealed a significant decrease in CpG methylation for the DNMT1 knockout and DNMT1, 3B double knockout cell lines, but not in DNMT3B knockout cell line. We demonstrated the targeted bisulfite sequencing approach to be a powerful method to uncover novel aberrant methylation in the cancer epigenome. Since all targets were captured and sequenced as a pool through a series of single-tube reactions, this method can be easily scaled up to deal with a large number of samples.
DNA methylation, an essential regulator of transcription and chromatin structure, is established and maintained by the coordinated action of three DNA methyltransferases: DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B, and the inactive accessory factor DNMT3L. Disruptions in DNMT3B function are linked to carcinogenesis and genetic disease. DNMT3B is also highly alternatively spliced in a tissue- and disease-specific manner. The impact of intra-DNMT3 interactions and alternative splicing on the function of DNMT3 family members remains unclear. In the present work, we focused on DNMT3B. Using a panel of in vitro assays, we examined the consequences of DNMT3B splicing and mutations on its ability to bind DNA, interact with itself and other DNMT3s, and methylate DNA. Our results show that, while the C-terminal catalytic domain is critical for most DNMT3B functions, parts of the N-terminal region, including the PWWP domain, are also important. Alternative splicing and domain deletions also influence DNMT3Bs cellular localization. Furthermore, our data reveal the existence of extensive DNMT3B self-interactions that differentially impact on its activity. Finally, we show that catalytically inactive isoforms of DNMT3B are capable of modulating the activity of DNMT3A-DNMT3L complexes. Our studies therefore suggest that seemingly inactive DNMT3B isoforms may influence genomic methylation patterns in vivo.
Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) is a liver-specific, intramitochondrial, rate-limiting enzyme in the urea cycle. A previous study showed that CPS1 is the antigen for hepatocyte paraffin 1 antibody, a commonly used antibody in surgical pathology practice; and CPS1 expression appears to be down-regulated in liver cancer tissue and cell lines. The aim of this study is to understand how the CPS1 gene is regulated in liver carcinogenesis. In this report, we show that human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells do not express CPS1, whereas cultured human primary hepatocytes express abundant levels. In addition, CPS1 was silenced or down-regulated in liver tumor tissues compared with the matched noncancerous tissues. The expression of CPS1 in HCC cells was restored with a demethylation agent, 5-azacytidine. We show that two CpG dinucleotides, located near the transcription start site, and a CpG-rich region in the first intron were hypermethylated in HCC cells. The hypermethylation of the two CpG dinucleotides was also detected in HCC tumor tissues compared with noncancerous tissues. Further molecular analysis with mutagenesis indicated that the two CpG dinucleotides play a role in promoter activity of the CPS1 gene. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that DNA methylation is a key mechanism of silencing CPS1 expression in human HCC cells, and CPS1 gene hypermethylation of the two CpG dinucleotides is a potential biomarker for HCC.
DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark critical for regulating transcription, chromatin structure and genome stability. Although many studies have shed light on how methylation impacts transcription and interfaces with the histone code, far less is known about how it regulates genome stability. We and others have shown that DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), the maintenance methyltransferase, contributes to the cellular response to DNA damage, yet DNMT1s exact role in this process remains unclear. DNA damage, particularly in the form of double-strand breaks (DSBs), poses a major threat to genome integrity. Cells therefore possess a potent system to respond to and repair DSBs, or to initiate cell death. In the current study, we used a near-infrared laser microirradiation system to directly study the link between DNMT1 and DSBs. Our results demonstrate that DNMT1 is rapidly but transiently recruited to DSBs. DNMT1 recruitment is dependent on its ability to interact with both PCNA and the ATR effector kinase CHK1, but is independent of its catalytic activity. In addition, we show for the first time that DNMT1 interacts with the 9-1-1 PCNA-like sliding clamp and that this interaction also contributes to DNMT1 localization to DNA DSBs. Finally, we demonstrate that DNMT1 modulates the rate of DSB repair and is essential for suppressing abnormal activation of the DNA damage response in the absence of exogenous damage. Taken together, our studies provide compelling additional evidence for DNMT1 acting as a regulator of genome integrity and as an early responder to DNA DSBs.
Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a ubiquitously expressed protein that catalyzes protein/protein crosslinking. Because extracellular TG2 crosslinks components of the extracellular matrix, TG2 is thought to function as a suppressor of cellular invasion. We have recently uncovered that the TG2 gene (TGM2) is a target for epigenetic silencing in breast cancer, highlighting a molecular mechanism that drives reduced TG2 expression, and this aberrant molecular event may contribute to invasiveness in this tumor type. Because tumor invasiveness is a primary determinant of brain tumor aggressiveness, we sought to determine if TGM2 is targeted for epigenetic silencing in glioma. Analysis of TGM2 gene methylation in a panel of cultured human glioma cells indicated that the 5 flanking region of the TGM2 gene is hypermethylated and that this feature is associated with reduced TG2 expression as judged by immunoblotting. Further, culturing glioma cells in the presence of the global DNA demethylating agent 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine and the histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A resulted in re-expression of TG2 in these lines. In primary brain tumors we observed that the TGM2 promoter is commonly hypermethylated and that this feature is a cancer-associated phenomenon. Using publically available databases, TG2 expression in gliomas was found to vary widely, with many tumors showing overexpression or underexpression of this gene. Since overexpression of TG2 leads to resistance to doxorubicin through the ectopic activation of NF?B, we sought to examine the effects of recombinant TG2 expression in glioma cells treated with commonly used brain tumor therapeutics. We observed that in addition to doxorubicin, TG2 expression drove resistance to CCNU; however, TG2 expression did not alter sensitivity to other drugs tested. Finally, a catalytically null mutant of TG2 was also able to support doxorubicin resistance in glioma cells indicating that transglutaminase activity is not necessary for the resistance phenotype.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that have the capacity to control protein production through binding "seed" sequences within a target mRNA. Each miRNA is capable of potentially controlling hundreds of genes. The regulation of miRNAs in the lung during the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is unknown.
Bacillus sp. strain CS93, which was previously isolated from Pozol, was previously shown to produce iturin A, bacilysin and chlorotetaine. To investigate the biosynthetic mechanism of chlorotetaine production, the bac genes were amplified from genomic DNA of Bacillus sp. CS93 by PCR and sequenced. The genes bacABCDE were determined, but no gene that might code for a halogenating enzyme was detected either within the gene cluster or in the flanking sequences. Following further analysis of culture supernatants that were active against bacteria by liquid chromatography-MS, it was not possible to detect bacilysin/chlorotetaine. However, in methanolic fractions containing antibacterial activity, molecular ions characteristic of surfactins and fengycin were detectable by electrospray MS. Using primers complementary for conserved regions of nonribosomal peptide synthase, it was possible to amplify gene fragments that had a high degree of homology with known surfactin and fengycin biosynthetic genes. Thus, in addition to the known antimicrobial compounds, we have shown that this strain produces other bioactive lipopeptides, which might account for some of the medicinal properties of Pozol.
DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark essential for mammalian development, genomic stability, and imprinting. DNA methylation patterns are established and maintained by three DNA methyltransferases: DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B. Interestingly, all three DNMTs make use of alternative splicing. DNMT3B has nearly 40 known splice variants expressed in a tissue- and disease-specific manner, but very little is known about the role of these splice variants in modulating DNMT3B function. We describe here the identification and characterization of a novel alternatively spliced form of DNMT3B lacking exon 5 within the NH(2)-terminal regulatory domain. This variant, which we term DNMT3B3Delta5 because it is closely related in structure to the ubiquitously expressed DNMT3B3 isoform, is highly expressed in pluripotent cells and brain tissue, is downregulated during differentiation, and is conserved in the mouse. Creation of pluripotent iPS cells from fibroblasts results in marked induction of DNMT3B3Delta5. DNMT3B3Delta5 expression is also altered in human disease, with tumor cell lines displaying elevated or reduced expression depending on their tissue of origin. We then compared the DNA binding and subcellular localization of DNMT3B3Delta5 versus DNMT3B3, revealing that DNMT3B3Delta5 possessed significantly enhanced DNA binding affinity and displayed an altered nuclear distribution. Finally, ectopic overexpression of DNMT3B3Delta5 resulted in repetitive element hypomethylation and enhanced cell growth in a colony formation assay. Taken together, these results show that DNMT3B3Delta5 may play an important role in stem cell maintenance or differentiation and suggest that sequences encoded by exon 5 influence the functional properties of DNMT3B.
DNA methylation patterns are established and maintained by three DNA methyltransferases (DNMT): DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B. Although essential for development, methylation patterns are frequently disrupted in cancer and contribute directly to carcinogenesis. Recent studies linking polycomb group repression complexes (PRC1 and PRC2) to the DNMTs have begun to shed light on how methylation is targeted. We identified previously a panel of genes regulated by DNMT3B. Here, we compare these with known polycomb group targets to show that approximately 47% of DNMT3B regulated genes are also bound by PRC1 or PRC2. We chose 44 genes coregulated by DNMT3B and PRC1/PRC2 to test whether these criteria would accurately identify novel targets of epigenetic silencing in colon cancer. Using reverse transcription-PCR, bisulfite genomic sequencing, and pyrosequencing, we show that the majority of these genes are frequently silenced in colorectal cancer cell lines and primary tumors. Some of these, including HAND1, HMX2, and SIX3, repressed cell growth. Finally, we analyzed the histone code, DNMT1, DNMT3B, and PRC2 binding by chromatin immunoprecipitation at epigenetically silenced genes to reveal a novel link between DNMT3B and the mark mediated by PRC1. Taken together, these studies suggest that patterns of epigenetic modifiers and the histone code influence the propensity of a gene to become hypermethylated in cancer and that DNMT3B plays an important role in regulating PRC1 function.
Mutations in homeoprotein NKX2-5 are linked to human congenital heart disease, resulting in various cardiac anomalies, as well as in postnatal progressive conduction defects and occasional left ventricular dysfunction; yet the function of Nkx2-5 in the postnatal period is largely unexplored. In the heart, the majority of cardiomyocytes are believed to complete cell-cycle withdrawal shortly after birth, which is generally accompanied by a re-organization of chromatin structure shown in other tissues. We reasoned that the effects of the loss of Nkx2-5 in mice may be different after cell-cycle withdrawal compared with those of the perinatal loss of Nkx2-5, which results in rapid conduction and contraction defects within 4 days after the deletion of Nkx2-5 alleles (Circ Res. 2008;103:580). In this study, floxed-Nkx2-5 alleles were deleted using tamoxifen-inducible Cre transgene (Cre-ER) beginning at 2 weeks of age. The loss of Nkx2-5 beginning at 2 weeks of age resulted in conduction and contraction defects similar to the perinatal loss of Nkx2-5, however, with a substantially slower disease progression shown by 1 degrees atrioventricular block at 6 weeks of age (4 weeks after tamoxifen injections) and heart enlargement after 12 weeks of age (10 weeks after tamoxifen injections). The phenotypes were accompanied by a slower and smaller degree of reduction of several critical Nkx2-5 downstream targets that were observed in mice with a perinatal loss of Nkx2-5. These results suggest that Nkx2-5 is necessary for proper conduction and contraction after 2 weeks of age, but with a substantially distinct level of necessity at 2 weeks of age compared with that in the perinatal period.
Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) is an autosomal dominant muscular dystrophy in which no mutation of pathogenic gene(s) has been identified. Instead, the disease is, in most cases, genetically linked to a contraction in the number of 3.3 kb D4Z4 repeats on chromosome 4q. How contraction of the 4qter D4Z4 repeats causes muscular dystrophy is not understood. In addition, a smaller group of FSHD cases are not associated with D4Z4 repeat contraction (termed "phenotypic" FSHD), and their etiology remains undefined. We carried out chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis using D4Z4-specific PCR primers to examine the D4Z4 chromatin structure in normal and patient cells as well as in small interfering RNA (siRNA)-treated cells. We found that SUV39H1-mediated H3K9 trimethylation at D4Z4 seen in normal cells is lost in FSHD. Furthermore, the loss of this histone modification occurs not only at the contracted 4q D4Z4 allele, but also at the genetically intact D4Z4 alleles on both chromosomes 4q and 10q, providing the first evidence that the genetic change (contraction) of one 4qD4Z4 allele spreads its effect to other genomic regions. Importantly, this epigenetic change was also observed in the phenotypic FSHD cases with no D4Z4 contraction, but not in other types of muscular dystrophies tested. We found that HP1gamma and cohesin are co-recruited to D4Z4 in an H3K9me3-dependent and cell type-specific manner, which is disrupted in FSHD. The results indicate that cohesin plays an active role in HP1 recruitment and is involved in cell type-specific D4Z4 chromatin regulation. Taken together, we identified the loss of both histone H3K9 trimethylation and HP1gamma/cohesin binding at D4Z4 to be a faithful marker for the FSHD phenotype. Based on these results, we propose a new model in which the epigenetic change initiated at 4q D4Z4 spreads its effect to other genomic regions, which compromises muscle-specific gene regulation leading to FSHD pathogenesis.
DNA methylation is an epigenetically imposed mark of transcriptional repression that is essential for maintenance of chromatin structure and genomic stability. Genome-wide methylation patterns are mediated by the combined action of three DNA methyltransferases: DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B. Compelling links exist between DNMT3B and chromosome stability as emphasized by the mitotic defects that are a hallmark of ICF syndrome, a disease arising from germline mutations in DNMT3B. Centromeric and pericentromeric regions are essential for chromosome condensation and the fidelity of segregation. Centromere regions contain distinct epigenetic marks, including dense DNA hypermethylation, yet the mechanisms by which DNA methylation is targeted to these regions remains largely unknown. In the present study, we used a yeast two-hybrid screen and identified a novel interaction between DNMT3B and constitutive centromere protein CENP-C. CENP-C is itself essential for mitosis. We confirm this interaction in mammalian cells and map the domains responsible. Using siRNA knock downs, bisulfite genomic sequencing and ChIP, we demonstrate for the first time that CENP-C recruits DNA methylation and DNMT3B to both centromeric and pericentromeric satellite repeats and that CENP-C and DNMT3B regulate the histone code in these regions, including marks characteristic of centromeric chromatin. Finally, we demonstrate that loss of CENP-C or DNMT3B leads to elevated chromosome misalignment and segregation defects during mitosis and increased transcription of centromeric repeats. Taken together, our data reveal a novel mechanism by which DNA methylation is targeted to discrete regions of the genome and contributes to chromosomal stability.
A novel series of hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitors bearing a P2-P4 macrocycle and a P1-P1 alpha-ketoamide serine trap is reported. The NS3 protease, which is essential for viral replication, is considered one of the most attractive targets for developing novel anti-HCV therapies. The optimization of both the macrocycle and the warhead portions led to the discovery of compounds 8b and 8 g with a good activity both in the enzyme as well as in the cell based (replicon) assays with favorable PK profile in a preclinical species.
Gene silencing by aberrant epigenetic chromatin alteration is a well-recognized event contributing to tumorigenesis. Although genetically engineered tumor-prone mouse models have proven a powerful tool in understanding many aspects of carcinogenesis, to date few studies have focused on epigenetic alterations in mouse tumors. To uncover epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) in mouse mammary tumor cells, we conducted initial genome-wide screening by combining the treatment of cultured cells with the DNA demethylating drug 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-azadC) and the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) with expression microarray. By conducting this initial screen on EMT6 cells and applying protein function and genomic structure criteria to genes identified as upregulated in response to 5-azadC/TSA, we were able to identify two characterized breast cancer TSGs (Timp3 and Rprm) and four putative TSGs (Atp1B2, Dusp2, FoxJ1 and Smpd3) silenced in this line. By testing a panel of 10 mouse mammary tumor lines, we determined that each of these genes is commonly hypermethylated, albeit with varying frequency. Furthermore, by examining a panel of human breast tumor lines and primary tumors we observed that the human orthologs of ATP1B2, FOXJ1 and SMPD3 are aberrantly hypermethylated in the human disease whereas DUSP2 was not hypermethylated in primary breast tumors. Finally, we examined hypermethylation of several genes targeted for epigenetic silencing in human breast tumors in our panel of 10 mouse mammary tumor lines. We observed that the orthologs of Cdh1, RarB, Gstp1, RassF1 genes were hypermethylated, whereas neither Dapk1 nor Wif1 were aberrantly methylated in this panel of mouse tumor lines. From this study, we conclude that there is significant, but not absolute, overlap in the epigenome of human and mouse mammary tumors.
DNA methylation, mediated by the combined action of three DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B), is essential for mammalian development and is a major contributor to cellular transformation. To elucidate how DNA methylation is targeted, we mapped the genome-wide localization of all DNMTs and methylation, and examined the relationships among these markers, histone modifications, and nucleosome structure in a pluripotent human tumor cell line in its undifferentiated and differentiated states. Our findings reveal a strong link between DNMTs and transcribed loci, and that DNA methylation is not a simple sum of DNMT localization patterns. A comparison of the epigenomes of normal and cancerous stem cells, and pluripotent and differentiated states shows that the presence of at least two DNMTs is strongly associated with loci targeted for DNA hypermethylation. Taken together, these results shed important light on the determinants of DNA methylation and how it may become disrupted in cancer cells.
Hepatitis C viral infection affects 170 million people worldwide. It causes serious chronic liver diseases. HCV infection has been implicated in iron accumulation in the liver and iron overload has been shown to be a potential cofactor for HCV associated hepatocellular carcinoma progression. The underlying mechanisms are not understood. Human hepcidin, a 25 amino acid peptide mainly produced by hepatocytes, is a key regulator of iron metabolism. Alteration of hepcidin expression levels has been reported in the setting of chronic HCV infection and hepatocellular carcinoma. In this study, we aim to examine the interactions between HCV infection and hepcidin expression in liver cells. We found that hepcidin expression was suppressed in HCV infected cells. The suppressive effect appears to be regulated by histone acetylation but not DNA methylation. Moreover, we found that hepcidin had a direct antiviral activity against HCV replication in cell culture. The antiviral effect is associated with STAT3 activation. In conclusion, hepcidin can induce intracellular antiviral state while HCV has a strategy to suppress hepcidin expression. This may be a novel mechanism by which HCV circumvents hepatic innate antiviral defense.
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), including stent insertion, are established therapies in both acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and symptomatic chronic coronary artery disease refractory to pharmacological therapy. These continually advancing treatments remain limited by failure of conduit grafts in CABG and by restenosis or thrombosis of stented vessel segments in PCI caused by neointimal hyperplasia, impaired endothelialisation and accelerated atherosclerosis. While pharmacological and technological advancements have improved patient outcomes following both procedures, when grafts or stents fail these result in significant health burdens. In this review we discuss the pathophysiology of vein graft disease and in-stent restenosis, gene therapy vector development and design, and translation from pre-clinical animal models through human clinical trials. We identify the key issues that are currently preventing vascular gene therapy from interfacing with clinical use and introduce the areas of research attempting to overcome these.
DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) are promising epigenetic targets for the development of novel anticancer drugs and other diseases. Molecular modeling and experimental approaches are being used to identify and develop inhibitors of human DNMTs. Most of the computational efforts conducted so far with DNMT1 employ homology models of the enzyme. Recently, a crystallographic structure of the methyltransferase domain of human DNMT1 bound to unmethylated DNA was published. Following on our previous computational and experimental studies with DNMTs, we herein present molecular dynamics of the crystal structure of human DNMT1. Docking studies of established DNMT1 inhibitors with the crystal structure gave rise to a structure-based pharmacophore model that suggests key interactions of the inhibitors with the catalytic binding site. Results had a good agreement with the docking and pharmacophore models previously developed using a homology model of the catalytic domain of DNMT1. The docking protocol was able to distinguish active DNMT1 inhibitors from, for example, experimentally known inactive DNMT1 inhibitors. As part of our efforts to identify novel inhibitors of DNMT1, we conducted the experimental characterization of aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) that in preliminary docking studies showed promising activity. ATA had a submicromolar inhibition (IC(50)=0.68 ?M) against DNMT1. ATA was also evaluated for Dnmt3a inhibition showing an IC(50)=1.4 ?M. This chapter illustrates the synergy from integrating molecular modeling and experimental methods to further advance the discovery of novel candidates for epigenetic therapies.
Butyrate, an intestinal microbiota metabolite of dietary fiber, has been shown to exhibit protective effects toward inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis (UC) and inflammation-mediated colorectal cancer. Recent studies have shown that chronic IFN-? signaling plays an essential role in inflammation-mediated colorectal cancer development in vivo, whereas genome-wide association studies have linked human UC risk loci to IFNG, the gene that encodes IFN-?. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the butyrate-IFN-?-colonic inflammation axis are not well defined. Here we showed that colonic mucosa from patients with UC exhibit increased signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) activation, and this STAT1 hyperactivation is correlated with increased T cell infiltration. Butyrate treatment-induced apoptosis of wild-type T cells but not Fas-deficient (Fas(lpr)) or FasL-deficient (Fas(gld)) T cells, revealing a potential role of Fas-mediated apoptosis of T cells as a mechanism of butyrate function. Histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) was found to bind to the Fas promoter in T cells, and butyrate inhibits HDAC1 activity to induce Fas promoter hyperacetylation and Fas upregulation in T cells. Knocking down gpr109a or slc5a8, the genes that encode for receptor and transporter of butyrate, respectively, resulted in altered expression of genes related to multiple inflammatory signaling pathways, including inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), in mouse colonic epithelial cells in vivo. Butyrate effectively inhibited IFN-?-induced STAT1 activation, resulting in inhibition of iNOS upregulation in human colon epithelial and carcinoma cells in vitro. Our data thus suggest that butyrate delivers a double-hit: induction of T cell apoptosis to eliminate the source of inflammation and suppression of IFN-?-mediated inflammation in colonic epithelial cells, to suppress colonic inflammation.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.